Creepy, Calculating & Controlling: All the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by John Whitehead vbia The Rutherford Institute,

“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984

None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.

Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, jaywalking across the street, and letting their kid play hookie from school once in a while. Of course, that was before the era of speed cameras that ticket you for going even a mile over the posted limit, red light cameras that fine you for making safe “rolling stop” right-hand turns on red, surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software mounted on street corners, and school truancy laws that fine parents for “unexcused” absences.

My, how times have changed.

Today, there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home. That’s because technology—specifically the technology employed by the government against the American citizenry—has upped the stakes dramatically so that there’s little we do that is not known by the government.

In such an environment, you’re either a paragon of virtue, or you’re a criminal.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re all criminals. This is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state: the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears. A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. As I point out in my book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

For example, police have been using Stingray devices mounted on their cruisers to intercept cell phone calls and text messages without court-issued search warrants. Thwarting efforts to learn how and when these devices are being used against an unsuspecting populace, the FBI is insisting that any inquiries about the use of the technology be routed to the agency “in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise.”

Doppler radar devices, which can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, are already being employed by the police to deliver arrest warrants and are being challenged in court. One case in particular, United States v Denson, examines how the Fourth Amendment interacts with the government’s use of radar technology to peer inside a suspect’s home. As Judge Neil Gorsuch recognizes in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling in the case, “New technologies bring with them not only new opportunities for law enforcement to catch criminals but also new risks for abuse and new ways to invade constitutional rights.”

License plate readers, yet another law enforcement spying device made possible through funding by the Department of Homeland Security, can record up to 1800 license plates per minute. However, it seems these surveillance cameras can also photograph those inside a moving car. Recent reports indicate that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been using the cameras in conjunction with facial recognition software to build a “vehicle surveillance database” of the nation’s cars, drivers and passengers.

Sidewalk and “public space” cameras, sold to gullible communities as a sure-fire means of fighting crime, is yet another DHS program that is blanketing small and large towns alike with government-funded and monitored surveillance cameras. It’s all part of a public-private partnership that gives government officials access to all manner of surveillance cameras, on sidewalks, on buildings, on buses, even those installed on private property.

Couple these surveillance cameras with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology and you have the makings of pre-crime” cameras, which scan your mannerisms, compare you to pre-set parameters for “normal” behavior, and alert the police if you trigger any computerized alarms as being “suspicious.”

Capitalizing on a series of notorious abductions of college-aged students, several states are pushing to expand their biometric and DNA databases by requiring that anyone accused of a misdemeanor have their DNA collected and catalogued. However, technology is already available that allows the government to collect biometrics such as fingerprints from a distance, without a person’s cooperation or knowledge. One system can actually scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away.

Radar guns have long been the speed cop’s best friend, allowing him to hide out by the side of the road, identify speeding cars, and then radio ahead to a police car, which does the dirty work of pulling the driver over and issuing a ticket. Never mind that what this cop is really doing is using an electronic device to search your car without a search warrant, violating the Fourth Amendment and probable cause. Yet because it’s a cash cow for police and the governments they report to, it’s a practice that is not only allowed but encouraged. Indeed, developers are hard at work on a radar gun that can actually show if you or someone in your car is texting. No word yet on whether the technology will also be able to detect the contents of that text message.

It’s a sure bet that anything the government welcomes (and funds) too enthusiastically is bound to be a Trojan horse full of nasty surprises. Case in point: police body cameras. Hailed as the easy fix solution to police abuses, these body cameras—made possible by funding from the Department of Justice—will turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras. Of course, if you try to request access to that footage, you’ll find yourself being led a merry and costly chase through miles of red tape, bureaucratic footmen and unhelpful courts.

The “internet of things” refers to the growing number of “smart” appliances and electronic devices now connected to the internet and capable of interacting with each other and being controlled remotely. These range from thermostats and coffee makers to cars and TVs. Of course, there’s a price to pay for such easy control and access. That price amounts to relinquishing ultimate control of and access to your home to the government and its corporate partners. For example, while Samsung’s Smart TVs are capable of “listening” to what you say, thereby allow users to control the TV using voice commands, it also records everything you say and relays it to a third party.

Then again, the government doesn’t really need to spy on you using your smart TV when the FBI can remotely activate the microphone on your cellphone and record your conversations. The FBI can also do the same thing to laptop computers without the owner knowing any better.

