“Parallel construction” Blanket Surveillance Being Secretly Used by Local Police Against U.S. Citizens

Everything You Need To Know About NSA Spying Program PRISM
Source: The Verge

DEA and NSA Team Up to Share Intelligence, Leading to Secret Use of Surveillance in Ordinary Investigations

August 6, 2013

A startling new Reuters story shows one of the biggest dangers of the surveillance state: the unquenchable thirst for access to the NSA’s trove of information by other law enforcement agencies.

As the NSA scoops up phone records and other forms of electronic evidence while investigating national security and terrorism leads, they turn over “tips” to a division of the Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) known as the Special Operations Division (“SOD”). FISA surveillance was originally supposed to be used only in certain specific, authorized national security investigations, but information sharing rules implemented after 9/11 allows the NSA to hand over information to traditional domestic law-enforcement agencies, without any connection to terrorism or national security investigations.

But instead of being truthful with criminal defendants, judges, and even prosecutors about where the information came from, DEA agents are reportedly obscuring the source of these tips. For example, a law enforcement agent could receive a tip from SOD—which SOD, in turn, got from the NSA—to look for a specific car at a certain place. But instead of relying solely on that tip, the agent would be instructed to find his or her own reason to stop and search the car. Agents are directed to keep SOD under wraps and not mention it in “investigative reports, affidavits, discussions with prosecutors and courtroom testimony,” according to Reuters.

“Parallel construction” is really intelligence laundering

The government calls the practice “parallel construction,” but deciphering their double speak, the practice should really be known as “intelligence laundering.” This deception and dishonesty raises a host of serious legal problems.

Read More: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/dea-and-nsa-team-intelligence-laundering

Impossible for Public to Communicate Privately… In a Way That Doesn’t End up in an NSA Repository

Thousands of citizens that have been jailed via this program…
NSA slide23 Prism vs Upstream
A series of slides demonstrated that the FBI essentially serves as an attack dog for the NSA, doing the NSA’s domestic dirty work. One slide, which was previously published, notes that for purposes of PRISM, relationships with communications providers are only through the FBI.

Speaking to Bill Binney, we wanted to find out a bit more about how the National Security Agency functions and in what ways it violates the U.S. constitution. He told Newsvoice Think that it’s now practically impossible for any member of the public to communicate safely, privately or in a fashion that doesn’t end up in an NSA repository unit.

“The Fairview surveillance program has been used to spy on the Donald Trump administration, even before he took office. Now they’re starting to talk about this program simply because the politicians are getting hit with it. The poor suckers and thousands of citizens that have been jailed via this program. They don’t count. They’re the Department of Just-Us.”

Read More: https://medium.com/newsvoice/bill-binney-its-next-to-impossible-communicating-safely-nsa-know-our-weaknesses-43c10630843d

How the NSA is Transforming Law Enforcement

If you’ve been imagining NSA surveillance as something distant, with analysts sitting in remote data centers quietly analyzing metadata—stop now. NSA surveillance has become a part of day-to-day law enforcement fabric in the United States. The Snowden disclosures that were made public as part of Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide drive this point home, and they emphasize why we need real change to government surveillance, not minor reforms.

There are two key points necessary to understand the domestic aspect of NSA surveillance: the integral role of the FBI in helping the NSA spy on Americans, and the acceptance of usage of NSA material for domestic and traditional law enforcement purposes. These are contingent, of course, on the fact that the NSA’s procedures allow widespread targeting of Americans.

Read More: https://www.activistpost.com/2014/05/how-nsa-is-transforming-law-enforcement.html

Police State: We Have Arrived

Know Your Parasites Police Politicians

Couple Spied On, Raided and Kidnapped by Feds for Peaceful Posts Questioning Gov’t

A couple was ambushed, arrested and detained for 13 hours with no explanation before they learned that the evidence against them consisted of a stack of papers that contained detailed screenshots of posts from their social media accounts.

Sarah Leach said that she and her husband, Andrew, were ambushed and detained by police for more than 13 hours before they finally received an explanation for their arrest. The evidence the officers claimed to have against them came in the form of a previous error made by state police and a stack of papers that contained detailed screenshots of posts from their social media accounts.

“The raid was a result of two things, according to the Riverside Sheriff’s Investigator who interviewed me after having detained me for 13 hours without charges; the fact that they were aware that California Highway Patrol had seized, and then given back to us, high capacity pistol magazines to the prior year, something they are calling an error on CHP’s end. More disturbing were the stacks of printed pages from my social media accounts, particularly those things which criticize police and government overreach, police violence, my personal ideologies regarding self-governance and the inalienable rights we are afforded as human beings, and even memes and jokes they found, as parts of evidence to request a search warrant, including posts of a very subjective and ironic nature.”

Leach said the ordeal began when she and her husband were running errands one morning. After they parked at a strip mall and got out of their car, a patrol car from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department pulled up and blocked their path. Two deputies got out and informed the couple that one of the taillights on their car was out.

“We attempted to thank them and proceed, but were blocked from movement,” Sarah Leach said. “It was at that point I noticed a few others sheriff’s vehicles had arrived, including undercover vehicles. I realized this was not a traffic stop when I saw police agents in blue jeans with AR-15s surrounding the area. I began to record on my phone and inquire as to whether I was being charged, detained, or was free to go. They violently cuffed me, threw my phone on the hood of the car, and shoved me in the back of an un-air-conditioned police vehicle for about one hour until their supervisor arrived to begin questioning me about aforementioned magazines.”

After the pair were violently handcuffed, they spent the rest of the day in police custody, and while they were being treated like criminals, they were given little explanation about what crimes they had committed. During that time, a number of federal agencies worked together to raid the Leach’s home, seizing more than 100 personal items—all of which was obtained legally.

Read More: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/exclusive-business-owners-spied-on-detained-and-interrogated-by-feds-over-social-media-posts-questioning-the-govt/

NPR is Propaganda: Doesn’t Mention Court Case that Showed MLK’s Murder by Conspiracy Involving FBI

NPR is Corporate/Deep State propaganda that is funded not only be donnations from listeners but  by the largest global corporations in the Medical, Industrial, Defense and Intelligence Industries. 

While James Corbett is funded by donations from his listeners and provides sources for everything thing he reports. 

Which do you trust? 

Martin Luther King was assassinated by the US governmment
The Feels When the Government that Assassinated You Made Your Birthday a National Holiday

James Corbett:
Truth At Last: The Assassination of Martin Luther King

NPR:
Despite Swirl Of Conspiracy Theories, Investigators Say The MLK Case Is Closed

Authorities have investigated the death of Martin Luther King Jr. five times since his murder in April 1968. Congress, district attorneys and the Justice Department all have concluded that James Earl Ray shot King as the civil rights icon stood on a motel balcony in Memphis.

That hasn’t stopped conspiracy theories from flourishing.

Read More: https://www.npr.org/2018/04/04/598826351/despite-swirl-of-conspiracy-theories-investigators-say-the-mlk-case-is-closed

Pre-Crime Tool of the Deep State Being Tested on the People of New Orleans

Palantir, Peter Thiel and the Deep State

PALANTIR HAS SECRETLY BEEN USING NEW ORLEANS TO TEST ITS PREDICTIVE POLICING TECHNOLOGY

Palantir deployed a predictive policing system in New Orleans that even city council members don’t know about

n May and June 2013, when New Orleans’ murder rate was the sixth-highest in the United States, the Orleans Parish district attorney handed down two landmark racketeering indictments against dozens of men accused of membership in two violent Central City drug trafficking gangs, 3NG and the 110ers. Members of both gangs stood accused of committing 25 murders as well as several attempted killings and armed robberies.

Subsequent investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and local agencies produced further RICO indictments, including that of a 22-year-old man named Evans “Easy” Lewis, a member of a gang called the 39ers who was accused of participating in a drug distribution ring and several murders.

