Who Are They Watching?

Posted by Larry Miller on May 30, 2012 under How | Be the First to Comment

“We will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms,” President Bush declared after 911. People were angry about the attack on our land and realized something more had to be done. Yet, we wanted to retain the unique freedoms that made the United States a special place in the world.

While many expressed reservations about the Patriot Act that began the decline in our personal freedoms, it seemed necessary as we learned more about the intelligence failures that led to the September 11 attacks. We learned about how different branches of the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus knew parts of the story, but were unable to piece together a coherent picture of what was to come. We knew something had to change in the way they worked together.

There is no need to rehearse the step by step diminishing of our forefathers sought to install as the basis of our new nation:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

The point is that governments – legitimate governments – exist to protect the rights that come from our Creator, not restrict them. Governments can only recognize rights… never grant them. Governments can only grant privileges to those in their favor.

However, there are times when leaders become more concerned with their own welfare and rights than those of their citizens. We can see this no more clearly than when we are told that limiting access to firearms promotes public safety. The reality is that honest armed citizens pose no threat to their friends and neighbors. They do, on the other hand, represent a hindrance to imposition of illegitimate intrusion into the lives of the good people by those who would control them.

While many of us are uncomfortable with the level of watching we are already experiencing from those we’ve trusted with positions of power, there is more waiting to be revealed… although we’ve seen some hints from those involved.

Last year Valerie Caproni, then-FBI general counsel spoke of “individually tailored” surveillance solutions for “very sophisticated criminals”. She told congress that new laws for social networks and Voice over IP (VoIP) were needed because “individually tailored solutions have to be the exception and not the rule.”

Caproni believes that new surveillance techniques were required for “Web-based e-mail, social networking sites, and peer-to-peer communications technology.” Things that many take for granted as innocuous pass times, friendly communications or even information exchanges… not always complementary of the powers that be. More recently, the FBI is asking Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in back doors for government surveillance so they can come and go at will to keep an eye on suspected miscreants… or anyone they don’t feel comfortable with, court orders not withstanding.

To accomplish these goals the FBI has formed a Domestic Communications Assistance Center (DCAC), based in Quantico, Va. This center is looking to developing new electronic surveillance technologies, including intercepting Internet, wireless, and VoIP communications. The agency is a cooperative effort with US Marshals and Drug Enforcement Agency, and takes in a wide range of data collection and distribution. Having been burned eleven years ago, these agencies are more intent than ever on keeping the fingers on the pulse on everything that goes on in our world.

Jennifer Lynch, Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney, produced a report named From Finger Prints To DNA where she describes the collection of huge amounts of data on citizens, aliens and anyone else who may happen by with “little to no standards, oversight, or transparency.” She explains that the facial recognition they rely on, at times, is dependent on consistent lighting conditions and may also be less accurate with certain ethnicities, causing a high rate of false positives, making the the power these agencies have even darker and more frightening.

Some will say we are facing some real dangers – illegals sneaking across the border committing crimes on unsuspecting citizens – sometimes as violent gangs, leaving a path of death and destruction in their wake – radical Islam showing it’s hatred for the freedom we enjoy, wanting to destroy everything our founders stood of. The problem is, the current thinking in Washington does not consider these their primary threat.

They don’t seem to be concerned about border violence. They are filtering out references to radical Islam in their training materials and courses. Some of the documents show a lack of focus on those who would destroy us. Documents like the DHS Right Wing Extremist ReportDHS Domestic Extremist Lexicon and the MIAC Report on The Modern Militia Movement show they are just as concerned with Second Amendment supporters, Pro-Lifers, Ron Paul supporters and those who “recognize no sovereign but God and no king but Jesus” as they are about people who really want to do us harm.

They are watching us… simple Americans who love their country and hate what is happening to it. Criticism of the government disturbs them more than the suffering of the people… and they don’t take kindly to it. Remember there are millions of illegals in the country, 6 million Muslims in the United States and 1 billion in the world, and they upset about patriots.

With all the digital firepower aimed at the would be freedom fighters, it may be that those of us who admire the founders, may have to go back to their methods of communicating. Pamphlets, flyers, letters, one on one conversations… we may just have to learn to work under the draconian radar until the people running the country crawl back under the rocks from whence they came.

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