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    Americans, Everything You Do Is Monitored

    Mac Slavo
    May 5th, 2011
    SHTFplan.com
    Comments (84)
    Read by 8,033 people

    When President Obama talked about a transparent administration during the run up to the 2008 election most Americans assumed he was talking about openness in government dealings. Obviously, this is not the case, as evidenced by the administration’s handling of the universal health care legislation which was passed without a single American having had a chance to read it for 72 hours before a vote as the President promised would be the case with all legislation, refusal to release photographic evidence of the Osama Bin Laden raid, the President’s own birth certificate which has taken two years to be made public, and the many secret meetings held with Congressional members behind closed doors.

    It should be clear by now that Big Government’s domestic surveillance policies under Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush are being furthered expanded by Mr. Obama. Transparency, it seems, had nothing to do with making government more visible. It did, however, have everything to do with making your life more transparent.

    Before we itemize the many ways in which you’re being watch, surveyed, monitored and aggregated, this latest report by Alex Thomas of The Intel Hub reiterates, yet again, that digital surveillance capabilities are not just isolated to intelligence agencies:

    A lawsuit filed on Tuesday alleges that Aaron’s, a huge furniture rent to buy company, used software and a special device on their computers that enabled them to spy on PC renters.

    According to the lawsuit, the company is able to track keystrokes and snap webcam pictures in the home of their customers.

    Brian and Crystal Byrd, the couple who filed the lawsuit, claim that they were never told about these intrusive spying measures.

    While computer privacy experts agree that Aaron’s has the right to install devices that enable them to shut down the computers remotely, customers must be told that they are being monitored.

    The couple only found out about the spying after an Aaron’s employee showed them a picture of Brian Byrd that was taken remotely while the Byrds were in their home.

    “After they showed us the picture, I, of course, felt violated,” Crystal Byrd said in an interview Monday. “There are many times I sat in front of that computer with barely nothing on. So I didn’t know if they had taken lots of pictures of us or what,” reported the Wyoming Tribune.

    Brian Byrd also reported that he thinks the picture was shown to him in order to intimidate him into an easy repossession.

    Source: The Intel Hub

    While we often hear protests from privacy advocates about government intrusion into the lives of Americans, what many fail to understand is that it’s not just the government. Private businesses like Aaron’s, as well as large corporate conglomerates, are themselves engaging in the surveillance of Americans with the development of products and services specifically for this purpose – and often without the consent of their customers, or, through terms of services agreements that include dozens of pages of unintelligible fine print.

    As modern technology continues to advance at breakneck speeds, just as the merger of the corporations and the state are occurring within political circles, so to are they becoming more prevalent in the intelligence sphere.

    Fellow Americans, everything you do is being monitored.

    With respect to the government, it’s not by choice. However, when dealing with private businesses, we have readily accepted our own fate by accepting into our lives the very technologies that make it all possible.

