who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
1. Nick Clegg orders review into data gathering by spy
2. Surveillance: Westminster faces up to the
Snowden's revelations made it clear: security
oversight must be fit for the
How The Government Can Destroy Your Reputation
An Ignorant Public Is the Real Kind of Security
Our Govt. Is After
This is the crisis file of March 4. The first three items
are all about Great Britain and from the Guardian (which is the best
paper I know, and much better than any Dutch one). I do not
really know how important they are, but I suspect they are not: they
are merely moves in the games politicians play to deceive the
electorate, I am afraid. The fourth item is a video by The Young Turks
that I like, and that I think you should see. The fifth is by Noam
Chomsky. Of these, the fourth item is the most
interesting, in my opinion, by far also.
Clegg orders review into data gathering by spy agencies
The first article is
by Patrick Wintour in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
Nick Clegg, the
Liberal Democrat leader, has commissioned a review into the new
intrusive capabilities of British intelligence agencies and the legal
framework in which they operate, after failing to persuade David Cameron that
the coalition government should act now to tighten the accountability
of Britain's spies.
What am I supposed to
say? That it seems to me politics-as-usual, and seems to have much more
to do with the general elections than with any real concern. Thus:
Clegg has been trying for
months inside government to persuade the Conservatives and intelligence
agencies that the existing accountability structure is inadequate and
could corrode trust, but in a Guardian article before a big speech on Tuesday the deputy prime minister
admits he has failed to persuade Cameron of the need for reform.
Note "by coincidence"
and "The government should
intrude as little as possible".
There is rather a lot more, but it is mostly of the quoted level, and
there also is Clegg's own piece in item 3.
The Clegg initiative by
coincidence comes the day after Labour fully joined the
debate for the first time when Yvette Cooper, the shadow home
secretary, called for a thorough overhaul of the way in which UK
intelligence agencies are held to account. But Clegg appears to go
further than Labour by questioning in greater detail the extent to
which agencies are now routinely gathering data on private citizens.
The Lib Dem leader
stresses he is not in principle opposed to the state gathering big
data, but says this has to be governed by the principle that the
government should intrude as little as possible into private affairs.
2. Surveillance: Westminster faces up to the
next article is by Editorial and in the Guardian:
This starts as follows:
It is one way of seeing
it. And it sounds quite optimistic, which I am not. Then again, I am
also not a British editor, nor am I an American, and I am really not
impressed by Obama's actions, though I grant it was not quite
as measly as the reactions of Sir David Omand (who is much more clever
than anyone working at the NSA, or so he thinks) and such.
It is now eight months
since Edward Snowden
first broke cover with his revelations about the extent to which the
American and British states were collecting and storing previously
unimaginable amounts of data on millions of unsuspecting and wholly
innocent citizens. For much of that time, Westminster has behaved as if
it hoped the problem would go away. There was the "if you've got
nothing to hide" school. There was the "shoot the messenger" club.
There was the "airy fairy la-di-da" brigade. And there were the
long-grass merchants: give it all to Sir Malcolm Rifkind to ponder and
come back some time next year.
In the United States, it
has been very different. Within the same time period, the president
commissioned, published and responded to a detailed 300-page report by
a review panel of experts who proposed more than 40 reforms. A parallel
report by the independent Privacy
and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was published at the same time,
while Congress began an animated debate about the proper limits of surveillance and
the appropriate legal framework for the digital age.
Anyway - the Editorial is quite upbeat about the present British
situation, and is so because Yvette
Cooper for Labour and Nick Clegg for the Lib Dems
have found it in them, after at least eight months, to criticize their
government - a bit softly, it is true, but they did dare criticize.
Well... I fear the Editorial is far too optimistic, but I grant I like
to be mistaken about this.
3. Edward Snowden's revelations made it clear:
security oversight must be fit for the internet age
article is by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and appeared in the Guardian:
My problems with Nick Clegg are that
he is a British political leader of a small party that anyway is very
prone to double talking; that I know he has double talked before (about
M.E.); and that I can see he has a nice position, a nice income, a nice
house, and a possibly quite nice future (all of which I do not have)
that all depend on his facility for more double talking (which I can't
do, is fair to add, at least not on his level).
Here are the points he raises in this article, in his own words, and I
should also say he does not dot them as I have, and he has more text
surrounding the points, while also I have removed some initial
capitalized letters. Otherwise, these are Nick Clegg's proposals:
He advances these points
- he says - so as to make the GCHQ and its four direct allied secret
spy organizations, who have given tens of millions of dollars to the
GCHQ, somehow amenable to democratic control. The Guardian also
welcomes this, and gave him the space to publish the article I am
- annual transparency
reports detailing the requests for data which government makes
- a new web portal (which
could be www.surveillance.gov.uk)
- the membership of the
committee should be expanded from nine to 11
- the chair should in
future be an opposition party member
- hearings should be held
wherever possible in public
- budgets should be set
for five years ahead,
- changes should also be
made to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal,
- finally, we should
create an inspector general for the UK intelligence services
Meanwhile - and you would not at all think so from Clegg's writing -
the spies have taken at least a 100,000 nude pictures from
English men and women, and also have stolen all their private
data that are processed on line, from anyone, and both those
from their computers and from their cell phones, as if they owe
them (which indeed they pretend to think and say they do: anything
anyone puts on line in any form "thereby" is theirs, and f*ck
you if you protest).
