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USA is Universal Spying Agency: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2023-04-19 19:35
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Photo taken on Feb 19, 2020 shows the Pentagon seen from an airplane over Washington DC. [Photo/Xinhua]

In an interview with Fox News that aired on Monday night, Twitter CEO Elon Musk said that the US government has full access to everything on the platform, including direct messages between users.

"The degree to which government agencies effectively had full access to everything that was going on Twitter blew my mind," Musk told Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, adding that he "was not aware of that" until he gained full control of the social media platform last October.

One marvels at his naivety, since the US government has an infamous record of such snooping. It is well-evidenced that it conducts both large-scale indiscriminate and discriminate drag netting of the data of not only its own citizens but also other users of US social media, as well as clandestinely eavesdropping on foreign governments, businesses, and individuals, including those of its allies. Recently leaked highly classified Pentagon documents show that the US has been a bugbear for supposed foes and allies alike, including the leaders of the Republic of Korea, Ukraine and Israel.

With Musk revealing that all the content on Twitter is transparent to US intelligence agencies, it is clear why there is such a clamor in Washington accusing TikTok of such practices. They want to bring the app within the scrutiny of the US' prying eyes.

Since the Prism Project was launched in 2007, something that was made public thanks to Edward Snowden's courage in 2013, exposures of the US poking its nose into the private affairs of others have become commonplace. The US behavior is both that of a voyeur that can get no satisfaction unless uncovering others' secrets and that of a tyrant who wants everything under his thumb. Its motivation is clear: It wants to be all-seeing, all-hearing and all-knowing so it can reinforce, maintain and perpetuate its hegemony.

Since the cyber hounds and their overseers in Washington love their acronyms, they should give themselves a pat on the back as the USA now stands for the Universal Spying Agency.

And that frisson of excitement can be a thrill for both the Democrats and Republicans because, although the administration has supposedly changed its spots four times since the Prism project was launched, the US snooping has persisted unabated.

With its voyeurism now compulsive, Washington regards it as a normal behavior and thus assumes it is something everyone is doing. That is why it makes unsubstantiated claims that other governments have direct access to app users' data, especially users of Chinese apps.

The US always accuses others of wrongdoings that it is doing itself. Its snooping is another example of that.

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