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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

Republicans & Democrats Agree: Give Vast Snooping Powers to The U.S. Government

Posted by M. C. on November 25, 2019

https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/republicans-democrats-agree-give-vast-snooping-powers-to-the-u-s-government_11212019

Mac Slavo

Even in our polarized and right vs. left political paradigm, there is one thing both republicans and democrats can agree on: The federal government should have vast snooping powers and conduct mass surveillance on everyone. They simply disagree over who should be in charge of abusing those excessive powers.

The impeachment circus did one thing successfully. It took attention from the government’s mass surveillance programs that are constantly expanded. As Reason proposed: If Democrats really feared Donald Trump’s exercise of the powers of the presidency, why would they propose extending the surveillance powers of the controversial Patriot Act?

House Democrats have successfully slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.
Buried on the next-to-last page of the Continuing Appropriations Act, meant to keep the government’s lights on and dated yesterday, is the following language:

Section  102(b)(1)  of  the  USA  PATRIOT  Improvement  and  Reauthorization  Act  of  2005  (50  U.S.C.  101805  note)  is  amended  by  striking  “December  15,  2019”  and inserting “March 15, 2020”.

This relatively innocuous language pushes back the sunset provision of the Patriot Act by three months, leaving its vast powers in the hands of a president who Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden charges with “failure to uphold basic democratic principles,” who House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused of “alarming connections and conduct with Russia” and, joined by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, says is making an attempt to “shred the Constitution.” –Reason

If democrats honestly believed that Trump was all of the things he’s being accused of, why trust him with the Patriot Act?

The American Civil Liberties Union agrees, calling the Patriot Act “an overnight revision of the nation’s surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court.”

Attempts to roll back the spying powers of the government have all failed. This power is only expanding and it’s going to get harder for people to protect themselves against the government when they abuse this power. The last time (in 2018) libertarian-leaning Republicans and a handful of Democrats wanted to strip the government of some of its mass surveillance power, it failed.

“It became quickly apparent that leading Democrats intended to side with Trump and against those within their own party who favored imposing safeguards on the Trump administration’s ability to engage in domestic surveillance,” The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald wrote at the time. “The most bizarre aspect of this spectacle was that the Democrats who most aggressively defended Trump’s version of the surveillance bill—the Democrats most eager to preserve Trump’s spying powers as virtually limitless—were the very same Democratic House members who have become media stars this year by flamboyantly denouncing Trump as a treasonous, lawless despot in front of every television camera they could find.”

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State Secrets and the National Security State | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2019

I’ve got a better idea: Let’s just dismantle America’s decades-long, nightmarish Cold War-era experiment with the totalitarian structure known as a national-security state and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

Jacob Hornberger is has thrown his hat in the Libertarian presidential candidate ring.

https://mises.org/wire/state-secrets-and-national-security-state

Inadvertently released federal documents reveal that U.S. officials have apparently secured a secret indictment against Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks who released secret information about the internal workings of the U.S. national-security establishment. In any nation whose government is founded on the concept of a national-security state, that is a cardinal sin, one akin to treason and meriting severe punishment.

Mind you, Assange isn’t being charged with lying or releasing false or fraudulent information about the U.S. national-security state. Everyone concedes that the WikiLeaks information was authentic. His “crime” was in disclosing to people the wrongdoing of the national-security establishment. No one is supposed to do that, even if the information is true and correct.

It’s the same with Edward Snowden, the American contractor with the CIA and the NSA who is now relegated to living in Russia. If Snowden returns home, he faces federal criminal prosecution, conviction, and incarceration for disclosing secrets of the U.S. national-security establishment. Again, his “crime” is disclosing the truth about the internal workings of the national-security establishment, not disseminating false information.

Such secrecy and the severe punishment for people who disclose the secrets to the public were among the things that came with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

Recall that when the U.S. government was called into existence by the Constitution, it was a type of governmental structure known as a limited-government republic. Under that type of governmental structure, the federal government’s powers were extremely limited. The only powers that federal officials could lawfully exercise were those few that were enumerated in the Constitution itself.

Under the republic form of government, there was no enormous permanent military establishment, no CIA, and no NSA, which are the three components of America’s national-security state. That last thing Americans wanted was that type of government. In fact, if Americans had been told that the Constitution was going to bring into existence a national-security state, they never would have approved the deal and would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a type of governmental system where the federal government’s powers were so few that it didn’t even have the power to tax.

