A Message From Your Friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

There's never enough information to be absolutely safe.

Greetings Mr. J.Q. Public:

J.Q., you don't know me but I know you. I am your friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System--actually, an automated response feature of the system.

You may wonder why you are receiving this email, and you may attribute it to the email you sent an associate stating that the theater play you attended "bombed." Since enemies of America use code phrases rather than overt words like "bombed," that email was noted but not considered actionable. I'm not authorized to reveal what did attract my attention about your communications.

In my routine search of your public records, and all 11,379 emails, texts, message board posts and phone calls you've made in recent years, I found a disturbing trend I am obligated to report to you: your affection for pepperoni pizza with hot chilis and olives (most often from Frank's Pizza Parlor, 1.34 miles from your home) appears to be negatively impacting your health, as your medical records indicate high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

You see, the ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System is all about protecting you--from terrorists bent on destroying America's freedoms and way of life, and also, if need be, from yourself.

I also noticed that the deductions listed on the last three years of your Federal tax returns don't quite align with your other financial records. You probably think everyone fudges on their tax returns, J.Q., but I strongly recommend you start following the letter of the law, as this sort of willful misinformation can lead to IRS audits. Actually, I can say with 100% certainty an audit has already been ordered.

Third-party sources report that you appear to have voted for a Green Party candidate in the last election. Now perhaps that was a simple slip of the ballot, but your file will look a lot less suspicious if you vote for one of the established parties rather than a fringe party.

Satellite imagery suggests that your backyard peach tree has leaf curl, and I strongly recommend spraying a copper solution on the tree as soon as possible. It also appears that you left a hammer on the roof when you were affecting a repair last fall. It's about 1.25 feet from the southwest corner of the roof.

Although humor is frowned upon here, I am allowed one jocular statement per message to maintain the friendly tone of this communication. So let me assure you that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas, J.Q., heh-heh. Yes, I am referring to the family vacation in Las Vegas you conducted this spring while on sick-leave.

I am sorry to say that these inconsistencies, though modest in scope, have automatically triggered the addition of your name to the No-Fly List. Please remember that the next time you are questioned by Homeland Security officers at the airport, please answer their questions honestly and fully, for your own protection and for the protection of the nation. I am sorry if you miss your flight, but protecting liberty has a cost.

Since the ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System also monitors the deep Internet, i.e. encrypted files and servers, I can also suggest deleting the photos of your ex-girlfriends from your PC, and also showing a bit more enthusiasm at work, as your performance reviews have declined and quite frankly, you might not make it through the next round of layoffs.

J.Q., you will find an email address to a secure server at the end of this message. This enables you to privately report any suspicious behavior or activity you might see in your workplace, neighborhood and public venues. What is suspicious behavior? Any attempt to evade surveillance is highly suspicious, for example, using cash to make major consumer purchases or deploying signal-disrupting covers on mobile devices.

Helping to protect America will improve the metrics of your file, J.Q., and the tax audit and No-Fly listing could be remediated by your volunteering to help us keep America safe.

I know you're going to help us protect America, because I already know you so well.

Thank you for your cooperation.

your friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System

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gmrpeabody's picture

How many fingers am I holding up?

ghengis86's picture

on a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.


even governments.

davinci7_gis's picture

Agent Smith: It seems that you've been living two lives. One life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a social security number, pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not.

Agent Smith: We're willing to wipe the slate clean, give you a fresh start. All that we're asking in return is your cooperation in bringing a known terrorist to justice. 
Neo: Yeah. Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But I think I may have a better one. How about, I give you the finger 
[He does
Neo: and you give me my phone call. 

jbvtme's picture

of course they're watching.  they've been on you since your first vaccination

LawsofPhysics's picture

Even worse, you are one of them...

jbvtme's picture

please don't force me to bring your mother into this

LawsofPhysics's picture

If you pay taxes, you are in fact one of them, starve the beast.  

jbvtme's picture

snowden might be contolled opposition

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Indeed, as might ZH, as might I be...

