Tag Archives: surveillance state

Actor Tim Allen likens Hollywood to Nazi Germany

Allen, 63, best known for Home Improvement, currently plays an outspoken conservative on the sitcom Last Man Standing. He is also one of the few actors in Hollywood to profess having conservative leanings.

On last Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, March 16, 2017, Allen spoke the truth when he likens Hollywood’s oppressive lock-step political liberalism to Germany in the 1930s when the chaotic Weimar Republic gave birth to Hitler and totalitarian Nazi Germany.

Here’s a transcript of what Allen said, beginning around the 4:01 mark:

Kimmel: “You went to the presidential inauguration?”

Allen: “I was invited by, uh, we did a VIP thing for the vets and went to the Veterans Ball. I went to go see the Democrats, Republicans. Yeah, I went to the inauguration. I mean you gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody else believes. This is like ’30s Germany [makes quotations marks with his fingers] — ‘If you’re not part of the group, you know what we believe is right.'”

Allen then talked about how he wouldn’t take his children to see the Gay Pride Parade because of naked men on floats, and about surveillance America, where government and corporations spy on us via our cell phones, and Google Map takes pictures of our homes.

Unlike so many empty bubble-headed Hollyweirdos, Tim Allen is knowledgeable and politically savvy. One of the good guys!

See also:

~Eowyn

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Your Smart TV listens, records & transmits your conversations

If you have cable TV or webcam, you are already being watched.

Now add to that list your Smart TV listening, recording and trasmitting what you say.

Big Brother is watching

The latest television sets, Smart TV, have microphones for voice commands, so that viewers can change channel, turn on a DVD or browse the Internet by speaking at the screen or remote.

Think about it for a minute.

If your Smart TV can hear your voice command to change a channel, that means your TV can also hear EVERYTHING else you or other people are saying.

It gets worse, your Smart TV is also recording your conversations.

The technology works by converting words into text commands. If your voice request is simple, such as changing a channel, your Smart TV can deal with it on site. But for more complex requests, such as a request to find the details of a movie on Google, your request is transmitted online to a separate company.

THINK ABOUT IT FOR A MINUTE.

That means not only can your Smart TV hear everything you or others say, it also RECORDS and TRANSMITS your “more complex” conversations to a third party.

That’s why the small print of Samsung Smart TV’s privacy policy includes a warning that general conversations, not just your voice commands to the TV, are being recorded, and if you are concerned about that, you should avoid discussing “personal” or “sensitive” matters in your home: 

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”

The prescient English novelist/journalist George Orwell (1903-1950) warned about the all-seeing Big Brother surveillance state in his 1949 novel, Nighteen Eighty-Four. We are living in Orwell’s dystopia.

Dan Hyde and Victoria Ward report for The Telegraph that the discovery of Samsung’s warning emerged on internet forums on Feb. 8, 2015, and quickly went viral.

Here’s a tweet comparing Samsung’s privacy policy with Orwell’s 1984:

Samsung Smart TV & Orwell's 1984

See also:

H/t FOTM’s maziel

~Éowyn

TSA will require “Real ID” with background checks to board all commercial flights next year

On May 11, 2005, exploiting Americans’ fear of terrorism after 9/11, Congress and the Bush administration enacted the Real I.D. Act in the name of national security. (See “National ID card for every American“)

Real I.D. is an effective National ID card. All 50 constituent States in America are required to federalize their driver’s licenses by making them conform to national federal standards. Even non-drivers will be issued an ID card, thereby putting the lie to Real ID being just a driver’s license. That ID card contains all sorts of information on you which are entered into a national database and accessible and shared by the 50 state authorities. The information includes:

  • Information that’s on your driver’s license now: birthdate and address;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status;
  • Reportedly, biometric security features and RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips.

Real ID cardThis is Nevada’s Real ID card — an “enhanced” driver’s license. The star in a gold circle in the top right indicates DMV has “checked out” your background.

After a yearlong period of deferred enforcement, implementation of Phase 1 of the Real ID Act began on January 20, 2014, with at least 21 states now fully compliant. There are four planned phases, three of which apply to areas that affect relatively few U.S. citizens—e.g., DHS headquarters, nuclear power plants, and restricted and semi-restricted federal facilities.

