Olice-pay Ate-stay: What to do if you feel you live in one?

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Malor and DSGamer especially have banged this drum in the forums recently. I wanted to take their viewpoint as the basis for a hypothetical:

[size=16]Your nation is [size=12][becoming|not quite yet|a new kind of][/size] a police state. What do you do?[/size]

I've been wondering the same thing and I have no idea. Even with the OWS movement going on I still feel extremely helpless, to be perfectly honest.

(I have a meeting now, but tagged for future posting.)

No.

I think what is happening, and what will continue to happen in future generations is that you will continue to connect to the world (and vice versa) in more and more ways. Facebook, xbox gamer tags, etc you have many forms of identification and lots of data points that people are freely exposing including current location and who you're hanging out with. This openness has more potential to enrich our lives and interactions than anything else going on in technology.

Sure it could be abused by the police state, but if you have open connectivity, I'm not sure how the evil state is going to pull it off without everyone knowing.

My family is pretty lucky in that regard; my wife is American and I'm a Canadian citizen. For us, we can always just pick whichever country is less evil.

That said, 5 years ago we were discussing an eventual move to California. Lately the future destination has been British Columbia...

bandit0013 wrote:

Sure it could be abused by the police state, but if you have open connectivity, I'm not sure how the evil state is going to pull it off without everyone knowing.

Admittedly, I'm not sure how difficult it is for a government agency to obtain permission to do this in general, but the data center company I work at has had at least one such agency come to us and tell us we need to let them sniff all of a client's traffic. Saying no wasn't an option, and our client was never informed of this. I believe one of our client's client's was supposedly a target, but it is impossible to know what information that agency actually took.

I'm not sure how the evil state is going to pull it off without everyone knowing.

As has been shown quite clearly of late, if you demonize someone sufficiently, the majority won't care what you do to them.

bandit0013 wrote:

No.

I think what is happening, and what will continue to happen in future generations is that you will continue to connect to the world (and vice versa) in more and more ways. Facebook, xbox gamer tags, etc you have many forms of identification and lots of data points that people are freely exposing including current location and who you're hanging out with. This openness has more potential to enrich our lives and interactions than anything else going on in technology.

Sure it could be abused by the police state, but if you have open connectivity, I'm not sure how the evil state is going to pull it off without everyone knowing.

Could be abused? It is being abused right now and has for years.

The government still won't admit to doing warrantless wiretapping even though we have clear evidence that the NSA is making copies of every single bit and byte going through all the telecom's routers. Let me give you a little summary.

Sources:

https://www.eff.org/press/archives/2...
https://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/24/p...
https://www.eff.org/nsa/hepting
https://www.eff.org/cases/jewel
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/N...
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/F...
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/n...
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2...

EFF's Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence Violations from 2001 - 2008[/url]]Number of Violations Committed by the FBI

  • From 2001 to 2008, the FBI reported to the IOB approximately 800 violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations, although this number likely significantly under-represents the number of violations that actually occurred.
  • From 2001 to 2008, the FBI investigated, at minimum, 7000 potential violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.
  • Based on the proportion of violations reported to the IOB and the FBI’s own statements regarding the number of NSL violations that occurred, the actual number of violations that may have occurred from 2001 to 2008 could approach 40,000 possible violations of law, Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence investigations.1

Substantial Delays in the Intelligence Oversight Process

  • From 2001 to 2008, both FBI and IOB oversight of intelligence activities was delayed and likely ineffectual; on average, 2.5 years elapsed between a violation’s occurrence and its eventual reporting to the IOB.

Type and Frequency of FBI Intelligence Violations
[list]
[*]From 2001 to 2008, of the nearly 800 violations reported to the IOB:

  • over one-third involved FBI violation of rules governing internal oversight of intelligence investigations.
  • nearly one-third involved FBI abuse, misuse, or careless use of the Bureau’s National Security Letter authority.
  • almost one-fifth involved an FBI violation of the Constitution, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or other laws governing criminal investigations or intelligence gathering activities.

[*]From 2001 to 2008, in nearly half of all NSL violations, third-parties to whom NSLs were issued — phone companies, internet service providers, financial institutions, and credit agencies —contributed in some way to the FBI’s unauthorized receipt of personal information.
[*]From 2001 to 2008, the FBI engaged in a number of flagrant legal violations, including:

[list]
[*]submitting false or inaccurate declarations to courts.
[*]using improper evidence to obtain federal grand jury subpoenas.
[*]accessing password protected documents without a warrant.

Let's not forget the case of them asking for every single IP that visits a political site using a fake subpoena.

Do you know how many companies alert their users that they are turning over information to the police about them? As far as I can tell, none. Only one company even informs the public about this and that's Google. http://www.google.com/transparencyre...

