A 1980 court ruling declared that dead people have no privacy rights.
-- Congress Probes Death Data Privacy By LEIGH STROPE; Associated Press/Yahoo!; November 8, 2001
"It's been proven, the net can topple political systems. The change isn't coming, it's here. And it allies all the governments of the world. If the people are allowed to organize, things change. It's the haves versus the have-nots. The historical human battle."
"If we can communicate with security we can be even more powerful. That's why the politicians want to control our access to privacy. The government wants to operate a virtual server that captures our email whenever they want to. They keep an archive, just in case they ever want to take you to court."
-- 1/1/00 ["http://davenet.scripting.com/stories/storyReader$544"] by Dave Winer; 6/12/1998; davenet.scripting.com
"It's even worse than it appears."
-- Dave Winer's one-time motto for his web site, borrowed from a Grateful Dead song.
-- 7-2-06 Google cache of What is Scripting News?; What is Scripting News? accessible 10-24-06
"Who owns your body? Hint: It's not you."
-- Their Bodies, Our Selves by Kerry Howley; December 5, 2006; reason.com
-- You Own Nothing by Michael Robertson; April 28th, 2005
-- Someone (Other Than You) May Own Your Genes - New York Times By DENISE CARUSO
Published: January 28, 2007
"...Protection of property rights, so critical to a market economy, requires a critical mass of owners to sustain political support."
-- Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve for almost 20 years
-- Greenspan Book Laments Course of Bush and G.O.P. By EDMUND L. ANDREWS and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: September 14, 2007; nytimes.com
"We are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil"
-- Sun scientist Bill Joy, WIRED April 2000
-- Mankind Pursues Forbidden Fruit, Via Computer JAY BOOKMAN; COMPUTER NEWS DAILY - NYT SYNDICATE/Cox News Service, found on or about 4-11-2000 ["http://188.8.131.52/contWriter/cnd7/2000/04/11/cndin/3444-0004-pat_nytimes.html"]
American citizens in the early 21st century are for all practical purposes naked and defenseless in terms of their personal privacy and identity (and therefore all other rights-- as described below).
This fact of life leaves Americans effectively begging to be abused and victimized by business, government, and criminals across-the-board. And makes terrorists perhaps the least of the real threats to our well-being, by comparison.
-- Big Brother is watching you 24/7 The roots of America's surveillance culture are deep - and ominous By Brian Gilmore; September 18, 2003; csmonitor.com
-- Tinker, Tailor, Miner, Spy
Why the NSA's snooping is unprecedented in scale and scope By Shane Harris and Tim Naftali; Jan. 3, 2006; slate.com
-- NSA book author: NSA 'probably' has your ISP, cell records | IP Telephony, VoIP, Broadband | ZDNet.com Posted by Russell Shaw; May 15, 2006; blogs.zdnet.com
-- You've Got Someone Reading Your E-Mail - New York Times By ALEX MINDLIN; June 12, 2006
-- Police blotter: Patriot Act e-mail spying approved
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: February 9, 2006
-- The Ultimate Net Monitoring Tool by Robert Poe; May, 17, 2006; wired.com
-- Gonzales pressures ISPs on data retention | Tech News on ZDNet By Declan McCullagh; May 26, 2006
"The administration has been relentless in its efforts to expand its surveillance, both openly and secretly, of law-abiding citizens."
-- Double-Cross; PETER LEWIS ON TECH; FORTUNE; April 18, 2003
-- Bush may have crossed the line by tracking every US phone call - World - Times Online by Tim Reid; May 12, 2006; timesonline.co.uk
-- Government Increasingly Turning to Data Mining By Arshad Mohammed and Sara Kehaulani Goo; June 15, 2006; Page D03; washingtonpost.com
-- National Security Agency Whistleblower Warns Domestic Spying Program Is Sign the U.S. is Decaying Into a “Police State”; January 3rd, 2006
"The U.S.A. Patriot Act, the largest expansion of government search and surveillance powers in U.S. history..."
-- 2 Years Later | Civil Liberties Patriot Gains (& Losses); September 11, 2003; motherjones.com
-- US Patriot Act looks like tentacles of totalitarianism by Barbara Sumner Burstyn; accessible online 12-5-04; nzherald.co.nz
-- The Other Big Brother - The Pentagon has its own domestic spying program. Even its leaders say the outfit may have gone too far By Michael Isikoff
Newsweek; Jan. 30, 2006 issue
"After 9/11 Mr. Bush gave himself the power to declare anyone, including American citizens, an "enemy combatant" and then jail such people indefinitely without charges or due process."
