Google: The Surveillance State of the Art?

Big Brother EarthStill using Google, gmail, and now Google+?  I’m not.  Google seems to have inverted its motto, “Don’t be evil” and has been engaging in wholesale collection of data it gathers on its users and is now polluting what was once its premier product, its search engine, with commercialized, proprietary garbage. This has been going on for some time but many people still do not seem to be aware of it. See The Guardian’s “Google ‘improperly’ accessed Kenyan rival Mocality’s database” and read The Case Against Google for a comprehensive argument against using Google by Mat Honan on Gizmodo.com, both written in 2012.

Google was taken to court in a class action suit in 2013 regarding its intrusive data-gathering practices, a case that it lost.  In a victory for online privacy, an article on Consumer Watchdog.org entitled, ““Gmail Judge Holds Internet Accountable To Wiretap Laws In Key Consumer Victory” sums up the ruling against Google thusly:

“This is a historic step for holding Internet communications subject to the same privacy laws that exist in the rest of society. The court rightly rejected Google’s tortured logic that you have to accept intrusions of privacy if you want to send email,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “The ruling means federal and state wiretap laws apply to the Internet.  It’s a tremendous victory for online privacy. Companies like Google can’t simply do whatever they want with our data and emails.” Read the decision here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/GoogleGmailOrder092613.pdf

Google may be involved in much more than anyone might have imagined, and its influence/involvement may likely far exceed data collection. For a very disturbing examination of the larger issues of what Google may be involved in politically, see Google is Not What it Seems for a 2014 Newsweek article containing an excerpt of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange’s book, “When Google Met Wikileaks” regarding Eric Schmidt, previous Google CEO.

After reading these articles, you may agree that Google has abandoned its motto and is now being evil by its own definition as well as by that of many of its erstwhile users.  This is an example of the kind of dismissal of ethics endemic in capitalism, where profit trumps all, and is the larger lesson we need to learn from this betrayal.  Some of us would argue that a system predicated on profit is inherently corrupt, self-serving, and, well, evil.  It is no small matter that the NSA spying has been piggybacking off information gathered by tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Apple and why these corporations need to be held accountable.  But even more disturbing, Google may be involved behind the scenes in larger world events.  This is why We the People need to take back control of our government and rein in these corporations who think they are “people” so that we can again have some privacy as well as some say in our lives.

Free Bradley Manning!

Bradley Manning has endured over 3 years of imprisonment and cruel treatment, including the trial which just ended, which has been a far cry from open, fair, just, or impartial. Bradley Manning is a global hero for his personal sacrifice, an idealistic young whistleblower who deserves not only to be released immediately but praised for his unselfish defense of our Constitution and rule of law.  That he should be treated as he has been is a sign of how far this country has traveled from its ideals of freedom, civil liberties, and democracy towards authoritarianism and fascism.

Though his many supporters are infinitely relieved that he was found not guilty of “aiding the enemy,” a charge that could have led to life imprisonment or even the death penalty, it is very likely that this spurious charge was leveled against him mainly for the terrorizing effect on him and other whistleblowers and would-be whistleblowers, and in order to try to justify finding him guilty of 5 counts of “espionage.”  These charges likely may be used as a foundation in this administration’s attempt to charge other whistleblowers such as WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, given the opportunity.

As it stands right now, the estimates of his “guilty” charges are between 17-20 out of 22 charges and he still could be jailed for up to 136 years–an outrage.  The sentencing phase is estimated to take another few weeks and reportedly the defense has more witnesses set to take the stand in this portion than does the prosecution–20 in all.  The verdict will be appealed.

We say, “Free Bradley Manning” and sentence him to time which he has already unjustly served!

See the following for more information:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23506213

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/07/30/wikileaks-bradley-manning-verdict.html

http://dncdn.dvlabs.com/ipod/dn2013-0731.mp4

http://youtu.be/pX6NyElC698

Whistleblowers: The Best and the Bravest Among Us

This is an homage to whistleblowers, a heartfelt paean of gratitude for your courage and your clarity, your putting ethics and the greater good over self-interest, generously risking your own well-being and safety because of your commitment to principle over profit and transparency over secrecy.  You are the reason we know the extent of corporate corruption of government and the abuse of power, the impetus behind the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement, the catalysts in the struggle for democracy and against authoritarianism. 

