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Shadow State

Blogger Golem XIV (David Malone) writes in “The New Praetorians and the New Cold War“:

    “There is a New Cold War but it is not like the old one. It is not country against country. It is the shadow state in every nation against its own people, with the collusion of an inner core within the regular State.”

The subject is governments spying on their own citizens, as revealed most famously in recent weeks by Edward Snowden. Malone’s thesis is that all supposedly democratic governments do it, and even help each other to do it, by sharing data with each other in ways that enable each nation to evade its own legal framework of checks and balances. A nation’s spy agencies get around the limits placed on them under the law by spying on the citizens of other nations, then sharing this data with those same nations, in exchange for data on their own citizens. Convenient!

So we are now in a position where we can no longer trust our own governments, which are ruled by what Malone calls a “shadow state” that is unaccountable to, and frequently even invisible to, our elected officials. The elected officials are either kept in the dark, or simply don’t want to know, so they can avoid uncomfortable questions. Who watches the watchmen, indeed.

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