So, let’s talk about domestic spying. Let’s get things straight. Those of us who paid attention, knew we were being spied on. Starting with retroactive immunity for the US telecom companies in 2008 Immunity granted to an industry that had not yet even been charged with any crimes1. Two years earlier in 2006, leaks showed the US government was illegally tapping fiber backbone connections at AT&T2. Many companies were issued National Security Letters with gag orders attached, stating even consulting an attorney about the order would be illegal.
In 2004, Nicholas Merrill, the founder of an Internet Service provider, was issued one of these National Security Letters, which were not reviewed by any judge or court3. He became the first to file a challenge to the legality of these letters in a lawsuit filed with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union4. Merrill never did comply with the request and eventually, the request was dropped by the FBI, but the gag order in place still prevents Merrill from discussing specific details of the request5. In many court documents, the case is sill referred to as John Doe vs Ashcroft or Gonzales; the attorney generals who served during the case.
“Well I just assume everything’s logged anyway” -Ben Nagy. Ruxcon, 20127.
Reports were continuing to arise that American journalists were being spied on while overseas6. We all knew we were being watched, but the reality of the Snowden leak shows the situation was much worse than many security experts were expecting. The NSA is building a massive data centre in Utah that some estimate will consume enough energy to power 65,000 homes and require 1.5 million gallons of water for cooling8. Although the capacity of the data centre is classified, former NSA technical director and whistleblower William Binney, estimates the capacity to be in the range of 5 zettabytes9.
According to the Snowden leaks concerning PRISM Anyone using Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo or Apple services most likely has their e-mails and instant messages indexed with NSA search engines. This means the US government can now watch for trends on a global scale. Even if individual spying and privacy are not a concert for you, the far reaching implication is that world governments have the ability to track entire populations’ reactions to news events and gauge effects of news and propaganda.
Germany was found to be accepting tools from the NSA to spy on its citizens10. This isn’t something limited to China or Russia anymore. The the five eyes: The United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, have all been shown by the Snowden leaks to share information they gather from each other’s citizens11.
It should be evident to people that the enemies that are being profiled are not the oil producing states demonized by western media. Nor are the enemies the low income nations that continue to face terrorism from US predator drone attacks. Nor are the the South American countries that are tired of America funneling guns and money into their borders, while profiting from a drug trade run by the CIA.
“I will tell you Director Deutch a former Los Angels police narcotics detective that the agency has dealt drug throughout this country for a long time” -Michael Rupert12
Many of these countries entire budgets pail in comparison to America’s spending, just on defense13. No the true enemy of high income countries are their own citizens. In the 1960’s and 70’s, large numbers of people began to protest for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam. Since then we’ve demonized the entire generation of baby boomers as being entitled, LSD tripping, pot smoking hippies who didn’t want to be conscripted to serve in the military; ignoring the fact that many of the protesters were University students who could obtain exemptions and deferments for the draft. They were protesting because they were seeing their friends who had chosen not to go to college, being conscripted into a war that served no purpose.
People were waking up around the world and collectively saw the evils that world governments and industry would allow in order to maintain their standard of living. Our current world leaders grew up out of that generation, and they truly believe the atrocities they commit against the poor of this world is justified in preventing a recourse of the awakening of 1960’s and 1970’s.
The United States has been found militarizing its own police forces14. The Occupy movement was portrayed by the US media as being without purpose, but protestors were members of the working class or students with mountains of debt in a world with few jobs. They had a goal. A simple one. To hold the bankers who had defrauded America in the 2007/2008 financial crisis for their crimes and to prosecute them instead of using police forces to continue foreclosing on the homes of the poor.
People who lost their homes were often belittled as well, even though in many cases, they were clearly the victims of fraud. What the occupy movement wanted, was what happened in Iceland. The Icelandic financial crisis protests in 2009 went mostly unreported by mainstream international media15. Yet this peaceful revolution led to the resignation of the current government, a national referenda where the people rejected using government funds to pay Icelandic bank debts an indictment of their Prime Minister and the formation of a council to write a new constitution for the country.