User data requests increased by 70% from the last reporting period. Figures revealed for the first time show that the US demanded private information about more than 11,000 Google users between January and June this year, almost equal to the number of requests made by 25 other developed countries, combined. Governments around the world requested private data about 25,440 people in the first half of this year, with 11,057 of those requests in the US. During that period, Google complied with 93% of those user data requests that came from US Government Agencies.

@Edwin

My opinion is predicated on a truly open personal information system which we don't have today, so yes, there is abuse.

Everyone imagine for a moment a world where ALL of your data was freely available. How would that change your attitudes towards "privacy"? Would it be a net gain for safety from government abuse or a loss? I think this is a topic which is on the horizon for western culture with the advent of social media/sharing.

Would child pornography on the internet for example be a problem if it was just known and accepted that every site you browsed was free knowledge to anyone who looked?

@Bandit,

Whilst i can apperciate the thought experiment there I just cannot see the "free information society" ever existing. Mainly because:

Knowledge is power; power brings control and wealth. Power over other people is craved by many humans and it is used as a weapon. At the moment the internet has broken some (note only a small amount of that power) but the powers-that-be are quickly moving to reduce the effect of the internet through various means (including the IP laws which are broad enough in practice to shut down anything that is not sanctioned).

We will never have a free information society unless society itself and human nature radically changes.

Duoae wrote:

We will never have a free information society unless society itself and human nature radically changes.

So you don't think the rise of social media is moving us in that direction? I see a lot less concern about privacy in the generations younger than me.

gregrampage wrote:

I've been wondering the same thing and I have no idea. Even with the OWS movement going on I still feel extremely helpless, to be perfectly honest.

I know for my part I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed. This is my acknowledgment that while it would be extremely stupid for me to leave my job to agitate for change, I'm lucky enough to be employed and have the means to vote with my dollars that I'd like to prevent things getting worse if possible. Aside from turning away from the news and enjoying hobbies, families, friends, that's the only thing I think I can do without feeling completely helpless.

Otherwise I travel extensively and I look at how other countries function and I look seriously at the possibility of leaving the US at some point. Granted if they didn't like what I had to say over Twitter or Facebook or GamersWithJobs.com they could intercept my posts and send a drone attack for me, but I'm not on their radar screen, so I think I could safely move to another non-muslim country and escape the police state. We're not so far gone that you can't just leave. It's just not easy to go stay somewhere else.

I think that's the most insidious thing about the US police state. It's layered on top of one of the most prosperous nations in the history of the planet. So the corporate masters of politicians know that there's a certain level of control to be gained simply by keeping the economy running well enough to provide cable TV and Internet. Then people will be more likely to ignore the overreach of the executive branch. That's what's honestly made the greed and dickishness (for lack of a better term) on the part of the 1% so incredible. Don't they realize that part of how they control people is by giving them just a big enough piece of the pie that people will think they could make it into the 1% and if they can't at least they can afford toys? That this is crumbling right now is probably the most surprising thing about the country at this moment. The system of control is complete and yet they're trying to squeeze a little more out of the American worker.

bandit0013 wrote:
Duoae wrote:

We will never have a free information society unless society itself and human nature radically changes.

So you don't think the rise of social media is moving us in that direction? I see a lot less concern about privacy in the generations younger than me.

I think the trend of younger generations usually falls to the trend of older generations as those generations mature. The ever-present "things were better in my day"/"get off my lawn" and "your music is garbage" memes exist for a reason. At the moment, the freedom and openess of the younger generations is no different to what it's always been - there's always been a lot less concern about privacy by the young, just that the tools exist to make it more transparent to everyone else*.... and so older generations are trying to tie it off and control it as is their wont to do.

I think we will get more open as a society/species but that there will be a concerted push back against that for the next 10-20 years by the old-guard. Even then i doubt we'll have as open a society as you are suggesting here.

*I mean, come on, Romeo and Juliet is the stereotypical "young people will buck all trends and not think about stuff the same way older people do".

DSGamer wrote:

I know for my part I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed.

How does one donate to OWS, when it's just an amalgam of individuals with different agendas?

Ranger Rick wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I know for my part I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed.

How does one donate to OWS, when it's just an amalgam of individuals with different agendas?

They have a website and the NYC chapter is taking donations to pay for food, materials, etc. These are currently being used for food, water, sleeping bags, etc.

OK, so far we have:

bandit0013 wrote:

No.

Denial, and

DSGamer wrote:

I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed. ... and I look seriously at the possibility of leaving the US at some point.

Voting with one's dollars and/or feet.

All valid reactions to a hypothetical police state.

In this hypothetical info-corporatocratic police state of Mericabba, would anyone fight the machine? It's a nation in which such a thing is seldom done, especially compared to the frequency with which it wrecks other nations' machines.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

OK, so far we have:

bandit0013 wrote:

No.

Denial, and

DSGamer wrote:

I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed. ... and I look seriously at the possibility of leaving the US at some point.

Voting with one's dollars and/or feet.

All valid reactions to a hypothetical police state.

