“It’s all fucked up!” -, the webcam light of Brandon’s computer burns green, signaling that he is being filmed. But Brandon was neither video-chatting with anybody nor was he recording himself – he was actually just in the process of doing his bathroom business. “Fuck it, who needs to watch my cock peeing?” Brandon’s Kapersky anti-virus software pops up and signals that a virus from his brand-new $100-Seagate hard drive is forcing the webcam to record. Brandon is faced with an issue that the majority of people on this planet using a computer is or will be. Since the NSA has found out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, the agency literally has the means to spy on anybody. Brandon, in his case, was lucky that his webcam light was burning, the virus usually works, films and reports in silence without being realized.
It is 2015 – and yet it feels like Nineteen Eighty-Four – within the digital era, technology is omnipresent, surrounding all of us. Carrie Snow joked “Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.” What if it stabs you in the back, but you just start feeling it when it shoots outta’ your belly? Yet, most of us are not feeling we are being stabbed. 15 billion devices connect and report to the internet and if we are looking mysterious for the NSA artificial intelligence algorithms, they place us on a list of potential terrorists. This may hit anybody. Snowden explained: “Even if we’re not doing anything wrong, we are being watched and recorded.”
Tennessee, September ’11 – the ACLU sends a letter “Know Your Rights: Religion in Public Schools” to several public schools, Mike Browning of the Tennessee Fusion Center assesses a potential terrorist threat and puts the communication on the map of “terrorism events and other suspicious activity” for the simple reason: The ACLU cautions schools about religious freedom. As a result of failure in preventing the terror attacks of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security invested $1.4 billion to build a vast network of Fusion Centers around the country, which were originally constructed to prevent terrorist attacks but whose responsibility has gradually morphed to combating criminals and eventually, to fighting any kind of opponents to our government that has been the ACLU 3 years ago but could be any of us tomorrow!
Every telephone call we take, every website we search, every Facebook message we send is recorded by the National Security Agency which allegedly, uses the information to fight terrorism. But what if this information gets into the wrong hands? What if suddenly, our boss watches the Skype video conversation, where in a moment of sexual enthusiasm, we stripped for our boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife? – Or it’d just be NSA Director Rogers’ breakfast show?
“Watch Out: NSA Might Be Peeking In Your Computer“ Caricature about NSA Surveillance of Social Promo
“Partnership for Protection” – InfraGard, a secretive organization with more than 23,0000 members of private industry is silently collaborating with FBI and DHS and supports the NSA in its ambitions to collect any data on Earth and make it accessible to our government. In exchange for secret warnings of terrorist threats, InfraGard members secretly gather information and have allowance to shoot to kill in the event of martial law –
“If we are forced to kill someone to protect our infrastructure, there are no repercussions – this gives me goose bumps. It chills me to the bone.” one business owner of InfraGard tells us.
– “In case something happens, everybody is ready,” says Norm Arendt, the head of the Wisconsin chapter of InfraGard.
Something – but not a murder – happened on October 1, ’13: Illija Trojanow was denied entry to the United States on his mission to speak at the Goethe Institute about “Surveillance and the Naked New World”. He responded that“it is more than ironic if an author who raises his voice against the dangers of surveillance and the secret state, will be denied entry into the ‘land of the brave and the free.” The co-author of his book “Attack on freedom” Juli Zeh declared that “This is a farce. Pure paranoia. People who stand up for civil rights are treated as enemies of the state.”
Enemies of the state are also Phil Zimmermann and Ladar Levison among many others whose businesses providing encrypted e-mail services had to close after heavy US governmental pressure. “If privacy becomes unlawful, then only outlaws maintain privacy.” – found Silent circle founder Phil Zimmermann. Lavabit’s owner Ladar Levison declared that he had preferred to shut down his 10-year-old company, rather than to violate the rights of his e-mail 400,000 users. He recommended against trusting private data to any company with physical ties to the US.
What if we just led an innocent life without any record of wrongdoing – but – because of the people that we talk to, the websites that we visit, the NSA artificial intelligence spying tools randomly assess us to be a terrorist. Suddenly, our neighbor begins to throw sneaking looks on us, a tinted-window car parks in front of our house – we feel the spying all around! Welcome to the United States Police State!
“Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time?” former NSA Director Keith Alexander’s often quoted question reveals what is still to come. Spying on everything, everywhere, always. Edward Snowden commented: “If they want to get you in time, they will.” While a secret court approval is currently still required to collect metadata on American citizens, PRISM permits collecting data of any foreigner without limits. One of the foreigners is – as was disclosed when ‘Truth came to the Merkel effect’ – German Chancellor Angela Merkel whose cellphone had to be recorded to defend the US from terrorists. She went a little angry and commented “You don’t spy on friends!” Snowden was left pinned down in the dirt – no asylum – no nothing from Germany. On the contrary, the spying on Germany and foreign citizens continues and gets closer to “collecting all the signals all the time”.
Senator R. Paul condemns spying as “an outrageous abuse of power and a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.” The Senate, however, failed to advance legislation on bipartisan surveillance reform last November. – It is being spied itself by the CIA as was revealed last July. And most recently, it turned out that the responsible CIA employees will not face disciplinary charges since according to an agency accountability board, they “acted reasonable in investigating a potential security breach.”
NSA note on toilet surveillance cameras in Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Snowden pointed out: “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.” In contrast, Brandon sees the naked new world as the new Nude American Way of Life “If the NSA can see us naked, why not leave clothes off right way?” – Wouldn’t that be a happy ending of the fairytale?