Sign of the times regarding government surveillance

November 21, 2013 | By | 3 Replies More

Back in June, ProPublica published an article advising methods for communicating over the Internet while maintaining privacy. Edward Snowden’s revelations have now caused ProPublica to issue a big red flag on its article. Encryption might no longer be effective.

How did we get to this point where it is obviously illegal for the government to break into my house and rummage through my drawers without probable cause, but they rummage through my data with the help of and coercion of corporate communications companies? They do it because they CAN do it. These revelations also point out that in the political world explanations are streams of sounds (or scribbles) that would lack any punch except that they are created by entities that can threaten violence. In the case of the NSA, it is the violence of the police state. It is a violence so pronounced that it has ruined the possibility of investigative journalism which, until recent times, was the People’s best chance to keep their government in check.


Category: Orwellian, Privacy, Secrecy, Spying, Whistle-blowers

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. They do it because they can and when they didn’t it was because they couldn’t, due to the state of the required technology. They had always wanted to do it, but they simply couldn’t legalise it when they finally did have the technology, until some idiot terrorists came along and provided the perfect excuse. And those who still can’t do it still want to get in on the action too.

    The big question is WHY? In my opinion it never was (and still isn’t) the terrorists, and it never was foreign enemies or criminals. The latter ones were just a good place to start practicing and they all provided the perfect excuse at their respective moments.
    No, the deepest motive was the deep-rooted fear of their own population at large that all Owners* and by extension politicians have. Fear that what they have will be taken away from them. And when the technology was finally there, their ultimate dream of knowing all there is to know about all people could become true and they went for it, full ahead. The fact that now everybody knows** doesn’t make any difference anymore, laws be damned.

    There may be a strange contradiction here, or I may be just too stupid to see through it:
    We see politicians chipping away at the internet, trying to isolate parts of it, confining free flow of information. On the other hand, free flow of information is ideal for wholesale surveillance, it makes the snoopers’ work easier. So I guess in the end the Owners*, the NSA (and their peers) are for a free internet, while the politicians are afraid of it? The PRC looks like a perfect example of a balancing act between the two.

    * as George Carlin defined them (and all countries have them):

    ** I still know people who don’t believe the scale of the survaillance and accept the excuses.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Planetary Paul: I love Carlin’s intonation when he says “the OWNers,” and it really fits. The people who control law enforcement think they OWN the rest of us. We should all be working hard change all systems where the power runs only downhill, but we’re running out of options for doing that. The voting booth used to be seen as such an option, at least by many, but it’s increasingly seen as a cruel joke.

      It’s amazing how many Democrats/Liberals just can’t get themselves to criticize Obama regarding the surveillance state run amok, or for any of his other terrible choices (ramping up the violence in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, Drones, acceding to the big health insurers re the ACA).

  2. Truly weird: I put in the link below and it comes out as the link in my comment above, a link I have never been to. Must be the NSA (-;

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