Surveillance yesterday and today

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thanks
Surveillance yesterday and today

I just listened to The Current, an interview with a woman who was raised in East Berlin and was a student at the time  of the fall of the Berlin wall.

She stated that students at the time in the east wanted a 'better socialism'.  She stated that the socialism they experienced 'wasn't what Marx, Lenin, and Engels' had in mind.

She then went on to tell of the impact of the secret service on the population, and the fact that one out of every seven members of the population was an informant. 

There seemed to be no realization that Lenin was the one who initiated state surveillance and the terror of the secret police in the USSR.

Perhaps those over in Germany did not experience it directly as those further east did, or they, like many leftists in the west, only read what Lenin wrote, and believed that was what he was implementing.

In spite of the interviewee's lack of understanding of the situation further east, I found the interview reminded me of experiences of my own family members- the constant surveillance during the rule of Lenin and later Soviet rulers.

Nowadays we have constant corporate surveillance, along with the surveillance of any hacker who has time to kill.  

Corporations, states, individuals..anyone who can decode electronic communications can do surveillance.  And it's not being done through any clear system of participatory public democratic control.

What we have now is the worst of the former soviet system combined with the worst of a private free-for-all.

None of this surveillance should be tolerated as an ideal or goal.

It represents a complete disintegration of functional society.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I think you've got that backwards. The old DDR had much more of a surveillance apparatus than the former Soviet Union. It was a great drain on state coffers.

An interesting film on surveillance in the DDR is "The Lives of Others".

triciamarie

Oh good lord.

remind remind's picture

Had some Hungarians as neighbours for many many years...they fled in 1956.....and they absolutely hated the RCMP, told us the RCMP reminded them of first Hitler's SS,  and later Russian KGB.

oldgoat

How 'bout International News and Politics for this?

skdadl

Not that I'm an apologist for him, thanks, but nobody "lived under" Lenin for very long. The Bolshevik Revolution occurred late in 1917; Lenin had the first of his strokes in early 1922, and he was dead by 1924. Before he died, he warned that Stalin would be capable of just the surveillance state you describe, as indeed he was.

 

I agree with N.Beltov, though. From all I know, surveillance systems in the DDR were a fiendish combination of systems taken on from both the Nazis and Stalin. It was a society permeated by betrayal, just no trust possible. I certainly agree with your conclusion that such systems mean a disintegration of functional society. If it's any comfort to you, brave people who stayed sane while living through all those nightmares have left us some of the greatest written testimony to what it means to be human.

 

Yes, the U.S. national security agencies are mining everything. Congress is authorizing that, and the president wants it. There's pretty much no doubt about that now.

remind remind's picture

Good first point....

 

In respect to your last point, what do you feel this means to us all, given the implications?

Slumberjack

skdadl wrote:
..the U.S. national security agencies are mining everything. Congress is authorizing that, and the president wants it. There's pretty much no doubt about that now.

At least there the Congress still quibbles whenever the executive does an end around and freelances with spying on the public. Very little in the way of checks and balances exist here in this regard, it's a gaping open pit mine.

Fidel

Were the Stasi spending all of their time spying on East Germans? Was the wall meant to imprison East Germans, or did it also serve another purpose? [url=http://emperors-clothes.com/docs/gehlen2-a.htm]Gehlen Org[/url]

 

Imagine the surprise among our former WW II allies when they realized that the west had essentially reconstructed Himmler's SS to to run the spy ops out of West Germany.

skdadl

Slumberjack wrote:
skdadl wrote:
..the U.S. national security agencies are mining everything. Congress is authorizing that, and the president wants it. There's pretty much no doubt about that now.
At least there the Congress still quibbles whenever the executive does an end around and freelances with spying on the public. Very little in the way of checks and balances exist here in this regard, it's a gaping open pit mine.

 

Well, Slumberjack, I've been following the Patriot Act/FISA debates in the Senate at least, and I can count the number of senators who are backing up any quibbles with a good vote on the fingers of one hand. I mean, sometimes we're down to Russ Feingold (yay, Russ!). In spite of all the elaborate courtesies, they're just letting it happen.

 

I used to think their executive was the major problem, but I'm beginning to think that Congress is worse, and money is the obvious problem. Most of them are so owned, so totally owned, that we're beyond serious democratic debate.

triciamarie

thanks wrote:

Nowadays we have constant corporate surveillance, along with the surveillance of any hacker who has time to kill.  

Corporations, states, individuals..anyone who can decode electronic communications can do surveillance. 

