NSA Spying: Who Profits?

The latest revelations have the NSA and its British counterpart spying on Unicef, Médecins  du Monde, and Joaquín Almunia,

vice-president of the European commission with responsibility for competition policy. The Spaniard is in charge of major anti-monopoly investigations, and approving mergers of companies with significant presence in the EU.

Almunia has been involved in a long-running investigation into Google over complaints about the company’s alleged stranglehold on online advertising; he has also clashed with Google and Microsoft over privacy concerns, and was prominent in the EU’s response to the global financial crisis.

Hmmmmm. Who wants to keep tabs on the European commission responsible for competition policy?

Jeez! Golly Whiz! I dunno!

Google? Microsoft? best buds with the NSA and GCHQ?  No, no….these are honorable men, so are they all, all honorable men.   Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

To these unbelievable suggestions, The NSA quietly replied,

“As we have previously said, we do not use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of – or give intelligence we collect to – US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.

Yet, why target the European commission responsible for competition policy?  Will the NSA please answer that question.  Maybe someone should ask Obama?  Does anyone dare?

Sometimes sarcasm and irony are simply voiceless.   These people simply will not answer questions.  They think we are all idiots and cannot see the obvious.

Then we have the Canadians and their cozy bit of spying on Brazilian mining interests in Canada. Of course the Canadians are now building a billion dollar complex to house their part of the Five Eyes (The U.S., England, Australian, New Zealand, and Canada.) The Canadians have simply turned a blind eye to their own part in this corporate spying monstrosity that is attempting to bestride the world. And John Steward and Colbert are more interested in the antics of Rob Ford than what the Canadians are really up to. Huffington Post has similarly been quiet. On The National last night (a classy Canadian news show) no mention was made of that billion dollar complex, to be the largest building in Canada.  Everyone watches the side-shows, the circus.

Let me be absolutely blunt here: Corporate interests now have top priority in  England, America, Canada and elsewhere…. It looks like those interests are not only helping the NSA but could be benefitting directly from the spying. Here are some specifics worth asking:

  1. Has the NSA and its Canadian counterpart been spying on opposition to the pipeline?
  2. Has the NSA and its partners ever spied on Occupy Wall Street?
  3. Has the NSA–or any of its Five Eyes partners–ever spied on legal proceedings here or abroad? What about the Supreme Court? What about any judicial court anywhere? Have they intentionally or “inadvertently” collected privileged proceedings between justices, between lawyers and clients?

And even if they are not doing so now, who is to stop them from doing so later? Ugly and vicious people rise to power. If democracy and privacy means so little to those we trust now, what will happen five years from now? ten years?

Think for a moment about the underhanded things political parties do to win an election. Political pundits talk about political hardball, by which they mean undemocratic and dirty activities. We know that political parties will do almost anything to win an election. What will they do to stay in power? Now give them real power…friends in the NSA or friends in the companies the NSA hires? What do you think will happen?

Now connect those political parties with corporate interests…say those already being hired or used by the NSA….or those who have made hefty political contributions.

Two questions we must ask again and again:

1. What will some people do to maintain political power? Lie, steal…spy?
2. What will corporations do to increase their profitability? Lie, steal…spy?