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Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:39 PM

I'm not surprised at the Government's info mining at all...

And I know for a fact that no one, not even anyone in the Government itself understands the extent to which all of this is actually going on.

And the real point to understand is that it isn't happening because they're trying to keep everyone under wraps.

It's happened because we have a Government that's been setup to maximize the profitability of private enterprise, such as all of these data mining companies and that built a huge functioning bureaucracy which follows its preeminent responsibility: To perpetuate itself, to grow itself and to find any way to make itself indispensable. Privacy be damned.

Anyone living in the Beltway, all they have to do is look around witness the mission creep.

The biggest danger they believe, these captains of industry and their bureaucratic cohorts, is to not commit the greatest sin of all, by having an unsustainable business model or to find oneself in the unenviable position of running an operation that shows no reason to be funded. These things have nothing to do at all with actual effectiveness, necessity and, at times, even legality. Add the Congress that finds ways to use this process to better its own political status and you have a recipe for disaster.

It's merely the banality of evil that we're having to contend with here. Not some secret Government conspiracy to spy on everyone just to do that. But because, we elect people who do this because it's so easy to do within the system as it's set up.

This problem, as with every single other problem with the Government, is just an indication that the American voter needs to elect the right people who understand how to run an operation with better things to do.

'The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings.'

Shakespeare.

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Reply I'm not surprised at the Government's info mining at all... (Original post)
MrScorpio Jun 2013 OP
Skeeter Barnes Jun 2013 #1
MrScorpio Jun 2013 #2
KoKo Jun 2013 #3
MrScorpio Jun 2013 #5
KoKo Jun 2013 #6
MrScorpio Jun 2013 #7
KoKo Jun 2013 #8
MrScorpio Jun 2013 #9
KoKo Jun 2013 #10
TreasonousBastard Jun 2013 #4
freshwest Jun 2013 #11
Kahuna Jun 2013 #12

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:47 PM

1. elect the right people

How do you do that when there's not anyone worth voting for?

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Response to Skeeter Barnes (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:48 PM

2. Check with The Bard nt

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 01:53 PM

3. And what do "Privatized Outsourcing" Databases do with that information?

What does the Chertoff Group and others do with that info? How much of this Meta Data is being done by these "Govt. Contractors" that we are outsourcing to in the guise of it being "cost saving to the taxpayers?"

You raise an important point and hope that more will come out about this. If gathering the data is done by Private Groups...what are the controls on these groups?

If this information is only being mined by Government Staff internally, with no outsources to other parties then it would be important to know that. So, far I've not seen an answer to that anywhere. Perhaps I've missed it.
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"It's happened because we have a Government that's been setup to maximize the profitability of private enterprise, such as all of these data mining company and build a hug functioning bureaucracy which follows its preeminent responsibility: To perpetuate itself, to grow itself and to find any way to make itself indispensable. Privacy be damned.

Anyone living in the Beltway, all they have to do is look around witness the mission creep. "

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Response to KoKo (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:25 PM

5. Just so that everyone understands this...

Last edited Fri Jun 7, 2013, 08:06 PM - Edit history (1)

Any phrase by a government official and especially by any government contractor about "saving taxpayer money" is standard bullshit. No one believes any of this stuff.

Because the main function by which political and economic power within the system is to control both the spending and receiving of monies by both the government and corporations who do business with the government, respectively. You can't have power by saving money. It's counter-intuitive.

Just about every single backroom conversation in Washington DC centers around one of these two things, or both. No one, unless they're true a believing government hater ever talks candidly about saving money. Most people are in it precisely for the money.

The embarrassing shit, the stuff by which the process is always lost in conversation, is WHAT is happening, not why it is. Thus, everyone's attention is focused on the process of data mining and not the political and economic mechanisms that created it. That stuff is never to be questioned. Because to do so would mean we have to question how we pick our leaders, which in turn, will expose how bad of a job that did in choosing them.

Now what is Chertoff doing with this info? Well, one has to understand that mere fact that they have it gives them a reason to be paid. It's ownership and they have to come up with a valid reason for the government to allow them to have it and pay them for the privilege. Most of all, it's to know that growth, indispensability and the power to both spend and receive money incentivizes everyone in this process to find newer reasons and methods for doing it.

