Surveillance revelations deepen European fears of Web giants … Europeans reacted angrily on Friday to revelations that U.S. authorities had tapped the servers of Internet companies for personal data, saying such activity confirmed their worst fears about American Web giants' reach and showed tighter regulations were needed. – Reuters
Dominant Social Theme: We need more government regulation to counteract the spying of government intel agencies.
Free-Market Analysis: Here's an interesting twist. The mainstream media is filled with reports of vast surveillance mechanisms that have now been emplaced thanks to the evolving structure of the Internet.
Now, any time the mainstream media gets involved in broadcasting a particular meme, you must know in this modern era that it is taking place with the acquiescence and support of the powers-that-be.
In this case, from what we can tell, those in charge of these gigantic spying programs want people to know that they are being watched from afar. This may or may not be the case, but people tend to believe what they read and the idea appears to be, obviously, to frighten and intimidate people.
Second, as evidenced by this Reuters article, the acknowledgement of these programs – which the alternative media has already exposed – now gives various parties the justification to call for further regulations of the private sector that is being accused of cooperating with government spy-entities.
This Reuters article is especially interesting because it does not question government intelligence instrumentalities nor the need for them or their expansion. Instead, it focuses almost exclusively on "web giants" that have been, one presumes, intimidated into cooperating with the spymasters in the first place.
None of this would be especially questionable except that there is every evidence that much of the current government intel apparatus is aimed at Western citizens rather than international terrorism. It is designed, in other words, to enhance authoritarianism and government control rather than simply to defend citizens from outside threats.
Here's more from Reuters:
The Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers aroused broad outrage with reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI had accessed central servers of Google, Facebook and other big Internet companies and gathered millions of phone users' data.
Europe has long yearned to contain the power of the U.S. titans that dominate the Internet, and privacy-focused Germany was quick to condemn the companies' co-operation with the U.S. security services.
"The U.S. government must provide clarity regarding these monstrous allegations of total monitoring of various telecommunications and Internet services," said Peter Schaar, German data protection and freedom of information commissioner.
"Statements from the U.S. government that the monitoring was not aimed at U.S. citizens but only against persons outside the United States do not reassure me at all," he said.
The Washington Post said the secret program involving the Internet companies, code-named PRISM and established under President George W. Bush, had seen "exponential growth" during the past several years under Barack Obama.
Some of the companies named in the article have denied the government had "direct access" to their central servers. On Friday, two of Silicon Valley's elite chief executives spoke out against the potentially damaging allegations, defending their companies' track records.
… Nevertheless, the justice minister for the German state of Hesse, Joerg-Uwe Hahn, called for a boycott of the companies involved. "I am amazed at the flippant way in which companies such as Google and Microsoft seem to treat their users' data," he told the Handelsblatt newspaper. "Anyone who doesn't want that to happen should switch providers."
The European Union has struggled to assert its citizens' rights to privacy in the United States for nearly a decade. Transatlantic agreements on sharing the financial and travel data of European citizens have taken years to complete, and the European Union is now trying to modernize an almost 20-year-old privacy law to strengthen Europeans' rights.
… Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at Finnish software security firm F-Secure, said outrage was the appropriate response to the U.S. revelations. "What we have in our hands now is the first concrete proof of U.S.-based high-tech companies participating with the NSA in wholesale surveillance on us, the rest of the world, the non-American, you and me," he said.
But he added there was little that individuals could do, with precious few alternatives to the popular services offered by U.S. firms Facebook, Google or Apple. "The long term solution is that Europe should have a dot.com industry just like the United States, which would give us economic benefits but more importantly would make us independent of the wholesale surveillance of the U.S. intelligence agencies."
This article is, in fact, a great example of how to take the news and reconfigure it in support of various memes. The biggest meme or dominant social theme is that government itself – specifically the European government-in-waiting – ought to take action. The blame is focused on the companies not government policies that encourage such intrusive behavior and the solution is a LARGER European union that helps create and support a "European" dot.com industry.
Reuters being Reuters – a statist news agency – there is no discussion of the ability of computer and Internet companies in the US to grow organically as they did when electronic technology was in its infancy. In fact, the Internet and services that surround it are a good argument for creative anarchy illustrating how services can expand and coalesce without any government planning or interference at all.
The article does discuss the idea that Brussels is defending Europeans from invasive technology but anyone tracking the actions of Eurocrats over the past decade will know definitively that Europe is no bulwark of civil liberties and that its principals and their globalist backers are determined to recreate Charlemagne's empire some 1,500 years later … and have lied to do so.
The article's main points are that the European Union is a staunch defender of individual liberties and freedom from government snooping; and that "Europe" ought to create its own consequential IT sector because the US private sector was hopelessly compromised.
The EU is at the forefront of numerous intrusive policies that are just as destructive as US ones. To draw from the imposition of a US surveillance state the idea that Europe is in any way standing against the erection of a similar one is simply incorrect. And the idea that Europe should build an IT sector is equally incorrect.
Markets create companies not super-states.