Rufus Peterson, a fifty-something, bohemian Paleoconservative artist and writer living in Idaho

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US under heavy criticism at home and abroad over NSA Cyber Spying

cyber-spyAnother total failure of Obama’s to do the right thing.

 

by Rufus Petersen

 

Many years ago there was joke that Disney had bought Michael Jackson when he was still just a kid and turned him into a robot. What else would explain his transformation from an innocent little black kid into a gradually whitened and plastic surgeried scarecrow dancing machine?

Who bought Obama and turned him into a Zibot? That too was a pretty gradual and complete transformation.
PRESS TV  reports a group of U-S senators have prepared a bill in a bid to put an end to the National Security Agency’s cyber spying on Americans. The lawmakers say the N-S-A’s collecting of phone records and data on Internet usage has cost the United States economically and angered its allies. They argue that their bill is an appropriate response to disclosures this past summer about the controversial surveillance programs. Newly-released documents show the N-S-A spied on civil rights icon Martin Luther King, heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, and even a number of senators.
The U-S administration is under heavy criticism– both at home and abroad– over its vast espionage program that includes many of Washington’s close allies. The White House, however, continues to argue that the N-S-A programs are crucial in combating terrorism.

I must admit, I know little about the bill, but new revelations about the extent of NSA spying seem to emerge every day in the MSM- “encryption” as it’s been known is no longer safe from NSA probing.  As a non-techie, I don’t pretend to understand the full extent of these disclosures, but the idea of built-in backdoors is now being discussed openly. It’s like having a new lock installed in your front door while a copy of your key has been kept, and possibly distributed, by someone else. One copy of that key can easily be many copies, so the potential is there for foreign governments (or any criminal or group of them) to gain access to your private information. This goes for Big Business as well, making the implications of the scale of theft staggering- and not just for businesses but whole economies.

Commentator James Morris has a good grasp of what’s going on regarding the nexus of where the technology meets the political issues which surround it.  What he neglects to say but even I as a layman know is that we are late getting here:

US senators prepare bill to end NSA cyber spying on Americans.

 

 

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff’s obviously an impressive emerging figure in the world of Latin American politics, and now she’s on the world stage with a message which must be heard.  She’s actually acting like the leader of her own country, and that’s refreshing for more than just Brazilians to see.

Dilma Rousseff’s  launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the NSA of violating international law. Her  scathing speech to UN general assembly is the most serious diplomatic fallout over revelations of US spying.

What a great job Obama is doing at making new friends overseas!

Brazilian president: US surveillance a ‘breach of international law’
New York, 
The Guardian, UK

Dilma Rousseff UN general assemblyBrazilian president Dilma Rousseff speaks at the United Nations general assembly.

Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Brazil‘s president, Dilma Rousseff, has launched a blistering attack on US espionage at the UN general assembly, accusing the NSA of violating international law by its indiscriminate collection of personal information of Brazilian citizens and economic espionage targeted on the country’s strategic industries.

 

Rousseff’s angry speech was a direct challenge to President Barack Obama, who was waiting in the wings to deliver his own address to the UN general assembly, and represented the most serious diplomatic fallout to date from the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Rousseff had already put off a planned visit to Washington in protest at US spying, after NSA documents leaked by Snowden revealed that the US electronic eavesdropping agency had monitored the Brazilian president’s phone calls, as well as Brazilian embassies and spied on the state oil corporation, Petrobras.

“Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information – often of high economic and even strategic value – was at the centre of espionage activity.

“Also, Brazilian diplomatic missions, among them the permanent mission to the UN and the office of the president of the republic itself, had their communications intercepted,” Rousseff said, in a global rallying cry against what she portrayed as the overweening power of the US security apparatus.

“Tampering in such a manner in the affairs of other countries is a breach of international law and is an affront of the principles that must guide the relations among them, especially among friendly nations. A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation. The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country.”

Washington’s efforts to smooth over Brazilian outrage over NSA espionage have so far been rebuffed by Rousseff, who has proposed that Brazil build its own internet infrastructure.

“Friendly governments and societies that seek to build a true strategic partnership, as in our case, cannot allow recurring illegal actions to take place as if they were normal. They are unacceptable,” she said.

“The arguments that the illegal interception of information and data aims at protecting nations against terrorism cannot be sustained. Brazil, Mr President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbour terrorist groups,” Rousseff said.

“As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship and I cannot but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country,” the Brazilian president said. She was imprisoned and tortured for her role in a guerilla movement opposed to Brazil’s military dictatorship in the 1970s.

“In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.”

Rousseff called on the UN oversee a new global legal system to govern the internet. She said such multilateral mechanisms should guarantee the “freedom of expression, privacy of the individual and respect for human rights” and the “neutrality of the network, guided only by technical and ethical criteria, rendering it inadmissible to restrict it for political, commercial, religious or any other purposes.

“The time is ripe to create the conditions to prevent cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war, through espionage, sabotage and attacks against systems and infrastructure of other countries,” the Brazilian president said.

As host to the UN headquarters, the US has been attacked from the general assembly many times in the past, but what made Rousseff’s denunciation all the more painful diplomatically was the fact that it was delivered on behalf of large, increasingly powerful and historically friendly state.

Obama, who followed Rousseff to the UN podium, acknowledged international alarm at the scale of NSA snooping revealed by Snowden.

He said: “Just as we reviewed how we deploy our extraordinary military capabilities in a way that lives up to our ideals, we have begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so as to properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies, with the privacy concerns that all people share.”

Brazilian officials said that Washington had told them about this review but had noted that its results would not be known for months and that Rousseff believed it was urgent to raise the need for an international code of ethics for electronic espionage.

Rousseff will leave New York tomorrow without meeting Obama but Brazil’s new foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, will remain at the UN throughout the week and will meet his opposite number, John Kerry, Brazilian officials said, in an attempt to start mending the rift between the two countries.

Dilma Rousseff’s Full UN Address (2013)

 

 

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Posted by on September 28, 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under Americas, Australia & Oceana, China & Asia, Europe, Middle East, Of Interest, World Affairs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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