New World Reporter                                                                 
Submitted by R.F. Goggin on April 9, 2012 – 10:32pm

This article first appeared at The New World Reporter

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Remember the days in the U.S., when it was generally considered rude to spy on your neighbor? Or when minding one’s own business used to be a kind of unspoken virtue? Well although ‘the times they are a changing’, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Americans as a people, would be best served to change along with them.

In the United States, before we are condemned by the State, we are routinely informed of the right we have to remain silent. But in case its become obscured somehow for an average Joe, when it comes to the ‘business’ of Homeland Security, one also has an inherent right to remain non-compliant to the state of paranoia running rampant in the U.S. Government, which has yet to enthrall the masses as it has our nation’s leaders.

Do ordinary U.S. citizens actually need to heed a public servant like ‘Janet Napolitano’, and function as an unpaid operative of their government? Must we really become estranged from or suspicious of one-another as a matter of daily routine? Is this “If you see something, say something” mentality and campaign out of Washington, all that fundamentally wise or necessary to begin with?

Well, as a result of my being an Internet news junkie, I am definitely seeing something nefarious-seeming and practically commonplace these days, which is being reported on just about anywhere there is an independent journalist keeping the American public informed. So perhaps, I had better ‘say something.’

One example of what I refer to, might surely be the recent revelation of The DHS (in concert with the U.S. Navy), reportedly awarding a California-based computer forensics company a hefty government contract to devise a way to crack the encryption methods of video game consoles such as Microsoft’s ‘X-Box 360′ or Nintendo’s’ Wii’. This, so that Washington bureaucrats can extract and collect the keystrokes or conversations of users of such game systems.

Yes, you have read me correctly. The U.S. government is spending your tax dollars developing expert methods to spy on Super Mario zealots. And aren’t we indeed, talking about children and teenagers here, for the most part?

If an American were to consummate such a thing with the constant stream of similarly outrageous, federally covert schemes in the making; such as those which CIA Director, David Petraeus, seemed to recently celebrate, which have the potential to monitor their activities through their respective televisions or dishwashers – they just may find themselves more frightened of governmental plots being contrived upon them than terrorists. Unconstitutional and detrimental, Military Industrial Complex tools and techniques in full bloom and plausibly operational mode of which our leadership seems bent on perfecting and implementing.

Since when is it okay for the head of the Central Intelligence Agency to make light of the sanctity of an American’s privacy from the prying eyes of government? Does this man actually believe that his own occupational obsession with thwarting supposed terrorist threats, filters all the way down the average U.S. citizen? That Americans, would be frightened or gullible enough to nonchalantly suffer governmental computer chips, cameras or microphones in their kitchen appliances?

The latest reported U.S. Government espionage aspiration upon its own citizens; running secretly amok, in this, our raging State of paranoia; no thanks, of course, to corporate mainstream media, is being developed at this moment by Congress. The offending legislation, goes by the uncouth name of ‘The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act’, and/or ‘CISPA’. Not to be confused with lesser conceived attempts by U.S. politicians and big business to relegate the common folk to thraldom and mediocrity – namely SOPA (Stop On-line Piracy Act) or its counterpart PIPA (Protect IP Act). The coupled latter of which were mercifully stopped dead in their tracks by a newly awakened American public via a frightened out of their wits corporate conglomeration of mutual interest.

With CISPA, what we just might be looking forward to facing is the very real possibility of all of our social media activity not only being monitored by huge corporations, no less, but also, possibly being thereby censored – in tandem with U.S. Government.

While pissing discreetly all over any free speech or privacy laws currently on the books, CISPA, will make it acceptable for Federal agencies to involve themselves with any on-line correspondence whatsoever if they suspect that it meets their secret criteria for ‘cyber crime’, or potential thereof.

What then of a mere suspected crime, not yet committed? Guilty!

And so while many Americans are busy with their new Facebook Timeline, American Idol, Lady Gaga or whatever else have you, Uncle Sam, therefore, will have granted himself the power to literally stamp out any on-line communication considered disruptive to the operations of his government. Which, of course, from what I can only conclude (if such a reality should take place) will obviously stifle political dissent as its first sure casualty. Reportedly, it will be The U.S. National Security Agency, and/or the U.S. Department of Defense – collecting all the so-deemed suspicious Google blog posts, Facebook or Twitter messages sent along to them either by the aforementioned social media giants, or more insidiously, by Internet ISP companies, such as Comcast.

I don’t know about anyone else, but if I were an aspiring terrorist with some design upon America, I could surely communicate circles around some corporate stuffed shirt, if I knew they were listening.

What this CISPA boils down to in the end, is some of the biggest corporations in America effectively being put to work as agents of the U.S. Government, while about the business of spying on anyone, anywhere in America, who is using the world-wide web. Irrespective of such information or correspondence; which I assume also includes the email account holders of ISP’s; or what web sites one may visit, supposedly, having to be requested by the government, is there anyone with something left of a mind in the U.S. who trusts Facebook or Google not to bend over backward to kiss government ass at every available opportunity? These are companies forever on the lookout for ways to increase revenues, because their services are basically free. And taxpayer money, is no less greener to most corporate carrion-type, than the real thing.

Heavens, I’ve gone on a bit long, haven’t I?

I have a sneaking suspicion that an American does not actually decide to become a ‘Libertarian’ these days, as opposed to a Republican or Democrat, but that they are left with little choice in the matter when they see the political establishment in America gradually eroding their civil liberties for purely self-serving reasons of lining their own pockets or protecting their own jobs. Its clear enough to me at least, that the more the U.S. Government is able to entrench this ‘keep your eyes peeled’ mindset of fear of one’s own personal safety into the public dialog, then the less of an ‘individual’; with all your liberties intact, an average or ordinary U.S. citizen will be. This is, of course, unless you are perfectly willing to buy into some mass delusion being perpetuated by people living in some gated-community of their own minds, consisting of freedom-encroaching ideals.

In this day and age, in order for a Washington politician or bureaucrat to stay relevant or stable within some comfortable salary or station, they are going tell you that in this super-power in which you live that you are simply ‘not safe.’ They are going to warn you about terrorists in our midst, who for all intents and purposes, have already fulfilled their mission of sewing a very real sense of fear and disharmony into the American psyche. Is it really worth keeping ourselves safe at every liberty-loving cost, if we’re to all but cower against an unseen enemy – not only on U.S. soil, ideally, but upon the Internet as well? In case anyone has forgotten, the United States has not suffered a major terror attack in almost a dozen years. And even if it had, trading liberty for safety, or fortitude for fear, is a hell of a way to try to run a free country.

‘Benjamin Franklin’, once said, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

The above statement seems sound logic to me. And as one might imagine, it has long since been echoed in various forms from a variety of America’s other founding fathers. So much so, in fact, that there are simply too many quotes from the man’s contemporaries to list them all in a blog post. The question therefore of which comes to my mind at least, is if one were inclined adopt such advice as Franklin had once offered to a burgeoning, free nation, is how any American might possibly go about their regular on-line activity without questioning the sincerity of the continually invasive and unscrupulous Internet motivations, of a United States Government? Or moreover, perhaps, those eagerly conspiratorial mega-corporation owners or lovers, who fund it?

by R.F. Goggin