George Orwell, 1984, iPhones, And Freedom
- Nathan Goulding, writing in the National Review, reported that two data scientists uncovered the fact that Apple's iPhones, iPads, and iTouches can store a user's GPS locations, store their movements for up to a year, and send this information back to Apple for storage and analysis
- The Goulding reporting claims that this is being done now, without getting the consent of the user or without the user being told what information is being collected on their habits and movements.
- According to Jordan Robertson of the Associated Press, there are no laws on the books that make this behavior illegal or would prevent Apple (and other smartphone manufacturers) from sharing this data with other parties without an individual's permission.
- John Naughton writing in the London Observer recalled a ten year old quote from Scott McNealy, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems: "You have zero privacy. Get over it." Mr. Naughton concludes that McNealy is probably right.Scary, scary stuff, in my opinion.
- First, in the March 18, 2011 issue of The Week magazine, a short article reviewed how the Chinese government is planning to install a massive tracking system that will monitor and track the location of every Chinese citizen that has a cell phone.
- The government claims this massive process would help them to ease traffic congestion, a very weak argument.
- Critics of the program, however, believe that the system would allow the authoritarian Chinese government to track and follow dissidents and journalists.
- This would allow the government to learn of protest sites, clandestine meetings, etc.The Chinese system sounds a lot like what could be done quite easily if the U.S. government ever decided that it also needed this individual citizen information to "ease traffic congestion." You have to be suspicious when something that exists in America is very close in scope and capability to what the repressive Chinese government is also doing.
- A smartphone user needs to be granted the option of not having his or her movements or conversations tracked. Traditionally in this country, you are innocent until proven guilty. The premise should still hold and you should be able to opt out of any tracking.
- The government, via a politician or law enforcement official, should not be able to access your smartphone information without a signed, court order from a judge, after the government agency has proven its case for probable cause of a crime. This is the process for getting a search warrant for a home, it should be the same for searching a person's smartphone history.
- If a court order is granted and the result of an investigation turns up no illegal activity on an American citizen, then that citizen needs to be told what information of theirs was obtained and why. This would ensure that law enforcement or other government agencies to not go on fishing expeditions without cause if they are forced to come clean after an investigation is over and the smartphone user is found innocent of all suspicions.
Government Gone Wild, Part 8: Three More NSA Whistleblowers Come Forward, Part One Of Their Tale Of Their Bravery
This is the ninth installment in a series on government snooping and the destruction of the Fourth Amendment as it pertains to the Federal government and the NSA’s confiscating just about every form of electronic communications of every American under the false guise of fighting terrorism. This Orwellian and creepy snooping has resulted in skyrocketing book sales of George Orwell’s dismal prediction of a future dictatorship in this country in the novel, “1984.”
The first installment in this seemingly never ending review of the Fourth Amendment destruction can be accessed at:
Some of their more serious assertions and claims from the article are just as creepy and scary as Snowden’s:
- Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe worked for the National Security Agency for many, many years and actually were deeply involved in developing the very systems that are now snooping on every American without due process or cause.
- According to the article, for years the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from unwary U.S. citizens with their audiences ranging from their immediate supervisors to Congressional committees to Federal investigators, and now the news media.
- Although they had spent decades in the upper management levels of the NSA designing and managing the current data-collection systems, they are speaking out now because they now believe their systems and work have been turned against Americans.
- Like Snowden and the brave State Department employees who spoke out because of the unnecessary murders of four innocent Americans at the Benghazi consulate, these three brave Americans have also been investigated as criminals and forced to give up careers, reputations and friendships built over a lifetime of serving America.
- Drake: “And we are seeing the initial outlines and contours of a very systemic, very broad, a Leviathan surveillance state and much of it is in violation of the fundamental basis for our own country — in fact, the very reason we even had our own American Revolution. And the Fourth Amendment for all intents and purposes was revoked after 9/11. …” Comment: Destruction of the Fourth Amendment, as witnessed by insiders who were close to the mechanism that did the destruction.
- Radack: “He [Snowden] is someone who exposed broad waste, abuse and in his case illegality. ... And he also said he was making the disclosures for the public good and because he wanted to have a debate.”
- Binney: “Ever since ... 1997-1998 ... those terrorists have known that we've been monitoring all of these communications all along. So they have already adjusted to the fact that we are doing that. So the fact that it is published in the U.S. news that we're doing that, has no effect on them whatsoever. They have already adjusted to that.” Comment: Which gets to our position yesterday, do we really think that the terrorists are that stupid to use basic, unencrypted communications modes?
- Drake: “I mean, it's [the Verizon secret court order to give up telephone information] the first time we've publicly seen an actual, secret, surveillance-court order. I don't really want to call it "foreign intelligence" (court) anymore, because I think it's just become a surveillance court, OK? And we are all foreigners now. By virtue of that order, every single phone record that Verizon has is turned over each and every day to NSA. There is no probable cause. There is no indication of any kind of counterterrorism investigation or operation. It's simply: "Give us the data." ... “ Comment: Scary observation and actual fact that we are now all “foreigners” in our own country.
- Drake and Binney: “One is that the FBI requesting the data. And two, the order directs Verizon to pass all that data to NSA, not the FBI. What it is really saying is the NSA becomes a processing service for the FBI to use to interrogate information directly. ... The implications are that everybody's privacy is violated, and it can retroactively analyze the activity of anybody in the country back almost 12 years.”
- Binney: “Now, the other point that is important about that is the serial number of the order: 13-dash-80. That means it's the 80th order of the court in 2013. ... Those orders are issued every quarter, and this is the second quarter, so you have to divide 80 by two and you get 40. If you make the assumption that all those orders have to deal with companies and the turnover of material by those companies to the government, then there are at least 40 companies involved in that transfer of information. However, if Verizon, which is Order No. 80, and the first quarter got order No. 1 — then there can be as many as 79 companies involved.” Comment: So the assertion by this administration that only top line telephone call information and only Verizon information was confiscated is probably bogus.That concludes the first half of the story that these three brave whistleblower/American heroes told USA Today. We will conclude their stories and insights tomorrow along with our conclusions of what needs to be done to fix this liberty sapping situation.
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