    • What You Do Online Is No Secret: As you sit in the perceived privacy of your own home reading this article, a log of your surfing habits and preferred reading or video viewing subjects is being created. Your IP address, that unique identifier the points specifically to the broadband line connected to your home modem, is time stamped with every web site you visit. Everything you watch at video web sites, everything you download online, and even your search queries are logged. You don’t even have to have an account with a major online service provider – your IP is sufficient – but that user account you create is used to further improve your personal profile and characteristics.
    • We can see you. We can hear you. Not only are your actions logged, but if you were deemed a person of interest for whatever reason, that little camera staring back at you on top of your monitor or that microphone built directly into your PC can be flipped on for remote surveillance at any time. While Aaron’s furniture or the local school district may need to install special software to remotely view what you’re doing in your bedroom, public sector intelligence groups operating on equipment that is technologically advanced compared to the consumer products of today is perfectly capable of entering your ‘secure’ home network and turning on those video and audio features – and you’d have absolutely no clue it’s going on.
    • Your cell phone is a mobile monitoring device. Much like your computer, all modern day cell phones come with cameras. And they all have a microphone. It is no secret that law enforcement agencies have the ability to easily tap these devices and listen and watch anything that’s going on. This capability is essentially hard-wired right into the phone. In fact, it has been reported that even if your cell phone is turned completely off, the microphone can still be remotely activated. The only known solution is to remove the battery if you want to ensure complete privacy. Sounds pretty far-fetched doesn’t it? Up until two weeks ago, so did the notion that Apple and Android phones could track and log everywhere you go. We now know that this is exactly what’s happening, and literally, every movement you make is tracked within inches of your location. A log of everywhere you have been has been logged if your cell phone was in your pocket.
    • Phone Conversation and Email Analysis. If you haven’t guessed yet, phones can be dangerous to your personal privacy. In the 1990′s, the few alternative media web sites on the internet often discussed a little know operation in Europe called Echelon. It was hard core tin foil conspiracy type stuff. You know, the kind where intelligence agencies were plugged into the entire phone, fax and email grids and had computers analyzing conversations in multiple languages looking for keywords and keyword strings. If you said a specific word, your conversation was immediately red-flagged and distributed to appropriate intel desks. As sci-fi as this may sound, it turns out that the ‘conspiracy theorists’ were 100% correct about Echelon. Its existence has been confirmed by the US government. Of course, no such system could possibly exist here domestically.
    • Your pictures are not private. When you snap those photos of the kids in the front yard and subsequently post those pictures on your favorite social network, guess what? That’s right, an inquiring viewer on your social networking account can track exactly where that picture was taken. Remember that location logging thing with your cell phone? It turns out that every single picture you take with most newer model cell phones will be tagged with specific GPS coordinates. When you upload that picture anywhere online, that location information becomes publicly available. So anyone who wants to know can now track down exactly where it is your kids were when the picture was taken, or, where exactly you were if you happened to engage in an activity that may be deemed illegal.
    • The social network. For many, it’s fun to spend every waking hour updating the rest of the world on what we’re doing. We publish our thoughts. We upload our pictures. We even click a like button at the end of articles like this one to let people know what we’re into and what they should be reading. As social networking becomes bigger, connecting hundreds of millions of people across the world, so to does the profiling of members of these networks. Have you agreed with what a certain person has said in a recent post? If they’re a person-of-interest for whatever reason, then guess what? You’ve just become one too. Did your friend recently take a picture of you at a party getting rowdy? Once that hits the social network, facial recognition technology will identify you and publish your name for all the world to see, including current or future employers. It’s a social network, and its purpose is to learn everything about you. Perhaps this is why key U.S. intelligence agencies made no effort to hide their $5 billion investment in the largest network in the world recently. Social networking is a critical tool in the struggle to categorize every person on earth.
    • Toll tags and license plates. Even if you’ve given up the cell phone and prefer to go without for privacy reasons, when you drive around town you may have noticed those little intersection cameras – at least four of them – on every major (or more regularly now, minor) intersection. While most of them may not be tied to the computer processing systems yet, some, and especially those in sensitive areas and toll booths can automatically read your license plate. Like your cell phone, your position can be logged on a regular basis with either your toll tag or simply, your license plate. Impossible? Not really. Especially when you consider that the information required to track your personal movements are nothing but a few data bytes. All anyone really needs to keep extensive records is a bigger hard drive.
    • We know your underwear size. Admittedly, we sometimes have a hard time remembering what size pants or shirts we need to purchase. But while our memory may be failing, private data aggregators have plenty of it, and the processing power to boot. Everything you have ever bought with a credit card or membership club card is sent off for processing and aggregation to centralized data centers. While you may use a Visa card at one store, a Mastercard at another, and pay cash with a grocery membership card somewhere else, it’s as easy as finding your name and cross referencing that on your cards – and your entire shopping profile can be created. The purpose, we’re told, is to better improve our shopping experience and provide market data to companies so that they can improve their advertising. We can only guess at who else has access to this information, which happens to be very easily accessible and widely available for a small fee.
    • Radio Frequency Identification. Say you’ve decided to scrap cell phones, internet surfing and electronic payment or membership cards. And, you choose to walk everywhere you go. Not a problem for enterprising surveillance technologists. Large retail distributors have already begun implementing RFID technologies into every major product on store shelves. For now, most of the RFID tracking is limited to transportation and inventory control and is designed to track products on the pallet level. Tracking capabilities are improving, however, and are quickly being implemented on the individual product level. That means when you buy a soda at your local grocery store, an RFID monitoring station will be capable of tracking that soda across the entire city, with the goal eventually being whether or not you put that aluminum can in a trashcan or a recycle bin once you were finished drinking it. One day, you may be issued a ticket by a law enforcement computer autmatically for failing to dispose of your trash properly. Again, it’s simply an issue of hard drive space and processing power – and technology will soon get over that hurdle. All electronics, clothing, food packaging, and just about everything else will soon contain a passive RFID chip.
    • Ripping Data Off Your Private, Secure, chip-enhanced personal identification cards. Passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards, cell phones – they all store data. Personal data like banking information, birth date, social security numbers, pictures, phone books – basically everything you’ve ever wanted to keep private. As storage technology further integrates into our daily lives, and everything from our passports to our health insurance cards contains a digital chip that stores our private information, it will become much easier to rip that data from your purse or wallet without ever touching you. A recent report indicated that local law enforcement officials now have devices that, when you’re pulled over, can remotely pull all of the data on your cell phone. This demonstrates how simple it is for anyone, be it law enforcement or criminals, to gain access to everything about you – including you personal travel habits.
    • Eye in the sky. We’ve previously reported about domestic drone programs in Houston and Miami. Local and state law enforcement agencies are increasingly adding Federal and military technologies to their surveillance arsenals. Drones have the capability of flying quietly and at high altitude, while monitoring multiple targets simultaneously. It’s been reported that domestic drones can not only monitor in the visible light spectrum, but night vision and infrared. That means they can ‘see’ what you’re doing in your home behind closed doors. Incidentally, there have been reports of roaming ground patrols with similar infrared technology, capable of seeing right through your walls. This is not science fiction – this is reality right now. Combine this with real-time spy agency satellites and interested parties have the ability to see and hear you, even when you’re locked indoors with computers and cell phones disabled.
    • Security cameras. We’ve already discussed traffic cams. But cameras are not limited to just the government. Residences, retailers and even day cares are now interconnecting camera security systems with online web browsing. And, as we pointed out earlier, these are easily subject to unauthorized access. Certain cities in the US are now allowing residents to register their personal or business camera systems with the city to allow for local police monitoring. The government doesn’t need to push the technology on us. The people willingly accept the technology en masse in exchange for a sense of being more secure.
    • I See Something! When all else fails, the last bastion of surveillance is human intel. It’s been used by oppressive regimes for millennia. The Nazis used it. The Communists used it (and do to this day). It was very effective. And now, we’re using it. Remember, if you See Something, Say Something. Even if what someone sees is not accurately represented because of mis-perception, you can be assured that when they say something rapid response units will be on the scene to diffuse the situation.

    Fusing It All Together

    What is the purpose ? It depends who you ask.

    Local law enforcement will tell you it’s to protect the safety of the public. Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies say it’s to prevent terrorism. Apple and Android tells us it’s so that they can produce better mobile products and services. Retailers want more customer data so they can improve advertising and marketing.

    Whatever the case, it’s clear that almost everything we do, whether it’s in the privacy of our own homes or on public streets, can be tracked, monitored, and logged.

    As technology improves and the internet interconnects even more nodes, the information collected by the public, private and personal sectors will be further aggregrated, cross referenced and analyzed. Your personal profile will become more detailed, including your shopping habits, hobbies, likes, dislikes, political affiliation, reading preferences, friends, and potentially your psychological and emotional status.

    All of this information will eventually be fused into one large database. In fact, the government has already setup well over fifty fusion centers around the nation. What goes on in these centers is kept strictly confidential, and there doesn’t seem to be any agency in charge of them, but we know they exist, and we know that their purpose is to acquire, aggregate and act on whatever information they have available to them. These are fairly new, appearing just over the last several years. But be assured that as processing power and software technology improves, so too will the surveillance capabilities of fusion like facilities, whether they belong to government, private industry or criminal industry.

    History has shown what tends to happen in surveillance societies. Often times, that surveillance is forced upon the people by tyranical government. We won’t argue that this is not the case today, as governments the world over are not hiding the fact that they want to know what everyone is doing. The odd thing is, we the people don’t seem to care a whole lot. What we’re seeing is that the surveillance state is expanding in concert with the definitions for what is criminal or terrorist-like activity – and that’s scary. Every year, more people are finding themselves on no-fly lists, no-work lists, or other terrorist watch lists. We’ve facetiously noted in a previous commentary that at this rate, the terrorist watch list will exceed the U.S. population by 2019. While we were, for the most part, trying to put a humorous spin on an otherwise very important issue, the fact is, that as surveillance expands, more and more people will become enemies of the state or persons-of-interest. That’s just how these things tend to work with these types of things.

    In today’s world, the private sector is ready and willing to help government achieve these goals of total control and involvement in our personal lives. In fact, it is at times becoming difficult to distinguish between government and private industry.

    But if we are to lay blame on anyone here, it must be ourselves. We need only take a look into the mirror and we’ll see who makes these technologies possible. It’s the American consumer who willingly adopts the technologies into his or her daily life, often standing in lines a quarter mile long to acquire the latest in digital monitoring.

