Special Editorial Article by Jim Lantern, Independent voter, Norman Oklahoma, 1:00pm Monday 10 June 2013
I strongly disagree with all those people who claim we can’t have the best of both worlds in privacy and security. This is a rare occasion when I do not “respectfully disagree” with opposing views. For this issue, I have no respect for the opposing view. I’m offended by their blatant obvious lies, that they think I’m stupid enough to believe them.
[I will not allow any opposing view in Comments posted under this special editorial article. Normally, for most issues, I welcome opposing views for a good friendly intelligent debate. Not this time, because the other side with its head up its rear has no intelligence.]
The claim by people in our government that the NSA is not listening in on all phone communications and not reading all emails, as a couple of examples, because it isn’t physically possible to do so, is a blatant lie. Of course they don’t use people to monitor all communications. The fact is they use massive computers so powerful that they are like artificial intelligence. They can “listen” to and “watch” everyone and everything most of the time and almost anywhere. Then when key words are flagged, like how Google uses its ad tailoring spyware, people review the reports to determine if any action should be taken.
We do not need to sacrifice privacy in order to have effective security. We can have privacy with effective security. The claim, by President Obama and other people in the US government, that our privacy must be sacrificed for the good of security, is wrong. The government is using potential national security threats as an excuse to invade the privacy of all Americans and take away our basic rights.
Security is bad security when it becomes a threat to the people who it should be protecting. Privacy IS security. If they take away our privacy, then they take away our security.
In Robert A. Heinlein’s 1953 science fiction novel “Revolt in 2100” is the 1940 story titled “If This Goes On—” in which the US President, elected in 2012, becomes dictator, no elections held in 2016 or later. Fair warning.
The following is a paragraph excerpted from the 1986 Baen Book printing of Robert A. Heinlein’s novel titled “Revolt in 2100” –from page 83 of the story titled “If This Goes On—”: For the first time in my life I was reading things which had not been approved by the Prophet’s censors, and the impact on my mind was devastating. Sometimes I would glance over my shoulder to see who was watching me, frightened in spit of myself. I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy . . . censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
Also excerpted from “Revolt in 2100” and the story titled “If This Goes On—”: Successful revolution is big business – make no mistake about that. In a modern, complex, and highly industrialized state, revolution is not accomplished by a handful of conspirators whispering around a guttering candle in a deserted ruin. It requires countless personnel, supplies, modern machinery and modern weapons. And to handle these factors successfully there must be loyalty, secrecy, and superlative organization.
So there appears to be a contradiction regarding secrecy. The first that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny, and the second that secrecy is necessary for a successful revolution, which of course requires loyalty and trust. Even so, that difference for revolution is understandable. You can’t let the enemy know what you are doing. The problem is when you are doing it to your own people as if your own people are the enemy.
In many novels I’ve read, movies I’ve seen, TV shows I’ve watched, it is always easy to tell the bad guys from the good guys with one noticeable evil behavior. The bad side, like in a war, tend to harm or otherwise kill their own people, even execute their own officers. The good guys will never hurt any of their own people under any circumstances. Now the US government is targeting its own citizens. I believe that makes them the bad guys. It in no way makes any of the other bad guys out there acceptable or in any way good guys. Terrorists on one side, bad government on the other side, good people caught in the middle as victims.
Similarly, I’ve noticed some people in law enforcement have become as much of a threat as criminals, mainly because of the way they treat victims of crimes as if they are the criminals and cause of a crime, and treat some criminals as if they are the victims. Also, how they treat witnesses of crimes, and betray confidential sources. You can’t call a cop for help, if that cop is going to hurt you as much as the criminal threatening you, if not more so. I’d rather take my chances with a criminal trying to hurt me than with a bad cop trying to hurt me.
If any privacy must be sacrificed, then there are a few places to draw the line:
No invasion of privacy by any means in a person’s home.
No invasion of privacy by any means of a person’s personal cellphone or landline phone.
No invasion of privacy by any means of a person’s use of the Internet, including Internet communications such as email.
No invasion of privacy by any means of a person’s personal bank account.
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