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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:13 AM
Original message
The People's Surveillance State
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 10:21 AM by WilliamPitt


Police pepper spray students at a UC Davis demonstration on Friday, November 18. (Screengrab: OperationLeakS - Click here for video)

The People's Surveillance State
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Tuesday 22 November 2011

All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.

- George Orwell


In the aftermath of September 11, there was a big push to create a national surveillance system in the name of national security. Cameras were installed at traffic lights, ostensibly to catch people running red lights and stop signs, but those cameras came with a nifty side benefit: they recorded everyone within reach of the lens in their comings and goings. Cameras were installed at street corners, ostensibly to provide security against crime, but again, you were recorded wherever you went. Bank machines all come with security cameras, and those added to the ever-broadening web of national surveillance. Finally, almost every cell phone now comes with software that, so long as the thing is turned on, can track your every step by triangulating your position via GPS and the cell towers your phone signal bounces off of.

Those with a fealty to the quaint ideals of American civil liberties had, to no great surprise, a big problem with putting this system in place. Combine the concern over having millions of innocent people on camera with the fact that the Bush administration decided to spy on pretty much everyone by way of the NSA because no one had the guts to stop them, and what you had - and have to this day - is a pretty damned paranoid situation where everyone is being watched by The Man. Today, it is almost impossible to be anywhere in America without something tracking you. After this technology had been in place for a few years, it even became fodder for cop shows; half the episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" after 2008 involve catching criminals using this web of eyes and ears. As you can imagine, the bad guys almost never got away.

The basic idea behind setting up this incredibly invasive system, if you listen to its advocates, is that security is paramount in the aftermath of 9/11. There were plenty of people, after the Towers came down, who were very happy to surrender their liberties in the name of security, despite Benjamin Franklin's warning about deserving neither and losing both. Nowadays, the existence of such a system is established fact, leading to yet another bout of cognitive dissonance: those in favor of such a system a few years ago, because it meant the state was looking out for their safety, are now in all likelihood the same people railing against the state with guns on their hips at Tea Party rallies...but that's a brain cramp to be dealt with another day.

The advent of the Occupy movement, the length of time that movement has been able to hang fire, and the vast number of cities in which it is taking place, has led to an astonishingly violent reaction from the very state we are supposedly trusting to watch over our every move. There have been a dozen incidents of gruesome official violence against peaceful, non-violent protesters, including the near-murder of an Iraq war veteran by police in Oakland...violence the likes of which has not been seen in America since the dogs and firehoses days of Birmingham, Alabama.

Last Friday, students at UC Davis in California were subjected to an attack by police that beggars likeness. Here's the thing, though: this time, it's all on film.

If you haven't seen it yet, what you're looking at is a dozen or so protesters seated with their heads down, arms linked, in peaceful non-violent resistance. An armored UC Davis police officer calmly pulls out a can of pepper spray the size of a fire extinguisher, shakes it up, and hoses these seated students down from one side to the other and then back again. Several of the students subjected to this attack required hospitalization, and there is an unconfirmed report that one of the protesters had a UC Davis cop shove the nozzle of his pepper spray canister into her mouth and then pulled the trigger.

It is all on film.

It is all on film.

It is all on film.

The chancellor of UC Davis is under intense pressure to resign her post. The officers involved in this unprovoked attack have been suspended, and an official investigation is underway.

None of which would be true if the incident was not all on film. The video of the attack on YouTube, at the time of this writing, has almost 1,400,000 views, and similar attacks by police have been captured on film from one side of the country to the other.

Memo to the police and the surveillance state you represent: you are not working in the dark anymore. You may have your own system of surveillance, but We The People are watching you just as closely, and we have our own system of surveillance. It's called exposing your vicious, anti-American and thoroughly unnecessary strong-arm tactics for all to see. It is really very easy, takes no time, and we will make you famous in all the wrong ways before you take your shoes off at bedtime. The name, telephone number and email address of the cop who attacked those UC Davis protesters is now common knowledge on the internet, and while I will not publish it here, that cop should know down to his cowardly little bones that he is right out there under the bright lights, thanks to the People's Surveillance State.

