Big Brother – East German Style

Posted December 5, 2013 on 9:57 pm | In the category Germany, U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized | by Mackenzie Brothers

Now let’s get this straight. A mid-level worker in a country’s security division has access to highest-level secret service documents and comes across information that he thinks should not be kept secret. And so he makes it public. It turns out that that is easier to do than it used to be, and that is true with all other sources of information meant to be kept secret. You simply copy that information and send it out on the internet.  Or you do it Canadian style. An undistiguished sailor in the Canadian navy did it and was caught delivering it to the Russian Embassy (in a quaintly old-fashioned way) in an envelope. It turned out that the Russians hadn’t even asked for it; they simply received it and paid a modest sum of money to a chap in financial trouble who sold it for cash and ended in jail.   And now  a Chinese-born Canadian citizen who works as a research engineer   for a subcontractor for the shipbuilding firm contracted to build Canada’s next generation of warships, has been arrested by the RCMP, charged with having approached the Chinese Embassy with an offer to sell the plans for the ships.   The Chinese government denies it, but the chap sits in jail.  All in all these seem like plots for one of those fine English comedies about amateur crooks, mink thieves, spies, ladykillers, etc, that the Brits can’t make any  more, but they do suggest that there is no such thing as secure information  communications any more.

And then on a much more startling level, with no sense of comedy involved, another (Australian)  chap with apparently easy access to much more explosive material about US spying ended up disclosing it and claiming (and receiving) exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.    But in the most dramatic case a US middle-level technician in the US security establishment took his vast amount of digitalized highest security level information with him to the Moscow Airport and began to gradually send out on the internet stunningly massive amounts of information about  the way the US spy system now works – on an unimagined  level of  electric spying, apparently of just about everybody.  He does not sit in jail, because he managed to get into Russia first.   Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, is furious because the chap in Russian exile published documents that seemed to prove that the US had tapped the chancellor’s private cell phone.  Angela Merkel was born and raised in Communist East Germany, whose main claim to fame was setting up an  all-powerful  spy network that relied on its own  citizens spying on each other with the result that everyone knew that you could not talk in a hotel room or on the telephone anywhere without assuming that some thug was listening in.  Imagine what Chancellor Merkel  makes of the current constellation of world powers. President Obama claims that he didn’t know anything about this mass Big Brother collection of information.  If that is true, it’s terrible.  If it isn’t it’s worse..

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