Posts Tagged ‘big’

Big Brother in the Great White North

Friday, June 8th, 2012

We protested. We rallied. We petitioned. They didn’t care. No matter how vocal we Canadians have been against ludicrous surveillance bills and privacy eroding legislation, corporately-owned politicians like Vic Toews refuse to quit their attempts to force unwanted rulings into Canada’s law books.

What is it this time, you ask? None other than our old nemesis Bill C-30. Except now that it’s been reanimated, it has extra ghoulish powers, like giving warrantless surveillance not just to Canadian agencies, but also to US authorities who would then have access to our private information.

The bill is not without it’s dissenters. According to OpenMedia.ca, “nearly two-thirds of opposition MPs” stand against Bill C-30, a number sure to grow the more noise the public makes.

Still, as Law Professor Michael Geist points out in a lengthy yet insightful posting, the Intellectual Property Lobby tends to ignore facts in favor of ideology, looking at counterfeiting and piracy as vile evils to be fought at any expense.

But, as pointed out by myself and others, the fight against file-sharing stems from a few behemoth media companies sporting archaic business models that won’t adapt to today’s market. So they do the only thing they can: try to pass laws that protect their bottom line no matter the greater cost to society.

It’s sad and scary to think our elected officials are working so feverishly to screw us all over. Worse still, if the public keeps shutting down individual bills, the Tories might just cram them all together into next year’s omnibus budget bill and then ram it through parliament.

Just 3 more years. 3 more years? Oh man.

FBI Wants Access to EVERYTHING

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

CNET has learned that the FBI is quietly pushing a plan requiring social-networking Web sites, providers of VoIP, instant messaging services, and Web e-mail to alter their code and ensure their products are wiretap-friendly. These so-called ‘backdoors’ would become mandatory should amendments to the existing CALEA wiretap laws be allowed to pass.

Yeah, because that’s just what we need for more security: a secretive government agency with unfettered access into our private lives. (more…)

So Long Privacy, Hello Transparency

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Patsy politicians pandering to plutocratic priorities threaten to pilfer our precious privacy. Lousy legislation like ACTA, SOPA and now CISPA have come to the forefront of this fight, and these bills will all be, hopefully, crushed without mercy beneath  the feet of millions of vigilant citizens.

Still, as disheartening as it may be to hear, these exercises could ultimately prove pointless because privacy is fast going extinct. (more…)

Stop ACTA – It’s like SOPA on Steroids

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Something extraordinary happened this week: droves of freedom fighters coordinated an online protest which successfully stalled the notoriously flawed censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA. It was a glorious victory for the people, exemplifying what can happen when millions of us work together.

But this is no time to get complacent. A greater threat has been looming. An international treaty – in development for a few years now – has the potential to go beyond simply crushing Internet freedom.

The Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – ACTA – is the product of background, closed door negotiations by appointed (not democratically elected) representatives. Whose interests do these people represent? Why, the biggest corporations on earth, of course.

Here’s some information to get you up to speed about this growing danger to the future of a free human race:

Redditor justicia311 also shares a concise analysis of the latest version of ACTA and what it could mean for our world. Scary stuff!

If and when ACTA gets shot down, there will still be more liberty-stripping bills coming down the pipe. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and this holds true for the digital realm as well.

American Freedom Under Attack: Nationwide Strike Called

Friday, December 16th, 2011

 

A state of emergency has been declared for all freedom loving Americans across the nation. The republic is under attack!

Contrary to popular belief, the most pressing threat lies not with foreign extremists, but rather, from an equally radical homegrown form of tyranny. Like a disease, this danger has been quietly spreading within the very heart of the democratic system which entire armies have fought valiantly to protect.

What is it that stands to destroy the personal liberties and civil rights of every single US citizen? Fascist new legislation – SOPA and NDAA – which gives the US military the right to detain and torture American civilians on American soil without any trial, as well as permitting the US government to shutdown entire segments of the Internet at will.

Scary stuff. These are the kinds of laws power-hungry dictators dream about.

Why are US legislators working to pass such ludicrous bills? Here’s one reason: half of all Americans – that’s one in every two US citizens – are officially living in poverty. Stats like that will not go unanswered for long.

George Carlin says ‘they call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it’. Well, it seems the people are starting to wake up. And what they are seeing is making them mad enough to stir up a revolution.

Certain powers that be already know this, which is precisely why they are preparing the US government for a war against its own people.

This means the opportunity for delay has now ended. Standing on the precipice of a slippery slope, Americans must act quickly or risk losing the opportunity to ever speak out again.

Banning Public Marches, Blacking Out Internet

Monday, September 26th, 2011

The United Kingdom has banned public marches for a 30 day period. Oh well, it’s probably for the best given the upsurge of violent protests, right? Wrong!

It doesn’t matter that the bans are for a set period of time, or that they are localized to a few boroughs. Restricting the right to voice discontent, even for a single moment, in any place, is far too much!

The problem is the precedent the motion sets. The same mechanisms which ban public protests for a month can quite easily ban them indefinitely.

Sadly, the UK is not alone with their heavy handed approach to dealing with civil disobedience. In New York, many activists from the Occupy Wall St. movement found their cell phone service cut, reminiscent of the BART blackout that happened a few months ago in San Fransisco.

In the US, UK, and elsewhere, these sweeping restrictions in response to minor uprisings should not go unchallenged. Fight to stop them from taking away your civil liberties, because you will most certainly have to fight to get them back.

