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'The Dream of Internet Freedom is Dying,' Warns Top Civil Liberties Attorney


'The Dream of Internet Freedom is Dying,' Warns Top Civil Liberties Attorney

Lauren McCauley, staff writer


These comments sound like they are from someone who is paying attention and is really, really pissed. Thank you, Jennifer Granick.


I hear Windows 10 comes without the option of controlling how so-called updates are downloaded and installed. Thanks Microsoft for denying us that last crumb of freedom! Please rename the "Home" edition of your operating system to "Zoo".


Yes, we have secret laws, endless wars, run-a-way use of fossil fuels endangering the health and welfare of those living directly In and adjacent to "The Fracking Fields", both human and animal; all this with direct government complicity. The Snowden' s, Kirakou' s, Manning's and Assange' s of the world are mercilessly slandered, hunted and imprisoned for exposing the "secret" desecration of our basic Constitutional rights by the U.S. government. All this is done using our tax dollars. I say this as a 70 yr old US citizen, Vietnam Veteran (dragged kicking and screaming into that horrible slaughter) and a person who is old enough to have witnessed the continual loss of our, citizen, ownership of our country. Surely, this loss of ownership can be attributed to many things, but the reality is Americans seemingly no longer care enough to take ownership of the responsibility we have as citizens under our Constitution and Declaration of Independence to retake what was once supposed to be ours "if we can only keep it." A few very wealthy individuals and very wealthy corporate heads have staked a very serious claim on our health, welfare, resources and very survival. Freedom is a very precious thing to lose. Slavery is a horrible way to live. Just ask around.


Wow! This woman isn't kidding around! Bravo! Freedom's call can still be heard yet!!!

The soft touch velvet glove fascism that remains behind the scenes - the secret law casts its shadow over the future. A separate net for people that would allow free expression and exchange of ideas is a hope but you have to wonder whether true fascism craves the ultimate control of a total surveillance internet.

A fascistic mind would want to force everyone to only use the surveilled internet rather then have another separate free internet as Snowden asks. China does something like that now, forcing everyone to use only their approved net.

Car off the bridge surprised me... that is something to think about. "Things will happen and no one will really know why." Harassment for example. Did your bank say what but you never closed that account? You came home to find that your computer had been on and files downloaded but no one broke in? How many times can you correct that credit rating? No you didn't order that and why should you be put on a crank caller list since you never ordered anything before?

Things will happen and no one will really know why!

Who will know why because somebody will?

Who watches the watchers when their watching is a secret.

But even worse... who hires those watchers who watch in secret?

Who is in charge when everything is secret?

Goodbye democracy forever. Do you wonder why oligarchy is becoming so overt these days?

Yes somebody is taking over and removing actual real world democracy.

Your children will be born watched by somebody and things will be done to them during their lives by somebody... whom they will never know.

You were born a free people... and could not keep it that way for your children.


This is Trojan Horse messaging in that it conflates the wishes of the citizenry WITH what the Draconian Homeland Security state--morphed into a largely global spying apparatus--secretly put into place:

"The dream is dying, she said, because "we’ve prioritized things like security, online civility, user interface, and intellectual property interests above freedom and openness." And governments, for their part, have capitalized on the fear of "the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse: terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers" to push for even more regulation and control, she added."

WE did not prioritize security.

WE did not bail out the big banks.

WE did not get tough on "illegal" aliens.

WE do not fight a war on drugs.

WE do not gun down innocent Black civilians or carpet bomb innocent Iraqis or Afghanis.

There are empowered entities that do these things and since elections are bought (and lobbyists get the policies preferred by corporate behemoths made into law); and the courts almost always rule for Big Business interests; and media luminaries lie with impunity (even in making cases FOR war); and no wrongdoer acquires or honors accountability... it's a dangerous FARCE to posit that WE, the citizenry, are behind these odious, would-be (in a functioning Democracy) illegal acts and incredibly wasteful and morally repugnant policies.

If TPP and TIPP manage to pass into "law," would this same "Top Civil Liberties Attorney" argue that WE decided on this secretive set of pro-corporate trade deals?

And if Obama okays the Canadian tar sands debacle in spite of oil spill after oil spill, and fracking causing earthquakes as well as cannibalizing what's left of a vanishing water table, would she also claim that WE agreed to these ecologically suicidal pacts?


How about Panopticon prison?


The problem is global in scope. That fact alone discredits your "blame citizens first" thesis.

