Intimidation — Noose is tightening around our necks!
Chinese proverb — You must kill a chicken to scare the monkeys. Think about it!
Intimidation of whistleblowers and computer experts are taken to levels of sleazy by our government and through the complicitantly behavior of other governments. Intimidation of the whistleblowers translates to intimidation of all America’s children.
I hold the belief that the U.S. government has pulled every string they can to pressure other governments to comply with our government to hand over whistleblowers. In some ways the United Kingdom for example is hiding behind the skirt of the NSA. The NSA is tightly associated with the “five eyes” known as Australia, UK, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. The UK weenies hide behind the skirt of the U.S. NSA to deflect accountability and anger from its citizens to the U.S.
The noose is now tightening around the neck not only of Edward Snowden but also Julian Assange. Snowden is a man without a country and Assange and Snowden are both imprisoned in their respective abodes daring not to venture out for fear of capture or being killed.
Assange after disclosure that he and others were making attempts to secure asylum for Snowden the Ecuadorian embassy reported to UK’s Foreign Secretary that a microphone had been discovered in the office of ambassador Ana Alban. The UK newspaper The Guardian reported that the “round-the-clock police guard” of Ecuador’s embassy “has so far cost more than £3.3m”. Ecuador’s Patino described the constant surveillance of the embassy “a bit uncomfortable for embassy employees”.
Both Snowden and Assange have been subject to a campaign of character assaults by the U.S. government and those governments the U.S. can convince to participate in the character assaults.
Sweden as we know suddenly brought charges of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion against Assange. Although these charges were dismissed for lack of credible evidence they were filed again and they have fueled conspiracy thoughts in Europe, among some here in the U.S. and as well other nations around the globe.
The U.S. government has ran PR campaigns through friendly MSM directed at Snowden that paint him as a traitor against the U.S. and has brought charges of treason and espionage, the charge can bring the death penalty.
I want spend much time talking about Swedens rape laws except to state they seem to be based in socialistic political correctness. The charge of molestation against Assange is not one of directed at children but molestation against the purported rape of the two women. Coercion charges seem not to be valid since the alleged rape victims stated that consensual sex took place. Rape charges can be brought in Sweden even if admittedly by the reporters of rape that consensual sex was involved. I will also note that Sweden has been called the rape capital of Europe with 46.5 per 100,000 with a conviction rate as low as 6% and as reported by some at 10%. The Swedish rape laws sociologist, law professionals and others spend a lot of time studying and then trying to bring to national sanity.
Assange has been painted by government as a sexual fein someone who is not short of addiction to sex.
It is obvious to me that this campaign directed at the two is indicative of our government’s desperation and that of the UK government possibly Australia and other countries as well.
Certainly we can agree that the U.S. has pulled every diplomatic string and directed coercion at other governments that they can conjure in order to bring Snowden and Assange to the United States. Although Obama implied that he would not participate in concessions with any country for their transfers to the U.S. I personally do not buy the negotiations have just been taken underground.
It is clear to me that in both cases our government has more they wish to remain secret. Assange obviously has proof of bad behavior of banks and the financial market. Snowden may very well have more damaging information that many of us would like disclosed.
With Congress being so willing to go along with Obama’s waging war against the whistleblowers I can’t help myself in believing Snowden at least has juicy information on them as well. At least I can make a wish.
It is hard to believe that any American would join in the castigation of Snowden yet many do and they are buying our governments propaganda.
I am one who believes Americans should rally around the whistleblowers and call for protections for them and as well call for a more open transparent government. Obama ran on the transparency issue and once in office transparency is not one of ‘Hope and Change’ it is now one of ‘Scandals and no Change’.
The fear flags have been raised by our government in the name of national security even though attacks by Islamist from 9/11 on, waged on American soil, have shown that there were failures within the spook organizations. There is no case that I am aware of that this is not true. Islamic terrorist openly and clandestinely appear to enter and exit the U.S. easily. Their entry and exit seems on the surface to go unnoticed but I for one am beginning to question if our spook agencies are allowing many entries/exits to occur believing as in Fast and Furious they can trace in hopes of nabbing others in their snare. Obviously if this is true they can be said to be putting Americans at risk while at the same time using propaganda that what they do is keeping Americans safe. For me this is whitewash laced with caustic chemicals.
We can not afford to turn our liberty over to a advancing despotic government.
Each time an incident of a major massacre occurs they serve our governments goals for tightening control on all Americans.
Americans at large are a patriotic lot. We show our allegiance to this sovereign nation and possess appropriate compassion for fellow Americans who are made victims of these horrendous attacks. It is our compassion and patriotism that the government is capitalizing on.
The Boston Marathon massacre however taught us the response by law enforcement was nothing short of that of a police state. That display of force, to me, was mild to what surely is to come. We were given a taste, an introduction if you will, designed to indoctrinate us to the police state.
This police state force scares the bejeezus out of those who recognize it for what it was. For those who do not recognize this emerging police state they were nonetheless unconsciously frightened. In other words it worked.
On July 1, 2013 the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an appeal to the Federal Appeals court on behalf of Andrew Weev Auernheimer . Auernheimer crime was “revealing a massive security flaw in AT&T’s website.” He was “subsequently prosecuted under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA)”.
