The march toward an Orwellian police state is picking up speed. From NSA spying, to Swat Teams swarming a company’s offices because they may or may not be using appropriate accounting practices, to the EPA ordering a family to tear down their house because it was built where mud puddles sometimes form making it a protected wet-lands, to the DOJ tapping the phones of journalists, to citizens losing all rights of due process if “suspected” of being a terrorist, and much more, your rights, as supposedly protected by our constitution and its Bill of Rights, are being eroded away by the day. More and more our government is treating us as if we are all potential enemies of the all-powerful state. Spying: eavesdropping on our phone conversations, reading our emails, and reading our text messages, and reading our twitter comments, is the worst infringement of our rights because, of course, we are unaware of when it is happening to us and, therefore, we can’t complain to the authority that is doing the illegal search and seizure. (Not that it would do any good.)
Those that can afford them are buying encrypted cell phones in order to have some modicum of privacy. Many of these encrypted phones sound an alarm when they detect an attempt to intercept your conversation. In that way, people have noted what are called “interceptor” cell towers at various places across the country. There a a number of them, not surprisingly, around Capitol Hill. It’s, also, not surprising that the government is very unhappy about this encryption technology and is demanding that companies either stop making the devices or, at least, give the government a “back door” so they can continue their spying, which they claim is for our own good.
This Lew Rockwell.Com article tells us that Apple and Google have begun encrypting the data of their customers so that no one, including Apple and Google and the government can have “plaintext” access to it. The government is letting them know that this is unacceptable. You know your freedoms are in trouble if you have to depend on the liberal infected billionaire CEO’s of Apple and Google to defend your rights. The author of this article made some poignant observations:
Fools say, “If you are not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear.” This might be true, or partly true, or sometimes true, or occasionally plausible, if government were benevolent. It isn’t.
The mere knowledge that one is watched, or may be being watches, is enough to subvert political freedom. Already journalists have to assume that their communications are intercepted, and sources, assuming the same thing, stop being sources.
We are in the cross-hairs and what happens in the next very few years will determine in what direction we go. And when we have to depend on commercial companies like Apple and Google to protect us from our government, things are bad.
What goes through the minds of those who are doing this to us? In my former guise as a police reporter I knew a few FBI types. They were pathologically normal, smelled of too much soap and wholesomeness, resembled armed accountants with the other-worldly assurance of scientologists. They were deeply convinced that they were the Angels Gabriel protecting us from whatever, including ourselves—and they were as intellectual as colonels, which is to say as intellectual as fire plugs. In particular, they did not think in terms of constitutional liberties. Since their intentions were good, they figured that nobody should interfere with them. And they were on a power trip, as we used to say.
That “We from the government and we’re here to help you’ meme is getting really old.
FBI Director James Comey said yesterday that companies like Apple and Google should be required to build surveillance capabilities into their products to help law enforcement with their probes.
“if the challenges of real time data interception threatened to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to lead us all to a very dark place.”
Poor babies! You all might have to get off your asses and do some real police work.
Comey had more to say:
“Those charged with protecting our people aren’t always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism even with lawful authority,” Comey said in the published speech. “We have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court order, but we often lack the technical ability to do so.”
Yes, Director. Your legal authority begins and ends with a “court order”. So, where is the court order covering all of those interceptor cell towers that indiscriminately listen to any calls within its range?
So, my friends, if can scrap up the money and you want just little bit of privacy in your life, you had better by your encrypted phone now while they are still legal. I wouldn’t count on Apple and Google to resist government pressure for very long.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?