    While our votes at the ballot box account for something, how we vote with our pocket books will ultimately determine the direction of our country. We have empowered the corporation to lobby Congress and further erode our own freedoms, whether it’s with the surveillance technologies we choose to integrate into our lives, the food we buy, the cheap Chinese goods we’ll stampede children over, or the gas we pump into our vehicles.

    The problem is not government. It’s us. We’ve let it go this far. It can only change when the individual does.

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    Author: Mac Slavo
    Views: Read by 8,033 people
    Date: May 5th, 2011
    Website: www.SHTFplan.com

    Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

     

    84 Comments...

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    1. Anonymous says:

      I don’t wear any underware.

    2. VRF says:

      it isnt US..its them..
      we would have gotten this treatment even if we yelled NO at the highest mountain top..
      everyone in this land could have”voted” against it,, we still would get it..

      our government stopped listening to the people a long dam time ago..

      according to them, we dont know whats good , or right for ourselfs, so they have to step in and do it for us..

      there isnt a dam thing anyone of us could have done to stop any of this,,

      a total colapse is the only thing that will shut this government evesdropping down..no power..no camera or mic.s

      you know what it tells me

      they fear the living shit out of us..the population, the government is scared and rightfully so..they are not doing what they know they should be, and thier mistreatment of the people is why they are so afraid..

      it is fear that makes them want to knwo all there is to know about every aspect and move you make and what you say and do…

      Fear driven , they have created the distain in the citizenry of this country, and now they are afraid what could come from it..you made this bed..now lay in it

    3. As an old geek I have a few things to say:

      1/ Learn the G-D- technology. Don’t let our jobs be offshored, get your kids into a journeyman job at a tech company to LEARN THIS SHIT.

      2/ You get what you pay for. MOST of the surveillance / “cyberwar” douchebaggery is patterned around Windows. If you can afford it, GET A MAC. If you cannot afford it, then GTFO Windows and onto a Linux. Again, LEARN THE TECHNOLOGY.

      3/ Did I mention ‘stay off Windows?’ If you have a smartphone, you’re better off with an iPhone (mini Mac OS) or Android (mini Linux). If you’re worried about location either get a faraday baggy or LEARN THE TECHNOLOGY for yourself.

      If you want a gauge of how much bullshit is build around Windows Google Ars Technica AND HBGary…. and be amazed at what us geek types have to put up with in regards to the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (aka FUD) that you norms perpetuate on yourselves.

       
      -Drunken Economist
      http://mindtaker.blogspot.com/
      http://twitter.com/drunk_economist

      • Joe says:

        The faraday bag does not work.

      • Whatman says:

        All your ideas is useless.

        Changing microsoft to google or apple. Are you kidding man?

        Your links are going to where i found the age old craap of
        politically correct speech.

      • Ryback says:

        I would like to know when everyboby is going to get some BALLS, grab a baseball bat and go out and start,,,,,,well you know use your imagination, what are they gonna do, we paid for it, we own them, its our tax dollars. All these eggheads try to hack the systems, what does that do, NOTHING, stop using your computer, your cell phone, start using walkie talkies, use brevity codes, shun technology, hell it was only 10 or 15 years ago we did’nt have this. We still used the land line. ITS NOT THAT HARD, BREAK YOUR ADDICTION. Were gonna have to pretty soon anyway.

    4. wheedle says:

      Search,,, big brother big business google video,,,,,for a 2 hour program about your assumed privacy.
      Here’s a link that may or may not work depending on your provider,,,

      http://video.google.com/videoplay%3Fdocid%3D6061213358499552766

    5. GA Mom says:

      We are being assimilated into the collective.  I feel sorry for my kids. 

      We are losing the fight my friends.  The progressives are too organized and have too much power.  Stopping them will be difficult if not impossible.

    6. Bloodyfellow says:

      GA Mom-  Your above comment, reminds me of those fainting goats that I saw a tv some time back.  Have some faith in some of your fellow country men and don’t loose heart so easy.  

      Look back to the history books….shit nobody in the world though we would woop England’s ass but we did! 

      P.S. there is the vid on the goats. 
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9_CdNPuJg

    7. Man Up says:

      I can’t see how we can possibly change any of this. The fact is generation X and the generations after thrive on technology, it’s who they are, it’s what they are. This will continue.

      It was disturbing to me a couple of years ago when I received an $80 ticket in the mail with a picture of my lic.plate saying I ran a red light (it was a fast yellow light, I since learned it needs to be 8 sec long, this wasn’t and I was already under it). But how does one dispute that? You can’t.

      I would choose to opt out, however I do enjoy gathering information off the internet. I don’t have a cam or recorder hooked up, I refused social media but I had to succumb because I’m a business owner. I feel I just got sucked in because I had no choice. (follow the herd) damn sheeple, I blame them!

      I hate grocery membership cards, so I shopped elsewhere, but now they all have it.

      My plan is to end up in my “bug-out” location and live like we did back in the day – gardening, camping and hiking.  But you would have to live like a hermit to opt out 100% – I still need to be in touch via the internet.

      Again – sadly, “I can’t see how we can possibly change any of this”

       

      • Argus says:

        Man Up

        A couple of suggestions…they may or may not work and your mileage may vary from state to state.

        Check on how your local red-light cam program works. In most states, this is run by a contractor. The ticket itself is a civil (not criminal complaint) and, as long as you do not get served by a processor, you will never have to pay the ticket. No LE officer can testify that they witnessed you commit a crime since they didn’t. Who is available to testify that a crime has been committed?

        Note: If the ticket does not have a court date or location on it, it is not a “real” ticket (which is technically a summons to appear). Trash it.

        Although I have never received one, my brother receives them often in a large Tennessee city. He has ignored them for years with no consequences.

        Resources:
        http://highwayrobbery.net/ (for Calif.)

        In terms of grocery store cards, I simply make up stuff on the application form. In fact, since many clerks are disgruntled they will often give you one and simply ask that you fill a form out and drop it by next time (which I never do). Bottom line: You get the savings and you mess up their efforts to have credible data in their system. I feel no moral qualms about giving false info to those who would violate my right to privacy.

        Argus

    8. Bloodyfellow says:


      “Our Country won’t go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won’t be any AMERICA because some foreign soldier will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!”


      LT. GEN. LEWIS “CHESTY” PULLER, USMC
       

    9. Anonymous says:

      I’m definitely not wearing my underwear ….   But I’m a very good driver but not on Monday, definitely not on Monday.

      Push once for OnStar.   One push per household limit, must be 18 or older.

    10. Bloodyfellow says:


      “Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!”


      MAJ. HOLDREDGE

    11. morpheus says:

      That’s right. The eye in the sky is on us. But the is eye getting bigger and while we do nothing about. We need a digital bill of rights along with a lot of other things that won’t happen unless we stand up!

