Home

Never, Never Land

9 Comments

Author,
Chuck Frank

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NSA Operations Center

A national voter referendum has taken place in the Netherlands this week with regard to a vote in the Netherlands that has narrowly rejected online data collection powers for intelligence agencies.  With about 90% of the votes counted, 48.8% have rejected the spying powers, while 47.3% voted in favor.

Why is this so important? For some, it will be business as usual. For others it is a victory over the invasion of privacy and freedom. The Dutch process differs tremendously from the U.S. to where it would take an “act of Congress” to put the brakes on phone taps or e-mail gatherings.

With as much corruption going on within the halls of Congress and other agencies who’s swamp still needs to be drained, isn’t it about time that “we the people” had the same National Referendum opportunity as the Dutch in order that privacy is upheld per the people’s constitutional rights, while at the same time, requests for wire surveillance may only be used when a warrant from a judge is issued on “probable cause.”

Since government and eaves dropping agencies cannot totally be trusted when it comes to a police state, should not the American people, as with the Dutch, have a choice in the matter? And if not, we the people will surely be stuck with an Orwellian police state which has already exceeded 1984 expectations and taken us to never, never land. More

A Pandora’s Box: Cellphone & Land-Line Intrusion

Leave a comment

new-logo25Chuck Frank

So, do we now have “special cases” to where the protection of the people and their rights should be taken for granted? It is quite obvious that Washington D.C. isn’t concerned one bit about any of this.”

____________________________________________________________________________

Martin Cooper, an employee with Motorola, invented the cellphone on April 3, 1973. Though the first land line telephone had been around since 1876, cellphones and especially smart cellphones have opened up a Pandora’s Box when it comes to personal privacy and especially so since 9/11.

Historically, government intrusion of communications has actually been ongoing ever since the invention of the telegraph In 1877. Yes,it’s true. That was when the “Wichita Lineman” was still on the line and the Western Union company was King. And it may surprise many that in that same year government, in a special case, was demanding that the Western Union betray the confidence and the privacy of its patrons and surrender coded information.

However, the court ultimately sided in favor of the telegraph company, concluding that these open-ended demands for telegrams “would lead to consequences that can be contemplated only with horror, and such a process is not to be tolerated among a free people.” (Bloombergview.com) Thus, was the beginning of a cat and mouse game and a 4th amendment tug-a-war between government and “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, and effects, against unreasonable searches…and persons or things to be seized.”

In the proper context, when considering electronic surveillance, “things to be seized” today would amount to Internet spying and an extraction of text or a verbal cellphone message from one person to another and then placing it in a national data bank.

Now then, in the case with Apple Computer, the company was very explicit by saying that surrendering an encrypted code compromises the privacy of millions of persons using Apple cellphones, and it also becomes a serious 4th amendment issue, and even more so when one considers the implications that would result from cracking corporate codes that are meant to protect every users cellphone worldwide.

People want to have the confidence that their communication with others is not being compromised by an Orwellian State bent on absolute power and control such as what takes place in totalitarian regimes such as China. Being secure with one’s effects used to be the standard, but today, government and NSA believes that they no longer need to observe an unalienable right that originated in the Bill of Rights.

So, do we now have “special cases” to where the protection of the people and their rights should be taken for granted? It is quite obvious that Washington D.C. isn’t concerned one bit about any of this.

A change in the people’s privacy rights along with major intrusion began on 9/11 when the Bush administration went into high gear and contracted major telephone companies such as AT&T and paid them money to track and then store conversations which were either foreign or domestic and without warrants. There was no resistance from any major telephone company except one, and that was Quest Communications. At that time, Joseph Nacchio who was the CEO said, absolutely no, to NSA spying and that Quest Communications would not wiretap anyone unless a warrant was issued by a judge.

Nacchio was legally correct in his stance, however the government didn’t see it that way and it wasn’t very long after the standoff that Nacchio ended up in prison for over 4 years on “insider trading” charges brought on by the government. A frame up?  Perhaps this sent a message to other CEO’s that are not willing to cooperate with the feds? Did Congress rush to pass a new law that would protect persons such as Nacchio for refusing to tap someones telephone lines unless warrants were issued? If they did, please, someone out there correct me.

And that’s a long story short.

Now then, considering America’s unique roots and being the only nation in the world that has a Bill of Rights which is meant to protect the people from their own government, a San Francisco based organization called the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), is busy pursuing a legal remedy in the courts that will hopefully protect the people from illegal wiretaps or wireless intrusion when there is no warrant. They are on a major mission to give America a far less intrusive country.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small of a degree of it.”
Jefferson, letter (1791)

Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

6 Comments

This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

By John W. Whitehead
June 2, 2015
“A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy.”—Writers Against Mass Surveillance

THE GOOD NEWS: Americans have a right to freely express themselves on the Internet, including

ABOUT JOHN WHITEHEAD  Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

ABOUT JOHN WHITEHEAD
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

making threatening—even violent—statements on Facebook, provided that they don’t intend to actually inflict harm.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Elonis v. United States threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man who was charged with making unlawful threats (it was never proven that he intended to threaten anyone) and sentenced to 44 months in jail after he posted allusions to popular rap lyrics and comedy routines on his Facebook page. It’s a ruling that has First Amendment implications for where the government can draw the line when it comes to provocative and controversial speech that is protected and permissible versus speech that could be interpreted as connoting a criminal intent.

