Here’s a scary thought. What if PRISM and X-Keyscore are just the tip of the iceberg? A trial run. A mock deployment to work out the glitches of a system ten times more Orwellian than what we’re seeing now. Think for a moment that the security interests behind these programs are not simply arrogant. What if they’re acting out of real fear?
Ponder the possibility that they’re putting these first tentative boots on the ground because they know that when climate disruption seriously hits the fan, surveillance, information and intelligence will be the only thing separating the cowering elites from the starving horde.
In this scenario, the Timothy McVeigh’s, the Osama bin Laden’s, the terrorist Chechnya brothers, will become retrospective chicken feed compared to what the surveillance state really fears – those who threaten to tackle the ideology of corporate capitalism and the God of economic growth that has pushed human civilization to the brink of survival. Think journalists. Think climate scientists. Think activists. Think environmentalists. Think you. If you’ve experienced an internet disruption lately, chances are it wasn’t on account of the weather.
Google and Facebook sold us out. The information society turned against us. The dream of being connected is suddenly dystopic. The virtual commons is more closed than the real one ever was. And it is becoming clearer and clearer that open source technology will not be enough to save us.
Our social networks have been infiltrated. Our short time with the upper hand has been called. Totalitarian states around the globe are waking up to the fact that if you really want to stay one step ahead, you don’t suppress communication, instead you empower communication with gadgets and free Wi-Fi and listen in. And now we’re all walking around with personal surveillance devices in our pockets, smartphones, which we voluntarily fill with every single detail of our lives.
If we’re going to win the web-game back, we’re going to need whistleblowers more than ever. In fact, we’ll need a global army of insiders courageous enough to turn the lights on at the black box.
The last remnants of hope that America could somehow move beyond its brutal military megalomania died when Obama gave a thumbs-up to the most sophisticated domestic surveillance apparatus in human history. He had a chance to side with Snowden, to side with a new radical democracy, a new type of heroic myth, but instead he chose the gutless route. His only reprieve is that the people themselves don’t seem to mind. Weak leader. Weak people. It’s hard to tell who leads whom anymore.
America has truly become a nation of sheep . . . a nation of people too fat to fight and too chicken-shit to speak-up. Trust the shepherd. He’ll lead us to pasture. They’d rather shut their eyes and close their ears so long as the HBO keeps running and the Super Big Gulps keep flowing.
Is this really how the American Revolution ends, a revolution that despite all of its contradictions and bullshit inspired the world for two hundred years? What the hell ever happened to the spirit of Nathan Hale – my only regret is that I have but one life to lose for my country?
You at the CIA! You at the NSA! You at the White House! You in the Armed Forces! You at the IRS! You at Goldman Sachs! You hiding behind that computer screen, that algorithm, that drone, that computer program, that security clearance . . . you can’t hide anymore.
9/11 exploded the myth of American military might. Now Snowden has exposed the soft underbelly of the surveillance state. If you have a drop of human blood left in your veins, surely what you’re doing eats away at you the very same way that it ate away at him. It’s time to wake up. You’re on the wrong side of history. There is no “just following orders” anymore. America is at a crossroads and you’re standing right in the middle of it.
First one. Then five. Then hundreds. Then thousands. Then too many to prosecute. Then a new American Revolution. Then America saves itself.
What’s it going to be America? Are you really just a nation of obese amoebas, cowering in line, saying baaaaaaaaaahhhh like the rest, waiting to be sheared?
…Or are you a nation of heroes?