Just Big Bro, Bro

November 14, 2012

One crucial element off the World Trade Center attacks was fright, and from this fear arose a desire coupled with the technical ability to scrutinize perceived enemies, real or maybe politically imagined.
The ongoing David Petraeus freak show details how this shit can morph into something way different — and all US peoples should beware of how aware are prying eyes.

Last March, King David blubbered at a spy conference: “Our technical capabilities often exceed what you see in Tom Cruise movies.”
And: “We have to rethink our notions of identity and secrecy.”

(Illustration found here).

From The New Yorker yesterday (from where the above quotes came) was this bit on the gosh-awful so-called national security apparatus drifting in line with the Petraeus e-mail scandal:

But if we know that kind of subterfuge is being used by terrorists, then it’s almost axiomatically an inadequate counter-surveillance option. It’s not yet clear on precisely what legal authority the F.B.I. obtained access to Broadwell’s e-mail, but under the relevant federal statute, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the government need do little more than ask.

There is ample evidence that, in practice, this kind of broad authority has been abused. In a series of reports between 2007 and 2010, the F.B.I.’s inspector general has found that in seeking information from private communications providers, agents have often violated their own internal rules and guidelines, and have ensnared civilians who are only peripheral to their searches.

In this instance, the peripheral civilian was the director of the C.I.A…

One must take in and understand that Big Bro is not only watching, but listening and digging through whatever trash of a life you have, and it all could so easily just spill out into public view.
Google google — the UK’s Guardian on the search engine’s so-noted ‘transparency report:’ The latest report, which covers up to the end of the second quarter of this year shows that in the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from governments around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts – these are users’ accounts.
Firedoglake points out, Google may not be able to tell if the demand really is “for a criminal investigation as opposed to some other purpose.”
And starting Sept. 30, 2015 — not that far down the road — the FAA will open US air space to unmanned drones, which most-likely could mean fewer cops on the beat with more eyes in the skies.
Ordinary US peoples should be worried for ‘some other purpose.’

Glenn Greenwald, always poking under the nastiest-looking rocks, notes the asshole-part of the Petraeus bullshit is the out-of-control-surveillance state:

So all based on a handful of rather unremarkable emails sent to a woman fortunate enough to have a friend at the FBI, the FBI traced all of Broadwell’s physical locations, learned of all the accounts she uses, ended up reading all of her emails, investigated the identity of her anonymous lover (who turned out to be Petraeus), and then possibly read his emails as well.
They dug around in all of this without any evidence of any real crime — at most, they had a case of “cyber-harassment” more benign than what regularly appears in my email inbox and that of countless of other people — and, in large part, without the need for any warrant from a court.

So not only did the FBI — again, all without any real evidence of a crime — trace the locations and identity of Broadwell and Petreaus, and read through Broadwell’s emails (and possibly Petraeus’), but they also got their hands on and read through 20,000-30,000 pages of emails between Gen. Allen and Kelley.
This is a surveillance state run amok.
It also highlights how any remnants of internet anonymity have been all but obliterated by the union between the state and technology companies.
But, as unwarranted and invasive as this all is, there is some sweet justice in having the stars of America’s national security state destroyed by the very surveillance system which they implemented and over which they preside.
As Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it this morning: “Who knew the key to stopping the Surveillance State was to just wait until it got so big that it ate itself?”

Based on what is known, what is most disturbing about the whole Petraeus scandal is not the sexual activities that it revealed, but the wildly out-of-control government surveillance powers which enabled these revelations.
What requires investigation here is not Petraeus and Allen and their various sexual partners but the FBI and the whole sprawling, unaccountable surveillance system that has been built.

Might be a click late on that one.

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