Tag Archives: Edward Snowden

Thuli and other 21st century ‘freedom fighters’ among Time 100

Although she occupies only a sliver of a column on p. 80 in the “leaders” section of Time magazine’s special edition on “The 100 Most Influential people” (May 5 2014), this should not mislead anyone as to the comparative importance of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s inclusion in this annual pantheon of (itself) one of the…

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The French philosopher and the American whistle-blower

Unless one acknowledges the complex nature and often unexpected connections among things, events and people, one might find it a smidgen astonishing that what the French poststructuralist philosopher, Jean-Francois Lyotard, wrote in his “report” on the state of knowledge in “advanced” societies, better known as The Postmodern Condition (1979; English translation: Manchester University Press, 1984),…

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US journalists are self-censoring their work

By Brendon Bosworth This year, in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaking of classified documents about digital spying, we’ve come to learn that big brother is definitely watching. As revelations about the National Security Agency and the US’s massive digital spying regime continue to surface it’s become increasingly clear that the majority of digital communications…

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Should Germany protect Edward Snowden?

By Christoph Tometten Asylum for Edward Snowden in Germany? The federal minister of the interior has ruled it out. But is it really impossible to grant protection to Snowden? A thorough reading of the law calls for a more differentiated answer. The asylum procedure is an assessment of whether an asylum seeker is entitled to…

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On voluntary tech servitude

I’m one of the many Android users who recently installed the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) application on their phone. Big deal. Doing this as I did, however, on the day Germany and Brazil were introducing a draft resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age at the UN General Assembly, I found myself confronting…

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People are listening to your calls? Get over it

So the United States is eavesdropping on your cellphone calls, Chancellor Merkel? Man up, so to speak, and get over it. More usefully, instead of whining, get Germany a new intelligence chief who understands counter-intelligence and encryption. And as your technical experts apparently warned, you also need to dump that crappy old cellphone your bought…

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A Philip K Dick nightmare

Even though an American is four times more likely to be killed by lightning, there’s no greater bogeyman in the Anglo-American body politic than the homicidal terrorist. It beggars belief that something so statistically insignificant (it has been suggested that the odds of death at the hands of a jihadist, or the like, is one-in-20…

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conservative with a small c and Liberal with a capital L

I recently listened to an engrossing discussion on BBC radio, featuring Douglas Murray and Peter Hitchens, about modern day conservatism as distinct from classical liberalism or libertarianism, and in contemporary Britain, Toryism. It’s usually very difficult to systematise conservatism as it generally eschews such rigidity, and true to its name seems more content to “conserve”…

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When fact imitates fiction: The Snowden case

In the history of (especially moral) philosophy, a recurrent theme involves the tension between the affirmation of so-called “free will” on the part of humans, and its denial, or what is called (a variety of) “determinism”. Without going into too much detail, it seems to me safe to say that most philosophers have favoured free…

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