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“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
“In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.
If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” – Frank Church on Meet the Press regarding the NSA – 1975
Ever since Edward Snowden burst onto the worldwide stage in June 2013, I’ve been wondering how he fits into the fabric of this ongoing Fourth Turning. This period of Crisis that arrives like clockwork, 60 to 70 years after the end of the previous Fourth Turning (Civil War – 66 years after American Revolution, Great Depression/World War II – 64 years after Civil War, Global Financial Crisis – 62 years after World War II), arrived in September 2008 with the Federal Reserve created collapse of the global financial system. We are now five and a half years into this Fourth Turning, with its climax not likely until the late-2020’s. At this point in previous Fourth Turnings a regeneracy had unified sides in their cause and a grey champion or champions (Ben Franklin/Samuel Adams, Lincoln/Davis, FDR) had stepped forward to lead. Thus far, no one from the Prophet generation has been able to unify the nation and create a sense of common civic purpose. Societal trust continues to implode, as faith in political, financial, corporate, and religious institutions spirals downward. There is no sign of a unifying regeneracy on the horizon.
The core elements of this Fourth Turning continue to propel this Crisis: debt, civic decay, global disorder. Central bankers, politicians, and government bureaucrats have been able to fashion the illusion of recovery and return to normalcy, but their “solutions” are nothing more than smoke and mirrors exacerbating the next bloodier violent stage of this Fourth Turning. The emergencies will become increasingly dire, triggering unforeseen reactions and unintended consequences. The civic fabric of our society will be torn asunder.
In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
The core crisis element of debt is far worse than it was at the outset of this Crisis in September 2008. The National Debt has risen from $9.7 trillion to $17.5 trillion, an 80% increase in five and half years. It took 215 years for the country to accumulate as much debt as it has accumulated since the start of this Crisis. We continue to add $2.8 billion a day to the National debt, and the president declares it is time for this austerity to end. The total unfunded liabilities of the Federal government for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, government pensions and now Obamacare exceeds $200 trillion and is mathematically impossible to honor. Corporate debt stands at an all-time high. Margin debt is at record levels, as faith in the Federal Reserve’s ability to levitate the stock market borders on delusional. Consumer debt has reached new heights, as the government doles out subprime auto loans to deadbeats and subprime student loans to future University of Phoenix Einsteins. Global debt has surged by 40% since 2008 to over $100 trillion, as central bankers have attempted to cure a disease caused by debt with more debt.
All of this debt accumulation is compliments of Bernanke/Yellen and the Federal Reserve, who have produced this new debt bubble with their zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing that has driven their balance sheet from $935 billion of mostly Treasury bonds in September 2008 to $4.2 trillion of toxic mortgage garbage acquired from their owners – the insolvent Too Big To Trust Wall Street banks. This entire house of cards is reliant upon permanently low interest rates, the faith of foreigners in our lies, and trust in Ivy League educated economists captured by Wall Street. This debt laden house of cards sits atop hundreds of trillions of derivatives of mass destruction used by the Wall Street casinos to generate “riskless” profits. When, not if, a trigger ignites this explosive concoction of debt, the collapse will be epic and the violent phase of this Fourth Turning will commence.
The core crisis element of civic decay is evident everywhere you turn. Our failed public educational system is responsible for much of the civic decay, as a highly educated critical thinking populace is our only defense against a small cabal of bankers and billionaires acquiring unwarranted influence and control over our country. Our children have been taught how to feel and to believe government propaganda. The atrocious educational system is not a mistake. It has been designed and manipulated by your owners to produce the results they desire, as explained bluntly by George Carlin.
“There’s a reason that education sucks, and it’s the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it. Be happy with what you’ve got. Because the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the big, wealthy, business interests that control all things and make the big decisions. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want—they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interest.”
