500 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

George Washington's picture

No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they’re doing it.

For example, the U.S. Supreme Court noted in Stanford v. Texas (1965):

While the Fourth Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution] was most immediately the product of contemporary revulsion against a regime of writs of assistance, its roots go far deeper. Its adoption in the Constitution of this new Nation reflected the culmination in England a few years earlier of a struggle against oppression which had endured for centuries. The story of that struggle has been fully chronicled in the pages of this Court’s reports, and it would be a needless exercise in pedantry to review again the detailed history of the use of general warrants as instruments of oppression from the time of the Tudors, through the Star Chamber, the Long Parliament, the Restoration, and beyond.


What is significant to note is that this history is largely a history of conflict between the Crown and the press. It was in enforcing the laws licensing the publication of literature and, later, in prosecutions for seditious libel, that general warrants were systematically used in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. In Tudor England, officers of the Crown were given roving commissions to search where they pleased in order to suppress and destroy the literature of dissent, both Catholic and Puritan. In later years, warrants were sometimes more specific in content, but they typically authorized of all persons connected of the premises of all persons connected with the publication of a particular libel, or the arrest and seizure of all the papers of a named person thought to be connected with a libel.

By “libel”, the court is referring to a critique of the British government  which the King or his ministers didn’t like … they would label such criticism “libel” and then seize all of the author’s papers.

The Supreme Court provided interesting historical details in the case of Marcus v. Search Warrant (1961):

The use by government of the power of search and seizure as an adjunct to a system for the suppression of objectionable publications … was a principal instrument for the enforcement of the Tudor licensing system. The Stationers’ Company was incorporated in 1557 to help implement that system, and was empowered


“to make search whenever it shall please them in any place, shop, house, chamber, or building or any printer, binder or bookseller whatever within our kingdom of England or the dominions of the same of or for any books or things printed, or to be printed, and to seize, take hold, burn, or turn to the proper use of the aforesaid community, all and several those books and things which are or shall be printed contrary to the form of any statute, act, or proclamation, made or to be made. . . .


An order of counsel confirmed and expanded the Company’s power in 1566,  and the Star Chamber reaffirmed it in 1586 by a decree


“That it shall be lawful for the wardens of the said Company for the time being or any two of the said Company thereto deputed by the said wardens, to make search in all workhouses, shops, warehouses of printers, booksellers, bookbinders, or where they shall have reasonable cause of suspicion, and all books [etc.] . . . contrary to . . . these present ordinances to stay and take to her Majesty’s use. . . . ”


Books thus seized were taken to Stationers’ Hall where they were inspected by ecclesiastical officers, who decided whether they should be burnt. These powers were exercised under the Tudor censorship to suppress both Catholic and Puritan dissenting literature.


Each succeeding regime during turbulent Seventeenth Century England used the search and seizure power to suppress publications. James I commissioned the ecclesiastical judges comprising the Court of High Commission


“to enquire and search for . . . all heretical, schismatical and seditious books, libels, and writings, and all other books, pamphlets and portraitures offensive to the state or set forth without sufficient and lawful authority in that behalf, . . . and the same books [etc.] and their printing presses themselves likewise to seize and so to order and dispose of them . . . as they may not after serve or be employed for any such unlawful use. . . .”


The Star Chamber decree of 1637, reenacting the requirement that all books be licensed, continued the broad powers of the Stationers’ Company to enforce the licensing laws.  During the political overturn of the 1640′s, Parliament on several occasions asserted the necessity of a broad search and seizure power to control printing. Thus, an order of 1648 gave power to the searchers


“to search in any house or place where there is just cause of suspicion that Presses are kept and employed in the printing of Scandalous and lying Pamphlets, . . . [and] to seize such scandalous and lying pamphlets as they find upon search. . . .”


The Restoration brought a new licensing act in 1662. Under its authority, “messengers of the press” operated under the secretaries of state, who issued executive warrants for the seizure of persons and papers. These warrants, while sometimes specific in content, often gave the most general discretionary authority. For example, a warrant to Roger L’Estrange, the Surveyor of the Press, empowered him to “seize all seditious books and libels and to apprehend the authors, contrivers, printers, publishers, and dispersers of them,” and to


search any house, shop, printing room, chamber, warehouse, etc. for seditious, scandalous or unlicensed pictures, books, or papers, to bring away or deface the same, and the letter press, taking away all the copies. . . .]”