So many groups use social media to promote their own agendas, arrange protests and organize community action. Social media is often citied as contributing to the Arab Spring16, often overshadowing the the cables released by whistleblower Private Bradley Manning of the US Army to Wikileaks. Cables that shows the influence of the United States in Northern Africa also cited by many as being the leading contributor to the Arab spring.
What the international media hasn’t been showing us are what Egyptions are saying during the 2013 protests in Cairo. Showing that they are aware of US meddling in their politics and attempting to install leadership that benefits the interests of global powers over that of the Egyptian people.
I have suggested to people that the United States and possibly other world powers may have used social media to either cause the unrest in the Arab Spring or used it to push natural uprisings in a particular direction. Many people I’ve talked to believe this either didn’t happen or isn’t possible.
“September 11, 1973. 30 years ago today, the democratically elected President of Chile Salvador Allende was overthrown and died in a bloody CIA backed military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet oversaw the killing of at least 3,000 Chileans during a brutal 17-year military reign, which lasted until 1990. The coup was backed by then-President Nixon and Secretary of State National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger.” -Amy Goodman17
“ is the year the US overthrew Iran’s democracy and installed the Shah, a pro US dictator.” -Realpress18
“Very recently what happened in Venezuela. In 1998 Hugo Chavez gets elected president following a long line of presidents who have been very corrupt and basically destroyed the economy of the country and Chavez was elected admits all that. Chavez stood up to the United States, so in 2002, a coupe was staged and there’s no question in my mind and other people’s minds that the CIA was behind that coupe” -John Perkins19
The reality is, not only is it possible, it’s been happening for decades. And the Arab Spring, like a serial killers modus operandi, fits the pattern. It should be no surprise if in 30 to 40 years, documents are released proving the US involvement in the current unrest in Muslim nations.
We are being spied on. People are waking up. The Internet was originally meant to be a distribute network of computers immune to suppression of freedom of speech by its resilience and elasticity20. But now the Internet is dominated by mega-sites, many based in the United States and Europe which can be tapped and influenced by world governments to push the global narrative in a single direction.
Large international spy networks should be a concern to everyone, because they have the potential to allow both governments and the industries that back them; To monitor trends on a very large scale, and see just how far they can push their citizens without losing control.
1 Senate endorses retroactive FISA immunity for warrantless wiretapping. McCullagh. CNET. July 9th, 2008.
2 AT&T Whistle-Blower’s Evidence WIRED. May 17, 2006
3 As It Turns 10, Patriot Act Remains Controversial. Johnson. NPR. October 26, 2011
4 Gagged for 6 Years, Nick Merrill Speaks Out on Landmark Court Struggle Against FBI’s National Security Letters. Democracy Now. August 11, 2010.
5 My Nationa Security Letter Gag ORder. Anonymous. Washington Post. March 23, 2007.
6 Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You’re Calling. Ross. Esposito. ABC News. May 15, 2006.
7 Ruxcon 2012 Panel. Ruxcon. Melbourne, Australia.
8 The NSA Data: Where Does It Go?. Kramer. National Geographic News. Juen 12, 2013
9 Amid Data Controversy NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm. Berkes. NPR. June 10, 2013.
10 Germany collaborated with NSA to spy on its Citizens. Kloc. The Daily Dot. July 22, 2013
11 Australia-US spy links exposed by Edward Snowden. Stewart. The Australian. July 9, 2013.
12 Former LA Police Officer Mike Ruppert Confronts CIA Director John Deutch on Drug Trafficking. C-SPAN. November 15, 1996.
13 Military Spending Worldwide. (Infographic)
14 Obama Expands Militarization of Police. The Real News Network. May 22, 2013.
16 The evidence that Bradley Manning helped start the Arab Spring. Weiss. Mondoweiss. August 6, 2013.
17 Sept. 11, 1973: A CIA-backed Military Coup Overthrows Salvador Allende, the Democratically Elected President of Chile. Goodwin. Democracy Now. September 11, 2003.
18 History of Iran & USA in 10 min. Realpress. February 5, 2012.
19 John Perkins – Confessions of an Economic Hitman. (Video)
20 Media Goblin. (Video)