Under the republic, governmental operations were transparent. There was no such thing as “state secrets” or “national security.” Except for the periodic backroom deals in which politicians would make deals, things generally were open and above-board for people to see and make judgments on.

That all changed when the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II. Suddenly, the federal government was vested with omnipotent powers, so long as they were being exercised by the Pentagon, the CIA, or the NSA in the name of “national security.”

Interestingly enough, the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state was not done through constitutional amendment. Nonetheless, the federal judiciary has long upheld or simply deferred to the exercise of omnipotent powers by the national-security establishment.

An implicit part of the conversion was that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA would be free to exercise their omnipotent powers in secret. Secrecy has always been a core element in any government that is structured as a national-security state, especially when it involves dark, immoral, and nefarious powers that are being exercised for the sake of “national security.”

One action that oftentimes requires the utmost in secrecy involves assassination, which is really nothing more than legalized murder. Not surprisingly, many national-security officials want to keep their role in state-sponsored murder secret. Another example is coups initiated in foreign countries. U.S. officials bend over backwards to hide their role in such regime-change operations. And then there are the surveillance schemes whereby citizens are foreigners are spied up and monitored. Kidnapping, indefinite detention, and torture are still more examples.

Of course, these are the types of things that we ordinarily identify with totalitarian regimes. The reason for that is that a national-security state governmental system is inherent to totalitarian regimes. For example, the Nazi government, which was a national-security state too, had an enormous permanent military establishment and a Gestapo, which wielded the powers of assassination, indefinite detention, torture, and secret surveillance. And not surprisingly, to disclose the secrets of German’s national-security state involved severe punishment.

But it’s not just Nazi Germany. There are many other examples of totalitarian regimes that are based on the concept of national security and structured as a national-security state. Chile under Pinochet. The Soviet Union. Communist China. North Korea. Vietnam. Egypt. Pakistan. Iraq. Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia. Turkey, Myanmar. And the United States. The list goes on and on.

And every one of those totalitarian regimes has a state-secrets doctrine, the same doctrine that the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA have.

A newspaper in Vietnam, which of course is ruled by a communist regime, reported that a Vietnamese citizen named Phan Van Anh Vu was sentenced to 9 years in prison for “deliberately disclosing state secrets.”

A website for the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that the Chinese communist regime charged a Chinese journalist named Yang Xiuqiong with “illegally providing state secrets overseas.” The Chinese Reds have also charged a prominent environmental activist named Liu Shu with “revealing state secrets related to China’s counterespionage work.”

The military dictatorship in Myanmar convicted two Reuters reporters for violating the country’s law that prohibits the gathering of secret documents to help an enemy.

RT reports that the Russian military will “launch obligatory courses on the protection of state secrets starting next year.

US News reports that the regime in Turkey is seeking the extradition from Germany of Turkish journalist Can Dunbar, who was convicted of revealing state secrets.

Defenders of Assange and Snowden and other revealers of secrets of the U.S. national security state point to the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of the press to justify their disclosures.

I’ve got a better idea: Let’s just dismantle America’s decades-long, nightmarish Cold War-era experiment with the totalitarian structure known as a national-security state and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

Originally published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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

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The Realist Report: (Israeli trained) Police State in America

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Stranger in a Strange Land – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 13, 2019

Stories about good people doing good things on a daily basis are boring to those controlling the narrative. The purpose of the propagandists supporting the Deep State is to keep the masses fearful and distracted. Scare tactics and keeping half the country at the throats of the other half is good for business. While the masses are distracted by trivialities, boogeymen (Russians), and impeachment porn, the ruling class absconds with what remains of the national wealth.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/jim-quinn/stranger-in-a-strange-land/

By

The Burning Platform

“Secrecy begets tyranny.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“Thinking doesn’t pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

When I read quotes by men like H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein, I realize I’m not really a stranger in a strange land, even though I feel that way most of the time. These cynical, critical thinking, libertarian minded gentlemen understood government tended towards corruption and tyranny, the populace tended towards ignorance and distraction, and reality eventually teaches a harsh lesson to fools, knaves and dumbasses.

Sometimes we think the current day worldly circumstances are new and original, when human nature, politicians, and governments never really change. When Mencken and Heinlein were writing and providing social commentary during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, they observed the same fallacies, foolishness, lack of self-responsibility, government malfeasance, and inability of the majority to think critically, that are rampant in society today.

