Category Archives: Surveillance

“Targeted Messaging” . . . and so Much More! by Eric Peters

One more step towards making your car a mobile panopticon. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Soon, your car will not only track you in real time – and make sure you’re paid-up on your insurance and have all your “papers” in order – it will also sell you. Digital license plates – approved for use in California, Arizona and most recently, Michigan – will replace the old metal plate that you controlled with an LCD screen connected to a computer that’s connected (via WiFi) to you-know-who.

And controlled by you-know-who.

The screen can be configured to show more than just your number, Number 6.

It can also show “targeted messaging” – ads, in straightforward English, which these shysters avoid using like Dracula avoids daylight – which you’ll advertise as you drive. You become a free billboard as well as a leashed serf, always under the watchful eye of the government and corporations that “partner” together to mulct you and keep track of you.

Let the driver behind you know all about the latest deals on Amazon!

Your payoff? A “DMV approved” banner selected by you  . . . from a menu of politically correct messages.

“Wear a mask,” for instance.

You won’t be allowed to run unapproved messages.

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2020: The Year the Tree of Liberty Was Torched, by John W. Whitehead

2020 has been the worst year in American history, by far, for liberty. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The people are unaware. They’re not educated to realize that they have power. The system is so geared that everyone believes the government will fix everything. We are the government.”—John Lennon

No doubt about it: 2020—a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year for freedom—was the culmination of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad decade for freedom.

Government corruption, tyranny, and abuse coupled with a Big Brother-knows-best mindset and the COVID-19 pandemic propelled us at warp speed towards a full-blown police state in which nationwide lockdowns, egregious surveillance, roadside strip searches, police shootings of unarmed citizens, censorship, retaliatory arrests, the criminalization of lawful activities, warmongering, indefinite detentions, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, police brutality, profit-driven prisons, and pay-to-play politicians were accepted as the norm.

Here’s just a small sampling of the laundry list of abuses—cruel, brutal, immoral, unconstitutional and unacceptable—that have been heaped upon us by the government over the past two decades and in the past year, in particular.

The government failed to protect our lives, liberty and happiness. The predators of the police state wreaked havoc on our freedoms, our communities, and our lives. The government didn’t listen to the citizenry, refused to abide by the Constitution, and treated the citizenry as a source of funding and little else. Police officers shot unarmed citizens and their household pets. Government agents—including local police—were armed to the teeth and encouraged to act like soldiers on a battlefield. Bloated government agencies were allowed to fleece taxpayers. Government technicians spied on our emails and phone calls. And government contractors made a killing by waging endless wars abroad.

The American President became more imperial. Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill. The powers that have been amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whoever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability. The presidency itself has become an imperial one with permanent powers.

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Covid and The Rise of Cage Keeper Democracy, by James Bovard

Oh good, we get to vote for our jailers. From James Bovard at aier.org:

The Covid pandemic this year has profoundly transformed the relationship of government to American citizens. Constitutional leashes have been obliterated as state and local politicians and officials have issued endless decrees that were vastly more effective at destroying freedom than at curbing a virus. And the Biden administration may soon take further leaps towards making our political system into a Cage Keeper Democracy where citizens’ ballots merely designate who will place them under house arrest.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito aptly declared last month, “The pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.” But the sheer extent of this rollback has been missed by many activists who seem to have little or no concern about what has happened to average Americans. Pop singer Fiona Apple recently called for a mass release of jail inmates and urged people to sympathize with those behind bars: “Anybody out there could find 1 or 2 instances in their lives when they felt a little bit alone, afraid, disbelieved, forgotten about. Magnify that by an unimaginable amount. And ask why you’re not doing something.”

Stalin reputedly said that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. The same is apparently true when politicians destroy millions of people’s freedom – it is a mere statistic that progressive minds dismiss.

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Hero or Traitor? by John Stossel

John Stossel was able to interview Edward Snowden recently via a Zoom call. As always, Snowden had things to say to which attention should be paid. From Stossel at theburningplatform.com:

Hero or Traitor?

President Donald Trump should pardon Edward Snowden.

Who?

I know, it’s embarrassing — Assange, Manning, Snowden… Who did what?

I got them confused before I researched this topic. National security isn’t my beat. I finally educated myself this month because I got a chance to interview Snowden, the CIA/NSA employee who told the world that our government spied on us but lied to Congress about it.

Now Snowden hides from American authorities.

We talked via Zoom.

Fourteen years ago, when Snowden worked for the CIA, and then the NSA, he signed agreements saying he would not talk about what he did. I confronted him about breaking his promise.

“What changed me,” he answers, “was the realization that what our government actually does was very different than the public representation of it.”

The NSA’s mass surveillance program was meant to find foreign terrorists. When congressmen asked NSA officials if, without warrants, they collected data on Americans, they lied and said, “No.”

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A New Technology That Will Dangerously Expand Government Spying on Citizens, by Jack Rasmus

New software can access your smartphone and then further access any nearby wireless or bluetooth device. From Jack Rasmus at counterpunch.org:

If you’re worried about the capability of government to conduct surveillance of citizens engaged in political assembly and protest, or even just personal activity, then you should be aware the technological capability of government surveillance is about to expand exponentially.

The US Air Force’s Research Lab (yes, it has its own lab) has recently signed a contract to test new software of a company called SignalFrame, a Washington DC wireless tech company. The company’s new software is able to access smartphones, and from your phone jump off to access any other wireless or bluetooth device in the near vicinity. To quote from the article today in the Wall St. Journal, the smartphone is used “as a window onto usage of hundreds of millions of computers,s routers, fitness trackers, modern automobiles and other networked devices, known collectively as the ‘Internet of Things’.”

