Among accelerating reports of civil unrest around the world, new revelations once again confirm Orwellian conspiracy theorists may have far greater legitimacy than we ever thought possible. Thanks largely to the efforts of Edward Snowden, “The Guardian” newspaper has reported the NSA has been assisting the British spy agency GCHQ’s efforts to spy on millions of webcam users, likely including American citizens, under operation Optic Nerve.
From analyzing video metadata with facial recognition software to outright capturing images of unsuspecting users, the spy agencies of the world have demonstrated a thorough and total lack of respect for privacy and legal boundaries. Not only have they hijacked the personal property of, at least, millions of individuals, they have outright invaded the homes and workplaces of these individuals without any sort of warrant or probable cause. Quite frankly, they are using the lack of specifics in privacy laws, which have failed to respond to technology trends, as well as lingering public fears of events like 9/11 and 7/7, to rationalize any sort of program they wish to indulge.
At this point, it is increasingly obvious that the national security communities of the world are becoming more of a danger to our modern, democratic way of life than terrorism and other national security threats. What makes this latest report so unsettling is that it is part of a much larger, ongoing series of unsettling revelations while we have yet to learn the full extent of our national security officials’ questionable operations. Quite frankly, we are learning only a small fraction of how our spies are identifying potential threats while we do not even know what proactive active measures are being taken to disrupt potential threats.
We already have the CIA torturing suspected terrorists and killing unprosecuted individuals with drones, among other things, but we do know much about how our national security officials are engaging in their secret war. For example, it would be very easy for the likes of the NSA and GCHQ to manipulate/disrupt the online and financial activities of innocent individuals in order to prevent them from becoming a potential threat. Meanwhile, our political leaders already cannot effectively act against our national security agencies, because they do not know the full extent of their activities and our spies clearly have information that can be used against our politicians. As such, the threat to our democratic and free way of life is very real.
Sadly, the truth is that there is actually nothing new said here. In fact, this latest development in the Edward Snowden/NSA scandal only strengthens arguments against the unchecked activities of the black ops community. As such, this writer is left with the same conclusion found in “Why Hardliner Thinking in the NSA and CIA Is Doing Damage.”
“Unfortunately, the best option at this point for wrangling in our spies is to create official private and public channels for insiders to anonymously, securely, and responsibly submit material for review. People like Edward Snowden and Former CIA Agent John Kiriakou, who was targeted for publicly criticizing the Agency and prosecuted based on an uneven application of the Espionage Act in violation of his Equal Protection rights under the Fourteen Amendment for a simple mistake, are the only effective tools we have when it comes to oversight of organizations like the NSA and CIA . Quite frankly, these individuals and others are the only means of stopping the larger problems at the NSA and CIA at this time, yet we are prosecuting them instead of helping them leak information in a more responsible manner.”
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