If you want to kill this thing, what you have to do is kill its necessity, it's ability to perpetuate itself and the viability of it's business model. It has to become both outmoded and unprofitable, as well as turning it into something that no politician in Washington would ever want to be associated with.





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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:55 PM

6. You should do a separate OP for this...

I totally agree with what you say...but HOW do we go about doing this? I'd suggest that exposure of it and who is profiting is the first step. But, then what?



"If you want to kill this thing, what you have to do is kill it's necessity, it's ability to perpetuate itself and the viability of it's business model. It has to become both outmoded and unprofitable, as well as turning it into something that no politician in Washington would ever want to be associated with."

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Response to KoKo (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 03:36 PM

7. I once worked in the Pentagon for 7 years...

Which helps me to understand what's going on, because the exact same process, albeit a much more open one, is also happening in Defense Department.

So, what you're sort of asking me is how I would go about to kill the Pentagon.

Well, for one, it's going to be almost impossible to kill it completely. Because as long as we have a telecommunications infrastructure, with all types of the phones and computers, we're going to have one damn fool who tries to sell a way to manage the information in these networks to another damn fool in the government who'll thinks that it's a great fucking idea to buy that process in order to manage it and maintain it.

So, the biggest tool that we have is to turn it completely into a political and economic hot potato. That means either convincing the politicians, especially in the Congress where this stuff is appropriated, that their political viability is hinged on whether or not they support this kind of intrusion in everyone's privacy. With the companies, what one has to do is find a way to make them poison. Their main source of income is going to be the government, if they are publicly traded companies, their Achilles Heels are their stock portfolios.

Next is changing the laws that allow all of this to happen. Which is extremely hard, I don't have to tell you.

Thus these things need to be done through tried and true methods of activism and political participation, not to mention personal actions that ordinary people can do to protect their own privacy to defeat the processes of surveillance. Exchanging information to network with other activists and also create more and more clout politically through getting more and more voters interested.

So, this stuff will never get fixed instantaneously, to resolve it, we all have to go the long haul.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #7)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 03:50 PM

8. Thanks for reply...

What do you think about the creation of the NSA and Dept. of Homeland Security? Since the creation of both I feel the amount of surveillance and "outsourcing" has increased. I feel they need more supervision in what they spend and where they are spending it. I might be offbase with what I'm saying but I wonder if they add to the problem by making government bigger by competing with Pentagon and Defense and perhaps establishing and expanding their own independent surveillance networks?

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Response to KoKo (Reply #8)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 05:03 PM

9. You're absolutely correct to assume that all of that has increased

And the spending process is precisely how all of it is controlled. Growth and duplication of processes are natural extensions of each individual bureaucracy's need to maintain and grow it's own position of necessity within the government. How they demonstrate that need is through a process of rigorous compartmentalization. Much of this compartmentalization is based on the fact that each bureaucracy is limited by law on where it conducts it's business, i.e., the CIA can't conduct domestic surveillance operations, but the FBI and the NSA can, the Active Regular Military can't conduct domestic military ops, but the National Guard can be used domestically and so forth and so on.

Now, one thing that was used to sell the creation of DHS was that it was supposed to consolidate all of the disparate internal security apparatuses under a single departmental authority. But it didn't touch the Pentagon, which means that's there is still duplication of effort.

Now there's another frame of thought here: Do we really want some completely overarching surveillance entity which has control over both the civilian and military, doing both domestic and overseas operations? Of course, not. That would be a complete disaster. How the hell will anyone be able to control something like that? The temptation for some kind of extrajudicial power grab is just too juicy a fruit to allow any living person to squeeze and it's completely fucking illegal.

So obviously, the compartmentalization and it's duplication of effort are necessary evils.

The competition, as you've pointed out, the way that the people who do what they do to exploit the process, exists because the alternative is completely unfathomable. The result, however, is obviously a self-perpetuating organizational, economic and bureaucratic circle.

That circle exists because this country economic, political, military and diplomatic status as a superpower requires this kind of control. As long as we are a superpower, someone will find a way to perpetuate the apparatus. It's a Catch-22. Obviously, we're talking about an extremely complex subject here. You know, I don't think that I have either the intellect or the personal information to solve this problem comprehensively and completely.

But perhaps we should think about smaller, more achievable way to reduce, or inhibit the amount and range of all of this surveillance. Concentrate on one thing at a time is my only advice.

