Thursday, 7 November 2013

There is a great deal being said

said in the media right now about the fact that countries have been "spying" on other countries.
Some of it has come about because Edward Snowden "leaked" information. Julian Assange's lot did too.
There are people who like what they have done - and others who loathe it.
Whatever you may think about it the reality is that ALL countries indulge in spying activities, both on their own citizens and each other. What is more ALL countries know that other countries do it. They not only spy on each other and themselves but they share information with one another about those activities.
I know. I get spied on. You do too. Anyone who uses the internet is spied on. This post will be read by someone somewhere simply because I have put Snowden and Assange into close proximity with one another. What is that dreadful cat from Downunder saying now? It will be no more than a glance and it does not bother me because I am not saying anything untoward.
I know the spooks have better things to do than waste time on me. They are much more concerned about those plotting terror attacks and what the unpredictable Prime Ministers, Presidents, Premiers and Dictators have in mind.
People like the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Marty Natalagawa, know full well that spying takes place. His own country indulges in massive spying operations - both at home and abroad. I was watched at one of the universities simply because I happened to be co-supervising an Indonesian student.  I was actually told I was being watched and that the student was being watched. The student expected it.
It is useful however for the Indonesian Foreign Minister to be able to make outraged noises about his country being spied on. He hopes to be able to get some sort of concession because of it. What is more he would genuinely believe we will be but should not be spying on his country. He will also believe that it is perfectly acceptable for his country to spy on us. We are seen as a threat. Our culture is a threat to his country's largely Islamic culture. We are said to see his country's Islamic culture as a threat to our Western ways.
Spying, intelligence gathering, counter-intelligence and just information gathering are part of everyday life. It is not going to stop. Making a fuss about it is not going to help.
Trying to get concessions because of it is the really dangerous thing. Yes, dear spook reading this - I am aware of that.

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