Freedom? What Freedom?

Please take five minutes to at least inform yourself and then spend a minute more to forward this to your friends and associates:

We have a police state far beyond anything George Orwell imagined in his book 1984, says privacy expert Susan Morrissey. The everyday lives of virtually every American are under scrutiny 24-hours-a-day by the government. If you are not American or live in another country - watch out for the signs, because "the system" is
implemented worldwide.

FREEDOM? What Freedom?
(from the OPS Newsletter)

Independence Day is always a great time of celebration in the USA. A big party to celebrate freedom from the oppressive regime of George, the dictator who ruled the home land with a fist of iron, prohibiting liberty and freedom and helping his stooges to a big slice of pie whilst pursuing ever other citizen for a bigger slice of theirs.

Freedom from George who with his army kept an international empire going so that resources from the colonies could be milked and sent home.

Freedom from George who was perceived to be out of touch, conniving and even a little mad.

Yes, readers, that is KING George I'm referring to - ye olde King George of England against whom the settlers in the USA rose up and successfully determined a new country, free from the shackles of tax and oppression, free from trade embargoes and inequality, free from the abuse of position by those in government.

It's a funny old world.

Seems to me that another George, based right on the "throne" of the White House, is doing a great job of emulating his predecessor of 230 years or so.

Take a look at the article below about government spying on its people. Bear in mind statistics released this week that show more than 25% of the senate representatives are multi millionaires. Bear in mind that the machinery of government is far more subtle and insidious than it was back in the days of George the King.

Independence Day should indeed be celebrated across the world - independence from taxes, from slavery, from oppression, from dictators of all colour and creed.

Independence Day could be a celebration of being stable, secure and free of fear - a day to celebrate our connection with everyone else in the world, but our submission to none.

Perhaps we should begin to style our own "Independence Week" - starting off with a promise to be true to those we value.

It is most certainly time to take our Sovereignty back - our individual, personal, spiritual and material sovereignty. For that is what makes us who we are.

Until next week!

My best wishes,

Dr. Richard Cawte, Guest Editor


2) What Price Freedom?

How Big Brother Is Watching, Listening and Misusing Information About You


Jun 8, 2004, 08:19

You’re on your way to work in the morning and place a call on your wireless phone. As your call is relayed by the wireless tower, it is also relayed by another series of towers to a microwave antenna on top of Mount Weather between Leesburg and Winchester, Virginia and then beamed to another antenna on top of an office building in Arlington where it is recorded on a computer hard drive.

The computer also records you phone digital serial number, which is used to identify you through your wireless company phone bill that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency already has on record as part of your permanent file.

A series of sophisticated computer programs listens to your phone conversation and looks for “keywords” that suggest suspicious activity. If it picks up those words, an investigative file is opened and sent to the Department of Homeland Security.

Congratulations. Big Brother has just identified you as a potential threat to the security of the United States because you might have used words like “take out” (as in taking someone out when you were in fact talking about ordering takeout for lunch) or “D-Day” (as in deadline for some nefarious activity when you were talking about going to the new World War II Memorial to recognize the 60th anniversary of D-Day).

If you are lucky, an investigator at DHS will look at the entire conversation in context and delete the file. Or he or she may keep the file open even if they realize the use of words was innocent. Or they may decide you are, indeed, a threat and set up more investigation, including a wiretap on your home and office phones, around-the-clock surveillance and much closer looks at your life.

Welcome to America, 2004, where the actions of more than 150 million citizens are monitored 24/7 by the TIA, the Terrorist Information Awareness (originally called Total Information Awareness) program of DARPA, DHS and the Department of Justice.

Although Congress cut off funding for TIA last year, the Bush Administration ordered the program moved into the Pentagon’s “black bag” budget, which is neither authorized nor reviewed by the Hill. DARPA also increased the use of private contractors to get around privacy laws that would restrict activities by federal employees.

