Sunday, January 05, 2014

Maduro Loves Spying

The Venezuelan government obtained and then publicized the holiday travel plans of opposition leaders in order to embarrass them. That's bad enough, a very clear violation of civil liberties and a sign of pretty much complete hypocrisy given how much the government had complained about U.S. spying.

But it goes further. The government is actually making fun of the opposition for being concerned about it! VP Jorge Arreaza argued that it was the government's job to tell the truth, and that's all it was doing:

"La ministra Delcy Rodríguez lo que ha hecho es cumplir su función, que no es otra que informar y comunicar. Sigamos diciendo la verdad", escribió el jefe de Estado a través de su cuenta en Twitter, @NicolasMaduro.

That logic is so messed up it's hard to know where to start. When a bank records my transactions, that is "truth." It is also private. Same goes for many other things, including my purchases of airline tickets. Obviously, in the United States there is a major debate going about what private information the government can and cannot obtain, or indeed what is "private."

What's funny is that the Venezuelan and U.S. governments are in perfect, full agreement. Both believe that their jobs require spying with accompanying erosion of civil liberties, and both are unrepentant.


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