The loss of liberties is the direct fruit of a number of covert strategies that were planned and EASED in under the radar.

One of those was the false flag. Do YOU buy the official story? If so, your call to bloody revolution is hollow.

The Reagan/Thatcher era's indictment of government made possible the corporate takeover of government. Clinton furthered the process by deregulating significant facets of a working Democratic state chiefly by deregulating media and the big banks.

Most people are focused on THE moment. And since the Austerity ostensibly in place in Greece is also impacting this nation in less overt ways, most working people are so busy working longer hours to meet expenses that they have less time and energy to truly become informed. A great many people believed in their news sources but that faith is hollowing out.

Posters who push this idea that citizens didn't do their duty sound like right wing types. The Right wing is ALWAYS finding targets--apart from the true perpetrators--to fix blame upon. A whole PR industry has emerged dedicated to this very thing. Today's article is a case in point. It exposes how the media framing blames GREECE for its problems, rather than the fraudulent fiscal climate that allowed particularly unscrupulous persons to invent monetary fictions and then use their newly minted embarrassment of riches to bribe anyone (politicians, courts, media) that MIGHT have stopped the flow to get out of the way. The financial graft--a WOUND to humanity--remains unfathomable in its impacts.

And if you think a bunch of Texas cowboys with their semi automatic weapons are ANY match for the kinds of weapons now possessed by any number of armed squads answerable to a govt. that's betrayed its own citizens (having become a plutocracy)... you are caught in 1776 and a dangerous dreamer.

Guns have yet to solve anything or advance the human race.

What's needed is a higher consciousness and it IS quickly coming into place.

Like Tom Engelhardt's military experts who can't see past the frame of WINNING (or losing) a war, your frame is similar.

What is going to change the world are the logistical facts of biological life. Current systems are unsustainable and Mother Nature is kicking ass in the form of spreading droughts, dying corral reefs, massive cyclones (one currently aiming at China), and so much else.

And to those in "your camp" who never tire of tossing aspersions at fellow citizens, in case you missed it, thousands of people ARE galvanized and fighting for change on numerous fronts:

  1. For a rise in minimum wages
  2. That Black Lives Matter
  3. Against Big Oil, Big Fracking, the Tar Sands pipeline, Big Coal
  4. Against the closing of public schools
  5. Against the decimation of women's (reproductive, and otherwise) rights
  6. Against the policies of destruction....

And so much else.

When consciousness shifts, it's equivalent to all the air being released from the tires that kept the Empire running on its diabolical track.

It's tougher to measure this kind of shift and that's a problem for soldier boys and others who can't see past the paradigm that Mars built. All they can understand (and argue for) are battles, winners, and losers.

The time of male dominators is coming to a close.

Good riddens!


SR -

You are fast becoming the SiouxRoseanna Roseannadana of absurdity on CD.


It's a compliment from a little paid message shaper incapable of any original thoughts of his own. FLEA is an apt surname or tittle for a piddling mite like you.


We're very cranky today, aren't we - Siouxroseanna Roseannadana?

Oh and by the way if I am being paid then I want a raise because I could use the money being on a fixed income. Paid huh? You are really something.


The powers that be always close rank. Jimmy Saville in the UK was an "excellent" example. For decades he was fronting all sorts of charities supporting children - and simultaneously abusing kids on a grand scale. As a big name in the media and UK culture in generalm he got away with it until he died - no one having the guts to confront the cowardly and bullying little creep that he always seemed to appear. He was obviously judged "too big to confront".


All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
by Richard Brautigan, 1967

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.


Your clarification of this misuse of the WE word is totally appropriate. WE logically cannot, and obviously would not waste time spying on ourselves. WE supply the powers that be with a lot of info they demand, but their spying is trying to find out info WE obviously do not want them to know, and they do not want us to know they seek.


The author differentiates between 'we' (Americans in general - our culture) and between 'governments, for their part...' A clear distinction is made between the two. The author does not say that the surveilled are the surveillers.

What she is saying that while we (Americans in general) focused on things like internet civility and security (requiring that people use their real names which is not required in Europe etc.) governments (ours) have focused on erecting total surveillance and a secret law protocol for the net.

Governments (ours) have instituted secret law which contravenes democracy outright. You will have no say in what THEY can do to you and will not even know about it.

So fine you focus on the use of the rhetorical 'we' (which was used properly in the article) and pretend to some ridiculous nonsense as being important instead of being concerned about secret law and the net.