Six months of interviews with security consultants, former DARPA employees, privacy experts and contractors who worked on the TIA facility at 3701 Fairfax Drive in Arlington reveal a massive snooping operation that is capable of gathering – in real time – vast amounts of information on the day to day activities of ordinary Americans.

Going on a trip? TIA knows where you are going because your train, plane or hotel reservations are forwarded automatically to the DARPA computers. Driving? Every time you use a credit card to purchase gas, a record of that transaction is sent to TIA which can track your movements across town or across the country.

Use a computerized transmitter to pay tolls? TIA is notified every time that transmitter passes through a toll booth. Likewise, that lunch you paid for with your VISA becomes part of your permanent file, along with your credit report, medical records, driving record and even your TV viewing habits.

Subscribers to the DirecTV satellite TV service should know – but probably don’t – that every pay-per-view movie they order is reported to TIA as is any program they record using a TIVO recording system. If they order an adult film from any of DirecTV’s three SpiceTV channels, that information goes to TIA and is, as a matter of policy, forwarded to the Department of Justice’s special task force on pornography.

“We have a police state far beyond anything George Orwell imagined in his book 1984,” says privacy expert Susan Morrissey. “The everyday lives of virtually every American are under scrutiny 24-hours-a-day by the government.”

Paul Hawken, owner of the data information mining company Groxis, agrees, saying the government is spending more time watching ordinary Americans than chasing terrorists and the bad news is that they aren’t very good at it.

“It’s the Three Stooges go to data mining school,” Hawken says. “Even worse, DARPA is depending on second-rate companies to provide them with the technology, which only increases the chances for errors.”

One such company is Torch Concepts. DARPA provided the company with flight information on five million passengers who flew Jet Blue Airlines in 2002 and 2003. Torch then matched that information with social security numbers, credit and other personal information in the TIA databases to build a prototype passenger profiling system.

Jet Blue executives were livid when they learned how their passenger information, which they must provide the government under the USA Patriot Act, was used and when it was presented at a technology conference with the title: Homeland Security – Airline Passenger Risk Assessment.

Privacy Expert Bill Scannell didn’t buy Jet Blue’s anger.

“JetBlue has assaulted the privacy of 5 million of its customers,” said Scannell. “Anyone who flew should be aware and very scared that there is a dossier on them.”

But information from TIA will be used the DHS as a major part of the proposed CAPSII airline passenger monitoring system. That system, when fully in place, will determine whether or not any American is allowed to get on an airplane for a flight.

JetBlue requested the report be destroyed and the passenger data be purged from the TIA computers but TIA refuses to disclose the status of either the report or the data.

Although exact statistics are classified, security experts say the U.S. Government has paid out millions of dollars in out-of-court settlements to Americans who have been wrongly accused, illegally detained or harassed because of mistakes made by TIA. Those who accept settlements also have to sign a non-disclosure agreement and won’t discuss their cases.

Hawken refused to do business with DARPA, saying TIA was both unethical and illegal.

"We got a lot of e-mails from companies – even conservative ones – saying, ‘Thank you. Finally someone won’t do something for money,’" he adds.

Those who refuse to work with TIA include specialists from the super-secret National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD. TIA uses NSA’s technology to listen in on wireless phone calls as well as the agency’s list of key words and phrases to identify potential terrorist activity.

“I know NSA employees who have quit rather than cooperate with DARPA,” Hawken says. “NSA’s mandate is to track the activities of foreign enemies of this nation, not Americans.”

© Copyright 2004 by Capitol Hill Blue





Why the US can't be trusted with our personal data

Recently, the European Commission announced — over vocal objections by the European Parliament and its own advisory group — that it will permit the United States government direct access to airline passenger data.

This means that before you fly to or via the United States, details of your reservation, including credit card number, flying history and even meal preferences, will be transmitted to the US government for "screening" and will be retained in a database for a minimum of 3.5 years up to an indefinite period.

This is not the time to be turning over the personal data of European residents to the American government.



