Greenwald: US spying has little to do with terrorism. In an interview with Carta Maior, journalist Glenn Greenwald talks about his work to publicize the US spy practices and ensures that, despite the threats, will publish all documents in his possession.
Glenn Greenwald: "I know I spy and monitor all changed in my life but I'm not scared I will not stop...."
Former CIA agent and the American NSA Edward Snowden and the American journalist Glenn Greenwald just deal a new blow to the global espionage scheme sponsored by the United States. The newspaper Le Monde published all the documents that reveal the extent of US spying against France. Massive spying individuals, industrial and economic espionage, nothing is lacking on the menu. Glenn Greenwald returned to shake the foundations of international relations. The drones, the fight against terrorism, the ominous heritage of the administration of former President George Bush, the dark areas of the administration of Barack Obama and the global espionage mounted by the United States from the Prisma device: Glenn Greenwald knows these issues with the rigor and passion that give it its commitment and a career that goes far beyond the case of the revelations Snowden.
Glenn Greenwald is the second central actor of this espionage plot. Is this Guardian journalist who, month after month, distilled in this newspaper the huge content dossier Snowden gave him in Hong Kong before taking refuge in Russia. Snowden has not chosen by chance. Greenwald is a reputed author of investigations that shook the American political system and become one of the 50 most influential commentators in the United States. Those who know your name by Snowden and tentacular case of espionage Prisma system ignore the solid track record that supports. Legal profession in 2005 Greenwald left his bank representative career and large companies and set out to civil rights, civil liberties and the breath of investigations.
That same year, an espionage case by the NSA revealed by The New York Times propelled through his blog, "How Would a Patriot Act", which will soon become a book, "How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President. " The following year, this rigorous activist published a fierce book on the Bush administration's remarkable heritage, "A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency. " In 2008, he published another book about the myths and hypocrisy of Republicans, Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politic ", and in 2012, another work about the way the law is used to destroy equality and protect the power, "With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is used to destroy equality and protect the Powerful."
Between a book and another, Greenwald made explosive investigation of Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning soldier - the soldier who gave secret correspondence Assange. Awarded several times for his work, Glenn Greenwald defines journalism of a militant way: "For me, journalism is two things: investigate facts about the activities of those in power and seek to impose them limits." This is the man who, in May this year and soon after the Washington Post has refused to publish them, Edward Snowden gave them the abysmal intelligence documents structured by the NSA through the Prism device with the collaboration of private companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and many others.
Glenn Greenwald lived in Brazil for several years. The double case Snowden and Prism has changed many things in your life. His companion, David Miranda, was detained and interrogated in London for many hours because of an anti-terrorist law. They both know that their conversations and gestures are permanently manned. Have adapted to this life without renouncing to continue reporting work. In this exclusive interview in Rio de Janeiro, to Carta Maior, Glenn Greenwald reveals novel aspects of Edward Snowden, view of the difficulties of his life and gives new information on the new US industry: spy on every citizen of the world.
The United States argues that the global espionage aims to fight terrorism. However, the reading of the documents that Snowden gave you does not provide evidence for this argument.
If we look at the past 30 years and, above all, from the September 11 attacks, there is an idea that Americans want to apply: use global terrorism for people to be afraid to act with hands free. It's an excuse to torture, kidnap and arrest. Now they are using the same excuse to spy. The documents on the way in which the US spy and espionage on the goals have little to do with terrorism. Many have to do with economics, business and governments, and are dedicated to understanding how these governments and these companies. The central idea of espionage is this: control information to increase the power of the United States around the world.
In the documents of the NSA a few on terrorism, but they are not the majority. The millions of dollars spent to collect all this information against terrorism is a joke. Spying Petrobras, Al-Jazeera or the OAS has nothing to do with terrorism. The government is trying to convince people that they must give up their freedom in exchange for security. Try to scare them and make believe that sacrifice freedom is something needed to be safe and protected from the threats that come from outside.
Step Edward Snowden gave the hand him the documents that reveal how Washington Spies entire planet is amazing. How is it that someone so young, who was part of the intelligence apparatus, choose this path?
There are examples in history of people who sacrifice their own interests to put an end to many injustices. The reasons why act like this are complicated, complex. In this case, there are two important things: one is that Snowden values human being and rights. Snowden was clear on one point: either continue with this system, perpetuate this world destroying the privacy of hundreds of millions of people on the planet, or break the silence and act against such abuses.
I think Snowden found that had he continued to allow the existence of such a system could not have a clear conscience for the rest of your life. The pain, shame, remorse and repentance as feelings for the rest of his days aroused fear in him. It was very serious to keep in your consciousness. He saw that there were not many options and you should take advantage.