Although increasingly attacked, the licensing system was continued in effect for a time even after the Revolution of 1688, and executive warrants continued to issue for the search for and seizure of offending books. The Stationers’ Company was also ordered


“to make often and diligent searches in all such places you or any of you shall know or have any probable reason to suspect, and to seize all unlicensed, scandalous books and pamphlets. . . .”


And even when the device of prosecution for seditious libel replaced licensing as the principal governmental control of the press,  it too was enforced with the aid of general warrants — authorizing either the arrest of all persons connected with the publication of a particular libel and the search of their premises or the seizure of all the papers of a named person alleged to be connected with the publication of a libel.

And see this.

General warrants were largely declared illegal in Britain in 1765.  But the British continued to use general warrants in the American colonies.  In fact, the Revolutionary War was largely launched to stop the use of general warrants in the colonies.  King George gave various excuses of why general warrants were needed for the public good, of course … but such excuses were all hollow.

The New York Review of Books notes that the American government did not start to conduct mass surveillance against the American people until long after the Revolutionary War ended … but once started, the purpose was to crush dissent:

In the United States, political spying by the federal government began in the early part of the twentieth century, with the creation of the Bureau of Investigation in the Department of Justice on July 1, 1908. In more than one sense, the new agency was a descendant of the surveillance practices developed in France a century earlier, since it was initiated by US Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte, a great nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, who created it during a Congressional recess. Its establishment was denounced by Congressman Walter Smith of Iowa, who argued that “No general system of spying upon and espionage of the people, such as has prevailed in Russia, in France under the Empire, and at one time in Ireland, should be allowed to grow up.”


Nonetheless, the new Bureau became deeply engaged in political surveillance during World War I when federal authorities sought to gather information on those opposing American entry into the war and those opposing the draft. As a result of this surveillance, many hundreds of people were prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act and the 1918 Sedition Act for the peaceful expression of opinion about the war and the draft.


But it was during the Vietnam War that political surveillance in the United States reached its peak. Under Presidents Lyndon Johnson and, to an even greater extent, Richard Nixon, there was a systematic effort by various agencies, including the United States Army, to gather information on those involved in anti-war protests. Millions of Americans took part in such protests and the federal government—as well as many state and local agencies—gathered enormous amounts of information on them. Here are just three of the numerous examples of political surveillance in that era:

  • In the 1960s in Rochester, New York, the local police department launched Operation SAFE (Scout Awareness for Emergency). It involved twenty thousand boy scouts living in the vicinity of Rochester. They got identification cards marked with their thumb prints. On the cards were the telephone numbers of the local police and the FBI. The scouts participating in the program were given a list of suspicious activities that they were to report.
  • In 1969, the FBI learned that one of the sponsors of an anti-war demonstration in Washington, DC, was a New York City-based organization, the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade Committee, that chartered buses to take protesters to the event. The FBI visited the bank where the organization maintained its account to get photocopies of the checks written to reserve places on the buses and, thereby, to identify participants in the demonstration. One of the other federal agencies given the information by the FBI was the Internal Revenue Service.



The National Security Agency was involved in the domestic political surveillance of that era as well. Decades before the Internet, under the direction of President Nixon, the NSA made arrangements with the major communications firms of the time such as RCA Global and Western Union to obtain copies of telegrams. When the matter came before the courts, the Nixon Administration argued that the president had inherent authority to protect the country against subversion. In a unanimous decision in 1972, however, the US Supreme Court rejected the claim that the president had the authority to disregard the requirement of the Fourth Amendment for a judicial warrant.




Much of the political surveillance of the 1960s and the 1970s and of the period going back to World War I consisted in efforts to identify organizations that were critical of government policies, or that were proponents of various causes the government didn’t like, and to gather information on their adherents. It was not always clear how this information was used. As best it is possible to establish, the main use was to block some of those who were identified with certain causes from obtaining public employment or some kinds of private employment. Those who were victimized in this way rarely discovered the reason they had been excluded.


Efforts to protect civil liberties during that era eventually led to the destruction of many of these records, sometimes after those whose activities were monitored were given an opportunity to examine them. In many cases, this prevented surveillance records from being used to harm those who were spied on. Yet great vigilance by organizations such as the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought a large number of court cases challenging political surveillance, was required to safeguard rights. The collection of data concerning the activities of US citizens did not take place for benign purposes.