Your smartphone in effect becomes a government listening device that detects and accesses all nearby wireless or bluetooth devices, or anything that has a MAC address for that matter. How ‘near’ is nearby is not revealed by the company, or the Air Force, both of which refused to comment on the Wall St. Journal story. But with the expansion of 5G wireless, it should be assumed it’s more than just a couple steps from your smartphone.

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Warp Speed Ahead: COVID-19 Vaccines Pave the Way for a New Frontier in Surveillance, by John W. Whitehead

The Covid-19 response has always been about control, power, and coming soon, surveillance. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

Man’s conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men.” —C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic with its veiled threat of forced vaccinations, contact tracing, and genetically encoded vaccines is propelling humanity at warp speed into a whole new frontier—a surveillance matrix—the likes of which we’ve only previously encountered in science fiction.

Those who eye these developments with lingering mistrust have good reason to be leery: the government has long had a tendency to unleash untold horrors upon the world in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in the guise of the greater good.

Indeed, “we the people” have been treated like lab rats by government agencies for decades now: caged, branded, experimented upon without our knowledge or consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.

You don’t have to dig very deep or go very back in the nation’s history to uncover numerous cases in which the government deliberately conducted secret experiments on an unsuspecting populace, making healthy people sick by spraying them with chemicals, injecting them with infectious diseases and exposing them to airborne toxins.

Now this same government—which has taken every bit of technology sold to us as being in our best interests (GPS devices, surveillance, nonlethal weapons, etc.) and used it against us, to track, control and trap us—wants us to fall in line as it prepares to roll out COVID-19 vaccines that owe a great debt to the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its past work on how to weaponize and defend against infectious diseases.

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European Union Moves To Outlaw Encrypted Apps, by Eric Striker

Outlaw encryption and you’ve handed the keys to government for all communications. From Eric Striker at national-justice.com:

The European Union is moving to ban end-to-end encrypted communication.

An EU council of ministers resolution spearheaded by French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of the conservative Austrian People’s Party would mandate that apps such as Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp provide European intelligence services with backdoor access in order to allow them to better monitor the conversations of their citizens.

Encryption is an important tool used by dissidents, journalists and privacy conscious citizens around the world in an age of mass surveillance and strict social media censorship. Millions have started embracing the technology in the West as the rulers of the Anglosphere and Europe continue to lose public confidence and become more repressive.

The excuse being given for this effort is a spate of recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria committed by Islamic extremists. Rather than contend with the complex cultural, ethnic and immigration issues that lead to such violence, Macron, Kurz and the interests they represent see an opportunity to expand their eavesdropping power over their increasingly frightened population.

In recent years, laws passed by liberal governments under the guise of combating foreign Islamic terrorism have been utilized against citizens espousing nationalist, populist and dissident ideas, as well as adversarial political factions.

In the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was founded after 9/11 to combat Al Qaeda operations domestically, but its unconstitutional powers today are largely focused on going after right-wing white men. The FBI’s CIA-like power granted to them in the name of counter-terrorism lowered the bar for surveillance via the secret FISA court and was used by permanent bureaucrats to entrap and spy on members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.

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End the Government’s War on America’s Military Veterans, by John W. Whitehead

One of the government’s “pre-crime” markers for “political extremism” is a man or woman’s status as a military veteran. The consequences can be devastating. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

For soldiers … coming home is more lethal than being in combat.” ― Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston

The 2020 presidential election may be over, but nothing has really changed.

The U.S. government still poses the greatest threat to our freedoms.

More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, even more than the perceived threat posed by any single politician, the U.S. government remains a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.

This threat is especially pronounced for America’s military veterans, especially that portion of the population that exercises their First Amendment right to speak out against government wrongdoing.

Consider: we raise our young people on a steady diet of militarism and war, sell them on the idea that defending freedom abroad by serving in the military is their patriotic duty, then when they return home, bruised and battle-scarred and committed to defending their freedoms at home, we often treat them like criminals merely for exercising those rights they risked their lives to defend.

The government even has a name for its war on America’s veterans: Operation Vigilant Eagle.

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, this Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

Coupled with the DHS’ dual reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” which broadly define extremists as individuals, military veterans and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” these tactics bode ill for anyone seen as opposing the government.

Yet the government is not merely targeting individuals who are voicing their discontent so much as it is taking aim at individuals trained in military warfare.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the DHS has gone extremely quiet about Operation Vigilant Eagle.

Where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be fire.

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What’s Wrong with FISA? by Andrew P. Napolitano

FISA is blatantly unconstitutional, that’s what wrong with it. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 in response to the unlawful surveillance of Americans by the FBI and the CIA during the Watergate era. President Richard Nixon – who famously quipped after leaving office that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal” – used the FBI and the CIA to spy on his political opponents.

The stated reason was national security. Nixon claimed that foreign agents physically present in the U.S. agitated and aggravated his political opponents to produce the great public unrest in America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and thus diminished Americans’ appetite for fighting the Vietnam War. There was, of course, no evidence to support that view, but the neocons in Congress and the military-industrial complex supported it even after Nixon left office.

This view – there are foreigners among us who wish us harm – came to fruition during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who pushed for the enactment of FISA. FISA’s stated purpose was to limit – not expand – the government’s surveillance powers by requiring the intervention and permission of a judge.

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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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