The Bloom is Off the Rose (again)

Why Should You Care About This Story?

– – CISPA – The solution is the problem.

A few days ago when I wrote my thoughts about the release of information by Edward Snowden on how the NSA spies on us, I thought this might lead to a greater public awareness of a far greater problem. I was hoping to see people a little more outraged by this because of what this will eventually lead to for our lives. You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to understand when your doorway is open, thieves will walk in. Going beyond that problem is the growing concern I have for the vast quantity of people who become incarcerated in this country and once you are in the sights of a government agency, such as the IRS, EPA, FBI, NSA, etc. you are in dangerous territory because not only can you be stripped of your assets, you can also lose your freedom.

As I’ve touched upon this subject before on “Who Are We”, I put this idea forward once again, it comes down to something as fundamental as ethics. The computer as a tool can be used in a helpful way to run a business, educate, navigate, control machinery, entertain however it can also be used to gather and store vast quantities of private data, break into secure facilities and falsely incriminate those who shouldn’t be prosecuted. It is a tool when placed in the hands of unethical people, whereby data can be extracted and manipulated in ways which are harmful.

If you think this isn’t possible it’s only because you are unaware of a growing problem. People such as Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are pawns in a huge game of hide and release the data. They may very well be  classified as criminals in a court of law however they call into question the ethics and tactics of those who are supposedly the gate keepers for our society.

I may find it difficult to label any of these people as heroes as some already have. What they have done is opened a very small window into the disconcerting behavior of the public and private ruling class. The ruling class has reacted with numerous counter stories and denials while closing these windows as quickly as it can. You need to pay attention because what affects one of us wrongly will eventually affect all that aren’t part of the ruling class.

The following information is from an InfoWorld article providing added insight into the current behavior of government in association with business enterprise.

NSA, PRISM, and CISPA: The conspiracy behind the conspiracy

By Robert X. Cringely | InfoWorld June 14, 2013

One of the best things to come out of the Snowden affair is the media’s rediscovery of journalism, at least when it comes to the national security state.

Not all, of course — many are still serving up E!-style coverage of the missing Snowden, his pole-dancing girlfriend, and whether he is a traitor or patriot or something in between. But others are busy trying to unravel the Gordian knot that binds the industrial surveillance complex to the keepers of our data.

In yesterday’s New York Times, for example, reporter Claire Cain Miller serves up an illustration of how big tech companies like Google and Yahoo find themselves in a no-win situation when the NSA comes a-callin’. In 2008, Yahoo challenged a secret FISA court order to hand over all information about certain foreign users, arguing that it violated Fourth Amendment strictures against unreasonable search and seizure.

Of course Yahoo lost. Because organizations attempting to fight the industrial surveillance complex almost always come up empty. It’s like betting against the house in Vegas: Every small pile of chips you manage to rake in is matched by a mountain of losses. In that case, the anonymous court called Yahoo’s concerns “overblown.”

It’s a like being ordered to hand a can of gas and a lighter to a guy with a history of arson. When you object, the judge replies, “He hasn’t burned your house down yet, so there’s no harm.” The time to stop these things is before the house is in cinders, which the FISA court apparently fails to understand.

Bigger than Big Brother

But a far bigger and more chilling story comes to us by way of Michael Riley at Bloomberg, who writes of how “thousands” of companies, including big-name firms like Microsoft and Intel, are secretly sharing information with the spooks. These arrangements are often known only to the CEO and a handful of “cleared” employees, and these “trusted partners” are typically granted immunity from lawsuits that might arise from its sharing that data. Riley writes:

Microsoft Corp. … provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

The CISPA connection

But it does bring the push for CISPA into clearer focus.

We’ve been told that the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is a desperately needed piece of legislation to allow companies to share information about cyber attacks with law enforcement. What it really sounds like, though, is an attempt to codify and expand intelligence gathering in the opposite direction — to retroactively justify the secret data sharing that’s already going on and expand it to include personal information.

Who’s the big sponsor behind CISPA? Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who happens to be chair of the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and has surely been secretly briefed on all of this and much more.

I think we need to call in Chuck Norris on this one…

You don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you!
Chuck Norris is the only person who’s allowed to proceed WITHOUT caution.
Someone once challenged Chuck Norris to a battle of wits. That person was never heard of again.
Chuck Norris added a new item to the periodic table, the element of surprise.

English: Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-B...

Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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