You may be watching us, but by God and sonny Jesus, we are watching you.

http://www.truth-out.org/peoples-surveillance-state/132...
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just read this on Truthout. First to recommend!
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R !!! n/t
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. " you are not working in the dark anymore" Perfect.
thanks for the post.... :toast:
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Crop Circle Donating Member (37 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. GREAT essay by William Pitt n/t
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. State surveillance is the single most important matter on the table.
This is the matter of total loss of control of the state by the people.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Once again
Welcome back.

:hug: :hug:

:toast:

And well done, sir. That could not have been any fun at all.

:hug:
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks!
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 10:42 AM by ThomWV
It hurt like hell last week and has left me a more or less worn out sack of shit since we got back home over the weekend. But its healing up. I have to go back up there next week to have the staples (which my grandson calls 'the zipper") taken out and also have a drain they left in removed. This morning I walked about a quarter mile. My wife has fits but I have a use or lose mentality and believe that within reason the harder I push it the faster I get it back.

But shit, it ain't about me.

What you had to say up there is so important. When I was in the Army I worked for a strange little part that no longer exists. It was the NSA's side of their intelligence apparatus. It was called the Army Security Agency everywhere but in Viet Nam, where it was called "Radio Research". I did it for four years. At the end of that I was no long an innocent in understanding how thoroughly Government can understand the individual.

I have never thought there was any more important subject than this one right here. The economy, joblessness, even hunger among the poor and middle class don't even hold a candle to this.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. "This morning I walked about a quarter mile"
:toast: and :toast:

And thanks.
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Hey good to see you
But on point, it is now called the Defense Intelligence Agency.
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lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
8. GET THE FUCK OUT HEFFALUMP!
RESIGN NOW!
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:53 AM
Response to Original message
10. year ago (!) David Brin wrote an essay on the implications of surveillance tech...
I wish I could find it, but the gist was pretty short:

1) Technological progress is miniaturizing surveillance hardware, and increasing the power of surveillance software.
2) We cannot stop this trend.
3) We cannot stop governments, corporations, etc, from using these technologies.
4) We *CAN*, however, make use of them ourselves, with the hope of maintaining a balance of power.

Frankly, I've always been a little pessimistic about (4) but the populist pushback on using mobile phone video, twitter, blogs, etc, to expose corruption and brutality makes me think maybe it really isn't hopeless.
:patriot:
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. suggestions
First off try to stay off camera. Second, if you carry a cell phone ask yourself why? Does everyone on earth really have to be able to contact you at any time or could you leave it turned off more than its on?

You have to start at the beginning. Do not aid your enemy.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. The technology is here and constantly getting better..
The only reason Lt Porky McPepperspray made such a huge splash is that it was on video. (not film, film is an antiquated term that's inaccurate).

The video got uploaded to Youtube, Facebook, wherethehellever dot com and then it was impossible to put a lid on it.

You cannot unscramble the egg, you can't uninvent the cell phone but you can use it as a weapon of the 99%, the weapon of information.

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blondie58 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 02:20 AM
Response to Reply #28
44. porky mcpepperspray!! lol
Thanks for the chuckle
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
12. K&R
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
13. Recommend. K&R nt
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
14. Rodney King and VHS, to a degree
though far different in the manner of distribution. K&R for the thread.

We are watching...
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
15. Shameless kick
This is important, imho.

Up you go.
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daleanime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Nothing shameless about it....
you are completely correct, this is a very important subject. O8)
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Yes, our "public servants" need to know that what they do is going to be on film at 6:00. nt
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. They know--which is why they keep rying to criminalize it. nt
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 08:46 PM by tblue37
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. .
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
19. K&R, watch the watchers....

and with a little help from Anonymous, dox and expose those who are truly offensive.

Wow, I just googled "dox Pike" and right at the very top of the list is a post on Democratic Underground. One that has been removed.
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:48 PM
Response to Original message
20. Panopticon.
The Panopticon is a type of building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. The design comprises a circular structure with an "inspection house" at its centre, from which the managers or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, poorhouses, and madhouses, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison, and it is his prison which is most widely understood by the term.