According to Ronal Serpas, the department’s chief at the time, one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir. The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim. As part of the discovery process in Lewis’ trial, the government turned over more than 60,000 pages of documents detailing evidence gathered against him from confidential informants, ballistics, and other sources — but they made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir, according to a source familiar with the 39ers trial.

The program began in 2012 as a partnership between New Orleans Police and Palantir Technologies, a data-mining firm founded with seed money from the CIA’s venture capital firm. According to interviews and documents obtained by The Verge, the initiative was essentially a predictive policing program, similar to the “heat list” in Chicago that purports to predict which people are likely drivers or victims of violence.

The partnership has been extended three times, with the third extension scheduled to expire on February 21st, 2018. The city of New Orleans and Palantir have not responded to questions about the program’s current status.

Predictive policing technology has proven highly controversial wherever it is implemented, but in New Orleans, the program escaped public notice, partly because Palantir established it as a philanthropic relationship with the city through Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s signature NOLA For Life program. Thanks to its philanthropic status, as well as New Orleans’ “strong mayor” model of government, the agreement never passed through a public procurement process.

In fact, key city council members and attorneys contacted by The Verge had no idea that the city had any sort of relationship with Palantir, nor were they aware that Palantir used its program in New Orleans to market its services to another law enforcement agency for a multimillion-dollar contract.

Even James Carville, the political operative instrumental in bringing about Palantir’s collaboration with NOPD, said that the program was not public knowledge. “No one in New Orleans even knows about this, to my knowledge,” Carville said.

More than half a decade after the partnership with New Orleans began, Palantir has patented at least one crime-forecasting system and has sold similar software to foreign intelligence services for predicting the likelihood of individuals to commit terrorism.

Even within the law enforcement community, there are concerns about the potential civil liberties implications of the sort of individualized prediction Palantir developed in New Orleans, and whether it’s appropriate for the American criminal justice system.

“They’re creating a target list, but we’re not going after Al Qaeda in Syria,” said a former law enforcement official who has observed Palantir’s work first-hand as well as the company’s sales pitches for predictive policing. The former official spoke on condition of anonymity to freely discuss their concerns with data mining and predictive policing. “Palantir is a great example of an absolutely ridiculous amount of money spent on a tech tool that may have some application,” the former official said. “However, it’s not the right tool for local and state law enforcement.”

Read More: https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/27/17054740/palantir-predictive-policing-tool-new-orleans-nopd

4 Complaints About Gun Owners Debunked

My AR15 killed fewer kids compared to your Planned Parenthood

1. “Nobody Needs a Gun.”

Actually at least as many guns are used in self-defense as in crime.

2. “We Should just take people’s guns away.”

Who would take those guns away? As with most laws, the police would enforce them. How do the police enforce laws? With their guns.

So they aren’t really saying no one should have guns. You still need police to have guns, otherwise, how do you take away the citizens’ guns?

In 2015, 737,000 police officers killed just over 1,000 people. That is about one civilian death for every 737 police officers.

Somewhere between 70 and 99 million Americans own guns. 13,000 people died in 2015 from gun homicides. That means there was one gun homicide for every 5,385 to 7,600 gun owners.

Police are seven to ten times as likely to kill someone compared to a gun owner. And yet they would be tasked with taking guns away.

3. “Everyone who owns a gun/ that many guns is crazy!”

7.7 million Americans own a gun collection consisting of between 8 and 140 firearms.

There is some debate about what constitutes a “mass shooting.” But if we are talking about the big headline shootings with the gun-obsessed social loner perpetrator, we are talking about a handful a year, if that.

But even if 50 of these “gun nuts” went crazy every year and went on a shooting spree, that accounts for .00065% of all “super owners” who own an average of 17 guns.

You would have to come across 154,000 gun nuts before you met one who was even remotely likely to carry out a mass shooting. You probably won’t even meet half that many people–let alone gun ownersin your lifetime.

But many “mass shootings”–including gang wars–are carried out by people who are not licensed to buy a firearm. This means the current restrictive laws were not sufficient to keep guns out of their hands.

