By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, praise the heroic act of Edward Snowden in exposing PRISM, a secret national security electronic surveillance program operated by the US National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007. We applaud his noble and democratic purpose of making the exposure in order to defend the privacy rights of American citizens and the people of the world.
PRISM is covered by an unconstitutional blanket authority from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for the NSA to monitor the phone, email and other communications of US citizens and foreigners and require the world’s leading technology companies to provide access to the electronic data. The antecedent of PRISM is the Terrorist Surveillance Program, implemented in the wake of 9-11.
In exposing PRISM, Snowden has provided copies of the classified documents about the program to The Guardian and Washington Post. The documents include 41 Power Point slides and identify the collaborating technology companies, such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, YouTube, AOL, Skype and Apple. The NSA intercepts all electronic data that pass into, from and through the US.
The whistleblower, Edward Snowden, is a 29 year-old technology expert and former technical assistant for the CIA, who has worked at the NSA as an employee of various defense contractors, including Booz Allen Hamilton and Dell. He was in a position to access and copy an enormous amount of intelligence documents from the NSA, the most secretive organization in the world.
He is now acknowledged as one of the most consequential whistle blowers in US history, together with Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon papers and Bradley Manning who provided Wikileaks with the memoranda and cables to and from the US State Department. In fact, Snowden is now rated as the one who has exposed the most documents about the criminal and anti-democratic acts of the US government.
We admire his principled position and courage in exposing PRISM. He has declared that he stands for the right of the people to privacy and all related democratic rights against the unconstitutional and criminal acts of the state. By daring to fight the No. 1 imperialist power, he has sacrificed his relatively high salary and comfortable life and he is now in danger of being renditioned and even murdered by US covert operatives and their shady partners.
We condemn US imperialism for having laid the legal and electronic infrastructure of a surveillance state and a fascistic executive branch of government. In connection with PRISM, the US has arrogantly claimed that it is out to violate the rights of foreigners and not American citizens. This is a blatant demagogic lie disproven by the classified documents that have come to light.
We stand in solidarity with Edward Snowden and support him all the way in his fight for the democratic rights pf the people against the growing surveillance state in the US and against the criminal arrogance and hegemonism of the US. We are happy that the ILPS chapter and member-organizations in Hongkong and Macao have expressed support for Snowden. We call on all global region committees, national chapters, member-organizations and allies of the ILPS to do likewise and to act militantly in defense of Snowden.