The urban ghettos become more dangerous and uninhabitable by the day. The inner cities are crumbling under the weight of welfare spending and declining tax revenues. The very welfare policies begun fifty years ago to alleviate poverty have hopelessly enslaved the poor and ignorant in permanent squalor and destitution. The four decade old drug war has done nothing to reduce the use of drugs. It has benefited the corporate prison industry, as millions have been thrown into prison for minor drug offenses. Meanwhile, millions more have been legally addicted to drugs peddled by the corporate healthcare complex. The culture warriors and advocates of new rights for every special interest group continue their never ending battles which receive an inordinate amount of publicity from the corporate media. Class warfare is simmering and being inflamed by politicians pushing their particular agendas. Violence provoked by race and religion is growing by the day. The fault lines are visible and the imminent financial earthquake will push distress levels beyond the breaking point. Once the EBT cards stop working, all hell will break loose. Three days of panic will empty grocery store shelves and the National Guard will be called out to try and restore control.
The core crisis element of global disorder is evident everywhere you turn. The false flag revolution in the Ukraine, initiated by the U.S. and EU in order to blunt Russia’s control of natural gas to Europe, has the potential to erupt into a full blown shooting war at any moment. The attempt by Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. to overthrow the Syrian dictator in order to run a natural gas pipeline across their land into Europe was blunted by Russia. Iraq is roiled in a civil war, after the U.S. invaded, occupied and destabilized the country. After 12 years of occupation, Afghanistan is more dysfunctional and dangerous than it was before the U.S. saved them from the evil Taliban. Unrest, violent protests, and brutal measures by rulers continue in Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Venezuela, Bahrain, Brazil, and throughout Africa. American predator drones roam the skies of the world murdering suspected terrorists. The European Union is insolvent, with Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal propped up with newly created debt. Austerity for the people and prosperity for the bankers is creating tremendous distress and tension across the continent. A global volcanic eruption is in the offing.
It is clear to me the American Empire is in terminal decline. Hubris, delusion, corruption, foolish disregard for future generations and endless foreign follies have set in motion a chain of events that will lead to a cascading sequence of debt defaults, mass poverty, collapsing financial markets, and hyperinflation or deflation, depending on the actions of feckless bankers and politicians. There is no avoiding the tragic outcome brought on by decades of bad choices and a century of allowing private banking interests to control our currency. The “emergency” QE and ZIRP responses by the Federal Reserve to the Federal Reserve created 2008 financial collapse continue, even though the propaganda peddled by the Deep State tries to convince the public we have fully recovered. This grand fraud cannot go on forever. Ponzi schemes no longer work once you run out of dupes. With societal trust levels approaching all-time lows and foreign countries beginning to understand they are the dupes, another global financial crisis is a lock.
The Snowden Factor
With ten to fifteen years likely remaining in this Fourth Turning Crisis, people familiar with generational turnings can’t help but ponder what will happen next. Linear thinkers, who constitute the majority, mistakenly believe things will magically return to normal and we’ll continue our never ending forward human progress. Their ignorance of history and generational turnings that recur like the four seasons will bite them in the ass. We are being flung forward across the vast chaos of time and our existing social order will be transformed beyond recognition into something far better or far worse. The actual events over the coming decade are unknowable in advance, but the mood and reactions of the generational archetypes to these events are predictable. The actions of individuals will matter during this Fourth Turning. The majority are trapped in their propaganda induced, techno distracted stupor of willful ignorance. It will take a minority of liberty minded individuals, who honor the principles of the U.S. Constitution and are willing to sacrifice their lives, to prevail in the coming struggle.
Despite fog engulfing the path of future events, we know they will be propelled by debt, civic decay, and global disorder. Finding a unifying grey champion figure seems unlikely at this point. I believe the revelations by Edward Snowden have set the course for future events during this Fourth Turning. The choices of private citizens, like Snowden, Assange, and Manning, have made a difference. The choices we all make over the next ten years will make a difference. A battle for the soul of this country is underway. The Deep State is firmly ingrained, controlling the financial, political and educational systems, while using their vast wealth to perpetuate endless war, and domination of the media to manipulate the masses with propaganda and triviality. They are powerful and malevolent. They will not relinquish their supremacy and wealth willingly.