Between 1956 and 1971, the FBI operated a program known as COINTELPRO, for Counter Intelligence Program. Its purpose was to interfere with the activities of the organizations and individuals who were its targets or, in the words of long-time FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize” them. The first target was the Communist Party of the United States, but subsequent targets ranged from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference to organizations espousing women’s rights to right wing organizations such as the National States Rights Party.


A well-known example of COINTELPRO was the FBI’s planting in 1964 of false documents about William Albertson, a long-time Communist Party official, that persuaded the Communist Party that Albertson was an FBI informant. Amid major publicity, Albertson was expelled from the party, lost all his friends, and was fired from his job. Until his death in an automobile accident in 1972, he tried to prove that he was not a snitch, but the case was not resolved until 1989, when the FBI agreed to pay Albertson’s widow $170,000 to settle her lawsuit against the government.


COINTELPRO was eventually halted by J. Edgar Hoover after activists broke into a small FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971, and released stolen documents about the program to the press. The lesson of COINTELPRO is that any government agency that is able to gather information through political surveillance will be tempted to use that information. After a time, the passive accumulation of data may seem insufficient and it may be used aggressively. This may take place long after the information is initially collected and may involve officials who had nothing to do with the original decision to engage in surveillance.

Indeed, during the Vietnam war, the NSA spied on Senator Frank Church because of his criticism of the Vietnam War. The NSA also spied on Senator Howard Baker.

Senator Church – the head of a congressional committee investigating Cointelpro – warned in 1975:

[NSA's] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.

This is, in fact, what’s happened …

Initially, American constitutional law experts say that the NSA is doing exactly the same thing to the American people today which King George did to the Colonists … using “general warrant” type spying.

And it is clear that the government is using its massive spy programs in order to track those who question government policies. See this, this, this  and this.

Todd Gitlin – chair of the PhD program in communications at Columbia University, and a professor of journalism and sociology -  notes:

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has unearthed documents showing that, in 2011 and 2012, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal agencies were busy surveilling and worrying about a good number of Occupy groups — during the very time that they were missing actual warnings about actual terrorist actions.


From its beginnings, the Occupy movement was of considerable interest to the DHS, the FBI, and other law enforcement and intelligence agencies, while true terrorists were slipping past the nets they cast in the wrong places.  In the fall of 2011, the DHS specifically asked its regional affiliates to report on “Peaceful Activist Demonstrations, in addition to reporting on domestic terrorist acts and ‘significant criminal activity.’”


Aware that Occupy was overwhelmingly peaceful, the federally funded Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), one of 77 coordination centers known generically as “fusion centers,” was busy monitoring Occupy Boston daily.  As the investigative journalist Michael Isikoff recently reported, they were not only tracking Occupy-related Facebook pages and websites but “writing reports on the movement’s potential impact on ‘commercial and financial sector assets.’”


It was in this period that the FBI received the second of two Russian police warnings about the extremist Islamist activities of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the future Boston Marathon bomber.  That city’s police commissioner later testified that the federal authorities did not pass any information at all about the Tsarnaev brothers on to him, though there’s no point in letting the Boston police off the hook either.  The ACLU has uncovered documents showing that, during the same period, they were paying close attention to the internal workings of…Code Pink and Veterans for Peace.




In Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, intelligence was not only pooled among public law enforcement agencies, but shared with private corporations — and vice versa.


Nationally, in 2011, the FBI and DHS were, in the words of Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, “treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity.”  Last December using FOIA, PCJF obtained 112 pages of documents (heavily redacted) revealing a good deal of evidence for what might otherwise seem like an outlandish charge: that federal authorities were, in Verheyden-Hilliard’s words, “functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”  Consider these examples from PCJF’s summary of federal agencies working directly not only with local authorities but on behalf of the private sector:


• “As early as August 19, 2011, the FBI in New York was meeting with the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the Occupy Wall Street protests that wouldn’t start for another month. By September, prior to the start of the OWS, the FBI was notifying businesses that they might be the focus of an OWS protest.”


• “The FBI in Albany and the Syracuse Joint Terrorism Task Force disseminated information to… [22] campus police officials… A representative of the State University of New York at Oswego contacted the FBI for information on the OWS protests and reported to the FBI on the SUNY-Oswego Occupy encampment made up of students and professors.”