The quotes above, written during the 1950s, are even more pertinent today. As the ongoing Surveillance State attempted coup against president Trump approaches its denouement, the fabric of this country is being torn asunder. It is the secrecy in which the Deep State has operated without oversight which has led to government tyranny. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden exposed the secrets of powerful interests operating within the CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress and military industrial complex, revealing the malevolent disregard for the Constitutional rights of American citizens and wielding of power for power’s sake.

The collection of all electronic communications by Americans by all-powerful, unaccountable Deep State psychopaths is worse than anything conceived by Orwell in 1984. The fact Assange and Snowden are treated as traitors and criminals reveals the Deep State is still in control of our political and legal systems. Even though Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Clinton and Obama used their Deep State power to try and overthrow Trump, he still toes the company line by calling Assange and Snowden criminals. Government tyranny is still going strong.

Heinlein’s point about thinking is well taken. When you look at what is going on in this country and around the world with a critical eye, how could you not be discontented with what you see. We have government run schools inhabited by social justice engineers, teaching our children there are 47 genders, but not basic math or how to read and spell. We have the masses glorying in their ignorance as they worship silicone inflated shallow idols and vote for socialists and communists to provide them with free shit…

The vast majority of Americans choose not to think, not because it would cause them discontent, but because they are incapable of critical thought. Our joke of an educational system has taught generations of Americans how to feel, rather than how to think. Government controlled schools serve the purposes of the Deep State – dumb down the populace through social engineering, rewarding mediocrity, obscuring history, punishing critical thinking, feminizing boys and drugging those who don’t conform.

The dumbing down of the masses makes them pliable and easily manipulated through the mass media propaganda spewed from the boob tube and social media conglomerates. The unholy alliance between big tech, big media and big government keeps the masses uninformed, misinformed and distracted by meaningless minutia. The truth is hidden and obscured at all costs. A huge swath of populace will unquestioningly believe whatever they are told to believe, while millions more are so distracted with their iGadgets, they aren’t even paying attention.

The ruling class doesn’t want people thinking why they have used the military industrial complex in securing Syrian oil fields, supporting Saudi aggression, threatening Iran, attempting a coup in Venezuela, creating havoc in the Ukraine, occupying Afghanistan, and treating Russia and China as imminent threats, when their narrative is we are self-sufficient with regards to oil. The propaganda press peddles half truths about being a net exporter, when we still import 6 million barrels of oil per day…

Heinlein always considered himself a libertarian. In a letter written in 1967 he said, “As for libertarian, I’ve been one all my life, a radical one. You might use the term ‘philosophical anarchist’ or ‘autarchist’ about me, but ‘libertarian’ is easier to define and fits well enough.” The theme of personal freedom resonates throughout his body of work. Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought.

Much like Mencken, Orwell, and Steinbeck, as Heinlein aged, he became more cynical about government and society. He feared our culture and form of government was fatally flawed. Again, he foresaw where we are today – having lost freedoms, liberties, and rights as government laws, regulations and taxes have expanded.

“At the time I wrote Methuselah’s Children I was still politically quite naive and still had hopes that various libertarian notions could be put over by political processes … It [now] seems to me that every time we manage to establish one freedom, they take another one away. Maybe two. And that seems to me characteristic of a society as it gets older, and more crowded, and higher taxes, and more laws.” – Robert Heinlein

Government Power, Corruption and Tyranny

“Democracy is a poor system of government at best; the only thing that can honestly be said in its favor is that it is about eight times as good as any other method the human race has ever tried. Democracy’s worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents – a depressingly low level, but what else can you expect?” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“Government! Three-fourths parasitic and the rest stupid fumbling.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

When I read Heinlein’s view of democracy, the American populace, and politicians from the 1950s, it makes me wonder whether my cynical pessimistic assessment of our country is nothing new. Has the country been wallowing in ignorance, lack of virtue, parasitic politicians and government incompetence for decades and my depression with the current state of affairs is nothing new among libertarian minded people?…

Heinlein’s view of politicians, their corruptibility, and ability to tell half truths which are really lies, is even more evident in today’s world. The candidates are hand picked by the corporate interests. Their salaries while in office are fairly modest, but they leave office as multi-millionaires and are paid handsomely on the Boards of the corporations they were supposed to regulate.

Bernanke and Yellen now make more giving one speech at a Wall Street bank than they made annually as the Federal Reserve Chairman. Every local, state and federal politician is bought off to some extent. They do the bidding of the vested interests who got them elected, not what is best for their constituents. We are lost in a blizzard of lies. A society addicted to falsehoods and bereft of truth will surely degrade and eventually collapse.

