Politicians Eye Draconian Responses to Lunatic Gunman

In an Executive Bulletin last year, I reported that Obama’s Department of Justice backed off its position that it can retrieve and read the email of any U.S. citizen without a court order. I went on to write, “…the ‘step back’ by the federal government was the consequence of bad publicity [created by a coalition of privacy groups], not a true change of heart. Which means almost certainly they will try again…”
And it’s begun – after the terrible shootings in Arizona 10 days ago, the political establishment and its regulatory pit-bulls are angling for someone to blame.
Once again, the scapegoats are the Freedom of Speech, the Second Amendment, and the right to assemble peaceably on the Internet. Never mind the lunacy of the shooter himself. Consider:
Criticism of Society is NOT Free Speech
  • Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina (the No. 3 Democrat in Congress) wants to bring back federal regulation of political speech, a.k.a. the Fairness Doctrine. He’s quoted as saying, “the shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech.”
  • Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA) wants legislation to make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be seen as a threat toward a federal official or lawmaker. “The rhetoric is just ramped up so negatively, so high, that we have got to shut this down,” Brady says.
  • In New York, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) is reportedly promising to introduce legislation that targets the high-capacity ammunition clips used by the shooter.
  • Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik blames talk radio and television for a decline in America which has an impact on people, especially “unbalanced personalities.” (Obama called and personally thanked Dupnik after these rants against political free speech!)
  • Not to mention President Obama’s ongoing push to turn the Internet into a publicly controlled utility, a new regulatory initiative launched during the Christmas holiday (see my Executive Bulletin, “Obama’s Christmas Power Grab: Ho, Ho, No!”). The White House has also floated a new trial balloon – a regulatory scheme to hand the U.S. Commerce Department the authority to create a nationalized cyber-security Internet ID system for all Americans.
Extraordinary Vigilance Needed When Uncle Sam Goes Too Far
Here’s one method you can use to armor your online privacy and security called a personal Virtual Private Network (VPN). It may not be a solution for everyone, but it’s worth knowing about.
Corporations wanting to connect branch offices to a private corporate network using the Internet instead of expensive physical cables first used VPNs. The problem is the Internet is not secure to transmit sensitive business data such as account numbers, personnel documents, patent applications, or internal memos. So the VPN was invented. The VPN creates a secure and encrypted virtual “tunnel” over the Internet, which connects, for example, a branch-office computer system to the main corporate network.
“OpenVPN” based platforms currently are the more secure option because they use SSL security technology. A “PPTP” based platform is not as secure as an OpenVPN platform, but it is the only VPN technology that currently works on mobile devices such as your iPhone, iPad, or smart phones.
What Are Privacy-Armoring VPN Services and How Can They Help You?
The  Digital World and Security
In your case, the VPN service can create an encrypted virtual “tunnel” between your computer and the VPN service provider’s computer servers (i.e. you’re the branch office and the VPN service provider’s computer servers are HQ). The benefit is your data is encrypted, and if you go the step further of accessing the Internet from that platform, your session looks like it comes from the VPN service provider’s computer server rather than your own computer. This setup gives you security and anonymity – both at home and on the road.
Using a specialized VPN service can equip you to access the Internet anonymously and encrypt your digital communication over the Internet.
These basic VPN services start can cost less than $10 a month. A premium service can run around $30 a month. There are also a number of free VPN services, too. Here are some VPN providers to look into:
Paid VPN vendors:
  • Strong VPN http://strongvpn.com/
  • HotSpot VPN http://www.hotspotvpn.com/
  • Witopia http://www.witopia.net/
Free VPN services:
  • ProXpn http://proxpn.com/
  • Gpass http://gpass1.com/
  • CyberGhost VPN http://cyberghostvpn.com/
Final thought: I am not insisting that you rush to a VPN service! Just wanted you to know about this privacy-enhancing option for your own personal use or that of your business.