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13 Jun, 2013

Privacy is not American – Indian Express

The latest Prism and Verizon revelations about the United States’ surveillance and data mining programmes are a reminder of the profound crisis facing liberal democracies. There are complex legal and technical issues. But the moral framework that President Obama has set up to justify these programmes will dent the reputation of the US. Obama blithely justified these programmes by saying that “with respect to internet and emails, this does not apply to US citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States”. But the moral hierarchies this insinuates are scandalous. It is a brazen acknowledgment that the rights of non-US citizens or residents count for nothing; American policy can trample on these rights with impunity. For a nation that prided itself on its universalism, this brazen disregard for the rights of others is odd. Presumably, the point of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that no state shall violate these rights, not just that your own state shall not. To claim privacy to be American! So much for universality.

Read the rest: Privacy is not American – Indian Express.