America’s NSA can continue eavesdropping on its citizens

America’s NSA can continue eavesdropping on its citizens

A Bill to stop the bulk collection of telephone records by America’s National Security Agency (NSA) has failed in the US Senate.

A quote, supposedly coined by Russian revolutionary Lenin, ‘confidence is good, control is better’, is dynamite for society when it becomes a principle, writes Prince Michael of Liechtenstein.

This principle is being used more and more today by politicians from centre-right to centre-left to control citizens. New technology allows nearly total control and its misuse by government is an increasing threat. This is the case in Europe as in the US.

The centre-left argues for more control based on enforcing compliance by putting citizens under general suspicion. Privacy in general and financial privacy particularly is violated.

The centre-right makes the same case with issues of security, fighting crime and terrorism.

The personal freedom of the individual is the loser - along with society in general. Trust is the most important ingredient for a functioning society. But trust is a two-way street. The fact that government no longer trusts the population sufficiently is mirrored by less respect and trust in government by its citizens.

US President Barack Obama’s administration, in general, very much favours strong control. However, the administration has limited eavesdropping on its own citizens after the embarrassment it suffered over the NSA scandal. The Bill was refused by the Senate, backed by strong Republican support, which claimed it would benefit America’s enemies such as ISIS.

Normally, Republicans are concerned about individual privacy. The Bill, to protect privacy, was refused by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. Centre-right and centre-left have agreed again on intensified control of all their citizens and placed every single person under suspicion.

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