surveillance2_jonathan mcintosh

The Y(outh) files

Aleksandra Maldžiski

Aleksandra is from Belgrade, Serbia, currently living in Portugal. She was a school student activist and a Board member of OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions). During her studies of political science and journalism she did an intership at the Serbian national radio B92 on a political show co-produced by BBC. Aleksandra has been writing for the YO! Mag since 2010.


ai???I heard that when political prisoners are doing time in prison every time they want to send a letter to their family the guards are instructed to read it first. Now, just switch prisoners with people and guards with government. It feels terrible, right?ai??? – Edo, (26, Serbia).

Recent revelations about the NSA (US National Security Agency) collecting information about citizens including data from Google, Facebook and Apple such as search history and the content of emails or chats have brought many to question Gold Vigra online, buy lioresal. us pharmacy online viagra the idea of privacy altogether. Edward Snowden said in an interview that he hopes that his revelations about the NSA trigger a debate about what kind of world we want to live in, stating that this surveillance allows the US government ai???to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the worldai???.

Edo, a young man from Serbia, agrees. ai???I think that no one will want to waste time reading my e-mails or listening to my Skype calls, but Iai??i??m more concerned about how these new surveillance laws are in line with my human and political rights.ai??? In the ai???NSA filesai??? page on the Guardian, the UK newspaper which has led on the Snowden/NSA revelations, website it states: ai???the NSA say it needs all this data to help prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11. In order to find the needle in the haystack, they argue, they need access to the whole haystack.ai??? Young Europeans, however, do not seem to be buying this.

ai???Personally this freaks me out. Itai??i??s so strange that the countries that speak so much about human rights seem to be the ones abusing them. It is justified as protection, but protection from whom exactly? And how are you supposed to act knowing that you are practically living in the ai???Big brotherai??? show?ai??? questions Besnik (28, Kosovo). His peer Pedro (30, Portugal) supports the argument ai???I believe that no one who believes and stands for a democratic, tolerant and respectful society can accept or agree with that, because it compromises some basic personal values. The argument that people’s safety is more important than their privacy is, like we say here in Portugal, “a fish with the tail in the mouth”; it’s a vicious argument that could justify everything from now on. What came first, the egg or the chicken? What started first, the government spying or the terrorist planning? So this is the wrong perspective to analyse it. Even if it was legal, this is not moral or ethical.ai???

Gwen (24, Denmark) jokes about the whole thing ai???I donai??i??t think that surveillance is the way to a more secure world ai??i?? one canai??i??t help but think what a waste of recourses it is for the NSA to keep a back-up of all the e-mails with silly GIFs that I send around.ai??? Nonetheless, she underlines that her everyday safety is of course very important to her and it is a task that she expects the government to carry out, without her even knowing it. ai???Part of my personal safety is also the fact that I can confide in family, friends and even doctors without fearing that anyone else gets to know what I decide to share with these people.ai???

Young people of today are more used to public displays of personal information than the generation of their parents, so one might argue that what the NSA and similar agencies are doing does not affect them

significantly. Some of them, however, would not agree ai???the information about surveillance laws for me are similar to online apps, where we just accept terms and conditions and do not want to bother with the small printai???, says Edo. Claude (26, Luxembourg) questions whether young people realise the gravity of this ai???taking a look at Facebook it seems like people ask to be monitored and spied on. I try, when using social media, to keep a balance between how much of my privacy Iai??i??m willing to give up and share with my friends, the public and the NSA and what I strictly keep off the internet. Anything published in the internet once will never be deleted and will stay indirectly available for everyoneai???.

In spite of being the ai???Facebook generationai??? young people from around Europe are voicing their displeasure about the NSAai??i??s actions and many consider it an invasion of privacy. ai???Itai??i??s an invasion; itai??i??s a sign that in this world thereai??i??s always control over what you do. You understand that there is no freedom because freedom is to be able to chose whether you want to share things with others or notai???, concludes Lulzim (31, Kosovo).

 

Words by Aleksandra MaldA?iski

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Aleksandra Maldžiski

Aleksandra is from Belgrade, Serbia, currently living in Portugal. She was a school student activist and a Board member of OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions). During her studies of political science and journalism she did an intership at the Serbian national radio B92 on a political show co-produced by BBC. Aleksandra has been writing for the YO! Mag since 2010.
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