Some time ago I wrote an article on the the Guardian's publication of Edward Snowden's security details; which he had taken from various UK and US security services. More specifically, The Guardian published information about how British security agencies monitor the communications of British residents.
The Guardian said that the information it published was for the public good. It also claimed that it was fighting against Britain's “surveillance society” and the government's abuse of its power.
As I said at the time, my argument was neither in favour nor against secret monitoring by the state. I argued that Guardian journalists - and many other Leftists/progressives - aren't, in actual fact, against such a thing. Given the right kind of government (a suitably Leftist/ progressive one), and the right kind of people being monitored (e.g., the 'far Right', 'Islamophobes', people who commit 'hate crimes', 'homophobes', 'racists', 'fascists', 'Nazis' the EDL, BNP, UKIP, Liberty GB, 'far-right'/'racist' members of the Conservative Party, non-conformist councilors/council workers, etc.), then Leftists/progressives, as well as The Guardian, simply wouldn't have a problem. It's the fact that it's the wrong kind of government (one they take to be right wing) monitoring the wrong kinds of people (e.g., Muslims, people with black/brown skin and various kinds of leftist/progressive activist) which makes Guardian journalists - and other progressives - pretend that they are against all forms of surveillance by all types of state or government. (If these progressives/Guardianistas were Libertarians or anarchists, then perhaps I'd be more inclined to believe them.)
Most Guardian journalists - and no doubt the Swedish Leftists/progressives I'm about to discuss – also believe in censorship if the right people are being censored. In addition, they believe in the banning of political parties, movements and demonstrations if the right parties, movements and demos are banned. 1
This outright Leftist/progressive hypocrisy was shown - and shown to an extreme level - in a case which has just occurred in Sweden. However, in this situation at least, it appears that the Swedish government/state itself wasn't directly involved. Nonetheless, I simply don't know enough about Sweden to tell you whether or not Expressen (a Swedish newspaper) and Researchgruppen (a Leftist 'research group') - the two culprits in the following case - have any direct or indirect links to the Swedish state. Nonetheless, my guess is that it's highly likely that they do; especially when the situation involves 'hate sites' and the incendiary issues of Islam and mass immigration.
Earlier this month Jyllands-Posten - Denmark’s favourite newspaper - ran a couple of critical pieces about Sweden's self-consciously suicidal policy on mass immigration. (What some countries are prepared to do in order to prove their piously progressive credentials.) One piece, by Morten Uhrskov Jensen,
talked about Sweden's “insane immigration policy”. Another article, entitled 'A Land of Ghosts and Shadows' and written by a Mikael Jayling, dealt with asylum smuggling, immigration and crime, sharia law, the costs of immigration, the Leftists/progressives' use of the word 'racism' to silence any and all critical discussion of Islam and immigration, the silence and hypocrisy of Swedish feminists (who only care about misogyny and sexism when it is carried out by people with white skin) and so on.
Because alternative views on immigration, Islam and on much else are very rarely tolerated in the progressive land of Sweden, it will come as no surprise that in response to the Mikael Jayling's article (as well as the others), Leftist Internet snoopers and monitors decided to get to work on the problem. More precisely, the Swedish daily, Expressen, told it readers that its editors had collaborated with a Swedish 'research group' called Researchgruppen. Why did it do so? Because both Expressen and Researchgruppen wanted to discover - and then publish - the names of the readers of various Internet news outlets which audaciously dared to contradict or criticise Sweden's official progressive line.
Predictably, these sources of alternative news (avpixlat, Fria Tider, and Exponerat) were classed as “hate sites” (i.e., websites not completely in tune with what they believe) by these often very hateful and zealous Leftists. You see, the Progressive Left really does completely and utterly rely on – and indeed need, politically - these soundbite political ad hominems, such as “hate criminal” and “Islamophobe”, in order to do the job of silencing all – and I mean all! - alternative or contradictory views.
The monitors, snoopers and Internet surveyors, from Researchgruppen, certainly had some success. They found out the email addresses of 6200 people who they claimed had left “hateful comments” (i.e., comments not completely in tune with what they believe) on various “hate sites”. From these email addresses they succeeded in finding out both the real names and addresses of the people who had made their sacrilegious views known to the public.
These Leftist/progressive Internet snoopers, according to some reports, carried out their work via a third-party API (application programming interface) on Disqus - the community-based board which collects comments made by the users of many websites. As a result of this, Stephen Roy (of Disqus) published a statement stating that any such abuse of the API was in violation of the privacy guideline of Disqus.
However, what's more interesting and relevant than all that - considering my opening remarks about The Guardian, NSA and Edward Snowden - is that progressive Sweden itself has come in for criticism for its collaborations with the United Stated and the NSA. The question is, then:
Do Guardianistas and Leftists/progressives generally believe that all this Internet snooping is all-of-a-sudden OK and perfectly acceptable simply because this time the victims aren't Muslim terrorists/Islamists (or people with brown skin) - or, for that matter, Leftist/progressive activists - but members of the 'far right'?
Researchgruppen classified its Stasi/KGB-like activity as the gathering of “personal data”. And it didn't, of course, end there.
The Swedish newspaper, Expressen, promised its readers that the names and addresses of these hateful enemies of the people would be published in future articles. And what then? One can only guess... Actually, one does not need to guess because - as a result of what Expressen and Researchgruppen had already published - such progressive snooping/spying has already claimed its first victim.
One of the people exposed by Expressen was Anders Dahlberg. (Dahlberg is a member of the Sweden Democrat Party and serves in the National Guard.) So let me just remind you what his crime was. He had commented on one of the websites classed as “hate sites” by the progressive Pure and the Good. Now despite the fact that his comments were anonymous (he didn't use his real name), these thought-controllers and Internet surveyors, Researchgruppen, managed to identify him.
Anyway, for the crime of daring not to hold Sweden's official progressive line, Dahlberg had a bomb pushed threw his post box. The resultant explosion caused the front door to be ripped off its hinges and flung across the living room. Dahlberg was in at the time. So too was his wife and children. However, nobody was hurt.
Above and beyond all that, rather than outrage being shown at this terrorist attack, Dahlberg was discharged from his position in the Swedish military. In other words, as a Samuel Beckett character once put it, he was “punished for being punished”.
1 Despite all that, some people who commented on my piece appear to have concluded that I was some kind of supporter of the NSA or of state surveillance/monitoring generally. (To a degree, or in specific instances, I am such a supporter of the latter.) Either that or I was playing down government 'snooping' and thus, indirectly, part of the problem. (I do actually think that some groups - on both the Left and Right - do exaggerate certain aspects of this issue.)