 

Excuse me, could you clarify what you mean by this, thanks?

Fidel

KAOS has been spying on citizens in English speaking countries for many years. Google ECHELON. Same goes for the renditions and torture. The Gladio gang are only attempting to get it out in the open now, but they've been torturing and spying on and terrorizing civilian populations around the world for a long time.

Fidel

[url=http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/23/deep_packet_inspection_telecoms_ai...' deep packet inspection tech helps Iranian gov't surveil the lives of others[/url]

 

Be careful what you say over your cellular phone or on the web, at work or at school. Because you're being KGB'd like few have been KGB'd before.

 

canuquetoo

The US Homeland Security is now demanding fingerprints and retinal scan info from departing international travellers from the USA. Perhaps their logic is that a traveller may refuse on entry to the US but they have no recourse when trapped on US soil.

Am I alone in finding similarities between the paranoia and slavish devotion to 'security' by the security apparatus of a failing empire and the paranoia and slavish devotion to security of the Nazis during the period after the battle of Kursk, the Sicilian and Normandy landings?

The Berlin Wall was intended to keep individuals in, can Homeland security  use its vast intelligence gathering apparatus as a 'Berlin Wall' to control individuals' movements in the interests of the state but against the interests of a free people?

Frmrsldr

canuquetoo wrote:

Am I alone in finding similarities between the paranoia and slavish devotion to 'security' by the security apparatus of a failing empire and the paranoia and slavish devotion to security of the Nazis during the period after the battle of Kursk, the Sicilian and Normandy landings?

No, you're not alone.

Slumberjack

skdadl wrote:
Well, Slumberjack, I've been following the Patriot Act/FISA debates in the Senate at least, and I can count the number of senators who are backing up any quibbles with a good vote on the fingers of one hand. I mean, sometimes we're down to Russ Feingold (yay, Russ!). In spite of all the elaborate courtesies, they're just letting it happen. 

Courtesy is what it amounts to, yes.  The fact that a critical mass of the citizenry do not see fit to at least take note of the proceedings in terms of protecting their own privacy and that of their neighbors doesn't alter the fact that they can if they choose.  We are not even provided the courtesy of a charade in that respect.

Stargazer

canuquetoo wrote:

The US Homeland Security is now demanding fingerprints and retinal scan info from departing international travellers from the USA. Perhaps their logic is that a traveller may refuse on entry to the US but they have no recourse when trapped on US soil.

Am I alone in finding similarities between the paranoia and slavish devotion to 'security' by the security apparatus of a failing empire and the paranoia and slavish devotion to security of the Nazis during the period after the battle of Kursk, the Sicilian and Normandy landings?

The Berlin Wall was intended to keep individuals in, can Homeland security  use its vast intelligence gathering apparatus as a 'Berlin Wall' to control individuals' movements in the interests of the state but against the interests of a free people?

 

Not only departing visitors but also any visitor who has the unfortunate "lay over" stop in the US. A German friend of mine flew from Germant to Canada and because there was a layover in the US for an hour or so he had to get the same treatment. Why should foreign people who simply land at an airport be subjected to this?

For me, I prefer to spend my vacation money and time in better places. I'm boycotting our backwards neighbours to the south until they actually get democracy (I know, I'll be waiting a long time).

triciamarie

I recall that one of my first discussions on babble was to address the issue of the Conservative Party database of Canadian voters. That kind of amassed personal information violates Canadian privacy laws, though there may be a loophole for political parties. There was also an indication that the CPC were compiling data not only from public sources but even from government records. It is known that any contact between a citizen and a Conservative MP is added to the database. People here informed me that all the parties do the same thing.

Corporations also use amassed information, much of it I believe from loyalty cards, to target consumers. Companies also share information between divisions. A good friend of mine used to work directly with Ted Rogers and one of their initiatives involved the telecoms' efforts to get into the insurance business, partly if not mainly in order to be able to use information in insurance records for telecommunications sales and marketing purposes.

Police use extensive data banks. The US retina scan is a disturbing addition. It also sounds like these will be greatly supplemented if protesters will now be required to give fingerprints on request, even without any charges being laid, as recently discussed here in another thread.

Fidel, you have pointed out that it is technologically possible to monitor all internet and telephone communications. In your link, China does this routinely of its own citizens, and Iran has apparently now purchased a similar system. It is also said that the security branches of NATO and other governments cooperate to share information obtained through telephone and internet monitoring.

