Snowden on Surveillance: Citizen Privacy or Government Insecurity? Is this a Brave New World?

This is a very informative interview with Edward Snowden.  I recall myself being filmed at a protest. I remember thinking about my intentions around peace and being really surprised that the government would seek to film me. I studied peace studies and protest is considered very important as a pressure release valve for the public. Moreover, if a government is genuine about democracy then people have the right to express their freedom of expression. The politicians are supposed to be representing the will of the people.  This is a fundamental point. When I was surveilled a number of times and monitored because of my peace orientation, it has been a wake-up for me.  Like Snowden says: 

“I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity, or love, or friendship is recorded, and that’s not something I’m willing to support, it’s not something I’m willing to build, and it’s not something I’m willing to live under,” he said.  

This is not the world I wish to live in and I do not give consent to my privacy being invaded without my awareness. I have been surveilled by cameras and my email and it was used against me. I was innocent but I had no right of reply as it was done in secret. However, I knew it happened. I saw a form of fascism emerging where the rights of citizens are removed. I understand how that looks now. However, I am not in fear as my life is an open book, however for young people who say things they don’t mean it may be a problem later on.  In my case I work for peace, nonviolence and happiness and I am moved by my inner-sense (innocence).  My focus is on children and it is for them that I work joyfully.  I believe in speaking up as a duty as a citizen and it is my nature to share. If this is viewed as a threat then the issue is with the other who regards myself as a threat.  I can only hope that on some level they learn from my message.Perhaps one day they see it is not about me but the next generation. I would put to them that they may want to consider what they focus on expands. Does it bring them peace? Does it further us as a civilisation? Would they want to experience surveillance by others? Would they want their children surveilled? Are they truly working for the highest good? Is this who they really are?  Does it create more fear and paranoia?  If everyone did this would the world be improved? Does it solve the problem or focus on a solution? Until we focus on the latter we will definitely keep repeating the problems and the risks will indeed escalate.  As Snowden points out we are heading in a direction that we really don’t want to go and it really will not serve any interests ultimately, as the real problem is consciousness or indeed unconsciousness. The fear that drives all control is the real issue.  The only enemy to humanity is unquestioned fears. Until we face our fears, fearlessly, only then will we overcome them.  We will understand the adage ‘what you resist persists what you look at disappears’.  This means resistance holds the issue/problem in place, when we face it the problem disappears as we lose our fear over it, something worth contemplating by intelligence agencies. Moreover, their negative reaction to secrets being made visible is the mirror of the citizens secrets being made visible. This is a universal law. It is karma, I felt that yesterday when reflecting. Peace is worth contemplating if they are serious. I send them love and peace and ask them are they really creating security? Are they just doing a job? Or is it an expression of their own insecurity?  What does security really look like on the inside? So what you see in your world is a reflection of yourself. If they do not like it, they may choose to stop it and find another way to create stability and security. It is a truism that you cannot control the world, no-one is in control in truth. Life is expansive.

There is a difference between social control as compliance AND social freedom as democracy.  The latter creates a space to be a relaxed human, the former is harsh, tense and punishes whatever is perceived as threatening. When those who have differences of opinion to governments become the subject of surveillance without their knowledge this suggests that governments are finding diversity of thought a threat rather than a democratic right.  the same applies to organisations or individuals who feel the need to surveil others.  It says more about their own insecurity then the perceived need to know.

When you reflect on the actual lived experience of democracy it is easy to see that children grow up in authoritarian environments, albeit their parents love them, but they are told what to do for their own good.  As they get older parents find it hard to allow children to make mistakes and learn from life, they try to protect by controlling them and knowing where they are.  We see this behaviour in workplaces where management pays wages and feels it owns staff.  Staff get used to compliance environments where they do as they are told.  Increasingly workplaces, particularly larger organisations will monitor computers.  You notice that you can’t find a search history and IT will come onto your computer and fix problems etc.  They can easily monitor if you are working nor not.  So privacy and freedom is slowly curtailed. Intelligence agencies rather than pay for people to be on the ground and be detected, it is easier for them to access technology and have a complete history of what the person is doing, who they speak to and what is said.  They have the capacity to film through the computer and record people on mass, as was revealed by Edward Snowden.  This of course is very concerning and it speaks to control rather than democracy.  The agencies are tasked with serving democracy.  This tasking is implied given governments pay for the agencies, pay their wages and so on.  Service of democracy means representation of the people by the people.  However, what is being seen is that governments are not necessarily working for community interests.  This is clear with donations from organsations or individuals who wish to have influence over policies. Donations become a form of bribe and  circumvent one vote one value and notions of equality and representation of the people.  As these behaviours are not questiined or changed there is a implied consent.  If no-one says anything this type of behaviour grows with the belief that it is justified forgetting the whole purpose of democracy.  

