Category: Politics
Warrantless searches

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Something rotten in the State of Denmark. The NSA spying revealed by the CIA “Vault 7” leak shows the US government cares not one bit for the privacy of its citizens. Yet, the spark which led to the American revolution may have been government breaches of privacy.

 

Colonial authorities…began issuing … a kind of blanket search warrant… (We would now call them “National Security Letters.”) Attorney James Otis took the case of 50 merchants who sued the British crown over these overly broad warrantless searches, and his powerful speech condemning these practices was heard by John Adams, who considered it the spark that led to the American Revolution.
George Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights of 1776 forbade these writs of assistance.

Thomas Jefferson depended heavily on that document when he authored the Declaration of Independence. When he talks about “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” one of the things he means by liberty is that the government shouldn’t be able to snoop at will through your private letters.

The sentiment against warrantless searches and overly broad writs of assistance was put into the constitution by James Madison, with what became the 4th Amendment.”

Warrantless searches were seen as inimical to liberty and the rights of Englishmen. This was because they are. Imagine the control those with access to everything you have ever said on phone, written in an email, typed on a browser or seen on a site will have. Blackmail will be the least of it. Yet a database of this information is what the US is creating and the Obama administration authorised for widespread dissemination:

 

With mere days left before President-elect Donald Trump takes the White House, President Barack Obama’s administration just finalized rules to make it easier for the nation’s intelligence agencies to share unfiltered information about innocent people.

New rules issued by the Obama administration under Executive Order 12333 will let the NSA—which collects information under that authority with little oversight, transparency, or concern for privacy—share the raw streams of communications it intercepts directly with agencies including the FBI, the DEA, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a report today by the New York Times.

That’s a huge and troubling shift in the way those intelligence agencies receive information collected by the NSA. Domestic agencies like the FBI are subject to more privacy protections, including warrant requirements. Previously, the NSA shared data with these agencies only after it had screened the data, filtering out unnecessary personal information, including about innocent people whose communications were swept up the NSA’s massive surveillance operations.

 

In Australia questions were recently raised about why the supposedly current center-right government was to the left of past center-left governments. The question ought to be asked of conservatives in the US. Neocon support for the surveillance state takes them further along the big government path than any previous administration. Current Australian conservatives are similarly to the left of all prior Australian administrations in the rights of the individual against government. They impose fiscal penalties on the parents of children who are not vaccinated. Something previous left leaning governments did not do. Even Australia’s libertarian party succumbed to the big government “do gooder” mentality:

Parents have the right to not immunise their children; they do not have the right to put other children at risk.

That’s why Liberal Democrats WA will make immunisation a requirement to attend state school in Western Australia.

No exceptions to conscientious objectors.
Senator David Leyonhjelm Facebook post

 

As a commentator states:

Better stop parents from driving. Have you seen how many of them run over kids? “they do not have the right to put other children at risk.”

Government taxation will have deprived many of the ability to pay private school fees. You know this. Or have you spent too long supping on the taxpayer teat in Canberra? At the least allow conscientious objectors to put the school per pupil funding to other uses. Be it private school fees or freeing up a parent for homeschooling.

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions. But why can’t we turn around and walk back up it? Every government impost seems to be almost impossible to roll right back. The Republican shenanigans around the repeal of Obama care being just the latest example.

 

Those elected to defend our freedom, our inherited rights do not even know what they are giving up. The left have corrupted the conceptual framework through which the right views the world. It is a global phenomena. Even the internet is threatened.

 

The inventor the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, warns:

 

Even in countries where we believe governments have citizens’ best interests at heart, watching everyone, all the time is simply going too far,” he said, in an allusion to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of what documents claim is a vast CIA surveillance operation. “It creates a chilling effect on free speech and stops the web from being used as a space to explore important topics, like sensitive health issues, sexuality or religion…

 

Berners-Lee is just the latest high-profile technologist to share concerns over what former Cisco Systems executive Monique Morrow calls a fundamental assault on privacy and cybersecurity, with critical infrastructure — banking systems, the grid — hanging in the balance…

 

Proliferation of cyberweapons pose a significantly greater threat — especially smartphones in the hands of unwitting consumers, and eavesdropping TVs in their living rooms — because they spread at a faster rate than physical weapons, says Phil Reitinger, CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance and a former director of the National Cyber Security Center.