Phase 4 applies to boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. The TSA recently announced that Phase 4, requiring a Real ID to board domestic flights, will be implemented in a year — by 2016.

Activist Post reports, Feb. 1, 2015, that by then, the Real IDs will have already performed extensive background checks on everyone who receives them and will feature stars and other markings to indicate good behavior. No word on markings for troublemakers.

Since its inception, civil liberties advocates have had concerns that those without these intrusive new IDs will be excluded from basic human rights like working or traveling. The KTVN news report below appears to confirm this agenda.

KTVN reporter Ellen Breen states that by July 2016, Nevadans must present either a passport or a Real ID card to board a commercial airplane.

“It’s a choice,” says Nevada DMV official David Fierro, “you don’t have to get a Real ID card, but if you want to get on an airplane after 2016, you’re going to have to have a Real ID card.”

Nevada’s Real ID card looks like a regular driver’s license but with a white star in a gold circle in the top right corner. The star indicates the DMV has checked out your background.

Welcome to 1984!

See also:

~Éowyn

Constitutional attorney: Department of Homeland Security is Obama’s standing army

The extent and scope of the DHS’ lethality and surveillance are even worse than what we know — much much worse. Coming from a constitutional lawyer, this should be taken seriously and widely disseminated to your Facebook, Twitter, and email lists.

Consortium of Defense Analysts

“If once they [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.” -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, 1787.

police state

Bloggers have been sounding the alarm on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for some time now, but our alarms are ignored by the establishment media.

Writing for Texas’ Journal Friendswood, a reputable constitutional attorney is joining the chorus.

John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney, the founder and president of The Rutherford Institute — a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense of civil liberties, especially religious liberties, and human rights — and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State(SelectBooks).

Below is Mr. Whitehead’s article, “Has the Dept. of Homeland Security become America’s standing army?, ” for The Friendswood Journal, June 16, 2014:

“A standing military force, with…

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Police scanners record location and movement of every car in America

Eye of Sauron

It is not enough that the Obama regime’s National Security Agency (NSA) collects our every email, phone call, credit card purchase, and bank transaction. Our police departments now have records on the location and movement of your cars — all done in the name of protecting us from “terrorists” and criminals.

The images of our cars and license plates are taken by automated scanners affixed to bridges and buildings, or mounted on police cars, like the one below.

Police car with license plate scannerA Police Dept. squad car outfitted with a license plate scanner mounted to the trunkAn Alexandria, VA Police Department squad car outfitted with a license plate scanner mounted to the trunk (photo by Pablo Martinez/AP) 

But it turns out that license plate scanners actually produced only a small fraction of “hits,” or alerts to police that a suspicious vehicle has been found. Which then begs the question of what’s the real reason why our government is recording our cars’ every movement and location.

Anne Flaherty reports for the Associated Press, July 17, 2013, that your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong.

According to a study published July 17, 2013, by the American Civil Liberties Union, law enforcement agencies across America, using automated scanners, have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movement of every vehicle with a license plate, Affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, the scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.

As the technology becomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, and federal grants focus on aiding local terrorist detection, even small police agencies are able to deploy more sophisticated surveillance systems. While the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that a judge’s approval is needed to track a car with GPS, networks of plate scanners allow police effectively to track a driver’s location, sometimes several times every day, with few legal restrictions. The ACLU says the scanners assemble what it calls a “single, high-resolution image of our lives.”

“There’s just a fundamental question of whether we’re going to live in a society where these dragnet surveillance systems become routine,” said Catherine Crump, a staff attorney with the ACLU. The civil rights group is proposing that police departments immediately delete any records of cars not linked to a crime.

Law enforcement officials said the scanners can be crucial to tracking suspicious cars, aiding drug busts and finding abducted children. License plate scanners also can be efficient. The state of Maryland told the ACLU that troopers could “maintain a normal patrol stance” while capturing up to 7,000 license plate images in a single eight hour shift.

