The Spying Game

Supporters of democracy ought to think long and hard before prosecuting people like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden. If we think democracy is a good thing, then we must believe that the public should know as much as possible about what the government it elects is doing.

MELBOURNE – Thanks to Edward Snowden, I now know that the US National Security Agency is spying on me. It uses Google, Facebook, Verizon, and other Internet and communications companies to collect vast amounts of digital information, no doubt including data about my emails, cellphone calls, and credit card usage.

I am not a United States citizen, so it’s all perfectly legal. And, even if I were a US citizen, it is possible that a lot of information about me would have been swept up anyway, though it may not have been the direct target of the surveillance operation.

Should I be outraged at this intrusion on my privacy? Has the world of George Orwell’s 1984 finally arrived, three decades late? Is Big Brother watching me?

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