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07 November 2010 @ 09:06 am
US; now you've done it!  
Work outside the walls, actively try to detect terrorists, gather information and put together registers over potential threats. That has been the task of the Surveillance Detection Unit.

The American Embassies in Stockholm, Oslo and any other capital have systematically been monitoring citizens with the sole purpose to find and stop eventual terrorists. This had been fine if it had taken place on US soil. But it hasn't. This has been taking place outside of the US, on foreign ground. In cities where you are guests! You have no right to monitor people outside the walls. Do what you want with your own staff, but do not step outside.

There has been vague attempts to explain these actions from the Secretary of State. These explanations are not plausible. What they however do is to remind us all of how the US government dealt with things during the Hoover era. To be a bit rude; keep your paranoia to yourself and please don't spread it around. If the American Embassies feel the need of extended surveillance,aside from the agreed cameras and routines in effect around the embassy areas, the right thing to do is to ask the host for assistance. Not create a vigilante group, engaged in espionage bordering on terrorism.

I am so upset I can't think straight. Not too many years ago a discovery like this would have been the cause of war. May still be if the 'wrong' country discovers the extended surveillance of native citizens.
Monitoring and catalouging persons depending on skin colour,hair colour, dress codes, age, language...That is illegal here. I don't know what the rules are in the US but I find it hard to believe that such actions are legal there. Unless the Hoover spirit is coming back again.

Now, now, you may say, US is under constant threats from terrorists. We have to make sure we are safe, even abroad.Or especially abroad.

Fine. Imagine this monitoring taking place in your town. Your house being under scrutiny because your teen is emo. Your neighbour is from Bulgaria. 'You' get monitiored because you speak with your neighbour and your kid is taking part in the political discussions in junior high. Still fine? And now, imagine this being done by a foreign government. What do you call that?
nrrrdy_grrrl on November 7th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
Here's a creepy fact: we have only just begun utilizing the technologies that allow this kind of surveillance. If we follow the UK model domestically and globally? Things are going to get really scary.
Vestabiggelois on November 7th, 2010 08:32 am (UTC)
I'm probably on the list somehwere. I did guard duty outside the American Embassy in Stockholm, I was also doing that outside the Russian Embassy.
This is frightening as it is. I can understand the need for security, but the monitoring and registrating is not sitting well with me. Am I still being watched?
London is somehwat scary these days. Cameras everywhere and a distinct lack of bins. Less spots to put bombs.
nrrrdy_grrrl on November 7th, 2010 09:01 am (UTC)
Oddly enough, I got interested in how extensive monitoring is in the UK from watching Torchwood. They constantly relied on CCTV and other similar means to follow targets or chases and at first I assumed it was part of the show's slight futurism but my friend Lisa was like, "No, they're not making that up. You could totally keep track of someone that way. And that's just Wales. Go to London or Manchester or somewhere in England, they could probably read your errands list via satellite."
Vestabiggelois on November 7th, 2010 12:01 pm (UTC)
It wouldn't surprise me the least if they could actually do that. We haven't gotten that far here yet, but I suspect it's only a matter of time before Stockholm is rigged with cameras too. Authorized cameras that is, not the SDU kind.
twirlycurlstwirlycurls on November 7th, 2010 01:44 pm (UTC)
Fine. Imagine this monitoring taking place in your town.

Sadly, I don't think we're going to have to "imagine" this for long.

Edited at 2010-11-07 01:44 pm (UTC)
Vestabiggelois on November 7th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
We don't have to here. I'm sorry for being pissy but this annoys the living daylights out of me. It's bad enough if/when your own goverment gets ideas like this. It gets uncomfortable beyond description when a foreign state does this.
twirlycurlstwirlycurls on November 7th, 2010 02:06 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry about this. :( I feel incredibly guilty about everything my country has been doing and powerless because OMG I thought we got rid of the bad guys and things were going to get better. :(
Vestabiggelois on November 7th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
No no, you should definitely not feel guilty over this. And I believe you are getting rid of the baddies, this mess started up like 10 or 12 years ago. The sad thing is that governments, our's too, are behaving oddly by default. The little people, us, always get the bad end of the deal.
silkmoth101silkmoth101 on November 7th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I heard that yesterday. I lost it immediately. But hey... you're not alone. They may have only found out in your country, but that means this shit is happening everywhere across Europe. *listens to the delightful cracking sounds coming out of the phone*
Vestabiggelois on November 7th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
It is happening. US Foreign office has confirmed that they keep the surveillance upped everywhere. Awful!
Talk about bad attitude.

Veronica Richveronica_rich on November 7th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
For years, what I would say to people who were gung-ho about our invading Afghanistan (to find bin Laden? Yeah, right, he was still going to be THERE) and Iraq was for them to imagine that, say, the Chinese government had its military invade our country, depose our president, try to round us up into various cities and what-not. They of course scoffed at that idea and got their hackles up; the comparison had never occurred to them. (Of course, I didn't change most of their minds because hey, this is the USA, nobody can invade and take over us!! *eyeroll*)

The moral of this tale is, there are a lot of us who would be dismayed to find out this is happening in other countries. But there are a lot who would shrug it off as being our right as the world's police.
Vestabiggelois on November 7th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
It's that world police attitude there that makes Americas already shady reputation even worse. No matter that there are reasonable persons around, you always notice the bad ones. As it's said, no one likes a bully.
I keep my hopes up that the present government and the coming ones actually do something about that.
lady_drace on November 7th, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
I call it fucked up.

It reminds me of that incident a few years back where a Scandinavian (don't remember the specific country) was taken by US people to Guantanamo for weeks of interrogation. He was not given any explanation, any apology or any sort of compensation for his suffering. He was merely put back home when they found out he didn't know anything.

When the story came out, it was discovered that the only reason they took him was because he was of foreign ancestry and was suspected of knowing someone, who was suspected of knowing someone else, who was yet again suspected of... you get the drift.

I see several of these episodes happening in the future. It saddens me.
Vesta: sambiggelois on November 8th, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
I remember that. Horrible.

Today the news tells us that Israel is doing the very same thing. Fuck me if I dare to take a trip to Stockholm again.