Civil Liberties – Henrik Alexandersson: The ruling class and the governments are waging a war against truth itself. Governments are demanding control over citizens and their communications. Governments don’t hesitate to persecute and imprison people who tell the truth about what’s going on, defending citizens’ rights. There is reason to worry.
Chelsea Manning gave the West the true picture about what’s happening in the wars waged in our name. She gave us the truth about the political and diplomatical double-crossing that happens when powerholders believe that the people aren’t watching. This was punished with 35 years in prison.
WikiLeaks distributed this knowledge to the world. The U.S. Adminsitration reacted with fury against the truth coming out. American politicians have threatened the Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, with the death penalty – and it is unclear what would happen if the United States would manage to sink its claws into him.
When the United States lacked legal options to punish WikiLeaks, the administration convinced its friends in Big Business to cut its payment channels. The credit card companies, banks, financial institutions, and PayPal became a weapon for Power, when Power wanted to proceed beyond the Law.
Edward Snowden, the whistleblower on the United States NSA, is one of the planet’s most hunted individuals – for telling the truth about the global mass surveillance under construction by (among others) the NSA, the GCHQ, and the Swedish equivalent, the FRA. He has been branded a traitor for telling the people at large what the ruling political and bureaucratic class is actually doing.
And now we’re being told that European politicians, diplomats, and reporters are at risk of prosecution in the United States if they’re digging too deeply into Snowden’s revelations. If they learn too much about what’s actually going on. If they seek the truth.
In Sweden, the ruling Alliance majority and the Social Democrats are providing a practically hyper-active defense of the Swedish FRA and its spying activity. This is in spite of the revelation that the FRA’s activities lack a democratic mandate and seem to stand on a very unclear legal ground. Myself, I’m still a suspect for crimes against national security, after having published documents on my blog in 2008 revealing that the FRA is conducting activities whose purpose and benefit are very murky.
The European Court of Justice has found that the Data Retention Directive in the EU (storing data about every citizen’s every phonecall, text, email, net connections, and mobile positioning data) is illegal and that it violates human rights. The two largest parties in Sweden are communicating as one that they intend to ignore this ruling, desiring to continue the Swedish mass surveillance of ordinary honest people.
At the same time, we know that the NSA mass surveillance and the FRA’s automated mass wiretapping hasn’t led to one single terrorist being sentenced in court. We know that data retention has given very meager results, if any at all.
The governments are waging a war against truth. Governments are demanding control over citizens and their communications. Governments don’t hesitate to persecute and imprison people who tell the story of what’s happening, defending the fundamental civil rights.
There is reason to worry.
And there’s an opportunity to vote against this madness, right now in the European Elections.