• An entity called the Domestic Security Alliance Council (DSAC), “a strategic partnership between the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the private sector,” sent around information regarding Occupy protests at West Coast ports [on Nov. 2, 2011] to “raise awareness concerning this type of criminal activity.” The DSAC report contained “a ‘handling notice’ that the information is ‘meant for use primarily within the corporate security community. Such messages shall not be released in either written or oral form to the media, the general public or other personnel…’ Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) reported to DSAC on the relationship between OWS and organized labor.”


• DSAC gave tips to its corporate clients on “civil unrest,” which it defined as running the gamut from “small, organized rallies to large-scale demonstrations and rioting.” ***


• The FBI in Anchorage, Jacksonville, Tampa, Richmond, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Birmingham also gathered information and briefed local officials on wholly peaceful Occupy activities.


• In Jackson, Mississippi, FBI agents “attended a meeting with the Bank Security Group in Biloxi, MS with multiple private banks and the Biloxi Police Department, in which they discussed an announced protest for ‘National Bad Bank Sit-In-Day’ on December 7, 2011.”  Also in Jackson, “the Joint Terrorism Task Force issued a ‘Counterterrorism Preparedness’ alert” that, despite heavy redactions, notes the need to ‘document…the Occupy Wall Street Movement.’”




In 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee learned … that the Tennessee Fusion Center was “highlighting on its website map of ‘Terrorism Events and Other Suspicious Activity’ a recent ACLU-TN letter to school superintendents.  The letter encourages schools to be supportive of all religious beliefs during the holiday season.”




Consider an “intelligence report” from the North Central Texas fusion center, which in a 2009 “Prevention Awareness Bulletin” described, in the ACLU’s words, “a purported conspiracy between Muslim civil rights organizations, lobbying groups, the anti-war movement, a former U.S. Congresswoman, the U.S. Treasury Department, and hip hop bands to spread tolerance in the United States, which would ‘provide an environment for terrorist organizations to flourish.’”




And those Virginia and Texas fusion centers were hardly alone in expanding the definition of “terrorist” to fit just about anyone who might oppose government policies.  According to a 2010 report in the Los Angeles Times, the Justice Department Inspector General found that “FBI agents improperly opened investigations into Greenpeace and several other domestic advocacy groups after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and put the names of some of their members on terrorist watch lists based on evidence that turned out to be ‘factually weak.’”  The Inspector General called “troubling” what the Los Angeles Times described as “singling out some of the domestic groups for investigations that lasted up to five years, and were extended ‘without adequate basis.’


Subsequently, the FBI continued to maintain investigative files on groups like Greenpeace, the Catholic Worker, and the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, cases where (in the politely put words of the Inspector General’s report) “there was little indication of any possible federal crimes… In some cases, the FBI classified some investigations relating to nonviolent civil disobedience under its ‘acts of terrorism’ classification.”




In Pittsburgh, on the day after Thanksgiving 2002 (“a slow work day” in the Justice Department Inspector General’s estimation), a rookie FBI agent was outfitted with a camera, sent to an antiwar rally, and told to look for terrorism suspects.  The “possibility that any useful information would result from this make-work assignment was remote,” the report added drily.


“The agent was unable to identify any terrorism subjects at the event, but he photographed a woman in order to have something to show his supervisor.  He told us he had spoken to a woman leafletter at the rally who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, and that she was probably the person he photographed.”


The sequel was not quite so droll.  The Inspector General found that FBI officials, including their chief lawyer in Pittsburgh, manufactured postdated “routing slips” and the rest of a phony paper trail to justify this surveillance retroactively.


Moreover, at least one fusion center has involved military intelligence in civilian law enforcement.  In 2009, a military operative from Fort Lewis, Washington, worked undercover collecting information on peace groups in the Northwest.  In fact, he helped run the Port Militarization Resistance group’s Listserv.  Once uncovered, he told activists there were others doing similar work in the Army.  How much the military spies on American citizens is unknown and, at the moment at least, unknowable.


Do we hear an echo from the abyss of the counterintelligence programs of the 1960s and 1970s, when FBI memos — I have some in my own heavily redacted files obtained through an FOIA request — were routinely copied to military intelligence units? Then, too, military intelligence operatives spied on activists who violated no laws, were not suspected of violating laws, and had they violated laws, would not have been under military jurisdiction in any case.  During those years, more than 1,500 Army intelligence agents in plain clothes were spying, undercover, on domestic political groups (according to Military Surveillance of Civilian Politics, 1967-70, an unpublished dissertation by former Army intelligence captain Christopher H. Pyle). They posed as students, sometimes growing long hair and beards for the purpose, or as reporters and camera crews.  They recorded speeches and conversations on concealed tape recorders. The Army lied about their purposes, claiming they were interested solely in “civil disturbance planning.”

