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Title: The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America: Surveillance That Never Ends
Source: The Rutherford Institute
URL Source: https://www.rutherford.org/publicat ... a_surveillance_that_never_ends
Published: Dec 11, 2017
Author: John W. Whitehead
Post Date: 2017-12-14 10:22:35 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 77
Comments: 5

“He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows when you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!”
—“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”

Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.

I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities).

No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies).

If this power-hungry cabal gets its way, the government’s power to spy on its citizens will soon be all-encompassing and permanent.

As it now stands, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the legal basis for two of the National Security Agency’s largest mass surveillance programs, “PRISM” and “Upstream”—is set to expire at the end of 2017.

“PRISM” lets the NSA access emails, video chats, instant messages, and other content sent via Facebook, Google, Apple and others. “Upstream” lets the NSA worm its way into the internet backbone—the cables and switches owned by private corporations like AT&T that make the internet into a global network—and scan traffic for the communications of tens of thousands of individuals labeled “targets.”

Just as the USA Patriot Act was perverted from its original intent to fight terrorism abroad and was used instead to covertly crack down on the American people (allowing government agencies to secretly track Americans’ financial activities, monitor their communications, and carry out wide-ranging surveillance on them), Section 702 has been used as an end-run around the Constitution to allow the government to collect the actual content of Americans’ emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communication without a warrant.

Under Section 702, the government collects and analyzes over 250 million internet communications every year. There are estimates that at least half of these contain information about U.S. residents, many of whom have done nothing wrong. This information is then shared with law enforcement and “routinely used for purposes unrelated to national security.”

Mind you, this is about far more than the metadata collection that Edward Snowden warned us about, which was bad enough. Section 702 gives the government access to the very content of your conversations (phone calls, text messages, video chats), your photographs, your emails. As Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., warned, “This is not just who you send it to, but what’s in it.”

Unfortunately, Big Brother doesn’t relinquish power easily.

The Police State doesn’t like restrictions.

And the Surveillance State certainly doesn’t look favorably on anything that might weaken its control. Even after Congress limited the NSA’s ability to collect bulk phone records, the agency continued to do so, vacuuming up more than 151 million records of Americans’ phone calls last year alone.

A government that doesn’t heed its constituents, doesn’t abide by the law, and kowtows to its police and military forces? That’s a dictatorship anywhere else.

Here in America, you can call it “technotyranny,” a term coined by investigative journalist James Bamford to refer to an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties.

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

For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government.

This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.

The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins.

The short answer: they have become one and the same entity.

The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state.

Having already transformed local police into extensions of the military, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI are preparing to turn the nation’s soldier cops into techno-warriors, complete with iris scanners, body scanners, thermal imaging Doppler radar devices, facial recognition programs, license plate readers, cell phone Stingray devices and so much more.

This is the new face of policing in America.

Enter big data policing which gives the nation’s 17,000 police agencies access to a growing “investigative” database that maps criminal associates and gangs, as well as their social and familial connections.

As Slate reports, “These social network systems, which target ‘chronic offenders,’ also include information about innocent associates, family members, and friends, creating extensive human maps of connections and patterns of contacts.” Those individuals then get assigned a threat score to determine their risk of being a perpetrator or victim of a future crime.

In Chicago, for example, “individuals with the highest scores on the Chicago Police Department ‘heat list’ get extra attention in the form of home visits or increased community surveillance.”

In Baltimore, police are using Cessna planes equipped with surveillance systems to film entire segments of the city, then combining that footage with police reports in order to “map the comings and goings of everyone—criminals and innocents alike.”

In this way, big data policing not only expands Big Brother’s reach down to the local level, but it also provides local police—most of whom know little about the Constitution and even less about the Fourth Amendment—with a new technological weapon to deploy against an unsuspecting public.

The end result is pre-crime, packaged in the guise of national security but no less sinister.

All of those individuals who claim to be unconcerned about government surveillance because they have nothing to hide, take note: pre-crime policing—given a futuristic treatment in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report—aims to treat you like a criminal before you’ve ever even committed a crime.