But as for people who follow the law and get their gun license, they are more law-abiding than the general population, and even the police.

4. “America has a gun violence problem.”

America is a big place with over 320 million inhabitants. The spread of gun violence is far from even.

More than 25% of America’s gun homicides in 2015 happened across census blocks that contain just 1.5% of the country’s total population.

ChartSixCities
 Photograph: Guardian US Interactive Team

While gun control advocates often say it is unacceptable that Americans overall are “25 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than people in other developed countries”, people who live in these neighborhood areas face an average gun homicide rate about 400 times higher than the rate across those high-income countries.

More than half of America’s gun homicides were clustered in just 127 cities and towns, which together have less than a quarter of the nation’s population.

 

Read More: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/4-complaints-about-gun-owners-debunked/

 

Police State: Thousands of Americans’ Electronics Illegally Searched at Border

Eye of the Police State

Over 30,000 people had their searched without probable cause or a warrant by Customs and Border Protection in 2017. This is a 50% increase from 2016.

Most of the searches took place at airports when travelers were leaving the country. And 80% of those searched were not American citizens.

I happen to think anyone on American soil deserves every protection under the Bill of Rights. But maybe you think foreigners do not qualify for those protections. That still leaves 6,000 Americans who had their rights against unreasonable search and seizure violated by American Customs Agents in 2017.

Imagine the helplessness of having your phone taken by an Agent, and searched without your consent. No suspicion of any crime. No probable cause. Just some thug using brute force to violate your privacy.

In these settings, travelers are powerless. You just want to get home or continue to your destination, but the American police state shakes you down.

Hundreds of traveler complaints about such oppression have now surfaced thanks to a Freedom of Information Request.

Two U.S. citizens and their family were stopped at the Houston airport when returning from a vacation to Guatemala. They reported: “We were separated and individually interrogated . . . including my teenage daughters. All our luggage was searched, all our papers were copied–including newspapers we had picked up in our travels. Our phones and electronic devices (ipad etc.) were taken, searched and all information was copied)–all this without any explanation or accusation. We were advised if we refused such search, that we would be indefinitely detained.” [Complaint dated 01/26/13]

It is quite obvious that these searches violate the Fourth Amendment which says the people have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Government agents must obtain a warrant based on probable cause specifically “describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

But a lot of good that has done the American people. The government simply ignores those limitations on their power. They justify it based on terrorism.

The authority agents use to violate Americans’ and foreigners’ rights are directives from the Bush era, implemented after 9/11. But support for the illegal intrusions goes all the way to current top government officials, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who left the agency last year to become Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, said during a June Senate hearing that such searches aren’t routine and conducted only when necessary…

Mr. Kelly suggested last year that border agents may even ask travelers for their social-media passwords and access to their internet browsers.

Last week, Customs and Border Protection released the details about their new policy.

The new guidance makes clear that agents can only examine information stored on the device, not additional data in “the cloud” that can be accessed.

The policy makes clear that while agents can ask for passwords to access a device, the passwords aren’t to be retained in any way.

And the policy sets forth standards for agents to do an “advanced search,” which involves connecting the device to a computer to retrieve and copy information. Under the rules, advanced searches are allowed only if there is “reasonable suspicion” and “articulable facts” to support it, and with the approval of a supervisor. The standards for more in-depth searches hadn’t been spelled out before. No such standard exists for basic searches.

If there are reasonable suspicions and articulable facts, then why don’t they get a warrant? And what happens when an American refuses to give their passwords? Is that now a crime to exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent?

Reading the complaints from interrogated travelers, a picture emerges that contradicts Kelly’s claims. He must have an interesting definition of the word “necessary” to think the behavior of agents is justified.

