Surveillance State

Police Are Arresting Protesters Over Facebook Posts—And It’s Just The Beginning

  Real News (6/25/20) The FBI investigated and arrested Michael Avery for posting on Facebook about a Black Lives Matter protest. We talk with a tech industry whistleblower about “snitch apps” and how law enforcement uses technology to “protect” you. Subscribe to our page and support our work at https://therealnews.com/donate. Link To 18+-Minute Video ***** Facebook Is Out Of Control. If It Were A Country It Would Be North Korea Zuckerberg is not Kim Jong-un. He’s much, much more powerful. By Carole Cadwalladr The Guardian (7/5/20) There is no power on this earth that is capable of holding Facebook to…

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Domination Over Democracy: How Our Bloated Military Strengthens The Police State

The violent U.S. domination of people of color overseas is inextricably linked to the oppression of people of color at home. By Shireen Al-Adeimi & Sarah Lazare In These Times (6/17/20) Nationwide uprisings over the police killing of George Floyd have forced a long overdue discussion about the injustices of U.S. policing—an institution that has consistently harassed and terrorized and, in the words of organizer, writer and educator Mariame Kaba, remains a consistent “force of violence against Black people.” As demands to abolish the police are thrust into mainstream discourse, promising—if uncertain and mixed—political changes are being debated and implemented every day. We are seeing a rigorous…


Pentagon War Game Includes Military Response To Possible Domestic ‘Gen Z’ Rebellion

Plotting war against our children. [Editor’s Note: Here’s a radical idea for all those geniuses planning out warfare against our children: How about addressing the very real issues they are facing that you think could lead to rebellion? If you ever thought the military was for our defense, think again. As we saw in D.C. this past week, it is solely an instrument of the bipartisan corporatocracy. — Mark L. Taylor] By Nick Turse Intercept (6/6/20) IN THE FACE of protests composed largely of young people, the presence of America’s military on the streets of major cities has been a controversial development. But this isn’t…


‘Screen New Deal’ — How Crisis Will Lead To Every Detail & Action In Your Life To Be Tracked By Google & Other Tech Giants

Under Cover of Mass Death, Andrew Cuomo Calls in the Billionaires to Build a High-Tech Dystopia By Naomi Klein The Intercept (5/8/20) OR A FEW fleeting moments during New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, the somber grimace that has filled our screens for weeks was briefly replaced by something resembling a smile. “We are ready, we’re all-in,” the governor gushed. “We are New Yorkers, so we’re aggressive about it, we’re ambitious about it. … We realize that change is not only imminent, but it can actually be a friend if done the right way.” The inspiration for these…


Want To Understand What Is Going On In America Right Now? Then Understand The ‘Shock Doctrine’

Intercepted: Mehdi Hasan & Naomi Klein Review Mounting Cost Of  Pro-Corporate Coronavirus ‘Shock Doctrine’ Capitalism Intercepted (4/7/20) The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan speaks with Senior Correspondent Naomi Klein about coronavirus capitalism and the selective use of emergency measures to offload risks onto workers and families, while the people who are relatively more secure get no-strings-attached bailouts. Link To 33-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L.Taylor, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** The ‘Shock Doctrine’ Documentary By Naomi Klein The Shock Doctrine is Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein’s companion piece to…


152 House Dems Join GOP To Reauthorize ‘abusive government surveillance power’

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (3/12/20) With the nation’s attention fixed on the rapidly spreading coronavirus, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to extend FBI surveillance powers that were set to expire on March 15. The bill, formally titled the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act, cleared the House by a vote of 278 to 136, with 152 Democrats and 126 Republicans voting yes. View the full roll call here. The legislation, strongly opposed by civil liberties groups and privacy advocates, is the product of bipartisan negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep….


