Β — A cross-posting from Nocturnal Slacker v1.0 —

… and quite possibly your own personal privacy? How has it come to this?

The truth is outing in small bits and pieces. It’s like a large sack of feces oozing from small rents in its skin. The Surveillance State is very reluctant to give up its game plan. Are people like Assange, Manning, Snowden, and others really the EVIL plotters and traitors that governments around the world are desperately trying to paint them up to be? As more and more of the reality of our current security/surveillance apparatus comes out in to the light of day for our shocked appraisal, can we see a pattern here? Are we being lied to by our governments? Nah… say it ain’t so, Joe. 😦

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under
robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be
satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

~ C. S. Lewis

A few days ago, Ladar Levison of Lavabit did a brave thing.

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations.

Just today, Pamela Jones of Groklaw did a brave thing.

There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the US out or to the US in, but really anywhere. You don’t expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That’s it exactly. That’s how I feel.

Where will this end? These are brave people mentioned above who have decided to NOT participate in a system they can no longer believe in or recommend to others. This is one type of bravery. Another type is the Manning, Snowden, Assange type. And still another type will be those who will eventually rise up and do something about our world going so wrong on us. Really, folks… George Orwell didn’t have a clue. He had no idea of the technology that would be just around the corner to make his nightmarish world come true in spades!

Big Brother is watching you!

~ George Orwell

More seepage today from that sack of shit…

U.S. futuristic spy apparatus taking shape

The Department of Homeland Security recently tested a crowd-scanning project called the Biometric Optical Surveillance System β€” or BOSS β€” after two years of government-financed development. Although the system is not ready for use, researchers say they are making significant advances on it. That alarms privacy advocates, who say that now is the time for the government to establish oversight rules and limits on how it will someday be used.

This better alarm more than just privacy advocates. It better damned well alarm YOU, dear reader. Put down your damned mobile device for a couple minutes. Get off Facebook for just a moment or two. Pick up a newspaper. Visit an online news site. Pay attention to what’s happening to your world right now, this minute. Do it for yourself. Do it for your children and grandchildren. Be aware and BEWARE. Understand where this is leading. Comprehend its ramifications for you and those you love and the world as a whole.

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

~ Edmund Burke

You can take this article anyway you like. Consider it a rant by some tech geek or silly blogger. Peruse it and giggle uncontrollably. Or, even better… don’t just look, SEE. Wake up. Don’t just heave and push your way into the chute like the rest of the sheeple. The choice is yours… while you still have a choice.

Later…

~Eric

Further reading:

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About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

13 responses »

  1. lilbambi says:

    Excellent points all around, Eric.

    And it’s worse yet:

    Bradley Manning’s sentence: 35 years for exposing us to the truth

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/21/bradley-manning-sentence-birgitta-jonsdottir

    AND

    How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html?pagewanted=all

    Tragic.

    • I think Manning had his heart in the right place, but he went about exposing things in a wrong way. I think he should have been more circumspect, as Snowden was. They were pretty lenient on Manning, for his sake. He might actually get to see freedom again someday. Could have been a lot worse.

      Either way, one young man will be breaking rocks in Leavenworth for decades to come and another is in a faraway place with maybe no way home again. Both stood and delivered. Both are paying the price for letting people know that their government was manipulating the facts or outright lying to its citizens.

      It just ain’t right… 😦

  2. chekkizhar says:

    man, its true. I think one RESET for the world will be good. you know, like start from stone age πŸ™‚

  3. ebrke says:

    This has been particularly hard for me to accept, Eric. I’m more than a decade older than you, and I grew up in a time when the federal government was, to me anyway, the last resort against injustice–Civil Rights Act, War on Poverty, etc. Then came my real awareness of just what was happening in Vietnam, and I started losing some faith in the government. Needless to say, that faith has been gone for many, many years now and it truly saddens me that I was not at all surprised when the stories started breaking about domestic surveillance.

    • I could not agree with you more about this situation, Elizabeth. I grew up with an older brother who, fortunately, did not get drafted into service in the Viet Nam conflict. It was a constant topic of conversation in my home in the late 60s, though. I later became a student of that conflict and many others because of my interest in Military History. When it was finally admitted that the Gulf of Tonkin incident that Johnson used as an excuse to really escalate the U.S.’s involvement in Viet Nam was a wholly fabricated yarn, I was saddened. I lost a lot of faith in my government. I was a child of the 60s, so I never really had much faith in it to start with. I’ve truly become jaded lately, though. I’ve come to learn as I’ve aged that it is basically ALL ABOUT THE $$$; war, pestilence, tyranny, genocide, etc. Follow the money to find the motivations for all of this world’s ills.

      We must at least remain good in our hearts as individuals, even if we can’t count on our leaders and governments to do that same.

      Cheers!

      ~Eric

  4. Barnabyh says:

    “The truth is outing in small bits and pieces. It’s like a large sack of feces”. Nice rhyming, mate. I find myself emailing a lot less and spending less time online. Back to basics to evade the basterds. Feeling better, too, not staring at a monitor all the time. Much healthier.

    • HA! I’m a poet and don’t know it. πŸ˜‰

      Yes, the great outdoors and all that… sunshine, breeze through the trees, etc. So much to enjoy that doesn’t require an Internet connection. So then, what the hell am I doing in here at this desk? 😦

  5. Randy Brown says:

    A benevolent, omniscient dictator would be a good thing… if only we could find one.
    Was surprised to see a C.S. Lewis quote from you, Eric! Took me a bit to get over that to read and really think about the rest of the article.

    I have to admit that I’m not as concerned about this issue as many others. I’m sure that will change in 20 years when we see the negative fall-out of these changes. Just added “1984” to my reading list… I don’t think I’ve ever read it. Sounds like it’s time.

    • Why surprised? Because Lewis was a Christian and I’m an atheist? I wouldn’t exclude a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or any professed follower of religious tenets from being quoted by me; as long as what they have to say makes an impression on me. That particular quote by C. S. Lewis is profoundly accurate in its assessment. πŸ™‚

      • Randy Brown says:

        I guess I’ve not read political type quotes from C.S. Lewis, but also surprised that you would come across one of his quotes. He truly is a great thinker and the way he explains some theological subjects that I have wrestled with really helped me deal with some difficult subjects. He comes at subjects from a very different manner than others. His book “Mere Christianity” is excellent.

        Anyway, just wanted you to know I’m still reading your blogs. πŸ™‚

        • Yuppers. I’m familiar with Lewis. Have you ever wondered how atheists come to be atheists? For me, it was the culmination of extensive studies of many different religions and philosophies. Lewis is a favorite of my Christian nephew also.

          Thanks for still reading here, Randy. I think you’re the only one. πŸ˜‰

          By the way Out of the Woods and Pleasant Valley are gone now, but you can still catch up with us at the old Cabin In the Woods. I think you have an active account there. If you don’t remember your password, request it from the board or let me know and I can reset it for you.

          Later…

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