United States

Aug 27, 2013

Ten things we’ve learnt about the surveillance state

While the flow of leaks about the National Security Agency continues, we can stand back and draw some important conclusions.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor


The sheer volume of revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden (or from the UK government pretending to be Edward Snowden?) about the vast surveillance state established by the US government has made it hard to keep track of what we now know the US National Security Agency has been doing. However, there are a number of conclusions we’re able to draw from both the revelations themselves and the response to them by governments.


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18 thoughts on “Ten things we’ve learnt about the surveillance state

  1. jaseologist

    What I can’t understand is why the MSM hasn’t run with any of the above (besides a few of the smears as mentioned). Given that this/these are some of the biggest stories in living memory, why are only the indies pursuing them? Is it the fault of MSMs readers/viewers who appear to be apathetic, or are they apathetic because they are unaware?

    Thanks for sticking with this Bernard. A great summary that I will need to bring to the attention of others.

  2. FelineCyclist

    A chilling summary of one of the most significant issues of our time. Thanks for doing your job. Wish your colleagues in other media outlets would do the same.

  3. Michael Cohen

    An extremely imposing list.

    It is cause for concern that Dreyfus is Minister for “Emergency Management” and Special Minister of State, whatever that is, but in this lay some very futuristic frightening connotations.

    Based on the evidence his definition of right and wrong completely alludes me. But then again that would depend on which “interest groups” at the core he represents and that’s not too hard to figure out.

  4. paddy

    It’s profoundly worrying, that while Dreyfus has been such a lame failure as AG, the the prospect of Brandis filling the same role is even worse.

    Although I always felt a bit lukewarm towards Nicola Roxon during her time in the job, in hindsight, she’s looking pretty good.

  5. robinw

    An excellent summary of a state out of control.

    It’s ironic that the first Dreyfus I can recall was the cause of the formation of the Zionist movement due to his (Captain Dreyfus) treatment at the hands of a rampantly anti Semitic French Officer corps in the late 19th century. That one suffered enormously at the hands of the establishment, this one is the establishment and appears just as ready to persecute as his namesake was persecuted.

  6. Bob the builder

    The MSM’s reaction to Wikileaks’ and now Snowden’s revelations show the hollowness of their claims to be acting in the public interest.

  7. Microcirrius

    There is Julia Louis Dreyfus from the popular Seinfeld series and I think there was another Dreyfus, a male actor from the eighties…Jaws, anyone?

  8. Circus Taximus

    Another ‘excellent and thank you’ to add to the pile.

    I find the MSM response and the public apathy just about incomprehensible. Though it did occur to me after I’d read some pretty tawdry stuff on Miranda in the Daily Mail and Evening Standard last week that these are the sort of outlets that feed public fear – Reds – no – Turrists – under the beds – thus allowing them to be persuaded to give up freedom, not to mention tax dollars, in exchange for ‘safety’ (or ‘liberty’ if you’re American).

    The media, always had to be just a bit complicit with the military-industrial complex didn’t it? Or it wouldn’t have worked. So now they’re auto-McCarthyists. (oh, listen, I can hear Gore Vidal shouting ‘I told you so!’ from beyond the grave…)

    So, anyone know if the Murdoch-world-domination-complex owns any of the consulting firms who work the PRISM data for NSA/GCHQ?

  9. maxcelcat

    Fark. It’s really hard to not be paranoid.

    Nixon must be grinning wherever he is (if I wasn’t an atheist I’d say hell).

  10. Brian Williams

    Excellent summary Bernard. The double-speak surrounding this issue, by virtually the entire political leadership in the western world, is truly frightening. If there is an afterlife, then George Orwell is screaming “I told you so”

    When those who expose the truth are considered to be the enemy, and when the MSM takes the side of those calling them the enemy, then we’re all in a turgid pile of bat guano.

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