However I believe it is a giant leap from that information to the conclusion that we in Canada are all being personally surveiled every minute of the day, by government, corporations and "any hacker who has time to kill".

Is it possible to responsibly outline the degree of the intrusion of our privacy, here in Canada, before we start comparing our own situation to that of the citizens in Nazi-occupied countries and totalitarian regimes?

canuquetoo

Stargazer wrote:

canuquetoo wrote:

The US Homeland Security is now demanding fingerprints and retinal scan info from departing international travellers from the USA. Perhaps their logic is that a traveller may refuse on entry to the US but they have no recourse when trapped on US soil.

Am I alone in finding similarities between the paranoia and slavish devotion to 'security' by the security apparatus of a failing empire and the paranoia and slavish devotion to security of the Nazis during the period after the battle of Kursk, the Sicilian and Normandy landings?

The Berlin Wall was intended to keep individuals in, can Homeland security  use its vast intelligence gathering apparatus as a 'Berlin Wall' to control individuals' movements in the interests of the state but against the interests of a free people?

 

Not only departing visitors but also any visitor who has the unfortunate "lay over" stop in the US. A German friend of mine flew from Germant to Canada and because there was a layover in the US for an hour or so he had to get the same treatment. Why should foreign people who simply land at an airport be subjected to this?

For me, I prefer to spend my vacation money and time in better places. I'm boycotting our backwards neighbours to the south until they actually get democracy (I know, I'll be waiting a long time).

 

 

Me too. I differentiate between the American elitist agenda and the American people but it is frightening how the people are sleepwalking through a period when elitist banksters and politicians are stealing their future via debt and asset manipulation while the propaganda machine plays on their patriotism to sacrifice their children to the megalomania of global adventurism. 

The greatest fear I have is how certain interests in the US may use the threat of a failed US state to project security paranoia outwards and raise global tensions to take the focus off their self-inflicted financial predicament.  Calling the sheeple to arms to fight an imaginary enemy is a tried and true method to default on debt and obscure the fact of a peoples' stolen standard of living, much the same way Hitler rallied the Germans using the Treaty of Versailles as a strawman.

A more likely outcome will be a reduced ability to project power due to a crushing public debt but what will it take to force the American security establishment to reduce military and security spending to concentrate on rebuilding their standard of living? Will the power of democracy triumph as American individuals rise up to say 'enough' or will the vested interests triumph over a people sleepwalking toward a failed state?

 

kropotkin1951

triciamarie wrote:

Fidel, you have pointed out that it is technologically possible to monitor all internet and telephone communications. In your link, China does this routinely of its own citizens, and Iran has apparently now purchased a similar system. It is also said that the security branches of NATO and other governments co-operate to share information obtained through telephone and internet monitoring.

However I believe it is a giant leap from that information to the conclusion that we in Canada are all being personally surveilled every minute of the day, by government, corporations and "any hacker who has time to kill".

Is it possible to responsibly outline the degree of the intrusion of our privacy, here in Canada, before we start comparing our own situation to that of the citizens in Nazi-occupied countries and totalitarian regimes?

I know for sure that anyone who is actively involved in any activist area whether it be labour or environmentalism or social justice has always been subject to Canada's "security" agencies.  What makes you think that our fascist spies would not use the same techniques as used routinely in the USA?  

Have they spent the money to listen to everyone or only people who are active or know someone who is active?  Too me the answer is irrelevant if you are talking about what constitutes a police state. We are like the proverbial frog in the water who can't jump put out of the pot as the water temperature rises.

The Vancouver police have a new sonic crowd control weapon.  This like the taser is about control not justice. The police get to assess the situation and decide how much pain a citizen should endure because they will not obey a police order.  It is an instantaneous process of charge, conviction and punishment for the protectors and is the hallmark of a police state. 

___________________________________________

Soothsayers had a better record of prediction than economists

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

 

Fidel wrote:

Imagine the surprise among our former WW II allies when they realized that the west had essentially reconstructed Himmler's SS to to run the spy ops out of West Germany.

 

Or CSIS recruitment of individuals within Labour organizations, Non Profit organizations in Canada with which we may ascribe too. Montebello was an activate example of polce infiltration is what these recruits signed on for?

 

George Victor wrote:

That's the dominant prevailing moral and political sentiment, linked to industry and the corporation.  And it's not easily challenged,  just as the oil patch continues on its way in spite of world opinion that it is a pathological product of technical development - the internal combustion engine. And we rail against it, even while enjoying the freedom of the ride.