“At a time of fiscal and budget constraints, we need better assistance for law enforcement,” said Harvey Eisenberg, chief of the national security section and assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland.

Law enforcement officials also point out that the technology is legal in most cases, automating a practice that’s been done for years. The ACLU found that only five states have laws governing license plate readers. New Hampshire, for example, bans the technology except in narrow circumstances, while Maine and Arkansas limit how long plate information can be stored.

“There’s no expectation of privacy” for a vehicle driving on a public road or parked in a public place, said Lt. Bill Hedgpeth, a spokesman for the Mesquite Police Department in Texas, which has records stretching back to 2008, although the city plans next month to begin deleting files older than two years. “It’s just a vehicle. It’s just a license plate.”

In Yonkers, N.Y., just north of the Bronx, police said retaining the information indefinitely helps detectives solve future crimes. In a statement, the department said it uses license plate readers as a “reactive investigative tool” that is only accessed if detectives are looking for a particular vehicle in connection to a crime. “These plate readers are not intended nor used to follow the movements of members of the public.”

But even if law enforcement officials say they don’t want a public location tracking system, the records add up quickly. In Jersey City, N.J., for example, the population is only 250,000 but the city collected more than 2 million plate images on file. Because the city keeps records for five years, the ACLU estimates that it has some 10 million on file, making it possible for police to plot the movements of most residents depending upon the number and location of the scanners, according to the ACLU.

The ACLU study, based on 26,000 pages of responses from 293 police departments and state agencies across the country, also found that license plate scanners produced a small fraction of “hits,” or alerts to police that a suspicious vehicle has been found. In Maryland, for example, the state reported reading about 29 million plates between January and May of last year. Of that amount, about 60,000 — or roughly 1 in every 500 license plates — were suspicious. The No. 1 crime? A suspended or revoked registration, or a violation of the state’s emissions inspection program accounted for 97% of all alerts.

Eisenberg, the assistant U.S. attorney, said the numbers “fail to show the real qualitative assistance to public safety and law enforcement.” He points to the 132 wanted suspects the program helped track. They were a small fraction of the 29 million plates read, but he said tracking those suspects can be critical to keeping an area safe.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

When will the American people wake up to the realization that, by forfeiting our freedom and our privacy to Big Brother in exchange for the elusive promise of “security,” we have made a Faustian bargain?

~Eowyn

Military told not to read Obama scandal news

Sgt Shultz

Gina Loudon reports for WND, June 9, 2013, that the U.S. Air Force is ordering members of the service not to look at news stories about their commander-in-chief President Lucy’s many scandals.

WND received an unclassified NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that warns our airmen not to look at news stories related to the data-mining scandal.

The notice applies to users of the Air Force NIPRNET (Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network), which is the only way that many troops stationed overseas and on bases in the U.S. are able to access the Internet.

The last line of the executive summary states:

“Users are not to use AF NIPRNET systems to access the Verizon phone records collection and other related news stories because the action could constitute a Classified Message Incident.”

Here’s the memo:

Cindy McGee, the mother of an airman stationed in the UAE who had received the memo, told WND:

“The fact that our government is attempting to censor our service members from the truth of what is happening here at home is truly frightening and disheartening. “I am outraged that our government is attempting to censor the information from our military that every citizen in this country is potentially being targeted by our government in a massive overreach of their constitutional powers by unconstitutional surveillance of all Americans and storage of that data.”

Last Wednesday, the Guardian broke the news of the top-secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all of its call data on an ongoing basis to the National Security Agency. This was followed two days later by the Washington Post reporting that the NSA and FBI are gathering data from the servers of nine U.S. Internet companies. Then reports came out that there are 50 companies from which the government is collecting data.

During a press conference, Pres. Lucy dismissed concerns over his regime’s Big Brother surveillance programs as mere “hype.”

You may ask: “Okay. So what happens if a member of our military disobeys the order?”

Answer: You will be punished!

Just ask Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers.

Todd Starnes reports for FoxNews, June 7, 2013, that Sommers is a 25-year Army veteran and conservative Christian based at Fort Myer in Washington who says he is facing retribution and punishment from the military for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his car, reading books written by conservative authors like Mark Levin and David Limbaugh, and serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.

