An excerpt from Follow the Money Weekly Radio with Jerry Robinson – 10/23/10
To hear the entire program, click here.
A story was published this week out of London in the Telegraph that was entitled: “Every Email and Website to be stored.” The report details the plans of the British government to record and store every email, every phone call, and every website visit of every British citizen who uses a telephone or the internet. The new regulation, which is set to be unveiled later this year, will require every communications provider to store all details for a minimum of one year. Of course, all of this is coming under the heading of homeland security. The authorities claim that this is only being done to help them fight crime and terrorism. But what it really is a continuance of the surveillance state. Good law-abiding British citizens will have their personal privacy invaded in the in the name of “the global war on terror.” Empowered with these new regulations, security and police authorities will be able to track every phone call, every email, every text message and every website visit made by the public.
Mind you, this new regulation is coming from the bankrupt government of Great
Britain who also publicly announced this week that it would be firing over 500,000 workers in the public sector. So how are they going to pay for their big brother snooping operations? Well, let there be no doubt about where Britain’s priorities lie. Apparently, Britain’s recent moves towards austerity do not include cutting spending on their attempts to snoop on the masses.
But if you live in the United States, don’t look at this news out of Britain as unusual. The U.S. has moved privacy invasion to new heights.
I don’t know about you, but I am growing weary of government’s constant intrusions in the privacy of law-abiding citizens. But I am not kidding myself, and you shouldn’t kid yourself either. Real privacy no longer exists in the United States. Did you know that you are willingly providing information to the world with every website you visit and with every product you buy. Your mailing address, your phone number, your resumé are available, literally to the entire world. The Internal Revenue Service knows everything about what you earn and any major transactions you make. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) keeps a database of over 90 million fingerprints, which can be accessed by other law enforcement agencies. It also has an extensive database of DNA. And now thanks to 9/11 and the new homeland security division, the FBI now tracks a large portion of mail, cell phone traffic and Internet activity of people it deems suspicious.
The Credit Rating Agencies know your entire history of all credit use, including payment of bills, mortgages, and credit cards.
Cell phone providers can tell who you call, when you call, how often you call certain people and what you say in your text messages. With GPS, they also now know where you are whenever you have your phone.
Social Media companies, like Facebook, knows who all of your friends are, and what you like. Facebook also tracks which profiles you view, who you communicate with most often, companies and causes you support, your personal calendar, and a great deal of personal information about your friends and family. And if you ever try to delete anything off of your Facebook profile, don’t worry because their servers have access to all of the data that you delete.
Credit card companies know your buying patterns. They know what you buy and when you buy.
Search engines, like Yahoo and Google, track your habits and interests. They also keep track of which links you click on during your search and which advertisers you visit.
Large corporations have begun placing RFID chips into their products which allow them to track sales, control inventory, and know what areas of a particular town are most apt to buy their products. Gillete razors for example use RFID chips in their razors and at any one time can access where their razors are anywhere in the country, whether they are lying on a shelf in a retail store, or stored in your bathroom closet.
Recently, some school districts in Houston, Texas began requiring their students to wear an identification badge that contains these same RFID chips. Why? To allow campus administrators to keep tabs on students’ whereabouts on campus. But critics fear the potential unintended consequences. Such as hackers who could figure a way to track students after they leave school.
Banks know your salary, your income, and your current account balance.
Been to an airport lately? The invasion of privacy of law-abiding citizens that occurs there is off the charts.
Back in August, Forbes magazine reported that the Homeland Security Department has purchased 500 mobile X-ray vans called ZBVs that can scan cars, trucks and homes without the drivers or residents in a building even knowing that they’re being zapped. These vans, made by a Massachusetts company called American Science & Engineering, are fitted out with what are called Z Backscatter X-ray devices, which aim a powrful X-ray beam that reportedly has the capability of penetrating 14 inches of steel. A driver can be X-rayed with no protection and never know what hit him. We can expect these mobile X-ray vans to be proliferating around the country soon. It was even recently reported that the US military has been operating backscanner X-ray machines on the streets of New York, where it has been aiming the devices even at pedestrians.
Add to this, the fact that American cities are installing video cameras all over the place, allegedly to fight crime and catch drivers who speed or run red lights.
Video surveillance can track you just about anywhere you go.
A few years ago, I walked into the gym where I worked out and was told that they had adopted a new fingerprinting identification system. After much complaining, they allowed me to not have to use the new system.
And, when my driver’s license was nearing expiration recently, I was informed by my local tag agency that a fingerprint was required to renew my driver’s license. I voiced my concerns and was allowed a one-time exemption but was told that it would mandatory at the next renewal.
Friends, whatever is left of our personal privacy is quickly fading. And the noose of Global governance is quickly tightening around the neck of what is left of the free world.
I do not trust the government to protect my privacy. As someone once said, “Relying on the government to protect your privacy would be like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.”
We would all do well to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin when he said: “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.”
This is an excerpt from Follow the Money Weekly Radio with Jerry Robinson – 10/23/10
To hear the entire program, click here.
About Jerry Robinson
Jerry Robinson is an economist, published author, columnist, international conference speaker, and the editor of the financial website, FTMDaily.com. In addition, Robinson hosts a weekly radio program entitled Follow the Money Weekly, an hour long radio show dedicated to deciphering the week’s economic news.