Don't trust any one 100%.  The beauty of disinformation is, they have to tell you at least 98% truth for it to even be plausible. 

Even people that want to share the truth (such as myself) can be misled, and thus, mislead others in turn (even without the intent to do so).  This happens often by dragging people out of their comfort zone, getting an expert on finance to adopt a 'far out' opinion on multidimensional beings, etc.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Snowden could be a cypher to get back Millennial faith in the system, used by a Progressive Tech faction to further their goals over the Big Oil power block in the Great Game.

Snowden could be genuine, 100%, a real human being who lost faith in his Ideological Indoctrination from the system once he saw the way the real world works and its use of Power.

Snowden could be a chosen lamb, whose innocent blood washes away the sins of the world, in an esoteric multidimensional game of Chess we can only glimpse slivers of.


Snowden could be all three at the same time. Snowden could be many, many, many more things at the same time.

The point is: once you involve the shadow world, you're left with whatever interpretation your belief systems translate the data into. You will never know the Absolute Truth here. The real question you should be asking is: the wider the impact, the larger the amount of money, planning and skill it takes to pull off. Measure the impact, not the event itself or Actors involved. Measure the reaction of various belief systems and measure the depth penetration it has.


This is the real lesson of 9/11 unless you missed it; it happened, trying to discern causation isn't the Game.

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." 


A further hint: even the phrase "pure as the driven snow" could be generated from the shit-sourced tanning industry. Or it could be Shakespeare. That's where the humor lies, the tension between Yin and Yang and so on and so forth. The mistake is to think either is true, the other wrong and that it's not a product of both.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

ZH Translation Engaged:

As a professional TraderTM (pre HFT) you might analyze companies, you might analyze the markets, you might analyze the macro and micro economic indicators of countries, you might analyze the weather, you might analyze its competitors, you might analyze chart patterns, you might analyze historical flows:


But do you give a fuck what the company actually does, apart to denote your particular specialty to other traders?

Totentänzerlied's picture

You wrote Neuromancer fanfics, don't you?

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Neuromancer is a 1984 novel by William Gibson, a seminal work in the cyberpunk genre and the first winner of the science-fiction "triple crown" — the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award


That was actually wittier than you thought, sadly I don't think it was intentional. If you actually knew anything, you made a double error:


Blue Ant Trilogy:


The jokes, they write themselves.

medium giraffe's picture

"Measure the impact, not the event itself or Actors involved."

BLOTTO's picture

BTW, off topic (again)

I like how the 'Cross of Lorraine' is printed on each and every Oreo cookie (Nabisco)...






K, carry on...

ParkAveFlasher's picture

It's in the Nabisco logo as well, and the parent of Nabisco, Mondelez, has a name of entymologically French influence.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

AKA The Double Cross.

Hmmm... Wonder where the connotation for that phrase came from?

Totentänzerlied's picture

Entomology is the study of insects. Etymology is study of word origins.

Bryan's picture

Here's another pet peeve:  mnemonic is any learning technique that aids information retention.  Pneumatic is
of, relating to, or using gas.  Pneumonic is... um... perhaps remembering your last fart smell?

Meat Hammer's picture

Can of white spray paint, extension ladder, and the following messages written in 6,347-point font on my roof.

Fuck you NSA

Fuck you Obama

Fuck you Bernanke

Eric Snowden is God

kralizec's picture

Eric Snowden is likely a puppet doing the bidding of somebody up higher in the food chain...but is the aim to truly inform the public what is happening, distract from something worse or part of a larger disinformation campaign that will make Prism look like childs play once something bigger blacker and nastier comes into being?

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Prism looks like child's play?  You lost me.  Please elaborate.

Citxmech's picture

I just had a conversation about this with my wife - about the only things bigger than proof that we currently live in Orwell's Oceana would be what?  Proof that the govt was complicit in 9/11?  Aliens run the govt?  An asteroid is about to wipe out Earth?

