The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is suspicious of you. Yes, you Mr. and Mrs. All-American Apple Pie, are a "potential terrorist" according to the FBI.
It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume … that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him. -- H.L. Mencken
Concerned about privacy? Use an online proxy, or the Tor network? A leaked FBI document suggests that these kinds of people may be considered "suspicious".
From the general atmosphere on ZDNet, it is quite evident that the vast majority of those who read our columns are "concerned about privacy". If you fall within this subjective category, the FBI may be onto you.
While we may not all "attempt to shield the screen from view of others", many would agree that we would prefer others in our near vicinity to not look at the details of a private message sent over Twitter, or glance over at the photos of last week's epic house party on Facebook.
God forbid you should want to bleach your hair. Purchasing "hydrogen peroxide" is also on the list of suspicious behaviours.
wasting spending millions of taxpayer dollars on their "If you see something, say something" snitch campaign, the federal government is now distributing a collection of 25 flyers to various local businesses to promote reporting "suspicious activity."
We are all suspects now … and snitches too.
When everyday folks such as hotdog vendors and parking lot attendants are being trained as domestic spies, how long will it be before we all turn each other in, and find ourselves locked away in the same cell block?
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted and you create a nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system. -- Ayn Rand
"Every breath you take, every move you make, every step you take … every single day, every word you say, every game you play" … they'll be watching you.
[The Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program] is described as a "tool to engage members of the local community in the fight against terrorism." The program interprets "local community" to mean businesses, and only registered businesses may access the program's flyers listing "potential indicators" of terrorist activity.
The government's flyer designates people as suspicious if they "always pay cash" at an internet café. That's a jaw-dropping assumption considering that we're talking about businesses that sell $2 cups of joe … Good luck paying with a credit card for a purchase under $10.
Evidence that one has a "residential based internet provider" (such as Comcast or AOL) is another pretext for government snooping. If your home internet connection is unreliable, if you are on travel, or if you simply relish a good cup of coffee with your internet browsing, you run the risk of acquiring an FBI file. Trying to shield personal information on your computer screen from the prying eyes of others will mark you as a potential terrorist, also.
It is officially creepy to use a café hotspot to download "photos, maps or diagrams" of a stadium, metro rail stop, or any "populated locations." To be safe, confine your travel plans to the Alaskan tundra. And, should there be another terrorist attack, do not demonstrate any "preoccupation with press coverage" of the attack. Just move along–nothing to see here.
If you engage in these or any other "suspicious" activities listed on CAT flyers, businesses are encouraged to "gather information" about you, including "license plates, vehicle description, names used, languages spoken, ethnicity, etc."
Government calls buying 'night flashlights,' making 'extreme religious statements' indicators of terrorism
[T]he FBI and other agencies are asking managers of surplus stores to spy on their customers, watching whether they pay in cash, make "extreme" religious statements or purchase products such as waterproof matches.
One of the apparent elements of the White House strategy is a series of brochures being handed out to farm supply stories, gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and motels. The brochures ask proprietors, clerks and others to watch out for "potential indicators" of terrorism, including "paying with cash," having a "missing hand/fingers," making "extreme religious statements coupled with comments that are violent or appear to condone violence" and making bulk purchases of "Meals Ready to Eat" or "night flashlights."
Buying a weatherproofed match container or a few MRE’s for your next camping trip? Then the FBI wants to know about you and is asking store owners to report those activities to back them …
It is obvious that this "Communities Against Terrorism" flyer isn't about stopping al Qaeda from carrying out an attack with "night flashlights" (night flashlights?) but about preppers and survivalist. That's you and I - most likely for eventual confiscation of their supplies.
Why else would they want to know who buys MRE's, flashlights, weatherproof match containers etc., and doing other perfectly legal activities?
I mean being a prepper or survivalist has nothing to do with any political movement … We are about preparing for disaster and taking care of ourselves and our families now and after such an event.
They do not like any form of independent thinking.
No, they do not like any form of independent thinking.
C'mon, dontcha know? Conformity is the new independence!
To save you some time, I've linked to a few choice retailing categories where paying in cash is "suspicious":
You'll also notice in every list all of the picayune "activities" or "appearances" that might make one a "terrorist" suspect. Orwell and Huxley warned us over 60 years ago that this was coming. Well, it's here.
Whether they actually think they're accomplishing something, or (more likely) trying to justify the very existence of these corrupt and useless bureaucracies and their over-bloated budgets, the American Cheka seems intent on stoking fear, distrust and paranoia among "We the People."
America is heading dangerously in the wrong direction.
Under the guise of "law and order," the Nazis suspended regular jurisprudence and substituted arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. Far from carrying out their activities in secret, the Nazis publicized them as steps to the social, political, and racial regeneration of Germany. Many ordinary Germans actively participated in this process, denouncing neighbors as "asocial" elements for associating with Jews or for "suspicious" activities. Denunciations derived from a variety of motivations personal grudges, economic self-interest, or ideological commitment with the full knowledge of what would happen to the victims. By effectively overturning the belief that Hitler and the Nazi party imposed their ideology upon the German people and maintained control through massed police terror, Gellately's book forces us to consider the role of the ordinary citizen in the maintenance of the Nazi dictatorship.
In his review of Backing Hitler: Consent and Coercion in Nazi Germany, Norman J. W. Goda of Ohio University says:
Its chilling conclusion is that rather than cowering before the Nazi police state, ordinary Germans supported and used it, thereby backing a criminal regime.
Gestapo methods and concentration camps were well known in German society; the media widely covered them. But the crucial analysis here posits that average Germans accepted them because, in the prewar years, the regime packaged it for domestic consumption. Rather than eliminating enemies, the police preserved order against "asocial elements," placing them in "protective custody." The regime described imprisonment in camps like Dachau as a temporary measure, which included the "therapy" of work. Journalists could even tour camps up to a certain point. Atrocity stories, meanwhile, were dismissed as foreign propaganda. Those inclined to accept what they read could embrace a "normal state ostensibly committed [to] little more than law and order."
Some of the most thoughtful work here concerns denunciations to the Gestapo … Far from fearing a mysterious police system, thousands of denouncers found ways to make a well-understood police system work for them, ideology notwithstanding. Such self-interested denunciations were a constant irritant to the state, but they were still investigated, and they never stopped. After all, the Gestapo initiated but a minuscule percentage of its investigations for many crimes. Most began with informants, who approached a Gestapo that was more reactive than proactive.
History is repeating itself again.
Why is the Pentagon actively war gaming "large scale economic breakdown" and "civil unrest"? Why has our own backyard been declared a "battlefield"?
Has war finally brought dictatorship home?
Markets are beginning to shudder at the thought of lending the U.S. federal government more money. Major purchasers of U.S. Treasuries (see Bill Gross for example) are already closing off the spigot. Central banks around the globe are diversifying into gold. And the United Nations (UN) is warning of a possible U.S. dollar collapse.
Meanwhile, the global elite, hoping to brush the banking fiasco they caused under the rug, and fretting over the fact that the U.S. debt crisis could explode at any moment, are busily agitating for a new "global currency."
The U.S. federal government isn't going to defy history. It's not going to magically find a way to suspend the laws of supply and demand. It's going to do exactly what almost every other failing regime has done throughout history: counterfeit whatever amount of money it needs to pay its current obligations, crackdown on domestic citizens, lie, and go to war.