Welcome to Obama’s America! – a super-surveillance state worse than that of George Orwell’s dystopic 1984.
1. In Obama’s America, the regime collects data on everyone — even innocent citizens suspected of no crime:
In February 2012, The Wall Street Journal discovered that the Obama regime’s “counterterrorism” officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime. Hot Air reports that despite Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), arguing against the proposal, pointing out that “This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” Attorney General Eric Holder signed the changes into effect.
By December 2012, Rebecca Greenfield reports for The Atlantic Wire that the dragnet is already a done deal:
“A little known agency called the National Counterterrorism Center has a big ole database of civilian information that it can use to monitor innocent people for suspicious behavior, without probable cause. Oh, and it can also give that data to foreign nations if it wants to. That database includes flight records, lists of casino employee, the names of Americans hosting foreign exchange students, and anything the government can prove is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information,” per The Wall Street Journal’s Julia Angwin, who got a look at the database after a Freedom of Information Act request. The NCTC super-database could potentially balloon to include information from any government database, from flight information to health records.”
Ostensibly, the regime collects all this information on everyone in order to prevent and stop terrorists. Alexander Joel, civil liberties protection officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the parent agency of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), insists that there are “guidelines” that “provide rigorous oversight to protect the information that we have, for authorized and narrow purposes.” But a privacy expert warns that the NCTC easily can get around the rules by exempting themselves from certain Federal Privacy Act restraints: “All you have to do is publish a notice in the Federal Register and you can do whatever you want.”
2. In Obama’s America, TSA goons will expand their reach beyond airports to highways and every other means of public transportation:
Wendy McElroy reports for The Dollar Vigilante that the groundwork is being laid for Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to expand its “security checks” from airports and the current random checks of bus, subway and train stations, to highways and almost every other means of public travel. The expansion would erase one of the last remaining differences between the US and a total police state — namely, the ability to travel internally without being under police surveillance.
TSA’s application to expand its reach is tucked away on page 71431 of Volume 77, Number 231 of the Federal Register (November 30), which is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).
3. In Obama’s America, city buses will record everything you say:
Cities across America are equipping their public transport systems with audio recording devices, potentially storing every word spoken by passengers on board. The interception of audio communication will apparently be conducted without search warrants or court supervision. Rights activists say the surveillance plan by far exceeds what is necessary for security.
The multimillion dollar project already is underway in several US cities, including San Francisco, Eugene, Traverse City, Columbus, Baltimore, Hartford and Athens, reports The Daily, which obtained documents detailing the purchases. The money partially comes from the federal government. San Francisco, for example, has approved a $5.9 million contract to install the eavesdropping systems on 357 modern buses and historic trolley cars over the next four years, with the Department Homeland Security footing the entire bill.
If you think, “Well, I don’t take buses. I drive my own car!”
4. In Obama’s America, you’ll be watched by your own car:
Beginning in 2014, if Obama gets his way, every car and light truck will be installed with a “black box” — event data recorders (EDRs) that supposedly “capture valuable safety-related data in the seconds before and during a motor vehicle crash,” but which also telegraph your physical location and your comings and goings. In fact, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said approximately 96% of model year 2013 passenger cars and light-duty vehicles are already equipped with black-box capability.
Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Analysis calls Obama’s proposal “an unprecedented breach of privacy for Americans.” He warns: “Not only will this new requirement give new resources and data to the DOT to support more economically-damaging regulations in the future, this mandate itself represents an unprecedented breach of privacy for Americans. [Contrary to what is being claimed, EDRs] can and will track the comings and goings of car owners and even their passengers. Black boxes are already being used to track myriad activities — and what they can record is virtually unlimited.”
So you say “I’m just not gonna buy a new car! I’ll keep my old car going – forever.”
You still can’t escape. In fact, the CIA will keep an eye on you through your home appliances!
5. In Obama’s America, you’ll be watched by your “smart” home appliances:
Spencer Ackerman reports for Wired back in March 2012 that more and more personal and household devices are connecting to the Internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. At a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, (then) CIA Director David Petraeus (he’s since “retired” because of the Paula Broadwell sex scandal) enthused about how all these wired household devices are “transformational” technologies for “clandestine tradecraft,” i.e., spying by government.
Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance.
Petraeus said: “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.”
Although the CIA has a lot of legal restrictions against spying on American citizens, collecting ambient geolocation data from devices is a grayer area, especially after the 2008 carve-outs to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Hardware manufacturers, it turns out, store a trove of geolocation data; and some legislators have grown alarmed at how easy it is for the government to track you through your phone or PlayStation.
H/t California Political News & Reviews and FOTM’s Anon and Miss May.