“He’s an honest politician–he stays bought.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Liberty, Freedom & Obligations to Society

“I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime. Yet for every criminal, there are ten thousand honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but it is a force stronger than crime.” – Robert Heinlein

Heinlein still believed in the noble decency of the majority of people back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The climactic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life captured the belief that even though there will always be cold hearted evil bankers like Mr. Potter (the Jamie Dimon of his day) feeding off the misery of others, most people are good hearted, kind and giving. Is Heinlein’s view applicable in today’s world? Bad news, bad people and crime produce views, clicks and eyeballs for the corporate media complex…

Based upon Heinlein’s definition of a dying culture, we have already crossed the Rubicon. The level of vitriol spewed on a daily basis on social media, by the propagandist media, by politicians, and by intellectual yet idiots is a clear indication of a culture gasping its dying breath. There are still good people in this country who can be counted on by their neighbors, friends and families. As the current culture dies and is swept away during this Fourth Turning, what kind of culture will follow?

Will decent, libertarian minded, freedom loving people arise to guide the country towards a better future? Or will totalitarian minded evil men crush the hopes and dreams of the good people and reign over an even darker period in our history. Goodness without backbone, wisdom and willingness to fight to the death will be overrun by evil.

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

I still feel like a stranger in a strange land. But, based on my interactions with good people with hard, cold wisdom over the last ten years, I believe there is still hope for our nation. I think there are enough good people with common sense, critical thinking skills, and the courage and fortitude to stand up to the Deep State and defeat the evil permeating the current social order. Conflict against fellow Americans looms. Allying yourself with good people is essential. Maybe I’m being naïve believing good can win over evil, but it’s better than throwing in the towel and accepting our fate.

Reprinted with permission from The Burning Platform.

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The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda – a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas ready-made. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens.

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Edward Snowden on the Joe Rogan Podcast – Says US Government Could Have Prevented 9/11

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

https://www.wakingtimes.com/2019/10/23/edward-snowden-on-the-joe-rogan-podcast-says-us-government-could-have-prevented-9-11/

Vic Bishop

ince 2013 the real government whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been in political asylum in Russia, where he continues to write books and tell his story of how as an employee of the NSA he discovered that the government was breaking the law in constructing a massive surveillance state. Today, the surveillance is such a ubiquitous par of our lives, that people have come to see it as a normal part of everyday life, and hardly any politician bothers to work against it. It’s here to stay, sadly.

Recently, Snowden published a book entitled Permanent Record, which was immediately attacked by the US government, prompting them to sue Snowden for all of the profits related to the book. The government does not want you to hear his message. Ironically, though, Permanent Record became an instant bestseller, and Snowden’s popularity has only increased in recent years.

In a newly released podcast by Joe Rogan, Snowden calls in from Russia, talking about his understanding of how corruption from within has led the permanent establishment of the massive and highly profitable surveillance state which has filled the coffers of defense contractors and corrupt politicians. Snowden discusses the fact that all three branches of the U.S government are corrupt and that for admirable government employees who witness government agencies breaking the law have no available channels to blow the whistle and get the truth out to the American people.

Interestingly, in the podcast Snowden also talks about his experience on 9/11 when he was working for a small business out of a house on Fort Meade near the DC metro area. He describes how the base, which is home to a vast portion of the U.S. Military’s intelligence apparatus, was immediately dispatched and the base cleared as soon as the events of the day began to unfold.

Snowden points out how strange this was, considering that all of the personnel on the base would have been more than willing to take the risk of being attacked in order to fulfill the duty they has all signed up for, that of protecting the American people. Snowden’s point here is that the intelligence agencies were essentially taken off-line at the most critical moment in the entire history of their existence.

So, why did the directors of these agencies send all of these resources home on 9/11?

Snowden continues…

“It says so much about the bureaucratic character of how the government works. The people who rise to the top of these governments. It’s about risk management for them. It’s about never being criticized for something…

 

Everybody wants to believe in conspiracy theories because it helps life make sense. It helps us believe that somebody is in control… that somebody is calling the shots, that these things all happen for a reason. There are real conspiracies… but when you look back at the 9/11 report and when you look back at the history of what actually happened, what we can prove. Not on what we can speculate on, but what are at least are the commonly agreed facts… it’s very clear to me, as someone who worked in the intelligence community… that these attacks could have been prevented.” ~Edward Snowden

He goes on to explain that the government’s excuse for not preventing the attacks was essentially due to the fact that the various intelligence agencies were unable to effectively share information, coordinate investigations, and work together. Snowden is implying that 9/11 was essentially allowed to happen so that the mass surveillance state, which is insanely profitable to certain people, could be created. And it has since been created.