The flaw that was uncovered in 2010 was that “Auernheimer co-defendant Daniel Spitler discovered that AT&T had configured its servers to make the email addresses of iPad owners publicly available on the Internet. Spitler wrote a script and collected roughly 114,000 to 120,000 email addresses as a result of the security flaw. Auernheimer then distributed the list of email addresses to media organizations as proof of the vulnerability, ultimately forcing AT&T to acknowledge and fix the security problem”. Spitler opted for a plea deal and Auernheimer chose to have his day in court. Auernheimer was sentenced to 3.5 years.
Obviously AT&T was embarrassed and was trying to avoid looking stupid or being sued no sympathy for AT&T from me. However this case says a bunch about the lengths our federal prosecutors will go to silence computer professionals.
On June 20, Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Jim Sensenbrenner, and Sen. Ron Wyden introduced “Aaron’s Law” in Congress, a bill that would reform the CFAA. One element of the legislation would reform the laws that were used to convict Auernheimer. For a good article by Wired that goes along way in explaining issues with CFAA that affect us all read article here.
The update to CFAA was named after Aaron Swartz after Swartz committed suicide in 2011. CFAA has undergone many amendments since it was first passed in 1986.
Swartz was out on bail but facing a 35 year sentence and up to a $1 million dollar fine. His crime was downloading scholarly articles from JSTOR and MIT. JSTOR charges dollars for the articles and MIT charges for most. Swartz felt the articles should be in the public domain and downloadable to everyone without charge since the brunt, if not all, were written as a result of taxpayers dollars. Swartz was a self described digital rights activist and hacker.
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman who spent the last 20 months of Swartz life with him said he was not depressed. She said “I believe Aaron’s death was caused by exhaustion, by fear, and by uncertainty. I believe that Aaron’s death was caused by a persecution and a prosecution that had already wound on for 2 years (what happened to our right to a speedy trial?) and had already drained all of his financial resources. She further said “I believe that Aaron’s death was caused by a criminal justice system that prioritizes power over mercy, vengeance over justice; a system that punishes innocent people for trying to prove their innocence instead of accepting plea deals that mark them as criminals in perpetuity; a system where incentives and power structures align for prosecutors to destroy the life of an innovator like Aaron in the pursuit of their own ambitions.”
Swartz paid the ultimate price for his activism. While it is true folks like Assange, Manning, Snowden, Auernheimer and Swartz act out of a personal belief system believing that the public has the right to know. I can’t even come close to disagreeing with them. Yes it is true that in some instances harm can be done but unless that harm can be a source for starting World War III I remain grateful that those professional digital age warriors are willing to divulge the behavior of governments and faults of business.
I am not talking here about the organized gangs of thugs that roam the Internet to steal and plunder for monetary gain. To me there is a difference and it is government for self interest and in the interest of business’ to lump Assange, Manning, Snowden, Auernheimer and Swartz into the category of common gang thugs that plunder the net. Propaganda.
When oppressive legislation and power is handed over to the federal the power is not relinquished it only morphs into more power and oppressive power. It is worth noting that there are not massive prosecutions of common internet thugs — the federal goes mainly for those who have embarrassed them.
Various laws for dealing with hacking, copyright infringement, privacy etc. are twisted and used by government to make any accusations and propaganda they wish.
The governments of China, Russia, Iran, Israel, others and yes the U.S. have evolved to using the Internet as an espionage tool to the max. It is governments that now have risen to cyber-warfare. In fact they embrace this as the new type of warfare that will replace traditional warfare. I suppose if they repeat this enough it could but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
The attacks by Anonymous are thought by many as a CIA type agency act. Entertaining that thought then it certainly would go along way to support the government’s wish to control the net.
While I was working at a well known computer giant in Silicon Valley a young promising computer scientist working on network related code was testing his code and directed his own test to the Pentagon. Much to his surprise he gained access. His intentions were not to snoop or download confidential data. He was arrested the next day. Some of us concluded that easy access was a setup by the Pentagon to snare hackers. If they were not then what else can be made of it except to say the Pentagon is inapt and bordering on the stupids when it comes to securing their jewels.
Trust in federal institutions are at an all time low and deservedly so. Government talks about ‘winning the trust and confidence of the American people’. I have no, zero, trust that they are sincere. I think it is just another propaganda statement.
Our federal is also in the outhouse with regards to the issue of trust around the globe. Governments of other nations do not trust the U.S. government nor do the peoples of these nations. The recent behavior of our government to win the capture of Snowden and Assange is adding to the mistrust. I can’t say that our government handled the international fallout well.
I feel strongly that if outraged citizens in the U.S. and other nations fail to mount massive protests then all hope for maintaining liberty in the West is lost.
Establishing trust in government if they honestly wish to do so would take years. Truth is I believe this not to be their plan. A confused public plays well to a police state a global police state as well.
Calls by the public for government accountability turns into political game manship between political parties. The truth as I see it is neither party wishes to relinquish any power written in legislation or through an Executive Order.
Millions of Egyptians felt it necessary to hit the streets to overthrow another President demanding change. What will it take for Americans to demand accountability of our government? Are we so polarized, divided, that as a society we can not come together on just one issue of accountability in our government?
Obama promised to unite America instead we have become more divided. Think about it division is a breeding ground for the rise of a police state.
Get it together America the noose is tightening around our necks.