When President Obama talked about a transparent administration during the run up to the 2008 election most Americans assumed he was talking about openness in government dealings. Obviously, this is not the case, as evidenced by the administration’s handling of the universal health care legislation which was passed without a single American having had a chance to read it for 72 hours before a vote as the President promised would be the case with all legislation, refusal to release photographic evidence of the Osama Bin Laden raid, the President’s own birth certificate which has taken two years to be made public, and the many secret meetings held with Congressional members behind closed doors.
It should be clear by now that Big Government’s domestic surveillance policies under Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush are being furthered expanded by Mr. Obama. Transparency, it seems, had nothing to do with making government more visible. It did, however, have everything to do with making your life more transparent.
Before we itemize the many ways in which you’re being watch, surveyed, monitored and aggregated, this latest report by Alex Thomas of The Intel Hub reiterates, yet again, that digital surveillance capabilities are not just isolated to intelligence agencies:
While we often hear protests from privacy advocates about government intrusion into the lives of Americans, what many fail to understand is that it’s not just the government. Private businesses like Aaron’s, as well as large corporate conglomerates, are themselves engaging in the surveillance of Americans with the development of products and services specifically for this purpose – and often without the consent of their customers, or, through terms of services agreements that include dozens of pages of unintelligible fine print.
As modern technology continues to advance at breakneck speeds, just as the merger of the corporations and the state are occurring within political circles, so to are they becoming more prevalent in the intelligence sphere.
Fellow Americans, everything you do is being monitored.
With respect to the government, it’s not by choice. However, when dealing with private businesses, we have readily accepted our own fate by accepting into our lives the very technologies that make it all possible.
Fusing It All Together
Local law enforcement will tell you it’s to protect the safety of the public. Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies say it’s to prevent terrorism. Apple and Android tells us it’s so that they can produce better mobile products and services. Retailers want more customer data so they can improve advertising and marketing.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that almost everything we do, whether it’s in the privacy of our own homes or on public streets, can be tracked, monitored, and logged.
As technology improves and the internet interconnects even more nodes, the information collected by the public, private and personal sectors will be further aggregrated, cross referenced and analyzed. Your personal profile will become more detailed, including your shopping habits, hobbies, likes, dislikes, political affiliation, reading preferences, friends, and potentially your psychological and emotional status.
All of this information will eventually be fused into one large database. In fact, the government has already setup well over fifty fusion centers around the nation. What goes on in these centers is kept strictly confidential, and there doesn’t seem to be any agency in charge of them, but we know they exist, and we know that their purpose is to acquire, aggregate and act on whatever information they have available to them. These are fairly new, appearing just over the last several years. But be assured that as processing power and software technology improves, so too will the surveillance capabilities of fusion like facilities, whether they belong to government, private industry or criminal industry.
History has shown what tends to happen in surveillance societies. Often times, that surveillance is forced upon the people by tyrannical government. We won’t argue that this is not the case today, as governments the world over are not hiding the fact that they want to know what everyone is doing. The odd thing is, we the people don’t seem to care a whole lot. What we’re seeing is that the surveillance state is expanding in concert with the definitions for what is criminal or terrorist-like activity – and that’s scary. Every year, more people are finding themselves on no-fly lists, no-work lists, or other terrorist watch lists. We’ve facetiously noted in a previous commentary that at this rate, the terrorist watch list will exceed the U.S. population by 2019. While we were, for the most part, trying to put a humorous spin on an otherwise very important issue, the fact is, that as surveillance expands, more and more people will become enemies of the state or persons-of-interest. That’s just how these things tend to work with these types of things.
In today’s world, the private sector is ready and willing to help government achieve these goals of total control and involvement in our personal lives. In fact, it is at times becoming difficult to distinguish between government and private industry.
But if we are to lay blame on anyone here, it must be ourselves. We need only take a look into the mirror and we’ll see who makes these technologies possible. It’s the American consumer who willingly adopts the technologies into his or her daily life, often standing in lines a quarter mile long to acquire the latest in digital monitoring.
While our votes at the ballot box account for something, how we vote with our pocket books will ultimately determine the direction of our country. We have empowered the corporation to lobby Congress and further erode our own freedoms, whether it’s with the surveillance technologies we choose to integrate into our lives, the food we buy, the cheap Chinese goods we’ll stampede children over, or the gas we pump into our vehicles.
The problem is not government. It’s us. We’ve let it go this far. It can only change when the individual does.
| ||SHTF Plan|
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Americans, Everything You Do Is Monitored
Posted by pelanginaga at Saturday, May 07, 2011