The Bush administration responded to the Sept. 11th, 2001 attacks by pushing the Patriot Act and other legislation through congress to fight terrorism. His agenda was backed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373. and the economic and military power of our country. (Res. 1373 pdf file) Other countries joined our country and soon the combined efforts of the “Coalition” brought about an unprecedented suppression of civil rights and liberties.
We are sacrificing our privacy and freedoms for the cause of National Security while our President demands extraordinary powers (see post here) The legal protections that are essential to our democratic society; due process, presumption of innocence and rights against unreasonable search and seizure, arbitrary detention and punishment, interception of personal communications without warrant are being ignored. (example link to for each) Infrastructures for strategic mass surveillance and dissemination of propaganda are in place to support governmental agendas. (See Govt. pdf docs: Information Operations Roadmap, Information Operations: Doctrine, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures)
InfraGuard is Federal Bureau of Investigation program “that began in the Cleveland Field Office in 1996. It was a local effort to gain support from the information technology industry and academia for the FBI’s investigative efforts in the cyber arena. The program expanded to other FBI Field Offices, and in 1998 the FBI assigned national program responsibility for InfraGuard to the former National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and to the Cyber Division in 2003. InfraGard and the FBI have developed a relationship of trust and credibility in the exchange of information concerning various terrorism, intelligence, criminal, and security matters.” Info Businesses are surrendering their databases to government agencies. Among them are commercial airlines, Universities, driving schools, Double Click, and Choice Point. Major Internet companies have started to deal with this problem also.
CALEA gives law enforcement officials a back door that can be used to wiretap systems. Read my previous post on this subject here.
In Orwell’s 1984 Four, the hero says:
“It was inconceivable that they watched
everybody all the time. But at any rate,
they could plug in your wire whenever
they wanted to. You had to live – did
live from the habit that became instinct
– in the assumption that every sound
you made was overheard.”
George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949 (London,
Penguin Classics: 2000), p. 5.
In its May 2004 report on federal data mining efforts, Federal Efforts Cover a Wide Range of Uses, GAO-04-548,May 2004. . The U.S. General Accounting Office(now called the Government Accountability Office) revealed projects that use personal information from the private sector. The Defense Intelligence Agency, mines data “to identify foreign terrorists or U.S. citizens connected to foreign terrorism activities”. The National Security Agency program called Novel Intelligence from Massive Data, extracts information from databases including text, audio, video, graphs, images, maps, equations, and chemical formulas. The C.I.A. reportedly has a data-mining program called “Quantum Leap” which “enables an analyst to get quick access to all the information available – classified and unclassified – about virtually anyone”.
“Are we beginning, as a society to accept inhumane and extraordinary practices of social control? The majority of American’s have become apathetic and sheepishly have accepted the infringements of their rights and the rights of others. If you are not with us your against us. If you have nothing to hide, why worry. A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”
–Sir Alex Fraser Tytler (1742-1813) Scottish historian