-- A Very Bad Deal; October 8, 2004; nytimes.com
"The privacy war is over--you lost"
-- The privacy blitz is coming By Brock Meeks, MSNBC, April 6, 2001; ["http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/comment/0,5859,2705181,00.html"]
-- At year's end, signs of dictatorship abound in Washington By Wayne Madsen; December 30, 2003; onlinejournal.com
-- A Kind of Fascism Is Replacing Our Democracy by Sheldon S. Wolin; commondreams.org; citing July 18, 2003 Long Island NY Newsday at http://www.newsday.com
While citizens of countries like Germany, France, etc., enjoy robust privacy protections, there are very few laws on the books protecting Americans from surveillance/tracking/identity theft at any level, from the President doing it, to their next door neighbor instead.
And what few laws do exist in the USA are being routinely ignored and un-enforced (or even abolished entirely!), especially when the spying is being done by government or big business.
"In Europe, the question has been settled: citizens have strong legal rights," said Joel R. Reidenberg, a Fordham University law professor who is an expert on international data privacy rules. "In the United States, we basically have a mess..."
-- Europe Zips Lips; U.S. Sells ZIPs - New York Times By ERIC DASH; August 7, 2005
"The federal government is seeking to block states from protecting citizens' privacy rights, decreasing protections that could prevent would-be criminals from getting valuable information..."
-- Group: Washington to Limit Financial Privacy Rights By Peter Brownfeld; August 28, 2003; FOXNews.com
"Since 9-11, protection of privacy, whether medical, personal or financial, has vanished."
-- "Neo-conned"; Congressman Ron Paul (Republican) addresses the U.S. House of Representatives, July 10, 2003
-- Cell-Phone Tracking: Laws Needed By Ryan Singel; May, 08, 2006
-- The Snooping Goes Beyond Phone Calls How the government sidesteps the Privacy Act by purchasing commercial data By Lorraine Woellert and Dawn Kopecki; MAY 29, 2006; Businessweek
-- Medical Privacy Law Nets No Fines Lax Enforcement Puts Patients' Files At Risk, Critics Say By Rob Stein; June 5, 2006; A01; washingtonpost.com
-- AT&T rewrites rules: Your data isn't yours by David Lazarus; June 21, 2006; sfgate.com
-- Yahoo! News - AP: Congress Let Privacy Protections Die By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN;
Mar 14, 2004
-- U.S. On Verge Of 'Electronic Martial Law' - Researcher By Kevin Featherly, Newsbytes; http://www.newsbytes.com; 15 Oct 2001
-- Gov't Break a Law? Change It
; Associated Press; Jun, 25, 2006; wired.com
"The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping..."
"People expect their information to be private unless the government meets certain legal standards...Right now the Department of Justice is pushing the wrong way on all this."
-- FBI plans new Net-tapping push By Declan McCullagh; CNET News.com; July 7, 2006
"The Bush junta...has moved on to justifying and engaging in warrantless physical searches..."
-- Letter of the Law; March 19, 2006 (citing The Letter of the Law
The White House says spying on terror suspects without court approval is ok. What about physical searches? By Chitra Ragavan; 3/27/06; usnews.com
-- Top court allows evidence in illegal home entry By James Vicini; Jun 15, 2006; Reuters; news.yahoo.com
-- Justices Affirm Property Seizures
5-4 Ruling Backs Forced Sales for Private Development By Charles Lane
Washington Post; June 24, 2005; Page A01
"the government now has the license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more"
-- dissenting Supreme Court Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor
"Emboldened by the ruling, local governments have threatened or condemned 5,783 properties for private projects in the past year..."
"...most involved taking lower-income homes, apartments and mobile home parks...driving the working poor from their homes."
"...the truth is that under the court's ruling almost no one's property is safe..."
-- One year later, power to seize property ripe for abuse; Jul 10, 2006; USA TODAY
Most Americans don't even realize what's happening to them-- partly because of unprecendented levels of government secrecy and outright censorship of the media by new laws which forbid even discussing or mentioning the very worst transgressions of this kind.
So anything you do see on this subject in the media (or here) is only the tip of the iceberg, so-to-speak-- BY LAW.
And yes. This is the United States of America I'm writing about. The place which claims its citizens possess freedom of speech. Not communist China or the defunct Soviet Union. America.
"The following is a list of some 500 software tools, databases, data mining and processing efforts contracted for, under development or in use at the NSA and other intelligence agencies today..."
