1956 was the year the Hungarian people went on the streets to fight for freedom and democracy. Then the Russian tanks came in, the fight was over soon.
1956 was the year my parents fled Hungary and came to Germany.
In the early seventies my parents acquired the German citizenship. Now they could visit Hungary without the fear of being arrested.
From now on, year after year, my parents went “back home”, as they used to call their visits to Hungary.
Year after year the same rituals: visiting friend after friend.
Friends my parents had left behind.
From a certain point in the conversations, the grownups, my parents and their friends, regularly started to talk about politics. Then their voices went down, as not to be heard by anybody outside. Their voices went down as if the secret service was standing behind the door, listening, taking notes, just to come back later with a closed van, as the they did during the Stalin era. Then people just disappeared.
But now the only one listening to the grown ups talk was me, a child all exited about the secretive conversation.
This was better than playing cops and robbers, I felt.
Now, there is no more need for informants standing behind the door.
The members of the NSA and employees of private companies working for the NSA don´t have to leave their office chairs to get more information about you than the secret services of East Germany, Hungary or name it, Stalin’s Soviet Union ever could dream of.
(As there is no need to leave your office to kill an alleged terrorist in Afghanistan.
Just send off a drone. No fair trial, no jury, but a death sentence. And yes, sometimes there are accidents. That´s the way the cookie crumbles. We defend democracy.)
“A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.”
„XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.
Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.“
source: The Guardian
The NSA can monitor everything you do on the Internet in real time.
The NSA can read your chats and e-mails, the NSA could know about every one of your moves, on the net and on the ground, the NSA could know about your friends and partners, the NSA could know about your job and travels, your health and all your little or big secrets.
The NSA says: yes we could get to know about all that, using this software called XKeyscore. But we don´t.
This is like saying: Yes I have a car. But I don´t use it. I rather walk four hours in the morning to get to my job.
The NSA says: we don´t spy on Americans, we just observe foreigners.
Besides that this statement is obviously and factually a lie: most of us are not Americans. It seems to be o.k to snoop on the rest of the world; it is o.k to disregard the privacy of all Non-Americans.
This is like visiting a friend and stealing secretly his valuables.
Thanks for the excellent food, buddy, he said. He smiled.
Tomorrow, he said, we could make some really profitable deals, dear friend.
I am going to call you tomorrow, he said. He smiled again.
The American government and the NSA never will admit anything, as long it´s not public already. They will continue what they are doing, as long the American people won´t stop what is going on.
Neither the Obama government, nor the NSA, show any respect for the rights of U.S citizens, not to speak of the rights of the humans populating the rest of the world.
They argue that they are defending democracy.
In fact they defend nothing but the right to abuse their power.