Considering that the Patriot Act soon followed 9/11, and in the nearly two decades since, the massive warfare and surveillance state continues to balloon and spread its reach into American citizen’s lives and around the globe, Snowden’s assessment seems rather accurate.

The full interview is almost 3 hours long, and is posted in full here:

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

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The Fatal Loop of Recursivity – Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2019

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-fatal-loop-of-recursivity/

James Howard Kunstler

Here’s one big reason that America is driving itself batshit crazy: the explosion of computerized records, emails, inter-office memos, Twitter trails, Facebook memorabilia, iPhone videos, YouTubes, recorded conversations, and the vast alternative universe of storage capacity for all this stuff makes it seem possible to constantly go back and reconstruct reality. All it has really done is amplified the potential for political mischief to suicide level.

It’s a major unanticipated consequence of the digital “revolution.” It has gotten us stuck looking backward at events, obsessively replaying them, while working overtime to spin them favorably for one team or the other, at the expense of actually living in real time and dealing with reality as it unspools with us. If life were a ballgame, we’d only be watching jumbotron replays while failing to pay attention to the action on the field.

Before all this, history was left largely to historians, who curated it from a range of views for carefully considered introduction to the stream of human culture, and who managed this process at a pace that allowed a polity to get on with its business at hand in the here-and-now — instead of incessantly and recursively reviewing events that have already happened 24/7. The more electronic media has evolved, the more it lends itself to manipulation, propaganda, and falsification of whatever happened five minutes, or five hours, or five weeks ago.

This is exactly why and how the losing team in the 2016 election has worked so hard to change that bit of history. The stupendous failure of the Mueller Investigation only revealed what can happen when extraordinary bad faith, dishonesty, and incompetence are brought to this project of reinventing “truth” — of who did what and why — while it provoked a counter-industry of detecting its gross falsifications.

This dynamic has long been systematically studied and applied by institutions like the so-called “intelligence community,” and has gotten so out-of-hand that its main mission these days appears to be the maximum gaslighting of the nation — for the purpose of its own desperate self-defense. The “Whistleblower” episode is the latest turn in dishonestly manipulated records, but the most interesting feature of it is that the release of the actual transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call did not affect the “narrative” precooked between the CIA and Adam Schiff’s House Intel Committee. They just blundered on with the story and when major parts of the replay didn’t add up, they retreated to secret sessions in the basement of the US capitol.

Perhaps you can see why unleashing the CIA, NSA, and the FBI on political enemies by Mr. Obama and his cohorts has become such a disaster. When that scheme blew up, the intel community went to the mattresses, as the saying goes in Mafia legend and lore. The “company” found itself at existential risk. Of course, the CIA has long been accused of following an agenda of its own simply because it had the means to do it. It had the manpower, the money, and the equipment to run whatever operations it felt like running, and a history of going its own way out of sheer institutional arrogance, of knowing better than the crackers and clowns elected by the hoi-polloi. The secrecy inherent in its charter was a green light for limitless mischief and some of the agency’s directors showed open contempt for the occupants of the White House. Think: Allen Dulles and William Casey. And lately, Mr. Brennan.

The recently-spawned NSA has mainly added the capacity to turn everything that happens into replay material, since it is suspected of recording every phone call, every email, every financial transaction, every closed-circuit screen capture, and anything else its computers can snare for storage in its Utah Data Storage Center. Now you know why the actions of Edward Snowden were so significant. He did what he did because he was moral enough to know the face of malevolence when he saw it. That he survives in exile is a miracle.

As for the FBI, only an exceptional species of ineptitude explains the trouble they got themselves into with the RussiaGate fiasco. The unbelievable election loss of Mrs. Clinton screwed the pooch for them, and the desperate acts that followed only made things worse. The incompetence and mendacity on display was only matched by Mr. Mueller and his lawyers, who were supposed to be the FBI’s cleanup crew and only left a bigger mess — all of it cataloged in digital records.

Now, persons throughout all these agencies are waiting for the hammer to fall. If they are prosecuted, the process will entail yet another monumental excursion into the replaying of those digital records. It could go on for years. So, the final act in the collapse of the USA will be the government choking itself to death on replayed narratives from its own server farms. In the meantime, events are actually tending in a direction that will eventually deprive the nation of the means to continue most of its accustomed activities including credible elections, food distribution, a reliable electric grid, and perhaps even self-defense.