-- EXCERPT FROM Telephone Records are just the Tip of NSA's Iceberg By William M. Arkin | May 12, 2006; blog.washingtonpost.com
-- What we don't know Just how pervasive is the Bush administration's spying program? Hard to tell — the documents are secret. And that's just the beginning. By A.C. Thompson, Steven T. Jones, and G.W. Schulz; Mar. 8, 2006 - Mar. 14, 2006• Vol. 40, No. 23
"Clearly the Bush Administration is the most secretive administration in decades or longer"
-- Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy, Federation of American Scientists
-- Escalating secrecy wars by Bill Berkowitz; WorkingForChange; 07.09.03
-- Another blow to openness Companies can use new Homeland Security Act to shield their misdeeds By Thomas W. Newton; The Orange County Register; December 1, 2002; original URL was "http://www2.ocregister.com/ocrweb/ocr/article.do?id=13889§ion=COMMENTARY&year=2002&month=12&day=1" (now broken); a copy appeared to be accessible online on or about 8-6-06 at HelpMeSaveTheWorld : Message: Another blow to openness
-- Are We Protecting Secrets or Removing Safeguards? (washingtonpost.com) By Gary S. Guzy; November 24, 2002; Page B01
"Is the Bush administration using terrorism fears to shield government -- and business -- from public view?"
-- Official Secrets by Daniel Franklin
January/February 2003 Issue; www.motherjones.com
-- Cheney's Winning Formula -- Secrecy Plus Fear Equals A Pliant Public by Jill Rachel Jacobs; tompaine.com; May 21 2002
-- There's a lot Cheney feels we don't need to know by Gene Collier; May 22, 2002; post-gazette
-- They've Got a Secret -- Lots, Actually By Dana Milbank; Washington Post; May 21, 2002; Page A15
-- AP Review: Gov't Reducing Access to Info By MARTHA MENDOZA; Mar 13, 2005
-- CNN chief claims US media 'censored' war By Julie Tomlin; 15 August 2002; pressgazette.co.uk
-- Another blow to openness
Companies can use new Homeland Security Act to shield their misdeeds By THOMAS W. Newton; found online sometime before 12-10-02; ocregister.com
-- Are We Protecting Secrets or Removing Safeguards? (washingtonpost.com) By Gary S. Guzy; November 24, 2002; Page B01
-- US Takes Censorship Lessons from China: SF Indymedia by Micah Cavaleri; December 18, 2002
-- Silence About Secrecy (washingtonpost.com) By Mary McGrory; September 12, 2002; Page A23
-- US condemned for secret arrests By Jane Standley; 15 August, 2002; news.bbc.co.uk
-- 'Homeland Secrecy'; July 30, 2002; sfgate.com
-- The secrecy administration; June 14, 2002; rockymountainnews.com
-- Security bill bars blowing whistle -- The Washington Times by Audrey Hudson; 6/22/2002
"The bill would make it a crime to tell the American people that the
president is breaking the law..."
-- Criminalizing exposure of government wrongdoing by Glenn Greenwald, March 12, 2006
-- Ex-official warned against testifying on NSA programs - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
January 12, 2006
"The United States has tied with Myanmar, the former Burma, for sixth place among countries that are holding the most journalists behind bars..."
"...this was the first year in which the United States had been on the list for cases in which journalists had been held without specific charges being filed against them."
-- U.S. Ranks Sixth Among Countries Jailing Journalists, Report Says By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE; December 14, 2005
"Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime."
-- Perspective: Create an e-annoyance, go to jail By Declan McCullagh; January 9, 2006
-- The U.S. propaganda machine is back
-- Shhhh -- Bills Drafted in Secret BY REBECCA WALSH; THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE; December 22, 2002
"Under no circumstances should an American be held captive in the US indefinitely, with no charges filed and no legal representation afforded. Yet this has happened under the Patriot Act."
-- Upholding liberty in America by Edward Crane and William Niskanen; June 24 2003; news.ft.com
"The government is claiming a virtually unlimited power to deprive people of their liberty and hold them incommunicado based only on the president’s say-so"
-- Wendy Patten, U.S. advocacy director at Human Rights Watch
-- U.S. Again Uses Enemy Combatant Label to Deny Basic Rights; June 23, 2003, and Enemy of the State; June 26, 2003; motherjones.com
"The Bush administration decides who gets due process"
-- Know Thy Enemy Combatant by Jacob Sullum; June 27, 2003; Reason Online
"So, all of us, not just aliens in America, can become the disappeared"
-- Ashcroft in Conference by Nat Hentoff; The Village Voice; June 27th, 2003
-- What Is The Constitution's Role In Wartime? Why Free Speech And Other Rights Are Not As Safe As You Might Think By SANFORD LEVINSON; FindLaw, Oct. 17, 2001
-- Seizing Dictatorial Power by William Safire; www.commondreams.org; December 13, 2001 [November 15, 2001 in the New York Times)
Of course, the very biggest bites taken from the private lives of Americans today are coming from their ATM use and other banking transactions, credit card use, phone calls, internet use, job, school, medical examinations, travel, and shopping.
