Last night President Obama phoned President Hollande to apologise for the behaviour of his secret services. Le Monde yesterday said that 70 million French phone calls and texts had been recorded in one 30 day period late last year. The former President of Mexico discovered that all of his communications with cabinet colleagues had been recorded too.
Turkey: GCHQ spied on its Finance Minister and up to 15 others in a Turkish delegation for a G20 meeting.
Alarm in the States is growing by the day. There are currently 3 bills going before Congress attempting to rein in the surveillance state. One of the Bills is being put forward by a man who was the mainspring behind the now infamous Patriot Act. The New York Times and Washington Post have both run the same or similar stories to The Guardian. No-one from the spooks have visited the paper’s offices and supervised the symbolic destruction of two hard-drives. None of the journalists working at the Washington Post or New York Times have been threatened.
Europe has become similarly exercised. Compare and contrast with the ‘shoot the messenger’ approach carried out on this side of the water. It is as though we live in a parallel universe. Spooksbod after spooksbod have lined up to waffle on about ‘threat to national security.’ We have even had a Tory MP demanding a parliamentary ‘debate’ on the issue. What a farce. On the substantive issue - the recording of billions of phone messages, emails and texts - Big Brother monitoring our behaviour and our thoughts – there is a deathly silence.
The ‘event’ took place this afternoon and lasted barely half-an- hour. Julian Smith MP, spooke for over 15 minutes with several interruptions from MPs hostile to his views.
“It seems highly likely the Guardian has risked our security several times over,” Smith says, to cries of "rubbish" , "nonsense" and "hysterical scaremongering" from other MPs.
He was accused of promoting ‘outright McCarthyism’ by veteran Labour MP David Winnick. David Davis was also unimpressed and repeatedly asked if it was as serious as claimed, why has no-one been charged? Answer came there none.
Junior Minister James Brokenshire (crazy name crazy guy) flanneled on for a further 10 minutes allowing no interruptions to the point where he was accused of behaving ‘like a robot’ and at 5-00pm precisely the ‘debate’ ended. Just the two speakers and a handful of interruptions. Brilliant.
Mother of all Parliaments? Hardly.
Shining example of democracy? You are having a laugh ........aren’t you?