“In what is as close to saying ‘trust us, we’re from the government,’ as it gets; President Obama’s traitor-identifying, blame-pointing, cover-your-assing speech on Friday has done nothing to end the supposedly “critical NSA counter-terrorism tool,” from being used on American citizens. People of America should be relieved, as the President stated unequivocally that he is “comfortable that the program is not being abused.” If only American citizens were able to see all the moving pieces, Obama implied, they would say “you know what? These [government] folks are following the law,” but because the program remains classified, it remains impossible to know what is really going on. Reassuring rhetoric aside, as the AP notes, Obama offered these inspiring words regarding the ongoing concerns that law-abiding citizens may still have beyond his assurances: “I would be worried too, if I weren’t inside the government.” Another teleprompter-less glimpse of what he really thinks? Perhaps; but for now, the NSA will continue to sweep phone records of all Americans with the possibility of creating similar databases of credit card transactions, hotel records, and Internet searches.”
Via Zero Hedge
“On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.
A byproduct of this new age in which we live, 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, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. As I point out in my new book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.
The revelations by Edward Snowden only scrape the surface in revealing the lengths to which government agencies and their corporate allies will go to conduct mass surveillance on all communications and transactions within the United States.”
Via Alt Market
“Do you ever feel trapped in an invisible control grid that is slowly but surely closing in all around you? Do you ever feel like virtually everything that you do is being watched, tracked, monitored and recorded? If so, unfortunately it is not just your imagination. Our society is rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother prison grid by a government that is seemingly obsessed with knowing everything that we do. They want a record of all of our phone calls, all of our Internet activity and all of our financial transactions. They even want our DNA. They put chips in our passports, they are starting to scan the eyes of our children in our schools, and they have declared our border areas to be “Constitution-free zones” where they can do just about anything to us that they want. The Bill of Rights has already been eroded so badly that many would argue that it is already dead. The assault against our most basic freedoms and liberties never seems to end. The following are 10 ways that the iron grip of the Big Brother prison grid is tightening on all of our lives…”
“It is time once again to give yet 15 more reasons for escaping from the United Soviet States of Amerika (USSA). The following are utterly absurd happenings in the Empire of which I muse upon from the comfort of a warm climate and peaceable surroundings abroad.”
Via Activist Post
“What is so interesting about Montana’s House Bill 603, which passed overwhelmingly the state Senate by a 96-4 margin, is that it was passed in April, or several months before Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations. Talk about some foresight. Hopefully, we will see many more such bills sweep across the nation, as “change” will have to be done at the local level. The central government in D.C. is hopelessly corrupt and I don’t see that changing. We must just decentralize away from the District of Criminals on our own. From the Atlantic Wire:”
Privacy advocates, behold the Montana legislature and House Bill 603, a measure that requires the government to obtain a probable cause warrant before spying on you through your cell phone or laptop. HB 603 was signed into law this past spring, effectively making Montana the first state to have an anti-spy law long before anyone heard of Edward Snowden. To be clear, HB 603 passed the state Senate overwhelmingly by a vote of 96-4 in April and was signed into law on May 6.
At the time, the law might have seemed extraneous, or even paranoid. But knowing what we know now, the law seems prophetic. The law is pretty straightforward—the government can’t spy on Montanans through their electronic devices unless they obtain a warrant:
That effectively makes Montana the first state in the country’s history to pass an electronic privacy law that protects you from the government. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, and Montana’s lawmakers outpaced all the states in the country when it comes to privacy.
“Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: A handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.
“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green.
“It was a bit of a shock to see it,” said Mr. Pickering, who owns a small bookstore in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, he was a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group labeled eco-terrorists by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Postal officials subsequently confirmed they were indeed tracking Mr. Pickering’s mail but told him nothing else. “
Via NY Times
“Even more, just within the last few weeks we’ve seen the Justice Department confiscating news reporter phone records… the IRS caught bullying political opposition groups… and now this.
It should be as plain as day at this point. Yet some people still have a hard time understanding that they’re living under an oppressive, destructive, unaccountable government.
Most other cultures get it. If you go to Argentina, Vietnam, Italy, or China, people there have absolutely no trust or confidence in their governments.
It’s something that’s ‘almost’ uniquely American – a lifetime of steady, bombastic propaganda that inculcates a deep belief that our system is the ‘best’.
And, even in the face of such overwhelming evidence, it’s still hard for people to break from this programming and acknowledge that their government is just as corrupt as Mexico’s… albeit slightly more sophisticated.
The politicians running the nation are sociopathic criminals, plain and simple. If you or I were to tap people’s phones or hack their Facebook accounts, or use our authority to bully opposition groups, we would be tossed in the slammer in no time… and branded by the media as moral delinquents.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Every single day, the U.S. government gathers and stores more than a billion phone calls, emails, text messages, photographs and Internet searches. Just about every form of electronic communication that you can possibly imagine is being harvested. In fact, it has been reported that NSA personnel gather 2.1 million gigabytes of data every hour. This is being done even though it is a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution. Sadly, most Americans do not even know what the Fourth Amendment actually says. For those that do not know, the Fourth Amendment says the following: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Unfortunately, our leaders have totally abandoned the Constitution. They seem to believe that they have the right to look through our electronic communications any time they want and that we should not complain about it. As you will see below, workers at the NSA have even eavesdropped on very intimate conversations between soldiers serving in Iraq and their female loved ones back home. What kind of sick person would do such a thing? Sadly, the truth is that we have allowed ourselves to become a “Big Brother society”, and we are an utter disgrace to the millions of brave men and women who have died to defend our freedoms.”
“The journalist who took part in breaking two attention-grabbing stories on government surveillance charged that the United States is interested in destroying privacy all over the world.
“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” Greenwald said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” on Thursday.
“And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”
Greenwald’s subsequent comments came just hours after The Guardian and The Washington Post both broke another bombshell report detailing a program dubbed as “PRISM.” According to the reports, the program involves the National Security Agency and FBI tapping into the servers of nine leading Internet companies to extract information. “
Via Business Insider
“The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.”