Snowden has revealed the evil intent of the ruling class and their willingness to trash the Constitution in their psychopathic pursuit of mammon. The mass surveillance of the entire population, locking down of an entire city in pursuit of two teenagers, military training exercises in major metropolitan areas, militarization of local police forces by DHS, crushing peaceful demonstrations with brute force, attempting to restrict and confiscate guns, molesting innocent airline passengers, executive orders utilized on a regular basis by the president, and treating all citizens like suspects has set the stage for the coming conflict. Strauss & Howe warned that history has shown armed conflict is always a major ingredient during a Fourth Turning.
“History offers even more sobering warnings: Armed confrontation usually occurs around the climax of Crisis. If there is confrontation, it is likely to lead to war. This could be any kind of war – class war, sectional war, war against global anarchists or terrorists, or superpower war. If there is war, it is likely to culminate in total war, fought until the losing side has been rendered nil – its will broken, territory taken, and leaders captured.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe -1997
It appears to me the Deep State is preparing for armed conflict with the people. Why else would they be utilizing Big Brother methods of surveillance, militarization of police forces and Gestapo like tactics of intimidation to control the masses? This doesn’t happen in a democratic republic where private individuals are supposed to know everything done by public government servants, not vice versa. They know the cheap, easy to access energy resources are essentially depleted. They know the system they have built upon a foundation of cheap energy and cheap debt is unsustainable and will crash in the near future. They know their fiat currency scheme is failing.They know it is going to come crashing down.
They know America and the world will plunge into an era of depression, violence, and war. They also know they want to retain their wealth, power and control. There is no possibility the existing establishment can be purged through the ballot box. It’s a one party Big Brother system that provides the illusion of choice to the Proles. Like it or not, the only way this country can cast off the shackles of the banking, corporate, fascist elites, and the government surveillance state is through an armed revolution. The alternative is to allow an authoritarian regime, on par with Hitler, Stalin and Mao, to rise from the ashes of our financial collapse.This is a distinct possibility, given the ignorance and helplessness of most Americans after decades of government education and propaganda.
The average mentally asleep American cannot conceive of armed conflict within the borders of the U.S. War, violence and dead bodies are something they see on their 52 inch HDTVs while gobbling chicken wings and cheetos in their Barcalounger. We’ve allowed a banking cartel and their central bank puppets to warp and deform our financial system into a hideous façade, sold to the masses as free market capitalism. We’ve allowed corporate interests to capture our political system through bribery and corruption.
We’ve allowed the rise of a surveillance state that has stripped us of our privacy, freedom, liberty and individuality in a futile pursuit of safety and security. We’ve allowed a military industrial complex to exercise undue influence in Washington DC, leading to endless undeclared wars designed to enrich the arms makers. We’ve allowed the corporate media and the government education complex to use propaganda, misinformation and social engineering techniques to dumb down the masses and make them compliant consumers. These delusions will be shattered when our financial and economic system no longer functions. The end is approaching rapidly and very few see it coming.
Glory or Ruin?
The scenario I envision is a collapse of our debt saturated financial system, with a domino effect of corporate, personal, and governmental defaults, exacerbated by the trillions of currency, interest rate, and stock derivatives. Global stock markets will crash. Trillions in paper wealth will evaporate into thin air. The Greater Depression will gain a choke-hold around the world. Mass bankruptcies, unemployment and poverty will sweep across the land. The social safety net will tear under the weight of un-payable entitlements. Riots and unrest will breakout in urban areas. Armed citizens in rural areas will begin to assemble in small units. The police and National Guard will be unable to regain control. The military will be called on to suppress any and all resistance to the Federal government. This act of war will spur further resistance from liberty minded armed patriots. The new American Revolution will have begun. Leaders will arise in the name of freedom. Regional and local bands of fighters will use guerilla tactics to defeat a slow top heavy military dependent upon technology and vast quantities of oil. A dictatorial regime may assume power on a Federal level. A breakup of the nation into regional states is a distinct possibility.
