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The Government Is Already Forcing Companies to Give It Access to Our Data



Interesting. I linked to another article regarding a black woman who checked herself into a hospital because of nausea and vomiting . The Police showed up and arrested her for failure to pay court fines as she was being treated and she died in that prison cell a few hours later due to comlications form her illness.

I wonder if Police forces now monitor all medical records , ingoing and outgoing patient records from Hospitals and the like.


Sounds more like the authoritarians doing their filthy anti-American evil.


Thank you Ms. Gorski and the ACLU for fighting this fight on behalf of all genuinely freedom-loving citizens.

This line is priceless:

"With the compelled assistance of the country’s biggest telecommunications providers, such as AT&T and Verizon, the NSA conducts Upstream surveillance by tapping directly into the Internet backbone..."

"Compelled assistance" right up there with gun-boat diplomacy.


This is not about defense, security, or terrorism. The surveillance is directed at YOU.

Someone I knew was caught growing Marijuana. He spend 3 years in jail. Police caught him by listening to his phone conversations. If there is one lesson that he and everyone who knows about the case learned, then it would be dont talk about illegal things over the phone.

People learn, Criminal organisations learn faster. Foreign spooks learned long ago. Intelligence plotting to bomb, or even dumb terrorist organisations are not going to give critical information in plain text or emails. Once they learn to use strong encryption, then the eavesdropping cant get useful information.

This mass surveillance wont stop any terrorists or foreign powers. That is just the straw justification for mass surveillance. Instead, mass surveillance will be used to monitor the green party, to obtain material for blackmailing lawmakers and to harass organisers of occupy wall street, etc.


Capitalist corporations are sweeping up our data too. Just sayin....


Obama -- the right wing Constitutionalist -- played a large role in an OK on expanding FISA which was
already a violation of our Constitution. As I recall, when Nixon was caught wiretapping everyone --
even Kissinger and an endless list of "enemies" -- he used the national security excuse so those looking
at Watergate decided we actually did need a loophole or two for officials to "do the necessary" --
thus FISA.

We thought we defeated fascism, but it merely was transferred to the US and many other nations.
Plans were being drawn up and activated even two years before the end of WWII --

We won a war over the Gestapo, but got the CIA.
We won a war over fascist propaganda, but we got "Operation Mockingbird."
We won a war over the preaching of hatred, but right now we have Trump behaving like Hitler and with KKK backing.
We won a war over secret murder of politicians, only to suffer our own assassinations of liberal/progress leaders here.
We won a war over corporate-fascism, but what is "corporate-personhood" and "Citizens United" except corporate-fascism?
We won a war over Nuremberg Laws, but we now have the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, tearing up of our Constitution.
We won a war over illegal wars of aggression, faked terrorist acts, but we have them in the US today.
We won a war over those who TORTURE -- and let's face if, if you want to run a dictatorship you need to torture your
citizens . . . but a system for torture has been set up by officials in the US to do just that.

Probably much more to be added --
Oh, yeah -- we have an absolutely insane MIC which exists to build empire and make weapons manufacturers wealthy.


Let's bring this a little closer to home. Since neither commondreams.org nor commons.commondreams.org use https, every article you read and every post you make here is visible across the network and connected to your IP address. If https were used, commondreams would have this information, but it wouldn't be visible to everyone else snooping on our traffic.

So, how about we start a ruckus to get these people to secure this link?

I see the webmaster's email: webmaster@commondreams.org
the editor's email: editor@commondreams.org
and a phone number: 207.775.0488

Other ideas?


Here is my email:

Subject: Network spying as it impacts commondreams

I am happy that you have kept some focus on the issue of spying on our internet communications. Being thus aware of the issue, it perplexes me that you have not taken the step to use https for commondreams and the commons. Without it, every article we read and every post we make is tracked and connected both to our IP and to our handle. Would you consider correcting this problem?

Thank you,


Something that appears overlooked in most lay discussions of this sort of thing is the near-absolute promiscuity of almost any information once the government takes it.

"The government," we say. But this has little to do with your congresscritter. The entity that processes and stores and passes your data back and forth is something loosely and euphemistically called "the intelligence community"--a heterogenous and unstable informal network of law enforcement, paramilitary, shadow government, and business interests, those in violent or illegal trades. The legal restraints on these groups vary, so they pass tasks back and forth between each other.


What really sends the government surveillance over the top is the juvenile stuff like "if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to worry about." Hmm, why could someone be worried about intrusive surveillance?

Could they maybe be worried that their rivals will get an unfair advantage (in an election, even)?
Could they be worried that unscrupulous folks might abuse these newfound channels for getting information about you?
Maybe honest-to-goodness terrorists would use establishment's copious, well-known biases as cover (amidst a now-endless stream of data)?
Maybe you distrust the general public's judgment about what you've got to hide (considering that the general public also seems to like Hillary and Trump)?
Because maybe when the government purposefully weakens privacy, it also weakens security (at least Apple is ringing the alarm about it)?
Because Russia and China know how to hack computers, too (and it's a bit uncomfortable to see the US government taking their side)?

At the very least, I don't see Clinton's private email server as something that should make her a friend to the privacy-conscientious. I see it as a way to pander to techies as a political ploy to get people to sell out their digital rights.