Please pardon my going all philosophical on a question rising out of people's deaths. But I have been watching the process in another rather close-up for a decade now, and I've had to turn to history for answers, or go bonkers. And all I'm saying, finally, is that it is too damned bad that folks can't bring that perspective to understanding what hits them.  We might be able to mitigate the effects of some of the worst features of modern industrial capitalism.

But in all areas as Thanks has put up, what can one do in regards to human rights to privacy in face of what a company intends to do while you use secured lockers, internet emails. A company scans them declaring them as their own? Sign a waiver that you admit and if not, face being fired based on a condition of your employment. Are letters signed under duress legal?

 

All of us are reasonable here to understand what is apropriate and not, so you want to move forward here again to sideswipe fear mongering to adjustment in conduct, understanding an Orwellian experience is being moved forward and appears to me to be  the decay of those rights and freedoms.

 

So how to respond given the circumstance?

 

Your a Union Executive. Are the rights of dissemination of information in "doing one's job" warranting discipline according too, by providing benefit to a third party, while giving an open declaration to invitation. Go into your locker without you present?

 

We had assurances in the beginning,  that only under a police request, but now,  the opinion has changed to one of entitlement  to what is owned as property and our leaving things in those supposedly secured locations.

 

We are asked to appeal to the owners "righteousness of the law,"  but as we have seen, this has changed.

 

Best,

Fidel

triciamarie wrote:
Fidel, you have pointed out that it is technologically possible to monitor all internet and telephone communications. In your link, China does this routinely of its own citizens, and Iran has apparently now purchased a similar system. It is also said that the security branches of NATO and other governments cooperate to share information obtained through telephone and internet monitoring.

However I believe it is a giant leap from that information to the conclusion that we in Canada are all being personally surveiled every minute of the day, by government, corporations and "any hacker who has time to kill".

I wouldn't suggest that each of us are specific targets of eavesdropping by the feds. They've had data mining software to sift through phone calls and picking out interesting words or phrases for a long time. And it's a lot more sophisticated today. Apparently Echelon began as a secret program to focus on cold war spying with the Soviets the objects of their attention along with invading their airspace with high altitude spy planes, then satellites etc. Today most phone calls in the western world are digitized for transmission over fibre trunkline bundles and routed over land and undersea. Not just any hacker can do what the NSA and telecoms have been doing apparently for some time according to whistleblowers working for telecoms in the US.

Quote:
Is it possible to responsibly outline the degree of the intrusion of our privacy, here in Canada, before we start comparing our own situation to that of the citizens in Nazi-occupied countries and totalitarian regimes?

The technical capabilities of US telecoms for invading our privacy is far more advanced today than the Nazis or Stasi, KGB, BRAC, DINA, Savak etc ever dreamed of possessing. I am not a legal beagle, and I've only been casually following the news items in the state regarding FISA ammendments and telecoms lobbying. The way I look at it is that if the Yanks have been pulling renditions and torturing etc for a lot longer period than what the newz media have been told and are revealing to the public today, then the NSA, and Canadians, Brits etc will have been spying on the public without regard for the law for many years, too. And this is why I think a new 9/11 investigation should be pushed for at every turn. Millions of Americans and Canadians are for it happening. They've been using the events of 9/11 terrorism to justify enacting all kinds of security apparatus and rolling back civil liberties in the US. And our weak and ineffective leaders in Canada will want to shadow their policies sooner or later if they haven't already.

"The illegal we can do now. The unconstitutional will take longer" - Henry Kissinger making with cocktail party humour

triciamarie

Okay, so I think that's an important point to note -- that surveillance is in fact not within the bounds of feasibility for "any hacker with time on their hands", nor any corporation other than perhaps telecoms, contrary to the suggestions in the opening post.

Also, not to minimize the significance of illegal spying by any government, but Nazi-occupied countries and totalitarian regimes use the information gathered in this way to persecute dissidents. Is there evidence that this is happening in Canada, and if so, on what scale?

Fidel

triciamarie wrote:
Also, not to minimize the significance of illegal spying by any government, but Nazi-occupied countries and totalitarian regimes use the information gathered in this way to persecute dissidents. Is there evidence that this is happening in Canada, and if so, on what scale?

