Category Archives: Surveillance

The Death of Privacy: Government Fearmongers to Read Your Mail, by Philip Giraldi

Surprise, surprise, the government wants to break end-to-end encryptions that keep communications private from the government. From Philip Giraldi at strategic-culture.org:

It is discouraging to note just how the United States has been taking on the attributes of a police state since 9/11. Stories of police raids on people’s homes gone wrong are frequently in the news. In one recent incident, a heavily armed SWAT team was sent to a St. Louis county home. The armed officers entered the building without knocking, shot the family dog and forced the family members to kneel on the floor where they were able to watch their pet struggle and then die. The policemen then informed the family that they were there over failure to pay the gas bill. Animal rights groups report that the shooting of pets by police has become routine in many jurisdictions because the officers claim that they feel threatened.

Indeed, any encounter with any police at any level has now become dangerous. Once upon a time it was possible to argue with an officer over the justification for a traffic ticket, but that is no longer the case. You have to sit with your hands clearly visible on the steering wheel while answering “Yes sir!” to anything the cop says. There have been numerous incidents where the uncooperative driver is ordered to get out of the car and winds up being tasered or shot.

Courts consistently side with police officers and with the government when individual rights are violated while the Constitution of the United States itself has even been publicly described by the president as “archaic” and “a bad thing for the country.” The National Security Agency (NSA) routinely and illegally collects emails and phone calls made by citizens who have done nothing wrong and the government even denies to Americans the right to travel to countries that it disapproves of, most recently Cuba.

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“Alexa, How Do We Subvert Big Tech’s Orwellian Internet-of-Things Surveillance?” by Charles Hugh Smith

By now we know that virtually everything electronic that’s been installed on every gadget from vacuum cleaners to cars and is connected to the Internet is a potential invader of our privacy and spy. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Convenience is the sales pitch, but the real goal is control in service of maximizing profits and extending state power.

When every device in your life is connected to the Internet (the Internet of Things), your refrigerator will schedule an oil change for your car–or something like that–and it will be amazingly wunnerful. You’ll be able to lower the temperature of your home office while you’re stuck in a traffic jam, while your fridge orders another jar of pickles delivered to your door.

It’s all in service of convenience, the god all Americans are brainwashed to worship. Imagine the convenience of turning on the light while seated on your sofa! Mind-boggling convenience at your fingertips–and since you’re already clutching your smart phone 24/7, convenience is indeed at your fingertips.

It’s also about control, and as we lose control of everything that’s actually important in our lives, the illusion of agency/control is a compelling pitch. Imagine being able to program your fridge to order a quart of milk delivered when it gets low but not order another jar of pickles when that gets low! Wow! That’s control, yowzah.

The Internet of Things is indeed about control–not your control, but control over you— control of what’s marketed to you, and control of your behaviors via control of the incentives, distractions and micro-decisions that shape behavior.

I Used Google Ads for Social Engineering. It Worked. (via Mark J.)

The control enabled by the Internet of Things starts with persuasion and quickly slides into coercion. Since corporations and government agencies will have a complete map of your movements, purchases, consumption, communications, etc., then behavior flagged as “non-beneficial” will be flagged for “nudging nags”, while “unsanctioned” behavior will be directed to the proper authorities.

Say you’re visiting a fast-food outlet for the fourth time in a week. Your health insurance corporation has set three visits a week as a maximum, lest your poor lifestyle choices start costing them money for treatments, so you get a friendly “reminder” to lay off the fast food or make “healthier” choices off the fast food menu.

Failure to heed the “nudges” will result in higher premiums or cancelled coverage. Sorry, pal, it’s just business. Your “freedom” doesn’t extend to costing us money.

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MS Word Becomes Big Brother, by Chas Holloway

MS Word has become your automatic, AI editor, whether you want it to be or not. From Chas Holloway at lewrockwell.com:

I’ve been a writer for thirty years.  I have over two hundred thousand MS Word docs on my computer.  But now, I’m converting all those files to a different word processor.

I don’t want to do it.  But I have no choice.  MS Word — the default application for novelists, poets, journalists and playwrights — has just become Big Brother.  No serious writer can use it anymore.

The problem: Microsoft now “offers” an AI tool designed to “improve” my writing.  For example, if I type, “We need some fresh blood around here,” Word now changes that phrase to “We must hire some qualified employees.” Or, if I type the word “waitress,” Word now changes it to “waitperson.” (see HERE and HERE and HERE.)