Yes, we hear echoes to the Cointelpro program of the 60s and 70s … as well as King George’s General Warrants to the Colonies … and the Star Chamber of 15th century England.

Because – whatever governments may say – mass surveillance is always used to crush dissent.


1. Spying is also aimed at keeping politicians in check.

2. The East German Stasi obviously used mass surveillance to crush dissent and keep it’s officials in check … and falsely claimed that spying was necessary to protect people against vague threats.   But poking holes in the excuses of a communist tyranny is too easy.  The focus of this essay is to show that the British and American governments have used this same cynical ruse for over 500 years.

3. For ease of reading, we deleted the footnotes from the two Supreme Court opinions.

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The Heart's picture

The more they find out, the more the people find out.

There is prolly a thousand angry Americans for each nsa clown to deal with soon.

Hummmm...in an armed conflict, who will win? The American People, or the nazi nsa bankster party under the puppet socialist ocamba?



bunnyswanson's picture


Dr. Paul Craig Roberts-U.S. Markets Rigged by its Own Authorities–It Blows the Mind By Greg Hunter On January 8, 2014 Great show with PCR.


xavi1951's picture

My money would be on the Nazi NSA Banksters.  They have all the drones and C140's with cannons.  A few B52's help them too.


The Heart's picture

They have to fly through the radioactive Snow to do that.


The nazi nsa bankster al-CIA-duh air-force may kill innocent Americans first, but they will surely ALL die later also.

CitizenPete's picture


Hedges and Binney on Obama NSA policy


Hedges: "... how incredibly precarious our situation is -- how close we are coming to being a full fledged totalitarian state and how in many ways this is the last moment we as a people, who care about an open society,  can do anything to resist.  If we put our faith in the traditional mechanisms of power, including the courts, then we will essentially see whats left of our democracy snuffed out.  It is incumbent upon us [...] to recognize how dangerous this moment is. "


dunce's picture

Very few of the occupy groups were ever charged with crimes though they were fimed by private groups commiting crimes. No tea party people committed crimes yet were targeted by the IRS. various governments charged high fees for tea party public gatherings yet charged nothing to occupy groups that left truck loads of garbage in every instance.

novictim's picture

You are a dunce.

All 501c4 gourps, both liberal and conservative, were under increased scrutiny as they should have been.  And that is old news now.  Don't you bother to follow up or do you prefer remaining an ill informed idiot?

Dinero D. Profit's picture

The NSA must monitor everyone with a top secret security clearance, some two million of them.

They must monitor politicians to assure politically correct thinking.

They must monitor foreign governments.

They must monitor any persons trying to organize a 'well-regulated militia.'

They must monitor every supposed threat.

Arm-chair dissidents on the internet pose a very low priority threat..


novictim's picture

Dear dipshit.

 The story is about the box we put the government in to protect our freedoms from government abuse.  The box is the 4th amendment.  Read it.  it is not long.

So your "must monitor" focus misses the whole point of the controversy.  We limit government for a reason and the above story should clue you into that.

BullyBearish's picture

No boogie man more scary than your own government perpetraitor...like it or not that's just the business they're in...all part of the plan

gwar5's picture

Just checked in to Washington's Blog today to see if he is ready to call out Obama for being worse than Bush, Nixon, and evil-doer Cheney combined (nope).




Umh's picture

What do you think of the Galley? Or Kuba Kuba for that matter?

MickV's picture

Who are "Top Constitutional Experts", and why don't they know that Obama is INFINITELY WORSE, since he is not an eligible natural born Citizen (because he was born British, of a British subject father)?

Since the office of POTUS has been Usurped by an illegal POTUS there is no law, or US Citizen sovereignty, because the executor of the laws is an illegal entity. The law is now what evil men say it is.

There is no "United States" since the domestic enemy Obama was thrust upon the American people by the NWO. Obama is exactly the domestic enemy of the US people that the founders were preventing. The seal has been broken, and the Republic is gone. The only way to revive it is to drag the Usurper out of our house, and hang the traitors that allowed him there.

"Constitutional experts", PULEAZE. They are all COWARDS, just like you GW.

