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Government Eyes Are Watching You: We Are All Prisoners of the Surveillance State

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The Rutherford Institute

 

By John W. Whitehead
June 18, 2018

 

 

 

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.”— Patrick McGoohan

First broadcast in America 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village. The Village is an idyllic setting with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler. More

All Our Children Are Now FBI Terrorism Suspects

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Maybe we should report the FBI for domestic terrorism activities.

Declaring TSA Passenger Screening & Whole Body Scanners to Be Ineffective & Unlawful, Rutherford Institute & CEI Mount Renewed Legal Challenge

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RutherfordHeader_2For Immediate Release: May 3, 2016

This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Rutherford Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) have joined forces to continue to push back against the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) use of whole body scanners, which have been likened to virtual strip searches, in the nation’s airports. In mounting a legal challenge to the TSA’s protocol for subjecting travelers to whole body imaging technology (WBI), attorneys with The Rutherford Institute and CEI have asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to declare that the TSA acted arbitrarily, capriciously and contrary to law in promulgating its rules on the use of WBI technology at airports.

The Rutherford Institute’s legal challenge to the TSA’s passenger screening procedures as ineffective and unlawful coincides with reports that TSA agents using WBI scanners failed to detect explosive material smuggled through by undercover Homeland Security units at some of the nation’s busiest international airports, most recently at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. More

Saint or Sinner, Government Eyes Are Watching Every Move You Make

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speak truth

By John W. Whitehead
April 18, 2016

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

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.” ― Glenn Greenwald

Government eyes are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

Simply by liking or sharing this article on Facebook or retweeting it on Twitter, you’re most likely flagging yourself as a potential renegade, revolutionary or anti-government extremist—a.k.a. terrorist.

Yet whether or not you like or share this particular article, simply by reading it or any other articles related to government wrongdoing, surveillance, police misconduct or civil liberties is enough to get you categorized as a particular kind of person with particular kinds of interests that reflect a particular kind of mindset that might just lead you to engage in a particular kinds of activities.

Chances are, as the Washington Post reports, you have already been assigned a color-coded threat score—green, yellow or red—so police are forewarned about your potential inclination to be a troublemaker depending on whether you’ve had a career in the military, posted a comment perceived as threatening on Facebook, suffer from a particular medical condition, or know someone who knows someone who might have committed a crime.

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Rutherford Institute Warns Against Government Attempts to Intimidate Journalists by Prosecuting Radio Shock Jock Pete Santilli Over Oregon Standoff

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PORTLAND, Oregon — Warning against attempts by the government to intimidate journalists whose reporting portrays the government in a negative light or encourages citizens to challenge government injustice and wrongdoing, attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have weighed in on the government’s arrest and ongoing prosecution of radio shock jock Pete Santilli. Santilli, a new media journalist who broadcasts his news reports over YouTube and streaming internet radio, was arrested and has been charged along with seven other individuals connected to the recent occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Santilli is the only journalist among those who have been charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers from discharging their duties by use of force, intimidation, or threats. In advising the public defender about the First Amendment principles at play in Santilli’s case, Rutherford Institute attorneys took issue with the government’s case against Santilli as laid out in its Criminal Complaint, which makes clear that Santilli is being charged solely as a reporter of information and not as an accomplice to any criminal activity.

The Rutherford Institute’s memorandum on the First Amendment rights of journalists and the government’s complaint regarding Santilli are available at www.rutherford.org.

“The FBI’s prosecution of this radio shock jock is consistent with the government’s ongoing attempts to intimidate members of the press who portray the government in a less than favorable light,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “This is not a new tactic. During the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland, numerous journalists were arrested while covering the regions’ civil unrest and the conditions that spawned that unrest. These attempts to muzzle the press were clearly concerted, top-down efforts to restrict the fundamental First Amendment rights of the public and the press. Not only does this tactic silence individual journalists, but it has a chilling effect on the press as a whole, signaling that they will become the target of the government if they provide reporting on these events with a perspective that casts the government in a bad light.” More

Upholding System of Secret Surveillance, Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit

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RutherfordHeader_2This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

Filed by The Rutherford Institute, Wikipedia, ACLU Et Al. Over the NSA’s Spying Program

BALTIMORE, Md. — Despite extensive evidence that the government is systematically copying and substantially reviewing all international text-based communications, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the government’s mass surveillance programs brought by The Rutherford Institute, the ACLU, Wikipedia, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and other educational, legal, human rights and media organizations. In ruling that the coalition of national and international groups does not have standing to bring a First and Fourth Amendment lawsuit against the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Department of Justice and their directors, the district court accepted the Obama administration’s arguments that the organizations do not have concrete evidence their communications have been monitored under the secret program.

The court’s memorandum opinion in Wikipedia et al. v. National Security Agency is available at www.rutherford.org.

“On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears,” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Revelations about the NSA’s spying programs only scrape the surface in revealing the lengths to which government agencies and their corporate allies will go to conduct mass surveillance on Americans’ communications and transactions. Senator Ron Wyden was right when he warned, ‘If we do not seize this unique moment in our constitutional history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we are all going to live to regret it.’” More

Don’t Be Fooled by the Political Game: The Illusion of Freedom in America

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whitehad bokBy John W. Whitehead

August 10, 2015

“The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas.”—Journalist Lewis Lapham

Being a citizen in the American corporate state is much like playing against a stacked deck: 08-10-2015_Illusionyou’re always going to lose.

The game is rigged, and “we the people” keep getting dealt the same losing hand. Even so, most stay in the game, against all odds, trusting that their luck will change.

The problem, of course, is that luck will not save us. As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the people dealing the cards—the politicians, the corporations, the judges, the prosecutors, the police, the bureaucrats, the military, the media, etc.—have only one prevailing concern, and that is to maintain their power and control over the citizenry, while milking us of our money and possessions.

It really doesn’t matter what you call them—Republicans, Democrats, the 1%, the elite, the controllers, the masterminds, the shadow government, the police state, the surveillance state, the military industrial complex—so long as you understand that while they are dealing the cards, the deck will always be stacked in their favor.

Incredibly, no matter how many times we see this played out, Americans continue to naively buy into the idea that politics matter, as if there really were a difference between the Republicans and Democrats (there’s not).

As if Barack Obama proved to be any different from George W. Bush (he has not). As if Hillary Clinton’s values are any different from Donald Trump’s (with both of them, money talks). As if when we elect a president, we’re getting someone who truly represents “we the people” rather than the corporate state (in fact, in the oligarchy that is the American police state, an elite group of wealthy donors is calling the shots).

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