Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Privacy is Dead, Freedom and Rights now Under Attack

There is no escaping that the Internet began as a military research project.

The internet began in a 1966 program called Resource Sharing Computer Networks. Started by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (the precursor to DARPA, where the “D” stands for “Defense”), this network was meant to decentralize data storage to protect it from a nuclear strike. Over time, ARPANET grew to become the Internet we know and love today. 

July 27 through August 1, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada, security researchers from around the world convened to present new research into computer and internet security. One of the most interesting revelations was, in the words of ThreatPost, that “the web is thoroughly broken.” 

Researchers at Black Hat showed that they can read encrypted messages under some conditions use JavaScript to force a page to reveal secured user information and reconstruct supposedly secure portions of webpages.

In fact, the military has always been active on the Internet. Fourteen years ago, reports emerged of a vast NSA surveillance network called ECHELON. Created in 1971, ECHELON reportedly collected every satellite communication, almost all phone calls, and, according to some estimates, nearly 90 percent of traffic on the Internet.

But the current surveillance of Americans goes beyond just the Internet. Our government, including the NSA, DHS, FBI and other federal agencies, as well as our phone carriers, GPS's providers  are spying on us each and every way they can. Not to mention the satellites, drones and cameras everywhere, and the FBI's new Facial Recognition system.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we've learned a lot over the past couple of years about the appalling scope of US government surveillance programs.

This being said, the threat from foreign governments, particularly China, is becoming an ever greater concern, since these governments have figured out that there is a lot that can be discovered by hacking corporate and private computers, in addition to the traditional government websites. 

Also, government eavesdropping isn't the only thing we have to worry about, as we are also subjected to steadily increasing data collection from the private sector. It's true that, unlike a government, a corporation can't put you on a no-fly list or throw you in jail. But there are at least a couple of reasons that corporate surveillance can be every bit as intrusive as the government variety—and possibly every bit as dangerous too.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (D.A.R.P.A.) created in 2002 the Information Awareness Office (I.A.O). Their mission was to use modern surveillance and information technology to track and monitor terrorist and other threats. I.A.O. is to gather as much information as possible to counterterrorism using the information highway to achieve Total Information Awareness (T.I.A).

The information gathered via Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Yahoo, and only god and the CIA know who else, is meticulously sorted, packaged, backed-up and stored indefinitely (forever) via a universal central storage unit of the D.A.R.P.A. program called I.A.O., which is able to nest as much data as necessary, times a thousand, to be recalled and used at intelligence and law enforcement communities' convenience.

While intelligence agencies are using data from all the major social media sites, Facebook in particular is considered a national security system according to the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, Facebook is tasked with providing intel to something called Networks and Information Integration (N.I.I.) and subject to the D.o.D., headed by the Assistant Secretary of Defense, who is also in charge of  Information Resources Management (I.R.M.), which includes a program called Information Systems or (I.S.). It is this I.S. (the study of complementary networks of hardware and software) that is used to collect, filter, process, create and distribute data.

The data that the C.I.A. collects from social media, alternative media (including comments), forums, blogs, videos and media types is sent to the I.R.M., aggregated with other data obtained by cell phone, internet and GPS providers, people's banks (credit and debit card usage history), employers, etc. is studied, analysed, mapped, to be used in profiling people and groups, in hopes of predicting their actions, identifying associations, making arrests and securing convictions.

Pete Cashmore, the founder and CEO of Mashable, an award-winning site and one of the largest and most popular destinations for digital, social media and related material may have said it best: "Privacy is dead and social media holds the smoking gun."

This is what happens to all the information you post on Facebook! It’s used for intelligence to stay in communication with their operatives (make sure their spies are doing their jobs), "fight" (arm) and "deter" (fund) terrorists, as well as counter domestic threats by numerous intelligence and law enforcement agencies to monitor and counter dissident (anyone who has ever dared question the government's official story, voice disapproval of government agendas or actions, supports the Second Amendment, is a Constitutionalist, a veteran, gun owner, prepper or survivalist or any number of other reasons our paranoid, psychotic, overbearing and out of control government would want to spy on us. 

To say that the U.S. government has run amok does not do justice to the magnitude of their espionage network. Even after domestic spying was exposed, first by independent media, then by Edward Snowden via the networks and our government promised to curtail domestic spying, Washington's need for control has expanded rather than rolled back their domestic spying efforts. They will not slow down, much less stop spying on us without a total government reboot.

And that's exactly what they are afraid of. That, ladies and gentlemen is why they are spying on us. They are afraid of us.

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By Tom Retterbush
Updated 9-28-2016


Privacy Is Dead. Long Live Transparency! - Mother Jones

Privacy is dead and here’s how - Before It's News

Privacy Is Dead -- Really? - Huffington Post

Privacy is Dead. The NSA Killed it. Now What? - PC Magazine