DIGITAL AMERICA

Freedom of speech vs National security

// Posted by on 02/20/2014 (5:49 PM)

In this post, I will discuss how freedom of speech must be more important than national security.

There are countries in the world where censorship is systematically applied to citizen. One of them is China. In the Internet, the Chinese Google search system is not showing anything like “Tiananmen Protest”, and they will hunt you down if they know you searched for it. Also, if you publicly show any type of support to Tibet, as for a flag or a t-shirt, you get immediately and arbitrarily arrested.

Sadly, the United States is going towards this way. Resembling like an authoritarian government, even communist. I cannot get how, from one side, they can predicate the Bush Doctrine and go around the world spreading democracy and freedom, while on the other side they try for example to blackmail Swiss bankers in order to breach in something that is invaluable for Switzerland, that is Banking Secrecy. As the same Edward Snowden said:

“I realized that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

I cannot imagine, then, what they are doing with poor countries in Latin America or Africa. Thank God there is people that is telling us. The document by Greenwald, “The War on Wikileaks”. states that even in the European Union the US is manipulating people like puppets to make us believe we are supporting the war. Shame to our European governments too, but more and more people, like the Dutch showed, is highly concerned about who and what is happening around them; and like Julian Assange and the same Edward Snowden are willingly not to give up to make transparency effective.

Not only, I can cite the furious attempts of the US governments to try to take in Julian Assange from London, trying to apply extradition at any cost and even violating international law and diplomacy rules. You can say what you want about Assange’s crimes of sexual harassment or the principles of WikiLeaks, but the documents that they revealed are not invented, and those things happened while politicians on the U.S. were acting like hypocrites proclaiming freedom to the world. The article “The end of Hypocrisy”, by Farrell and Finnemore, is sharing my point of view on this.

Please, don’t take my opinions as only negative toward the US government. I honestly think that, what Assange and others showed to the world, is just one side of the medal. In the other side, I see how a country is trying to make the world a better place, and to give the holy rights of freedom and democracy to who is being oppressed. As the article about Leaky Geopolitics says, the bad guy is not only the US Foreign Policy, but also the whistleblowers are risking the security not only of nations, but also of people, when exposing secret documents.

But, if the costs are to completely ignore and even damage the principles of self-determination of people, privacy and freedom of speech, then well I admire all the whistleblowers everywhere in the world. Transparency in the actions of governments is a fundamental concept in 2014, and we cannot change it in the name of the democracy.

 

Alessandro Giorgi, A01224123, ITESM


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