I think the Stasi were also interested in prosecuting Nazi war criminals in addition to dissenters. Our side welcomed such war criminals with open arms while spying on socialists and communists here, union activists etc. And yes, the west was also spying on the East at the time, and that the side of virtue and truth were also doing illegal wiretaps of western citizens, pereptrating false flag terrorism on west as well as eastern citizens and infrastructure, and carrying out political assassinations of European politicians both sides of the iron curtain. I think it would be folly to believe that it was only the Stasi and KGB who were spying on their own citizens. Avi Lewis says he is thankful today for Canada's secret service agency. The meticulous records they kept on his grandfather have allowed him to know things about David Lewis he never would have known otherwise. Apparently the feds took great interest in Tommy Douglas and many others as well.

thanks

not that i want to dwell ad nauseum on this issue when there are other critical issues, but

re:

"nobody "lived under" Lenin for very long. The Bolshevik Revolution occurred late in 1917"

Nobody, particularly the thousands of ordinary Kyiv residents who were slaughtered by Bolsheviks in 1917, lived long under Lenin.

The years that he was in power were years of terror for the majority of ordinary Ukrainians.

Those in the media who allow statements upholding his reign as some sort of model to pass without question in an interview do the entire left in this country a major disservice. 

that's why i raised the issue initially.

today it seems there is so much surveillance going on that it starts to feel somewhat like being under Soviet rule, or Nazi rule.

that was the second point.

implications for now or future are a separate issue.

 

 

 

 

triciamarie

Fair enough about Lenin, but again, this is no reign of terror for Canadians.

Fidel

triciamarie wrote:

Fair enough about Lenin, but again, this is no reign of terror for Canadians.

Canada wasn't even considered a frontline state during the cold war. And yet they still felt the need to spy on a number of leftists.

And during FLQ, it was PET's muscle, the little guy from Shawinigan who insisted that war measures be used. Hundreds of socialists, nion leaders and social workers were rounded up, interrogated for days on end and civil liberties violated.

 

triciamarie

Um, yeah, 40 years ago. Like, before the internet.

Fidel

In 2006, Hillary Clinton asked former General Michael Hayden and head of the NSA just how many warrantless wiretaps of US citizens the shadow government had carried out. Hayden's answer was, "I'm not going to tell you." And there are black budgets allocated for these kinds of domestic spying programs that will never see the light of day.

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5487]Naomi Wolf wrote:[/url]

Quote:
In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being watched.

In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens' phones, read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state scrutiny.

In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about "national security"; the true function is to keep citizens docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.

National security means whatever they want it to mean. Today it's the phony war on terror. And anyone who questions the legitimacy of phony war is labelled a heretic.

triciamarie

This is absolutely unacceptable, it is maddening, it is frightening and governments need to answer for this. However none of this adds up to the conclusion that our situation is analogous to that of the citizens of Iran, China, the former Soviet Union, or under Nazi occupation.

Fidel

triciamarie wrote:

This is absolutely unacceptable, it is maddening, it is frightening and governments need to answer for this. However none of this adds up to the conclusion that our situation is analogous to that of the citizens of Iran, China, the former Soviet Union, or under Nazi occupation.

The difference is that the secret polizia in those countries could not possibly have eyeballed every single citizen in those countries, just targeted dissidents and maybe some percentage of the general population for good measure. In fact, our governments were doing a pretty good job of spying on those countries with U2 and SR-71 spy planes, spy satellites capable of incredible image resolutions down to one square foot on the ground etc.

The secret polizia of DINA in Chile and BRAC/CIA in Cuba  were feared among the general populations. Uncle Sam's bosom friend, General Pinochet once said that there wasn't a mouse stir in Chile that he didn't know about. Not all of Allende's telexes intended for information economy were destroyed by the fascists. They kept and maintained some of it for spying on Chileans.

Today our governments with the help from their telecom friends really do have the technical capability to sift through tens of millions of phone calls, emails, PDA and web activity in general. They have the ability to track your every move on the grid. Pablo Escobar didn't stand a chance of evading Dope Inc. and the shadow feds when they finally surrounded him.

thanks

when people had their neighbours, in very small villages, watching their every move, tech superiority in the past just added insult to injury.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Spy on your competitiors! Profit from their success!

 

Surveillance is profitable.

 

thanks

"this is no reign of terror for Canadians."

It's all bad and has to stop.

Fidel

Sineed wrote:
"this is no reign of terror for Canadians."

It's no reign of terror for Canadians, but it is for people in countries where our are autocrats have shmoozed with at cocktail parties and signed trade deals with. People are being terrorized by those governments in this very hemisphere. Murder, torture, rape, etc Our elected stooges rub elbows with the scum of the earth when doing favours for Uncle Sam.