Close the email wiretap loophole

Last week a Federal District Court in Boston decided that when someone reads your private email without your permission and before you receive it, it doesn't violate federal wiretap law. The ruling perfectly illustrates how we can frustrate the entire purpose of a statute simply by reading it too carefully.

The case began when an online bookstore named Internloc decided to also become an online ISP... and a KGB. First it provided its clients with email and Internet access, then it became interested in its customers' communications with competitor Amazon.com, presumable to find out which books its customers were buying from Amazon, and not from them. Internloc modified its inbound mail server to make special copies of any incoming Amazon email for the company to read, without the customers' knowledge or consent.

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts indicted the company and its vice president, Brad Councilman, for violation of the federal wiretap law, Title 18 United States Code Section 2511, which makes it a crime to: "intentionally intercept, endeavor to intercept, or procure any other person to intercept or endeavor to
intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic communication."

The charges seemed reasonable enough: the communications were certainly "intercepted" in the sense that they were read by the ISP before the recipient got them. But the federal court disagreed.



No Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent — unless you’re asked your name when you aren’t even charged with a crime. That’s right: it can now be a crime to refuse to tell a policeman your name. What’s happening to America?

Nevada and 20 other states have criminalized remaining silent in the face of a policeman’s question "What’s your name?" By a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court said that’s okay — it’s no violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches or the Fifth Amendment prohibition against compulsory self-incrimination.

"Obtaining a suspect's name in the course of a Terry stop serves important government interests," wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy for the majority, referring to an earlier case (Terry) that permits the police to detain people on the basis of a suspicion that falls short of the traditional standard of "probable cause" for arrest. It may serve "important government interests." But some of us in the United States still harbor the impression that the rights and interests of individuals trump the interests of state.



Congress' warrantless snoop authorizers

A U.S. Congressional Conference Committee, and now the House of Representatives, has passed an Intelligence Appropriations bill that gives the FBI the power to search through the consumer records of a wide variety of businesses without the benefit of a search warrant, as required by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution's Bill of Rights. All that remains between passage into law is the vote of the Senate and the signature of the President.

What is at issue is the definition of "financial institution" as defined by the so-called Financial Privacy Act, which gave the FBI the power to subpoena bank records without a warrant from a federal judge. Under the Intelligence Authorization bill, that definition of "financial institution" would expand to include 26 kinds of businesses, an A-Z list in the US Code that includes, among others:



Can you overhear me now?

The Justice Department has asked the Senate for help in extending hidebound, phone-company style wiretap capability into new Internet-based phone calls (called "VoIP" for Voice over Internet Protocol). They argue leaving the new technology unregulated would make it harder to monitor possible terrorist communications.

Meanwhile, some states hope to regulate these same phone services so they can collect taxes from and otherwise control them. To its credit, a skeptical Senate is considering legislation to prevent such interference with VoIP.



A Free Nation Doesn't Do This, Nor Do Free People Allow It!

The concept of "government" in the United States, a/k/a United Socialist States of America, is skewed beyond belief, intruding into every aspect of our lives whether we realize it or not. In so doing, people are being trained more and more to ask "why doesn't the government do something?" The proper question to ask is, "why don't we do something?" and leave the government out of it.

Never did the founders of this nation envision a people of such dependence on government less than two hundred years after the American Revolution had freed them from the tyranny of the British Crown. Nor did our founders envision a people who would willingly sell themselves back into such tyranny by allowing government to grow to unprecedented size, with unprecedented expenditures (supposedly for the public good) and unprecedented power to intrude into the lives of the people at every stage from cradle to grave. Such a nation would have been unworthy of the investment they made in the future of freedom and the granting of liberty as the birthright of all Americans and the acquired right of all legally naturalized citizens.


Informant: ECOTERRA Intl.


2004 – Year of the Slave

Informant: Kat


Freedom? What freedom?

By Monica Benderman

Americans don’t know freedom. Americans know fear –and so America goes to war. We will continue to imprison or destroy anyone who disagrees – as long as we fear facing the question of being wrong.



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