Expanding Surveilance

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Expanding Surveilance

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:52 pm

IT [A security camera] doesn’t respond to complaint, threats, or insults. Instead, it just watches you in a forbidding manner. Anything that you do that may be an error or an infraction gets captured and recorded. Today, the surveillance state is so deeply enmeshed in our data devices that we don’t even scream back because technology companies have convinced us that we need to be connected to them to be happy. We all have said this one way or another.

What is most striking about the American police state is not the mega-corporations running amok in the halls of Congress, the militarized police crashing through doors and shooting unarmed citizens, or the invasive surveillance regime which has come to dominate every aspect of our lives. No, what has been most disconcerting about the emergence of the American police state is the extent to which the citizenry appears content to passively wait for someone else to solve our nation’s many problems.

Well that is not what is going to happen. Unless Americans are prepared to engage in militant nonviolent resistance in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, true reform, if any, will be a long time coming. The police state actually does not like the current level of intrusion that the NSA has achieved. Everyone is unhappy about the destruction of personal freedoms even police officers.

In a new book just released "A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State", it is clear that we are already out of time, if we don’t act soon, all that is in need of fixing will soon be unfixable. The problem is that the police state becomes more entrenched with each passing day. The police state is more addicted to surveilance with each passing day. By “police state,” I am referring to more than a society overrun by the long arm of the police. I am referring to a society in which all aspects of a person’s life are policed by government agents, one in which all citizens are suspects, their activities monitored and regulated, their movements tracked, their communications spied upon, and their lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness dependent on the government’s acknowledgement and approval.

Guilty until demonstrated to be innocent is now the posture of our government.

That said, can anyone be expected to “fix” what is broken unless they first understand the lengths to which the government with its arsenal of technology is going in order to indoctrinate and embed the American people to life in a police state. We are expected now to accept being spied on by government agents, both state and federal, as well as their partners in the corporate world. Do we accept this as a design Intelligence problem that must be solved. There is no legitimacy to the existence of a secret court, secret legislation or secret executive powers. So why is this happening? Why is there a problem that requires the destruction of privacy and freedom, without a warrant issued by a legitimate court, in advance of a conviction or physical evidence, and if you’ve done nothing wrong? How is this congruent with the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights?

As the trend towards overcriminalization makes clear, it won’t be long before the average law-abiding American is breaking laws he or she didn’t even know existed during the course of a routine day.

The point, of course, is that while you may be oblivious to your so-called law-breaking—whether it was collecting rainwater to water your lawn, lighting a cigarette in the privacy of your home, or gathering with friends in your backyard for a Sunday evening Bible study—the government will know each and every transgression and use them against you. The time has arrived to say no. Freedom exists for a reason... the reason is not having to deal with this!

The think tanks are on our side. As noted by the Brookings Institution, “For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders — every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner.” This empowers the total annihilation of freedom as we know it. We need to act now. we need to prevent this kind of government access into our lives by passing laws that make sense and eradicating the Patriot Act and other freedom destroying legislation.

The following will reveal the electronic concentration camp they are creating, we call it the surveillance state, it is in fact the most insidious of the police state’s many tentacles, impacting almost every aspect of our lives and making it that much easier for the government to encroach on our most vital freedoms, ranging from free speech, assembly and the press to due process, privacy, and property, by eavesdropping on our communications, tracking our movements and spying on our activities. The time for outrage is behind us we need to take action to correct the deeply flawed policies in vogue.

The government is tracking you based on your consumer activities: Fusion centers, federal-state law enforcement partnerships which attempt to aggregate a variety of data on so-called “suspicious persons,” have actually collected reports on people buying pallets of bottled water, photographing government buildings, and applying for a pilot’s license as “suspicious activity.” Retailers are getting in on the surveillance game as well. Large corporations such as Target have been tracking and assessing the behavior of their customers, particularly their purchasing patterns, for years. In 2015, mega-food corporations will be rolling out high-tech shelving outfitted with cameras in order to track the shopping behavior of customers, as well as information like the age and sex of shoppers.