This hasn’t fazed President Trump who, much like his predecessors, has thus far marched in lockstep with the dictates of the police state.

For months, the Trump Administration has been actively lobbying Congress to reauthorize Section 702 in its entirety. Now, according to The Intercept, Trump is actively considering a proposal to establish his own global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and answer directly to the White House.

If approved, this would be yet another secret government agency carrying out secret surveillance and counterintelligence, funded by a secret black ops budget that by its very nature does away with transparency, bypasses accountability and completely eludes any form of constitutionality.

According to The Washington Post, there are more than a dozen “black budget” national intelligence agencies already receiving more than $52.6 billion in secret government funding. Among the top five black ops agencies currently are the CIA, the NSA, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Program, and the General Defense Intelligence Program.

A significant chunk of that black ops money has been flowing to Silicon Valley since before there was an internet, itself a creation of the military/security industrial complex.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it would be storing classified information for U.S. spy agencies in its digital cloud, part of a $600 million contract with the nation’s intelligence agencies.

Two decades earlier, America’s spy agencies tapped Silicon Valley to spearhead research into ways of tracking individuals and groups online. That research, as documented by Jeff Nesbit, the former director of legislative and public affairs at the National Science Foundation, culminated in the creation of a massive public-private surveillance state that hinged on a partnership between the NSA, the CIA and Google.

“The research arms of the CIA and NSA hoped that the best computer-science minds in academia could identify what they called ‘birds of a feather,’” writes Nesbit. He continues:

Their research aim was to track digital fingerprints inside the rapidly expanding global information network, which was then known as the World Wide Web… By working with emerging commercial-data companies, their intent was to track like-minded groups of people across the internet and identify them from the digital fingerprints they left behind, much like forensic scientists use fingerprint smudges to identify criminals. Just as “birds of a feather flock together,” they predicted that potential terrorists would communicate with each other in this new global, connected world—and they could find them by identifying patterns in this massive amount of new information. Once these groups were identified, they could then follow their digital trails everywhere.

The problem, of course, is that the government always sets its sights higher.

It wasn’t long before the government’s search for criminal “birds of a feather”—made much easier with the passage of the USA Patriot Act—lumped everyone together and treated all of the birds (i.e., the public) as criminals to be identified, tracked, monitored and subjected to warrantless, suspicionless surveillance.

Fast forward to the present moment when, on any given day, the average American is now monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

Every second of every day, the American people are being spied on by the U.S. government’s vast network of digital Peeping Toms, electronic eavesdroppers and robotic snoops.

Whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency is listening in and tracking you. This doesn’t even begin to touch on the complicity of the corporate sector, which buys and sells us from cradle to grave, until we have no more data left to mine. These corporate trackers monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere and share the data with the government.

Just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to collect data and spy on the American people. Then there are the fusion and counterterrorism centers that gather all of the data from the smaller government spies—the police, public health officials, transportation, etc.—and make it accessible for all those in power.

These government snoops are constantly combing through and harvesting vast quantities of our communications, then storing it in massive databases for years. Once this information—collected illegally and without any probable cause—is ingested into NSA servers, other government agencies can often search through the databases to make criminal cases against Americans that have nothing to do with terrorism or anything national security-related. One Justice Department lawyer called the database the “FBI’s ‘Google.’”

In other words, the NSA, an unaccountable institution filled with unelected bureaucrats, operates a massive database that contains the intimate and personal communications of countless Americans and makes it available to other unelected bureaucrats.

Talk about a system rife for abuse.

Ask the government why it’s carrying out this warrantless surveillance on American citizens, and you’ll get the same Orwellian answer the government has been trotting out since 9/11 to justify its assaults on our civil liberties: to keep America safe.

Yet warrantless mass surveillance by the government and its corporate cohorts hasn’t made America any safer. And it certainly isn’t helping to preserve our freedoms. Frankly, America will never be safe as long as the U.S. government is allowed to shred the Constitution.

Now the government wants us to believe that we have nothing to fear from its mass spying program because they’re only looking to get the “bad” guys who are overseas.

Don’t believe it.

