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The Corporate “Surveillance State” – No Warrants Needed

Bob Cesca has been doing amazing work lately in keeping track of the massive misinformation campaign orchestrated primarily by The Guardian, a publication that has gone full anti-American with the help of Wikileaks and other anarchists. Cesca wrote a brilliant article that points out many things I’ve been thinking as well. From Bob Cesca at The Daily Banter…

And, yes, the government also collects relatively minor bits of your internet data (with multi-layered oversight, warrants, anonymization, minimization and deletion) in its efforts to track down enemies.

Liberals ought to be far more suspicious of for-profit corporations handling our private data than the government’s handling of considerably less of it. But that doesn’t appear to be the case, and this is where everything gets wacky.

[...]

NSA, and the U.S. government in general, isn’t interested in our Instagram pics of our disgusting dinners or our Wonka memes or our goats-that-scream-like-men videos. But Facebook is. Google is. Corporations are exploiting nearly everything you type and following you wherever your browse. They’re compiling it. They’re distributing it. They’re sharing it. They’re using your data to determine which products you might want to purchase. They’re censoring your breast-feeding pics and perhaps even threatening you with prosecution if you download an episode of Game of Thrones from Bit Torrent.

And people are wailing and chest-thumping over inadvertent government metadata collection with strict rules that prohibit infringements on Fourth Amendment liberty? That’s rich.

You should go read Bob Cesca’s entire article, he points out that most websites have “trackers” built in that gather more information than the NSA on each of us. Bob also points out, “For what it’s worth, Glenn Greenwald’s XKEYSCORE article on The Guardian contained 27 trackers, including PRISM participants Google and Facebook.”

I’ll leave you with my favorite paragraph from Bob’s article…

How shall we explain the disparity between the Great Fear of the government collecting minimal data and the almost unspoken reality that corporations have compiled massive data clouds about every user and every customer? I don’t know for sure. It could be a result of pissy-pants disillusionment over the Obama presidency based on overblown idealism, political ignorance and unrealistic expectations. It could be the consequence of an onslaught of fear-mongering from news outlets posting cavalcades of scare-headlines and misleading articles about NSA surveillance. Or it could be an increasingly evident paradigm shift in which the far-left is blending into fringe libertarian territory. I never thought it likely given libertarianism’s small government, states’ rights posture, but there it is.

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August 14, 2013 - Posted by | National Security | , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. Okay, first of all Cesca is a hack blogger. He does not do “work” in the sense of what an investigative journalist does. Suddenly he is all up in arms about collection of private data by corporations? He doesn’t really have a track record of railing about this stuff. It suddenly popped up on his radar when the NSA revelations came to light. This reminds me of all the jackasses who suddenly were worrying about black on black crime when George Zimmerman was charged with murder. (Another parallel– they pretend that black citizens ignore or don’t care about this problem, just as they pretend that those of us who are deeply disturbed by the NSA allegations don’t care about corporate surveillance.)
    I’m not really sure what you feel like your fixation on Glenn Greenwald is accomplishing.
    “Pissy pants”– really? At least he refrained from us “not getting our unicorn”. That one is really clever. In 2003.

    Comment by Kat | August 20, 2013 | Reply

    • Bob sources everything very meticulously so your claim he is a hack blogger is nuts. And if you read Bob’s blog more than when you disagree with him, you would know he is very consistent. I have been reading him for many years and your accusation is based in ignorance.

      Glenn Greenwald is the hack, do a little critical thinking, follow his links, read criticism…and I’m not the only one who has issues with him. Libertarianism is selfishness wrapped up in ideology. He supports the Citizens United decision, he supported Bush’s Iraq war, trusted him, deferred to him, etc. He attacked a friend of mine with a joke about rape. He lies, misleads, attacks, exaggerates, name calls, and is not concerned about anyone but himself.

      Comment by ExtremeLiberal | August 22, 2013 | Reply

  2. Have you decided how you are going to spin your cheerleading for the security state when the Republican wing of our one party system is installed in the executive suite?

    Comment by Kat | August 22, 2013 | Reply

    • I don’t think there is a “security state”, so I’m not buying into your bullshit framing. Preventing terrorist attacks on our country is a thankless job and projecting your fears and paranoia onto a government made up of hard working public servants who are just trying to do their jobs is childish and proves your naivete. Yes, there are always bad people in every organization, but to convince yourself that institutions are like people and have motives is bordering on insanity. Get a grip.

      Comment by ExtremeLiberal | August 22, 2013 | Reply

      • What a well thought out reply– very convincing and sophisticated reasoning!

        Comment by Kat | August 22, 2013 | Reply

      • I have a lot of better things to do than to argue with a Greenwald-bot.

        I’m rather enjoying watching Glenn Greenwald spin out of control, hardly any real journalist takes him serious anymore. He’s like a performance art piece now and it’s fun watching him act a fool and get cheered on by people like you.

