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Recently I read some news article that I hope you also find interesting.

The New York Times article Software Meant to Fight Crime Is Used to Spy on Dissidents reveals that FinSpy, a software made by the Gamma Group, a British company that says it sells monitoring software to governments solely for criminal investigations, is in fact used by several governments with questionable records on human rights. This was discovered this summer by Morgan Marquis-Boire who works as a Google engineer and by Bill Marczak who is earning a Ph.D. in computer science. Their research now links FinSpy to servers in more than a dozen countries, including Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes.

A second set of researchers from Rapid7, of Boston, scoured the Internet for links to the software and discovered it running in ten more countries. Indeed, the spyware was running off EC2, an Amazon.com cloud storage service.

Unfortunately it is not for the first time that companies in US, Great Britain and other developed and democratic countries help some foreign governments to restrain the civil liberties of their politically abused citizens. Sometimes software and technology is used to physically abuse citizens by their own governments, which is very unfortunate. Those companies care only about their only profit, and not about the life of totalitarian countries citizens.

But Democracy in my country is not enough for the peace of the world. During the course of history several totalitarian countries made war (Germany under Hitler, Italy under Mussolini) or just made inflammatory public declarations (Iran these days).

I ask myself: is USA really, still, a democratic country? Such a question may be surprising to you. But I do have serious reasons to ask the question. I believe there are chances that our country is in danger of becoming a financial oligarchy.

In other words, it is the very rich people who are deciding the future of our country, and they do not care about democracy. Is it democratic that a rich multimillionaire like Mitt Romney pays only 14% taxes on his investment money? Why should salaried people be taxed more, much more? Do I want a very rich President in our country? No, I don’t. And this is in part because the President should care for everybody alike, whether they are rich or poor.

I don’t want anymore a president like George W. Bush who helped pay the big banks to survive the financial crisis using people’s tax money. I do want the universal health care program promoted by Barack Obama. I am not afraid of it, and I don’t think it is going to become bankrupt. There will always be choices for rich people to pay more for a better healthcare. There are and will always be private clinics for a second doctor’s opinion if my health is in big danger.

I do hope that our country will remain a real democracy, in spite of pessimistic thoughts by John Adams: “Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

I rather prefer to be optimistic like Franklin D. Roosevelt and believe that we, educated people, can help democracy survive: “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

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