It still is the case that sleeping remains quite
difficult for me. This also makes my life rather difficult, at
Anyway. The following is fairly
brief, and the first section is mostly personal. The next four continue
the theme that everybody is being spied upon, also with an interesting
short video about Steve Wozniak, and a link to an hour long interview
with him. Then there is Glenn Greenwald, defending Edward Snowdon (in
writing), who seems to be going to Cuba, and I finish with a few
reflections on the fact that really few
seem to care that their privacy has gone, for various reasons, but
mostly - I think - because they don't really understand. 
1. I bought a scanner
I bought a flatbed scanner,
which is something I've never had before. It's a Canon, because the
place I've to go to, not having a car and easily tiring very soon, did
not sell Epson, that was my original plan.
I don't think the Canon plays with Ubuntu, or at least I have not yet
how, but it did install quite easily in Windows 7, which I still have a
working copy of, although I had not used it all of this year,
and hardly at all for over a year now.
Two main reasons to buy the scanner are that (1) I wanted to convert my
journal of 1984 to it, which consists of 269 closely typed A4 pages,
and also (2) I have two large steel storage boxes, each almost as tall
I am, each with four trays,
that are all filled with papers
of all kinds that I wrote, received or collected between 1966 and
1987/8, when my life became mostly computerized, as did my
In any case... I am now very
converted those 269 journal pages from 1984 to PDF, that mostly worked
should, which is pleasant, but which also really was a lot of
a person with my present state of "health". (My eyes are a bit less lousy than they were, so I could
thole the Windows menu, that also wasn't large.) 
The reason I wanted that particular journal as PDF is mostly that it
was an interesting year for me, that I also have described rather well.
Enough about me: Back to my reporting about espionage.
But before starting that, please note that when I use that term
"espionage" or "spying", I
mean it in the sense of the complete surveillance of you
and of everybody
else, as a matter of course, by a very small select number of
know-alls, and that anything they may find - at any point from
now on till the indefinite future - may be (ab)used by any
present or future government of any political color or
religion, for any purpose whatsoever, including blackmail.
And that last point means that people may be "asked", by those with
such very specific
knowledge of all their doings, not to do or say certain things, or to
say certain things, if they want to avoid that certain
information about their past doings is made public. 
So I am not talking here about spying in a normal sense, that
is directed at specific persons, for specific reasons or ends. That may
be good or bad as well, but is different.
2. Steve Wozniak doesn't like
Steve Wozniak is the true
designer of Apple. He too does not like spying, as he says here, rather
well also - and this comes with Spanish sub-titles:
Steve Wozniak is one of the
few pure people I know of, by
which I mean mostly that he is honest and naive, next to very smart,
each and all as very few are.
As to Apple: Personally, I am not a fan. I only used an Apple II
computer ca. 1980, because a friend had bought one, and I had no money
myself to ever buy one, but then I've always held that the design was
great, but the hype was at least as great.
In any case, if you want to know more about Wozniak, this is a good
interview with him (and the title is the original one, though the
interview is good, and takes an hour):
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the German justice minister said the
report in the Guardian read like the plot of a film.
"If these accusations are
correct, this would be a catastrophe," Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said
in a statement to Reuters. "The accusations against Great Britain sound
like a Hollywood nightmare. The European institutions should seek
straight away to clarify the situation."
"The accusations make it
sound as if George Orwell's surveillance society has become reality in
Great Britain," said Thomas Oppermann, floor leader of the opposition
Yes, except that GCHQ knows
more. But "a catastrophe" is the right description.
politicians may, perhaps, not like spying
But then even the British
politicians - whom I can't much respect - had some
I will leave the British
political parliamentary heroes to your own perusal, but it ends with
somebody who is not a parliamentarian:
director of Liberty, said she was shocked by the Guardian's report and
accused GCHQ of allowing itself a "very
generous interpretation of the law".
"They are exploiting the
fact that the internet is so international in nature," she told Today.
"And I'm pretty sad in a democracy when all that appears to be holding
back the secret state is its physical and technological capability and
not its ethics or a tight interpretation and application of the law."
Yes, she is right: One of
the various reasons this massive spying could happen is that there are
no good laws that describe what may be done with a computer, or that if
there are, these are easily avoided.
5. US and
British spy together on the US and British populations Actually, the
NSA and GHCQ seem to be hand in glove:
But there is a
difference: The British lack the Fourth
Amendment to the Constitution,
that simply and plainly forbids what the NSA is doing, in the
way it is doing it - and it does not matter what Obama or Alexander or
Cheney or one of their tame journalists say or write about this: It is
forbidden, by law, to spy on anyone without specific personal
probable cause. And the law trumps any politician's statements.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference
his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his
honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the
law against such interference or attacks.
This also forbids what
the GHCQ is doing, in the way it is doing it, whatever politicians
claim or wiggle.
This is a good article, and it also has the merit of referring to the
European Union's 2001 report on it:
That is a somewhat good
report, that I have so far read only parts of, but I have noted there
several minority opinions listed in it, such as the following, and I
deletions indicated by "(..)"
OPINION by Giuseppe Di Lello, Pernille Frahm and Alain Krivine
An interception system
of this nature, which does not differentiate between communications, data and documents, infringes the
fundamental right to privacy guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
and Article 6 of the Treaty on European Union.
The system therefore
flagrantly infringes the freedoms enjoyed by European citizens, the logic of the free market and the
security of the Union. Whatever our support for or opposition to that logic and those treaties may
be, such infringements are unacceptable.