With the American Empire crumbling from within, our international influence will wane. With China also in the midst of a Fourth Turning, their debt bubble will burst and social unrest will explode into civil war. Global disorder, wars, terrorism, and financial collapse will lead to a dramatic decrease in oil production, further sinking the world into depression. The tensions caused by worldwide recession will lead to the rise of authoritarian regimes and global warfare. With “advances” in technological warfare and the proliferation of nuclear warheads, this scenario has the potential to end life on earth as we know it. The modern world could be set back into the stone-age with the push of a button. There are no guarantees of a happy ending for humanity.
The outcome of this Fourth Turning is dependent upon the actions of a minority of critical thinking Americans who decide to act. No one can avoid the trials and tribulations that lie ahead. We will be faced with immense challenges. Courage and sacrifice will be required in large doses. Elders will need to lead and millennials will need to carry a heavy load, doing most of the dying. The very survival of our society hangs in the balance. Edward Snowden has provided an example of the sacrifice required during this Fourth Turning. How we respond and the choices we make over the next decade will determine whether this Fourth Turning will result in glory or ruin for our nation.
“Eventually, all of America’s lesser problems will combine into one giant problem. The very survival of the society will feel at stake, as leaders lead and people follow. The emergent society may be something better, a nation that sustains its Framers’ visions with a robust new pride. Or it may be something unspeakably worse. The Fourth Turning will be a time of glory or ruin.” – Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
Click these links to read the first two parts of this three part series:
“Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.” – Edward Snowden
In my previous article Do No Evil Google – Censor & Snitch for the StateI addressed my experience with censorship through direct and indirect means by Google, other media related corporations and the Deep State they choose to protect, promote and perpetuate through propaganda. I found it interesting that websites heavily dependent on Google Adsense revenue who normally publish my articles either didn’t publish it or released it at a time when the least amount of visitors would see it. The almighty dollar usually wins out over truth in our one dimensional degenerate capitalism society, driven by greed, consumerism, gluttony and debt.
In this article I’ll examine how Google, Microsoft, Facebook Verizon and the rest of the internet based mega-corporations have consciously cooperated with the NSA and the rest of the surveillance state to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of every American. Our Founding Fathers had plenty of experience with authoritarian overlords who had no hesitation in kicking in the doors of private citizens to search and seize whatever they desired. The men who formulated the Constitution and Bill of Rights were clear and concise in their language. They laid out the right of all citizens to privacy in one perfectly succinct sentence. The putrid den of vipers in Congress today would use 10,000 sentences to insure this right would be null and void.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Media mouthpieces for the Deep State use their platform to lie, misinform and obscure the truth about a basic right owed to all Americans. They claim we have a living Constitution, while they methodically and systematically murder it. The only rights that matter are the rights of the invisible government of rich powerful men who pull the strings in this corporate fascist surveillance state. Justice Potter Stewart illuminated the Fourth Amendment in the 1967 Katz case. He concludedthe Fourth Amendment protects people, not places.
A “search” occurs for purposes of the Fourth Amendment when the government violates a person’s “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Katz’s reasonable expectation of privacy thus provided the basis to rule the government’s intrusion, though electronic means rather than physical entry, was a search covered by the Fourth Amendment, and thus necessitated a warrant. Today, our Big Brother government controllers use the Constitution and Fourth Amendment to wipe their asses, while goliath media corporations cooperate to keep the profits flowing.
