A guerrilla light artist, Oliver Bienkowski, projected the text, "United Stasi of America," in large, bright green letters onto the US embassy headquarters in Berlin last Sunday night. In Bienkowski’s interview with Der Spiegel, he stated that his aim was to “do [something] that people [would] see and try to get them to think.” Namely, he is but one of many worldwide who are increasingly motivated by outrage at the NSA’s totalizing surveillance regime (which has its fingers reaching into the private lives of those in countries near and far).
Global outrage against the USA's Orwellian spy projects is growing, foreshadowing an exciting era of resistance, internet hacktivism, and demands for transparency (we hope). Sure, 95% of the countries that Snowden reached out to for asylum rejected his requests. Germany, China, Italy, India, Ireland, Poland and more, all ceded to the US government’s opinion on the fugitive – either because they are using the same spy technology on their own citizens, swapping valuable information with the NSA, or because they are afraid of having the American military treat them as an “enemy” – or, all of the above.
But … a huge mind-swing is nevertheless underway. Though many international government’s are giving Snowden the cold shoulder, the people worldwide are expressing their dismay at the USA, NSA, Google and Facebook … and more and more are expressing their solidarity with the young whistleblower.
America’s establishment PR team is working hard in the USA to obliterate the Snowden affair from the news cycle, and they’ve got several major media outlets and pundits – even ones we once trusted – as their acolytes. This past Wednesday, Glenn Greenwald (vis. a vis. an interview with Snowden) called out the New York Times for using “anonymous, speculating sources” to spread the “China-drained-Snowden's-laptop” rumor.
Greenwald explains that once the NYT was caught without hard evidence for this claim, they then began to quote “two Western intelligence experts [who] worked for major government spy agencies” as their source, but these experts were unidentifiable. Greenwald writes: “[this NYT] article then stated that these experts [merely] said ‘they believed that the Chinese government had managed to drain the contents of the four laptops that Mr. Snowden said he brought to Hong Kong’.” After that, the conjectures and beliefs these anonymous sources spread everywhere “as truth.”
It appears that the media has a lot invested in this China-drained-his-laptops story, as it buttresses the greater notion backed by the US government that Snowden’s leaks have aided China and Russia; that his actions have then pit these great powers against America in a way that endangers national security.
Engaged citizens like Margaret Sullivan stepped up to the plate, preventing the NYT anonymous source scandal from going unnoticed. In Sullivan's scintillating op-ed letter she documents the process by which she drilled the NYT editors on their standards and the danger of skewing information for political purposes.
But the people are no longer having any more of this bullshit! More and more are taking the wool off their eyes, and many are refusing to swallow the propaganda, the “official” statements, the demonizations, the smear campaigns and the sham journalism from the start. From Latin America to Europe, backlash against the NSA and US surveillance is percolating all over the world. There’re artists like Bienkowski coming forward, then there’re people like Margret Sullivan doing their research and holding media outlets accountable … there’re protests worldwide and of course, there’s the ongoing viral blitzkrieg of NSA-mockery, spying-backlash and cheers for Snowden on Twitter, Facebook and the like.
Could it be … that the establishment’s PR façade is beginning to crack?