MINORITY OPINION by
Patricia McKenna and Ilka Schröder
This report makes an
important point in emphasising that Echelon does exist, but it stops
short of drawing
political conclusions. It is hypocritical for the European Parliament
to criticise the
Echelon interception practice while taking part in plans to establish a
No effective public
control mechanism of secret services and their undemocratic practices exists globally. It is in the nature
of secret services that they cannot be controlled. They must therefore be abolished. This report
serves to legitimise a European Secret Service which will infringe fundamental rights - just as
This report constantly
plays down these dangers of Echelon, while it remains silent about plans to introduce the ENFOPOL
interception system in the EU. Every society must take a fundamental decision whether or not to
live under permanent control. By adopting this report, the European Parliament shows that it
is not concerned about protecting human rights and citizens’ liberties.
MINORITY OPINION by
C. Solutions must
therefore be sought in the political field:
- via legal and
parliamentary scrutiny of interception activities and monitoring of the
police, security and
- by preventing the
proliferation of control bodies which operate to different
standards and without any genuine democratic and legal scrutiny,
- by regulating – on
the basis of the highest standard and the case-law of the ECHR – protection of the
privacy of European citizens against preventive interference by
authorities and eliminating the discrimination existing within the
European Union between
citizens of various Member States.
I grant this is all from
2001, but part of the reason this never became prominent is that it
addressed secret information, that is about
his privacy, family, home or correspondence
The irony is
obvious: the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance
system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens,
are now accusing the person who exposed it of "espionage". It seems
clear that the people who are actually bringing "injury to
the United States" are those who are waging war on basic tenets of
transparency and secretly constructing a mass and often
illegal and unconstitutional surveillance apparatus aimed at
American citizens - and those who are lying
to the American people and its Congress about what they're doing -
rather than those who are devoted to informing the American people that
this is being done.
What they [the American
people - MM] have learned is that the vast bulk of this surveillance
apparatus is directed
not at the Chinese or Russian governments or the Terrorists, but
And that is
precisely why the US government is so furious and will bring its full
weight to bear against these disclosures. What has been "harmed" is not
the national security of the US but the ability of its political
leaders to work against their own citizens and citizens around the
world in the dark, with zero transparency or real accountability. If
anything is a crime, it's that secret, unaccountable and deceitful
behavior: not the shining of light on it.
Yes indeed - and this game,
this gross fallacy,
of accusing others of what you are doing yourself (except that you are
usually doing it also on a much bigger scale), has been going on
long time now, not only with regards to espionage, but many more
things. It is one of the dearest most abused fallacies of the GOP, and
indeed in politics in general.
By and large, the media don't care, it seems
I just read the news - in
five papers: Parool, NRC, Volkskrant, Guardian, New York Times - that Snowden
is moving to Moscow, whence he wants to move
to Cuba, it seems, and thence possibly to Venezuela.
From this it might be
inferred that the title of my
section is not quite right.
Then again: What I mean is that most of the media, including the Dutch
do not seem to care much that all of their privacy has
gone, in principle: I've read some about it, but outside the Guardian
not much, and none really solid.
One wonders why, and here
are a few answers:
some really don't care
some (more than think
so) really don't understand
some believe the
some (more than think so) don't understand the law
some believe they have
nothing to hide
some - journalists - are
(as) government tools
I can think of more reasons,
but I want to briefly say something about these, after agreeing there
are quite a few different ones:
Those who really don't care: I'm sure these exist, but
I generally believe they are uninformed or unintelligent. Then again,
the mass of men is uninformed and unintelligent, and the
majority has nothing to fear from any government, precisely for
that reason: No ideas of their own. (But without the creative few,
their lives will be much less interesting.)
Those who don't understand: There are many more than
think so, and one reason is that almost none of them has anything like
experience or indeed some solid knowledge of a totalitarian
authoritarian system. (See: Robert Conquest,
Those who believe the government: If you do, you are stupid, but
then many are. (And this will not change without eugenetics, that
presently is not possible.)
Those who do not understand the law: This comprises
the vast majority, one point being that the governments, in whose name
this happens, and whose executives defend it, are all in clear and
complete breach of the law, whatever they say: The Fourth
Amendment and Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
are quite clear and totally forbid it.
Those who believe they have nothing to hide: If you
believe that, you must be extra-ordinarily dumb. Also, even if you
really don't have much to hide now , you have no
assurance about any future governments. And neither have your present
governors, whatever they claim.
Those who are (as) government tools: This does
comprise very many modern journalists, probably by mere calculation:
One has a nice career without offending the government, and one is
almost certainly getting in trouble by opposing them.
Then again, of the last kind there are several sub-kinds, and I was
mostly thinking of the majority: Those who merely conform rather than explicitly serve .
In either case, such journalists will almost only write about approved
topics, and not about whatever is or may be important that may be
unpleasant for someone with a lot of governmental power.
 See the
last section: There are various reasons, but the main ones are
fundamental lacks of understanding, both of the laws, that forbid the
spying governments do, in no uncertain terms also, and of computers,
that are not well understood at all by most who use them.
 Actually, I do not know whether I have
the health, time and willingness to copy much of that, but then I also
rarely looked into these boxes the last 25 years, except for a few
times, and that was again basically because of my health: I simply
lacked the health since 1994 to do anything much.
 This part I wrote yesterday, but I keep
sleeping too little, which is due to the supplements I take, mostly,
which I take because they help me some. But no, it is far from perfect.
 Actually, I never looked at any porn or
nudity on the internet, simply because I was aware I may be
investigated. And otherwise, I really did nothing wrong, except - for
some - maintain my site(s). But I suspect in this I am in a minority.
Also my opinions are in a very small minority, which is bound to be
mistaken for many. Then again, I belong to no group or religion of any
kind, and I never called for any violence against anyone. (But no: This
is not really going to help.)
ME/CFS (that I prefer
to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search
is a disease I have since 1.1.1979: