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Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

BOVARD: Why NSA Vs Tucker Carlson Is An Alarm Bell For All Americans | The Daily Caller

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2021

However, 90% of the people whose emails and other data were dragged into NSA surveillance dragnets were not NSA’s actual targets, according to a 2014 Washington Post analysis based on data that Snowden provided. Shortly before Snowden’s disclosures began, National Intelligence Director James Clapper lied to Congress when he denied that the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans.” He was never charged for that crime, thereby encouraging falsehoods by every subsequent top federal intelligence official.

https://dailycaller.com/2021/07/17/james-bovard-nsa-vs-tucker-carlson-alarm-bell/

James Bovard Contributor

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s charge that the National Security Agency illegally spied on him and leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought “to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American,” declared MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectively claiming that “I’m not a crazy person overstating a case!”

When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?

The Carlson controversy cannot be understood outside the context of perennial NSA abuses. The NSA possesses a “repository capable of taking in 20 billion ‘record events’ daily and making them available to NSA analysts within 60 minutes,” the New York Times reported. The NSA is able to snare and stockpile many orders of magnitude times more information than did East Germany’s Stasi secret police, one of the most odious agencies of the post-war era. (RELATED: NSA Responds To Tucker Carlson, Claims He ‘Has Never Been An Intelligence Target’)

The FBI, for its part, is permitted to rummage through the seized data under strict restrictions. In 2018, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans’ rights. After the FBI promised to repent, the FISA court to permitted FBI agents to continue rummaging in NSA troves. In April, the FISA court revealed that the FBI surveillance crime wave continues.

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Meet Jigsaw: Google’s Intelligence Agency – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on July 10, 2021

We cannot opt out of mass government surveillance. But we knowingly consent to most forms of “privatized” intelligence gathering.

Take the first step and revoke your consent.

https://off-guardian.org/2021/07/08/meet-jigsaw-googles-intelligence-agency/

It’s no secret that Google regularly collaborates with intelligence agencies. They are a known NSA subcontractor. They launched Google Earth using a CIA spy satellite network.

Their executive suite’s revolving door with DARPA is well known.

In the wake of the January 6th Capitol event, the FBI used Google location data to pwn attendants with nothing more than a valid Gmail address and smartphone login:

The police were then able to obtain an Instagram registration email, which turned out to be a Gmail address. With that in hand, investigators ordered Google to provide any location data they had on that Gmail user, which the tech giant duly provided after it identified a linked smartphone.

A stark reminder that carrying a tracking device with a Google login, even with the SIM card removed, can mean the difference between freedom and an orange jumpsuit in the Great Reset era.

But Google also operates its own internal intelligence agency – complete with foreign regime-change operations that are now being applied domestically.

And they’ve been doing so without repercussion for over a decade.

From Google Ideas to Google Regime Change

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NSA Vs. Tucker Carlson: Are We A Banana Republic?

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2021

After the shocking revelation that the US National Security Agency had intercepted Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s emails and then leaked them to media in an effort to smear him, the question all Americans should be asking is: how did we get to this banana republic state? Will there be any accounting for this lawlessness? Also today: Iraqi militias keep firing on US bases in Iraq. So why not leave?

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The NSA Is Spying on Tucker Carlson (and Everyone Else) | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 5, 2021

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-nsa-is-spying-on-tucker-carlson-and-everyone-else/

by Jim Bovard

Fox News host Tucker Carlson was mocked on social media this week for stating that he had been told that the National Security Agency was reading his private emails and spying on him. The usual suspects called Carlson paranoid, because there are so many checks and balances to assure the feds would never illegally target a vexatious Biden critic. However, on Tuesday, a dissent by Travis LeBlanc, a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, revealed that one of the NSA’s most intrusive surveillance engines, XKeyscore, may be violating federal law and Americans’ rights and privacy.

