It’s from the frying pan into the fire for me, from the former Gulag, with this hi-tech neoliberal dictatorship.
This fall has seen very depressive news on the topic of freedom and surveillance: Snoopers Charter and the Digital Economy Bill to control our internet lives in an indiscriminate totalitarian grasp; and censorship paved byfake news MSM hysteria, which led to a new US Congress so called anti Propaganda Bill (Intelligence Authorization Act), at the same time as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube announcing a crackdown on “fake news” — but not the lethal WMD type fake news , of course; also, there is the possible similar parliament censorship of alt sites in UK championed by Tom Watson.
At this rate by next year we’ll be living in a cage with electrodes attached to our brain.
To make things utterly desolate and hopeless, the list isn’t even complete: a EU piracy filter law, and a recent IRS ruling that forces Coinbase to reveal full financial transactions of bitcoin users. There is probably more. Such measures and laws are unconstitutional and unlawful, and since they’re logistically impractical and disproportionate to their stated purpose of security, their covert goal is clear — of total control of the West population through the new technology that only a decade or two ago seemed to bring liberation. Our beloved internet is now a state’s microscope over our thoughts, hopes and dreams.
These items deserve individual discussion, but there is a larger observation to be made from the coincidence of so many anti freedom bills happening all at once in the UK and US. It seems an attack on liberties that seeks to compensate the surge of popular disillusionment expressed in Brexit and Trump. Various pieces of the media stories form together a very worrying picture (a threat so large and serious it cannot bear uttering here, but Putin does ). The West’s “democracy” is reduced to grotesque caricature of the worst Orwellian nightmares.
We used to live in a pretend democracy that put lipstick on its abuses. Now it’s shameless explicit tyranny. The noose is tightening.
British people are complacent but I remember the pangs of surveillance and terror. I lived them once. Then, also, they came dressed as the protection of a state that looks upon you paternally.
We haven’t had a Stasi or a Gestapo in Britain, so are intellectually lazy about surveillance
— David Davies, Tory MP.
Mass surveillance doesn’t serve the stated purpose.
Targeted surveillance is more effective than mass surveillance. With mass surveillance, as Congressman James Sensenbrenner put it: “The bigger haystack makes it harder to find the needle.” There is no evidence blanket surveillance prevents atrocities. David Blunkett authorised MI5 to begin the mass collection of telephone data (using legislation that rather appropriately was passed in 1984) but this did not prevent the London Bombings of 2005.
Article 56 of the Investigative Powers Act is terrifying in its intent of subverting justice and the chance of a fair trial, as this Register article shows:
“Section 56 of the act as passed sets out a number of matters that are now prohibited from being brought up in court. The exact wording of section 56(1) is as follows:
Exclusion of matters from legal proceedings etc.
(1) No evidence may be adduced, question asked, assertion or disclosure made or other thing done in, for the purposes of or in connection with any legal proceedings or Inquiries Act proceedings which (in any manner) —
(a) discloses, in circumstances from which its origin in interception-related conduct may be inferred —
(i) any content of an intercepted communication, or
(ii) any secondary data obtained from a communication, or
(b) tends to suggest that any interception-related conduct has or may have occurred or may be going to occur.”
Gareth Corfield goes on to say, “chillingly”:…
“Potentially, you could be legally bound to go along with lies told in court about your communications — lies told by people whose sole task is to weave a story that will get you sent to prison or fined thousands of pounds”.
I recommend a read of the full article.
Also, it’s goodbye to encryption: section 217 obliges ISPs, telcos and other communications providers to cooperate to undermine encryption.
Another provision in the tyrannical act is that it’s a crime to alert somebody that they are being spied on. The net of lies this entrenches is unmatched in tyrannical potential.
Where will the balance between protecting consumers and providing access to law enforcement and security services lie? We will likely never know in any useful detail since no one is under any obligation to make that reasoning or argument available outside the small group of individuals that take the decision.
Also, MPs added a clause exempting THEMSELVES from interception.
But … if you have “nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”, right?… Only for the powerless. The MPs, who rail for war, austerity — which, make no mistake, IS AN EUGENICS SCHEME, who avoid/evade tax, lie, surrounded by shushed paedophile scandals … they NEED the privacy. Us, the overworked, wide-eyed class, …we ARE STRIPPED of the last of it. For security?!
“Security is the degree of resistance to, or protection from, harm. It applies to any vulnerable and valuable asset, such as a person, dwelling, community, item, nation, or organization.” (Wikipedia).