"The Constitution does not in words say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners." Minor v. Happersett, 88 US 162, 167 (1874)

That's US law in the form of SCOTUS precedent. Obama's father was not a US Citizen, thus he is not eligible. Get a clue, and speak the Truth GW--- you coward.

xavi1951's picture

CCRRAAPP!! GW.............




rwe2late's picture


try to follow the discussion thread -

GW was responding to a false insinuation by gwar5

that GW is a pro-Obama shill.

Both you and gwar5 together are guilty basically of attempted slander to misdirect the discussion away from the topic of government surveillance and instead to vague or implied criticisms of GW's motives or character.



blindman's picture

the agreement was that non government entities
are exempt from any restriction on collecting
and marketing data. the restrictions only apply to
government entities accessing that data. do you see
the fascism?
slowly? ......

novictim's picture

Interestingly, the full measure of the 4th Amendment protection from government intrusion hinges on what the general society considers to be "private" and what is considered "open" and to be seen by everyone including the police or government agents.

To that end, the fascists here at ZeroHedge and on other forums are hard at work trying to convince people that when you sign some boiler plate, minifont document generated by some private corporate FUCKHOLES that appear to give away all your privacy rights...that this means we naturally expect that we would have NO privacy from the gubment.

You will be seeing this mass manipulation more and more. Some of it is just "useful idiots" unknowingly carrying the corporate police state water and often it is paid actors pushing this.
Again, the goal is to shift our sense of privacy to the direction of less privacy and thus weakening the courts sense of government limitations.

tip e. canoe's picture

agree with your summation and your opinion of it,
but what is the challenge to the "you willingly signed your privacy away" argument,
and where is the venue to make that challenge?

novictim's picture

Sorry for the delay...the venue is Congress who can write in consumer protection/limitations on corporate actors.  Remember, corporations are public authorized entities and have historical limits that the people can change.  AND we must always distinguish between the governments limits and private enterprise limits.



tip e. canoe's picture

and one must never forget
that each one (and all)
consents to the chains
by signing that contract
with the ISP

subtly sadistic yes
but who's the one to challenge the sadism
in a court of LAW

blindman's picture

collection of "data" has become a private
affair. the "phone" (data) company is not encumbered
by constitutional restraints
but the governments has "arrangements" with the
private companies not so encumbered and the
result is fascism for the benefit of both
parties at the expense of the doomed individual/s.
that is the plan philosophic, material, transnational
ecologic and economic.
power playing with u till death do us
anyway poems *t
there is a space coined ...... counter space
the sun is just a transformer,
capacitor between outer space and
internal space or, what does he call
it, the domain of the dielectric
force, counter space.
we see the sun as a result of the
interface of counter space and outer
space resulting in light squared?
appearing where we are-see it.
The Sun is Not What we We Have Been Told.... Eric Dollard reveals 3

JohnFrodo's picture

Speaking of bad guys at the top, there are some stirling examples in the USA, but in the UK there are incredible tales of tryrany that suggests the MAN was invented in England.


satoshi101's picture


The NSA blame game: Singling out RSA diverts attention from others Computerworld - RSA may well have earned much of the criticism being heaped upon it for allegedly enabling a backdoor in one of its encryption technologies under a contract with the National Security Agency.


Never forget that GOOGLE was first round venture capital funded by the CIA, every social-networkl is the USA is NSA funded.

The NSA is not unlike the chinese PLA with its hand in ever technology company. Welcome to Communist Chinese? No welcome to ameriKKKa.

Umh's picture

I saw MS patches that had to be cover ups for NSA holes that were discoverd by others.

Coldfire's picture

I think Chris Christie would agree.

proLiberty's picture

I cannot imagine that those who proposed, debated and ratified the language of the Fourth Amendment would have imagined for a second that despite its very succinct language that it could be used to justify the government Post Office recording and collating the address information of every piece of mail sent and received by citizens of the day.

They would have moved to impeach, remove from office and to severely punish any official who even came close to this outrage. If any Constitutional provision can be suspended by a secret court, the Constitution has been exiled.

We now have a Leviathan State that has grown so large, it has given itself permission to create enough money out of thin air by which it can pay for these outrages and anything else it wants to accrue and retain power. We must put this Leviathan back in chains while we still have the peaceful means to do so.

Mark Levin and Randy Barnett, to name a few, have both proposed how this could be done. For me, any proposal must remove from the federal government the power to spend more than it takes in by means of creating money out of thin air.

