Sunday November 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Lust in action, looted

By Nikos Konstandaras

Theirs is a pitiful lot, the agents who invade the privacy of millions of people, stealing images that we exchange through webcams, only to find that what is on the minds of many is sex. It is as if the employees of Britain’s GCHQ surveillance agency and America’s NSA don’t already have enough on their hands with conversations between friends or spouses, the advertisements, the mothers urging children to dress warmly, the businessmen discussing strategy, the terrorists exchanging secret messages, the birthday parties and other family moments – now they are forced to dirty their hands (not to mention their clear eyes and pure minds), wallowing in the trough of human lust and exhibitionism.

The agencies’ disappointment was revealed on Thursday by the Guardian as part of its ongoing investigation into the range and depth of the global surveillance network. The latest report concerned still images collected from Yahoo webcam chats between 2008 and 2010. Over a six-month period in 2008 alone, the newspaper noted, GCHQ collected imagery from webcam interchanges between 1.8 million people globally. The British agency “does not have the technical means to make sure no images of UK or US citizens are collected and stored by the system, and there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans’ images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant,” the Guardian reported.

We should be shocked but we are not. For months we have been learning, bit by bit, how our whole planet is tangled in a web of surveillance, how no one is excluded. The new element is the moral unease and sensitivity of the agents when they have to face what people do when they think they are alone with those in whom they are interested. “Unfortunately,” one document notes, “there are issues with undesirable images within the data. It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person.” These “undesirable images” account for 3-11 percent of the material.

GHCQ, worried about how to protect its analysts from such shame, has employed software that excludes images of flesh if it is not part of a face. A circular also warned employees that “the dissemination of offensive material is a disciplinary offense.”

Despite whatever successes they have had in their pursuit of terrorists, our society owes a debt of gratitude to those who expend their spirit confronting “lust in action,” as Shakespeare put it in a sonnet on the power of desire. What would psychoanalysts say? They wander in a world of perpetual lust and fear, of frustration, narcissism, joy, exhibitionism, night terrors, hope, orgasm and death. This is the heart of humanity. It is neither good nor bad. It just is. Those who study humans know this already.

When agents invade our homes and loot our images, it is they who should be ashamed of their actions – not we for our desires.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday February 27, 2014 (21:13)  
Is Europe paying attention?
A reasonable agreement
Give Greece a chance
‘Who lost Greece?’
Cyprus on agenda in Biden visit to Istanbul
The prospects for the resumption of stalled peace talks on Cyprus and the issue of energy security were among the matters discussed on Saturday by US Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish gov...
PASOK nixes Papandreou leadership challenge
The junior coalition partner PASOK rejected over the weekend a proposal by the party’s former leader and ex-premier George Papandreou for the party to call an emergency congress and a subseq...
Inside News
Fitch keeps Greek rating at ‘B,’ outlook stable
Fitch Ratings retained Greece’s sovereign credit rating at ‘B’ and its outlook as stable late on Friday but warned of a downgrade should snap elections prove inconclusive or negotiations wit...
More cash for banks with same papers
Greek banks will be able to draw additional liquidity from the European Central Bank after Frankfurt issued a guideline on Friday that revises the “haircut” applying to securities issued or ...
Inside Business
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japan’s image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
BASKETBALL
Big win for Greens, tight one for Reds
Panathinaikos scored a crucial as well as emphatic away win at Turow on Thursday that should see it qualify from its tough group to the top 16 of the Euroleague, while Olympiakos saw off vis...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Cyprus on agenda in Biden visit to Istanbul
2. PASOK nixes Papandreou leadership challenge
3. Troika tests gov’t nerves as budget rift persists
4. Climate change to hit farming, Greek coastline
5. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
6. London court to rule on extradition of former judge
more news
Today
This Week
1. PASOK nixes Papandreou leadership challenge
2. Piraeus nightclub shooting leaves 3 seriously injured
3. Climate change to hit farming, Greek coastline
4. Fitch keeps Greek rating at ‘B,’ outlook stable
5. Cyprus on agenda in Biden visit to Istanbul
6. Troika tests gov’t nerves as budget rift persists
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Greece and Poland switch roles as young Greeks head to vibrant Eastern European country for better prospects
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Every age has its collaborators
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.