4 U.S. Government Plots
Designed to Strip Away Your Rights
It’s not inherently new, especially in the 21st Century, for central government forces and their private-sector cronies to be hell bent on stealing the rights guaranteed under our Constitution…
…what IS new is how the feds, states, and local governments are melding into a unified apparatus to get the job done.
We want to spell out four Big Government schemes which were all born under the guise of providing security in America. The problem is that they’re so over-reaching and grant so much power, with little to no oversight, they may grease the rails toward tyranny.
In order for these schemes to work, they need either a working partnership between the feds and state or local government or for state or local governments to bless the feds’ actions by looking the other way. Neither is in the best interests of free American citizens, of course.
FBI Facial Recognition:
A Foothold to American Biometric Branding
Since 2011, the FBI has teamed up with Michigan, Hawaii, Maryland, and other states to field test its new $1 billion Next Generation Identification (NGI) facial recognition system. The states upload mug shots and photos to the system, and when it’s rolled out nationwide this year, New Scientist believes it could match a single face out of “1.6 million mug shots/passport photos with 92% accuracy, in 1.2 seconds.”
Facial recognition is just one small piece of the system’s purpose. According to the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), the NGI is the FBI’s clearinghouse for all biometric data including: “fingerprints, iris scans, palm prints, facial recognition, and extensive biographical data collected from over 100 million Americans.” The database will cross-reference, tag, search, and combine all the data into individual files for each American. Effectively, this would be the country’s first nationwide biometric database, the Real ID Act on steroids (the federal law that imposed standardize state-issued drivers’ licenses).
Open Records requests by the EFF found government may also want powers to “permit photo submissions independent of arrests.” In other words, even if you’re not suspected of a crime, are a law-abiding citizen, and mind your own business, photos from your Facebook account, the DMV, your passport, etc. could wind up in this database.
What’s worse, this system has the ability to behave like an automatic license-plate reader, but on your face. FBI wants to allow the system to automatically sweep a crowd in public, or an online collection of faces like on Facebook, and positively identify individuals.
Designed to Track and Kill Enemies Overseas,
Now Flying over America
In January 2012, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized 106 federal, state, and local government entities to fly aerial drones inside U.S. borders.
In quick lockstep, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell said he wanted drones to patrol Virginia, because they’re used “on the battlefield.” The Huffington Post quotes McDonnell saying, “if drones keep police officers safe and save money, using them was ‘absolutely the right thing to do.'” No mention by the governor of your privacy rights or constitutional protection against unreasonable searches.
We should always be suspicious when free-spending politicians claim money savings as a reason to do something! For instance, warrantless searches by government “aircraft overhead to make sure we are not doing anything it disapproves of,” says Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). “Already the Environmental Protection Agency uses drone surveillance to spy on farmers and ranchers to see if they are in compliance with regulations.”
The FAA committed $4 million dollars to speed up the certification process to allow even more drones in American airspace. But safety and money savings are not the main drivers; crony-capitalism and the surveillance industrial complex are pushing for it.
“This is one of the few areas where the government is still spending money and investing,” said First Street Research analyst Alex Bronstein-Moffly in the Huffington Post. “Lobbyists are pushing on legislation, regulations, and appropriations… ‘This is the trifecta of lobbying.'”
The Shakedown Authority
On the U.S. government travel website, ustravel.gov, you are asked to “Lend Your Voice on Travel Screening.” In essence, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing public tolerance of new freedom-destroying inspections. They ask you to tell them:
What’s currently working in the air travel security screening process?
What’s not working?
How can the current screening process be improved?
What are your personal experiences with the air travel security screening process?
One question that’s missing: “Should we shut down the TSA and replace it with professional, private, and competitively priced security firms that won’t trample the Constitution, are accountable to the public, and can be fired or punished when they do a poor job or mistreat travelers?”
TSA apologists say the agency is doing its job, and we should just grin and bear it. But allowing warrantless search and seizure by government goons is a terrible habit to form. Behind the bright royal blue shirts is a real and creeping threat of tyranny.
The Texas legislature, after listening to its constituents complain about TSA manhandling, took steps to protect its citizens by drawing up a law to bar TSA from conducting invasive searches.
The Texas Tribune reported, “House Bill 1937, which was passed by the House earlier this month, would make it a misdemeanor offense for a federal security agent to ‘intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly [touch the private areas] of the other person, including touching through clothing, or touching the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person.'”
The bill passed the state House unanimously. But before the state senate voted for passage, the TSA threatened Texas. They said the law passed, the TSA would shut down all airports in the state in response. Texas backed down and withdrew the popular bill! (So, apparently it IS possible to “mess with Texas” after all.)
As a sign of Big Government growth, the TSA now routinely wanders outside of airports. They have shown up at Greyhound stations, Amtrak stations, city subways and buses, ferries, and highways. They also pop up in areas that have nothing to do with transportation, like the Democratic and Republican Conventions, both of which already had extensive Secret Service and local police protection.
NSA’s All-Seeing Eye,
All-Knowing Data Center
NSA’s $2 billion Utah Data Center is up and running. Its mission? Eavesdrop on the world’s communication as it travels through the air or through cables.
This eavesdropping includes “complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails–parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter,‘” says Wired Magazine.
According to their report, one of its most critical features is breaking encrypted security codes so it can spy on “financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications…”
The big problem is the NSA has turned its sights on the U.S. and innocent law-abiding citizens.