We recently wrote about how Kurt Eichenwald's bizarre and irrational deference to his friends in the security state led him to claim that Ed Snowden is a Chinese spy
, whose work was specifically designed to aid China
in its attempts to attack the internet. The level of cognitive dissonance to make such an argument is quite stunning. Thankfully, most people seemed to see right through the insanity. In the meantime, over at The Guardian, John Kampfner has what might be considered the much more accurate version of the same story
. It notes how the knowledge of the NSA's activities have played right into Russia and China's hands concerning their efforts to gain greater control over the internet:
Slowly but surely governance of the internet is moving from the existing mishmash of institutions and into the hands of national governments. The Chinese call this "cyber autonomy".
Authoritarian regimes are showing ever-greater confidence in restricting information, filtering, blocking, monitoring and punishing anyone who steps over the mark.
And, yes, the knowledge of what the US is doing is giving the Chinese, Russians and plenty of others greater confidence to push for their own agenda. Amazingly, and in a sad statement on the state of the US government today, the report notes that a Chinese official recently argued:
At the recent IGF in Indonesia the Chinese were, for the first time, out in force. One "expert" offered to explain to a US state department official why US human rights standards are not up to scratch and how China could help.
This is, certainly, all just political posturing from a country that has a dreadful human rights record, but as we've noted plenty of times, the loss of any semblance of a moral high ground by the US on human rights has serious consequences. But unlike Eichenwald, Kampfner doesn't blame the messenger. Instead he puts the blame squarely where it belongs -- on the US government for its activities.
American dominance of the internet is being challenged on several fronts. The Obama administration and its spooks only have themselves to blame.
Except, of course, they're using compliant mouthpieces like Eichenwald to, instead, try to blame the messenger. Nothing is going to get fixed here until the current leadership either takes responsibility or is replaced in office by those who will take responsibility.