“Even though we don’t know which companies the NSA has compromised – or by what means – knowing that they could have compromised any of them is enough to make us mistrustful of all of them. This is going to make it hard for large companies like Google and Microsoft to get back the trust they lost. Even if they succeed in limiting government surveillance. Even if they succeed in improving their own internal security. The best they’ll be able to say is: “We have secured ourselves from the NSA, except for the parts that we either don’t know about or can’t talk about.” – Bruce Schneier
The profane alliance between big banks, big corporations, and big government has created the Big Brother surveillance society we are living under today. And 95% of the populace is either willfully ignorant or perfectly happy with a boot stomping on their face forever. We have willingly become hopelessly enslaved while believing we are free. We think we are free to buy whatever clothes, iGadgets, baubles and trinkets we desire, while becoming imprisoned in the chains of credit card debt hawked by Wall Street bankers. We think we are free to pursue higher education, while being saddled with government peddled non-dischargeable student loan debt and few job opportunities. We think we are free to buy/lease whatever new vehicle we choose every three years, while falling into the trap of lifetime monthly payments to the financial elite. We imagine ourselves free to live in a 4,500 sq foot McMansion, 50 feet from another McMansion, while Wall Street creatively lures you into the shackles of an epoch of debt. We believe we live in a country admired for its morality and freedom, while in actuality the world despises us for our hubris, meddling, murdering and hypocrisy.
We assumed we were free to communicate with other citizens, utilizing the amazing technological advances of the past twenty five years, in accordance with the freedoms guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment. American patriot Edward Snowden has revealed how wrong this assumption has proven to be. The puppeteers who control the politicians and government apparatchiks have no interest in allowing citizens privacy, freedom, liberty or free speech. They have a four pronged approach to controlling the masses.
- Use media propaganda and modern day bread and circuses (toxic processed food, reality TV, sports, movies) to amuse and confuse the government educated, eyes wide shut, populace.
- Use wars on poverty, drugs, and terror to keep the willfully ignorant masses cowering in fear, begging for more government programs, and pleading for more laws, regulations and statutes, which strip our freedoms, liberties and rights.
- Highly compensate the intellectuals, media pundits, economists, and thought leaders to promote the agenda of the ruling class. Truth is of no concern. Propaganda, misinformation, outright lies, and spinning a storyline are the techniques of choice to keep the masses bemused, confused and defused.
- As the Brave New World techniques begin to fail and more people are awakened to the increasing tyranny of an unelected invisible government, Orwellian techniques are instituted. The metadata collection by the NSA, with the cooperation of corporate America, is being done to intimidate those who might voice discontent and provide the controllers with the means to eliminate opposition and freedom of speech.
A population unable or unwilling to think critically doesn’t comprehend the extreme danger to our civil liberties from the unwarranted intrusion into our private lives by a surveillance police state bent on bribing, coercing and silencing dissent, truth and First Amendment rights. Civil libertarian, John Whitehead, captures the essence of our plight.
“Intrinsically, privacy is precious to the extent that it is a component of a liberty. Part of citizenship in a free society is the expectation that one’s personal affairs and physical person are inviolable so long as one remains within the law. A robust concept of freedom includes the freedom from constant and intrusive government surveillance of one’s life. From this perspective, Fourth Amendment violations are objectionable for the simple fact that the government is doing something it has no license to do–that is, invading the privacy of a law-abiding citizen by monitoring their daily activities and laying hands on their person without any evidence of wrongdoing.
Privacy is also instrumental in nature. This aspect of the right highlights the pernicious effects, rather than the inherent illegitimacy, of intrusive, suspicionless surveillance. For example, encroachments on individual privacy undermine democratic institutions by chilling free speech. When citizens–especially those espousing unpopular viewpoints–are aware that the intimate details of their personal lives are pervasively monitored by government, or even that they could be singled out for discriminatory treatment by government officials as a result of their First Amendment expressive activities, they are less likely to freely express their dissident views.” – John W. Whitehead – A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State
Do No Evil, Unless it is Profitable
“I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” – Edward Snowden
It’s amazing how corporate principles, codes of conduct, ethics, and morality can be cast aside by men when their wealth and power is dependent upon casting them aside. Google’s Do No Evil slogan is now a bad joke as they have consistently ignored their own motto by doing business with evil governments, bowing down to the demands of authoritarian surveillance states, and willingly handing over the private information of people to the government. They have done this in order to boost their profits and enrich their executives. The 120 million internet users in China are too big of a market, with vast profit potential, for Google to pass up over a little torture, murder, and repression by the Chinese government. Google bowed to the Chinese government and produced a censored, state-approved version of its search portal, enabling filters that block search terms such as Tibet, Taiwanese independence, Tiananmen Square protests, Falun Gong movement, freedom, democracy, political protest and prevent the engine from finding certain websites banned by the state. It also does not offer its blog or e-mail services in China in order to comply with government restrictions denying free speech. I guess evil is in the eye of the shareholder.
