• Fri
  • Sep 19, 2014
  • Updated: 5:48am

Snowden case shows the US no longer respects human rights

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 June, 2013, 3:35am

Referring to the report: "Snowden blames broken Obama promises in NSA leak" (June 18), promises are made to be broken, and this is credo of politicians around the world. They are experts in creating dreams, and the public just gets swayed by them.

Only gullible people can believe in the dreams of politicians.

It is high time that there should be laws to govern promises made by the politicians - both in power and while soliciting votes in elections.

Democracy gets strengthened only when politicians are made accountable for the promises they make.

If the US government is claiming that it is protecting US citizens from terrorist attacks - through internet snooping - then the protector should not violate citizens' freedom and privacy. There should be a code of conduct for snooping.

In olden days, kings used to intercept the letters of their subjects. The modern day version of this practice is internet snooping. It is high time that old technologies be used to escape the US' snooping of the internet.

Do not blame the US government alone, even in India, business magazines snoop on your passwords when you open an account. Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers in the US now face the prospect of life in prison as the Obama administration brings in draconian new laws.

The self-appointed champion of human rights and freedom is showing its true colours.

The US has lost its right to call itself a champion of human rights and it should stop blaming other nations for violating human rights.

It is strange that the US allows its citizens to keep guns with few safeguards, but readily snoops on internet users.

The US government is not afraid of guns, but afraid of a non-lethal thing like the internet. What a contrast!

Deendayal M.Lulla, Mumbai, India


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I certainly agree with the author's perspective on the U.S.'s hypocrisy in connection with human rights. You don't need Edward Snowden to reveal this, either. From the "collateral damage" of drone attacks to the squalor and racism of the domestic penal system, there are plenty of obvious current examples to choose from. And then there's history, where in the context of the Cold War the US was frequently blind to atrocities committed by strategic allies on their own people (e.g., Iran, various Latin American dictatorships).
However: What's missing from M. Lulla's letter is the corollary observation that serious human rights violations are in fact endemic among all of the countries that the US regularly criticizes--very much including China. I am concerned that this emperor-has-no-clothes moment will be regarded by authoritarian regimes as vindication. But the fact that the loudest critic's reputation is in tatters by no means absolves governments from treating their people with dignity and respect.


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