[DeutscheWelle] Stasi, KGB were child’s play compared to today

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It seems that every day brings new claims and counter-claims about who’s spying on whom. Governments are trying to limit the damage, but that damage is not limited to governments, expert Jeremie Zimmermann told DW. […]

If you know you’re being surveilled all the time you won’t speak the same way, you won’t say what you know about your boss, you won’t say what you think about your government because you fear this may be used against you. The same way you might not go to the meeting of a new political party because you know you could be blackmailed or blacklisted. The same way you won’t call your doctor for an abortion or won’t read information about HIV or some disease. Privacy is the key to enable all the fundamental freedoms that are themselves at the heart of democratic societies. […]

We must have a public debate about the role of intelligence and we must create policies that would allow either selected members of the legislative or executive to control these institutions and find a way to get accountability for what they do. It is understood that a secret service must have secrets, but maybe after some time these secrets could be lifted and people who broke the law could be sued. I think that policies can be devised here to take back control of these institutions. They are not bound to be completely out of control here. […]

So my dear hope is that people will understand the true nature of technology and how important this is as a crucial question: Will we control the machines or will the machines [control] us?