Remember those antiquated party lines? At any time, when you picked up your receiver, you might hear one of your neighbors chatting. They were on the same circuit, along with other neighbors. The protocol was to say “Oh, excuse me,” and immediately hang up. Only the nosy busybody would cover the mouthpiece and keep listening. You’d make your call when their conversation was done. If it were an emergency, you’d shout and the other party would immediately disconnect.
From those lackadaisical days, the tumultuous buildup to code cracking and the information age made giant leaps in the decades surrounding World War II. IBM supplied punch cards to the Third Reich, while a small group led by visionary mathematician Alan Turning cracked the code from Germany’s Enigma machine. The definition of information even changed from a communication that had meaning, to any signal was being transmitted through a wire. Or shall we now say, anything that goes through WIFI?
Fast-forward to today’s sprawling complex of interconnected global digital signals, where any phone call, transaction, medical or financial record, email, tweet, photograph, or any digital print you make can be recorded, analyzed, stored and used by a vast, ever-enormous and ever-growing list of governmental agencies. The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect us from unwarranted searches and seizures without probable cause. But your phone calls are now on a surveillance party line, and your location is freely available.
Phys.org reports, “Police don’t need a warrant to obtain mobile phone location data for a criminal investigation, a US appeals court ruled . . .[Judge Diana Motz] wrote that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment . . . does not apply in this case, because the phone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy.”
It’s under the guise of our own security and safety that we’re being subject to this vast multiplexed surveillance state. And if that was the truth, wouldn’t there be ample evidence that these invasive methods are working? Especially since, according to TheIntercept.com, the NSA and CIA doubled the number of warrant-less searches on U.S. citizens for foreign intelligence purposes between 2013 and 2015. And that doesn’t count the FBI. But terror is on the increase. NewsMax.com has reported thirteen attacks that are related to Islamic Jihad from 2003 to 2015. Their list doesn’t include the recent Orlando incident. One striking conclusion is that of those 13 attacks, over half of them occurred at the same time the NSA and CIA were sweeping more Americans into their sights.
Edward Snowden has been called many things since he released documents describing the scope of NSA surveillance. Regardless of what camp you may be in, i.e., whistle blower, traitor, CIA operative or other, it’s clear that the conversation about our nation’s vast overreach of security measures is still being fleshed out. The torrents of media propaganda, disinformation methods, NSA collection methods, false flag events and actual terrorist strikes can be very difficult to sort out. TheIntercept.com poses five relevant questions, ranging from the nuanced meaning of the law, to who is watching those who watch us?
Here’s another way to ponder the safety question. According to TechJuice.pk, the odds of “dying in any kind of terrorist attack worldwide is 1 in 9,300,000.” Your bath tub and heart disease area actually much more dangerous.
(Photo credit: Thestar.com)