-- Psst, Your Car is Watching You An electronic snoop may be recording your driving. Is it a boon to safety or an invasion of privacy? By MARGOT ROOSEVELT; Aug. 6, 2006; time.com
"Get ready for Microsoft, cable and phone companies, and quite a few other people to know a lot more about what you do on your computer..."
Watchers by Ben Fenwick; okgazette.com; April 05, 2006
"The ability to track every single web page that is visited is needless to say powerful information."
-- The SPI laboratory : IE7 - Phishing vs. Privacy by LabsMan; 19 December 06; portal.spidynamics.com
-- AT&T Forwarding All Internet Traffic to NSA? Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Fri Apr 07, '06; yro.slashdot.org
"If you used a commercial tax preparer, your data could be at a lot of
places other than the IRS - a bank, a mortgage company or some other
business that wants to sell you something."
-- For sale: Your 1040; April 4, 2006; USA TODAY; news.yahoo.com
-- IRS Leaves Taxpayer Data Largely Unprotected Posted by CmdrTaco; Apr 07, '06; it.slashdot.org
All Americans' telephones-- both wired and wireless-- can be remotely switched on to act as secret microphones to listen in to their conversations at any time. As well as track their movements. It may even be cell phones can be remotely detonated in an effort to burn you alive.
-- Judge lets Feds track cell phones | CNET News.com By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: December 23, 2005
-- Using cell phones to track employees | Tech News on ZDNet; Reuters; February 5, 2006
-- Ad Measurement Is Going High Tech By DON CLARK
April 6, 2006; Page B4; online.wsj.com
Your cell phone's location can be tracked, and it can be used to eavesdrop on your conversations even when turned off-- all without your knowledge;
"Your phone most likely has a lithium-ion battery — the same kind that was catching fire in all those laptops. A special circuit keeps them from overheating and, potentially, exploding.
I wonder if that circuit can be disabled with a remote command. "
-- Your cellphone is more powerful than you probably know by Andrew Kantor; 12/29/2006; usatoday.com
-- Report: Cell phone explodes in trousers By Ben Charny; October 8, 2003; news.com.com
-- Cell phones: Too hot to handle? By Ben Charny; October 25, 2004; news.com.com
-- 10-Year-Old Boy Burned After Cell Phone Explodes; April 30, 2005; local6.com
-- Cell phone explodes in man's pocket
by Wolfgang Gruener; January 16, 2007; tgdaily.com
But for the moment those Americans staying hidden inside their homes largely escape video surveillance.
A fix is in the works for that.
-- STEALTH RADAR SYSTEM SEES THROUGH TREES, WALLS -- UNDETECTED by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.email@example.com; Contact: Eric K. Walton, (614) 292-5051; Walton.firstname.lastname@example.org; 6/26/06; researchnews.osu.edu
I believe George Orwell's book 1984 described a television-like device which not only displayed video to users, but at the same time recorded them as they watched, sending the video feed back to Big Brother. I.e., a device which functioned as both video display and surveillance camera simultaneously.
A lifetime after Orwell's novel, Apple Computer made a splash with a superbowl commercial proclaiming itself to be the anti-1984 technology company.
Now, in 2006, Apple has made a complete about-face, announcing the invention of the very combination video-surveillance device so prominent in the book 1984.
-- Apple's all-seeing screen; April 26, 2006; newscientist.com
-- Soaring achievement in spying
UC Berkeley team creating 'microfly' to infiltrate enemies by Chuck Squatriglia; June 24, 2002; sfgate.com
-- The proliferation of surveillance equipment means someone could be watching you almost anywhere By Fred Bruning; October 28, 2002
-- Technologies of Universal Surveillance & Control accessible online on or about 6-30-06
This near complete theft of Americans' privacy circa 2006 makes for huge extra profits for businesses large and small (as well as legal and not), as the companies rob citizens of the most intimate details of their life stories, and then sell copies to virtually anyone on demand. Big companies and political parties use such spy files to scientifically analyze Americans' every desire or tendency in order to better manipulate them into toeing the line desired, and/or buy what the corporations or politicians are selling. The data is also used to find new ways of shifting ever more money, services, or benefits of various kinds away from citizens to the thieves and their cohorts so that the victims either won't notice until it's too late, or will never be able to figure out what happened (or who the perpetrator was) afterwards. The scoundrels also of course use the information to shift every possible risk off their own shoulders and onto individual citizens. You know: stuff like the risks and costs associated with pensions, health care, utilities, disasters, and more.
"Last year, America's after-tax profits rose to their highest as a proportion of GDP for 75 years..."