I heard about this a month ago, or so.  The geniuses at Microsoft want to control my ideas.  “That’s insidious,” I thought, but then got distracted.  Until the other day.  While writing an article, I experienced Big Brother in action — Word was highlighting my text as I typed!

I showed a coworker.  “That’s crazy,” he said, disinterestedly.  Then the thought left his mind as quickly as it had entered.  Yeah, it’s crazy, alright.  What’s crazy is how my coworker didn’t seem to understand the implications, nor care.  Microsoft aspires to “correct” the world, one document at a time.

Now, some hack writing internal docs at Facebook might find the “feature” useful — someone who only writes memos and reports for the in-group.  But We the People should be appalled.

Real writing is about thinking.  It’s about discovering your individual voice.  It’s about finding original things to say.  But will Microsoft soon disallow original and creative thought?

When Tom Paine wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls,” he said it that way on purpose.  He did not say, “In these times, men, women and the LGBT community are being challenged.”  He would not be happy about the suggested change.  Original thinkers don’t like companies — or governments — telling them what to write, or how to think.

When Percy Shelley wrote, “Forms more real than living man,” he didn’t want a corporation changing it to, “Some living men and women do not appear to be as real as imaginary forms.”

A screenwriter bangs out a political thriller: the evil corporation wants the population to be chipped.  How do they manage it?  First, they’ll say it’s for the safety of our soldiers: we can track them in warfare.  Second, they’ll say it’s for public safety: we must chip the lawbreakers and prisoners.  Then, they’ll launch a patriotic ad campaign: “I got chipped — for America!”  Following that, the cops just arrest a few libertarian stragglers.

Cool story.  But under Microsoft control, would a screenwriter be allowed write it?  Under Microsoft control, thought control is a “feature” helpfully built into your word processor.  But soon, you won’t be able to turn the feature off.  And then, … well, you get the point.

As I convert my old docs, I wonder if should I keep the MS Word versions on a drive somewhere, for backup?  Probably not.  Even if they became my last copy, I’d be afraid to open them.

For Microsoft will soon implement yet another “feature.”  A feature to automatically “correct” my documents as soon as I double-click them.  For my convenience.

On a global scale, wouldn’t this be the digital version of burning of the Great Library at Alexandria?

It’s Time to Declare Your Independence from Tyranny, America, by John W. Whitehead

The founding fathers never would have put up with the crap we put up with from our government. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”—Thomas Paine, December 1776

It’s time to declare your independence from tyranny, America.

For too long now, we have suffered the injustices of a government that has no regard for our rights or our humanity.

Too easily pacified and placated by the pomp and pageantry of manufactured spectacles (fireworks on the Fourth of July, military parades, ritualized elections, etc.) that are a poor substitute for a representative government that respects the rights of its people, the American people have opted, time and again, to overlook the government’s excesses, abuses and power grabs that fly in the face of every principle for which America’s founders risked their lives.

We have done this to ourselves.

Indeed, it is painfully fitting that mere days before the nation prepared to celebrate its freedoms on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the City Council for Charlottesville, Virginia—the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration—voted to do away with a holiday to honor Jefferson’s birthday, because Jefferson, like many of his contemporaries, owned slaves. City councilors have opted instead to celebrate “Liberation and Freedom Day” in honor of slaves who were emancipated after the Civil War.

This is what we have been reduced to: bureaucrats dithering over meaningless trivialities while the government goosesteps all over our freedoms.

Too often, we pay lip service to those freedoms, yet they did not come about by happenstance. They were hard won through sheer determination, suffering and sacrifice by thousands of patriotic Americans who not only believed in the cause of freedom but also had the intestinal fortitude to act on that belief. The success of the American revolution owes much to these men and women.

In standing up to the British Empire and speaking out against an oppressive regime, they exemplified courage in the face of what seemed like an overwhelming foe.

Indeed, imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials.

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Did Mark Zuckerberg Really Create Facebook? by Richard Enos

This is one of the more intriguing conjectures we’ve seen lately. From Richard Enos at collective-evolution.com:

IN BRIEF
  • The Facts:A letter alleged to be written by a Facebook insider who was Mark Zuckerberg’s lover from their freshman year at Harvard brings into question the notion that Mark Zuckerberg was the creator of Facebook.
  • Reflect On:Can we feel that larger and larger revelations from insiders, challenging our mainstream perception of what is real and true, are starting to awaken us from a controlled illusion put in place by powers that do not have our best interests at heart?

