Critical Citizens

Surveillance: The Monitoring of the American Citizen

The implications of the vast and growning monitoring capabilities of government and business

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"Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen."
-- Zbigniew Brzezinshi, in Between Two Ages: Americas Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970, pps. 72, 83"

"[The CISPA bill would] waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity.  Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on."
-- Rep. Jared Polis (D-Col.) and one-time Web entrepreneur (April 27, 2012)

"[Ignore] all the things they're saying about the bill that are not true.  Stand for America!  Support this bill!"
-- Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of CISPA (April 27, 2012)





[Work in progress:  Brief summary.]

Officially, none of the facilities, technologies and personnel being put in place are being used to monitor U.S. citizens.  An American general recently testified that using the equipment in this way is simply not possible.  But given that the modern network equipment is designed to be fully configurable, what are we to make of this statement?

Tell your family and close friends.  Nothing should be allowed to be done in secret.

Current issues of concern:

  • Ability to shutdown wireless networks
  • Domestic spying by government and private entities
  • Hording of digital information gathered on U.S. citizens
  • Continual push for increased surveillance capabilities
  • Criminalization of browsing forbidden web sites
  • Governments compelling business to store network traffic
  • Development of tools to automate monitoring of social networks

Questions to Ask

  1. Once a government can know everything about any of it's citizens and their behavior, what sort of perspective will the analysis of that information give more powerful individuals?
  2. What sort of new efficiencies could be developed from having catalogued and profiled citizen behavior?

 Citizens' Groups Trying To Help

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [link]
Center for Democracy and Technology [link]
Electronic Frontier Foundation [link]
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [link]
Privacycast [link]

Please consider a donation to one of these groups.

Congressman Trying To Help

Ron Wyden (D, Oregon) [wikipedia] [news article]
Mark Udall (D, Colorado) [wikipedia] [news article]

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