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Defeating Disembodied Spies in the Digital Age (Die Tageszeitung, Germany)

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Where is the public outrage over mass surveillance? Die Tageszeitung columnist Daniel Kretschmar writes that the nature of the digital panopticon that has so silently invaded the world continues to escape them.

For  Die Tageszeitung, Daniel Kretschmar gets to the bottom of why people feel so impotent about our fast-diminishing privacy and what can be done to wake them up:

As a side note on Berlin’s political scene, this week the NSA scandal washed back into our consciousness. The chairman of the federal authority responsible for investigating the intelligence services saga, Patrick Sensburg, may have had his mobile phone hacked. People are shaking their heads in disbelief as they take note of how easily this particularly protected device allegedly fell into unauthorized hands.

Meetings of the NSA Committee of Inquiry attract less and less attention – and this as the intelligence service representatives rely on memory gaps and limited waivers of confidentiality. Files are blacked out or never delivered – and just as we should be shining a light on the agencies’ full “take,” the illegal collection, storage and ultimately the processing of all available data.

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Mystery Again Surrounds Bundestag’s NSA Committee of Inquiry (Die Welt, Germany)

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It’s true: network activists are bravely blogging live from the Bundestag for the small circle of interested experts. Yet since the initial revelations by Edward Snowden, such bloggers have been puzzled by the lack of outrage and even open indifference displayed by almost everyone else.

How can we understand why people, who in their gardens protect their vegetable beds from view with lovingly tended hedges, aren’t upset by the fact that there’s an entity for which no screening exists – an entity that sees all and hears all? The fact is that in order to perceive that such an all-powerful state apparatus represents a major threat and has a gaze we should protect ourselves from requires more than just a clear understanding of what’s being exposed – which in the case of electronic surveillance is one’s own increasingly perfect digital image.

What is also necessary is an understanding of the entity one wishes to conceal something from. In the case of the garden hedge, it’s easy. It protects us from neighbors we can see – who also have eyes in their heads and perhaps a gossipy nature. That the state agency is always on both sides of the hedge but has no physical form and leaves no physical trace of itself is much harder to grasp.

READ ON IN ENGLISH OR GERMAN, OR READ MORE GLOBAL PERCEPTIONS OF OUR NATION AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of global news and views about the United States.

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