In recent weeks we have seen an increase of information about the NSA (National Security Agency) because of the whistleblower Edward Snowden telling the world about PRISM and the extent of state surveillance the American government were involved in.
PRISM is a computer program which gives the American government access to internet users browsing history so they can see everything they do on the internet: their emails, websites they have visited, what they have downloaded, even their facebook updates!
Claims that these PRISM and other programmes like it prevented terrorist attacks forgets the reality of US imperialisms role in creating its own enemies – drone attacks on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen being only the tip of this iceberg. The reality is these snooping programmes will and most likely already are being used on anti-capitalist and workers’ organisations.
No doubt this is an embarrassing leak for the American government and military but it comes in a long history of such programmes – extreme behaviour modification (MKUltra), the infiltration of left groups and the assassination of members (COINTELPRO) and the suspension of civil rights (PATRIOT Act). Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden have been the big whistleblowers who have laid bare the reality big brother state.
We need to call for the disbanding of the NSA, the repeal of the Patriot Act, and dismantling of the massive military apparatus accumulated by local governments.
We should not let the enormous security state make us afraid to organize and take action. It is designed to intimidate us, but we won’t let it.
Instead, we take inspiration from the heroic struggles of workers and youth all around the world, from Turkey to China, South Africa to Greece, and the Middle East to Brazil, who have courageously stood up against state repression and are waging a determined battle for democratic rights, economic justice, equality, and liberation from the oppressive chains of capitalism.