By Fiona Harvey
Chomsky responds to revelations of massive NSA spying.
The actions of the US government in spying on its and other countries' citizens have been sharply criticised by Noam Chomsky, the prominent political thinker, as attacks on democracy and the people.
"Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population," he told the Guardian.
In his first public comment on the scandal that has enveloped the US, UK and other governments, as well as internet companies such as Google and Microsoft, Chomsky said he was not overly surprised technology and corporations were being used in this way.
"This is obviously something that should not be done. But it is a little difficult to be too surprised by it," he said. "They [governments and corporations] take whatever is available, and in no time it is being used against us, the population. Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich."