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Are we non-Americans mere unpersons?

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Are we non-Americans mere unpersons?

I am a non-American. Hath not a non-American eyes? Hath not a non-American hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions, a reasonable expectation of privacy when communicating on the World Wide Web?  If you drone-bomb us, do we not bleed? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.


As a non-American, I am somewhat concerned that the NSA, in partnership with security corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton and social media corporations like Facebook, can upload all of my personal data to its servers with even fewer restrictions than if I were an American who may still enjoy a few residual fourth amendment protections.


It also bothers me that the President can, based on such secretly collected data, condemn me to death in a secret process and order my assassination in a drone attack. Or kill me in an attack on another target, subsequently declaring me an enemy combatant because I am a male of fighting age in the vicinity of the target. Of course that doesn’t look very likely in my case since I am living in an industrialized country that is a junior partner of the American imperial project. I am not as unlucky as other non-Americans living in Pakistan or Yemen, but still…


It bothers me even more that my own government (the Canadian government) is not protesting the treatment of its citizens by the American goliath. Instead, Canada is working in partnership with the American security establishment, collecting its own data with its own snooping program (the Communication Security Establishment Canada), and probably using the data shared by the NSA against Canadian citizens.


That is why I am joining in calling on the Canadian government to take action to protect our privacy rights. And that is why I stand in solidarity with all other non-Americans (most of the world) in opposing America’s war without end, the so-called war on terror that makes victims of us all.


David Bernans is a Québec-based writer and translator. He is the author of Collateral Murder. Follow him on twitter @dbernans.

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bernans (David Bernans)
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