“Russian data law provokes fear in persons unknown” – Shaun Walker

by Kit


It seems many people have forgotten who Edward Snowden is. To refresh your memories, he is an ex-NSA intelligence analyst currently hiding out somewhere in Moscow. Two years ago he leaked information and documents proving that the NSA and GCHQ have been spying on pretty much everyone that uses the internet – this was a big deal in the Guardian, you may recall.

You probably didn’t need me to tell you that – but apparently Shaun Walker was sick that day – or maybe all that info was on the hard drives the Guardian editor took an angle-grinder to – because in his most recent tripe on Russian politics he portrays new legislation, to store Russian electronic data on Russian soil, as an autocratic clampdown to “tighten control of the internet”. Yes, seriously.

The headline is deliciously irony-free:

Russian data law fuels web surveillance fears!!

OK, I added the exclamation points – but they were heavily implied in the text. He doesn’t say, in the brief and odd article, exactly what fears are being fuelled, and to whom they belong. But there are “fears”. So…you know, look out.

Now, it seems to me a more honest rendering of the situation would be:

Russian data law fueled by web surveillance fears

But then, I don’t get paid to portray myself as some kind of anti-authoritarian super hero. Battling international tyrants with nothing but a twitter account and my limited wits. Would that we could all make a living that way.

The wonderful thing, though, is that in his tired and biased piece, Walker stumbles backwards into telling the almost-truth:

Rules requiring firms to store data of Russian citizens on Russian soil seen as a way for Putin to tighten control over internet

In yet another delightfully vague assertion, Walker neglects to mention just who this “internet control” is being taken from. In this case that would be Google, Facebook and the Western intelligence services.

This will be one of those things that Western people rail against, that cod-psychologists analyse to death in op-ed pieces for the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. It doesn’t require any of that. This law, simply put, is to protect Russian people and Russia’s national interests – and yet the MSM will complain. Mainly because it will be an inconvenience to Western corporate interests and the alphabet agencies. But also because it throws into sharp relief the limp, impotent, borderline treasonous responses of Angela Merkel, Francouis Hollande et al to the revelation that – in the moderin world – the privacy of their citizens means absolutely nothing.


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Categories: Kit, latest, On Guardian