 

Over-educated intellectual pygmies have allowed this to happen. No previous generation considered this level of surveillance acceptable in a free democratic society. Even when in wars against existential threats.   Yet our supposed leaders cast our hard won rights aside, with nary a second thought. America once rebelled to secure their rights as Englishmen. They enjoyed much support in England. Support which was strongest in those areas which once supported Parliament against the king in the English civil war.

It is time to turn the road to hell into a road from hell. It’s time to restore our freedoms. Let us make our own paradise, rather than suffer under the hell of the “do gooders”:

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

 

They may be more likely to go to heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell on earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (p.292) by C. S. Lewis:

 

 
Our dystopian future

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A nightmarish future created by combining the surveillance state, big data, intelligent algorithms and automated drones is being created. It will combine aspects of Huxley and Orwell’s dystopian visions.

The archiving of every site you have been to and call you have made, together with geo-location information and spending habits will enable the identification of information accessing behavior likely to give rise to “thought” crimes. They could be subject to re-education or given “psychiatric” treatment.

The ability to analyze the past activity of those who come to authorities’ attention will enable the rolling up of ideological sympathizers. It will also enable the identification of thought crime “nodes” which link to other networks of potential opposition.

Intelligent algorithms and artificial intelligence means that it will be possible to continually monitor for those engaging in inappropriate information accessing behavior. It will enable the identification of those having or likely to have “deviant” thoughts. Do bear in mind suggestions to criminalize climate skepticism, Islamophobia, hate speech etc.

Retrospective law changes seem to have lost much of their stigma. I.e. You may be prosecuted tomorrow for what you write now, even though it is legal. What you write online is kept forever.

Automated drones mean that once such a surveillance state is in operation, it will not need the support of many people to remain in power. A despot will be able to survive due to technological rather than human thugs.

Much of the necessary technological and legislative framework required for such a dystopian future is already in place. It was put there to protect us from Islamic terrorism, originating from our fellow citizens. Often new migrants to the West or their children.

We risk throwing away the freedom out forebears fought for and we were lucky enough to inherit. The very freedoms that underpin our wealth and health.

Our politicians and governing class are such numbskulls. They do not have a clue about what they are putting at risk. They all went through the same educational sausage factory and then into very similar jobs. Little wonder they all suffer from group think. Thank god for the proles, as Orwell was insightful enough to realise. They can still think.

 
Why police speech

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Why do the left police speech? Why are universities banning words?

 

Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?’…

‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we’re not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there’s no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It’s merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won’t be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,’ he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. ‘Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?’

‘Except ——’ began Winston doubtfully, and he stopped.

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say ‘Except the proles,’ but he checked himself, not feeling fully certain that this remark was not in some way unorthodox. Syme, however, had divined what he was about to say.

‘The proles are not human beings,’ he said carelessly. ‘By 2050 — earlier, probably — all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron — they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.’ ” George Orwell, 1984, Chapter 5.

Orwell wrote it as a warning, not a how-to manual.

Already for many the classics will seem arcane and hard to follow because of their use of politically incorrect terms. Political correct word control is part of the attempt to cut us off from our own past. To make ideas that animated our ancestors unintelligible. It’s to create a vacant plot into which they can plant their politically correct drivel.

They have taken steps to accelerate the process. They passed a law in the US banning the sale of old books, allegedly due to the lead in the ink. The results were as desired:

I just came back from my local thrift store with tears in my eyes! I watched as boxes and boxes of children’s books were thrown into the garbage! Today was the deadline and I just can’t believe it! Every book they had on the shelves prior to 1985 was destroyed! I managed to grab a 1967 edition of “The Outsiders” from the top of the box, but so many!

