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Monday, 10 June 2013

Stasiland US Style

The Australian writer Anna Funder in her book Stasiland conjured up a frightening picture of life for an East German citizenry constantly spied on by the government.

But the ability to contrast life behind the 'Iron Curtain' and that in the 'free world' seems to be weakening as citizens in the latter fall prey to the surveillance state. In the US the Obama White House is engaged in invasive measures against its own citizens. It has been revealed that 'a secret court order gives the National Security Agency blanket authority to collect call data from a major phone carrier.' The privacy of Millions of US citizens are affected by the measure which has been described by politicians and civil liberties campaigners 'as the most sweeping intrusion into private data they had ever seen by the US government.'

President Obama will no doubt hope to escape the bad fall out when he visits Ireland later this month for the G8 summit to be hosted in Co Fermanagh. Obama has been to the country on one previous occasion, following in the tradition of many of his predecessors who have been to Ireland during their time in office.

President Kennedy on a visit to Ireland in 1963. 

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