Category Archives: Surveillance

Edward Snowden Deserves a Pardon, by David S. D’Amato

Edward Snowden deserves a pardon and every conceivable award that can be bestowed on a man. From David S. D’Amato at aier.org:

snowden

The global spotlight was cast upon Edward Snowden in 2013 after he blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance programs. Working with The Guardian and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, Snowden famously (or infamously, depending on one’s point of view) revealed that the NSA was illegally gathering information on tens of millions of Americans—citizens who had been accused of no wrongdoing. Now, Snowden’s case is once again in the news, as President Trump recently told reporters that he will look carefully at “the Snowden situation,” going as far as polling his aides as to whether he should pardon the exiled whistleblower.

Snowden was a responsible whistleblower who took the role seriously and made careful, deliberate decisions in choosing the documents he would share with journalists. He performed this immeasurably brave act of public service at an enormous personal and professional cost. In an instant, he became one of the world’s most wanted individuals, reviled as a traitor by some of the most powerful and dangerous people in the world’s most powerful and dangerous government. “Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate,” Snowden understood the risks; he understood that the CIA or “[a]ny of their agents or assets” could come after him.

Known liar Michael Hayden, for example, has called Snowden a traitor and is sufficiently shameless to argue, “Whistleblowing requires someone to actually point out a violation of law and [Snowden] has not done that.” Of course, the programs Snowden exposed were in fact quite illegal and, according to many legal scholars, unconstitutional.

Hayden, whose career has seen him hold the top spot of Director at both the NSA and the CIA, intentionally misled Congress when he testified in 2007 on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program. James Clapper, who led the intelligence community under Obama, similarly lied to Congress when, replying to a question from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), he stated under oath that the federal government does “not wittingly” collect “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper, of course, knew he wasn’t telling the truth, but claimed that he “made a big mistake” and was thinking of another government surveillance program and “didn’t understand.”

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Coronavirus Gives a Dangerous Boost to DARPA’s Darkest Agenda, by Whitney Webb

The coronavirus outbreak is the latest in a long line of so-called emergencies by which the government expands its powers and curtails our freedom. From Whitney Webb at thelastamericanvagabond.com:

Technology developed by the Pentagon’s controversial research branch is getting a huge boost amid the current coronavirus crisis, with little attention going to the agency’s ulterior motives for developing said technologies, their potential for weaponization or their unintended consequences.

In January, well before the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis would result in lockdowns, quarantines and economic devastation in the United States and beyond, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon were working with the National Security Council to create still-classified plans to respond to an imminent pandemic. It has since been alleged that the intelligence and military intelligence communities knew about a likely pandemic in the United States as early as last November, and potentially even before then.

Given this foreknowledge and the numerous simulations conducted in the United States last year regarding global viral pandemic outbreaks, at least six of varying scope and size, it has often been asked – Why did the government not act or prepare if an imminent global pandemic and the shortcomings of any response to such an event were known? Though the answer to this question has frequently been written off as mere “incompetence” in mainstream media circles, it is worth entertaining the possibility that a crisis was allowed to unfold.

Why would the intelligence community or another faction of the U.S. government knowingly allow a crisis such as this to occur? The answer is clear if one looks at history, as times of crisis have often been used by the U.S. government to implement policies that would normally be rejected by the American public, ranging from censorship of the press to mass surveillance networks. Though the government response to the September 11 attacks, like the Patriot Act, may be the most accessible example to many Americans, U.S. government efforts to limit the flow of “dangerous” journalism and surveil the population go back to as early as the First World War. Many of these policies, whether the Patriot Act after 9/11 or WWI-era civilian “spy” networks, did little if anything to protect the homeland, but instead led to increased surveillance and control that persisted long after the crisis that spurred them had ended.