Human rights groups are the only ones who have called out Google for their hypocrisy, censorship of free speech and worshiping at the altar of the almighty yuan. Google is not alone in kowtowing to the authoritarian regime in China, as Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook and any other internet provider must agree to censorship and turning over private information to the authorities. Microsoft shut down the U.S. hosted, pseudonymous blog of a Chinese journalist, and Yahoo turned over to the Chinese government personal e-mail files of an online dissident who was subsequently sentenced to ten years in prison. These corporate tools of the state care not that China is still one of the most repressive countries on Earth, with tens of thousands jailed dissidents and political prisoners, as well as being a serial abuser of copyright laws.
The Communist Party’s propaganda department has ramped up operations at Office 1106, an organization which trawls cyberspace for subversion. All websites, bloggers and bulletin-board operators must register with the government and Beijing has a special internet police force responsible for shutting down “unacceptable” sites, blocking foreign news sites and jailing people for online postings. The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders described Google’s acquiescence to authoritarianism as “a black day for freedom of expression in China”. They realized this was the first step on a downward path to loss of freedom around the world:
“But they continue to justify themselves by saying their presence has a long-term benefit. Yet the internet in China is becoming more and more isolated from the outside world and freedom of expression there is shrinking.”
The Free Tibet Campaign describes Google’s surrender as an endorsement of censorship and repression. “With this move, Google’s motto ‘do no evil’ is in smithereens,” said the campaign’s spokeswoman Alison Reynolds. “This also further contradicts those political leaders who attempt to convince us that foreign business can change China for the better.” Google Earth does not recognize the word Tibet. These corporations use the predictable spin that it will notify users when access had been restricted and argues that it could play a more useful role in China by participating than by boycotting it. Tell that to the thousands of freedom fighters languishing in gulags. We know Google willingly censors on behalf of governments. Based on the revelations from Edward Snowden, you can be sure Google provides the identities of Chinese citizens who voice dissenting opinions about the Chinese government directly to the Chinese secret police. We are all enemies of the state and subject to surveillance, censorship and ultimately imprisonment. We are living in a modern technological dystopian nightmare, with no hope of awakening.
“The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.
These transformations have come about silently, because those who know what is going on work in the global surveillance industry and have no incentives to speak out. Left to its own trajectory, within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there.
While many writers have considered what the internet means for global civilization, they are wrong. They are wrong because they do not have the sense of perspective that direct experience brings. They are wrong because they have never met the enemy.” – Julian Assange –Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet
Big Google and the Surveillance State
“Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order and the like.” – William O. Douglas – Points of Rebellion, 1969
“We have seen segments of our Government, in their attitudes and action, adopt tactics unworthy of a democracy, and occasionally reminiscent of totalitarian regimes. We have seen a consistent pattern in which programs initiated with limited goals, such as preventing criminal violence or identifying foreign spies, were expanded to what witnesses characterized as “vacuum cleaners”, sweeping in information about lawful activities of American citizens. The tendency of intelligence activities to expand beyond their initial scope is a theme which runs through every aspect of our investigative findings. Intelligence collection programs naturally generate ever-increasing demands for new data. And once intelligence has been collected, there are strong pressures to use it against the target.” ― Church Committee -1975
William O. Douglas and Frank Church foresaw the overreach of the surveillance state decades before Edward Snowden nobly sacrificed his future and risked his life to reveal the vast illegal collection of private phone calls, texts, emails, downloads, and every electronic communication of every person in America by a secret government agency operating in the shadows. The Chinese experience was a prelude to how Google, Yahoo, Verizon and the rest of the corporate internet/telecommunication complex would do whatever was demanded by the all-powerful NSA in order to expand their profits and avoid the ire of the Deep State.