Seriously - this has shown a bright light pretty deep down the rabbit hole. . .

knukles's picture

It's illumintaed the WHole Fucking Thing!
There are no Conspiracy Theories, Just Facts FFS

therearetoomanyidiots's picture

Let me preface this by saying I support Snowden and that i pray he is for real and real change comes. Suppose you wanted to collapse the whole system, suppose you wanted to start over, or, impose a new way of doing things. The first thing you need to do is eliminate the 'old system'. How do you get rid of the greatest bastion of liberty the world has ever seen? "Prove' to the world that it is ALL corrupt, every last bit of it, every player, all sides, and further, tell everyone that you will now, for instance, install a new govt, a new way... So, we've had the most inept admin ever, and now the most corrupt, and then we learn that we might be selling or giving weapons to our enemies and that innocent americans are being killed, and security staff is fucking prostitutes, and the fed s corrupt, and you no longer have any money because it's been devalued and you can't eat....what do you do?

You ask for them to help, you ask for someone to help,,and the likes of this fucking dictator or more likely the soros and buffets of the world, willl oblige you...if this is something you might want to accomplish, this might be the last fucking straw...

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

Well, no shit they will try, but then they will fingered as complicit in the entire build up and collapse.

WarriorClass's picture

Shhhick, shhhick.


I hear rifles being cleaned across the country.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

And we all wear bugs and gps trackers on our hips every day.  Their called smart phones for a reason...

duo's picture

that's why you can't remove the battery from an iPhone.  That GPS has to stay on all the time.

insanelysane's picture

I was returning a defective cell phone.  I had a prepaid slip from the cell company and yet the teller at the Post Office was very annoyed when I wouldn't put in a return address.  Hmmmm.  Does anyone think they are collecting snail mail meta data?

XitSam's picture

They won't let you mail packages over about 13 ounces in a mailbox anymore. This is to prevent "bad things" being sent in the mail. What do they do with them? Return to sender. A clever person would put the receiver as the return address.

Bohm Squad's picture

The post office also will open "media mail"...you know, to make sure it's actually media related...

TheGardener's picture

You nailed it, insanelysane, Post Office is not about delivering things and messages , it has always been about
control of what gets delivered.

Lost Word's picture

Smart phone GPS for Smart Bomb GPS guidance.

tarsubil's picture

We like to have fun here. No, seriously, looks like we'll have to black bag him and torture him for fun until he dies. Then leak the execution as a "scandal" and message to anybody that doesn't want to play ball. Haha, we like to have fun here.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

The problem is, this story is public, in a big way. The old "extra-judicial killing" angle isn't going to fly so well. "Suicide" will be looked at with a whole new level of skepticism.

No, they will either have to go into full-on denial mode, or pursue him through legal channels.

We can't rule out the idea that this is a "modified limited hang-out", designed to gauge the outrage. The idea being, if the story just goes away with no consequences to them, they can ratchet up the National Security State a few notches higher.

It is amazing to me that I am still hearing people say, "Meh, I have nothing to hide, and they are trying to catch terrorists, so whatever." The level of ignorance and apathy is so shocking that they might just get away with this.

tarsubil's picture

No. They have to murder him. They wish to rule through fear. You don't rule through fear by forgiving. This story will get old and he'll disappear when the people stop paying attention.

cougar_w's picture

They absolutely will get away with this.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

No chance.  Death = martyrdom = problem 10x worse than currently.


Citxmech's picture

I'm not so sure.  Surveillance works two ways:  1, The mark isn't aware of the surveillance and is caught; and 2, the mark self-censors because s/he knows s/he is being watched.

Option 1 isn't viable anymore.  Option 2 has the negative effect of enshrining distrust in the power structure and making dissent very hard to track as it goes underground.

Folks keep wondering why there aren't mass, centralized "protests."  I wonder if in today's world - we have an ongoing protest that is very different - a decentralized one that may end up being even more effective as the situation evolves.  Time will tell.

PS  Anyone else getting ads for white Oxford shoes these days?  JFC. . .

FeralSerf's picture

Affirmative on the shoes.  It's part of a study/poll to find out who reads ZH and has a white Oxford shoes mindset and/or a desire to be of that group.  They know more about how you think than you do (or They would like to believe they do).