A U.S. citizen, a freelance journalist who writes for the New York Times and other publications, described demands by border agents at a New York airport for information about his or her reporting: “For three hours I was questioned, my notebooks and camera was taken (to make copies I assume) as was my laptop. I was asked about details of whom I met and interviewed, asked for contacts, telephone numbers, emails and I was physically searched. . . . I believe[] it interferes with my right to privacy and press freedom when traveling becomes a burden and security agents copy my notebooks, photographs, contacts and hard drive. . . . I would like this matter to be solved as soon as possible so I can continue my work as a journalist without being treated as a suspect.” [Complaint dated 10/18/16]

And complaints like this one are why the ACLU has filed a lawsuit alleging violations of the First Amendment in addition to the Fourth.

This illegal authority threatens the freedom of the press and chills freedom of speech. If you know the government will dig through your contacts or scrutinize your social media posts every time you travel, maybe you will be more careful about what you say and write.

For American citizens and green card holders, it is wise to encrypt your devices before traveling. Then if you are willing to put up with the hassle and possibly hours of detainment, at least agents will walk away with nothing. If you are a foreigner, however, refusing the search may get you denied entry into the United States.

In one complaint, the man who is now a U.S. citizen, says the illegal searches and abuse he suffered under American Customs Agents took him back 29 years to when he left Syria due to similar treatment at the hands of government officials.

My sentiments echo those of one of the complaints, emphasis added.

A U.S. citizen whose family was detained and searched at the U.S.-Canada border lamented: “[M]y children grew up in America and love America but every time my kids and I get detained for no reason they start to question me and ask, Dad, why do we always get detained? They are starting to lose faith in the American system. [Complaint dated 02/01/12]

Media Silent as Fed Committee Quietly Passes Act Allowing Warrantless Searches

Eye of the Police State

It has been over one month since the latest dangerous piece of legislation meant to infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights was introduced, and Congress is now moving forward with the bill that will have serious ramifications for all Americans by blatantly violating the freedoms guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment if it becomes law.

The USA Liberty Act has passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 27-8, and as Congressman Justin Amash noted, all privacy advocates should be concerned about the overwhelming support the bill is receiving from Congress.

The Liberty Act passed committee 27-8. It allows the government to search our private data without a warrant—in violation of the 4th Amendment,” Amash wrote on Twitter. “It’s another bill, like the Freedom Act, that furthers violations of our rights under the guise of protecting our rights.”

The  passed committee 27-8. It allows the government to search our private data without a warrant—in violation of the . It’s another bill, like the , that furthers violations of our rights under the guise of protecting our rights.

As Amash implied, the USA Liberty Act provides the opposite of “Liberty” for Americans. Instead, the purpose of the bill is to reauthorize and create additional loopholes for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2017.

Amash also noted that the USA Liberty Act is yet another piece of legislation that “furthers violations of our rights under the guise of protecting our rights.” He compared it to the USA Freedom Act, which was passed under similar circumstances in June 2015.

The House Judiciary has also tried to use the USA Freedom Act as a reference to its success, claiming that the bill “ended the bulk collection of data, protected civil liberties and national security, and provided robust oversight and transparency of our vital national security tools.”

However, as The Free Thought Project reported in May 2015, the USA Freedom Act “doesn’t actually end or suspend the phone records program, but simply requires phone companies to hold onto these records rather than the NSA.” It also authorized, for the first time, “the NSA, FBI, and other government agencies to unconstitutionally collect data in bulk on potentially millions of law-abiding Americans,” and it let the NSA collect “cell phone records in addition to the landline call records.”

Now, as Congress prepares to pass the USA Liberty Act, it claims the bill will “better protect Americans’ privacy” by requiring the government to have “a legitimate national security purpose” before searching an individual’s database. But what the bill does not advertise is the fact that it does not actually address the legitimate problems that exist with Section 702. The FBI’s “legitimate national security purpose” could be justified by just about any reason the agency chooses to give, and agents will only need supervisory authority in order to search Americans’ metadata.

Weeks before the latest vote, more than 40 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, joined together in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, condemning the USA Liberty Act.

The coalition noted that the bill fails to address concerns with the “backdoor search loophole,” which allows the government to “conduct warrantless searches for the information of individuals who are not targets of Section 702, including U.S. citizens and residents.”

