The latest revelations of global U.S. surveillance operations are not surprising, but should serve as a warning.

On the day after Sept. 11, 2001, the Communist Party of Canada warned against "any attempt internationally or domestically to use this tragic episode as a justification to limit democratic rights including the rights to assembly, privacy, legal due process or extend repression against the people."

Since that time, a wide range of democratic forces have condemned the relentless drive to spy on critics of imperialist policies in the name of "fighting terrorism."

Now, ex‑CIA employee Edward Snowden has leaked the details of U.S. phone and internet surveillance programs. As Snowden told the UK Guardian: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards…"

It is true that such activities require intensive human involvement to take action on raw surveillance data, making the process expensive and complicated. But any official promises to avoid invasion of privacy rights are just so much bafflegab.

The U.S. ruling class, with the complicity of right-wing regimes like the Harper Tories, will continue to spy on any movements which pose a serious or potential threat to the global domination of the transnational corporations. In turn, the data reaped from such surveillance will continue to be used to infiltrate, divide and weaken such opposition movements, in particular revolutionary forces which challenge the capitalist system itself.

Like Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden has done the world a tremendous service by blowing the whistle on this nightmare. Everything possible must be done to defend these two heroes.

People’s Voice Editorial