The world has again insulted Serbia on a national basis – this time through the discovery of American journalists and the blogger of the British Guardian, Glenn Greenwald, about the existence of a super-secret project of the US National Security Agency (NSA) which collects billions of different types of information exchanged through the Internet with the help of global corporations such as Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube and others.
However, it turned out that, on the map that illustrates the scale of the project, Serbia is the only country in the world painted black, the same color used to denote the Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Seas, that is all the planet’s water bodies which hold nothing interesting for internet spies.
What happened to the notorious American spy agencies, involved in every village skullduggery in Serbia, so that they suddenly lost interest in the Balkan leaders – this is the talk of the day of local security “experts” while they study the photograph of the world spy map in poor resolution. The regional neighbors are already looking down on us; the rest of the Balkans is colored dark green, which according to the whistleblower, a former CIA employee who provided the documents to Greenwald, means that the region is under moderate supervision.
While waiting for a green light from the European Union, it appears that Serbia is not worthy even of a green color on the map of the “world’s policeman” – unless, of course, it is not about the progressively morbid anti-Serb conspiracy or that someone from Washington is teasing us as Croats did Slovenes in that news show with singer Severina.
The dilemma seems to have been resolved by the deputy head of the government’s Department for Cyber Crime (SBPOK) who, feigning indifference, literally said that “the Americans know enough about Serbia so they don’t need any additional spying or surveillance”. He provided an alternative option in the comment made for the daily newspaper Blic – he said that Americans “recognized that we do not pose a potential threat so they ceased with further surveillance.”
The third option is simply self-imposing: Maybe the NSA, the CIA, and others saw through the amateurs who deal with security issues and decided to cut unnecessary expenses.
Or is this nonsense just a well-rehearsed diversion whose goal is to disarm a superior enemy in a manner much more efficient than the most advanced technology known to humanity?
That Serbian security officials are not entirely stupid was demonstrated by the European Commission reporter, who in his March report, (according to the daily newspaper Danas) singled out the fact that “the two Serbian security agencies have full control over four national communication providers through access to their internet and telephone servers”. The commotion that was raised last fall by Tomislav Nikolic and Aleksandar Vucic claiming that these agencies tracked their phone calls without authorization, had died down a while ago, and the story of the Internet and mobile providers whose databases are being hacked at will and without court orders does not attract anyone’s attention anymore.
Still Serbia, astounded by its special status of being a black hole in the spy universe (since here everything is already known and the privacy of citizens is trivial), does have more relevant methods than those utilized by sophisticated programs for this information trade game. Indeed, in this special spy edition, the daily Blic published unofficial findings about a recent action of the State Lottery board chair and a group of people with a ladder and a suitcase who, at 3 AM walked into the head office “to finish something.” As the security official reported this incident to the lottery security headquarters, according to Blic sources, in a follow-up security check of the premises the chief of security found “bugs” in four rooms of the building. It is speculated that the chair of the board and his friends intended to collect information about Lottery operations for the benefit of a private betting company.
Ultimately, when the electronics fail, it is always possible to use the bulletin board: one store in Belgrade has just recently been plastered with footage from security cameras showing customers stealing from its shelves. The owner complained to the police on several occasions, unsuccessfully substantiating this with video footage from the store.
Unlike national and international agents, the naive storekeeper immediately shared his knowledge with the whole world. It did not occur to him that he could cleverly use the gathered information for political blackmail, making business deals or just for pleasure by posting them in the tabloids or social networks. What he will learn shortly is that, just as in the U.S., transparency is punishable in Serbia, the black hole of the spy world.