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How to Manage Email - Email Management Best Practices, Tips

 

 

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A Better Question Might Be Who Are They Paying And For What.

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2019

If Russia hacked

 

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The Very Book The Government Does Not Want You To Read Just Went #1 In The World – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on September 20, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/09/18/the-very-book-the-government-does-not-want-you-to-read-just-went-1-in-the-world/

In Brief

  • The Facts:Edward Snowden recently released a book titled “Permanent Record.” The US government is now suing the publisher of the book for not giving the CIA and the NSA a chance to erase classified details from the book.
  • Reflect On:What is the government really protecting? Are they protecting the well being of the citizenry or are they protecting immoral, unethical, political, corporate and elitist interests?

George Orwell’s 1984 is a classic book depicting a populace ruled by a political regime that persecutes individualism and independent critical thinking as “thoughtcrimes” that must be enforced by the “thought police.” This party seeks power above all, and, through the propagandist Ministry of Truth, presents the people with their version of truth and casts away all other information and opinion. Sound familiar?

 

This is exactly what’s happening today right in front of our eyes. The “ministry of truth” comes in the form, at least on social media, as FakeNews watchdogs. These are entities that are flagging information that threatens corporate and political interests and labels it as “fake news” when a lot of it, is in fact, the complete opposite. Since when does an authoritative entity like the government have to step in and decide for the people what is real and what is not? Are people not capable of examining sources and determining this for themselves? These fake news watchdogs have some interesting sponsors. One of these sponsors, for example, is NewsGuard. They are funded by Clinton donors and big pharma, with ties to the CFR. You can read more about that entity here.

Companies and government agencies who are threatened by information also seem to be employing an “army of bloggers, surrogates, trolls, and bots on Twitter, Facebook, and by email” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) to try and sway discussion and brainwash people. We here at Collective Evolution have been experiencing them as well.

The world knows why the hunt for Julian Assange was ongoing for so long, it’s because he leaked secrets and exposed those who keep them. He exposed the lies, corruption and deceit that represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.” (source)(source)

He exposed immoral and unethical actions that have no basis and justification, he is a hero.

The same thing goes for National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents regarding the scope of the US governments surveillance programs, which is and was huge. He is and was not the first, William Binney did the same, along with Thomas Drake and many others.

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Keep in mind that this is a global mass surveillance program. Snowden recently released a book about it, and more.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, the US government suing the publisher of Snowden’s book is only bringing more attention to the truth of mass censorship and that this global elite is losing power. The more the global elite respond the way they are, with this like the mass censorship of information, alternative independent media outlets being shut down, and jailing people like Julian Assange, the more they hurt their own interests… which is inspiring for humanity as we awaken

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Assange

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2002 Landmarks on the Road to “1984” Orwellian Hell – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on August 31, 2019

…columnist William Safire captured the sweep of the new surveillance system: “Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book, and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as ‘a virtual, centralized grand database.’”

https://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/2002-landmarks-on-the-road-to-1984-orwellian-hell/

by

Next month will be the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians
and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the
Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every person like a
terrorist suspect. Since the government failed to protect the public,
Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite
heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of
activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American
privacy.

Two of the largest leaps the largest leaps towards “1984” began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, parcels and precedents from each program have profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled plans for Operation TIPS — the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be “a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity.” TIPSters would be people who, “in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.” The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that “make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary.” Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community.” The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people’s “rhythms.”

The Justice Department provided no definition of “suspicious behavior” to guide vigilantes. As the public began to focus on the program’s sweep, opposition surfaced; even the U.S. Postal Service briefly balked at participating in the program. Director Ridge insisted that TIPS “is not a government intrusion.” He declared, “The last thing we want is Americans spying on Americans. That’s just not what the president is all about, and not what the TIPS program is all about.” Apparently, as long as the Bush administration did not announce plans to compel people to testify about the peccadilloes of their neighbors and customers, TIPS was a certified freedom-friendly program.

