Samir’s Selection 06/18/2013 (p.m.)
Edward Snowden: Whistleblowers and the economy of esteem | The Economist
Will Wilkinson: “Yet I do give a whit about Mr Snowden and I do worry about his fate in the court of public opinion. I worry because the conversation influences our tolerance for future overreach and deception from the security apparatus. More importantly, it influences our attitude toward future acts of bravery by public-spirited Americans who witness overreach and deception of this sort. One need not believe that Mr Snowden is a hero to see that the campaign to smear him is in large part a campaign of pre-emption against future leakers…
Humanity operates primarily within an economy of esteem, and one basic function of any human society is to assign status, to distribute honour and shame…
it is democratic affirmation, not uniforms and security clearances, that makes state power legitimate. When the state acts without proper democratic authority, it acts as a rogue operation-as just another band of thugs with money and guns and a dangerous sense of self-righteousness. Whether the NSA’s monitoring programmes are actually legal and effective may be more pressing questions than whether Mr Snowden deserves our esteem. But it became possible to address those questions openly only because Mr Snowden chose to speak up. If we wish to keep similarly pressing policy questions available for public examination, we must defend the honour of whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.”
The Real War on Reality – NYTimes.com
Peter Ludlow: “…the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived…
What has received less attention is the fact that most intelligence work today is not carried out by government agencies but by private intelligence firms and that much of that work involves another common aspect of intelligence work: deception…
we should also think of the efforts to operate in total secrecy and engage in the creation of false impressions and realities as a problem area in epistemology – the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of knowledge… epistemic warfare”
Make privacy part of the transatlantic trade talks – FT.com
Yochai Benkler: “American law privileges consumer sovereignty over human dignity, so it provides weak privacy protection against snooping by companies… But, in US law, privacy is historically more robust when it comes to the government’s right to create similar dossiers…
Even in normal times, however, US constitutional law is concerned with Americans and American soil. Foreigners abroad are not subjects of concern; invasion of their privacy is collateral damage. What can citizens on both sides of the Atlantic do to address the threat from this public-private partnership for surveillance?
We need to find out how many Americans are willing to give up how much of their liberty in exchange for what level of security and at what level of transparency. Each time details emerge about programmes adopted in the post-9/11 constitutional panic, such as torture or indefinite detention, they expose the assurances of their critical value as vacuous at best, and usually duplicitous. We need a transparent debate for our own sakes.”
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.