-- Corporate profits
Breaking records; Feb 10th 2005; economist.com
"The program allows ground-level party activists to track voters by personal hobbies, professional interests, geography — even by their favorite brands of toothpaste and soda and which gym they belong to."
-- The GOP knows you don't like anchovies Unpopular Republicans still own the art of politicking. By Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger; June 25, 2006; latimes.com
"...mass surveillance of the entire population is logically plausible if NSA's domestic spying is not looking for terrorists, but looking for something else, something that is not so rare as terrorists."
"Mass surveillance by NSA of all Americans' phone calls and emails would be very effective for domestic political intelligence.
But finding a few terrorists by mass surveillance of the phone calls and email messages of 300 million Americans is mathematically impossible, and NSA certainly knows that."
-- The Politics of Paranoia and Intimidation by Floyd Rudmin; May 26, 2006; lewrockwell.com
"...a Wall Street Journal analysis of corporate filings reveals that
executive benefits are playing a large and hidden role in the declining
health of America's pensions."
-- Pension pinch? Not for CEOs Obligations soar as top executives' plans are beefed up
-- The War They Wanted, The Lies They Needed The Bush administration invaded Iraq claiming Saddam Hussein had tried to buy yellowcake uranium in Niger. As much of Washington knew, and the world soon learned, the charge was false. Worse, it appears to have been the cornerstone of a highly successful "black propaganda" campaign with links to the White House By CRAIG UNGER; accessible online on or about 6-27-06; vanityfair.com
"The decision not to charge Karl Rove shows there often are no consequences
for misleading the public."
-- Analysis: Telling FBI the truth saved Rove
By PETE YOST, Associated Press; Jun 13, 2006
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
-- Return Of The Death Squads - Iraq's Hidden News By John Pilger; May 06, 2006
"What has moved into the vacuum where law and truth once held sway is naked
power and wealth. Might makes right, and money defines truth. If those with
power say this is the way it will be, that is the way it will be, and the
law does not matter. If those with wealth spend it to blanket the airwaves
and the media with their message of what is happening and what happened,
then that is what is happening and what happened, and the truth does not
matter. And if you dare mourn the death of law or truth, the cynics and spin
doctors will shut you down and shut you up by telling you it's always been
that way, that power has always trumped the law and wealth has always
exerted its influence to obscure and restate the truth."
-- When the Law and the Truth Cease to Matter by Dave Pollard; March 28, 2006
-- Normalizing the Unthinkable John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Charlie Glass, and Seymour Hersh on the failure of the world's press By Sophie McNeill; 06/03/06; informationclearinghouse.info
-- Bush unscathed by investigations. Here's why Special counsels are now a thing of the past, and GOP-controlled Congress has stifled partisan inquiries By Susan Page; USA TODAY; found on or about 9-17-2003
-- Why Bush, GOP can block all inquiries By Susan Page, USA TODAY; 8/12/2003
Of the nine Justices currently serving on the Supreme Court, seven were selected by Republican administrations.
-- Yahoo! News - Politics in the Supreme Court; The Associated Press; 9-8-03
"...the Los Angeles Times - along with the big east coast dailies - should
all be called US OFFICIALS SAY."
-- The Farcical End Of The American Dream by Robert Fisk; March 19, 2006
-- Study Finds More News Media Outlets, Covering Less News By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE; March 13, 2006; nytimes.com
It appears Fox News helped Bush win the 2000 election.
-- The Fox News Effect By Richard Morin; May 4, 2006; Page A02; washingtonpost.com
"Eighty percent of Fox viewers were found to hold at least one misperception, compared to 23 percent of NPR/PBS consumers. All the other media fell in between."
-- We report, you get it wrong By Jim Lobe; Oct 4, 2003; atimes.com
-- Study: 80% of Fox Viewers Misinformed on 9-11 and Saddam (PDF); Misperceptions, the Media, and the Iraq War; Oct 2, 2003; Steven Kull; pipa.org
"The more closely you followed Fox, the more misperceptions you had...No other news outlet came anywhere near that."
-- Clay Ramsay, PIPA research director
-- Study shows TV news viewers have misperceptions about Iraq war by Kay McFadden; seattletimes.nwsource.com
-- Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed
A multimedia report on television newsrooms' use of material provided by PR firms on behalf of paying clients by Diane Farsetta and Daniel Price, Center for Media and Democracy
April 6, 2006
-- Bush 'planted fake news stories on American TV' By Andrew Buncombe; 29 May 2006 ; news.independent.co.uk
-- Media conglomerates manipulate our views By Nick Bayard; browndailyherald.com; February 10, 2003 vol. CXXXVIII, no. 14
"Daily life has become an exercise in counterintelligence just to figure out what's going on...We are...a citizenry treated as if we are the enemy of our own government."