That same day, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the legal justification allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to carry out warrantless surveillance on Americans, officially expired. Over the course of nearly a decade, if not more, the NSA had covertly spied on millions of Americans, many of whom were guilty of nothing more than using a telephone, and stored their records in government databases. For those who have been fighting the uphill battle against the NSA’s domestic spying program, it was a small but symbolic victory.

THE BAD NEWS: Congress’ legislative “fix,” intended to mollify critics of the NSA, will ensure that the agency is not in any way hindered in its ability to keep spying on Americans’ communications.

The USA FREEDOM Act could do more damage than good by creating a false impression that Congress has taken steps to prevent the government from spying on the telephone calls of citizens, while in fact ensuring the NSA’s ability to continue invading the privacy and security of Americans.

For instance, the USA FREEDOM Act not only reauthorizes Section 215 of the Patriot Act for a period of time, but it also delegates to telecommunications companies the responsibility of carrying out phone surveillance on American citizens.

More

As the Worm Turns: What Can We Expect From a Republican Takeover of Congress?

9 Comments

strip bannerMnew-logo25arti Oakley

____________________________________________

“While ignoring the millions of deaths of Muslims and Christians in the mid-east as a result of our wars of terror, this faction beats the drums for more wars as a result of Christians being killed by Muslims. None of them can accept the idea that no one should die as a result of these insipid religious ideologies. Not even if we are the ones doing the killing.”

________________________________________________

popuWith the overthrow via the recent elections of the Democrats in congress, many are speculating about what exactly is going to happen now that Republicans control both houses. Other than a few corporate give-aways, I doubt there will be much happening that will be of any benefit to ordinary Americans. After all, we are dealing with the same people for the most part, and their agenda has nothing to do with you.

Keystone

There is no doubt there will be a massive effort to approve the Keystone Pipeline from Canada. This pipeline has been thoroughly rejected by Canadians due to the chronic leaks, spills and massive loads of toxic waste produced from the tar sands operations. Not to worry Canada! More

Mid-term elections: Pardon me while I yawn

5 Comments

strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

________________________________________________

Remember when the country first elected Obama? Remember the collective sigh of relief as he spoke of returning the country to its former glory? Remember when we all thought he was going to end the neo-con overthrow of our government and country?

And remember when we all realized he had simply picked up where the Bush/Cheney Crime Syndicate left off and added some new twists of his own?

Remember how sick at your stomach you felt when you realized that Obama was Bush on steroids?

That’s kind of the same feeling too many of us out here have today. This wasn’t a mandate for Republicans although they are trying to sell it as if it was. It was a rejection of the corruption, the anti-American mind-set in the District of Criminals. And we had only two choices.

______________________________________________

34192_1thThere are few out here in the general public, regardless of supposed party affiliation, expressing any sense of celebration or excitement over last night’s election returns. We simply swapped one faction of the one-party system for the other. Most agree that nothing is going change other than the way the pre-planned agenda will be implemented.

Absent from any debates, if you could call the public displays put on by candidates on both sides a debate of any kind, was any discussion of the illegal and unwarranted spying by NSA and multiple other spy agencies operating without oversight.

No one mentioned or even discussed casually, the militarization of law enforcement against the public at large. Not one candidate mentioned the military tanks, the grenade launchers, assault rifles, SWAT gear, and other military weapons that local law enforcement is now arming themselves with for use on the very communities that employ them. Equipment that was paid for with taxpayer money or borrowed in the name of the People and produced so excessively that there was enough equipment to sell to other countries, to arm our own military and to arm local law enforcement against us. More

Voting…An Exersize in futility?

2 Comments

strip bannernew-logo25Marti Oakley

____________________________________________

“Was it Snowden for revealing the insidious activity of this NSA? Or were the traitors actually those who ordered the spying? Maybe it was those who sat at their desks and did the actual spying, or those who wrote the programming that facilitated the spying. I contend that it was not Snowden who betrayed us; it was the NSA and its 55,000 employee’s (conservative estimate) who made the decision that our constitutional rights mattered not….after all, they work for the government!”

_________________________________________________

Here we go again. If we can just get the Democrats (Republicans) out of office and putthFLBPYT2F the Republicans (Democrats) in, everything will be better. I have to wonder just how many times we will buy this same old song and dance before we admit that regardless of whom we vote for, regardless of which party they originate from, the flight plan doesn’t change.

So, what is it we expect to be different? More

LED Lights: We can spy on you everywhere!

1 Comment

strip banner

new-logo25Marti Oakley

(c) copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

___________________________________________________

This is Big Brother.  He is here. He is from the government and he is here to help you……….

More

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: