10.6 Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.

by peter © last updated nov. 2017
I wrote this article in honour and memory of the The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .

10.6.1 Preface

“America First”
~ Donald Trump. U.S. president .
“Deutschland Uber Alles.”
~ Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor
If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear. Right?
“I don’t want a back door. I want a front door."
~ Michael S. Rogers [1478], U.S. Navy admiral, director of the U.S. NSA spy system, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, demanding legal access to all private communication (something the NSA had been illegally doing for decades, but lying about it - please see below).
Interestingly, in making this demand during a speech Mr. Rogers who is pictured below, neglected to provide any factual independently verifiable justification for wanting the ability to spy on everyone without their permission or knowledge. He also failed to demonstrate any meaningful difference between his demands for universal spying from those of the notorious and criminal East Germany STASI.
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Presumably Mr. Rogers would not have minded giving anyone who had ties to the intelligence community or their private for-profit corporate contractors, access to all of his personal email, personal photos, banking information, purchases he and his family made, where he travelled on vacation, his school records, his personal medical records and those of his family, all of his smartphone messages and texts, all of his computer searches, his private phone conversations, private talks with his friends, etc.. Or to a wider audience such as interested members of the public. Because that is what he wanted access to - from everyone. So presumably he would be willing to release all of his information and more for psychological analysis because well, if he had nothing to hide then he had nothing to fear.
For if he wanted to see all of this information from you then of course he would be more than happy to release all of such inform about himself and his family to you. Right? Because of course allowing unelected anonymous bureaucrats in various taxpayer funded agencies and their private for-profit corporate contractors to view such information on any and everyone they chose, would make the United States exactly like the East German STASI, Hitler’s SS spy agencies, Russian FSB, etc.
Well, the arguments such people give that:
  1. anonymous secretive government/military/corporate bureaucrats would never abuse such power
  2. anonymous secretive government/military/corporate bureaucrats need these powers to “protect the public” (from what exactly, is discussed only in vague, all encompassing panoptic terms such as “terrorist”)
  3. anonymous secretive government/military/corporate bureaucrats would never use such powers to suppress dissent, censor news media, or target specific religious groups (e.g. Muslims in the 21st C, or Jews in the 20th C)
are so utterly specious as to beggar credulity. Such argument sadly, seem plausible to a largely uneducated and ignorant public (including most politicians) - please q.v. Pedagogy is Social Engineering and Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy for citations and details in support of this statement.
This is not to say that there are not evil people out there (particularly in the halls of power), but rather that becoming evil to fight evil has never benefited anyone other than the oligarchs.
The rest of this article explores these ideas in much more detail.

10.6.2 Introduction

Country X hacks a network = cyberterrorism by evil foreign actors
U.S. hacks a network = Patriotic Duty to Protect our Freedoms in the Greatest Nation on Earth

10.6.2.1 The erasure of the fundamental human right of privacy

“States cannot ensure that individuals are able to freely seek and receive information or express themselves without respecting, protecting and promoting their right to privacy. Privacy and freedom of expression are interlinked and mutually dependent; an infringement upon one can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other. W ithout adequate legislation and legal standards to ensure the privacy, security and anonymity of communications, journalists, human rights defenders and whistleblowers, for example, cannot be assured that their communications will not b e subject to States’ scrutiny...
The right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement for the realisation of the right to freedom of expression. Undue interference with individuals’ privacy can both directly and indirectly limit the free development and exchange of ideas. … An infringement upon one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other. ...
Communications surveillance should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.”
~ United Nations Report [2022] on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, GE.13 -13303
International law (please see citations later on) has established that the right to privacy is a fundamental human right. It is the same as the right to breathe - something so fundamental that to interfere with it, particularly en masse, is anathema.
Yet in 2017 U.S. president Donald Trump signed into law [1950] permission for internet service providers to violate constitutional and legal protections on privacy for their own profit. Furthermore, Mr. Trump made it illegal for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to enact rules to protect privacy online.
Hence telecommunications corporations and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) were given the power to spy on everything anyone did on line or using their mobile phones, computers, or other connected devices. The data could be sold to marketers, criminals, foreign governments, journalists, the courts, or anyone else.
"Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you dont care about free speech because you have nothing to say. ... Ask yourself: at every point in history, who suffers the most from unjustified surveillance? It is not the privileged, but the vulnerable. Surveillance is not about safety, it’s about power. It’s about control."
~ Edward Snowden [1998], recipient of the German Julia and Winston Award, the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize from The Nation Institute and The Fertel Foundation, the Joint Honorary Award with Alan Rusbridger from the Swedish Right Livelihood Award Foundation, the IQ Award from Mensa Germany, the Carl von Ossietzky Medal from the International League for Human Rights, the Sam Adams Award, the Stuttgart Peace Prize, and others. Mr. Snowden has been pursued by the United States which claims that he broke U.S. law by releasing documents that the U.S. government was breaking the law [2020] by illegally spying on citizens in many nations, including the U.S.
They were further allowed by Mr. Trump’s law to insert advertisements into anything - your phone calls, your internet browsing, or anything else. They were allowed too to remove encryption, to install surveillance software without your permission, to access CCTV surveillance and facial recognition systems, and to automate the construction of very detailed psychological, emotional, educational, etc. profiles of every citizen through so-called “sentiment analysis”. All of this information could then be sold to anyone, without constraint. The implications for blackmail, for inserting false news, for changing your personal data ... were obvious. But perhaps not so obvious were the implications for freedom of the press, ability to organise dissent, and indeed, for democracy itself.
Additionally members of his party also put forth the USA Liberty Act - H.R. 3989 - to extend and make legal most spying on both foreign and U.S. citizens by anonymous secretive bureaucrats in government and amongst government contractors ... without any meaningful oversight [2013] (the key word here is meaningful). For example, the bill removed penalties for lying to the oversight body [ibid, 2014]. It also removed the provision for mandatory destruction of data on innocent civilians. There was too, no longer any requirement to report on the number of persons spied upon. All three were also in the laws which guided the East German STASI during their reign of terror on German citizens [2015].
“…it is important to remember that the underlying premise of the FISA Amendments Act and the PATRIOT Act—that 9/11 happened because we didn’t collect enough information on the terrorists prior to the attacks—has been refuted by the Congressional Joint Inquiry and the 9/11 Commission. This draft is proof that when it comes to rolling back unnecessary and ineffective mass surveillance programs, those facts simply don’t matter.”
~ Patrick G. Eddington [2016], CATO Institute
At the same time, Mr. Trump and his coterie of “advisers” such as S. Bannon began calling the press “the enemy” [1966, 1967]. Shortly thereafter Mr. Trump refused to answer reporter’s questions (unless they were favourable to him and submitted in advance) [ibid], began to call the independent press “fake news” [1968], and from the White House Oval Office issued tweets belittling reporters (particularly if they were female) saying that one such long serving reporter was “bleeding badly from a face lift”, stating she had “a low I.Q.”, was “crazy”, and that her fellow long time journalist was “psycho” [1968].
“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional ... I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”
~ Dr. J. Gartner [1949], psychologist and professor, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, discussing U.S. president Donald Trump from whom the largest spy network in history took its orders.
The U.S. thereby joined the dictatorships of North Korea, Turkey, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria in allowing private for-profit groups to spy upon every citizen’s personal habits, selling the information to the anyone without the citizen whose information was sold having any meaningful legal protection or recourse, and doing their utmost to control the free press.
Needless to say, other governments and large corporations in other western nations looked on with a gleam in their eye, hoping to do the same. Undermining the press and instituting universal (except upon the wealthy and powerful) spying has always been the forerunner of dictatorship. This article is one of several dealing with the end of democracy in many western nations, but particularly in the United States and its colonies (Canada, Australia, Britain, etc.). In it, I concentrate primarily upon the abuse of technology to construct a world wide Panopticon (surveillance system) for the benefit of a handful of singularly unpleasant men at the expense of everyone else.
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“The ultimate aim of government is to enable men to develop their mental and physical faculties in safety, use their reason without restraint, and to refrain the strife and mutual abuse that is prompted by hatred, anger, or deceit. The true aim of government is freedom."
~ Baruch Spinoza, 1670 [2012], Spinoza published anonymously. Because his statement implied that his government was not concerned with freedom but rather, its antithesis. Speaking out against injustice was then, as it still is in many nations now, an offence which could cause arrest and jail time.
When heads of state such as those in shown above call the press “the enemy” for the mere act of speaking truth, we can see how little has changed since Spinoza’s time.

10.6.2.2 Surveillance without meaningful accountability and citizen oversight, is Oppression

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“Well, over time, we’ve seen that it’s very hard to have an authoritarian or a totalitarian society, a state that runs, without a secret police. And you can’t. What you need the secret police for is to gather information secretly. The surveillance techniques and abilities that we have today are really unparalleled in history. And while we can’t yet be sure what the Trump administration’s motives are, what they have at their disposal is far greater than what was had in Soviet Russia, in Nazi Germany. I’m thinking in particular of Himmler complaining that he had trouble keeping track of all the people he needed to, because he needed so many agents. But when you have the kind of technology that we do, you don’t need as many people, if you have the right tools to use. And so, the ability to gather that kind of information and then potentially use it, domestically or on foreigners who happen to be here, I think is something that’s worth paying attention to and to be concerned about.”
~ A. Pitzer [1930], journalist and author, expert on conceptration camp history
“One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency [the U.S. NSA spy agency]; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice. ... By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets."
~ Edward Snowden [1713], recipient of the German Julia and Winston Award, the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize from The Nation Institute and The Fertel Foundation, the Joint Honorary Award with Alan Rusbridger from the Swedish Right Livelihood Award Foundation, the IQ Award from Mensa Germany, the Carl von Ossietzky Medal from the International League for Human Rights, the Sam Adams Award, the Stuttgart Peace Prize, and others.
Mr. Snowden has been forced to live in exile due to the United States threats against him - including calls from the highest levels of government for his assassination [1855]. Because his alleged release of documents allegedly proved the executive branch of the U.S. government allegedly ordered illegal spying on hundreds of millions of citizens of many nations, including U.S. citizens, in alleged violation of international agreements to which it is signatory. As well as outright lying to the taxpayer, to foreign governments, and to senate inquiries (please see below).
”If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.”
~ George H.W. Bush [21], U.S. president
“I’m a smart person”
~ U.S. president Donald Trump, who did leak classified information [1963] to U.S. rivals (Russia) thereby imperilling Israeli and other agents in undercover operations
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Since the the early 1970s all industrialised nations have funded covert secretive electronic spying on citizens, gathering data and storing it permanently. This system has since become universal - all government now spy on their citizens (see below). The announced purpose of such a system is to protect the citizenry from criminals, paedophiles, and that ubiquitous catchall “terrorists”.
However there is ample evidence to show that this is a ludicrous claim, as discussed below. There is also clear evidence showing that the heads of such agencies routinely lie about what they do, and to whom they do it as the citations later on in this article demonstrate.
For the voluminous leaks, documentation, investigations, and testimonies concerning the true purpose of such spy systems proves them to be anything but benign.
Rather the true purpose as discussed in this article, is a direct and highly determined attack upon a free society. Simply put, it is a concerted effort to eliminate all meaningful dissent thereby ensuring that the plutocratic class remains at the pinnacle of wealth and power. Exactly as Bentham - the philosopher who first discussed such systems - predicted almost 300 years ago.
This article outlines
  1. a brief history of such systems
  2. how their propagandised Justification relies upon junk science, confirmation bias, outright lies, false flag events, falsified data, an artificially created ’War of Terror’, and
  3. how the true reason for the system stems from cementing the power of a handful of rather inhumane oligarchs and plutocrats..
  4. I try to demonstrate too - along with various other articles under the dual menu headings of obscenity and ’socialengineering’ - that the greatest threat to individual rights and freedom usually emanate from within the halls of power rather than from any outside force. Particularly when such threat is aided and abetted by the wilful destruction of privacy rights.
And much more. It is meant to be read in conjunction with others related to mass social engineering, such as those under the dual headings of ecculturation and obscenity in the above menu.
For the destruction of privacy rights has historically always preceded the rise of a dystopian totalitarianism.

10.6.2.3 Surveillance agencies consider themselves above the law or simply ignore the law, invariably without consequence

Let me give an example of this from Hobbit Country (New Zealand). In particular, the New Zealand spy agency’s illegal and unethical activities:
Kim Dotcom and his colleagues legally operated a file sharing website in New Zealand called Megaupload. A handful of execrable U.S. based CEOs accused the site of sharing copyrighted material, such as movies and music. Pressure was put on the New Zealand government by the United States government and its spy agencies to extradite Mr. Dotcom to the U.S. where he could be charged. To make a long story short, the New Zealand used the Government Communications Security Bureau (the GCSB - a spy agency) illegally and on behalf of the U.S. government which in turn was operating on behalf of these CEOs, spied upon Kim and Mona Dotcom, as well as Megaupload worker Bram van der Kolk. Even though the GCSB was forbidden by law from so doing. Even though they knew full well (as court documents later showed) that they - the GCSB - were operating illegally. But it got worse - the GCSB also did not have the legal right to carry out any type of spying or surveillance upon Megaupload or its principles, to arrest them, to seize their equipment, his domain name (i.e legally purchased and valuable internet property), or to perform any of the many other illegal activities they carried out. The High Court of New Zealand found that the GCSB operated illegally in this matter (although they claimed loud and long not to have done so, until court records proved otherwise), and that the GCSB should not have interfered with Mr. Dotcom, his wife, or his colleagues in any way [1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003]
Now, I bring up this case right at the beginning of this somewhat long article in order to ask you to consider these important points:
  1. Spy agencies in many nations operate outside of the law. They do so not for claimed reasons of “national defence” but, as in this case, at the behest (and bullying) of a foreign power which in turn was operating not on behalf of government or the good of it citizenry, but rather on behalf of and for the benefit of a handful of very wealthy CEOs.
  2. Spy agencies lie. For example the GCSB stated their refusal to respond to access to information requests would compromise national security - an absolutely ludicrous claim when all Mr. Dotcom was accused of was enabling the sharing of some movies and music. They also lied about why they were doing what the did, and lied about their spying activities, and lied further by stating that if they had spied on Mr. Dotcom, they no longer were doing so ... when they were [2002, 2004]. They lied by stating the Mr. Dotcom was armed when they raided his home - he was not [2004]. They lied by stating that Mr. Dotcom had a "doomsday device that was [in his home] ... that would, if activated, would destroy evidence of wrongdoing anywhere in the world" [ibid] - another ludicrous statement in light of how the internet works. They lied about the illegal involvement of a foreign power against New Zealand citizens - the High Court case revealed that members of the U.S. FBI and CIA were involved from the beginning.
  3. Spy agencies violate civil rights, including the rights of those to whom they supposedly answer. For example, the High Court case also found the the GCSB had been spying illegally upon Prime Minister Key of New Zealand. When this was discovered, they made yet another ludicrous claim that "... this is really a matter of mistake and human error not one of conspiracy" [2005].
  4. Such agencies do not appear to care about the harm they cause to innocent people - Mr. Dotcom’s family and friends for example. Armed agents invaded their home, terrorised the people there, then lied about it [ibid]. Mr. Dotcom had to fight for years against these people. Fortunately he had the courage and finances to do so - a less well off citizen would not have had a chance.
  5. This case points out too that there is little to no accountability for illegal and unethical actions by such agencies. Mr. Dotcom who has never been found guilty of any wrongdoing lost his assets, his livelihood, his safety (his home was invaded), his fundamental human right to privacy (he was illegally monitored for years), the security of his family, and was moreover the subject of lies and innuendo which made his life very difficult. All while the real criminals - who were in fact ruled by no less than the High Court to be guilty of a very serious breach of human rights) - suffered no penalty whatsoever [ibid]. The nameless bureaucrats at the GCSB simply carried on receiving their government salaries and benefits. They were not even named.
Please keep this case in mind as you read on, below. There is I argue, a war against fundamental human rights currently going on around the world. And for the most part, the average citizen in blithely unaware and uncaring as slowly but surely, their rights and their freedoms vanish.

10.6.3 Precedent: The Panopticon

“...privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society”
~ European Parliament report PR\1014703EN [1451]
“The intensity and complexity of life, attendant upon advancing civilisation, have rendered necessary some retreat from the world, and man, under the refining influence of culture, has become more sensitive to publicity, so that solitude and privacy have become more essential to the individual; but modern enterprise and invention have, through invasions upon his privacy, subjected him to mental pain and distress, far greater than could be inflicted by mere bodily injury.”
~ J. Willis, ’The Right to Privacy’, Harvard Law Review IV,5, 1890 [1679]
Historically the undermining of privacy rights has always been a forerunner of totalitarianism and dictatorship.
“Hitler’s dictatorship employed to perfection the instruments of technology to dominate its own people ... by such instruments ... to maintain a close watch over all citizens and to keep criminal operations shrouded in a high degree of secrecy.”
~ Albert Speer [973], Nazi head of armaments in Hitler’s Cabinet
In 1787 Jeremy Bentham proposed what he termed a “Panopticon” - a universal spy system working on behalf of the power elite. His proposal had to wait technical developments of the 21stcentury however, to become a reality. We live in a time were government, corporate, and military abuse of various technologies has not only produced a Panopticon far beyond anything envisions by Bentham, but has been and is being abused to the detriment of fundamental human rights and civil protections throughout the world.
Bentham was an ... odd ... person, ordering that his skeleton and head be preserved and put on display. Currently the clothed skeleton and wax head (the original head rotted) is in a cabinet at University College London (UCL). A Camera is affixed to Mr. Bentham’s remains, which looks out on and records everyone nearby 24 hrs/day. There has been talk of doing the same with Michael Haydens (former head of the U.S. NSA spy agency - Mr. Hayden is discussed below) remains when he dies.
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(Photo: Bentham’s remains and a sample of what it records 24/hrs a day, every day)
For despite bland assurances and lies (vide infra for citations) for the abusers, the sad fact is that the rise of totalitarianism and dictatorship has always been precipitated by a rise in government and corporate spying on the population.
This is in clear and obvious contravention of international and national law. For the right to privacy and free speech is protected by law in all western countries. In Britain and Europe by the European Convention on Human Rights; in North America by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) and in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights of 1791; and around the world by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right to privacy and to free speech has been affirmed by all members of the United Nations as a basic human right. This was made international law by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
“Civilisation is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe.”
~ Ayn Rand [1164]
Respecting privacy and free speech rights is also the ethical and moral means through which all individuals can work to better the whole of society.
History has shown that the greatest threats to individual rights and freedom usually emanate from within the halls of power rather than from any outside force. It is naive to believe this is different in our own time.
Before looking in detail at how this is occurring, please consider the following quotations:
“[use of encryption] is the best defence to protect data”
~ report [1418] by the U.S. National Intelligence Council which reports directly to the U.S. director of national intelligence. The report bemoaned the slow uptake in use of encryption by U.S. businesses and individuals in order to protect their data from criminals and others. The report recommended everyone on the internet use encryption
“There should be nothing we [the government] cannot read”
~ David Cameron [1419], UK prime minister announcing moves to forbid the use of encryption online, forcing corporations to turnover all encryption keys to government in a manner almost identical [1420] to Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Burma, and other similar bastions of freedom and democracy
“If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear.”
~ G.W. Bush [1498], first unelected [1499] president of the United States
"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 scrutinised."
~ George Orwell, 1984 [525]
Incrementally decreasing civil liberties under the ludicrous claim that to do so is “essential to protect the public” or the mendacity of “National Security”, whilst simultaneously clutching the flag to one’s bosom in photo-ops of patriotic fervour, seems to be de rigour for a certain type of politician. Rather decreasing civil liberties is merely part of a long term plan. A quick example: In 2015 leaked documents from the General Counsel of the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence showed that spy agencies wished laws to ban encryption (for anyone except themselves). The documents indicated that the NSA and others planned to have their politicians introduce such laws as soon as “a terrorist disaster ... put Americans in a receptive frame of mind” [1615]. As the London Guardian points out [1616], it is not necessary to pass laws which will be opposed by civil liberties groups. Instead it is merely necessary to wait (or foster) some disaster at which point the previously written but hidden laws will be passed without opposition - for those who oppose such assaults on freedom will be labelled “anti-patriotic” or even “terrorists”.
The type of people who plan in this way, who happily reduce civil liberties, who willingly instil fear and loathing against otherness, insist that setting up an Orwellian dystopic surveillance state, is a “good thing”. That secret no-travel lists, detention without trial, giving extreme powers to secret police and intelligence agencies, and so much more ... is necessary to “protect the people”. Well, such activities are certainly not without historical precedent.
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10.6.4 A very brief history of spying on everyone

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“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
~ Thomas Jefferson [1163], 3rd president of the United States and slave owner
"For in a Republic, who is ’the country?’ Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant - merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."
~ Mark Twain (S. L. Clemens) [1002], who believed that the U.S. government had been taken over by wealthy, antidemocratic, and authoritarian men
No one (other than a politician) ever claimed that politicians were intelligent, ethical, or caring individuals who actually do good in the world. Therefore before beginning, I should point out one important point:
Spying on everyone is never about saving lives or protecting the public. For if saving lives and protecting the public was truely the goal, then
  1. tobacco sales would be banned long ago (millions of deaths),
  2. money would be poured into reducing highway fatalities (millions of deaths),
  3. money would be poured into poverty elimination (eg. more children die of malnutrition in the United States than in any other industrialised country),
  4. more effort would be placed into hauling those responsible for wars of invasion for oil (millions of deaths) before the International Criminal Court,
  5. resources would be poured into alleviating climate change (millions of deaths already directly traceable to climate change),
  6. ... and so on
There is a loooong list of obvious ways in which politicians could actually save lives and protect the public which are in fact, utterly ignored. Because these these things are singularly unimportant in the seats of government (although they all receive considerable lip servies). No. Instead trillions of taxpayer dollars are spent each and every year upon sensless wars for oil and in satisfying the pathologies of a handful of madmen.
For citations and discussion in support of this conclusion. [lease see:
  1. Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill ,
  2. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ,
  3. Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ,
  4. North American internment camps), and
  5. Psychopaths in power)
The suppression of dissent is very important in such enterprises. The primary means and methods are and always have been:
  1. Fear induction: Is Fear induction Social Engineering?
  2. Propaganda: Media Controls Most Narratives)
  3. Mass censorship: Censorship and Bibliocaust
  4. Inhumane treatment: North American internment camps), Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity?
and of course, the subject of this article:
5. Spying on everyone in order to suppress dissent.
This latter point is the real reason that billions of tax dollars are being poured into the creation of systems which are very rapidly eliminating the fundamental human right - as defined by the UN Charter - to privacy. For spying on everyone is not about protecting the public. It is about protecting the entrenched interests of a devolving power structure. Prying into the personal lives of everyone outside that power structure is and always has been, a primary tool of dominance and control antithetical to basic human rights and freedoms.
Furthermore whilst there is certainly an argument to be made for monitoring some activities - cybercrime, organised crime, paedophiles, etc. - federal police forces in all industrialised nations have ample tools and funding to mitigate these activities without the need for universal spying.
“States cannot ensure that individuals are able to freely seek and receive information or express themselves without respecting, protecting and promoting their right to privacy. Privacy and freedom of expression are interlinked and mutually dependent; an infringement upon one can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other. W ithout adequate legislation and legal standards to ensure the privacy, security and anonymity of communications, journalists, human rights defenders and whistleblowers, for example, cannot be assured that their communications will not b e subject to States’ scrutiny...
The right to privacy is often understood as an essential requirement for the realisation of the right to freedom of expression. Undue interference with individuals’ privacy can both directly and indirectly limit the free development and exchange of ideas. … An infringement upon one right can be both the cause and consequence of an infringement upon the other. ...
Communications surveillance should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.” United Nations Report on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, GE.13 -13303

10.6.4.1 Technology

Technology has always been used to enhance - or limit - communication:
  1. In ancient Egypt military falcons, hawks, and other trained birds augmented signal towers and by rapid boats ensured that the Pharaohs could communicate with their subordinates throughout the empire quickly and reliably.
  2. The Chinese T’ang dynasty (618-907 CE) maintained and consolidated their power through canals built by the Sui. For the canals allowed relatively rapid and reliable communication throughout the growing empire.
  3. Similarly the Roman roads were more than simply a means to move military rapidly, but served the far more frequent purpose of allowing communications between the central government and the rest of the empire.
  4. William the Conqueror used the Doomsday Book to create an information infrastructure on every citizen and every fiduciary resource in his kingdom - a structure of roads, special agents, legal backing, and record keeping.
It is this last however - the Doomsday Book - which merits further consideration as it the first recorded use of surveillance upon the very citizens a ruler was supposed to protect, for the sole purpose of further controlling them.

10.6.4.2 The Doomsday Book

The Doomsday Book was completed in 1086 CE. The king of England at the time, William I, wanted to ensure that everyone in the country was paying taxes and recognised that he owned every bit of land [9]. So he had teams of deputised legati go to every corner of the country to find out what a person owned, how much they owned, and how much it was worth. Of course the officers were, unlike police of our own time, readily subject to bribery, stupidity, and greed. Hence sometimes they would ask a neighbour what a person owned. If that neighbour wanted to get even and declare that the person in question was very rich, well, that was good enough for the officers [10]. They entered the information into the Doomsday Book.
Whatever was in the book, right or wrong, determined what a person had to pay in taxes or be jailed - or worse. There was no appeal [11], and no means of correcting the information once collected.
Further, since the Book was written in Latin, a language the average person did not know, the information in the Book may as well have been completely secret. Especially since very, very few people could read. As with no-fly lists in our own time, the Doomsday Book determined a person’s life, freedom of movement, and the like, with no appeal possible. The officers who repeatedly recompiled the information in the Book were part of the King’s universal spy network [ibid]. Their names were unknown, the lists they compiled were unavailable to the common man, the lists were frequently inaccurate, but appeal was impossible.
This was in effect a surveillance system whose primary purpose was to rape the land of its wealth and deliver it to the King and his cronies.

10.6.4.3 The Father of the Police State

The technologies of surveillance improved with time. The cumbersome hand written Doomsday Book transmogrified to vast keyed and code files. Even Richelieu recognised the utter incongruity of “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear” phrase under the ubiquity of surveillance:
"If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged."
~ Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu, 16th CE [1]
Cardinal Richelieu worked throughout his life to centralise all power in France into the hands of himself, his king, and the handful of his cronies. To do so, he used some basic techniques:
  • He all but eliminated free speech, and the free press.
  • He introduced censorship around most publications [12].
  • He rid France of the right of free assembly without his expressed permission [ibid].
  • He ordered torture and/or execution, or secret assassination of any whom he did not like [13].
  • He ordered secret assassinations by the secret police using the latest technologies of the day [259].
  • He began one of the most successful propaganda systems in Europe, which basically argued that supporting him was the same as being patriotic [2].
  • He developed a system of laws which were impossible not to break, then used them against his enemies (i.e. everyone except himself and his friends) [14].
  • He created his own private police force of mercenaries who were allowed to force entry to any home or church at his say-so alone [ibid].
  • He worked tirelessly to eliminate the basic human right to privacy - his spy network recruited citizens, children, military, to spy and report back on the doings of their neighbours, colleagues, parents... everyone. It was so successful that people became afraid to speak in public, discuss even the most innocuous things, lest what they said be taken down and used in against them [3]. Scholarship virtually ground to a halt as a result [260].
  • He boasted that he could find out anything about anyone [261], and use that against them. Even if he knew they had done nothing wrong... for he (along with the king) and his ministers defined what was right and wrong, changing the definitions as it pleased them. He could therefore jail or kill anyone. Even if they had nothing to hide [15].
In sum it may be said that Richelieu was the father of both the modern police state and modern surveillance societies. Whether a citizen had anything to hide or not, he had plenty to fear from Richelieu and his minions.

10.6.4.4 Early Technology

In 1939, the German government sought to expand its census information. It conducted one of the most thorough questioning of all persons, citizens and others, in the country. Each person’s age, sex, education, profession, religion, residence, marital status, number of children, place of birth, and so on were collects. As well as, for the first time, a person’s race and that of her parents and grandparents. The newly acquired Hollerith machines from IBM were used to record and sort through all of this new information.
The data later proved very useful to Adolph Eichmann (one of several Nazis later tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity). It helped him and his staff to rapidly create the Jewish Registry, containing detailed information on all those belonging to the Jewish religion. Most of those on the Registry were later tortured or killed or used in medical experiments.
Hollerith machines nicely demonstrated that computer technology could not only be used to create a surveillance society, but to create, monitor, and update very rapidly those whom the state wished to kill. Secret lists held in government computer files was shown to be very useful as a means of locating victims.
As the Speer quotation at the start of this article indicates, technology is the key to registering large groups of innocent people for later demonetisation.

10.6.4.5 The Modern Panopticon

“Communications surveillance should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society.”
~ F. La Rue [607], the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, report on state surveillance and freedom of expression.
I have already mentioned the origin of the term “Panopticon” in 18thC Britain [691]. A system of universal surveillance wherein everyone is watched, recorded, and judged by anonymous bureaucrats working for those in power. It is a police state with no escape. Jeremy Bentham invented the term in a letter to a friend in 1787 [ibid, pp. 29-141]. See particularly letters XIX, XX, and XXI in [1338]. Bentham envisioned a new type of prison – one which enabled monitoring everyone at all times without knowledge of the prisoners. This he wrote, was
“A new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” [ibid].
He felt that such a tool could be extended not only to prisons, but to madhouses, hospitals, to schools, and eventually to everyone.
Subsequent writers have stated that this model is the very essence of power, where constant observation is the key to total control of the citizenry. Foucault wrote [692, 693] that the Panopticon indicated two modes of power – synoptic (global, overview ) and analytic (deep, detailed). Every attitude and believe would then be open to analysis by those in power.
One major point however not foreseen by Bentham or Foucault was that technology would ultimately allow massive simultaneous non-geographically bound monitoring and absolutely perfect long term retention and replicability of observed events. Consider:
  • In all of these cases, the constant throughout the history of empire is that communication is key. And as humanity refined its techniques of demagoguery: empire and the classism it embodies, depends upon information infrastructure.
  • This is what allowed the Egyptians, Chinese, Romans and blue-painted British to refine the census, which in turn allowed for more accurate and widespread taxation. For the primary purpose of any information infrastructure, whether build of canals or of optical fibre is and has always been the enrichment of the central treasure. Or more properly - enrichment of those who feast from the central treasury: those of high social station. Control of the this information infrastructure has always therefore be a vital state policy. This no more so than with the development of the truly rapid communications.
The telegraph and train system was built through private/public funding but controlled exclusively by the plutocrats in both sectors. Amongst its many advantages for commerce, the telegraph in particular allowed the United States army to more easily commit its mass genocide of native populations of indigenous people. But setting up an maintaining a Panopticon with any of the foregoing infrastructure would have been impossible. Not that those in power did not try. For example: Typewriters, like all mechanical devices, have their own unique signature in terms of character shape differences, paper impression strength, and so on. Hence under the STASI in East Germany every owner of a typewriter was required to register their personal information and a sample of typewritten notes. This, it was felt, would allow authority to track the origin of unapproved “unpatriotic” writing in pamphlets, newsletters, and the like.
Figure 10.49 The Panopticon built by the STASI
(an image: pls click to see it)
The example of the STASI became the blueprint for the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other western nations current destruction of privacy rights and similar freedoms.
However not until the current era has the information infrastructure and its devices been capable of enabling universal surveillance - a true Panopticon far beyond the capabilities of the STASI. Now everyone is watched. All the time. From satellites, through biometrics, through compulsory DNA sampling, by RFID microdots hidden in clothing, etc. (Please vide infra for discussion and citations.) Without the computer infrastructure upon which all governments and corporations now depend, none of this or the plethora of other features of a Panopticon discussed here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) and here Censorship and Bibliocaust would be possible.
“The UK’s intelligence agencies (MI5, MI6, and GCHQ) are spying on everything you do, and with only the flimsiest of safeguards in place to prevent abuse, according to more than a thousand pages of documents published today as a result of a lawsuit filed by Privacy International. ... These records can be ’anything from your private medical records, your correspondence with your doctor or lawyer, even what petitions you have signed, your financial data, and commercial activities,’ Privacy International legal officer Millie Graham Wood said in a statement. ’The information revealed by this disclosure shows the staggering extent to which the intelligence agencies hoover up our data.’ ... Now they want more. "The agencies have been doing this for 15 years in secret”
~ J.M. Porup [1519] writing in ArsTechnica, following release of documents proving intelligence agencies spied on an collected personal private information from innocent citizens for decades, with essentially no oversight and no legal enabling
“Over the last 16 months, as I’ve debated this issue around the world, every single time somebody has said to me, ’I don’t really worry about invasions of privacy because I don’t have anything to hide.’ I always say the same thing to them. I get out a pen, I write down my email address. I say, ’Here’s my email address. What I want you to do when you get home is email me the passwords to all of your email accounts, not just the nice, respectable work one in your name, but all of them, because I want to be able to just troll through what it is you’re doing online, read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, if you’re doing nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide." Not a single person has taken me up on that offer.”
~ Glenn Greenwald in Why privacy matters [1803]
“Every US-based organisation has to comply with government surveillance requests in accordance with the Patriot Act - and they can’t breathe a word about it legally without winning a court challenge. If your email is provided by Gmail, Outlook or another US-based email service, it’s very possible a US government agency was reading your email in 2015 at the same time it was reading Yahoo email. The US government could also be reading your email messages right now, but you might never know.”
~ Startpage [1852]

10.6.4.6 The United States and the Five Eyes

In 2015 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Privacy (i.e. the world privacy commissioner) announced that the situation in the industrialised nations was worse than anything George Orwell had imagined [1562]. Dr. Cannataci called the oversight of such systems “a joke” [ibid], indicating that there was no effective oversight and such system had little or nothing to do with protecting the citizenry. Dr. Cannataci went on to say that the world needed a law similar to the Geneva convention to safeguard individual information and rights against the expanding threat of unethical actions by government, corporations, and intelligence/police agencies against the basic human right to privacy. This right - the right to privacy - has been international law under the UN Charter for more than fifty years. Yet as Dr. Cannataci pointed out, this law has been increasingly ignored by the very governments who had instituted it.
"The [system] involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities."
~ Zbigniew Brzezinski [1307], U.S. National Security Adviser and foreign policy advisor to U.S. presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, and co-founder co-founder with David Rockefeller, of the Trilateral Commission
"Collect it all, sniff it all, process it all, know it all, exploit it all,”
~ from leaked U.S. intelligence gathering directives, Greenwald [1269] (’sniff’ is a computer term for invisible monitoring and storing all communications)
Here in Britain, the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) runs a system code-named KARMA POLICE [323]  [323]  Childish minds like childish names - for example MUTANT BROTH works in association with KARMA POLICE. Other names are equally childish.. This system was created without any public oversight, debate, or scrutiny in 2007. But of course the unknowing taxpayer funded it. That is to say, funded a highly secret and secretive system antithetical to a plethora of legal and ethical rights.
GCHQ garners data from every communications system - constructing profiles showing everyone’s web browsing history, instant messaging applications, emails, Skype calls, text messages, cell phone location data, social media interactions, Google searches, use of Google Maps , ... etc. through secret taps built directly into the world’s fibre optic network system. GCHQs Network Analysis Centre even gathered data on what radio stations people listened to, and add this information to their profiling operation. More than 100,000,00,000 records each and every day - all unknowingly funded by the British taxpayer. The GCHQ target analysis centre (GTAC) uses a storage system know as ’the Black Hole’ to create its profiles. Every family member, children, friends .. everyone tracked, monitored, and spied upon in a system which put the Nazi monitoring system or that of the East German STASI, to shame. GCHQ used some of this data to allegedly compromise Netherlands-based Gemalto (the world’s laggest SIM maker) which is discussed below. Again, there is essentially no public oversight over the GCHQ.
As Orwell pointed out, the removal of privacy makes blackmail, faking data, destroying lives, and above all large scale social engineering ... relatively easy for the unscrupulous. For citations and much more detail, please see [1610, 1680, 1681, 1682]. The latter three citations refer to documents mentioned in the following paragraph.)
“The innocent have everything to fear, mostly from the guilty, but in the longer term even more from those who say things like ‘The innocent have nothing to fear.’”
~ T. Pratchett [1655]
GCHQ’s allegedly illegal (and perhaps amoral) spying, false flag, social engineering, propaganda, and other operations have been released into the public domain in several places, and are readily available from the U.S. NBC investigations, WikiLeaks, Crypthome, and a number of other outlets and NGOs. Please also vide infra in the subsection “Destruction of Democracy” for some interesting leaked documents concerning social engineering by GCHQ and its cohorts in the Five Eyes group. I recommend you access and read them to see how your tax dollar is being spent for social engineering (viz. the following leaked documents mentioned in the previous paragraph).
Five Eyes nations spy on one another’s citizens sharing infomation in order to avoid breaking domestic laws prohibiting them from spying on their own citizens. In other words, Five Eyes nations operate in such a way as to undermine democracy, the rule of law, and long standing civil rights.
Five Eyes Nine Eyes Fourteen Eyes
1. United States 6. Denmark 10. Belgium
2. Britain 7. France 11. Italy
3. Australia 8. Norway 12. Sweden
4. New Zealand 9. Netherlands 13. Germany
5. Canada 14. Spain
“There exists a state within the state, known as the national security state, a component of misgovernment centering around top officers in the CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA, the Pentagon, and policymakers in the Executive Office of the White House. These elements have proven themselves capable of perpetrating terrible crimes against dissidents at home and abroad. National security state agencies like the CIA, in the service of dominant economic interests, have enlisted the efforts of mobsters, drug traffickers, assassins, and torturers, systematically targeting peasant leaders, intellectuals, journalists, student leaders, clergy, labor union leaders, workers, and community activists in numerous countries. Hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered to prevent social change, to destroy any government or social movement that manifests an unwillingness to reduce its people to economic fodder for the giant corporations that rule the world’s economy.”
~ historian Dr. M. Parenti [1678]
Andrew Parker, Director-General of the British Security Service, during an interview on Britain’s Radio 4 Today programme stated [1611] that the Security Service needed MORE powers. He stated too, that MI5 (domestic), MI6 (foreign) and GCHQ (both) did not browse or store private communications of the population as a whole - that there was no “population level” monitoring. Perhaps he did not know any of the foregoing, or merely forgot? For in a democracy, high and well paid public servants are good people, honest, highly ethical, and certainly never, ever, lie.
“Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it. Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. This has been the case in the United States.”
~ Reporters sans Frontières [1168]
“Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business or in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.”
~ Edward Bernays [1719], nephew of Sigmund Freud, father of U.S. propaganda system, advisor to Hitler and Goebells on how to manipulate Germans to support the rise of the Nazi Reich
“One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency [NSA spy agency]; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice. ... By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets."
~ Edward Snowden [1528]
(an image: pls click to see it)
(Photo: U.S. president G.W. Bush, demonstrating his expertise in surveillance operations)

10.6.4.7 Infrastructure

“Data analytics have the potential to eclipse longstanding civil rights protections in how personal information is used in housing, credit, employment, health, education, and the marketplace ... Data, once created, is in many cases effectively permanent … The technological trajectory, however, is clear: more and more data will be generated about individuals and will persist under the control of others ... Users, more often than not, do not understand the degree to which they are a commodity in each level of this marketplace”
~ from Big Data [1508], published by and for the Executive Office of the United States President, 2014
“The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”
~ Dr. Joseph Mengele MD, Nazi war criminal, mass torturer [594]
When the East German government finally rotted from within, the public finally became aware that the STASI (the secret police) had compiled watch lists and profiles of almost every citizen (except those in power, of course) [17,18,19]. They did not spy on just a few dissenters, or as they called them “terrorists,” as they had claimed to do. No - they spied on everyone (except those in power). They created the first modern Panopticon.
“The US is not a free country. As much as I think it is good to try and restore our freedoms, I think people need to stop and think before asking too many questions. Most of us have families and careers or want to have... this isn’t the 1960s when you could protest the government and assume that the FBI record keeping was so bad that in a few years nobody gave a shit. Once you get on a watch list for being uppity in the 20 teens you are f—-d for life. So unless you want to make a career of being against the man and holding up a cardboard sign as the world actually is ending around you, then you should work towards policy changes with polite suggestions made through your elected representatives or actually staying below the radar and becoming part of government and not annoying public officials who may abuse their power over you just because they can.”
~ from a Slashdot discussion on U.S. watch lists comment #50917867 [1632]
“It was never a free country, not for everyone. The reason we’re hearing all about ’losing our freedoms’ is that now it’s finally happening to white people who have money. When it was just the blacks, or the Indians or the Jews or the Japanese, or whomever, then it was ’What a free country we are! And freedom isn’t free, y’all.’ But now that Biff Biffington has concerns about back doors in his crypto, it’s ’HOLY S— THIS AIN’T RIGHT!’ Well, welcome to the party.”
~ reply by #965947 to the foregoing quote [ibid]
“... there is no standard of evidence to be put on these lists. Damned near anybody in law enforcement can put someone on a list, just because they feel like it or have a hunch, or because they don’t like you. And then you’re on a list managed by idiots who have no real idea why you’re on the list. Then the idiocy becomes self-fulfilling, because if you’re on the list, it must be for a reason. If you are on a list, there is a very good chance the people who maintain that list have no idea why. Which means without evidence, documentation, or recourse your life can get somewhat screwed up, and the idiots who maintain the list don’t know or care how you got there; which means there’s not a damned thing you can do to fix it. Really, as long as it’s so trivial to put people on the list, there’s probably tons of people who are there for no reason at all. This whole bulls— notion [that] you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide is just that ... bulls—. ..., the people who run those lists are idiots, and ignoring things like evidence and probable cause. Fascists just love things like that.”
~ from the same discussion, comment by #321705 [ibid]
“I spend a lot of time reading and commenting on current events on another site, and I like to back up my comments with citations, so this leads me to Google all sorts of things. ... Last night I was reading a thread about the Mazda [whose name] is also the name of a military explosive. Around that time I was also searching for various terms related to the Missouri protests. Some overzealous algorithm might see a person searching for RDX and Mizzou and officer and shooting all within close proximity, and get me on a list I really would rather not be on. That’s one of the big problems with automated bulk surveillance, I imagine it’s connecting a lot of dots that truly aren’t connected.”
~ from the same discussion, comment by 203807 [ibid]
They spied on people who were of absolutely no threat to the state. They gathered everyone’s personal medical records, their family relationships, their networks of friends, their work history, their shopping patterns, what they purchased, were they ate, who they talked to, what they did in their spare time, what their sexual preferences were, how much education they had, their employment history, their travel history, what books they read from the library, and so much more. Everything there was to know about a person was logged, recorded, and used against them.
The STASI had no concern for the basic human right to privacy. As the records show [19,20], anything which the state had the power to do, they did. Including assassinations, arbitrary jailing, torture of known innocents, forced rendition, drug running, and other perversions of justice and ethics. (As an aside here, rendition is a crime under international law and under laws of all civilised countries. For example, Italian courts have called it a crime against humanity and jailed people involved in flights of rendition - please see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for details and citations.)
They did all this under the propaganda line that universal surveillance was essential for the safety of the state [ibid]. To stop “terrorists” from doing horrible things. A terrorist was anyone they felt was a terrorist [17]. (Please see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , for a more detailed analysis of this point.) Even though one might be hard put to find anyone committing more horror against the citizenry than the STASI and the government it worked for. Dissent became impossible.
Merely wearing a shirt emblazoned with the word “Peace” was enough for the STASI to arrest [324]  [324] The STASI are thankfully, long gone. But their hatred of t-shirts lives on. For example C. Dennis was arrested during the annual Midlands Fair in England for wearing a t-shirt upon which was written “"Bollocks to Blair”, an allegedly pro-war Prime Minister [117]. S.F. Downs, chief lawyer for New York State’s Commission on Judicial Conduct, was arrested for wearing a t-shirt upon which was written "Peace on Earth" [116]. J. Catt, an 81 year old military veteran was stopped under section 44 of the British Terrorism Act for wearing an anti-Blair t-shirt while walking in Brighton [265]. There are many more examples (eg.. [118, 119]). , torture [114], or even kill the individual wearing the logo. Under the Panopticon they created, dissent against government for its atrocities and genocides, for its theft of the public purse, for endemic lying, for invading other countries under false pretence, for perverting the justice system, for rampant cronyism, was enthusiastically suppressed.
The term monstering refers to the gathering of vast amounts of information on individuals, their families, and friends. Then use this information to threaten these individuals with public disclosure of selected bits, presented in a salacious manner. For example, if a person once was depressed and sought help from a psychologist in dealing with the loss of a loved one, the profile gleaned from spying on the person could then be used to deny her a job, take her children away, etc. A Panopticon is and always has been a means of suppression, not of protecting the nebulous false flag of “national security”.

10.6.4.8 The right of appeal

A commonality in the foregoing historical examples was that the public had no appeal. Whether in 9thC England, in 17th C France, in 20th C East Germany, and in Nazi Germany had very little knowledge of the extent to which they were watched or of the abuses being perpetrated. Because such information was and is vigorously suppressed, as cited in writings on bibliocaust Censorship and Bibliocaust [320]. Of course, if the spy agencies had nothing to fear from the public overseeing what they do, presumably they would have nothing to hide?
At any rate, even though the majority of people knew they were surveilled, they did not know its true extent [321]. Or even if they were on secret watch lists, no-travel list, and so on. Although we now know [262] that much of the information was erroneous, it was never the less assumed by those in power that it was true, that those on these lists were anathema in some way to their continued use of power. And so these lists were used to punish to destroy the lives of innocent people. Often in an effort to meet arrest and conviction quotas. And sometimes simply out of a vengeful pathology on the part of some petty bureaucrat (see for example, [13] and [17]).
Sometimes those in power admitted their excesses in this regard, as indicated by the Richelieu quote above. But usually not.
  • "If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
    ~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corp., 1992 [21]
  • “When the American people come to understand how the Patriot Act has actually been interpreted in secret, they will insist on significant reforms”
    ~ B. Wyden, member of U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, restricted by law from being more specific [52]
  • “They would be absolutely stunned”
    ~ Udall, member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee referring to what his government was doing, but restricted by law from being saying anything more [53].
  • “These agencies are saying the targeted killing program is so secret that they can’t even acknowledge that it exists.”
    ~ U.S. ACLU which launched law suit against their government regarding secrecy surrounding that country’s presidential assassination program. A program which allegedly targeted U.S. citizens and others [263].
  • "...the fate of those killed ... was [unknowingly] sealed by their answers to the 1939 census”
    ~ Nazi Adolph Eichmann during war crimes testimony [264]
  • “The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”
    ~ Dr. Joseph Mengele MD, Nazi war criminal, mass torturer

10.6.4.9 Privacy rights become international law

“Spy mania was not merely the narrow minded predilection of Stalin alone. It was very useful for everyone who possessed any privileges. It became the natural justification for increasing widespread secrecy, the withholding of information, closed doors and security passes, fenced off dachas and secret, restricted special shops. People has no way of penetrating the armour plate of state spy mania and learning how the bureaucracy made its cosy arrangements, loafed, blundered, ate, and took its amusements”
~ A. Solzhenitsyn [1321], writing in the “Gulag Archipelago”
(an image: pls click to see it)
Jumping forward a little in time, we begin to see laws developed to protect individual privacy rights. For example:
  • the European Convention on Human Rights [108]
  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) [4]
  • the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [5]
  • Resolution 217 A (III) of the United Nations [6]
  • UN UDHR amendment [112]
In addition to these international laws, little by little individual countries developed their own protections for privacy rights. For example:
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) [109]
  • United States by the Bill of Rights of 1791 [110];
These laws and agreements sought to guarantee that the right of privacy became a basic human right. Eventually under the amendment to the UN UDHR [112], the right to individual privacy became enshrined as a fundamental human right. A right to which most of the world’s countries became signatories [7].
Yet government violations of this basic human right have become increasingly common. Sadly, this is so for many democratic societies as well as authoritarian ones. As I discussed in my article on the demise of democratic societies Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) [258], almost all signatories to the UN Declaration are and have been for some decades, in violation.
Those in violation, whether by police, military, government, educational institutions, or for-profit corporations, began in the late 20thC to assure the public that the “nothing to hide” dianoetic is sufficient protection. This slogan began to appear first, at British tube stations, before being adopted by various regimes around the world:
"If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear."
~ Slogan quoted by British government Ministers during an election campaign [8]

10.6.5 The Worldwide Panopticon begins

"We are frisking each other. Picture yourself going to work tomorrow, handing over blood and urine samples, taking a quick turn with the house polygraph, turning out your pockets and walking through some new fluoroscope. You object? Whatsamatter, you got something to hide?"
~ W. Safire [690]
Given this brief history one would expect that the many governments which signed the guarantees of privacy and other related fundamental human rights would have at least given such rights some consideration. Not so - the United States and its colonies in all but name - Canada, Britain, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, etc. - have since built a Panopticon which spans the globe.
The right to privacy and free speech is protected by law in all western countries. In Britain and Europe by the European Convention on Human Rights; in North America by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) and in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights of 1791; and around the world by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right to privacy and to free speech has been affirmed by all members of the United Nations as a basic human right. This was made international law by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
In the U.S. president Reagan placed two men, CIA head B. Cacey and VIce president Bush (formerly a CIA operative [740]) in charge of imposing a vast new secrecy apparatus [727]. The first law they came up with was the “Intelligence Identities Protection Act”. This act made identifying U.S. spies a jailable offence [728] (later when Vice president R. Chaney identified a U.S. spy [729] putting her in grave danger [730], surprisingly he was not jailed - illustrating yet again that U.S. laws do not apply to the political powerful - please q.v. Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ).
The purpose of course was censorship - to frighten whistleblowers so that they would not disclose what Mr. Reagan was really doing. Such as his death squads in Central America [731, 732] which slaughtered tens of thousands of civilians [ibid, 733], his massive domestic spying against U.S. citizens and antiwar activists [734, 735, 736], his illegal [737] covert operations and alleged treason such as the Iran-Contra operation (a huge scandal when discovered [738, 739]; and a host of other allegedly antidemocratic and illegal activities Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism).
“Spy mania was not merely the narrow minded predilection of Stalin alone. It was very useful for everyone who possessed any privileges. It became the natural justification for increasing widespread secrecy, the withholding of information, closed doors and security passes, fenced off dachas and secret, restricted special shops. People has no way of penetrating the armour plate of state spy mania and learning how the bureaucracy made its cosy arrangements, loafed, blundered, ate, and took its amusements”
~ A. Solzhenitsyn [1321], writing in the “Gulag Archipelago”
Mr. Reagan’s efforts at creating a massive secrecy organisation operating essentially independent of public oversight, the courts, or even the peoples’ elected representatives, were completely successful. Secrecy and censorship in government became institutionalised. Secrecy contracts federal workers, rules concerning media contact, vicious pursuit of and penalties for whistleblowers, all became part of the U.S. government. The model Reagan set up was also set up by Prime Minister Thatcher in Britain, and served as a de facto government for many western governments ever since, become more and more deeply entrenched such that the “secrecy and intelligence” branches of government grew, were separately funded, and ultimately became to all intents and purposes independent of most government control and all public control.
Subsequent U.S. presidents built upon Reagan’s fine pioneering work:
U.S. presidential Directive HSPD-12-2004 required that all government and contract workers must carry secure ID cards [711]. Of course the only really secure cards are biometric. So without specifically saying so, the Directive ordered all such workers to to surrender unique biometric identifiers to the government. However HSPD-12 was severely unfunded. So HSPD-12 compliance in most agencies and corporate contractors was turned over to the private sector.
This is typical - politicians mandate, bureaucrats attempt to implement, there are budget shortfalls or lack of in-house expertise, and eventually systems requiring technology are placed into the hands of private for-profit corporations. For example, in a presentation sponsored by the U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency [712], it was shown that at least 70 percent of the U.S. public intelligence budget goes to private sector contractors.
When it comes to mission creep it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between corporations and government - in many ostensible democracies (see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ), they are essentially the same. This is discussed in more detail later on.
When it comes to the construction of Bentham’s Panopticon discussed in Sect. 2.4. Microsoft [802, 811], Apple [803], Google [ibid], AT&T [804], Booze Allen [805], Western Union [806], RCA [ibid], AOL [809], Facebook [804], Blackberry [810], and many, many other large communications, electronics, and similar corporations have been alleged to be not merely an essential part of the Panopticon’s construction, but a willing part. For example, it has been alleged that all versions of Windows from Windows 95 OSR2 onward contain NSA keys allowing full access to all user data [721, 722, 723, 724]. Or Apple ... can you imaging a more insecure method of logging in to your IPhone than Apple’s facial recognition password? All a crook, border guard, police officer, or your boss has to do is demand you IPhone point it at your face, and voila! they can access all of your private information. (If you feel that Apple’s argument [2011] that a person must look directly at their phone makes any difference here, then there is please go about your business ... nothing to see here at all. Sigh.)
The NSA (see below) has even allegedly put pressure on the developer of the Linux operating system to place special code into the system kernal to allow the NSA to access everyone’s computer [1801, 1802]. This has been confirmed by Nils Torvalds, is a Member of the European Parliament for Finland [ibid]. I personally would not use products from Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, or Google. Or their various clones and contractors. Or products by the best known Social Media vendors. Fortunately there are a plethora of better, free, and opensource alternatives. (Please see the GNU Foundation’s - www.gnu.org - document “Microsoft is Malware” [1803] for an introduction as to why some experts have suggested not using Microsoft products.)
For a fun and enjoyable read, you may wish to peruse the U.S. Patriot Act and the U.S. Military Commissions Act [1232]. As well as documents pertaining to the U.S. Enduring Security Framework (ESF) [1233] between government and these corporations. Ethics vs. billions in profit, oil vs. vinegar. Please also vide infra - Google is allegedly a U.S. military operation.

10.6.6 Propaganda and tautological nulls: “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear”

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Before getting in to the details, it may be worthwhile to examine the propaganda phrase “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear”.
This phrase is akin to the statement “I do not care about free speech because I have nothing to say” - i.e. a tautological null. Consider:
  1. Note the underlying assumption in the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” phrase - namely that to be a good citizen you must prove you are good by relinquishing your basic human right to privacy. Otherwise, you are deemed not a good citizen and therefore not subject to the rights and protections accorded to those who are good. In essence the propagandists and their employers who trot out this phrase are denying Habeus corpus - that you are innocent until you are proved guilty.
  2. Secondly, behind this phrase is the dictum that only by constantly monitoring a citizen can the citizen be shown to be ’good’ - i.e. of no threat to the state. This was the rational used by the murderous East German STASI when they launched the first modern surveillance state (as discussed below) and one which has now been resurrected by most western government. It is a dictum of control, and directly antithetical to democracy and human rights.
  3. Thirdly, the phrase carries with it a not very subtle threat - comply or be considered an enemy. The laws behind the phrase give immense power to agents of government which are not themselves subject to public scrutiny (the U.S. NSA is a good example, many more are given below). These laws allow unprecedented violence against individuals should they decline to give up their privacy - such violence includes unlimited jail sentences, loss of employment, social pariahship, and the like. As an example of this latter, the egregious Harper regime in Canada informed citizens through the then Justice Minister that those who objected to the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” argument as embodied in a new law he presented, were “siding with the pornographers”.
  4. Fourthly, it is some authority, some secret government group, some military person who determines if you have something to fear. Not you or the public at large. And because of that the average person ceases to think in terms of what is legal or just or ethical, but instead exhibits massive self-censorship (see Section 10.6.15.3, below) to avoid being red-flagged. Simple self-preservation requires it. As shown below, when the STASI and others such as the dystopian McCarthy Era in the U.S. have constructed surveillance states, this is exact the result. Free speech becomes a thing of the past. Being eventually cleared is irrelevant - by the time innocence of any crime may be proven, it is too late - a person’s life is already destroyed.
  5. And finally, every surveillance state, every technology used, is error prone. Incorrect data, incorrect analytics, incorrect use of statistics, incorrect programming, and a vast array of junk science is used in surveillance. This is discussed in some detail below, the end result of which is that very large numbers of innocent people are abused by the state. One need look no further than the ludicrous “no-fly” lists used by the U.S. and their colonies than to see this at work.
Privacy is a basic human rights under UN resolution 217 as cited above. There is a very large academic literature proving that removing it is extremely harmful to the psychological well being of both individuals and to society as a whole.
Anonymity is often an essential component of privacy. Without anonymity there cannot be a free press. Without anonimity whistleblowing becomes as death sentence. Without anonymity and its protection, democracy leans precariously toward a police state.
"The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one’s privacy as possible."
~ U.S. Justice Stevens [1509]
"persecuted groups and sects from time to time throughout history have been able to criticize oppressive practices and laws either anonymously or not at all..."
~ U.S. Justice Black [1510]
Suppression by the state of privacy and anonymity, is a violation of international law, and a suppression of the human rights. While there are some circumstances were such violation is perhaps allowable (the capture of child pornographers for example) such violations must be supervised not by some secretive alleged lawbreaking organisation such as the U.S. NSA or its many cousins as detailed below, but rather by the public under direct public supervision with lawfully mandated termination periods and review.
What might you wish to hide?
  • If you are fleeing domestic violence and do not wish to be traced
  • If you are homosexual (punishable by death in some countries)
  • If you are a member of a minority religion
  • If you are a woman living alone
  • If you are a child fleeing a violent home
  • If you are a journalist working undercover
  • If you are a scientist working with dangerous materials a criminal may want
  • If you are a senior not wishing to make you age public
  • If you are a rape victim
  • If you witnessing yet another U.S. police murder of a black man
  • If you are a whistleblower
  • If you are reporting a gang crime or Mafia hit
  • If your child is suffers a mental illness and will be beaten up at school if others find out
And so on - if you are a good citizen, there are still plenty of things you may wish to keep private.
“H.R.4886 - To require purchasers of pre-paid mobile devices or SIM cards to provide identification, and for other purposes”
~ a law introduced in the U.S. by Congress person Jackie Speier requiring that no person in the United States could purchase a cellphone without having their personal information, home address, etc. recorded and sent to the government [1511]. Congress person Speier is pictured below; she did not at time of introducing the law, discuss similar laws introduced in Nazi Germany or by the East German STASI - two states who told the citizenry that removing anonymity would make them safer.

10.6.7 The government Panopticon - spying on everyone

Some Names: XKeyscore, PRISM, Thin Thread, ECHELON, MonsterMind, MUSCULAR, MYSTIC, Carnivore, Total Information Awareness, DISHFIRE, STONEGHOST, Tempora, Frenchelon, Fairview, MYSTIC, DCSN, Boundless Informant, BULLRUN, PINWALE, OAKSTAR, Stingray, and other silly names used by little children with pretty ribbons on their chests
Some Agencies: Five Eyes, BND, DGSE, GCSB, FSB, MSS, SIGINT, CSIS, DARPA, GCHQ, Equation Group, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, ASD, CSEC, etc.
Some People: Keith Alexander, James Clapper, Barack Obama, John Kerr, Tony Abbot, Erich Fritz Emil Mielke, Heinrich Luitpold Himmler, etc. ad nauseam
Some Locals: The Doughnut, Fort Meade, Menwith Hill, Pine Gap, Southern Cross Cable, Utah Data Center, Bad Aibling Station, Dagger Complex, Niederkirchnerstrasse, Zircon spy satellites, etc.
Some Panopticon Enacting Directives: UKUSA Agreement, Lustre U.S., Safe Streets Act, Protect America Act, USA Freedom Act, FISA, Patriot Act, NCAA, EU Data Retention Directive, Data Protection Directive, C-51, Badu, British Terrorism Act, and many, many, many others
“Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? ("Who watches the watchers?")
“Upstream surveillance is not limited to communications sent or received by the NSA’s targets. Rather, it involves the surveillance of essentially everyone’s communications. The NSA systematically examines the full content of substantially all international text-based communications (and many domestic ones) for references to its search terms. In other words, the NSA copies and reviews the communications of millions of innocent people to determine whether they are discussing or reading anything containing the NSA’s search terms.”
~ from a lawsuit by Wikipedia against the NSA [1540]
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10.6.7.1 International Law

"That capability [universal surveillance] at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. ... if a dictator ever took over, the NSA could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.”
~ U.S. Senator Frank Church [688], speaking in the late 1970’s. His warning, as with those from Orwell onward, has been ignored.
Over 150 nations have signed Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, enshrining and agreeing to protect and respect the right of all to privacy. You can help ensure that the basic human rights in the Declaration are respected. Sadly some countries have decided to ignore their responsibilities under the declaration.
"The NSA has assembled 20 trillion transactions of phone calls, emails and other forms of data from Americans. This likely includes copies of almost all of the emails sent and received from most people living in the United States."
~ William Binney, 30 year veteran of the U.S. National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program [338].
The NSA has spied upon heads of state [917] such as the president of Mexico [918] hacking into his personal email account (operation “Flatliquid” [ibid] by the "Tailored Access Operations" department [920] in conjunction with the U.S. CIA and other "Special Collection Service" operations). The NSA also allegedly hacked into and spied upon Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff’ accounts, as well as those of top government officials [921]. And millions of French citizens [922] - 70 million records per week of conversations, emails, etc. of French citizens [ibid]. It allegedly hacked into (or at least attempted to do so) German Chancellor A. Merkel’s personal cellphone [927] [325]  [325] Merkel’s public outrage was for show only. For secretly Merkel’s government had been working with (for?) the NSA, even to the point of spying on European allies for the U.S. government [1856, 1857]. Hypocrisy? In politicians? Impossible! Within a short time Merkel went on to introduced draconian surveillance laws in apparent violation of Article 10 of the German Constitution [1858] which enshrined the right to privacy as a basic human right. But as in the United States and Britain, no German politician had ever or would ever violate human rights. Right?. And 60,000,000 Spanish citizens in one month along [950]. And so on ... at least thirty-five world leaders and heads of state [931] including the Pope [949] (just in case the Pope was really an evil person out to destroy the United States?) had been targeted and spied upon by this egregious organisation. The NSA spied upon everyone in alleged disregard of international law.
"Today we showed that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies. .... The U.S. government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct against the UN - let alone its Secretary General. It will be interesting to see the UN’s reaction, because if the Secretary General can be targeted without consequence then everyone from world leader to street sweeper is at risk."
~ J. Assange [1504]
It would seem as if that the U.S. has done exactly that - illegally spied upon world leaders. Perhaps one of the reasons therefore that the U.S. goes after whistleblowers is that men and women show the world and the U.S. public exactly what their leaders are actually doing, rather than what they say they are doing? Please see The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .
Consider the SOMALGET program. It is part of the NSA MYSTIC system (which spies on the Global System for Mobile Communications network worldwide) and comprised in part of OILYRAG, SCALAWAG, LOLLYGAG, BASECOAT, [1251] and other collection systems [326]  [326] Ah the wonderful poetry of naming systems designed by the ethically challenged. depending upon which humans are having their right to privacy removed by the NSA. gathers and stores the content of every conversation in an entire country [ibid]. Everyone using a phone or computer in the Bahamas, Kenya, Philippines, Mexico for example, has been spied upon by SOMALGET [ibid] - all allegedly in violation of international and national laws (eg. [1252]), treaties, and the UN Charter cited above. (The NSA has stated that everything they do is lawful [1253], but have to date offered no proof or documents with which such a statement can be confirmed. Since the heads of the NSA have been caught allegedly lying on several occasions [Op. cit.], such statements are at the very least, suspect.)
““It’s almost like they have this mentality – if we can, we will. There’s no analysis of the long-term risks of doing it, no analysis of whether it’s actually worth the effort, no analysis of whether we couldn’t take those resources and actually put them on real threats and do more good.”The undermining of international law and international cooperation is such a long-term negative result of these programs that they had to know would eventually be exposed, whether through a leak, whether through a spy, whether through an accident. Nothing stays secret forever. It really shows the arrogance of these agencies – they were just going to do what they were going to do, and they weren’t really going to consider any other important aspects of how our long-term security needs to be addressed.”
~ M. German, New York University’s Brennan Centre for Justice [1251]
Interestingly the U.S. Secretary of State dismissed this saying it was “necessary for protecting the security of our citizens” [923] and “everyone else does it” [926].
This particular response - a response echoed by the Canadian government and the U.S. government - was interesting. For it appeared to show no remorse. An ethical nullity linked to cognitive dissonance perhaps. Or at least little or no cognisance of or interest in
  1. the UN Charter [Op. cit.] to which both countries were signatories or
  2. the ethical or moral questions involved,
  3. the rights of independent countries and their citizens, or
  4. the long history of how such alleged violations had so often been precursors to the rise of totalitarianism (viz. the rise of the STASI, SLORC, KGB, etc.).
It is a sad thing to see that those sworn to protect the rights of citizens so frequent appear not to do so. Furthermore it may be that the claim that “everyone does it” is not tenable. For few countries have hundreds of billions of dollars it takes each years to monitor and sort through the communications of billions of innocent people on the planet.
Let me make this last point again, a point I shall repeat in other ways throughout: The rise of totalitarianism and dictatorship has always been precipitated by a rise in secret spying on the population. For there has never been a time in history when increased secret surveillance has not been initially abused, and finally become prelude to the rise of a system in direct opposition to the well being of the citizenry.
Well, the then head of the NSA issued an internal memorandum [932] to employees telling them not to worry - the public would soon tire of the story and everything would soon return to normal. Business as usual.
Which raises an important point concerning the mental state Psychopaths in Power of those who perpetrate such activities. There are many ethical issues here. What for example, is the ethics of spending hundreds of billions of dollars of tax money and eviscerating the basic human right of privacy for everyone in the industrialised world? On the vague promise, without an iota of proof, that such action was to protect the citizenry. From what?
The probability of being harmed by a “terrorist” is picayune. It is essentially zero. Certainly as a U.S. citizen you are far more likely to be harmed by a government representative (eg. having your young children sexually groped by a U.S. TSA agent at a border check-in [1620, 1621, 1622], or by being shot in the back by police if you have the temerity to have dark skin pigmentation [1623, 1624]) than by any so-called “terrorist”. Please see the actual calculation of the probabilities involved in my article on terrorism, here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .
However, rather than actually do some good in the world, the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars spent upon the War of Terror is a means of diverting aid from social programs and placing it instead into the theatre security of a Panopticon. This in turn diverts hundreds of billions of dollars toward private for profit contractors and corporations who fund the politicians supporting such antidemocratic and inhuman rights activities. Please see Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) for citations.
At any rate the U.S. NSA and its many clones in Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, etc. allegedly conduct massive industrial espionage on behalf of these same corporations. As cited elsewhere herein for example (as well as [936, 937]) the Canadian version of the NSA - CSEC - spies on behalf of U.S. corporations (and their Canadian branches) in other countries, sharing its results in regular meetings with said corporations [1001]. Tax money diverted from social programs to help corporate CEO rapaciousness.
The point of course is that there is no debate, no public discussion, of the ethical issues surrounding the use of technology to remove privacy, to spy on behalf of a few very wealthy CEOs, or to discuss whether or not the billions spent on this might better be spent helping those who unknowingly and without approval fund it all - i.e. the taxpayer.
At any rate, both Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry (U.S. president and secretary of state) further argued that attempts to take the NSA to court over this and similar issues which appeared to be also against U.S. law, was not possible. Why? Because as the U.S. president and his representatives argued [919], the U.S. Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction over the NSA activities. That is to say, it was above the law. And thereby not responsible to the rule of the citizenry.
Spying by those in power upon the citizenry without any form of public or judicial oversight has been made legal or at least if not legal, then effectively non-actionable. That is to say, the wolves (see box here: Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ) appear to be in charge of the hen house. At the cost of the basic human right [924] to privacy and freedom of expression.
A few of the many U.S. Panopticon infrastructure organisations
  • DIA: Defense Intelligence Agency, which is responsible for intelligence specifically regarding military affairs.
  • DOD: oversees armed forces and multiple intelligence agencies such as the NSA, NASA, DIA, etc.
  • DARPA: research arm of the military, funds virtually all university AI research in the United States
  • DEA: Drug Enforcement Administration - covert and intelligence operations relating to the drug trade, also alegedly involved in illegal entrapment [1643] and raids resulting in death of innocent people [1644]
  • ODNI: oversees intelligence operations, advises president, filters data (picks and chooses)
  • OICI: Department of Energy - gathers data re. nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, energy resources
  • CIA: Intelligence and covert operations such as has been alleged to be: assassination without trial [1632], overthrow of democratic regimes (eg. Haiti [1633], Guatemala [1634], etc.), training terrorists (Cuba [1635], Venezuela [1636], Columbia [1637], etc.), and torturing innocent people to death in so-called black sites (concentration camps) - please see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? for citations.
  • TFI: gathers data re. funds to people the U.S. does not like [1642], and finds means to restrict same [ibid]
  • FBI: counterintelligence and federal criminal investigations within the U.S., gang infiltration, political dissident monitoring, etc., planting viruses in computers of millions of innocent people [1638, Op. cit.], illegal spying [1639], lying to Congress [1817], etc.
  • NSA: gathers data from all communications networks, oversees the construction of the world wide Panopticon, spies on corporations, government offices, politicians, individuals, etc. NSA agents also spy on their girlfriends, wives, friends, etc. [1640, 1641, Op. cit.].
  • I&A: part of the TFI specialising in financial systems
  • INR: analyzes data from overall U.S. Intelligence Community.
  • NGA: geo-spatial data via satellites, spy photography, geomapping, etc.
  • NRO: produces and designs spy satellites (current routine resolution in 6 inches [1645], with finer resolution down to a few centimetres [ibid] - consider the implication of that number.
  • CSS: data gathering for INSCOM, CYBERCOM, NETCOM, CENTCOM and other military sections
  • TSA: tasked with preventing freedom of moment and sexually groping children [1620, 1621, 1622], forcing rectal probes into grandmothers [1626], requiring handicapped people in wheelchairs to get up an walk through check-in [1624, 1628], requiring people to have their entire laptop computer hard drives copied at boarder crossings [1629], stealing material from travellers [1650], making attractive females repeatedly walk through airport scanners [1651], passing around and even emailing friends with body scans of travellers [1652, 1653], videotaping strip searches [1654, 1654], and generally frightening, molesting, and stopping innocent people at boarders, transportation hubs, bus stops, [ibid], etc., and generally ignoring civil and human rights. Similarities (virtualy identical) to actions of Hitler’s SA at boarders and transportation hubs are of course, purely conicidencidental.
  • Homeland Security: data gathering and disaster control, allegedly conducting false flag events, natural disasters, suppressing political dissent [1646, 1647, 1648, 1649], etc
  • and so on down a LONG list of taxpayer funded agencies
Primary differences between these groups lie in techniques and focus. Overall cost to the taxpayer is estimated (FOI requests do not cover black or hidden budgets) to be in the high 100s of billions of dollars each and every year [Op. cit.]. Enough to eliminate poverty and provide free education for everyone in North America.