 

Of course, they have to prevent the creation of new copy containing thought crime inducing words. Hence actions such as Cardiff Metropolitan University Banning All “Politically Incorrect” Words:

The University Bans Lecturers from Using any Sexist or Insensitive Words. The list of banned words is wider than you might think. Here are some examples: mankind, homosexual, housewife, manmade, and sportsmanship.

banned-words

And please, try to avoid words like “mother” and “father” unless you can say “mother and father” together. Yes, the article states that.

 

Then there is the distorting of information flows:

The European Union has warned Facebook Inc. (FB), Twitter Inc. (TWTR), Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG), and Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) that they could face the prospect of hate speech laws, if they fail to clamp down on such speech on their platforms. The companies, which own or run social media platforms with member numbers that run into millions on the continent, had signed a code of conduct to take down instances of offensive and hate speech within 24 hours back in May. (See also: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft Agree To Report Hate Speech To The EU).

According to a new report that quantifies their efforts, the tech behemoths still have some way to go. The report, which will be discussed by EU ministers this week, stated that the companies reviewed 40 percent of reported cases within the first 24 hours and 80 percent within 48 hours. Germany and France saw the highest rates that were “in excess” of 50 percent while only 4 percent and 11 percent of reported posts were removed in Italy and Austria respectively.

“If Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft want to convince me and the ministers that the non-legislative approach can work, they will have to act quickly and make a strong effort in the coming months,” Vera Jourova, EU’s justice commissioner, told FT in an interview. (See also: Facebook May Allow Third-Party Groups To Censor Content In China).

The distortion will be built into the system. They will claim it is not biased, simply the outcome of an algorithm:

Google has launched a new AI program called Perspective to detect “abusive” comments online in an effort to crack down on hate speech.

Publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Economist are testing the new software as a way of policing comments sections.

Twitter has long been known for “shadow banning” to stop the propagation of politically incorrect ideas:

I recently tweeted a link to my blog post that is unflattering to the proponents of climate science. I have 138,000 Twitter followers. My traffic from Twitter to my blog in a recent minute was only 14 people, while overall traffic from other sources was its usual robust self. For non-controversial topics, my Twitter-driven traffic for a tweet to my blog would be 200-300 per minute in the half-hour after a tweet. On this topic, it hovered between 10-14.

As many others have documented, Twitter throttles back the tweets of people who hold political views they don’t like.

 

Government and the private sector working hand in hand to deliberately control what we see, hear, think and say. What could possibly go wrong?

There are those working on technological ways around the control:

I’ve pointed out before that attempts at control of the Internet just result in flowing around the obstruction….

Looks like we’ve hit the exponential knee on p2p stuff…. From the link to their underlaying tech: https://webtorrent.io/faq

Who is using WebTorrent today?

WebTorrent is still pretty new, but it’s already being used in cool ways:

WebTorrent Desktop – Streaming torrent app. For Mac, Windows, and Linux. (source code)
Instant.io – Streaming file transfer over WebTorrent (source code)
GitTorrent – Decentralized GitHub using BitTorrent and Bitcoin (source code)

Lunik-Torrent – WebTorrent downloader and file manager. (source code)
BitChute – A decentralized video streaming social network
Planktos – Enables websites to serve their static content over BitTorrent (source code)

Note the large number of “source code” links and that it is all P2P. Looks like the era of Central Authority and Censorship just got kneecapped

Will they succeed and propagate widely and quickly enough to thwart the attempted impact on national elections, laws and cultures?

We know what will happen if they do not:

“”There will be no loyalty, except loyalty to the party, but always there will be the intoxication of power. Always at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever. The moral to be drawn from this dangerous nightmare situation is a simple one. Don’t let it happen. It depends on you.” ~ George Orwell”

Don’t let it happen.