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents proving that XKeyscore was the surveillance state’s incarnation of paranoia. What did it take for the NSA to justify vacuuming up Americans’ emails and internet data? Merely detecting “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.” The peril of that farcical standard was compounded because, as Snowden explained, NSA surveillance tools enabled him to “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.” Thanks to its all-encompassing standard of “suspicious,” NSA has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion [email and phone] transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens,” according to former NSA senior analyst William Binney. Six months after Snowden’s disclosures began, federal judge Richard Leon issued a ruling denouncing the NSA surveillance regime as “almost Orwellian”: “I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”

After the uproar created by the Snowden revelations, the civil liberties watchdog board leaped into action to investigate XKeyscore. Six years later, the board finished its 56-page report, a confidential version of which was provided to the White House and select members of Congress in March. Unfortunately, the board apparently did not have time to look under any rocks to see what the NSA might be hiding. In a dissent partially declassified on Tuesday, LeBlanc complained that the board failed to ask “how many U.S. persons have been impacted by XKeyscore, how much data the program collects and analyzes, how widely information analyzed through XKeyscore is shared, the number of lives saved, or the number of terrorist events averted as a result of XKeyscore.” In 2019, XKeyscore resulted in “hundreds of compliance incidents,” and LeBlanc noted that “U.S. law and the known collection or processing of U.S. person information are serious compliance issues.” However, the civil liberties oversight board did not “request specific information” about violations of U.S. law by NSA. LeBlanc groused that the board’s report “reads more like a book report of the XKeyscore program than an independent oversight analysis.”

Continue reading this article at The American Conservative

About Jim Bovard

Jim Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and 7 other books. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and other publications. His articles have been publicly denounced by the chief of the FBI, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of HUD, and the heads of the DEA, FEMA, and EEOC and numerous federal agencies.

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Conspiracy: Theory and Practice – Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

Posted by M. C. on June 30, 2021

https://edwardsnowden.substack.com/p/conspiracy-pt1

Edward Snowden

I.

The greatest conspiracies are open and notorious — not theories, but practices expressed through law and policy, technology, and finance. Counterintuitively, these conspiracies are more often than not announced in public and with a modicum of pride. They’re dutifully reported in our newspapers; they’re bannered onto the covers of our magazines; updates on their progress are scrolled across our screens —  all with such regularity as to render us unable to relate the banality of their methods to the rapacity of their ambitions.

The party in power wants to redraw district lines. The prime interest rate has changed. A free service has been created to host our personal files. These conspiracies order, and disorder, our lives; and yet they can’t compete for attention with digital graffiti about pedophile Satanists in the basement of a DC pizzeria.

This, in sum, is our problem: the truest conspiracies meet with the least opposition.

Or to put it another way, conspiracy practices — the methods by which true conspiracies such as gerrymandering, or the debt industry, or mass surveillance are realized — are almost always overshadowed by conspiracy theories: those malevolent falsehoods that in aggregate can erode civic confidence in the existence of anything certain or verifiable.

In my life, I’ve had enough of both the practice and the theory. In my work for the United States National Security Agency, I was involved with establishing a Top-Secret system intended to access and track the communications of every human being on the planet. And yet after I grew aware of the damage this system was causing — and after I helped to expose that true conspiracy to the press — I couldn’t help but notice that the conspiracies that garnered almost as much attention were those that were demonstrably false: I was, it was claimed, a hand-picked CIA operative sent to infiltrate and embarrass the NSA; my actions were part of an elaborate inter-agency feud. No, said others: my true masters were the Russians, the Chinese, or worse — Facebook.

Contrary to what a surprisingly large number of people on Twitter believe, that is very much not me.

As I found myself made vulnerable to all manner of Internet fantasy, and interrogated by journalists about my past, about my family background, and about an array of other issues both entirely personal and entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand, there were moments when I wanted to scream: “What is wrong with you people? All you want is intrigue, but an honest-to-God, globe-spanning apparatus of omnipresent surveillance riding in your pocket is not enough? You have to sauce that up?”

It took years — eight years and counting in exile — for me to realize that I was missing the point: we talk about conspiracy theories in order to avoid talking about conspiracy practices, which are often too daunting, too threatening, too total.


II.

