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Government snoops and spooks, infiltrators and interrogators, phone tappers and data miners, psy ops and spy cameras, the CIA and FBI, the Pentagon and your local police, Homeland Security and the Patriot Act – and, of course, the Department of Dick Cheney – all are watching our movements, monitoring our political efforts, surveilling any opposition to the established authorities, and routinely making a mockery of our rights of free speech, assembly and privacy.
And now: China. Since our own officials have created a surveillance society in the “Land of the free,” Chinese officials apparently feel free to snoop on us, too.
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Gearing up for next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China’s spy agencies are mounting an unprecedented intelligence-collection drive, targeting U.S. and other foreign citizens and groups that might organize political protests during the games. Of course, just as our leaders do, China’s rulers are couching this assault on liberty in terms of protecting the public from terrorists.
But the U.S. groups being targeted include evangelical Christians concerned about religious repression in China, environmentalists concerned about China’s role in global warming, and human rights activists concerned about China’s acceptance of genocide in Darfur. These are not terrorists and they’re not planning anything violent. Yet, Chinese intelligence operatives are compiling lists of the leaders and members of these groups, monitoring their plans, and quite likely infiltrating them.
China’s ruling regime is not concerned about protecting the people – it’s concerned about protecting itself from the people. And by the way: where is our government? Has it become so jaded by its own invasions of America’s basic liberties that it won’t even muster a peep of protest when a foreign government violates our people’s freedoms?
“China tries to ID likely protesters at Olympics,” Austin American Statesman, July 24, 2007