-- I spy with my little eye ... By Richard Thieme; Sep 9, 2003; atimes.com
"Citizens of the old Soviet Union suffered the same information isolation."
-- No wonder America has so many enemies By ERIC MARGOLIS; September 28, 2003; canoe.ca; original URL (now broken) was "http://www.canoe.ca/Columnists/margolis_sep28.html"; as of 7-4-06 a copy could be found online here; various other locations for copies on the internet may be found listed in "No wonder America has so many enemies" - Google Search
Such detailed monitoring of citizens also provides the watchers early warning if a sizeable faction of the duped begin to realize what's happening, allowing the data thieves to take pre-emptive action by either throwing up a whole new and different distraction, or spinning the issue in question in the mass media in such a way as to alleviate any rising concerns. This is how the politicians manage to make most modern American elections largely irrelevant and impotent, and how the powers behind the politicians are greatly strengthening (and shortening) the leash they've kept on the lower classes for generations now.
The 'powers-that-be'-- or 'establishment'-- has never had it so good. For such vast technological surveillance and data analysis powers as available today-- along with the exquisite fine-tuned control of the public they confer-- have never before existed in history.
-- Increasing consumer preferences by manipulating memory; 29-Jun-2006;
Contact: Polly Young
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
It appears commercial advertising can modify the childhood memories of adults-- even going so far as to completely construct events which never happened at all, in the minds of those tested. This raises the question: Is it ethical for advertisers to purposely change the childhood memories (and effectively the perceived past) of consumers, in order to manipulate their buying behavior?
-- Ads can alter memory claim scientists by Claire Cozens; September 4, 2001; MediaGuardian.co.uk; Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001
"The supposition seems to be that the only way you can get a message through to an indifferent populace is to repeat it over and over again."
-- Media are ignoring nation's true concerns By JOEL CONNELLY; February 17, 2003; seattlepi.nwsource.com
One especially strong way to affect human memory and perspectives is to raise anxiety and fear in the subject as you proceed (such as by frequently declaring terror alerts perhaps?).
Long term human memory storage and recall relating to experiences involving fear are unstable, subject to significant alteration every time they are accessed. This actual chemical change in the storage of long term memories every time they are accessed may be what opens the door to modification of such memories by way of suggestion and other means. Entirely false memories could be created via such a mechanism.
-- NYU neuroscientists find long-term memories are surprisingly unstable and impermanent, 16 AUGUST 2000, EurekAlert!, Contact: josh plaut email@example.com 212-998-6797 New York University. A related research report is scheduled to appear as "Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval" in the August 17th issue of Nature.
From experiments it appears relatively easy for false memories to take root in the human mind. The powers of anticipation, suggestion, and passion may all be readily utilized to power the mechanism of false memories implantation.
-- MALLEABLE MEMORIES, From Science Frontiers Digest of Scientific Anomalies #111, MAY-JUN 1997 by William R. Corliss, citing Anonymous; "Psychologists Plant 'Illusions of Memory'," Baltimore Sun, February 16, 1997
Yes, we're talking a form of abject slavery here. As those at the top use what they know about you to make you think and do what they want you to. And so long as they have a direct feed to virtually your every waking moment's word and deed, there's nothing you can do about it.
For they'll usually know what you're going to do before you do.
But if for some reason you did miraculously manage to resist them, they'd usually be able to find something among your personal details you'd rather others didn't know. Such as embaressing personal health problems like incontinence or impotence, past mistakes in judgment, infidelity, once-in-a-lifetime imbecilic deeds which might ruin your reputation, etc., etc., etc. Or they could just steal your identity, handing it over to a crook who'll systematically destroy your credit and get you blacklisted at banks and insurance companies, and maybe even thrown into prison to boot.
But all that's just some things a government agency or business might do to you. Your data in the hands of hundreds of ill-managed government agencies-- or even thousands of variously sized and greedy businesses-- might alternatively be bought or stolen by a terrorist, criminal, or merely someone with a grudge against you. Allowing you to perhaps experience an even worse flavor of hell than that previously described.
-- Employment records prove ripe source for identity theft By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY; 1/23/2003
-- Payroll Giant Gives Scammer Personal Data of Hundreds of Thousands of Investors
Scammer Asked for Data and Got It By DAN ARNALL; July 6, 2006; abcnews.go.com
"For the second time in two weeks,
Social Security numbers and other personal information of Navy personnel have been discovered on an Internet site...more than 100,000 naval and Marine Corps aviators and aircrew was on the Naval Safety Center Web site and on nearly 1,100 computer discs mailed out to naval commands."
