Interviews 09:20 10/07/2013

US appetite for accessing information insatiable, says former CIA analyst

Press TV has conducted an interview with David MacMichael, former senior CIA analyst, about new revelations showing that the US has reached an agreement with a private company to maintain its spying activities against American citizens. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview. 

- First of all, the revelation by Edward Snowden followed by the Director of National Intelligence backtracking on his statements made to Congress and now this. Sir, where does it stop?

- Well I do not know where it stops, I think I can tell you about where it started. It is interestingly enough this during the United States civil war hundred and fifty years ago, it had came just at the time with the big advance in telecommunications, the telegraph, the wire telegraph system had begun and the United States government immediately sent its agents into all telegraph offices throughout the United States and demanded and received access to all messages sent through the telegraph.

So you are asking where did it begin, that is I would say a good place to say it began and where will it end, frankly I do not think it is going to end anywhere. This Team Telecom that you referred to, well it is a ... by the United States when a foreign controlled agent company was buying the firm Global Crossing which is one of the major fiber optics firms and this was during the decade beginning in the 1990s when fiber optics essentially begin, replaced the under ocean cables and other transmission means with a new technology and what the United States government has insisted upon before the Federal Communications Commission would approve this sale and the operation of this company in United States was a team composed of representatives of the Pentagon, of the National Security Agency, the CIA, the military and the US Federal Communications Commission was added to the management of this new firm in Global Crossing so that the United States could have access to all of this and to use it and of course this is now incorporated into what Edward Snowden has revealed, the NSA system.

- Mr. MacMichael, what is the fact now? Is it there is a lot of spying going on?

EU officials are subject to spying, the Chinese are subject to data espionage, even the American citizens, ordinary American citizens are being spied on. The question that comes to mind is what is the US looking for?

- Well it is this insatiable appetite on the part and this is historically on the part of people in authority, governments if you will, and I do not care whether they are in the West, the East, Asian or capitalist..., these governments have an insatiable appetite for accessing information and it goes beyond any rational consideration of what most people would consider national security or national interest.

And I have said this before I think in talking with you and others that well over fifty years ago the French scientist and political philosopher Jacques Ellul emphasized that whatever technology was introduced, no matter how beneficial it was, if it could be used for an adverse or an evil purpose, it would be and this is a fact of life and as you said yourself spying goes on.


 



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