The Rutherford Institute
By John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead
“It is just when people are all engaged in snooping on themselves and one another that they become anesthetized to the whole process. As information itself becomes the largest business in the world, data banks know more about individual people than the people do themselves. The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.”—Marshall McLuhan, From Cliche To Archetype
We’re being spied on by a domestic army of government snitches, spies and techno-warriors.
This government of Peeping Toms is watching everything we do, reading everything we write, listening to everything we say, and monitoring everything we spend.
Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it is all being recorded, stored, and catalogued, and will be used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government’s choosing.
This far-reaching surveillance has paved the way for an omnipresent, militarized fourth branch of government—the Surveillance State—that came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum.
Indeed, long before the National Security Agency (NSA) became the agency we loved to hate, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were carrying out their own secret mass surveillance on an unsuspecting populace.…
During this summer of madness in Portland, Oregon, and sadness over COVID-19, two below-the-radar events occurred implicating the insatiable appetite of the United States government to spy on everyone in America. Regular readers of this column know that the feds have been wearing away at our privacy rights using a multitude of means. Yet, these two below-the-fold events this summer have caught the feds flatfooted.
Here is the backstory.
After the calamity of Watergate, Congress investigated the nature and extent of FBI and CIA spying on Americans as ordered by President Richard Nixon. A Senate committee headed by the late Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, in 1975 made such startling revelations of warrantless and unlawful spying on Americans pursuant to presidential whims — going back to FDR — that it offered legislation to provide judicial oversight.
The legislation is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. It established the FISA Court, with a rotating membership of federal district court judges appointed to it by the chief justice.
FISA is profoundly unconstitutional because it authorizes the judges on the FISA Court to issue search warrants using a lesser standard of proof than what the Constitution requires. The Fourth Amendment requires proof of the likelihood of evidence of crimes in the place to be searched as a precondition for the issuance of search warrants, and it requires specification of the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.…
The Mind Unleashed
This is shocking, and represents an ongoing existential threat to American citizens. Most people know by now about the surveillance abuses perpetrated by the NSA earlier this century, but a new book about Edward Snowden suggests that the metadata collection programs introduced to us through previous whistleblowers and disclosures are part of a “live, ever-updating social graph of the US” that is ongoing and far vaster than we previously imagined. The revelations come from journalist Barton Gellman, who described the content of his new book Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State for Wired. The article, entitled “Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network,” catalogs Gellman’s attempts to reveal more details about the programs Snowden first disclosed to the world.