The government’s definition of a “bad” guy is extraordinarily broad, and it results in the warrantless surveillance of innocent, law-abiding Americans on a staggering scale. They are conducting this mass surveillance without a warrant, thus violating the core principles of the Fourth Amendment which protects the privacy of all Americans.

Warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens is wrong, un-American, and unconstitutional.

Clearly, the outlook for reforming the government’s unconstitutional surveillance programs does not look good.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whenever the rights of the American people are pitted against the interests of the military/corporate/security complex, “we the people” lose. Unless Congress develops a conscience—or suddenly remembers that they owe their allegiance to the citizenry and not the corporate state—we’re about to lose big.

It’s time to let Section 702 expire or reform the law to ensure that millions and millions of Americans are not being victimized by a government that no longer respects its constitutional limits.

Mark my words: if Congress votes to make the NSA’s vast spying powers permanent, it will be yet another brick in the wall imprisoning us within an electronic concentration camp from which there is no escape.

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#1. To: Gatlin, misterwhite, Liberator, Trump cultists (#0) (Edited)

Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.

Don't worry, our beloved and god-like President is winning against the Deep State.

At least that's what the true believers here will say.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

Deckard  posted on  2017-12-14   10:29:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard, Gatlin, misterwhite, Trump MAGA-ers, Truth-Seekers, Delusional Utopians, The Clueless (#1)

Don't worry, our beloved and god-like President is winning against the Deep State.

"God-like President"?

I don't know what you're talking about, but it's obvious your perspetive is tainted externally by the SAME kinds of people you once regarded with righteous contempt.

Since you've dropped the ball on doing the math as to why Donald Trump can't just wave his magic wand and MAGA yesterday, please allow permit me to explain in brief the political dynamics at play -- because it is embarrassingly clear that you and a few others don't get it.

a) In the very first place, Donald Trump has done the "impossible" -- that is, ran as a Republican IN NAME ONLY ostensibly as an Independent and beat the two majority political parties who together have monopolized the nation's power paradigm, forged a Stalin/Hitler-type of dark alliance, and manipulated narratives sponsored by a NWO/One Worlder syndicate.

Hey btw -- Wasn't a Third Party candidate YOUR fervent wish as well?

b) Donald Trump IS "beloved." By all those who understand who and what he is and represents; And for exactly all the right reasons; He's sacrificed his own carefree life-style and fighting tooth and nail FOR ALL OF US in order to help America BE "America" again -- instead of being a mere vessel and nation-in-name-only to be exploited by every illegal and socialist parasite, Leftist, Globalist, Muzzie, and power-mad GOP-Dem overlord who has been tearing the US's guts out with "Hope and Change."

Donald Trump is "beloved" for his willingness to bail out and right the State of the Union -- a USS Titanic that's been sabotaged, abused, graffiti-ed, and sacrificed to the Elites, their Deep State Stasi, and Nutcase Nation. This while he is openly hated and disrespected, and his good name is undeservedly trashed, maligned, slandered, and libeled. Can you think of ANY legit reason for the unbridled hatred of this man as though he were a Hitler?

c) Pay particular attention to THIS, and I'll try to be brief:

It had been painfully obvious that a "Deep State" machination exists, which is un-accountable for its actions, having carte blanche to do most anything they want, having any and all resources and assets at their disposal (perhaps even you'll agree with that characterization.)

Just because Trump was elected CiC/President doesn't mean, nor MEANT that he by default inherited any loyalty, or control over its agenda and direction. No...the case is exactly THE OPPOSITE.

This "Deep State" machination for eight years had been set up with fascist personnel, a philosophy, an agendae that reflect the unconstitutional, illegal preferences and wishes of its subversive, anti-US sovereignty overlords (Clinton, 0bama, Bush, GLOBALISTS).

From the outset of Trump's Presidential campaign he has been ILLEGALLY monitored, traced, set up, sabotaged, and.... smeared. And perhaps even threatened.

Donald Trump has survived what has indeed been a Soft Coup (still in the works) ONLY because of his own personal courage, principle, wits, and ability to NEGOTIATE. That means being patient and winning his way through the muck and mire of the very same ubiquitous, overwhelming influence of institutional propaganda and Elites/Uni-Party/Soros $$$$.