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Response to MrScorpio (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 07:36 PM

10. Okay...

What you say makes sense...for what I've been thinking about through all of this:

YOU SAY:
"Now, one thing that was used to sell the creation of DHS was that it was supposed to consolidate all of the disparate internal security apparatuses under a single departmental authority. But it didn't touch the Pentagon, which means that's there is still duplication of effort.

MY REPLY:
TRUE (to my observation which agrees with yours)...and that's what I wondered about, but also thought we needed MORE coordination after "9/11" because it was obvious that the "Old Ways" hadn't been up to the job. Obviously CIA or Pentagon or FBI Fucked that one up in not coordinating efforts even though there had been a Commission or Study Group that Clinton had put together to do a report which was ignored by Bush. They warned us, but doubt they knew "dates and time."

YOU SAY:
Now there's another frame of thought here: Do we really want some completely overarching surveillance entity which has control over both the civilian and military, doing both domestic and overseas operations? Of course, not. That would be a complete disaster. How the hell will anyone be able to control something like that? The temptation for some kind of extrajudicial power grab is just to juicy a fruit to allow any living person to squeeze and it's completely fucking illegal.

MY REPLY:

Now that's a ZINGER...I hadn't thought about. So, yes...maybe NSA and Homeland Security were or are needed or were Needed at That Time after "9/11"BUT, maybe its not worked out the way it was envisioned? And what hasn't worked is just coming to the forefront?

YOU SAY:

That circle exists because this country economic, political, military and diplomatic status as a superpower requires this kind of control. As long as we are a superpower, someone will find a way to perpetuate the apparatus. It's a Catch-22. Obviously, we're talking about an extremely complex subject here. You know, I don't think that I have either the intellect or the personal information to solve this problem comprehensively and completely.

But perhaps we should think about smaller, more achievable way to reduce, or inhibit the amount and range of all of this surveillance. Concentrate on one thing at a time is my only advice.


MY REPLY:

You have stated so clearly what some of my huge worries have been since "9/11" with the "Over-Reach" by new interests after that event aided by Cheney/Rumsfeld, etc. Plus, the MIC and Wall Street getting involved with "National Security," where they could get their own Computer Experts much faster and easier than the Government could because our Government has career folks who aren't always as "fleet of foot with math/computers" as the "Outsiders from Tech Revolution" who were ready, willing and available to serve. Then along came the Computer-Tech Military Volunteers who were younger and very savvy and ready and waiting for the "Retired Military" who were going through the Revolving door from Retired Military to Advisers to Wall Street and Google/Microsoft who could CONNECT.

Then, along came Chertoff and the rest of his ilk who set up Business Models to Serve the new Intelligence Outsourcing Business Models to be paid "out of Govt.pocket" but with taxpayer dollars.

A New Industry was formed...connected with Military/Computers/Silicon Valley,Wall Street.

Yes...I would wish there there would be or could have been a better way to do this...And, re-examining what you say: But perhaps we should think about smaller, more achievable way to reduce, or inhibit the amount and range of all of this surveillance. Concentrate on one thing at a time is my only advice.

It's gotten so HUGE the MIC that this latest revelation might just be the catalyst to think that rather than "BIGGER IS BETTER"...that "TARGETED AND LEAN but EFFICIENT" might be something NEW to try? BUT...that will not be possible for a very long time and without much sustained push back from the Public.. WE NEED TO DO IT...Though.

And Much Thanks for your replies leading to this discussion.





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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Fri Jun 7, 2013, 02:01 PM

4. True dat. People are going to do the possible...

and then make the impossible possible. That is our nature. The technology is there for spying, and it would take the forces of the heavens to stop everyone from using it for some reason or other.

Laws and rules are not there to so much to make us do what we don't want to, but to stop us from doing what we want.

If your job is to cure cancer, you will do whatever you can and there are rules to enforce ethical behavior inb things like testing. When you run into those rules, your first instinct may be to cry foul and protest the lives the will be lost.

If your job is to stop crime, you will run into more rules enforcing ethics, but you will feel you are being forced to condone crime.

That's just the way we are, and if Hannah Arendt had done nothing but give us the phrase "banality of evil" she should still be idolized for that alone.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 06:19 PM

11. +1

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 18, 2013, 07:46 AM

12. + 1

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