Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged government

“Security has effectively become the State religion; you don’t question it. And if you question it, then your loyalty is questioned.” . . . “Speaking truth of power is very dangerous in today’s world.” The journalist pointed out that investigative journalists are labeled as “terrorist helpers” for trying to reveal the truth, to which Drake said the government’s take is “you go after the messenger because the last thing you want to do is deal with the message.” The NSA, the government, “They object” to anyone who dares to “air dirty laundry” or show the skeletons in the closet. “Not only do they object to it, they decide to turn it into criminal activity.”

Drake added, “Most people don’t stand up to power because power wields a lot of power and power can do you in, or make life very difficult.”

“The NSA had entered into a secret agreement with the White House in which NSA would become the executive agent for this secret surveillance program. On the front end, it was designed to deal with the threat, the terrorist threat, and that was probably understandable. But what it did is it actually, essentially, turned the United States into just a collection platform.”

“You also have the fear element. Fear in itself is control. And what people will do if they are fearful is to censor themselves.”

More at Networkworld.

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From Democracy Now:

Harold Pinter, the Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, screenwriter, poet, actor and political activist died last week at the age of seventy-eight after a prolonged battle with cancer. In his 2005 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Pinter excoriated US foreign policy. “The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law,” Pinter said.

Harold Pinter gave the speech in December of 2005. He was too ill to go to Stockholm to receive the award, so it was videotaped, and this is what was broadcast around the world.

This is just a small clip:

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

You can watch the entire clip of Harold Pinter at Democracy Now!

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The White House came out earlier this week stating that it opposes CISPA. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have called and written to Congress, urging their representatives to oppose CISPA. Yet, despite all this effort, the House passed the bill 248-168.

“CISPA goes too far for little reason,” said Michelle Richardson, ACLU legislative counsel, in a statement on Thursday. “Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy. As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back. We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity.”

There is still time to fight against CISPA as it will now move to the Senate. It will have a tougher time there as growing opposition to CISPA becomes more vocal.

The legislation has drawn the ire of legislators, civil liberties groups, security practitioners and professors, and hundreds of thousands of petitioners, who say the bill tramples over users’ privacy rights as it allows Web firms like Google and Facebook to give private users’ information to government agencies irrespective of other laws that protect users’ privacy. “It’s basically a privacy nightmare,” says Trevor Timm, a lawyer and activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “CISPA would allow companies to hand over private data to the government without a warrant, without anonymity, with no judicial review.”

But even before it passed, the House voted to amend the bill to actually allow even more types of private sector information to be shared with government agencies, not merely in matters of cybersecurity or national security, but in the investigation of vaguely defined cybersecurity “crimes,” “protection of individuals the danger of death or serious bodily harm,” and cases where that involve the protection of minors from exploitation.

That statute, which in effect widened the most controversial portion of the bill just hours before it came to a vote, is sure to draw even more controversy as the bill works its way through the legislative branch and reaches President Obama’s desk. President Obama currently backs a bill in the Senate put forward by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, designed to increase the cybersecurity regulatory powers of the Department of Homeland security, which has been opposed by the GOP and stalled in the Senate.

You can read more about how CISPA affects you and find out if your representative voted for it. There are also 800+ companies currently supporting CISPA.

Calling your representatives is always best as they take phone calls and written letters far more serious than online form letters or online petitions.

You can get all the information you need in one handy post with these links.

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