Freedom, Transparency & Surveillance

Freedom is much more than choice of consumer goods, TV channel or political puppets. It is about the bigger issues that determine the type, diversity and direction of society, and how resources are divided. Modern democracy therefore does not automatically equate to freedom.

THE CHALLENGE
In frivolous things we have freedom; in important things we have none. As our freedoms are systematically taken away, our media compensates for this loss by focusing ever more on frivolities — celebrity, sport, political personalities, drama, social banality and sensationalism — so freedom levels appear to be maintained. But of course it is an illusion — the important freedoms have now been all but lost. >>>

Sen. Rand Paul's Filibuster on the Patriot Act Extension (Hour 1 of 10½!!) / May 2015
The Patriot Act is undeniably unconstitutional and green-lights the bulk data collection, despite the fact that bulk data collection was judged illegal by the 2nd Court of Appeals in New York. Without Paul's 10½ hour filibustering speech, the Patriot Act would have been renewed without debate.

Jacob Appelbaum / Keynote @ [29c3] on NSA Utah Spy Data Center / Nov 2014
Blanket surveillance and data retention represents the end of our freedom on a mass scale, and most specifically our freedom of speech. Appelbaum discusses "deep packet inspection" and "deep packet injection" which are methods used by the NSA to intercept communications.

War on Whistleblowers 2015 / Brave New Films / Feb 2015
Whistleblowers are essential for curbing the natural abuse of power that erodes democracies. Without these selfless individuals, we would soon find ouselves in a totalitarian state at perpetual war. Therefore, we need to start protecting whistleblowers rather than vilifying them.

The Future of Freedom: Interview with NSA Whistleblower William Binney / Jan 2015
Binney resigned his position as Director for COMINT at the NSA when he realized that the privacy of ordinary Americans was being violated, trashing their Constitutional rights. This is one of the best interviews to really understand the issues that blanket domestic surveillance raises.

New Charlie Hebdo CoverCharlie Hebdo Publish New Edition after the Paris Massacre (Jan 2015)
This new magazine cover by Charlie Hebdo featuring the Prophet Muhammad makes a poignant political statement, although a less offensive one this time. Even so, here are millions around the world who consider this depiction a blasphemy that should carry the death penalty. But this knee-jerk Neanderthal response by Islamic fundamentalists is often exploited by intelligence agencies in their bid to frighten Western populations into giving up more civil liberties, fast tracking the imposition of a police state. These terrorists were trained and armed by the West, so the big question is: did the French authorities allow the Paris massacre to happen for political reasons, giving Western governments another Pearl Harbour opportunity to extend terrorism legislation at the expense of liberty, and focusing the public back on terrorism and security rather than austerity measures and corporate greed?

Ahmed AboutalebIn the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, himself a Muslim immigrant, gave the following advice to intolerant Muslims living in Western democracies: "If you don't like freedom, for heaven's sake pack your bags and leave. If you do not like it here because some humorists you don't like are making a newspaper, may I then say you can f*** off." This is not a politically correct viewpoint, but can we really be tolerant towards intolerance? Should we give protective rights to those who would abolish them? In the bigger picture, however, the Charlie Hebdo massacre was probably a false flag operation designed to keep governments on track with their police-state agendas.

Lawrence Lessig Interviews Edward Snowden - Oct 2014
Edward Snowden gives an overview of the mass and unconstitutional surveillance programs that he courageously exposed, a surveillance program that is actually hindering the fight against extremists by raising the confusing of too many suspects — the whole population of the world.

Il Giardino in Cap-FerretStop using American products if you value your freedom / Feb 2015
Next time you are in Cap-Ferret in the south-west of France, avoid at all costs the restaurant Il Giardino. When blogger Caroline Doudet wrote a negative blogpost about Il Giardino entitled, "The place to avoid in Cap-Ferret, Il Giardino" she was successfully sued by the restaurant owner (who admitted that the service may not have been the best) for €2,500 including costs because the review, which placed high in Google searches, was damaging their business. However, the restauranteur's plan appears to have backfired with Google Plus and Trip Adviser filling up with negative reviews. In the bigger picture, this is an indication where the EU is headed and why its scheming federalisation which limits free speech and its "right to be forgotten" legislation that censors history. Free speech in the EU will soon be only a memory as Europe edges every increasingly towards a totalitarian super-state.

UK Emergency Surveillance Bill / July 2014
The British Prime Minister is rushing through emergency legislation called the Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill that means that phone companies have to keep records on all phone calls made and websites visited for at least a year. This was in response just to vague warnings by the US that the terror threat is increasing. In response to this, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that in times of peace this move "defies belief". He added, "I mean the NSA could have written this draft." This legislation was in response to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) stricking down UK's existing snooping laws because they breached EU privacy laws. The Open Rights Group commented: "Not only will the proposed legislation infringe our right to privacy, it will also set a dangerous precedent where the government simply re-legislates every time it disagrees with a decision by the CJEU."

One of the greatest fallacies that humans continue to fall for is that privacy can be given up for safety. But because safety is actually based on privacy, our efforts to be safe at the cost of privacy is entirely counterproductive. We sacrifice privacy at our peril. [more →]
We are imprisoned by a virtual world which defines and manipulates us. This world is constructed, maintained and controlled by the mass media. To break free from this virtual prison we must let go of our identity. [more →]

The Third Jihad - Radical Islam's Vision for American - Clarion Project / Nov 2012
Radical Islam poses a major threat to modern freedoms, a threat that hides behind religious freedom legislation. And yet, given the chance, it would replace those freedoms with Shiria law. Sadly, the moderate Muslim community seems disinterested in fully condemning radicalism.

Consent of the Governed: The Freeman Movement Defined - Feb 2013
This 3-hour documentary looks at human freedom and how our governments are working feverishly to erode civil liberty and impose a "New World Order" which is basically a slave-society which is controlled by a small elite who think they know what is best for all.

PRISM - US World Surveillance (Jun 2013)
If you use any of the following online services, you are unwittingly a victim to a massive US surveillance system that is monitoring and recording all your communications and all your online activity. This Surveillance system is called PRISM.

Microsoft (inc. Hotmail & Office etc.)
Yahoo!
Google (inc. Gmail & Drive etc.)
Facebook
Skype
Paltalk
YouTube
AOL
Apple

Stop using these services if at all possible and try to find alternative services that are owned by companies based outside the US, Canada and the UK. Other governments monitor as well, but not quite to this degree (unless you are in China).

Of course, these companies have vigorously denied involvement with government super-surveillance, but according to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it is a federal crime for any participating company to publicly acknowledge the existence of surveillance (source). So of course they would deny it!

The other thing that you must stop doing is using Google search engines which log every single one of your seaches. Try one of the following: Startpage.com and DuckDuckGo.com. And certainly don't be crazy enough to continue posting private information on Facebook!

Prism 01