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Angela Merkel. Photo by ILRI.

So Was Angela Merkel A Terrorist Or A Pedophile?

7

Civil Liberties – Rick Falkvinge

Civil Liberties – Rick Falkvinge

The news that Angela Merkel’s phone has been wiretapped by the USA exposes the biggest wiretapping lie ever – that mass surveillance is targeted at catching terrorists and pedophiles. The German Chancellor is rightfully furious, and she should be furious on behalf of her citizens, too. Mass surveillance was never about terrorists or pedophiles: it is a tool of pure and raw domination.

With the exposure of German Chancellor Merkel’s phone being wiretapped by the US surveillance agencies, the mass surveillance has received yet another spotlight. This is welcome as it intensifies the discussion on civil liberties and the freedoms of speech, assembly, opinion, and the press – and how these freedoms need to carry over into the online environment.

To some extent, it is sad that it takes a personal insult against a leading politicians for something as grave as a threat to democracy itself to come to light, but still, here we are. The mass surveillance has been rolled out en masse without much protest, due to leading politicians smoothing over any worries by using worse scarewords, a common tactic.

We have frequently and repeatably been told that mass surveillance and wiretapping is necessary to “catch terrorists”. Pedophiles are also mentioned from time to time. This is a complete and utter lie.

In that context, it is also said that the mass surveillance, sweeping across all citizens, is necessary to find the needles in the haystack. You may be wiretapped so that governments can find the somebody-else terrorist, and you’re just randomly caught in the dragnet, we’re falsely told.

However, we also have news that Barack Obama personally approved the wiretapping of Angela Merkel. This means that there wasn’t a random element involved; she was directly, personally, and individually targeted.

This begs the inevitable question: Was Angela Merkel considered a terrorist or a pedophile? It has to be either one, given the justifications we’ve heard for wiretapping. So which one was it?

The obvious answer, now that we have the information, is neither – because the surveillance was not intended to catch neither terrorists nor pedophiles. It was just a lie, a big bold lie, a big oft-repeated lie.

The purpose of wiretapping was always domination. Geopolitical domination over other countries; governmental domination over citizens. Pushing down people into their shoes; kicking away the ladder when you’ve climbed to the top. Whoever holds the information advantage dominates other people.

Do note that Chancellor Merkel is only upset that her own phone has been wiretapped. She has not expressed outrage at the 82 million other Germans or the 500 million other Europeans that share her fate. Unless we keep talking about civil liberties, politicians will stop wiretapping each other and concentrate on governmental mass wiretapping of citizens. That’s nowhere near okay, either.

If you are being wiretapped, and you are, it is because somebody desires to dominate you.

(See also the article that tells how we know with 100% certainty that the mass surveillance never caught a single terrorist plot. No wonder: that’s not why it’s there.)

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About The Author: Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and is a political evangelist, traveling around Europe and the world to talk and write about ideas of a sensible information policy. He has a tech entrepreneur background and loves whisky.

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7

  1. 1
    Caleb Lanik

    You also have to appreciate the lies and hypocrisy this story has led to. First the President had no idea the she and at least 34 other world leaders had been targeted, and then he remembered personally approving it. Senator Diane Feinstein defended and still defends the necessity of the NSA wiretapping millions of US citizens and ‘little people’ abroad, but has sworn to curtail this kind of wiretapping now that it turns out that people in power get targeted too. But only the targeting of the rich and powerful, the hoi polloi still need watching.

  2. 2
    Anonymous

    There are accusations of them using this information to help them in political deals with germany and the european union. They have also been wiretapping brazil to have insider private information to help them with their business deals to harvest their resources.

    So there’s certainly a lot to gain for them with all the surveillance.
    And just a few months ago I remember reading about them being angry with China for all their attempts to get information. And pushing for the publication of standards that would recognize similar actions as cyber warfare and thus an act of international aggression.
    Who is the international cyber aggressor now huh?

    • 2.1
      Ian Farquhar

      There was a story running around years ago that DSD (now called ASD) in Australia was able to decrypt a negotiating positions document out of (from memory) Japan, over agricultural purchases.

      The story goes that the Japanese used a low level crypto channel, which DSD could break. Apparently the exposure of the Japanese negotiating position resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars for Oz, and DSD was crowing that one intercept paid for DSD’s yearly budget that year.

      Whether this is true I cannot judge. I’ve heard and read it several times from various sources. And strictly speaking, this was a government to government negotiation, so fair game for DSD according to what we know of their MO and rules of engagement (their motto: “Reveal their secrets, protect our own” is on their website.)

      But no, it’s never just been about terrorism. It’s a very fine line.

    • 2.2

      Who is the international cyber aggressor now huh?
      And completely fucking hypocritical. NSA, NSA. How many perverts did you catch today? Answers on a postcard, please.

  3. 3
    Johan S

    The “needle in a haystack” argument is also horribly flawed. There is no needle; there are only straws of varying sharpness. The definition of “needle” depends on who is looking at the data.

  4. 4
    Anonymous

    once the NSA have made up their minds, made their ‘secret interpretations’ of the ‘secret laws’ and changed them as needed, i’m sure we will be told. maybe we will find she’s a bit of both, just to ensure she will be found guilty? wouldn’t be the first time they’ve done this sort of thing, i’ll bet!

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