10.6.7.2 Guilt by Association

In the U.S. for example, the FBI has launched a $1,000,000,000 face recognition project in order to be able to use CCTV from stores, street cameras, drone surveillance, your pictures on the net, etc. [438] and track everyone. The goal is to produce national photographic database without actually need legislation to do so [439].
Note that this federal police force refused to guarantee that they would keep only photos of known criminals. Hence given the mission creep by other agencies in that country, and rules which allowed for cross-boarder information exchange under the TPP, it is not difficult to predict that the goal would be for this and similar agencies such as the NSA to use every driving license photo, passport photo, physician DNA records, and iris scans by chain stores (vide infra) and the like... all without checks and balances, citizen oversight, public accountability, or limiting laws.
This of course, is how the STASI began. Note that this is also potential guilt by association. If you briefly chat with someone waiting in line who years later does something the FBI dislikes, automated photo databases will flag you as a potential suspect. Reliance on technology is a recipe for false positives, and for thereby interfering with the lives of innocent people.
Of course it should go without saying that the pressure of the state when someone is allegedly guilty by association, is only brought to bear against the average citizen - not, or at least very seldom, against those in power.
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(Photo: The face of power: R. Ford, mayor of Toronto. Please see [1357] for a summary of alleged activities of this person, responsible for a 10 billion dollar budget and alleged friend of known criminals, an alleged crack cocaine user, an alleged misogynist, and much more.)
Consider the man pictured, Toronto’s one time mayor R. Ford. Mr. Ford was born to a very wealthy family [1270]. For example, Mr. Ford was a fishing buddy of Canada’s prime minister Harper and long term family friend of Canada’s minister of Finance, J. Flaherty [1314] (see also Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism)).
As mayor of Toronto Mr. Ford was responsible for overseeing a $10,000,000,000 budget [1271] and like all mayors, presenting a positive image of the city, by leading by example. Instead, Mr. Ford was also an alleged alcoholic [1272] allegedly charged with drunk driving in Florida [1273], allegedly charged with domestic assault (spousal abuse) [1274], under police surveillance for many months [1275], allegedly known to associate with alleged drug dealers and organised crime [1276, 1277], alleged to be a crack cocaine addict [1278], videoed threatening to kill someone [1279], rampaging through a city hall meeting knocking down a councillor [1280], of allegedly uttering the most vile sexist and racist diatribes [1281], of allegedly lying repeatedly [1282, 1283, 1284], and more [1285, 1286]. During all of this, Mr. Ford was able to coach young children in public schools (something others with far far less alleged irregularities had been denied [1287], drive, and remain mayor of one of the largest cities in North America. Additionally, video, audio, and a host of police surveillance data allegedly confirmed these alleged irregularities.
Now consider Chris, a 27-year-old construction worker [1288]. Chris was a construction worker who trained for many weeks, at night after work, to become a firefighter. He had no charges or convictions, had never been questioned by police or had any interaction with them, and was in every way a model citizen. Someone he knew and had gone out to clubs several times, was charged with a drug offence. And so when eventually the fire service ran a background check on Chris, the check flagged him has having been named in a drug investigation (again, he had never even been questioned by police). Because of this, he was terminated from the fire service and had to give up his dream of being a firefighter anywhere in Canada.
Chris was presumed guilty by association. There was no recourse. Yet Mr. Ford, the mayor of a city of millions of people, controlling a ten billion dollar budget, and who allegedly regularly allegedly associated [Op. cit.] with known criminals and drug dealers, was allowed to continue as mayor.
And unlike the completely innocent Chris, was not considered guilty by association.
The Panopticon is used to “prove” guilt by association against the weak, not the powerful.

10.6.7.3 Corporate complicity

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Much of this has allegedly been done illegally. For example the U.S. NSA allegedly illegally ignored the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in conducting wholesale monitoring of citizen phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication [463]. Allegedly all communications worldwide as well as those of its own citizens are tapped [462], by a datamining system code named “Boundless Informant” [628].
The NSA’s Turmoil system is designed to detect “threatening” internet traffic (a DOS - denial of service - attack from China 隱私 to give a simple minded example; or a whistleblower releasing documents detailing alleged U.S. war crimes to give another example). The NSA’s Turbine then comes online to decide what to do with the “threatening” traffic. Turbine might for example, deploy software to try and hack the connection, or simply block it. Or redirect traffic to one many servers controlled by the NSA where a virus or spyware is injected before returning the traffic to its normal destination (this is a very commonly used technique). Where does such “threatening” traffic travel - over U.S. networks such as those owned by Google, which cooperated with the NSA [1406] long before it signed [1405] “cooperative” agreements with the NSA. Other corporations have done the same [ibid].
Please also see the comments at the end of this article regarding corporate-military equivilance in the United States and its subject nations.
“Threat briefings” are regularly given by government officials in many western countries by spy/police/homeland security agencies to selected corporate CEOs. Said CEOs are informed of dangers - mainly from Chinese and Russian hackers, and the necessity of working closely with said security agencies. And informed that if they reveal any of the briefings they face jail time. Unsurprisingly, CEOs then order their sysadmins to turn over the keys to the citadel to these spy agencies. Most do. In this way most Tier One (major internet providers) have allowed devices to security agencies directly into their corporate infrastructure. In the United States for example, there are allegedly no major ISPs not directly linked into the NSA and other agencies. At time of writing other corporations - gas and power companies for example - were being included in this effort.
All of which leads to the boundless Informant technologies built by various private contractors to the U.S. government and agencies such as the NSA. Such technologies allegedly allow any communication in any country to be monitored [629], datamined, and if desired faked and/or altered. More than 20 terabytes of intercept data are allegedly monitored per minute [ibid], then stored for extensive determining. Additionally the NSA datacentre in Utah is allegedly missioned to Intercept, decipher, analyse, and store all international, foreign, and domestic communication - complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, Google searches,banking records, medical records, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, text messages, IRC chats... everything [ibid, 605]. With considerable effort and money being poured into the datamining junk science of “backcasting”.
Of course, since the various three (potentially four) letter government agencies involved have such excellent track records of being good and decent, there is absolutely no danger they any of them would ever use the information gathered to institute an Orwellian dystopic The World Wide U.S. War of Terror . Right?
I would urge you to read documentation on the Highlands Forum [1429], John Clippinger’s A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity [1430], SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation - now renamed Leidos) [1431], the U.S. ONA (Office of Net Assessment) [1432], R. O’Neill’s paper Toward a methodology for perception management [1433], the CIA’s Intelink Management Office [1434], the U.S. NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) [1435], U.S. Secretary of Offence D. Rumsfeld’s Information Operations Roadmap [1436], and the like. At the very least, please read Dr. N. Ahmeds excellent research and introduction to this topic entitled “How the CIA made Google” [1437] and “Why Google made the NSA” [1438]. There it is alleged that Google and other giant U.S. IT corporations are essentially branches of the U.S. military and other agencies. It has been alleged too by a large number of researchers both within academia and journalism (eg. [1440, 1441]) that U.S. politicians have for the most part lost control over the various agencies they created and just as happened in East Germany under the STASI, the agencies are for the most part rougue, co-opting all IT corporations in their service, and worse.

10.6.7.4 National Security Dicto Simpliciter vs. Fact

"The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs."
~ J. Emmel [630], NSA spokesperson, to the London Guardian newspaper.
It has been alleged by those who study propaganda systems [1214, 1215], the the United States has one of the most pervasive systems of propaganda in the world, save for North Korea and similar regimes. Whether or not this is true is open to debate, of course.
One of the most prevalent propaganda themes in that country is that the construction of the Panopticon and its associated horrors is protected by “national security”. A term so vague as to be meaningless.
Hence perhaps in the quote above Ms. Emmel was unaware of the similarity of her argument to that put forth by East Germany’s notorious STASI when they stated that the secrecy of their surveillance program was necessary for the good of the people. Or perhaps she was unaware that in a democracy it might be a good idea to discuss programs before ignoring the law of the land and actually implementing them. Of course, if there really were real threats that such programs could mitigate, factual information presented to the public before implementing a Panopticon would allow the public - the people paying for such programs - to decide for themselves whether they wanted them or not, and vote. Rather than some bureaucrat making the decision in secret, keeping the facts secret, lying to the people’s representatives about the program [635] repeatedly [636], denying the program even existed [637], and persecuting whistleblowers who discovered the program [638, 639].
Further, the government could easily have used the data from NSA citizen spying to prosecute known fraud by a host of financial institutions and corporations [658, 659, Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )]. For reasons all too sadly obvious, the U.S. government has refused to do this, instead appointing the perpetrators of the rape of the treasury to positions of power within the government itself [953, 954, 955]. The ludicrous reality is that the government instead happily wastes millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars persecuting and prosecuting whistleblowers who published information concerning such fraud. Because revealing the illegal activities of government may somehow, mysteriously, harm “national security”. How, is never explained. Proof of is never proffered.
The U.S. president (Obama [661]), like Ms. Emmel, former vice president R. Chaney [662] (see also here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror regarding Mr. Chaney’s rather shameful comments), and other government members all downplay the Panopticon they have constructed. Even going so far as to state that the actual number of people watched was small. This of course was patently incorrect in light of NSA earlier statements to the contrary [463, 628, 462] and the leaked documents cited above.
Rather they claimed, the Panopticon all about stopping “terrorists”. The NSA itself announced that as a result of their spying activities, they had foiled “more than 50 terrorist plots” [663]. Perhaps - I hope this was true. Yet in the utter absence of public oversight or documented proof, such claims that this somehow justified the surveillance state were somewhat difficult to accept. Particularly in light of the NSA’s previous denials that the surveillance programs existed [664]. And in light of that government’s many, many lies in the past - from the lies about the false flag Gulf of Tonkin incident used as propaganda to start the invasion of Vietnam [The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? ], to the false flag claims of immanent threat from nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction” used as propaganda to invade Iraq and seize its oil resources [665]. And so on through a very, very long list of government prevarication.
Of course other ostensible democracies used virtually identical technologies (many sold by U.S. corporations to the highest bidder [666, 667, 668]) to carry out similar breaches of privacy and basic human rights (as defined by the UN Charter [Op. cit.]) against their own citizens.
India is a prime example, were the Central Monitoring System (CMS) operates with no public oversight whatsoever [669] exactly as with the NSA. CMS listens to every email, telephone call, etc. [ibid]. Indian telecommunications companies, just as in the U.S. (per the Patriot Act [Op. cit]) are required to allow full access to their client’s data without notifying anyone that this is occurring.
In New Zealand the GCSB spy agency [682] and the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) [681] have been allegedly guilty of many privacy violations, with the Law Society complained loudly about parliamentary bills to augment both the spying, and the secrecy surrounding it [680].
Of course Britain [670, q.v. subra], Canada (Clearnet), the Netherlands (Symbolon, AIVD, MIVD) [726], Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, and many others have been doing similar activities without public oversight. Automated and monitored deep packet inspection is common. Either in absence of or with minimal public oversight and essentially no public awareness, it is as I have cited elsewhere [671], extremely common in “democratic” countries.
Britain in its attempt to lead the world in usurpation of the basic human right to privacy, has extended this. Under the steadfast leadership of prime minister David Cameron in bringing Orwell’s 1984 to Britain in every way possible, has introduced an Act (law) to require ISPs and some corporations to log, keep, and give browsing and email history of everyone in the UK to police on request without a warrant [1631]. All paid for by the taxpayer whose rights it would curtail. Anyone who has had high level clearance while working with police and government agencies, inows that abuse of such abilities is not at all uncommon. From relatively minor abuse to spying on girlfriends, spying on other officers, spying on local politicians, spying on relatives, to .... much, much worse abuse. To make such power legal, and moreover sans meaningful oversight, is a horrific open door. And an emulation of police powers in some of the world’s worst dictatorships. Congratulations, Mr. Cameron.
“A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future”
~ P.C. Roberts [631]
What has been threatened by informing the citizenry of what its government is doing, is not national security (whatever that vagary actually means). But rather the ability its politicians to work against the interests of citizens under the dark zero transparency, zero accountability on which such activity feeds.
Finally, I would urge you to read the Global Principles on National Security and the Right to Information [1384]. The 68-page document is readily available, and puts to rest the inane propaganda touted by those who would spy on everyone all the time. The need for the type of horrific structure the U.S. led Five-Eyes Panopticon and have put into place is shown therein to be far, far more than anything factually need to protect the citizens of a country from outside threat.

10.6.7.5 Technology and method

“This Agency also enables Network Warfare operations to defeat terrorists and their organisations at home and abroad, consistent with U.S. laws and the protection of privacy and civil liberties.”
~ from the NSA website [844]
Back to the NSA: Since some of this data is encrypted by the originator (eg. banks encrypt customer data, doctors encrypt medical information on their patients), the NSA and others in the U.S. government allegedly launched the High Productivity Computing Systems program. This and well funded research into cryptography were allegedly in large part meant to find methods to rapidly break encrypted information.
For example, the $41,000,000 Multiprogram Research Facility, (Building 5300) was alleged to house researchers whose only job was to break encryption, probably using an enhanced Cray XT5 computer modified for cryptoanalysis. The NSA’s funding is classified. There is no reason the taxpayer should know how her money is being used, of course.( Hint - it is not being used to fight “terrorism” The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .)
It is likely that exascale computing by this group is very well funded. At time of writing, a new giant facility for this group has been constructed in Utah at taxpayer expense [465], for a tad under $2,000,000,000 in published accounts [1169]. What the black budgets for this organisation are is for some reason, not publicly disclosed. This single sight (there are others in other client nations - vide infra) houses more than 100,000 square feet of expensive special purpose servers [1170]. These use at least 65 megawatts of electricity (paid for by the taxpayer) which is roughly the same amount as the average small city. The site uses 1.5 million gallons of cooling water per day just to cool these servers [ibid]. The servers are estimated to be capable of holding five zettabytes of data [ibid] - 5,180,591,620,717,411,303,424 bytes (100 years worth of data production) and significant processing power for analysing this data, breaking your spouses encryption in letters to your children, and creating very detailed personal profiles on you.
Most common encryption systems depend upon factoring primes or their composites. This is a relatively simple task. But using huge primes [327]  [327] Determining the prime factors of a large, non-prime numbers is quite difficult, and serves therefore as the basis of many cryptographic systems., primes with millions of digits, multiplying them in various ways, makes factoring back to the original ... difficult. Even with the massive computational power the taxpayer has poured into the NSA. However we now know (thanks to Yitang Zhang’s research and those following after [992, 993]), that it is always possible to find two primes a finite distance apart < 600. (Soon to be lower still [994.) Since there will always be a prime a relatively short distance up from your million digit prime, it is imported to make certain you write your encryption algorithms with this in mind.
Q:"Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"
~ U.S. Senator R. Wyden [641]
"No sir, not Intentionally."
~ James Clapper [ibid], Director of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), allegedly perjuring himself [652, 653], without consequence
"It is hereby ordered that [Verizon Business Network Services’] Custodian of Records shall produce to the National Security Agency all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls,"
~ Court order [Op. Cit.] by the NSA to Verizon corporation given prior to Mr. Clapper’s response (which has been termed ’lying under oath’ [652] to Senator Wyden, an order which allegedly could not have been and would not have been given without Mr. Clapper’s approval or with Mr. Clapper’s ignorance. Within the next five days, the NSA admitted that it had been collecting the data Clapper denied [653].
(an image: pls click to see it)
“So why did Clapper commit perjury in front of congress to cover up these programs?”
“Because he knew - unlike you or I - he would not be held accountable for his lies.” [1563]
The newest NSA facility (one of many, including England [668] and Germany [817] - the Dagger Complex at Griesheim for example, and many others), costs at least $2,000,000,000 USD [ibid] (much of the additional expense is either classified or difficult to validate). Yet this expense is just a small part of the tens of billions of dollars USD this group has allegedly received [467] and is receiving.
All at a time when the U.S. has the highest rate of child poverty and childhood illness of all industrialised nations [468]. But helping starving children is irrelevant, taxdollars should go toward illegal, amoral, Orwellian surveillance instead. Right?
Why was this massive money, as well as all that had gone before it, approved? Those politicians who voted for creating this surveillance state had received twice as much campaign financing from the war and intelligence industry [830]. Those who voted for this Orwellian dystopia received on average 122% percent more money from war contractors than those who voted to dismantle it [831].
A democracy in which laws and policies do not benefit the people, but rather a few very wealthy CEOs and industries, is a democracy in name only.
But to continue: Who is building these systems? Billions of dollars are going to contractors and corporations. I will give a single interesting example, since the information is so readily available: Recently IBM constructed 120-petabyte hard drive cluster in California “for an unnamed customer” [633]. IBM you may recall, also allegedly constructed Hitler’s tracking systems which which were used to funnel people into concentration camps [634].
“The National Security Agency’s] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.“
~ U.S. Senator Frank Church, former chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
“no digital communication is secure"
~ FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente [580], admitting all telephone conversations, emails, social networking, file exchange, photographs, ... everything, is automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government. This by definition, is a Surveillance State (i.e. police state about which Orwell forewarned)
“Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other types of communications.”
~ D. Priest, W. Arkin, investigation by the Washington Post [581]
“[the U.S. government has] assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens ... the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want."
~ W. Binney, NSA security official, transcript available from Democracy Now [582]
“The president has put in place an organisation with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it’s never been done before and whoever runs for president on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very powerful what he’s leaving in place.”
~ U.S. Representative Maxine Waters [605]
Further, technologic systems are generally believed by politicians, generals, and CEOs (whose scientific expertise is usually nonexistent) to be secure. Often (usually?), they are not. There have been a plethora of reports in both academic and trade journals about security breaches, loss of massive amounts of data on private individuals from medical records through to banking transactions [72, 73]. What is secure today may not be tomorrow. Those in power seldom understand what this means.
One of many examples of this: In Britain the government has ordered ISPs to allow parents to easily block pornography, gambling, and such coming through the internet to their homes [71]. Since this is an expensive process, several large ISPs have outsourced the technologies involved to private for-profit companies. One of the largest of these [74] has been hiring students with but a single day’s training to determine which websites or feeds are pornographic [ibid]. In other words, the government in order to prevent pornography from reaching British homes where it can be viewed by students, indirectly hires students to view pornography in order to determine if it is art or truly pornographic.
But even worse, it has set the stage for a handful of ill-trained and inexperienced youth to determine the future censorship rules for an entire country.
When CCTV cameras were introduced throughout Britain and North America such introduction was surrounded by press releases that CCTV was necessary to “combat terrorism”. It did not take long for every figure in authority to begin to see other uses. Local councils in small British villages made use of the country’s surveillance legislation. What type of use? Why to investigate the heinous crime of underage smoking and breaches of zoning regulation. Or CCTV cameras (designed to “combat terrorism” remember) were used to follow parents for weeks, filming their every move to ensure that they lived within the school boundaries which their three year old child attended [78, 79]. Incidentally, the number of CCTVs owned and controlled by private for-profit corporations in Britain - who use the data gathered however they wish - is more than 70 times those run by the British government [812].
Note this type of use soon became the rule rather than exception with Britain’s surveillance technologies. Mission creep like this is extremely common (see my article on bibliocaust Censorship and Bibliocaust [257] and engineering the end of democracy Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) [258] for additional examples). Systems are introduced with great fanfare as necessary a particular use, but rapidly move to another altogether less benign application. The use of military drones by police, flying small hidden CCTV in largely autonomous drones twenty-four hours a day above neighbourhoods [245], is by one of many such examples. (The governor of the U.S. state of Virginia Bob McDonnell, for example, stated that arming police with military drones was “the right thing to do” [371]. Presumably because the governor wishes police to have the ability to conduct unmanned remote assassinations for parking violations. Of course Mr. McDonnell’s meetings with the main manufacturer, Northrop Grumman and their move of their corporate headquarters to Virginia prior to his announcement, was mere coincidence.)
Previously I mentioned the fact that the NSA and its surrogates in Britain, Canada, etc. gather cellphone records. Let’s explore this for a moment:
Analytic tools run and/or created by NSA contractors (i.e. for-profit corporations) map date, time, and location of cellphones [1014]. This data runs through neural networks (a type of AI device which excels and very rapid pattern matching) which seeks out patters of use and of significant overlap. The speed speed and trajectory for mobile devices is added to these patterns and overlain on transportation maps. The result is a fairly accurate computation of travel time, route, etc. for any matching phone (or device). A moment’s reflection will show that this type of computation renders most normal efforts at privacy or security futile. For whenever a new cellphone connects to a cell tower, even if the device has been turned off for a while, its former trajectory matched to current location can tell with considerable accuracy, that this is the same phone used several miles away several hours away. Translation - using the NSA’s FASCIA repository (trillions of metadata records including for many, location information), individuals can be and allegedly are being [1015] tracked even when they attempt a little privacy. The dystopia is now.
Some other indication of this come from the general area of cryptographic software, much of which has, according to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) [1025], been compromised by these agencies.
Additional points to consider:
  • These agencies have subverted the standards from which much of commonly used encryption software is produced [1026].
  • Random number generators - a necessity for most encryption - have been subverted by these agencies. This has been done by increasing the degree of determinism (i.e. less random) rendering the resulting encryption much easier to break. Fortunately mathematicians in Brazil have addressed some of this by publishing new elliptical curve rules [1028] to replace the ones disseminated U.S. NSA spy agency [1027].
  • Further, it has been alleged that processors manufactured by Intel and Via Technologies have been compromised by the NSA and its ilk [1029], such as the RDRAND and Padlock functions provided in these processors which seed the random generator software. Sufficient entropy can be had in many other ways, which are not dependent upon the processors involved.
  • It gets worse - the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology Dual EC_DRBG RNG in widespread use. The NSA paid NSA paid RSA (which licenses an encryption algorithm in widespread use) $10,000,000. Shortly thereafter RSA adapted the Dual_EC. Dual_EC contains an NSA backdoor [1030]. As has allegedly the elliptic curve generator included in NIST mentioned above. RSA immediately told its customers to stop using Dual_EC. NIST began an investigation into the NSA’s work on the algorithm. The end result? No one really trusts NIST, the NSA, commercial encryption enterprises, or any government agency in the United States which issues encryption systems. As usually, the NSA’s funding from taxpayer coffers continues unabated, no one at the NSA was fired or taken to court, and the reputation of the United States government in this general plummeted even lower than it had been (i.e. far below rock bottom).
As I write these lines I do not know of any country which trusts the NSA - even its partners in the Five Eyes Group [Op. cit.] are suspicious. Although of political necessity, they still work with the NSA. Interestingly in 2016 the Duma in Russia passed a proposal make cryptographic backdoors mandatory on most internet connected devices and phones [1721]. It is always nice to see two former antagonistic nations - the U.S. and Russia - harmonising their laws and government to the detriment of the basic human rights of their nation’s citizens.
  • These agencies have with the willing and/or forced secret [1032] cooperation of telcomms and ISPs, tapped into most of the backbone (main trunk lines [1084]) which carry information on the internet. For example they have tapped into all of Google’s server traffic as cited herein. This means that in addition to spying on traffic, they can also change on the fly it to suit their whims [1031].
“We consider the problem of inserting a malicious packet into a TCP connection, as well as establishing a TCP connection using an address that is legitimately used by another machine. We introduce the notion of a Spoofing Set as a way of describing a generalized attack methodology. We also discuss a method of constructing Spoofing Sets that is based on Phase Space Analysis and the presence of function attractors. We review the major network operating systems relative to this attack. The goal of this document is to suggest a way of measuring relative network-based sequence number generators quality, which can be used to estimate attack feasibility and analyze underlying PRNG function behavior. This approach can be applied to TCP/IP protocol sequence numbers, DNS query identifiers, session-id generation algorithms in cookie-based authentication schemes, etc. “
~ Michal Zalewski [1784], Strange Attractors and TCP/IP Sequence Number Analysis
  • These government agencies have installed malicious software in more than 50,000 locations (cited below per [988]). It is believed that hundreds of millions of innocent people [1033] have had their computers, banking information, medical, information, personal emails, etc. compromised in this manner. The NSA’s Nightstand portable system for example may be allegedly [1090] used to compromise WI-FI communications (eg. change the contents of messages) from some distance away (presumably coming soon to a drone near you).
  • DROPOUTJEEP allegedly is the NSA’s program to allegedly exploit GSM communications [1085] in various countries including its own. It also allegedly can exploit SMS messages for all Apple iPhones [1080]. They can thus allegedly access contact lists, locate phone positions, activate the device’s microphone and camera, and so on [ibid]. Der Spiegel has alleged [1081] that various Apple products from laptops to phones are often rerouted during shipment to branches of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) team, who inject malware and spyware therein, then send it on unknowing customers. Of course other products such as allegedly CISCO routers [Op. cit.] and presumably many others may have been similarly compromised. (Apple denied they work with the NSA in this regard [1092] but of course under U.S. laws discussed here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) and here [1093], are allegedly forbidden from disclosing such information to the public. See also the wording of the denial [1092] and comments on a similar AT&T denial below in Sect. 10.6.10.6)
  • The NSA also has allegedly infiltrated routers, hardware firewalls, and other products made by well-known American manufacturers. Allegedly according to published reports in Der Spiegel [1094] malware and hardware has been devised by the NSA for Cisco, Dell, Juniper, Hewlett-Packard and Chinese company Huawei.
  • All of this has been allegedly done in clear violation of Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, various international laws and treaties, and frequently in direct violation of the laws ostensibly governing such agencies. (Citations [Op. cit].)
Bottom line: Various govenment agencies produce bootloader-compromising software capable of surviving most user attempts at factory restore operaions (short of JTAG-reflashing). It has convinced (bribed/threatened) manufacturers to install this spy software into computer motherboard BIOSs, hard drives, videocards, network cards, and of course, smartphone firmware. With the vast amount (hundreds of billions of taxpayer monies) poured into this STASI clone agency your control over the system you paid for ... is moot. Advanced Persistant Threat (APT) systems compromise your computer, phone, TV, etc. to spy on you. For example the firmware which allows you to speak to your television to tell it to record a program can be complomised by APT malware to simply listen to everything you say and report back if certain key terms are said. APT systems are persistant (hard to detect, lie in wait until needed) and are commonly created by government spy agencies such as the FBI, NSA, GCHQ, FSB, etc. If you have an phone with an operating system from a U.S. corporation, you are likely hosting an APT system. Please q.v. Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes. . These agencies hire naive people with little (no?) knowledge of history.
When a billionaire psychopath chants “America First” at every public even they do not know, and do not care to know, that Hitler chanted ““Deutschland Uber Alles” at every public event. They actually believe, as did Hitler’s SS, that they are doing good and fighting evil. Sigh.
(an image: pls click to see it)
What exactly is the technology (in addition to APT) behind cellphone listening, tracking, and spying by various government agencies?
There are several, ranging from intimidation (such as Letters of Mark to search engine corporations), massive databases, encouraging mathematicians to work for agencies such as the GCHQ, using taxpayer funds to pay hackers, etc. One popular technology is that produced by Italy’s Hacking Team. Their RCS (Remote Control System) consists of servers in more than 40 countries [1300]. The system enables purchasers (government, police, military, etc.) to access remotely log details of an owners location, secretly take any and all data from a mobile phone or pad, use the device’s microphone to remotely listen to everything in the area, gather voice and SMS messages (eg. all Skype messages, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.) [ibid]. Some of the RCS software provides modules for all Android (Google), IOS (Apple), QnX (Blackberry), based phones as well as others. [1301]. It can be used with Da Vinci or Galileo software to unlock or bypass device protections. The software has modules which avoid detection, notify when the device is connected to an office network, delete itself if attacked, etc. RCS also uses various anonymous proxies to avoid attack. As you might expect, the tool is also used by suppressive government agencies from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.S., etc. to after dissidents and whistleblowers [1304] [328]  [328] Users of these devices can easily construct small lightweight Faraday cages out of commonly available materials. In association with some common sense usage scenarios a cellphone sized Faraday cage can help protect the basic human right to privacy. .
I wll have more to say about cellphones, compromised SIM cartds, and the amoral obscenity of spy agencies and corporations (sometimes one and the same) placing backdoors into cellphone hardware in Sect. 10.6.7.2, below.
Consider now undersea cables. Although in theory internet connections are multiply redundant, the very high costs of laying deep ocean cables means that that redundancy is often sacrificed. Similarly, such cables are usually routed through only a handful of hubs (connection points) as can be seen from the cabling map here [861]. In 2008 large sections of India, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and several other countries suffered massive disruption of access to the Internet for several weeks [859]. The reason given was that single cable linking their internet connections to the rest of the world had been severed [858]. Consider how relatively simple it would be to install surveillance devices in hubs or even directly in the cable connection points to ease drop, reroute, filter out, anything the controlling country desired. In a totally unrelated matter, Britain (and therefore the U.S. - see Five Eyes, below) maintains a secret base to monitor all telecommunications traffic from the above countries [862].
Finally, these insane pillocks heads of the U.S. FBI and other U.S. three and four letter taxypayer funded agenies have been petisioning [1521, 1522] for backdoors in all hardware (key escrow system, compromised encryption systems). They want in effect, a “master key”. However given the activities of these pillocks excellent agents of truth and right thinking in the past, their ability to prevent keys from being stollen by others is... questionable.
For exmaple, in 2011, RSA Data Security was hacked (see also discussion of RSA-NSA later). RSA provided a commonly used encryption system. They announced that “an extremely sophisticated cyberattack” [1523] had been successful against them. Master keys to their SecurID authentication devices (used by most large corporations to secure employee logins) was breached. A few months later, Lockheed Martin (maker of warplanes, etc. for the U.S. military), was hacked via its SecurID system [1524]. SInce the government uses contractors for almost all of its security structure, encryption systems, etc. the idea of demanding that a so called “master key” be Incorporated into every hardware device, cellphone, computer, fridge and stove, hydro plant control system, etc. ... is madness. But that is exactly what these fine people are demanding [1521, 1522].
To continue:
It bears repeating again, and yet again, that the NSA’s domestic metadata spy program (Section 215) has allegedly never helped stop a “terrorist” attack in the U.S. [1-83, 1085, 1086]. The overseas metadata spy program (Section 702) has possibly helped with one such attack [ibid, 1087] although even this one is disputed [1087].
There is in fact despite years of propaganda to the contrary, no evidence whatsoever that the allegedly violations of international and domestic laws or alleged amorality of the Panopticon have in any way been of benefit to any citizen. Rather the true purpose of the Panopticon is something quite different, which I discuss below Why has this dystopian surveillance society been constructed?).
Well, the U.S. FBI (federal police) has been inserting backdoors (APT malware) for a long time, into the browsers of millions of innocent civilians [Op. Cit.]. In civilizedn nations this is illegal, and the perpetrators would be jailed. In former democracies such as the United States however, a quick slap on the wrist for getting caught, and it was business as usual. Spying on the doings of millions of utterly innocent civilians, is what the notorious STASI, Kim Jung Un’s minions in North Korea, and the communist Chinese does as a matter of course. Perhaps therefore a very quick aside about backdoors (a type of APT) might be useful:
10.6.7.5.1 An example of backdoors in software and hardware
(an image: pls click to see it)
Routers manufactured by Netcore allegedly contain a backdoor [1775]. Netcore is a very popular brand of router in China, and is sold in the rest of the world under the Netis brand name. The backdoor at UDP port 53413 allows anyone (such as the Chinese government, or criminals - not necessarily the same thing) to run programs on the computers which in turn can steal or modify any data going into or out of the router. Take a look at the picture below, which is a log of incoming activity from the internet of non-NAT ports (i.e. ports NOT used by servers) over a three minute period:
(an image: pls click to see it)
Notice the frequency with which port 53413 is probed by people (usually bots) from all over the world. The probing is looking access to the router via port 53413, at which point additional attacks will be made. Assuming the router’s owner is a typical naive users, with a few seconds of the attack the router (and the user’s network) will have been compromised.
In essence this backdoor can be so easily compromised because 1) it allegedly exists 2) it is “protected” by a single password which is the same on all Netis routers. Hence the attacker need merely enter the password, gain access to the router, change the password so that the user can no longer take control, steal the user’s name and passphrase, then run any software she wishes on the compromised router. Or said another way, take complete control of the user’s network.
These means the the several million Netis/Netcore routers can allegedly be used in botnets for mass attacks (millions of routers used for a single attack point) or simply watch traffic over a network stealing a user’s banking information, etc.
Many router manufacturers have been found to have added similar backdoors [1776, 1777, 1778] - some inadvertently perhaps, others certainly adding them on purpose. The same is true for many corporations in IT - from operating system suppliers through to games suppliers on smartphones.
The point is that cyberwar in this context often means that ordinary users - i.e. the general public - who have no idea how their devices work are utterly vulnerable to not only cyberattack by criminals, but to mass privacy violations and unethical behaviour on the part of the governments and spy agencies in whom they place their trust - cough ... the NSA, GCHQ, etc. ... cough.
Please also see Cyberwar is a war against you), particularly the subsection therein which lists some of the CIA’s alleged cyberwar activities against ordinary citizens as described in a series of leaked documents.

10.6.7.6 Breaking laws

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
~ Joseph Goebbels [758], Nazi Minister of Propaganda
In the United States, it is it a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison for each occurrence, to eavesdrop on citizens without judicial warrant [856]. Three federal U.S. judges have ruled [857] that such spying is unconstitutional and moreover, illegal under that law. There are no exceptions. At time of writing, not one person in government - such as General Michael Hayden, head of NSA and CIA who allegedly oversaw the setup of NSA’s illegal domestic spying [ibid] [329]  [329] If you ever have a chance to hear Mr. Hayden speak, do so. Especially this interview here [1242]. At the very least get a transcript of the Munk Debates [1244] in which Mr. Hayden appears to mimick the arguments for surveillance presented by the STASI [1243]. On a completely unrelated note, you may enjoy reading some of the academic and psychological research which has been done on those in positions of authority, especially relating to the high prevelance of psychopathologies amongst highly placed military, corporate, and government officials: Psychopaths in Power ., and a host of others up to and including U.S. presidents Bush and Obama - has been prosecuted, tried, arrested, or jailed. Despite the fact that yet another federal judge [1045] has found that what the NSA has been allegedly doing, is absolutely unconstitutional:
"[T]he almost-Orwellian technology that enables the Government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States is unlike anything that could have been conceived . . . Metadata can now "reveal an entire mosaic — a vibrant and constantly updating picture of the person’s life."
~ U.S. District Court Judge R. Leon [1047] in a ruling finding NSA activities unconstitutional (and as cited below - see [1063], with not a shred of verifyable evidence to support the need for such a program)
(an image: pls click to see it)
Mr. Hayden, pictured above, appears in the Einstein torture report produced by the U.S. Senate (please see The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for details), more than 200 times [1411]. Most of these references documenting various times he allegedly:
  • knowingly allegedly lied [ibid] to various arms of the government,government leaders, oversight committees, and various other branches of government (to do so is illegal in the United States).
  • he allegedly [ibid] lied about the nature and extent of his department’s alleged illegal spying on citizens,
  • he allegedly lied [ibid] concerning the U.S. torture of prisoners [1412] (illegal under a host of international laws since torture of prisoners of war is a war crime [1412])
  • and so on for 200 additional points in the Senate report concerning this man’s activities [ibid].
  • Mr. Hayden incidentally, was allegedly recorded in a public space talking on his cellphone allegedly insulting U.S. president Obama [938],
  • and allegedly bragging about rendition (illegal under international law [Op. cit.]), use of so-called “black sites” (also illegal).
  • Mr. Hayden was one of the alleged people defending torture of prisoners held at various black sites around the world, allegedly dismissing torture as a mere “legal term” [939] (something some of the Nazi’s claimed during the Nuremberg war crime trials [940] - please also see here: Psychopaths in Power ).
Incidentally, listening to U.S. General Hayden attempting to justify torture, stating that “we only did this to three people”, talking about the NSA workforce as being moral despite their association with torture, lecturing about the “necessity” of torture in order to “protect Americans” [1799] was ... interesting. You may be interested in reading the Nuremberg transcripts [Op. cit.] of Nazi war criminals and comparing them to Mr. Hayden’s statements. Then decide for yourself if there was any significant difference.
“Our challenge is to ferret out those who are not yet guilty”
~ U.S. General Michael Hayden [1799] quoting, and agreeing with, the then head of Britain’s MI5. The similarities to the STASI and their belief that thought crimes must be punished is ... interesting, n’est pas?
None the less at time of writing for these alleged crimes, Mr. Hayden had not had the pretty coloured ribbons ripped from his well pressed jacket, seen and jail time, or even been censured by his president. Government for and by the people? Hardly. On a completely unrelated note, you may also enjoy reading Psychopaths in Power .
Moving on:
The U.S. government of course ignored the decision against it by the Senate and the courts, by appealing it. That is to say, by tying it up in appeal courts potentially in perpetuity. U.S. president Obama took this a step further - by creating new laws (the NCAA for example) which he claimed allowed his agents and himself to spy upon anyone they wished [1271]:
  • “The NSA does not listen in to your phone calls”
    ~ B. Obama [1272], U.S. president, lying (allegedly).
  • “The NSA has assembled 20 trillion transactions of phone calls, emails and other forms of data from Americans. This likely includes copies of almost all of the emails sent and received from most people living in the United States."
    ~ William Binney, 30 year veteran of the U.S. National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program [1273]
  • “Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other types of communications.”
    ~ D. Priest, W. Arkin, investigation by the Washington Post [1274]
  • ““At least 80 percent of fiber-optic cables globally go via the U.S.,” Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the U.S. to view all communication coming in. At least 80 percent of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the U.S.. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
    ~ former NSA code breaker, W. Binney [1276]
  • “[the U.S. government has] assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens ... the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want."
    ~ W. Binney, NSA security official, transcript available from Democracy Now [1275]
Rather than operate ethically, Mrs. Obama, Clintion, Bush I, Bush II, Regan, Nixon, etc. allegedly attacked any and all who allegedly disclosed their allegedly illegal/amoral activities regarding spying. Whistleblowers have allegedly castigated by media, government, allegedly tortured (viz. Chelsea Manning [Op. cit]), allegedly had horrific actions taken against them (viz. Julia Davis [985, 986]), allegedly persecuted (viz. Mr. Snowden [Op. cit.], allegedly tried to harm and discredit Mr. Ellsberg [ibid], etc.), and allegedly vitriolically attacked them to the point of calling them traitors.
Of course if Mr. Hayden and other NSA officials are really operating for the public good, then they have nothing to hide and nothing to fear from the public eavesdropping on their conversations. The question of whether or not these people are merely pathological liars or whether there may have more serious mental health problems, or whether or not they are purposefully trying to outdo the STASI and NAZI spy systems... is certainly one no journalist or patriotic citizen should ask. Right?
Canada under the egregious Harper regime was not far behind. The NSA Canadian branch - CSEC - had its officials testify before the Canadian Senate [1149]. In the minds of many, have been reading from and NSA script. That is to say, lying through their teeth.
For example:
In addition to the foregoing, leaked documents [1125] showed the Harper regime allegedly allowed CSEC - one of several spy agencies - to secretly gather information from the private communications of Canadians at airports. Cellphone and laptop metadata was gathered - metadata is the worst kind of data gathering as it allows integration to many other spy systems, such as those of the U.S. NSA. Travellers were then tracked when in hotels, coffee shops, etc. for weeks thereafter This was allegedly illegal under Canadian law [480], and certainly unethical. Several years later
The Harper regime [1126, 1127] and CSEC itself [1128] of course, claimed to be acting within the law. Additionally in an exact mimickry of the U.S. government under Mr. Obama, the Harper regime did nothing to curtail such CSEC unethical activities. It should be noted that such data gathering activiites had nothing whatsoever to do with averting terrorism as discussed and cited in detail here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror and below.
“This resembles the activities of a totalitarian state, not a free and open society."”
~ Dr. A. Cavoukian [1129], Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada, discussing CSEC activities under the Harper regime
Sadly, Dr. Cavoukian was exactly, in every way, correct.
Of course CSEC officials and the then Defence Minister in the Harper regime assured parliament that CSEC did not spy on Canadian citizens [1360]. Although admittedly the words before a parliamentary committee were very carefully chosen.Iin a classic example of Orwellian doublespeak - the compete transcript is worth reading as a demonstration of how little democratic rule enters the halls of power [1361). When the evidence mounted, these fine folk admitted that they had “incidently” (i.e. by accident!) collected private and personal data on Canadian citizens en masse [1362]. Of course anyone familiar with the technologies involved knows that “incidental” data gathering is not possible without purposefully deploying the many tools involved. Furthermore CSEC eventually admitted (albeit with caveats) that private communications had been accessed with a warrant [Op. cit., 1363]. CSEC and the Harper regime at no point agreed to parliamentary oversight, releasing data on the number of Canadians whose private personal data they accessed, what was accessed, how this data was protected from abuse, how much was sent to the NSA, or even in any way justifying the $4,200,000,000 money from taxpayers used to build their shiny new facility in Ottawa. Democracy in action? No - but rather the groundwork of an Orwellian dystopia. Is this too strong a claim? Read on ...
Under the Harper regime Canada became the only Five Eyes nations - see Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes. - and in fact the only western nation, to have removed all meaningful oversight over its spy agencies. Effectively the spy agencies became in part an arm of the prime minister’s office and in part rogue agencies since the Harper regime removed all meaningful and all parliamentary oversight over them.
it was revealed a a year later that CSEC had been “sharing” private data on Canadian with other nations [1477]. And that CSEC had been illegally obtaining private confidential tax records (supposedly protected by a host of laws) on numerous occasions [1479]. If you look at the citations in this article, it is reasonably clear that the U.S. NSA allegedly ignores laws. The same appears to be true for CSEC, and one might suppose for most of the Five Eyes and similar nations [Op.cit.]. Mission creep and a sense of entitlement have certainly never been absent from secretive taxpayer funded (to the tune of billions) agencies for whom there is little to no effective or meaningful public oversight.
Well, CSEC was allegedly little more than an arm of of U.S. imperialism Harmonisation Is a Tool of War), which gradually had been given progressively more undemocratic reign by the egregious Harper regime. But not yet quite as much as the Obama regime has given to its own secretive agencies. For example, note that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been given sweeping powers to “monitor online extremism” - without saying what will be monitored, how the data will be used, or even what “extremism” means... all without any public accountability or judicial oversight [1141]. Similar powers have been given police in England [1142], Germany [ibid], Canada [1143], Mexico [1144], Italy [1146], Spain [ibid], Japan 1147], and so on again without any real accountability to the citizens they allegedly serve.
That is to say, governments have allocated for themselves the power to gain information, to spy, on virtually any citizen [1148] while at the same time restricting the rights of citizens to gain information about most government activities.
One of the very few venues, perhaps because of recent history, where citizens took such agencies to court was in Germany. There the International League for Human Rights and others asked the courts to investigate Chancellor Angela Merkel, her government, and heads of Germany’s spy agency for allegedly helping the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ to spy on German citizens [1150]. At time of writing, to no avail. Furthermore, the United States under the Obama regime as it invariably does refused to sign a treaty with Germany to protect privacy rights  [330]  [330] Please see Blum [1165, 1166], as well as Amnesty International [1174], Human Rights Watch [1175], and various United Nations reports [1177] for other human rights treaties which the U.S. has refused to sign or honour, but which most other nations including all industrialised nations, have signed.. The result of the this refusal was a massive ramp-up of counterintelligence activities by Germany (see discussion “Regierung plant Einsatz von Spionageabwehr gegen USA” in der Spiegel [1167].
Finally in this subsection, it should be noted that other government agencies also participate in unlawful spying, with no oversight or repercussions to the agencies. A single example which has nothing whatsoever to do with that faux propaganda dictum “in the interests of national security”. Documents recently released (albeit yet again, heavily redacted) [1425, 1426] prove that the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) had been spying for more than a decade and a half on all international phone calls made by U.S. citizens to a fairly large list of other countries. The surveillance occurred without any judicial review or oversight. It was had nothing to do with national security, but was merely done as an aid for a handful of DEA domestic court cases. Considering the ease with which judicial warrants to spy on citizens are obtained in the United States [1428], the fact that the agency did not bother to do so makes such spying additionally suspect.
Let us now return to Britain. Like the NSA and CSEC, GCHQ and various subagencies in Britain have been very concerned with breaking encryption. The illegal and IMHO amoral PRESTON system for example, integrates with the NTAC to destroy the ability of anyone to have any communication (such as a young child emailing her grandmother) which those in power cannot read:
“... Security Service, MI5, in Thames House, PRESTON works alongside and links to massive databases holding telephone call records, internet use records, travel, financial, and other personal records held by the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC), a little known intelligence support agency set up by Tony Blair’s government in a 1999 plan to combat encryption and provide a national centre for internet surveillance and domestic codebreaking.” [1691]
The PRESTON system (and the funnelling of taxpayer monies away from unimportant items such as education, hospitals, etc. into a black hole to pay for it) was designed in secret, kept secret, and operated in secret spying on ordinary citizens while the politicians happily declared the system did not exist [1692].
Again - such surveillance is amoral. That is is most probably illegal, an invasion of civil and individual privacy rights for hundreds of millions of innocent citizens, and no one at the NSA, DEA, GCHQ, CSEC etc. was held responsible, tried in a court of law, or jailed.
This effectively showed the reality of what the NSA internal magazine had boasted [1427] (via the Snowden files) - to whit that it did not matter who ran the government, they were untouchable. Little wonder therefore that so many U.S. agencies from police, DEA, FBI, CIA, NSA, DARPA, etc. felt that their breaking of laws or ignoring the civil rights of the citizenry was of no personal consequence.
“Because of Snowden we know the NSA routinely misled and outright lied to the democracy it was supposedly acting under the authority of? The ’authority of the democracy’ had been thoroughly undermined by the NSA. Snowden brought this fact to light.”
~ comment on Slashdot [1564]
Later I discuss the actions of the U.S. government against whistleblowers, and discuss not only the illegalities involved, and just who in these situations are the real traitors.

10.6.7.7 By their acts ye shall know them

Well, to continue with the main discussion: president Obama’s government threatened to impose sanctions against any sovereign nation that helped whistleblowers [824] (i.e. disagreed with U.S. policy). Pause for a moment and consider U.S. alleged actions:
For years the U.S. had blocked extradition to Bolivia of a real criminal (see also here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes. ) - a former Bolivian president who had already been indited for crimes far worse than anything the accused U.S. whistleblower had done [835]. Similarly the U.S. was sheltering 22 CIA agents [836] wanted by Italy for alleged criminal activities including kidnapping [ibid, 837] an Italian national and sending him on flights of rendition to be tortured. The man was utterly innocent [ibid, 838, 839]. Or consider the alleged terrorists and killers L. Posada and R. Bosh, wanted in Cuba and Venezuela respectively, whom the U.S. refused to extradite [840, 841]. And for years Russia had been demanding that the U.S. extradite at least 20 alleged Russian criminals from the U.S., but the U.S. refused. And so on .... It certainly looked as if the U.S. was being somewhat disingenuous in demanding extradition of alleged whistleblowers whose only “crime” was leaking alleged illegal and immoral activities by the U.S. government, whilst it failed to honour extradition requests by many countries of real criminals - those who where known to have murdered others, committed terrorist acts, and the like.
“Law agencies asked the U.S. on many occasions to extradite wanted criminals through Interpol channels, but those requests were neither met nor even responded to,”
~ Andrey Pilipchuck [842], Russian Interior Ministry
Extradite a whistleblower but protect know terrorists, and ignore legal extradition requests from other countries?
“Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.”
~ from the Change.gov website put in place by Mr. Obama team just after his election [825].
As several people noticed, following the persecution of Mr. Snowden, but complete amnesty for the wall street executives who perpetrated fraud [826, 827, 828, Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )], these fine promises were removed from the website at [825], although fortunately a number of people had archived the site.
Hence the attempted revisionism by whomever removed Mr. Obama’s promise, was not entirely successful.
"Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalise political speech with felony charges that provide no defence. However, speaking the truth is not a crime."
~ E. Snowden [952]

10.6.7.8 Why attack whistleblowers?

(an image: pls click to see it)
“I would give him the death sentence, and I would prefer to see him [Mr. Snowden] hanged by the neck until he’s dead, rather than merely electrocuted”
~ James Woolsey [1667], CIA director
““I think Snowden is a terrible threat, I think he’s a terrible traitor, and you know what we used to do in the good old days when we were a strong country - you know what we used to do to traitors, right?”
~ Donald Trump “Well, you killed them, Donald,” Eric Bolling. “Well, he is damaging America.”
~ Donald Trump [1922]
This statement was made by James Woolsey, pictured above. Mr. Woolsey was CIA director under U.S. presidents G.W. Bush and Clinton. Mr. Woolsey’s contributions to his country were many. For example he appeared on U.S. television within hours of the 9/11 bombings of the New York World trade centre to state that Iraq was involved in the bombings [1670] (Iraq was later shown [1671] to have had no involvement). Mr. Woolsey had been accused (by Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation [1668]) of personally profiting from the U.S. invasion and subsequent holocaust of Iraq and of promoting the U.S. invasion [1671]].
"Woolsey was a disaster as CIA director in the 1990s and is now running around this country calling for a World War IV to deal with the Islamic problem"
~ Melvin A. Goodman [1672], senior fellow at the Centre for International Policy and former CIA division chief in and interview with the Washington Post
Mr. Woolsey was also a signatory to a letter [1673] to U.S. president Obama requesting that Mr. Obama stop criminal investigations of CIA’s program of torture (please see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ) a program which as the citation references, was allegedly a war crime and crime against humanity, as well as in violation of the UN Convention against torture [1674]. Mr. Woolsey also coauthored a book in claiming "Most mosques in the United States already have been radicalised, that most Muslim social organisations are fronts for violent jihadists and that Muslims who practice sharia law seek to impose it in this country” [1675]. Not only is such a statement utterly without foundation in fact [1676, 1677], it is also in the opinion of many, allegedly racist.
This is the man who along with others of his ilk in the United States, called for the death of Mr. Snowden, who had courageously followed his concience and released documents proving that government officials lied about their activities and had been illegally acting in violation of human rights and various laws (see citations throughout), for many decades. What a truly great man. Sigh.
Sadly Mr. Woolsey was not the exception, but rather the rule in the United States. Ethics, morality, kindness and compassion from government officials? Perhaps not.
This blind ontology therefore allowed the then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to alleged break several U.S. laws regarding use of private insecure server for official classified business [1695] to escape jail time or even a trial. Yet whistleblower Marcel Lazar who exposed her allegedly illegal activities in this regard was arrested and jailed [1696, 1697].
“18 U.S. Code 793: (f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer...”
~ the law [1698] under which Ms. Clinton could (should?) have been indited, but was not whereas the whistleblower Mr. Lazer was arrested for pointing out the Ms. Clintion’s use of her server was allegedly against this (and other) statutes
Moving on:
U.S. president Obama campaigned to bring in a transparent and open administration [1544]. Yet as J. Mayer documents in some detail, Mr. Obama ushered in:
"... a huge impediment to reporting, and so chilling isn’t quite strong enough, it’s more like freezing the whole process [of journalism] into a standstill." [1545]
In fact Mr. Obama’s administration has been the most secretive, anti-open government in U.S. history [1546,1547, 1548].
And last but not least:
“Mr. Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it.” L. Monaco [1549], U.S. president Obama’s adviser on homeland security and terrorism
Was Monaco lying? Of course, presumably under Straussian dictum (please see Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. ) that a lie repeated often enough will be believed even in the total absence of proof. Mr. Snowden did not disclose any classified information [1550, 1551, 1552, 1553, and [Op. cit.]. Rather media such as the Guardian, Washington Post, New York Times and The Intercept did the disclosing. Nor was anyone harmed by such disclosures, because despite U.S. Obama administration protestations and propaganda, no independently verifiable evidence of any harm or “severe consequences” has during the several years since [Op. cit.]. Despite some execrable voices in the U.S. government called for Mr. Snowden’s assassination [ibid, 1550] (just as with any tin-pot third word dictatorship where someone had the temerity to tell the truth about just a few of the alleged evils its government was perpetrating). Please see here for details: Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes. .
Finally, since I mentioned tin-pot dictatorships, it should be noted that the Obama regime’s argument that Mr. Snowden and other whistleblowers should return to the U.S. to face trial is fatuous and hypocritical in the extreme. The U.S. treatment of its prisoners is execrable - see North American internment camps). Its treatment of political prisoners is illegal and immoral - please see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? . Whistleblowers fare no better - for example the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture found for example that Chelsea Manning’s treatment by the U.S. was
“cruel and inhuman” [832]
~ UN Special Rapporteur on Torture summing up U.S. government treatment of the alleged whistleblower Chelsea Manning
“Army Pfc. [Chelsea] Manning is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, [s]he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. [S]he has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in ’The United States and Torture’, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture. Manning’s forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.”
~ M. Cohen, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past president of the U.S. National Lawyers Guild [1745].
Ms. Manning was sentenced by a secret military court (no civilian oversight) to 35 years in prison for allegedly releasing documents allegedly proving criminal activity by the U.S. government, she attempted suicide ending up in hospital on close watch, then returning to her prison cell [1744].
Please note that in a closed trial the democratic right of holding elected officials accountable was not possible - such lack of course, is “counter to the survival of democracy”, a line I have taken from a White Rose leaflet speaking against the activities of the Nazis.
“Secret trials are commonplace in dictatorships, but have no place in this country. The Obama administration conducts unconstitutional dragnet surveillance of journalists to uncover protected sources, and targets whistle blowers with unprecedented use of the espionage act. Access to court documents and proceedings in the court martial of [Chelsea] Manning is vital to the public’s right to know to what lengths their government will go to keep secret their conduct of wars and occupations abroad.”
~ A. Goodman [1747], mulit-award winning journalist and spokesperson for Democracy Now
“We Nobel Peace Prize laureates condemn the persecution [Chelsea] Manning has suffered, including imprisonment in conditions declared “cruel, inhuman and degrading” by the United Nations.... In the conflict in Iraq alone, more than 110,000 people have died since 2003, millions have been displaced and nearly 4,500 American soldiers have been killed. If ... Manning released the documents, as the prosecution contends, we should express to him our gratitude for his efforts toward accountability in government, informed democracy and peace.”
~ declaration signed by Nobel Peace Prize winners, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez and several others [1747]
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.”
~John Adams [1748], one of the founding fathers of the United States
Ms. Manning was alleged to have been used as an example to others who might blow the whistle on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Among the videos he allegedly leaked [Op. cit.] is an appalling depiction of bloodlust on the part of U.S. troops shooting unarmed civilians. Ms. Manning has said he saw in these documents and videos a total absence of “value for human life” [1749]. Yet he, and not the perpetrators, were facing death or life imprisonment (please also see here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for further examples).
Closed trials, torture, and prosecution of whistleblowers is not the mark of a society which values democracy or even perhaps, moral and ethical behaviour, but rather of one devolving into something else entirely.
Eight hundred years ago the Magna Carta stated it was immoral and illegal for those in power to imprison or punish whomever they wished without proof of wrongdoing and public release of said proof. This has been the fundamental guiding principle behind the development of civil society since that time. Until now.
Furthermore under the draconian U.S. Espionage Act would prevent whistleblowers from publicly (i.e. in the court system) showing that their actions were justified. Hence in sum, the Obama regimes argument that whistleblowers should return to the U.S. to face a fair trial, is both propaganda and an outright lie.

10.6.7.9 Why such visious attacks on whistleblowers?

Well, perhaps at this point it would be sensible to ask why this vitriol against Snowden, Manning, Assange, and a long list of other U.S. people of conscience persecuted, jailed, and in the case of some such as Manning, tortured [Op. cit.]. All because they allegedly revealed what their government was doing against them?
The answer is a simple one: For the same reason dissent from orthodoxy and relucance to accept the prevailing doxa (propaganda) is abhorred by such people. Especially when taxdollars are being spent to enable disaster capitalism (vide infra), blackmail (ibid), and the like. That is to say, the citizenry might actually find out what is being done to them:
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush [21], U.S. president
“The U.S. military seeks the capability to knock out every telephone, every networked computer, every radar system on the planet”
~ BBC report [834] on U.S. actions concerning mass control and censorship of the planet’s communications infrastructure
Mr. Snowden was guilty (in the alleged mind of Mr. Chaney and the alleged minds of those like him) because he had the temerity to inform the citizenry that everything they said or wrote was being spied upon, copied down, stored, cross-indexed with medical records, school records, credit card records, and much more ... all in secret NSA databases. And all while the NSA and U.S. government executive branch had denied any such activity (vide infra). Data collected and storing without public oversight [655] and in the opinion of constitutional experts [656], was and is illegal and unconstitutional.
"Although I am convicted of nothing, [the U.S. government] has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum. ... this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country."
~ E. Snowden [757]
What of those who so vehemently criticised Mr. Snowden? Well, Mr. Chaney as you may know, had been found guilty of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity by the international war crimes tribunal as cited here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .) Mr. Clapper was a former vice president of the huge military contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, about whose activities I would invite you to review for yourself beginning with [657, 658]. Then decide for yourself it Booz Allen, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Chaney, Mr. Alexander, and other similar folk rather than Mr. Snowden ought to have been investigated for their alleged activities. Or if they had plenty to hide, and therefore plenty to fear if the taxpayer actually discovered what they were doing with his hard earned money.
U.S. president Obama within days of Mr. Clapper’s statement formerly accused Mr. Snowden with multiple felonies under the U.S. Espionage Act. This Act was enacted in 1917 statute for the specific and sole purpose of criminalising dissent against the wholesale slaughter which was later named World War I [668]. Prior to Mr. Obama reign, only three people had ever been charged under the Act. One of the three was the hero Dr. Daniel Ellsberg who revealed U.S. president Nixon’s egregious criminal activities Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , for which Mr. Nixon was ultimately forced to resign the presidency. But Mr. Obama has used the Espionage Act - an act so broad it can be used against anyone for anything - to charge seven people.
The list of whistleblowers prosecuted by the U.S. government is large and growing. And growing more and more similar to prosecutions under dictatorships. A trivial example next (trivial to everyone in media, as it was barely reported, but devastating to the life of the innocent whistleblower persecuted by the U.S.): A software security researcher - Justin Shafer - found health records of 22,000 U.S. patients stored on an anonymous FTP server (i.e. access able by anyone, contrary to law) [1699]. As a good citizen, he told authorities about this so that they could close the security hole. By doing so he showed that protection of patient medical records in the United States was flawed. Government therefore was not protecting the patients in question. He was promptly arrest by the FBI [ibid].
The act of reporting vulnerabilities in software to government authorities is dangerous in the United States and Britain. A citizen so doing, acting legally and ethically, finds that he himself is arrested and treated as a criminal. This is part of the transformation of U.S. and British society from democracy to oligarchy and thence to plutocracy. It is important to criminalise good acts, particularly acts of whistleblowers working in the public interest, in order to dissuade not merely dissent, but discourage any whistleblower who shows government for what it really is in these nations. This happened in Germany, the Soviet Union, East Germany, Burma, Egypt, and others as they too transited from democracy to plutocracy.
Almost all whistleblowers, indeed anyone informing the public of what their government is really doing, are therefore treated not merely terrorists, but traitors as well. And so Manning, J. Kiriakou [1458, 1459] (confirmed the CIA’s torture program = please see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ), J. Sterling [1460], and a long list of other whistleblowers whose service to their country was to offer proof that their country’s agents were allegedly breaking both national and international laws, went to prison.
In fact under U.S. president Obama more whistleblowers were prosecuted under the U.S. Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined. A lovely legacy for Mr. Obama to leave ... while the likes of Msrs. Clapper, Chaney, Bush, Rice, and other who had been accused by international in abscentia trials (eg. [1752] of committing crimes against humanity, lived rich and rewarded for their alleged activities.

10.6.7.10 Hypocracy vis à vis whistleblowers

Another good example of this hypocritical double standard was the case of David Petraeus.
This fine and noble former head of the CIA and one time alleged head and of the CIA torture program [1465] allegedly gave highly classified documents to his mistress Paula Broadwell [1461, 1462, 1463]. The documents with which Mr. Petraeus was allegedly so cavalier were “classified information regarding the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, [and] quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings” [1464], etc. classified as “above Top Secret” - i.e. far more sensitive than anything the above three persons allegedly leaked. Mr. Petraeus stored them too, in an unlocked desk because presumably it was too much bother to lock things up.Then this fine felllow allegedly lied [ibid] about the these incidents to both FBI and CIA officials.
These are all crimes, punishable under the Espionage Act, with mandatory long jail sentences [ibid]. Needless to say Mr. Petraeus received no punishment at all. He merely continued on, as a member of the aristocratic class, with his very lucrative consulting jobs. Jobs given him by other aristocrates, largely allegedly at the expense of the public purse [1470, 1471] and/or corporate shareholders [ibid]. His lucrative private equity career [1461] also continued unabaded.
Meanwhile Manning will languishes in jail for the next 35 years [1467], Mr. Snowden must remain in hiding [1468], and Mr. Assange lives in fear of assassination [1469]. And so on down a long list of other [1470] whistleblowers. They of course, had the misfortune not to be members of the U.S. aristocratic class.
In 2015 the Chinese allegedly hacked into a U.S. database and downloaded information on government employees. That such information was on computers attached to the internet demonstrates awesome stupidity on the part of government - but that perhaps is normal modus operandi. At any rate, government spokespeople from the erstwhile U.S. president upward complained. Some perspective:
  1. The Chinese accessed a database, found information on databases, U.S. spies, U.S. spy activity, information which could lead to blackmail (what politician was sleeping with what other politician’s wife), etc. Yet not one person in the U.S. was fired, blamed, or held accountable for this staggering incompetence. Or put another way - billions of taxpayer dollars taken from social programs, education, infrastructure maintenance, and so on in order to create a secure spy system which was broken into, and not one U.S. politician apologised to the citizenry or offered to resign.
  2. Around the same time proof came out the the U.S. had done and was doing much the same as the Chinese, but in this case the U.S. was spying on friendly nations - Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, ,.... they list is long - please see [1541] for the full list, details, and citations, as well as Guardian [1542] investigations.
  3. David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA discussed [Op. cit.] allegedly was found guilty of giving highly classified information to his mistress [Op. cit.]. Mr. Petraeus (rhymes with ’betray us’) received nothing but a mild rebuke (a $40,000 fine - pocket change to him) but no jail time or firing squad for allegedly betraying his country.
    1. “As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that.”
      ~ CIA Director John Brennan [1485]. The CIA inspector general’s report [1486] showed Mr. Brennan’s statement to be incorrect [331]  [331] 
      1. Of course the CIA would never, ever, lie to politicians orto the public whose taxes fund them. Because that would be anti-democratic. Hence it cannot and never has, happened. QED.
      . As did the the U.S. Senate’s investigation [Op. cit., below]. As with others in executive positions making such statements, no charges were laid (charges for illegal activities are only laid against low level personel).
  4. Whistleblower E. Snowden discussed [Op. cit.] allegedly gave aggregate (i.e. no personnel or operation detail) information about illegal (and amoral) activity by the U.S. government to news media. No one was harmed, no spies were placed in danger, no deaths results, no operations were aborted. For his whistleblowing about illegal U.S. acts, he - like members of White rose society in Nazi Germany - faced calls by U.S. (and Canadian) politicians called for his assassination. He currently remains in a foreign embassy in the EU, under threat of death. No one in the U.S. was punished for the illegal activities which the documents he released described. "Mr. Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country..."
    ~ B. Obama, U.S. president. Mr. Obama, nor anyone else, presented any proof of this statement, nor submit any proof for review by independent assessment.
  5. Whistleblower C. Manning discussed previously released documentary proof and video of alleged war crimes committed by U.S. military forces, such as their slaughter of members of the International Press and other civilians. For this act of courage he - like the members of the White rose Society in Nazi Germany, was subjected to torture then sentenced to 35 years in prison.
"Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life... He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me
~ which forced his resignation facing impeachment
~ are now legal."
~ Daniel Ellsburg, U.S. whistleblower whose work ultimately resulted in the U.S. president resigning for illegal activities [1280]
Tragically Dr. Ellsburg was correct - under a succession of governments in the U.S. and its territories a series of laws has been passed to render what in true democracies would be illegal, legal. Albeit amoral.