“The USA Liberty Act departs from the recommendation made by the President’s Review Group on Surveillance, appropriations amendments that have previously passed the House, and urgings of civil society organizations, which would have required a probable cause warrant prior to searching the Section 702 database for information about a U.S. citizen or resident absent narrow exceptions. As written, it raises several concerns. First, the bill’s most glaring deficiency is that it does not require a warrant to access content in cases where the primary purpose is to return foreign intelligence. This is an exception that threatens to swallow the rule.”

A legislative analysis from the Electronic Freedom Foundation noted that the USA Liberty Act does not institute adequate transparency and oversight measures,” it does not “deal with misuse of the state secrets privilege, which has been invoked to stave off lawsuits against mass surveillance,” and most importantly, it will not “curtail the NSA’s practices of collecting data on innocent people.”

The science surrounding the USA Liberty Act is nothing new—from the time the USA Patriot Act was passed on fear-based propaganda in 2001, the United States Government has used trendy names such as “Freedom” and “Liberty” as an appeal, while working with the mainstream media to politicize any and every tragic attack, in order to convince the American public that they must give up their liberties, in order to ensure temporary security.

Read More: http://thefreethoughtproject.com/fed-committee-quietly-passes-act-allow-warrantless-searches-data/

Despite Setbacks, Liberty Will Prevail in 2018

Ron Paul and Yoda military-force-only-in-self-defense

By Ron Paul
Monday January 1, 2018

Happy New Year! We always approach a new year with anticipation, hope, and also some worries. Last year was one of the strangest political years I have seen in some time. A new Republican president spent his first year pursuing more or less the same foreign policy as his Democratic predecessor and the Democratic Party spent the year looking under every rock in the US for a “Russian connection” or any other reason to see him impeached over it.

The neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment on both the Left and Right were so furious that candidate Trump dared suggest we could get along with our “enemies” overseas that they jumped on the impeachment bandwagon — even though once he became president Donald Trump filled his Administration with neocons and began dropping bombs.

Like “peace candidate” Obama, Donald Trump quickly dropped his “get along with others” rhetoric to become just another aggressive, interventionist US president. He slammed missiles into Syria over unproven claims of a chemical attack, he built US military bases on Syrian soil, he dropped the “mother of all bombs” on Afghanistan, he continued helping Saudi Arabia destroy Yemen, he expanded the US military occupation of Africa, he put NATO troops on the border of Russia, did his best to tear up the Iran nuclear agreement and in fact may have just launched a “color revolution” on Iran, and continued rattling sabers over China’s presence in the South China Sea.

That tells us quite a bit about what’s wrong with American political life these days. The “opposition party” doesn’t really oppose the other party’s policies. They are just angry that other the party is in power. With no real philosophical or policy differences, politics is essentially pointless. It is a game of spoils for the well-connected and little more than a sporting event for the rest of the country. Everyone wants to see his team come out on top.

Still, I have much hope for 2018. I know we are continuing to make steady progress waking up the American people to the idea that ideas do matter! Our interventionist foreign policy, responsible for so much misery around the world, is not inevitable. Our destructive economic and monetary policies, which enrich the well-connected while impoverishing the rest of us, are not inevitable. The further destruction of our right to privacy, to live our lives as we see fit, to pursue our own happiness without the government looking over our shoulder, is not inevitable. We can turn this around!

In 2018 I strongly believe more Americans will wake up to the seriousness of the total debt the US is facing and will begin blaming Washington for pumping up the warfare-welfare state. I believe more Americans will understand the role of the Federal Reserve in facilitating this ocean of debt. We will continue to make progress toward ending the Fed!

While the media loves to tell us all about how the millennials are attracted to discredited ideas like Bernie Sanders’ socialism and the dead-end of cultural Marxism, I believe 2018 will demonstrate that young people are actually attracted to the ideas of liberty more than ever. Liberty is a new idea and a winning idea, while the twin tyrannies of socialism and cultural Marxism should remain in same dustbin of history they were tossed into more than 25 years ago.

