Thursday, June 6, 2013

Approaching The Tribulation (III)




How much worse can things get? 

The movement towards totalitarianism is probably further along than we think. 

Look at the latest breaking news:





Yesterday, the Guardian reminded us that the NSA is still trolling our phone records for data mining.  Today, the Washington Post blows the cover on a massive surveillance program that until now only a few people had known about — until now.  And unlike the NSA phone-records surveillance, this one went after content at nine major Internet service providers:

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues. …
The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.







The National Security Agency's warrant for metadata on every single Verizon call for three months is jaw-dropping in its scope. Except, well, the NSA's surveillance of our communications is most likely much, much bigger than that. Technology has made it possible for the American government to spy on citizens to an extent East Germany could only dream of. Basically everything we say that can be traced digitally is being collected by the NSA. We're supposed to trust that our government will be much better behaved, but they're not, and the White House almost admits it. That doesn't mean they're admitting everything.


"On its face, the document suggests that the U.S. government regularly collects and stores all domestic telephone records," The Week's Marc Ambinder writes of Glenn Greenwald's scoop last night. "My own understanding is that the NSA routinely collects millions of domestic-to-domestic phone records.

And the NSA isn't just collecting the things we say. It's also tracking what we buy and where we go. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman reported that the NSA's domestic data collection "have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people's communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks." That means emails records, bank transfers, phone records, travel records.



And the NSA would never abuse its awesome surveillance power, right? Wrong. In 2008, NSA workers told ABC News that they routinely eavesdropped on phone sex between troops serving overseas and their loved ones in America. They listened in on both satellite phone calls and calls from the phone banks in Iraq's Green Zone where soldiers call home. Former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk described how a coworker would say, "Hey, check this out… there's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out." Faulk explained they would gossip about the best calls during breaks. "It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, 'Wow, this was crazy.'"









The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.



The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.







[Well of course they were monitored...how could there be any doubt at this point?]



Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday refused to answer whether the federal government has monitored phones belonging to members of Congress.

Holder was asked to provide assurances that no phones inside the Capitol or belonging to lawmakers were monitored, one day after the bombshell revelation that the government secretlycollected the phone records of millions of Verizon customers inside the U.S.

“With all due respect, senator, I don’t think this is an appropriate setting for me to discuss that issue,” Holder said in response to a question from Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) during a previously scheduled Senate hearing to discuss the Justice Department’s budget. “I’d be more than glad to come back in an appropriate setting to discuss the issues you have raised.”




The Lives Of Others




Das Leben des Anderen” is a 2006 German drama that describes in painful detail what life was like in the communist East Berlin of 1984, almost six years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, how ordinary and not so ordinary citizens were spied upon by their government, using agents of the infamous Stasi, the German Democratic Republic’s secret police.

The movie is not important because it showed how a famous actress was spied upon, her life, trials, and tribulations and the secondary minions who answered to the Kommunistische Partei (Communist Party). It is important because it shows the drab and meager daily life of fear, uncertainty, and horror that people in general endured under communist regimes.

Like the actress in the movie, homes were bugged; all telephone conversations were recorded and listened to. All incoming and outgoing mail was opened, read, and copied by small bureaucrats whose job was to report anything out of the ordinary and catalog their daily blogs.

People under communism were asked to divulge to the Financial Police (that would be the equivalent of the IRS) what they owned, how much money they had hidden in the house, how they purchased certain goods, and why they ate sometimes better food than what was available on the market. Community organizers, not unlike ACORN, patrolled the streets, and, in exchange for better rations of food or a small monthly stipend, one individual was assigned per bloc of apartments to record the comings and goings into each apartment.

If you consider how much territory political correctness occupies in the center of our lives and how much government bureaucratic control dictates what you do on a daily basis, do you still think you are free? Your brothers and sisters are watching you - they are empowered by non-elected government bureaucrats to spy on the “lives of others.”



More and more outrage:




Meet PRISM - The U.S. Government's Internet Espionage Super Operation



This one is worth reading and digesting very carefully. We'll go to the intro and then the conclusion:



The disclosures involving this (and the prior) administration's Big Brother surveillance state, which would make Nixon blush with envy are now coming fast and furious (one wonders - why now: even that bastion of liberalism the NY Times, has turned against Obama). Although while the Guardian's overnight news that Verizon (and most certainly AT&T as well among others) was cooperating with the NSA on spying on US citizens, so far at least the internet seemed, if only to the great unwashed masses, immune. That is no longer the case following news from the WaPo exposing PRISM, a highly classified program, which has not been disclosed publicly before. 




In retrospect, it is sad what a farce this country has become: artificial market, centrally-planned economy, pervasive spying on the people, a tax collector that target political enemies, an administration that openly lies under oath...
If we didn't know better we would say this was 1955 Stalingrad, although Stalingrad at the height of totalitarianism was for amateurs. This is next level: "Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said."





7 comments:

AudioOutlaw said...

Hey Scott,

You might want to edit the very last paragraph referring to the 3rd sentence, 9th word. I don't think you intentionally let that slip through, just a heads up.

-Audio

Scott said...

Many thanks Audio - I highlight, click and drag the quotes and totally missed that - greatly appreciated

Anonymous said...

f

Anonymous said...

Whoops on the letter f (I was testing to see if my account works....Hasn't been working for about a year now ) ...Anyway , I'm so glad you posted this tonight . I believe that Orwell's status should now be upgraded to Prophet . Just when you thought it couldn't get any darker with this administration it did . If this can't wake the American people up I honestly think they can't be ? Also there has been some turmoil on the Golan Heights today if you missed it (But its settled down )

Peace
Nate

Ps that song you posted was SO uplifting ( I was having an absolute terrible day today ) It helped .

Scott said...

Nathan - sorry you were having trouble - nice to see you. I just read where this is an anniversary for the publication of 1984 which is interesting. There have been some interesting news in Israel including that story about Golan, but I've been putting them on a back burner because of these breaking developments. I have a list of articles I'm already working on for tomorrow. Things are really picking up again

Kimberly Reynolds said...

"One wonders - why now: even that bastion of liberalism the NY Times, has turned against Obama".

I was thinking about that also. Here is my thought:


https://plus.google.com/112643716740116237079/posts/65KxJyqB7eh

Kimberly Reynolds said...

OK - this is just an idea...but given all of the "scandals" and "leaks" lately...and the growing realization that we can do nothing about it...isn't it plausible that we are being sent a message?  The message is:  "Resistance is futile.  Suck it up like good little citizens."