"Both active and reserve members were affected by the latest incident, including aviators who may have served within the last 20 years."
-- Navy data again found on public web site By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press; Jul 7, 2006
-- Stolen VA data goes beyond initial reports - Yahoo! News
By HOPE YEN, Associated Press; found on or about 5-31-06
-- Theft of Data Went Further, V.A. Discloses - New York Times By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS; June 4, 2006
-- Size of Military Data Theft Grows to Affect Millions of Troops By THE NEW YORK TIMES; June 7, 2006
-- Personal Data of 26.5M Veterans Stolen - Yahoo! News By HOPE YEN, Associated Press; found on or about 5-22-06
-- Veterans' ID Theft May Be Largest Ever - Yahoo! News By HOPE YEN, Associated Press; found online on or about 5-23-06
-- VA data theft could happen again, GAO says - Yahoo! News By HOPE YEN, Associated Press; found on or about 6-14-06
-- Data on nuclear agency workers hacked: lawmaker - Yahoo! News By Chris Baltimore; Jun 10, 2006
-- More Private Data Is Burgled From Government Than Hacked; 06/20/2006; emailbattles.com
-- Laptop with D.C. workers' data stolen - Yahoo! News; The Associated Press; Jun 18, 2006
-- Visa says ATM breach may have exposed data - Yahoo! News By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Business Writer; Jun 20, 2006
When someone else owns all your facts of life, they can pretty much do whatever they want with you.
Like steal your entire life by stealing your identity. Ruin your credit, your reputation, effectively steal all your property or give it away or tie it up in legal red tape to make it inaccessible to you for years or decades to come...or even worse.
In fact, identity theft has already been inflicted upon millions of Americans-- with many new victims falling prey to the crime each year.
YOU may already be a victim yourself-- but not find out until next year. YIKES!
"The number of consumers who have fallen prey to identity thieves is severely underreported..."
"...most victims don't know that their identity has been stolen until more than a year later, on average.
"It is different from payment fraud, where the thief takes a credit card number and consumers are innocent until proven guilty," Litan said. "With identity theft, it is the opposite: consumers are thought to be guilty until proven innocent."..."
-- Identity theft 'remains hidden'
Robert Lemos, CNET News.com
July 22, 2003
"Identity theft is not only incredibly easy to do, but our government seems to go out of its way to help the thieves. The government is making many Americans more vulnerable, not less. This is crime just waiting to happen on a massive scale, thanks to computer technology."
-- How to Steal $65 Billion Why Identity Theft is a Growth Industry By Robert X. Cringely; SEPTEMBER 11, 2003; pbs.org
-- Identity Theft Strikes 1 in 8 Adults, FTC Says
By Andy Sullivan; Reuters; Sep 04, 2003; yahoo.com
-- Identity Theft Victimizes Millions, Costs Billions
By JENNIFER 8. LEE; nytimes.com; September 4, 2003
-- ID Theft Can Haunt Victims for Years to Come
Many Are Unable to Recover Identity or Finances, Survey Says by Betsy Stark; Aug. 1, 2005; abcnews.go.com
When others possess sufficiently intimate details of your personal life, they can easily frame you for crimes you did not commit. Indeed, the only limit to the horrors they might inflict on you and yours is the thief's own imagination...
So whatever thief wants it already has access to your life and property. And could collect at any time. And we're talking seizing everything from millions of unsuspecting Americans at once.
It's already happening!
"Americans are raising the white flag as never before..."
Of course, there's still the problem of what to do with all those suddenly homeless and penniless folks, afterwards. Especially once the scale of theft advances to the next logical level. So far the thieves have been able to simply change laws or write new ones forcing such folks into prison (the US now has the largest percentage of its citizens in prison than any other nation worldwide-- more than Russia or China even).
"More than 2.1 million people are in jail in the US at any one time; that is about one in 140 Americans...and it is a number that continues to rise."
"...the US public...largely ignorant of the real state of America's prisons."
-- The world's biggest prison system
By Matthew Davis; 7 April 2006; news.bbc.co.uk
"...America is becoming an Orwellian state where people are locked up and no one can find out why -- least of all a compliant Congress."
-- The secret society By Tim Grieve; April 18, 2003; salon.com
-- Ex-U.S. officials warn that U.S. policies threaten repression by LINDA DEUTSCH; July 16, 2002; Associated Press; sfgate.com
-- Rights trampled in U.S., report says By PAUL KNOX; August 15, 2002, Page A12; theglobeandmail.com
"THE UNITED MISTAKES OF AMERICA: A REPORT ON THE WRONGFULLY CONVICTED IN THE U.S."