10.6.7.11 Traitors

"Sam Adams Associates are proud to honour Mr. Snowden’s decision to heed his conscience and give priority to the Common Good over concerns about his own personal future. We are confident that others with similar moral fibre will follow his example in illuminating dark corners and exposing crimes that put our civil rights as free citizens in jeopardy.... Just as Private Manning and Julian Assange exposed criminality with documentary evidence, Mr. Snowden’s beacon of light has pierced a thick cloud of deception. And, again like them, he has been denied some of the freedoms that whistleblowers have every right to enjoy."
~ Ray McGovern [896], at the ceremony awarding Edward Snowden the prestigious Integrity Award from the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence. At the time Mr. Snowden had been given asylum in Russia after be persecuted by the U.S. for leaking documents on allegedly illegal [897, 898, 899] activities by the U.S. government
(an image: pls click to see it) Mr. Clapper (discussed [Op. cit.] publicly accused the Mr. Snowden of being a traitor [ibid].
U.S. General Keith Alexander (pictured at right), head of the U.S. NSA said Snowden had betrayed [675] his country.
U.S. Vice president R. Chaney publicly called Mr. Snowden a traitor [676]. Mr. Chaney it should be pointed out, had been allegedly indicted for alleged war crimes [Op. cit.].
In the alleged minds of these fine folk apparently, telling the truth about the NSA’s alleged illegal activities equated to being a traitor. Amazing. Just as amazing. Apparently cognitive dissonance was not unknown to such personages and their ilk. (You may be interested in taking a look at others whom those in power have branded as traitors. But whom history has seen as great men and women while their accusers have been shown by history to have been mere gangsters and thugs: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .)
Mr. Alexander also allegedly stated that
“I think it’s wrong that that newspaper reporters have all these documents .... We ought to come up with a way of stopping it.”
~ K. Alexander [944]
The thrust of his statement was allegedly that the press should be prevented from access to documents concerning NSA activities and should be stopped from gaining any such access or from using such documents should they obtain access. He allegedly demanded [946] that media around the world be banned from reporting upon the NSA’s secret surveillance system. Enabling Alexader to "come up with a way of stopping" such journalism is perhaps a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution (the 1stamendment) [945], something which the general had sworn an oath to support. Perhaps the fine fellow believed censorship of illegal acts and acts in violation of the UN Charter [Op. cit.] was a good thing?
“Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.”
~ U.S. president Thomas Jefferson, 1804 [950]
The perpetrators of the Panopticon could sit in the Star Trek emulated chair and “bridge” [951]. Yes, really - look at the pictures in the citation [ibid]. Little men playing out their perversion.
These terrific human beings and great patriots used billions of tax dollars to build an emulation fo the Star Trek bridge where they sit and play soldier protect us all. They give each other medals, pretend they were protecting freedom while they in fact have been allegedly destroying it The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , all in the knowledge that they were impervious to public or judicial oversight. As they sat in their multibillion dollar playrooms they could happily express the typical mantra of cognitive dissonance, to whit that allegedly ignoring both their country’s and international laws as cited supra was a good thing.
The psychology of such ontological distortions is explored my article on functional psychopathology here: Psychopaths in Power .
Regardless of this massive cognitive dissonance, the result of this for humanity and for human rights, is the current rapidly expanding Orwellian dystopia.
Incidentally, there is an oft heard claim that whistleblowers harm national security (whatever that means) and help “terrorists” (whatever that means). Consider for example the following statement by former NSA chief Michael Hayden and Mat Olsen from the U.S. National counter terrorism Centre:
"The changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups following the Snowden revelations have impacted our ability to track and monitor these groups"
~ Michael Hayden [1352]
"Following the disclosure of the stolen NSA documents, terrorists are changing how they communicate to avoid surveillance.”
~ Mat Olsen [1353]
Such statements make for good propaganda perhaps, but are made without any supporting factual evidence whatsoever. Nor is there any independent research to support this sort of claim.
There are however some independent studies showing that such claims are questionable. Consider for example the meme that releasing information concerning encryption “helps the terrorists”. In a research report entitled “Measuring the Impact of the Snowden Leaks on the Use of Encryption by Online Jihadists” [1354], no evidence was found that leaks of NSA materials had any effect on helping those whom the U.S. labelled “terrorists”.
Furthermore at the trial where Manning was sentence to 35 years in prison as discussed above, the U.S. government representatives were forced under oath to admit that not one single person or group had been harmed by the information leaked by Manning or WIkileaks [1377]. Those spy directors and politicians shouting “traitor” at those they did not like, presumably knew this perfectly well. But she was locked up regardless - what a great nation, n’est pas?
“The underlying public encryption methods employed by online jihadists do not appear to have significantly changed since the emergence of Edward Snowden. Major technological recent advancements have focused primarily on expanding the use of encryption to instant messenger and mobile communications mediums. ... Well prior to Edward Snowden, online jihadists were already aware that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were attempting to monitor them. As a result, the Snowden revelations likely merely confirmed the suspicions of many of these actors, the more advanced of which were already making use of – and developing secure communications software.” [ibid]
As I have pointed out herein and elsewhere The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , those groups whom the U.S. power elite dislike sometimes may be
  • internationally recognised scholars and human rights activists (eg. Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn),
  • sometimes they may be U.S. supported heads of state who have fallen out of favour (eg. Saddam Hussein, M. Reza Pahlavi),
  • sometimes (frequently - vide infra) they may be corporations or CEOs in other nations which are competitors to U.S. corporations,
  • or sometimes they may be actual terrorists (eg. ISIS).
All of these know full well that three-letter government departments have been routinely spying on everything and everyone they could for many decades - long before Snowden or similar leaks occurred. But it should be noted that in the case of the latter two groups, they are as capable of hiring the expertise to avoid three letter spies as are the three letter spies themselves. Particularly when such expertise is readily for sale by non-U.S. tied nations which are as good as, or better than, the cream of U.S. based mathematicians and cryptographers. Hence private tightly encrypted distributed networks are not difficult to build or maintain - corporations and military do this all the time. That “terrorists” funded by wealthy nations such as Saudi Arabia might also do so, is to be expected. The propaganda that release of whistleblower documents help this happen is simply implausible.
Hence claims by those ensconced in the acculturated doxa that whistleblowers do great harm may be correct. But the harm they do is not necessarily to the security of a nation, but rather impede the use of the tools of burgeoning totalitarianism inherent in any Panopticon.
A more meaningful question perhaps is whether or not the NSA, GCHQ, and other similar agencies are themselves traitors for acting as enablers for powers heretofore only available in police states.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” - Cicero, Roman Senator, 42 BCE
Update: I received an email to the effect that U.S. president Trump himself, as well as various members of his government and family, were traitors. To which I can only respond, that should humanity survive these people, history will judge them as it has done with other similar types, very harshly.

10.6.7.12 Controlling the narrative - censorship

(an image: pls click to see it)
"President Obama will surely pass president Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom ... president Obama wants to criminalise the reporting of national security information."
~ J. Goodale [669], former General Counsel for the New York Times
The government under Mr. Obama has moved into the realms of the absurd by declaring whistleblowers, Wikileaks, various NGOs, and others which help disseminate information about his government’s illegal activities, not merely as “traitors”, but as “enemy combatants” [474]. This effectively brands such human rights activists and people of conscience such as C. Manning, E. Snowden, and a host of others as “terrorists”. (Please see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for details on what actually constitutes “terrorism” and how the term has been propagandized into a tool of corrupt power.)
Under the U.S. NDAA laws [475] this would enable the president to order the assassination of anyone [477] without proof or trail. Mr. Snowden, or any journalist who release war-crimes information (such as the well documented attack on civilians by helicopter pilots for “target practice” [478] by U.S. forces) would be placed upon the same footing as mass-murderers. Assassination without trial, long-term torturing without trial (viz. treatment of C. Manning [479 and Op.cit.]), and the like all against someone with the temerity to reveal alleged illegal acts by their own government. (See also here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , Sect. 5.3.2 for additional details regarding Manning and others).
"The same government that continues to expand its invasive dragnet of surveillance, all over the United States and the rest of the world is now asserting its prerogative to drag Snowden back to the USA from anywhere on the planet. It’s not only about punishing him and discouraging other potential whistleblowers. Top U.S. officials are also determined to – quite literally – silence Snowden’s voice, as Chelsea Manning’s voice has been nearly silenced behind prison walls. Those at the top of the U.S. government insist that Edward Snowden and [Chelsea] Manning have betrayed it. But that’s backward. Putting its money on vast secrecy and military violence instead of democracy, the government has betrayed Snowden and Manning and the rest of us."
~ N. Solomon [686]
"[The U.S. is] bullying countries all over the world, even where they have no basis for doing so... Bullying them essentially so that they can get Ed Snowden rendered to the United States where he can be prosecuted. [But he] is not a fugitive in any sense of the word ... [there is] an important and legal basis for Ed Snowden’s application for asylum”
~ M. Ratner [687], president emeritus of the Centre for Constitutional Rights and a lawyer with expertise in international law discussing U.S. actions regarding an alleged whistleblower
”The U.S. secretary of state is wrong in law. The Obama administration was not given a mandate by the people of the U.S. to hack and spy upon the entire world, to abridge the U.S. constitution or the laws of others nations."
~ J. Assange [686], founder of WikiLeaks, responding to news reports that U.S. Secretary of State was demanding other countries turn over a whistleblower without any proof, international arrest warrant, or legal basis for making such demands
"It’s painful for democrats that someone who has served democracy and, in our view, uncovered a massive violation of basic rights, should have to seek refuge with despots who have problems with basic rights themselves."
~ Juergen Trittin [755], German parliamentary leader, candidate for German Chancellor discussing the U.S. efforts against whistleblower E. Snowden
”The NSA has no constitutional right to secretly obtain the telephone records of every American citizen on a daily basis, subject them to sophisticated data mining and store them forever. It’s time government officials are charged with criminal conduct, including lying to Congress, instead of going after those exposing the wrongdoing.”
~ J. Bamford [771], lawyer and expert on the NSA
Press freedoms in the United States continue to fall. As of this writing the United States has fallen a full 13 points on the international press freedom index [1382] below even the abysmally low score it achieved under the reign of G.W. Bush [ibid].
Note too that U.S. president repeatedly failed to mention that James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, allegedly lied to the U.S. Senate as indicated above [653, 641, 652, 760]. Intentionally deceiving the U.S. Senate or Congress is illegal in the U.S., with mandatory prison terms. Others found guilty of so doing [761] have received five years in prison per offence [ibid]. Additionally as Miller at the Washington Post documented, a number of government officials had allegedly lied for decades about Congressional oversight (there was essentially none) and about the extent and nature of activities by the oxymoronically named U.S. intelligence community [762].
Not only were none of these persons in jail, they were not charged with any wrongdoing. Instead, Mr. Snowden was castigated in U.S. media, by government, and others [763]. Yet those who allegedly perpetrated alleged fraud upon the public, using taxdollars to build a Panopticon, violate privacy, violate international treaties (eg. the UN Charter [764]), and the like were called dedicated public servants - heroes. While those who revealed the alleged illegal and unethical activities of said heroes, were designated as “terrorists”.
“I would love to put a bullet in his head,
~ U.S. military official regarding alleged whistleblower E. Snowden [1115]
“I personally would go and kill him myself,”
~ NSA member [ibid]
“I think if we had the chance, we would end it very quickly,”
~ U.S. military intelligence official [ibid]
What charming people, n’est pas? Please see the following articles, which help shed light on just how charming these folks are:
  1. Psychopaths in Power ,
  2. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ,
  3. Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ,
  4. The Real Monetary Cost of War .
Mr. Showden, while in hiding in one of the few countries on the planet not subservient to the U.S. (Russia)
  1. Mr. Snowden received the 2014 Right Livelihood award from the Swedish Foundation [1369] in recognition of his “courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights”.
  2. Mr. Snowden was recognised by the European Parliament which voted to adopt "forceful resolution" urging the EU’s member nations to recognise Edward Snowden as a whistleblower, and protect him from U.S. persecution [1625]. The resolution states that European Union members should "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties." [1626].
  3. As with Mr. Assange’s receiving the Australian Peace Prize [1371] - Australia’s highest honour - for his courage in allegedly revealing alleged U.S. war crimes (including videos of U.S. soldiers alleged use of civilians for target practice and laughing about doing so [1370]).
  4. After more than a year of careful investigation the United Nations UNWGAD found that Julian Assange had been detained arbitrarily by the United Kingdom and Sweden [1499]. The UN went on to state that released an opinion that Assange should be released and compensated for his “deprivation of liberty” by Britain [ibid]. Mr. Assange was never charged [ibid] but illegally detained regardless, for his aid in whisteblowing alleged war crimes and human rights abuses [1371]. Typical of Britain’s government under David Cameron (wherein Ministers were caught allegedly lying such as Iain Duncan’s alleged CV falsification [1500, 1501]) - there was flat rejection of the UN’s findings: “"The working group’s opinion is deeply flawed and Mr. Assange has never been the subject of arbitrary detention. His human rights have been protected throughout" said the UK Foreign Office official release [1502]. Mr. Cameron’s response in parliament against the United Nations’ findings, was quickly allegedly refuted by facts enumerated at WikiLeaks [1503]. I would urge you to read the UNs documents on this issue, then decide for yourself at whose doorstep the lies and unethical persecution rest.
Both Mr. Assange and Mr. Snowden, along with those revelaing alleged violations by the U.S. of the Geneve Convention and UN Articles on Torture - i.e. war crimes - continue to be hunted, subject to character assassination, and more by the U.S. - a very sad comment upon that country’s government and its priorities.
Activities which have been alleged by a number of documents, reporters, human rights workers, NGOs, UN panels, war crimes investigations, academic researchers, etc. Whistleblowers pursued/jailed by U.S.-British government U.S.-British Government
opened torture prisons around the world Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? No Yes
launched daily drone attacks which to date have slaughtered thousands of civilians The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? No Yes
ignored international law, repeatedly violated Geneva Convention [ibid] No Yes
invaded several countries to seize their oil, causing death and maiming of millions of innocent men, women, and children [ibid] No Yes
illegally spied on hundreds of millions of utterly innocent civilians around the world [Op. cit.] No Yes
undermined the entire structure of the world’s communicaiton system, encryption systems, etc. in order to further the greed of a handful of oligarchs [Op. cit.] Subverting democracy) No Yes
wilfully lied over and over to the citizens whom they ostensibly serve [1498] No Yes
allegedly committed war crimes and crimes against humanity Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? No Yes
created an Orwellian dystopia of fear Is Fear induction Social Engineering? No Yes
attempted to cover up the death of at least 20,000 Afghani civilians [1378], millions of Vietnamese civilians [1494], over a million innocent Iraqi civilians [1495], and many other mass slaughters for oil [1496, 1497] No Yes
Implemented censorship regimes as discussed herein No Yes
illegally [1499, 1035, 1038] pursued whistleblowers No Yes
released factual documents on the information above to the public [Op. cit., 1120, 1116] Yes No
Whistleblowers discussed herein and elsewhere [1120] only released information the public concerning allegedly illegal acts such as alleged war crimes carried out by their governments. Said acts by spy agencies of said governments had not in any way, as cited [Op. cit.] and here [1116] in detail, have not led to a single verifiable, or in the case of the NSA even one life saved [ibid]. Furthermore U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates has admitted that his government’s reaction to release of such information was "significantly overwrought" [1261].
As I have pointed out [The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ] this sort of vitriol on the part of those claiming to be “protecting the public” is nothing new historically or unique to any one country. Members of the STASI were convinced they were doing good and just acts [1117]. And at the Nuremberg trials time and time again those on trail justified their activities by stating that they were protecting the public - they genuinely believed the propaganda that they were fighting against evil and were themselves good people [Op. cit.].
The problem of course is that power invariably forms and controls the narrative (please also see my article on acculturation theory Acculturation theory for a more formal analysis, as well as the menu selection on on social engineering Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) for clarification, citations, and examples).
In general human societies mimic those of their genetic ancestors - primate societies are highly hierarchical with wealth and power distribution always being pyramidal. But still - it is sad is it not, to see it happen yet again? The similarity to the rise of Hitler’s Third Reich and the Communist STASI (Godwin’s Law notwithstanding) has been noted by a number of researchers and academics [1035, 1036, 1037, 1038].
It bears reiterating therefore, that the mental state of those calling for the murder of whistleblowers whilst happily acquiescing in, ordering, or enabling the activities highlighted supra ... is not particularly healthy Psychopaths in Power .
10.6.7.12.1 Controlling the narrative - Chilling Effects
“Do I have something to hide? No, I don’t, but I dont expect this means I have to relinquish my rights to privacy. We [already] have a working system. Think I’m a bad guy … tell it to the judge, get a warrant. Of course we all want child pornography stopped… don’t use that against those of us who value privacy.”
~ G. Howe [1279] in response to Canada’s egregious Harper regime introducing their alleged mass censorship and privacy invasion law, Bill C30
“Dear GhostMail user/visitor: GhostMail in its current form will be closed down as per 1. of September 2016. Since we started our project, the world has changed for the worse and we do not want to take the risk of supplying our extremely secure service to the wrong people – it’s simply not worth the risk. In general, we believe strongly in the right to privacy, but we have taken a strategic decision to only supply our platform and services to the enterprise segment. We hope you understand this decision ...”
~ GhostMail [1800] - one of the very few email systems which actually respected the UN Charter which declared privacy a basic human right.
Many governments leak information on purpose. Largely as a means of manipulating public opinion. However said governments do not tolerate leaks that expose their wrongdoing. Those who do so are prosecuted, censored, harassed, jailed, hunted down, and in some cases, assassinated (viz. the plutonium poisoning of whistleblower A. Litvinenko [671].
"Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”
~ Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [770], to which all of the countries mentioned above are signatories, including the United States which rescinded Mr. Snowden’s passport preventing him from seeking asylum, for the sin of exposing what the government was allegedly doing if alleged violation of their own laws and constitution. Of course if the government had nothing to hide from the people who elected them, then they certainly had nothing to fear from a person of conscience such as Mr. Snowden.
The chilling effect upon investigative journalism world wide, individual and collective free speech (see Censorship and Bibliocaust ), free and open research in science (see Is (Real) Science Dead? ), and upon democratic and human rights in general (see Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ), is obvious.
“Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.
It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the U.S. Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimise an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.
I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring. ...
Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum. ...”
This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed.”
~ E. Snowden [798], former U.S. NSA employee
“I suggest that the 2013 Peace Prize awarded to the American citizen Edward Snowden.
Edward Snowden has - in a heroic effort at great personal cost - revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance, the U.S. government devotes electronic communications worldwide. By putting light on this monitoring program - conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements - Edward Snowden has helped “to make the world a little bit better and safer.
Through his personal efforts, he has also shown that individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms. This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945 has been clear that the slogan "I was just following orders" is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms. Despite this, it is very rare that individual citizens having the insight of their personal responsibility and courage Edward Snowden shown in his revelation of the American surveillance program. For this reason, he is a highly affordable candidate.
The decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would - in addition to being well justified in itself - also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that incurred by the hasty and ill conceived decision to award U.S. president Barack Obama 2009 award. It would show its willingness to stand up in defence of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defence be viewed with disfavour by the world’s dominant military power.
Sincerely,
Stefan Svallfors”
Professor, Umeå University, Sweden
(Dr. Svallfors is one of the few that are allowed to make recommendations to the committee)
Since Dr. Svallfors’ statement there have been an additional twelve nominations [1159] for Mr. Snowden to receive the Nobel Prize, several from other members of the Nobel committee.
To Dr. Svallfor’s quote I would only add that there have been a host of other whistleblowers. Dr. D. Ellsberg who leaked details of illegal and corrupt actions orchestrated by the then U.S. president; Dr. D. Kelly who leaked details of alleged crimes by the British Prime Minister; through to C. Manning who leaked details of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly orchestrated yet another U.S. president; and many others ... would match the depiction by Dr. Svallfors.
Those who give the orders are not the ones to die. Who are the traitors bereft of moral and ethical authority, and who the protectors of democratic and civil rights? It is not really that difficult a question to answer, is it?
"For in a Republic, who is ’the country?’ Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant - merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."
~ Mark Twain (S. L. Clemens) [960]
There is another interesting aspect to the chilling effects which spying on everyone creates:
The term monstering refers to the gathering of vast amounts of information on individuals, their families, and friends. Then use this inforamtion to threaten these individuals with public disclosure of selected bits, presented in a salacious manner. For example, if a politician once was depressed and sought help from a psychologist in dealing with the loss of a loved one, the media could present this visit as though the person suffered from severe depression and was therefore unfit to lead a country.
Since 1969 no prime minister in Britain has been elected without the direct support of Rupert Murdock and his media empire [1309]. As court cases and investigations subsequently showed [1310] this media empire allegedly used allegedly illegal hacking - gathering information on politicians, military leaders, chiefs of police and many of the movers and shakers in the power hierarchy in Britain. So much information in fact, that it could be used and allegedly was used to threaten and cajole to ensure legislation and political direction could be controlled by unelected media moguls [ibid]. As N. Davies in “Hack Attack” [1311] has carefully documented, fear of having their private lives and those of their families disclosed was so great that political leaders allegedly altered legislation or funding (such as severely underfunding the BBC) at the alleged behest of said moguls.
The process of monstering is simple: gather every piece of data legally or illegally, disregard ethics or human rights, choose a target, threaten the target, flood the media with information carefully selected to damage the target. If that does not work, embellish or simply, lie.
The British courts found some of the low level people in Murdock’s employ who participated in the various aspects of media monstering in Britain to be guilty of a number of crimes [1312, 1313]. Mr. Murdock for whom these people worked and who allegedly knew what they were doing [ibid], is still however closely connected to those in power [ibid], a multi-billionaire, and free to go about his business.
In the 1960’s the U.S. FBI operation COINTELPRO [1315] was used to discredit those who protested against the U.S. invasion and slaughter of Vietnam.
Decades later Britain’s GCHQ was found to have used tactics which included luring those whom they wished to potentially discredit to “sexually compromising Web sites, posting false blogs and launching other ’info ops to damage reputations’ [1269]. Monstering.
"Collect it all, sniff it all, process it all, know it all, exploit it all,”
~ from leaked U.S. intelligence gathering directives, Greenwald [1269]
It may be worth considering whether or not those who order such are themselves monsters in the clinical psycho-pathological sense of that term - please see here Psychopaths in Power and here Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism). Or if the same may be said of the low level technologists who enable them.
The overall affect is chilling.
10.6.7.12.2 Supreme Court
"Populations who are fooled by their governments
to give up liberty in order to obtain security,
they deserve neither liberty nor security."
~ Benjamin Franklin [1]
A primary purpose of a court is to act as a check upon unlimited power grab by the executive branch of government.
Yet in an amazing display of mission creep the U.S. Supreme Court in one single decision allegedly violated the privacy rights of well, everyone. In the case Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, the Supreme Court stated that one could not challenge the warrantless wiretapping because there is no proof that anyone has been wiretapped. The reason of course that no proof existed, was this: the laws [539, 463, 465] enabling the Panopticon were not created by Congress (the people’s ostensible representatives). Instead they were enacted by U.S. president G.W. Bush [542]. The actual implementation was so secretive [540, 541] that it was impossible for anyone outside the halls of power to know if the government was spying upon them.
In essence, it was alleged [587] the Court approved the creation of a Total Information Awareness surveillance state similar to that run by Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and China. As well as other regimes run by dictators.
Such tautological reasoning by the Court - a group consisting of persons appointed by those in power, never elected - was alleged to be the end of the basic human right to privacy in that country, its various colonies, and others under its direct control. Such an act by the Court was also alleged to be a direct violation of the human rights agreements previously outlined. Note too that the Court’s ruling effectively quashed the law suit by journalists against the government [543] which argued that freedom of the press was impossible when journalists could be secretly spied upon by government [ibid].
At any rate, attempts to take government officials to court who violate both domestic and international laws regarding the basic human right to privacy, generally fail. In some countries of course, the courts are hand picked and packed with judges who have little interest in upholding the laws of the land... except when they favour those who put them into power. (Please also see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , Sect. 5, for additional context of how government mission creep has all but destroyed democratic rights in some countries.)
An example:
In the U.S. a class action law suit [482] was launched by citizens against several telecommunications corporations which handed over any and all communications to the NSA (National Security Agency). Verizon for example, one of the largest communications suppliers in the U.S., turned over to the NSA a record of every single on of its customers call history, every call made, the location of the phone, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and a plethora of other identifying information [611]. The order came from the unelected the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [ibid], essentially commanding a private corporation to spy on citizens. Of course Verizon is not the only communications giant under such orders [612] - records have been gathered on every citizen of that benighted country for at least a decade [613] in a manner which would have put the horrific East German STASI to sham. Of course under international law as pointed out previously, this is allegedly illegal [Op. Cit.], not to mention unethical.
"In the digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?"
~ former U.S. Vice president Al Gore [614]
"It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies."
~ J. Jaffer [615], deputy legal directur, U.S. ACLU
The oxymoronically named U.S. Justice Department had, at time of that the Verizon spying was leaked, found to have ordered communications companies to turn over two months of telephone records of journalists and editors who had written about allegedly illegal activities on the part of the government [617, 618, 619].
The U.S. Supreme Court - a court whose judges were appointed by the government which authorised the spying [483] - refused to hear the case [484]. The government, or more particularly a handful of rich men in the executive branch, had created a law which granted retroactive immunity to the companies for their (now formerly) illegal activities. To do so was as several legal experts opined “an unprecedented violation of the separation of powers” [485] - a separation which had until that time been mandated by that country’s constitution. That the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, without even stating reasons for not hearing it, allowed the Executive Branch of that country’s government to avoid any accountability for what appeared to be clear violations of the UN charter [Op. Cit.] and the U.S. constitution. Many believed that this act was antithetical to both democratic rule and to the rule of law.
"Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinise every decision you’ve ever made. Every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis, to derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."
~ Ed Snowden [640] one of the alleged whistleblowers who exposed various details of the U.S. government’s universal surveillance systems
Fortunately it goes without saying that no government official has ever been corrupt, abused her powers, developed laws antithetical to the good of the citizens of his country, succumbed to corporate or other bribery, or just been a bad person ... so statements such as Mr. Church’s are foolish fear mongering. No, there is nothing whatsoever to worry about. For the East German STASI and the Nazi SA are no longer around. They are not models for the TSA, NSA, and other three-letter arms of power. No, not at all. Right?
History has shown that the greatest threats to individual rights frequently emanate from within the halls of power rather than from any outside force. It is naive to believe this is different in our own time.
Fast forward to 2016. A U.S. appeals court ruled 12-3 that the government (i.e. any government agent) can demand location data held by cellphone carriers, without requiring a warrant. In other words, the government agents, police, etc. could demand location data on anyone using a cellphone (i.e. almost everyone) without any oversight or public notification whatsoever. Furthermore the U.S. court ruling made it law law that all cellphones much give location information - i.e. no location circumvention was allowed.
It may be worth noting that when Mr. Obama became U.S. president he (and Harry Reid, the Senate leader for Mr. Obama’s political party) swiftly moved to pack the courts with judges whose previous ruling had been favourable to enhancing executive and federal power at the expense of individual rights [1700, 1701, 1702]. Mr. Reid in particular pushed through over 100 judges in a mere two year period - most of whom had long term (i.e. decades) appointments [1703]. While most U.S. presidents and assistants had done the same regardless of political affiliation [ibid], the thrust of these appointments meant that rulings such as allowing government agents to use cellphone location data to track anyone without any meaningful oversight, became increasingly common.
This legislation essentially made U.S. ISPs and carriers arms of the NSA and other government agencies - all paid for by the taxpayer of course - without the need or requirement to honour the U.S. 4th amendment to the constitution, or the privacy laws and UN Conventions discussed herein.
“If the president does it, it’s legal”
~ U.S. president Richard M. Nixon
The fascistic approach to governance to state that any and all actions are justified if those in power believe they are justified. Nothing to hide has never meant that there was nothing to fear from such persons. Quite the opposite in fact - The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .
10.6.7.12.3 Canada
Canada’s Prime Minister at the time was Stephen Harper. Mr. Harper had allegedly spent much of his early career criticising Canada and Canadian values whilst simultaneously praising U.S. values and ethics [670, 671, 671]. Little wonder then that when he came to power (see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) for several of the methodologies employed ) he began implementing similar inhuman (and inhumane) rights laws concerning privacy.
For example, like the various U.S. bills enabling NSA ties into internet provider hubs, Bill C-30 in Canada required ISPs to implement and maintain not just the technologies, but also the personnel necessary to pass transmissions from their clients in real-time and in complete secret to government agents [490]. As in the U.S., it was alleged (because the Bill was not specific in this regard) that telecom companies would also be required to break data encryption to enable this to happen, thereby potentially severely compromising small business and personal information. Of course all paid for by the taxpayer. With the advent of increased foreign control over Canada’s networks [499] it seemed that Mr. Harper’s government was purposefully setting out to weaken Canadian’s control over private data, exactly as was occurring in the United States under almost identical legislation.
Mr. Harper’s government was also found by the Privacy Commissioner for Canada to have allegedly spied on and allegedly invaded the privacy of a professor solely for political reasons [643]. The professor, Dr. C. Blackstock, was an advocate for the rights of aboriginal children in poverty. And so apparently, allegedly worthy of having privacy rights violated:
"I was shocked when I realised that in a democracy such as Canada our federal government thinks it is right to violate the privacy of citizens who have a view that is different from theirs," says Prof. Blackstock. "By simply working towards a more fair and just Canada for all children, it seems that the federal government targeted me as a person of concern. We have to ask ourselves ‘who else is being targeted and for what purpose?’
~ Dr. C. Blackstock [642]
"Given the Conservative Governments record on privacy and ignoring Canadians’ Charter rights, it is not surprising that Prof. Blackstock has been under systematic surveillance by the Tories in Ottawa for simply connecting communities and advocating for First Nations children,"
~ N. Mehta [644], General Counsel, UFCW, Canada
As in the United States and Britain, the people’s protectors - i.e. various privacy commissioners - were thwarted whenever investigating government spy agencies. A single example: Around the time word of the secret spying upon Dr. Blackstock was released, the Privacy Commissioner for Canada stated that there was essentially no ability for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to investigate Canada’s spying agency, the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).
"we know very little specific information [about CSEC] at this point”
~ Privacy Commissioner for Canada [642]
“CSEC routinely punts back freedom of information requests with entire sections blacked out. Its pat non-answers on the latest headlines trivialise the scope of what’s at stake, and are, frankly, unacceptable given the resources Canadians bestow on the agency to do its job. ... should we be entrusting power and authority to agencies that barely acknowledge their own existence?”
~ Dr. R. Diebert [645], Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies, professor of political science University of Toronto
As it turned out, Canada’s Defence Minister P. McKay (the same man who allegedly used taxpayer funded search and rescue helicopters to ferry him on fishing trips [820]) had allegedly approved CSEC operations which were virtually identical to those approved in the U.S. for the NSA [644, 819]. That is to say, allegedly universal and highly secret spying on all Canadian citizens. (Since members of the Five Eyes group (see next subsection) exchanged information, CSEC and the Harper regime could easily circumvent [900] Canadian law against spying on Canadian citizens [645].)
A quick example: During the 2010 G20 meetings CSEC and CSIS (Canadian spy agencies) were allegedly ordered [998, 999] by the Prime Minister’s Office to aid the U.S. NSA spy agency in spying upon all communications of the 26 heads of state and their entourages attending the G20 meeting. Leaked U.S. documents [1001] stamped “Top Secret” allegedly listed international development, banking reform, countering trade protectionism, and similar economic items as being worthy of spying upon so as to support "U.S. policy goals”. Once again under the Harper regime, Canada’s role was essentially to function as an arm of the U.S. state supporting “U.S. policy goals” (please also see Harmonisation Is a Tool of War) for citations and discussion regarding Canada as a mere adjunct of U.S. policy under the Harper regime).
Heise in Germany leaked details in 2014 concerning a CSEC program called “Landmark” (who names these things?) [1331]. The program makes use of Operational Relay Boxes (ORBs) (used to hide the location of the attacker when the Five Eyes group attacks sites), automates port scans through the U.S. OLYMPIA system to rapidly identify vulnerable devices (routers, computers, tables, phones, etc.). In general CSEC “network exploitation analysts” map millions of vulnerable devices and presumably act exactly as the NSA, FBI, etc. do - that is to say launch their own botnets and malware injectors to - without warrant or legal just cause of course - attempt to infect whatever and whomever they wish. According to the leaked documents, one of Canada primary roles is to act as proxy for other Five Eyes spy agencies such that said agencies can subvert the laws in their own countries under the rubric of plausible deniability since they allegedly farm their illegal actions out to the least regulated western country in this regard [Op. cit.] - Canada. Or said another way, hacking by proxy - “Who us? No - it was Canada that did those horrible things.”[332]  [332] As a quick aside here - most real targets hire expertise to limit the chances of these egregious attacks getting anywhere. Simple techniques such as layered port knocking, honeypots, TCP Stealth, Qos walls, etc. are in use by anyone with the knowledge or wherewithal to buy the knowledge to protect themselves. And needless to say, they do not use hardware made in the U.S. or China without modification and shielding. Sigh.
This may be a good place to inject a personal observation about the people doing this work. As I point out throughout this site (eg. Creating the Fourth Reich? , Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies), Pedagogy is Social Engineering , What is Metanoia and other Postmodern Foolishness? , etc.) the techniques of propaganda are so pervasive and successful that those subject to them are essentially unaware that they are ontologically bound. I have taught graduate students working in this area who were absolutely convinced that what they did was vital to the security of the nation, even if laws both state and moral, were broken in the process. They believed their leaders. Leaders I might say who throughout history, have been the antithesis of honest or deserving of trust. And so these well meaning people, enjoying their work and believing in it, like the naive soldiers marching were their leaders send them, may do tremendous harm convinced that their odd version of a God is “on their side”. Sigh. This is not to say that there is not evil in the world, but rather that in attacking it it is always best to ensure that it is, in fact, evil that one is attacking rather than doing.
“We are celebrating a great military success”
~ prime minister Stephen Harper [1332] of Canada following his sending Canadian forces in Libya. At the time of his speech, Libya had fallen into sectarian violence, mass death, starvation, etc. which has continued ever since. Exactly as in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other venues of “great military success” which had been propagandised into “humanitarian aid”.
“There is a hubris is the west which I find stunning ... We broke that society [Libya] apart. There are studies which show the majority of intervention are failures. ... It wasn’t a humanitarian intervention in Libya.”
~ J. Stein [1333], Director Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto
Well, having got that off my chest, lets move on: The Harper regime brought foreword legislation (Bill C-13) allegedly granting a wide range of secretive government agencies access to the private lives of every Canadian, create detailed psychological profiles of every Canadian, and provide immunity to those involved [1235] exactly as the Obama regime had allegedly done in the U.S., including claiming it was protecting children as justification for implementing the bill [1236].
Furthermore, unlike any other western country other than the United States, C-13 would allegedly enable such activities without any oversight by the people or even their elected representatives (please see here [1238] for details). Data would be held in perpetuity. In effect the Harper regime allegedly was again instituting U.S. laws in Canada.
Moreover, the Harper regime also demanded that telecoms give them access to the private personal information on Canadians at the rate of one demand every 27 seconds [1239]. The private personal information on 1 in 34 Canadians was demanded [1240]. All paid for by the taxpayer [ibid], all secret, all under the Five Eyes agreement passed on without any public oversight to foreign governments on request. Prime minster Harper when asked about this responded that these were normal data demands by secret bureaucrats which occurred only “from time to time” [1241].
Clearly no one on the planet would consider one request every 27 seconds to be “from time to time” except perhaps, someone who had no realisation that his job was to serve the people, not the other way around.
“That means that if you are the victim of cyber criminals, identity theft, or even wrongly targeted by police because your Internet or cell phone provider handed over your information without cause you will have little recourse. In fact, you probably won’t even be notified if you private data has been breached.
~ S. Andersion [527]
Another example: The Harper regime allegedly used intelligence resources to spy on anti-Tar Sands groups across Canada [1005]. The Harper regime, which had allegedly subsidised the energy industry (by underwriting all costs [1006, 1007] and enacting anti-environmental protection laws [1007, Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? ], used taxpayer dollars to also allegedly undermine dissent from said policies by treating environmentalists as “terrorists” (literally using this term against them [1008, 1009]). And allegedly used taxpayer monies to spy upon such groups as Idle No More, ForestEthics, The Sierra Club, EcoSociety, LeadNow, Dogwood Initiative, Council of Canadians, and the People’s Summit [1010] none of whom had any history of or predilection toward, criminal acts. That is to say, the resources of the state ostensibly dedicated to protecting the citizenry were allegedly co-opted to further political and corporate profiteering instead. Exactly matching use in the U.S. and other Panopticon constructors.
The Harper regime approved the most expensive building in Canadian history ($1,200,000,000 at least [906]. The building was purposed to CSEC for spying activities and contained luxurious spa-like facilities (until the leaked documents [1011] raised public protest), and more than $5,000,000 per annum plus “expenses” for the 2000+ CSEC employees. As well as unknown (but large) amounts for military spying operations [907]. All a time when the Harper regime had cut social [901], scientific research [902], environmental action [Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? ], court aid [903], aid to veterans [905], and a plethora of other programs (except for military, whose budgets it had radically expanded [904]). That is to say, funding CSEC and spy programs to their highest ever level, while slashing most programs not dedicated to war or corporate profiteering to the lowest funding level in Canadian history.
Under the Harper regime there was even less oversight of CSEC activities than with NSA shenanigans: a single retired judge, who had never reported a single violation by CSEC, issued a secret annual review hidden from the public [908]. That was the only “oversight” available, which allegedly amounted to making CSEC essentially an arm of not the government, but of the Prime Minister and Defence Minister, not parliament or the public they ostensibly serve. But it got worse - leaked documents [909] allegedly indicated that CSEC had for a decade been allegedly spying on behalf of and for a select number of very wealthy for-profit corporations, then meeting secretly with said corporations to pass on the information they had gleaned [910]. Billions of tax dollars allegedly spent to aid in the profiteering of a select few corporations (see also [911] for a much more detailed analysis of this and the threat to democratic rule it allegedly represented).
The Harper regime even went so far as to protect themselves from prosecution by creating copycat legislation mirroring the egregious U.S. Patriot Act, in the form or Sect. 21 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Act [821]. This allowed, under the rubric of “national security” bypassing the protections and rights outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
(an image: pls click to see it) Sadly, under the Harper regime (Mr. Harper is pictured at right) there were so many alleged scandals, alleged corrupt practices, and alleged simple ignorance (see Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? that the egregious alleged violations of the Charter escaped the public notice - exactly as in the United States (see Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) . For example almost no notice whatsoever was take of a very important report by the Privacy Commissioner for Canada [948]. In the report it was pointed out that Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Centre - a government agency mandated to gathering financial information relating to terrorism and money laundering - had instead been spying on the personal banking information of many, many thousands of innocent citizens [ibid].
As I point out in Sect. 16.2 (“Doing the right thing”) below, staff at such agencies CSEC, NSA, FINTRAK, CPIC, and on an on have essentially no training, historical context, ethical background, or education concerning the morality of what they do. Abuse of the datamining systems placed into their hands is to be expected, therefore. Especially when their political masters seem either unaware, uncaring, or with increasing frequency, corrupt concerning their own use of such taxpayer funded systems as Snowden, Manning, and other whistleblowers have made clear.
Lack of accountability, lack of public governance, secret spying, tax money used to spy on behalf of corporations, building a secret Panopticon, all without knowledge of the citizenry whose tax dollars fund such activities, is the antithesis of democratic rule.
Finally, the argument that such spying, privacy invasion, violations of international law, violation of the UN Charter [Op. cit.], and amoral voyeurism by such agencies is justified to “protect us from terrorism” is patently false. Not merely for the reasons listed here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , but also because these spy agencies are for the most part adjuncts of corporate and government greed. An example:
CSEC outed by Snowden leaks [Op. cit.] as Canada’s Panopticon agency allegedly worked on behalf of and for private for-profit corporations, at a cost in allegedly billions of taxpayer dollars [912, 913]. Meetings were allegedly held over a period of many years between CSEC and various corporations (in areas such as mining and shipping) in order to have CSEC provide information on its spying of competing corporations. That is, nothing whatsoever to do with protecting the public from “terrorists” but rather to aid corporate profiteering (see also [914] for an interesting analysis of how taxmonies went to CSEC to make corporations more profitable).
Another similar example to illustrate this point: The EU Data Retention Directive [915] mandates that all telecommunications operators in the EU or subject to EU rules, must must retain most types of data used to identify individuals for a period of up to two years, and make such information available to government agents upon request (i.e. without court or public oversight). Needless to say, just as with the lack of oversight over CSEC or the NSA, such Directives are ripe for misuse. And misused they have been. For example some Dutch telecommunications and Internet companies have used the directive to gather highly personal and sensitive data on individuals and use it in targeted marketing and advertising campaigns [916].
Again: Lack of accountability, lack of public governance, secret spying, tax money used to spy on behalf of corporations, building a secret Panopticon, all without knowledge of the citizenry whose tax dollars fund such activities, is the antithesis of democratic rule.
It was interesting to hear the then head of CSEC brought before a parliamentary committee declare that there was no abuse of the system and that it was carefully monitored [1313] - essentially mirroring statements by the NSA’s Hayden or Alexander [Op. cit.]. Particularly during alleged lying to the U.S. congress [ibid]. A small apocrypha about such statements from one of my graduate students may be of interest in this regard:
When the CPIC system (Canadian Police Information System - since replaced) was introduced throughout Canada, police allegedly started to misuse it. They allegedly gathered information on girl friends, used it to track former spouses, used it to find were friends lived, or simply look up anyone they felt like. All constituting a likely illegal privacy invasion or at the very least, an unethical invasion of civil rights. But allegedly widespread. So allegedly widespread in fact that access codes and access methods were eventually changed. Allegedly not because of the ethical issues involved, but because the alleged misuse was so frequent that it was overloading the system, interfering with legitimate use.
10.6.7.12.4 Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, Fourteen Eyes, Forty Eyes
(an image: pls click to see it)
During recent meetings of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Senator D. Feinstein presented an NSA map showing Canada and Mexico as both simply a part of the U.S. Homeland [969, 970]. This is a natural mindset perhaps, since the Harper and Obama regimes had signed a number of documents (the SPP in particular [971]) “harmonising” laws, policing, data collection, prisoner exchange, foreign policy, etc. - see Harmonisation Is a Tool of War) for details.
The Five Eyes group of countries carried this out to varying degrees. The members - the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand - freely shared intelligence (i.e. all data gathered on every citizen) and “harmonised” many laws, with each other. or rather, with U.S. policy. For example, ( UK government has been tapping fibre optic cables carrying global communications for a long time [673]. The UK communications headquarters (GCHQ) shares all this with the U.S.’ NSA. Interestingly like the U.S. government, all of these governments have lied to their citizens about the fact that they have been steadily eroding the basic human right to privacy, as well as ignoring their own privacy laws, for decades. All allegedly under U.S. control [855]. For example, following leaking of documents relevant to Australia:
“Revelations from within Australia’s intelligence agencies have confirmed the Government is actively complicit in the United States’ surveillance of Australian citizens. The Australian Government has denied any knowledge of the NSA’s widespread online surveillance of people around the world since it was revealed by Edward Snowden. It is now clear that the ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ routine is a sham. The Australian Government was aware of the spying, and collaborating to circumvent due process through receipt of vast amounts of surveillance material from the U.S..”
~ Australian Senator S. Ludlam [ibid]
(Please also see the discussion below in the Sect. 10.6.18.4.1.1 below regarding the alleged unethical actions of prime minister John Key of New Zealand regarding allegations of lying concerning his role in the Five Eyes group.))
Now consider the U.S. practice of fights of rendition - where a person is seized against their will in country A and taken to another country B, for interrogation. Why? Because the laws in country A do not allow torture, incarceration without trial, or removal of other basic human rights. But country B, has no such laws. Apply this to privacy rights. When privacy data is protected by the laws of country A, why just send that data to country B which has no such laws. Hence in exactly the same manner that flights of rendition saw political prisoners of the U.S. sent to Syria to be tortured [647] (thereby avoiding local U.S. laws), data is now being funnelled to other countries in order to avoid domestic rights protection laws. A very sad day for democracy. And for human rights.
But what about the other side of this coin - spying on government officials?
Spying on the officials and nameless bureaucrats who spy on you, is an offence punishable in some countries by death. In other nations such as the United States and Britain, by long imprisonment. In fact the power of wolves has become so extreme in some countries that spying by the citizenry upon those is power is prosecuted with the most virulent viciousness. Police in the U.S. and Canada for example, have attacked, seized cameras, arrested, and even beaten photographers and photojournalists for taking their pictures [440, 441, 442, 443, 444]. Yet they - the police - carry cameras which continually record citizen’s movements [625, 626, 627] as well as automatically track and photograph everyone’s car license plates as they drive [627].
(As a side note here while mentioning license plate scanners: Automatic systems which photograph and monitor of license plate numbers has seen routine use by many police forces around the world. Even though there are rarely laws authorising them to do so, and rarely (never?) any justification for doing so. Or any oversight of how this data is used or stored. Needless to say, where laws do exist to allow this, use is all about profiteering - not about solving crime. For example, in the U.S. the state of Rhode Island has put forth legislation which would create a network of automatic license plate readers that would check plate numbers against a national police database [1964]. The legislation also authorises 50% of all profits from tickets issued as a result of this, would go to the corporation which created the system ... and which by an interesting coincidence, also allegedly contributed handsomely to the campaign funds of those putting the legislation foreword [1965].)
But back to the main point of attacking those who speak out against these unethical actions by politicians and their bureaucrats:
  1. Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s chief of staff [435] allegedly called for assassination of a whistleblower who had allegedly expose corruption, war crimes, and other horrors [243] by the state.
  2. In the United States , senior Democratic and Republican Senators [436, 437] called for assassination and/all lifetime jail sentences for whistleblowers [244], with the government there allegedly performing in absentia character assassination via accusations of rape and sodomy [244] (later shown to have been entirely unfounded). Whistleblowers in that country have been called unpatriotic, traitors, and worse by government members [1105]. And that perpetual raspberry whose first known use was in the Second Kingdom of Egypt [1107] thousands of years ago - “a threat to national security”.
  3. In Russia head of state V. Putin allegedly ordered the death of A. Litvinenko [333]  [333] Mr. Putin’s opposite number - president Obama of the United States - had ordered the death of hundreds of people also without trial or proof of any wrong doing Is a Drone War a War Crime? . Heads of state of former democracies have always killed whomever they liked, then justified it with 1) denials 2) “national security” or 3) religion. Sigh. with plutonium for the horrific crime of leaking information concerning Putins alleged activities [1104, 1105].
  4. Britain presents yet another case of attempting to silence whistleblowers: That country even went so far as to threaten to invade Ecuador’s embassy risking war and flouting international agreements ... in order to seize a whistleblower wanted by the U.S. who had been given asylum in the embassy [438].
In sum it appears that the entitlement ontology Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) so sadly common to those in power, finds it entirely acceptable to spy on everyone and even censor them by extreme measures Censorship and Bibliocaust . But absolutely forbids any citizen to return the favour and spy on the doings of those in power, or worse, to reveal what is a difference between what is promises and deeds.
Note the similarities to the behaviours and rationals of William the Conqueror’s and his troops vis-a-vis his Doomsday Book. As I pointed out here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) the Book was not even remotely used for the purposes stated, but rather used as a means of suppression, taxation, and above all, control of the populous.
Like his distant cousins 1000 years hence, William and his barons also did not want the Book used against themselves.
“We regard the publication of classified information by WikiLeaks and five associated newspapers as a journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment. Prosecuting WikiLeaks’ founders and other people linked to the website would seriously damage media freedom in the United States and impede the work of journalists who cover sensitive subjects.”
~ Reporters Without Borders [470], open letter to president Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder
An example: In Britain GCHQ mentioned previously, shares its data on British citizens with 850,000 NSA and employees and for-profit private U.S. contractor corporations [740]. This wonderful organisation declared upon it being discovered that they had allegedly intercepted and faked webpages and other techniques (see [967]) to entrap innocent citizens:
“All GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensure that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight.”
This is a rather amazing statement, for several reasons. Firstly, since like the NSA the GCHQ’s activities are secret, there is absolutely no way for the public to ensure the statement’s veracity. Rather as the Snowden and other leaks show, and as history shows for all such organisations, it is somewhat improbable that the organisation’s activities are as the statement suggests. Further, in light of the UK RIPA and similar laws, activities in contradiction to the statement are made easier and hence more likely. (viz. [962]). Finally, it should be pointed out that such a statement is almost exactly the same justification the notorious East German STASI gave when their actions were questioned by the citizenry. The “rigorous oversight” claim is particularly interesting in light of the NSA’s similar claim [963] which later proved [964, 965] to be false.
“Mastering the Internet treats the rights of billions of foreign web users, the possible menace to the privacy of British and American citizens and the duties of their legislators with equal contempt. After Iraq and the banking crash, the world may come to see MTI as further evidence of a heedless delinquency in two of the world’s oldest democracies.”
~ H. Porter [741]
Finally, other countries have been building similar Panopticons - many tied together. Like Britain, France has a massive NSA-like system headquartered at the DGSE intelligence service [771]. Like the NSA, it operates "outside the law, and beyond any proper supervision" [772]. Recall the discussion above of Richeleu’s spy system. In 2013, with essentially no debate, France passed a law [1044] allowing its intelligence agencies to spy on anyone for what amounted to no reason at all [ibid] without any judicial oversight. In a sense, this placed said agencies above the law.
As with others in the Five Eyes group, the excuse given is to combat “terrorism” [ibid, The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ], but of course without disclosure of oversight, this claim is tautological only. Like the NSA’s system, anonymous bureaucrats happily violate individual privacy with impunity and essentially no oversight. That is to say - above the law (or within specially crafted secret laws).
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10.6.7.12.5 Forty Eyes
I have mentioned only the five eyes group, but of course there are more countries involved in perpetrating NSA shenanigans and alleged violations. Denmark for example, is allegedly part of NSA’s ‘Focused Co-operation’ group [1075], the second-highest level of information-sharing after the Five Eyes group. Other countries in this second group allegedly are Norway, France, and the Netherlands.
The third tier allegedly includes Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, and Italy [1077]. And so while heads of state deny it all (Canada’s PM Stephan Harper refused comment [1078], Denmark’s PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt commented by saying nothing illegal had been going on [1079], etc.).
All in all there are at least forty countries with a SIGINT (signals intelligence) relationship with the U.S. providing and being provided information and infrastructure for U.S. driven spying [1106].
10.6.7.12.6 No restrictions, no meaningful accountability
I have already mentioned the frequent alleged prevarications and revisionism allegedly presented by those in power. And have given examples from statements by U.S. presidents in regard to their egregious Panopticon. Eventually as a result when under public pressure U.S. president Obama promised to reign in NSA spying. Sadly the promises were ... moot.
For example, one promise was the that NSA would not collect and keep phone conversations of U.S. citizens [1108]. Of course he said nothing about other agencies of the government. Nor about the fact that the network infrastructure was so interwoven (see comments re. routers herein), that having other “partner nations” perform this work then pass it on (the U.S. for example “shares” raw information on U.S. citizens with Israel [1109]. Just as Canada routinely “shares” raw information on Canadian citizens with Israel [1322]. The Israeli equivalent of the NSA (the ISNU) under the auspices of the top secret Memorandum of Understanding [1323] also receives “far-reaching technical and analytic relationship with the Israeli SIGINT National Unit ... sharing information on access, intercept, targeting, language, analysis and reporting ... [and] include Israeli Defence Intelligence’s [Special Operation Division] SOD and Mossad” [1322]. CSEC (Canada’s version of the NSA) is spy agency allegedly part of this secret deal [ibid], handing over data on Canadians with effectively no public oversight. Britain’s GCHQ also appears to participate and in a program dubbed “YESTERNIGHT” (children love to use funny names for their games) appear to have assisted in targeting Palestinians [ibid]. Certainly during the Israeli attack on Gaza named “Cast Lead” (childish names, again) in 2009 wherein > 1,000 Palestinians were killed, NSA (USA), CSEC (Canada), GCHQ (Britain), and EWD (Jordan) all allegedly aided the ISNU [ibid]. At taxpayer expense and without public debate or chance to vote on the issue.
Well, to continue with Mr. Obama’s promise to “reign in “ NSA activities: Mr. Obama failed to speak about removing the taps threaded throughout the world by the U.S. to spy on every communication. Nor did he mention the fact that laws regulating the NSA were easily bypassed by that agency by simply “requesting” that other agencies such as CSEC, GCHQ, etc. execute tasks on their behalf.
Nor did Mr. Obama say anything concerning restrictions on PRISM and other similar activities, databases, or corporate passing of information to the NSA. Nor did Mr. Obama say he would act against those from the NSA and similar agencies which had allegedly openly and repeatedly lied under oath to Congress [1110, 1111, 1112]. In his speech he also failed to mention the presidential directives signed by himself [1113, Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ] and his predecessor [ibid] which had dramatically expanded the activities of the agencies discussed. And so on. Some light, almost nonexistent oversight of recording of phone conversations, but other than that business as usual. By the end of the Obama presidency, surveillance by secretive government agencies had expanded to be on a par with that of communist China. So much for promises. Or honesty.
A very sad comment on the state of democracy in that country, and of the attitude of those who supposedly worked for the people and protected their rights.
Again, let me point out the alleged lies on the part of CSEC (and other Five Eyes countries) as already cited and further discussed later. Resorting to flat out denial in light of leaked documents, whistleblower testimony, and other evidence or to carefully choosing the words used in denial in doublespeak, is in diametric opposition to democratic rights implied or actual.
The right to privacy and free speech is protected by law in all western countries. In Britain and Europe by the European Convention on Human Rights; in North America by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) and in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights of 1791; and around the world by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right to privacy and to free speech has been affirmed by all members of the United Nations as a basic human right. This was made international law by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
Two final examples:
10.6.7.12.7 Spying on their own governments:
There is one aspect to all of this egregious activity which is rarely mentioned in the literature - namely the covert actions of agencies such as the NSA, GCHQ, and other against their own governments.
An obvious example of this is the German intelligence service BND. BND allegedly lied and withheld information from its own government about violations of law and spying on the German Chancellor’s Office [1482, 1483, 1484]. BND allegedly broke numerous laws, its own codes of conduct, and its responsibility under law and practice to the German government.
In other words, it used its extraordinary capabilities via the Panopticon to allegedly act as a rogue agency against the German people whose government and law it violated. Do you really think GCHQ, NSA, and other similar agencies do not do this as well? It has been hypothesised that this is a primary reason no politician has taken meaningful action to curtail the activities of these agencies.
10.6.7.12.8 Spying on one’s allies
Take a look at the picture below. It is alleged to be a photo republished by The Intercept allegedly from the original publication in an internal NSA newsletter boasting of the NSA’s alleged ability to hack into an Israeli F-16 flight over Gaza. That is to say, hacking the jet fighters of those whom the then U.S. president called “our closest allies” and “our greatest friends” [1480, 1481].
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The alleged NSA newsletter made available to the public at DocumentCloud.org reads in part as follows:
TOP SECRET//COMINT/TALENT KEYHOLE// REL TO USA, FVEY
published March 2008
MHS FISINT Successfully Collects Israeli F-16 Heads-Up Display (S//SI//REL) , Menwith Hill Station (F77) (S//SI/TK//REL) During the recent unrest in the Gaza Strip in January, Menwith Hill Station FISINT operators collected video for the first time from the cockpit of an Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jet. The day before, MHS FISINT operators collected video from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The UAV appeared to still be on the ground, which prompted the site to go back to the area again the next day. As a result, MHS collected the F-16 heads-up display that showed a target on the ground being tracked. MHS worked closely with a GCHQ site in Cyprus for tip-offs. (S//SI//REL) Reacting to the unrest in the Gaza Strip, MHS conducted ad hoc range surveillance. On 3 January, the site collected the aircraft video from an Israeli F-16 fighter. The 14-second long video showed an “unbroken line” running through the 1 targeting display, indicating that the target being tracked was on the ground.
(S//SI//REL) Heads-up display from an Israeli F-16 fighter over the Gaza Strip. The target being tracked is located inside the circle.
The hack was allegedly done with aid from the massively expanded GCHQ Menwith Hill (in North Yorkshire, England) spy facility. Menwith Hill cost the British and U.S. taxpayer an estimated billions of dollars [1482] - estimated because under both the UK and the U.S. have classified the paperwork. Because the taxpayer has no right to know how their monies are spent. Even though located on British soil, most of the employees are U.S. citizens, mainly NSA employed [1483]. The Federation of American Scientists have stated that Menwith Hill computation power can carry out more than two million intercepts each and every hour [1484].
The U.S. government gives billions of dollars of taxpayer to Israel each and every year. They are the U.S.’s “closest allies”. If the NSA feels happy to celebrate secretly hacking their closest allies, then presumably they feel no compunction about hacking into and spying on anyone they choose. This of course, is what Orwell and U.S. president Eisenhower both warned about - a Panopticon run not by the people who funded it (the public), but rather by the perpetrators themselves without any meaningful restriction or accountability.

10.6.7.13 Biometric surveillance

The Welbi is a device [2006] which sits quietly in a room apparently doing nothing. But what it is actually doing is sending out pulsed radar which measures breathing rate, heart rate, and other biometrics of anyone nearby. It then sends this information via permanently connected WI-FI to ... the corporation, government, police, military, or whomever placed the device. The manufacturer asked for Kickstarter funds (i.e. asked people to sponsor the device’s development) by rationalising that it was a means by which medical personnel or family could unobtrusively monitor an elderly relative’s health in real time - a more advanced baby monitor, pitched to sell to families of seniors. It was also pitched as a tool for hospital to monitor patients sans the need for hardwired biometric monitors. Interestingly no mention that I could find ... anywhere ... discussed the Orwellian implications of such a device.
If you do not see the inherent dystopian use when (not if) such a device becomes common for monitoring of pretty much anyone in a building, then you need read no further. Continue on about your life ... nothing to see here. And certainly nothing to fear. Sigh ....
Earlier I mentioned U.S. presidential Directive HSPD-12-2004 and its implications for government collection of biometric data.
Britain - a leader in destruction of democratic rights and freedoms in order to “protect” the citizenry from terrorists who might remove their democratic rights and freedoms - improved upon HSPD-12. When Chancellor Gordon (soon to become the Prime Minister of Britain) initiated plans to monitor all electronic communication [55] he really did mean all. Everything was included - from simple sales purchases through a cash register, banking transactions, ticket purchases, stock trading, telephone calls, surveillance cameras, internet use... everything. His plans called for all of this to be automatically channelled into police/military/government computers for anonymous bureaucrats to view.
Yet even this was not enough - Gordon’s plans also called for universal biometric scanning (i.e. DNA, fingerprint, retina, etc. scans gathered automatically and surreptitiously as people moved about their business). And that all of this vast spy system be connected to other similar spy systems in other countries, particularly the U.S. [59].
Not wishing to be left behind in the construction of biometric ddbs, the federal police (FBI) in the U.S. created huge biometric database of its own [1568]. The database contained fingerprint, face, iris, and voice scans of millions of U.S. citizens. When a few journalists sought to expose this allegedly illegal or at the very least unethical activity, the U.S. Department of Justice sought legislation to exempt the biometric database from public disclosure. The FBI’s so called Next Generation Identification System (NGI) - i.e. biometric database - was to be removed from being subject to the U.S. Privacy Act [1570], which required federal agencies to give people access to their private data and biometric information in order to “allow them to verify and correct them if needed” [1569]. The FBI it said, needed to retain this data away from public scrutiny or knowledge in the event that the data “may acquire new significance when new details are brought to light” [ibid]. In other words, we want to know everything about you just in case one day you may do something we do not like. Charming.
How best to ease the citizenry into the sham that biometric surveillance is necessary? Easy - target the vulnerable first. For example, this meant targeting children and immigrants and the sick.
  • In the former case, in Canada’s province of Quebec, young children received lunch meals and textbooks not by paying with cash or credit card, but by passing their hands over a fingerprint scanner. The scanner automatically debited their parents’ accounts. In the case of those too poor to pay, the government picked up the tab. Databases of fingerprints of young children were easily acquired thereby, linked to home address and name. The government sold the system to the public over the objections of the few who understood the implications of this, by stating that is was a means for poor children to not have to admit their poverty in front of their peers at the lunch counter since identification cards were no longer required - all replaced by biometrics [456]. How long were the fingerprint records maintained? Indefinitely. Advertisements were also produced [457] by the government had young children stating how much better the system was for them because they no longer needed to carry money. At time of writing similar biometric tracking of school children is being introduced in the United States [458], Japan [459], Britain [460], Brazil [461], and a host of other countries. These children will presumably grow up believing biometric tracking is normal and good, having been trained into surrendering their biometric data at a very early age.
  • In the latter case, under the regime of Prime Minister Harper in Canada, nationals from many countries who applied for a visitor visa, study or work permit, immigrant status, etc. were suddenly required to provide biometric information at time of application [515]. The government would not release information [ibid] about with whom the biometric data would be shared, how long it would be kept, were it would be stored, who would be allowed to access and use it, or how it would ensure privacy laws were respected. For example, under the Five Country Conference agreement of 2009, Canada was actually obligated to share biometric data gathered in this way with other countries, such as the United States [517]. That is to say, Canada’s privacy laws would not apply to data so shared.
  • Hospital data (blood, DNA, and other biometrics) began to be stored and controlled by private for profit corporations (largely U.S. based) [1571, 1572]. The argument was that said data would be released to researchers in order to help find cures for disease. Patients were asked to agree to this on the consent form (which most patients did not read of course) or surgery might be refused [ibid].
Note that these methods had been used by other countries as precursors to extending biometric requirements for all citizens but first building infrastructure using these target populations.
Facial recognition software is used on almost every image publicly available, and every image captured by government and corporate CCTVs, surveillance drones, etc.
In every city in the west, everyone is photographed by spy cameras and flying drones hundreds of times a day. Every supermarket chain, ever department store, has cameras which recognise you the moment you walk in and automatically share this information with advertisers, government, and of course, other chain stores. Where you go, what you look at, what you do... all is automatically recorded and shared. Every Facebook picture, every photo of you uploaded by your friends, every driver’s license photo, passport photos, wedding photos - all analysed and logged to various databases. Algorithms are improving rapidly. For example the GaussianFace system [1223] has been shown to outperform humans in accuracy and speed of face recognition.
Master Card has recently been testing compulsory face recognition technology [1500]. The idea is that they keep a database of selfies and/or pictures of peoples’ faces, requiring a user to show their face to a camera or use their own cellphone when making a credit card purpose. If the face is recognised by the Master Card software the transaction would be allowed to proceed. Additional algorithms look for the eyes moving and blinking, etc. to prevent use of a photograph by perpetrators of identity theft. The privacy implications are staggering. Because facial recognition and similar biometrics bind a person’s private data like nothing else. Once for-profit privately held multinational corporations (i.e. difficult to prosecute, not subject to one nation’s privacy laws) can recognise your body ... you can never escape that linkage. Wherever you go, whatever you do, the corporation is watching you. As is your friendly neighbourhood government. For example the FBI’s facial recognition database currently contains photo identification data on more than 1/3 of all U.S. citizens, and is rapidly being expanded [1501].
As you walk by a camera, facial recognition connects your face to you name. And from there to your credit history, your address, where your daughter goes to school, who her friends are, how many times you visited a local brothel, your medical history, and indeed, everything about you. Orwell’s worst nightmare has been fully realised - you are watched, recorded, monitored everywhere you go, in everything you do. For example - Facebook’s AI facial recognition algorithm can identify whether or not any two images are of the same person, regardless of orientation, 97.25% percent of the time. Humans facial recognition is roughtly the same [1502].
While at time of writing systems with sufficient computer power to track everyone through facial recognition do not exist, the so will. Those lovely bastions of freedom and human rights the NSA the U.S. military (DARPA) are working very hard to create such capability in their systems [1503, 1504] - at taxpayer expense of course.
Many people have become justifiably fearful of the burgeoning totalitarian state such technologies invariably enable, to the point that in Britain and the United States many completely innocent citizens have begun to disguise themselves whenever they leave their homes (see CvDazzle [1224] for some interesting examples and discussion). Police states as I have pointed out in several articles on my site here, are invariably enabled by the dual combinations of technology and lack of morality on the part of those in power. Very sad.
Speaking of those in power:
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The 2015 British award for the Internet’s Most Evil Villain of the Year went to Theresa May, the UK’s Secretary of State for the Home Department [399]. Ms. May was later appointed (not elected) Prime Minister of Britain when her predecessor Mr. Cameron resigned.
Ms. May’s charming contribution to human rights and freedoms was legislation entitled The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act [1754].
Under the Investigatory Powers Bill all Internet activity of everyone in the UK (or accessing UK servers) was stored for at least a year by ISPs, with police and security services secretly being allowed able to access this information without any warrant. Browser fingerprinting (unique characteristics of your browser on your machine - see research by Laperdrix et al [2010], for example) to track innocent people, secret malware implantation, and so on ... all allowed. When I was working with police they regularly spied on their girlfriends, spouses, friends, journalists, political rivals ... or whomever they wished just because they could. But Ms. May wanted them to be able to do so with absolute impunity from prosecution. Her background in science, computers, IT, etc.? Zero.
To show the alleged hypocrisy of Ms. May and her ilk, the London Independent used the Freedom of Information Act which allowed information held by government bodies to be disclosed, to ’request’ that “‘the web browser history of all web browsers on the Home Secretary Theresa May’s GSI network account for the week beginning Monday 26 October” [1755]. Surprisingly, it was refused. Perhaps Ms. May had something to hide?
Two days after Ms. May became Britain’s prime minister and had appointed an (unelected) Boris Johson to amongst other things, oversee implementation of this bill. Mr. Johnson was a man who had allegedly previously been fired from several jobs for fabricating data [1756, 1757] and lying about it [ibid]. He announced that the UK government would henceforth force communication service providers (CSPs, ISPs, etc.) to remove or disable end-to-end encryption at the whim of government. With or with valid reason. And furthermore that CSPs must "develop and maintain a technical capability to remove encryption that has been applied to communications or data". This would expand the original law (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) which forced CSPs to "remove any encryption applied by the CSP to whom the notice relates" - in other words both CSP applied encryption and user applied encryption. Exactly as Mr. Putin had ordered in Russia [1758] and the Chinese government had implemented throughout China.
By mid-Nov. 2016 her government had expanded this, passing an even more egregious law [1759]. The expansion effectively enabled secret recording of everything everyone did online or via cellphone. Including conversations, pictures ... everything. It also enabled many government departments - without any public oversight - to decrypt data and demand decryption of data without cause. And finally, Ms. May’s law enabled secret intelligence agencies to hack into any computer or device of any person without cause, public oversight, or warrant, changing data, copying data, or whatever they wished This was, simply put the ...
"most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy,"
~ J. Killock [1760], director of the Open Rights Group.
When the legislation was passed in the British parliament, politicians on both sides of the House of Commons made exactly one and only one change to May’s legislation. What was the change? Why to exempt themselves from being spied upon. Every other citizen however, was fair game. Exactly as in Putin’s Russia. Good for them.
A democracy cannot exist without a free press. By 2017 the heads of state of Russia, North Korea, China, Britain, France, and the United States had all moved to forcibly control the freedom of the press and ease of access to accurate information. Not to be outdone in authoritarianism, Britain’s prime minister Theresa May who forced through the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016 [Op. cit.]. An act which gave the state the power to track and store the internet activities of everyone even allowing police constables the power to observe internet activity with any warrant or court order.
Following attacks by crazed people in London in 2017, Ms. May furthered this by calling for full government control of the internet [1953]. She called for a Conservative Manifesto to regulate of the internet, including forcing internet providers to secretly obey state counter-extremism rules including making it more difficult to access pornography [ibid]. Viewing pornography being, one must assume, an act of terrorism? Perhaps Ms. May knew what was pornographic (eg. John Cleese naked) and what was not (eg. leaked photos of British soldiers torturing of young prisoners - please q.v. Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ).
Ms. May claimed that her government (not the people’s government, but as she stated “her” government), was out to suppress and stop extremism ... by suppressing and stopping parts of the internet. What constituted extremism? Unfortunately Ms. May declined to say. But she did not discuss the high probability of cause-effect generated by her government’s selling of weapons of mass destruction to the slavery [1954] and terrorism encouraging [1955], racist [1956], genocidal [1957] (but oil wealthy) dictators running Saudi Arabia. Or the cause-effect of her government’s slaughter of many, many innocent civilians in bombing raids throughout the Middle East (please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ). Nor did she discuss the cause-effect of her government’s radical reduction of police officers throughout Britain [1958]. Or the fact that she made the statement to garner votes from a frightened public (she made the statement a few days before a general election in which even Steven Hawking declared [1960] he would not vote for her party - that a vote for her would be a disaster [ibid].) And so on. If fact when Ms. May’s foreign affairs minister A. Rudd was asked about Ms. May’s arms sales to the Saudis by a Belgian journalist, Rudd not only ignored the question, but allegedly told his security people to stop the journalist from asking more questions [1959].
One day later this terrific politician stated [1962] that she would change human rights laws if they ‘get in way of tackling terrorism. Other than the obvious problem with this - namely that only dictatorships and authoritarian regimes seek to turn back a thousand years of progress toward fundamental human rights - Ms. May did not appear to understand either what terrorism was (please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for discussion and definitions) or that continuing to bomb civilians in the Middle East and sell arms to the highest bidders in the Middle East and Africa, might just possibly have had more to do with things than allowing fundamental human rights to continue. Sigh.
Rudd a year later (in 2017) called for all major technology companies must step up their fight against extremism or face new laws ... technology companies are not doing enough to beat the enemy on the internet. Encryption tools used by messaging apps had become a problem ... “Real people often prefer ease of use and a multitude of features to perfect, unbreakable security ... Who uses WhatsApp because it is end-to-end encrypted, rather than because it is an incredibly user friendly and cheap way of staying in touch with friends and family? Companies are constantly making trade-offs between security and ’usability,’ and it is here where our experts believe opportunities may lie .”
~ Amber Rudd [1974].
The appalling ignorance of career politicians such as Ms. Rudd is a sign of the demise of democratic rights and freedoms under the false flag issue of “stopping terrorism”. Are Ms. Rudd and Ms. May (UK) and Mr. Trump (U.S.) and Mr. Turnbull (Australia) so staggering ignorant that they do not understand that “terrorists” can easily circumvent such controls ... or hire the same people the government hires to circumvent such controls? Interestingly when some NGOs wrote to Ms. Rudd [1775] requesting that she release all of her private medical records, visits to bars, emails to her family, her banking records, discussions with fellow politicians, her voting history, her tax returns, etc. to the public as she was suggesting the public do for her, Ms. Rudd did not respond. “Real people” do not need or want privacy? Fine Ms. Rudd, then please explain why you wear clothes. Sigh.
“If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.”
~ Bruce Schneier [1976], computer security expert
All of this was additionally important because thanks to the Five Eyes “sharing” of data [Op. cit.] all of the biometric data gathered by these and similar laws left the country to be “shared” with foreign governments. In other words any of the Five Eyes nations could, and did, circumvent their nations laws not to mention ethical expectations, by simply acquiring data from a Five Eyes partner. (All denied this of course, but like the lies of the heads of the NSA and GCHQ [Op. cit.], their credibility was shall we say, suspect. Similarly the assurances of alleged war criminals such as Mssrs. Blair, Bush, Obama, and Trump (please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror regarding citations for using this phrase) were certainly not to be trusted concerning any respect for fundamental human rights such as privacy. Please also q.v. Psychopaths in power) for a psychological analysis of lies and human rights violations by various heads of state.
In a similar context, Australia’s boast by border security head John Coyne [1913] that his government would introduce the “world’s first” compulsory biometric border control was interesting. The plan was to have at least 90% of travellers pass through passport control without human help by 2020 - based on machines which held biometric databases matching to travellers. Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull allocated an initial $100,000,000 of taxpayer monies .... to track travelling taxpayers through facial recognition, fingerprints, potentially DNA, and other biometrics. Biometrics which by the Five Eyes agreement would be automatically “shared” with foreign governments. Interestingly Coyne did not speak of this, boasting instead that his government wanted "selective permeability" [1914] which he defined as using data to determine who should be allowed through and who should not, based on a secretive “risk assessment” set of algorithms. This is junk science - please q.v. Thought Crime and Junk Science). Note that once governments have this private personal data about you, it is never, ever erased. For your entire life, no mater where you go, you can be - and are being - tracked by anonymous, hidden, secretive, spy computers, cameras, etc.
There are a plethora of studies in psychology and sociology (eg. [1761, 1762, 1763]) which conclusively show when everything a person does is monitored, behaviour changes dramatically. Criticism of government decreases, dissent decreases, and obedience increases. In other words, conformity of thought and behaviour increase, because the perception if not the actual law, is that deviation from the norm is perceived as dangerous to one’s health, employment opportunities, etc. Therefore even though not actually against the law, dissent from orthodoxy is perceived as a thought crime. So people voluntarily self-censor. We should all congratulate our Big Sister for implementing such laws. (Orwell of course, was right. As was Huxley.)
Sigh - as I have said many times in the articles under the menu item Social Engineering, the most common cause of national destruction historically is not invasion from without, but rather woeful ignorance and power-madness within the highest ranks of government. Mrs. Thatcher would have been proud of Ms. May - please see the subsection on Mrs. Thatcher here: Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism).
Hitler, it should be remembered, also removed privacy rights and the right of people to privacy from state snooping. It was in fact, on of his first acts upon becoming Fuhrer. Theresa May Uber Alles. Sigh.
Moving on:
Consider now the beleaguered country of Afghanistan.
Most of the population in Afghanistan was (and still is), due to various invasions and genocides, illiterate. Few have birth certificates, and most have never seen or have photos of themselves or their relatives and friends. But the U.S. and NATO forces have a deliberate policy of photographing everyone - millions of people - and adding them to a facial recognition database. All as part of the U.S./NATO biometrics programme [400, 401]. Without permission, or respect for privacy rights of individuals in other countries. And of course, without asking.
In essence U.S.-led actions in these countries amount to the forced extraction of biometric data, exactly as Huxley (and to some extent Orwell) warned in their dystopian futures. A very sad example of the sort of mission creep these technologies enable.
Finally, it is important to realise that CCTV and similar technologies can be hijacked (hacked) and used by organised crime [334]  [334] Organised crime can be differentiated from government, I am told. for a number of obvious ends [81]. Gearbox, CCTV Video Sniffin’, Spy Kiting, and other technologies [83] are readily available to hackers for hijacking the the output of government CCTV networks. Other kits are similarly available to hijack more subtle spy technologies as well [82].

