Spying: What else is new?


The short memory of the digitized news world never ceases to entertain me. Particularly because it is in such a striking contrast to the sheer amount of information we generate and distribute–but apparently sometimes fail to process in any meaningful way. Or how else would one explain the global noise about the recent eavesdropping revelations by Snowden? As Armin Medosch pointed out on nettime today, the activities of a US/UK-run global surveillance system named Echelon were revealed by Duncan Campbell in 1999, and became the subject of a EU Parliament enquiry. Campbell’s report is documented here. Global surveillance systems were one focus at the World-Information.Org events at Brussels in 2000, were Campbell spoke at a conference, as did Steve Wright, on the emergence of these surveillance systems. That so many people thought their communications were not intercepted and are now alarmed, that in itself may be the real cause for alarm, pointing as it does to a lack of understanding of the politics of communication. And of the tragedy of security.

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