It’s my hope in this post and in posts to come to engage a broader scope of conspiracy-thinking, by examining the relationship between true and false conspiracies, and by asking difficult questions about the relationships between truth and falsehood in our public and private lives.

I’ll begin by offering a fundamental proposition: namely, that to believe in any conspiracy, whether true or false, is to believe in a system or sector run not by popular consent but by an elite, acting in its own self-interest. Call this elite the Deep State, or the Swamp; call it the Illuminati, or Opus Dei, or the Jews, or merely call it the major banking institutions and the Federal Reserve…

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Why the Regime’s Regulatory Power Is a Standing Threat to America | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on June 21, 2021

Today, it is hard to believe that a president, the Pentagon, the CIA, or the NSA would make these types of direct threats to any U.S. company or its executives. But they don’t have to. Everyone knows what can happen to them if they decide to publicly criticize the sordid, dark-side activities of the national-security establishment. Discretion is the better part of valor, which has to be one big reason why most executives choose to remain silent. 

https://mises.org/wire/why-regimes-regulatory-power-standing-threat-america

Jacob G. Hornberger

Whenever some foreign regime that is independent of the U.S. Empire goes after dissenters, U.S. officials trot out the First Amendment to show how different the United States is. Here, people are free to criticize government officials without fear of being put in jail or otherwise punished for exercising their free speech rights, they proudly point out. 

However, what goes unexplained in such pious proclamations is why so many leading executives in big American companies remain silent when it comes to America’s foreign wars, foreign interventions, coups, alliances with dictators, torture, mass secret surveillance, indefinite detention, denial of due process, Gitmo, state-sponsored assassinations, and other dark-side activities of the U.S. national-security establishment.

The reason is that every one of those executives knows that federal officials are able to retaliate against them in indirect ways for criticizing their policies and operations. Such indirect methods of retaliation can consist of IRS audits, regulatory harassment, denial of applications for mergers and acquisitions, non-renewal of radio and television licenses, and even the threat of disclosure of personal secrets acquired through secret surveillance of emails and telephone records. 

A good example of free speech nullification involved President Lyndon Johnson, soon after he became president after the assassination of President Kennedy. Johnson’s indirect nullification of the First Amendment is set forth in Robert Caro’s book The Passage of Power.

Prior to the assassination, a Dallas reporter named Margaret Mayer had begun investigating Johnson’s radio and television stations in Austin. On the evening of Saturday, January 4, 1964, Johnson telephoned her paper’s managing editor and spoke directly about what he was prepared to do if the paper didn’t stop Mayer’s investigation. 

Johnson mentioned by name the paper’s publisher and board owner, its president, and the president of radio and television stations owned by the paper. He then made it clear that he was prepared to use all the powers at his disposal against them if they didn’t stop Mayer’s investigation, including IRS audits, both personal and business, as well as non-renewal of FCC licenses for the radio and television stations. 

Johnson demanded a response by the next morning. The next morning—Sunday morning—the editor telephoned the president and said, “We’ll take care of the thing tomorrow” and assured Johnson that his role would be kept secret. Mayer’s investigation was shut down.

Caro provides another example, one involving not just a reporter but rather an entire newspaper which had been critical of Johnson before the assassination. Johnson set out to stop the criticism.

The paper’s president also served as president of a local bank that was trying to merge with another Texas bank. Such mergers require federal approval. Both the Federal Reserve and the Justice Department opposed the merger. Using presidential aide Jack Valenti as an intermediary, Johnson told the paper that if it wanted the merger to go through, it would have to cease criticizing him. According to Caro, the paper became a supporter of Johnson, even endorsing him in the 1964 race. Johnson overruled the Fed and Justice Department and ordered the approval of the merger.

Caro provides another example of this phenomenon, one involving a Washington, D.C., correspondent for a Texas newspaper. The reporter had been critical of Johnson. Johnson telephoned the paper’s owner and mentioned Fort Worth’s Carswell Air Force Base as well as the recent decision to close the Fort Worth Army Depot. He also mentioned a project to make the Trinity River navigable for barges from the Gulf of Mexico to Fort Worth.