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Virtual School Dangers: The Hazards of a Police State Education During COVID-19, by John W. Whitehead

Virtual public education is giving the state one more way to gather information about you. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

Once upon a time in America, parents breathed a sigh of relief when their kids went back to school after a summer’s hiatus, content in the knowledge that for a good portion of the day, their kids would be gainfully occupied, out of harm’s way, and out of trouble.

Back then, if you talked back to a teacher, or played a prank on a classmate, or just failed to do your homework, you might find yourself in detention or doing an extra writing assignment after school or suffering through a parent-teacher conference about your shortcomings.

Of course, that was before school shootings became a part of our national lexicon.

As a result, over the course of the past 30 years, the need to keep the schools “safe” from drugs and weapons has become a thinly disguised, profit-driven campaign to transform them into quasi-prisons, complete with surveillance cameras, metal detectors, police patrols, zero tolerance policies, lock downs, drug sniffing dogs, school resource officers, strip searches, and active shooter drills.

Suddenly, under school zero tolerance policies, students were being punished with suspension, expulsion, and even arrest for childish behavior and minor transgressions such as playing cops and robbers on the playground, bringing LEGOs to school, or having a food fight.

Things got even worse once schools started to rely on police (school resource officers) to “deal with minor rule breaking: sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes.”

As a result, students are being subjected to police tactics such as handcuffs, leg shackles, tasers and excessive force for “acting up,” in addition to being ticketed, fined and sent to court for behavior perceived as defiant, disruptive or disorderly such as spraying perfume and writing on a desk.

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Google ‘Geofence’ Warrants Keep Locking Up Innocent People Who Were In Proximity Of A Crime Scene, by Tyler Durden

Silicon Valley might want to consider renaming itself Orwell’s Gulch. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Months ago we detailed an incredibly scary and Orwellian tool in the local police arsenal known as a “geofence warrant”. As described at the time it’s essentially a virtual dragnet over crime scenes where police request to sweep up Google location data drawn from users’ GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular connections from everyone who happened to be near a crime scene. From this blanket of surveillance law enforcement then try to figure out which phones may be tied to suspects or possible witnesses.

Already this type of blanket surveillance warrant, which works as a kind of ‘guilt by proximity’ at the time a crime occurred, has been used by police to arrest what turned out to be innocent bystanders who were suddenly surprised to find themselves prime suspects. It’s perhaps been used only dozens of times in some states, but will likely only increase alongside similar “pre-crime” algorithm technologies. In one instance earlier this year, a Gainesville, Florida man was caught up in a legal nightmare because he merely rode his bicycle unbeknownst near a home burglary at around the same time it happened.

And it was in 2018 that for the first time a man had been falsely accused and arrested based on a controversial geofence warrant for the crime of murder

Geotracking file image via Boing Boing

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Chinese Government Combines ‘Track and Trace’ Corona System With Social Credit Score, by Paul Joseph Watson

The Chinese government has been a trailblazer in ways to deprive their citizens of the last vestige of their freedoms. Now its combining Covid-19 totalitarianism with social credit score totalitarianism. This is what the new world order potentates have in mind. From Paul Joseph Watson at summitnews.com:

China News Service/Getty Images

The Communist government of China has combined its coronavirus ‘track and trace’ system with the country’s notorious social credit score.

As the Epoch Times’ Joshua Philipp explains, fears that the new COVID surveillance system would be used for “totalitarian social monitoring” are being realized in China.

“The local government of China’s Jiangsu province has launched a new social control system that combines the CCP’s health code program with the regime’s social credit system to create what they’re calling a civilization code,” Philipp reported.

The new system ranks each citizen via a “civilization score” and then places them in a category which determines whether they get priority access to services or are punished and restricted.

The new system represents an expansion of the social credit score and is being initially rolled out in the city of Suzhou and will apply to everyone over the age of 18.

Last year, we also highlighted how Chinese citizens would need to pass a facial recognition test to access the Internet in another expansion of the social credit score system.

In August 2019, the Communist state bragged about how it had prevented 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.