Where does it stop?

Tracking you based on your public activities: Sensing a booming industry, private corporations are jumping on the surveillance state bandwagon, negotiating lucrative contracts with police agencies throughout the country in order to create a web of surveillance that encompasses all major urban centers. Some companies such as NICE and Bright Planet are selling equipment and services to police departments with the promise of monitoring large groups of people seamlessly, as in the case of protests and rallies. They are also engaging in extensive online surveillance, looking for any hints of “large public events, social unrest, gang communications, and criminally predicated individuals.”

Even worse, defense contractors are attempting to take a bite out of this lucrative market as well. Raytheon has recently developed a software package known as Riot, which promises to predict the future behavior of an individual based upon his social media posts. Is that a good thing, is it actually necessary, who would use that information to what purpose does predictive data impact your life or the extent to which the surveillance on you would be increased. It could actually create a reaction where otherwise no criminal activity would emerge. People do not need freedom that is not freedom. We need the real thing, not a version of the real thing.

Now get this fact, they are already tracking you based on your phone activities: The CIA has been paying AT&T over $10 million per year in order to gain access to data on Americans’ phone calls abroad. This is in addition to telecommunications employees being embedded in government facilities to assist with quick analysis of call records and respond to government requests for customer location data. They receive hundreds of thousands of such requests per year. Is this destruction of freedom constitutional? No way!

Right now as you read this the government is tracking you based on your computer activities: Federal agents now employ a number of hacking methods in order to gain access to your computer activities and “see” whatever you’re seeing on your monitor. They know what kind of - potential abuse - you like and what kind of cat videos will make you laugh. Malicious hacking software can be installed via a number of inconspicuous methods, including USB, or via an email attachment or software update. All of this kind of surveilance is unconstitutional. Once obtained however, it can then be used to search through files stored on a hard drive, log keystrokes, or take real time screenshots of whatever a person is looking at on their computer, whether personal files, web pages, or email messages. It can also be used to remotely activate cameras and microphones, offering another means of glimpsing into the personal business of a target. All of this is the work of an evil government, literally the 1984 version of hell written by George Orwell.

Tracking you based on your behavior: Thanks to a torrent of federal grants, police departments across the country are able to fund outrageous new surveillance systems that turn the most basic human behaviors into suspicious situations to be studied and analyzed.

The Police in California, Massachusetts, and New York have all received federal funds to create systems like that operated by the New York Police Department, which “links 3,000 surveillance cameras with license plate readers, radiation sensors, criminal databases and terror suspect lists.” Police all across the country are also now engaging in big data mining operations, often with the help of private companies, in order to develop city-wide nets of surveillance. For example, police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, now work with IBM in order to “integrate new data and analytics tools into everyday crime fighting.” What data are they processing and how did they get it? Did they disclose the data they have collected on you?

Tracking you based on your face: Facial recognition software promises to create a society in which every individual who steps out into public is tracked and recorded as they go about their daily business. The goal is for government agents to be able to scan a crowd of people and instantaneously identify all of the individuals present. Is this the world Americans want to live in?

Facial recognition programs are being rolled out in states all across the country (only twelve states do not use facial recognition software). For example, in Ohio, 30,000 police officers and court employees are able to access the driver’s license images of people in the state, without any form of oversight to track their views or why they’re accessing them. The FBI is developing a $1 billion program, Next Generation Identification, which involves creating a massive database of mugshots for police all across the country. The victims of this intrusive program are paying for it! In fact all of this intrusive spying is being paid for out of the tax dollars you provide to government.

It is time to write a new rule book!

Big brother is indeed watching you. They are tracking you, and your car: License plate readers, which can identify the owner of any car that comes within its sights, are growing in popularity among police agencies. Affixed to overpasses or cop cars, these devices give police a clear idea of where your car was at a specific date and time, whether the doctor’s office, the bar, the mosque, or at a political rally. State police in Virginia used license plate readers to record every single vehicle that arrived to President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009 from Virginia. This is a level of intrusion that erodes freedom and does not make America a better place to live.