The paper squeezed out the reporter. Carswell remained in operation and ended up playing a big role in Johnson’s war in Vietnam. Johnson also made sure that one billion dollars in federal money went to the Trinity River project, although the project was never finished. 

Today, it is hard to believe that a president, the Pentagon, the CIA, or the NSA would make these types of direct threats to any U.S. company or its executives. But they don’t have to. Everyone knows what can happen to them if they decide to publicly criticize the sordid, dark-side activities of the national-security establishment. Discretion is the better part of valor, which has to be one big reason why most executives choose to remain silent. 

Author:

Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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The Rutherford Institute :: Make Way for the Snitch State: The All-Seeing Fourth Branch of Government | By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on June 3, 2021

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/make_way_for_the_snitch_state_the_all_seeing_fourth_branch_of_government

By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead

“It is just when people are all engaged in snooping on themselves and one another that they become anesthetized to the whole process. As information itself becomes the largest business in the world, data banks know more about individual people than the people do themselves. The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.”—Marshall McLuhan, From Cliche To Archetype

We’re being spied on by a domestic army of government snitches, spies and techno-warriors.

This government of Peeping Toms is watching everything we do, reading everything we write, listening to everything we say, and monitoring everything we spend.

Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it is all being recorded, stored, and catalogued, and will be used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

This far-reaching surveillance has paved the way for an omnipresent, militarized fourth branch of government—the Surveillance State—that came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum.

Indeed, long before the National Security Agency (NSA) became the agency we loved to hate, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were carrying out their own secret mass surveillance on an unsuspecting populace.

Even agencies not traditionally associated with the intelligence community are part of the government’s growing network of snitches and spies.

Just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to spy on the American people. For instance, the U.S. Postal Service, which has been photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail for the past 20 years, is also spying on Americans’ texts, emails and social media posts. Headed up by the Postal Service’s law enforcement division, the Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP) is reportedly using facial recognition technology, combined with fake online identities, to ferret out potential troublemakers with “inflammatory” posts. The agency claims the online surveillance, which falls outside its conventional job scope of processing and delivering paper mail, is necessary to help postal workers avoid “potentially volatile situations.”

Then there are the fusion and counterterrorism centers that gather all of the data from the smaller government spies—the police, public health officials, transportation, etc.—and make it accessible for all those in power. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the complicity of the corporate sector, which buys and sells us from cradle to grave, until we have no more data left to mine.

It’s not just what we say, where we go and what we buy that is being tracked.

We’re being surveilled right down to our genes,

See the rest here

ABOUT JOHN W. WHITEHEAD

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president The Rutherford Institute. His books Battlefield America: The War on the American People and A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State are available at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.

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WHO IS SHAKING THE JAR? – The Burning Platform

Posted by M. C. on March 24, 2021

“If you think the real power centers in the US are the Proud Boys, 4Chan & Boogaloos rather than the CIA, FBI, NSA, Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and spend most of your time battling the former while serving the latter as stenographers, your journalism is definitionally shit.”Glenn Greenwald

https://www.theburningplatform.com/2021/03/22/who-is-shaking-the-jar/

“If you catch 100 red fire ants as well as 100 large black ants, and put them in a jar, at first, nothing will happen. However, if you violently shake the jar and dump them back on the ground the ants will fight until they eventually kill each other. The thing is, the red ants think the black ants are the enemy and vice versa, when in reality, the real enemy is the person who shook the jar. This is exactly what’s happening in society today. Liberal vs. Conservative. Black vs. White. Pro Mask vs. Anti-Mask. Vax vs. Anti-vax. Rich vs. poor. Man vs. woman. Cop vs. citizen. The real question we need to be asking ourselves is who’s shaking the jar… and why?” Shera Starr

Who's Shaking the Jar? - The Thinking Conservative

A few weeks ago, I saw the above quote in Jeff Thomas’ article Learning from Ants, and it has been reverberating in my mind ever since. It is a perfect analogy for what has been happening in this country for years, with the jar lately being shaken at a rate faster than a Biden vote count increase at 3:00 am in a swing state. Everyone in this country, and the world, is at each other’s throats. Who is shaking the jar? Why are they shaking the jar? Why do they want us fighting each other?