The Classic Faustian Bargain Of New Intrusive Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

  “The real psychological truth is this: If you’ve got nothing to hide, you are nothing.” ― Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism ***** What happens to our pics on social media and what does that have to do with the persecution of the Uighars in China? (Scrape, scrape, scrape…) What is Pokémon Go really about? (Talk about child abuse.) Who was really behind Google Earth? (One shouldn’t be too surprised.) How much info do they really have about us? (Waaaay more than we volunteer.) Can there be a hidden microphone in your new home security system that isn’t revealed in the…


George Orwell, 70 Years Later

By John Rodden History News Network (1/20/20) Seventy years ago this Tuesday [1/21], George Orwell, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, died alone in a hospital sanitorium in London.  He had struggled for years with pulmonary tuberculosis, and his weak lungs hemorrhaged for the final time.  He was just 46, and just on the verge of fame, having published his great novel just seven months earlier in June 1949. Would the visionary author of Nineteen Eighty-Four—who always insisted on the full eighteen letters as his novel’s proper title, not the four screaming digits “1984”—have ever imagined that George Orwell might become the most…


Chris Hedges: The Enemy Within Is Deep Indeed

The deep state, incapable of reform and determined to retain its grip on power, will morph under the threat of popular unrest into a corporatized fascism. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (11/4/19) Our democracy is not in peril—we do not live in a democracy. The image of our democracy is in peril. The deep state—the generals, bankers, corporatists, lobbyists, intelligence chiefs, government bureaucrats and technocrats—is intent on salvaging the brand. It is hard to trumpet yourself as the world’s guardian of freedom and liberty with Donald Trump blathering on incoherently about himself, inciting racist violence, insulting our traditional allies along with…


Trump’s Giant Loophole: Executive Control Of The Judicial Branch Is The Final Step To Tyranny

What happens when the judiciary is captured — and the bad guys are true fascists? Well, they turn the law itself into an instrument of violence. [Editor’s Note: This is an extremely important article to read and consider. Few people really understand the most dangerous moment we are facing in this nation. Whether by bumbling stupid luck or strategic calculation, Donald Trump has pushed the nation to the abyss of totalitarian fascism and time is short. — Mark L. Taylor] By Umair Haque Medium (10/25/19) In case you didn’t notice, yesterday [10/24] was an especially dark day for America democracy….



Pathocracy: The Pathological Power Of Governments Led By Narcissists & Psychopaths

The danger of democracy transitioning into pathocracy is always real. It is always closer to us than we think, and once it has a foothold, will crush every obstacle in its way. By Steve Taylor The Conversation (9/19/19) After spending his early life suffering under the Nazis and then Stalin, the Polish psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski devoted his career to studying the relationship between psychological disorders and politics. He wanted to understand why psychopaths and narcissists are so strongly attracted to power as well as the processes by which they take over governments and countries. He eventually came up with the term “pathocracy”…


Before The Hobnail Boot Of Tyranny Falls, There Are Warnings

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (9/23/19) Oftentimes big stories are revealed in small footnotes. The Miami Herald recently reported (9/19)that a Marine Corps unit was looking to hold its celebration of the annual Marine Corps Ball at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. “At a time when taxpayer and foreign-government spending at Trump Organization properties is fueling political battles, a U.S. Marine Corps reserve unit stationed in South Florida hopes to hold an annual ball at a venue that could profit the commander-in-chief,” the Miami Herald reported Thursday. The news comes after recent reports of  Trump’s struggling Turnberry golf resort in Scotland benefiting from diverted…


The Trump Whistleblower Scandal Is Proving Edward Snowden Right

Snowden should’ve gone through “official channels,” his critics yelped. Here’s what happens when you do. By Nick Bauman HuffPost (9/24/19) Edward Snowden did it all wrong, his critics thundered. The former National Security Agency subcontractor should have used “other avenues available for somebody whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions,” then-President Barack Obama claimed in an August 2013 press conference, citing an executive order he had signed that — in theory at least — gave intelligence officers some whistleblower protections for the first time ever. “Snowden could have come to me,” George Ellard, then…


The Mysterious Death Of The Hacker Who Turned In Chelsea Manning

  By Nina Temple-Raston I’ll Be Seeing You / NPR (9/19/19) Debbie Scroggin and her husband live at the end of a series of gravel roads in a lonesome part of Kansas. It is the kind of place where, Debbie says, “you have to drive 15 minutes to get anywhere.” Getting to the Scroggin house involves turning onto a desolate ribbon of gravel that cuts through fields as far as the eye can see. It was easy to think that someone might come here to either get lost or be forgotten. Scroggin remembers Adrian Lamo arriving on a night train…