In this hypothetical info-corporatocratic police state of Mericabba, would anyone fight the machine? It's a nation in which such a thing is seldom done, especially compared to the frequency with which it wrecks other nations' machines.

Not sure I should answer that, honestly. Such is the nature of a police state.

DSGamer wrote:
H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

In this hypothetical info-corporatocratic police state of Mericabba, would anyone fight the machine?

Not sure I should answer that, honestly. Such is the nature of a police state.

Good point.

I know, I know for damn sure I would never have the courage or conviction to set my own damn self on fire:

In recent months several Tibetan monks and nuns have set themselves on fire to protest China's rule in Tibet. The attempted suicides have drawn an angry response from Beijing officials who claim the protests are linked to acts of terrorism and sponsored by the Dalai Lama.

10 so far.

You can't use force or violence to fight a police state. That just scares the sheep into putting more money and power into the police state.

Transparency and fair and free elections is how you defeat the police state.

bandit0013 wrote:

Transparency and fair and free elections is how you defeat the police state.

I couldn't agree more.

Transparency and fair and free elections is how you defeat the police state.

Which is why the American government is so resolutely opposed to both, while claiming to be in support.

Malor wrote:
Transparency and fair and free elections is how you defeat the police state.

Which is why the American government is so resolutely opposed to both, while claiming to be in support.

Don't worry, Obama is saving all that transparency he promised us for that second term. sh*t will get real transparent then.

Yonder wrote:
Malor wrote:
Transparency and fair and free elections is how you defeat the police state.

Which is why the American government is so resolutely opposed to both, while claiming to be in support.

Don't worry, Obama is saving all that transparency he promised us for that second term. sh*t will get real transparent then.

Heh, for all the partisanship in this country, there is hardly a hair's breadth of difference between the two parties.

Yonder wrote:
Malor wrote:
Transparency and fair and free elections is how you defeat the police state.

Which is why the American government is so resolutely opposed to both, while claiming to be in support.

Don't worry, Obama is saving all that transparency he promised us for that second term. sh*t will get real transparent then.

Isn't that the same as invisible?

Yonder wrote:

Don't worry, Obama is saving all that transparency he promised us for that second term. sh*t will get real transparent then.

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/obama_frog.jpg)

How does one donate to OWS, when it's just an amalgam of individuals with different agendas?

The NY chapter has a bureaucracy set up to organize, provide supplies and planning, and do all the other things a non-profit would do. It's actually very strict on accounting. In an interview on NPR Friday, one of the organizers (who is in charge of finances) described a long process to get approval for even routine spending. In order to buy plastic containers, the request had to be debated by the committee in charge of site logistics, then presented to the financial committee (about a dozen people, if I heard right), which presented it to the leadership committee, which then put it before a general assembly for debate. Same thing to send $20,000 to another chapter.

They NY protest alone has received over $2M in donations. Recently the committees approved issuing debit cards to the various committees that can suggest spending, so certain things can be done without debate. But they all went in with one person's name, so that needs to be redone.

But don't mistake this for a bunch of students holding signs and arguing about where to site tents.

Malor wrote:
Yonder wrote:

Don't worry, Obama is saving all that transparency he promised us for that second term. sh*t will get real transparent then.

IMAGE(http://www.malor.com/gamerswithjobs/obama_frog.jpg)

That I totally get what that cartoon is referencing is a stark reminder of just how old I'm getting.

I know for my part I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed.

ACLU is a great suggestion, as is the EFF. My concern with OWS is that it doesn't distinguish between inequities in wealth which come from natural differentials in ability & execution in a capitalistic society, vs inequities which come from political advantage and favoritism. The former drives prosperity, and the latter is highly corrupting and anti-competitive.

I wish the OWS conversation would focus around transparency / money in politics / regulatory capture. Instead, the "99%" crowd has become the media meme (pushed, perhaps, by those who wish to marginalize the protests), and the public face of OWS.

johnny531 wrote:
I know for my part I've been donating to OWS and have been donating to the ACLU since the day the Patriot Act passed.

ACLU is a great suggestion, as is the EFF. My concern with OWS is that it doesn't distinguish between inequities in wealth which come from natural differentials in ability & execution in a capitalistic society, vs inequities which come from political advantage and favoritism. The former drives prosperity, and the latter is highly corrupting and anti-competitive.

I wish the OWS conversation would focus around transparency / money in politics / regulatory capture. Instead, the "99%" crowd has become the media meme (pushed, perhaps, by those who wish to marginalize the protests), and the public face of OWS.

Are you sure the first bold part is true and not just a result of the 2nd bold part?

This is the first OWS website that comes up when you google "99%".

We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we're working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent.

I'd argue that natural capitalism does not need to limit prosperity to 1%. If the inequity has reached that point - and it has - something is broken. Whatever the fixes are, we need to look at them, not reject them out of hand for ideological reasons.

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