An explosive letter alleged to be written by a Facebook insider who was Mark Zuckerberg’s lover from their freshman year at Harvard was hand-delivered to a member of the Anonymous Patriot’s Conclave a few days ago and published on their American Intelligence Media website (aim4truth.org).

For those with any interest in knowing whether or not Mark Zuckerberg is really the boy-genius founder of Facebook and author of the essential computer source code that anchors today’s social media giants, calling this letter ‘explosive’ may even be an understatement.

In terms of its authenticity, AIM said this as a preamble to the letter:

American Intelligence Media has been able to quickly verify that many of the claims insinuated in this “Zuckerberg Dossier” are true and this leads us to conclude that the document is authentic and exactly what it appears to be. The true authorship of this Zuckerberg Dossier is evident to members of the Conclave, but that supposition is speculation and the Conclave does not deal in speculation. Though, if one were to listen carefully to the admission of guilt by Sean Parker (a long-time executive of Facebook) which he made repeatedly before the press, you will hear that Sean knew all about the true creation of the social media giant and its evil intents and fingers the culprits.

Therefore, it is not hard at all to figure out who may have written this expose on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook evil. You can even see the true motivation for writing this “tell all” about Zuckerberg at this time in history, just as Facebook is facing all kinds of charges, including  anti-trust violations.

From my perspective, I have tried to establish the credibility of this letter in terms of its consistency and its coherence with established facts, as well as with many of the other allegations surrounding this matter. Piecing together many aspects of this story, let’s see if we can arrive at a cohesive whole that appears to be the likeliest of explanations for what is going on now at Facebook and in the social media arena in general.

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The Govt. Wants to OUTLAW Encrypted Messaging in iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, Etc. by Daisy Luther

The government has been trying to get around private encryption for years. It looks like it may be close to doing so. From Daisy Luther at theorganicprepper.com:

If you ever use the encrypted messaging options on programs like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, Wickr, Telegram, or any other service, your time to discuss things privately over the phone may be running out. The US government doesn’t like for anything to get in the way of their ability to spy on investigate even the most mundane of conversations.

Instead of seeing privacy as a right, they see it as suspicious. Your devices are already being searched at quadruple the previous rate in airports. And the attack on free speech is now going as far as our private messages to our friends and family.

Because the only reason we’d want privacy is that we’re criminals

This was the topic of a National Security meeting last week.

The encryption challenge, which the government calls “going dark,” was the focus of a National Security Council meeting Wednesday morning that included the No. 2 officials from several key agencies, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Senior officials debated whether to ask Congress to effectively outlaw end-to-end encryption, which scrambles data so that only its sender and recipient can read it, these people told POLITICO. Tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have increasingly built end-to-end encryption into their products and software in recent years — billing it as a privacy and security feature but frustrating authorities investigating terrorism, drug trafficking and child pornography. (source)

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Everyone’s Got a “Surveillance Score” and It Can Cost You BIG Money, by Dagny Taggart

Private company surveillance of Americans is more extensive than the government’s, and it may be as pervasive as the Chinese government’s. From Dagny Taggart at theorganicprepper.com:

In these Orwellian times, when it is revealed that yet another government agency is spying on us in yet another way, most of us aren’t one bit surprised. Being surveilled nearly everywhere we go (and even in our own homes) has become the norm, unfortunately.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the NSA improperly collected Americans’ call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018 – just months after the agency claimed it was going to delete the 620 million-plus call detail records it already had stockpiled.

But this article isn’t about that.

It is about something far more insidious.

When it comes to spying on people, the government has competition.

The Chinese government is currently implementing a social credit system to monitor its 1.3 billion citizens (China already has 200 million public surveillance cameras). Facial recognition technology and personal data from cell phones and digital transactions are being used to collect intimate details about people’s lives, including their purchasing habits and whom they socialize with.

The gathered data is used to create mandatory social credit ratings for every citizen. These ratings will score citizens’ “general worthiness” and provide those with higher scores opportunities like access to jobs, loans, and travel. Those with lower scores will not have access to those opportunities.

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