10.6.7.14 Surveillance by cybernetic insects

(an image: pls click to see it)
A considerable amount of research has gone into using insects as drones [1915, 1916, 1917]. The idea is to genetically alter insects to create neurons which can be controlled, then use them to spy, deliver biowarfare payloads, or whatever else some sadistic government wishes.
Take dragonflys for example. They are particularly agile, can fly vast distances, access readily available fuel (water and smaller insects), and have a type of cortical interneuronal structure capable of stimulating the complex patterns of neuromuscular activity necessary forf flight.
By genetically designing interneurons which are light sensitive, it is possible to control dragonfly flight. This is done by attaching small LEDs which produce different wavelengths to a "backpack" mounted on the insect. These LEDS, known as optrodes optical electrodes) are turned on or off as appropriate to control the dragonflys flight.
Do do this, opsins - light sensitive protiens - are genetically designed to replace or attach to interneurons. The optrodes can then activate or inhibit neuromuscular response by simply stimulating opsins with the appropriate wavelenghths of light. All without the need to sink electrodes into the brain or body of these poor insects.
A small backpack (basically as specially designed lightweight integrated circuit) can then be attached to the insect which contains the light generation system and a small solar cell for power. No batteries are necessary. The result is an autonomous self fuelling cybernetic drone which can be precisely controlled to follow prearranged flight paths or (with small sensors) send data to hidden relays along the route or in a high flying small traditional drone..
Most of those developing such systems speak glowingly of their use as pollinators (since bees are being killed in the billions by neonicotinoid systemic pesticides), or their use by first responders to look for survivors in collapsed buildings by entering entrances too small for more traditional search methods.
What they do not speak of is the ethics involved in genetically modifying insects, the collateral environmental risks involved in doing so, or the potentials for use of these insects in spying on everyone all the time.
For reasons unknown at time of writing none of those involved in these developments have publicly discussed the happy and obvious use of such cybernetic insects - who as i said, can fly very long distances - in delivering biowarfare payloads. Probably just an oversight.

10.6.7.15 Behavioural Biometrics

Behavioural biometrics are now commonplace in large organisations (banks, corporations) and government. As opposed to say physical biometric just discussed, behavioural biometrics use something you do rather than a physical characteristic.
For example, speaking ’OK Google’ into your Android phone’s microphone or verbally asking Apples SIRI a question gives Google or Apple not merely a sample of your voice, but enables (not allows!) them to match voice patterns with questions asked, searches made, and words used as identification tools. The same of course applies to Amazon’s in-home systems (the Amazon Echo) [1904] which can in theory be turned off, but in practice listens to and remotely stores every word uttered in a home, looks at and remotely saves every face and body as it walks by, etc. Orwell would have been aghast.
The most common use of behavioural biometrics online however, lies in analysing your keyboard activity. Timing of key strikes, mistake patterns, spelling, grammar, words commonly used, grammar, etc. can all be used to uniquely identify you.
For example, most websites (not this one!) require that JavaScript is enabled in your webrowser in order to work. JavaScript (in the DOM - Document Object Model) can watch no just what you type into a form or login page or search engine, etc., but how you type.
DARPA (one of the the U.S. Offence Department’s research directorates) has funded projects capable of identifying individuals not merely by a person’s unique typing patters, but also by their mouse movements when say, visiting a website or using touchpads on a mobile phone [1489, 1490]. Accuracy is said [ibid] to be very high - so high that anonymity becomes problematic.
Biometric profiles of your keystrokes while you type or use a mouse can help de-anonymise a person regardless of website visited. This technology has been successfully deployed by banks to prevent fraud (a good thing) and by spy agencies to track legitimate and legal political opponents such as those objecting to mines in national parks (a bad thing). You may enjoy reading about the Swedish company BehavioSec which can rapidly identify you from your keystrokes on a login form. Or you can take a look at the company KeyTrac too (https://password.keytrac.net/en/tryout/verification). Sell, sell, sell to the highest bidder, ethics be damned - its the capitalist way (an image: pls click to see it)
Does use of behavioural biometrics violate your rights under the UN Charter as well as numerous privacy laws in countries all over the world? Absolutely. But just as with physical biometrics such legal or ethical constraints are ignored by banks, government, corporations, organised crime, or whomever wishes to use these technologies against you.

10.6.7.16 Britain again

But to continue with Britain, were there was so much more: The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (known as RIPA) [58] allowed police to force anyone to give up their private encryption keys on demand. That is to say, it became a crime to attempt to keep anything private from government or its agents, but government or its agents can legally keep anything they like private from you. Update: New laws now mean that no private individual has the right to private encryption anywhere in Europe, although all EU countries maintain the right for government to encrypt anything they wish.
RIPA Section 53 allowed criminal penalties for nondisclosure of encryption keys, but Section 55 fails to issue any criminal penalty for any misuse or abuse of the decrypted data by government. Translation: Those in power in the UK could use this judgement and RIPA to imprison anyone for failing to reveal their their private information, whereas should those in power misuse (for example loose) the data... no penalties were to be applied to them. Equality before the law? No.
Is this an open door for potential police and government abuse? Absolutely. Because governments change. Police management changes. What may have begun under benign and well intentioned rule can change - future rulers or managers may not be benign. But these and similar laws do not account for that. They allow the data can be reused for what may become, under a questionable regime, very dangerous purposes. One need look no further than the McCarthy Era in the United States to discover how a small change in regime can have disastrous consequences for use of formerly protected private data. “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear” under one regime can have completely different meaning under another, and private data gathered in these gigantic government and corporate databases can quickly turn toxic to the individuals involved.
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has initiated systems which "record identifiable details" of any and all citizens at any gathering who might be "bordering on civil disobedience" [408]. What does “bordering on civil disobedience” mean? The wording of the law means that journalists reporting them on police brutality, academics meeting to discuss environmental disaster, workers meeting to discuss employee benefit plans, marchers objecting to military crackdowns in foreign lands, patients meeting to seek legal redress against doctors, ... and so much more... are all worthy of government spying.
This material is then placed upon "spotter cards" and stored in a "intelligence databases" [407], all in gross violation of the European Convention on Human Rights [406].
Lest this be thought something in which only secret national spy agencies are involved, answering only to the Prime Minister... think again. Police are in on the spying. in the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) faceless bureaucrats working for the Metropolitan Police (MET) target private data from the public, spying on it all [725].
It is important to note that RIPA is an illegal law. Those who implemented it were breaking the law, including the British Prime Minister and the rest of the crew. Illegal? Yes - this was the finding of the UK High Court [1524]. The Court found that RIPA and similar British laws were in violation of the UK Human Rights Act - an act which enshrines the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. That is to say, RIPA etc. are violation of both British and EU law.
Of course such a ruling was immediately ignored under the argument that national security issues are above the law, that even the EU allows exceptions for national security under its “Right to Privacy” constraints [1525]. No matter. As in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other Five Eyes nations, security agencies for the most part act as if they are above the law, and that they have immunity from the courts. Sadly, this attitude, exactly as occur ed in Nazi Germany, North Korea, and other venues where security agencies where to all intents and purposes not tried for their actions, is typical of pre-totalitarian regimes. History gives a plethora of examples ... all of which are ignored.
As a final note in this subsection, I offer this copy of a letter [1514] sent to David Cameron, Prime Minister of Britain, by the human rights group Amnesty International against whom under Mr. Cameron’s egregious RIPA laws, Britain’s GCHQ spy agency directed surveillance and data gathering operations. This severely threatened Amnesty’s exemplary work in human rights since it made whistleblowers around the world afraid to work with them lest GCHQ (not known for its ethical behaviour) release their names.
I might point out that this activity bore remarkable similarity to the tactic used against similar human rights organisations under Stalin in Russia, by the notorious STASI in East Germany, and by the SS under Hitler in their efforts to neuter work on behalf of human rights in their nations. At time of writing Mr. Cameron has not replied or responded in any way.
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA
9 July 2015
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing to you with regards to the recent findings of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) in the case brought by Amnesty International, Liberty, Privacy International and other human rights organizations, challenging the lawfulness of the UK government’s surveillance legislation and practice.
You will be aware that on 1 July we were informed by the IPT that our communications were intercepted and accessed pursuant to a warrant under s.8(4) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The IPT found a breach of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights on account of the fact that the intercepted communications were retained for a longer period of time than foreseen under GCHQ’s internal policies. We understand that you have received - or will receive very shortly – a closed report from the IPT made under s.68(5) RIPA 2000 with full details of what underpinned these findings.
This revelation is of the highest concern to us. As an organisation which depends upon relationships of trust and confidence with our contacts to carry out our vital work researching, documenting and fighting to end human rights abuses, the fact that we have been under surveillance puts that work at risk. Victims of human rights abuses will have serious reasons to believe that their confidential communications with Amnesty International are at risk of being intercepted by the UK government, as well as possibly shared with other governments. We have been given no information as to the reason for intercepting, accessing and storing our communications.
We know we are not the only human rights organisation to have been the subject of UK security agencies’ surveillance – the IPT also found a breach of the UK’s human rights obligations in relation to the Legal Resource Centre, a South African NGO, and did not say whether or not the communications of the eight other claimant organisations had been subjected to surveillance measures. In addition, disclosures made by Edward Snowden suggest that GCHQ has intercepted and accessed the communications of other organizations such as UNICEF. This state of affairs, taken together with information about large-scale mass surveillance programmes such as Tempora and recent findings made by the IPT over the last few months, sends a chilling message to human rights organizations and charities in the UK and abroad.
Given the overriding public interest in revealing the extent and reasons behind subjecting human rights organizations to surveillance, we urge you to publish the IPT report in full, apart from redactions strictly necessary for genuine and legitimate national security reasons, and to order an independent judge-led inquiry into surveillance of human rights organizations by the UK security services as soon as possible.
Given the seriousness of this situation, we would like to request a meeting with you to discuss the recent IPT finding, and our broader concerns with respect to your government’s approach to surveillance and forthcoming reviews of RIPA and related policy.
Yours sincerely,
Amnesty International UK

10.6.7.17 Misuse and abuse of law

Ellen, a Canadian paraplegic woman with an MA in clinical counselling was recently looking foreword to going on a cruise organised by the March of Dimes aid group [1003]. She had paid $6000 for the 10-day holiday, a substantial sum of money for her. At the U.S. boarder, she was stopped by a U.S. boarder agent who informed her that she could not enter the U.S. or board her flight. Why? Because Ellen had once been diagnosed with depression. There was no police involvement and no criminal act, just a normal and temporary bout of depression. It had been quickly treated and cured by a few visits to her psychiatrist and some simple medication. Just like millions of U.S. citizens - the U.S. of course has the highest rate of mental illness of all the industrialised nations [1004, 1005] (also see citations and discussion in the Sect. on psychopathology, below).
None the less, she was turned away from entry to the U.S. by an agent who had access to the personal, confidential, medical records of the citizen of another country, Canada, and ally of the U.S. She lost her deposit, and was severely shaken by the realisation that a foreign country could so intrude on her private personal life.
Another example:
Charles Clarke, a 24 year old college student was stopped by airport police and a drug enforcement officer while waiting to board a plane. He was told that his carry-on bag “smells like marijuana” [1449]. He was detained and searched - no drugs of any kind were found. But his life savings of $11,000 in cash which he had in order to pay his tuition at college, was found. The fine officers did not believe his explanation (for which he had ample proof from family, friends, and employers for whom he had worked hard for five years to save the money for his education). They confiscated the money (aka - stole) under the U.S. “civil forfeiture” rules [1450] by claiming he was a drug officer (no proof, not one shred of evidence). Civil forfeiture means that there is no habeus corpus - officers may seize anything they wish and make any utterly unsubstantiated accusations they wish, under the assumption that a person is guilty until the can prove themselves innocent. Similar rules existed in Communist Russia under Stalin, where if proof of innocence was not quickly available then the officers could seize (steal) the person’s money or goods. The seized goods after a period of time which can be as short as a day, then may be taken by the officers for their personal use. civil forfeiture rules do not require a conviction nor any proof of wrongdoing whatsoever. Unless the person from whom the officers have stolen are sufficiently wealthy to hire or lucky enough to find competent pro bono, legal aid then there is virtually no chance of recovering their items.
In an investigation in 2014 [1451], the Washington Post found roughly 62,000 cash seizures made by police on highways during a ten year period, totalling more than $2,500,000,000 USD. Most of these were from racially targeted minority groups. Most of whom lacked funds to sue [1452]. Not a single one of the police victims was ever charged with a crime. This is however, only the tip of the iceberg - for TSA agents, boarder agents, and the plethora of other STASI government agents known [Op. cit., 1453] to use civil forfeiture to steal from the poor were not part of this study. To imagine that NSA, GCHQ, etc. agents are any more moral and ethical that these corrupt police and TSA officers, is a stretch.
By 2015 U.S. police had seized the more assets of people they suspected of crime - but who were later found not had not committed a crime - than all of the burglaries in the United States. Let me repeat that - police stole seized more goods, money, and assets than all of the buglers in that benighted nation. Assets which they kept and did not return, regardless of the outcome of court cases [2007]. By 2017 under after the egregious Trump Crime Syndicate and its abecedarian U.S. president, Donald Trump took over the U.S. government, a member of the syndicate - U.S. Attorney General (responsible for police) Jeff Sessions stated that he was fully in support of civil forfeiture, and would do nothing to curb or repeal it [2007]. And so when police officer Sean Aranas was video recorded writing a hot dog vendor a ticket for selling hot dogs without a permit, then taking the poor hot dog vendor’s wallet and stealing every dollar the man had [2008] under Mr. Session’s civil forfeiture policies ... there was little recourse. Like countless others in that horrible nations, the hot dog vendor had no money to pursue officer Aranas in the courts, or face the threat of reprisals from other police should he have been able to do so. Remember that police states effect only the poor .... not the wealthy, powerful, or well connected, no matter how corrupt, misogynous, mentally ill, racist, Nazi-supporting, or anti-democratic they may be.
(an image: pls click to see it)
There are so many more readily available examples in the literature that I will merely say at this point that laws enacted and sold to the public as necessary for their protection, can easily be (and often are) misapplied by those in power and their representative - mission creep for personal gain at the expense of ethical and moral behaviour applies to any power hierarchy. Particularly one where the readily available data and research of widespread corruption (see for example, [1454]) on the part of law makers is so overwhelming.
The RIPA laws I mentioned were introduced to “combat terrorism”. Here is an example of how they are used to protect those in power:
An animal rights activist in Britain attempted to take police to court for allegedly beating her during and after arrest at a protest rally she attended [57]. The police and government demanded to see her private correspondence with her lawyers while the case was being pursued. When her lawyers (quite rightly) refused, the government used the RIPA laws - which were sold to the public under the guise of fighting “terrorism” - to threaten them and their client with long jail terms if they did not turn over the both the keys and the encrypted correspondence.
The courts supported the police and government, saying that no one could deny police an encryption key because of fears the data it unlocked may incriminate them [60].
Note further, that RIPA laws and other copycat laws in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Italy, Australia, Japan, etc. all fail to discuss return of private data, its protection, to whom the data is given, potential hurt to persons involved, or the fact that encryption is used by whistleblowers and those simply dissenting from orthodoxy without any malignant intent.
They can be, and are being, used to protect those at the top of society from everyone else.
Consider now Senate bill 742 in the U.S. state of Oregon, worded in part as follows:
"A person commits the crime of terrorism if the person knowingly plans, participates in or carries out any act that is intended, by at least one of its participants, to disrupt: (a) The free and orderly assembly of the inhabitants of the State of Oregon; (b) Commerce or the transportation systems of the State of Oregon; or (c) The educational or governmental institutions of the State of Oregon or its inhabitants." [266]
Thus blocking traffic, writing a bad cheque, attending a protest march, downloading certain types of information, and like acts would be classed as “terrorism”, mandating life imprisonment for the offenders. The act goes on to allow police to gather information on political, social, religious, and many other activities of any individual without recourse to warrants or the courts, since anyone coming under their parole would be automatically considered a “terrorist” until proven innocent. The Bill was defeated by a mere three votes [267]. At time of writing, similar bills were being introduced in many other states of the U.S. (eg.. [268]).
Earlier I mentioned the arrest of J. Catt for wearing a t-shirt decrying Tony Blair’s allegedly proven falsehoods and lies to the electorate (per the Downing Street memos [392, 393, 394]) and his alleged actions during the destruction of Iraq. The police arresting Mr. Catt stated the reason for stopping him as “terrorism” under section 44 of the Terrorism Act, because he was "carrying placard [sic] and T-shirt with anti-Blair info" [269]. An anti-Blair slogan was, from the standpoint of the police - terrorism. Hence a law designed to address terrorism was instead being used against citizens performing legal acts - execrable but sadly common, mission creep.
There are many other examples of mission creep in government whereby legislation intended to curtail villainy is itself used for villainy. The use in Canada of anti-terrorism laws to curtail protest and induce mass arrests of peaceful marchers at the G20 conference is a good example [270, 271, 272, 273]. That is to say, to stifle freedom of expression, freedom of movement and the right to protest. And of course, to send the signal out to a fearful populous that dissent will not be tolerated.
"The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law ... requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly." [339]
Mission creep by the government (in this case the FBI) giving itself powers which the East German STASI might have envied [340].
“The past decade has witnessed the most severe crimes imaginable by political and financial elites: the construction of a worldwide torture regime, domestic spying perpetrated jointly by the government and the telecom industry without the warrants required by the criminal law, an aggressive war waged on another country that killed hundreds of thousands of people, massive financial fraud that came close to collapsing the world economy and which destroyed the economic security of tens of millions, and systematic foreclosure fraud that, by design, bombarded courts with fraudulent documents in order to seize homes without legal entitlement. These are not bad policies or mere immoral acts. They are plainly criminal, and yet – due to the precepts of elite immunity which were first explicitly embraced during Ford’s pardon of Nixon — none of those crimes has produced legal punishments.”
~ G. Greenwald [411], , winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Izzy Award for independent journalism, and many others
In the United States the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, (an Office under the direct control of the U.S. president and answerable primarily to him) had been authorised to retain personal information on every citizen [420].
The collected data would be kept for five years allegedly entirely without the legal safeguards typically in place for personal data held by government agencies [421]. Yet as has been shown in many countries such as Canada [558], Britain [559], and so on, statements that data will be retained for a given time then destroyed are essentially worthless.
In Canada for example, the RCMP (federal police) keep data for seven years. After which time they were required under most conditions, to destroy it. However in time the term “destroyed” came to mean data was simply moved to offline permanent storage [558]. Additionally hundreds of thousands of completely innocent people are listed in Canada’s criminal records databases [1293] for longer than 15 years [1294]. Those listed include people who are wrongfully accused, who contact the police for help, who make accusations against police, who are the victims of crimes, etc [ibid]. The data is shared with U.S. FBI and other agencies - all without oversight [ibid]. Of course some record keeping is necessary. But to do so with oversight by no public body, with no recourse by the public for erroneous data, etc., is typical of data keeping mission creep - and very harmful to democratic and civil rights.
To assume that the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence would not and does not do the same, is naive. Particularly since there was and is to this day, no public oversight.
“The decimation of civil liberties, carried out in the name of fighting terror, will shackle us to an interconnected security and surveillance state that stretches from Moscow to Istanbul to New York.”
~ Chris Hedges [521] discussing state terrorism
“Mass surveillance is the hallmark of a tyrannical political culture”
~ G. Greenwald [588], , winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Izzy Award for independent journalism, and many others
Finally, in regards to this quote by Church in Sect. 1.1 above: According to U.S. law professors J. S. Granick and C. J. Sprigman [752], the U.S. NSAs activities are criminal:
“The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.” law professors J. S. Granick and C. J. Sprigman [ibid]
Well, let us now turn briefly to the FBI - the U.S. federal police. The FBI allegedly embedded attacks through JavaScript [848] and other vectors [849] into Firefox 17 running on a number of servers and non-servers (mainly Microsoft based [850]). The attack allegedly installed tracking malware into servers and other computers which allowed the FBI to track users. That is to say, the FBI allegedly installed malware onto user systems. Under various international and even U.S. laws, "unauthorised access to a computer system" is illegal [851, 852, 849]. Various alleged hackers [853] and whistleblowers have faced imprisonment and even torture as discussed herein for doing fare less.
This alleged illegal action by the FBI it should be noted, effected innocent users in many countries even though the FBI is strictly a U.S. police force. Please note - I am not discussing the rational here, justified or not. But rather I am concerned about the means, which was both allegedly illegal and attacked many innocent users.
Not to be outdone in such jingoistic childish games, the U.S. NSA uses “Computer Network Exploitation” [987]. This doublespeak phrase simply means the infiltration of computer and network systems with malware, viruses, and the like specially written by the NSA’s team of hackers [ibid]. Such malicious software has been installed in more than 50,000 locations [988]. As with most botnet or virus, such software can be enabled or suspended remotely at will by the Tailored Access Operations branch of the NSA [ibid]. For a good overview of U.S. SIGINT operations the Washington Post had a series of articles on the issue [989]. Further information can also be readily had from academic and military research in the area of cyberwar (eg. [990, 991]). Various systems from “Trubine” [1205] and its successors create viruses and malware which automatically infect millions of computers of completely innocent people. Democracy cannot survive - and in fact is not surviving - when the state acts against the freedoms, civil rights, and constitutional rights it is sworn to protect. (Please also see Cyberwar is a war against you).)
The U.S. Offence Defence Department similarly hires hackers [1207, 1208], often straight out of graduate school [ibid]. The U.S. Department of Justice is at time of writing attempting to have laws passed [1209] which would make it possible to essentially bypass the need for warrants for police to hack into the computers. In Canada CSEC, which interprets its mandate as allowing it to essentially ignore the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as normal laws [1210, 1211, 1212] moving by Ministerial direction only (i.e. without interference or oversight by the people - i.e. parliament) has allegedly planted monitors in peoples homes and computers without warrant [1212]. (The Harper regime in Canada, in true democratic spirit when asked about these alleged activities, has always refused to comment or respond [1213].)
A final example: When most academics in the hard sciences travel, they simply encrypt vital data and send the encrypted files to their destination. Not so with most members of the travelling public who for the most part simply carry their personal data with them on their hand held devices. At the U.S. boarder customs and TSA agents routinely demand that these devices and make copies of the data before returning them [956, 957, 958]. Should the find that any files are encrypted, they demand the encryption keys [ibid, 959]. This is illegal - U.S. courts have found that demanding decryption keys is against the law, and in particular against that countries, the U.S. Constitution (the fifth amendment) [959]. Yet the practice continues, as illustrated by the case of Leon Gelfgatt (see details in the court brief here: [961]). Update: By 2016 the TSA was routinely having travellers disclose information associated with their online presence - Provider/Platform, Social media identifier, etc. in order to have said information be added to its Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) [1724].
If police or government agents break the law, regardless of the reason and are allowed to do so without consequence or public oversight, then democratic and civil rights cannot survive.
What is noteworthy IMHO is not so much this, although it is surely important. But rather the fact that the U.S. government and those governments allegedly complicit in similar spying upon their own citizens (Canada, Britain, Italy, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, etc.) may be allegedly committing criminal acts against their own citizens ... yet those citizens do nothing. The government is not brought down. There is no rioting in the streets. The perpetrators are not hauled before a court. And the government, seeing no effective need for accountability, continues to do whatever it wishes.
Sadly, such a system is many things, but a democracy is not one of them.
Update: Thanks to U.S. president Obama’s continued bypassing of legal, constitutional, and civil protections by using his “executive signing authory” TSA agents can now act as they wish [1722, 1723] and invade any and all privacy rights (with some caveats). Signing authorities incidently, are the same mechanism by which Mr. Obama has ordered the assassination and mass murder of many via the U.S. drone program, special forces operations, etc. - all without trial or public scrutiny, and many in alleged clear violation of international law - please see The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .
Whether or not a nation where such activities can be carried out is a nation which supports democratic rule, is somewhat moot, as discussed [ibid] and here: Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) .

10.6.7.18 Ignoring privacy rights is a human rights violation

Britain’s GCHQ has been found guilty of human rights violations by the Investigative Powers Tribunal (IPT), a British government oversight agency [1442]. The IPT clearly state that GCHQ’s accessing and use of data provided to by other Five Eyes members was in breach of human rights [1443].
“The regime governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK, which have been obtained by US authorities … contravened Articles 8 or 10” of the European convention on human rights.”
~ IPT [1444]
As I have cited hereing, these and related groups NSA (USA), CSEC (Canada), GCHQ (Britain), EWD (Jordan), ISO (Israel), etc. routinely share private person information on citizens of their countries allegedly in order to circumvent laws in their own nations. If GCHQ is guilty of human rights violations for so doing, surely similar agencies in other countries doing precisely the same thing are also guilty of human rights violations?
Just as in the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries found to have been allegedly circumventing law and ethical behaviour in this regard, GCHQ “spokespersons” put forth the interesting interpretation that IPT’s findings meant what GCHQ did was entirely legal [1445, 1446, 1447]. And carried on business as usual, whilst the public soon forgot all about the IPT’s findings. Sigh.
The myth that national espionage agencies operate within the law is open to question (please see The World Wide U.S. War of Terror and Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? for some pertinent examples in this regard).

10.6.7.19 Cyberwar

A final word to round out this subsection. The U.S. and Israel jointly developed and launched the Stuxnet worm [88] in an alleged effort to cripple various Iranian facilities - the first well documented and confirmed act of Cyberwarfare. Other invasive malware soon followed from the U.S. - the Flame virus, and many others.
The U.S. shortly thereafter declared that any computer sabotage attempt (eg.. on SCADA systems) against any U.S. site could be declared to be an act of war and worthy of military retaliation [743]. Translation: It was fine for the U.S. to attack anyone it wished (viz. Iran, etc.), but not for other nations to do the same. An interesting and sadly typical display of cognitive dissonance, or perhaps as some have called it [1013], hypocrisy.
For the U.S. government has allegedly been doing, as citations above indicate, exactly what it publicly castigated the Chinese and others of doing. That is to say, breaking laws, treaties, UN Charter protections, etc. in order to spy on everyone (except those who run U.S. oxymoronically named “intelligence” of course). As I said previously, the argument that “everyone is doing it” so frequently trotted out by these agencies as somehow justifying their activity is merely a propaganda version of Argumentum ad Populum - a logical fallacy.
As the NSA leaks allegedly proved, the United States has allegedly been guilty of numerous cyberattacks, interfering with network equipment and systems, breaking software, breaking banking protections, etc. ad nauseam on a massive scale. Including alleged mass cyberattacks against China, even going to far as to hack into prestigious Tsinghua University [746]. It has allegedly attacked Iran [747], a long list of countries in Europe [745], peace groups [744], Amnesty International [748], and so on down a long list.
As just mentioned, the U.S. government and military have said that state sponsored hacking [749] is terrorism and would constitute an act of war and could result in a kinetic response - i.e. dropping bombs on the “enemy”. Of course, it is fine for the U.S. to commit cyberwar against anyone, just not the other way around. The U.S. president even said so in so many words [751] when the EU ministers complained about excessive constant U.S. NSA hacking of their proceedings [750].
However by the reason of the U.S. that state sponsored hacking could be considered an act of war, the EU and China would be perfectly justified in dropping bombs on U.S. cities due to NSA activities against them. One despairs for humanity when those who could do so much to help, to end poverty, to provide universal education, to make society a paradise .... spend their time instead calling each other terrorists. Sigh.
The U.S. in fact acts in precisely the manner in which it has criticised others in regards to what it chooses to term “cyberwarfare”. For example, when the FBI installed spyware into every copy of popular web browsers that it was able to infect [825, 826, 827] the claim was made that such infestation was to “stop terrorists” and criminals. (In the U.S. incidentally the same person heads both the NSA and that country’s cyberwarfare program.) In North Korea, one of the foulest dictatorships on the planet, the Naenara browser (the North Korean version of Firefox) has for a very long time come very similar spyware. The FBI was just slow to catch up....
Other countries such as China have previously [827] been termed “cyberterrorists” by the U.S. for attempting exactly identical activities as the U.S. perpetrates.
Well, the next artificially manufactured U.S. enemy was Russia. Russia under Czar Vlad Putin was a dictatorship, with all that that implies. It was, like the U.S., run by a handful of powerful oligarchs. Like the U.S., it invaded other nations to further the goals of power and wealth accumulation for and by said oligarchs. It also had a powerful cyberwar group. Smarter IMHO, than the teams assembled by the NSA, CIA, and other arms of suppression. Hence the U.S. propaganda system was brought to bear on not just Chinese, but also Russian cyber capabilities:
10.6.7.19.1 Propaganda and CyberWar
“I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections… we need to take action. And we will – at a time and place of our own choosing. “
~ U.S. president Obama [1861] accussing Russia of cyberwar interference with the 2016 U.S. election (in which Mr. Obama’s party lost)
Did Russia use cyberweapons to interfere in the U.S. 2016 election? Maybe. But to date absolutely no credible evidence of this. Did the U.S. use cyber weapons, assassination, false flag operations, murder, kidnapping, and massive propaganda to interfere in the free and democratic elections of other nations around the world? Yes. There is not only credible evidence of this, but vast and thorough documentary proof. Has the U.S. executive branch a long history of lies concerning the actions of other governments in order to garner support for its wars of aggression? Yes. Again there is vast and thorough documentary proof of this - please see the many citations and referenced documents in the following articles if you are unfamiliar with this literature:
  1. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror
  2. Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill
  3. The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace?
A few days after Mr. Obama’s statement , his spokespeople announce that “retaliatory measures against Russia for hacking into U.S. political institutions and individuals and leaking information in an effort to help President-elect Donald Trump and other Republican candidates” [32] would immediately commence. Around the world this was seen as somewhat hypocritical around the world [1862, 1863, 1864, 1865], again in lieu of the fact that Mr. Obama present not a shred of credible evidence to support his accusations, and the long history of U.S. presidents - including Mr. Obama [1866] - interfering in the elections of other nations.
“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions. In October, my Administration publicised our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government. ... All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions. In October, my Administration publicised our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government.”
~ U.S. president Obama [1867]
For reasons unknown at time of writing, Mr. Obama not only failed to discuss the aforementioned U.S. actions in election rigging in other nations, but also failed to discuss the well documented [1868, 1869, 1670] attempts by U.S. aristocrats and billionaires at election rigging within the United States without any similar retaliation calls. Nor did Mr. Obama mention his own party’s alleged election rigging such that his party’s Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Communications Director Luis Miranda, Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall and Chief Executive Amy Dacey all resigned due to alleged attempts at election tampering [1871, 1872]. These lapses in mentioning this and discussing only alleged Russian actions, were probably simple memory lapse on Mr. Obama’s part. Because no person in high political office has ever lied in order to further his own agenda. Right?
At any rate, with great fanfare and media coverage a short joint report by the U.S. federal police (FBI) and the U.S. Fatherland Homeland Security was released. It purported to prove Russian cyberwar interference in the election. Of course none of the target audience - the average U.S. citizen - read the report. A report which excluding the cover pages was a mere handful of pages in length, nontechnical, and utterly bereft of any evidence linking Russia or any other state actor to alleged election hacking, let alone hacking of Mr. Obama’s political party. In fact, It’s thirteen pages of "technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used" is nothing more than a (very short) list of a few readily available hacking tools - tools used by high school students to break into exam computer for example. There is nothing whatsoever to link Russia or anyone else to anything. It looks as the report’s authors simply made up some names and numbers, and called the output “proof”.
Then came the parade of CIA and NSA brass solemnly presenting their “evidence”. For example the redoubtable Mr. Clapper (who had previously allegedly knowingly lied to Congress - please see citations supra) with great gravitas detailed his expert opinion that yes, Russia had (horrors!) interfered with the U.S. election via hacking [ibid, 1888]. He gave no evidence, of course. Similarly various NSA heads, generals in full dress uniform, and other talking head “experts” from the U.S. intelligence community backed up the “grave threat” propaganda posed they said, by Russian election hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election [1886, 1887]. Although like Mr. Obama, all failed to mention the many decades of proven and very well documented U.S. illegal rigging of elections in many nations and the U.S. cyberwar to fix elections in foreign nations [Op. cit.]. By the same U.S. intelligence agencies.
Well, the U.S. intelligence industry (for it is an industry, as well as an arm of executive power in the U.S. ) had, like all U.S. presidents, a long history of lies: They lied through the 1950s concerning the Middle East [1889], and the U.S. arming of the execrable murderous dictator the Shaw of Iran [1890]. They lied about the U.S. invasion of Vietnam and the Gulf of Tonkin incident [1891]. They lied about the U.S. arming and support of South American dictators such as Pinochet [1892, 1893, 1894]. They lied about the Iran Contras [1895]. They lied about weapons of mass destruction to justify the U.S. invasion and subsequent U.S. holocaust of Iraq [Op. cit.]. They lied about their decades of paying reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post to create fake news favourable to U.S. invasions [1895, 1896]. They lied about the U.S. invasion of Hawaii and subsequent slaughter of the native populations [1897]. And so on down through the decades. The U.S. intelligence agency heads had for many decades lied, lied, and lied. Whether or not Russia mimicked U.S. well documented interference in the free elections of other sovereign nations was moot. The fact was that U.S. intelligence agencies, their directors, and collaborating politicians did not have a track record of truth. Or of working for the public good. Sign.
I would recommend that your read the CIA report entitled “Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution” [1898]. If you have a background in intelligence and/or computer science you may be inclined after reading it to see is as a pure fluff piece, commissioned to convince a gullible public and the lower levels of gullible politicians. But containing absolutely no proof or credible evidence of any kind.
"Russia’s state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences. ... Kremlin’s TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US"
~ from the U.S. intelligence report [ibid], alleging that Russia influence the U.S. 2016 election ... because every U.S. citizen watches Russian television, n’est pas?
“Putin publicly pointed to the Panama Papers disclosure and the Olympic doping scandal as US-directed efforts to defame Russia, suggesting he sought to use disclosures to discredit the image of the United States and cast it as hypocritical." [ibid] Do these people even read their own statements?
At any rate, with great fanfare and media coverage a short joint report by the U.S. federal police (FBI) and the U.S. Fatherland Homeland Security was released. It purported to prove Russian cyberwar interference in the election. Of course none of the target audience - the average U.S. citizen - read the report. A report which excluding the cover pages was a mere handful of pages in length, nontechnical, and utterly bereft of any evidence linking Russia or any other state actor to alleged election hacking, let alone hacking of Mr. Obama’s political party. In fact, It’s thirteen pages of "technical details regarding the tools and infrastructure used" is nothing more than a (very short) list of a few readily available hacking tools - tools used by high school students to break into exam computer for example. There is nothing whatsoever to link Russia or anyone else to anything. It looks as the report’s authors simply made up some names and numbers, and called the output “proof”.
Consider: Russia had at the time some of the best hackers on the planet - IMHO considerably more skilled than those working for the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other such agencies. These Russian hackers were not stupid. They knew how to use proxies, deep web, dark net, vpns, and many other resources to hide their source IPs. Hence unless the CIA had paid/bullied/bribed/threatened a Russian to infiltrate the FSB ... it is very unlikely that anything the report claimed was true by any stretch of the imagination. The so-called technical details in the report were laughable - a first year undergraduate student could have done a better job. However, the media talking heads and other propagandists questioned nothing, presenting the obvious prevarications as factual. And of course not one media outlet mentioned the long U.S. history of election tampering in other countries.
This is not for a moment to say that Russia did or did not interfere, or like every other western nation - especially the United States - does not attempt to hack other nations. Only that Mr. Obama presented no credible evidence whatsoever to support their statements.
"This is the sign of a possible unravelling of the world order that was established after World War II, which has made one of the most peaceful periods in the history of the world,"
~ U.S. senator John McCain [1871] discussing the alleged Russian cyberwar on the 2016 U.S. election. Propaganda or staggering ignorance couched in outrageous hyperbole from a U.S. politician? Perish the thought!
One can only wonder to which planet Mr. McCain was alluding. Since that period on planet Earth saw more wars throughout the world, than at any other time in human history. The U.S. War of Terror alone resulted in the death of millions of innocent civilians and the displacement of millions more (please q.v. Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill ).
Shortly after Mr. McCain’s wonderfully obtuse declaration the Obama spokespeople announced that malware “associated with Russian hacking” had been found on a laptop of a Vermont utility company [1873]. A laptop not connected to the grid [1872] and of no possible threat whatsoever to anyone. The media again hyped this up beyond all reason, stating that the malware was “a threat to the security of the [energy] grid” [1874]. Politicians ran to their microphones to declare a “grave national threat” from Russia:
Let us consider some simple realities for a moment: The only known attack on a power grid was conducted by the United States targeted at the sovereign nation of Iran - a country posing no threat whatsoever, but one which did not wish to accede to U.S. demands vis a vis its nuclear energy program [1876, 1877]. The U.S. with the help of the Israelis [1878] therefore sent the stuxnet worm (software designed to destroy programmable logic controllers such as those used in a number of engineering applications from utility grids to assembly lines). This was an act of terrorism on the part of the United States. The worm escaped, causing damage to other non-targeted systems in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and several others, including the United States itself. Well, no one ever said that intelligent people inhabited the U.S. political system. Sigh.
At any rate, world wide this was the only confirmed cyber attack on utility systems. Let us compare this to the real threat to utility systems which no politician or military cyberwarfare department has had the courage to release to the public. What is this very real threat? Squirrels. In the last decade alone 623 confirmed power outages have been traced to squirrels chewing through wires, getting stuck in power lines, etc. [1879]. Another 215 confirmed outages have been traced to birds fouling equipment [ibid]. A full 52 outages have been traced to raccoons. And who knows how many can be traced to rats chewing through wires (research on this issue is ongoing, and presumably classified). Number of confirmed outages due to cyberwarfare? Just the one caused by the illegal terrorism launched by the U.S. stuxnet worm, and absolutely no others. Yet over and over and over and over U.S. politicians and propagandists from “think tanks” discuss the grave national threat posed by cyberwar against these systems.
Brave politicians such as Peter Shumlin, governor of Vermont:
“Vermonters and all Americans should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality of life, economy, health, and safety. This episode should highlight the urgent need for our federal government to vigorously pursue and put an end to this sort of Russian meddling.”
~ Peter Shumlin [1880], governor of Vermont
For reasons unknown at time of writing the same media/propaganda and government talking heads failed to mention the FBI’s well known illegal insertion of malwar into browsers around the world [1881, 1882], the NSA’s hacking team efforts in bugging national leaders including U.S. supporters and partners such as the German Chancellor (head of state) [43], the insertion of malware by a joint Israeli and U.S. effort into the power grid of sovereign nations they did not like such as Iran [1883, 1884], and the like. Perhaps they just forgot? As surely the target propaganda audience - the U.S. public - had long since forgotten.
The New York Times media network immediately ran another story accusing Russia of scouting “ a wide range of programmers, placing prominent ads on social media sites, offering jobs to college students and professional coders” to run hacking attempts. ... ’If you graduated from college, if you are a technical specialist, if you are ready to use your knowledge, we give you an opportunity’ the ad promised” [1885]. Sigh. What rot. The average undergraduate in computer science has absolutely no idea of how to hack a system. They are, IMHO, barely literate in how computers work at all (I say this as a former professor of computer science and AI). Hacking is a speciality skill. Script kiddies (15 year old’s who download hacking software and use it) are as similar to real hackers as a typewriter is to a supercomputer. The skill set need to be a good hacker is usually available from specific and lengthy military and intelligence training or from years spent post a good degree, studying with other real hackers.
Cyberwar, like any war, is built upon lies, propaganda, and fear mongering. All to convince a largely untutored public (particularly in terms of technology) to support that which could only cause them harm.
Of course hypocrisy is nothing new amongst children pretending to be adults. Yet as with the state sponsored world wide hacking by the NSA, the FBI, and other taxpayer funded groups ... it is very sad to see the misuse to which technology is put when the billions of dollars involved could be spent instead upon helping those in poverty, helping to eradicate illness, and in general preventing, rather than aiding, the creation of an Orwellian dystopia.

10.6.8 The Corporate Panopticon

“Let me state it plainly: Google and Facebook are not allies in our fight for an equitable future – they are the enemy. These platform monopolies are factory farms for human beings; farming us for every gram of insight they can extract. ... The Web is lost but it is not broken. The distinction is crucial. The Web, just like Surveillance Capitalism itself, has succeeded spectacularly and is functioning perfectly for corporations. It is, however, lost to us as individuals. ... And, like cancer at its most successful state, the success of Surveillance Capitalism today is also on the brink of destroying its host. And furthermore, again like cancer, not before robbing us of our welfare, agency, and freedom first. The problem is that our success criteria for Surveillance Capitalism neither include nor care for our equity, welfare, agency, or freedom as individuals. We are merely the livestock that are farmed. An endless source of raw materials. The Web we have is not broken for Google and Facebook. People farmers are reaping the rewards of their violations into our lives to the tune of tens of billions in revenue every year. How can they possibly be our allies?”
~ Aral Balkan [1931]
(an image: pls click to see it)
(Photo: Jeff Roberts)
“– Officially you own any original pictures and videos you post, but we are allowed to use them, and we can let others use them as well, anywhere around the world. Other people might pay us to use them and we will not pay you for that.
– ... We may keep, use and share your personal information with companies connected with Instagram. This information includes your name, email address, school, where you live, pictures, phone number, your likes and dislikes, where you go, who your friends are, how often you use Instagram, and any other personal information we find such as your birthday or who you are chatting with, including in private messages (DMs).
– We might send you adverts connected to your interests which we are monitoring. You cannot stop us doing this and it will not always be obvious that it is an advert.
– We can change or end Instagram, or stop you accessing Instagram at any time, for any reason and without letting you know in advance. We can also delete posts and other content randomly, without telling you, for any reason. If we do this, we will not be responsible for paying out any money and you won’t have any right to complain.
We can force you to give up your username for any reason.
– We can, but do not have to, remove, edit, block and/or monitor anything posted or any accounts that we think breaks any of these rules. We are not responsible if somebody breaks the law or breaks these rules; but if you break them, you are responsible.”

~ Jenny Afia [1899], a privacy law expert in the UK, who wrote Instagram’s (very long, legalese) terms of service in child-friendly language
The terms of service of the vast majority of online corporations are as bad, or worse than this. Consider for a moment, Google corporaiton:
In a study [1563] by Privacy International Google has been found to have amongst the worst privacy protection practices on the planet: "While a number of other Internet companies have troubling policies, none comes as close to Google to achieving status as an endemic threat to privacy.” Shockingly, Google’s army of lawyers disagreed [1564].
Google has repeatedly been accused of privacy [1588], antitrust [1599], and other violations in many countries (Britain, the EU, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, etc.). It has been accused of theft of tens of thousands of books by authors [1600, 1601, 1602], and of numerous similar copyright infringements [ibid, 1603]. In the U.S. for example, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have been investigating Google for antitrust violation [1605] regarding its Android OS for mobile phones. Google’s alleged abuses of privacy, law, and ethics have been discussed for many years, but essentially nothing has been done, even though the EU [1607] and other venues including China [1606] have attempted to do so. (Please note however, that such accusation are certainly not unique to Google - all of the large U.S. based software corporations have been accused of similar activities, particularly Microsoft [1608, 1609].)
”I think anonymity on the Internet has to go away. People behave a lot better when they have their real names down. I think people hide behind anonymity and they feel like they can say whatever they want behind closed doors.”
~ Randi Zuckerburg [1565], Facebook Director of Marketing. Please note that Facebook cannot sell your private data (i.e. make money from it) if it is anonymous.
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Labs has called fro the end of anonymity and for the creation of mandatory ’Internet passports’, without which a person would be banned from using the internet. He stated [1566] that “Everyone should and must have an identification, or internet passport ... the internet was designed not for public use, but for American scientists and the US military. Then it was introduced to the public, and it was wrong ... to introduce it in the same way.” [ibid].
The UN has been secretly drafting technical standards proposed by the Chinese government, which would end anonymity online. The U.S. National Security Agency participated in the secret group named Q6/17. .Members of Q6/17 have refused to release key documents, meetings are closed to the public, and members names are anonymous. [1567, 1568].
Eric Schmidt has stated [1569] that anonymity online will soon vanish. Largely he says, because government needs to combat criminal and “anti-social” behaviour [ibid]. Combating “anti-social” behaviour is also how the STASI [1570], North Korea [1571], China [1572], and other terrific regimes such as SLORC in Burma [1573] have justified forming and maintaining their regimes.
Google’s alleged abuses of privacy, several laws, and alleged ethical violations have been discussed for many years in the research literature. However essentially nothing has been done to curtail Google’s alleged abuses - such as those discussed by Privacy International - despite the EU and others having attempted to do so. The corporation has been called the largest privately held spy organisation in history [1714]. The Google Transparency Project has much to say about Google and its alleged endeavours allegedly antithetical to the human right to privacy as enshrined by various UN and other international agreements.
"Google has demonstrated a history of pushing the envelope and then apologising when its overreach is discovered. Given its recent record of privacy abuses, there is absolutely no reason to trust anything the Internet giant claims about its data collection policies."
~ John M Simpson [1715] of the U.S. Consumer Watchdog in a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission urging it to investigate Google
“A detailed examination of White House visitor logs reveals the extraordinary access to the Obama White House enjoyed by Google, its top executives and employees. Since President Obama took office in January 2009 through October 31, 2015,i employees of Google and associated entities visited the White House 427 times. That includes: 363 meetings between White House officials and Google employees.ii 64 meetings involving employees of companies solely owned by Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. The meetings were attended by at least 169 Google executives, from the company’s senior ranks down to software engineers, and 182 White House officials. The tally excludes large events at the White House such as state dinners, parties or industry conferences. Most of the remainder were intimate gatherings: one-on-one meetings with key White House officials, or small groups of Google executives and a White House official or two—meetings at which public policies are likely to have been discussed. The company’s top ranks have enjoyed frequent and direct contact with the top echelons of the Obama White House. Senior Google executives have met at least 21 times with President Obama in small, intimate meetings. Senior company executives also met at least 20 times with President Obama’s key political and economic advisers...”
~ The Google Tarnsparency Project Campaign on Accountability [1716]
Consider this: Google is a 1/2 trillion dollar USD corporation. That’s $500,000,000,000,000 [1717]. Do you really believe that it or its CEOs garnered this immense wealth because they had the best products, that its page rank algorithms are unbiased, that it has based its business model upon ethical and compassionate work in the service of humanity? You do? Then there really is no point in reading further. Just use your stock Android phone, do not remove its built in spyware, ignore this article, and be happy in the knowledge that large multibillion dollar U.S. corporate entities are your friend with your best interests at heart.
Remember that capitalist ontology is summed up by the myth that the worst kinds of people do the most good for society by enriching themselves through any means possible (an image: pls click to see it)
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
~ Eric Schmidt [1582], (one of Google Corp. founders and CEO)
The right to privacy and free speech is protected by law in all western countries. In Britain and Europe by the European Convention on Human Rights; in North America by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) and in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights of 1791; and around the world by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right to privacy and to free speech has been affirmed by all members of the United Nations as a fundamental human right. This was made international law by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
“...privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society”
~ European Parliament report PR\1014703EN [1451]
Respecting privacy and free speech rights is the ethical and moral means through which all individuals can work to better the whole of society. Those who violate this, including various spy agencies, national governments, and corporate CEOs who sell private personal data to the highest bidder (such as advertisers or military groups or spy agencies), may be breaking international law, violating fundamental human rights, and not to put too fine a point on it ... unethical.
Not to pick on Google of course, for other multibillion dollar U.S. based corporations have been accused of acting similarly, particularly Microsoft, Apple, Bell, etc. [Op. cit.]. Included in these accusations are allegations of predatory capitalism - buying up small businesses which may one day produce superior products [1611, 1612], attempting to destroy competition (Microsoft’s alleged treatment of GNU/Linux for example [1610]), and indeed, embodying some of the very worst aspects of capitalism, entitlement, and disregard for the powerless.
In other words, money and power matter. Little else appears to enter consideration.
In this regard consider the use b the United States of mercenaries. The U.S. military farms out much of its activities to private mercenary corporations [1480] such as Blackwater [1481] (who massively funded U.S. president Donald Trump’s ascension to power [1972]) because such organisations are not subject to the same constraints (legal and otherwise) that the regular army come under [ibid]. It is exactly the same with western intelligence agencies [335]  [335] An oxymoron if ever there was one!. They all make considerable use of private contractors and private corporations to provide tools, infrascructure for spying, network monitors, etc. Contractors, particularly if headquartered or operating in other countries are no subject to the same laws and constraints, or ethics, under which the agencies themselves are supposed to operate.
In order to maximise their profits under these contracts, private corporations tell those who hire them that they are discovering “terrorists” everywhere, that every network is under attack, that only they can provide safety for the nation, especially if they are allowed to do what they must “without interference”. The result of such obvious lies? Belief. There is such a strong confirmation bias involved that blank cheques are issued which allow these entities to ignore the law, ethics and morality, to act without meaningful audits, and above all, to ignore human rights and civil liberties.
Corporations are about making money for their CEOs, board members, and the largest shareholders. How they do so is all too often at the expense of everything and everyone else. Hence for those who provide network spy services, who work in cyberwar, it is very profitable to convince politicians that 1) there are threats everywhere and 2) they can provide the infrastructure and monitoring required. Not required to end the threats of course, but rather to ensure their bottom line continues to grow.
"In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you,"
~ Eric Schmidt [570], one of Google Corp.’s founders and current CEO
Again, of course there are threats. Human societies are not a particularly intelligent, compassionate, or enlightened species in any meaningful sence of those terms. And so every network every day in every country is the recipient of hundreds of thousands of attacks. Some are successful. Most are not. Conflating terrorism and the removal of human rights is not merely propaganda, it is anathema.
Mr. Schmidt’ comments are of some interest. Google as of this writing is the second largest corporation in the United States - i.e. one of the largest in the world [57]. Google’s business model is allegedly to gather information (location, search terms, links, social media comment, pictures of your children, photos of where you live, who your friends are, where you work, ... everything it can get) on billions of people every day, and use/sell this information however it sees fit.
Mr. Schmidt allegedly attends the Bilderberg conferences (many heads of state, many heads of corporations, many heads of military, no reports, no members of the public at large) [1374, 1375]. He has regular (several times a year) meetings at the White House [1373]. He has allegedly had several meetings at the NSA [ibid].
If you take the time to read carefully through Google’s privacy policy and terms of use ... you may be unpleasantly surprised. Particularly for what these policies do not say. They do not, for example, say that you own your own data or can have it removed from Google (or its “partners”) at any time. Given the horrible history of giant U.S. corporations, to expect that Google is the benign force the cute childlike doodles on its search page presents ... is extremely naive.
The same may be said for other participants in the corporate Panopticon.
For example, France’s National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) found that Microsoft Corporation was “collecting excessive data and tracking browsing by users without consent” [1759] as part of the hidden function of its Windows 10 operating system. An operating system which the corporation forced users of older version to “upgrade” to through automatic, not user mediated “upgrades” [1758]. Consider the implications here because 1) Microsoft has a near alleged monopoly in the west on operating systems [ 1760] and to date has not come forward to document what it does with the user’s private data it collects.
Another example: consider finally, the Amazon Echo:
(an image: pls click to see it)
The Amazon Echo (pictured above) is placed in a person’s home or office, where the always on microphone listens for user queries. It then uses a cloud-based AI called Alexa to answer user questions. Alexa can also control smart home devices, play games, unlock doors, and more. At time of writing Amazon has sold at least 3,000,000 Echos [1755], with Google and other giant corporations working on competing devices. Interestingly Amazon has refused to confirm or deny that Echos have been wiretapped by U.S. government agencies [1756]. Similarly the U.S. Federal Police (FBI) have refused to confirm or deny that they have wiretapped Echos [1757]. Well, the primary purpose of the Echo and similar “products” was to listen to anything the microphone picks up inside a person’s home and send it out into a network over which the user had absolutely no control or say in how her words are used/abused by anonymous IT personnel. But wait, there’s more. Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s VP and head scientist of Alexa machine learning, has stated that user’s need not worry. Because he said [1214] Alexas have only a small buffer, and specific AI to understand only a few words. What he did not state however, was how much of what the microphone picks up can be sent to Amazon, or whether or not various three letter government agencies were involved.
In 2017 it was reported that Amazon was contemplating giving third-party developers access to Alexa audio recordings [1969] as Google had allegedly already done with its similar system [1970]. A dystopic system right out of Orwell - first accustom the proles to limited devices, then have them purchase “upgrades” at some future time. Sigh.
For the problem when multibillion dollar U.S. corporations ask the public to trust them regarding there closed source technologies, is that the entire history of such corporations from their inception have been rife with corruption, illegal activities, bribery, buying of politicians, and secret deals with spy agencies.
Then there are WI-FI connected children’s dolls. Many of which are equipped with microphones and/or video recorders [1926, 1927]. They routinely watch and listen to conversations going on around the doll, and upload them to corporate servers. The German government found that such dolls contravened privacy laws - such as the Online Privacy Act [1928] - that the Bundesnetzagentur (German Federal Network Agency) ordered parents to destroy the doll if they had placed one with their children [1927]. At time of writing the dolls are still being sold in Britain, North America, China, and several EU nations.
There are also web-connected, app-enabled toys such as CloudPets [1928]. There have been allegations that such toys have been hacked [1929] leaking sensitive data such as children’s voices and conversations, account details, full names, and so on. Security on such web connected toys is said to be extremely poor or even nonexistent [ibid]. But the public and bureaucracy they pay to protect them, ever ignorant of even fundamental security, do nothing. Such toys keep selling, the regulators keep doing nothing, manufacturers keep using the cheapest programmers they can find.
He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day. ... Any sound Winston made above the level of a whisper, would be picked up by the telescreen...”
~ George Orwell [390], 1984

10.6.8.1 Spying

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
~ Eric Schmidt [1582], (one of Google Corp. founders)
"In a world of asynchronous threats, it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you,"
~ Eric Schmidt [570], one of Google Corp.’s founders and current CEO
“Who was harmed? Name the person"
~ Eric Schmidt [1583] after it was revealed that Googles Streetview activities harvisted WiFi information from private homes and businesses
"Google has demonstrated a history of pushing the envelope and then apologising when its overreach is discovered. Given its recent record of privacy abuses, there is absolutely no reason to trust anything the Internet giant claims about its data collection policies." John M Simpson [1584] of the U.S. Consumer Watchdog in a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission urging it to investigate Google
"We’re not going to delete it unless we’re ordered to”
~ Erick Schmidt [1585] concerning requests from individuals and privacy groups to delete data taken allegedly without permission
“If I look at enough of your messaging and your location, and use artificial intelligence, we can predict where you are going to go ... show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are.”
~ Eric Schmidt [1586]
“The article, by Elinor Mills, a CNET staff writer, gave several examples of information about Google’s chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, that could be gleaned from the search engine. These included that his shares in the company were worth $1.5 billion, that he lived in Atherton, Calif., that he was the host of a $10,000-a-plate fund-raiser for Al Gore’s presidential campaign and that he was a pilot. After the article appeared, David Krane, Google’s director of public relations, called CNET editors to complain, said Jai Singh, the editor in chief of CNETNews.com. ’They were unhappy about the fact we used Schmidt’s private information in our story,’ Mr. Singh said. ’Our view is what we published was all public information, and we actually used their own product to find it.’ He said Mr. Krane called back to say that Google would not speak to any reporter from CNET for a year. In an instant-message interview, Mr. Krane said, "You can put us down for a ’no comment.’ "
~ Saul Hansell [1587], New York Times
“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
~ Eric Schmidt [1582], (one of Google Corp. founders) - a line which bares repeating given the previous quotation from the NYT
Corporate spying began to get the edge on competitors. It has long since morphed into the building of de facto panopticons with the full collusion of government. Mission creep run wild. Some quick examples:
  • Verizon - a large ISP in the United States - allegedly changed its privacy policy (allegedly without user input) to allow it to allegedly pass its user’s private web browsing history, cell phone [336]  [336] Consider India’s Department of Telecommunications. It uses real-time tracking to locate any cell phone user in the country to with a few metres [302]. India’s government knows where every cell phone is by owner name and real-time location, 24 hours a day. Of course, virtually every other country in the industrialised world [303] does the same, invariably farming the task out to government, for-profit corporations. location, app usage, and geolocation information to private for-profit corporations of its choice [63]. The company allegedly offers anyone who can pay for the information details on what users do while on their phones and smartphones, including which apps a person has and uses [493]. Verizon allegedly merges this with third-party databases containing customer gender, age, hobbies, pets, dining habits, etc. [494].
"We’re able to view just everything that they do,"
~ B. Diggins [495], U.S. chief for Verizon Wireless’ marketing, discussing Verizon’s users
  • Australian stores and shopping malls monitor customer’s mobile phones tracking how often they visit, which stores they frequent, how long they stay, using and distributing this information in any way they see fit [64].
  • Large U.S. [65] and British [66] computer repair shops have allegedly been found to have been installing spy software on computers brought to them for repair. The software allegedly sent encrypted keystroke information (passwords, bank account numbers, etc.) back to the repair shops when the user browsed websites. In a similar manner boarder officials in the German state of Bavaria allegedly have been found installing spying software [67] which allegedly monitors internet use, grabs screen shots (eg. passwords), etc. on allegedly everyone’s personal laptop. German law enforcement secretly and routinely installs the R2D2 surveillance Trojan to intercept Internet phone calls and monitoring traffic internet traffic [83].
  • Westfield Group has allegedly begun using a series of license plate scanners in their various parking lots [70]. Target Stores has allegedly installed similar ANPR cameras in all of their parking lots [69]. Many, many municipalities around the western world also scan every license plate number correlating where a person went, when they went, how long they stayed, etc. with other information readily available for a price [68].
  • Large search engine corporations have been gathering computer addresses (IP), passwords, and similar information and attaching this to geolocation information [69], then coupling this to large databases containing banking, search history, shopping preferences, etc. Every activity is saved, scanned, aggregated and allegedly passed on to advertisers, marketing agencies, and government [122].
  • Almost all browsers (Firefox, IE, Safari,etc.) capture some information about what you are doing. Some to a small extent, some to a far greater extent. Read through the policies, you may be surprised. Mozilla’s Firefox for example: “make[s] Personal Information, such as your name and email address, and Potentially Personal Information, such as the URL of the site you last visited, only available to its employees, contractors, and selected contributors. ... We may share Personal Information about you with such third parties for the purpose of enabling these third parties to provide ... services. ... By using Firefox, you consent to the transfer of the information collected, as outlined by this Policy, to Mozilla or its third party service providers in the United States, the Netherlands, and other places where our distributed, third party content delivery network exists (which is in several countries around the world), which countries may provide a lesser level of data security than in your country of residence” [397]. Read between the lines. Or better yet, read their entire policy. And note that Firefox is one of the best browsers in terms of privacy. Others from some large corporate entities are much, much worse.
  • Grocery stores [70] have allegedly been using retinal image scanners to detect where, when, and how long a person looks at a given product on their shelves, coupling this information to facial recognition software to identify repeat customers, then allegedly surveilling this information to large corporations such as breakfast cereal companies.
  • Yahoo Corp. which had vigorously denied it gave private confidential user data to government, was hacked. Almost 1,000,000,000 private user accounts were compromised, including confidential banking information, medical information, etc. [1848]. Fortunately this did not in any way impact Marissa Ann Mayer - Yahoo’s CEO under whom Yahoo stock had plummeted. And fortunately she would still receive the $55,000,000 the Board of Directors had agreed to pay her if she is terminated without cause within one year of Yahoo’s sale [1849]. Nor was she impacted by revelations that she had made the decision to order Yahoo employees to set up real time scanning of all Yahoo email accounts handing the inforation gleaned to the NSA and FBI, a decision which lead to the resignation of others in the company who felt that to do so was unethical [1850]. Other CEOs of other corporations were not so compliant: "We’ve never received such a request, but if we did, our response would be simple: ’No way’,"
    ~ Google spokesperson [1851]
  • The Equifax credit reporting agency allegedly works with HR departments throughout North America [527] allegedly building a database of hundreds of millions of detailed employment and salary records for adults. The information is allegedly for sale to anyone who can pay [526]. The information is allegedly highly detailed, going back many years for most entries in the database [ibid]. It further allegedly contains details on who is an employee’s doctor or health care provider, dental data, etc. [ibid], all allegedly for sale. Moreover Equifax allegedly hid the breach for months [2015]. Former CEO Richard Smith and then current CEO Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. were questioned by a Senate committee [2016] where in Mr. Smith confirmed that Equifax had not bothered to encrypt data at the time of breach - both CEOs went on to state that the corporation had made a decision to leave customer data unencrypted. Mr. Barros even stated "I don’t know at this stage" in answer to a question on whether or not the corporation had implemented encryption since the breach [ibid]! Shortly thereafter it was revealed that Facebook Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, Wal-Mart, Twitter, AT&T, Harvard Law School, some U.S. states, Booz Allen Hamilton, and other giant U.S. corporations provide an electronic feed of their employees’ personal work and wage information to Equifax’ Work Number database [1617]. This database at time of writing contained more details on more than 296,000,000 employees at all wage levels - most of whom had no idea their personal information was being sent to the very corporation which had allegedly not bothered to encrypt data nor allegedly bothered to place common sense industry standard protections against common hacking efforts. This private personal data on hundreds of millions of people was so insecure that Brian Krebs [2018] was allegedly able to prove that the Work Number database allegedly could be easily breached to allow anyone to view a person’s salary and employment history "using little more than someone’s Social Security number and date of birth [ibid] both items which were stolen in the previous breach. At time of writing, no one had been fired at Equifax and the various vice presidents and CEO’s were still receiving very large [2019] salary and benefit packages. Nothing to hide does not mean nothing to fear from giant U.S. corporations, n’est pas?
  • Microsoft Corporation purchased the online video telephone system Skype for $8.5 billion. Around the same time the corporation patented a system for “legal intercept” of services like Skype to “silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session.” In the corporation’s privacy policy (Section 3) Microsoft states that its partners (anyone who pays) “may provide personal data, communications content and/or traffic data to an appropriate judicial, law enforcement or government authority lawfully requesting such information.” Microsoft has never issued transparency reports showing what private and personal user data it gives to others. And so it has been alleged that Skype’s original (i.e. before Microsoft bought it) adherence to international privacy laws has with the mission creep so common to corporate takeovers, been compromised. Microsoft’s failure to deny that they spy and record Skype communications has recently led to Jacob Appelbaum, Project Leader for a major privacy rights group, recommending that Skype should no longer be used at all. Fortunately there are better and far more open alternatives such as Jitsi which provide end-to-end encryption. Finally, anyone who knows how or can purchase the knowledge, such as criminal organisations, can easily set their own network of Skype-like systems, VOIP, or SIP services which cannot be spied upon by anyone. You can therefore draw your own conclusions concerning the true purpose of corporate mission creep regarding spying and recording of online communications.
  • Leaked documents and emails [432] have allegedly shown that private corporations (not subject to the same legal constraints or accountability as government) are extensively used to surveil everything and everyone. Then turn the results over to those who employ their services. For example, it has been alleged that the company TrapWire analyses CCTV footage using facial and pattern recognition software, provides reporting systems for people to report “suspicious behaviour”, and datamines on behalf of others [430]. Its software is allegedly in use by British police, the United States government, and a host of multinational corporations [431].
  • (an image: pls click to see it) A U.S. federal judge has granted Chevron, a private for-profit oil conglomerate, access to Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc. databases [800]. This in order to collect detailed information environmentalists, journalists and attorneys who did not like the fact that allegedly Chevron had dumped 18.5 billion gallons of allegedly toxic oil waste in the Ecuadorean Amazon [801]. The precedent was that in U.S. law, a multi-billion dollar for-profit corporation was enabled to view the private information of those who sought to bring their actions under public scrutiny, whilst said individuals were not allowed reciprocal rights. Please see [801] for the somewhat horrific precedent set, and the allegedly utter lack of evidence on which the judge ruled in favour of corporate spying.
  • Apple Corporation’s Siri “personal assistant” voice recognition system allegedly sent “Voice Input Data and “User Data” to Apple as well as audio recordings, transcripts of what was said, names of all contacts in a user’s address book, their nicknames, their relationships, names of songs and playlists in collections, and very personal data such as "where is the nearest suicide hotline?" [364]. According to Apple’s policy the corporation could share such data with “Apple’s partners who are providing related services to Apple” [365]. In addition Siri sent recordings of the voice asking questions of it to Apple [579]. Apple Corporation kept recordings of these voices for two years [ibid]. Note that a voice print is as uniquely identifiable as a fingerprint - it is a biometric stamp which uniquely identifies you.
"There needs to be a very high justification for retaining such intrusive data for longer than is absolutely necessary to provide the service."
~ director Big Brother Watch [579], discussing Apples collecting and keeping the data mentioned
  • You are not a Facebook, Google, or Microsoft customer. You are their products. The information you give them (it’s in the small print of the EULA or user contracts you agree to, even if you do not know it, when you use their products) is their currency. It takes billions of dollars to run operations like theirs - they do not spend this amount out of the goodness of their hearts. Their real customers pay well for the information they gather about you.
  • Instagram (a subsidiary of Facebook) without notice changed their privacy policy to allow them to sell information about its users, user photos, etc. to anyone willing to pay (mainly advertisers) [502]. This followed on similar moves by other social media corporations. The point is that privacy policies are meaningless - they can be and are being altered without notice by corporations at will. Furthermore larger internet corporations such as Facebook and Google can virtually ignore regulations and laws, since these ultimately have limited real impact on their function, operations, or more importantly, bottom line. Even when fines are imposed (very rare) they are for what amounts to loose change from corporations whose wealth is larger than that of many countries [502].
  • Speaking of Instagram, its API (used by programmers) can be used, as has been done at Rutgers University [514] to link geotagged photos to their physical location accessed by Google’s Street View. Translation: A male can see a girl walking down the street and with a little work, find her address and from there perhaps her name, job, age, and so on.
  • Intel Corporation (who make many of the chips inside your computer, phone, car, etc.) offers television sets with built in facial recognition. The sets can recognise who is watching, whether the person is an adult or child, male or female, and send such information back to head office [388]. A profile can then be built of your watching habits, targeting advertising more directly to you, as well as other “services”. Several other corporations [389] are at time of writing, also testing similar televisions.
"The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely. ... The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it. Moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision ... he could be seen as well as heard. ... You had to live, did live, from habit that became instinct, in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and ... every movement scrutinised."
~ G. Orwell, 1984 [390]
  • Device fingerprinting: This is a means of collecting uniquely identifying aspects of computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. in order to track everything you do online. Such unique aspects include screen size, type of software you use, plugins, fonts, and much more. It turns out that in aggregate all of these many aspects produce a signature which functions as a fingerprint - it is quite unique. It allows you to be tracked without using cookies [337]  [337] Here in the UK websites place an average of 44 cookies into your device (laptop, phone, tablet) during your first visit to the site [1952]. These cookies are set to expire on average every two years but many are set for much longer periods up to many hundreds of years [ibid]. Meaning they wish to track what you do forever - all of course, without your permission. or other normal means. Research by a team at KU Leuven-iMinds and presented at the 20th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security has shown that most of the most popular websites use this fingerprinting system to bypass any privacy protections you or your company might try to use [895]. Government, search engine corporations, and many others use this fingerprinting technique to bypass your right to privacy.
  • In Canada the Harper regime ignored the Privacy Commissioner for Canada requests for information from telecoms as to the number of times they gave personal customer information to government [1225]. Telecoms also refused to respond. As it turns out [1229] more than one government demand for personal, private information was made to telecoms every 30 seconds of every year - all paid for by the taxpayer [ibid]. Tax money was being used to pay telecoms to spy on ... the taxpayer [1228]. Almost all warrant, judicial authorisation, or any justification whatsoever [1229]. The allegedly corrupt [Op. cit.] government of prime minister Harper did nothing to rectify this [1227], going to the ludicrous extreme of blaming “government agencies” [1226]. As if somehow, mysteriously, the Harper regime was not ultimately responsible (which it clearly as the government of the day, was.) The Harper regime instead issued Bill C-13 [1231] to grant (retroactive) immunity to the telecoms - exactly as had been done in the U.S. [1230]. Harmonisation between U.S. and Canadian laws ... to attack the most fundamental of privacy and civil rights.
  • CloudFlare and similar U.S. based giant corporations are in the opinion of some limiting free speech, censoring content, and working to remove the basic human right of privacy and anonymity - please see Censorship and Bibliocaust for a more thorough investigations of such claims.
And so on ad nauseam.
As more and more people become aware (albeit with glacial slowness) of what corporations are doing to undermine the basic human right [496] of privacy, corporations have begun large scale advertising (propaganda?) campaigns to combat privacy concerns. For example, the U.S. based Direct Marketing Association began a million dollar campaign to:
"set the record straight about the countless ways that data-driven marketing creates value for consumers — and is an engine of economic growth"
~ L. Woolle [497] Acting CEO, Direct Marketing Association
Good for them.
What about morality and ethical constraints upon these giant multinational corporations? There are none. A single example: Facebook is the most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, physiognomies, tastes in music and art, location, home addresses, medical information, friends, relations, personal thoughts, etc. The coup that made Facebook unique, was that they - and its CEO M. Zuckerberg - allegedly hoodwinked the public into revealing all of this information under promises of at least some privacy. And when the public had done so, the privacy settings were disabled and the privacy policy changed to allegedly be essentially meaningless. Then Facebook happily shared all of this vast repository of private data with the oxymoronically named U.S. Intelligence services. No sopena needed. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft - all have done the same. A careful reading of Google’s privacy policy for example, is very interesting. There is allegedly essentially no privacy offered whatsoever. Had the government ordered the public to reveal such information, there would have been mass riots and impeachments. But by gradually introducing systems whereby the public - particularly a naive and uninformed public Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy - voluntarily submits such information legal protections (warrants, subpoenas, judges, constitutional constraints, etc.) do not come into play. Corporate CEOs work hand in hand with government to give this vast personal database to a handful of bureaucrats whose service is primarily to those in power, and emphatically not to the public who pays their bills. M. Myers [817], M. Zukerburg [818], E. Schmidt [819], and others in similar positions of power in these internet organisations have all indicated that lack of privacy is now the social norm, and that they are quite happy with that situation. They do however, carefully protect their own privacy and that of their close families becoming very upset whenever it is violated by others [820].
“You grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”
~ From the Facebook Terms of Service [1924]
Hypertargetting is a term used to describe how corporations, government, military, and police use millions of data points collected on individuals from many sources to target messages to said individuals. What is not really considered however, is that hypertargetting is not merely about directing advertisements to an individuals’ browser based upon his Google/Facebook/Microsoft profile. Not at all. A fundamental use of hypertargetting is to place propaganda. For example, in both Canada and the U.S. hypertargetting is used to select who will be called (robo-calling) to convince the target to vote a certain way [821, 822, 823]. Hypertargetting is used to locate possible “enemies” of a political party [822, 824]. And so on. Various church and religious groups use hypertargetting to select groups who will be most susceptible to their “message of truth” [824, 825, 826, 827]. And much, much more. You may be interested in reading about the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, the Fraser Institute, and other similar “think tanks” in this regard. (Update: I recently received an interestingly albeit somewhat vitriolic email About me) to the effect that democratic countries, especially the United States, did not use propaganda on their own citizens. Sigh. I asked the writer to read some of the citations listed at the end of my article here The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? and here Bibliography for my site).If you have similar feelings, please do the same before dropping me a line. Additionally, might I remind you that the most effective propaganda is so interwoven with the dominant social narrative and acculturated ontology, that it is all but invisible to its targets.)
The result? Through hypertargetting these groups limit your freedom of choice. For example, when you see ads appear on a website you visit, the ads have been adjusted by using your profile (where you shop, how much education you have, etc.). What you see on a website is not what someone else sees. Similarly when someone comes to your door to ask you to vote for them, they did not choose your home by accident - using hypertargetting they know how you are likely to vote, what type of candidate you prefer, and whether or not you prefer to have a man or woman come to your door to persuade you. When you enter some hospitals, hypertargetting identifies whether or not you are able to pay the costs, whether or not you are a good risk for drug trials, etc.
Another point:
Every cellphone is really a spy system. One which enables corporations to hypertarget adverts, promotions, etc. to the cellphone users. And of course, sell his data to others. If you run a sniffer (a means of capturing every incoming and outgoing data point) on the SMC or TCP connections of any cellphone you will soon discover that even though you may have turned off “location”services your location, unique phone ID, data, etc. is none the less being sent without your permission to several IPs belonging to a number of very large corporations, and sometimes, government.
If you unlock the bootloader on your phone, then root your phone, you can directly alter IPTABLES (if your phone runs Android/Linux) or install a logging firewall app if you are unfamiliar with IPTABLES rule sets. You will then be able to watch your phone leaking your personal, private, information. Under the Patriot Act in the U.S., Bill C-51 in Canada, RIPA laws in Britain, etc. .... corporations must share this with government spy agencies. The agreement you signed by merely using the phone the first time (a EULA - end user license agreement) removes virtually all of your rights to your own data, as well as your right to sue the agencies/corporations involved for any damage resulting from use of said data against you. Although the service agreement and manufacturers EULA on my own cellphone violates privacy laws here in the EU, the companies involved simply ignore this fact. They of course know full well that the ability of individuals to successful win lawsuits against them (particularly since they are headquartered in other countries) is low.
Fortunately, by changing the IPTABLES on a phone (which violates the warranty - another means of trying to force release of private information) to monitor SRM, TCP, and UDP connections, and using ORWALL and other facilities, sophisticated users can maintain their legal privacy rights. But how many average users will do this, or know how to do this? In other words, corporations allegedly violate law with what amounts to impunity.
For the most part many large corporations in western democracies comply with government agency requests for this massive database without requiring any court or public oversight. Note that this arrangement is highly convenient for government since private corporations complicit to the whims of government enable to politicians involved to avoid the entanglements and restrictions of constitutional protections for individuals. And should such corporations find themselves in receipt of no-bid contracts by way of recompense, well, that is just business. Of course the fact that IBM and other large corporations had significant dealings with Hitler and the Nazis helping them gather information on citizens and to set up the concentration camp system [Op. Cit.], has nothing whatsoever to do with the practices currently in place in various western democracies. Any similarity in mere coincidence.
The constraints upon these corporate privacy invasions by government are at best tame, and at worst (the norm) nonexistent. The basic human right to privacy here is not being taken away merely in the face of some imaginary “communist” threat, but for base reasons of profit at the expense of privacy. There is indeed, a considerable amount to fear, even if one has nothing to hide, when largely unregulated for-profit entities can and do extract private information on people largely without their permission, and without their knowledge. Ethics? Morality? Compliance with the UN Charter? No.
More on this below, in the section on “Profiling”.