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‘The Day Has Arrived’ Snowden Hails Appeals Court Ruling Slamming NSA Metadata Harvesting as Illegal, by Svetlana Ekimenko

What Edward Snowden did was heroic and should be lauded, not punished. From Svetlana Ekimenko at sputniknews.com:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on 2 September lauded the ruling by the US Court of Appeals that the mass surveillance programme conducted by the National Security Agency, including bulk collection of phone records, was illegal. The ACLU called described it as a “victory for our privacy rights”.

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee turned whistleblower Edward Snowden responded on Wednesday to a ruling by the US Court of Appeals that the US National Security Agency’s mass surveillance programme, including the bulk collection of citizens’ phone records, was illegal.

​The programme, believed to have been discontinued in 2015 when Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, had extended beyond the scope of what Congress allowed under a foundational surveillance law, ruled a panel of judges, acknowledging that it was possibly a violation of the US Constitution.

The former NSA contractor tweeted that he had been “charged as a criminal for speaking the truth”.

Snowden was referring to the trove of classified intelligence data detailing the sweeping American domestic surveillance programme that he had leaked in 2013 and for which he is wanted in the US on charges of espionage and treason.

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No Lives Matter, by Robert Gore

Our dystopia is their utopia.

The only way to control a substantial population is to murder enough that the rest are terrified into submission. But it isn’t really the control that’s the objective, it’s the murder. At root, murder stems from a grotesque hatred of one’s self, which animates a craven fear of anything and everything, particularly death, and paradoxically, a psychotic desire to kill one’s self and every other value. Only by understanding our enemies do we have any chance of defeating them.

The twentieth century and the two decades of this one offer ample material to study the psychology of evil. In the nineteenth century, Fyodor Dostoyevsky masterfully plumbed those depths. In the barren desert that constitutes today’s intellectual life, the study of history has been discarded and great literature ignored or burned. They’re casualties in the war being waged on anything that helps us understand ourselves. In one sense Dostoyevsky couldn’t have anticipated the collectivist charnel houses of the century to follow, but in one sense he did. He knew charnel houses were the work of individual souls, and one couldn’t grasp the one without examining the other.

With many minority groups claiming historical injustices against them and demanding remedial recognition and reparation, with official endorsement by many institutions of those claims and demands, and with their propagation via all major channels of communication, no voices have been raised in support of the indisputably smallest and most persecuted minority group—the individual. “Individual” and “individual rights” are words that must not be spoken.

Any recognition of the individual draws attention to the fundamental and massive violation of individual rights stemming from coronavirus totalitarianism and governments’ encouragement of riots, vandalism, and violence. In a Peanuts cartoon, Linus exclaims, “I love mankind… it’s people I can’t stand.” The game is always the same. In the name of some collective greater good—safety, anti-racism, fill in the blank—the wealth, property, work, rights, freedom, and lives of individuals are stolen. Of course the alleged greater good is never realized, but that was never the point. The fountainhead of any collectivist ideology is the hatred these lovers of mankind have for people and their pursuit of happiness.

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P Is for Predator State: The Building Blocks of Tyranny from A to Z, by John W. Whitehead

America has become a predatory police state. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.” — Professor Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Discourse in the Age of Show Business

While America continues to fixate on the drama-filled reality show scripted by the powers-that-be, directed from the nation’s capital, and played out in high definition across the country, the American Police State has moved steadily forward.

Nothing has changed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a convenient, traumatic, devastating distraction.

The American people, the permanent underclass in America, have allowed themselves to be so distracted and divided that they have failed to notice the building blocks of tyranny being laid down right under their noses by the architects of the Deep State.

Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton: they have all been complicit in carrying out the Deep State’s agenda. Unless something changes to restore the balance of power, the next president—the new boss—will be the same as the old boss.

Frankly, it really doesn’t matter what you call the old/new boss—the Deep State, the Controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the corporate elite, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that no matter who occupies the White House, it is a profit-driven, an unelected bureaucracy that is actually calling the shots.