In this hemisphere for a long time and much worse than the Stasi and even KGB were guilty of. I can't ever have high opinion of our lap dogs in Ottawa. It would be impossible for me. Because it doesn't happen to me doesn't excuse our stooges and our largest trade partners next door for orchestrating the torture and the terror, and least of all the gross human rights violations and atrocities happening in "the backyard" for a long time running.

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16123]Welcome Home, War! Creating the "Domestic Surveillance State"[/url] How America's Wars Are Systematically Destroying Our Liberties

Quote:
Think of our counterinsurgency wars abroad as so many living laboratories for the undermining of a democratic society at home, a process historians of such American wars can tell you has been going on for a long, long time. Counterintelligence innovations like centralized data, covert penetration, and disinformation developed during the Army's first protracted pacification campaignin a foreign land -- the Philippines from 1898 to 1913 -- were repatriated to the United States during World War I, becoming the blueprint for an invasive internal security apparatus that persisted for the next half century.

Almost 90 years later, George W. Bush's Global War on Terror plunged the U.S. military into four simultaneous counterinsurgency campaigns, large and small -- in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and (once again) the Philippines -- transforming a vast swath of the planet into an ad hoc"counterterrorism" laboratory. The result? Cutting-edge high-tech security and counterterror techniques that are now slowly migrating homeward. ...

CMRF? It sounds like the ruling class are fearful of street rebellions to restore law and order.

kropotkin1951

Vancouver, Quebec City, Seattle and Philadelphia are examples of our state police breaking up demonstrations with every bit as much force as in supposed totalitarian governments.  Look at the footage recently from Philadelphia. The Iranians only wish they had the sophisticated police apparatus of control that an American city can mobilize. 

The security agencies are interviewing every single person they know of with any history of dissent and also anyone who knows them.  Unless you are Moslem I will grant you that arbitrary long term detention is not very prevalent but only if you accept our government structure as is and do not try to change it.

I love the stories on the CBC about Christian "dissidents" who refuse to meet in the normal churches and instead insist on meeting in private homes and talking about things like Christianity and democracy.  We bitterly complain about how their rights are being infringed. So tell me if I am a Moslem and I refuse to meet inside a normal mosque but instead meet in private homes and talk about the evils of capitalism and the wonders of a Shia law based system what is my government going to do to me.  I doubt anyone will dispute that just as in China we will have the security people all over and infiltrating any group they become aware of.  But that is for our peace and security not like the evil Chinese right?

Or Iran's terrible treatment of those poor young Americans who just happened to "wander" across the Iranian border in a remote area. Imagine they were arrested and held for such an act.  I am sure that if one of my Iranian friends in Cranbrook had cousins visiting from Tehran who spoke little or no English and they went hiking in the mountains and inadvertently wandered across the border into the US the US would not detain them or arrest them let alone convict and sentence them for a border breach right?

http://www.aids.org/atn/a-348-01.html

On August 6, Kate Krauss of ACT UP Philadelphia wrote to AIDS Treatment News:

"Readers should know that individuals' health is in danger. Demonstrators are being dragged, kicked, beaten, hog-tied, and slammed against walls head first. Beaten arrestees have gone untreated and jailed demonstrators have been unable to obtain important drugs, including HIV medications.

"Readers should know that the very types of ACT UP-style demonstrations that sped up the FDA drug approval process and transformed the patients' rights movement in our country are being outlawed in Philadelphia. Police destroyed signs, puppets, and other props with visual messages that would have explained the issues during demonstrations. We believe that Los Angeles may follow suit during the Democratic Convention. The right to free speech and freedom of assembly are in the Constitution, even for controversial speech and assemblies. The Philadelphia police department is trying to criminalize dissent."

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etv8YEqaWgA

 

thanks

in terms of 'meaning' @6:

If the main cause of all social and ecological problems is financiers' control of money creation, giving  them ultimate power over democratic/ participatory decision-making,

and if the best process of resident action is at the base, within local communities as root and ground of any solid foundation of a movement for change,

then

the most useful initial step to address the main cause can be taken by local groups of residents talking and working together to inform eachother and neighbours about private banker vs. public/participatory control of money creation. 

Sites like www.comer.org or similar international sites on monetary reform, can be visited for information, and local discussion groups can form to start. 

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich's partner Elizabeth has been active in this work, but without a ground base of informed people, the effort cannot be sustained given the bankers'/corporations'/politicians' opposition.  As Kucinich was kept out of televised debates by corporate media, good candidates can be side-lined or otherwise disposed of by current powers. 