10.6.8.2 Cellphones

“Then there’s India. Once the government started buying cellsite simulators, the calls of opposition party politicians and their spouses were monitored. ’We can track anyone we choose,’ an intelligence official told one Indian newspaper. The next targets were corporate; most of the late-night calls, apparently, were used to set up sexual liaisons. By 2010 senior government officials publicly acknowledged that the whole cell network in India was compromised. ’India is a really sort of terrifying glimpse of what America will be like when this technology becomes widespread, Soghoian [Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union.] says. ’The American phone system is no more secure than the Indian phone system.
~ Robert Kolker [1493], Bloomberg
Rights
Regarding your use of cellphones - you have no rights whatsoever, despite the PR and advertising involved. Read the terms of service - you have no rights at all, not even a moral right:
“Can [cell provider] use my content? Only as required to provide the [cell provider] Services. In providing the Services, [cell provider] may need to use, copy, adapt, transmit, display, publish and perform, distribute and create compilations and derivative works from your content. By agreeing to receive the Services, you agree to waive your moral rights and you authorise [cell provider] to perform these activities in relation to your content anywhere in the world.”
~ from [cell provider] cellular terms and conditions of service [1528]
Other fun selections from various cell providers:
“A telecommunications carrier shall not be responsible for decrypting, or ensuring the government’s ability to decrypt, any communication encrypted by a subscriber or customer, unless the encryption was provided by the carrier and the carrier possesses the information necessary to decrypt the communication.”
~ from the United States Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) [1521]
“To the extent permitted by applicable law, [cell provider] makes no warranties, representations, claims, guarantees or conditions of any nature, express or implied, including fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, title or non-infringement, with respect to any [cell provider] Services and does not guarantee that communications are private or secure. [cell provider] assumes no liability for any claims, damages, losses or expenses arising out of or otherwise relating to the unavailability of any [cell provider] Services, even where such unavailability occurs after activation of the [cell provider] Services.” [ibid]
“You grant us a worldwide, sub-licensable, transferable and non-exclusive license, without compensation, reimbursement or any other payment, to transmit, copy, modify, adapt, display, perform, distribute and publish any content you choose to create, transmit, publish or otherwise communicate using the Services, as reasonably required by us and our third party service providers to provide the Services to you” [1529]. Notice the the word ’reasonably’ is interpreted by the corporation NOT by you, the content creator
”When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give [us] (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.” [1530]
”You agree that we will not be responsible or liable to you or any other person in any event for any loss or damages whatsoever, including without limitation direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, exemplary, moral, special or consequential damages, damages for harm to business, loss of information or data, loss of profit, savings or revenue or failure to realise expected profit or savings or other non-direct, commercial or economic loss or damage of any kind under any legal theory, even if we have been advised of or could reasonably foresee the possibility of such damage or loss, including without limitation any loss or damage arising from or in connection with the services, handsets or equipment, the failure or unavailability of the services, handsets or equipment, the use of the services, handsets or equipment or any unauthorised access to or alteration, theft, loss, corruption or destruction of communications, information or data.” [1531]
Notice the common theme - the corporations may do whatever they wish (with some open-to-interpretation caveats) with your data and private information, but you yourself have limited or no rights. You can of course sue the corporations, but unless you have millions of dollars to spend on lawyers, an ironclad case, indisputable proof, and decades to wait while things drag through the courts... good luck. You can also appeal to government. Good luck with that as well.
Hardware
Currently anyone with even minimal technical expertise can harvest International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers from cellphones - even from 4G supposedly “secure” networks via forced 2G compliance [1492] - via a roughly $1500 USD hardware device. A device which is rather easy to construct [ibid]. Translation - anyone with a bit of technical skill or the money to buy such skill can track any cellphone and listen in to banking, credit card purchases, or voice pretty much at will. Stingray devices (discussed later)) are currently deployed by many police forces - illegally in many cases - to do exactly that. The FBI’s Digital Collection System Network does the same.
It is important to realise that the NSA has allegedly compromised SIM cards - the small chips in every phone used to uniquely identify the phone to the cell provider.
As I said earlier, the world’s major SIM manufacturer, Gemalto, was broached by GCHQ and NSA through social engineering attacks [338]  [338] As part of GCHQ programs DAPINO GAMMA. and HIGHLAND FLING [1454]. Presumably named by nasty little children who never outgrew their sandboxes? against Gemalto’s employees [1448, 1449, 1450]. The lovely folks at these antidemocratic charming intelligence agencies allegedly used the SIM encryption keys thus obtained to circumvent international laws [Op. cit.] and ethical conduct to spy on essentially everyone with a cellphone and also obtaining any and all data stored on these devices. At time of writing, Belgian cell providers have begun legal proceedings against the GCHQ [1451]. Class action suits against the NSA would be far more difficult, given the Obama administration’s virtual carte blanche to this allegedly STASIesque agency. Incidentally, the chips on banking cards (USB and smartcards) issued to customers are almost all supplied by Gemalto [1452]. And oh yes, so to many newer automobile models [1453]. And commercial smartcards used for secure corporate networks [1454]. At time of writing, yet again no member of any of these agencies has been held to account, tried in an open court, or jailed. Has any terrorist, anywhere, done as much damage to security?
“The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures,”
~ B. Obama [1455], U.S. president stating the untruth that the NSA only intercepted and monitored the communications of known or suspected criminals or terrorists rather than ordinary citizens (translation: lying through this teeth)
Gemalto later stated that “only the outer layers” of their network had been compromised [1452] and that “The SIM encryption keys and other customer data in general, are not stored on these networks” [ibid]. Two points: 1) Since Gemalto’s billion dollar business was severely threatened by the leaked documents of NSA and GCHQ activity, it is difficult to believe their claim particularly in light of the leaked documents and in light of both GCHQ and the NSA stating in internal documents [1453] that they did have the encryption keys; and 2) Gemalto did not state that the terrorist agencies GCHQ and NSA had not taken the IMSI Ki keys - which are all that is required to themselves generate duplicate SIMs.
There is hope on the horizon in the form of user programmable self-destruct chips. DARPA (the U.S. Offence Agency’s research wing) has paid for Xerox Parc to develop such chips for keeping say, encryption keys and important data in a phone [1579]. But which when given a command the chips will shatter into thousands of unrecoverable pieces. Needless to say this in not (yet?) available to the people who pay for DARPA (the taxpayer) to fund this work.
Translation - unless you really know what you are doing or can purchase people who know what they are doing, anything you do using a cellphone can be, and is being,, monitored and recorded by theives, hackers, police, government, etc. if not illegally, then most certainly unethically and indeed, amorally.
Let’s now look at the software in cellphones:
Software
“Aspects of the subject matter described herein relate to silently recording communications. In aspects, data associated with a request to establish a communication is modified to cause the communication to be established via a path that includes a recording agent. Modification may include, for example, adding, changing, and/or deleting data within the data. The data as modified is then passed to a protocol entity that uses the data to establish a communication session. Because of the way in which the data has been modified, the protocol entity selects a path that includes the recording agent. The recording agent is then able to silently record the communication. Inventors: Ghanem; George; ; Bizga; Lawrence Felix; ; Khanchandani; Niraj K.; Assignee: Microsoft Corporation, Redmond WA”
~ from U.S. patent 20110153809 [1774]. (Emphasis, mine. If you use Microsoft’s Skype, you may wish to reread the foregoing.)
Consider cellphones running Google Corporation’s Android OS. (Android is a version of Gnu/Linux. The latter is free and open source, the former is free and closed source - meaning it is allegedly filled with Google’s proprietary systems.
Some of these are spy systems. If you take the time to root your phone (to gain access to its innards), you will see at once that allegedly built into Google’s Android are many backdoors. An easy to understand one is this:
You may not wish the photos you take with your movements to be tracked by Google. Good luck with that. Google GPS location tracking (https://maps.Google.com/locationhistory/b/0) shows that you have been tracked by the corporation for months at a time, with resolution as fine as minite by minute movements. The method of turning this “feature” off is not obvious to most users. Nor is the fact that other means of tracking you (such as through cellphone tower locations, tracking you through your friends’ phones, etc.) can still be active even if you disable GPS tracking.
Google allegedly sends all photos (and other data) stored on your phone to its servers without your consent automatically - this “service” is allegedly built into Android. Even if you do not want it. Attach your phone to a network with a sniffer running - you may be amazed at what you see.
Added to this of course, is the data in your phone. Every aspect of your life - contact lists, family names, friends names, recordings of your voice, keystrokes of everything typed, pictures of you, your photos of your family and friends, doctors appointments - all tied together, run through facial recognition systems. And given the “relationship” of groups such as GCHQ and the NSA, presumably given, donated, or simply taken for their use as well. The NSA for example tapped tapped Google’s private networks directly [1519]. (Not to pick on Google here - Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and a host of other very large corporations have been accursed [1520] of similar activities.)
This can then be coupled to your medical records (most governments force doctors to send digital records of their patient files to third party for-profit corporations for storage), you driving record (ditto), and so on.

10.6.8.3 Government

Governments in theory are perfectly capable of working on behalf of their citizens to stop this.
But they frequently do not.
Instead they work on behalf of the aristocratic class and their plutocrat puppeteers (please q.v. Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )) rather than the ordinary citizen. There are so many, many examples of this in the history of all nations, that going over the same ground here would be pointless. Suffice it to say that which very rare exceptions (Bhutan for example - q.v. the section on Bhutan in Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ) governments always work on behalf of the powerful, never on behalf of the people - other than that which is necessary not to be lynched.
“If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.”
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corps, 1992 [21]
And so despite token resistance by some EU representatives [1517], Canada’s Privacy Commissioner [1518], and others [1516] the theft (for that is precisely what it is) and probably misuse (vis a vis the UN Charter) of data from your cellphone allegedly continues unabated.
As I am trying to demonstrate in this article, part of the social engineering which has enabled the burgeoning totalitarianism around the world has been the inuring of youth to privacy invasion. Coupled with the almost complete lack of historical knowledge prevalent in say, the U.S. school system, the context in which this is occurring is completely absent from their awareness. Orwell’s and Huxley’s warnings therefore are not ignored merely because they fall upon ears made deaf through propaganda and acculturation, but rather because they fall upon a bed of carefully prepared ignorance. Please see:
  1. Pedagogy is Social Engineering
  2. Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy
  3. Are You an Anti-intellectual?
  4. Is truth relative? Part I: The societal perspective
  5. Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered?
10.6.8.3.1Example 1: Sim cards and GOPHERSET
The SIM card in your cellphone identifies the carrier, phone, and you to a cell tower (sort of). It runs the STK (SIM TookKit) [1779]. The STK contains systems to pass commands to your cellphone’s operating system.
GOPHERSET is software which can garner your SMS messages, call log (which you cannot erase), your contacts, etc. then sends the stolen information in a short SMS message to another device - such as one owned by the redoubtable TSA, Fatherland security, or NSA. Without your permission of course.
In the United States and its client nations (Britain, Australia, Canada, Germany, etc.) border agents can seize your cellphone, take it behind a curtain, and violate it as well as your privacy rights. In the United States in fact, Freedom of information requests (FOIA) have proven that U.S. DHS (Department of Fatherland Homeland Security) regularly and almost routinely conduct warrantless seizures at the border [1780]. These usually happen at random (i.e. without motivation or suspicion) on mere fishing expeditions. Use of GOPHERSET in these circumstances is thought to be routine [1819].
10.6.8.3.2 Example 2: Give us your social media passwords
Additionally the wonderful people at the TSA have announced plans [1818] to require foreign travellers to provide their social media account names when entering the country. Since most foreign visitors have U.S. contacts on social media, this is also an obvious way to circumvent what few privacy laws are in place for U.S. citizens in their own country.
“Travellers will be asked to provide their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and whatever other social ID you can imagine to U.S. authorities. It’s technically an “optional” request, but since it’s the government asking, critics believe travellers will fear consequences if they ignore it. Business and pleasure travellers are affected, too.”
~ Patrick Thibodeau [1820], Computerworld
Such information is vital to collect, because as everyone knows, terrorists are too stupid to figure out a way around this. Such as having multiple accounts, especially one set up just for the thug high school dropout in a TSA uniform to have. Sigh.
On a completely unrelated note, the U.S. House Homeland Security Commission has released its report entitled "Misconduct at TSA Threatens the Security of the Flying Public". [1781].
The report concludes that roughly half (one of every two) TSA employees and agents have been performed misconduct during work hours. And those are of course, only the ones which were found out. According to the Chair of the Subcommittee involved, the number has been steadily increasing [1782]. Such misconduct includes taking bribes, using tax money to hire prostitutes, smuggling, etc. [1781].
These are the charming thug high-school dropouts to whom you hand over your private personal cellphone so they can run GOPHERSET against it without your permission, play with your social media account information, and detain you without trial if they feel like it. Wonderful.
One cannot help but wonder if this may have something to do with the steadily growing number of professional people will no long travel [1821] to the United States in person?

10.6.8.4 Money

Over $1.2 trillion USD of taxpayer monies has recently been spent by the United States on internal (within the continental U.S.) security initiatives and propping up the security state they have created, each and every year [573]. Other countries have followed suit.
This has made the anti-terrorism industry is one of the largest industries in the world, and it is an industry that is growing exponentially.
It is effective? Yes - in exactly the same manner that placing dill pickles around Whitehall protects it from tigers. No tigers in the building? Then our dill pickles must be working. Need to sell more pickles? Issue a yellow alert, and amber alert, a red alert based upon secret non publicly available “evidence” that tigers have been stirring. Sigh... sales of dill pickles have made their manufacturers and the several law makers who coincidental are former CEOs of pickle companies very, very rich.
What if the government had not spent taxpayer money on pickles? What would the money buy instead? Some examples:
  • 63,300,000 scholarships for university students every year for ten years [574]
  • free health care for 58,900,000 low income children every year for ten years [575]
  • Give 23.6 Million People Access To Low-Income Healthcare Every Year For Ten Years [576]
  • retrofit 69,400,000 homes with wind power every year for ten years removing dependence upon oil [577]
And oh, so very much more which would actually be of real benefit to the citizenry which is paying for this new creeping, expanding, highly secretive, and above all wealthy, “anti-terrorism” industry.
“[there was not] a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk collection metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.”
~ Judge R. Leon [1063]

10.6.8.5 Search engines

“Communications data are storable, accessible and searchable, and their disclosure to and use by State authorities are largely unregulated. Analysis of this data can be both highly revelatory and invasive, particularly when data is combined and aggregated. As such, States are increasingly drawing on communications data to support law enforcement or national security investigations. States are also compelling the preservation and retention of communication data to enable them to conduct historical surveillance.”
~ F. La Rue [607], the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, report on state surveillance and freedom of expression.
Prime enablers of presence systems are corporations which run search engines. Shadowing of users while they surf the net, or provide access to passwords or e-commerce transactions, the recording of instant messages, viewing what web pages a users has viewed, and chat conversations conducted using popular instant messaging servers [148]. Almost every website you visit automatically reports back to search engine private corporations the time and date of your visit, how long you looked at a page, what links you clicked, your IP (computer) address, and much more, via a small program embedded in the website called an “analytic” - some are more aggressive than others. In most western countries search engines must by law share this information with government authorities on demand. In most cases, no warrant is needed [149, 150, 151, 152]. Sometimes search data is not well protected. For example 19 million search requests made by more than 658,000 AOL subscribers over a three month period were “accidentally” recently released and widely copied [159]. There have been other incidents [ibid, 160]. Hence not only do private corporations and governments have access to this data, but sometimes it is open for viewing by anyone. Of course hackers also sometimes access this information [161], and sometimes whistleblowers release it [162] as in the case of a U.S. officials search for online pornography over several months [ibid].
Unfortunately few users bother to read the fine details of the usage policy, under the foolish impression that the services they use (which cost billions of dollars to develop, implement, and maintain), are somehow given to them free of charge out of the goodness of some corporate CEO’s heart. But buried deep in usage policies, EULAs, privacy policies, and legalese are clauses whereby the user abrogates all rights to their personal data. Initially laws in several countries protected their citizens from this, but given the international scope of search engine use, this has become largely unenforceable. For example European Directive 95/46/EC required that a user’s consent must regarding disclosure of email content must be informed, specific, and unambiguous as pursuant to Article 7(a) of Dir. 95/46/EC. This has since been superseded several international trade agreements which cede these rights [150].
Similarly some years ago thirty-one separate privacy and civil liberties organisations requested that one of the large U.S. search engine multinationals alter their policies to better protect the rights of citizens [153]. The company ignored the overtures, setting a precedent with other search engine, social networking, and email providers have since followed, OCED guidelines on the protection of privacy in transborder flows notwithstanding [154]. And so most of these corporations retain user [155]. The multibillionaire CEO of one such corporation recently admitted that his company’s services were “really just bait” to lure users into giving the company access to their private information [156]. The morality of such companies is not always pure: “.... whatever the company was saying publicly
~ and to Congress
~ about user privacy, it was indeed tracking not just user search trails, but also their identities” [158].
“Google collects personal information when you register for a Google service or otherwise voluntarily provide such information. We may combine personal information collected from you with information from other Google services or third parties...”
~ exert from Google policy [163]
Interestingly there was a little bit of protest about this. However when a few months later Microsoft Corp. altered their privacy policy to basically allegedly allow the corporation to allegedly share personal user data with anyone they allegedly chose [485], no protest occurred (other than from a handful of privacy advocates [487]).
Why did government not stop such activities? Three reasons:
  1. Lobbying: Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Cisco, AT&T, IBM, etc. spend millions upon millions of dollars [928, 929, 930] each and every year in the U.S. alone on lobbying. That is, upon legalised bribery of politicians (please see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) and here Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) to see why the term “bribery” is appropriate). A bought politician or government bureaucrat is unlikely to bite the hand that feeds her.
  2. Complicity: Search engine corporations have confirmed (eg.. [164] that they provide government, to the U.S. spy agency the NSA [325], advertisers, and others with lists of search terms by user IP (computer address). Since in most countries ISPs are now required to keep logs [165,166,167] and IP addresses cross-referenced by client name, it is a trivial matter to couple search terms by person. That is to say, search profiles collated by person name and address. The U.S. FBI for example, has used exactly this information to arrest a person individual accused of hacking a company from which he had been dismissed [168]. In reading through the court documents, particularly the judge’s statement [ibid], it appears that he was found guilty in large part because he looked up information (about hacking) on a particular search engine [169].
  3. Profit: Some search engines offers a “service” to systems administrators and individuals running their own websites called analytics. Google Analytics is by far the most popular. Heavily marketed by search engine companies, the scripts (programs) which provide analytics have been placed on billions of web pages worldwide. These scripts automatically provide search engine providers with information about their site traffic, and more importantly, about their visitor’s movements across the Internet. The important point here, is that these users have never agreed to a search engine corporation’s privacy policy, yet they are tracked without their knowledge by private for-profit corporations as they use the net. This information thanks to various laws are made available to other for-profit corporations and government. It is this latter that is a significant reason that government does not stop search engines, ISPs, etc. from spying on users. Profiles can easily be built up on this manner, either by IP (not necessarily specific) or more interestingly, but IP-to-address ISP software. It should be noted however, that there are very good (better?) analytics systems which are free and open source (i.e. completely open to scrutiny for potential privacy violation) such as OWN and PIWIK which can be and IMHO should be used instead. These systems can protect the privacy of website visitors while still providing deep drill down analytic information - all without sending anything back to any corporation such as Google, Micro$oft, etc.
If you would like a small taste of some of the private and personal information on you which is readily available for sale to the highest bidder, you can explore the AOL data I mentioned earlier. Still available at time of writing, this searchable information on 650,000 AOL customers is a picayune but never the less interesting example of what is available. You can look up people at your office in that database, and see what sort of sex toys they have ordered, how often they have looked at ways to donate to the Republican party, whether or not they are searching for a local psychologist specialising in spousal abuse, and so on. You can explore their personal search history and learn a great deal about their private lives. Keep in mind as you do so however, that this is just a taste - it is only a minuscule fraction of the information available in other far more comprehensive profiling systems such as those sold by Google, etc.
Some search engine corporations have their own satellites capable of greater than 0.41 metre accuracy flying in 423 mile orbit [171] photographing every 16-inch piece of the planet and its inhabitants continuously [174]. As well as geolocation vehicles to precisely pinpoint a user’s home [172] the cars in her driveway [173], when they leave for work [ibid, 174], and so on. All without oversight by a person’s home country, and without her permission. As I said, profiles can be very complete. Should an individual rather than powerful corporation do these things, the individual would soon be in legal difficulty. As an example of this, an Austrian tourist and his teenage some took several photographs during their first vacation to London. The police swooped down, seized their cameras, and destroyed every picture of buildings found thereon [175]. Needless to say, photographs of the same buildings were taken by several U.S. corporate search engine navigation tools and readily available to anyone in the world [46]. The corporations were never charged.
Further, dozens of websites cull the “most interesting” photos taken by search engine street view trucks, and place them in galleries. “Most interesting” invariably means photographs of young women. Some women’s rights groups (notably [177] have alleged that this is large scale voyeurism under control of for-profit corporations.
“Data analytics have the potential to eclipse longstanding civil rights protections in how personal information is used in housing, credit, employment, health, education, and the marketplace ... Data, once created, is in many cases effectively permanent … The technological trajectory, however, is clear: more and more data will be generated about individuals and will persist under the control of others ... Users, more often than not, do not understand the degree to which they are a commodity in each level of this marketplace”
~ from Big Data [1508], published by and for the Executive Office of the United States President, 2014
A recent analysis of ad targeting by Google done by researchers Carnegie Mellon University and the International Computer Science Institute found evidence of discrimination in how ads were presented. White middle class for example, saw ads for high paying executive jobs which were not presented to females [1509, 1510]. People browsing sites about substance abuse were targeted with adverts for rehabilitation programs regardless of what sites they subsequently visited, A real danger here is that systems for presenting adverts such as Google’s clearly alter the type and content of the information to which people are exposed. This in turn has strong potential to influence the choices they subsequently make. Or said another way, essentially unregulated private for-profit multibillion dollar corporations determine what information you see as you browse the web. And what information you do not see.
The British government and Google have signed a deal [1527] regarding the private, personal, medical records of British citizens. The National Health Service has granted Google’s DeepMind AI access to private healthcare data on the 16 million patients using some London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust. The data includes who was HIV-positive, who had abortions, who had drug overdoses, and much more. While the data was ostensibly anonymised, Google’s normal search engines were more than capable of deducing names via correlations to social networks, email accounts, etc. At time of writing, not one patient had been asked for their approval.
Here is a fun exercise for you to try:
Type “Did the Holocaust happen?” into a Google search, the results are: No. Because Google returns the top site to answer this question as being stormfront.org which is allegedly a neo-Nazi site running an article “Top 10 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen”. Google returns as the third most meaningful answer the article “The Holocaust Hoax; IT NEVER HAPPENED”. Followed closely as the fifth most important site an article “50 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen.” Number seven in Google’s rank is a video “Did the Holocaust really happen?”, which answers No. The ninth result from Google is the article entitled“Holocaust Against Jews is a Total Lie – Proof.” And so on. (Thanks to C. Cadwalladr excellent research on this issue in the Observer here in Britain. She is to be commended for her work - go read her May 11, 2016 article in the Observer, please.) Update: Google has now “corrected” this oversight, but it is alleged to be quite easy to find similar examples which continue to express identical skew in all search engines, wikipedia, and other common online commonly used sources.
The point of course is that most people on the planet have absolutely no concept of how to do research, let alone validate their findings. For billions of people, “research” means typing something into a search engine and reading the first and second results returned. This includes politicians such as G. W. Bush, Donald Trump, and others of equal intellectual attainment. When a private for-profit corporation which makes its money by selling your profiles to other private for-profit corporations is the arbiter of truth, society is in deep, serious, trouble.
How easy it would be therefore, to shape opinions and move the public into a particular way of thinking, by simply manipulating search results.

10.6.8.6 A word about Page Rank Algorithms

IMHO page rank is a very poor means of presenting search results. If you read

10.6.8.7 Advertisers

Randall Rothenburg - CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) - stated that the creators of Adblock Plus were "rich and self-righteous" people who subverted freedom of the press [1470, 1471]. Because Adblock Plus allowed internet users to block advertising from appearing in their browsers. Mr. Rothenburg went on characterise the people who created Adblock as "operating a business model predicated on censorship of content” [ibid]. Let’s see now - online adverts routinely contain malware and viruses which could destroy an individuals basic right to privacy, log their keystrokes (eg. when banking online), or simply shut down their computers destroying all data thereon [1466, 1467, 1468, 1469]. Perhaps she should in addition to using AdBlock be charging Mr. Rothenburg a fee for use of space on her computer and use of her bandwidth?
Further, Mr. Rothenburg’s alleged implication that blocking what a user wishes on a computer she paid for, using software she paid for, using bandwidth she paid for in her own home is somehow ethically and morally suspect and even “censorship” ... is an amazing insight into the mind of a corporate advertiser.
Moving on:
Earlier I mentioned that government routinely tracks mobile phone use as part of its profiling of citizens. Corporations do this too. A single example: Roughly one-hundred million people downloaded an app to their smart phones which turned the screen into a flashlight. The maker of Brightest Flashlight Free [1016] allegedly gave people the option to refuse location tracking. But allegedly this was a phoney option - the app allegedly gathered sold information on users, their location, etc. to advertisers [1017]. Eventually - after vast amounts of information had allegedly been gathered by the app and allegedly sold, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission allegedly issued an enforcement action [1018] against the maker. Location data, paged visited, and device IDs enable advertisers to track users, see what restaurants they frequent, what movies they go to, what stores they frequent, what Facebook pages they view, etc. building up complete and detailed profiles about individuals. Far more detailed than most people realise, since large corporations share and trade data adding insurance (i.e. medical) information, family history, driving records, and so on to add to an individual’s profile dossier. (Please see the subsection 6.7.1: Aggregates below for citations regarding what is profiled.)
One well known U.S. based profiler [49] allegedly maintained roughly 17,000,000,000 records on several hundred million people [178]. Information held allegedly ranged from social security numbers through DNA samples, banking information, credit card information, and the like. It allegedly sold most of this information to whomever was interested, with no government oversight of any kind [179]. After a leak from whistleblowers [ibid] the company allegedly admitted that data for 160,000 people had been compromised to hackers [180] allegedly resulting in a very large number of cases of identity theft.
A competitor [181] of this corporation specialised in selling contact information by demographic to telemarketing and mass mailers. It allegedly held profile data on many millions of people, including such personal information as drug test history, criminal history, education, and the like [ibid, 182]. All allegedly available at a premium price. It allegedly sold its data and profiles to whomever could pay for it, no questions asked [ibid].
Yet a third corporation, this time based in Bermuda but allegedly wholly owned by a small group of U.S. citizens was allegedly awarded a $10 billion USD contract to construct a system of surveillance to track all visitors to the U.S. [183]. This system included extensive fingerprinting, photographing, iris and other biometric technologies, as well as facial recognition scanning. The company later allegedly developed tracking of credit histories, court appearances, jury duty, and similar information which it allegedly coupled to its other data to augment its profiles [ibid].
The rules governing corporate profiling of billions of people are vague to nonexistent depending upon country. Since many of these corporations however are multinational in scope, profiles can easily be shifted to venues willing to look the other way, in exactly the same manner as the NSA allegedly gets around its own country’s laws by having other compliant countries do some of its data gathering [1019].
Profilers also create so-called “sucker lists” and sell them all over the world. What is a sucker list? It is a list of vulnerable people - disabled people, people who live alone, seniors suffering from dementia, children of single parents, and so on. These vulnerable people it has been found, are subject to particularly ugly marketing [1034]. For example they are more vulnerable to authority figures, for obvious reasons. So marketers or criminals (is there a difference?) pretend to be bank managers calling to “confirm their online banking passwords”, pretend to be doctors calling “to check their health records”, etc. Seniors on the sucker lists are approached in their nursing homes by someone pretending to be their bank manager. And on and on. Sucker lists treat human beings as commodities. Predatory capitalism (about which I have written in detail here: Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )) is behind this, and sadly is a modus operandi currently in wide spread us.
Now, consider fingerprints which I have already referred to a number of times above. Fingerprints can be read automatically from as much as six metres away [399]. Remote readers are currently being sold to retail stores [400] around the world. Adding these systems to CCTV at airports, bus stations, pubs, movie theatres, etc. is of course, just a matter of time.
A well known U.S. based software giant filed a patent recently for tracking anyone based upon voice. The system uses feature extraction, spectral analysis, and Markov modelling [184]. Since the large well known software giant had already had built an extensive internet profiling business, this added feature had rather obvious uses for identification when individual voices were scanned by CCTV in retail stores, malls, transportation hubs, etc. The patent did not mention privacy and human rights implications - they never do when money is concerned.
This same corporation has also been issued a patent to target advertising based upon a person’s emotional state [389]. The company allegedly uses information gleaned from various devices - computer gaming platforms, webcams, instant messaging, email, searches, webpage content, and browsers - which it allegedly spies upon then allegedly organises into a so-called Emotional State Database. You emotional state trends over time would then allegedly be sold to advertising corporations, interested government departments, [391], or individuals (such as a divorce lawyer, a political enemy, etc.). Other corporations have been looking into developing similar systems [ibid].
A large U.S. based online book retailer routinely collects credit card, address, reading material, and similar information from its more than 70,000,000 repeat customers [185]. It allegedly couples this information to public records and profiles from the corporations indicated above, through a technology patented by the corporation several years ago [186]. This very complete profile on information on millions of individuals by name, was allegedly freely sold to anyone with the money to pay for it:
"As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy stores, subsidiaries, or business units. In such transactions, customer information generally is one of the transferred business assets." [187]
There are approximately twenty U.S. private for-profit corporations which do the same [188].
Computer lipreading systems are far better (80% improvement) than the ability of humans to read lips [210]. Moreover the technology involved is relatively straightforward. At time of writing there were roughly two billion spy cameras and CCTV systems in North America [211]. Many are easily capable of facial recognition and remote switch tracking (similar to cellphone automated switching of the signal between towers) of individuals as they change location. Adding lip reading to these – first at airports and government buildings then everywhere, is technically relatively straightforward. I would invite you to ponder the implications. Nothing to hide no longer means nothing to fear.
Finally, I have said little about Facebook to this point, although it has been alleged [1693] to be one of the world’s largest spy agencies with little or not accountability or oversight. It has also been alleged [ibid] to be one of the most litigious, which in part may explain why more journalists are reluctant to investigate its actions. Hence I will simply offer this quote:
“Facebook believes it can more accurately target non-members using the vast amounts of data it already has on the nearly 1.7 billion people who use the site. The company says it can use that data to make inferences about the behavior of non-members, an approach known as "lookalike" targeting. ... Facebook will now display ads to web users who are not members of its social network, the company announced Thursday, in a bid to significantly expand its online ad network. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook will use cookies, "like" buttons, and other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track members and non-members alike (Editor’s note: link swapped with a non-paywall source). The company says it will be able to better target non-Facebook users and serve relevant ads to them, though its practices have come under criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy concerns. Facebook began displaying a banner notification at the top of its News Feed for users in Europe today, alerting them to its use of cookies as mandated under an EU directive. ... a report from Princeton University showed last week, though Facebook’s use of cookies has come under fire from European regulators who say it violates consumer privacy laws. An independent report from the Belgian Privacy Commission last year criticized Facebook for tracking users who had logged out, as well as those who didn’t even have an account.”
~ A. Toor, “Facebook begins tracking non-users around the internet”, [1694]
It gets worse: Dr. Burns at the U. South Florida found that if the microphone is on in a mobile phone, the Facebook app (usually installed by the phone’s manufacturer) allegedly listens in to anything you say, sending adverts (i.e. marketing your personal conversations) to your phone according to what you say [1695]. Google allegedly does the same [1696]. You may be interested in looking at each app on your phone and tallying the number of them which have access to your microphone and front-facing camera even though they have nothing to do with either. Caveat emptor is insufficient where corporations and government (is there a significant difference?) treat you as a mere commodity.
Of course in theory you can sue them ... provided you have infinite funds for legal fees and infinite patience to wait decades for a decision from the courts - by which time corporate lobbying will have changed the relevant privacy laws in their favour. Examples of this abound and are easy to find. Please also see rMalevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) and North American internment camps). The plutocrat multibillionaires running these corporations also have many links to political power (i.e. laws in their favour) - please see Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) .

10.6.8.8 Convenience

B.F. Skinner was well known for his suggestion [829], that the laziness and sloth are behind most technological innovation. That is to say, his belief was that we innovate to give us more time to do nothing. Convenience becomes more valuable than learning how to do something. What Skinner (and the psychologists [871] and anthropologists [872] who have agreed with his premise) did not discuss however, was this: the new forms of convenience bring with them hidden dangers. Not the least of which is a subtle bondage.
For example, Google’s Android sends Wi-Fi users’ passwords to Google [873]. This is convenient for users who, with regularity, forget their passwords. Android does this every time a user logs in to her mobile device. Convenient. And morally corrupt. Because Google maps all Wi-Fi access points [874] - hotels, bookstores, libraries, cafes, offices, strip clubs, your daughter’s visit to the doctor, ... everywhere the mobile device is activated. Google therefore has a complete moment by moment map of your whereabouts, your daughter’s habitual routes to school, everything. And since Google allegedly cooperates without notification to government requests for information on its users [875, 876], so does your friendly neighbourhood government. Given Google’s largely IMHO empty privacy policy [845], it is also entirely possible that others do as well.
I should point out however that Google should not be singled out here. Microsoft [878], Blackberry [879], and a long list of others allegedly follow identical, or worse, practices with their mobile offerings. As do many internet providers [880]. Microsoft’s alleged misuse of user data and alleged privacy violations were well known - see for example actions against Micrsoft’s alleged privacy violations in France [Op. cit.].
Blackberry’s however, may not be as well known. Blackberry allegedly They gave decryption keys to Saudi Arabia [1762], the UAE [1763], Pakistan [1764], India [1765], Canada (where the RCMP were given full backdoor access [1766, 1767], and others. All despite Blackberry claiming to have a secure private system [1767] and even denying [1768] the forgoing despite evidence to the contrary. BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen (he of the golden parachute) eventually stated that unnamed government agents should have access to everything on a user’s cellphone [1768] even claiming it was “a basic civil responsibility” to let secret unelected bureaucrats look at whatever they wanted on a cellphone that a user bought and paid for using Blackberry supplied backdoors [ibid].
Certainly when he gave Canada’s RCMP a backdoor to Blackberry devices [Op. cit.] it was said that the RCMP used this to spy upon environmentalists, union members, legal protests, opposition political parties ... all allegedly illegally [1769, 1770, 1771]. And in India when Blackberry opened backdoors to Indian spy agencies it was said [1772] that said spy agencies used the backdoors to illegally spy upon opposition political parties [1773]. Perhaps Mr. Chen was unaware of the history of what the results of a Panopticon have always been (i.e. diminution of freedom, human rights, and democratic states]? Or perhaps he like so many other CEOs of IT corporations similarly motivated, simply did not care?
Another example: All new new mobile phones will contain INEI numbers which are entered into a database. This can be used to trace and remotely disable stolen phones. Very convenient. But... the implications of this for privacy and tracking are obvious and do not need further expansion here.
All of this is within the general realm of contextually aware applications - computer programs and hardware which study you very carefully - where you go, what you do, who you see, what you say, what you look at - and create detailed profiles and databases about... you. Governments, corporations, and military are heavily investing in research into contextual awareness. The databases and profiles developed, on everyone, certainly could add convenience in one’s day-to-day use... as well as providing a gateway technology for development of a “thought police” model. Which unlike the junk science used by boarder guards and others today in this regard (see discussions later on in this article) could potentially bring about this dystopia.
The potential for this plethora of detailed information obtainable on you via contextually aware applications is ripe for misuse, for hopefully obvious reasons. Would laws protect such misuse? No.
The corporations mentioned previously have been very willing to hand over private, personal information whenever government asked for it. Governments which happily share said information with others - other governments, other corporations, etc. (Please see [892] for some examples of this, paying particular attention to the sharing of private medical information by government with for-profit corporations as discussed in [893, 894].)
Further, one might ask the question - why do large corporations not take governments to court when some pasty faced “agent” demands private information on individuals? They can certainly afford to do so. And certainly the laws still on the books in most countries would indicate they could have most likely win, or at very least draw out multiple court cases far beyond the life span of a particular regime or president. But they chose not to do so.
Powerful multibillion dollar corporations simply do not give in to government demands - particularly when the laws in question are have never been tested for constitutionality .... unless of course, they have something to gain by cooperating. What do they have to gain? Contracts, influence, secret information ... but in the main, money. Most of the structure of the Panopticon run by the U.S. and its subject states has been constructed and is being operated by private for-profit corporations. Who make literally billions from these contracts.
Furthermore, if you look at the backgrounds of the CEOs of these corporations previously cited there is little to indicate a respect for individual privacy or rights. Hence given the monetary, status, influence, and other rewards for cooperating and a history sans real support of privacy rights, ethical consideration is likely in permanent abeyance when the government comes knocking.
The confluence of user convenience with corporate questionable ethical behaviour and government ignoring of obligations under the spirit of the UN Charter and other conventions alluded to previously, does not bode well for the basic human [882] of privacy and the expectation of privacy.

10.6.9 Voyeurism

“[Members of Microsoft’s Online Safety Team "could literally view any customer’s communications at any time."
~ from a lawsuit [1904] launched against Microsoft by former employees
As the Panopticon grows and stabilises into the doxal  [339]  [339] “Doxa” is a technical term used in philosophy, systems theory, and in the study of propaganda.. I discuss it more fully here: What is Doxa and Invisible Acculturation? . ontology, it becomes invisible. The disregard for national and international laws, as well as the UN Charter of Rights and Freedoms as previously discussed, becomes normative. It is no longer noticed. Which in turn allows it to grow without the normal impediment of an informed citizenry.
Part of this is the culture of voyeurism on the part of those who are sworn to protect the public from, well, voyeurism. Let be give two quick examples, before getting into more detail:
In the UK, the GCHQ was allegedly found to have been secretly collecting millions of private person webcam pictures and private personal images from internet providers under its “Optic Nerve” program [1199]. All from utterly innocent citizens. A large number of these pictures where sexually explicit [1198]. Given the nature of webcam and selfie use [1200, 1201], statistically one can only assume that some of these would have been teenage selfies in various states of undress. GCHQ gathered millions of images from webcam chats and placed them into agency databases without child or other filters, and regardless of whether the people subjected to this voyeurism were intelligence targets or not (almost none were, of course) [ibid]. Allegedly GCHQ made efforts to “keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff” [1202]. Right. Particularly since staff were allegedly allowed to look at images “relating” to a image of interest and GCHQ allegedly made not attempt to prevent the collection or storage of explicit images [ibid]. When asked about this, GCHQ responded:
“... all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight...” [ibid]
Which is certainly sufficient reassurance since intelligence agencies have never, ever, been shown to lie. Furthermore secretly placing personal, private images of millions of citizens into permanent storage for private secret viewing and analysis, is one of the healthiest things any Orwellian dystopia can do to protect its citizens from, uh, voyeurism. Right?

10.6.9.1 Voyeurism by police

"[Cyberterrorism is] premeditated, politically motivated attack against information, computer systems, computer programs, and data which results in violence against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents."
~ U.S. federal police (FBI) [863]
There are so many examples of mission creep by police, that I hardly need to repeat any of them here (see [548, 549] for an introduction to the academic criminology literature on this issue). Instead I thought some randomly selected examples not very well known might be of interest instead:
10.6.9.1.1 the FBI
The FBI has operated much like the hated STASI in East Germany in launching unchecked data collection and data mining programs largely allegedly without public knowledge or oversight [1902]. One branch of the FBI for example (the National Security Branch Analysis Centre) allegedly collected more than 1.5 billion records from public and private sources on innocent civilians, including financial records, hotel and rental car company transactions, and the like. All allegedly stored into the FBI’s Investigative Data Warehouse [1903]. Much of it through National Security Letters [Op. cit.] and allegedly illegal exigent letters. Whether or not such activity is a violation of the U.S. Constitution (4th amendment against warrantless searches) remains, at time of writing, to be placed before the courts - an expensive (and possibly dangerous) undertaking for a member of the public to undertake.
The FBI has also established a new database called eGuardian to collect and share suspicious activity reports with the federal intelligence agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, fusion centres, the military and state and local law enforcement.
Due to more widespread use of cryptography the FBI has sought extensions to the CALEA laws [589] which will require wiretapping facilities be built into all computers, cellphones, software, apps, routers, cars, Google Glass, Microsoft Kinect, the camera in your laptop and touchpad, and, well, everything [590].
In other words, they sought to disable all privacy in communication, local travel, etc. As you probably know, this is an exact replicate (updated to current technology, of course) of the infamous laws passed to allow wiretapping by the STASI in East Germany and the KGB in the former Soviet Union.
Both groups sought (and ultimately received) the right to force manufacturers and infrastructure to build in listening channels in all communication systems [591, 592, 593]. Even in the case of the STASI, forcing manufacturers to alter typewriters to make every one of them produce unique patterns so written material could be traced to the author. East Germany and the Soviet Union were police states: an ear and eye in every device with police capable of watching everything you do and say is by very definition, a police state. (Please also see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , section 6.4 for further discussion and citations.)
In 2016 FBI director James Comey stated [1805] that the FBI was running into legal roadblocks in “hunting criminals ... and terrorists”. He wanted therefore to “have an adult conversation” about eliminating the laws which “interfered” with the FBI’s freedom to spy on everyone, anytime, anywhere. By eliminating encryption or forcing people to release encryption keys on demand or giving the FBI backdoors into every device (TVs, webcams, cellphones, car computers, ... everything). Just as when the East German STASI demanded access to everything, Mr. Comey apparently felt that his fine upstanding agents would never misuse such power. Sigh.
This call by Mr. Comey for decriminalisation of anyone refusing to hand over whatever the FBI wanted without warrant or trial, was a call to use the powers of U.S. president Obama’s NDAA [Op. cit.] to hold anyone refusing indefinitely or even ship them via "rendition" to nations where without trial, anyone can be tortured without any legal recourse. Mr. Comey did not say, for some unknown reason, that the FBI has repeatedly and in very well documented case broken numerous laws regarding surveillance [1806, 1807, 1808] then lied about it to Congress, the courts, and the U.S. citizenry as a whole [ibid]. Translation - a shadow government believing itself about the law now wanted even the weak protections of law to be eliminated. If that sounds like a strong statement, may I gently suggest that you read the history of empire, and the references given here: Bibliography for my site).
At exactly the same time that Mr. Comey was making these statements, in Canada the Chiefs of Police put forward [1809] a public request to government to allow any police officer anywhere without reason, warrant, or justification to order any member of the public to release any or all passwords or encryption keys. Despite numerous instances misusing technology in many illegal ways, (such as spying on their girlfriends and spouses [1810].
Moreover, during Mr. Comey’s tenure at the FBI over a mere four year period the FBI authorised informants to break the law at least 22,823 times [1811]. Again - the FBI authorised breaking the law. Criminal activity which caused considerable harm to the public, such as the breach of alleged global military-industrial complex enabler Stratfor allowing hackers to obtain more than more than 200 gigabytes of data [1812] such as credit cards and secret email messages, and millions of dollars in damage [1813, 1814]. In a police state police break laws at their discretion, with little or no accountability. In civilised nations, the rule of law applies to everybody and the police are held to a higher standard than the average citizen. You may draw your own conclusions regarding the United States.
Sigh. Conflating privacy and security has historically always been the foundation of police states. But perhaps Mr. Comey knows that already?
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”
~ The 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution [1815]
10.6.9.1.2 Cybercrime in New York
A New York District Attorney [544] stated that cybercrime was amongst the most rapidly growing crimes in New York. He stated that use of computers by criminals was so pervasive that “It is rare that a case does not involve some kind of cyber or computer element that we prosecute in our office - whether it is homicide, whether it’s financial crime case, whether it’s a gang case where the gang members are posting on Facebook where they’re going to meet” [545].
His statement by the merest of coincidences came days after the U.S. government had allocated huge amounts of money and resources to right what they called “cybercrime” [546].
Sigh. The vast majority of common crimes - the type which police work with every day - logically have no computer involvement whatsoever. Arson, common assault, bigamy, breaking and entering, bribing a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, cemetery desecration, child abandonment, child abuse, contempt of court, discharging a firearm within city limits, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, bail jumping, domestic violence, drug possession, drunk driving, failure to pay child support, incest, indecent exposure, improper disposal of hazardous waste, kidnapping, loitering, obstruction of justice, perjury, possessing lock picks, probation violation, public intoxication, rioting, shoplifting, tampering with a consumer product, trespassing, vandalism, vehicular assault, violating an open container law (list obtained from [547]). No computers involved.
The New York District Attorney’s claim is logically invalid, let alone completely unsupported by any scientifically and statistically valid evidence whatsoever.
Cybercrime is a catchall term very useful in taking taxpayer money to beef up police activity [853].
Because there is ample evidence in the academic forensic literature illustrating how various changes in terminology used by police invariably leads to fund allocation, but without any substantial proof that there is merit to the claimed need (see [548] for some examples).
Whilst it is of course true that cybercrime exists, it is ludicrous to claim that it is the basis of almost every crime. Especially since there are no valid scientifically sound measures at all of the extent of cybercrime, or even of how to define it. There is however, substantial evidence that certain western governments have committed preemptive cyberattacks upon other nations (you may wish to pursue the history of the Stuxnet and similar system in this regard [558, 559, 560, 561]).
Consider the subtext here: Most crimes are committed using computers. Therefore we must spend large amounts of tax dollars to allow us to monitor all computers all the time, to prevent crime. Or said another way: Most crimes are committed by people. Therefore we should spend large amounts of tax dollars amounts of money to allow us to watch everyone all the time, to prevent crime. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
10.6.9.1.3 U.S. Fatherland Homeland Security (DHS)
The U.S. Homeland Security (DHS) has allegedly issued a purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition [549].Some of this for hollow-point rounds [ibid].
As you may know, hollow-point rounds are forbidden under international law [550]. Calculating on the bases of the number of rounds used during the entire U.S. invasion of Iraq, 1.6 billion rounds works out to 20 years worth of ammunition [549]. The U.S. DHS however, is mandated exclusively within the United States itself - hence many have been asking [549] if the 1.6 billion rounds are destined to be applied against U.S. citizens - a question to which the DHS has to date not responded. Note that this is in addition to regular purchase - the DHS for example, spends roughly $1.8 million of taxpayer money per year for “replacement parts” for its weapons [555].
The contracts for these “replacement parts” were no-bid contracts - i.e. untendered, simply given to corporations the DHS liked [556]. The wonderful agency of the government has also purchased 2,717 ’Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for use in U.S. cities [557]. Additionally, the DHS has been purchasing many and deploying some, armoured personnel carriers equipped for weapons on U.S. streets [551]. DHS also has been purchasing $50,000,000 worth of stylish new uniforms for their workers [552]. All during severe budget cutbacks to social services, Medicare, and the like [553, 554].
I remind you that the U.S. DHS is a domestic agency. The requirement of a domestic agency for more ammunition than would be used in a hot war in Iraq over a twenty year period, not to mention “mine protected vehicles”, and a host of weaponry not listed herein, is difficult to imagine unless the agency was planning for food and water riots Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide , or civil war...?
You may be interested in research for yourself government responses to food riots in the U.S., Canada, India, and Britain during the Great Depression. And perhaps as well, how both the STASI and Germany’s Brownshirts (with their stylish new uniforms so reminiscent of the Brownshirts), began.
The parallels are of course, purely coincidental. Right?
10.6.9.1.4 Police Malware
Roughly 245 police agencies in more than 35 U.S. states, and federal U.S. Marshals [1385] have for many years been using taxpayer dollars to purchase and distribute ComputerCOP. Once installed on a family’s computers, this software was said by police and its manufacturer to protect children online.
Allegedly what it really did however, was make them and their families very vulnerable {ibid, 1386]. Because the software actually installed keyloggers - systems which monitor keystrokes (banking logins, credit card information, private messages, etc.) and secretly send that information to a third party server over the internet in plain text (i.e.readable by anyone).
While the efforts of police to protect vulnerable children are laudable, using and distributing technology which has not been thoroughly checked by independent experts, and as it turns out can seriously harm children, is representative of the worst kind of negligence. Negligence which I might point out, is extremely common in government agencies from the Executive Branch to the NSA to police where the means of independent assessment and oversight has been attacked by the laws and practices outlined herein.
10.6.9.1.5 Banning Anonymity
In 2014 Scott Naylor, a senior member of the state police in the Canadian province of Ontario testified before a Senate hearing regarding the federal governments attempts to further censor [1408] Internet use. Mr. Naylor responded that in his “expert” opinion all anonymity on the Internet should be banned by law.
In an amazing display of his knowledge on such matters, Mr. Naylor compared Internet access to obtaining a driver’s licence arguing that if a person provided identification for driving, it should be the same for internet use. He argued that a mandatory “digital fingerprint” should be issued for all Internet users (the police as well? government spies? military? politicians?) so that everyone on the internet could be uniquely identified.
The execrable Harper regime, in a hearing conducted by Senator Tom McInnis heartily agreed [1409] (Senators in Canada are appointed, ususally for political favours, and NOT elected). Mr. McInnis stated that the use of assumed names online should be banned.
Sigh. Such sentiment was welcomed by Hitler’s SS or Stalin’s KGB who also declared anonymous communication to be against the interests of the state (i.e. against the interests of those in power).
Refugees, corporate whistleblowers, those living under oppressive dictatorships, bullied children, women in abusive relationships, visible minorities, government whistleblowers, military safely contacting their families back home, and many, police informants, and many others need anonymity to speak out in a manner that would otherwise be dangerous, unavailable, or even deadly if they were forced identify themselves. I have listed other reasons previously, as well.
There is a long history and a great deal of research (see [1410] for example) indicating that the right of anonymity is a fundamental constitute of free speech and democracy. A Panopticon which attempts to remove this right, is little more than a concerted attack upon free speech and democracy itself. Privacy is a basic human right as defined by the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the UN Conventions previously cited to which Canada is a signatory. Perhaps Msrs. Naylor and McInnis had not thought things through?
10.6.9.1.6 Seeing through walls
Most large police forces now have small portable radar equipment which can look through the walls of homes, tracking what people do in their bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. [1421, 1422, 1423]. The devices are sufficiently sensitive to detect the rise and fall of a person’s chest as they breathe, in the (former) privacy of their own home. The Range-R series from L3 Communications costs roughly $6,000 USD. They are small enough to be easily mounted on small police flying drones to look through the roofs of homes, giving a three dimension view of everyone in the home without them knowing Big Brother the police are viewing them in the (former) privacy of their own homes [ibid]. (Please q.v. Is a Drone War a War Crime? .)
These devices have been used for the most part, without warrant, without judicial oversight, and without the public being aware that they can be watched while in their own homes [1424]. Police of course argue that these devises are only used before entering homes by force, to see where potential criminals are located [1423]. Fortunately, there are no cases in history of police misusing the technologies they have purchased with taxpayer monies, or keeping said technologies secret from oversight bodies or the public, or of using technologies to suppress legitimate and legal activities. Right?
Add to this the fact that the DHS had been funding hidden microphones and listening devices placed in buses and other forms of transportation throughout most major U.S. cities for several years [1732]. All without the public being notified that their private conversations were being recored, without Congressional appoval, or with any meaningful oversight whatsoever. The formation of a Panopticon is always prelude to creation of police state - one in which powerful government agencies ignore law (or have laws modified to their wishes) in order not to protect the public, but to suppress dissent. When shared with police and others, privacy rights in the home or on public transportation were, in most U.S. cities, moot.
10.6.9.1.7 Police do not respect privacy laws
Anyone who as worked with police in has seen that massive violations of privacy rights are almost routine. Laws concerning privacy, or even simple ethics around privacy, are violated all the time. Police spy on their spouses, their friends, politicians, citizens at random, not because they are investigating criminal activity. Far from it. They violate these rights because they 1) have been given the technology to do so, 2) can do so largely without any accountability 3) have little or no understanding of the implications of their actions for democratic rights and freedoms, and 4) because sometimes (albeit very rarely) such violations might help in a criminal investigation.
Consider:
Over a four year period hundreds of police staff and police themselves were proven to have used access to police databases (supposedly secure and private) for personal gain, entertainment, and simple voyeurism:
“... information was inappropriately shared with third parties ... Specific incidents show officers misusing their access to information for financial gain and passing sensitive information to members of organised crime groups. The findings of the report reveal a number of types of data breach from improper disclosure of information, accessing police systems for non-policing purposes, inappropriate use of data and accessing data for personal reasons.”
~ BBW Report [1740], entitled “Safe in Police Hands”, 2016
The report found such activity (over a four year period) to exist in police forces all over Britain - even while the various Chief Constables and government authorities were repeatedly [1741, 1742] assuring the public that their data was safe and not abused in any way (see in particular government Theresa May’s comments [1742] to the effect that no abuse of process or data was possible. As Secretary of State for the Home Department Ms. May may have been stretching the truth somewhat, or perhaps simply unaware of data abuse by police and spy agenices, or simply ignorant.).
I should perhaps highlight an obvious point - the incidents reported by the above Report were only those which where discovered. The actual number is likely to be far higher than the report suggests.
Certainly illegal, unethical, or immoral activities, making up crime numbers to get more funding, lying to oversight bodies, threatening whistleblowers, swaggering around abusing their power, using technology to illegally spy on girlfriends, family, or politicians, continuously violate privacy laws for not other reason than simple voyeurism, or any other similar such activity ... are in the opinion of those who have worked in IT for police or other government agencies ... much more common than most have been lead to believe (see for example [1731]. Could the tools of voyeurism briefly touched on above would ever be used against the public good rather than in support of the public? If history is any predictor, then the answer is an emphatic ’yes’.
“You’ve got young enlisted guys, 18 to 22 years old,” Snowden said. “They’ve suddenly been thrust into a position of extraordinary responsibility where they now have access to all of your private records. In the course of their daily work they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sort of necessary sense. For example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising position. But they’re extremely attractive. So what do they do? They turn around in their chair and show their coworker. The coworker says: ‘Hey that’s great. Send that to Bill down the way.’ And then Bill sends it to George and George sends it to Tom. And sooner or later this person’s whole life has been seen by all of these other people. Its never reported. Nobody ever knows about it because the auditing of these systems is incredibly weak. The fact that your private images, records of your private lives, records of your intimate moments have been taken from your private communications stream from the intended recipient and given to the government without any specific authorisation without any specific need is itself a violation of your rights. Why is that in a government database?”
~ Edward Snowden [1736] in conversation with Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian’s editor-in-chief
“U.S. police officers in Denver, Colorado are only lightly punished if caught using confidential criminal databases for personal reasons like finding out a woman’s phone number, a police watchdog wrote in a report released Tuesday. According to the monitor, this allows the abuse to continue. Associated Press reports that the law enforcement agencies have been misusing the National Crime Information Centre, accessed by tens of thousands of officials each day. “
~ Associated Press report [1737]
“ [the NSA] were listening to the conversations of military officers in Iraq who were talking with their spouses or girlfriends in the United States. According to Faulk, they would often share the contents of some of the more salacious calls stored on their computers, listening to what he called ’phone sex’ and ’pillow talk.’ Both Kinne and Faulk worked at the NSA listening facility at Fort Gordon, Georgia. They told ABC that when linguists complained to supervisors about eavesdropping on personal conversations, they were ordered to continue transcribing the calls.”
~ P. Benson, CNN [1738]
I have yet to meet anyone who have worked deeply (i.e. with access) inside the IT of large police, military, government, or corporations who has not encountered exactly the same situations as Mr. Snowden discusses. As well as more or less routine and constant abuse of the public trust. While there certainly are some highly ethical people in such positions who truly wish to do good in the world, for the most part IT is populated by young and very, very naive foot soldiers who have an overpowering sense of their own worth and entitlement. A look at the age/experience of the average NSA or Google employee is worthwhile in this respect. In my experience as well as those of my graduate students, it is rare that privacy rights and simple ethical behaviour toward one’s fellow human beings are respected by these people. Despite the protestations of the flunkies Public Relations people who speak for said agencies:
“[the NSA is in] strict accordance with U.S. laws and regulations. Any allegation of wrongdoing by employees is thoroughly investigated ... we take swift and certain remedial action."
~ Judith Emmel, NSA spokesperson [1739]
Only if the public finds out is anything done by way of punishing perpetrators, who in the main receive only a mild dressing down. And the organisation continues as before. Or as in the case of those I have mentioned herein, are severely punished for exposing these violations of human rights.

10.6.9.2 Voyeurism by criminals

Use of police and military weapons, including spy weapons, has become very popular with organised crime. In this subsection however I would like to discuss something else. And that is the fact that the proliferation of easy to use computers has lead to an amazing proliferation of organised illegal activity:
Although one sometimes needs a detailed playbook to tell police from criminals, particularly if you have the misfortune to have the wrong skin colour and live in Balitimore, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, or the U.S. south ... generally speaking both groups want unreasonable and essentially unlimited access to your personal lives and information in order to gain advantage over you.
10.6.9.2.1 Hacking as a career path
Both groups employ hackers. This can be a profitable full time career path for former computer science students. Particularly if the employer perpetrator is government. Or organised crime. Yet the average computer user is staggeringly naïve about the ease which which their computers, smartphones [340]  [340] Which my spellchecker insists on correcting to “smartypants”., business, and other computers can be penetrated. Then used to divulge not just their personal information, but as proxies in attacking banking computers, police, and others.
But the average user is not the only naïve user.
Even those who should know better - government, military, corporate, information technology (IT) specialists frequently make very poor decisions in regard to security of their systems. But university IT personnel should be the people least likely to fail to protect computer systems, for they are the real experts. Right? Well, it took IT personnel at UCLA over a full year to discover that their their database had been hacked and personal information on over 800,000 students, staff, and faculty had been appropriated [325]. In a separate incident at the University of Southern California, over 270,000 people had their personal information accesses by a hack on their systems [326]. At the University of Ohio detailed data and personal information on over 173,000 students and faculty was hacked [327]. During a single year, fully 25% of U.S. colleges (finally) admitted that personnel information had been hacked in their databases [ibid]. And so on, for many, many more examples. It has been my experience that lack of due diligence regarding data security in academia is the norm, not the exception.
When we deal with the corporate world, or with government, data leaks and losses of private information such as medical records and hospital files [328] to banking records [329] have become large and frequent. As have other hacking successes: Communications satellites have been hacked. Military satellites have been hacked – hackers in southern England remotely reprogrammed the control system of a MoD satellite before being discovered [330]. Missile launch systems have been hacked - a hacker "Leaf" at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany stole most of the code from Exigent Software Technology responsible for missile and satellite guidance systems at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C. [331] Major news networks have been hacked – CBS News’ homepage was replaced by a 30-minute video supporting a third party presidential candidate [332]. VISA has been hacked (and now uses one of the worlds most sophisticated neural networks to counter this) [333]. Canada’s largest bank has been hacked [334]. Police forces have been hacked 335]. And so on interminably.
10.6.9.2.2 Botnets
Botnets consisting of hundreds of thousands of remotely controlled bots (hijacked computers, such as your laptop - used without your knowledge every time you link to the internet). The STORM botnet [336] for example, operated millions of compromised computers around the world.
The Kraken botnet [ibid] infected 400,000 computers, several of which where inside supposed secure areas of Fortune 500 companies. In the old days (before the discovery of fire) the Kraken was the best. It was undetectable by the majority of anti-virus products [337], which gave normal computer users the illusion that their personal computers had not been compromised and were being used for illegal purposes. The Srizbi botnet [338] used roughly 315,000 compromised computers around the world. Srizbi was a spam botnet, sending as many as 60,000,000,000 spam messages per day. The Koobface botnet compromised and estimated three million personal computers [339]. And so on.
Since that time, botnets have improved drastically. Primarily because of a dramatic influx of government funding for their construction. The governments of Russia, China, the United States, Britain, North Korea, and so on have all advertised and hired hacker (often recruiting right out of grad school) to create powerful botnets. And viruses.
A quick aside: There are five primary sources of computer viruses. Guess which of these has the most motivation for planing surveillance viruses, the most resources to do so, and best means of hiding what they are doing:
  1. Governments (for obvious reasons)
  2. Corporations (spy on competition, spy on you to target advertising, etc.)
  3. Computer anti-virus corporations (profits go up the more viruses there are out there)
  4. Organised crime (mainly to spy on corporate bank accounts, and other obvious nefarious uses)
  5. Script kiddies (i.e. people who write or merely distribute just for fun)
But back to the main point:
Compromised personal computers (zombies) become infected shortly after they are used to log onto the internet. The infection is usually invisible to the user - the computer seems normal. But everything they do is recorded (passwords, banking transactions, and so on) then uploaded in an encrypted form to persons running the botnet. Their computers are also used as parts of botnets, patrolling the Internet, breaking laws, stealing identities, and seizing private, corporate, and government secrets. At time of writing, over 120,000 active bots were observed per day controlling at least more than 5,000,000 personal computers per day [340]. Almost all of computer were compromised in an average of 4.7 seconds [341] after connecting to the internet, despite running so-called anti-virus and firewall software.
Guess which operating system from which large U.S. corporation is at time of writing by far the easiest for hackers to penetrate and infect with malware and botnet packages? Hint: Not GNU/Linux or Apple or Android.
Using unsecured browsers to view flash animations, image files, mp3 (music) files, and so on are amongst the easiest vectors of attack. Enabling JavaScript, Java, scripts, cookies, etc. in your browser, failing to erase your browser’s history, failing to use proxies, and the like... really makes it easy for those who know how - organised crime for example - to use automated systems to attack and compromise your computer.
Of course, it is quite simple to completely secure your computer. But almost no one does. Because most people have been mislead by advertisers and corporate monopolies to believe that their smartphone (which of course, is a computer), their laptop, their tablet, etc. are simple devices for chatting with friends or doing a few spreadsheets. This is unfortunate. Computers are the most complex tools ever devised - the mathematics behind them is extremely complex. As is their design. Everything about them is the antithesis of simple, easy, and safe... except for their surface layer - the pretty screen with pretty pictures. You do not have to know metallurgy to drive a care, but you need to know what a stop sign means. Similarly, you do not have to know abstract mathematics to use a computer, but you do have to know how to use it securely. Because almost no bothers though, your personal computer is an ideal vector for others to use in criminal activities and/or in stealing your data.
Nothing to hide, does not mean nothing to fear if you use a computer. For criminals are all to ready, willing, and certainly able, to use your computer and the information on it, against not just you, but everyone else as well.