If our losses are mounting with every passing day—and they are—it is a calculated siege intended to ensure our defeat at the hands of a totalitarian regime.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, media, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more are casualties in the government’s war on the American people.

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Testing Will Begin in Africa for Biometric ID, “Vaccine Records” & “Payment Systems”, by Mac Slavo

First it will be Africa, and then the rest of the world. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:

Testing will soon begin in poverty-stricken parts of Africa for a biometric ID which will also be your payment system and vaccine record. The biometric digital identity platform that “evolves just as you evolve” is backed by none other than the Bill Gates-backed GAVI vaccine alliance, Mastercard, and the AI-powered “identity authentication” company, Trust Stamp.

The GAVI Alliance, which is largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations, as well as allied governments and the vaccine industry, is principally concerned with improving “the health of markets for vaccines and other immunization products,” rather than the health of individuals, according to its own website. Similarly, Mastercard’s GAVI partnership is directly linked to its “World Beyond Cash” effort, which mainly bolsters its business model that has long depended on a reduction in the use of physical cash.

Reducing the use of cash is needed. Cash is impossible to track, but if you use centralized digital currency, the ruling class has complete control over what you can spend.

The program, which was first launched in late 2018, will see Trust Stamp’s digital identity platform integrated into the GAVI-Mastercard “Wellness Pass,” a digital vaccination record and identity system that is also linked to Mastercard’s click-to-play system that powered by its AI and machine learning technology called NuData. Mastercard, in addition to professing its commitment to promoting “centralized record keeping of childhood immunization” also describes itself as a leader toward a “World Beyond Cash,” and its partnership with GAVI marks a novel approach towards linking a biometric digital identity system, vaccination records, and a payment system into a single cohesive platform. The effort, since its launch nearly two years ago, has been funded via $3.8 million in GAVI donor funds in addition to a matched donation of the same amount by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. –Activist Post

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Meet the Israeli Intelligence-Linked Firm Using AI to Profile Americans and Guide US Lockdown Policy, by Whitney Webb

The tight alliance between US and Israeli intelligence and their contractors is set to take spying on citizens of both countries to a new level. From Whitney Webb at thelastamericanvagabond.com:

An Israeli government contractor founded by a former Israeli spy has partnered with one U.S. state and is set to announce a series of new partnerships with other states and U.S. healthcare providers to monitor civilian health and use an IDF-designed AI system to profile Americans likely to contract coronavirus and to inform U.S. government lockdown policy.

A company tied to Israel’s military signal intelligence unit, Unit 8200, has recently partnered with the state of Rhode Island to use an artificial intelligence-based system developed in tandem with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to profile Americans potentially infected and/or “at risk” of being infected with coronavirus, then informing government authorities of their “risk profile.” Once flagged, state health officials can target those individuals as well as their communities for mandatory testing, treatment and/or more restrictive lockdown measures.

The firm, Israel-based Diagnostic Robotics, is poised to announce a series of new such partnerships with several other U.S. states as well as major U.S. hospital systems and healthcare providers in the coming weeks, according to a company spokesperson. The first of these announcements came on June 30 regarding the firm’s new partnership with Mayo Clinic, which will soon implement the Diagnostic Robotics’ “artificial intelligence platform that predicts patients’ hospitalization risk.” They have also been in discussions with Vice President Mike Pence about the platform’s implementation nationwide since April.

Their creeping expansion into the U.S.’ state coronavirus response and that of other countries has been directly facilitated by the organization Start-Up Nation Central, funded by controversial hedge fund manager Paul Singer and directly partnered with an Israeli government-backed intelligence initiative aimed at making the United States dependent on technology developed by the Israeli military or intelligence community as a means of preventing the adoption of policies that support the non-violent Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement at the state and local levels. This initiative also serves the dual purpose of ensuring Israel’s political influence and positioning as the global “cyber power,” an oft-repeated policy goal of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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