If they keep us focused on fighting each other, they believe we will not notice their reprehensible criminality, as they manipulate the masses through psychological engineering and the employment of propaganda techniques to push their desired narrative. If you ask someone – who is shaking the jar? – they will likely answer based on the standard left vs right, liberal vs conservative, white vs black paradigm which has been created by those benefiting from conflict. It is always a safe bet to follow the money when trying to identify the culprits.

The elevated intensity of manipulation by those pulling the strings of societal discontent reveals much about their level of desperation in creating more chaos, because the awakening of more to the truth, endangers their wealth, power, and control. They have turned the shaking power up to eleven in the last year, as an implosion of the Ponzi financial system was looming as we entered 2020, and the Deep State oligarchs needed cover to implement a massive injection of liquidity into the veins of Wall Street bankers, the medical industrial complex, and mega-corporations like Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target.

The weaponization of a contagious, but highly non-lethal to anyone under 80 years old, flu became the perfect camouflage of fear to bailout the teetering financial system and creating turmoil, chaos, and distrust among the populace. The non-stop fear mongering was purposely ramped to keep the public distracted while the national wealth pillaging operation proceeded at a breakneck pace behind the scenes. $600 for you and $10 trillion for them.

The monstrous effort to polarize the country by the psychopaths in suits pulling the strings of societal disgruntlement has the ultimate purpose of subjugation and dominion over every aspect of our lives. They no longer feel the need to conceal their treachery, as they openly proclaim their Great Reset, where you will own nothing and be happy – living in a 200 sq ft shipping container, eating synthetic meat, drinking Gates endorsed reprocessed piss, snacking on bugs, and praying their windmill and solar power works on calm cloudy days as a frigid winter storm front arrives.

A right-wing meme on Twitter positioning George Soros as the originator of a coronavirus world conspiracy involving Bill Gates, James Comey, Rep Adam Schiff and others

None of this is an accident. It is not occurring naturally. This is the result of a designed blueprint to control and rule the world by a relatively small cadre of billionaire oligarch globalists, Big Tech despots, bought off politicians, the banking cabal fronted by their puppets at the Federal Reserve, surveillance state operatives, military industrial complex parasites, captured corporate media, mega-corporations, and mid-level government apparatchiks sucking on the teat of the Deep State.

These people are the real government who had been pulling the strings behind the curtain, but now feel emboldened to openly execute their plans, after observing how easily the masses could be manipulated and controlled through fear during this conveniently engineered pandemic. Decades of dumbing down the populace through government run public school indoctrination disguised as education, has produced millions of non-critical thinking barely sentient consumers who have their beliefs fashioned, choices formed, and opinions dictated by manipulative men operating in the shadows.

Those pulling the strings understand the psychological processes, societal relationships, and technology driven social media addictions of the masses. They know how to sell a narrative based upon the emotions, feelings, fears and biases of the masses. With so few capable of critical thinking and seeing through their deceptive manipulation of the story-line, complete control over mainstream and social media gives those pulling the strings tremendous power over the direction of society.

And if they can keep the majority at each other’s throats, distracted by trivialities, minutia, false narratives, and unable to decipher the truth, they can keep us subjugated and constrained while they pilfer and pillage the wealth of the nation. It is a despicably audacious plan but is working to perfection. But, as always with humans, their hubris and myopia have convinced themselves they are infallible and immune to defeat. Their greed and arrogance will ultimately lead to their downfall.

Fighting in Our Streets and God | Tennessee Bible College

Glenn Greenwald recently called out the faux journalists working in the corporate media complex for their shamefully pathetic attempt to twist the truth into the false narrative required by their Deep State puppet masters. They are nothing but highly paid whores doing tricks at the behest of their oligarch pimps.

See the rest here

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I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on January 26, 2021

Words such as mom, dad, aunt, uncle, brother, and sister are now not words of love and respect, but considered politically incorrect verbiage in Congress.