Let’s define harm. Victims of austerity : after many years of refusing to make the numbers public, the Department for Work and Pensions finally released a staggering statistic: 91,470 deaths from 2011 to 2014 among benefit claimants harassed by the bureaucracy. See the full article here. According to research group Energy Bill Revolution the cold kills more than 20,000 people in the UK each winter, most of which happens because they cannot afford to heat their homes. And the recurring story you hear of how NHS sent cancer suspects home for years until it was too late and they died. The general picture a Holocaust against the ill, disabled, old and otherwise unlucky. Victims of terrorism… :
We will acquiesce to the scanning of Facebook posts to fight terrorism, which has killed 56 people in the UK in 10 years, but will still regard the killing of two women a week by their partners as a private domestic matter. — Frankie Boyle
A piece of fake news fed to us by the official, “respectable”, media: “Terrorism most immediate threat to UK, says MI6” — so as to justify Snoopers Charter by invoking fear. Emotional manipulation to leave you robbed of protections against your real enemy: the one with the nuclear weapons, the police state, cameras up your ass, and who bailed out the banks that defrauded millions by a sum far larger than whatever was saved through brutal austerity. There is an abundance of evidence pointing to the rebranding of the word extremist to mean dissident:
“We must be very clear in order to defeat extremism we must also defeat non violent extremism, those who claim 9/11 was a jewish plot or muslims are discriminated in the west” — David Cameron, 2014, saying that now questioning the official stories is a form of extremism. Anti-fracking activists are extremists now. We, the people who protest peacefully or verbally against corporations and non-transparent governments, … we are the immediate threat the head of MI6 is talking about. The underlying thread here is quite sinister. In the worse sense possible.
Before long, we’ll be left defenseless in front of corporatism using the poppet state as a proxy.
Before you say austerity is punishment for the lazy, while the middle class is happy…. NO. We’re all fucked. In the glorified western civilisation, we work far more than that epitome of oppression, the medieval peasant.
The only thing that’s rife is consumption. If you confuse that with happiness, you’re evidence the scam works. Our devastating consumerism fuels a war economy, that kills millions abroad. Do we benefit from those wars? No. We work to pay for them. And the 1% get richer. We get trinkets.
Interesting footnote: David Davies, avid fighter against the bill, eventually went along with the Snoopers Charter and voted aye at the last published vote record on the parliament site; and so did ALL Labour MPs but two.
I’m as shocked as you are. This means Labour is the same as Tory, minus shushed paedo scandals. Apart Dennis Skinner and David Winnick, even John McDonnell voted for the most abusive, intrusive and legally coercive piece of legislation the world has ever known.
A careful reading of the snooper charter — reveals it’s a blow to the last remains of our freedom. Our lives have moved online, and now everything we do online can be used against us — by dozens of government agencies. Series 20 of satirical show South Park talks about TrollTrace –a platform enabling everyone to list trolls with their real data and browsing history; for all to see. Snoopers charter makes TrollTrace a friendly utopia: in cartoon land it’s everybody watching everybody. In real life, “first world”, ONLY THE GOVERNMENT can see whatever they like about everybody. The government provides zero transparency of its own actions, and clause 56 particularly sinister as it makes the use of these troves of data in law completely unaccountable, forcing lies and deceit; but no symmetrical power is afforded to the accused, in order for them to defend themselves.
This brings back fond memories of the Gulag: when kids were told in school to turn in their own parents if they criticised the state. So the state would arrest parents for mere manifestation of human discontent, present their mind controlled offspring. A state of terror and mistrust. Where free speech is like heroin, to be smuggled and indulged in the shadows, looking over your shoulder. Where the more the state oppresses you, the more there is to complain about, and the more that complaint can get you in jail. Thus the state’s ultimate goal is complete obedience in the population.
Liberal concepts like democracy, freedom, security, human rights… are hollow, putrid carcasses that carry propaganda, behind which your existence is now framed from birth to death to be that of a rat on a wheel, with your thoughts — now in symbiosis with the online — closely monitored.
“our main concern is that references to agency practices (ie, the scale of interception and deletion) could lead to damaging public debate which might lead to legal challenges against the current regime.”
WHAT TO DO?
Not much power left, after the concerted attack on freedoms of this winter. This act is the check mate to our liberties. A petition of more than 180,000 signatures was posted on the parliament website, which states:
“At 100,000 signatures your petition will be considered for a debate in Parliament.
Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated.”
Their answer: not debated. What type of democratic means are left to control our fate? Non consensual laws, for dormant people.