Friday, June 28, 2013

Even the Stasi are appalled by PRISM

East Germany's Stasi is considered the worst, most intrusive surveillance regime in the world. But even their former officers are appalled by what the NSA is doing:

Even Schmidt, 73, who headed one of the more infamous departments in the infamous Stasi, called himself appalled. The dark side to gathering such a broad, seemingly untargeted, amount of information is obvious, he said.

“It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”

This is a warning we should listen to. A surveillance regime condemned by the Stasi as too intrusive is not one a democratic country should sign up for, or participate in. Rather than giving the GCSB more powers so they can expand the panopticon here, we should be saying "enough!", and severing all intelligence links with the United States.