        Peace

        Comment by ExtremeLiberal | August 22, 2013 | Reply

  3. I’ve been saying that the NSA “scandal” (involving Libertarian Glenn Greenwald of Cato Institute and Paulbot Snowden) is another RW fake scandal. It’s not about privacy. It’s about undermining government, specifically the democrat in the White House, for political purposes.

    “Assange’s Emerging Politics: Rand Paul And Libertarian Wing of GOP Represent ‘Only Hope’”

    Forbes (Page 2): UPDATE: Wikileaks Party under fire in Australia for what some are describing its “lurch to the right,” revealing in filings that “they want the fascist Australia First Party, the pro-shooting-in-National-Parks Shooters and Fishers Party , and the “mens rights activist” Non-Custodial Parents Party to win a seat instead of the Australian Greens. Maybe this really is an international conservative movement.”

    NOTE THIS: “What’s fascinating is that Paul (the father, less so the son, who still has aspirations to actual head up the vast government he says he despises) largely rejects a modern view of democracy, claiming that “pure democracy is dangerous” and that the founders never intended actual democratic rule. “Democracy is majority rule at the expense of the minority,” wrote Paul last year. “Our system has certain democratic elements, but the founders never mentioned democracy in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of
    Independence.”

    READ IN FULL: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomwatson/2013/08/17/assanges-politics-rand-paul-and-libertarian-wing-of-gop-represent-only-hope-in-u-s/

    Finally, somebody had the balls to say it.

    Here’s the Assange for Ron/Rand Paul video:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/42405_Wikileaks_Founder_Assange-_Im_a_Big_Admirer_of_Ron_Paul_and_Rand_Paul#rss

    Really, people? THIS is what we want to be supporting??????????????

    Tea partying Rand Paul’s premature 2016 ad sounds suspiciously like Glenn Greenwald, don’t it?

    http://www.dailypaul.com/285884/rand-paul-beyond-the-left-right-paradigm

    Glenn Greenwald is not a liberal, he’s a RW Libertarian associated with the brothers Koch and their Cato think tank: http://exiledonline.com/glenn-greenwald-of-the-libertarian-cato-institute-posts-his-defense-of-joshua-foust-the-exiled-responds-to-greenwald/

    THIS Cato think tank:

    The Nation: “John Yoo, author of the notorious “torture memo,” served on the Cato editorial board for Cato Supreme Court Review during the Bush presidency. At the same time, Yoo was writing the Bush administration’s legal justifications for waterboarding, Guantánamo, warrantless wiretapping and more. Yoo also contributed articles to Cato Supreme Court Review and a chapter to a Cato book titled The Rule of Law in the Wake of Clinton criticizing President Clinton’s “imperial presidency.”

    The “Cato Policy Report” attacked progressive critics of Bush’s “War on Terror” as “Terrorism’s Fellow Travelers“ in its November/December 2001 issue. Former Vice President of Research Brink Lindsey wrote, “Most of the America haters flushed out by September 11 are huddled on the left wing of the conventional political spectrum.”

    Another Cato executive, Ted Galen Carpenter, former VP for defense and foreign policy studies, enthusiastically supported Bush’s “war on terror” and called on Bush to invade Pakistan.

    The Cato Institute advised the 2002–04 Republican-dominated Congress to commence military strikes in Pakistan in its Cato Handbook for Congress arguing, “Ultimately, Afghanistan becomes less important as a place to conduct military operations in the war on terrorism and more important as a place from which to launch military operations. And those operations should be directed across the border into neighboring Pakistan.”

    Another Cato Institute executive, Roger Pilon, vigorously supported Bush’s attacks on civil liberties. Pilon, Cato’s VP for legal affairs and founding director of the Cato Institute’s “Center for Constitutional Studies,” supported expanded FBI wiretapping in 2002 and called on Congress to reauthorize the Patriot Act as late as 2008.

    http://www.thenation.com/article/167500/independent-and-principled-behind-cato-myth#

    Greenwald’s only purpose in life is getting Tea party lunatics elected:

    “At a talk given the day after the 2010 election — one that was a disaster for Democrats — “progressive” writer and civil liberties lawyer Glenn Greenwald gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin, and expressed the hope that Democrats might suffer the same fate in 2012.