Chris Hedges: New Book Shines Light On Our Real & Invisible Government

All countries need good intelligence officials and agents, not the buffoons, gangsters, sadists and killers who, in the name of national security, do us so much damage. By Chris Hedges TruthDig (9/16/19) There are two forms of government in the United States. There is the visible government—the White House, Congress, the courts, state legislatures and governorships—and the invisible government, or deep state, where anonymous technocrats, intelligence operatives, generals, bankers, corporations and lobbyists manage foreign and domestic policy regardless of which political party holds a majority. The most powerful and important organs in the invisible government are the nation’s bloated and…


The Full MSNBC Interview: Edward Snowden Warns Of The Intrusive Government Surveillance Threat To Privacy & Our Freedom

[Editor’s Note: For some reason, there was a delay in the interview beginning after the brief opening ad. this is an important interview for every citizen to view and think about deeply. The role of Joe Biden in the suppression of Edward Snowden is especially interesting. — Mark L. Taylor] 11th Hour / MSNBC (9/16/19) On the eve of his memoir ‘Permanent Record’ being published, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden talked at length from Moscow with MSNBC’s Brian Williams in an exclusive interview. This is their discussion in its entirety, edited down slightly for clarity. Link to 54-Minute Video ***** Govt….


How The FBI Ratcheted Up It’s Power After 9/11 And Helped Install Trump In Office

  “I believe the FBI contributed to this breakdown of public trust in government institutions, not just by who it chose to target for disruption but, just as important, who it didn’t.” By Ryan Devereaux The Intercept (9/14/19) MIKE GERMAN, A former FBI special agent, had four years on the job when he took an assignment that would change his life forever. It was 1992. A jury in Simi Valley, California, had just acquitted a group of mostly white Los Angeles police officers for the videotaped beating of a black construction worker named Rodney King. Decades of pent-up anger directed at one…


Edward Snowden Memoir ‘Permanent Record’ Lays Out The Emerging Worldwide Surveillance Threat

“The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition.” By Ewen MacKaskill The Guardian (9/13/19) The world’s most famous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, says he has detected a softening in public hostility towards him in the US over his disclosure of top-secret documents that revealed the extent of the global surveillance programmes run by American and British spy agencies. In an exclusive two-hour interview in Moscow to mark the publication of his memoirs, Permanent Record, Snowden said dire warnings that his disclosures would cause harm had not come to pass, and even…


America’s Slow-Motion Coup Keeps Grinding Forward: But Is Donald Trump Really The One To Blame?

We need to understand that Trump is a symptom, not the problem. By Andrew O’Hehir Salon (8/2/19) We are in the middle of a slow-motion coup in the United States of America. Even the phrase itself is banal, which is itself a symptom of our moral and political exhaustion. But sometimes clichés are on the money. Most of this coup is happening right out in the open, where those of us who are somewhat paying attention can notice it, bemoan it and then move on to the next day’s real or manufactured outrage. That doesn’t seem to be helping. There…


The Deep State Government Hiding In Plain Sight

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to watch all the way through to the end to catch Bill Moyer’s commentary. — Mark L. Taylor] Moyers & Company (4/15/16) Mike Lofgren, a congressional staff member for 28 years, joins Bill Moyers to talk about what he calls Washington’s “Deep State,” in which elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. “It is how we had deregulation, financialization of the economy, the Wall Street bust, the erosion or our civil liberties and perpetual war,” Lofgren tells Moyers. Link to 27-Minute Video ***** Essay: Anatomy Of The Deep State In terms…


Privacy Experts Say The Trade-Offs Of Intrusive Surveillance Tech To Track Kids In School Aren’t Worth It

“Simply said, this system allows us to have real-time eyes on 18,000 cameras in Miami/Dade County public schools.” [Editor’s Note: Never mind all those military grade guns flooding our communities. So what if some innocent kid goofing around — like the 10th grader profiled — has his future destroyed. Just like the lives of innocents, the privacy and future of kids will be sacrificed to coddle gun slingers, shooters and the gun making corporations profitting off the death of school kids. — Mark L. Taylor]  All Things Considered / NPR (8/26/190 The use of tech to track and police our…


Wisconsin Under Direct Surveillance By War Dept. This Summer: ‘A Dystopian Surveillance State Being Built in Plain Sight’