      Wake up America! It’s time… “JOIN the REVOLUTION”
      Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )
      FIGHT THE CAUSE – NOT THE SYMPTOM
      “Spread the News”

      • John Jacobs says:

        Well the good thing about drones being up in the sky is that we don’t have to be afraid to shoot them down! Most of us just don’t want to shoot down a manned vehickle because we just don’t want to hurt anybody, espeacially when he is one of us just trying to make a living in this messed up world. But an unmanned vehickle can go down. Shoot enough of them down and the price to replace them really starts to increace! Now that is a good plan!

    12. Dave says:

      I really don’t care if some corporation knows what type of TV dinner I like, what shoes I wear, what cars I drive, where I like to vacation of what movies I like, heck, let them know about it so that they can send targeted junk mail to me so I may find something I like!
      These corporations cannot kick in my door at night, they can’t taze me, they can’t confiscate my property, they can’t torture me (yes, it’s now legal) and the can’t execute me.
      Your government can do all of those things.
      THE GOVERNMENT IS WHAT WE MUST BE WARY OF IN SPITE OF THE GOVERNMENT’S BEST ATTEMPT AT MAKING YOU THINK “THE EVIL CORPORATIONS NEED TO BE MONITORED”.

    13. Hhahahahayeah
      hey government..this is a 2 way street…were watching you too, ya bunch a fuck ups

    14. overtheedge says:

      “I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer.” Paul Atreides from “Dune”

      Manipulate the fears of those captive of their fears and you gain willing public acceptance. Few can set aside their animal instincts of “fight or flight” long enough to take a moment to see the bigger picture and make intelligent decisions that just might be contrary to fight or flight.

      Who is willing to be ruled by animals? Can you tell the difference between human and animal?

      The experts define who qualifies to be an expert. Perhaps there are some who recognize the problems of groups that live only as social animals still driven by instinct. Mayhaps some are experts who failed to get their official endorsement.

      The key to successful animal husbandry is informed management. Even our plethora of laws has failed to control the animal nature of homo sapiens. The question is then one of, “How do we maintain the information flow needed to effectively manage the herd?”

      Lest anyone get the wrong idea, I have no answers. Perhaps managed fear is far better than run-amok fear. It seems that everyone I communicate with by sight, sound or signal worries about what might be and fails to take positive efforts to destroy the fear that worries them.

      We can never submit to being ruled by animals. Make no mistake, homo sapiens is an animal. Few can control their fears long enough to make an timely, intelligent and informed decision.

      A beginning just might be to avoid the consumer instincts of the herd. Does technology increase or decrease our quality of life? Or better still, is that next phone call so important that we must graft a cell-phone to our sense of identity? The whole premise of social networking is silly at best. I can post anything and yet you have no evidence of my true nature.

      Not only do the masses have a carrot dangling in front of them, but they gladly pay for the carrot and its supporting structure with plastic. The social animals enforce the rules of their herd. Violate the rules and become an outcast. Few can thrive without the support nee mass of the herd to draw off those who prey on them.

      Enter big brother to defend you. Defend in new-speak: we can’t stop harm to you, but we will track the perpetrators down and try them.

      I feel so much safer now. Actually I do. If I avoid harming others and don’t cause trouble for the management, they let me pretty much drift away from the herd. Oh they still monitor me, but I’m pretty boring and cost the management almost nothing. My cost? I must be as self-sufficient as possible and incur the suspicion of those who can’t wander away from the herd. Homo sapiens fear what they doesn’t understand. Remember always, the herd enforces the rules of the herd. Makes management’s job much easier. The herd will never understand what is outside the herd. Hence they appeal to management to monitor my activities. Man, I can’t imagine management’s coffee intake while they try to stay awake monitoring me.

      So I post stuff like this. Far better to willingly give management what they need to define the risk assessment of letting me wander about. Make no mistake. Management will get what they need one way or the other. And yes Dorthy, they know my IP addy, phone number and location. Welcome to the information age. With enough data, predictions are easy.

      Isn’t predicting exactly what takes place on this forum?

    15. sanityjones says:

      Either we cower in fear and live on our knees, or…………… make them irrelevant by living like the free American citizen protected by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights that we are. It’s past time to question this so called “authority”. Withdraw your consent to be governed by these hypocrites. I do not advocate unlawful behavior, as long as the laws are Just. Stop asking “how high” when told to jump and try saying “you first” instead once in awhile. American are monitoring everything you do too Uncle Douche-bag and we ain’t happy.

    16. Joerocker says:

      Start Page search engine does not track your IP address.

      http://us2.startpage.com/eng/

    17. think says:

      The only escape route from this one eye illuminati surveillance is to get out of US, live in a third world country in Asia where almost everything is cheaper than here and property taxes are peanuts.

    18. Fab says:

      I don’t care, I don’t have a cell phone and I use Inet only to read SHTF and ass sitting porn. If they want to send one of their chicks to check, I’m game.

    19. Fed Up says:

      Skewz me while I adjust the antenna on my tin foil hat and resharpen the edge of the foil… I wish it were that easy to disappear. I enjoy being self sufficient to the extent that I am able (no one is an island), but I’m willing to admit I enjoy the ability to access information in the same moment I am curious about something.

      I think there can be a happy blending of the “old world” and the new technology. The problem is that as long as there are those who hunger for power over others and as long as we the “awake” public are divided in opinion and number, the “happy” part is going to be questionable for us as individuals to attain.

      Guess I’m going to keep living my life with freedom in my heart and as much in my actions as I can, banding together with like-minded folks on a local level (like many here).

      Okay, now that the antenna are in their correct place and the edge on my hat is sharp I’m going to disappear again. :-D

    20. Anne says:

      Thank you Joerocker.
      Do you know how to get something called In Private?
      I have it now, but Windows is insisting I change to its newest version, and I don’t remember what I did to get In Private. It does not allow search engines to track your IP address either. Also i like it better than Start Page.
      Windows keeps taking stuff out that i use. But I know that eventually I will dummy up and accidentally OK that new Windows creature.

    21. Laura m. says:

      Dave:   The guv and the evil corporations are one of the same  controlled by bankers.  All politicians are the shills/entertainers to the dumb masses who worship the bastards.   Lt Gen Lewis:  I agree w/ you and besides America is over and done ; ditto all of Europe and much of the middle east is controlled by corp/bankers and the leaders are puppets of them.  Once the monarchies are overthrown, they will be under complete control.  Saudi Ar will be last to fall.

    22. Durango Kidd says:

      Put a piece of black masking tape over your laptop camera. Never use a store card. I managed to get one from Safeway without submitting my name etc by promising the clerk I would fill out the app and bring it back. I lied!

      Used it all the time until I lost it. Wal Mart  doesn’t require it. Albertson’s dropped theirs. 

      Use couriers!  They will never catch you!   oops ……

    23. found says:

      Comments…..I use a CVS shopping card I found in the parking lot.  I made up the info to get one at the supermarket.

    24. Joerocker says:

      To Anne,
      I don’t know “In Private”
      Start Page works ok for us.

      also, tape on the camera +1

    25. Its true, everything in monitored, however, the terabytes of information are difficult to discern into anything readable or quantifiable.
       
      I can be private on the internet if I want to be. People don’t really understand: an IP doesn’t mean squat unless you can get a physical address to go with it. Sometimes that is not possible.
       
      Much of this article, while true in principal, is not true in practice. What *COULD* be done and what *IS*TRULY* done are two different things.
       
      I know these things. At times I have been a liaison between my employer and the city and state police. Frankly, if you were worried about getting “caught” from these bozos, you’d have to be pretty stupid and repetitive to make it happen.
       
      Yes, many scary things *CAN* be done, but, unless you’re a high value target, they’re not. …and if you’re a high value target, you better protect yourself. It can be done.
       
      The people that are trapped are those that don’t know anything about the technology. If you don’t, you better not be trying anything fishy, they’ll find you and prosecute.
       
      As much as you are logged, there are also ways to create digital camo. The fact is it really doesn’t matter. Unless you’re worried about something, there’s not a problem. However, when the corporations and the government start using the data and makeing mistakes, thats what worries. me.
       
      But, relax! You know how they talk about how they are dumbing down our kids? Well, they’ve been doing it for years. Now, those kids work for the local police, the government, for DHS. Most government agencies are so incredibly incompetent that its beyond laughable. I’ve worked with them. Its a wonder they EVER catch a real criminal. Every situation I have been involved with made me face/palm multiple times. Rest assured, the people in our government are not going to be able to do much to you, even if they have the data. They’re too stoopid. The stories you hear are luck and myth. Relax. But, if you really have something to hide, you better know the technology.
       

    26. caryn says:

      Comments…..peek a boo, i see you! we have been watched, poked, prodded, lied to, indoctrinated, ……..you name it, it has been done, and has been done for years and years. the watchers just get smarter and slyer. (sp)  my family tree is full of “hermits” and “disappearing acts” so i guess if push came to shove i could do it too.

    27. People should come up with lists of those in power, the ones everyone knows about and those behind the scenes, the real deal makers and string pullers. Make lists and start circulating them on the internet with tele number and address, email and physical. Family member names and ages and where abouts. List the atrocities that individual is directly or even indirectly for and how  it has effected Americans and what God given rights, Constitution given rights it has violated and so forth. Make it kind of spooky, nothing illegal or directly threatening, but you get the jist…wonder if it would have any effect? Oh and include as any as the bozo pawns and trigger pullers working for them

    28. hot air says:

      Comments…..

      Bloodyfellow:

      We will give them all our Wal*Mart women to breed with (if  breeding is possible). The race begat will not in any way be superior. This will be just a foil, a stop gap measure so to speak, appeasement of the enemy. This will give us time to cosolidate our (sic) farces.

      In fact, many Wal*Mart women would be more than happy to sign up for a breeding program without ever feeling like a ‘Sabine Woman’.

      Of course, we would record the entire procedure, including  VO audio from an off screen play by play announcer/ judge who would critic the performance for esthetics.

      The resulting recording would be then sold at Wal*Mart stores world wide. 

      With the profits more cameras can be brought on line

    29. you fools says:

      OBAMA IS OUT TO GET U GET IT?? WAKE UP HE’S KNOCKIN AT YOU R DOOR. YOU R NEXT. LOOK INTO HIS EYES.

    30. Shea says:

      NetRanger has it right. They have the technology and maybe even the wherewithal to put it to use, but unless you have something to truly hide, what good is it to them? What they don’t have is the manpower or the money to obliterate the ranters and ravers and thus ensure a “peaceful” transition from free to internee.

      I do not use a cell phone because I can’t be bothered. I do not use a web cam because I’d rather be in someone’s company live and in person. Nothwithstanding the dodging those particular bullets, I shall not cower in fear behind walls that do not hide me. I shall not go gentle into that good night. I shall state my case and stand my ground and if I am that much a threat, then they are truly the more scared of the two of us.

    31. yfr says:

      We can see you. We can hear you. Not only are your actions logged, but if you were deemed a person of interest for whatever reason, that little camera staring back at you on top of your monitor or that microphone built directly into your PC can be flipped on for remote surveillance at any time.’
       
      Does that claim have any specific details to justify it?

      I’ve got a webcam on my iMac.  Is OS X so very loose that anyone at all can hack into my iMac and turn on my webcam without my knowledge?
       
      What if I install Linux?

    32. Henry says:

      But they still can’t roundup all the gang members and their associates out of my neighborhood.

    33. Bloodyfellow says:

      Americans, Everything You Do Is Monitored

      “Not everything, after you find your balls try using your brains!”

    34. Anonymous says:

      I always knew my tv was watching me.  Why are all of those helicopters always circling overhead at night with the spot light on.  I always salute at them on the porch while I’m naked.  I live out in the country.  We don’t have a WallyMart out here.  Keep shining that spot light, I’m reloading.

    35. VRF says:

      They cant even stop the corruption in their house..

      they better start looking at their own problems first

      you know the saying..dont throw rocks in a glass house..or whats that bible one? something about a sliver in my eye when you have a pole sticking out of your own?

      follow your own laws first before you worry about wtf im doing

      maybe we the people should set up cameras and suck pointed at the Pentigon, white house and any other encampment of our government..whats good for the goose, you know?

      they shouldnt have any problem with that, if they have nothing to hide or are not breaking any laws, right?

      Hhahhaahahaahahahaaaahahahahahahahhaha

    36. VRF says:

      hahah
      suck = such..i cant type today…maybe they have taken over my keyboard

    37. Bob says:

      Everyone worries about these Big Brother machinations of government and fears a further slide into a 1984-esque world, but people miss one very important point.
      Orwell was a socialist.  He put far too much stock in the ABILITY of government to see and discover all, when the reality is it’s a collection of folks that are hard pressed to find their asses with both hands.  Orwell’s dystopian vision comes from the mind of a man who viewed government as omnipotent.  Experience shows us it’s incompetent.

    38. Bloodyfellow says:

      -Bob   Two thumbs up on that…

    39. sanityjones says:

      Bob, the government is very capable of being omnipotent, it’s the lack of being omnipresent that has held them in restraint thus far. Don’t worry, they’re working on that.

    40. Anonymous says:

      Being that I’m be monitored.  Mr. President, I have a question for you via the “system”.  If the buck stops at your desk as you say, why can’t you tell the American people the truth?  I’m sure you will sleep better when you do try and get sleep in the future.  You can reach me back at shtfplan.com via Anonymous.

