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'This Must End Now': Web Companies, Rights Groups Call for Immediate Halt to Bulk Data Collection


'This Must End Now': Web Companies, Rights Groups Call for Immediate Halt to Bulk Data Collection

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

More than 50 technology companies, privacy and human rights advocates on Wednesday sent a letter (pdf) to U.S. President Barack Obama, members of Congress, and other executive and intelligence officials demanding immediate curbs to government surveillance and an end to the bulk collection of citizens' communications under the U.S. Patriot Act.


You can have a Constitution structured republic under the rule of law or an anti-American scheme ruled by men without moral character.


Agree with Andrew,
And, good luck with that “immediate halt.”
Proposed experiment: Have the gov’t announce that smartphones are a security risk, and will have to be turned in.
Those who don’t will be prosecuted. Maybe then they’ll stop being “sheeple.”


How would we know? We could be told that “government surveillance and an end to the bulk collection of citizens’ communications” had ceased, and they could still do it without there being any certain way of detecting it. I believe that the companies would soon put out a lot of snazzy snoop spotter personal encryption products to sell the illusion of privacy, but unbeknownst to the purchasers but thoroughly beknownst to the Secret State, there would be bypass methods secretly built into them.

Would a progressive president, if one were somehow to get elected, be regularly briefed on the current state of surveillance, and if the president were to order a specific activity to stop, would it? Would he or she be actually sufficiently in charge to have cease and desist orders obeyed and have the means to know for sure? “National security” seems to trump everything in the insecure US, and many in positions of power would, I think, do what they believe needs to be done and that anyone not part of their operation would not have a “need to know.”


I submit then that this whole huge Federal Government is Anti-American, since we started out in 1776 with a weak Central Government founded on the rights of the individual, not founded on the rights of Government Redcoats or the rights of huge monopolies like the British East India Company.

For example, there is no NSA, FBI, CIA etc, etc, etc in the original Constitution (The Articles of Confederation) or even in this one. We don’t need these Authoritarian Goon Squads to preserve Freedom and Liberty; in fact they are a tyrannical threat against Freedom and Liberty, and they should be defunded. Personal Freedom and Liberty were the foundational ingredients of the Social Compact in 1776 and they are now almost completely gone, substituting faux necessity of security claims (which are often self-generated terror from these very same agencies.)

“He who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a little temporary security deserves neither.” - Benjamin Franklin


All of our modern computerized devices are susceptible to attack. Phones, wireless routers, computer BOIS, hard disk drives, USB drives, just about anything with a manufacturing interface to flash i.e. update firmware are vulnerable regardless of operating system, and all the operating systems are vulnerable too.

If governments do not take advantage of these vulnerabilities they will lose the competitive edge so of course they will never stop despite any promises and neither will the criminal organizations who are just mini-governments operating outside ‘acceptable’ power structures. These vulnerabilities are an open invitation to abuse.

The way to stop this abuse is to stop using insecure devices. That means dumbing down our choices in technology to devices that cannot be hacked and upgrading devices to a secure status if they are indispensable, just like these same governments and criminal organizations are already doing to protect themselves.

Until the average person becomes disenchanted with the keypad and puts his/her foot down, and yes GIVES UP the technology, or at least patches it in whatever way they can with encryption, these abuses will continue. In the meantime start sending feedback to manuacturers demanding that they stop selling hardware with incomplete firmware that needs an internet update upon first use and continual updates from that point forward.