Category Archives: Privacy

More Spying and Lying, by Andrew P. Napolitano

The Trump administration is trying to make permanent the same unconstitutional spying authority that was used on Trump and the Trump campaign! From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

While most of us have been thinking about the end of summer and while the political class frets over the Democratic presidential debates and the aborted visit of two members of Congress to Israel, the Trump administration has quietly moved to extend and make permanent the government’s authority to spy on all persons in America.

The president, never at a loss for words, must have been asked by the intelligence community he once reviled not to address these matters in public.

These matters include the very means and the very secret court about which he complained loud and long during the Mueller investigation. Now, he wants to be able to unleash permanently on all of us the evils he claims were visited upon him by the Obama-era FBI and by his own FBI. What’s going on?

Here is the backstory.

After the lawlessness of Watergate had been exposed — a president spying on his political adversaries without warrants in the name of national security — Congress enacted in 1978 the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It prescribed a means for surveillance other than that which the Constitution requires.

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Mercedes Caught Spying On Drivers With Tracking Devices, Sending Info To Bailiffs, by Tyler Durden

Yet another way the corporate-government surveillance state is tracking your every move. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Mercedes has admitted to spying on drivers with covert tracking devices. 

The company says are only activated in “extreme circumstances,” such as when finance customers have defaulted on payments – however the car company has also admitted to sharing data with third-party bailiffs and recovery firms for the purposes of repossession, according to The Sun. It is unclear whether Mercedes only drops the dime on their European customers or if it’s a worldwide phenomenon.

Former UK Cabinet minister David Davis has called for an investigation, saying “This is not the first time big business has behaved like Big Brother — but it’s rare to be quite as deceitful as this.”

I have to question whether it is even legal to pass on information to other people such as bailiffs,” he said, adding “I would think the relevant minister ought to look very closely at the legality of this procedure.”

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Chinese Social Credit Score Prevents 2.5 Million “Discredited Entities” From Buying Plane Tickets, by Paul Joseph Watson

How long before the US government starts denying those who have accumulated too many demerits the right to purchase goods or services? From Paul Joseph Watson at summit.news:

The Communist Chinese government is bragging about its social credit system preventing 2.5 million “discredited entities” from purchasing plane tickets and 90,000 people from buying high speed train tickets in the month of July alone.

“China restricted 2.56 million discredited entities from purchasing plane tickets, and 90,000 entities from buying high-speed rail tickets in July,” tweeted the Global Times, a Chinese government mouthpiece.

As I document in the video below, Chinese citizens are punished by having their social credit score lowered for engaging in a number of different behaviors, including;

– Bad driving.
– Smoking on trains.
– Buying too many video games.
– Buying too much junk food.
– Buying too much alcohol.
– Calling a friend who has a low credit score .
– Having a friend online who has a low credit score.
– Posting “fake news” online.
– Criticizing the government.
– Visiting unauthorized websites.
– Walking your dog without a leash.
– Letting your dog bark too much.

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Alarm as Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden, by Jake Johnson

President Trump and company have never been big fans of civil liberties. From Jake Johnson at commondreams.org:

“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech.”

Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a round table meeting on March 15, 2019. (Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

Civil liberties groups and privacy advocates raised alarm Thursday after the Trump administration called on Congress to reauthorize an NSA mass surveillance program that was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The New York Times, which obtained the Trump administration’s request to Congress, reported that “the administration urged lawmakers to make permanent the legal authority for the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic communications, the USA Freedom Act.”

“The law, enacted after the intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the existence of the program in 2013, is set to expire in December, but the Trump administration wants it made permanent,” according to the Times.

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Amazon is developing high-tech surveillance tools for an eager customer: America’s police, by Jon Schuppe

Amazon and your local police are taking out a few more of the last remaining vestiges of personal privacy. From John Schuppe at nbcnews.com:

Dozens of law enforcement agencies have used Amazon-powered technology to modernize crime fighting — but critics raise fears of privacy abuses.

On July 12, a few hours before dawn, a man in Chandler, Arizona, was jolted awake by an alert on his phone. It was coming from his Ring security camera, which had detected movement outside his home.