      • @Andrew, thank you for posting the link. I have posted a response to your rebuttal, and will CC it here.

        Thanks for posting the rebuttal to the article I wrote over at SHTFplan. While I won’t disagree with your assessment that “nobody cares,” it’s become increasingly clear that all digitally processed data is being fused into complex ‘social network’ like databases. The Fusion centers mentioned in the article do just this. They aggregate data looking for flags. No, there isn’t a person sitting around listening specifically to your phone calls, or specifically monitoring your internet traffic or emails… It’s all plugged into digital monitoring systems. You really don’t matter…. until you’re flagged.

        We can play this game all day long, but the fact of the matter is that systems like this do exist. Operation Echelon, as I pointed out in this article, is designed for this specific purpose and has been used extensively in over 15 countries in Europe in the 1990′s, and has likely expanded by now. This is verifiable and confirmed by the US and British governments – just look it up – don’t be scared. Computers ARE listening to your conversations utilizing speech recognition technology. And if you happen to say a keyword, or string of keywords, the conversation is flagged and dispatched for human analysis. This is FACT, not tin foil stuff.

        With regards to cell phones and the comment from “fredu golon” here in your rebuttal, again, this is not science fiction. This is CONFIRMED by the FBI as early as 2006. It’s called “Roving Bug” technology and it is active in most every cell phone that comes to market: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1029_3-6140191.html . While the ‘camera’ side of this is unconfirmed, it’s obvious that the technology is possible and likely in use right now.

        Likewise is the technology possible to monitor microphones and cameras on your home PC… It’s as simple as accessing your network. While I certainly don’t know how to do it. And you don’t know how to do it. Are you really of the thought that top-level intelligence agencies do not have this capability? And if they do, how long before the technology is integrated with monitoring systems so that computers can, at the push of a button, listen to entire networks of users having conversations at home? My view is that the purpose Fusion networks and centers is exactly this over the long-term.

        I have no paranoia or delusions about what’s going on here, and I realize I am but a speck of dust on a beach of billions of digitally-connected internet and cell phone users. The point here was not to necessarily suggest the YOU, specifically, are being monitored, but that the system as a whole has the capabilities to do so and is actively doing it right now.

        Call it tin foil, that’s fine. But the evidence, some of which was cited above, simply cannot be denied.

        Thanks.

        Mac Slavo

    41. overtheedge says:

      “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

      Okay with humor aside, the question each must ask themselves is, “What am I doing that raises a red flag serious enough to make me a target for investigation?”

      Of course everything we do is being monitored. It may be a gossipy neighbor, a friendly store clerk, chain stores, corporate and government. Many have found even the census to be intrusive.

      Recall that even Homeland Security is running ads on tv encouraging folks to prep for disasters. Corporate is looking for that one bit of data that might give them an edge in the not-so-good economy. Same for the chain stores. The store clerk might be just friendly, but may just as easily have a big mouth like the gossiper next door.

      It appears that the vast majority of Americans want to share personal data as long as they don’t suffer from identity theft.

      So what to do? Be aware of what info you share; be it personal, financial or whatever. What would you share with a gossip? Does the store clerk need to know? Don’t want the chain stores and corporations to know what you are buying? Use cash and perhaps better still, support the mom and pop neighborhood stores. Remember that that store card and credit card leave a trail of your purchasing habits. Bureau of Census sells data to corporations. Many have claimed right on this forum about the vast profits corporations make and the need to tax them more. Well kiddies, you want to increase your taxes and the nation (gov’t) lives on taxes. Makes sense to me.

      Ask yourself, “Do I need to post everything on the web?” Cover the camera, maintain good OPSEC and prevent SIGINT (signal intelligence) by keeping your mouth shut about what you are up to.

      Unless you are engaged in some serious criminal activity, you have more to fear from locals than any other group, be it corporate or gov’t. Most every gov’t from local to state to federal level are tapped out of surplus monies. Everything has to be prioritized. How much money and time do you think will be expended on minor infractions? I’m not suggesting this is a good time to break any law, but rather why would any gov’t agency waste limitted monies on watching those who are law-abiding citizens and are a bit paranoid.

      The less you use electronic communications devices, the better your SIGINT counter-measures. When dealing at the local level, ask yourself one question, “Does this store/person/community group have a NEED TO KNOW?”

      Tis for each to decide what info you make available for public distribution. At the state and federal level, the PTB have data overload. That will never go away and Moore’s Law on computing power isn’t keeping up. Try to imagine the overwhelming level of data mining available on (goofy)facebook.

      Myself? I have more important things to be concerned about than paranoia and fear. Like the 1/2″ of snow we got yesterday and how that affects my garden planting schedule. There is no such thing as living in fear. You are either living or you’re cowering like a cornered rabbit. Your choice, choose wisely.

    42. Durango Kidd says:

      Mac is right. The data is being collected and PRESERVED for at least five years; probably longer. And if they think you are a potential threat and we know that they believe VETERAN’s are potential threats in particular, they can bypass your security software (and your rights) and download your hard drive.

      Even if they can’t find anything incrimminating against you, they could find something embarrassing about you and might try to use it against someone. The point is that they shouldn’t be collecting electronic data about American citizens AT ALL and we should band together to fight this intrusion upon our liberties.

      NO ONE should be allowed to hold any electronic data generated by an electronic device for more than 30 days. Period.

    43. ‘ is the technology possible to monitor microphones and cameras on your home PC… It’s as simple as accessing your network. While I certainly don’t know how to do it. And you don’t know how to do it.’
       
      Actually, you’re wrong there.  I know a little bit about breaking security on various machines.  Some systems are inherently harder to break than others.
       
      Someone mentioned “cover the camera.” A piece of black tape over the webcam is a simple stopgap measure for video.  Of course, that assumes that you never need to use your camera for anything, or you don’t mind removing and replacing the tape all the time.
      When people talk to me about issues like webcam exploits, they usually follow up with links like:
      http://www.linux-sec.net/Harden/harden.gwif.html
      Which describes how a computer-literate person can deal with a certain range of threats.
       
      Don’t assume that everyone reading the site has the same level of computer literacy as the average audience member.
       

    44. Davidus Romanus says:

      The fusion centers exist, and they are labeling anyone who odesn’t like the gov’t as “doestic terrorists”.  The lists include milia members, libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, anyone who publicly (or even privately, according to the above article) dislikes the gov’t.  Even if that person, such as myself, is totally peaceful, non violent, and never took any overt action against said gov’t, we are all considered a threat.  If tshtf, we will be the ones they come for first.  I have already told my wife I will end up in a fema camp.  A good portion of the posters on this site will be there with me.  Good luck. 

