Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Snooping Bosses

“If you have nothing to hide, why do you worry?”, is a device often used by the authorities and companies that wants to have better surveillance of the community or the company. This is also what they indirect say in the article Snooping Bosses by Time, 3 Sept 2006. In some conditions I agree, when it is about the safety for the masses, but where should we draw the line when it is too much? Who should draw that line?

The government many thinks, because they are democratically elected. That might be true, and that's why we have the FRA-law in Sweden. A law that tracks everything on the internet and saves it “to be able to find criminals”. Treated correctly I'm sure it will work good, but who can assure that?

If we starts to look at the country the reportage is about, the USA. That is a so called democratic country which since the constitution was signed worked for equal rights and freedom of speech. Very nice and utopian thoughts, especially if you think of the great Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence who fought for the freedom of the slaves, or? He had slaves himself! The Northern government were afraid that the South would separate and then they would loose much money and power. The question about slaves was just a part of the problem, which made it easier to get the farmers fight for them.
The freedom to have you own opinion never really occurred in the US. One hundred years later J Edgar Hoover got scared by Stalin and the Communism and started his secret COINTELPRO, to prevent people having an own opinion about freedom. A lot of workers were imprisoned after telephone surveillance and slipping your tongue saying a few non Capitalistic words.

The control of the masses by fear worked pretty well, but the US was not satisfied. They wanted a better and bigger experiment for their economically suppression of the workers, in the words of the Noble price winner Milton Friedman (1976), you would say The Miracle of Chile. He didn't act, himself but his students, the so-called Chicago boys. After some cooperation from CIA the military coup d'État in Chile 9/11 1973 was a truth. Once again control of the masses with the help of fear and communication surveillance helped the dictator and his Chicago Boys to make the economic experience, but that story is about something else. Even today they have passport controls while driving through the long country for “safety”. Everything is about controlling and keeping the power.

Almost thirty years later, 9/11 2001 the world entered another surveillance-era when president Bush started his war on terrorism by ordering other countries to follow his rules. To be able to have direct flights to the US they had to follow strict orders of how to control the travelers, in the name of safety. A lot of those rules are silly and annoying for the travelers, because if a real terrorist wants to do something he will easy find other ways to scare the great Nation of Freedom, like in Tom Clancy's The teeth of the Tiger.
Even the economical laws he implemented, forcing foreign countries banks to send facts about transaction to CIA, are horrible. Yes, I agree that the WTC attacks was terrible, but that does not give another country the right to interfere like that in the rest of the world, to try to control the people in other countries too.

After this long historical encounter of the Country of Freedom, to show what happens when a country uses the fear to justify more and harder controls of the masses, I shall come to a conclusion. Some kinds of control is good, not everyone are kindhearted, but where shall we draw the line? Shall we have a group of politicians and religious leaders discussing what values are good for the masses, and then implement it on us? I don't think so, because maybe I am not a believer of those religions and why should I then have to obey them?
The best is to look at the freedom of the people, not like they do in the US and look at the freedom of the companies. Sweden, with its FRA-law is not perfect, but it is way better than a country that tries to build in fear in the inhabitants to be able to make them to a new kind of slaves for the government and the companies. Where is the freedom then? We in Sweden are not allowed to let it be as bad as it is in The US.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you that some control is good, but the border until it gets uncomfortable for personnel is thin. Therefore I think it is important that the manager trusts their employees and the other way around. You talk lot about freedom, but freedom is different for different people, which makes it hard to define freedom. I mean that control is good, but at the right level, the employees should not feel that the managers are watching them. How fun would you think it would be to work at a company where the manager watches every step you take?