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Tuesday, 10 September 2013 15:32

I'm disgusted Featured


I’m disgusted, and I’m not alone. The US military industrial complex has betrayed us all.

The previous Australian Government quietly acquiesced. You can bet the new one will too.

The documents examined by Der Spiegel detail the way in which NSA agents have hacked into smartphone operating systems. They even cracked the BlackBerry OS, which was regarded as much more secure than its rivals. Security remains a strong selling point for BlackBerry – now that the company is for sale, its senior management is unlikely to be impressed with these latest revelations.

Snowden’s documents just keep coming, and the information they contain becomes more and more worrying. The NSA has been shown to be capable of not only a massive amount of illegal surveillance of the US population – and of the citizens of other countries – but of an equal amount of deceit in attempting to deny or cover up its practices.

Ed Snowden is still at large, unlike Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning, who rots in the American gulag. He is somewhere in Russia, which has given him asylum, for now. The irony is deafening.

The NSA and the US Government continues to duck and weave, or just ignore the continuing stream of damning evidence altogether. It seems to be treating them as unproven allegations, which they are not – they are game, set and match, incontrovertible evidence of governmental duplicity and abuse almost beyond comprehension.

Perhaps that is why there is not more outrage – so remarkable are the actions of the NSA, Britain’s GCHQ, and allies including Australia that they are – quite literally – incredible. And the literai meaning of incredible is “too extraordinary and improbable to be believed.”

Yet they are true. Snowden is not making this stuff up. Nor was Manning. We are all targets of a giant Orwellian surveillance program. As Sun’s Scott McNealy famously said more than ten years ago: “”You have no privacy. Get over it.”

And where is the outcry from the Australian Government? There is none – it is a US lackey. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard infamously branded Julian Assange a criminal for his role in exposing this vast conspiracy of the rulers over the ruled.

Malcolm Turnbull (alone on his side of politics) is on record as saying her comments were ‘over the top’, but he has stopped short of endorsing the actions of those brave enough to reveal what is going on.

This is not going to go away. Let us hope that the actions of people like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and Ed Snowden become an example to others, more than their shameful treatment serves as a deterrent.

I'm disgusted.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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