Still there is suspicion and fear around ensuring defence and security.  Yet the true security comes from life itself.  In my own life I have felt more and more security the more I have been out in life, travelled, talked to people, said what I thought, participated rather than exclusion, isolation,  the written word or videos.  The cyber world is an unreal world.  Yet people can believe what they read, believe what they see and they construct a imagined community from this input.  Yet life for every person is different.  The majority live in uneventful lives where the only danger is conveyed through movies and online.  Yet if you spoke to a soldier trained in looking for an enemy you will see what wars do to people and the impact on inner security and resultant trauma.  I’ve been to torture places and felt the energy of great fear.  I’ve seen corruption and even worked in the police for a time.  There is much energy seeking to control negative behaviour without understanding how to evolve civilisation in a way where we all win.  We live in paradigms of competition (win/lose), we see this in trade deals, the economic system, status and prosperity.  Rather than seeing civilisation differently, we impact each other just by our daily lives, what we do to others we do to ourselves, when we give we expand the sense of security and wealth.  A new paradigm has to take hold if we are to move away from the brave new world scenario hauntingly portrayed in George Orwell’s 1984.   Moreover, as more whistleblowers come out there is increasing evidence that governments are increasingly corrupt, their agencies secret and a global culture more akin to Thomas Hobbes worldview of tooth and claw, that is, survival of the fittest (dog eat dog).  Yet in my own experience travelling I found ordinary people very quick to help, to assist, to make sure you are okay and keen to learn about the world and share theirs.  So this negative worldview tends to emerge from deep insecurity such as economics and the fear of attack by increasing defence that is seen in military discourses.  Yet some of the awakened teachers on the planet today speak of defence as the first act of war.  They speak of writing down fears on paper and conflict transforming through identifying projection, unquestioned beliefs and conditioned mind patterns.  Moreover as we explore the law of attraction we learn what we focus on expands, we literally attract what we fear if the emotion is intense enough and the thought repeated.  So that leads us to becoming more self aware, what are we thinking? what are we believing? Is it true?  Then focusing on what is actually wanted – freedom, safety, happiness, peace, love and so on.  The latter world can only occur when we understand the true nature of conflict, insecurity, fear, greed and guilt.  The negative aspect of humanity or fear driven culture leads us to become more frightened, more paranoid, more security/technology oriented and fearful of others. This fear grows behind the so-called enemy to those closer to home.  Nixon was a good example of a person driven by fear and desiring control to inhibit the free operation of democracy. What it reveals is growing dictatorship or fascism as the levies of control.  The love based paradigm lives fearlessly in a spirit of trust of life, living in the flow of life, knowing that we create what we experience.  It is an empowered paradigm that changes everything and doesn’t regard us as victims or vulnerable rather we are intentional and empowered to create the change we wish to see.   I live in the latter paradigm.  I believe in conflict resolution rather than control.  If we sit down and dialogue not as a negotiated settlement but as a true discourse to understand the nature of the problem, to share concerns, to listen, to seek options and to jointly find solutions then there is no need for surveillance or defence.  We will naturally do this as it is in the interests of both, all will learn about a win/win rather than a win/lose.  We are one family in humanity and it is true that we are only defeating ourselves when we fight the differences of others, it is to embrace diversity and learn from life.  This is where the real growth comes and it is the real wealth of nations. As we de-escalate fear people will tap into creativity and infinite possibilities emerge from this.  The enemy is seen as our own fears projected and we see it is us dancing with the so called devil, our own darkness is what we truly see.  This is the new way of seeing the world.  It is to see without a story.  It is to take full responsibility for conflict, dishonesty and fear and to choose peace, truthfulness and compassion as it serves all.  To decide for peace is the hardest work as it forces you to take responsibility for yourself and practice looking within at your own fear rather than blaming others.  

Conflict resolution and peace education are the best prevention.  We have to focus on a culture of peace.  If we can learn violence we can learn peace.  The question is who really wants peace?

So here is the video of Edward Snowden, this will show you how fear works and operates. 


I will post my poem, it encapsulates what I perceive as the reality. Life is a mirror, what we fear is ourselves.


Peace is in Service to Humanity

Published Tuesday, 30th October, 2012 | By Susan AKA Peacefull | Edit

Be the change you wish to see.  Peace to you, all ways.


Life is the Mirror


life is a mirror,

reflecting fragments back to you,

but what is it that we choose to see,

I realise those fragments are,

really me.


Life is awareness,

awareness is experience,

experience is narrow or broad,

it is a high or low chord,

but looks can be deceiving,

things are not always as they seem,

many misunderstandings,

there have been.


What we resist persists,

but what we look at disappears,

to see what is,

and it is so,

but emotions roll in like storm clouds,

upsetting the tranquility,

inventing reasons for every season,

cutting through you like an icy breeze,

but rise above the pain into the warmth,

of understanding,

forgive every hurt,

nothing can hurt us when we decide who we



And we act in our own truth,

without judgement,

without expectation,

just place thoughts in service of humanity,

and wait to see,

who you will be.


Peace is patience,

peace is kind,

peace has no expectation,

of any mind,

it just is,

sitting in a neutral space,

not in a hurry,

keeping its own pace,

peace has no-one to forgive,

peace holds no grudges,

peace looks with wisdom to all faces,

and knows there is a story,

of a different taste,

peace is light,

which floats gently on the winds of life.

Mohandas Gandhi

“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”