Sommers’ outspoken opposition to homosexual marriage prompted higher-ups to take a closer look at his beliefs. The recipient of an Army Commendation Medal and a soloist at the funeral of former First Lady Betty Ford, Sommers said his core beliefs are enough to mark a soldier for persecution in today’s military.

See also:

H/t Doug Giles’ Clash Daily and FOTM’s joworth.

~Eowyn

Obama regime is spying on every phonecall, email, bank transfer, travel record of every American

Obama Sauron

You know that saying that even the paranoid sometimes are right?

14 months ago, on March 19, 2012, I wrote a post “2013: The end of privacy in America,” about the construction of a heavily fortified $2 billion Data Center in Utah, by the National Security Agency, in which the federal government will store (and analyze) your every email, cell phone call, Google search, parking receipt, credit card purchases, and more. The construction was expected to be completed by September of this year, but it looks like the Data Center is already up and running.

APTOPIX NSA Phone RecordsNSA Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah

For several years, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, have been cryptically warning that the Obama regime was interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming to the public if we knew about it.

Last year in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Wyden and Udall wrote: “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

The American people are now finding out to what the two senators were cryptically referring.

This discovery was disclosed yesterday by the UK paper, The Guardian, contained in a highly classified court order, signed in April by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Vinson’s order directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, VBNS, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency (NSA) all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

The FBI had asked for the court order under a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that regulates domestic surveillance for national security purposes, allowing the government to secretly obtain “tangible things” like a business’s customer records. The provision was expanded by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which makes it easier to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain business records so long as they were merely deemed “relevant” to a national-security investigation.

The order was marked “TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN,” referring to communications-related intelligence information that may not be released to noncitizens. That would make it among the most closely held secrets in the federal government. The collection of call logs is set to expire in July unless the court extends it.

Judge Vinson’s order does not apply to the content of the communications, which means it’s a blanket order, instead of one that specifically targets only communications containing Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) “trigger words“. (For a list of those words, see our LTG’s post of May 27, 2012, “DHS Trigger Words?“.)

It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, like its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of both Verizon and AT&T declined to comment Wednesday evening.

Obama administration officials at the F.B.I. and the White House also declined to comment on it Wednesday evening, but did not deny the report, and a person familiar with the order confirmed its authenticity. “We will respond as soon as we can,” said NSA spokeswoman Marci Green Miller in an e-mail.

Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, a civil liberties advocacy group, said that “absent some explanation I haven’t thought of, this looks like the largest assault on privacy since the N.S.A. wiretapped Americans in clear violation of the law [under the Bush administration]. On what possible basis has the government refused to tell us that it believes that the law authorizes this kind of request?”

Even more alarming, Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes, June 5, 2013, that although the NSA has long justified its spying powers by arguing that its charter allows surveillance on those outside of the United States, while avoiding intrusions into the private communications of American citizens, the Obama regime’s spying order to Verizon specifically targets Americans, instead of foreigners.

It gets worse.

Elspeth Reeve reports for the Atlantic Wire that the NSA’s surveillance of our communications is most likely much, much bigger than that. Technology has made it possible for the American government to spy on citizens to an extent East Germany could only dream of. Basically everything we say that can be traced digitally is being collected by the NSA.

Previous reporting from many outlets suggests that’s true. In 2006, USA Today‘s Leslie Cauley reported the NSA was secretly collecting call records with data from AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth. A source told Cauley, “It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world” and that the NSA wanted “to create a database of every call ever made” within U.S. territory. Likewise, in 2011, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer spoke to former NSA crypto-mathematician Bill Binney, who “believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later.” He thinks the NSA wants all emails to be searchable, the same way we search with Google. “The agency reportedly has the capacity to intercept and download, every six hours, electronic communications equivalent to the contents of the Library of Congress,” Mayer said.

And the NSA isn’t just collecting the things we say. It’s also tracking what we buy and where we go. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal‘s Siobhan Gorman reported that the NSA’s domestic data collection “have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.” That means emails records, bank transfers, phone records, travel records.

See also:

~Eowyn