Be outraged! Don’t shirk your responsibility – speak out against the consistent expansion of police powers. Let your voice be heard about these and any injustices you see!

Smells Like Big Brother

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Be aware. It’s trying to hide, just up ahead in the shadows. Lurking, waiting for the right moment to pounce. It’s Big Brother. Totalitarianism. The police state.

Not to be alarmist here, but the past ten years of ludicrously overpriced security theater has put our entire world on the brink of a disastrous end – enslaved by the system we created to protect us.

Take, for example, one of the blights which arose after 9/11: America’s Patriot Act. This tool for terrorism prevention has been used predominantly to enforce drug prohibition – a cause which has already proven to be lost. Of the over 1700 warrants issued under the Patriot Act, 1618 were used for drug searches, while just 15 were used to prevent actual terrorism.

Right now, the cops and feds are using these new powers to bust drug crime, which is bad enough, but what happens when dissension – the act of speaking out against power – becomes synonymous with terrorism?

Just consider a subtle provision of the US’s National Defense Authorization Act, which puts all terror suspects into immediate military custody. Soon the rule of law and due process needn’t interfere with the crushing of unsightly uprisings.

Plus don’t forget the Citizens United bill, the one that gives American corporations unlimited political spending. Having been enacted nearly two years ago, one wonders what corporate lobbyists have in the works now… Walmart for President?

And this is just in the United States, leader of the Free World. All over the planet, major powers – like the UK, Canada, and India – have been systematically stripping entire populations of freedom, shifting us closer to where one of the world’s new superpowers – China – already is. And, believe me, we don’t want to deal with a Great Firewall or disappearing dissidents.

Now, please note that as an optimist, I truly believe humankind will persevere and overcome the threat of a global totalitarian demise. Our resourcefulness and cunning will prove superior to the encroaching fascist system, and we will inevitably find a way to break free from the grip of tyranny.

But that’s no reason to delay. The longer we wait to protect ourselves from Big Brother, the harder the struggle will be. So be sure to act now!

Surveillance State Protects the Status Quo

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Monday’s analysis of Glenn Greenwald’s poignant think piece noted how the money-wasting domestic spying and security system we’ve been creating is used not to prevent terrorism, but rather, to stifle dissent and keep protesters under wraps.

Following on that note, today Sarah Jaffe added her voice to the growing list of names – many of whom she quotes in her article – who feel the surveillance state is being used to protect the interests of the ultra-rich.

“As a global protest movement rises and spreads within the US,” writes Jaffe, “expect surveillance tactics honed in the ‘war on terror’ to be used in the defense of wealth.”

Have no doubt – the powers that be are trying to set up some sort of big brother network. Many of the people involved don’t see the real threat it poses. But some of them do, because they plan to use this growing police state to try and stop the great social revolution which has already begun.

But humanity WILL NOT be so easily enslaved. Resourceful and clever, humans will always find ways to beat the system. The more the ruling powers try to crack down, the more people will be drawn together.

Things might get scary as this global struggle comes to a head. But when all is said and done, a democratic and prosperous world of peace will be in our hands.

Canadian Conservatives Consider Bolstering Big Brother

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

(Big Harper is watching you.)

Not one to shy away from the motto “Freedom is Slavery”, Stephen Harper and his conservative cronies have been drafting a new bill intent on making it easier for law enforcement agencies to peer into the private lives of Canadian citizens.

The bill deals with “lawful access” rules, giving police expanded influence for compelling Internet service providers to disclose customer information without a court order. The bill would also ban telcos from admitting that they have provided any such information.

Oh, great. That’s exactly what we need. More sweeping police powers. Why not install CCTV’s in everyone’s home while you’re at it, Mr. Harper?

No, actually don’t. That was just sarcasm.

We Canadians are doing fine already. Crime rates across the nation have been dropping for over a decade now. Sacrificing our precious civil liberties won’t likely help this trend.

The Conservative’s lawyers and lobbyists might be able to draft a bill that dances around the problem of being unconstitutional, but they’ll never prevent it from being unnecessary.

Pulling Back the Patriot Act

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Is the US Government spying on its own population? Yes. Absolutely.

The question is not longer “Does the US spy on its citizenry”, but rather “To what depths can America’s surveillance system reach into the daily lives of the people?”

And the chilling answer, says Senator Ron Wyden, is way more than most people think.

“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” describes Wyden “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”

Not enough American’s are aware of how integrated their surveillance state has become, and fewer still even perceive government spying as a threat. The end result of this is that too much power concentrates into too few hands, leading to a political system that runs more like a dictatorship than a democracy.

So what does the US government do already, using different interpretations of information gathering bills like the Patriot Act?

  • They can grab a cellphone company’s phone records, giving access to driver’s license records, hotel records, car-rental records, apartment-leasing records, credit card records, and the like.
  • They can perform a “bulk collection” operation, pulling in massive amounts of information on private citizens, including implementing an internet dragnet.
  • They can even use geolocation data from cellphones to collect information on the whereabouts of Americans.

Of course, some have postulated they’ve been doing this for years. The Patriot Act only sought to make legal what the US Gov’t was doing anyway.

This begs the question, if America has long been spying on its own population without legal authority, then why even bother repealing the Patriot Act?

Well, it’s about swinging the pendulum back towards the side of freedom. If Americans can at least make it unlawful for their government to invade such depths of personal privacy, they will have some recourse to hold the violators accountable.

Otherwise, the more-surveillance-is-always-better mindset will keep pushing the envelope, eroding more civil liberties until the only thing left to protect is the surveillance state itself.