Strangely, when someone proposes calling a Convention or having States confer as to what amendments might be offered, they are opposed because they fear a loss of some especially precious right. In my opinion they should seriously consider what rights they will have in the near future should we fail to stop the current trajectory of government. In short, it should be very clear that we have reached the point where the risks posed by not doing anything are greater than the risks of attempting to redefine the Federal government's powers and its relationship to the States and to the People. We must have a Constitution that means what its words says.

I fear that when the federal government can make anything it wants to be legal and can make anything it doesn't want to be illegal, that because that for too many people, government projects a morality they make their own. We are headed for dangerous lawlessness and the subsequent moral and fiscal chaos.

xavi1951's picture

If GW could learn how to pen as yuo have just done, he/she would not have to cite him/herself in every post.  Well done! +100

fooshorter's picture

that federal authorities were, in Verheyden-Hilliard’s words, “functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America"


Wow. Great Article. Completly lost faith in this bullshit country. Espically when I give them my hard earned money twice a month to systamically fuck me. 


I so want the sheep to wake up, but as you see from the article they never will because they have been controlled for thousands of years. If oligarchs and royal families were burning documents they dissented imagine how much history has been lost or misrepresented.

Cannon Fodder's picture

So an interesting follow up to this great article would be to understand the revolutions that developed out of these over uses of surveillance. What is the tipping point in which people eventually say enough and break out the pitch forks...

Dinero D. Profit's picture

In a country with unrestrained corporatism the Constitution is obsolete.

If you don't like this, start a revolution.

Ah ha!  Martial law and  DHS/NSA will be pleased to suppress.

MeBizarro's picture

You wouldn't ever begin to do any kind of systematic analysis of this and it would be limited to largely one-off analysis where you would have to do a lot of deep digging and have the records preserved and accessible.

Pee Wee's picture

The rationale for unconstitutional (bullshit) surveillance depends on who's seeing what.

The best revelations are yet to come. It will come to light that the fruit of this blanket sting is monetized information exclusive to the privileged players -- notably including banks, corporations and other countries, like (gasp) Israel.

This information is bought, sold, and traded, and since there is absolutely no shred of FACTUAL evidence that it has accomplished even one preventive case of "national security," -- it continues because it has been very profitable to "insider" interests draped in state sponsored secrecy.

Nowhere is this more obvious than the information asymmetry that is systemic and pervasive -- due process has been excluded and unelected government thugs can look and share with no accountability whatsoever.

Watch and weep when the extent of information arbitrage from the state sponsored good-ol-boyz-klub-inc comes out.

The NSA, CIA, FBI and IRS behavior as of late have completely obliterated my faith in the US government.  There is no trust left.  I don't want these organizations reformed, I want them decimated and wiped from the Earth.

The problem is the unelecteds hidden in plain sight, like the traitors Alexander, Clapper, Rumsfeld, etc -- the list of lawless taxpayer tit-suckers is endless.  Last time I checked the boss in the USA was the people, not the organized unelecteds.


exonomic halfbreed's picture

The people have never been the boss and this has never been the intent of government.  If I were voting in 1800 I would have one vote if I were a 35 year old  land owning white male.  If I had 300 slaves  I would have one vote for myself and 200 for my slaves (which I would cast) .  

F em all but 6's picture

Hence the ongoing paradox. According to our paranoid servants, the ONLY way to keep us safe and protect our liberties is to destroy those liberties. And of the issue of dissent. One form of dissent involves the RIGHT to petition the courts for redress of grievance. Yet the political branches seem to think that disagreeing with the government places the objector within a class of persons designated by vauge statutes (Patriot Act) and equally vauge administrative regulations as TERRORISTs. Thats you, you fucking enemy combatant. Due Process? Fouth Amendment? You have been reclassified as engaged in an activity that creates the exception to the rule. Extra judicial killings are now authorized. Public saftey now demands that CIA drones will be dispached in the name of internal security. And what of your right to be heard before punishment is administered? Have any of you ever been able to hear the screams of injustice over the roar of a hellfire missle?


Anyone have standing to petition the courts to redress injuries sustained to the corpse? Fucking judiciary had better pull their heads out of their assess as their very purpose is being cleverly manipulated out of existence.

Anusocracy's picture

Not any more idiotic than we have to steal some of your wealth to protect you from thieves.

