The general, who is due to retire in the next several weeks, said that the furore over Snowden’s surveillance revelations – which he referred to only as “media leaks” – was complicating his ability to get congressional support for a bill that would permit the NSA and the military Cyber Command he also helms to secretly communicate with private entities like banks about online data intrusions and attacks.
Bear in mind that as the UK is in the pocket of Washington it did not act independently. That however does not mean it would not have done the same.
Alexander forgets though that most people no longer buy the "in the interest of national security" scam. That phrase has been overused by governments wanting to silence those who speak out.
You could say that phrase has made the 21st Century the most unsafe so far.
The ready availability of the Internet, in many countries, especially in the west, has been great for bloggers and journalists and, as we now all know, for the authorities. Around the world they have been able to spy, assess situations, test the mood of any nation and some would say manipulate events.
It has proved a poisoned chalice though. Ultimately it has backfired in some ways although in the case of the so-called Maidan Revolution in the Ukraine which was in part orchestrated via Facebook it was a useful tool. FB was used as a tool to call protesters to Independence Square.
But the problem is that countries such as the UK, USA and France love that when it is another country but are not so keen when it is closer to home.
In the UK the Internet was used to aggravate violence during the August riots of 2011 which ravaged parts of Britain.
Balance is needed but some of the establishment would prefer an unbalanced approach, one that favours them; encourage uprisings abroad but control people at home.
In past wars journalists had to tow the line and free speech has always been contentious. So far and no further perhaps is a good assessment. Expressing opinions and reporting news can have obvious dangers for journalists and for governments at war.
No person wants to betray their much loved country but in peaceful times open debate and freedom of information is what marks the difference between countries such as China and Russia and say the UK and the USA. It allows us to hold our politicians to account and is an integral part of Democracy.
Where to draw the line is tricky. However attempting to restrict the reporting of journalists and campaigners destroys democracy. No true democratic country can do that unless it wants to admit its democracy is a false flag.
In the end that is all about controlling the masses by giving them government authorised information.
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