The live feed showed a group of young men breaking into cars. The man hollered at them through his front door, then called the police.

As an officer arrived, the men sped off in a car, leaving behind cellphones, tools and other things they’d taken during their interrupted burglary spree. They abandoned the getaway vehicle in a housing complex and turned themselves in later that morning.

By then, the homeowner had showed police his camera footage and posted it to Neighbors, an app run by Ring, which is owned by Amazon. Ring doesn’t just make the wireless security cameras — it also accesses police data to alert residents of potential crimes, encourages users to share their recordings of suspicious behavior, and connects them with law enforcement.

“Thank goodness for the Ring!!!” the man wrote on Neighbors.

“Thanks for posting,” a Chandler police officer responded.

The exchange was typical of the way police are using Ring, helping it spread its business while using it to detect and investigate crime. The arrangement in Chandler is among dozens of such partnerships around the country, and part of a much broader effort by Amazon to deepen its reach into law enforcement — which critics say is expanding the government’s surveillance of Americans.

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We’re All Enemies of the State: Draconian Laws, Precrime & the Surveillance State, by John W. Whitehead

The iron grasp of the US government is closing in. Will anyone slip through its fingers? From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”—H.L. Mencken

We’ve been down this road many times before.

If the government is consistent about any one thing, it is this: it has an unnerving tendency to exploit crises and use them as opportunities for power grabs under the guise of national security.

As David C. Unger, a foreign affairs editorial writer for the New York Times, explains, “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.”

Cue the Emergency State, the government’s Machiavellian version of crisis management that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security.

Terrorist attacks, mass shootings, “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters”: the government has been anticipating and preparing for such crises for years now.

It’s all part of the grand plan for total control.

The government’s proposed response to the latest round of mass shootings—red flag gun laws, precrime surveillance, fusion centers, threat assessments, mental health assessments, involuntary confinement—is just more of the same.

These tactics have been employed before, here in the U.S. and elsewhere, by other totalitarian regimes, with devastating results.

It’s a simple enough formula: first, you create fear, then you capitalize on it by seizing power.

For instance, in his remarks on the mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump promised to give the FBI “whatever they need” to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

Let that sink in a moment.

In a post-9/11 America, Trump’s promise bodes ill for whatever remnants of freedom we have left. With that promise, flippantly delivered without any apparent thought for the Constitution’s prohibitions on such overreach, the president has given the FBI the green light to violate Americans’ civil liberties in every which way.

This is how the Emergency State works, after all.

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How Google Threatens Your Children, by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Google is trying to turn children into Google-drones for life. From Dr. Joseph Mercola at lewrockwell.com:

Google is without a doubt the largest and clearest monopoly on the planet. It dominates online searches and advertising,1,2 which in and of itself leads to automatic bias. As noted by Google’s founders Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page in their 1998 paper,3 “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” “… [W]e expect that advertising funded search engines will be inherently biased towards the advertisers and away from the needs of consumers.”

Google has also infiltrated many other areas of our day-to-day lives, having acquired dozens of other companies4 you might not realize belong to Google or its parent company, Alphabet.

Among the most well-known are YouTube, the largest video platform on the web, and Android, one of the most popular operating systems worldwide.5,6 Google also has significant influence over urban development,7 health care8,9 and childhood education.

Google has become ubiquitous in American classrooms

Google’s influence over young children has been a concern for years. As noted in a 2014 article10 in the International Business Times, “How Google Took Over the American Classroom and Is Creating a Gmail generation”:

“Google apps, services and increasingly, Chromebooks, have become ubiquitous in the American classroom and it’s not hard to understand why: they require no expensive hardware, they never need to be updated, and they’re free, an important consideration for cash-strapped districts …

South Carolina’s Richland School District 2 boasts 22,000 Chromebooks, which covers a student populace nearing 27,000, who also use Google Apps.

That makes for a sizeable student population that will become accustomed to utilizing Google services … ‘Education is at the core of Google’s mission — to remove the four walls of the classroom and make the world’s information accessible to all students,’ a Google spokeswoman said.”

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