10.6.9.3Voyeurism by universities

Consider first cash-strapped post-secondary institutions (particularly those private for profit ones). Many farm out their networks to private corporations. These corporations are usually located in other countries. Lakehead University for example farmed out all of their internet (email, web, IRC, etc.) to a large multi-billion dollar corporation in another country [130]. They have thereby provided an opportunity of government and corporate datamining of private heretofore confidential information without permission of the individuals whose data is being mined, since said corporation is governed by laws which not only allow this, but demand the resultant profiles be turned over to government.
Massive surveillance has begun in earnest for educational institutions in other ways too [139]. In one day for example, 140,000 students were required to give saliva and hair samples, fingerprints, and dental records to government authorities. On another day, 190,000 additional students did the same in different states [132]. All samples were digitised and stored in data bases operated in conjunction with the U.S. presence systems [ibid]. The rational given by authority for obtaining these samples was to provide what was termed necessary security for the children (“think of the children!”) [ibid]. Additionally a general policy of tracking and recording private personal information such as name, race, income, and religion for all U.S. post-secondary students was created by the National centre for Education Statistics at the Department of Education [133].
The U.S.’s FBI has issued guidelines for post-secondary institutions [4,8] derived from that country’s military Defence Personnel Security Research Centre (PERSEREC) [ibid]. The contents of these guidelines included statements to the effect that it was undesirable for students to work late on campus, travel abroad, show any interest in their colleague’s work, engage in independent research, have friends outside the United States, or make extra money without the prior consent of the authorities [134,136]. Faculty and administration were encouraged to report infractions to the FBI, as part of the CAUSE (College and University Security Effort) initiative in academia [137]. Under CAUSE FBI Special Agents would regularly meet with heads of all post-secondary institutions to share the information - i.e. to build profiles.
A number of universities have also allegedly signed deals with Access Copyright [522]. These deals allegedly allow for surveillance of and and all faculty correspondence [523] from messages to/from family and students, through contacts with colleagues and researchers in other universities. The agreement allegedly defines e-mailing hyperlinks as being the same a photocopying a document.
Hence those (many) universities which have signed the agreement imposes annual fines on students to pay for this full-time surveillance. For example, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto which have allegedly signed this deal allegedly currently charge students an annual free of $250 to pay for their email to/from faculty to allegedly be logged, read, and analysed by private for-profit groups [523].
Nothing to hide of course, means that faculty and students have nothing to fear.

10.6.9.4 Voyeurism by your friends

10.6.9.4.1 Voyeurism acculturated to malignant doxa
In Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mussolini’s Italy, Tichescu Roumania, Mao’s China, and now the United States, people were encouraged to spy on one another and turn in anyone they felt was “suspicious”.
What does “suspicious” mean in the United States? According to FEMA (U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency) documents [1134], “suspicious” means:
  • You have concern about the potential for harm to the community. People have been turned in for holding a camera [562] - very potentially harmful; for asking direction [1131]; for speaking with a foreign accent [1132]; and so on.
  • You believe that the information may be useful to law enforcement. Sikhs (wearing turbans) have been turned [563] in because others believe they are suspicious.
  • You observation activities you think are suspicious. Canadians have been questioned by police while driving in the U.S. becuase they have a “foreign” license plate [1133].
  • You have an instinct that something isn’t right. FEMA of course, knows that the instinct of any white middle class citizen is always correct. This was used during the McCarthy era, and now the Obama era, to have people turn in neighbours they do not like.
  • You agree with others nearby that something isn’t right. See previous point.
If any one of these points causes concern, FEMA will happily investigate the person or persons you suspect.
The rest of the FEMA document [Op. cit.] is further evidence that the paranoia of McCarthyism is alive and well in the United States. And just like McCarthy’s rules, the points of “suspicion” are so excessively vague as to be utterly meaningless.
I would encourage you to read in full FEMA’s document encouraging citizens to spy on one another [564] (the document in PDF form is FEMA-ImprovingSAR-Guide.pdf). It is an appalling throwback to McCarthyism and its even more ugly predecessors in the regimes mentioned above. Coupled with other documents (for example U.S. Homeland Securitys [565, 566, 567]) there appears to be a genuine attempt (however well meaning or not) to generate an Orwellian dystopia Psychopaths in Power in which “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” is the doublespeak watchword of moment.
10.6.9.4.2 Voyeurism using anserine technology
Google Glass is a system which incorporates some electronics into eyeglasses. The glasses present a display similar in some ways to the heads-up display on jet fighters, which superimposes information gleaned from the net onto whatever the wearer is looking at. Like a smartphone, it can be loading with programs - apps - from third party vendors.
One such app is NameTag [1136]. This app uses the camera in Google Glass to scan the faces of strangers. On demand it will then look up the stranger’s face in a database or elsewhere, seeking a match. If found the results are displayed on the heads-up display. Results can can include personal details such as name, occupation, social network profile, entries in national databases such as national sex-offender registries, information from dating sites, and so on [ibid].
Google has (temporarily?) stated that they will not add facial recognition to their product [1137]. Yet many believe it an inevitable step, if not from Google then from others. Consider for a moment how many leaks and hacks there have been of medical, financial, legal, and other personal sources of information which government, banks, and corporations have repeatedly assured the public were safe. Hundreds of millions of personal records have been breached [1138, 1139]. Well, there really is no need to say more - you can see the implications for yourself.
Your friends wearing Google Glass or its soon to come imitations can send pictures and descriptions of you out to the net for anyone to access when a facial recognition system worn on their bodies sees you. The belief that this will not be misused in obvious ways is naive. For example, historically the earliest adopters of technologies which can be used for elimination of privacy have always been dictatorships and organised crime. In fact the CEOs such as Melisa Meyers of Yahoo (formerly of Google) who argue that the erosion of privacy is not problematic [1140] speak only of their own societies. They do not appear to consider the use of such technologies in dictatorships such as North Korea, and the implications for that and similar societies.
Finally, I will point out again that there is considerable academic research cited herein to show that when privacy is removed, humans develop all sorts of behaviours indicative of psychological trauma. Orwell did not know the half of it.
Update: Google has filed a patent - A System And Method For Providing Live Imagery Associated With Map Locations [1560] (U.S. patent number 20150215585) - for encorporating real time online surveillance cameras in three dimensions into their Street View and other mapping systems. Google’s Ponoptiplex (not its real name) would allow anyone to track you as you go for a walk from the comfort of their living rooms. Charming.

10.6.9.5 Voyeurism and misogyny

(an image: pls click to see it)
“Bush: Your girl’s hot as shit, in the purple. I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her. “Trump : And when you’re a star they let you do it, grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
~ extract from recording [1859] of now U.S. president Donald Trump speaking with Billy Bush (nephew of U.S. president G. H. Bush). Mr. Bush was fired from his TV hosting job because of his remarks; Mr. Trump ’s remarks were ignored by the 29% [1860] of the electorate who made him U.S. president. Sadly Mr. Trump was just one of a long line of alleged misogynistic presidents, prime ministers, CEOs, military generals, etc. who allegedly believed they were (1) above the law and (2) entitled to act as they wished - other human beings were seen for the most part as simply their prey, collateral damage, and caddies.
If you have nothing to hide you still have a great deal to fear if you happen to be female. Humans are currently under the duress of Malthusian overpopulation, under which access to resources and space is curtailed. Under such conditions mammalian males invariably attack females with every increasing frequency.
Consider for example, the United States: In that august land, a woman is raped every two minutes [336], with over 75% of these resulting in violent injury [ibid] requiring medical care. Women in that country are violently attacked every 18 seconds (abstracted from (337]), with domestic violence rapidly rising [338, 339]. Homicide is the major cause of death for pregnant women in most parts of the United States [340]. Women cannot safely venture from their homes at night for a walk most U.S. cities [341]  [341]  [341] Some researchers have found lower incidence (see [341] and [342]), but none question that the numbers are very high. And increasing. .
But in this subsection I am more interested in legislated misogyny in regards to the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” mantra.
Some examples: A bill passed in the state of Georgia [325] required women to carry dead or dying fetuses to full term with no possibility of abortion, even if she was in danger of dying [325] or if the fetus’s twin was endangered by lying next to a dead sibling [342]. Similar bills are currently making their way through the legislatures of many other states. Twelve U.S. states have created legislation forcing women to undergo involuntary vaginal penetration with a condom covered ultrasound probe [326, 327, 328]. Women can be forcibly restrained under these bills, and forced to undergo humiliating and involuntary trans-vaginal ultrasounds for entirely non-medical reasons (the reasons given are to ascertain the “personhood” of a zygote). This has been called state-mandated rape [ibid]. Many states levy prohibitively high taxes on abortion treatments, or ban them outright - including the banning of abortions sought by rape victims [329]. Many allow MDs to lie to women [330] concerning the condition of their fetuses. Other bills (eg. one in Arizona) allow employers to fire women for using contraception [331]. I do not say here, obviously, that abortion is good or bad. Rather I am pointing out that there has been a mission creep of what was once medical legislation toward not only removing the rights of a woman over her own body, but of escalating misogyny in the rights of her freedom of movement, employ, etc.
Or consider this: More than 20 U.S. states have mandated that all young girls entering sixth grade (I.e. 11 and 12 year old girls) be vaccinated against some of the viruses believed by some to cause cervical cancer. The vaccine in question, Gardasil, was at time of writing made only the the Merck drug conglomerate [332]. Gardasil it was alleged, may have some preventative effective against a handful of strains of human papilloma virus (HPV). Yet there are more than 100 types of HPV, of which a mere 15 are associated with cervical cancer [333]. Gardasil allegedly does nothing with this 85%. Further, regular Pap tests and associated normal treatment have been said to do the job better and more inexpensively [334] than this enforced inoculation. And to do so without the alleged many potentially harmful side effects such drugs [335].
Interestingly U.S. presidential order [568] allows forcible detainment of anyone suspected of having, in the words of the document “influenza caused by novel or re-emergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic”. The order did not elucidate on how detection might occur, who would order detainment, or what ’potential to cause’ meant. The wording is extremely vague, in ordering detention without and possible medical intervention. You might enjoy carefully reading the order for yourself. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
There are a slew of other examples. Suffice it to say that laws constraining a woman’s freedom over her own body are being continually, and rapidly, added to throughout the United States. And for that matter, in many other countries as well, Italy [343], Japan [344], Afghanistan (under the U.S. installed government, women may not get an education) [345], Saudi Arabia (were women are legally chattel) [346], and so on interminably. There is far more mission creep regarding the rights of women to control their own bodies and lives throughout the world than there is space to discuss in this short subsection. And in many countries from the United States to Saudi Arabia, it is getting worse.
For women, nothing to hide does not mean nothing to fear from legislated misogyny.
“If you work for TOR, you learn more than you ever wanted to know about the horrible things that happen to vulnerable people. We also get to do work on behalf of vulnerable people. Think about what happens to people in prison after they are arrested for protesting against the government. Some of that happens because of Internet surveillance. ... I am angry at people in institutions who look the other way in order to preserve reputations and money at the cost of the well-being of vulnerable people. ... I am angry at politicians who do not bother to learn how the Internet works; to better know how much of the problem is technology and how much is lack of counsellors, training for police, work against corruption, and other non-technical means.”
~ Karen Reilly [398], Development Director at The Tor Project which provided free anonymity services to people world wide
Finally in regards to legislated misogyny a word should be said about police:
Having worked with various police forces in various countries, my personal view is that misogyny (and virulent racism for that matter) is common and widespread throughout all levels of the chain of command.
Consider for example, the RCMP - Canada’s federal police force. As I write these lines, over 200 brave female RCMP and former RCMP officers have joined in a class action suit claiming systemic and endemic sexism, even to the extent of sexual assault, by fellow male officers [422]. High ranking male officers have allegedly refused to promote female officers who did not grant them sexual favours.
These 200 formal complaints are allegedly the tip of the iceberg. It has been alleged that there have been decades of sexual misconduct on the part of male officers against female officers in the RCMP [ibid], that senior officers knew of this misogyny and did nothing [423]. Additional allegations of similar misconduct by female prisoners have been made [424].
Whether any of this is true or not is for the courts to eventually decide.
Yet the charges of allegedly well documented [424, 425, 426, 427] misogyny and sexual misconduct toward females by RCMP and by male police officers in municipal forces throughout the the western world, are legion. The treatment of females by male police during the G20 protests is [428, 429] is but one example. Nothing to hide, does not mean nothing to fear if your neighbourhood police officer is a misogynist. Or murderer: If you live in the United States which has an average of more than one incident of police murdering several people (usually unarmed people) a week [1487, 1488], as well as extremely high rates of police officer domestic abuse [1488].
As with other police forces, sexual misconduct is not far removed from the endemic misogyny commonly found. For example the RCMP was found [1785] to have naked hazing ceremonies in one (or at least one that was found out by the public) of its training facilities. Other members were found to have hired prostitutes while in Haiti (ostensibly to help following the earthquake) [1786] while on the public payroll. Others were found to have raped women in custody in Canada [1787]. And os on down a long list.
But of course, if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear ... according to the RCMP and the FBI and the FSB and the STASI.
Hence the RCMP’s efforts to hide these facts, to allegedly suppress and allegedly abuse whistleblowers from within its own ranks, and to deny, deny, deny ... obviously meant that its senior officers according to their own meme (i.e. if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear) ... should have been filled with terror for their own jobs.
Or would have been, had true accountability been followed up by the government or police oversight bodies. As it was, in a manner remarkably similar to the denials and alleged fabrications by RCMP over the alleged outright murderer by the RCMP of the innocent civilian Robert Dziekański (please q.v. Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide , Sect. 10.4.3.6.1), there was essentially no accountability. Or justice for the victims or the whistleblowers who tried to bravely to bring these and many other alleged misdeeds to the public’s attention.

10.6.10 Thought Crimes: profiling and other junk science

"Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power."
~ Benito Mussolini
I have moved the subsection on thought crimes and profiling in order to keep this article of a more manageable length: please q.v. here - Thought Crime and Junk Science)
As you will see from that article, the introduction of several technologies, laws, and quasi-legal activities on the part of government agents and corporations has brought about a truly Orwellian dystopia of thought crimes in the United States and to a lesser extent, its client states such as Britain, Canada, Australia, etc.
Detailed - very, very detailed - profiles on every citizen are constructed. In aggregate these give anonymous unelected bureaucrats easy access to personal and private information heretofore impossible.
This unethical and amoral profiling has been, and is being, used to suppress basic human rights and freedoms in a manner even Orwell did not predict. Please read the article Thought Crime and Junk Science), then return here.

10.6.11 National Security Letters

"[Everyone has] the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"
~ United States Constitution, 4th amendment
I have mentioned these a few times above. U.S. NSLs arose from the STASI-like powers granted by the PATRIOT Act - in Section 215 [1723] - allowing for warrantless searches. Searches that is, without any oversight by the public. NSLs may be conducted by force if the police deem force necessary. The business to whom the NSL is issued has no recourse.
The delightful aspect of these anti-democratic activities is that they are secretive. Should a person whose business is invaded on false of faulty information complain, they can be thrown into jail because to disclose the fact that they have been searched through an NSL is itself a prosecutable violation of national security.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Suppose your ISP is issued an NSL. Any and all records on all customers are thereby taken and stored without warrant or public oversight of any kind. You entire browsing history, letters to your bank, everything you have ever done on the internet is thereby taken as part of the NSL search of your ISP. This means that your personal privacy, even though you have done nothing wrong whatsoever and are a decent law abiding citizen, is violated without you having even the right to know that your information has been taken, where it will go, how long it will be stored, and who has access to it.
"One of the most glaring and repeated falsehoods in the media reporting is the assertion that, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Verizon was approached by NSA and entered into an arrangement to provide the NSA with data from its customers’ domestic calls. ... Verizon cannot and will not confirm or deny whether it has any relationship to the classified NSA program."
~ Statement from one of the largest ISPs in the world, Verizon [1727]. Note the careful wording, as would be necessary in the case that Verizon had been subjected to one or more NSLs
There is no control over to whom the FBI hands records seized through an NSL request. For example, while it may be illegal for agency A to go after such records itself, there is nothing illegal (although there is plenty here that is unethical and amoral) in the FBI handing over such records to agency A. Where they can be datamined, used for blackmail purposes, etc.
According to the Washington Post more than 30,000 NSLs are issued every year [1724] - but this figure is likely a gross understatement. Due to the aforementioned fact that law makers have made it illegal to tell anyone that you have been detained by an NSL, the figure has been arrived at through anonymous leaks by those brave/angry enough and know how to leak the information anonymously. During the worst oppression of the Stalinist Era in Russia, similar anonymous leaks to Stalin’s forced search program were made [1725]. When Stalin finally fell, the actually number was shown to be far higher - as much as ten times higher. So too it can be assumed that the 30,000 NSL figure in the U.S. is in reality much higher.
Like the egregious U.S. no-fly list, there is no recourse to an NSL. And no real oversight or accountability. In fact the U.S. federal police (FBI) can issue an NSL on what amounts to a whim:
"There is no requirement that the FBI demonstrate a need for such records. It need only assert that the records are ’sought for’ an intelligence or terrorism investigation"
~ U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy [1726]
NSLs, along with the other tools touched upon in this article, effectively create a very effective STASI at the heart of the United States government operation. As history clearly shows, democracy cannot survive where such systems are allowed to continue.
At time of writing NSLs - formerly only used under dire emergency during WWII, are now being issued in a similar manner to the U.S. in Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, and other western nations.
In Britain for example, prime minister David Cameron and the terrific Ms. May discussed previously, have been allegedly working hard to bring about the dystopia against which Orwell warned. For in addition to the egregious RIPA and other British laws they introduced, they have made it illegal for technology companies, manufacturers, ISPs etc. to notify users of government spying [1728]. Hence when Twitter, Facebook and Google previously assured British users that the corporations would warn them of any government spying when they used these corporations’ services, the new law ensured that any such warning would land those in the company (including CEOs) in jail for two years. The law also made it mandatory that companies weaken (such as WhatsApp, iMessage, Google, Apple, etc.) weaken all encryption on messaging services so that secret anonymous government bureaucrats would eavesdrop on all hitherto encrypted conversations. Of course as you well know, all anonymous bureaucrats and spy agencies are highly honourable, have never in all of history misused such powers, have never used spy systems for blackmail purposes, have never used spy systems for personal profit, corporate spying, following their spouses, or anything other than the stated purpose of such systems. Right?
Ms. May still did not release [Op. cit.] her internet use to the public, though she ordered that the public allow her to view their internet use. But then, politicians are special, and not subject to the same laws as others. Oversight? Ethics? Democratic and civil rights? No. In the name fighting whatever excuse (communism, terrorism, drugs, paedophiles, etc.) the complacent and compliant British public has allowed or even welcomed a trampling of their rights and freedoms. Sigh - exactly as Orwell, Huxley, Solzhenitsyn, Gilliam, and others had previously warned.
Back to the United States: In 2016 the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee met in secret to vote on a secret provision in a secret law. The entire committee voted to support the secret provision with a sole dissenting vote. The Senator who dissented indicted in a written statement released to the media [1684] that the provision “would allow any FBI field office to demand email records without a court order, a major expansion of federal surveillance powers”. Because the law gave the FBI further ability to act without a warrant and in complete secrecy. (Note that the FBI had already been charged by civil rights groups [1690], judges [1687], politicians [1690], and with regularly breaking laws through its abuse of National Security Letters as well as having a long history of legal and ethical abuses [ibid]. Please see Sect. 10.6.12.4 below regarding what the FBI and other actually do when oversight by society is negligible at best.
“"NSLs have a sordid history. They’ve been abused in a number of ways, including targeting of journalists and use to collect an essentially unbounded amount of information," A. Crocker [1689], staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation
In Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, ... and many other nations under the sway of U.S. hegemony the use and abuse of National Security Letters and their clones was becoming commonplace. The slow creep of STASI-like powers for secretive government agencies was accelerating. The threat to democracy, civil rights, and the like was obvious.
When I worked with police in both nationally and internationally the constant I was always impressed by their belief that their violation of law and ethics was “in the public good”. Cognitive dissonance was a constant. As was explosive anger at those who disagreed with their Weltanschauung. When ontology becomes teleology, decision making even with the best of intents, becomes rigid and closed. I had a long discussion with a former Nazi submarine captain whose secret orders were to blow up merchant (i.e. non-combatant) British vessels. He justified his actions as being for the good of the Fatherland and to shorten the war. He told me that no one objected, because their cause was just.
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10.6.12 Conflating security with privacy

"We are frisking each other. Picture yourself going to work tomorrow, handing over blood and urine samples, taking a quick turn with the house polygraph, turning out your pockets and walking through some new fluoroscope. You object? Whatsamatter, you got something to hide?"
~W. Safire [690]
The reason the United States gives for its alleged ever expanding human rights violations as outlined above and in other articles on my site ... is that by removing the basic human right to privacy they are somehow, magically, keeping people safe. That anyone would believe such blatant propaganda is a testament to the ever expanding functional illiteracy in that nation (please q.v. Pedagogy is Social Engineering ).
When a White House review panel [1061] reported on NSA activities for example, they found that such spying activity was “not essential in preventing attacks” [1062]. And furthermore found that
“There has been no instance in which NSA could say with confidence that the outcome [of a terror investigation] would have been any different [without the program of spying on everyone]” [ibid]
Note the similarity of this finding to that of U.S. Federal Judge R. Leon quoted above as cited in [1047] who ruled the NSA’s bulk collection of private personal information to be unconstitutional. Judge Leon found that:
“[there was not] a single instance in which analysis of the NSA’s bulk collection metadata collection actually stopped an imminent attack, or otherwise aided the Government in achieving any objective that was time-sensitive in nature.”
~ Judge R. Leon [1063]
The response of the then U.S. administration to these findings was that they were wrong [1064]. But unfortunately did not bother to produced any evidence to justify such a remark. It would seem that if there was any truth the White House’s claim, they would be proud and pleased to produce it... ?
Shortly thereafter U.S. president Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder stated [1388] that default encryption on consumer devices would place children at risk. Why? Because -
“When a child is in danger, law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step to quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children. It is worrisome to see companies thwarting our ability to do so.”
~ E. Holder [1389], U.S. Attorney General
Translation: To keep children safe, all electronic devices from phones to computers, regardless of a user’s encryption settings, must have a means by which government could read everything on the device. This from a man high in the wealthiest government on the planet but with the highest rate of child poverty, infant mortality, murder, mental illness, and domestic violence of any western country [1390, 1391, 1392, 1393, 1394]. Yet rather than address real issues to protect children, the U.S. government raises the false flag of bypassing personal encryption systems. What is alarming is that exactly as in Germany during the rise of the STASI, the average taxpayer hears only “protect the children” and fails to realise that the basic human rights of their children and themselves are under attack by the government itself. History, sadly, repletes.

10.6.12.1 Voyeurism again

It is a logical error that increased security is not possible without abrogation of privacy. That is to say, without voyeurism on the part of the state. For protection of personal privacy does not lower security of the individual or the state.
For example:
  • Not wishing to be watched whilst going to the bathroom does not lower the security of the state.
  • Wishing to keep one’s diary of hopes and dreams private does not lower the security of the state.
  • Not wanting have one’s children sexually molested (see citations below) by the Reich’s SA the United States’ TSA “boarder guards” at airports and train stations does not lower the security of the state - The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights
  • Not wanting some nameless bureaucrat looking at the pictures of your family and children on your cellphone does not lower the security of the state.
And the security of the state does most emphatically not depend upon the infantilization of the citizenry, the creation of a surveillance society, the ever expanding powers of secret police, ludicrous theatre security at transportation hubs (please remover your shoes, submit to sexual groping of yourself and your children), and other similar unethical activities.
The security of the state does not depend upon trampling on the basic rights of privacy. Rather the security of the state depends upon upholding individual rights, including the right to privacy.
And upon acting justly on the world stage to address the inequities, injustices, and genocides driven by corporate greed.
Finally, a word about physician patient confidentiality:
Here in Britain police may without a warrant, access the entire medical records of anyone they wish [1155], without notification or judicial oversight, and without reference to previous requests by patients to opt out [1156] of UK medical databases. Such records included mental health, drugs prescribed, smoking and drinking habits, relationship and family issues, weight, operations, cosmetic treatments such as breast inserts, NHS number, date of birth, postcode, ethnicity, gender, and well, pretty much everything .... Private for-profit corporations were also given access to this information [1157]. For these latter patient names were excluded, but were trivially easy to retrieve from metatdata fingerprinting.
The argument as always, was that police needed these powers in order to go after criminals and protect the public.
"The idea that police will be able to request information from a central database without a warrant totally undermines a long-held belief in the confidentiality of the doctor patient relationship,"
~ British MP D. Davis [567]
Under U.S. laws [1158] such records on U.S. citizens were accessible to various police forces (FBI, TSA, etc.) without warrant [ibid].
Police and other agents of government have as pointed out herein [Op. cit.] routinely used such systems to spy on their girlfriends, neighbours, and coworkers. The claims of politicians that such intrusive datamining is necessary and citizens are protected by excellent oversight and restrictions on access, are false.
Again:
The security of the state does not depend upon trampling on the basic rights of privacy. Rather the security of the state depends upon upholding individual rights, including the right to privacy.

10.6.12.2 Drone assassinations

One of the routine activities of the egregious NSA and its clones is to allegedly target human beings for assassination [1160]. All allegedly without trial, without proof, without any true public oversight. And all on the say-so of the U.S. president alone [1168, Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) .
As documented here [1169], allegedly many humans have been assassinated allegedly using NSA (and “partner” [Op. cit.]) surveillance to target them. Needless to say as cited here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill , The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the worlds greatest threat to peace? , such activities allegedly usually result in the murder of innocent civilians as documented, despite propaganda to the contrary, via the citations and such reliable and independent groups as the International Red Cross, Amnesty International, the United Nations, Human Rights International, and similar groups [ibid].
That such actions are allegedly against international laws already cited, from the Geneva Convention through to agreements stemming from the Nuremberg Trials, appears to be irrelevant to those running this program. History, sadly and tragically, repeats Psychopaths in Power .
“Everything they turned into a kinetic strike or a night raid [i.e. assassination] was almost 90 percent that [NSA based]. You could tell, because you’d go back to the mission reports and it will say ‘this mission was triggered by SIGINT,’ which means it was triggered by a geolocation cell.”
~ former U.S. drone operator [1170]
Please read my article on drones and drone useIs a Drone War a War Crime? to get a much better feel for the extent of the attack upon freedom, privacy rights, and international law which drone use has sadly come to represent. Many around the world have called the United States a terrorist state due not merely to its illegal invasions of soverign nations (37 illegal invasions during the Bosh-Obama years - please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for citations) but also due to its assassination programs without trial, public justification, or proof in murdering anyone it chooses around the world, as well as thousands of innocent bystanders. Death and destruction nicely helped along by the NSA and Five Eyes surveillance programs.

10.6.12.3 The prison state

“We can’t be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans [i.e. they are not important]."
~U.S. president Bill Clinton [281]
Millions [22] of (mainly hidden) video cameras have been placed in cities and towns and countryside, watched by anonymous officials, recording everything everyone does. The Google (not the company, but the noun from which the company took its name) Argus Array is a petapixel camera capable of watching an entire area the size of a city at once. They are currently deployed in a number of aircraft.
Recently in the world’s largest military power school children have been required to wear RFID tracking devices, so that their movements can be followed wherever they go [518]. The reason for this requirement was that daily average of the attendance of a student has been related by the government there to how much funding a school receives. When students and their parents attempted to sue for infringement of privacy and human rights, the federal court judge sided with the school - students must be tracked. Apropos of nothing here, I might point out that universal tracking under the Nazis began with requiring school children to report their whereabouts to authorities [519]. This was of course, later expanded to adults very quickly.
In that same country a judge has ruled that it is legal for government agents to enter the private property without a warrant, and install hidden surveillance cameras [524]. The judge particularly ruled that rural properties (farms, private parks, streams, private ponds, etc.) could be blanketed with secret government surveillance cameras [ibid]. Hence regardless of "No Trespassing" or "Private Property" signs, property owners were not entitled to an expectation of privacy under the law. This of course, was what Orwell wrote about [525] when discussing a dystopian future where basic human rights were usurped by government.
Any country which has millions of people in private for-profit prisons, frequently on trumped-up charges merely to fill profit quotas in what researchers have called little more than internment camps (see here North American internment camps)), is a failed state. One in which police, spy agency, and government activity is on behalf of profit and power, not the citizenry.
Fortunately, if you have nothing to hide, then you certainly have nothing to fear, while:
  1. Yet another U.S. NSA director (a military person, of course) Adm. Michael S. Rogers has lobbied to require technology companies to create digital keys in hardware and software which would allow access by the NSA regardless of the efforts of the purchaser of a device to protect their privacy via encryption [1473]. Presumably Mr. Rogers would not mind giving access to all of his personal email, photos, smartphone messages, computer, etc. to interested members of the public - surely if he has nothing to hide then he has nothing to fear by so doing?
  2. The French government under Premier Ministre Manuel Valls has put forth a law requiring technology companies in the France allow realtime capture of all data of every French citizen [1474] (except one assumes, M. Valis?
  3. The U.S. DARPA (military) Memex AI/DDB system has been used in attempts to learn about and de-anoyomise the TOR service (used by journalists, lawyers, human rights workers, dissidents, military, etc.). [1475]. Interestingly TOR users were not allowed to access U.S. military private data in a reciprocal arrangement.
  4. The U.S. NSA spy agency has been found to have been illegally spying on: Japanese government and business officials [1540]; German government and business officials [1541]; Malaysian government and business officials [1542]; .... and so on down a very long list. Yet it still screams loudly [1543] wrapping themselves in their flag, when someone (eg. the Chinese) appears to have been spying on them. Disgusting hypocracy? Perhaps. In any case, the watchers do not like to be watched ... something which is the essence of any police state or burgeoning oligarchy.

10.6.12.4 Watching the watchers

Mark Zuckerberg, (billionaire Facebook founder - Facebook is arguably an Orwellian anti-privacy system), has stated that it is fundamentally dishonest for an individual to have multiple online identities [1516]. Mr. Zuckerberg himself however, uses multiple Limited Liability Companies (LLC) which conceal his real estate purchases - i.e. which server to keep his name off public records [1517].
The watchers do not like to be watched. Ever. They consider their right to spy on you, but you may not spy on them. They can jail you for even attempting to do so.
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(Photo: Neal Z, alleged NSA recruiter. Mr. Z Allegedly very strongly objecting to being photographed while in a public place filled with surveillance cameras [1529]. See also Hf20WgVw21k and vDsYp1fWi-I at https://www.youtube.com. Hypocrisy by government employees? Impossible.)
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(Photo: Eric E. Schmidt of Google,. His company’s spokespeople allegedly strongly objected [1531] to CNET News publishing details of Mr. Schmidt’s stock holdings, that he hosted a $1,000 per plate dinner for a politician, information on his divorces and alleged adultery, and other publicly available information [1530]. Google banned CNET reporters for one year [1531]. Google’s published mission is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." But not, perhaps, information on the doings of its Executive Officers?)
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(Photo: "The Mossad has a long and glorious history of bold and daring operations. Information about the Mossad’s activity does not reach the public, and often what is publicised many years after the event is but the tip of the iceberg of almost imaginary activity and operations."
~ Tamir Pado [1537], head of the Mossad. The Mossad has a long record of allegedly spying on people without their or their governments’ permission [1536] and an equally long history [ibid] of allegedly suppressing any information about their activities.)
Consider now the FBI - one of a number of U.S. Federal policing agencies:
A set of FBI memos obtained by news media [527] allegedly clearly show FBI sexting (sending nude pictures), breaking e-readers (illegal under U.S. law), using FBI networks to view pornography, accessing FBI and government databases to spy on friends as well as celebrities, shoplifting, conducting unauthorised searches, destroying evidence, sexual acts at work, use government smart phones for sending sexually explicit messages, having sex with informants, and so on [ibid, 528]. The FBI has said that it is a “very small number” of its employees which do this [528].
When I was with the police senior management stated that it was “a very small number” of officers who broke the law. Let’s see now:
  1. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security states that it is “a very small number” of officers who sexually touch women and children at transportation hubs [529]. Yet there have been many accusations of sexual touching of children (as well as adults of course) by TSA officers [1040, 1041, 1042, 1043]. TSA traing and hiring practice are amongst the worst in the world with requirements being in many cases [1694] on a that required to flip burgers at a fast food chain (please see [1695] for a description by a former fast food worker of how he became a TSA agent). As anyone who has encountred insulting, venal TSA border guards knows, the intellectual (and ethical) attainments of some of these people is ... lacking. The internet is replete with examples.
  2. The U.S. military has said that it is only a “very small number” of officers who carry out sexual intimidation on those in their command [532], although the number of dismissals for such behaviour account for 30% of all officer dismissals [ibid]. Many femal personnel however have joined class action suits against their superiors and fellow officers for sexual advances/intimidation [ibid, 534, 535, 1038, 1039].
  3. The Canadian Federal Police (RCMP) have said that it is only “a very small number” of their officers who sexually intimidate and/or coerce female officers and/or female prisoners [533]. These case they said, are rare. This is incorrect, as judged by the class action suits and other legal avenues launched by female officers against the RCMP for sexual acts against them.
  4. The FBI has said that it is a “very small number” of its employees who destroy evidence, view pornography regularly, and more as previously cited [528].
Well, the Roman Catholic Church also stated that it was a “very small number” of its priests who molest children. This is false - there is very good evidence of centuries of the most extreme perversion by priests and more lately of very wide spread paedophilia in the Church (please see here The Modern Inquisition for details and citations).
Power always denies it transgresses, and when faced with irrefutable proof, always states that is in only “a very small number” of its forces who transgress.
Are transgressions rare? IMHO, an emphatic no! I have yet to visit a corporate, government, or similar IT department, or university CS department were circumvention of privacy and civil rights rules by sysadmins and her cronies did not occur constantly. Nor one were management did not request, and received without hesitation, data they should not have had.
For example. While the politicians and police top brass had been extolling their careful protecting of public privacy rights, various members of Canada’s RCMP D Division in Manitoba were found to have been using police computer systems and spy systems to
  1. access pornography,
  2. spy on their neighbours and spouses,
  3. keep tabs on their girlfriends,
  4. and give non-police personnel detailed information from license plate searchers [596].
Mostly illegal and in clear violation of privacy laws. They received a reprimand and the loss of ten days pay [597]. That is to say, no punishement.
Had a citizen done this to an RCMP member, she would likely have been thrown in jail.
More: The Vancouver Police in Canada allegedly used stingray devices without warrent to spy upon random citizens. FOI (freedom of information) requests have been refused by the police there, presumably because said use is a clear and obvious violation of the Canada Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as other Canadian laws [1505, 1506]. In the United States the FBI has been surveilling people who have bumper stickers of which the FBI does not approve - such as bumper stickers lauding animal rights, bumper stickers for anti-war, or even those urging giving food to the needy [1507]. Others with bumper stickers advocating for some Presidential candidates were placed on Department of Homeland Security watch lists [1508]. In my experience working with police in various forces, police do whatever they can get away with, all the while convincing themselves that it is all the public good. And who is the arbiter of what is in the public good? Why they are, of course - QED.
Stingray devices are used by metropolitan police [1566], federal police [ibid], various government agencies [1565] and others invariably without legal access or justification. The U.S. FBI has been using stingrays as parts of warrants with the judges issuing said warrants ever being aware of their use [1567].
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The RCMP had for many years been using signal catchers such as stingrays to target BlackBerry mobile phones [1705]. Like the FBI [1706], they had unscrambled BlackBerry users’ faux-secret PIN-to-PIN messages (often with the alleged willing “assistance” of Blackberry Corp. even while said corporation was tauting its phones to businesses as “secure” [1707]).
"Our biggest concern with Stingrays is there’s really no regulation or oversight as to how they’re being used. We right now, as the Canadian public, have no idea where they’re being used, when, what the requirements are for these technologies being used and what’s happening to the data of everyone being caught up in their sweep."
~ OpenMedia.org [1708]
The RCMP did this to such an extent, that dozens of dangerous drug dealers and criminals were let go after being arrested [1932] because such use was likely illegal, done without warrant, and moreover, done without appropriate knowledge by the RCMP of the junk science false positives this technology ensured [1933].
In my personal experience working with many police forces is that this type of behaviour of officers - of misusing and misunderstanding technological tools they had purchased, and even ignoring legal advice regarding same ... was rather common. Or as one 35 year veteran of the force told me once after we had been in practising at the shooting range:
“There are only two rules: don’t rat [i.e. do not tell non-police what was really going on], and don’t get caught”.
Back to the RCMP in Manitoba: What did they tell the media? Why they stated that such behaviour was vary rare. Done by only “a very small number” of officers. Sigh.
If the reality that abuse and misuse of public trust was done by “a very small number” of perpetrators, then why do such organisations from the NSA, GCHQ, CSEC, ... and other acronym spy organisations always fight against independent experts and members of the public verifying that it is in fact “a very small number”.
Whistleblowers have been threatened [534, 531, 532] who present documentation in contradiction to these statements of “a very small number”. Some have undergone extreme chacter assassination, threats to their lives, and more [ibid]. Just for proving through released docmentation that this “very small number” is mere prevarication.
Furthermore what little good academic research there is which is publicly available [530, 531], indicates very clearly that the public would be better served by independent oversight and full access to records. And that misuse and abuse are common.
It is apparently, fine for those in power to spy on citizens, but not the other way around.
“To: The Honourable Darrell Issa Chairman, House Committee on Government Reform & Oversight 2157 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515
I respectfully request your Committee subpoena the records of every phone call made from all public and private telephones of all IRS personnel to all public and private telephones of all White House personnel.
If president Obama is collecting such information, he certainly would want us to use it. If he [the president] has nothing to hide he has nothing to be afraid of.

~ S. Stockman [651], member of the U.S. Congress, excerpt from a letter sent to request information on the activities of government similar to what the government was demanding be collected all all citizens except itself
In most countries, there is no requirement for corporations or government to inform citizens that there have been breaches of a citizen’s private, personal data.
For example, Canada has some of the worst privacy legislation in this regard of all western countries:
The Federal Privacy Commissioner in that country (who can only suggest, but has no legal powers) has said: "currently, officials can request data, including Internet Service Provider details, telephone numbers and email addresses, from nearly any Canadian company without a warrant..." [596]. Despite many calls to the contrary, the government under Prime Minister Steven Harper has steadfastly refused to introduce legislation to force companies to publicly report when they release personal data. Quite the contrary, his government despite numerous scandals and allegations of corruption [599, 600, 601, 602] had allegedly stonewalled and refused requests for information [597, 598] under federal Freedom of Information Act, access by the public and the press to senior government members, and input to decision making processes to a greater extent than any other previous government. Such actions on the part of any government of course, makes it very difficult to watch the watchers.
Or consider that once democratic country, Australia:
There the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 [1364] has taken the attack on whistleblowers and independent monitoring of spy agencies to a ludicrous level. The law states that journalists, whistleblowers, bloggers, or individual citizens who "recklessly" (what constituted ’reckles’ was not defined) disclose "information ... [that] relates to a special intelligence operation" (again, the details are not defined) can be imprisoned for up to 10 years.
"The internet poses one of the greatest threats to our existence,"
~ Australian Senator Glen Lazarus [1368], speaking in favour of the Bill. The senator apparently had never heard of cancer, Ebola, alcoholism, climate change or other similar items which actual were threats.
It is important to note that the government under this Bill could declare anything it wished, including visits of government leaders to brothels, to be a “special intelligence operation” [1365, 1366, 1367] thereby giving itself and its ASIO and ASIS branches criminal and civil immunity while simultaneously subjecting anyone daring to disclose that government minister frequented brothels up to ten years of languishing in jail. Furthermore, under the Bill anyone who identified an ASIO spy agent was also subjected to a decade in prison [ibid]. The bill gave the government and its spy agencies virtually unlimited access to the private information of everyone without public oversight.
"What we’ve seen [tonight] is I think a scary, disproportionate and unnecessary expansion of coercive surveillance powers that will not make anybody any safer but that affect freedoms that have been quite hard fought for and hard won over a period of decades,"
~ Australian Senator. S. Ludlam [1367] speaking against the Bill
Astonishingly, or perhaps not considering the type of people involved in passing this legislation, the government did not mention the Five Eyes agreement, nor that this Bill automatically gave immunity from the courts for its handing over personal private data on Australian citizens to other Five Eyes countries. Translation - to the United States.
Again, watchers do not like to be watched. Or to be held accountable.
As I said previously without independent oversight and access to documents and records... there is no real way to verify the statements that the numbers are “very small” or that if one has nothing to hide from these alleged perpetrators, one also has nothing to fear.
Furthermore, mission creep always occurs when information is kept secret, and when the public is barred from watching the watchers. In this regard please also see Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , Sect. 6.2.
Now, quick update to this section regarding, specifically, U.S. privacy rights invasions via the NSA: I received an email recently to the effect that in the U.S. a body called FISA oversees this spying and ensures that rights are protected.
FISA is a secret panel [713], making secret decisions, to secret spy agencies, with no public oversight, documents, or access [ibid]. Reasurring? Perhaps not. The email also stated the the current U.S. president had gone on television to reassure people that their private conversations where not being listened to [714]. Since that person ordered the spying in the first place [715], one wonders. Further the U.S. executive branch, including the current president, as well as the NSA had allegedly allegedly lied about the existence of their spying for decades [ibid, 716], allegedly lied concerning oversight, allegedly lied concerning the reason for the spying, allegedly lied about its effectiveness, allegedly lied about what data was collected, allegedly lied about the use of metadata and analysis, allegedly lied about complicity with other countries, and more [717, 718, 719, 720].
Further, administration claims that Congress (i.e. the representatives of the people) was fully informed about this has met with flat denials from many members of Congress and the Senate [854]. Translation - there was/is no public oversight. Hence assurance from the very branch of government which both established the spying and allegedly lied about it, may not be as reassuring as one might hope. Very sad for democracy and fundamental human rights as well.
Please also see the discussion of examples of how the full weight of a non-democratic state can be brought to bear against individuals who point out the shenanigans of their governments in my article on the end of democracy world wide, particularly Sect. 10.5.6.3.2 here: Whistleblowers .
Finally, I would suggest that since politicians, military spy agencies, intelligence agencies, and corporations seek to spy on every aspect of life of citizens (personal correspondence, medical records, web searches, etc.) .... that a body of elected non-politically associated citizens of average home income below $100K should be given the same legal rights to spy upon oh, say, every Senator and Congressperson, and every bureaucrat at the NSA and CIA, with full access to their personal correspondence, medical records, business associates, diaries, etc.)Why not? For surely if they have nothing to hide then they should have nothing to fear.
Here are a couple of websites you may enjoy visiting.
  • https://icwatch.transparencytoolkit.org/
  • https://voicerepublic.com/talks/watching-the-watchers-building-a-sousveillance-state
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(Photo: Older NSA secure phone
~ $5,000 + $30,000 for the server infrascructure (pic: General Dynamics)
In 2016 U.S. president Obama switch from a Blackberry to a Samsung S4 Android phone. It had been considerably modified by the government to become the only device supported by the DISA’s DOD Mobility Classified Capability-Secret (DMCC-S) program and the NSA’s National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program [1718]. It was deemed sufficiently secure for use in the classified DOD SIPRNet network. The NSA’s Information Assurance Directorate’s job in part was to work with commercial, private, for-profit vendors to produce mobile phones for use by the Defence Department and government executives, such as Mr. Obama.
There are some small but competent groups working to produce a just-as or indeed more secure version of mobile phones for use by anyone.

10.6.12.5 Listening

In Canadian airport authorities have been using highly direction listening devices zoom and record conversations [395], intending to keep them in perpetuity. High definition cameras and microphones that eavesdrop on traveller’s conversations, a husband and wife’s private tearful conversations about her terminal cancer, a child talking with her doll, an airport employee’s gripping about having to work overtime - everything. All without parliamentary approval or discussion.
When this illegal activity was discovered by the Privacy Commissioner the Cabinet Minister in charge, Mr. Toews, the same man which had for the first time in history allowed the Canadian spy agency to use information extracted under torture (vide infra), temporarily shut part of it down until “further study” could be done. He did not however, order the dismantling of the spy systems at any of their locations.) Article 15 of the United Nations Convention against Torture [579] to which Canada was a signatory prohibits the use of information derived through mistreatment, as evidence in any proceedings. Perhaps Mr. Toews did not know this?
Of course it goes without saying that no “terrorist” or criminal would be stupid enough to discuss anything of importance whilst in an airport or in any public location.
Another form of listening:
It has been alleged [846, 847] that the U.S. FBI can remotely activate microphones in phones and tablets running Google’s Android software. Private, personal conversations can thereby be easily recorded without the citizen ever knowing. The official [ibid] alleging this also said that microphones in laptops can also be remotely activated without the user knowing. Big Brother is listening.

10.6.12.6 Ignoring the UN Charter and the basic human right to privacy

“[We call upon all countries] to establish or maintain existing independent, effective domestic oversight mechanisms capable of ensuring transparency, as appropriate, and accountability for State surveillance of communications."
~ Part of the UN resolution [1119] calling on online privacy to be recognised as a universal human right. The resolution was mentioned in several EU media, but so far as I could find, not given a single mention by any North American media
Government use of these technologies are part of the so-called Total Information Awareness state [25] (named after the original surveillance laws passed by the U.S. Senate) which is currently under rapid development in many countries. Total Information Awareness joins surveillance technologies to consolidate every bit of information on an individual into a profile of every person on the planet. Medical records, library book borrowing, credit card purchases, telephone conversations, gas station fill-ups, travel destinations, networks of friends and family, and much more are logged and recorded.
In Britain Home Secretary (later unelected Prime Minister) Theresa May has put forth a bill to force all internet and phone providers to route data through government mandated spy boxes [399]. These boxes decrypt messages (such as gmail), separate content from other data, and pass it latter back to provider for storage and later analysis by government. Of course any and all real criminals know how to easily bypass such restrictions (as would any undergraduate student in the physical sciences for that matter). Small time, petty, incompetent criminals may be caught. But the real villains hire the same people the government does. Or better.
Hence this massive privacy invasion effects only noncriminals. It is the noncriminals who have something to fear from such universal privacy invasion.
I have worked with a number of large police forces over the years. They would often proudly give me tours of their facilities and technologies. Included in these tours would be their holding facilities. In every one of these, prisoners of both genders were watched and video taped twenty-four hours a day. They were watched when they went to the bathroom, when they slept, when the tried to exercise, in the showers, in bed, etc. Regardless of the crime, or whether or not they had had a trial.
Beyond the obvious exceptions of monitoring suicidal prisoners, no one could ever explain to me how “security” was increased by watching and filming male and female prisoners using a toilet or showering. Nor did they seem concerned when I asked how prisoners who as children had been raped and abused might feel being watched and taped by police regardless of gender. The rationales which were ultimately given by various police and government officials for this intrusive monitoring, were for the most part concerned with protecting officials from possible lawsuit. Or most importantly perhaps, and certainly uppermost in the minds of senior commanders I chatted with over the years, such surveillance helped ensure against any possibility of exposure to negative press.
Pause for a moment and consider what this really means. Does massive surveillance protect the prisoners or the public at large? Or does it protect against accountability?
Security and privacy are not the same. Just who is a surveillance system designed to protect?
Another example: The U.S. FBI and NSA have been demanding [822] master SSL encryption keys (i.e. the private key base) from internet providers, under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. While large providers such as Google have the funds to challenge this in court, small providers certainly do not. Surrendering such keys means that some nameless bureaucrat can access all of your banking records, your personal passwords, much more even if you encrypt your connection to the bank. This of course goes for any and all so-called private communications. It also would force providers of free secure services such as TOR, to violate the security of their communications. It would also make ever Wi-Fi communication public - no more privacy, anywhere. The NSA document “TOR stinks” [1291] allegedly presented a viewpoint toward TOR not identifiably different from those of Iran, China, North Korea, or similar bastions of loving kindness and freedom. The mad Psychopaths in Power never think they are mad, and their foot soldiers believe they are doing good - as the Nuremberg trials so clearly showed. Sigh ...
This would be bad enough in and of itself, but the obscenity of these agencies goes further: In a leaked report [1064] the U.S. NSA allegedly arranged (aka allegedly bribed) RSA (a computer security corporation) with $10,000,000 of taxpayer dollars to allegedly weaken their widely used security tools. Allegedly the algorithm used to generate the certificates used in banking, medical record access, voting, online shopping, etc. were weakened so that nameless bureaucrats in the NSA could access anyone’s supposedly secure online activities [ibid, 1065]. (Please see [1067] for a more detailed and technical explanation - NIST/SECP curves have been made unsafe - as well as details on the other systems in widespread use which the NSA has allegedly similarly compromised. Again using taxpayer money to allegedly harm the taxpayer.) Of course RSA denied this [1073], but the leak was allegedly correct, regardless. Since the NSA backdoor did appear to exist either RSA was allegedly incompetent or complied willingly. Why the latter? In addition to the alleged ten million, the government was certainly in a position to withold any future lucrative contracts and/or the reality of what was done was even worse than the leaks suggested... (Furthermore as Matus Nemec, Marek Sys, Petr Svenda, Dusan Klinec and Vashek Matyas [2014] (q.v CVE-2017-15361) discovered in a recent paper, RSA is allegedly quite vulnerable to attack. So serious was this vulnerability that the government of Estonia which used RSA encryption for voting security and online banking, discontinued its use until a solution could be found. So caveat emptor when using this form of encryption. Please q.v. RSA Encryption - a non-mathematical explanation) for more.
Incidentally, “denials” from these corporations are invariably worded very carefully and seldom amount to an actual denial of complicity. Consider for example, the “denial” by AT&T, and ponder for yourself whether or not this is in fact, a denial of complicity in or granting of NSA activities in garnering information from AT&T networks. A statement such as “we do not allow the NSA to access any information on our customers” was not forthcoming.
“We do not allow any government agency to connect directly to our network to gather, review or retrieve our customers’ information." W. Watts, AT&T Senior Executive Vice president and General Counsel [1091]
Needless to say, it is highly likely that other U.S. corporations are likely also in the thrall of various three-letter (soon to be four) government “intelligence” agencies. For example, so-called secure Blackberry VPN system has allegedly [810, 879, 1074] been compromised by Canada’s CSEC (which works with/for the NSA and the British GCHQ as part of the Five Eyes [Op. cit.] group).
To date no one, including those allegedly lying to Congress [Op. cit.] have been tried. Or even charged.

10.6.12.7 Technologies

(an image: pls click to see it)
"We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal unless a classified government algorithm determines otherwise" [1130]
”In recent years, two developments have helped make hacking for the government a lot more attractive than hacking for yourself. First, the Department of Justice has cracked down on freelance hacking, whether it be altruistic or malignant. If the DOJ doesn’t like the way you hack, you are going to jail. Meanwhile, hackers have been warmly invited to deploy their transgressive impulses in service to the homeland, because the NSA and other federal agencies have turned themselves into licensed hives of breaking into other people’s computers. For many, its a techno sandbox of irresistible delights, according to Gabriella Coleman, a professor at McGill University who studies hackers. ’The NSA is a very exciting place for hackers because you have unlimited resources, you have some of the best talent in the world, whether it’s cryptographers or mathematicians or hackers,’ she said. ’It is just too intellectually exciting not to go there.’”
~ Peter Mass, The Intercept [1726]
Most of the surveillance state being constructed in Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Italy, Japan, China, etc. ... is concerned with total traffic analysis (source and destination of all messages) and only secondarily with content analysis (although both figure large in the technologies already in place and in those currently under construction). But understand - when everything is being collected and stored for future use in content analysis ... it will be used.
Of course all of this depends upon the lack of ethical behaviour on the part of the scientists and researchers who place these loaded guns into the hands of people ill equipped ethically or morally to use them wisely. This is a theme I have elucidated throughout this site, so rather than repeat myself I will give an example of a new technology (at time of writing) and leave it for you to determine how it will be used in practice.
The technology is this: Using WiFi, such as that available in every hotel, airport, place of business, middle class home, doctor’s office... and so on, it is technically possible to look through the walls and watch people on the other side. There are a number of papers currently available on this [414], such as those in the IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. Basically using a 2.4-GHz passive multistatic receiver Doppler (movement) information can be passively (undetectably) gathered by monitoring WiFi interaction with objects and people on the other side of walls.
These system are very portable, and for a government or corporate arm, very inexpensive. Spying on people through the walls of their homes by these undetectable systems would never of course, happen. Would it?
Using the CryptoPhone 500 [1334, 1336] and similar secure phones, or even hardened versions of Android, it is possible to map the fact that throughout the U.S. and Canada so-called interceptor cell towers exist in a relatively large network. These look like regular cell towers but have the ability eavesdrop, push spyware to mobile devices, track across large areas, etc. There are quite a few of these interceptor towers atop U.S. military bases [1335]. They appear to be used in part to attack baseband (below the OS) software of mobile devices. They can (for a largish fee) be purchased by a select few - the VME Dominator [1337] for example.
As a final thought regarding technologies involved it should be pointed out that the various oxymoronically named intelligence agencies do not have the best or most skilled people working for them. Just those with the biggest egos and lowest ethics. Whether Russian, Chinese, U.S., or North Korean, the best and the brightest tend to go elsewhere.
What these agencies do not magic. Rather it is the result of huge amount (mis)use of the public treasury combined with propaganda so successful that employees for the most part actually believe they are doing good, rather than creating the systems Orwell, Huxley, and so many others warned against.
The billions of taxdollars going into this and similar technologies is money which could have gone into education, health, etc. instead it has been squandared up the purchase of various technologies, certain skill sets, lobbying (aka bribery), and simple callousness. Coupled with ever decreasing legal constraints, the implications for humanity may not be benign.
10.6.12.7.1 Quantum computers
Update: I received an email to the effect that the NSA has been actively seeking bids on constructing a quantum computer capable of breaking all encryption.
This is correct [1196]. However ... so-called quantum computers cannot solve NP-Hard or NP-Complete problems better or faster than normal computers. In fact quantum computers would not solve hard (or NP hard) search problems instantaneously by simply trying all the possible solutions at once.
Quantum information theory can be used to show that there are limits to what the NSA, GCHQ, and similar antidemocratic human rights violating taxpayer thieving government agencies can do in breaking encryption. As physical systems there are physical limits to what computers can do. For example the speed of information processing is limited by energy, time, the speed of light, the gravitational constant, and the statistical spread (degrees of freedom) available. That is to say, computational power has an upper bound. However for any real world system, it can be shown that there even with entangled states (quantum computers) breaking the keys of some current cryptographic algorithms would require more energy than would be available in a supernova explosion. A good thing for human rights and freedoms, a bad thing for fascists. In a completely unrelated note, at time of writing India, the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Indonesia, ... and others all either have or are are preparing legislation to ban private use of encryption without releasing keys to government agencies. India’s is some of the worst - banning every use of private encryption. This legislation particularly in Five Eyes nations is awaiting the next crisis (some idiot bombs something, for example) which can be used to frighten legislators into quickly passing said laws (as occurred in the U.S. with the constitution shredding “Patriot Act”, for example). Fortunately what scientists do is never misused by politicians. Right? But I stray from the main point, rant, rant (an image: pls click to see it)
Furthermore most common encryption systems depend upon factoring primes or their composites. This is a relatively simple task. But using huge primes, primes with millions of digits, multiplying them in various ways, makes factoring back to the original ... difficult. Even with the massive computational power the taxpayer has poured into the NSA and similar agencies of government. However we now know (thanks to Yitang Zhang’s research [1197] and that of others following in his footsteps), that it is always possible to find two primes a finite distance apart < 600. (Soon to be lower still.) Since there will always be a prime a relatively short distance up from your million digit prime, it is important to write encryption algorithms with this in mind.
However all of this is somewhat moot.
Generally speaking, public key encryption, aka asymmetric encryption, should only be used for convenience. Such as when using https and certificate exchanges. Symmetric key encryption is more secure when done properly. Even given the current doubling of the number of qubits every
~5.7 years [1199], quantum computing with thousands of qubits is unlikely to happen for a long time unless a major change occurs. If indeed it ever becomes feasible. But by then of course, post-quantum cryptography will have likely provided secure alternatives. So for now and the foreseeable future, symmetric encryption with long keys would still be very, very difficult to break. And moreover, very very simple to implement and use.
10.6.12.7.2 Front Doors
So secure in fact, that in 2015 Admiral Michael S. Rogers [342]  [342] Yet another military person. We would not want a civilian in charge of spying on civilians.. Right., director of the U.S. National Security Agency, announced that he wanted "front doors" built into all hardware devices. That is, ways for the NSA to secretly access all data stored on computers hard drives,smartphones, routers, cars, bank machines ... everything.
“I don’t want a back door. I want a front door."
~ M.S. Rogers [1478], director of the U.S. NSA spy agency. Mr. Rogers neglected in his speech to provide any factual independently verifiable justification for wanting the ability to spy on everyone without their permission or knowledge. He also failed to demonstrate any meaningful difference between his demands and those of the notorious East Germany STASI. Sigh.
The NSA already had a long history of infecting computers, browsers, phones, routers, telecoms, etc. with software spy systems as indicated and cited herein. But by forcing manufacturers to install such system into all consumer hardware devices from automobiles and refrigerators to smartphones and computers was something new. The idea was to make it impossible for citizens to hide any data (medical, banking, love letters, business correspondence, photographs, CCTV, school records, etc.) from the anonymous bureaucratic voyeurs the taxpayer paid to spy on their lives. In other words, it was an attempt at an end run against the ever increasing use of software encryption. Which as in the case of good symmetric encryption with one time only looooong randomly generated passphrases is very difficult to break.
The tools which the NSA proposed for embedding in hardware ranged from key escrow through to “shared secrets”. This later is the same one widely used by countries such as China and North Korea. So Mr. Rogers was certainly in good company. Please see my article on cryptographic shared secrets, here: Cryptographic Secret Sharing Schemes).
Two days before he ended his final term as U.S. president, Barack Obama issued an executive order (rule by decree) that the NSA would henceforth be legally allowed to provide its raw data to at least 16 other intelligence agencies, most of which (all of which?) were largely unknown to the public, unregulated by wiretap laws, and not directly subject to the courts or the people in any meaningful way [1911]. By way of example of this, note that the FISA court (the group theoretically overseeing foreign intelligence gathering by the U.S.) refused only 0.03% of warrant requests [1912].
The probability of being harmed by a “terrorist” in the United States was and is at time of writing, so small as to be virtually nonexistent as I have already pointed out herein. Why then would Mr. Obama order such a sweeping change which appeared to violate his nations commitments under the U.S. Charter and their own constitution. The answer is sadly, rather obvious.
Then of course one must consider that U.S. presidents Trump and Bannon are, at time of writing, simply setting up the conditions for their Reichstag Fire moment. Under these men the threat of being harmed by a terrorist is of course, high. But said terrorists are in the White House - please see The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for a discussion of what constitutes real terrorism, rather than the propagandised pablum of misdirection.
10.6.12.7.3 AI, Cyc, and Deep learning
There are two methods in common use for profiling people and analysing/filtering the mass of data flowing over the internet. The first is neural network analysis (called deep learning in the press) whereby a special type of AI computer “learns” (actually rearranges patterns of connections through feedback as it narrows in on a solution) from massive amounts of information what is relevant to a solution (such as “is this person a terrorist”) and what is not. This is in a sense, a brute force learning system - lots of data and lots of mistakes until eventually a solution (if there is one) is produced.
The other method is Cyc or Cyc like systems. These are AI systems which do not learn, but rather accumulate rules about reality so as to provide context to a question they are asked to solve. For example, a neural network does not know that small things with wings can probably fly, because unless it has learned this fact, it has no pre-built context. Cyc and similar systems on the other hand, does have context built into in from a plethora of logical rules. By which I mean symbolic logic, predicate calculus, axomatic set theory, and the like.
Various intelligence agencies in various nations heavily fund the development and employ the use of such systems as part of the Panopticon.
Both or combining the two, presents a substantial future danger to freedom.
10.6.12.7.4 TOR
TOR is an anonymity and free speech system developed in conjunction with the U.S. Navy [1282]. It is used by diplomats, human rights NGOs, and all of those interested in free speech. Unfortunately since its inception it has been under heavy attack by those who do not value human rights and by perverts using it for pornography and worse. Due in large part to the activities of the U.S. NSA, Britain’s GCHQ, etc., the NGO EFF has recommend [1283] that everyone concerned with the basic human right of privacy should use TOR and should help the TOR foundation by setting up TOR relays and bridges in their homes and offices (nodes which help the anonymity process).
However along with I2P, Freenet, and a number of other systems lumped together by the ignorant as “the dark net”, TOR is under attack by many anti-democratic, anti-freespeech personages in power. Hence there are a few problems with this recommendation ...
At time of writing the Czar of Russia Vlad Putin has put a million dollar USD bounty on breaking TOR [1284], the Chinese government has concerted attacks against it (to try to shut down the freedom movement in China) [1285], North Korea has banned its use [1286], etc. Also the United States has injected sequences of false messages (i.e. cyberattack on innocent civilians in other nations without indictment, proof, or trial) to attack so-called ’hidden services’ [1287]. Various agencies in the United States such as the FBI, NSA, CIA, DIA, ONI, etc. have been alleged to have compromised many parts of many networks [1289] such that those running TOR nodes in a network location that they’re already tapping become locatable. Running a number of phoney relays takes money (in this case tax money) which helps with traffic confirmation attacks by correlating traffic volume with time. Many U.S. senators, congress persons, and those in the executive branch [1904] have also spoken about banning “the dark web” as has the Canadian government [1905], the Indonesian government [1906], the criminal murderer [1908, 1909, 1910] Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte [1907], and so on down a long list.
More and more around the world those dedicated volunteers who offer completely legal TOR relays in order to aid human rights and freedom of information, have been visited by rather agents of the state whose knowledge of computers amounts to ’anyone not using micro$oft is a suspect terrorist’ (such as a U.S. boarder crossing agent is alleged to have done [1290]). or as cited above, and “extremist”. And so the NSA used XKeyscore (anti-TOR software) to try and turn the United States into a clone of Putin’s Russia.
Well, a historically popular means of suppressing human rights is simply to intimidate people who are doing completely legal activities. Democracy Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ? Sigh.
10.6.12.7.5 Extremists
Speaking of TOR, leaked documents [1783] have shown that the U.S. NSA has even gone so far as to classify those who use TOR to be an indication of extremism.
That is to say, that journalists, politicians, military, police, those fleeing domestic violence, human rights workers, antislavery workers, academic researchers, nobel laureats [1784], etc. all over the world are in the eyes of this excellent organization ... extremists. Not stopping there however, the leaked documents also indicated that the NSA considered that reading the Linux Journal (a popular magazine about the Linux operating system) was another sign of “extermism”. And using Tails (a TOR based secure operating system based upon the Debian flavour of Linux) was also done only by "extremists". [1782, 1783].
This branding of users as “extremists” by the NSA also termed users of other popular privacy protection systems and websites. Also considered by the leaked documents [ibid] as “extremists” are academic researchers who take an interest in such software:
"Months of investigation by the German public television broadcasters NDR and WDR (ARD), drawing on exclusive access to top secret NSA source code, interviews with former NSA employees, and the review of secret documents of the German government reveal that not only is the server in Nuremberg under observation by the NSA, but so is virtually anyone who has taken an interest in several well-known privacy software systems,"
~ Himanshu Aror [1782]
Coupled with citations given previously, one might say that such an attitude is itself rather extereme, and those who espouse might possibly themselves be properly termed extremophiles or even anti-democratic, ignorant, closed-minded, unethical, ideologue extremophiles in the NSA, GCHQ, CSEC, etc. may be bent upon repeating the rather horrible history against which the White Rose warned (The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights ). By being adverse to fostering the basic human rights - such as the right to privacy - so necessary to protect democracy.
Similarly the NSA and its clones in other countries recruit young, immature, and historically ignorant computer, math, engineering, etc. students, give them mulit-billion dollar toys to play with (paid for by the unknowing taxpayer), and soon these young easily moulded people are playing spy all in the faux name of “fighting terrorism”. (Please see Snowden’s discussion of this as well as the academic literature [1785, 1786, 1787] on police/agency corrupt practices which really go on out of the public eye at these agencies, as well as the citations herein.)
Hence what I have said previously bears repeating at this point:
Using encryption tools responsibly is a means of thwarting those who seek to undermine the Universal Declarations of Human Rights and protecting these rights from the extremophiles in power who historically have always worked to remove them under the faux meme of “protecting the public”.
10.6.12.7.6 Bypassing the courts
“This dedicated global community of users is united by their passion for knowledge, their commitment to inquiry, and their dedication to the privacy and expression that makes Wikipedia possible. We file today on their behalf.”
~ from a lawsuit filing by Wikipedia against the NSA [1555].
There are so many examples of police, military, government, and corporations ignoring the courts when it comes to surveillance, that there is little reason to expand more upon this topic. Suffice it to say that, as pointed out earlier, their actions frequently (usually?) violate the UN Resolutions and Human Rights codes [Op. cit.].
Perhaps however one very quick example will give an indication of what is occurring:
Several corporations provide government and police with tools for real time with live surveillance social networks [1324].
For example, everything which occurs on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, Picasa, Viddy, etc. is scooped up, locked with location-based monitoring, and provided to police through a subscription-based service paid for by the taxpayer [ibid].
Such systems are currently in use by more than 200 police departments in the United States. Additionally, corporations (i.e. those with the money to pay the fees) are also using these services. To watch you [1325].
All without any oversight by the public. And much more importantly for government and/or police, without any requirement to obtain a warrant from the courts [1324] to conduct the most intrusive real-time surveillance on anyone they wish.
“Search, archive & analyse real-time social media content across multiple sources, from any location in the world, with a single click. Search the globe and draw a perimeter around any location of interest. Geofeedia will display all geotagged social media posts from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa & Viddy. ... Search for any location in the world, from an entire city to a specific address, and visualise real-time, location-based social media content in a matter of seconds. ... Let us show you how location-based social media search and monitoring can change the way you gather intelligence.”
~ from the Geofeedia website [1327] (there are other vendors too, of course)
This class of application might prove remarkably useful tool for wife abusers, criminals looking to discover which homes to break into, stalkers, and similar like-minded persons. All without any meaningful regulation at all.
Well, fast forward a few years to 2016. Now the FBI (U.S. federal police) and the DEA (U.S. drug enforcement agency) have applied to essentially do an end run vis a vis the U.S. Constitution, the courts, and the Privacy Rule (45 CFR 164.512(f)(1)(ii)(C)) [1712] by having direct unlimited no-oversight by the public access to data on citizens and non-U.S. citizens in the U.S. [1710, 1711]. Including medical records. Although of course such application is couched in reassuring terms [ibid].
There are of course times when access to limited records is necessary (breaking paedophile rings, hunting corrupt politicians, etc.). All of which are easily accommodated - as they are in more civilised nations - by laws requiring public oversight and which force agencies and their members to be answerable for their actions. However when agencies such as the FBI and DEA and NSA and GCHQ etc. operate in secret under terms outlined previously, the groundwork for a STASI-like police state is very clearly being laid.
Throughout history as empires crumble from the rot within, first they create a dystopic society of fear under the watchful eye of a Panopticon.
10.6.12.7.7 ISS World
ISS World bills itself as a central meeting place for those involved in computer and related technologies. It has also been alleged [1319] to be a primary sales venue for surveillance technology.
The list of attendees, corporations selling surveillance systems, and agents of various governments (available through Wikileaks [1318] and other NGO human rights organisations [ibid]) is interesting. Virtually every dictatorship on the planet allegedly had representatives and purchasing agents there to shop for surveillance equipment. Technologies used by some of the most vicious governments in history were readily available, with little or no restriction. You may wish to peruse a small sampling of what is sold which reporters were able to “obtain” entitled “The Surveillance Catalog: where governments get their tools” [1320] for yourself. Companies advertise means of breaking encryption, compromising home and office routers, implanting programs into you-tube videos which install keystroke loggers on computers when the video is watched, and much more.
These corporations are alleged to sell (through third party intermediaries of course) the most invasive systems to the worst dictatorships on the planet. As well as to plutocracies and oligarchies in the west, of course. Very sad that Orwell was not only correct, but that he failed to envision the depravity of the market which the various technologies of spyware would bring.
Surveillance technology has become another easily saleable item in the arms trade in which almost all western countries actively participate Should Arms Dealing be a War Crime? .
If any of this makes you uncomfortable, the solution is very simple. Protect your human right to privacy by using low tech such as sneaker nets (walk down the hall and hand someone a document, rather than email it), which simply blends easily into the background noise.
10.6.12.7.8 Amorality
The U.S. Supreme Court (a group of politically appointed, unelected, lawyers or politicians), has allowed that country’s police to subject people arrested for even the most minor of infractions to be imprisoned before they are tried in a court and therein to be incisively strip searched [326].
For example, Albert Florence was arrested in New Jersey for an unpaid parking ticket. Despite having proof that he had in fact paid the ticket, Mr. Florence was jailed along with hardened criminals for a week without trial and strip searched twice. He was forced remove his clothing in front of a group of four other prisoners, open his mouth, lift his genitals, and “squat and cough” while others including women, watched. He was publicly traumatised and humiliated [327]. All charges were ultimately dropped [ibid]. Under the U.S. Supreme Court rules however, this is all perfectly legal. A person can be strip searched and placed into a prison population for the crime of walking ones dog without a leash [331], crossing the street without using a crosswalk [330], requesting a complaint form from a police station [ibid], or similar “crimes”.
The reason is a simple one: In the U.S. prisons are operated by private for-profit corporations (please see my article regarding the prison system North American internment camps) for citations).
Hence there is a clear economic incentive to build more prisons, and to find ways to fill them. There was an alleged system of alleged kickbacks in place to aid in this endeavour [329]. Imprisoning and strip searching a person multiple times in front of a group of voyeurs (which always entails inserting objects (fingers) into vaginae and rectums), all without trial, is an extremely profitable move for the corporations running the prisons.
At time of writing no other industrialised nation sanctioned such routine, without trial, imprisonment and invasion of personal privacy and basic human rights under the UN Charter [328]. But several dictatorships did.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Photo: U.S. president Bush II and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Saudi Arabia’s counter terrorism law [1151] criminalised acts which “disturb public order” or defamed the reputation of the state. It allegedly contained severe limits on free speech, assembly, and association, allowed police to arrest and hold anyone without judicial oversight for up to a year, and violated the right to a fair trial. Saudi Arabia had first installed one of the most pervasive spy networks in the world, using technologies virtually identical to those of several western government spy agencies. The United States has been a staunch ally of this oppressive torture state for decades. Saudi Arabia has large supplies of oil and similar resources.