Borrow Owl's picture


It's too bad the herd seems to lack the wit to parse this simple truth.


exonomic halfbreed's picture

The priveleges enjoyed by the regime in power are the same as the abusive tactics of the former enemies we have demonized in past conflicts.  Attending private elementary school (catholic) in the 1960's, I saw how we were continuously bombarded with tales concerning communist countries to bring about hatred for their people.  This training made it easier for the brainwashed to drop napalm, or slaughter children and women in villages and to torture innocents who never threatened our nation.  It was the elite that destroyed education in america ("The deliberate dumming down of America").  It was the elite that destroyed true capitalism via fractional reserve banking and fiat currency ("The creature from jeckyl islamd).  It was our elite who brought to power individuals such as Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Reza Shah Pahlavi and Hamid Karzai (almost forgot Marcos).  The inestimable evil brought about by our promotion of the cream of the crop of elite deviants disgusts me.  This situation will only get worse untill we start to gather together with our neighbors on a regular basis and talk.  Block parties must be started to consider what is to be done.  Perhaps we should learn what others think without interfierence from the the supremacists.  

f16hoser's picture

You have a lot more than just Dissent coming! Fuck the NSA!

ajax's picture



"You have a lot more than just Dissent coming! Fuck the NSA!"

I wouldn't hold my breath f16hoser.

El Vaquero's picture

The NSA can be bypassed very simply.  Pen and paper and face to face conversations. 


You hear that NSA?  If I don't want you to know about something, I'll not use a means of electronic communication. 

MeBizarro's picture

Human surveillance is a lot more labor and time intensive (and thus costly) but if you are part of a group that it deemed subversive to select interests you'll be monitored and your activities infiltrated either by law enforcement or an agency working on behalf of a large private entity 

Just go back and look at the history of labor organization.  Almost every large labor organization or movement in the US followed this pattern. 

El Vaquero's picture

Yes, the FBI is famous for turning informants, and they're very mafioso about the way they do it.  But as you stated, it is more labor and time intensive.  If enough people get pissed off about the deteriorating conditions in this country, WTF are they going to do about it with the manpower they have?  Sure, they could do a SWAT raid on my house and I'd stand little chance of effectively resisting, but what are they going to do if EBT gets shut off for 2 weeks, or if supply chains really start to break?  Because those kinds of things would cause some real dissent. 

Cannon Fodder's picture

Just don't have that conversation under a street lamp that records public conversation.

Or don't mail that piece of paper through the post office in which the scan the from and to names into a database...

USA USA's picture

Stuff like this makes one wish he lived in a free country, like Russia or Cuba or .......

kurt's picture

In view of the fact that the FBI no longer inforces the  law but, rather, it is thingamafying, er um securifng the national, urp, homeland um ...corey, corey, cory.. sproing ...

cougar_w's picture

I don't see how they will "crush" dissent. If dissent remains minimal, they ignore it. But if it gets too big, it swallows them. There is a narrow gap between the two states where they could maybe perform some kind of political jiu jitsu but I can't imagine they have the skills to make that throw.

The spying is generally probably more about checking trends and the temperature of the populace. The oligarchs probably think they can loot the treasury until the last instant then make a hasty escape from the rooftop.

Don't think so, boys. But give it your best shot, should be good for some laughs.

satoshi101's picture

Once and for all stop the talk of DISSENT.

Ain't going to happen in ALL USA history, nobody has ever stood up to the status quo, not ever.

ONLY the bonus boys of 1920's and they got their asses slaughtered.

The Keyboard-Army on ZH or no where else can stand up.

Case in point a dozen US navy seals were murdered last year cuz they would not shut-up, back in the 1990's they killed many men in the US-ARMY DELTA FORCE because they wouldn't shutup about the branch-davidian murders at WACO.

IF the PTB can kill DELTA-FORCE and NAVY-SEALS ( REAL MEN ), what in the god damn fucking hell can a keyboard army accomplish?


rwe2late's picture

"Ain't going to happen in ALL USA history, nobody has ever stood up to the status quo, not ever."

Apparently some history was left missing from your schooling.

Check out the anti-slavery movement, the IWW, the Civil Rights movement, and the Vietnam War protestors for a start. Leaders and protestors were surveilled, jailed, beaten, and murdered.

The status quo (government and business) was then able to "co-opt" (e.g. trade unions) or discredit (e.g. war protestors)

or denigrate their existence in the history books.


DaveyJones's picture

agree and disagree

dissent is a global issue just like the bad guys and their bad issues

this includes resource and poison

hard to say where this goes

like this site, the collective interests join in interesting ways

first to educate then ...who knows.