Why does Nick Clegg not just say "No, you cannot spy on everyone, and
certainly not without a specific cause, that is also overseen by a
Well, he is a double talker, who is propping up David Cameron's
government, and he would like to have more votes.
So I am sorry, but I do not believe him, not at all, and I also do not
believe his points will make any major changes, although I do
believe they indeed are not meant to: All Nick Clegg wants is more
spying, with a bit more control for him.
How The Government Can Destroy Your Reputation (Report)
Next, a video by The
Young Turks, that takes 11 minutes and 12 seconds, but which also, and
quite unlike Nick Clegg, is quite clear:
I should start with
giving you a reference to the recent article by Glenn Greenwald that
TYT treats in this video:
I strongly recommend
that you read this.
In any case, as Cenk Uygur says, this is about "how to do propaganda on
line". In fact, his theme is the following - which I quote from his
presentation, that in turn quotes Glenn Greenwald. Also, you might take
a look in my On
Deception - 1
Propaganda techniques which are from a little over a year ago:
start with, that this "Art of Deception" is not directed
against terrorists, nor even against "terrorists", as they also
explain themselves, in secret:
That is, the "'targets'" - note the post-modernistic quotation
marks!- are anyone who did or said anything that his or her
government, or an allied government, does not like (and the government,
as you all know, always knows best):
That is: everybody who does
not welcome the present government's policies will
be - in the words of the GCHQ themselves: see below - denied, disrupted,
degraded and deceived, by Her Majesty's
anonymous spooks of the secret services, and all for the simple reason
that they are known not to welcome the present government's policies (or those of any of its
And please note none of this has anything to do with
"terrorism", and indeed is specifically directed, by Her Majesty's anonymous spooks of the
secret services, all working on tax money or on gifts from the US, instead
of 'traditional law enforcement', against anyone who does not
like or who dares to oppose the present government, and who does so on
line, also when he or she does so quite legally.
Here are some slides that show the techniques the GCHQ uses - and
again: NOT against "terrorists", but against opponents of the
government, or indeed opponents of the GCHQ.
First, here is a list of things they allow themselves and take pride in
doing to others (who do not know them and may not even suspect them):
Next, here is a list of techniques they recommend to upset people (who
oppose the government) - and "a honey-trap" is an attempt to abuse
their sex lives:
Note they are very willing - being anonymous spooks and spies
who are very well protected by their governments, and who are
paid from the tax money - to falsify everything they can
possibly falsify: photos, stories, and "emails to colleagues,
neighbours, friends etc."
Here is a a list of techniques
that they recommend to destroy (deny, disrupt, deceive, degrade)
any firm who may do things the anonymous spooks of the GCHQ, or indeed
any of the anonymous spooks of the Five Eyes, are not pleased with:
They may leak whatever they please, and especially anonymous
falsehoods, but Edward Snowden may not leak anything, not even under
his own name and when it is all perfectly true. Of course, they may
spread any amounts of false negative "information" on any forum, and
clearly they may ruin your whole business. (For, remember: you are an
opponent of the government.)
Here is a list of things they can effect and the techniques they use -
again, not against "terrorists", but against any opponent of the
government. This includes Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive,
for it doesn't matter whether what they say is true: it only
matters whether it works:
Finally, here is a picture of the "Gambits for Deception" these
anonymous tax paid spooks and spies may play, always in total anonymity
and utter secrecy, on anyone for any reason (supposing
they don't much like and admire the government):
So: it's secret, it's of the state, and they are policing, by hook and
by crook, and not hindered by any law or any
consideration of legality, against anyone who disagrees
with the government, and all is completely regardless of his or
her legal rights or indeed of any moral considerations. All it needs is
that one gets classified, also in secret, very possibly on false
information, as some sort of an opponent.
Which government would not love to have such secret services?
As Cenk Uygur ended his presentation:
"It's scary stuff.
(..) Big Brother is here and he has got some unbelievable propaganda
headed in your direction."
5. Chomsky: An Ignorant Public Is the Real Kind
of Security Our Govt. Is After
Finally, here is Noam Chomsky
This starts as follows:
Yes, indeed. There is a
considerable amount more under the last dotted link, and that piece
also is the first half of more to come.
A leading principle of
international relations theory is that the state's highest priority is
to ensure security. As Cold War strategist George F. Kennan formulated
the standard view, government is created "to assure order and justice
internally and to provide for the common defense."
The proposition seems
plausible, almost self-evident, until we look more closely and ask:
Security for whom? For the general population? For state power itself?
For dominant domestic constituencies?
Depending on what we
mean, the credibility of the proposition ranges from negligible to very
Security for state power
is at the high extreme, as illustrated by the efforts that states exert
to protect themselves from the scrutiny of their own populations.
The point I want to retain is that "security" is a very elastic term,
and rarely means what one thinks it means, and always requires some
context: security for whom? And from whom? And
against what costs? Not only in money but in rights?
And I suggest "security" usually means, when used by any
government or its "journalists": security for the governors, from any
criticism by any means, and if necessary by the population loosing some
of their rights, were it only because the population is not
supposed to criticize their governments anymore, all as outlined in item 4.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity, the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more proper
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
(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: