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View Diary: Should Edward Snowden get the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize? (226 comments)

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  •  GCHQ, the UK NSA -commit crime with impunity (13+ / 0-)

    should criminals go to jail?

    even if they are doing the work of a government?

    Huge swath of GCHQ mass surveillance is illegal, says top lawyer
    Legal advice given to MPs warns that British spy agency is 'using gaps in regulation to commit serious crime with impunity'

    is this what happened in the Roman empire?

    yes and they fell into slavery. Given our economy, we could say that we are all sharecroppers now

    here is the history from a Law prof at Columbia

    In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gives two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery.

    In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people—their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, Gibbons says, oppressed as they were by the weight of their corruption and military violence, the Romans yet preserved for a long time the sentiments, or at least the ideas, of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon says, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.

    The power of that Roman Empire rested in its control of communications. The Mediterranean Sea, which was the transit hub of every western civilization, was their lake. And across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed the roads—roads that fifteen centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads which, as Gibbon says, rendered every corner of the Empire pervious to Roman power, the Emperor marched his armies. But up those roads he gathered his intelligence. Augustus invented the posts: first for signals intelligence, to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speeds; and then for human intelligence. He created the post-chaises, so that, as Gibbon says, those who were present when dispatches were written could be questioned by the Emperor. Using that infrastructure for control of communications, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the Emperor of the Romans made himself the best informed human being in the history of the world.

    I added the bold

    This is part of a 4 part lecture given at Columbia with audio, video and pdf

    Snowden and the Future

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