    45. Davidus Romanus says:

      Sorry, they are labeling us “domestic terrorists”.  Sorry for the typo.

    46. Laura m. says:

      I heard from several people that we can be seen thru the new type T.V.’s  (flat screens).   Even if the T.V. is turned off.    Since I always remain fully dressed in the house as I live in town with houses all around, the people “peeking” in my living room won’t see much and will want to look  elsewhere.

    47. I will be the first to say that “I don’t know and understand much of the electronic workings of computers and the internet other than the basic stuff”
      But just today I met a person whom we have been talking with a lot for some time now and he was in the security business and he did confirm to me that with my cell number he can call my Phone EVEN IF IT IS OFF AND MAKE IT ANSWER, WITHOUT ME KNOWING IT AND LISTEN TO EVERYTHING GOING ON WHERE I AM
      that blows me away!!  The only counter is to remove the battery

    48. Read the Truth says:

      This is a very important subject that most people are completely ignorant of.  Some of the article is inaccurate but I won’t dwell on that because people need to have their attention drawn to the majority of the article which IS accurate.  I have spent over 10 years delving into the information security subject area in an attempt to try to protect myself and my privacy.
       
      …and I catastrophically failed to protect my privacy.  People used to say I was paranoid, and that if I had nothing to hide I would have nothing to fear.  Truth is, I wasn’t paranoid ENOUGH.  Even with my apparent “paranoia”, I was naive about the scale of the surveillance in the American police state.  Most people think if you aren’t out there on Jihad boards or buying explosive components that you are safe – you aren’t.
       
      Now I only access sites like this one, Infowars, etc. via the TOR network (which is no perfect solution, although MAC address spoorfing, using open wireless connections, AND using TOR would be a good bet for those REALLY looking to be anonymous – but there is always security camera footage to review if someone REALLY wants to know who was accessing that wireless access point at such and such time).  I’ve disconnected myself from Google (but all web mail is remotely accessible without a warrant by just about any agency in the security/law enforcement/surveillance apparatus).  Try ixquick, or other “safe” no-log web search engines.  I threw away all of my shopper club cards.  I am trying to wean myself off of credit card use and go cash only.
       
      What you need to know is that this is no joke.  This is all real and the only way to avoid being profiled is to avoid giving them data…which ain’t easy to do.
       
      Do a search for “TOR live CD” to find some ways to use TOR without leaving any record on a hard drive and without needing much technical skill.
       
      As for cell phones and “removing the battery.”  Most modern phones (android, iphone, etc.) all have a small back up so they can continue to be used as remote listening devices even with the battery removed for relatively long periods of time.
       
      You could spend years studying this subject area and they can still get you if you are living anything remotely close to a “normal” life.  Go outside.  Talk to real people.  Read books.  Get “off the grid” to the greatest extent possible now, while it’s easy, and you’ll simultaneously find yourself “off the radar” of the police state…unless it’s already too late for you, as it is for me.

    49. Bloodyfellow says:

      The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.
      Benjamin Franklin

    50. Jack Ruby says:

      The only acceptable and rational reponse to Fascismt is to overthrow it
      Anything else is weak surrender.     Comments…..

    51. Uncle Sam Bohica says:

      So if one masturbates right in front of one’s PC camera in one’s own home and not intentionally shareing the image, then no one has to complain  about watching it, e.g., the peole in the US Militaery in Ft. Huachucha, AZ,  NASA in Huntsville AL, and NSA in larel, MD, and a dozen other monitoring and databasing sites that you are all in.Comments…..

    52. Rich says:

      Comments…..Everything humans do is evil to the extreme. No exceptions. Even good is done to hide evil intentions.

    53. Italics Mine says:

      If you’ve ever tried to read through the Comments section on any posting, it becomes instantly clear that many people are babblers.  On and on and on like they had something worthwhile to say.  So how does any Master controller separate the wheat from the garbage?
      And if this program is so successful, why are Detroit, Camden, and lots of California festering cesspools?

    54. Citizen Kane says:

      Here’s he score;  If you work for the government, all this is just ‘conspiracy theory’: If you are wealthy, all this is just ‘conspiracy theory’:  If you are in the military, all this is just ‘conspiracy theory’: If you are behind all this, all this is just ‘consiracy theory’: If you are ignorant, all this is just ‘conspiracy theory’.   Who else is left? Comments…..

    55. Scott says:

      RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. YOU WILL BE ASSimulated. U MUST COMPLY. ;)

    56. Scott says:

      Our individual lives are so short that few of us understand things on a different time scale. We cant see the forest for the trees. Only those who posess the esoteric knowledge of time by the numbers will survive. Indeed the vast majority of humanity has been on the slow burner for eaons. Only a few possess the ancient knowledge.

    57. Dave says:

      I don’t care if I’m monitored
      I don’t care if they see what I look at online
      I don’t care if they know of my politics (Libertarian)
      I don’t care if they know that I’m in the Oathkeepers
      I don’t care if they know I was in the Marines (1983-87)
      I don’t care if they monitor every single email that I send & receive
      They are a small minority of the US population, they must fear us, not the other way around.

    58. jos says:

      So who’s the moron that says “get a mac” – your ipad reports your location.
      You fanboys are just removed from reality – no wonder no one wants to use your crappy computer

    59. A Son of Liberty says:

      I have to agree with Dave.  I do not care if they monitor my life.  This IS MY LIFE, and they can K.M.A.
      God Save the Republic!

    60. Bruce Hayden says:

      Laura m–Thanks for setting Dave straight on the evil govt. and the evil corporations being one and the same. I think it’s called fascism. Dave might have been watching another channel when that took place.
      And to the author of this article….Our vote means absolutely nothing. Have you not paid attention to the last half dozen election cycles? Read a book called Votescam by the Collier brothers. It’s over twenty years old so maybe there is a newer version. How about http://www.blackboxvoting.com by Devvy Kidd. The last fair national election was probably Truman. Even JFK’s father bought the critical state of Illinois for him–which is buying off Daley in Chicago of course!

    61. Lukster says:

      What some fail to understand is the object of government surveillance is not criminals breaking the law. It is the law abiding US citizens they’re after. The people running government are communists from the old Soviet Union, which didn’t disappear. It just changed it’s name. DHS is a 21st century high-tech version of the KGB. They don’t care if you’re breaking the law or not. The government is very skilled at manufacturing evidence and railroading innocent people. NSA is building a new electronic surveilance complex in Utah. It will cost taxpayers billions to build, run, and staff. It is tied into the global surveilance network including tens of thousands of spy satellites.
       