When Attorney General John Ashcroft was cross-examined by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on TIPS at a Judiciary Committee hearing on July 25, he insisted that “the TIPS program is something requested by industry to allow them to talk about anomalies that they encounter.” But, when George W. Bush first announced the program, he portrayed it as an administration initiative. Did thousands of Teamsters Union members petition 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over “anomalies”? Senator Leahy asked whether reports to the TIPS hotline would become part of a federal database with millions of unsubstantiated allegations against American citizens. Ashcroft told Leahy, “I have recommended that there would be none, and I’ve been given assurance that the TIPS program would not maintain a database.” But Ashcroft could not reveal which federal official had given him the assurance.

The ACLU’s Laura Murphy observed, “This is a program where people’s activities, statements, posters in their windows or on their walls, nationality, and religious practices will be reported by untrained individuals without any relationship to criminal activity.” San Diego law professor Marjorie Cohn observed, “Operation TIPS … will encourage neighbors to snitch on neighbors and won’t distinguish between real and fabricated tips. Anyone with a grudge or vendetta against another can provide false information to the government, which will then enter the national database.”…

Total Information Awareness: 300 million dossiers

The USA PATRIOT Act created a new Information Office in the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In January 2002, the White House chose retired admiral John Poindexter to head the new office. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer explained, “Admiral Poindexter is somebody who this administration thinks is an outstanding American, an outstanding citizen, who has done a very good job in what he has done for our country, serving the military.” Cynics kvetched about Poindexter’s five felony convictions for false testimony to Congress and destruction of evidence during the investigation of the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages exchange. Poindexter’s convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court, which cited the immunity Congress granted his testimony.

Poindexter committed the new Pentagon office to achieving Total Information Awareness (TIA). TIA’s mission is “to detect, classify and identify foreign terrorists — and decipher their plans — and thereby enable the U.S. to take timely action to successfully preempt and defeat terrorist acts,” according to DARPA. According to Undersecretary of Defense Pete Aldridge, TIA would seek to discover “connections between transactions — such as passports; visas; work permits; driver’s licenses; credit cards; airline tickets; rental cars; gun purchases; chemical purchases — and events — such as arrests or suspicious activities and so forth.” Aldridge agreed that every phone call a person made or received could be entered into the database. With “voice recognition” software, the actual text of the call could also go onto a permanent record.

TIA would also strive to achieve “Human Identification at a Distance” (HumanID), including “Face Recognition,” “Iris Recognition,” and “Gait Recognition.” The Pentagon issued a request for proposals to develop an “odor recognition” surveillance system that would help the feds identify people by their sweat or urine — potentially creating a wealth of new job opportunities for deviants.

TIA’s goal was to stockpile as much information as possible about everyone on Earth — thereby allowing government to protect everyone from everything. New York Times columnist William Safire captured the sweep of the new surveillance system: “Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book, and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as ‘a virtual, centralized grand database.’” Columnist Ted Rall noted that the feds would even scan “veterinary records. The TIA believes that knowing if and when Fluffy got spayed — and whether your son stopped torturing Fluffy after you put him on Ritalin — will help the military stop terrorists before they strike.”…

In September 2003, Congress passed an amendment abolishing the Pentagon’s Information Office and ending TIA funding. But by that point, DARPA had already awarded 26 contracts for dozens of private research projects to develop components for TIA. Salon.com reported, “According to people with knowledge of the program, TIA has now advanced to the point where it’s much more than a mere ‘research project.’ There is a working prototype of the system, and federal agencies outside the Defense Department have expressed interest in it.” The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is already using facial recognition systems at 20 airports and the Transportation Security Administration is expected to quickly follow suit.

Two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo sent a secret memo to the White House declaring that the Constitution’s prohibition on unreasonable searches was null and void: “If the government’s heightened interest in self-defense justifies the use of deadly force, then it also certainly would justify warrantless searches.” That memo helped set federal policy until it was publicly revealed after Barack Obama took office in 2009. Unfortunately, that anti-Constitution, anti-privacy mindset unleashed many federal intrusions that continue to this day, from the TSA to the National Security Agency to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

This article was originally published in the August 2019 edition of Future of Freedom.

 

 

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NSA asks Congress to permanently reauthorize spying program that was so shambolic, the snoops had shut it down • The Register

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2019

No matter which way you look at it, two things are clear: one, ordinary Americans are being screwed over; and two, there is insufficient accountability at the highest levels of government.

Like a cockroach, the NSA never dies.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/16/spying_reauthorization_coats/

By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco

Analysis In the clearest possible sign that the US intelligence services live within their own political bubble, the director of national intelligence has asked Congress to reauthorize a spying program that the NSA itself decided to shut down after it repeatedly – and illegally – gathered the call records of millions of innocent Americans.