Government surveillance of social media such as Twitter and Facebook is on the rise. Americans have become so accustomed to the government overstepping its limits that most don’t even seem all that bothered anymore about the fact that the government is spying on our emails and listening in on our phone calls.

Drones, which will begin to take to the skies en masse this year, will be the converging point for all of the weapons and technology already available to law enforcement agencies. This means drones that can listen in on your phone calls, see through the walls of your home, scan your biometrics, photograph you and track your movements, and even corral you with sophisticated weaponry.

And then there’s the Internet and cell phone kill switch, which enables the government to shut down Internet and cell phone communications without Americans being given any warning. It’s a practice that has been used before in the U.S., albeit in a limited fashion. In 2005, cell service was disabled in four major New York tunnels (reportedly to avert potential bomb detonations via cell phone). In 2009, those attending President Obama’s inauguration had their cell signals blocked (again, same rationale). And in 2011, San Francisco commuters had their cell phone signals shut down (this time, to thwart any possible protests over a police shooting of a homeless man).

It’s a given that the government’s tactics are always more advanced than we know, so there’s no knowing what new technologies are already being deployed against without our knowledge. Certainly, by the time we learn about a particular method of surveillance or new technological gadget, it’s a sure bet that the government has been using it covertly for years already. And if other governments are using a particular technology, you can bet that our government used it first. For instance, back in 2011, it was reported that the government of Tunisia was not only monitoring the emails of its citizens but was actually altering the contents of those emails in order to thwart dissidents. How much do you want to bet that government agents have already employed such tactics in the U.S.?

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government officials deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, privacy as we once knew it is dead.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers. This is the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction lesson that is being pounded into us on a daily basis.

Thus, to be an individual today, to not conform, to have even a shred of privacy, and to live beyond the reach of the government’s roaming eyes and technological spies, one must not only be a rebel but rebel.

Even when you rebel and take your stand, there is rarely a happy ending awaiting you. You are rendered an outlaw. This is the message in almost every dystopian work of fiction, from classic writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury to more contemporary voices such as Margaret Atwood, Lois Lowry and Suzanne Collins.

How do you survive in the American police state?

We’re running out of options. As Philip K. Dick, the visionary who gave us Minority Report and Blade Runner, advised:

“If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.

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MarketAnarchist's picture

Today is february 17th, 1983. 

y3maxx's picture

"Today is february 17th, 1983."

Cryptic for Israel controls the world.

ZerOhead's picture

"... and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

They fixed that glitch...

TeamDepends's picture

Yep, now drop everything and enjoy your Two Minute Hate.

jaap's picture

Interesting to read "Industrial Society and Its Future" by Mr. T. Kaczynski (some former university professor).

Amongst Orwell and Huxley, maybe we should start quoating him too.

wee-weed up's picture



What is truly "Creepy, Calculating & Controlling" is the deafening silence now of all the Liberals and their MSM supporters who screamed bloody-murder at what George Bush was doing against personal liberties with the Patriot Act, etc during his Administration. Yes, it was awful, but now it turns out that what Bush did was mere rank amateurism compared to this corrupt Obama Socialist Communist Administration. They seek to control EVERY single aspect of our lives. And with that info they will try to destroy any and all of those who may try oppose them.

Oh, do you doubt me? Maybe you'd like to talk to Lois Lerner! (And we all thought Nixon was evil for using the IRS against his enemies. Obama says, "Ha! What an amateur! He could be impeached - I can't!")

Skateboarder's picture

Blaming _____ administration on anything is a moot point, as the plan marches forth, no matter the characters. They all serve the dark lord.

Headbanger's picture

But it's the sheeple who actually WANT Big Brother watching cause they've become weak, helpless, mindless dependents on the state happy to live blindly to it all with their heads shoved up their iPhones.

It's not Big Brother you have to worry so much about now.

But your paranoid scared shitless neighbors turning you in for "suspicious activities"

Which will make everybody paranoid of everybody else so we all end up reporting all of us as suspicious.

The movie "Brazil" is moar like how we'll be living soon:

CH1's picture

The State is a monster.

An evil, arrogant, deadly monster.