Meanwhile, someone somewhere in secret just laughed at 'us' (i.e. the rhetorical 'us').


"the Four Horsemen of the Infocalypse: terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers"

The first Horseman will go away after the terrorist oligarchy does.

The second after kids get sex education.

The third and fourth after the War on Drugs and poor people of color ends along with private prisons.


What a wonderful post!
I'll see your Brautigan and raise you a Ginsberg:

By Allen Ginsberg

America I’ve given you all and now I’m nothing.
America two dollars and twentyseven cents January 17, 1956.
I can’t stand my own mind.
America when will we end the human war?
Go fuck yourself with your atom bomb.
I don’t feel good don’t bother me.
I won’t write my poem till I’m in my right mind.
America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
When will you look at yourself through the grave?
When will you be worthy of your million Trotskyites?
America why are your libraries full of tears?
America when will you send your eggs to India?
I’m sick of your insane demands.
When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?
America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.
Your machinery is too much for me.
You made me want to be a saint.
There must be some other way to settle this argument.
Burroughs is in Tangiers I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinister.
Are you being sinister or is this some form of practical joke?
I’m trying to come to the point.
I refuse to give up my obsession.
America stop pushing I know what I’m doing.
America the plum blossoms are falling.
I haven’t read the newspapers for months, everyday somebody goes on trial for murder.
America I feel sentimental about the Wobblies.
America I used to be a communist when I was a kid I’m not sorry.
I smoke marijuana every chance I get.
I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses in the closet.
When I go to Chinatown I get drunk and never get laid.
My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.
You should have seen me reading Marx.
My psychoanalyst thinks I’m perfectly right.
I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer.
I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.
America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Max after he came over from Russia.
I’m addressing you.
Are you going to let your emotional life be run by Time Magazine?
I’m obsessed by Time Magazine.
I read it every week.
Its cover stares at me every time I slink past the corner candystore.
I read it in the basement of the Berkeley Public Library.
It’s always telling
me about responsibility. Businessmen are serious. Movie producers are
serious. Everybody’s serious but me.
It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.

Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.
I’d better consider my national resources.
My national resources
consist of two joints of marijuana millions of genitals an
unpublishable private literature that jetplanes 1400 miles an hour and
twentyfive-thousand mental institutions.
I say nothing about
my prisons nor the millions of underprivileged who live in my flowerpots
under the light of five hundred suns.
I have abolished the whorehouses of France, Tangiers is the next to go.
My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I’m a Catholic.

America how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?
I will continue like Henry Ford my strophes are as individual as his automobiles more so they’re all different sexes.
America I will sell you strophes $2500 apiece $500 down on your old strophe
America free Tom Mooney
America save the Spanish Loyalists
America Sacco & Vanzetti must not die
America I am the Scottsboro boys.
America when I was
seven momma took me to Communist Cell meetings they sold us garbanzos a handful per ticket a ticket costs a nickel and the speeches were free
everybody was angelic and sentimental about the workers it was all so
sincere you have no idea what a good thing the party was in 1835 Scott
Nearing was a grand old man a real mensch Mother Bloor the
Silk-strikers’ Ewig-Weibliche made me cry I once saw the Yiddish orator
Israel Amter plain. Everybody must have been a spy.
America you don’t really want to go to war.
America its them bad Russians.
Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
The Russia wants to eat us alive. The Russia’s power mad. She wants to take our cars from out our garages.
Her wants to grab Chicago. Her needs a Red Reader’s Digest. Her wants our auto plants in Siberia. Him big bureaucracy running our fillingstations.
That no good. Ugh.
Him make Indians learn read. Him need big black niggers. Hah. Her make
us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.
America this is quite serious.
America this is the impression I get from looking in the television set.
America is this correct?
I’d better get right down to the job.
It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or turn lathes in precision parts factories, I’m nearsighted and psychopathic anyway.
America I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.

Berkeley, January 17, 1956

				Allen Ginsberg, “America” from Collected Poems, 1947-1980. Copyright © 1984 by Allen Ginsberg. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.


Funy - I was just talking to the IT guy that told me that while you posted...
Part of our conversation was about how big money (or big greed for power) gets in everywhere and ruins everything.


I was replying to SR as regards the WE word about which she is so sensitive. Her post made me see her perspective better.


Wow...that is a good one, right up there with Howl.
How is it that there is a world at all, without them still in it?
Are there giants, still, in the world, do you suppose?