[WikiLeaks Korea= Kim Byeong Soo, Chief Editor]
“Courage is overcoming fear!”
Worldwide civil rights activist and former president of South Africa,
Nelson Mandela said “Everyone feels fear, but the brave overcomes the
fear and puts it into practice.”
Authority and civil rights have been the ‘two sides of the coin’
throughout the course of human history.
The stronger the power, the more the civil rights of the citizens were
On the contrary, emphasis on civil rights meant a give up on
authoritarian power. Britain’s Glorious Revolution and the French
Revolution are great examples of citizens winning back civil rights
As democracy spread throughout history, more and more policies started guaranteeing civil rights. Unlike the tyrannical rule of the king,
direct democracy, which elects the president by the people’s vote, is
a form in which citizens delegate power.
However, the civil rights guaranteeing systems that were on the rise
began to shrink rapidly on September 11, 2001, after the “9-11 Crisis”.
The U.S government started to take measures to limit civil rights on
the grounds of ‘public interest’ and ‘public safety’. The U.S government even initiated to monitor millions of people, who fell under the category of ‘anti-US’ to ‘potential anti-US’, under the assumption that they could harm US’ safety.
Molds die out under bright sun light, but grow quickly in dark, humid areas.
The U.S government, which has secretly watched millions of people in
the undergrounds, not just created a blacklist (violent criminals),
but also started to monitor the leaders and businessmen of each
country for the benefit of the U.S government and U.S corporations.
Edward Snowden, opposing to the “principle of secret”, is the person
who publicized the issue of the government in determination to face
economic damage that cannot be personally calculated and decades of imprisonment.
Today, Edward Snowden, along with Wiki leaks founder Julian Assange,
is considered one of the most prominent figures who daringly spoke the truth for justice.
▶Groundbreaking NSA’s eavesdropping scandal
June 2013. Edward Snowden unveiled a confidential document in June
2013 that included NSA’s indiscriminate collection of personal
Snowden was an American computer expert who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the US National Security Agency (NSA), and NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.
He said that since 2007, the NSA has collected large amounts of
personal information from citizens through personal electronic
information collection program PRISM, by connecting to servers in nine
major Internet companies in the United States and intercepting
undersea optical cables.
Through the Guardian, Snowden relished a variety of confidential
documents from the NSA, including the US tele surveillance record and
the PRISM surveillance program. Snowden said his exposure was in the name of the public and part of an effort to publicize what is on the
other side of the public.
There were two major exposures. One was “Verizon’s”, which was a
confidential document of the US government requesting tele companies to submit millions of phone call records. Another was “PRISM”, which is a surveillance program which can access to servers of Google, Apple, Facebook and others. Through these articles, the fact that US government was spying on civilians was now unveiled.
Furthermore, it has been revealed that NSA had been eavesdropping
conversations of leaders of at least 35 nations including Angela
Merkel the German Chancellor, Enrique Pena Nieto the Mexican
President, and Dilma Rousseff the Brazilian President.
In December 2013, it has been broadcasted that the NSA selected countries including South Korea and allied nations as target information collecting countries and has eavesdropped them.
American government’s reliability has been greatly damaged through the “Edward Snowden Exposure”.
This leads to the foundation of Intelligence Community Transparency
Snowden’s exposure did not stop in 2013. In September 2014, German
weekly Spiegel reported the American NSA and the British GCHQ have
enabled themselves in eavesdropping the largest German tele company Deutsche Telekom through the operation named “treasure map”.
Through Spiegel, Snowden said the NSA and the GCHQ could access to Deutsche Telekom’s users’ PC and smartphones while simultaneously approaching the company’s real time network database. These leaked information could be used in cyber-attacks.
▶Snowden “Anti-spy App HAVEN” publishing and others
Through a media interview, Snowden said “A true measure of the value
of person is not to say that he believes, but to act on that belief.”
Snowden, who is known as residing in Russia, is constantly acting
against public authority through publishing ‘anti-spy app’ and
studying systems to overcome government surveillance.
Downloading Snowden’s Mobile application will detect any intruder’s
movement through the smartphone’s camera, microphone, and
accelerometer sensors. Laptops are often lost to complex encryption
systems or devices. With this app, one can use one’s smartphone as an inexpensive security device that can detect intruders in the office or
Haven is downloadable at Google Play, open source android app store,
or at F-droid.
▶Snowden, opens the new era of civil rights and information protection
In recent years, the world has been gathering its eyes upon the court
case between US government and the MS regarding “foreign server
The United States Supreme Court is in the midst of a dispute between
the US government and Microsoft over the search of e-mails stored on
Depending on the US Supreme Court’s ruling, the operating behaviors of European companies as well as US servers in Europe could change
The US Supreme Court, which is in full swing on the US government
versus Microsoft case from last month, is expected to make its ruling
in June as soon as possible.
The US Department of Justice requested a search warrant in the process of conducting a drug investigation and then offered Microsoft the information containing the suspect’s e-mail account.
MS partly accepted the government’s demands but did not follow the
request to pass on the e-mail. MS claimed that the relevant
information was stored in a server in Ireland, and the search warrant
of the US government was not valid for the data in Ireland.
MS said it could violate the European Union’s stringent data privacy
rules if it accepted the US government’s request and forwarded the
In July 2016, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that “current
storage communications laws cannot cross national boundaries,”
Microsoft ruled that it had no obligation to file data with the
investigating authorities and the case was passed to the Supreme
This case attracts attention not only in the United States but also in
Europe and elsewhere, because it can be an important standard for
judicial jurisdiction in the digital era.
Question arises on who will be in charge of global internet companies,
especially cloud computing companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, and whether it is possible to transfer data between servers scattered around the world.
Microsoft claims that certain user data is stored where the user
resides, and that the user has control of the data. The US government,
on the other hand, is in a position to hand over a warrant as long as
Microsoft can transfer it to a few clicks. Failure to provide
information could be a major hurdle to the investigation.
If the US government prevails, US companies operating in Europe must,
on request, pass the data to the US government and, in this case, be
subject to a dilemma again in violation of EU regulations.
There is concern that European companies in the United States may also receive similar requests from the US government.
The case is under the influence of “Snowden exposure”. His exposure
has led to distrust of US intelligence practices in Europe, which has
become an obstacle to cooperation between the US government and the EU.
In addition, US IT companies are also being watched by the public,
which explains why Microsoft has publicly confronted with the US
If it were not Snowden’s exposure, Microsoft and the government would have silently negotiated and dealt with this issue. Companies that have global users as a result of his actions have begun to show that they do not follow the demand of the US government.
Snowden’s life-staking courage opened the new era for civil rights and
information protection against the authoritarian powers.
Experts say that there will be second and third Snowden in the future
and civil rights of the global citizens is expected to be further
[Translation support: Aren Yim, WikiLeaks-Korea Reporter]
▶[Guardian] ‘Is whistleblowing worth prison or a life in exile?’: Edward Snowden talks to Daniel Ellsberg
▶[Spiegel] Interview with Edward Snowden ‘There Is Still Hope – Even for Me’
▶[Free Snowden] Frequently asked questions
▶[Marshable] The 10 Biggest Revelations From Edward Snowden’s Leaks
▶[Independent] Edward Snowden app spies on anyone that tries to steal your belongings
▶[BBC] Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme
<저작권자 ⓒ 위키리크스한국(http://wikileaks-kr.org) 무단전재 및 재배포 금지>