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Is creepy really so bad?...

new game's picture

want to die today? run for a public office against with a platform against almost every law/exec order implimented since 911.  the current system does not allow change for the little guy. simple, no alternative party allowed. even greece allowed that....

nmewn's picture

The single thing that one can do to regain "some" privacy is to throw away the tracking device you voluntarily pay for and tote around with you daily, your "smart phone".

Barring that, think of ways to use it against them, fully charge it, box it up and send it to yourself whenever you need a little privacy ;-)

Element's picture

But I'm totally addicted to paying for that thing to eat my bank account man!

Grimaldus's picture

Actually no. It needs to be said out loud MUCH MOAR. Calls for arrest of the law breaking imposter in the White Hut need to be mainstream.

Lunatic murdering progressive-Marxist America hater Obama and his brown shirts are going to ban plain rifle ammunition

and at the same time start to import ISIS to the USA in large quantities from Syria to give them "jobs"

The bloody progressives want to be able to kill law abiding American citizens without them being able to resist, and they want lots of Sunni ISIS murderers here to help do it. The "jobs" will be cutting heads of Christians here in the USA.

FOAD lawless murdering progressive scum.


CH1's picture

Yeah, right...

And his replacement will be pure as the wind-driven snow!

The State is the problem, not one placeholder within it.

drendebe10's picture

The azzhoe in charge, however, sets the tone and in theory should honor the oath of office. Dont believe the guy occupying the CEO seat should ever be given a free pass for criminal, traitorous acts, e.g., Hitler regardless if u like or dont like jews in general.  The fudgepacker liar in chief is tramplung the constitution with its chicken golf legs, destroying America & its middle class, enabling terrorist muslims, doubling the gubmint credit card debt all the while enjoying a tax payer funded obamascare exempt celebrity grand imperial golf lifestyle.  

Anasteus's picture

Not so many people realize that global surveillance can also have positive aspects. The kleptocracy is constantly being confronted with opposition from all over the world. Not only they read it in newspaper or watch on TV, they have found out that the resistance is deeply rooted in daily life of many people. There is no place to relax; from outside, inside and literally everywhere an incredible amount of gloomy and 'dangerous' messages flood their heads. Furthermore, many of those who have to handle the messages in secret agencies are facing different opinions and attitudes that wouldn't have to face otherwise, and that can eventually change their minds as well. This can, ironically, lead to a decay within the very internal structures of the system. No wonder, they are becoming paranoiac - no one would be able to bear such a burden without psychological consequences.

One thing that they'll soon realize is that people stop being scared and are getting braver, leaving the Orwellian fear behind. This is probably the scariest scenario they can imagine. The whole game can thus very easily turn upside down and they'll themselves become the victims of their own plot.

CH1's picture

Not happening. They know how everything about you; you know almost nothing about them.

Need I mention Jerry Saville? Even the most insane and outrageous of them are shielded from our view.

drendebe10's picture

What "dumber than a box of rocks" Geo W did/did not do is in the rear view mirror. But what the fudgepacker liar in chief did & continues to do is accelerate making tax paying US citizens criminals for exercising constitutional freedoms & rights while rewarding the illegal aliens flooding the southern borders as well as all its crony capitalists, wall street banker thieves and chosen progressive democrap minions with either freebies and/or massive wealth on the backs of tax paying serfs & peasants all the while basking in its celebrity grand imperial golf lifestyle.  All this enabled by the likes of MSM pathological liars like obscenely overpaid "Helicopter Crash" Brian to keep feeding the unquestioning sheeple bullshit.  If there is a microglimmer of hope for our freedoms, constitution & country, please le us know.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

if you see that picture of VP Biden groping another drones wife while in public think of what he would do behind closed doors..that is the perfect picture of America today and what high .gov officials think of us and will do to us- anything they want. the mind set is very clear. I am surprised B 7 has not taken off on that image.

Fukushima Fricassee's picture
Fukushima Fricassee (not verified) Tijuana Donkey Show Feb 18, 2015 5:02 AM

Nothing, he has Reggie in his mouth.

junction's picture

Privacy is not dead for the New World Order, which controls the spy equipment.  Before, murderers had to case a potential victim, track his or her movements, trail them as they drove around to establish a pattern.  Now, a few key strokes and Big Brother (a.k.a. Obama) can send a hit team to bump you off.  Yet, for all the technology, there is no video record of the guys who planted RDX explosives in the Murrah federal building stairwells nor in Two World Trade Center stairwells.  Nor are there any videos available from the security cameras on the Brooklyn street where Aaron Swartz lived and died on.  The visitors who bumped Swartz off had the power to seize those security camera videos.  Outsiders' lives are cheap for the New World Order.

km4's picture

George Owell 1984 is real !