Not only that but in a letter from Dan Coats to the heads of two key Senate committees, the director argues that the powers should be permanently reauthorized, rather than put into a law bill that requires renewal: an approach that has long been standard when it comes to awarding extraordinary powers to Uncle Sam’s snoops.

Coats’ letter [PDF] was sent yesterday, his last day in office, and ahead of a December cut-off for the spying powers that are contained within Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It was first obtained by the New York Times.

The powers he refers to have been hugely controversial ever since they were revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. In fact the program, which relies on two different, ridiculous, interpretations of the law has repeatedly been found to be unconstitutional.

Even after the law was changed, the NSA has been unable to make the system work and has twice been forced to admit that it gathered millions of call records it shouldn’t have. Back in June 2018, it deleted 534 million call records that it had gathered the previous year but gave virtually no details over how and why that had happened, prompting inquiries from senators – who were roundly ignored.

Then the exact same thing happened again just a few months later – in October 2018. That massive slurp of personal information was again kept quiet and only emerged in June 2019 when a report of the NSA’s inspector general was declassified following a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

We’ll probably just ditch it

The intelligence services were well aware that the second failure of its system was due to become public, and so it started letting congressional aides know that it thinking about axing the program in early 2019.

In a sign of just how little oversight there is over malfunctioning spy programs, the fact that the NSA was considering ditching the program only came out when the national security adviser to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) mentioned it during a podcast interview….

Since then, the NSA has repeatedly refused to discuss the program or even confirm that it has stopped the program. However in a sign that it has been talking behind the scenes to key senators, a law bill intended to reauthorize the spying powers before December notably did not include this specific program (it does include three other spying measures.)

Many had assumed that was the end of it. But Coats in his letter this week not only suggests reauthorizing the program but says it should be done so on a permanent basis – meaning that there will be even less accountability since Congress will not be in a position to ask questions and threaten to let the powers expire if they are not answered.

It’s a shambles but we like it

And if all that wasn’t sufficiently mind-boggling, Coats explicitly acknowledges that the program is a mess but says the NSA should have the powers anyway in case they prove useful in future…

As such, Trump is extremely skeptical of surveillance powers and the security services and, given a clear choice, would likely prevent their reauthorization. In that respect, Coats’ letter could be a seen as a last-ditch effort to lock spying powers in place before he loses his influence.

No matter which way you look at it, two things are clear: one, ordinary Americans are being screwed over; and two, there is insufficient accountability at the highest levels of government.

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Microsoft Admits that Human Workers Listen to Skype Calls

Posted by M. C. on August 15, 2019

Motherboard now reports that Microsoft has updated its privacy policy to make users aware of the company’s recording of sensitive user information. “We realized, based on questions raised recently, that we could do a better job specifying that humans sometimes review this content,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Motherboard in a statement.

It’s the Benjamins, baby. Plus CIA, FBI, NSA and probably Mossad.

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/08/15/microsoft-admits-that-human-workers-listen-to-skype-calls/

by Lucas Nolan

In an update to the company’s privacy policy, tech giant Microsoft has noted that human workers may listen to Skype and Cortana recordings. This is an admission by the software giant that media reports in early August based on internal leaks about contractors monitoring Skype calls are correct.

Recently leaked insider information revealed that Microsoft contractors have been listening in on some Skype and Cortana recordings. From the Breitbart News article last week:

Leaked documents and screenshots obtained by Motherboard reveal that Microsoft contract workers are listening in on personal conversations of Skype users that are using the app’s translation service. According to Skype’s website, the company reserves the right to analyze audio and phone calls through the app’s translation feature in order to improve the translation service. However, it doesn’t note that human workers will be doing some of this analysis by listening in on calls.

According to audio obtained by Motherboard, the recorded calls include conversations between loved ones, some talking about personal issues and others discussing relationship problems. A Microsoft contractor who provided a number of files to Motherboard stated: “The fact that I can even share some of this with you shows how lax things are in terms of protecting user data.”…

Previously, neither Microsoft’s privacy policy or the Skype Translator FAQ made it known that human contractors may listen in on customer’s audio, these have since been updated. The company’s privacy policy now reads: “Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated and manual (human) methods of processing.”…

The firm also now allows users to delete audio recordings made of themselves using an online tool. Some tech firms have suspended the use of human transcribers, Microsoft has not. A spokesperson stated: “We’ve updated our privacy statement and product FAQs to add greater clarity and will continue to examine further steps we might be able to take.”

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