Tag Archives | Big Brother

Stop CISA: Join EFF in a Week of Action Opposing Broad “Cybersecurity” Surveillance Legislation

How do you kill a zombie bill like CISA? Grassroots action. That’s why EFF and over a dozen other groups are asking you to join us in a Week of Action to Stop CISA.  The Senate is likely to vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in the coming weeks, and only you can help us stop it.

We keep hearing that CISA and the other “cybersecurity” bills moving through Congress are “must-pass” legislation. But just like the original version of CISA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), we think grassroots activism can stop this legislation in its tracks.

CISA is fundamentally flawed because of its broad immunity clauses for companies, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers. Combined, they make the bill a surveillance bill in disguise. The bill may even make things worse for Internet users in several ways.

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All the Creepy Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

1984

John W. Whitehead Via Activist Post:

“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
—George Orwell, 1984

None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.

Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, jaywalking across the street, and letting their kid play hookie from school once in a while. Of course, that was before the era of speed cameras that ticket you for going even a mile over the posted limit, red light cameras that fine you for making safe “rolling stop” right-hand turns on red, surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software mounted on street corners, and school truancy laws that fine parents for “unexcused” absences.

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Edward Snowden’s E-mail Provider Forced to Shut Down

BigBrotherObamThe secure E-mail provider Lavabit, whose users are said to include Edward Snowden, shut down on Wednesday for reasons that are verboten. An ominous message on the company’s homepage vows to fight for the Constitution:

My Fellow Users,

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on–the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.… Read the rest

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Surveillance Cameras Wearing Party Hats For George Orwell’s Birthday

Dutch artists Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle, who use the moniker FRONT404, adorned the surveillance cameras in their city of Utrecht in adorable party hats for George Orwell’s birthday:

On Tuesday June 25, to celebrate the 110th birthday of George Orwell, surveillance cameras in the center of the city of Utrecht were decorated with colorful party hats! George Orwell is best known for his book ‘1984’, in which he describes a dystopian future society where the populace is constantly watched by Big Brother. By making these inconspicuous cameras that we ignore in our daily lives catch the eye again we also create awareness of how many cameras really watch us nowadays, and that the surveillance state described by Orwell is getting closer and closer to reality.

orwell's birthday

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The NSA PRISM Leak of Snowden and The Pentagon Papers of Ellsberg

The more things change, the more they stay the same, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have any(Steven Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers leak, left; Edward Snowden of the NSA PRISM leak, right)

Of course, you won’t find too much support for that “traitor” and “defector” on the mainstream news networks (even Andrew Napolitano seems to be the lone voice lionizing Snowden as an “American hero” on the Fox News Network).

Dana Stuster writes at Foreign Policy.

“…[T]he reaction to Snowden’s leaks is in many ways different than the response Ellsberg received when the Pentagon Papers were published four decades ago. Then, politicians went out of their way to be associated with Ellsberg’s disclosures. Sen. George McGovern, who was running for president at the time, told the New York Times that he suggested Ellsberg make the Pentagon Papers available to “a respectable newspaper” and that he did not release the Pentagon Papers himself because it would have seemed too political, according to an Aug.

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“Obey”: A Brutally Honest New Film By British Filmmaker Temujin Doran

I could call this film many things:

“A chilling view of the future”

“A harrowing tale of what we may become”

Based on the book The Death of the Liberal Class by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, “Obey” brutally conveys our present reality, perhaps in the hope that we may finally wake as a united humanity.

We have been lulled into a state of being in which we are not confronted with monolithic decisions where we choose Liberty or Death; instead we are fed a steady diet of mini-compromises in our lives that we often choose wrongly upon.

I myself and totally guilty of this, but the overall result is a total compromise of every single piece of our dignity and personal sovereignty.  So say that things are as they truly are is a radical notion that may get you shot in the face with a gas canister, like the military veteran of the Oakland Occupy protests or thrown into prison indefinitely like Bradley Manning.… Read the rest

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The Black Hornet Is Here To Help.

After Rand Paul's filibuster this last week, many people are paying a bit more attention to the idea that our government may not always be using their cool toys for our own good. RT's Abby Martin reported on mini drones and the possible ways in which they could be used against the public. One has to wonder if these little dandies might slip through the cracks of public awareness due to their size. Will Rand Paul get up again and passionately rail against the use of these cute lil' fellas? Presently in military use abroad, it seems like only a matter of time before these mini-drones hit the ghettos and suburbs of America to quietly keep an eye on the malcontents. If you can imagine it, it's probably going to be done at some point. Easy as 'playing an Xbox'; mini drones offer a new way for those in power to keep an eye on you...through your second floor bedroom window. Nice undies!
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