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2021/01/i_wish_i_didnt_know_now_what_i_didnt_know_then.html

By Andrew W. Coy

I sure wish I had not learned so much over the last five years.  In retrospect, five short years ago seems almost like Mayberry.  Here are some important things that I didn’t know five years ago or now.

  • There actually is a Deep State, and those who constitute it really do not honor the election results or the will of the people.
  • There really appear to be lawless elements within the upper echelons of the FBI, CIA, and NSA who are not accountable for their crimes and are thus above the law.
  • The fourth branch of government, the bureaucracy, really is unaccountable to the “unwashed masses.”
  • Many of our top military command, along with many in the military-industrial complex, don’t always hate wars.  There’s a lot of money and many promotions to be made during a time of war.  The last four years saw no new wars and even troops coming home.  For some, that is bad for business.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are no longer works of fiction, but prophecies.
  • George Orwell was righter than Nostradamus.   
  • The news media centers of New York City and Washington, D.C. are not neutral arbitrators of the truth; rather, they uncomfortably resemble TASS and Pravda from the Soviet Union days.
  • The old robber barons like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and J.P. Morgan are starting to look a whole lot better compared to the new robber barons like Dorsey, Zuckerberg, and Bezos.  
  • The United States Supreme Court would actually refuse to hear a legitimate case because it was frightened of violence.
  • The left insists on conflating and equating evangelical Christians with White supremacists.  This should terrify the Christian community.
  • Words such as mom, dad, aunt, uncle, brother, and sister are now not words of love and respect, but considered politically incorrect verbiage in Congress.  
  • Censorship, the cancel culture, and becoming a nonperson come from the left, not the right.
  • The left, not the right, actually is going to try to deny citizens’ rights afforded to all in the Bill of Rights.
  • Violence from the left is regarded as free speech and noble, while violence from the right is classified as sedition and felonious by powerful institutions.
  • It really is not Republicans vs. Democrats, but globalists vs. nationalists.
  • The new McCarthyism, blacklists, history re-writers, and re-education camps are coming from the left, not the right.
  • Fences and barriers are a good thing for our nation’s capital but somehow a bad thing for our nation’s borders.
  • Our Founding Fathers of yesteryear would be called “domestic terrorists” by some today.
  • Presidential elections really can be stolen by corrupting just a handful of precincts in just a handful of states.
  • Calling into question the validity of the 2016 presidential election is patriotic, while calling into question the validity of the 2020 presidential election is treasonous.

The good old days of just five short years ago sure do make us nostalgic for Mayberry.  Trouble is, we now must decide, how are we to respond with what we now know?  Sigh.


Photo credit: LaurMGCC BY-SA 3.0 license.

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Edward Snowden On Big Tech Companies, Like Facebook, Censoring & Controlling Information – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on November 30, 2020

These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour… – Snowden

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2020/11/29/edward-snowden-on-big-tech-censoring-information-joe-biden-press-freedom-dangers/

ByArjun WaliaCE Staff Writer

In Brief

  • The Facts:Glenn Greenwald interviews NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about Big Tech censorship of information, and the muzzling of journalists who go against the grain.
  • Reflect On:f your perception is built by mainstream media, do you truly know what is going on in the world if they are often working to hide or censor stories that would dramatically change your perception?

Glenn Greenwald is no stranger to censorship, he’s the journalist who worked with Edward Snowden (NSA mass surveillance whistleblower)  to put together his story and release it to the world while working for the Guardian. He eventually left the Guardian and co-founded his own media company, The Intercept, an organization that would be free from censorship and free to report on government corruption and wrong-doings of powerful people and corporations. He recently resigned from The Intercept as well due to the fact that they’ve now censored him, and is now completely independent. You can find his work here.

Anybody who reports on or sheds a bright light onto immoral and unethical actions taken by governments and the powerful corporations they work with has been subjected to extreme censorship. In the case of Edward Snowden, he’s been exiled, and Julian Assange of Wikileaks is currently clinging to his life for exposing war crimes and other unethical actions by multiple governments and corporations. There are many other examples. What does it say about our civilization when we prosecute those who expose harm, corruption, immoral/unethical actions by governments and war crimes?