Edward Snowden threw a monkey wrench into the well- oiled gears of the cooperative efforts of the NSA, the British NSA – GCHQ, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Verizon, etc. to conduct the greatest mass spying program in world history. The denials, finger pointing, obfuscation, and outright lies by government bureaucrats, politicians and corporate executives came fast and furious after Snowden’s revelations. They were caught red handed committing illegal acts, in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Denial press releases regarding knowledge of this mass spying scheme from Google and Facebook appeared to be written by the same maggot public relations firm, as they were virtually identical.
The reactions of Google and Yahoo were reminiscent of Captain Renault declaring “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” in Casablanca.
“We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform.” – Google
“We have strict controls in place to protect the security of our data centers, and we have not given access to our data centers to the NSA or to any other government agency.” – Yahoo
These faux expressions of outrage and surprise have been revealed by Snowden to be disingenuous and insincere. Glenn Greenwald and the Guardian verified the authenticity of a 41-slide NSA PowerPoint presentation, classified as top secret, used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the PRISM program. The presentation claims “collection directly from the servers” of nine major US service providers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and Apple. The presentation also claims the program is run with the assistance of these companies.
Once they were caught in a lie, Google and the rest of the co-conspirators in this crime tried to backtrack and say they were just obeying their masters at the NSA. In a statement, Google said: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data.”
Google is supposed to be the most highly advanced cutting edge tech company on the planet, but somehow their entire system is unencrypted and available to anyone with the means to access it. That sure seems convenient. They have plausible deniability, while allowing the NSA to syphon every piece of electronic communication on its networks. No wonder this NSA diagram had a big smiley face on it.
Detail of an internal “NSA presentation slide” published by the Washington Post. The sketch shows where the public Internet meets the private cloud maintained by Google, and points out — with a smiley face — that the data within the cloud is unencrypted.
The documents released by Snowden forced Google to admit to willingly providing data, names and communications directly to the NSA. Google has a special server drop-box for the NSA where requested and approved files are placed to be taken by the NSA via secure FTP. Some printed records are delivered by hand. How much data passes through this hand-off process isn’t known because the company has refused to reveal that information.
With all the brainpower at Google HQ it is beyond laughable to believe they had no idea the NSA was collecting metadata on such a vast scale. They allowed this to happen with a wink and a nod in order to keep profits flowing. Google, Yahoo and the rest of the captured high tech industry sold out the American people for profits. They were willing participants in the largest crime in U.S. history, and there are no repercussions or prosecutions because their co-conspirators are the very government who would have to prosecute them.
The supposedly legal aspect of this spying program allows the NSA to gather huge amounts of Internet communications by legally compelling U.S. tech companies, including Google, to cooperate with officials and turn over all data that matches secret court approved search queries. This is authorized under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. PRISM operations are overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). None of this was known prior to Edward Snowden nobly deciding he could not let this go on in good conscience. Neither the government, Google nor the other communications companies would have ever revealed this program. Of course, the non-legal vacuuming of metadata is far worse and has no support whatsoever under the U.S. Constitution.
To give you some perspective on the scale of this criminal enterprise, NSA analysts processed more than 180 million records within a time span of 30 days from Google’s metadata system. The NSA gained access to who sent the message, who received the message, what the message contained and all audio and video sent on this system. The NSA secretly tapped into the private fiber-optic networks that connect Google’s and Yahoo’s worldwide data centers, allowing the spy agency to suck up “at will” bulk metadata and content belonging to users of the companies’ services.
