Saturday, March 12, 2005

Electronic surveillance of citizens is no joke

(I'm trying to get more organized, so posts may be sparse for the next while...)

Detailing my seeming surveillance and oppression is stressful and time-consuming. There are so many other issues and news events I'd rather be discussing. Unfortunately, the whole idea of governmental control, harassment, and privacy invasion seems so removed from people's daily lives that very few grasp how critical this subject really is - or how quickly it's all being implemented. So, while I'd love to move on to other topics, I still need to show how electronic surveillance is controlling and influencing all aspects of society, and thus, our collective futures.

Times have changed, and technology is key for the powers-that-be. During the overtly totalitarian regimes of Hitler's Nazi Germany and Mao's Cultural Revolution, much physical maintenance and broad co-operation from countless people were required. Yet, today, with the mere click of a button, a few individuals can spy on and control the lives of many, while creating an illusion of freedom and autonomy.

Information is Power

Internet and email provide a false sense of security and privacy. People's thoughts and actions tend to be more open and less guarded online. And yet, one's entire correspondence, activities, habits, interests, online pictures, contact info and address, financial status, spending, health records, and social networks may be tracked and recorded via digital means. Not to mention the subtle tactics that I've already suggested government operatives are using to sway public opinions with, both on and offline.[1]

The implications of technological eavesdropping are well summarized in this post, below. Based on my own experiences, and judging from articles I've read, some of these are realistic scenarios. Many such 'security measures' are already being introduced, unbeknownst to most:

August 17th, 2004, 09:56 PM
Re: Don't Fear Internet Anonymity Tools

Well why not have a camera put in your living room so the police can watch your every move? After all your not doing anything illegal, right? This has been a concept discussed by government and police.

While your at it why not allow insurance companies to put a GPS tracking unit on your vehicle, so everywhere you go can be tracked and recorded? For insurance purposes only of course.

Why not allow random strip searches, of women at airports? You don't have anything to hide, right? Why just limit them to airports?

And you could also just sit back and allow every product you buy to be tagged with tracking devices, like Walmart is now doing, along with other major retailers. Which are not shut off when you purchase their products.

Better yet, why not just sign an agreement with the government that states "I hereby agree to give up all my privacy rights to you, because i'm not doing anything wrong or illegal in any way and therefore don't require any privacy from you in any way."

I'll tell you why, because some of us still value their privacy and realize that no matter what you are doing, as long as it is not illegal in any way, it is no one else's damn business, that's why.

Some of us don't feel government has the right to collect information on us, without our knowing about it, and keeping those records indefinitely. Why should a government be allowed to collect information on our private lives under the guise of looking for terrorists or law breakers?

But with the new Victory act looming on the horizon it looks like many more of our freedoms will just be stripped away, again. As if the Patriot act was not enough. So just be prepared to kiss your privacy good bye if your not willing to fight for it. But given the 'who cares' attitude i've seen when it comes to privacy rights, i doubt it many will do much anyway. [Source.][2][3]

U.S. security measures must inevitably affect Canada:

'The wrong stuff: what it takes to be a TSA terror suspect' by John Lettice, The Register (April 7, 2004).

'Hoover's Long Shadow' by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Pacific News Service (Nov. 25, 2003).

'News Gathering Is Illegal Under New Patriot Act II' by Alex Jones, (Nov. 20, 2004).

Interesting snippet from's (Electronic Privacy Information Center) 'USA Patriot Act' page:

* Petition Drive Launched to Protect Reader Privacy. The Campaign for Reader Privacy has been launched by booksellers, authors and librarians. The campaign, which urges concerned citizens to sign a petition to Congress, seeks to amend Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to "restore the privacy of our bookstore and library records." (April 1, 2004)

National and global data-mining are taking place, without our explicit consent as citizens and consumers. This means all electronic records of our reading habits and personal interests, for example, are being collected en masse; such information can be used by Big Brother, in any way, and at any time.

For no lawful reason whatsoever, one may be thoroughly profiled just for expressing an opinion, subscribing to certain listservs, or simply receiving a random email from a whacko like me. More people than you care to know are climbing on the 'security' bandwagon (or just plain receiving kickbacks) to the point where one's pets may be harmed, or one's car may be tampered with, just as a subtle setback to you for being on the wrong side. (Actually, it's the 'right' side. But night is day, and day is night, where major power abuses are concerned.)

Also, by not signing the missile defence agreement, is Canada simply making a conspicuous and token gesture of independence?

The bottom line is: Canada and the U.S. are merging, and we're rapidly becoming an integral part of the U.S. military complex.


[1] See my various posts on media and moles (use search bar above).

[2] I've seen posts on listservs and in community forums that I suspect are not posted by 'real people,' eg, men conspicuously posing as women, activists who are moles, and so on. Okay, no big surprise. But while most may be genuine, random posts from unconnected folks just doing their thing, what if some aren't? Who's to say that psycho-social response testing isn't being perpetrated on an unsuspecting public? I have good reason to believe some email posts on listservs and in community forums are well-disguised efforts to mould public attitudes and responses, or influence group dynamics. Lists covering such disparate topics as environmentalism, web design, weblog creation, social activism, and so on, are all fair game.

[3] What is the Victory Act? (Unable to find brief summary.)

Also see:

- 'Victory Act would be no victory for public' by Charles Levendosky, Casper Star-Tribune (Aug. 26, 2003).

- 'Bigger Brother?' - (Aug. 23, 2003).

- 'Attorney General John Ashcroft’s Assault on Civil Liberties' - American Civil Liberties Union (Oct. 30, 2002).*

*(Please see the part about 'postal workers' halfway down. Updates on my constant mail delays and probable searches to come.)

[3] What is the Patriot Act? Also see's 'A Guide to the Patriot Act, Part 1.'

Both the Bush and Clinton administrations downplay any foreknowledge of plans to attack the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. And, despite billions and trillions spent on defense funding - the U.S.'s number one budgetary expense - their aerospace defense (NORAD) and other military forces were completely unable to prevent, or even thwart, the four supposed plane crashes on September 11, 2001. Then, within six short weeks, a powerful and thorough 300-page legislative proposal, namely the Patriot Act, was quickly passed through the U.S. Congress, largely unread by their representatives.

Even just recently I saw an article (was it in Now Magazine or The Toronto Sun?) claiming that the U.S. is still culturally inept, in terms of countering terrorist efforts. Hmm. Considering the U.S. is the largest, richest, most powerful, best militarily equipped, multicultural country in the world, and given that the FBI and CIA probably have the most extensive intelligence operations worldwide, plus their powerful global surveillance technologies, connections within institutions, plants in academia, electronic access to all the critical thinking and graduate theses in the western world, and what they've learned more recently by studying me and observing my clumsy interactions with other social or environmental activists, etc, is it really likely that the U.S. is not up to speed in controlling different communities, cultures, or countries?

Big Brother has got the best enablers of all. They're employing people within various communities (eg, ethnic, activist, queer, etc) as their agents. Plus, they're playing up social pecking orders among different groups - be it based on cultural or regional differences, traditional animosities, religion, language, or what-have-you. Divide and conquer.

Anyway...(big sigh) if I'd been learning more about surveillance, skimming news articles, and watching TV back in 2003, or even 2001, as I'm doing now - instead of dealing with emotional issues, and randomly spouting my views and ideas - perhaps I might've been more circumspect. Now I can see exactly how much I've been feeding into Big Brother's plans, and boosting their ammunition, for the past few years. Ultimately, I have no one to blame but myself for not recognizing how impossible it is to change institutions, society, or basic human nature.

(more info to come)

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