      If you a legal law biding taxpaying American citizen you are the target. That’s why “constitutionalists,” veterans, and Ron Paul supporters are on the DHS list. This is why the government is aiding and abetting foreigners to invade our country and murder Americans. They’re here to take over. The decision has been made and is being implemented to eliminate white European American citizens. Those on social security (the boomers) will be eliminated. Remember Obama’s “death panels” where communists, ironically called czars, decide who lives and dies.
      Do not waste your time worrying about it. Just protect yourself as best you can. And thanks for the tips here.

    62. The CONSTITUTION is not for “We the People” and AMERICA is a Matrix of
      misinformation. In the eyes of those in control, America is nothing more than a
      large Plantation and “We the People” are the Slaves. In many U. S. and World
      Treaties, the term “high contracting powers” is used to define your Masters;
      everyone else is considered by them to be their Slaves.www.stopthepirates.blogspot.com

    63. LetThemSpy says:

      Good. Let them spy. Then they can read what I read. See what I see. They can see that 9/11 was a false-flag attack by Israel to get us to fight THEIR enemies.

      Not all the spooks who monitor are ZIONISTS. They will come to know the EVIL that they represent and work for.

    64. CabotAR says:

      FEAR…..why else would our own government be monitoring us unless they knew they had to fear the People?

    65. mike says:

      Good read, thanks.  On another note IR CANNOT see through things.  An IR camera looking at a window will only see the temperature of the window, not you or me standing behind it.

    66. I have a way of mitigating the effects of being watched by my loving government. I live where they have little effect.
       
      Peace
      Dan
      placeofrefuge2012.com

    67. Chuck says:

      The short version: The latest [1999] international default of the US government, Inc. in the eyes of of its owners eradicated all your rights, including to your body. Their computers tell them there are 5 billion too many of you. Surveillance is only the first step. Now you are sitting ducks. What’s coming is mass extermination via some government mandated vaccine. You will pay for your extermination. If you are going to act, act now.

    68. 1984 is here. Pretty scary stuff. It is about CONTROL.

    69. I live on the border with Mexico. My wife’s mother lives in Mexico and has family on the border. My brother in law crosses into Mexico on a regular basis. His car insurance was with Fred Loya Insurance, and he had an accident in Mexico. Though the policy covered him in Mexico, they denied the claim because they said he crossed more than 10 times (11 to be exact) in the span of 30 days. They gave him a list of days and times he crossed. The only way a private insurance company can have this type of information is if they have access to the government cameras monitoring vehicles passing back and forth. How is it they have access to this information?

    70. Roland says:

      Gov’t surveillance isn’t directed towards ordinary criminals and their gangs, because those criminals pose no threat to the power of the government. Garden-variety thieves and murderers are not the sorts of enemies that the gov’t fears. This is NOT about law enforcement–it is about politics.

      Obviously, most people on, say, a site like this, are too insignificant to attract much personal attention from the secret police. Nevertheless, everything to do with data nowadays is so cheap, that a nice fat dossier can be compiled and stored anyhow. The marginal cost of adding each piece of data is quite negligible, from the gov’t’s point of view. The dossier will be there, if and when they need it. If people like you start to organize in any effective political way, then they will target vulnerable members of the group, probably with trumped-up criminal charges or scandals. Or they’ll infiltrate some provocateurs. There are so many ways to play the power game, and so much taxpayers’ money with which to play it.

      Today’s governments enjoy marvellous advantages over the typical oppressive regimes of the 20th century. Bolshevik Russia needed a lot of eyes-and-ears labour to do surveillance, and a huge amount of clerical grunt labour to compile and collate the data (all those tedious card files–just imagine it!). The inefficiencies were so massive, that such a regime could not last more than a couple of generations before it collapsed of its own weight. Indeed, only the intense ideological zeal of the early revolutionaries could ever have made it work at all. Once they passed away, the regime quickly rotted. But not before, unfortunately, millions had lost their years or lives in the “Archipelago.”

      Today, a typical Western-style government can do all that sort of Bolshevik-style surveillance much more cheaply and easily. No need to have a huge clumsy labour-intensive organization. No need for such crude, unspecialized, needlessly antagonistic methods. That’s, like, so yesterday!

      Since most of the grunt work is performed by cheap machines, the human labour force required by the secret police is quite a bit smaller. Today’s secret police regime is therefore much more “sustainable,” more “flexible,” more “personalizable” than its primitive 20th century forebears.

      It’s not that the secret police are particularly brilliant. They’re not. It’s not that they’re particularly honest. They’re not. It’s not that they’re particularly hard-working. They’re not. In fact, they’re often not even particularly competent at what they do.

      Problem is this: they don’t have to be brilliant. They don’t have to be honest. They don’t even have to be competent. The secret police don’t use talent or virtue to accomplish their work. They simply build systems, and then they use them, with the happy results we have all seen in history.

      If only it were true that guts and imagination were necessary to do harm. The world would be a better place if that were the case.

      Did Douglas Haig need competence to feed half a million men to the machine guns on the Western Front? Did Pol Pot need brilliance to send a million people to death camps? Did Ben Bernanke need tremendous personal courage, in order to print a trillion dollars?

      Does Homeland Security need brilliance to compile a bunch of dossiers? Draw your own conclusions.

    71. Anonymous says:

      i’m not worried.  know why?  ’cause there will always be batshit insane totally conspiracy driven techy nerds who are always going to be one step ahead of any gov’t period.  like you think all that nice techno shit the gov’t has can hold a candle to some D&D playing, conspiracy theory loving, government hating, mothers basement living nerd who doesn’t have to go through any bureaucracy to get what they want.  so god bless nerds.

    72. ScoutMotto says:

      Too bad we allowed the government to outlaw lead-based paint. They would not be able to see through it. But it was outlawed out of “concern for the children.” Spare me O tyrannical ones.

    73. John says:

      So do we kill the people who invent the technology so they don’t come up with a better mouse trap next time. Or do we ban them from ever inventing stuff. Or do we simply have to kill the bankers, kill the lawyers who wrote and defended The Patriot Act,then kill all of the useless politicians and then re-write the rules. Remember there is only one absolute everyone understands. Pain and lots of it. This is what need to be leashed upon the Status Quo. None of you are speaking about what really needs to be done.

    74. Melissa says:

      Turned off the camera the day I got the Mac home, just covered it now, thanks to this article. I’ve already been thinking about trying to wean myself off store cards. The more I read about stuff like this, the more I wish I could go off the grid somehow.

      I have noticed that almost every single website I visit has ads that mirror things I’ve searched and looked at on the web. I make a point of not clicking on them as my way of giving them the middle finger for violating my privacy =)

    75. nosida curb says:

      All of this is believable to me after 10 months ago i was contacted by the FBI to meeting over a whole bunch or emails and phone conversation”s that Red-Flagged me….Had a very long conversation and every question i asked was answered with a question and I left not even knowing why I met with them in the first place

     
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