Edward Snowden AMA & The Prism

Erstmal und vielleicht wichtiger weil zeitnaher: „The whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history will be live online at 11am ET/4pm BST to answer your questions about the NSA surveillance revelations“.

Aber eigentlich wollte ich nur den grandiosen Artikel von Jell Lepore im New Yorker bloggen. Sie geht zur Bewertung von PRISM und den NSA-Leaks zurück in die Geschichte und zieht offensichtliche Querschlüsse zu Mythologie und ich würde gerne den kompletten Artikel hier reinkleben, weil fantastisch, obwohl und auch wegen seines fast aussichtslos formulierten letzten Absatzes. Für mich der beste Artikel, der bislang zu den PRISM-Leaks aufgeschrieben wurde mit einem letzten Satz aus Gold.

As a matter of historical analysis, the relationship between secrecy and privacy can be stated in an axiom: the defense of privacy follows, and never precedes, the emergence of new technologies for the exposure of secrets. In other words, the case for privacy always comes too late. The horse is out of the barn. The post office has opened your mail. Your photograph is on Facebook. Google already knows that, notwithstanding your demographic, you hate kale. The particular technology matters little; the axiom holds. It’s only a feature, though, of a centuries-long historical transformation: the secularization of mystery. […]

Diplomats might have their secrets, he granted, but postmen? “Why, who are these men who treat as enemies their fellow subjects of the realm?” he asked. “For public servants, we want responsibility and responsibility cannot be obtained without publicity. Secrecy is but another word for fear.“

In the wake of revelations about N.S.A. surveillance, the open-source software group Mozilla organized an online petition to Congress called Stop Watching Us, stating, “This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy.” There is no longer a public self, even a rhetorical one. There are only lots of people protecting their privacy, while watching themselves, and one another, refracted, endlessly, through a prism of absurd design.

The Prism