There are already some Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform groups in Canada, or groups could start up different organizations with similar info.

None of this requires surveillance.  Existing banker and complicit powers are in the wrong for engaging in such.  There is no excuse for this behaviour by anyone. 

The past is over.  New options mean no surveillance, no heroics.

 

 

 

Fidel

N.Beltov wrote:

I think you've got that backwards. The old DDR had much more of a surveillance apparatus than the former Soviet Union. It was a great drain on state coffers.

I think it was a drain on precious manpower, yes. The Stasi supposedly had files on six million people. The west tapped into East German telephone lines regularly and were planning to dig a tunnel toward a central office telephone switch in East Berlin. But I think the largest concern on the ground for the East Germans and Sovs was the fact that Himmler's SS intel agents were used to spy on them after the war. U2 spy planes were a going concern in the skies over the Soviet Union, but the Yanks managed to launch a spy satellite in 1960 which the public did not know about until after the end of cold war. It revealed more information about the former Soviet Union than all U2 and SR71 covert flyovers combined. Hundreds of US pilots were downed over North Korean and Russian air space and exacerbating cold war tensions.

The NSA now spies on the lives of Americans and citizens around the world with technical capabilities the Stasi never dreamed of possessing. Orwell's big brother surveillance is more true today than ever with globalizing US military bases, between 800 and 1000 US bases around the world. The manpower issue of maintaining soldiers on so many foreign bases is not what people think it is because many of them are sophisticated telecommunications installations designed for eavesdropping and wiretaps as well as for military purposes. Only a handful few people are needed to maintain and operate those installations. It's the most efficient surveillance system ever conceived of and growing constantly. They spy on millions by tapping wires and cables, under the ocean, over the air, and even from space.

[url=http://cobbsblog.com/blog/bamford-breaks-out-shadow-factory-exposes-nsa-... Breaks Out: Shadow Factory exposes NSA, CIA, Hayden, Bush, 9/11[/url] Book published 2008

Quote:
Spoiler Alert: This interview includes explanations of how:

  • the NSA pays foreign companies and private contractors to create copies of all your Internet traffic;
  • the CIA prevented the FBI from tracking the 9/11 terrorists in America;
  • contractors in America swap tapes of our soldiers in Iraq calling home to their wives and girlfriends;
  • the head of the NSA, now the head of the CIA, General Hayden, agreed to Cheney’s demands for an illegal domestic surveillance program to avoid personal embarrassment.

thanks

so that gives the left justification to do the same thing?

shame.

harrass and intimidate to obtain, what, an agreement to allow illegal domestic surveillance, which continues whether or not permission is given?

morale doesn't improve under terror, of any kind.

nor does it trust that imposing power will change, especially given ongoing surveillance even when morale was positive.

Fidel

Well I don't know about you, but if Himmler's SS were spying on me and my country's military, I'd be pissed. Afterall, those guys had just murdered tens of millions of Russian citizens in Hitler's war of annihilation against Soviet communism. As in, they weren't even invited into Russia, Ukraine etc. And lo and behold, guess who's looking at them real close all over again in the 1950s and 60's? I'd be trusting few on the other side and maybe even think about erecting a wall.

thanks, the Soviet Union doesn't exist anymore. And unlike the Stasi who tapped phone lines of some six million or so of their citizens, the secret police of today in North America don't even have to climb a telephone pole to do a physical wiretap of someone's telephone line. NSA spooks are able to do a wiretap from the comfort of a hotel room or government office and with just a lap top computer and a bit of hardware. The hardware and software for enabling government wiretaps in the US is now incorporated(integrated into all telecom switching equipment by order of spooky US law) into every telephone central switch, every college and campus computer network, and every ISP service in the United States.

Unlike the former East German Stasi, the USSA's NSA aren't even denying that they spy on the lives of others. It's the largest domestic and foreign spying operation ever created. It's massive.

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who's to trust when everyone is spying?  anyone with google earth can see what anyone is up to, down to the last square foot as has been said.  unionized communications staff of satellite corps can probably do that twenty-four seven.

where does this stop?

i don't think the surveillance stops at all.

Fidel

Well I'm pretty sure it does not stop at email, or internet social forums, cell phone conversations, land line communications and so on. The NSA owns the encryption industry, so I'm not sure that even Skype service would be safe from the eyes and ears of government minders in the ECHELON group of countries.