10.6.13 “Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? ("Who watches the watchers?")

Accountability is an oft used term. But sadly one which applies less to the powerful than to everyone else. Even Cicero wrote about this some 2000 years ago. Since then many writers have documented countless examples. Hence there is little need to expand upon this rather obvious fact of human society here.
However one single example may be useful. It has nothing directly to do with the Panopticon. But does perhaps serve to show that for whatever reasons, ranging from over zealousness to sheer bullying, power once given it all too easily misused and abused.
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested on terrorism charges in Canada, during the alleged fascistic - a word I do not use lightly - reign of prime minister Steven Harper (please q.v. Soft Fascism by example)). Mr. Nuttall was by some accounts allegedly developmentally challenged [1788], and Ms. Korody was allegedly unable to think for herself [ibid]. They lived in abject poverty, had few or even no friends, and were barely surviving. Unemployed, addicted, living hand to mouth in a some basement they could barely afford. And rarely left. Until the Canadian federal police found them and turned them into manufactured “terrorists”.
I will not go into details here since they are readily available (eg. [1789]). However I will quote from the 210 page state Supreme Court decision on their case:
“There was no imminent risk of harm to the public or the need to disrupt ongoing criminal activity... This was not a situation in which the police were attempting to disrupt an ongoing criminal enterprise; rather, the offences committed by the defendants were brought about by the police and would not have occurred without their involvement. By any measure, this was a clear case of police-manufactured crime. ... The world has enough terrorists. We do not need the police to create more out of marginalised people ... The defendants also demonstrated that they were not very intelligent, gullible and quite naive and child-like. ... The couple posed no imminent threat. ... To say they were unsophisticated is generous I find that the RCMP knowingly facilitated a terrorist activity by providing money and other services to the defendants that helped and made easier the terrorist activities. ... Without the police it would have been impossible for the defendants to carry out the pressure-cooker plan … The police decided they had to aggressively engineer and plan for Nuttall and Korody and make them think it was their own. The defendants were the foot soldiers but the undercover officer was the leader of the group. ... The police engaged in a multifaceted and systematic manipulation of the defendants to induce them into committing a terrorist offence. ... [Police] were clearly overzealous and acted on the assumption that there were no limits to what was acceptable when investigating terrorism. Within their ranks there were warnings given and ignored. ... The spectre of the defendants serving a life sentence for a crime that the police manufactured by exploiting their vulnerabilities, by instilling fear that they would be killed if they backed out … is offensive to our concept of fundamental justice.”
~ B.C. Supreme Court Justice C. Bruce [1790].
Mr. Nuttall and Ms. Korody spent years in prison and going through the courts, basically having their already difficult lives further ruined by police who manufactured “terrorists” out of them. When the Justice found them innocent on all “police manufactured terrorism” [1790] counts and ordered them released, the government had them rearrested an hour later under the alleged unconstitutional law Bill C-51 [1791] which allowed for arrest of anyone who “might” commit a terrorism offence. Guilty until proven innocent.
That is to say, under the Thought Crime legislation of Bill C-51 anyone who “might” commit an offence of “terrorism” (which is so broadly defined in the Bill as to include almost everyone [1793]) may be arrested and jailed. And so these two sad cases were jailed again, despite the Court ruling that “This was a clear case of police manufactured crime” [1790]. Despite that Court’s finding that “there was no imminent risk of harm to the public or the need to disrupt ongoing criminal activity” [ibid].
““It was horrible, it was so scary - you should have seen the looks on their faces. I thought John was going to die right there. The cops need to be charged with harassment and causing trauma.
~ Maureen Smith [1795] (Mr. Nuttal’s mother)
Now, I mention this particular case for the simple reason that it was covered widely in international media, particular here in Britain by the Guardian News group. As the Guardian said, it was another example of government agents - in this case federal police - doing whatever they wished, including manufactured crime, further ruining the lives of already marginalised people. The various officers right up the chain of command smearing the good name of police everywhere.
The police operation - Operation Souvenir - involving more than 240 officers and at time of writing unknown amounts of taxpayer dollars. For example, police billed the taxpayer more than $900,000 in overtime alone [1796]. Could these resources have been put to better use? Of course. Was this a demonstration of the extreme confirmation bias endemic to nations caught up in the phoney “terrorism” propaganda meme (please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror )? Of course.
“[Operation Souvenir threatened] fundamental beliefs our society holds about human dignity and fairness”
~ B.C. Supreme Court Justice C. Bruce [1794].
The question I would ask you to consider in light of the overall context of this article, is that if this case was caught by the media, how many others are there which are never spotted? Did government protect these two sad, confused, marginalised people? No. Did it create and manufacture two people who now hated and feared the police? And perhaps even radicalise them? You can decide this for yourself. Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?

10.6.14 Nothing is only Black or White

“As a Christian ... I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice”
~ Adolf Hitler [524], Nazi Fuhrer
“I fight for truth, justice, and the American Way”
~ Superman [525]
Chinese spirituality teaches us that in everything which looks black, there is some white. Everything which looks white, contains something that is black. It is the interplay of and eternal alteration of these states which describes the movement of the universe. This is epitomised in the Yin-Yang symbol, which for millennia has warned that adopting one position and rejecting all others is the way of stagnation and death. All things move forward only by allowing differences to exist in harmony.
Sadly however those historically who have been antithetical to individual rights and freedoms always attempt to frame complex subjects in terms of black and white.
The de facto propaganda style of such persons is known as the False Dilemma. This is a logical fallacy whereby two opposing points, options, or outcomes are presented as if they were to only two possibilities. In reality of course, the False Dilemma is simply that - false. There are many alternate means or options. But the ideologue propagandists only and always presents two that are mutually exclusive. There are no shades of grey in the black and white world of fanatics. Some examples of the False Dilemma propaganda phrase is:.
“You are either with us or against us”
~ U.S. president G.W. Bush
“Any [expletive deleted] marcher is with the terrorists”
~ Police officer at the G20 summit to a woman peacefully and legally marching in protest [289]
“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
~ Vic Toews [284], Canadian Minister of Public Safety in an appalling display of confirmation bias and the pragmatic fallacy, in response to a question by a member of parliament. [286]. Mr. Toews made this statement made just a few days after having issued approval for the first time in history, for Canada’s spy agency, boarder services, and federal police (RCMP) to use information gathered from torture. Even from the torture of children [366]. Completely ignoring even the CIA’s statement [578] has no value.
The only way to defeat ISIS terrorists is to go to war - paraphrase from speeches by Mr. Obama (U.S.) [1395] and Mr. Harper (Canada) [1397] and Mr. Cameron (Britain) [1397] in justifying starting yet another war in the Middle East without bothering to involve the UN, NGOs, or, well, anyone with an alternative means of stopping ISIS.
Consider that it has always been the mark of religious fanatics Religious Fanaticism is a means of controlling the rabble and psychopaths in powerful positions [343]  [343] Here I am not being quite literal - there is good academic research indicating that functional clinical psychopathology is not at all rare amongst CEOs, government leaders, and others in positions of power - please see here for citations and discussion: Psychopaths in Power . to attempt exclude any possibility of alternate viewpoints other than their own. To paint reality in black and white only, leaving no room for the fullness of life. One well known result of such a viewpoint was the Inquisition. Little wonder then when evangelicals and fundamentalists rise to power as they have in the United States, Canada, India, Saudi Arabia, etc. - that the reductio ad absurdum of black and white distinction of complex subjects rears its ugly head. Very sad to see history repeat in this way.
Even if one has nothing to hide, there is a very great deal to fear from those who see the world only in black and white hues. In the quotation above, the Canadian Minister of Public Safety was speaking of Bill C-51 and C-30. The Bill sought to require internet service providers [344]  [344] ISPs - the people whom you pay to access the internet. to keep and make available all information on any and all activity by their customers - cell phone [345]  [345] Most police forces have software which can bypass security on for example, iPhones [325]. It takes an average of four seconds to break into these devices [ibid]., internet searches, banking transactions, personal email, text messages - all of it. What websites you visit and when, who you email and what you said, who you call and what you said, and oh, so much more. These Bills allowed for so-called “fishing expeditions” - spying on everything you do online - without court. And without any public oversight. As Canada’s Privacy Commissioner said:
“You will have no idea who has access to where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing, and that should give everyone pause... there is not even a requirement for the commission of a crime to justify access to personal information – real names, home address, unlisted numbers, e-mail addresses, IP addresses and much more – without a warrant.... [adding] ... significant new capabilities for investigators to track and search and seize ... information about individuals.... Canadians have not been given sufficient justification for the new powers,”
~ J. Stoddart, the federal Privacy Commissioner for Canada [285]
Under the Bill using a false name on the Internet became a crime in Canada. As you may know, abused women and children use false names on social networking sites in order not to be stalked by the abuser. Immigrants talking to family still under the rule of oppressive dictators use false names to as not to endanger their loved ones. But the Bill made such anonymity a crime. The Bill further gave private for-profit companies a lock on the most private data of Canadians (including medical information), storing it for as long as the government wanted.
"Apparently if you care about civil liberties in this country you obviously side with child pornographers, murderers... you’re the worst form of scum if you believe the Charter [the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] is an important instrument for the rule of law in this country. I’m horrified by this kind of rhetoric. It demeans us all."
~ E. May, leader of one of Canada’s opposition parties [288], discussing the government’s new laws
In other jurisdictions where similar blanket powers with no oversight have been enacted, mission creep became the default means of operation. For example,the National Security Administration in the U.S. has stated that "over-collection" of domestic email messages and phone calls had become the norm by government [291]. Australian police and several government agencies routinely spied on communications lines without warrant or justification in so-called “fishing expeditions” [304]. In Japan, the same [305]. In Italy government have installed backdoors (secret access points) in many networks [306]. Police in Greece used similar no-oversight powers to routinely tap government members [292]. In the U.K. similar laws (created to “fight terrorists and pornographers” have been used for ascertaining "a family’s eligibility to send their children to a local school" [293]. In the U.S. similar laws have been used to target journalists conducting investigations of alleged government improprieties [294]. In the U.S. the NSA has allegedly been installing backdoors in most popular products for at least a couple of decades [648], as indicated for example by the well known Lotus-Notes example [649]. And so on.
Let us do a small thought experiment: Suppose you are a government Cabinet Minister. A very wealthy, very powerful corporate lobby group comes to you and says “There are too many suicides. It’s bad for business. Do something.” So you issue an order that the largest bridge in the country be burned to the ground. Because people can jump off bridges to their death. Then you are shocked and horrified when your bureaucrats report that the suicide rate is unaffected. So you order that the next largest bridge be burned to the ground. And so on. Until every bridge in your country is gone. There is massive disruption. People cannot travel. Goods cannot reach markets. The economy is in shambles. And just as many people commit suicide as before.
This is what government bureaucrats like Mr. Toews, perhaps well meaning perhaps not, are doing - they are attacking the means of communication under the pretext of fixing another problem all together. A problem which should be attacked directly - there are many ways to do so, if governments were really interested in doing so rather than using trigger phrases such as “standing with the pornographers” to enable universal surveillance. That is to say, the antithesis of democratic rights and freedoms.
“Communications surveillance should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society. Legislation must stipulate that State surveillance of communications must only occur under the most exceptional circumstances and exclusively under the supervision of an independent judicial authority.
~ F. La Rue [Op. Cit.], the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, report on state surveillance and freedom of expression.
In Section 5.2 below, as well as in my article on the end of democracy Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) [258] world wide, I discuss the fact that more and more ostensible democracies are allocating police and government agencies more and more power to spy on citizens, without any oversight by the public. But police are human. They misuse their legal powers all the time: For example, police in a large metropolitan area were recently found to have been systemically watching pornography while on the job [308], emailing pornography to other officers [309], and even more onerous activities [310]. This was discovered by accident during the course of investigating another unrelated matter [308]. Police as you may know, have one of the highest incidents of spousal abuse of any profession [311]. Further, sexual harassment of women by male police officers is relatively common, including sexual harassment of women officers [313, 314]. This dispute the fact that many groups had long known and spoken out against such sexism [ibid, 315, 316, 317].
“Contemporary pornography will make use of any relationship of domination and subordination - a power differential between people that can be sexualised and exploited.”
~ R. Jensen, D. Okrina, Pornography and Sexual Violence [312]
The point here of course is not to criticise police or any other group. But rather to indicate that laws such as C-30 enacted in the UK, the U.S., Italy, Japan, which largely removed public oversight, were dangerous. Because removing public oversight is an open door not merely to mission creep, but to abuse by police and government.
“He can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.”
~ V. Toews [284], Canadian Minister of Public Safety in response to a question by a member of parliament. [286]
“I did not make that statement.”
~ ibid [287] the day after he was videotaped making the previous statement in the Canadian House of Commons in front of dozens of witnesses.
“All he has to do is read the document”
~ ibid [306] in response to a question in Parliament, demanding the questioner read the universal surveillance document mentioned above, to see for himself that it was innocuous
“I have not read the document”
~ ibid [307] during an interview one day later, admitting he had not read the universal surveillance document
Section 34 of the Bill allowed police and anonymous government bureaucrats access to any communication equipment, and to any information contained thereon with no restrictions, warrants, oversight, or review [318]. Such access was not required to be within the context of a criminal investigation. This was basically copycat legislation as part of the plan to match U.S. and Canadian laws. In this case, the bill copied (in some cases word for word) U.S. House Judiciary Committee bill H.R. 1981 (the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act) - which also required Internet service providers to keep a record of their customers’ internet activity. Both bills were, in the opinion of many, violation of the U.N. Charter, the ICC, and other agreements to which these countries were signatories.
“Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.” - Clark’s Law
History has shown that the greatest threats to individual rights frequently emanate from within the halls of power rather than from any outside force. Conflating security and privacy also has a chilling effect on free speech, for obvious reasons.
History has also shown, very clearly in fact, that when private data on individual citizens is gathered without public oversight, it is always misused.
The next section demonstrates the horrific consequences of what can happen, and has already happened, when such public oversight is removed:

10.6.15 Inaccurate data

In an effort to keep this article to a more manageable length, I have moved the subsection on inaccurate data here: Thought Crime and Junk Science). Suffice it to say that pseudo science is rampant amongst those in government and government agencies tasked with protecting the pinnacle of the oligarchy which rules the United States (and to a lesser extent client nations such as Britain, Canada, etc.).
The misuse and abuse in the application of science by such groups as Fatherland Homeland Security, the TSA, NSA, GCHQ, and others is in fact little more than junk science. Its purpose is intimidation. Where the application of junk science described [ibid], democracy cannot and indeed does not, exist

10.6.16 Destruction of democracy

(an image: pls click to see it)
(Graphic: (From spy agency documents released into the public domain [Op. cit.] It is interesting to compare this to strategies used by the KGB, FSB STASI, and NAZI propaganda agencies. Hnt - the are almost identical).
In addition to all of the foregoing, all of which undermines democratic, civil, and legal rights and freedoms, those who have installed the Panopticon have worked very hard to undermine that pillar of democracy - journalism.
For a more detailed discussion of this, please see here: Media Controls Most Narratives) and Replacing Truth and Information with Trivia - propaganda as culture). To which should be added the fact that the NSA and other U.S. arms of the executive branch of the military have been for many years planting spyware in the computers and hand held communications devices of journalists [1448, 1449, 1450].
When journalists cannot do their job, cannot inform the public without fear of reprisal, cannot serve as and independent and free oversight group on the illegal and/or unethical practices of government, democracy cannot survive. Already as I have pointed out here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , self-censorship amongst journalists, bloggers, and whistle blowers in all of the Five-Eyes countries is rampant, for fear of reprisal by these agencies (please also see Section 10.6.15.3, below.)

10.6.16.1 Government for and by the powerful

(an image: pls click to see it)
There are as of this writing, laws in most countries which radically restrict an individual’s rights in accessing and using information. Above these country laws, are international “agreements”. Two in particular stand out - the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) which has signed by several major nations; and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, and various clones under various names have been negotiated in secret between several powerful corporations and government representatives. The secrecy had been so extreme that a leaked memorandum stipulated that the creators of the agreement would make the final treaty public only after all secret negotiations have concluded [123].
The TPP took this secrecy even further - all TPP negotiations and documents had been agreed to be kept secret from the public until a full four years after they had been ratified [124]. (Leaked documents also indicate that the TPP gives multinational corporations the ability to largely ignore many safeguards such as environmental and privacy protection rights enacted by member countries.) The United States had blocked all attempts [125] by various parties [126] to release these and related documents. Even so a few documents had been leaked to the public [127]. The TPP was negotiated in secret. Twenty four of the leaked chapters of the agreement concern granting new corporate privileges and rights. And setting new limits of governments and protective regulations. Member states would be locked-in, unable to enact laws independent of the TPP regulations.
The details were available from a number of sources. Suffice it to say that damages against individuals for alleged transgression of the rules was ludicrously high - beyond the power of most individuals to answer. The committees applying the rules were to be unaccountable to anyone - their rulings took precedence over the laws of individual countries. Additionally there were no fair use provisions - civil laws and practice were abandoned for say, educators and medical staff, in favour of criminalising alleged divergence from ACTA or TPP rule sets.
“[the TPP is] designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximise profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.”
~ Dr. N. Chomsky [1457]
There is a plethora of properly done research indicating that such deals are extremely harmful not only to the vast majority of citizens, but to the democracy and freedom. For an easy to read example with many citations, please see N. Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” and “This changes everything” [1455, 1456].
I would like to give an analogy concerning these class of international agreements. It may seem a little extreme but sadly is I feel, a rather accurate representation of what had been leaked (and agreed to) at time of writing:
Imagine a large city office tower, filled with thousands of office workers. Down at the bottom of the tower, in tiny letters, someone has scrawled some graffiti in crayon. It says: “Moustached men are funny looking”.
One day, several years after the graffiti was drawn Hercule Poirot - the famous Belgian detective - happens by. He sees the graffiti, and takes offence. He twirls his wonderful curled and waxed moustache once, twice, then marches straight off to the police station. There he accuses the owners of the office tower for allowing the offending literary work to be seen by the public. This he says, is an open and shut case of collusion with bigotry against people with moustaches.
The police, acting under the rules of the two international agreement mentioned, need no further evidence (for the agreements do not require proof of guilt, or investigation). They at once order that the office tower be destroyed. It soon is. And the offending graffiti is gone forever. M. Poirot is satisfied. When the owners of the office tower complain they soon find out that under the trade rules there is no recourse, regardless of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the complaint, and regardless of their complicity or noncompliance with the graffiti artist.
Now suppose that instead of a highly moral person such as M. Poirot making the original complaint, it has simply been someone with a grudge against the owners of the building. Exactly the same result would have ensued.
ACTA, TPP, and similar copycat negotiated-in-secret constraints deal with information, not office buildings. The implications for every form of intellectual endeavour from the dissemination of generic drugs to scientific research are obvious. For where the innocent can be accused and tried by extra-national groups without proof, the nothing to hide, nothing to fear mantra is arguably false.
“I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on - the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests. ... This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would strongly recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States. Sincerely, Ladar Levison Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC”
~ L. Levison in an open letter posted on Lavabit [349]
The Lavabit case is an interesting one. It illustrates how secret laws (see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ) which threaten prison terms and worse to anyone who informed the public that their government was demanding information about them become the backbone of a dystopian Panopticon. In effect, they allow a secretive government agency with essentially no oversight (vide infra) to bypass civil and democratic protections and force individuals and companies to cooperate or revealing that they are so doing. (Please see [1100, 1101, 1102], the Mozilla Foundation’s statement [1103], the EFF foundation [1104] on this issue, for additional details.) In other words, they give intelligence agencies powers essentially identical to those of similar agencies in dictatorships. They mean too that the browser you are using, your cellphone, your operating system ... everything may be bugged without cause, without oversight, and most certainly, without recourse.
"My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company’s network. ... I had no choice but to consent to the installation of their device, which would hand the U.S. government access to all of the messages – to and from all of my customers – as they travelled between their email accounts other providers on the Internet. But that wasn’t enough. The federal agents then claimed that their court order required me to surrender my company’s private encryption keys, and I baulked. What they said they needed were customer passwords – which were sent securely – so that they could access the plain-text versions of messages from customers using my company’s encrypted storage feature. (The government would later claim they only made this demand because of my "noncompliance".) ... What ensued was a flurry of legal proceedings that would last 38 days, ending not only my startup but also destroying, bit by bit, the very principle upon which I founded it – that we all have a right to personal privacy. ... If we allow our government to continue operating in secret, it is only a matter of time before you or a loved one find yourself in a position like I did – standing in a secret courtroom, alone, and without any of the meaningful protections that were always supposed to be the people’s defence against an abuse of the state’s power. "
~ L. Levison [1245], founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit
The U.S. government’s actions in these few examples (there are quite literally hundreds more - please see the citations) bare an interesting similarity to activities of repressive governments such as the former Soviet Union, East Germany, Burma under SLORC, etc. That is to say, secret gag orders, secret courts, secret rules, no public oversight. Such activities also make mockery of claims by M. Haden [1246], K. Alexander [1247], and B. Obama [1248] that these agencies and their Panopticon are entirely benign and seek only to stop “terrorists” The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .
Abuse by the U.S., Canadian, Australian, British, etc. governments became so extreme, that corporations began issuing what was known as a “Warrant Canary”.
Warrant canaries are a statement used by corporations, NGOs, publishers, charities, and individuals that they have not been subjected to secret government demands to turn over, suppress, or destroy legally held data, information on individuals using their services, etc. which such Stalinist laws as just discussed.
If Warrant Canaries vanish from privacy policies or publish statements, this is seen as a signal that the government has made such demands and forbidden anyone from revealing the fact. For example, in spring of 2016 the warrant canary at the popular news site Reddit.com disappeared from the site’s transparancy report [1518]. Apple Computers published a Warrant Canary in 2013 [1358] which disappeared in 2014 [1359], indicating that anyone using there services is no longer safe from secret surveillance.
Since National security letters are always (almost) part of an unlimited order preventing companies or their employees from saying anything about the NSL on pain of almost unlimited jail time, a Reddit administrator would only say this:
"I’ve been advised not to say anything one way or the other ... who made the update, said in a thread discussing the change. “Even with the canaries, we’re treading a fine line.” [ibid]
Warrant Canaries are often necessary in nations where anonymous “intelligence agencies” rule, rather than the citizenry. Hence the need for warrant canaries in those nations. Sadly warrant canaries have been vanishing at an increasing rate, particularly in the United States and Britain - indicating that demands and interference from secret anonymous government agents are escalating. Most major U.S. software corporations have been subject to, or willing in cooperation with, such allegedly unethical and perhaps illegal but increasingly common, demands antithetical to individual rights and freedoms online, as defined in part by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Democracy, and indeed basic human rights and freedoms in a civil society, are never compatible with such actions. For while there are obviously times when an investigation must be held secret in order to protect the public, those times are very few and far between. In nations where the public cannot and does not by law have meaningful oversight of NSLs, the opportunity for, and chance of, abuse by government agencies is extremely high. A police state (the STASI, the KGB, the FSB, the SS, SLORC, etc.) can only arise where such abuse is made easy by law. Such laws as RIPA in Britain, or the Patriot Act in the U.S. have a long history of encouraging not only abuse, but escalating suppression of free speech and dissent.

10.6.16.2 Mass propaganda

“(i)n an electoral system, run by and for a corporate oligarchy, deception and demagoguery are essential elements – entertaining the people while working for the wealthy.”
~ J. Petras [1221] writing in “The Politics of Empire”
Sadly as democracy is being engineered into oblivion and discussed in detail here: Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , the examples of government abuse of power mount. Therefore rather than give a long list of these, I will underline a single example which directly pertains to the rise of the Panopticon.
First, it is important to understand that various agencies stemming from the ongoing merging of multinational corporations and government do not simply gather data, relationships, etc. for use against anyone they wish. Rather they alter and/or delete the data to present false information to the public.
An obvious example of this is the elimination of scientific evidence by the egregious Harper regime in Canada, as discussed in detail here: Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , even going so far as to actually bulldoze libraries and burying books. (In fairness the regime claimed to be digitising the records before destruction - a claim which was allegedly shown by the scientist involved to have been allegedly false [1216, 1217].
Efforts by many governments to shutdown and/or control the internet are well know. U.S. president Obama’s declaration that he wanted an “internet kill switch” which he could personally activate at any time [1218] is little different from that of North Korea’s Kim Kim Jong-il almost identical statement [1219]. But many governments have realised that there is much better propaganda value in planting false statements, lying, and manipulating social media as opposed to simply shutting it down. For example, leaked documents [1220] give some idea as to the scope and pervasiveness of this propaganda: social media for example are allegedly surreptitiously used to disseminate false or damaging information about people, technologies, ways of thought which the U.S., Britain, or other western governments do not like.
It is a sad fact that for many years certain governments have been using mass disinformation (eg. regarding the War of Terror The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , various financial bailouts Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), mass murder Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill , etc.), disruption (eg. the ability to disrupt communications systems [1185]), planting of false stories (eg. the many virulent attacks on whistleblowers discussed supra), manipulation of social media as discussed previously, and so on to manipulate public opinion in a manner similar to its smearing of traditional media reporters (the Bush administrations attack on long time reporters who asked the “wrong” questions [1186, 1187, 1188] is a case in point) who do not stick to the government script.
Threat has to be created for the apparatus to be funded.
Britain’s JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) is an alleged case in point. One of their leaked documents entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations” presents and interesting read [1189]. From these and other leaked documents [1190, 1191] JTRIG allegedly routinely engages in monitoring of online video (YouTube, etc.), monitoring and recording blogs, hacking (using identical techniques to those their government has publicly condemned [1192] when used by others), luring (eg. with sex), planting viruses (again, condemned by their government when others do the same thing [ibid]), and so on. And allegedly manipulate social networks with false information. Overall they allegedly warp online discussion in such a manner as to compromise not merely integrity of knowledge and discussion, but allegedly purposefully undermine trust in reputable sources. This happy group of lovely folk allegedly in concert with other Five Eye partners (Canada, the U.S., Australia, etc.), allegedly according to the documents [1189, 1190, 1191] seek disrupt and destroy. Below are a tiny handful of these methods from the documents, with some quick parenthetical examples:
  • The four D’s: disrupt, deny, deceive, degrade
    • Infiltration (pretend to be a black hat hacker)
    • Ruse (produce “chatter about possible attacks” to excuse clamping down on legal protests)
    • False flag events (make and release threatening tapes from a leader for a full decade after his death of kidney failure)
    • Set piece operations (use the fight against pornography as excuse for creeping surveillance)
    • False rescue operations (obvious)
    • Disruption (compromise legal systems such as social networks, with virus, DDOS, and other attacks, etc.)
    • Sting operations (pretend to be a source of information on illegal NSA activities, etc.)
    • Discretion (lying about a journalist or whistleblower, planting false stories about his life, etc.)
    • Social networks:
      • alter photos (male into female, enhanced female, etc.)
      • pretend to be a victim (eg. on rape support groups, or war veteran groups)
      • steal identities (eg. get list of “friends” and email them pretending to be someone else)
    • Corporations
      • leak confidential information harmful to a corporation
      • disrupt deals, ruin business relationships
      • interfere with environmental groups trying to use online tools to organise protests
      • etc.
There is much more in the documents and through other sources [1194].
But moving on, there is also GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell,” devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption” [1190]. I have abstracted a small example from [1192]) - please note the similarity to certain NLP techniques. As I cite here Is Clinical Psychology a Fraud?), various allegedly ethically challenged psychologists receive large amounts of money allegedly from some agencies to apply their art to alleged human rights violations rather than to healing. Amorality from government agencies? Surely not.
(an image: pls click to see it)
(Graphic: from the Human Science Operations Cel documents [1193])
”... agencies like the GCHQ face no such [oversight] risks, deterrents, consequences, oversight, or accountability... And that means we’re inching into the same territory as the dictatorial regimes criticized by democratic governments for not respecting internet freedoms.
~” G. Coleman [1195]
In sum it has been alleged that British (and partner governments and their “intelligence” agencies) monitor and influence communications, covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension, disseminate false information, interfere with legal and legitimate discussion, subvert trust and trust relationships, and in general do acutely as Orwell and Huxley said they would. A very sad day for democracy and basic human rights as outlined by the UN Charter cited above.
(an image: pls click to see it)
(Graphic: I showed this previously, but thought it was worth emphasising. From leaked British/U.S. spy agency social engineering documents [24] It is interesting to compare this to social engineering strategies used by the KGB, FSB, STASI, and NAZI propaganda agencies.)
Again, it is fascinating to see how these alleged methodologies and practices so closely follow the actions of former regimes now universally considered evil and unjust. But now with vastly updated technologies, of course. Well, the STASI certainly did not consider themselves evil, but rather they thought of themselves as doing what was right and just. If individual freedoms, human rights, civil society, and so on had to be sacraficed for their version of “what was right”, well, that was mere collateral damage. Hence it becomes a question perhaps worth asking, as to whether or not those perpetrating alleged mass propaganda, spying, and disruption techniques are good or well meaning people.
The subsection below regarding psychopathology briefly explores this question, as does my article on they clinical diagnoses involved here: Psychopaths in Power .
Of course sabotage is well used aspect of propaganda. For example, British forces participating in the illegal [Op. cit.] invasion and holocaust of Iraq were finally forced to admit that they had constructed and placed numerous car bombs [1685, 1686, 1687]. These bombs they then blamed on Iraqi “insurgents” in order presumably, to convince both the public back home in Britain and potential sympathisers against the invasion that their own people were not to be trusted. The result? As always there were allegedly many deaths of innocent civilian Iraqis [ibid] due to these British car bombs. The British were (like the U.S.) also found to have tortured many prisoners [1688, et Op. cit.], something which the British armed forced denied until proof emerged in the form of leaked photos and escapee evidence (please also see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ).
Both the U.S. and Britain of course, have long histories of sabotage aiding and abetting propaganda. One need look no further in the case of the former nation than their well known false-flag sabotage of peaceful demonstrations during the end of the Raj and the British invasion of India. Well, many other nations have done similar. However it may be of interest in the current context to consider some of the training manuals the United States has constructed for its saboteurs over the years.
Consider for example, there is the now declassified 1940’s “SIMPLE SABOTAGE FIELD MANUAL 3: Strategic Services: N4245.3’ [1689]. In various sections with such titles as “General Devices for Lowering Morale and Creating Confusion” saboteurs are instructed to “Snarl up administration in every possible way ... Report imaginary spies or danger to the ... police ... Spread disturbing rumours that sound like inside dope ... Any communications facilities which can be used by the authorities to transmit instructions or morale material should be the objects of simple sabotage. These include telephone, telegraph and power systems, radio, newspapers, placards, and public notices.” .. and so on. Pretty straightforward. Pretty obvious.
Fast froward a few years to 2013, and we have much more effective and detailed instructions for a different type of social sabotage, i.e. social engineering. Consider the following examples from leaked documents already mentioned, viz.: [1610, 1680, 1681, 1682].
(an image: pls click to see it)
(Graphic: (From GCHQ documents released into the public domain by the U.S. National Broadcasting Corporation [1680])
(an image: pls click to see it)
(Graphic: From spy agency documents available from Crypthome [Op. cit.])
Of course various three and four letter agencies protest that such methods, including their use of torture and killing of civilians (please see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? and The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ) are necessary to “protect the public” - a taradiddle of mammoth proportions offered sans proof, sans rational rationale, and sans reference to ample historic and psychological contrary evidence.
In this regard it is interesting to review the rationals put foreword by the notorious KGB, FSB, STASI, and similar agencies noting the many similarities (to the point of indistinguishability in many, many cases) in regards to methodologies for socially engineering society in the image they wished. Often regardless of legal or moral constraint.
Please also see:
  1. Creating the Fourth Reich?
  2. Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered?
  3. Psychopaths in power)
  4. and other items under the menu item ’social engineering’, above.
In those article I cite verified literature and leaked documents indicating that various agencies have used the techniques - garnered through data gathered by the burgeoning Panopticon - against those who wish to legally and peacefully protest government policies. From attacks on G20 peaceful protesters through environmentalists peacefully protesting oil corporation poisoning of water resources through fracking, these techniques have been and are being used against those who are no threat whatsoever to the state. But are a threat to those who are seeking to suppress or ignore democratic rights and freedoms.
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corp., 1992 [21]

10.6.16.3 Forced self-censorship is antithetical to democracy

““In today’s world we are surrounded by gadgets. Our phones, televisions, fridges, everything around us is sending real-time information about us. Already we have full data on people’s movements, their interests and so on. A person should understand that in the modern world he is under the spotlight of technology.”
~ Alexander Kabakov [1562], developer of a Russian face recognition system which provides security, police, and corporate users with information on anyone by very rapidly matching a cellphone picture to data mined from social media. Mr. Kabakov (age 29) was interviewed [ibid] just after signing a contract in Moscow to integrate the city’s 150,000 CCTV cameras into his facial recognition system.
I mentioned previously that one of the outcomes of the massive propaganda exercise to acculturated the population to the Panopticon in the United States and its subject nations (Britain, Canada, Germany, etc.) has been self-censorship. Let us now very briefly examine academic research in this area:
Privacy is an essential feature of a free, open, democratic society. If people know they are being watched, they act differently. They hesitate to speak openly. They hesitate in criticising government wrongdoings. They are afraid. There is a chilling effect upon journalism, academic discourse, scientific research, political discourse, factual information disbursement, and free speech.
““Essential to what it means to be a free and fulfilled human being is to have a place that we can go and be free of the judgemental eyes of other people”
~ Glenn Greenwald [1556], winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the Izzy Award for independent journalism, and many others
In a study at Oxford University by J. Penney in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal, Wikipedia traffic was analysed prior to 2013 and post 2013 - the year that the leaked documents proved what many had suspected. Namely that the U.S NSA had been constructing a Panopticon and illegally spying on perfectly innocent average citizens all over the world and within the United States.
The study showed that there had been a 20% decline views of Wikipedia articles concerning terrorism as well as those merely mentioning the terms “al-Qaeda,” “car bomb” or “Taliban” [1557, 1558].
Similarly A. Marthews and C. Tucker (an MIT professor) had similar findings for Google searches [1559]. Their research showed that after the revelations Google searchers for keywords which the U.S. Department of Fatherland Homeland Security had flagged as being “terrorist terms” to be monitored on social media, fell dramatically.
Research by PEN America (an advocacy group for writers) showed [1560] that roughly 17% of writers modified or eliminated content in their work following the above revelations for fear that the surveillance could lead to reprisals. They were according to the report “ engaging in self-censorship as a result [ibid].
A Pew survey in the United States [1561] showed that 87% of U.S. adults were aware of the revelations about the NSA’s spying and at least 40% of U.S. citizens (youth and adults) were concerned that their government was spying on them personally. Furthermore a full 13% said that they “avoided using certain terms” online, with 14% stating that as a result of the revelations they had limited their online conversations.
There are too a plethora of apocryphal reports [1562] by would be Wikipedia editors, writers, blogger, website authors, and the like that they have removed content due solely to their fear of repercussions by anonymous government bureaucrats should they dare to publish factual information contrary to government propaganda. For example, discussing the many trials in abscentia and their detailed documentation accusing several U.S. presidents, generals, secretaries of state, etc. as war criminals [1563, 1564, 1565] have been removed from a number of blogs and websites. Particularly in light of the persecution of whistleblowers by the U.S. and Britain [Op. cit.] even to the point of U.S. high government officials calling for their assassination [ibid].
Self-censorship of course does not only apply to individuals. For example, in Britain librarians have been refusing to stock and information about the Taliban [1563]; in Canada publication of the writings of Osama bin Laden has been classed as a terrorist act [1564] (i.e. making even scholars [1565] afraid to access or read said writings); in at least one university [1557] teaching computer science students ways of circumventing surveillance has been banned; university students studying terrorism have been accused of being terrorists simply possessing scholarly research on the matter [1558, 1559]; and so on ad nauseam.
“So imagine, now, a Wikipedia user in Egypt who wants to edit a page about government opposition or discuss it with fellow editors. If that user knows the NSA is routinely combing through her contributions to Wikipedia, and possibly sharing information with her government, she will surely be less likely to add her knowledge or have that conversation, for fear of reprisal.”
~ J. Wales, Wikipedia foundation [1555]
In other words, awareness of being monitored by nameless and unknown government agencies caused a precipitous drop in accessing information.
Finally, consider the example of Dr. Guido Menzio, an Italian born economics professor at Pennsylvania State in the U.S. Dr. Menzio was flying from Philadelphia, solving a differential equation on piece of paper prior to using it in speech to be delivered at Queen’s University, Canada. The woman sitting next to him passed a note to the flight attendant. The note expressed the woman’s concern the Dr. Menzio, who spoke with an accent (Italian), and had curly hear and beard like many Italians (see picture below). Just like Arab terrorists! And he was writing strange curvilinear symbols on a piece of paper [1560, 1561]. Obviously the woman - a good U.S. citizen - assumed that Dr. Menzio could be a terrorist. So Dr. Menzio was questioned by security agents, then released [346]  [346] Of critical import too, was the fact that Dr. Menzio was using Arabic numerals, which no doulbt added to the suspicions that he was a terrorist.. The appalling ignorance of the average U.S. citizen shown by this example, is too well known (everywhere outside the U.S.) to be of interest here. Rather the ripple effect of this and many similar examples concerns self-censorship. If you were flying in the U.S., would you work on your research? Or would it be best to act as inane as the average U.S. citizen, read the in-flight magazine, watch the in-flight movie “Dumb and Dumber”, and arrive without being questioned and embarrassed by authorities? Sigh.
The point of course, is the as in Nazi Germany, East German under the STASI, Burma under SLORK, the Soviet Union under the KGB, or the U.S. under Fatherland Insecurity Homeland Security and the NSA, being different is frowned upon. Hence the average citizen begins to act as an agent of the Panopticon - spying on others for anything “different”.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Well there are many ways around this (please see Encryption Concerns and Issues ) and Essential privacy tools)). Some people in the United States and similary devolving nations, have for example resorted to a modern version of tools used by the White Rose Group in Nazi Germany. One of these is the use of anonymous sharing of information [347]  [347] Such as using PIRATEBOX which I briefly discuss here: Essential privacy tools), to completely bypass the internet and maintain strict anonymity over city-sized distances.
As government transition from democratic to totalitarian rule, the Panopticon plays and important role in preventing dissent and eliminating factual information contrary to the prevailing lies. There is mounting evidence that being monitored or even the possibility of being monitored radically alters behaviour. Self-censorship is a survival skill in any nation which has eschewed democracy in favour of oligarchy.
This has all happened before in modern times - the Soviet Union, Burma, East Germany, Uganda, Kenya are but a few of the examples. But never has the surveillance been as pervasive as in the United States and their five eyes fiefdoms thanks to the perverted use of technology. Technology which could be used to elevate and educate to ensure democratic rule, but has been as is being used for its antithesis.
The Panopticon creates fear and self-censorship resulting in collective conformity ... which in turn ensures the demise of democratic rule.

10.6.16.4 Mass censorship: Who is served?

“People in America and around the world should not have to worry about protecting themselves from an unhinged United States government, unchained from its own Constitution, but worry they must. And the government should not, under the guise of protecting its own citizenry, conduct mass dragnet surveillance in secret, let alone the rest of the entire world while publicly crushing anyone who tries to expose it.”
~ Thomas Drake [1197] testifying before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
In dictatorships such as East German under the STASI, citizens were denied access to most forms of information. Particularly information concerning what government was really doing with their tax money, who was being watched and why, which corporations were awarded weapons contracts, and so on.
In the U.S. in one year alone, the government classified 77,000,000 documents [1825]. Under the Obama regime, this number has significantly expanded [1826] - hundreds of millions of tax funded information which the taxpayer is not allowed to view.
For example: No information was given concerning the NSA and similar agency activities, despite major leaks mentioned above, again despite numerous requests by NGOs (eg. the EFF), and the public in general [Op. Cit.]. The details on the 100s of billions of dollars the taxpayer paid to run these egregious systems was ... classified. All under the mendacious rubric [The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ] of “national security”.
The U.S. NSA, Britain’s GCHQ, Ethiopia’s Information Network Security Agency [1827], Saudi Arabia’s Internet Services Unit [1828], Belarus’ Operations and Analysis Centre [1829], Russia’s FSB [1830], Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service [1831], French agencies using the Military Programming Law [1832], Mexico’s Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional [1833], Afghanistan’s NDS [1834], Australia’s ASIS [1835], Tunisia’s Technical Agency for Telecommunications (ATT) (successor to the horrible Tunisian ATI censorship agency) .... and so on around the world ... all censor and spy on journalists, NGOs, whistleblowers, academics, and others whom they choose to censor. All without any meaningful oversight.
Not primarily to counter “terrorists” or whatever flavour of the month qualifies as freedom fighter or terrorist according to political sway , but to primarily to
  1. aid in industrial espionage
  2. suppress dissent and
  3. ensure no factual discourse interferes with current propaganda and doxal inculcation of same (please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for details and citations for this statement).
But above all, to allow elites to continue their activities unhampered by factual knowledge dissemination to the masses.
Let me give a simple example of what I mean by this: In 2014 the Chinese government literally shut down access to the Internet throughout China for several hours on on Jan. 22 [1836]. Why? National security? No, of course not. The government shut everyone in China from accessing the internet in order to censor leaked reports about the use of offshore tax havens by members of the Chinese rulers. The excuse given was a “national security emergency”.
Another example: All access to the internet was halted by government of Sudan on Sept. 25, 2013 [1837]. For reasons of “national security”? No, of course not. They shut it down to prevent protesters against government corruption from organising marches. The excuse given was “national security”.
Another example: With the help of United States [1838] the government of Egypt under Mubarak shut down all access to the internet and cell networks to prevent marches against his overthrow of democratic rule [1839, 1840]. The excuse given was “national security”.
Another: Police in Boston shutdown all access to cell phones and internet during protests against their alleged slaughter of innocent people who had the audacity to have dark colour skin [1841]. The excuse given was “state security” [ibid].
More: In France the law [1842] on gender equality required ISPs to identify and report “sexist” or “homophobic” content which might cause hatred, and either contact police or censor it on the fly.
And: In Venezuela, ISPs were ordered to block all images of protests against President Nicolás Maduro on Twitter social media [1843].
Another example: In Canada the egregious regime of prime minister Stephen Harper of Canada, Canada fell from a former position in the worlds least censoring countries to 56thout of 94, and at time of writing is still plummeting [1844, 1845]. The regime has been so intent upon expanding censorship in fact, that even the number of postal workers claiming overtime expenses has been censored and removed from public examination [1846], from government websites, and government publication. In the interests of protecting the public from truth, i.e. “national security”.
Finally: In the United States president Obama ordered the construction of a means of creating a “kill switch” to shut down the internet in the U.S. on his say-so alone [1847]. Only in times of “national emergency” of course ... as defined by him. “National security” required the ability to censor all information over the internet.
The point here is once bibliocaust begins, it is easy to extend the censorship to the most ludicrously unnecessary items. All centred upon disallowing the average person from accessing information.
Information is power. To maintain power, control information. Censor it, control its distribution, change it on the fly.
The problem here is a simple one:
In democracies elected officials, the bureaucracy, police, military, and intelligence agencies must serve the public - not the government. And most assuredly not the heads of state, their cronies, or a handful of powerful CEOs. Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) . Or the handful of plutarchs who so easily pull the strings of their pet politicians [ibid]. Regardless of the excuses and rationals given by those in authority, the types of privacy invasions and circumventing of ethical operation discussed herein, are utterly incompatible with a free and democratic society. Nor are they of any independently proven use in combating terrorism or crime despite the cheer leaders for the construction of Orwellian dystopias from the Michael Hayden’s of the world (who it should be noted, do not reference independent research but rather vague ideological ’your government knows best’ tautologies.)
The use of these technologies do however, closely match historical examples related closely to the rise of totalitarianism.

10.6.16.5 Algorithms, Big Data, Social Engineering

All first and second world nations are controlled by big data - algorithms which analyse and profile humans and human activities. They use trend analysis, deep learning, and a number of statistical tools and methods which increasingly are automated in the form of self-directing, self-learning systems.
The purpose of big data is to segment people into controllable and predicable groups. The algorithms used to sort big data - whether they be designed as IQ tests, bank loan calculation, or choice of political district in which to run - are inevitably designed and used to exploit people. For by their very nature, they discriminate and distort the truth. All under the guise of being neutral mathematical and computational tools. In too simplistic but none the less sadly accurate terms, these methodologies always result in sorting people into winners and losers. The losers are invariably poor, poorly educated, visibly ethnic, the disabled, and the like.
Algorithms separate winners and losers at Uber. Uber allegedly uses computer driven pattern recognition and negotiation systems to analyse data on pay packages. The idea was to identify how low a pay package could go before the offer would be rejected [1977]. The result? A reinforcement by “neutral mathematical and computational tools” of the gender gap in pay [ibid, 1997]. There is also Uber’s Greyball, system [1978]. Grayball is alleged to be an algorithm designed to avoid detection when Uber was operating illegally. It allegedly used big data mining to predict which riders might be undercover government officials. For example Greyball allegedly recognised riders using an app tied to a credit card linked to a police union [ibid].
Big data is also marketed as a means of finding “terrorists” (a code word for whistleblowers and dissenters and investigative journalists). These systems sold by private corporations to dicators and human rights violating regimes such as Saudi Arabia [1979, 1980, 1981] and allegedly used to find whistleblowers who were arrested and allegedly killed by government operatives [biid]. These private for-profit corporations headquartered in the west, also allegedly sell big data tracking and predictive systems to Iran, South Sudan, Nigeria, and other similar regimes to help predict (by automatically watching data use patterns, cell calls, ICTV footage, etc.) who in the regime might be becoming a threat to the regime. Additionally they sell to regimes to help shape public opinion.
Shape public opinion? Consider Fang Binxing’s [1982] nationwide censorship system [1983] in China, and the fact that virtually no Chinese outside of academia or those directly involved have any real understanding of its pervasiveness or subtlety. It does not so much censor information, as alter it in subtle ways or ban it through downgrading scores on search engines, etc.
But my favourite example of mass social engineering is Sesame Credit, which I discussed it and other systems here: Censorship and Bibliocaust , from which I have abstracted the following shorter version:
Ant Financial Services which operates in China as Alibaba Group (online shopping) affiliate, has a credit scoring system called Sesame Credit [1984]. The system is jointly operated by Alibaba and Tencent - which also run China’s largest social networks such as Weibo, which has over 200 million users [1985]. All social networks in China are regulated by the Chinese government - where ’regulated’ means all data they contain is available to the government.
Sesame Credit uses data from online shopping of 300 million registered shoppers and 37 million vendors and payment data from China’s largest online payment system. Credit card usage, online utility bill payment, buying history, vendor ratings, etc. are combined into a single score of ’trustworthiness’ of shoppers. Activity, use, and content of social network messages are combined into this score as well. The end result is a single metric which rates every user (essentially everyone who can afford a cellphone or computer in China) of the system. Now, this rating is important. The Chinese government has put forth statements encouraging people to improve their scores, calling their patriotic duty to do so [1986]. Vendors have begun refusing sales to those with low scores [1987]. How does one get a low score? By failing to pay for goods on time, by have friends with low scores, or by posting opinions online of which the Chinese government does not approve.
“Among the things that will hurt a citizen’s score are posting political opinions without prior permission, or posting information that the regime does not like, such as about the Tiananmen Square massacre that the government carried out to hold on to power, or the Shanghai stock market collapse. It will hurt your score not only if you do these things, but if any of your friends do them”
~ Jay Stanley [1988], Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project
The particularly interesting aspect of this is that scores are linked to a person’s national identity card, which all citizens must carry at all times. The Chinese government has announced that use by everyone in China of the system will be mandatory by 2020. Translation - the compulsory national identity card will record the score as a rating not merely of a citizen’s financial worth but more importantly, a measure of their political compliance.
Disobedience - posting, saying, or researching things the government does not like - will hurt not only an individual’s score, but also the score of all of the person’s friends and family. Linking scores for everyone’s contacts - which can be seen publicly by anyone - guarantee social pressure to raise scores. Which is impossible if one dissents from the regime’s version of truth. Added to the already frightening mass incarceration of those who disagree publicly with the regime, this new surveillance technology adjoins financial, social, educational, and political pressure to ensure subtle but highly coercive means of suppressing dissent of any kind.
As with any totalitarian regime, there are carrots mixed with the stick. Citizens with higher scores receive rewards - easier access to travel permits, faster movement through airport security checks, etc.
While regimes such as North Korea or Saudi Arabia use arrests, beatings, imprisonment, assassination, starvation, poison, and other tools to keep the rabble in line and silence dissent, such tools are crude. The Chinese government uses these tools of totalitarianism as well, but the need is lessening. Instead the tools of authoritarianism work better - massive propaganda, complete control of the education system, and carrot/stick abstraction of Sesame scores work far more thoroughly to shape and socially engineer people away from the very idea of dissent. Already social media in China have seen hundreds of thousands of people (mainly young) boasting about their high scores, and competing to raise them even higher. Something which cannot happen if they post even one word against the Chinese government [1989, 1990].
This is the ultimate Orwellian dystopic bibliocaust - in which self censorship becomes normative even to the point of doxa What is Doxa and Invisible Acculturation? .
In case you live in oligarchies such as the United States, you may enjoy research how large online retail outlets share information on you, and how they sell it to political organisations, and how that information is them used to build profiles of your likes, dislikes, then use all of this to shape your voting patterns. A good place to start is to do some research into who uses the services of companies such as AggregateIQ (AIQ), Cambridge Analytica, Renaissance Technologies, Palantir, and similar corporations. And just who backs them. Both British Guardian and the Observer investigative journalists’ work in this area is also a good place to start. Then go on to the many other sources available. Additionally you may wish to research the Trump Crime Syndicate’s alleged use of data mining corporations in the alleged social engineering which allegedly helped place him in the White House [1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995]. Mr. Trump’s alleged main advisor Steve Bannon was former vice-president of Cambridge Analytica [1993]. Peter Thiel, a billionaire co-founder of PayPal and major investor in Facebook, owns Palantir - a data-mining firm contracting to GCHQ, the NSA, and many others. Mr. Thiel was allegedly one of Mr. Trump’s major supporters and investors in his run for the U.S. presidency [191, 1992]. You may wish to look too at what alleged role these sorts of corporations played in allegedly helping socially engineer the Brexit vote here in Britain, and British prime minister May’s alleged use of such corporations.
“The first election where digital made a difference was in 2008. And now it’s where pretty much all the spending is. It has been a shift that has happened in less than 10 years. What we’re seeing is exactly the same sort of disruption that we’ve seen in news and music and other industries. That is exactly what is happening in politics. The problem is that if you disrupt politics, you are also disrupting the democratic process and you are creating a very dangerous or volatile situation.”
~ Dr. M. Moore [1997], director of the centre for the study of communication, media and power at King’s College London
Use of data mining and its associated algorithmic tools have enabled the development and use (by those who have the billions necessary to spend in the area) on micro-targeting and neuromarketing. The former allows for targeting of individualised political or social engineering messages to millions of individuals, the latter for the use of developments in the neuroscience and psychology for shaping behaviour through targeted messaging.
“The capacity for this science to be used to manipulate emotions is very well established. This is military funded technology that has been harnessed by a global plutocracy and is being used to sway elections in ways that people can’t even see, don’t even realise is happening to them. ... It’s about exploiting existing phenomenon like nationalism and then using it to manipulate people at the margins. To have so much data in the hands of a bunch of international plutocrats to do with it what they will is absolutely chilling. We are in an information war and billionaires are buying up these companies, which are then employed to go to work in the heart of government. That’s a very worrying situation.”
~ Dr. T. Shaw, New York University, expert on the U.S. military’s funding and use of psychological research for torture (which I have discussed here: Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? and cited those who have alleged that U.S. government activities in this are have been alleged to be virtually identical, albeit more up to date with improved techniques, to activities of and torture techniques used by, the Nazis). The techniques are now being applied to mass influence (i.e. social engineering) which it has been alleged, have been highly successful (again, please q.v. C. Cadwalladr writing in the Observer [Op. cit.] in Britain for an excellent introduction to this area of alleged current activities by oligarchs in the United States, Russia, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, and other venues in social engineering and subverting of democratic rights and freedoms)
The result is social engineering to subtly enforce compliance to a particular viewpoint without the individuals so targeted (you), ever being aware that they are being watched and manipulated. For the sceptic, please note that this is not science fiction. It is being done right now, today. There is ample academic literature on the subject, which I would urge you to consult for yourself. The techniques are effective. Remember that to sway a vote, only a small minority of the populous needs to be engineered in a particular direction. Technology is not neutral.
“There are three strands to this story. How the foundations of an authoritarian surveillance state are being laid in the US. How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far-reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. And how we are in the midst of a massive land grab for power by billionaires via our data. Data which is being silently amassed, harvested and stored. Whoever owns this data owns the future.”
~ C. Cadwalladr [1991], investigative journalist, The Guardian. Cadwalladr’s work is at time of writing the subject of “legal complaints on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited” [ibid]

10.6.17 Protection of data

"Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking - not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."
~ George Orwell [84]
All governments and corporations put forth the proposition that laws, procedure, and ethical concerns make for thorough and complete protection of all data gathered on individuals. However as anyone who has worked for any length of time designing computer and database systems, this is absolute rubbish. Not merely because there are criminals and incompetence everywhere, but rather because there is a clear and obvious lack of concern at all levels of management concerning privacy rights. Despite vociferous lip service to the contrary.
And so when the Trump Crime Syndicate was put in power in the White House, any most former curbs placed upon spying on citizens became moot, other governments took notice. Politicians around the world, seeing the alleged violations of ethics (and law) by the Trump administration take place sans any meaningful accountability or restriction, took heart. And began to act similarly. Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy, Britain, Canada, etc. began with increasing rapidity to mimic the Trump Crime Syndicate’s disdain for moral and ethical conduct, and under the false flag of “protecting the people” began loosening controls on data privacy. For citizens of course ... not for those in executive offices.

10.6.17.1 Lack of protection - some examples

A few quick examples by way of illustration of the fact that your data is freely and easily available outside of regular channels:
10.6.17.1.1 Mutual funds
The Canadian banking conglomerate CIBC “lost” (as their press release said [207]) files containing the confidential information of a large number of their mutual funds clients. Information on the “lost” file included social security numbers, bank account numbers, client signatures, home and work addresses, spousal relationships, credit history, and much more. But CIBC allegedly did not voluntarily disclose the loss. It took an investigation and order from the Privacy Commissioner for Canada to force the revelation [208]. This followed a similar “loss” by the CIBC a few years earlier. At that time the CIBC allegedly sent private, confidential, personal customer information to small company in Virginia which had nothing to do with banking. Despite the company’s frequent calls to CIBC attempting to alert them to the problem, allegedly nothing was done to correct the situation for several years [209].

10.6.18 Routine violation of fundamental human rights

10.6.18.1 Airport scanners

(an image: pls click to see it) Airport passengers in many countries are routinely scanned by millimetre wave scanners [212].
But consider: Rather than using covalent bonds, DNA bindings use hydrogen bonds. Sources in the THz range which are sufficient to cause thermal perturbations or local resonance can therefore result in unzipping and disruption of these bonds - ie. DNA damage. Some of the newer types of portable scanners used by government and police are in this range, as are some of the newer stationary scanners. There is considerable evidence that these scanners have not received independent, objective scientific testing [256]. Certainly no longitudinal tests have been done. Backscatter machines at airports allegedly give so many false positives as to be virtually useless, as indicated for example by a longitudinal German government study of the millimeter-wave devices made by L3 Communications - a major manufacturer of these devices. Human operators of these machines are allegedly similarly inaccurate in interpreting the images. The alleged purpose for the introduction of these machines is twofold: 1) to make a very great deal of money for those who invested in the manufacturing companies prior to the machines being mandated at transportation hubs. Yet there is not one - not one! [1697] - independently verifiable instance of the TSA preventing an attack. Their procedures are reactive, not protective. TSA security procedures are all reactive, invasive, unethical, sexually abusive, and above all ... useless in stopping anyone with education/intelligence above that of a small soap dish who may wish to cause harm to others.
On a completely unrelated matter, the former head of U.S. security (TSA) was allegedly the same man who ordered these devices [1250] into every U.S. airport, and was allegedly a major investor in these machines [1249], allegedly garnering millions of dollars in personal profit from deployment form the company from which his department sole-sourced the machines.
The fact that he allegedly made millions through investments in the corporation producing these devices was obviously simple coincidence. Corruption? Certainly not. Right?
To use the sham theatre security of these machines to convince the public that their tax money should be used to provide handouts to the manufacturers involved. U.S. president George W. Bush and German Fatherland U.S. Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post [1330] wherein they stated there was a desperate need full-body scanners. They failed however to disclosing that the manufacturer Rapiscan (vide infra) was allegedly a client of Chertoff’s private consulting firm.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." George Orwell [772]

10.6.18.2 Sexual voyeurism at boarders and transportation hubs

This technology which shows nipples, type of underwear (thong vs boxer for example), size of penis and whether or not it is circumcised [213] (see the picture above for example), whether passengers have had vasectomies, penile implants, mastectomies, wearing a tampon, have a catheter inserted [214, 215], etc.
Over 250 pages of technical data on the machines detail how every scanner can record, store, and transmit detailed images of all passengers [232, 233] - even more detail than shown in the declassified image above.
So detailed in fact, that they amount to government pornography. Proof of this simple fact is that many times airport personal have been caught [226, 227, 228] sending these revealing pictures to friends, passing them around to co-workers, and printing them out - all despite assurances [104, 105] from those promoting the machines that not only could this never happen. And even if it did, it was claimed, the images lacked any identifying detail [229].
Take a look at the sample picture which I have reduced and pixelated from Mowery’s work [1329] - the originals are much more clear. Then decide for yourself. Or read the quotation below:
“Had my first experience with the backscatter x-ray at Moscow DME airport last week. ...The people looking at the x-ray (all women in their late 20s) are behind a closed desk and cannot easily see the people as they pass through. But passersby can see what is going on if they linger. I stood there and watched the results for a few minutes - and all I can say is OH MY WORD. The images leave absolutely nothing to the imagination - and I do mean nothing. After a few minutes of watching this we were abused by the security and ordered to move on” [231].
A short time later several women filed complaints with the U.S. government stating that they were targeted at various airports by that country’s TSA. Allegedly, “cute” women were required to go through backscatter scans - no males were required to do so [290]. And in some cases, were made to go through several times [ibid]. It was alleged that the images were then forwarded to male TSA agents [ibid]. TSA agents have allegedly placed obscene notes in the baggage of females carrying vibrators [503]; have allegedly placed derogatory notes in passenger luggage [504]; and so on.
To assume these fine minimally trained [505] or screened [506, 507], uneducated [1823] thugs people would not abuse their power is... naive. Especially since in the United States there is - despite assurances from U.S. president Obama [1822] - no meaningful accountability or oversight concerning their actions. (Please see the next paragraph.) When confronted with complaints incidentally, Mr. Obama stated [1823] that since he did not have to go through airport security, he really did not see any need to pursue the matter further.
TSA workers (not as a group the brightest or most ethical people on the planet - please see citations herein concerning how they are hired) have been accused of fondling and groping airport passengers. For example many passengers at the Denver Airport came forward to testify against the TSAs sexual abuse. No one was ever charged [1511]. At the airport the charming thugs TSA officers had allegedly been manipulating bakscatter data as people walked through the checkpoints in order to trigger alarms meriting physical examination of passenger’s genitals [1511, 1512].
Again, no charges were laid despite ample evidence form witnesses and passengers [ibid]. It may be noted that the notorious East German Stasi were often accused of sexual contact with travellers, but were considered “above the law” and not charged [1513]. Exactly like the TSA thugs personnel.
“The inviolability of the person is as much invaded by a compulsory stripping and exposure as by a blow. To compel any one, and especially a woman, to lay bare the body, or to submit it to the touch of a stranger, without lawful authority, is an indignity, an assault, and a trespass; and no order of process, commanding such an exposure or submission, was ever known to the common law in the administration of justice between individuals.”
~ The United States Supreme Court [448], Union Pac. Ry. Co. v. Botsford 141 U.S. 250
More and more people are reporting that the TSA sexual assaults are demeaning, humiliating, and can cause trauma and even PTSD [445]. For people who have been raped or sexually abused, the TSA patdowns are simply another form of sexual abuse: For example:
“I stood there holding my baby in shock. I did not move for almost a minute. I stood there, an American citizen, a mom travelling with a baby with special needs formula, sexually assaulted by a government official. I began shaking and felt completely violated, abused and assaulted by the TSA agent. I shook for several hours, and woke up the next day shaking. ... They touched my genitals four times and then my breasts. I was sobbing by the end of it. I am sentenced to this violation again tomorrow and every time I fly. I am an abuse survivor and this is traumatic to require this violation. I must fly home tomorrow and I don’t know how I’ll get through it. I have a history of physical as well as sexual abuse, and I experienced the rough touching as violating. My PTSD kicked in and I began to cry. I was asked again if I would like a private screening, but to a person who has been violated, there is less security in a private area than being in a public area. By now there were 4-5 TSA workers gathered around me and focusing the attention of other travellers on me. I again began to cry and shake” [446].
Government response to the many complaints from human rights groups and anti-rape groups? TSA Administrator John Pistole allegedly said regarding patdowns and body scanners, “Yeah, it’s inconvenient” [447]. The U.S. president in an interesting display of the antithesis of empathy stated “I do not have to go through these checks when I travel” [454], and to date - four years later - has had nothing further to say on the issue.
Laws in all civilised countries and indeed in of most states in the U.S. clearly define groping of genitals, unwanted touch, and other standard TSA alleged human rights violations, as rape [452]. Humiliation and enforced touching are similarly illegal in many states and most of the world [449, 450, 451]. You may wish to read for yourself just how invasive this state-mandated rape and sexual abuse really is, by viewing some of the thousands of (utterly ignored) complaint letters sent to the U.S. government (see [453] or the website TSA News for an introduction to how allegedly horrific this taxpayer funded organisation has become
Although I am just skimming the surface of such abuses here, the parallels to regimes to which most western governments have stated abhorrence [488, 489] is very interesting. When it comes to “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”, it may be worth considering that absolutism is not and never has been the mark of a democracy.
“The inviolability of the person is as much invaded by a compulsory stripping and exposure as by a blow. To compel any one, and especially a woman, to lay bare the body, or to submit it to the touch of a stranger, without lawful authority, is an indignity, an assault, and a trespass; and no order of process, commanding such an exposure or submission, was ever known to the common law in the administration of justice between individuals.”
~ The United States Supreme Court [448], Union Pac. Ry. Co. v. Botsford 141 U.S. 250

10.6.18.3 Be docile or go to jail

You will doubtless be pleased to hear that the TSA receives $4,000,000,000 more the U.S. spends on space exploration [332, 333, 334], because keeping the citizenry docile while their basic human rights [335, 336] are removed along with their clothing [337, 213] is vitally more important than advancing human knowledge and growth.
Refusing a strip search means forcible strip search [ibid]. Refusing a backscatter scan or pat down means you cannot travel - and will likely be added to a U.S. no-fly list.
For reasons unknown at time of writing, the politicians who passed such laws were not themselves subject to these measures. Was U.S. president Donald Trump or his daughter strip searched when entering other countries? No. But ordinary citizens were.