Greenwald recently interviewed Snowden about internet censorship and the role big tech companies and governments are playing. Greenwald explains that in one of his earliest meetings with Snowden, he (Snowden) explained that he was driven in large part by the vital role the early internet played in his life, “one that was free of corporate and state control, that permitted anonymity and exploration free of monitoring, and, most of all, fostered unrestrained communication and dissemination of information by and among citizens of the world without corporate and state overlords regulating and controlling what they were saying.

This is what he and Snowden go into in the interview posted below. Prior to that I provide a brief summary of Snowden’s key thoughts.

Snowden starts off by mentioning government surveillance programs and the companies they contracted to do this work and compares them to modern day Big Tech giants censoring information on a wide range of topics. We see this today with elections/politics, to medical information dealing with coronavirus and vaccines, for example.

“In secret, these companies had all agreed to work with the U.S. Government far beyond what the law required of them, and that’s what we’re seeing with this new censorship push is really a new direction in the same dynamic. These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour… – Snowden

So basically, these Big Tech companies have become slaves, if you will, to the governments will, or at least powerful people situated in high places within the government. Snowden brings up the fact that many of these companies are hiring people from the CIA, who come from the Pentagon, who come from the NSA, who have top secret clearances…The government is a customer of all the major cloud service providers. They are also a major regulator of these companies, which gives these companies the incentive to do whatever they want.

This is quite clear if you look at Facebook, Google and Amazon employees. There are many who have come from very high positions within the Department of Defense.

In no case is this more clear than Amazon – Snowden

Amazon appointed Keith Alexander, director of the NSA under Barack Obama.

He was one of the senior architects of the mass surveillance program that courts have repeatedly now declared to be unlawful and unconstitutional….When you have this kind of incentive from a private industry to maintain the warmest possible relationship with the people in government, who not just buy from you but also have the possibility to end your business or change the way you do business…You now see this kind of soft corruption that happens in a constant way. – Snowden

Snowden goes on to explain how people get upset when government, especially the Trump government, tries to set the boundaries of what appropriate speech is by attempting to stop big tech censorship, he then says,

If you’re not comfortable letting the government determine the boundaries of appropriate political speech, why are you begging Mark Zuckerberg to do it?

I think the reality here is…it’s not really about freedom of speech, and it’s not really about protecting people from harm…I think what you see is the internet has become the de facto means of mass communication. That represents influence which represents power, and what we see is we see a whole number of different tribes basically squabbling to try to gain control over this instrument of power.

What we see is an increasing tendency to silence journalists who say things that are in the minority.

In Brief

  • The Facts:Glenn Greenwald interviews NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about Big Tech censorship of information, and the muzzling of journalists who go against the grain.
  • Reflect On:f your perception is built by mainstream media, do you truly know what is going on in the world if they are often working to hide or censor stories that would dramatically change your perception?

Glenn Greenwald is no stranger to censorship, he’s the journalist who worked with Edward Snowden (NSA mass surveillance whistleblower)  to put together his story and release it to the world while working for the Guardian. He eventually left the Guardian and co-founded his own media company, The Intercept, an organization that would be free from censorship and free to report on government corruption and wrong-doings of powerful people and corporations. He recently resigned from The Intercept as well due to the fact that they’ve now censored him, and is now completely independent. You can find his work here. advertisement – learn more

Anybody who reports on or sheds a bright light onto immoral and unethical actions taken by governments and the powerful corporations they work with has been subjected to extreme censorship. In the case of Edward Snowden, he’s been exiled, and Julian Assange of Wikileaks is currently clinging to his life for exposing war crimes and other unethical actions by multiple governments and corporations. There are many other examples. What does it say about our civilization when we prosecute those who expose harm, corruption, immoral/unethical actions by governments and war crimes?

–> Practice Is Everything: Want to become an effective changemaker? Join CETV and get access to exclusive conversations, courses, and original shows that empower you to embody the changemaker this world needs. Click here to learn more!

