Blanket Surveillance

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RT discussed the issue with Richard Barbrook, academic in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages at the University of Westminster.

“In 1984 George Orwell has this idea that a large number of the population had telescreens where the television spies on you as well as gives you propaganda. And this is the source of the logical extension of this,” Barbrook told RT.

We all carry around mobile phones, we have laptops, now people have these voice activated assistants and obviously this is all collecting data on you,” he continued.

Barbrook says it is interesting that people became paranoid about voice surveillance and it any form of surveillance 20-30 years ago, but now just accept it.

“Often, lots of it is happening in the commercial sector and the NSA is basically piggybacking on the back of this,” he added.

Asked about the privacy implications of massive collection of voice recording by NSA, Barbrook pointed out that “it is blanket surveillance, not tracking people.”

He said he doesn’t think anybody would argue that the police should chase terrorists or pedophiles.

“But we are not talking about just targeted surveillance, what we are talking is – everybody, everything, every piece of data by everybody being collected and scanned by software for anything that looks deviant,” he explained.

“You can’t tell. You could say ‘They are only after the bad guys.’ But what happens if suddenly there is a massive protest movement in Western countries, then they could start targeting people involved in very legitimate things like demonstrations, strikes, even people who vote the wrong way, as far as the American government is concerned,” he noted.

Barbrook also claimed that whistleblowers seem to be one of the NSA’s priorities “as they [NSA] don’t want people to know what they are doing.”

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