10.6.18.4 Medical issues

A 16-year old diabetic teenager, Savannah Barry wore an insulin pump to control her insulin levels. She carried medical documentation to assist TSA screeners. They read her doctor’s letter, and forced her to go through a backscatter scanner. The “perfectly safe” radiation broke her insulin pump, risking her life.
As an insulin dependant diabetic this could have easily killed her. But that was not enough - the brave TSA folk subjected her to sexual assault [350] in the form of an invasive manual search [ibid, 351]. Ms. Barry had nothing to hide, but plenty to fear.
Importantly, these allegedly dangerous devices do not do what they are supposed to do.
For example, the Rapiscan Secure 1000 airport security scanner has been in wide use for many years. It uses backscatter x-radiation to see through clothing. K. Mowery et al [ 1328] were able to show that they were allegedly very easy to bypass. More than $1,000,000,000 USD were wasted deploying such backscatter scanners throughout more than 160 airports in the U.S., and more in other countries [1329].
Results of testing by both Rapiscan and government were never made public nor were any of the machines made available for independent testing. Mowery et al found that the software running the device was insecure and easy to infect with malware; the device was easy to fool with energy absorbing metal (i.e. easy to disguise knives, guns, and even as their study showed, detonators. The point of course, is that without independent testing the need for these devices and their efficacy is questionable. Especially when there may be possibility nonindependence by those politicians involved, as previously indicated.
Nothing to hide, but plenty to fear from a government which sexually molests and abuses its citizens including children, and/or subjects them to allegedly DNA/RNA damaging wavelengths, is allegedly in violation of not only its own laws, but of international human rights legislation to which it is signatory [451].
(an image: pls click to see it)
The picture above shows people in a truck x-rayed and probed remotely using a backscatter/xray machine mounted in a van - at the cost of a mere $$825,000 USD to taxpayers [1618, 1619].
Used by the New York Police (coming soon to your local police) these vans can tour around seeing through peoples’ clothing while they walk or drive from place to place. Risk to the health of people from all those x-rays and high energy particles?
The police refused to say or to release data on the amount of energy they use (x-rays are cumulatively lethal, of course). How are the vans deployed? What is the reason such devices are used, how many of there are there, what oversight (if any) exists? Why, the police refused to say. Th epolice of course, work for and on behalf of the public, so any misuse of such surveillance tools is naturally out of the question. Right?
Finally, private, personal health records on every patient is routinely sent from doctors offices and hospitals in parts of Canada to the United States by a private for-profit corporation [230]. This corporation is located in the United States, where Canadian privacy laws do not apply.
Under the provisions on the U.S. Patriot Act, Section 215, points 2 and 3: the government or its agents (which can be corporations) are allowed to obtain personal data, including medical records and to prohibit doctors and insurance companies from disclosing to their patients that their medical records have been seized by the government. This applies to any records held in the United States.
Records such as the personal private medical information of Canadians whose government allowed private for-profit U.S. corporations to store these records in the United States.
In a similar manner, Five Eyes nations commonly bypass laws concerning medical records by shipping said records in exactly the same manner as done by the Canadian government, to other Five Eyes nations. Once beyond the boarders of the source nation, the records are accessed and the information therein sent back to the source nation, without technically breaking the laws of the source nation.
10.6.18.4.1 Tax information
In the United States, South Carolina’s Department of Revenue held the records of 3.3 million bank account numbers, 3.8 million tax returns, Social Security numbers and similar information on 1.9 million children, etc. for the citizens of the state.
The expensive training and expertise so typical of government officials meant that all of this information ... was stored unencrypted [502] ! How clever of them. How superbly they and their substantial salaries paid by taxpayers served the people. With such people in charge, little wonder that it came as a complete surprise to the wise politicians involved all of these records were accessed by person or persons unknown, and copied to some computers far, far away.
Cost of the breach to the taxpayer? Roughly $14 million USD.
Not to mention the attacks on personal bank accounts, individual loss, dangers to the children whose addresses and home phone numbers were breached, etc. The politicians involved kept their jobs and their pensions, and did not even have to apologise for the harm caused by their appalling failure to protect the privacy and security of the citizens for whom they supposedly worked.
Nothing to hide means nothing to fear in South Carolina [348]  [348] Unless of course you have the timerity to have the wrong skin colour. Then you are obviously a terrorist or up to no good.?
Perhaps not.
10.6.18.4.2 Bypassing the Justice System
In an expansion of Britain’s Computer Misuse Act it became legal for police to hack into any computer - corporate, private, individual, government - without the owner’s knowledge for any reason “related to an investigation” [236].
As in the United States (and to some extent Canada under the Clearnet initiative), police may do this without warrant [237] or any form of judicial (i.e. the public) oversight [238].
Additionally a Brussels ruling now allows all EU police to warrantlessly surveil (by whatever means they choose) private property (i.e. hidden cameras secretly placed inside anyone’s home). The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act codifies the details for Britain.
10.6.18.4.3 Carte Blanche privacy violation
In Canada any and all communication which uses the internet (which is defined so broadly as to include radio, telephony, etc.) is deemed “not private” thanks to a ruling by Justice L. Leitch, an Ontario Superior Court Judge [238]. According to Professor J. Stribopoulos of the Osgoode Law School this ruling removed all confidentiality from Internet communications in Canada [ibid].
A moment’s consideration will show that in practice this was an open door to profiling in Canada similar to that already extant in Britain and the United States. Further, Canada’s Personal Information Protection Electronics Documents Act required ISPs (which include telephony providers) to yield logged and/or archived records to anyone with "lawful authority" without warrant (ie. normal judicial or public oversight).
In light of CSEC activities previously described, the government and courts appeared to give carte blanche privacy invasion to secret largely unaccountable (to the public) agencies.
This was further exacerbated by Bill C59 [2021]. Implemented by the Trudeau government Bill C-59 extended the already dystopic surveillance even further, despite the bland assurances to the contrary from Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a man who would appears to understand very little of the implications of the Bill, nor any of the technical matters involved. The Bill authorised:
  • mass, secret, essentially unlimited surveillance without very little accountability and no public oversight by independent bodies
    • state sponsored hacking of citizens (cellphones, computers, bank accounts, medical records, etc.)
    • alteration of data on the fly (eg. news stories about the government)
    • oversight bodies which operate entirely in secret, with no adversarial process and in the complete absence of fully informed, independent experts
    • “sharing” of data with other (eg. the United States) Five Eyes partners
Please see [2021] for a formal research report from Citizen Lab on the horrors of this Bill, and of the Canadian government’s utter failure to curtail any of the problems entailed of
  • inaccurate no-fly lists
  • lack of due process flaws in the security certificate process (long term arrest without charge or judicial oversight)
  • lack of oversight or limiting of so-called “threat reduction” powers for CSIS spy agency (allowing CSIS to engage in acts which may be illegal, which violate the Charter of Rights, and Freedoms. Such as impersonating journalists to attack dissenters (such as the RCMP allegedly did [2022] to oil pipeline protesters), destroying legal communications platforms, and other unconstitutional activities.
  • lack of any consideration for the human rights implications of giving the Communications Security Establishment unchecked hacking power
  • no justification for granting Canada’s spy agencies (CSIS, CSE, etc.) the ability to perform mass secret collection of data from and by Canadian citizens
10.6.18.4.4 Government databases
It is important to realise that large government databases are invariably maintained by for-profit third party private corporations. Governments particularly in the west, contract out most database services to these for-profit corporations. Data so held has been frequently leaked, hacked, and misused [295, 296].
The belief that the vast profiling operations by government maintain high data security, is a myth perpetrated by at best naive, and at worst prevaricating officials. There are a number of examples too, of government [297], police [298], and others in positions of trust [299] accessing profile data to for their own personal use, such as spying on spouses, friends, political rivals, etc. The relatively rare disclosure of such wrongdoings comes from whistleblowers, since for the most part such abrogation of the public trust is done in secret.
The laws these people create (such as the egregious example with the Minister of Public Safety above) create walls of secrecy with little or no public oversight or accountability.
10.6.18.4.5 Violation of client-lawyer privilege
J. Radack, a lawyer for Mr. Snowden was stopped while legally travelling through Britain’s Heathrow airport. There she was interrogated by a boarder Force Agent (lovely name) who allegedly shouted with a “hostile” and “threatening demeanour”, asking questions which appeared to show that the agent had had access to personal information and perhaps violated lawyer-client privilege - a touchstone of democracy [1171].
Interestingly the issue of client-lawyer privilege appeared to be ignored by Australia, whose Signals Directorate allegedly admitted to violating this privileged information [1173] allegedly on behalf of the U.S. NSA:
“NSA’s surveillance rules give short shrift to the privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients. It’s another example of the NSA’s troubling ‘mission creep’ beyond national security. Attorney-client communications are sacred in our legal tradition and should not be wiretapped except in extraordinary circumstances.”
~ A. Abdo [1172], lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union
10.6.18.4.6Undermining fairness in voting
It has been alleged that political parties in the United States and Canada make extensive use of datamining to target voters and influence their vote. There are a number of private corporations providing the means to do this (for a fee, of course). Ngp-van for example [462], which offers to integrate all of a party’s campaign technology.
For example one of Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s senior cabinet members Jason Kenney allegedly used datamining to send thousands of targeted emails to those whom a system had identified as “gay friendly” [463]. This and much worse datamining activities in the U.S. [464] raise serious privacy concerns. In Canada for example, politicians and parties are constrained by the Privacy Act in using constituents correspondence [465]. But when allegedly nothing was done regarding the alleged breach by Mr. Harper’s minister and party, many saw this as permission to violate the Act at will [463] exactly as allegedly had occurred in the U.S. [464].
“We are writing to you in response to the mass email we received from your office .... None of us have ever signed up to receive emails from your office and we wonder how our names ended up on your propaganda spam list.”
~ from an open letter to Minister Jason Kenney [467] in a leading Canadian publication, after his alleged ethical lapse in sending alleged propaganda to people who names were allegedly gleaned via datamining
10.6.18.4.7 EULAs
And then there are EULA’s (licensing) which you agree to, whether you know it or not, when you use a cellphone, computer, tablet, etc. Or when you download a game. Or when you use the operating system. And so on.
This goes for phones, computers, the chip in your dishwasher, etc.
Both of these corporations are headquartered in the U.S. and therefore subject to the laws already discussed above. This means that if backdoors or spyware are built into the system you have no way of doing anything about it or protecting yourself. In fact there all such systems from U.S. corporations allegedly have NSA backdoors [978, 978, 979], and this is part of the reason it has been alleged, that the monopolies the corporations run, are not broken up.
The NSA has allegedly even approached open source authors even those who are not U.S. citizens or residents insisting they insert backdoors into open source software such as Linux [980]. In the U.S. proper however, under the laws mentioned, these corporations are under obligation never to discuss or admit that such systems exist (see also Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ).
Consider the following exerts from Apple’s approximately 100 pages of iPhone EULA [326]. Documents obtained by the U.S. ALCU further indicate that police can easily obtain personal private data from these and other similar devices without your knowledge. The implications regarding your human right of privacy are obvious (emphasis mine):
“...you agree that Apple and its subsidiaries and agents may collect, maintain, process and use diagnostic, technical, usage and related information, including but not limited to information about your iOS Device, computer, system and application software, and peripherals, that is gathered periodically...”
“...To provide and improve these services, where available, Apple and its partners and licensees may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use your location data, including the real-time geographic location of your iOS Device, road travel speed information, and location search queries.”
“These unique identifiers may include your email address(es), the Apple ID information you provide, a hardware identifier for your iOS Device, and your iPhone’s (TM)s telephone number. By using the iOS Software, you agree that Apple may transmit, collect, maintain, process and use these identifiers...”

~ from the roughly 100 page Apple iPhone EULA [326]
There are countless other examples. Google, Microsoft, Android phones, Motoroa phones, Samsung phones and tables, ... etc. It has been alleged that none of these corporation appear to respect or adhere to the UN Charter regarding privacy rights. Other than perhaps through the ludicrous implication in their EULAs that every user has carefully read and accepted their book length legalese.
Furthermore it should be noted that these privacy policies are designed to be long and vague, legally guarantee little or no protection to the user, but every protection possible to the corporations involved. Needless to say privacy commissioners in most countries (where they even exist) have virtually no power to take these corporations to court. Of course as an individual with limited fiscal resources, taking a multibillion dollar corporation to court for alleged violations of your privacy rights (eg. posting pictures of your home online - helpful for burglars; taking every email you have ever sent; etc. ad nauseam), is simply not possible.
10.6.18.4.8 Accuracy of data
Assurances as to the accuracy of data are equally fatuous. Particularly since the person whose data is inaccurate seldom has the means, fiscal or otherwise, to check. And since as with the junk science of lie detector proliferation discussed above, there also junk science involved in profiling.
There have been a number of studies (eg.. [238, 239] concerning inaccuracy of no-fly lists) which show that misuse and misunderstanding of data collection/aggregation methodologies. These inaccurate and so often apparently arbitrary lists have led to quite a few innocent people having their lives ruined [240, 241, 242]. Sadly, nothing to hide does not mean nothing to fear.
“Noting with alarm the dramatic expansion of secret and unaccountable surveillance [we call for] meaningful Privacy Impact Assessments that require compliance.” The declaration also called for a moratorium on mass surveillance to allow for public debate.
~ excerpt from the Madrid Privacy Declaration [275], signed by privacy experts around the world. The declaration has to date, been ignored by every government except Sweden [276].
10.6.18.4.9 No accountability for abusing public trust
(an image: pls click to see it)
Ms. Blackburn, pictured above, was a U.S. politician (congress woman). In that capacity she authored a resolution (now law) to allow internet providers to record and sell customers’ private search histories to anyone, without notification or permission [1934] from their customers. Ms. Blackburn was paid well over half a million dollars in campaign “donations” from the self-same industry which wanted to profit from the private personal data of their customers. Ms. Blackburn received particularly generous “donations” from AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon [1935] - the largest ISPs outside of China. Her qualifications for understanding the intricate technologies involved in her removal of the fundamental right of privacy? Why, Ms. Blackburn held a B.S. in home economics [1939].
Customer data is protected under human rights laws in all western nations [1936], even Italy, except the United States. For with the accession of U.S. president Trump, of whose party Ms. Blackburn was a member, Ms. Blackburn’s resolution passed easily into law supported by most members of the Trump regime.
Ms. Blackburn was an ardent foe of medicare, stating in an interview that medicare legislation included "death panels" for the elderly [1942] despite offering no supporting evidence whatsoever. Other contributions from Ms. Blackburn consisted of her opposition to abortion [1938], her support of U.S. president Turmp’s ban on Muslim immigration, her conviction that the planet is cooling not warming [1943], that there was no evidence to support research into medical use of embryonic stem cells [1944], allegedly bullied and intimidated scientists [1947] even to the point of sending federal law enforcement to the homes of those involved in stem cell research [ibid], and much more. Ms. Blackburn was called one of the "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, even with so many other U.S. politicians contending for the title.
Such a fine person, was perhaps well suited to be targeted for what appeared to be and were alleged to be [1941] bribes (albeit legal ones) by multi-billion dollar corporations. Consider one obvious consequence: Suppose you were a woman in an abuse relationship. At night when the abuser was drunk and asleep, you furtively searched the internet for safe houses. Thanks to Ms. Blackburn this information could now be sold. Think about the implications for a moment. Sigh.
Finally, I should like to briefly mention both the punishments given government violations of both legal and ethical standards, and the excuse given by management for not punishing such violations.
During the Nuremberg Trials (trials of alleged Nazi war criminals), those in management positions - generals, for example - constantly gave the excuse "Wir haben es nicht gewuayt” (we did not know what our underlings were doing). General Keith Alexander, the same person discussed above in terms of the U.S. Constitution, has stated that abuse of the system are “with very rare exception” simple mistakes [855].
Let’s have a quick look at some of these “mistakes”:
NSA employees using the system to spy on girlfriends [850]. Military personnel used they system to read email of his former girlfriends [ibid]. Another NSA employee admitted to frequently using the system to spy upon people she had met socially [ibid]. Others include spying upon antiwar critics [852], U.S. senators [853], civil rights leaders, athletes [854], journalists [ibid], and so on. To date, virtually not one of the perpetrators of these allegedly activities has been hauled before the courts.
Anyone involved in IT, who as worked in corporate, government, police, or military knows that such “mistakes” are anything but rare. The general’s statement defies experience and common sense. Or perhaps he simply does not know the extent or nature of abuses of the public trust?
(an image: pls click to see it)

10.6.18.5 Changing the details - it’s not just spying, it’s also about changing data on the fly

Most people have never used the systems which do profiling or allow a user to scan metadata on individuals. Perhaps therefore it may be of interest to give a brief description of what is possible:
Suppose you have a friend named Mary Ellen. You are interested in taking a trip through her life. So you sit at your console (paid for by the taxpayer) which commands billions of dollars worth of equipment (paid for by the taxpayer). You access direct feeds (such as various databases) or indirect feeds (such as CCTV, spy cameras, cellphone records, conversations Mary Ellen has had with her doctor, her insurance files, her credit card history, her school records, her job personnel records, her friends blogs, etc. You have a speed controller at your finger tips, and off you go. On the screen you scan Mary Ellen’s life, using the speed controller to adjust how fast you travel. You click a pause button at the interesting bits. You watch her friends, her family, her children. At the top of the screen is a calendar showing the date and time when Mary Ellen was at the hairdressers, or at a party. You click the calendar to jump to any specific time period which interests you. You zoom in and out of the details of her life.
And if you feel so inclined, you change the details. Because everything you do is hidden away, protected by new laws and presidential directives. You can change the data as easily as you can watch it. Or perhaps simply access router BGP to change it live, before it even enters your taxpayer funded databases. Mary Ellen is fun to watch. You enjoy looking at all her private, personal, information. And the best part is that no one will ever know what you are doing. If you change some details just for the fun of it, since there is no real or effective oversight, who is ever going to know or stop you. Better yet, if Mary Ellen has done something you or your bosses do not like, just add a little detail (drunk driving for example) to her record. (Here are some examples of falsifying records by police [1020, 1021], by intelligence agencies [1022], by government agencies [1023, 1024], and ... well, there are a plethora of examples readily available in the literature.)
Finally, what is important to understand here, is that it is technology, not law or ethics which moderates the extent of the Panopticon currently in place. Let me give an example:
Surveillance implants are now being routinely installed into the arms of children by wealthy patents [758]; into the bodies of politicians in certain countries so they can always be located [759]; and so on. There are, at time of writing, essentially no laws or ethical guidelines around these and other technologies from nanometer sized inhalable RFID clusters [760] through DNA dusting [761] and more.
So-called "spray-on" digital memory has been developed which uses nanoparticle inks sprayed by aerosol form (like man inkjet printers) [1948] is being used to mark every household object, item of clothing, shoes, electronics, etc. with spy devices capable of recording you at all times. Such that it may soon become almost impossible to go anywhere and not be tracked and recorded by these embedded devices.
One of my personal favourites is the ability to tag anyone with synthesised DNA [865]. One of these, developed at the Technology Transfer Unit University of Aveiro, Portugal [868], is in essence a DNA tag that can be applied to any surface, product, or good. Then subsequently read as a means of unique identification of where a person has been, or what or who they have touched.
The lessons of history have always been ignored.
Technology can uplift .... but seldom does. Especially when the citizenry is kept largely unaware of what is possible, and what the implications may be for their basic human rights.
Sadly history all too often, repeats.

10.6.19 Why has this dystopian surveillance society been constructed?

“The purpose of this surveillance from the government’s point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilise the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people. ... I actually get really upset when people say "I don’t have anything to hide. Let them read everything." People saying that have no idea what they are bringing down on their own heads. They are naive, and we need to listen to people in other countries who are clearly telling us that this is a horrible horrible sign and it is time to stand up and say no.”
~ 161719 [624].
The primary justification proselytised by government for creating an Orwellian dystopia in which privacy is a crime, and everyone (except those in charge, of course) are watched, recorded, and monitored ... is that by so doing they decrease the risk of “terrorism” [The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ]. This is ludicrous, of course. For the many reasons given in my article on terrorism [ibid].
Not the least of which is that no one who is really a threat would be so stupid as to not hire the expertise necessary to circumvent the watchers. Exactly as organised crime has been doing for decades.
" [The] infrastructure set up by the National Security Agency ... may only be good for gathering information on the stupidest, lowest-ranking of terrorists. The Prism surveillance program focuses on access to the servers of America’s largest Internet companies, which support such popular services as Skype, Gmail and iCloud. These are not the services that truly dangerous elements typically use."
~ L. Bershidsky [685], Bloomberg
Has this surveillance, decades long, at a cost of hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, actually done any good? Probably not. With attention upon the Panopticon due to whistleblower leaks, one would expect the government to turn over reams of proof that their universal spying does what they say it does. That they have not done so (not everything is “national security secret”) is proof by elimination that the program is not about thwarting “terrorist” attacks. Despite vague claims of “around fifty” success [942, 943], not a shred of evidence to support even this low number has been forthcoming. For example, of the few cases released, exactly one - a San Diego man who sent $8,500 to Somalia to support a militant group there - has any indication that NSA surveillance played any role (see [941] for a much more thorough examination).
Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars, eviseration of constitutional and civil rights, creation of a fear based society ... with not one provable case of terror thwarting. The same of course is true for other venus such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other five eyes countries. The only exceptions (perhaps) are Israel and Britain (viz. the Irish “troubles”) where there actually has been some minimal justification.
So what are the real reasons for the rise of the surveillance state in North America and so many other countries? Why is the NSA and its clones in Canada, Australia, France, Britain, etc. violating ethical, moral, legal, and constitutional rights in order to spy on everyone? The answer lies as always, in looking toward historical examples as briefly mentioned in Sect. 1 above. For those familiar with this literature it is easy to see that there have been, and are, three real reasons a surveillance state is implemented:
  1. Resource threat (containing the rabble, invading to steal another countries resources)
  2. Profiteering (blackmail, profiting from insider knowledge)
  3. Promote propaganda, disrupt and eliminate dissension, control and limit free communication.
  4. Destroying any chance of true democracy and democratic rights - an example.
  5. Psychopathology (lust for power, malignant egophrenia, mental illness)
Let us look briefly at each of these in turn:

10.6.19.1 Resource threat

Climate change has frequently paralleled the rise of attempts to contain the crowd. It is no different in our own time, were we see a worldwide decline in availability of food and uncontaminated water. Matched by a rapid rise in human population Is Humanity a Virus? .
As these processes continue (Why are We Killing Nature? (Ecocide) , Is Humanity Doomed by Climate Change? , Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , the mass rioting over access to life-sustaining resources already taking place in many parts of the world, will likely infiltrate the first world as well.
Little surprise therefore that the egregious perpetual war economies of the United States and its main colonies (see here for details and citations: The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? ) should include mass surveillance as an integral part of the other strategies for crowd control outlined in my article here regrading crowd control or as a Canadian Justice Minister once stated, “containing the rabble”: Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide .

10.6.19.2 Profiteering

(an image: pls click to see it)
(Graphic: Numbers abstracted from W. Andrews, T. Linderman [1295]. This is just one tiny aspect of known yearly U.S. military spending, in a country which has consistently had the highest average rate of child poverty of all the world’s industrialised countries [1296]. Where priorities gave $176,000,000,000 toward the building of Virginia-class nuclear submarines [1297]. Priorities?)
As cited previously, hundreds of billions of tax dollars are being spent on the creation of a worldwide Panopticon. In the diagram you can see a little of how this is spent by a single country alone.
It is important to note that such monies are emphatically not being spent to address social inequity, furthering medical research, seeking means of peaceful settlement of conflict, providing homeless shelters, addressing global climate change dangers, taking the abuses of giant corporations to court, advancing educational accessibility, aiding the disabled, or into addressing anything else of merit.
Help humanity instead of surveil and curtail it? Apparently not. Particularly since the multi-billion dollar surveillance and “security” industries are almost entirely farmed out to private contractors. As pointed out here Should Arms Dealing be a War Crime? and The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? and here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , a perpetual war is very profitable for those who supply it.
Similarly for the Ayn Rand and Strauss Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. disciples whose record Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) of compassion Is Spiritual Compassion Dead? is essentially nil, the construction and maintenance of a surveillance state rakes in huge profit for relatively little effort.
There is also blackmail to consider:
A declassified history of the NSA during the Vietnam war [1057] has alleged that the NSA targeted prominent politicians including U.S. Senators, and many others.
“J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadilloes and private misbehaviour of those he labelled as enemies - really dangerous people like … president John F. Kennedy, for example” New York Times report [1058] (See also similar BBC report [1059] which drew the same conclusions)
There have been substantial allegations that the NSA and similar agencies are doing exactly the same now.
They allegedly use the information they gather to blackmail politicians into not prosecuting them [1048] or curtailing their activities [ibid, 1049]. There have also been allegations the these same agencies use the information they gather to blackmail those who might dissent from the party line [ibid]. Let me give a simple example: Anyone who has a high level of expertise and works in government or corporate IT knows that there are managers who routinely use pornography sites, who email their lovers during extramarital affairs, who abuse drugs and talk about it over IRC, who funnel corporate funds to themselves, and so on.
The NSA can (and allegedly does) record this on a very large scale, for every politician, for every CEO, for every dissident. You can easily figure out the rest.
Additionally a whistleblower has alleged that the NSA is using its taxpayer funded multi-billion dollar systems to blackmail top government officials and military officers [1053]. These allegedly include Supreme Court Justices [1054], high ranked military generals [ibid], Secretaries of State [ibid], various State Department personnel [1055], and many others [ibid].
Those politicians opposing a full and public investigation into the NSA, GCHQ, CSEC, etc. activities may be doing so for reasons relating to this.
And finally there is the use of insider knowledge to consider.
Would it be helpful to know that the CEO of the corporation in which you hold shares is planning to sign a merger deal? If you had access to all of his emails and the emails of rival corporations, you could certainly use that knowledge to advance your own personal wealth. This insider knowledge is very simple to obtain for any government agency which has access to every email in the country. Perhaps this has some relation to the allegations [1050] that the NSA is radically increasing its spying on Wall Street.
Those in control of data have always leveraged it for profit and personal gain. The power of coercive authority which comes from watching everyone was and is as Orwell and so many others have warned, wide open for abuse, intimidation, blackmail, suppression of dissent, and above all, perversion of democratic rights.
From the time of the Doomsday book to the modern Panopticon, there has never been a time when secretly spying on everyone was used to benefit humanity. Rather it has always been used for the personal benefit of a handful of ethically challenged individuals.

10.6.19.3 Psychopathology

“The government’s priorities are upside down. The U.S. government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence. … It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that Manning’s trial was about sending a message: the U.S. government will come after you, no holds barred, if you’re thinking of revealing evidence of its unlawful behaviour.”
~ W. Brown [845], Senior Director of International Law and Policy, Amnesty International
10.6.19.3.1 Les droits de la royauté
In what certainly appeared to be a move to return to pre-Magna Carta days when the king could do whatever he wished with impunity, the U.S. government under Mr. Obama’s reign invoked so-called “military and state secrets privilege”. As well as the national security Dicto Simpliciter previously discussed. All in an effort to prevent the citizens for whom it supposedly works, from scrutinising its massive, invasive surveillance activities [620].
Such use as pointed out above has been found by the courts [1047, 1063, 1068] to be both unconstitutional and illegal. Additionally such use appears to be in clear violation of international law (viz UN declaration of 2013 [1069]). Albeit an ... interesting ... application perhaps, of Straussian demagoguery Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. .
Use of this “privilege” and “national security” (both aka “les droits de la royauté” - the rights of royalty) was ordered directly [621] by Mr. Obama’s Attorney General, Mr. Holder. In response to two lawsuits - Virginia v Barack Obama et al, and Carolyn Jewel v the National Security Agency [ibid]. The demand stemming from the invocation of “privilege” was that both cases, which sought to expose allegedly illegal and allegedly fraudulent spying by the Obama administration, should be dismissed on the grounds inane grounds that an ostensibly democratic government - elected to serve the people, not rule them - should be allowed to do what it wanted in secret.
Of course the wording was different, but the argument boiled down to exactly what I have stated. Mr. Nixon was a disgraced U.S. president guilty of human rights violations in prolonging the Vietnam war to help his election hopes (see Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism) for details and citations). He used the same argument and “privilege” to hide his illegal activities.
"The administration is saying that even if they are violating the constitution or committing a federal crime no court can stop them because it would compromise national security. That’s a very dangerous argument,"
~ Ilann Maazel [622], a lawyer acting on behalf of plaintiffs against government erosion of the basic human right of privacy (as enshrined in UN Declarations to which the U.S., Canada, Britain, and others against whom similar suits had been launched) were signatory [623])
There has always been inequality in law. In how it is applied, against whom, and how it is selective by class. Generally speaking, those in power, anonymous bureaucrats, heads of mercantile enterprises, have always been protected by lack of transparency and accountability; whilst those upon whom they spy have traditionally had very few protections.
10.6.19.3.2 Mental illness in some rulers
"The probability of an attack getting through to the United States, just based on the sheer numbers, from 2012 to 2013, that I gave you - look at the statistics. If you go from just eleven thousand to twenty thousand, what does that tell you? That’s more. That’s fair, right? [..] These aren’t my stats. The University of Maryland does it for the State Department. [...] The probability is growing. What I saw at N.S.A. is that there is a lot more coming our way. Just as someone is revealing all the tools and the capabilities we have. What that tells me is we’re at greater risk. I can’t measure it. You can’t say, Well, is that enough to get through? I don’t know. It means that the intel community, the military community, and law enforcement are going to work harder."
~ K. Alexander [1242], former head of the U.S. NSA
No proof of any kind has ever been made available to back this sort of rambling claim [Op. cit. supra]. In fact Mr. Alexander’s entire argument (and those of his ilk who think a Panopticon is a good idea), is simply this: that the end justifies the means. I would gently point out that this is exactly the same logical, legal, and moral fallacy used by those on trial for war crimes at Nuremberg. I might add too, that the Nazi’s on trial believed that what they did was good and just, even to the point (as Eichmann said) of believing anyone who disagreed with their viewpoint was ignorant, stupid, and uninformed.
In essence we should be asking this - are governments trustworthy, should the citizenry simply let them do what they wish?
Well, in the 1950s the Canadian government deliberately starved aboriginal children in order to see what would happen to them [817]. They cut nutritional supplements in half and more, see how much or how little the children would grow, how ill they would get, and so on. Please see here regarding some activities of government regarding innocent civilians Is Experimenting on Humans Justified?), then decide for yourself if potential psychopathologies Psychopaths in Power exposed by these activities.
The fact is that several recent heads of state, including those in the United States, have been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity (see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for citations and details), and others have been found guilty of sex with minors [793], torture [794], systemic lying [795, 796, 797] may give one pause. Would such people misuse a Panopticon to silence those who would expose their shenanigans? What do you think?
The United States from which the western Panopticon is controlled, has long had the highest rate of mental illness of all the developed nations [1004, 1005]). Recently the World Health Organisation studied rates of mental illness in fourteen industrialised nations (JAMA [1006]). The U.S. still had by far the highest rate of mental illness. Yet despite the obvious need, according to studies in J. Health Affairs [1007], the U.S. still maintains the lowest rate of available treatment for mental illness compared to all other developed nations. It would be folly to assume that it is only the population as a whole which has high rates of mental illness, to the exclusion of those in power.
Some examples of such are given here Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism) with a more thorough discussion of the issue in my article on psychopatholgy previously cited (Psychopaths in Power ). There I show that there are those scientists [789] who argue that the prevalence of mental pathologies is much higher than previously thought. Particularly the incidence of "emotional deafness” [790] - the inability to think anyone else matters. (Of course I am simplifying here - you may wish to read the citations as well as Vakni’s study of malignant narcissism [791] as starting points into this research literature.)
Regardless, there appear to be abnormalities in the amygdala of those with psychopathologies such that while outwardly charming as many politicians learn to be, the entirety of their ontology is blind self-interest Is Experimenting on Humans Justified?). They are also frequently hypervigilant (viz. the Panopticon) and respond very aggressively to perceived threat to their status (viz. the virulant attacks on whistleblowers Op. cit.).
The White Rose Campaign discussed in my article here The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights was a response to the takeover of the German government by Nazi lead by Hitler. Sociopaths and psychopaths in modern governments are nothing new, of course. Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin Dada, Augusto Pinochet, Kim Jong-il, ... the list is sadly, very much longer than just these few. And just as applicable to many of today’s leaders as yesterdays. I would invite you to take a close look at the discussion and citations here Psychopaths in Power and here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , then decide for yourself if this statement has merit.
A final thought to conclude this subsection:
Everyone who works with police knows that at some point or another one or more officers beat prisons up. Sometimes the prisoners are handcuffed and helpless [1292], sometimes they are children [1295], sometimes they are old and sick [1292, 1293], sometimes they are guilty and sometimes not [1294, 1295]. There is a large literature on the issue, and a much larger list of examples. Those doing the beating are often upstanding members of the community, do charitable work, have children, and are well thought of by there colleagues [ibid, 1297]. They, and those with whom they work on the whole consider themselves good people.
That they should continue to do so is due in large part to the same cognitive dissonance embraced by so many charged at the Nuremberg trials [Op. cit]. Regardless of the horrors committed, they believe they are good people doing good [ibid]. Those who run Panopticons, whether for the STASI, KGB, or the NSA, are fundamentally antidemocratic, believing deeply that governments should have all the power against the citizenry.
Arendt viewed ontological and sociological structures as distinct [1298], which in turn allowed for the rise of extreme ideologues - a key necessity to the ultimate generation of fascism. Hence there were "little Eichmanns" [1299] incapable of understanding the masses do not properly appreciate all their hard work - exactly as Eichmann could not understand why so many believed his slaughter of civilians was anything but honourable since after all as he said, he was a good man who would never abuse power while working for the benefit of the state [1302].
And so we have K. Alexander, head of the NSA and head of the U.S. Cybersecurity offensive [1305]. I would invite you to read S. Harris’s protrait of Mr. Alexander in Financial Policy [1307]. A salient point in Harris’ analysis is Mr. Alexander’s alleged belief that he himself is not bound by law or legal restrictions. Because he is in his own words he was a good man who would never abuse power, while working for the benefit of the state [ibid].

10.6.20 Closed societies

“ A culture that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion dies”
~ Chis Hedges [277]
Information imbalance creates power imbalance. And rights imbalance.
Those with access to information exploit it. The Panopticon, controlled by a handful not particularly good persons, is exploited for their avarice and pathologies. Not for the good of humanity. East Germany during the Soviet era is a well known example of this, but there are as I have indicated above and in [Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) ], many others.
Recently for example, leaked documents show that the U.S. NSA has been using its taxpayer funded billions of dollars to discredit dissent based by using a dissenter’s web-surfing habits [995]. Allegedly this may have gone so far as to include extortion and blackmail [ibid] of political dissenters [997]. Almost none of the targeted persons had any association to terrorism [ibid, 996]. The similarities to the STASI, the SS, the KGB, SLORC’s spies, etc. are obvious. In other words, it has all happened before. And is perhaps, happening again.

10.6.20.1 Doing the right thing

There are tens of thousands of employees working for government in suppressing the basic human right to privacy. Most of these folk work at a relatively low wage, have little formal education, and lack historical and philosophical context through which to evaluate the ethics of their actions. Certainly most have never heard of the Nuremberg trials or the international laws resulting therefrom.
At the other end of the scale anyone who has worked at an inner sysadmin level in large corporate, government, and police systems knows that ethical operation is ... flexible.
Graduate students in computer science are recruited not for the beauty of their theoretical work (which on the whole is usually pretty mundane, afterall), but rather for their ability and above all willingness to ignore laws or ethics for money. Military and government and corporate recruiters offer a great deal to those willing to forgo ethics or morality in return for access to powerful fun systems. This is made much easier when recruiters parade tautologies such as the well oiled rubric of “helping national security” - a variation on convincing young people to give up their lives in yet another pointless war The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? for oil or power - but without the loss of life. Just loss of ethics.
“At NSA, knowing cyberspace matters. As a cyber professional, you will become a part of a tradition of excellence, poised to lead the nation in the protection of our country’s national interests in cyberspace for years to come. Cyber is a team sport. NSA seeks cyber professionals ... Apply today for a position with NSA as a cyber professional, and enjoy an exciting career within the dynamic, fast-paced world of cyberspace.”
~ from the NSA website [968]
And so most young and inexperienced hires surely believe (thanks to the trilateral excuses of the pragmatic fallacy, confirmation bias, and cognitive dissonance that they are “doing the right thing”. That the are fighting evil.
Sadly, what they fail to acknowledge however, is that the security of the state does not depend upon trampling on the basic rights of privacy. Rather the security of the state depends upon upholding individual rights, including the right to privacy, worldwide.
This is something which many heads of state Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism) appear to have forgotten. If they ever cared Psychopaths in Power . And which the largely young and very naive workers in these agencies and corporations never knew. Or worse, care little about.

10.6.20.2 Final thought experiment

Here is a final thought experiment:
Suppose you are apprehended rooting through people’s trash searching for financial information. But when taken to court, you state that you would never, ever, use the information against individuals. You are just curious, and your actions are certainly not malevolent. And besides, if someone does not like what you are doing they can "opt-out" by keeping their trash in their house and never throwing it out.
If you as a trash troller work for a corporation or government agency, then the law is written so that even if charges are laid against you, you cannot be tried. Instead the courts let you off with a pat on the back, a hearty congratulation for your vigilance, and give judgements that a large amount of even more money from the taxpayer should be allocated to you to continue your fine work [776]. And for your fine work, even more laws are added, laws which allow you to secretly plant cameras at people’s windows (and in “special cases”) in their homes [777], their xboxes [775], their televisions [778], grab all of their cellphone conversations [784], pictures [785], and contact lists [787] have robot planes fly over their homes recording everything they do [779], place secret GPS monitors in their cars to watch were they go [780], place secret cameras an microphones in their offices, lunchrooms [781], in cabs [782], in trains [783], and much more. Why? Well, just in case you might one day do something we don’t like.
Of course, this this is not really a thought experiment. It is rather a depiction of what is currently happening. Everything is monitored.There are technologies which range from automatically capturing private conversations as couples sit together in a park [373] to secretly capturing DNA and other bio-identifying information from everyone as they enter a building [374].
"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 scrutinised."
~ G. Orwell [84]

10.6.20.3 Doublespeak slogans

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” - Cicero, 42 B.C. [1222]
The bottom line is that the mantra of those in power “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear”, is simply incorrect. It is a phrase as meaningless as “Change you can believe in”, “My country right or wrong”, “Sustainable development”, or “They hate us for our freedoms”, and other popular propaganda slogans.
At a casual glance such slogans appear sensible, but on reflection are easily seen to have have no foundation in fact or in reality. They have always been merely adjuncts to Straussian fabrication, as outlined in my article on Leo Strauss Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. [254]. So too with the justifications of the surveillance state and the “nothing to fear” mantra.

10.6.20.4 Pet politicians

As discussed in my article on the death of democracy Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , there is inceasing secrecy, misuse of public trust, circumvention of law and legal intent, historical revisionism, untruth, and corruption amoungst the political class in many ostensible democracies. This is ceratinly true of those who say the Panopticon is necessary to protect “national security” - a phrase which of course means whatever the speaker wants it to mean ...
10.6.20.4.1 Who is harmed by the Panopticon
(an image: pls click to see it) Ask yourself who in society has the most to fear if information on their activities in made readily available:
  • Is it the average citizen, or the rulers?
  • Is it the local plumber, or the CEO of an oil company?
  • Is it a teacher, or a senior politician?
  • Is it an old age pensioner, or a military strategist?
  • Is it a disabled person struggling to get by, or a political advisor?
Ask yourself too, if any of the previous attempts in history to create surveillance societies have been of benefit to the average person. Or to a select few billionaires (less than 400 people control more than one-half of the planet’s wealth [375]), and their pet politicians?
A quick quotation from Naomi Wolfe:
“When closed societies gather information on ordinary people’s lives - when people know that their book-buying and library records are open, their sexual behaviour and financial decisions are no longer private, their conversations are bugged, their class lectures are taped, their protests are photographed by police, their medical records are exposed, and that all this information can be used against them - their will to challenge the regime in power falters.”
~ N. Wolf [76]
It has been shown time and time again throughout history that attempts at secret universal spying, the construction of a Panopticon, is the mark not only of a devolving democracy, but utterly incomparable with individual rights and freedoms. No free state in history has ever survived the construction of a Panopticon in any form other than dictatorship. Any attempted removal of the basic right of anonymity and privacy has a long history of showing that indeed, there is a great deal to fear even if one has nothing to hide.
“First they came for the Communists. I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist so had nothing to fear;
And then they came for the trade unionists. I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist so had nothing to fear;
And then they came for the Jews. I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew so had nothing to fear;
And then even though I had nothing to hide, they came for me;
There is no one left to speak for me.
And even though I have nothing to hide, I am very, very afraid.”

~ Austrian mayor, paraphrasing and adding to Martin Niemöller’s original words [115]
10.6.20.4.2 Political honesty
It is axiomatic that politicians lie. As do bureaucrats, military generals, police chiefs, etc. Frequently, eloquently, and without regret. The examples are so numerous, and so frequent, as to make more comment unnecessary - I have compiled a small article on this issue with references which strongly supports this point: Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies). As does my article regarding political revisionism Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism).
For current purposes regarding the Panopticon however, I should like to use the example of the prime minister of New Zealand, Mr. John Key as allegedly representative of the foregoing paragraph.
Mr. Key had repeatedly stated [1339, 1340] that his law regarding internet surveillance “isn’t and will never be wholesale spying on New Zealanders” [1340]. This was, allegedly, a lie. Leaked documents [818, 1341] showed clearly that the GCSB (New Zealand’s NSA equivalent) provided mass surveillance data into NSA’s XKEYSCORE system, giving essentially blanket access to the private, personal communications of New Zealanders to the NSA. And furthermore that the prime minister was allegedly personally aware of that fact. Documents [ibid] also indicated that Project Speargun covertly installed monitoring equipment into New Zealand’s Southern Cross cable, which carried the bulk of internet traffic and other communications traffic between New Zealand and the world. The monitoring under the auspices of GCSB fed directly to the NSA.
As with other Five Eyes members such as Canada, Britain, and the U.S. government denials of illegal spying in New Zealand were proven to be false. GCSB had illegally surveilled the communications of entrepreneur Kim Dotcom [1342] and dozens of New Zealand citizens [1343], at a time when New Zealand law expressly forbade it from surveilling citizens or legal residents. Although the then deputy head of GCSB resigned at the revelations (unlike his counterparts at Canada’s CSEC or the U.S.’s NSA when similar revelations came to light), John Keys regime refused to prosecute. Pause for a moment and consider what would have happened to an individual not in the government found to have done what the GCSB had done. But then, why apply law equally to all? That simply is not how things work. Except perhaps in democracies.
Well, the Key regime repeatedly insisted [1344, 1345] that new laws introduced would provide oversight of targeted domestic surveillance by the GCSB. Almost every legal expert consulted on the issue disagreed [1346] indicating that the Key’s regime was granting wholesale surveillance power to the GCSB, in a virtually exact copy of similar legislation in other Five Eyes countries.
The Key government, which had been involved in a number of scandals forcing a top minister’s resignation for example [1347], even went so far as to mimic the Obama regime in the U.S. and Harper regime in Canada by viciously attacking whistleblowers concerning GCSB activities [1348]. Even allegedly attempting character assassination against the internationally recognised and multiple award winning journalist G. Greenwald [1349] for his work on this issue.
Rather than apologise to New Zealanders, resign, or jail those responsible for allegedly breaking New Zealand law the regime of John Key passed legislation to grant the GCSB retroactively the right to spy on everyone [819] (except of course, those giving the orders). Just as the Obama regime in the U.S. had granted communications corporations retroactive immunity from prosecution when it was discovered they and the NSA had allegedly broken U.S. laws in aiding the NSA [Op. cit.]
"It seems that the underlying objective of the legislation is to give the GCSB powers it lacked previously: the power to conduct surveillance on New Zealand citizens and residents. No explanation or justification for the conferral of this power is given."
~ Dr. R. Harrison [684], New Zealand Law Society submission regarding new laws allocated by parliament for universal spying. New Zealand, as part of the Five Eyes group, was of course “harmonising” its laws with U.S. laws, just as all other members of the Five Eyes group had done, to the severe detriment of national Independence, public oversight, and the basic human right of privacy per the UN Charter [328]
10.6.20.4.3 Something practical
This may be a good time to restate what I pointed out in my article regarding encryption tools - Essential privacy tools):
As a general rule of thumb no encryption (eg. VPN) based services operated from the United States or its Five Eye colonies should be used, due to the surveillance programs in those nations, their use of National Security Letters or equivalent, and their use of gag orders forbidding any service provider who receives a demand for violation of privacy rights from discussing said demand. These nations all have laws or orders in council which secretly force companies to grant complete access to customer information (eg. personal medical about a person’s children). These orders also compel a corporation to allow the permanent use of their services as tool of mass surveillance.
Hence boycotting any service providers such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, etc. who are headquartered in the United States may be simple common sense.

10.6.20.5 Suppression

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”
~ Plato [788], 2500 years ago
Pictured below are three U.S. government leaders. The first two (Mr. G.W. Bush and Mr. R. Chaney) have been found guilty of war crimes in abscentia in several international and very well documented trials [Op. cit.], as well as clear violations of a number of international treaties such as the Geneva Convention (for example both have admitted to ordering people to be tortured). The third - Dennis Hastert, far right in the picture - was a member of their political party and Speaker of the House. An very important and very senior position during the Bush and Chaney presidency. Mr. Hastert was a allegedly serial child molester [1520, 1521]. “The defendant is a serial child molester, Nothing is more stunning than having ‘serial child molester’ and ‘Speaker of the House’ in the same sentence.” - U.S. Federal District Court judge, Thomas Durkin during the trial of Mr. Hastert. Hence the character of the three “leaders” of the U.S. government was perhaps, not all one could have hoped.
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The best way for the evil, the corrupt, the sleazy [Psychopaths in Power , Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism)] to attain and keep power, is to ensure that no one threatens them in any way.
Yet it would be an historical error to single out these three ... people. There is a plethora of evidence from august bodies which have levelled war crimes allegations against several U.S. presidents and cabinet members. For example the National Lawyers Guild, the Centre for Constitutional Rights, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the American Association of Jurists and other NGO and legal groups have formally requested that the International Criminal Court launch proceedings against U.S. president Obama and other U.S. officials such as the then Secretary of State (Ms. Clinton). Please see here for citations, and much more detail and information: The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? .
That these people rule unabatted is testiment to several processes - propaganda from cradel to grave, an educational system which leaves the vast majority functionally illiterate, and of course, censroship, suppression of information (censorship) and as I mentioned, intimidation.
Consdier: The NSA under the aforementioned Mr. Clapper must have had records of that alleged serial pererast and alleged child molester U.S. House Speaker Hastert, but did nothing. The primary raison d’etre of any spy organisation afterall, is to protect the powerful, n’est pas?
There are seven commonly used means employed to ensure that no one can pose any threat to their psychopathological desire to hold power regardless of how doing so demeans all of humanity:
  1. Start with very young children. Train them from birth in certain ways of thinking and most of all, in instinctive obedience to authority (please see here Pedagogy is Social Engineering , Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy , Are You an Anti-intellectual? for discussion, examples, and citations).
  2. Ensure everyone is afraid most of the time by creating phoney enemies who so evil that they will destroy everything - Christians, communists, terrorists (please see here Is Fear induction Social Engineering? ,The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for discussion, examples, and citations).
  3. Provide a system of efficient, almost invisible, censorship of ideas - especially ideas contrary to an ontology of meek acceptance (please see here Censorship and Bibliocaust , Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? , Creating the Fourth Reich? , Media Controls Most Narratives), Replacing Truth and Information with Trivia - propaganda as culture) for discussion, examples, and citations).
  4. Demonise anyone who disagrees with you, such as whistleblowers, persons of conscience, antiwar demonstrators, etc. (please see here Censorship and Bibliocaust , Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? , Creating the Fourth Reich? for discussion, examples, and citations).
  5. Give the illusion that the people have a voice (please see here Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps) , Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), North American internment camps)for discussion, examples, and citations).
  6. Lie (please see here Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies), Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies), Religious Fanaticism is a means of controlling the rabble for discussion, examples, and citations). Also, falsify data, control and manipulate data, rig the media, censor bad stories, run giant misinformation/revisionist propaganda systems.
  7. Disenfranchise, marginalise, or if needed, kill anyone who gets in the way ((please see here The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? , The Real Monetary Cost of War for discussion, examples, and citations).
The enabling technology for this is computers. The enabling ontology is psychopathology. The enabling system is a Panopticon. Everything of which U.S. president Eisenhower once warned [1088], has come to pass with the creation of an Orwellian dystopia whose purpose is to serve a picayune number of arguably dysfunctional persons Psychopaths in Power .
But it is not of course merely the U.S. and its Five, Nine, and Fourteen eyed colonies, but China, India, and others have been, and are doing, the same. But the U.S. and China have the most money - taken from the unknowing taxpayer - with which to construct this dystopia. Very, very sad for two great countries which could have, had their leaders wished to do so, helped the whole of humanity instead.
But of course, if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.
“...privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society
~ European Parliament report PR\1014703EN [1451]
The right to privacy and free speech is protected by law in all western countries. In Britain and Europe by the European Convention on Human Rights; in North America by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 2) and in the U.S. by the Bill of Rights of 1791; and around the world by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The right to privacy and to free speech has been affirmed by all members of the United Nations as a fundamental human right. This was made international law by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
Respecting privacy and free speech rights is also the ethical and moral means through which all individuals can work to better the whole of society. Those who violate this, including various spy agencies, national governments, and corporate CEOs who sell private personal data to the highest bidder, are breaking international law, violating fundamental human rights, and not to put too fine a point on it ... unethical.
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10.6.21 If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear

“Hitler’s dictatorship employed to perfection the instruments of technology to dominate its own people ... by such instruments ... eighty million persons could be made subject to the will of one individual ... to maintain a close watch over all citizens and to keep criminal operations shrouded in a high degree of secrecy.”
~ Albert Speer [1973], Nazi Minister of Armaments
On the BBC here in Britain the ludicrous comments of the head of MI6’s demands for more powers of surveillance [1414] as discussed above, were presented by media as if they were reasonable [1415]. To see why they were most assuredly not please see Section 6.4.5 A Thought Experiment: False Positives and Terrorism in my article here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .
One commentator during the BBC broadcast actually used the phrase “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear” during his wholehearted support of MI6’s “need” for more surveillance powers of citizens. Perhaps he had not read Orwell ... At any rate, he was loudly applauded by the studio audience.
Secret agencies are not bound by law because they are not under effective oversight or public scrutiny. In my own work with police, government, and military I saw many violations or law and ethics. All justified in the minds of the government sanctioned perpetrators by illogical and certainly nonfactual rationale. The essential checks and balances necessary for democracy and justice are absent when more and more secret agencies are granted powers in line with those of a police state. There are many examples, some few listed supra, of agencies such as the DEA and FBI in the United States, MI5, CSEC, GCHQ, etc. committing perjury, lying to politicians, circumventing laws, and the like. That they are willing to do so under the obfuscation that they are somehow “helping protect” the very rights they are violating, demonstrates a mindset at worst identical to that of the STASI, and at best a staggering ignorance of history and ethical behaviour.
That media on the whole support or even celebrate such a profound attack upon democracy and human rights which these agencies are supposedly designed to protect, only adds to the democratic decline which has been accelerating world wide.
For ignorance celebrates the loss of liberty and human rights amid thunderous applause.
“There are no internal constraints left to halt totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics is a sham. The media is subservient to corporate power. The working class is being disempowered and impoverished. The legal system is a subsidiary of the corporate state. Any form of dissent, no matter how tepid, will soon to be blocked by an internal security apparatus empowered by anti-terrorist laws that will outstrip anything dreamed of by the East German Stasi state. And no one in Ottawa or Washington intends to help us. Opposition parties, such as the Democratic Party, may cry foul when out of power, but once in power they bow to the demands of the omnipotent military and security organs that serve our corporate masters.
Any state that has the ability to inflict full-spectrum dominance on its citizens is not a free state. It does not matter if it does not use this capacity today. It will use it, history has shown, should it feel threatened or seek greater control. The goal of wholesale surveillance, as Hannah Arendt wrote, is not, in the end, to discover crimes, "but to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population." No one who lives under constant surveillance, who is subject to detention anywhere at any time, whose conversations, messages, meetings, proclivities and habits are recorded, stored and analysed, as ours are, can be described as free. The relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked, and those who watch and track them, is the relationship between masters and slaves.
There will, if this law is not blocked, be no checks left on state power. State Security will operate outside the law. Citizens will be convicted on secret evidence in secret courts. Citizens will be subject to arbitrary searches and arrests. Due process will be eradicated. Internal security organs will serve as judge, jury and executioner. The outward forms of democratic participation – voting, competing political parties, judicial oversight and legislation – will remain, but become meaningless forms of political theatre.”

~ Chris Hedges [1498] awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work, exerted from a speech regarding the imposition of the so-called “police state” law (Bill-C51) under the egregious regime of Stephen Harper in Canada
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Please also see Cyberwar is a war against you), particularly the subsection therein which lists some of the CIA’s alleged cyberwar activities against ordinary citizens as described in a series of leaked documents.

10.6.22 Future

“Today in the much vaunted western democracies there exists a great deal of unaccountable state power whose primary function is to maintain the existing politico-economic structure, using surveillance, infiltration, sabotage, judicial harassment, disinformation, trumped-up charges and false arrests, tax harassment, blackmail, and even violence and assassination to make the world safe for those who own it.”
~ historian Dr. M. Parenti [1447]
Accurate information is antithetical to propaganda, whether from government, industry, religious, or military groups. It is this accurate information which is currently under massive attack by governments around the world. Note that the same systems capable of surveilling everyone, also possess the capability to modify electronic communication and news on the fly.
Consider for a moment the design of the Great Firewall of China [1699]. Designed by Fan Bingxing, the Firewall filters the internet in China, such that citizens are protected by the government from the ugliness which arises from of freedom of thought. (It was built with the help of U.S. corporations particularly CISCO [1773] because of course, money is more important than helping ensure freedom and the right of access to information.)
Anything the government does not like, simply does not appear or is modified on the fly before being allowed to continue its journey to a citizen’s home computer [ibid, 1700, 1701]. Traditionally the way around this has been to use encryption. However following on one of Bingxing’s early papers suggesting the use of machine learning in encrypted traffic analysis [1702] to eliminate this loophole to freedom of thought, numerically efficient classifiers have been brought to bear [1703], largely supplied by western corporations [1704] including some of the largest computer companies. Additionally in the dying days of 2015, the Chinese government brought about a law requiring all technology companies, search engines, computer suppliers, etc. operating in China to turn over all encryption keys to the government [1709]. Hence for a Chinese citizen to use an Apple Iphone, she and Apple were required to turn over any encryption keys they wished to use.
VPN traffic with China (an encryption scheme commonly used in business) has therefore been impacted, harming Chinese entrepreneurs who cannot afford to bribe their way free of it [1705]. There are of course other ways and means to circumvent this mass censorship [1706], but the Chinese government is vigilantly following Mao’s psychotic culling of intellectually freedom [1707] in suppressing these (please also see Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism)).
China has also developed what has been loosely termed “the Great Canon” by the Munk School of Global Affairs and researchers at the University of Toronto [1476, 1477]. The Canon has two purposes: 1) To flood websites with traffic indistinguishable from ordinary legitimate traffic, thereby crippling the site in question and 2) to replace traffic from/to individual IP addresses with anything the Chinese government/military wishes in a manner indistinguishable by an individual website user. It is a probabilistic tool which can act or not act on all or part of a particular flow of traffic. It is also capable of using cloud services to disguise its origins and target - Amazon’s CloudFront cloud service has been one such (presumably) unwilling tool used by the Canon. It should be noted that the implementation and design appears very similar to tools deployed in certain botnets. The end result is the same however - diminution of privacy rights.
What do the Chinese people think of this? The system was sold as a means of preventing terrorism and pornography (although it does neither). So no one other than a few Chinese human rights groups [1733] have complained. Furthermore Bingxing’s Great Firewall system is so efficient that most Chinese do not even suspect they are being censored [1708].
One of the more interesting and innovative experiments begun in 2015 in China to supplement the foregoing, is the euphemistically named “State Council Notice concerning Issuance of the Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020), GF No. (2014)21” [1734].
“The Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020) is hereby issued to you, please implement it earnestly. ... To comprehensively move the construction of a social credit system forward, we must persist in taking Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important ’Three Represents’ thought and the scientific development view as guidance, act according to the spirit of the 18th Party Congress, the 3rd Plenum of the 18th Party Congress, and the ’12th Five-Year Plan’, take completing credit laws, regulations and standard systems and shaping a credit investigation system covering all of society as the basis, take moving forward the construction of sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and judicial credibility as main content, take moving forward the construction of an sincerity culture and establishing mechanisms to encourage sincerity and punish insincerity as focal points, take moving forward the construction of sectoral credit, the construction of local credit and the development of credit services markets as support, take raising the entire society’s sense of sincerity and credit levels and improving the economic and social operating environment as targets, put people first, broadly shape a thick atmosphere in the entire society that keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful, and ensure that sincerity and trustworthiness become conscious norms of action among all the people.” [ibid], Oxford University translation
Ant Financial Services which operates in China as Alibaba Group (online shopping) affiliate, has a credit scoring system called Sesame Credit [1712]. The system is jointly operated by Alibaba and Tencent - which also run China’s largest social networks such as Weibo, which has over 200 million users [1713]. All social networks in China are regulated by the Chinese government - where ’regulated’ means all data they contain is available to the government.
"The receptive power of the masses is very slight; their understanding is very restricted. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare necessities... a few stereotyped formulae"
~ Adolph Hitler [1448]
Sesame Credit uses data from online shopping of 300 million registered shoppers and 37 million vendors and payment data from China’s largest online payment system. Credit card usage, online utility bill payment, buying history, vendor ratings, etc. are combined into a single score of ’trustworthiness’ of shoppers. Activity, use, and content of social network messages are combined into this score as well. The end result is a single metric which rates every user (essentially everyone who can afford a cellphone or computer in China) of the system. Now, this rating is important. The Chinese government has put forth statements encouraging people to improve their scores, calling their patriotic duty to do so [1715]. Vendors have begun refusing sales to those with low scores [1714]. How does one get a low score? By failing to pay for goods on time, by have friends with low scores, or by posting opinions online of which the Chinese government does not approve.
“Among the things that will hurt a citizens score are posting political opinions without prior permission, or posting information that the regime does not like, such as about the Tienanmen Square massacre that the government carried out to hold on to power, or the Shanghai stock market collapse. It will hurt your score not only if you do these things, but if any of your friends do them”
~ Jay Stanley [1716], Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project
The particularly interesting aspect of this is that scores are linked to a person’s national identity card, which all citizens must carry at all times. The Chinese government has announced that use by everyone in China of the system will be mandatory by 2020 [1717]. Translation - the compulsory national identity card will record the score as a rating not merely of a citizen’s financial worth but more importantly, a measure of their political compliance.
Disobedience - posting, saying, or researching things the government does not like - will hurt not only an individual’s score, but also the score of all of the person’s friends and family. Linking scores for everyone’s contacts - which can be seen publicly by anyone - guarantee social pressure to raise scores. Which is impossible if one dissents from the regime’s version of truth. Added to the already frightening mass incarceration of those who disagree publicly with the regime, this new surveillance technology adjoins financial, social, educational, and political pressure to ensure subtle but highly coercive means of suppressing dissent of any kind.
As with any totalitarian regime, there are carrots mixed with the stick. Citizens with higher scores receive rewards - easier access to travel permits, faster movement through airport security checks, etc.
While regimes such as North Korea or Saudi Arabia use arrests, beatings, imprisonment, assassination, starvation, poison, and other tools to keep the rabble in line and silence dissent, such tools are crude. The Chinese government uses these tools of totalitarianism as well, but the need is lessening. Instead the tools of authoritarianism work better - massive propaganda, complete control of the education system, universal spying on all internet activity, and carrot/stick abstraction of Sesame scores work far more thoroughly to shape and socially engineer people away from the very idea of dissent. Already social media in China have seen hundreds of thousands of people (mainly young) boasting about their high scores, and competing to raise them even higher. Something which cannot happen if they post even one word against the Chinese government [Op. cit.].
This is the ultimate Orwellian dystopic Panopticon - in which self-social engineering becomes normative even to the point of doxa What is Doxa and Invisible Acculturation? .
“...George Orwell points out that one reason why it is possible for those in authority to maintain the barbarities of the police state is that nobody is able to recall the many blessings of the period which preceded that type of society. In a general way this is also true of the peoples of the Western world today. The great majority of them have known only a world ravaged by war, depressions, international intrigues and meddling, vast debts and crushing taxation, the encroachments of the police state, and the control of public opinion and government by ruthless and irresponsible propaganda. A major reason why there is no revolt against such a state of society as that in which we are living today is that many have come to accept it as a normal matter of course, having known nothing else during their lifetimes.”
~ H.E. Barnes [1720]
Now consider that bastion of totalitarianism, North Korea. The Great Leader of that benighted nation ordered the construction of RedStar OS, based on the free western version of Linux called ’Fedora 11’. This has since become North Korea perversion of the Linux based operating system. It has been designed to closely monitor everything anyone does on a computer and store/report it to the government.
It has also been designed to be quite resilient to user’s attempts to modify or regain control of it [1719] via a series of North Korean custom made cryptographic signatures (variants on AES) applied to the OS kernel, on files on the HD, or even on a USB drive attached to the computer. As research Niklaus Schiess has stated [1720], RedStar OS can “track who actually has this file, who created this file, and who opened this file.”
Now onward to Sweden: By the end of 2015 more than 98% of Sweden’s economy was cashless. Almost everyone in the country made purchases electronically or by credit card - no physical cash exchanged hands. Church tithes were texted from phones; utility bills were electronically sent and paid; banks loans were negotiated and paid electronically; etc. In fact when people offered to pay in cash for good, they were routinely refused. Sweden had effectively transferred almost entirely to a cashless society. The Swedish government boasted [1722] that it was leading the world in creating the future.
This was true, but not the way self congratulatory PR messages meant. A moment’s reflection will show that the only way for a cashless society to work, is for a universal Panopticon to be in place. Banks, business, government, police could track everything everyone purchased, shopped for, at any time. Did a married man use a brothel? Did a daughter buy birth control pills? Did a person visit a particular coffee shop? Did the owner of a car purchase gas on such and such a day? And so on. Everything, everything was available for viewing by complete strangers.
Now for governments and corporations in Sweden, transactions they wished to keep secret could easily go offshore - usually to such banking systems as the Cayman Islands. Corporations and governments like their privacy. But for the individual citizen in Sweden, the government/corporate Panopticon kept track of everything everyone did (except themselves). Privacy and anonymity became impossible for the Swedish public, who on the whole complacent applauded the convenience this gave them as their right to not be tracked ... vanished.
In light of previous discussions in this article, the implications of the Chinese, North Korean, and Swedish Panopticons can be summed up very simply: Dystopia has arrived and will be coming to all industrialised nations. Especially when persons such as U.S. president Donald Drump, his chief advisor Steve Bannon, can give orders to their minions stigmatise religious groups and remove fundamental human rights in a manner remarkably similar to the steps used by Adolf Hitler shortly after attaining power (please q.v. Psychopaths in power) and Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek).)

10.6.23 Conclusion

Please read An open letter to heads of state), then return here.
“Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it. Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. This has been the case in the United States.”
~ Reporters sans Frontiers [1168]
"We have received substantial evidence that the operations by intelligence services in the U.S., UK, France and Germany are in breach of international law and European law"
~ C. Moraes [1052], head of EU inquiry and report into illegal acts by intelligence agencies
“The benighted nation south of us, which calls itself, without a hint of irony, the greatest country on earth, suffers from a serious rupture from reality. To me, it is an egregiously failed country, one so foreign from my experience and understanding of what constitutes a civilised and mature society that it might as well exist on a another planet. It is truly an alien nation.”
~ Lorne [1213], a Canadian blogger
It is a truism that intelligence, honesty, high ethical standards, education and learning, compassion and kindness ... are seldom if ever found in a nation’s leaders.
Instead the most venal and ignorant have generally risen to the top. History is largely the story of horrible men and women with little capability other than the ability to lie and cheat, heading nations into ruin. Zinn [1350], Foucault (eg. “Power/Knowledge [1351]) and many others cited in the bibliography Bibliography for my site) show this quite well.
Little has changed in our own time. Except for one thing.
The difference is simply this: Such horrible, racist, misogynistic, ignorant, narcissistic, megalomaniacal, brutish, vulgar, corrupt, tax avoiding, science denying, profoundly disturbed demagogues now have nuclear bombs, bioweapons, and totalitarian dystopic spy technologies at their fingertips.
These people perpetrate torture Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? and terrorism The World Wide U.S. War of Terror to further their avarice, perverted sense of their own importance, and psychopathologies of conquest. That humanity has not risen above these monsters such as Hitler or Stalin, even to the point of allowing them to rise to high political office, is a sure sign of how little humanity evolved.
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“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional ... I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”
~ Dr. J. Gartner [1949], psychologist and professor, Johns Hopkins University Medical School
Indeed one may go so far as to point out that using the PCL and similar clinical diagnostic tools it is possible to search the historical record and find functional psychopaths (discussed here in my article here in more detail Psychopaths in Power ) at the heads of government throughout human history. The belief (or propaganda) that this should be any different today, is sadly, a mere a combination of acculturated ignorance and wishful thinking.
"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
~ Thomas Jefferson [1518], U.S. Founding Father, inaugural presidential address
The sad fact as I pointed out at the beginning of this article, is that this universal Panopticon has essentially nothing to do with protecting the citizenry, but is rather about protecting those at the top from the citizenry. And of course, profiteering, corporate espionage, warmongering, and the other venality I pointed out in the body of this article. The end result is the ongoing very rapid diminution of human rights, freedom, and democracy.
“...privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society”
~ European Parliament report PR\1014703EN [1451] We may conclude from the many citations given in this article therefore, that the foundations of a free and democratic society have been severely undermined by out of control agencies such as the NSA, GCHQ, CSE, and others.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel grew up under the evil corruption of the STASI in East Germany. Chancellor Merkel has openly stated [1051] that the spying practices of the U.S. and NSA are the same as those of the STASI. Some German commentators have alleged [1278] that the parallels are so strong that it has become increasingly difficult to find any difference other than the obvious one of technology. A sad state indeed, when even the head of a friendly government speaks openly in warning [ibid].
I met a gentle old man a few years ago, on a walking trail near here. I would see him every so often and we would stop and chat. But the last time I saw him he was very upset. He told me he was moving to Denmark to live out his final years. I asked him why. He told me it was because “It is all happening again”.
It seems he had grown up in pre-war Germany, and had seen first hand the rise of the Nazis from a small fringe group to a powerful force at the centre of government. The old man had seen Hitler and the Nazis implement the following in his beloved homeland:
  • targeting of racial groups,
  • the rise of universal surveillance,
  • removal of privacy rights,
  • massive investment in the materials of war and conquest,
  • the suppression of dissent and free speech,
  • virulent attacks upon, and calls for death of, whistleblowers,
  • arbitrary no travel lists,
  • arbitrary search and seizure,
  • ever increasing powers given to police,
  • the gradual introduction of torture as state policy,
  • the use of hyper religiousity,
  • rendition and “disappearing” people,
  • pervasive propaganda under the guise of “patriotism”,
  • the funnelling of vast amounts of money into the hands of a few powerful men,
  • the buying and selling of politicians,
  • targeting of racial groups,
  • the revolving door between corporations and government,
and last but not least of course he had seen the the universal use of the slogan used by Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda: “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear”.
“It’s all happening again”, he told me. There were tears in his eyes ...
“We control life, Winston, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable.”
~ G. Orwell [525], 1984.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." [ibid]
In sum, The best way to safeguard both your privacy rights and indeed human rights in general, is to encourage everyone you can to elect people (assuming you live in a democracy) who actually care about democracy and human rights, and who would take the individuals in various spy and military agencies, CEOs of well known multinational corporations, politicians in executive positions, and others who perpetrate these human rights violations, to stand trial before the International Court in the Hague.
“At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). ... For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the stormy applause, rising to an ovation, continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.
However, who would dare to be the first to stop? ... After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first! And in the obscure, small hall, unknown to the leader, the applause went on - six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly — but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?
The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter ...
Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved!
The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel. That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:
’Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.’"
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn [1725], from The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize, the Templeton Prize, the Lomonosov Gold Medal, the International Botev Priz, etc., but still was incarcerated by the state for the horrific crime of speaking truth to power
If this reminds you of the public meeting [1993] of U.S. president Trump and his Cabinet where each cabinet member took turns praising Mr. Trump, followed by applause from all, before the next sycophant spoke .... it should.
Please also q.v.:
  1. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror
  2. Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill
  3. Do You Want a Gun? Macht mech Recht
  4. Psychopaths in power)
  5. Is Technology Neutral? No.
  6. The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace?
  7. Islam and the West: Engineering Hate
  8. Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )
“Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every single feeding will firm up the birds belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race “looking out for its best interests,” as a politician would say. On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.” ? N. N. Taleb [1923], from “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”
“[U.S. president Donald Trump ] is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president [1919] .... We’ve seen enough public behaviour by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably [1920]”
~ Dr. J. D. Gartner, psychologist, Johns Hopkins University Medical School
Mr. Trump, alleged by many experts to be mentally ill or even a functional psychopath as of 2017 controlled and directed the largest surveillance network in history (please q.v. Psychopaths in power) and Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek) for further discussion and citations of this former point).
“The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda - before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world - lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”
~ H. Arendt [1921] in “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”
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Please also see Cyberwar is a war against you), particularly the subsection therein which lists some of the CIA’s alleged cyberwar activities against ordinary citizens as described in a series of leaked documents.

If you work with corporations, military, government, or security agencies, may I gently suggest that you read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948, and the Nuremberg Transcripts. Please also see my article Psychopaths in power). Then please consider carefully whether your work is aiding humanity or perhaps instead bolstering a tiny handful of self entitled leaders and CEOs who destroy freedom and human rights for their own twisted avarice. Hitler you may recall, was supported and funded by the majority of Germans and almost all of the wealthy industrialists in the United States and Britain.
Thanks for keeping an open mind! Best wishes,
~ Peter (www.doxpoxia.org)
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[2022 References: Bibliography for my site)]