June 11, 2016
Vice Magazine, or more specifically, their offshoot YouTube channel Vice News, has been a source of frustration from my perspective as they appear to play the left and right game often. With that said, occasionally they produce some decent content – and the latest content along these lines is an interview with Edward Snowden; for those living in dark caves and under rocks, Snowden is considered a traitor for blowing a whistle on various US alphabet agencies’ domestic spying on Americans – in order to conduct the interview VICE’s Shane Smith traveled to Moscow.
During the interview Snowden commented that your smartphone’s cameras and microphones can be remotely tapped, your phone conversations recorded, and your browsing habits/contacts/emails/and texts obtained. Further, apparently, many police departments are now beginning to acquire the tech to do so. The device frequently used is known as an IMSI-catcher; in short, those utilizing the device place it between a cell tower and the target device, and by doing so, the IMSI-catcher can then trick our smartphones into responding to the IMSI-catcher as if it were in fact the cell tower – with all of your data and information filtered through that IMSI-catcher.
In the video below you will see a demonstration of an IMSI-catcher in action.
The sad reality of what is taking place in the United States, and many European nations, is the fact that the wrath of the people is misplaced. Be it here in the US with anti-Trump sentiment, or Sweden with the extreme left, or France and Germany, and so on… All while the people’s rights have been and continue to be infringed upon illegally – and by and large, nobody seems to really care. Perhaps they did for a day or two when news initially broke of government data mining, much like the response to the big bailouts in 2008, and then we all quickly returned to being pacified.
It is actually illegal for the CIA to conduct operations domestically targeting American citizens, and domestic operations were never intended as a function of that agency. In the video below you can watch John Brennan, the acting director of the CIA, openly lie:
At this point I should mention that John Brennan still sits in the director’s chair. Never mind that he perjured himself before the Senate. Of course Obama didn’t ask him to resign, because after all, and setting aside differences lying on the surface, he’s just another puppet akin to Bush and Clinton – and it is all about continuity of an agenda; this is how they lull the naive people out there into playing the left/right game and why nothing really changes. These people get away with everything – always… And it doesn’t look like that is going to change.
I’d like to know what these Senators have done on our behalf…
Think twice next time you decide it’s wise to send someone intimate pictures or worse. In a separate article years ago Snowden also stated that some goons at the NSA enjoy passing around nude and sexually explicit pictures of citizens, illegally obtained from their emails and cell phones, for a laugh (or maybe for a bathroom ‘break’). I guess perversion and nerd arousal is now considered national security. It really is a brave new world.
Just because we like to pull the blankets up over our collective heads, bury our heads in the sand, click our heels, or instead choose to get worked up over sovereign nations seeking to secure their borders and enjoy accusing individuals (whom we do not personally know) as being racist, does not make these serious incursions on freedom and privacy go away. Instead, like an infection oozing with bacteria and pus, it festers and spreads. If all the repeated attempts to kill net neutrality provide any hint of an example, we now have a massive, multi-headed hydra whose heads require thorough severing one by one.
In case you are interested, in February the New York Times published an article about the ‘great’ NYPD’s spying activities. Yet, as stated earlier, these acts are unfortunately not limited to the NYPD.
And, in case you are wondering; I do view Snowden, not as a hero, but as a patriot. Any individual with a moral compass would do the same. We should want to know what those are doing in our names – whether it be directed at us as in this case, or targeting others. Unfortunately, many seem to think we are only supposed to honor the machine – the regime – the utterly fat and inflated bureaucracy that is anything but bureaucratic, and not ourselves collectively. The United States is not the CIA or NSA or a sitting Senator or President – those agencies and offices were designed to work on our, the people’s, behalf – not the other way around. And, at this time, they run amok with nil oversight while serving another master (which just happens to be meeting in Dresden, Germany while I write this).