Greenwald recently interviewed Snowden about internet censorship and the role big tech companies and governments are playing. Greenwald explains that in one of his earliest meetings with Snowden, he (Snowden) explained that he was driven in large part by the vital role the early internet played in his life, “one that was free of corporate and state control, that permitted anonymity and exploration free of monitoring, and, most of all, fostered unrestrained communication and dissemination of information by and among citizens of the world without corporate and state overlords regulating and controlling what they were saying.

This is what he and Snowden go into in the interview posted below. Prior to that I provide a brief summary of Snowden’s key thoughts.

Snowden starts off by mentioning government surveillance programs and the companies they contracted to do this work and compares them to modern day Big Tech giants censoring information on a wide range of topics. We see this today with elections/politics, to medical information dealing with coronavirus and vaccines, for example.

“In secret, these companies had all agreed to work with the U.S. Government far beyond what the law required of them, and that’s what we’re seeing with this new censorship push is really a new direction in the same dynamic. These companies are not obligated by the law to do almost any of what they’re actually doing but they’re going above and beyond, to, in many cases, to increase the depth of their relationship (with the government) and the government’s willingness to avoid trying to regulate them in the context of their desired activities, which is ultimately to dominate the conversation and information space of global society in different ways…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour… – Snowden advertisement – learn more

So basically, these Big Tech companies have become slaves, if you will, to the governments will, or at least powerful people situated in high places within the government. Snowden brings up the fact that many of these companies are hiring people from the CIA, who come from the Pentagon, who come from the NSA, who have top secret clearances…The government is a customer of all the major cloud service providers. They are also a major regulator of these companies, which gives these companies the incentive to do whatever they want.

This is quite clear if you look at Facebook, Google and Amazon employees. There are many who have come from very high positions within the Department of Defense.

In no case is this more clear than Amazon – Snowden

Amazon appointed Keith Alexander, director of the NSA under Barack Obama.

He was one of the senior architects of the mass surveillance program that courts have repeatedly now declared to be unlawful and unconstitutional….When you have this kind of incentive from a private industry to maintain the warmest possible relationship with the people in government, who not just buy from you but also have the possibility to end your business or change the way you do business…You now see this kind of soft corruption that happens in a constant way. – Snowden

Snowden goes on to explain how people get upset when government, especially the Trump government, tries to set the boundaries of what appropriate speech is by attempting to stop big tech censorship, he then says,

If you’re not comfortable letting the government determine the boundaries of appropriate political speech, why are you begging Mark Zuckerberg to do it?

I think the reality here is…it’s not really about freedom of speech, and it’s not really about protecting people from harm…I think what you see is the internet has become the de facto means of mass communication. That represents influence which represents power, and what we see is we see a whole number of different tribes basically squabbling to try to gain control over this instrument of power.

What we see is an increasing tendency to silence journalists who say things that are in the minority. Stay Aware Subscribe To Our Newsletter  

You can watch the full conversation between Greenwald and Snowden below, the conversation is about 40 minutes long.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/5qEuKCS-czU?start=0&modestbranding=1&showinfo=0&theme=light

Closing Comments: This kind of information almost begs the question, are we ready as a society to truly create and disseminate journalism that is honest, integral and bi-partisan? Why is it that these types of organizations fail or struggle? How do some media companies fail? Well, they no longer stay true to their mission. They fall to the pressure of politics and fall into ideology. How many other times did ideology change what media outlets reported? Yes, it’s almost impossible to have zero bias, but how close can we get to zero? How can we achieve this when media outlets who do not fit within the accepted framework and disseminate information that challenges the popular opinion are constantly being punished for simply putting out information?

As Snowden mentioned above, these Big Tech companies in collusion with governments are literally attempting to not only censor information, but change the behaviour of people as well, especially journalists. When you take away one’s business or livelihood as a result of non-compliance, you are in a way forcing them to comply and do/say things you they way you want them done/said. We’ve experienced massive amounts of censorship and demonetization here at Collective Evolution, but we haven’t changed as a results of it. We simply created CETV, a platform that helps support our work as a result of censorship.

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