“Big Brother is Watching You.” 
George Orwell1984

“War is peace. 
Freedom is slavery. 
Ignorance is strength.” 
George Orwell1984

“Orthodoxy means not thinking–not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”

Seasaw2020's picture

Digitally, it started in Albuquerque, back in the late 70's

Is it no surprise that the world's most rich's man is all so the most well off ditigal spy of all time. It was not done by mere chance. It was far more than. I was just standing here, and low and behold...

El Vaquero's picture

Heh, my dad used to watch Bill Gates come out to accept pizza deliveries before MS hit it big.  He was kind of made fun of, being a geeky little guy and all. 

p00k1e's picture

Late 70's BC with the invention of deities.

“JESUS” is the name of some nested computer system that’s “Always watching”. 

Bloppy's picture

This might be a good moment for a laff:


Axelrod the comedian: no Obama scandals!

OldPhart's picture

As one that has actually HAD conversations with NSAGUY anf FBIGUY, on my front porch (not at the same time) with an insistance to look inside to make sure I didn't have dynamite and Nazi Flags in my living room (for real!)...this shit is for more realer than you can imagine.

As I told the FBIGuy "I'm a Crank, not a Kook!  You pussies are too scared of the wrong fucking people."

Wish I had mentioned that the only 'Terrorists" they had caught so far were the ones they had set up, but at the time I was so amazed that I was now a world terrorist threat.

Fuck these bastards.

MsCreant's picture

This is not true for a certain class, some are more equal than others. If the tech made it so that the seers were seen too, then at least there would be equality. There is only oppression. Even in battling them, they define you and you solidify them.

Reaper's picture

Those TBTP pigs are not equal to you.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Can I get and STD from a TPTB pig?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Can I get and STD from a TPTB pig?

OldPhart's picture

Before I even get erected...what's a TPTB pig?

Specifically, "TPTB".

Flicker's picture

Samantha Power, Phyllis M. Powers, Katherine L Powers, Stephanie Powers... One of the powers that be.

Billy the Poet's picture



"If the tech made it so that the seers were seen too,"


Assange, Manning, Snowden,  Fuck the EU.  There's probably more.

Peelingtheonion's picture



Around 1978, I moved from Boston (working as a MVS operating systems programmer consultant for New England Telephone) to Detriot to do the same for a company named American Natural Resources...during that time I met a guy who was a DBA and we become really good friends. He and his wife were both Perdue grads....she kept telling us that computers would become the tool of Satan..we both shrug it off as in 2015...20/20 hindsight says she was a prophet..and the human race is now enslaved by it....just thought I 'd share that tidbit.... 

Martian Moon's picture


But at the same time, would I ever read your info tidbit were it not for computers?

Computers are a tool, the globalists need it to implement their control grid - the peeps need it for mass peer to peer communication (a first in history)

In both cases the results are stunning

will ling's picture
will ling (not verified) Feb 17, 2015 11:35 PM

we've in fact reached that place. there is only one way out.

Ignatius's picture

We desperately need -- The Great Repeal.

MsCreant's picture

The genie cannot be stuffed back into the bottle.

Ignatius's picture

I can't really argue against that fate, but to unify around A Grand Repeal is as about as non-ideological (read: possible) appeal as one can make.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Ideology? You must first get past the morally relativistic notion that some animals are more equal than others.

Flicker's picture

Perhaps an EMP from the sun would set things back.  The NSA and all EMP-secured facilities would survive, but then who would they be watching?  And who would be left to grow their food.

samsara's picture


"'Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?' said Dr. Ferris. 'We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it.

There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible

for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden,

that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.'"

Ayn Rand ('Atlas Shrugged' 1957)


OldPhart's picture

FBI Interview on front porch.

I shrugged.

Fuck them.

hardmedicine's picture

my favorite quote of the entire 700 page book!


samsara's picture


"The illusion of freedom [in America ] will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."

~Frank Zappa