May 6, 2013
By: Kelly Diamond, Publisher
When you have the IRS, DHS, FBI and NSA all vying to be letters in your personal alphabet soup, perhaps it’s time to evaluate what exactly you ordered when you decided to become or remain an American citizen!
I attributed a lot of the IRS spying to their undying need to find the next hidden cent in my last post. And perhaps that remains their endgame… but that every government agency holds some stake in knowing the intimate details of our daily goings makes for a more creepy society than a well-ordered one.
In 2002, the Pentagon offered up a proposal called “Total Information Awareness” Program. They wanted to cull, mine and ultimately create this mega-database of information. This would include online and credit card purchases, travel patterns, utility usage, and pretty much any activity tied to our driver licenses and social security cards. This freaked people out too much to get on board, so it was scrapped… sort of. The name was scrapped anyway. The initiative was just redirected to a more palatable approach. Panicked as people were in the wake of 9/11, they were not ready for the full-blown TIA Program. Between the fear of warrantless searches of private citizens and the potential of having such information hacked into, it just never got off the ground.
Fast forward about ten years and you find this very program being instituted… only piecemeal instead of full hog. It’s not a matter of IF any given federal agency CAN read your emails or listen in on your phone calls. They DO because they CAN. If we aren’t going to eagerly and willfully relinquish our right to privacy, then they’ll just take it. Look at the tax system. No one is chomping at the bit to PAY their taxes. In fact, we spend billions as a nation paying others to help us NOT pay those taxes. So, now, the IRS has been armed. If you are going to even inadvertently keep your wealth, we’ll just send someone over to collect it from you. Jeff Berwick even backed out of his BitCoin ATM venture because of one of the most obvious vulnerabilities: the ATMs are physical things; so they can literally just be TAKEN by any government agency.
It should then come as no surprise that during the investigation of the “Boston Bomber”, the FBI pursued the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Katherine Russell, to see if she was involved in any way with the bombing. When FBI agent Tim Clemente was asked by CNN if they could get much more than voicemails, the agent, in a surprising act of candor, says:
“…There is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out… Welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”
Former AT&T Engineer, Mark Klein, says they set up the system to give full access to their customers’ email and phone communications. In fact, he said, “the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T” and that “contrary to the government’s depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists . . . much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic.”
Whistle-blower and former NSA official, William Binney, resigned from his post upon realizing how invasive the agency really was. Linguists and “intercept operators” have come forward exposing the gratuitous interferences of NSA surveillance. Some even concluded that spying on everyday citizens – this just-in-case approach – was counter-productive in that it seemed like the NSA was making the haystack bigger and therefore more difficult to find the needle therein.
There are those like Silk Road and its proprietor the “Dread Pirate Roberts” who operate DEEP within the ethers to preserve their anonymity and privacy. There are services like Crypto Hippie which offer a good level of protection. But the important take-away here is that the rights enumerated in the US Constitution are like toys on a Santa Claus wish-list: you want them, but you aren’t getting them, regardless of it being listed on a piece of paper.
It’s gotten beyond whether They should or shouldn’t. And it’s gotten beyond whether They will or won’t. They do, They have, and there is precious little anyone can do about it. THIS is the American reality. Our government agencies: having absolutely NOTHING to do with – if not totally undermining entirely – safety and protection or law and order; having everything to do with watching, knowing, manipulating, coercing and finally engineering all of us to be good little followers, compliant little children, and satisfied little beggars.