The other important point is that Snowden is 30 and his generation grew up with the Internet as a central part of their lives. People a little older do not realize the importance of the Internet for the existence of these people. Snowden told me that the internet has offered his generation all kinds of ideas, exploration fields, contacts with other people in the world and a unique understanding of capacity. Then decided to protect this heritage. Did not want to live in a world where all this would disappear, where people could not use the internet anymore.
But Snowden, nevertheless, was a man of the system. Yes, but it was very young when he started. He was 21 years. With the passage of time has changed its views on the government of the United States, the NSA and the CIA. Snowden has changed gradually, progressively. He began to realize that these institutions who wanted to do good were not doing well, but evil.
Snowden told me that since 2008 and 2009, thought to promote document leaks. Like many other people in the world, Snowden also thought that the election of Barack Obama would cause diminish abuses. Trust it. Thought Obama would reverse the process, it would be different and better, but she realized that was not so. That was one reason. Was aware that Obama not only did not solve anything, as continued to perpetuate the American empire. The power of the United States has virtually no limits from the control of information technology. Many think that, in a sense, Obama is worse than Bush.
It's hard to say that Obama is worse than Bush. Needless to say that Obama: espionemos more. Of course, Obama has some responsibility in the growth of this espionage system. Obama continued the same policies before, but changed the symbolism and image. I believe that the scandal caused by the leakage of these documents changed the way that people had of Obama. Snowden and I spent a long time in Hong Kong to talk about what would happen to the revelations. We could not calculate the consequences. We were aware of the importance, but we thought there might be an apathetic reaction. But since it was published the first story the interest has not stopped growing.
This is to become a brake for governments to continue to abuse their power, to continue to act in secret. But there are individuals like Snowden, as the soldier Bradley Manning, or entities such as Wikileaks that bring information to light. Julian Assange is a hero for the work they did with the Wikileaks. In many ways it was he who made this possible was that Assange exposed the idea that, in the digital age, it was very difficult for governments to protect their secrets without destroying another privacy. This is why the US government is at war with the people who do this: want to scare others who are thinking of doing so in the future. I supported me courage Snowden to publish these documents. Edward Snowden is today one of the most wanted persons in the world. It is possible to pass the next 30 years in jail. What he did is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen someone do in the name of justice.
The governments of Argentina, Brazil and other states in the world are pushing to break the siege of espionage and the almost absolute control that the United States has on the internet. What is the solution, in your opinion?
I believe the solution would be to create a lobby between countries, that countries come together to see how to build new platforms for the internet that do not allow a country to dominate communications completely. The problem is also that each country begins to have more control over the internet and this can make them be tempted to do the same as the United States: try to monitor and use the internet as a form of control. There is a real awareness that Argentina and Brazil are building their own internet as well as the European Union, something that so far only China had done. But the risk is that these governments imitate the United States creating their own systems do not allow for the privacy of its citizens, but to compromise it. This is a danger.
It is important to guarantee that the US control over communications not complete a transfer to other powers. Read a document in the New York Times that showed the immense power and influence that the US has by controlling Internet services. Indeed, the United States invented the Internet. Many countries have realized that they will be unable to guarantee their confidentiality if they follow using systems housed in US servers. Therefore they are thinking about how to develop their own independent internet.
In Brazil, for example, the government's first reaction when you learned of the US spy was to seriously propose the creation of an internet itself. And I believe that other countries will start to do the same, that is, create networks that do not pass the United States nor the data to be stored in US companies servers. I think especially in Europe, where there are financial resources to do so, it will be proposed seriously. Now, of course, Europe is not much given to be independent of the US. She likes to be treated like a teenager, something like a colony with rights that goes to the US drum rhythm.
President Dilma Rousseff has proposed the creation of an independent body to control the internet. Believes that this is a viable idea?
I'm not sure that this may solve the problem. The idea of the Internet is an unrestricted and uncontrolled form of communication between human beings to share information without regulations. So, do not know if it's a good idea to put the Internet under the control of international organizations. It may be so worse. When it was created, the internet was not under the control of any government and each could use it as well wanted. This is the reason she became a threat. I believe that this is the model that we should recover.
You are now a threatened man. Has your life changed much since put into circulation documents Snowden?
Yes, a lot, a lot of stress, it is very difficult all the time. My lawyers tell me that it is dangerous for me to return to the United States, I lost my individual privacy. I know I spy and monitor. Everything changed in my life. But I'm not scared. I will not stop. I will publish all documents in my possession.
Among the most questioned Western actors is the European Union. Your reaction after the revelations Snowden, was an impressive warmth.
The weakness and cowardice of the European Union never surprised me, I believe that what we can expect from Europe is that it is so weak and cowardly as any other country. It was amazing to see how appeared to outrage at the revelations of Edward Snowden to then immediately make of misunderstandings. It is very dangerous as there is a world where one country can dictate what to do. Governments have to have courage. The government of Ecuador was very brave when he gave asylum to Assange on its embassy in London. It was very commendable. What Ecuador did was protect human rights, not a journalist or publisher of documents.