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June 7, 2013
Crisis: No more Fourth Amendment
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The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
-- Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution











Sections

Introduction
1.  One secret is out
2.  And one more secret is out
3.  So what does it mean?
About ME/CFS


Introduction:

Well... I believe I am still somewhat paying back my walk of over* six weeks ago, but I also seem to be getting out of it.

1. One secret is out

There is now one secret that is no longer a secret: Over 100 million Americans are
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I leave it for the moments under dots, simply because it is hard to believe; because few will believe it; and because - I fear - in effect few will really care. Indeed, it is quite questionable whether caring helps - and I am not saying that you should not care.

Here is the message - one of more to follow, as The Young Turks delivered it:




Anyway: Here are The Young Turks - one of the very few I have kept watching (mostly) since I first started to do so in 2009, which also was the first time I could do so - and what you get is an extra long video, with the host of the show, Cenk Uygur, who has now nearly a million members and more than a billion views:
Actually, it is not unexpected on my part: In fact the reason for my title - One secret is out - is mostly that I think there are quite a few more secrets of this and related kinds.

Also, there is another TYT-video, from which the above image is taken:

In any case, the secret that is now out is that Verizon, a large US provider, has been giving, willy or nilly, ALL the data that ANY of their over 100 million US customers put on line, on Skype, on video, in photographs, in e-mails, and in any documents, to the NSA - who seems to assure these providers that they have only all the connection data, but not the contents.

Then again, EVERYTHING else is known to the supermen and superwomen who must be the members of the NSA, and indeed even these supermen and superwomen do not have the time to read, listen to or view EVERYTHING (though of course they can, and may, and know all about ANYONE of these over a hundred million US persons, at least in principle).

In fact, from a related article, there is also this:




Now I do not quite believe that - but I do believe some of the internet has been taken over, and is tapped keystroke by keystroke, and entirely without one's knowledge, of course.

The limits are not legal - I'll come in a moment to that - and also are not in access (I think Linux may be relatively safe, but even that may be abused - and even if it were safe, something like 1.2 % of the internet users use Linux): The only limits are the number of supermen and superwomen that the NSA has ready, to track, trace, and follow. (And no, not by far enough, at the moment, to read more than a very small part.)

How legal is this? Here is Senator Rand Paul, to start with:




Quite
so, that is: It is evidently grossly unconstitutional. Of course, I am not the only one who thinks so:



I think the former Vice-President - of whom I am not a fan, and never was one - is right, and "obscenely outrageous" also seems quite adequate.

2 And one more secret is out

But that is not all: It seems all major providers and makers and maintainers of computers are - somehow - involved.

The following is from one of two of Glenn Greenwald's latest articles:

Here is some text + a graphic:

"Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.

It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.

Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks.

The extent and nature of the data collected from each company varies."

However, firstly, the companies vary as well, and in fact it may be safely assumed that everything that goes through them that is of their ordinary users is being tracked, and charted, and saved, for - eventual - later use, for any purpose, by anyone in the government (with the right type of clearance).

Here is more Greenwald, from the same article, which is about a scoop he had about Prism, a deeply secret US government organization:

"A chart prepared by the NSA, contained within the top-secret document obtained by the Guardian, underscores the breadth of the data it is able to obtain: email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more.

PRISM slide crop

The document is recent, dating to April 2013. Such a leak is extremely rare in the history of the NSA, which prides itself on maintaining a high level of secrecy.

The PRISM program allows the NSA, the world's largest surveillance organisation, to obtain targeted communications without having to request them from the service providers and without having to obtain individual court orders."

That was Glenn Greenwald (who is much to be thanked) - of whom there is more here:
This starts as follows:

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

And it ends thus:

In the mid-1970s, Congress, for the first time, investigated the surveillance activities of the US government. Back then, the mandate of the NSA was that it would never direct its surveillance apparatus domestically.

At the conclusion of that investigation, Frank Church, the Democratic senator from Idaho who chaired the investigative committee, warned: "The 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."

That was in the mid-1970s, with hardly anyone having a PC, and no internet of any kind, for the internet started publicly and commercially in 1995.

3. So what does it mean?

Here is just one reaction as displayed by TYT - which I relay because it addresses the question I started with:



Although the person asking it is not very credible (see TYT above), he is quite right posing that question, which in fact is the same as I started with:
There is now one secret that is no longer a secret: Over 100 million Americans are
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So what should be filled into the dots?

Here are a few relevant points:
  • Over a hundred million Americans are not terrorists.
  • The fourth amendment clearly prohibits inflicting their privacy.
  • President Obama was a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law.
Anyway... let's answer the question thus:
If you are not a member of the US government, then you are not entitled to any privacy, anymore, and the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution no longer applies to you, if you are a US citizen, and you can thank President Obama for that, and for much else, though indeed you also will not know that, for very much that the US government does is now classified as a secret, and anyone talking about any of these secrets is legally reprehensible (though again the laws or regulations may be - partially - secret, and anyway are arbitrary, for the most part, in actual practice, as shown by the Bradley Manning case, among other cases).

And besides, the problem of the US government does not lie with the majority:

It only needs to control something like 1-10 % of the intelligent minority that is inclined to possibly doubt their superior wisdom, their superior insight, and their general superiority to democratic control.


Never have the chances of a government to totally neutralize each and any of its opponents - the good, the bad, and the indifferent - been better.
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I much hope I am quite wrong, but "all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - and no one got more absolute power than the present US government. And they are grossly and knowingly abusing it, it seems in part because the president, although he is a smart man, has a weak character.

And besides: he is not the only factor, by far: The real story goes back to ca. 1965-1980, when the miseries really started, in various ways also, for which see my
P.S. For more, see Gore Vidal, also here and here, and myself, also here (and indeed see the whole crisis series: It surely is long - in the sixth year now - to the point, and mostly correct).
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About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

2. Malcolm Hooper THE MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT:  
PERSECUTION OF PATIENTS?
3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
9.
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)


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