Category Archives: Surveillance

Stranger in a Strange Land, by Jim Quinn

Jim Quinn uses Robert Heinlein’s masterpiece as his point of departure for an extended analysis of our totally screwed up world. From Quinn at theburningplatform.com:

“Secrecy begets tyranny.” Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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“Thinking doesn’t pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.”Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

When I read quotes by men like H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein, I realize I’m not really a stranger in a strange land, even though I feel that way most of the time. These cynical, critical thinking, libertarian minded gentlemen understood government tended towards corruption and tyranny, the populace tended towards ignorance and distraction, and reality eventually teaches a harsh lesson to fools, knaves and dumbasses.

Sometimes we think the current day worldly circumstances are new and original, when human nature, politicians, and governments never really change. When Mencken and Heinlein were writing and providing social commentary during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, they observed the same fallacies, foolishness, lack of self-responsibility, government malfeasance, and inability of the majority to think critically, that are rampant in society today.

A New Kind of Tyranny: The Global State’s War on Those Who Speak Truth to Power, by John Whitehead

Tell the truth about government and our rulers, go to jail…or worse. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to frighten us into silence. By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours.”—John Pilger, investigative journalist

All of us are in danger.

In an age of prosecutions for thought crimes, pre-crime deterrence programs, and government agencies that operate like organized crime syndicates, there is a new kind of tyranny being imposed on those who dare to expose the crimes of the Deep State, whose reach has gone global.

The Deep State has embarked on a ruthless, take-no-prisoners, all-out assault on truth-tellers.

Activists, journalists and whistleblowers alike are being terrorized, traumatized, tortured and subjected to the fear-inducing, mind-altering, soul-destroying, smash-your-face-in tactics employed by the superpowers-that-be.

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Every Keystroke on Every Device Is Logged Somewhere, by Sandra D. Lane

Everything you do on communications and computer devices is recorded, and hacking is ubiquitous. There are, however, ways to at least partially protect yourself. From Sandra D. Lane at theorganicprepper.com:

This isn’t supposition, or assumption, or even an opinion. It’s a fact.

If you have the minimum of a standard smartphone and/or leave your house at any time, what you say, what you type, what you do, is being listened to, recorded, monitored, and analyzed by software, technology, people, or all of the above. Cameras in the phone, virtual assistants, GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking, traffic cameras, store cameras, otherpeople’s phones, cameras and recording devices, dash cams, body cams, and even satellite and drone cameras, all watch, listen, and monitor what we do. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Electronic anything is monitored and recorded. Every keystroke on a phone, every letter and number on a tablet, every ad clicked on a laptop or notebook, every site visited on any computer device, every subject entered on every single search engine ever created, is logged and held forever waiting for someone to request that information. Or to hack it. Even DuckDuckGo (which has been quietly added as a search engine option for Google).

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With Little Fanfare, William Barr Formally Announces Orwellian Pre-Crime Program, by Whitney Webb

“Pre-crime” is just about here. If you think a man bent on destroying our constitutional freedoms is actually going to take on the Deep State, you may want to reconsider. From Whitney Webb at mintpressnews.com:

A recent memorandum authored by Attorney General William Barr announced a new “pre-crime” program inspired by “War on Terror” tactics and is set to be implemented next year.

Last Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General William Barr issued a memorandum to all U.S. attorneys, law enforcement agencies and top ranking Justice Department officials announcing the imminent implementation of a new “national disruption and early engagement program” aimed at detecting potential mass shooters before they commit any crime.

Per the memorandum, Barr has “directed the Department [of Justice] and the FBI to lead an effort to refine our ability to identify, assess and engage potential mass shooters before they strike.” The Attorney General further described the coming initiative, slated to be implemented early next year, as “an efficient, effective and programmatic strategy to disrupt individuals who are mobilizing towards violence, by all lawful means.” More specific information about the program is set to follow the recent memorandum, according to Barr, though it is unclear if that forthcoming document will be made public.

Barr also requested that those who received the memorandum send their “best and brightest” to a training conference at FBI headquarters this coming December where the DOJ, FBI and “private sector partners” will prepare for the full implementation of the new policy and will also be able to provide “new ideas” for inclusion in the program.

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The Fatal Loop of Recursivity, by James Howard Kunstler

The intelligence agencies may have shot themselves in the foot by keeping records on everything and everybody. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Here’s one big reason that America is driving itself batshit crazy: the explosion of computerized records, emails, inter-office memos, Twitter trails, Facebook memorabilia, iPhone videos, YouTubes, recorded conversations, and the vast alternative universe of storage capacity for all this stuff makes it seem possible to constantly go back and reconstruct reality. All it has really done is amplified the potential for political mischief to suicide level.

It’s a major unanticipated consequence of the digital “revolution.” It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we’d only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field.

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William Barr Wants to Kill Privacy and Security ‘For the Children’, by Michael Krieger

This article might make you wonder if William Barr is really going to go after the perpetrators of Russiagate. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, along with co-conspirators in the UK and Australia, recently wrote a letter to Mark Zuckerberg requesting he not move forward with a plan to implement end-to-end encryption across Facebook’s messaging services. A draft of the letter was published earlier this month by Buzzfeed, and it’s worth examining in some detail.

What immediately strikes you is the letter’s emphasis on “protecting the children,” a talking point universally used by authoritarians throughout history to justify both a reduction of public liberty and a transfer of increased power to the state. Though this tactic is transparent and well understood by those paying attention, it’s nevertheless disturbing to observe Barr’s disingenuous and shameless use of it (the words ‘child’ and ‘children’ appear 17 times in the course of this brief letter).

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The Value of Neoconservative Opinion, by Karen Kwiatkowski

The differences between real whistleblowers and pseudo-whistleblowers, from Karen Kwiatkowski at lewrockwell.com:

Ed Snowden’s new book “Permanent Record” is out.  A friend of mine sent me this non-review review by Paul Davis.  As with so many things, the Washington Times is wrong about Ed Snowden too.

The Times is in a strange competition with its similarly flawed near-peer, the Post, to be the DC voice for more war, more government, more surveillance, and more prisons.  These elite mouthpieces surely sense that most people don’t actually like war, government, surveillance and prisons.  They also sense that those folks are not buying their papers, and thus the editors remain heavily focused on the elites crowded inside the beltway.  This convergence allows us a great deal of insight into the minds of our would-be rulers, and I thank both papers for their contribution to our study.

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