In 2018 my Institute for Peace and Prosperity will be reaching more people than ever with plenty of new projects, events, and of course our daily Liberty Report! Yes, we will turn this around. Liberty will prevail!

Read More: http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/january/01/despite-setbacks-liberty-will-prevail-in-2018/

The Deep State’s Christmas Present to America: Surveillance That Never Ends

Big brother holiday poster

Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.

I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities).

No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies).

If this power-hungry cabal gets its way, the government’s power to spy on its citizens will soon be all-encompassing and permanent.

As it now stands, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—the legal basis for two of the National Security Agency’s largest mass surveillance programs, “PRISM” and “Upstream”—is set to expire at the end of 2017.

“PRISM” lets the NSA access emails, video chats, instant messages, and other content sent via Facebook, Google, Apple and others. “Upstream” lets the NSA worm its way into the internet backbone—the cables and switches owned by private corporations like AT&T that make the internet into a global network—and scan traffic for the communications of tens of thousands of individuals labeled “targets.”

Section 702 has been used as an end-run around the Constitution to allow the government to collect the actual content of Americans’ emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communication without a warrant.

Under Section 702, the government collects and analyzes over 250 million internet communications every year. There are estimates that at least half of these contain information about U.S. residents, many of whom have done nothing wrong. This information is then shared with law enforcement and “routinely used for purposes unrelated to national security.”

Mind you, Section 702 gives the government access to the very content of your conversations (phone calls, text messages, video chats), your photographs, your emails.

So beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing. Privacy, as we have known it, is dead.

For all intents and purposes, we now have a fourth branch of government.

This fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.

The government’s “technotyranny” surveillance apparatus has become so entrenched and entangled with its police state apparatus that it’s hard to know anymore where law enforcement ends and surveillance begins.

The short answer: they have become one and the same entity.

The police state has passed the baton to the surveillance state.

This hasn’t fazed President Trump who, much like his predecessors, has thus far marched in lockstep with the dictates of the police state.

For months, the Trump Administration has been actively lobbying Congress to reauthorize Section 702 in its entirety. Now, according to The Intercept, Trump is actively considering a proposal to establish his own global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies and answer directly to the White House.

If approved, this would be yet another secret government agency carrying out secret surveillance and counterintelligence, funded by a secret black ops budget that by its very nature does away with transparency, bypasses accountability and completely eludes any form of constitutionality.

As if we weren’t being spied on enough already.

On any given day, the average American is now monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

Every second of every day, the American people are being spied on by the U.S. government’s vast network of digital Peeping Toms, electronic eavesdroppers and robotic snoops.

Talk about a system rife for abuse.

Ask the government why it’s carrying out this warrantless surveillance on American citizens, and you’ll get the same Orwellian answer the government has been trotting out since 9/11 to justify its assaults on our civil liberties: to keep America safe.

Yet warrantless mass surveillance by the government and its corporate cohorts hasn’t made America any safer. And it certainly isn’t helping to preserve our freedoms. Frankly, America will never be safe as long as the U.S. government is allowed to shred the Constitution.

Now the government wants us to believe that we have nothing to fear from its mass spying program because they’re only looking to get the “bad” guys who are overseas.

Don’t believe it.

Warrantless mass surveillance of American citizens is wrong, un-American, and unconstitutional.

Clearly, the outlook for reforming the government’s unconstitutional surveillance programs does not look good.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, whenever the rights of the American people are pitted against the interests of the military/corporate/security complex, “we the people” lose. Unless Congress develops a conscience—or suddenly remembers that they owe their allegiance to the citizenry and not the corporate state—we’re about to lose big.

It’s time to let Section 702 expire or reform the law to ensure that millions and millions of Americans are not being victimized by a government that no longer respects its constitutional limits.

Mark my words: if Congress votes to make the NSA’s vast spying powers permanent, it will be yet another brick in the wall imprisoning us within an electronic concentration camp from which there is no escape.

Read More: https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_deep_states_christmas_present_to_america_surveillance_that_never_ends_s