They also recorded the license plates of attendees at rallies prior to the election, including for then-candidate Obama and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. This data collection came at the request of the U.S. Secret Service. To accomplish what? Incredibly, Virginia police stored data on some 8 million license plates, some for up to three years. Why?

Tracking you based on your social media activities: The obsession with social media as a form of surveillance will have some frightening consequences in coming years. Social media is a source of personal data that you might share with friends but not with the government. As Helen A.S. Popkin, writing for NBC News, has astutely observed, “We may very well face a future where algorithms bust people en masse for referencing illegal ‘Game of Thrones’ downloads, or run sweeps for insurance companies seeking non-smokers confessing to lapsing back into the habit. Instead of that one guy getting busted for a lame joke misinterpreted as a real threat, the new software has the potential to roll, Terminator-style, targeting every social media user with a shameful confession or questionable sense of humor.” This is the destruction of freedom and the door into slavery.

Make note of how the earning capacity of the American worker is simultaneously falling... it is deliberate... the timing is no accident!

Tracking you based on your metadata: Metadata is an incredibly invasive set of data to have on a person. Indeed, with access to one’s metadata, one can “identify people’s friends and associates, detect where they were at a certain time, acquire clues to religious or political affiliations, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist’s office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner or exchanges with a fellow plotter.” According to the NSA

The National Security Agency (NSA) has been particularly interested in metadata, compiling information on Americans’ social connections “that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information.” Mainway, the main NSA tool used to connect the dots on American social connections, collected 700 million phone records per day in 2011. That number increased by 1.1 billion in August 2011. The NSA is now working on creating “a metadata repository capable of taking in 20 billion ‘record events’ daily and making them available to N.S.A. analysts within 60 minutes.”

To make this more serious they are also tracking you from the skies: Nothing, and I mean nothing, will escape government eyes, especially when drones take to the skies in 2015. They can assinate you from the sky right now. God forbid we ever let them have that mush power over us! These gadgets, ranging from the colossal to the miniature, will have the capability of seeing through the walls of your home and tracking your every movement.

Is this convincing enough? Will you take action to save your own constitutional rights?

To put it bluntly, we are living in an electronic concentration camp.

Through a series of imperceptible steps, we have willingly allowed ourselves to become enmeshed in a system that knows the most intimate details of our lives, analyzes them, and treats us accordingly. Whether via fear of terrorism, narcissistic pleasure, or lazy materialism, we have slowly handed over our information to all sorts of entities, corporate and governmental, public and private, who are now using that information to cow and control us for their profit. Ten percent of the people in the USA now own 90% of the assets in the USA.

As George Orwell warned, “You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”

Thus, we have arrived in Orwell’s world. The question now is: will we take a stand and fight to remain free or will we go gently into the concentration camp?

Read Freedom Tower!

This was written on Design Community many years ago, on June 01, 2006. Today is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. In the context of the raging debate about Larry A. Silverstein and the economic terms at ground zero that reduced his role on the 16-acre site but also cleared the way for construction of the freedom tower. The deal called for Mr. Silverstein to surrender control of the $2 billion Freedom Tower, along with more than one third of the ground zero site, to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. But he would retain the right to build three office towers on the most valuable parcels there. The news article by the New York Times April 26, 2006, prompted a heated online debate on the Design Community Architects forum. My response below:


Freedom Tower

This is a crucible from which a new world symbol will rise, an event and a place of tremendous symbolic power. If it is in the nature of that which is mixed there, in that crucible, to empower injustice and self interest at the expense of the common man then it is probable that this attitude will be an enduring reality when built. If that is what is so, where it is conceived and in the manner in which it is delivered then that is likely to be it's enduring character.

Such an error would hand a great symbolic victory to a ruthless enemy.

