09 aug WOW: World of War Craft
In my last blog I wrote about the question whether our societies still enjoy the right balance between security and privacy: how much state intruding do we need to be secure? Or, in other words: should we accept the growing interference in our private lives via modern technology? Are we supposed to live being spied on, day and night? The state uses our real and latent angst to control all our moves and monitor all our habits. In order to protect us from evil or diseases, from obesities or anorexia, from radiations or smoking, almost any means are welcome. I wasn’t talking about warnings we see or hear, but about those we have no knowledge of: the bugs, the taping of phones, the monitoring of credit card expenses, the following of our ideas through the social media, the interpretation of our travel destinations and so forth.
The question is: Do we need another definition of freedom? Who is going to give it to us, if not the free citizens themselves? So I invited my readers to open a discussion about limits and challenges in the world of control and secrecy.
Indeed, it is the secret side of this all that is worrying. Today I read a few articles on the way the US is interfering in the freedom of citizens, nations and whole regions using modern technology, like drones, cyber weapons and sophisticated satellites. Why send troops if the US can monitor, find and kill from a comfortable distance? Nobody seems to worry about the copy-drone, the one India will use against Pakistan, or Israel will use against Iran…On the contrary: the US exports its military knowledge with merry cheerfulness.
Ah, the educational value of American global philosophy! US president Obama is able, on his own, with no democratic discussion, to aim at individuals, buildings, villages and whole cities if he so wishes. The execution of Bin Laden, last year in Pakistan, by special US forces, was a decision of Barack Obama alone. There was no justice done in our sense of the word, no hearings were held, no lawyers involved. It was the killing of an enemy, medieval style. Of course, there were negative reactions, but on the whole, the West applauded ‘cowboy’ Obama. Now, a few months before the American elections, we have proof of another truth: a complete cyber protection network is being built in the Middle East to avoid possible Iranian weapons to harm US interests and those of its allies in the region (Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states among them). Billions are spent to avoid a real conflict, involving Israel, an ally that makes sure it receives an important piece of the American defence hardware and intelligence (especially in this election year). For protection or for status? Up to you.
We already know about the umbrella above Europe, built to protect us from…from what? Russian attacks? Belarus invasion? Nobody can tell exactly, or at least we, citizens, are not informed. What we do know is that it irritates those who the US seem to consider a danger for us. Billions of tax money are spent on weapons, experiments and spying, while the official excuse is our protection.
The end of the cold war did not introduce the end or the arms race. Selling weapons is still one of the major US hobbies. Whatever it takes, they have to be tested in war situations to prove their effectiveness. If there is no war, one will have to be created. It is not about our or other’s security, it is about American power.
Worrying about our privacy at home is one thing, protesting against a global spy network is vital. We must start asking questions to the real threat, the arms industry. Even democratic presidents are puppets on a string when it comes to the global game called ‘world of war craft’.