    Greenwald’s speech mainly focused on civil liberties and terrorism policy “in the age of Obama.” But it was his approach to politics that got members of the Young Americans for Liberty — a Paulite Libertarian group that co-sponsored the event — excited:

    Paulites: “The speech was stellar with too many good points to touch on in a single blog post. I would like to point out that in the Q&A at 38:00 Greenwald specifically addresses a possible alliance between progressives and Ron Paul libertarians.”

    http://blog.reidreport.com/2011/04/re-rise-of-the-naderites-glenn-greenwalds-third-party-dreamin/

    P.S. Bob Cesca: keeping up with Greenwald’s lying – blow by blow:

    http://thedailybanter.com/tag/glenn-greenwald/

    Comment by kfreed | August 23, 2013 | Reply

  4. P.S. Am so liking your blog roll. May I suggest adding these informative sources?

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org (companion site http://www.pfaw.org)

    http://www.talk2action.org

    Comment by kfreed | August 23, 2013 | Reply

  5. I am severely disappointed with both sides attempt to use this for political gain. While not universal, Righties are seeing it as a way of attacking the Kenyan Muslim Socialist and many Democrats are circling the wagons to defend what really is Bush-Cheney policy. It’s almost as disgusting as the spying itself.

    With regards to Corporate vs Government, when are people going to realize that the US government and the corporations are one in the same? Who do you think owns the US government…the people? HA HA! Who do you think the government is designed to work for…the citizens? HA HA! It’s all about the corporations, the Military Industrial Security complex, the 1% and the Dick Cheneys of the world. Government apparatus is merely a tool for them to get whatever their (lack of) hearts desire. This not a conspiracy theory. This is a big-picture fact. Some of the specific accusations may be overblown, incorrect or Conspiracy Theory, but the big picture remains.

    Spying is all about power and control. Everybody is a damn spy these days. Everyone is snooping and building databases on people to buy/sell/trade. They’re compiling profiles for the purpose of better manipulating you. Verizon handed over my phone records without even being officially asked. Loserbook will literally sell anything about their beloved users to anybody. That’s how much they respect us. And you can be damn sure the NSA has access to EVERYTHING Big Brother Google, Loserbook, etc have on us, even if they have to pay for it. You are nothing but a blob of data to The Powers That Be, a human resource to be data-mined and exploited for fun & profit. You’re also a potential enemy of the United States Empire. The attitude is “You are all guilty, we just haven’t collected enough proof yet. But we will” That’s why there’s all this driftnet fishing. Corporate or government, NONE of this should be legal and just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it’s not being done. What’s going to happen if they get caught? Nothing!

    But, other than generating huge profits for private subcontractors, what “good” is it all doing? If you really want to save lives, how about spending the money on Single Payer Healthcare? Does anybody actually believe there are enough terr-ists out to kill us all to justify the 100s of billions worth of spying, 15,000 paid informants at the FBI alone, football stadiums worth of useless computer data and who knows what else? (Really, who DOES know anymore?) In 13 years, the best the marauding Muslim hoards have come up with is a guy lighting his underwear on fire, a doofus who locked his keys in his car and two imbeciles blowing up pressure cookers. Just a couple of nutbars exercising their 2nd Amendment rights in a movie theatre or school could, and did, do far more damage. Yet the 2nd Amendment goes completely unquestioned as the 4th gets shredded. Why? Because the Military Industrial Security Complex wants to sell more guns and have less protection from abuse of authority. The big picture remains intact.

    Sure, as described by its creators, PRISM is no Project Echelon. However, there is an inherent logic problem with trusting the word of the government here. It’s more than just their track record of Japanese internment camps, MKULTRA mind control experiments, giving black soldiers STDs, McCarthy era black listing, J Edgar Hoover, secret torture prisons, rendition (to name but a few) all done to protect the American people Empire. The problem is that it’s like trusting Catholic church hierarchy with regards to kiddie-diddling priests. All the relevant spying information is hermetically sealed under the control of the very folks ordering the alleged wrongdoing. Between the secrecy, the lies, the massive relevant bureaucracy and its highly privatized nature, one hand probably doesn’t even know what the other is doing. Apart from a handful of whistle blowers (all of whom will spend the rest of their lives stuck in crappy airports or solitary confinement in military prisons) that we’ve been successfully trained to hate, all we have to go on is the word of those oh-so-trustworthy spooks & spies and untrustworthy Congressional imbeciles who are largely kept in the dark, lie like rugs and have no respect for their own citizens anyway.

    One such rare glimpse Is a leaked internal audit by the NSA that was edited to soften the tone for the higher ups. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-broke-privacy-rules-thousands-of-times-per-year-audit-finds/2013/08/15/3310e554-05ca-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html
    It claims the DC offices of the NSA have -and CONTINUE TO- violate privacy policy and the law several thousands of times a year. So, maybe we can trust them to admit their wrongdoing after all…just not to us.

    Comment by Sedate Me | September 8, 2013 | Reply

  6. It’s a tough issue; I mean we want to be safe don’t we. I trust the government to use this information properly. If we can’t trust them than who do we trust. I think President Obama has our best interest in mind here. Let us not forget, it was Bush’s idea; President Obama extended it to more. He sees things we cannot see; if they think it is a good idea, they know best. We dont know what goes on and whatthey pick up. Its best to stay safe and adhere to the guidelines.

    Comment by Slazy Nap | September 9, 2013 | Reply


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