Under a program called MUSCULAR, a joint project with British NSA counterpart the GCHQ, the NSA takes advantage of overseas taps to intercept data flowing within Google’s and Yahoo’s geographically distributed data “clouds,” where multiple copies of user data are stored unencrypted. Google “PREF” cookies, which can help identify a user’s web browser and serve up personalized ads allows NSA to single out an individual’s communications among the sea of Internet data in order to send out software that can hack that person’s computer.
The question is why is our government doing this? Are they doing it for our protection or for our subjugation? The War on Terror is really a cover for corporate fascists to further enrich themselves and gain a stranglehold on the government and financial system. There is little or no threat from terrorists in this country. The few psychopaths out there cannot impact this country in a major way. But, fear can be used by those in power to solidify their control over the masses. Before 9/11 it would have seemed unthinkable for our country to descend into a dystopian society, surrendering privacy, anonymity and individualism.
This bulk collection of private communications is their ace in the hole. Anyone who dares to question authority, resist the establishment or voice a dissenting opinion can be discredited and destroyed with personal information gathered by the NSA. One method for undermining those deemed “radicalizers” by the NSA is to document their online porn habits. The documents released by Snowden reveal NSA plans to blackmail non-conformists, as explained by Glenn Greenwald.
“Among the vulnerabilities listed by the NSA that can be effectively exploited are ‘viewing sexually explicit material online’ and ‘using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.’ “
If the Deep State cannot bribe you with cash, they will invade your privacy and use personal communications to bribe you. Censorship can be exercised through many channels. The saddest part thus far is the lack of outrage by the American people. The majority of mouth breathing techno-narcissists in this country have never heard of Edward Snowden. They don’t realize he is the Paul Revere of the next American Revolution. They don’t understand the implications of not standing and fighting during this Fourth Turning. Unless enough people stand up and say NO, we will end up with turnkey tyranny.
“The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. The NSA will say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.” – Edward Snowden
In the final segment of this three part article – Fourth Turning: The People vs Big Brother – I’ll discuss how I think this all fits into the Fourth Turning Crisis we are currently experiencing.
Are the Intelligence Committees Being Blackmailed?
During the Vietnam war, the NSA spied on two prominent politicians – Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker – as well as critics of government policy Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and a Washington Post humorist.
A recently declassified history written by the NSA itself called the effort “disreputable if not outright illegal.”
They targeted Sen. Frank Church and Sen. Howard Baker. It could meanthey were trying to get information or dirt on senators involved in the Church committee and Watergate committee investigations respectively — either to learn something about their investigations or to discredit them.
We still need more information about what happened then. But more critically, we need more information about what’s happening now. These revelations raise the obvious question: If the NSA was targeting people like Sen. Frank Church, who were in a position to oversee the NSA — is that happening now? That is, are people like intelligence committee chairs Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and other congressional leaders — who are supposed to be providing oversight themselves — compromised in some way by the NSA? If so, as seems quite certain from the recent Edward Snowden revelations, then how can they conduct genuine oversight of the NSA with their committees?”
If I were a member of congress, I would be terrified that NSA would do to them what J. Edgar Hoover did to members back during his time.
Maybe. But remember:
- The NSA has been tracking people’s porn in order to discredit them. The New York Times reportsthat this type of behavior has been going on for a long time: “J. Edgar Hoover compiled secret dossiers on the sexual peccadillos and private misbehavior of those he labeled as enemies — really dangerous people like … President John F. Kennedy, for example”.
- A high-level NSA whistleblower says that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers, including Supreme Court Justices, high-ranked generals, Colin Powell and other State Department personnel, and many other top officials
- Another very high-level NSA whistleblower – the head of the NSA’s global intelligence gathering operation – says that the NSA targeted CIA chief Petraeus
- Blackmail of Congress members may be common
Postscript: Of course, there’s always the carrot.