What I am sure of is that they are not so afraid of their very own terrorist creations "Al-Qaeda" or other similar groups. The war on terror is a ruse. Al-Qa'eda is really Al-CIA'da. The Taliban are their creation as well.

What has the political right feared the most since the 1950's? Communism, yes. But what they fear the most is democracy. Democracy is the right's most hated institution and always will be. Their long game is to prevent outbreaks of democracy around the world. And destabilizing countries is their game. Dirty tricks is their game.

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can you have a just democracy with non-stop surveillance?

thanks

thanks wrote:

can you have a just democracy with non-stop surveillance?

repeated for lack of sufficient answer

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Let's get the democracy first, and then if the spying doesn't help, we'll get rid of it.

Fidel

After the world revolutions are finalized in the future and democracy placed in the hands of the people, all of the capitalist apparatus for production as well as spying on the lives of others will be owned and controlled by the large majority of people. I think the surveillance end of things could be used to create a highly technical cyber democracy.

See the web article 'Santiago Dreaming' One of the right's criticism's of left wing economics is that there was never a real loopback/feedback mechanism for socialist production methods. Socialist governments could not possibly identify the material demands of the people without utilizing supply and demand market mechanisms, or so they say. Supply and demand has become a runaway train here in the west without proper regulation or democratic input from communities and workers on a whole. The truth was that Soviet economies were forced to operate by different constraints than supply and demand, and it was mainly due to a lack of manpower in the FSU after WW II.

But I think that Dr Allende and cybernetician Stafford Beer were on to something before fascists destroyed their technical experiment for a modern information based socialist economy in 1970's Chile. I think that technology can be used for good as much as it can be used to undermine democracy. The means of production and information gathering has to come under control of the people though for it to happen. The struggle for democracy continues.

Fidel

And when 99% of the world's population realize they far outnumber the one percent in control and force marching them down a road to global serfdom, it will happen.

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"I think the surveillance end of things could be used to create a highly technical cyber democracy."

-highly scary.

"Soviet economies were forced to operate by different constraints than supply and demand, and it was mainly due to a lack of.."

human decency.

"The means of production and information gathering has to come under control of the people"

-ie) the elitist few on the left who have advanced coding skills.

re: "may even think about a wall"

-and the trade off for a high tech wall is permission to monitor all electronic communications and whereabouts, including by space satellite, along with permission to harrass through these channels?  a) there is no such thing as a secure wall- if it's not hacked today its hacked tomorrow. b) even if a secure wall was possible, the trade-off is unbalanced and unfair.

The awful part is the surveillance and harrassment are occurring in any case, by all sides, unremittingly.  all that leaves, the only shred of personal power, is to not give permission.

spying never helps.

 

Fidel

Thanks, if democracy continues to elude the world, then it doesn't matter which technology is not under control of the proletariat. It's all there in Legs Diamond's book, Guns, Germans, and Steel. We can't reverse computer technology anymore than we can reverse the gun powder revolution, or the Newtonian discoveries of gravity that led to the industrial revolution. About the only way I can see a start from scratch happening is a very bleak sci-fi scenario where a handful few emerge from some kind of apocalyptic global disaster and everything is destroyed beyond recognition. We really hope that doesn't happen. What we really do want is to democratize everything in sight.

We would for sure want to trash and destroy any ability for anyone to wiretap communications so easily as the US feds are able to do today. Yes I agree with getting rid of CALEA wiretap and any other backdoor tech they've installed in telecom switching equipment since. There is no place for spying on the lives of millions across dozens of countries as is the case today. But communications technology will be our democratic friend some day. The whole world is counting on it. Tech will make owning the means of production for the proles infinitely more possible in the future. I'd bet the farm on it. In the distant future, material poverty and hunger will be eliminated. Deadly diseases of today will be cured by technological advances we can only dream of today. The future looks very bright for children of today and their children and so on. There has never been a better time in human history to have children than now and in the future. Children are the future, and they will achieve great things besides democratizing the world. I think those Scorpions song lyrics from back then are as relevant today as they were then:

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change

Walking down the street
Distant memories
Are buried in the past forever

I fallow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change

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Democratic participation has decided against use of torture, slavery, and other antisocial behaviour.

Spying on persons from space or through any channels, where there is no permission is antisocial behaviour.

At present spying on persons is a power trip for some. So you give the ability to spy on persons to everyone on the planet.  Useful?

Instead of harrassing civilians, why don't hackers leak bank transactions?  That would be useful.

 

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