by Jerry Robinson, FTMDaily.com Editor-in-Chief
For as long as I can remember, I have been an advocate of privacy. So much so that it has cost me at times.
Like the time I walked into my local gym to work-out and they demanded I scan my fingerprint instead of flashing my membership card. After a heated exchange, they threatened to call the police on me. A fingerprint scan just to work out at the gym? Come on!
Then, there was the time I went into the DMV to get my driver’s license renewed. They too wanted my fingerprint. I argued with the person behind the counter until I was blue in the face, but all it got me was a four year extension. They let me slide but said at the time of the next renewal, there would be no similar grace.
What’s happening to our country? Why are average Americans being treated like herds of cattle, and often like common criminals without probable cause?
America’s slide into a full-blown police state has been slow, but steady. And now, in the wake of the NSA revelations brought to the world’s attention by Edward Snowden, we now know that even the most conspiratorial minds among us are perhaps just beginning to scratch the surface.
Like most researchers, I use google alerts to track certain keywords for our work here at FTMDaily.com. Over the last several months, I have seen a staggering escalation of inexplicable and intrusive behavior followed by the public’s growing intolerance of the American police state.
These news stories include absurd headlines like these:
And for those of you who dare to complain about the government dumping toxic waste materials into your local water supply, watch out… You might be a “terrorist” as seen in this news story.
Of course, this is just a brief sampling of the many jaw-dropping news stories that should give us all cause for pause. I could go on and on about drones flying over U.S. cities, warrantless wiretapping, illegal police checkpoints, etc…
And now, the noose is tightening
As if the growing police state weren’t enough, now there is news that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to “protect consumers,” has now morphed into an enormous financial spy agency.
In the above video, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) blasts the overreach of the CFPB:
“This bill (creating the CFPB) was supposed to be about regulating Wall Street. Instead, it’s creating a Google Earth on every financial transaction. That’s right: the government will be able to see every detail of your finances. Your permission – not needed… They can look right down to the tiny details of the time and place where you pulled cash out of an ATM… You can’t tell ’em to stay out of your records. It’s not possible. If your data is being collected, you do not have the option to opt out. Nor, does the CFPB need any kind of permission from you to gather your personal information.”
And while the Feds are busy devising a way of tracking your every financial transaction, local and state police departments are actively tracking your vehicle with a vast public location tracking system.
According to an AP report:
“Chances are, your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong. Using automated scanners, law enforcement agencies across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movement of every vehicle with a license plate, according to a study published Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union. Affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, the scanners capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.”
In their outrage, many Americans have launched massive lawsuits against the Obama administration for allowing such atrocities (I guess its too late to sue the Bush administration where many of these snooping technologies originated.) Others have responded by fleeing the country.
In my opinion, there has never been a better time to slow the progress of the U.S. police state. But it will require 1) an informed citizenry that is 2) capable of articulating its rejection of the legal and constitutional violations being perpetrated by this out of control government.
The internet has unleashed knowledge on a global scale unlike anything before in history. The internet can be, and is being, used as a tool to dismantle the propaganda spewing from the corporate-owned media outlets. The internet is capable of creating the informed citizenry that is required to topple Big brother government and its police state.
Of course, the government knows the power of the internet and this certainly explains why they have been relentless in their efforts to regulate it.
As for now, the masses still remain largely clueless as evidenced in this video below.