Bentham himself described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example."<1>


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. k&r
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
22. .
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MANative Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
24. My hubby spent twelve years as a cop...
at a major university in the Boston area, and he was utterly appalled at what happened at UC. He said that they only ever had small tear gas canisters, which were locked up and stored away. Their protocol was that they would only be deployed with the direct approval of the Chief of Police, and under true riot conditions, where the Staties would be called in as back-up. Said he couldn't imagine a scenario where that would have happened, even with all the craziness that went on during Sox/Pats championship "celebrations," etc.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Which school?
PM me the answer, I will certainly keep it to myself.
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MANative Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. PM'd you... n/t
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blkmusclmachine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
26. Blackwater.
You didn't expect TPTB to NOT use all those new fangled laws they wrote for themselves after 9/11, did you??
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
27. the notion that we have any privacy left is (sadly) ridiculous -
game over.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
30. I'm astounded that the powers that be don't seem to have any grasp
of the internet.
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Raster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
32. Bravo, Mr. Pitt! Bravo!
:applause:
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:07 PM
Response to Original message
33. REC. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. nt
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 10:09 PM by bertman
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:37 AM
Response to Original message
34. One last
:kick:
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
35. knr
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Aerows Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
36. I can't help it - this incident as an American incenses me
What on EARTH has our country come to?

And I'm censoring myself. If I said what I thought, I be cursing so loudly, you'd alert me and I'd have to delete my own post.

x(

x(

x(
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liberalmuse.com Donating Member (48 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 02:06 AM
Response to Original message
37. Be careful. The State is learning.
The police are learning. They are removing press and confining them to a press pen, then driving huge vans in front of the pen to block their view. (See details of recent raid of Zuccotti Park). They use their bodies to form a human wall around the fallen victims to block any recording of the beatings. They target people with cameras, making those who wish to record their violence to feel threatened. They operate at night. They shut down the power, killing livestream feeds. Prior to one raid, two mass media feeds blacked out with synchronicity, leaving one to believe that someone very powerful did not want the actions of the police to be televised. Occupiers need to organize their recording as a matter of priority. Emergency feeds need to be set up on the perimeter to be turned on in an emergency. Freedom must stay one step ahead of fascism. Our freedom fighters must start learning, too.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:15 AM
Response to Original message
38. Excellent essay. - K&R
- Some might say it's ''reciprocity'' -- or karma......

    The US Government - in the name of Terrorism - has aggressively para-militarized the nation's domestic police forces by lavishing them with countless military-style weapons and other war-like technologies, training them in war-zone military tactics, and generally imposing a war mentality on them. Arming domestic police forces with para-military weaponry will ensure their systematic use even in the absence of a Terrorist attack on US soil ... It's a very small step to go from supporting the abuse of defenseless detainees (including one's fellow citizens) to supporting the pepper-spraying and tasering of non-violent political protesters. - Glenn Greenwald

Why did that step turn out to be so small? Because of the countless decisions we made in years past to undermine our own attitudes toward the rule of law and individual rights. Every time we looked the other way when the president asked for the right to detain people without trials, to engage in warrantless searches, to eavesdrop on private citizens without even a judge knowing about it, we made it harder to answer the question: What is it we're actually defending?

In another time, maybe, we might have been able to argue that we were using force to defend the principles of modern Western civilization, that we were "spreading democracy." Instead, we completely shat upon every principle we ever stood for, stooping to torture and assassination and extrajudicial detention. ~Matt Taibbi

MORE

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kimsarah Donating Member (290 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:17 AM
Response to Original message
39. They started it
and like it or not, the surveillance state goes both ways.
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Norrin Radd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
40. kr
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 06:51 AM
Response to Original message
41. Kicked and recommended!
"All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force."

- George Orwell


"The illusion of freedom 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
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
42. All of my friends (the smart ones) just got the link to this in their email. WELL DONE! nt
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-23-11 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
43. Recommend. Great work, Will! It does come back to bite them, doesn't it?
:nuke:
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dothemath Donating Member (221 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
45. surveilling the cops
The "light of day" has come to the abuses by cops. No longer can they deny their actions, but say they will investigate themselves anyway and prove their innocence.

I think it would be even more enlightening to be able to take a modern digital camera with sound pickup and video capability and an optical zoom lens of 100X, plus an f1.0 lens, stationed far away so as not to attract the attention of the cops - but if it does, you have a better chance of saving your equipment or at least taking the memory card out and secreting it away somewhere - and get your own facial recognition characteristics and body language, etc. The more detailed and better quality recording of the crimes committed by the cops could prove decisive if needed to bring them under some semblance of control.

Plus, they are already doing it - and they have other tools to aid in creating a database of anyone who shows up at a protest, participant of bystander. Think facial recognition. And don't think refusing to show identification will keep them from finding out all there is to know about you.

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