Jun 14, 2013

Australia’s supine reaction to our surveillance planet

While other US allies demand answers on the Edward Snowden revelations about mass US surveillance of private citizens, the Australian government wants the whole thing to go away and tells us there's nothing to worry about. Fail.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The official Australian reaction to the revelations of the full extent of the Obama administration’s surveillance state — surveillance planet, perhaps more accurately — has been underwhelming even by the standards of a US vassal state.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s response on Meet The Press to whether Australians should be concerned that the US National Security Agency has been secretly conducting mass surveillance via internet services the majority of Australians routinely use was “I wouldn’t think so”.

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19 thoughts on “Australia’s supine reaction to our surveillance planet

  1. Christopher Nagle

    I think you will find that the government’s reaction was simply a parsed response to the mainstream popular one, which is agreement with the system’s modus and intent, an acceptance of Obama’s defense of it and an appalled opprobrium at Snowden’s treasonous behavior.

  2. The_roth

    “Apparently it’s possible to be a US ally and not do the equivalent of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and yelling until the subject goes away. The Australian government should take note.”

    But that would mean taking our collective tongues out of the back of the Yanks trousers, as Mark Latham so similarly and elgantly put it a few years ago.

    Seriously Bernard do you really expect anything like independent thought about the US from our so called leaders?
    They are such a pathetic bunch on both sides of the house I expect very little and am pleasantly surprised when any one of them does anything vaguely appropriate.

  3. sabina lokic

    And the ALp wonder why they will get trashed at the next election.
    ALP stand for nothing and are just USA puppydogs.
    Bob Carr’s comments are a joke.

    Maybe if Gillard stood up for once and said to USa its not on she wouldnt be the butt of some many Murdoch/Abbot team jokes.


    While the MSM goes on the usual wild goose chase to track down very detail of Mr Snowden’s life (and that of his family, god help them) Crickey’s Keane has kept his eye on the real story: our big ‘friend’ treats our privacy with contempt, lies to cover this up, and finesses our politicians into just rolling over for them.

    Thanks Bernard, you might despair at just how useless and supine most Australians are, but some are very appreciative of your labours.

  5. Andrew McIntosh

    Of course, because of the worthless and craven colonial mentality our “leader”, and a lot of our population, have. Swapping England for the US as a super-power to look/suck up to, instead of making an effort to become an independent and globally contributing nation.

  6. Venise Alstergren

    The only reason I haven’t reacted to Bob Carr’s statement, is because I’ve always thought that anyone writing in to Crikey would be under surveillance.

    Australians are a servile bunch and our politicians reflect that-so what else is nooo?

  7. David D

    It’s getting harder and harder to defend the mighty US of A…

    Thanks America, says World sarcastically

  8. klewso

    Just lie there – and think of me as your Uncle Sam! This won’t hurt a bit, young man.

  9. klewso

    ….. “Roger the engineer”.

  10. Ronson Dalby

    How do you avoid surveillance these days? Close your social media accounts but then what about your mobile phone, police number plate recognition & motorway cameras, credit card & eftpos purchases, store loyalty cards and so on. Oh, and in NSW as in some other states we now have the Opal public transport card.

    It’s impossible to avoid most, if not all, your moves being recorded somewhere.

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