The Telegraph, U.K.

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America Must Come to the Table on Surveillance (People's Daily, China)


Would it be wise for Washington to look beyond the moment and realize that the technology it is using for the mass surveillance of other peoples and governments will soon be turned against it by those very same peoples and governments? For China's state-run People's Daily, Dr. Shen Dingli, dean of international studies Fudan University, calls U.S. surveillance beyond the pale for even the closest U.S. allies, and advises Washington to help create global norms while it still has a strong hand to play.


By Shen Dingli*


Translated By John Chen


August 20, 2013


David Miranda, partner of investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald, after being released by British agents. His detention appears to have brought to a head a titanic battle between the Fourth Estate and the national security state: one, desperate to show the truth of government misdeeds, and the other, intent on protecting a combinatioin of itself and the nations they are sworn to protect.


RUSSIA TODAY, RUSSIA: Alan Rusbridger, an editor with Britain's Guardian, tells of how British agents entered the newspaper's offices and destroyed its hard drives, Aug. 20, 00:05:53RealVideo

People's Republic of China - People's Daily - Original Article (Chinese)

Edward Snowdon revealed large-scale U.S. monitoring of cyberspace and telecommunications, both home and abroad, confirming many previous assumptions. Nevertheless, the breadth and depth of the monitoring has deeply shocked the world.


President Obama recently spoke in response to the plethora of questions put to the United States on the issue, and offered four U.S. intelligence reform measures, saying these would adjust laws to strengthen checks and balances on government power, increase the transparency of surveillance, and establish a panel of experts to review the technology available to the U.S. for data surveillance.


Obama hopes to blur the line between counter-terrorism and civil rights in order to create the impression that he is meeting the need for national security while also protecting privacy, thus bringing to a conclusion the debate triggered by Snowden's revelations over a month ago. While the U.S. government's capacity to do this remains to be seen, most of Obama's past promises have proven empty. Moreover, given the special nature of intelligence work, it will be exceedingly hard for average Americans to verify that such assurances about intelligence transparency have in fact been met.


In any case, regardless of the measures President Obama chooses to adopt, two things will remain unchanged: while it seeks to allay the concerns of Americans on domestic monitoring, the U.S. government will not interrupt its mass surveillance of other countries or its infringement of their information sovereignty. While the Obama government intends to bring things more into balance domestically, it is evident that it has no intention of redressing the balance between its own interests and those of other nations.


The United States has no inherent right to monitor the sovereign territory of other nations, whether in regard to physical structures or private data. The United States is entitled to maintain the sovereignty of its own networks as far as its own self defense is concerned, but it has no right to infringe on the security of the global network for inappropriate or preemptive purposes.


Countries around the world are concerned about the extent to which the information frontier has been invaded by the United States. Given the non-physical nature of cyberspace, drawing up the boundaries of national sovereignty and implementing effective defenses still sits beyond the capacity of human security. Even so, the United States does not have the privilege to infiltrate sovereign territory for the purposes of surveillance and theft.


On the one hand, the United States demands that other nations refrain from carrying out cyberattacks by citing its right to protect national security and intellectual property. On the other, it ignores the sovereign rights of other countries by attacking their networks to gain access to information on their national security and intellectual property. This is a serious violation of the legitimate security and economic interests of other nations. Recent revelations demonstrate that the actions of the United States have strayed far beyond any of the demands of counter-terrorism, and into the realm of industrial espionage for the purposes of obtaining access to the technological development strategies of other sovereign powers.


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America's surveillance programs could not have remained hidden forever. Such blatant self interest could never have been deemed acceptable by even the U.S. government's own employees. The Snowdon revelations were no accident, and other agents would have exposed the secret if he had not. The scale of the infringement of the rights and interests of other countries which has now been exposed is far beyond what even America's partner countries can tolerate and accept.


The United States cannot use national security as a pretext for its own network attacks on other nations, while at the same time maintaining its position as self-appointed moral policeman for the rest of the world. More importantly, with rapid globalization, the advanced science and technology that is now the sole preserve of the United States is spreading rapidly, and network attacks will no longer be a weapon to which the U.S. has exclusive access. This could soon put America in a very delicate position.


Just as the United States was once the sole master of biological and chemical weapons, with the rapid proliferation of these arms, United States eventually had to promote global norms for giving them up in the interest of a biological and chemical weapons-free world. The United States should draw the proper conclusions.


*Shen Dingli is professor and associate dean of international studies, Fudan University


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Aug. 20, 2013, 4:59pm