“These programs are not about stopping violence, they’re about social control.” [Editor’s Note: Americans would never put up with the incessant hum of surveillance drones circling endlessly overhead as civilian victims of American wars have to. So, instead, unseen, silent, high-altitude and just as observant surveillance balloons will not attract attention while doing the job. History has shown that all empires hollow themselves out, eventually turning the weapons of foreign domination back on to the impoverished and beaten down civilians at home. This is happening now. — Mark L. Taylor] By Julia Conley Common Dreams (8/2/19) Millions of Americans across the…


A ‘Crossroads Moment’ — Why Julian Assange Must Never Be Extradited

“The 18-count indictment is an authoritarian’s dream.” By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (5/31/19) WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today sits in the Belmarsh High Security prison in southeast London. Not just for his sake but for everyone’s, we now have to hope he’s never moved from there to America. The United States filed charges against Assange early last month. The case seemed to have been designed to assuage fears that speech freedoms or the press were being targeted. That specific offense was “computer hacking conspiracy” from back in 2010. The “crime” was absurdly thin, a claim that Assange agreed (but failed, apparently) to try…


US Government’s Refusal To Confirm Or Deny It Put American Journalist On Drone Kill List Called ‘Chilling’

“The government seeks to shield itself from all inquiry into the process by which it acts as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.” By Julia Conley Common Dreams (4/2/19) Lawyers for an American journalist who believes he was placed on the government’s infamous “kill list” warned Tuesday that the rights of all U.S. citizens are at stake if the country’s drone assassination program is allowed to continue. The organization’s comments came as part of a response to the U.S. government’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit regarding its use of the list. Reprieve is representing Bilal Abdul Kareem, a journalist and U.S….


‘Shock Doctrine’ Author Naomi Klein Worries ‘What Next?’ If Trump Succeeds In Inventing A ‘National Emergency’

“What is to stop him from declaring emergencies again and again if this works?”   By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/10/19) As a result of creating a fake crisis in order to appease his far-right base and achieve a policy goal that has majority public opposition, President Donald Trump continues to threaten to declare a “national emergency” as a way to commandeer military funds in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But even as experts debate whether or not Trump has the authority to make such a declaration—and consensus that an immediate legal battle would ensue—author and activist Naomi Klein…


Surveilance Capitalism: How Tracking & Selling Your Personal Data Became A Business Model

On Point / WBUR (1/15/19) There are new calls for tech companies to stop selling your location to third parties. We’ll look at the economics and perils of “surveillance capitalism.” Guest — Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and former faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power,” among other titles. Excerpt from “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff The Unprecedented One explanation for surveillance capitalism’s many triumphs floats above them all: it…


It Could Go On Forever: What Trump Could Legally Do If He Declares A State Of Emergency To Save Himself

From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things. By Elizabeth Goitein The Atlantic (Jan/Feb 2019) In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans. Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an “open borders” bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting violent “mobs” (they weren’t), that a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class would somehow pass…


As Snoopy Insurers Offer Discounts For Fitness Trackers, Wearers Should Step With Caution

  By Stephanie O’Neil NPR 9111/18/18) When Kathy Klute-Nelson heads out on a neighborhood walk, she often takes her two dogs — Kona, a boxer, and Max, a small white dog of questionable pedigree who barrels out the front door with barks of enthusiasm. The 64-year-old resident of Costa Mesa, Calif., says she was never one to engage in regular exercise — especially after a long day of work. But about three years ago, her employer, the Auto Club of Southern California, made her and her colleagues an offer she couldn’t refuse: Wear a Fitbit, walk every day and get…


Amazon Echo Home Recordings At Center Of Murder Trial As Judge Orders Data Release

  By Nicholas West Activist Post (11/13/18) A new type of court case has been slowly but steadily emerging within the American legal system: alleged crimes being detected from data supplied by smart devices. The very nature of the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution appears to be at stake. In December 2016, an Arkansas murder case made headlines not so much for the death itself, but how a suspect was brought into custody. James Bates hosted a party at his Bentonville home on the night of November 21st, 2015. At some point during the event a man drowned in…


Russia Monitor: Trump Places Nation At Risk With His Party Line Phone Breaches

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/29/18) President Donald Trump was being “playful” when he celebrated a congressman’s 2017 assault of a reporter, Sen. Ben Sasse said Sunday – but he added that he did not think the rhetoric was “OK.”  We can’t count on Russpublicans to check Trump’s worst impulses on anything. Not even his lax phone security There are no checks on Trump, he does what he does without regard to anything beyond being seen as ‘winning’ and congressional Russpublicans and cultists could care less: ‘A Gift To Foreign Spies’: Donald Trump Roasted Over Unsecured iPhone Report. The New York…


