Earlier this year in Wired, writer and intelligence expert James Bamford described the National Security Agency’s plans for the Utah Data Center. A nondescript name, but it has another: the First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center. The $2 billion facility, scheduled to open in September 2013, will be used to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store the agency’s intercepted communications—everything from emails, cell phone calls, Google searches, and Tweets, to retail transactions. How will all this data be stored? Imagine, if you can, 100,000 square-feet filled with row upon row of servers, stacked neatly on racks. Bamford projects that its processing-capacity may aspire to yottabytes, or 1024 bytes, and for which no neologism of higher magnitude has yet been coined. Continue reading
via Lew Rockwell, this is a Must Read …
2011: A Civil Liberties Year in Review by John W. Whitehead | LewRockwell.com
Depressing synopsized word cloud follows (don’t bother reading it. GE.) … National Security Agency, NSA, eavesdropping, private email, phone calls, security/industrial complex, marriage of government, military and corporate interests, keeping Americans under constant surveillance, GPS tracking, secret spying on Americans, technology, our ability to control it, our Frankenstein, given it free rein in our lives, Continue reading
“… Stop and consider how the United States has benefited from 9/11. Think of all the subsequent drastic actions that have occurred since the attack. For the relatively small price of only 3,000 souls, the US has aggressively dealt with issues effecting all totalitarian empires: controlling not only the world, but clamping down on its own people…” via The Many Benefits of 9/11 by John Brennan, Lew Rockwell.com.
There’s plenty of reason to be concerned Big Brother is watching. We’re paranoid not because we have grandiose notions of our self-importance, but because the facts speak for themselves.
Here’s our short list of nine reasons that Wired readers ought to wear tinfoil hats, or at least, fight for their rights and consider ways to protect themselves with encryption and defensive digital technologies.
The Patriot Act should never have been passed. Ten years later, it should be repealed for at least four reasons…
First, the Patriot Act attacks the First Amendment…
* Americans can be investigated for what they read and write, and what websites they’ve visited
* The Feds can “gag” my bank, my librarian, and my Internet Service Provider, preventing them from telling me if I’m under investigation
Second, it undermines the Fourth Amendment…
* The Feds do not even have to show “reasonable suspicion,” let alone “probable cause,” to gain access to my records
* Because I can be investigated without my knowledge, I have no means to challenge illegitimate searches
Third, there is little reason to believe terror acts have been prevented by the Patriot Act…
* If the law was used to foil terrorist plots, the Administration would boast about such instances
* Instead, foiled terrorist plots are frequently sting operations using undercover operatives and informants
Fourth, there is reason to doubt whether protecting the people from terrorism was ever the Patriot Act’s real purpose…
* Expanded wiretap and search authority are used in ordinary domestic criminal investigations, not just in terror cases
* The Executive branch has a “secret” interpretation of the Patriot Act that is inconsistent with a plain reading of it
* Meanwhile, the FBI continues to collect data collection through National Security Letters — some 40-50 thousand are issued per year (http://tinyurl.com/3varjc9)
How is it permissible for the Executive to have “secret” interpretations of the law? What is the Executive doing with the information it secretly collects about us, without our knowledge? Shouldn’t citizens of a Republic be ASHAMED of this behavior by their “government?”
The Patriot Act attacks our freedom, our values, and our way of life — the very things its supporters claim it protects. It promotes secrecy and prevents accountability in our federal government. It has fostered a Big Brother culture throughout Washington DC that led to similarly egregious legislation like REAL ID and the FISA Amendments Act.
Put an end to this dangerous trend. Stand up and speak out on behalf of the Bill of Rights and against the Surveillance State. Introduce legislation to repeal the Patriot Act.
Ten years ago today, in the name of protecting national security and guarding against terrorism, President George W. Bush signed into law some of the most sweeping changes to search and surveillance law in modern American history. Unfortunately known as the USA PATRIOT Act, many of its provisions incorporate decidedly unpatriotic principles barred by the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution. Provisions of the PATRIOT Act have been used to target innocent Americans and are widely used in investigations that have nothing to do with national security.
Much of the PATRIOT Act was a wish list of changes to surveillance law that Congress had previously rejected because of civil liberties concerns. When reintroduced as the PATRIOT Act after September 11th, those changes — and others — passed with only limited congressional debate.
Just what sort of powers does the PATRIOT Act grant law enforcement when it comes to surveillance and sidestepping due process? Here are three provisions of the PATRIOT Act that were sold to the American public as necessary anti-terrorism measures, but are now used in ways that infringe on ordinary citizens’ rights:
1. SECTION 215 – “ANY TANGIBLE THING”…
via Has Our Government Become Tyrannical? – Modern Survival Blog – surviving uncertain times. October 24, 2011 at 12:06 pm (PT)
Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), the third President of the United States (1801–1809), and and founder of the University of Virginia, once said the following… “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Let’s have a quick look at ‘tyranny’.
Tyranny: arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority; oppressive or unjustly severe government on the part of any ruler.
Oppressive: difficult to bear; burdensome; exercising power arbitrarily and often unjustly; tyrannical; weighing heavily on the senses or spirit
Tyrannical government: despotic and oppressive tyrannical – characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty; an authoritarian regime; autocratic government; despotic rulers
It could be said that unless restrained, all governments devolve to tyranny. A democracy needs informed citizens if it is to thrive, or ultimately even survive.
When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics. Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.
“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union.
Perhaps it is easier to slip into tyrannical rule of government during hard economic times or frightening and uncertain times, when a largely uniformed populace can be more easily ‘led’ and controlled, and are more desperate and willing to accept ‘measures’ in hopes of solutions to their problems.
It is fairly plain to see (if you look) some of the liberties that have been trampled upon of late by government or government agencies.
Super-computers that are profiling you by…
Listening to your phone calls in search for ‘key words’.
Reading your emails in search of ‘key words’.
Monitoring and profiling your internet activity.
Logging the products and foods that you purchase, and where you get them.
Logging and monitoring the groups that you associate with.
Monitoring your travel movements for patterns.
You may say to yourself that some of the monitoring is purely for market research and advertising purposes, but, make no mistake about it, if the data is available, it will be gathered into gov’t databases in the name of Homeland Security. Whether you like it or not, you ARE being profiled.
Government agents that are, will, or could…
Search your body / property at airports if the agent is TSA.
Search your body / property at NFL games if the agent is Homeland Security.
Search your vehicle if you look ‘suspicious’ on an Interstate road if the agent is TSA.
On a whim, declare an American citizen an “enemy combatant”, and:
Detain without charge, in secret.
Deny legal representation.
Deny the right to question his detention.
Be shipped to a foreign country for interrogation, in secret.
Be tortured, in secret.
Be tried by a military tribunal, in secret.
NOT be granted access to the secret evidence against him.
Convicted based on that secret evidence.
On top of all that, ‘the system’ is rigged to put you oppressively in debt, and to make you a slave to that debt. Our politicians are in cohort with and beholden to the Banksters and BigCorp who have built this ‘system’. Our politicians rarely, actually, represent us, at least in the true definition of representation.
So, the question is, does the government fear the people? Or do the people fear the government? The answer will reveal whether we are already under tyrannical control….