But it is not so, there is no shortage of debate or deliberation, no shortage of consensus building efforts, or vision from any stakeholder. A park or a tower or both; regardless of the form it takes there will rise in the crucible the symbol of an open democracy where all men can speak openly, live freely, worship god freely and choose to serve according to their beliefs and values. This is a monument to giants who were disguised as ordinary people. This is a monument to those qualities of human character embodied in the lives of these giants who chose to serve and to live and die there according to the values upon which this nation was conceived and built. In my view the raging debate and endless diatribe are the triumphant thunder of a free society and a powerful and successful democracy at work. The power is in the diversity and deep and passionate unity by millions who do care.

The trees will grow, everywhere.

This is call to action to be circulated to all free men and women.
Last edited by WalkerARCHITECTS on Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Expanding Surveillance

Postby WalkerARCHITECTS » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:07 am

The expanding Surveillance State is reaching critical proportions as every nation on Earth has potentially been compromised. The whole world knows what the USA is doing.

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has put software in almost 100,000 computers around the world allowing it to carry out surveillance on those devices and could provide a digital highway for cyberattacks, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The NSA has planted most of the software through getting access to computer networks, but has also used a secret technology that allows it entry even to computers not connected to the Internet, the Times said, citing U.S. officials, computer experts and documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The Times said the technology had been in use since at least 2008 and relied on a covert channel of radio waves transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards secretly inserted in the computers.

"The radio frequency technology has helped solve one of the biggest problems facing American intelligence agencies for years: getting into computers that adversaries, and some American partners, have tried to make impervious to spying or cyberattack," the newspaper said. "In most cases, the radio frequency hardware must be physically inserted by a spy, a manufacturer or an unwitting user."

Frequent targets of the program, code-named Quantum, have included units of the Chinese military, which Washington has accused of conducting digital attacks on U.S. military and industrial targets, the Times said.

The newspaper said the program had also succeeded in planting software in spam military networks as well as systems used by Mexican police and drug cartels, European Union trade institutions and allies such as Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan.

The Times said there was no evidence the NSA had implanted software or used the radio technology inside the United States.

"NSA's activities are focused and specifically deployed against - and only against - valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements," the Times quoted an agency spokeswoman as saying.

That includes all American Citizens.

Questions about U.S. government spying on civilians and foreign officials burst into the open in June when Snowden, now living in asylum in Russia, leaked documents outlining widespread collection of telephone metadata and email.

President Barack Obama plans to unveil on Friday a series of intelligence reforms, including how the NSA operates, with a view toward giving Americans more confidence their privacy is not being violated.

To accomplish that, we would need to know that the surveillance had actually stopped. We must embrace the doctrine of wisdom to trust but verify. Consequently the NSA would have to disclose it's activities before we could actually know that the surveillance had actually stopped.

We all see the problem very clearly... it may be a snow job...or worse. Obviously it ain't no secret that you can't keep a secret...secret... if you actually keep secret the process of protecting Americans from having their privacy violated. We do not want to believe it has stopped, you see it is not about confidence, it is about knowing that it has stopped and the agencies teeth have been pulled. It is about the IV Amendment and the V Amendment being sacred law. The violation of these laws requires not a good speech but the total removal of the Patriot Act. We have all three branches of government, operating in secret, a secret court, a secret administration and a secret legislative branch. Consequently we must have the total removal of the Secret government that dwells within our Legal Constitutional Government.

Only then have we done enough to preserve freedom for America. A Patriot must be prepared to defend his country against his government. Our swords are made of free speech to sever the lies that entangle our freedom. Our army is composed all men and women who embrace the Bill of Rights as that Instrument of Government that establishes the inalienable rights of the people. This is our country. We reject the ideology that our Government can do no wrong. Clearly this is a serious error by our Government that must be fixed among many other mistakes such as Citizens United.

There is a famous quote from the Vietnam War. A statement attributed to an unnamed U.S. officer by AP correspondent Peter Arnett in his writing about Bến Tre city on 7 February 1968:

'It became necessary to destroy the town to save it', a United States major said today. He was talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.

Popular expression soon emerged eventually becoming the more familiar,
"We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

We can't be so stupid as to not see that they will destroy freedom in order to save the country, if we do not stop this now.

It's their mentality.
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