John Whitehead: Creating The Suspect Society: The Growing Abuse Of Our Technological Police State

The FBI and Justice Department have conspired to acquire near-limitless power and control over biometric information collected on law-abiding individuals, millions of whom have never been accused of a crime.  By John  Whitehead The Rutherford Institute (10/2/18) “If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.”—Philip K. Dick It’s a…


‘A Moment To Remember’ — When The US Abandoned Any Pretense Of Democracy For The Love Of ‘Our S.O.B.s”

“In December 1954, the NSC [National security Council] met in the White House to stake out a strategy that could tame the powerful nationalist forces of change sweeping the globe. Across Asia and Africa, a half-dozen European empires that had guaranteed global order for more than a century were giving way to new nation, many — as Washington saw it — susceptible to “communist subversion.” In Latin America , there were stirrings of leftist opposition to the region’s growing urban poverty and rural landlessness. To make it “absolutely clear we will not tolerate Communism anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.”influential Secretary…


American Police State Update: Undercover Cops Are Creating Fake Facebook Accounts To Track Protesters

  By Jon Schuppe NBC News (10/5/18) In the summer of 2015, as Memphis exploded with protests over the police killing of a 19-year-old man, activists began hearing on Facebook from someone called Bob Smith. The name was generic, and so was his profile picture: a Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol of anti-government dissent. Smith acted as if he supported the protesters, and, slowly, they let him into their online community. Over the next three years, dozens of them accepted his friend requests, allowing him to observe private discussions over marches, rallies and demonstrations. In public postings and private messages he…


They Are Beginning With Digital Monitoring Of The Poor. You Are Next!

On Contact (10/6/18) Author, Virginia Eubanks, explains to Chris Hedges how the goals of Victorian-era poorhouses have evolved with 21st Century high-tech to exert control and surveillance of needy, poor and homeless people. Eubanks is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor. Link to 47-Minute Video ***** Schools Pushing For Police-Grade Surveillance Technology To “Protect” Students By Aaron Kesel Activist Post (10/9/18) After the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, schools across the U.S. are installing police-grade surveillance “gunshot-detection systems,”…


Massachusetts Police Tweet Lets Slip Scale Of Routine Surveillance Of Left Wing Groups

  By Sarah Betancourt The Guardian (9/15/18) At the height of Thursday night’s gas emergency that affected 8,000 people and in which one person was killed, Massachusetts state police posted to Twitter a map of responses to fires and explosions. It was an image of a computer monitor, showing locations of 39 incidents as confirmed “by MSP Watch Center”, and it included a vital message: “Reminder: all residents of Lawrence/Andover/N[orth] Andover who have Columbia Gas must evacuate, as should anyone else who smells gas.” But the image also showed something else: a bookmarks bar at the top of the browser window which listed…


Health Insurers Are Vacuuming Up Details About You & Your Family — Which Could Raise Your Rates

  By Marshall Allen ProPublica/ NPR (7/17/18) To an outsider, the fancy booths at last month’s health insurance industry gathering in San Diego aren’t very compelling. A handful of companies pitching “lifestyle” data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like “social determinants of health.” But dig deeper and the implications of what they’re selling might give many patients pause: A future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance. With little public scrutiny, the health insurance industry has…


Glenn Greenwald: Think You Got Nothin’ To Hide? Here’s Why Privacy Does Matter To You, Your Family & Community

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” — Rosa Luxemburg TED Talk (10/10/14) Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”


Surveillance State: Tracking Your Every Move For Corporate America

  By Molly Wood Marketplace Tech (5/22/18) Phone carriers collect a minute-by-minute record of everywhere you go. If you use GPS on your phone, that may be obvious. But carriers are also selling that information to companies that don’t do much to keep it secure. One of those companies, Securus Technologies, was hacked this month. Securus gets its information from a company called LocationSmart. On Friday, security researcher Brian Krebs reported a bug on LocationSmart’s website that would make it possible to track any phone on the four major carriers using only a phone number. Krebs spoke with Marketplace Tech…


The Orgy Porgy & Centrifugal Bumblepuppy: Amusing Our Selves To Death

  “What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked…