“His response was to fight it with the only weapons at hand—passive resistance and open displays of contempt.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan
Imagine if you had a huge database of information about everyone you don’t like- or, people who challenge your perspective and viewpoint, or who simply hurt your feelings.
Perhaps ‘their’ way of life challenges yours. That a need for a two-tiered society arises in the minds of some- them versus us.
Perhaps someone said to someone who said to someone else said that ‘so and so is a badguy.” And each time these things were said, they were written into the database- background checks, fingerprints, webs of associations and so on, all compiled on a he said/she said basis.
Related Story: How Democrats Lead the Charge for Identity Database Abuse and Corruption
Maybe, really tough cases would require a little help- say, framing a person into a crime or extra pressure applied to “them” in secret- so that all that stuff in the badguy database would be justified.
That database would be, by definition, hearsay and slander that passes for investigators notes. But in practice, it would be a powerful tool of coercion, potential blackmail or entrapment.
And now, we know that this is the case. Edward Snowden told us as much.
“I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
–Edward Snowden to the Guardian when he released his data
The temptation to use or misuse such a database would be immense. And-sadly, it’s a way of life for a class of Americans that believe they are literally above the law.
The American State Actor Culture of Impunity
While ordinary people are inarguably under constant surveillance, and disprivated by a variety of city, state, and federal programs, the same public officials and agencies that are participating in it are shielded at multiple levels from insight, oversight, and penalty.
It’s as if a deep institutional psychopathology has seated itself in a privileged place above and beyond us- and now plots against us from hidden places.
When Edward Snowden first revealed that the NSA and DHS, FBI’s collusion to turn it’s massive warrantless surveillance apparatus on our own people like a Great Cannon, and that governments were using tools designed to catch bin Laden and his minions of Saudi suicide bombers, and plotters of the deaths of children- that they have been using these ALL ALONG to spy on us, the Americans who financed these tools, most Americans believed that “they’re not spying on us.”
And the various alphabet agencies replied with more secret laws passed by a blackmailed congress, and secret laws from secret court decisions that said in effect ” We don’t actually look at the data- we just keep it around in case the terrorists, #badguys- and criminals, of course, do something bad.”
Except- they were, and are and always have been using that data to gain intel on all Americans, while seeding the debate with the idea that its just a few ‘bad actors’ and ‘criminals’ of course, that they are targeting.
“I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
Public and private are not the same for everyone. But only cowards work in darkness and conspire against fellow citizens in the light.
In California- which leads nationwide trends- their is a culture of cronyism and favoritism that has contributed to the national trend of impunity.
According to the OC Register, in California, the culture of impunity began during the era of malaise- that period of time under President Reagan when drug running, and the hydra of hidden black ops profiteering by the CIA and other agencies was still a dirty secret :
“An Orange County Register investigation has found that the program, designed 30 years ago to protect police from criminals, has been expanded to cover hundreds of thousands of public employees – from police dispatchers to museum guards – who face little threat from the public. Their spouses and children can get the plates, too.”
While CA didn’t invent the culture of impunity, its politicians certainly work hard against insight or oversight into this hidden club; and public access to their own data. What kind of club would it take to awaken them to this unconstitutional state of affairs?
Now: imagine if the bad guys had access to those same types of databases- and DIDN’T do what the culture of impunity does with that access? If the #badguys didn’t use those databases for blackmail, coercion, social manipulation, and outright bullying.
What if the #badguys are in fact- the only good guys left with standing?
I imagine that sort of incredible restraint in and of itself would show us who the real bad actors are indeed- a paradigm shift of poison- pill proportions; and perhaps demonstrate what a fraud this new, unethical, immoral ‘spy on your neighbors’ surveillance state has become via use and abuse of the data they hold- and that they secretly use as leverage over our law makers and politicians; our neighbors, friends and families?
Currently they lord over our rights to speak, assemble, and communicate ideas without these databases and those who abuse them inserting these ‘dossiers’ into unlikely places; flagging, and targeting bad words: bad speech, bad ideas from #badguys. Programs designed to monitor ‘terrorists’ have in fact been used all along against Americans by the guys using military grade electronic gear next door have been redlining whole neighborhoods with Stingrays.
Who would you want #thatguy as a neighbor anyways? The guy with a hip-strap and a dossier in hand; a little power, and the willingness to abuse it- to never question the veracity or legality of the manner in which that data was attained?
We know now that they’re using that data targeting individuals politically, if the destruction of the third party challenge to the hegemony of Republican-Democrat duopoly via the tens of thousands of personalized whisper campaigns against Tea party members was any example.
So- what about the #badguys? Who neither use nor abuses the access to that data? And who, especially questions any disparity where some live within a special zone where they believe that they are beyond being seen for who they are; who enjoy privileged lives based in false narratives and secret bully power?
Naked displays of power are kind of cowardly- immoral, and unethical: outside of my character; and likely that of many more journo- terrorists. And, so those who hide within the sheep’s clothing of the culture of impunity- even though they deserve to have every bit of disprivating daily invasions that some live with- I follow the law, for the sake of the law, even when others don’t. And I call for equality in data sharing: that the citizens have a right to know who they are paying to spy on them, now.
Because they’re no longer spying on ‘terrorists’- but bloggers and Tweeters; and teenagers ( your kids) on Snapchat, Facebook and more. And they are actively disrupting conversations online- and potential friendships, business deals, and really- freedom of association itself.
Sometimes, the #goodguys-with increasing frequency -are even grooming your kids for sexual purposes as well.
And until the American public knows what these same are doing with our data- and how they are abusing it; using it to attempt to flag ‘threats’ that are so vaguely defined as to be provably useless- they are altering our democracy in secret. Without thevpubluc excercising their ‘right to know’ shield laws that protect those who abuse and misuse our data will only proliferate; and those who abuse it will only increase in their acts of daily impunity.
First they came for my neighbor; and then, her kids Snapchat. Or- your Ashley Madison.Then, they blackmailed or leveraged you with it….and your kid in the next generation; hers in the next. The pattern us clear: we have more to fear from constant monitoring than any data breach ever- because it is influencing our rights of assembly at the most basic city center: the internet.
Pretty smooth social engineering that is. No longer a god in the clouds- but in fact, artificial data based clouds where parties unknown and unmonitored, in secret and with impunity, leverage your life, wage behind the curtains ‘investigations’ and create an ‘artificial morality’ by misusing your data.
In such times, the restraint of the #badguys who do or who could easily breach the #goodguy databases and bring them into the light where the rest of us live seems to me at least, very remarkable.