It's Players (BY NAME) have now been BUSTED and PROVEN to have acted in the interests of BOTH Hillary AND 0bama in their mission/agenda to help TAKE DOWN TRUMP. And that is only the tip of the iceberg.

"Winning against the Deep State" is relative unless and until the conspirators -- ALL of them are exposed, indicted AND convicted. Trump's "win" is a win for justice, for liberty, for the USA. A loss for Trump is a loss for the aforementioned -- including especially US.

So while you pretend to have a handle on the reality of the situation, you shockingly and disappointingly did not, nor don't.

Do you understand the irony of fretting obsessively over isolated cases of Police "brutality" and overreach, and Pot laws WHILE Domestic Fascist Enforcers have admitted they worked on behalf of Hillary Clinton and 0bama in conspiring with the MSM and BOTH Party Elites to take out a SITTING AMERICAN PRESIDENT, Donald Trump??

Liberator  posted on  2017-12-14   11:56:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Deckard, Deep State Don, Obamas Canaries, whitey, tater, lubricator, FireIsland, *The Two Parties ARE the Same* (#0)

an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties.

President Trump who, much like his predecessors, has thus far marched in lockstep with the dictates of the police state tyranny.

For months, the Trump Administration has been actively lobbying Congress to reauthorize Section 702 in its entirety. Now, according to The Intercept, Trump is actively considering a proposal to establish his own global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and answer directly to the White House.

If approved, this would be yet another secret government agency carrying out secret surveillance and counterintelligence, funded by a secret black ops budget that by its very nature does away with transparency, bypasses accountability and completely eludes any form of constitutionality.

warrantless surveillance of innocent, law-abiding Americans on a staggering scale. They are conducting this mass surveillance without a warrant, thus violating the core principles of the Fourth Amendment which protects the privacy of all Americans.

Warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens is wrong, un-American, and unconstitutional.

Obama's Canaries don't care about the US Constitution, the BOR, or the rule of law. They will continue to support Deep State Don just like they supported the global Obongo police state.

hondo68  posted on  2017-12-14   13:08:15 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: hondo68, Deckard (#3)

You guys are completely and utterly disengaged from ANY clue whatsoever.

Try to keep up.

The "Deep State" (the same one conducting the bogus "RUSSIA!!" Mueller investigation based on a FAKE "Dossier" paid for by Team Hillary/0bama) has JUST recently admitted to undermining Trump within its ranks ON BEHALF of Hillary and 0bama. This is a heavy-handed desperation and a political distraction intended to divert attention AWAY from the Fusion GPS, Hillary's own Russia Uranium connection, and most importantly -- the SEDITION committed by subversive elements of the "Deep State."

Wrap your alleged minds around THAT.

Instead following wild goose chases, just admit you've been bamboozled by RED HERRINGS.

I'd be more worried about the Feebs, IRS, CIA, and NSA, who are ALREADY taking sides and manipulating ELECTIONS. Including the recent Moore election/funny business.

How you goofballs keep on taking the Disinfo Bait is beyond me. Now THAT is funny.

Liberator  posted on  2017-12-14   13:35:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Liberator, deckard, ---- Y'ALL (#4)

Do you understand the irony of fretting obsessively over isolated cases of Police "brutality" and overreach, and Pot laws WHILE Domestic Fascist Enforcers have admitted they worked on behalf of Hillary Clinton and 0bama in conspiring with the MSM and BOTH Party Elites to take out a SITTING AMERICAN PRESIDENT, Donald Trump??

I'd be more worried about the Feebs, IRS, CIA, and NSA, who are ALREADY taking sides and manipulating ELECTIONS. Including the recent Moore election/funny business.

Why can't we be informed of ALL types of agitprop?

I enjoy reading everyone's posts and articles, --- and I watch/monitor both the liberal media, as well as the conservative..

I'd urge everyone here to keep up the good work.. The various opinions are very amusing...

tpaine  posted on  2017-12-14   18:44:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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