It is the Daniel Ellsbergs, the John Kiriakous, the Aaron Swartzes, the Bradley Mannings, the Julian Assanges, and the Edward Snowdens who shine light on the cover-ups and the schemes of the 1% who would subvert democracy and justice in service of their lust for power, greed, and self-enrichment at the expense of the 99%.  You are the best and bravest of us and the truth you disseminate shines brightest and most brilliantly through the strength of your character. 

We will forever be in your debt and honor your service to humanity when we repeat your names as mantras invoking a higher consciousness and a deeper good for all life on this living planet.  May the great goddess protect you from all harm and expand your influence to everyone everywhere and give them the courage and stamina to stand tall against oppression in all its forms!  Daniel, John, Edward, Bradley, Julian, Aaron thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!  You are beacons of light in a dark, benighted world!

http://consortiumnews.com/2013/07/08/snowden-honored-by-ex-intel-officials/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/daniel-ellsberg-nsa-leaker-snowden-made-the-right-call/2013/07/07/0b46d96c-e5b7-11e2-aef3-339619eab080_story.html

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/obama-retreats-on-snowden-even-the-worlds-most-powerful-media-and-intelligence-apparatus-cant-always-control-public-opinion

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/07/edward-snowden-public-opinion

Petitions re Snowden and the NSA:

Tell Congress: Investigate NSA abuses and protect our constitutional rights

http://wh.gov/liZnR

http://bit.ly/10KZOrR

https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_prism_global/?taGunbb

Obama: Beleaguered Exec or Trojan Horse?

Trojan_horse

You know, at this point I believe that Obama was picked by the 1% (the Bilderbergs, et al) to be a kind of Trojan horse, so that he could put outrageous policies in place that no Republican ever could, while appealing to ‘liberals’ and the left because of his ethnicity and perceived progressive values.  Though I think the 1% would have slightly preferred McCain or Romney, it’s my belief they were hedging their bets in 2008 and in 2012 with Obama whom I believe was the ace up the sleeve, intended to usher in an era of globalized corporate government and an end to democracy as we have known it, all under the radar of the vast majority of people who aren’t paying attention.  How else do you explain all the campaign contributions from Wall Street?

It was also a brilliant stroke with regard to pitting everyone against one another, with all the Obamabots calling anyone who opposed him “racist,” alienating women who supported Hillary, pitting Democrats and third party and independents against one another, not to mention infuriating the radical right and the white supremacists.  He has polarized and splintered America like no one else could have and there’s nothing the puppetmasters like better than divide and conquer!

While Romney was a bad liar; Obama is a very skilled, manipulative, charming liar who could persuade anyone (almost) that he is a wonderful guy trying to do the right thing but who is being thwarted by those big bad Tea Party Republicans.  I am unconvinced by this argument, or that he is “weak” as many people on the left think, because his administration’s illegal wars, extrajudicial assassinations, drone attacks, “kill” list, illegal  wiretapping, demolition of civil liberties a la the NDAA 2012 and now 2013, HR 347, persecution of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, and secretly trying to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty that would enshrine a global corporate government reveal that he is anything but weak and suggest that he is, on the contrary, a power-wielding megalomaniac bent on faithfully serving the interests of the wealthy elite and the erection of an authoritarian fascist state.

He tosses a few bones to the liberals (while he kicks the true Left in the teeth repeatedly) to keep them off his scent and pacified, all the while letting off all the war criminals, crooks, exploiters, polluters, and thieves, expanding the egregious abuses of his office, and decimating the Constitution.  He’s very good at practicing diversion, another malefactor’s tactic.  Indeed as many people have suggested, he does deserve to be impeached, but not because of a supposed lack of birth documents, but for his abandoning his oath of office and servile protectionism of the anti-democratic (not the Party!) powers-that-be.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/impeach-obama/5318745