-- Guilty Until Proven Innocent
By David Silverberg; December 30, 2004; digitaljournal.com
"Warrantless surveillance. Secret arrests. Indefinite detention. Is this totalitarian Cuba? No, it's what the U.S. Justice Department is planning, based on legislation that Justice lawyers have been secretly drafting for months."
-- Patriot Act 11 - the sequel; Mar. 30, 2003; The Miami Herald
-- E-Legal: A Monster Surveillance Society by Eric J. Sinrod; 01-21-2003; law.com
-- New Law Assists Political Intimidation by Daniel Forbes; June 15, 2003; The Nation
-- Americans losing the war on their freedoms by HAROON SIDDIQUI; Jun. 15, 2003; thestar.com
-- The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy; June 5, 2003; corpwatch.org
And the above references don't include the secret detention camps America has apparently set up all over the globe.
"She said thousands of security detainees were being held by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as locations elsewhere which the military refused to disclose."
-- Report Says U.S. Has 'Secret' Detention Centers; Reuters; 06/17/2004 ["http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/news/story.jsp?id=2004061715440002849063&dt=20040617154400&w=RTR&coview"]
America's secret prisons may exist in eight different countries, including Afghanistan, Thailand, and various eastern European nations.
-- CIA runs secret terrorism prisons abroad: report; Reuters; found online on or about 11-2-2005
Or the secret NEW detention camps America is now spending nearly half a billion dollars (that we know of) busily constructing WITHIN ITS OWN BORDERS.
-- Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision Attorney general shows himself as a menace to liberty. By JONATHAN TURLEY; August 14 2002
"Jonathan Turley reports that Justice Department aides to General Ashcroft "have indicated that a 'high-level committee' will recommend which citizens are to be stripped of their constitutional rights and sent to Ashcroft's new camps."
-- General Ashcroft's Detention Camps by Nat Hentoff; September 4 - September 10, 2002; villagevoice.com
"...the federal government had awarded a $385 million contract for the construction of "temporary detention facilities." These would be used, the story said, in the event of an "immigration emergency."
"...for anyone familiar with history U.S. or European the construction of detention camps for whatever purpose should prompt a chilling scenario."
"Considering what took place in Nazi Germany, as well as the shameful incarceration of Japanese-Americans in 1942, no detention camp should be built without the widest possible public scrutiny.
"So far, the government's expressed reason for building them is insufficient and ill-defined. And even if the camps do relate to illegal immigration, their purpose could be changed overnight."
-- Customs `camps' cause for concern By Tom Hennessy; 02/03/2006; presstelegram.com
-- Concentration Camps in Okanagon County?; kxly.com; found online sometime before 2-28-03
-- Why Attorney General Ashcroft's Plan To Create Internment Camps For Supposed Citizen Combatants Is Shocking And Wrong By ANITA RAMASASTRY; Aug. 21, 2002
"It is clear that the Bush administration is thinking seriously about martial law."
-- Homeland Security Contracts for Vast New Detention Camps by Peter Dale Scott,
New America Media, Feb 08, 2006
Lots more 'detention' space would allow for a much greater and faster pace of identity and property theft from American citizens...and simplify the job of politicians, who currently must continuously re-write laws in order that an ever-widening portion of the citizenry may be prosecuted without raising public alarm (and so resistance)...
"If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator"
-- US President-elect George W. Bush, December 2000
-- Bush's Hill tour comes to a close By Mark Sherman/ Cox News Service;12-19-2000
-- BusinessWeek Online: WASHINGTON WATCH A Gentleman's "C" for W By Richard S. Dunham; Edited by Beth Belton; JULY 30, 2001
"...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
-- Hermann Goering, Hitler's chosen successor for ruling Nazi Germany during World War II; quote from the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1946
Maybe the Nazis won World War II after all, and we're only now beginning to realize it.
"America is becoming the Nazi Germany we feared in my childhood."
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, one of America's most important founding fathers, 1,759 AD
-- page 348, Benjamin Franklin, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th edition, by John Barlett, Little, Brown, and Company, 1980
SPECIAL NOTE AND UPDATE: According to Gary Frost, Richard Minsky discovered the original quote looks to have been slightly different from that version most commonly seen (and displayed above). Specifically, the original may have been "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Plus, although Franklin may well have said these words, the scholar Minsky would like to find more hard evidence of authorship before signing off on the notion as fact.
-- Franklin Quoted by Minsky, accessible online on or around 8-12-06. END NOTE.
"...we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disasterous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, US Republican President, 1961
-- page 815, Dwight David Eisenhower, Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th edition, by John Barlett, Little, Brown, and Company, 1980
"James Madison, a founding father and fourth president of the United States, wrote, "When tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
-- Theodore Roosevelt, US Republican president, 1918