The public debate over government surveillance that was, if not inaugurated, at least intensified by the publication of documents provided by Edward Snowden has been, in some respects, surreal and deluded. One side claims that the NSA’s mass surveillance is necessary to protect the public from terrorism, that in fact it has thwarted many “potential terrorist events.” The other side claims, with much more justification, that bulk data collection does little or nothing to protect ordinary civilians. But few commentators draw another, more subversive conclusion: government has no interest in protecting its citizens (as such) in the first place. In fact, its interest is precisely the opposite: to expose its citizens–with privileged exceptions–to harm.
by Chris Wright, Counter Punch