Americans Are The Most Spied On People In World History

More Spying On Citizens than in Stasi East Germany

TechDirt notes:

In a radio interview, Wall Street Journal reporter Julia Angwin (who’s been one of the best at covering the surveillance state in the US) made a simple observation that puts much of this into context: the US surveillance regime has more data on the average American than the Stasi ever did on East Germans.

Indeed, the American government has more information on the average American than Stalin had on Russians, Hitler had on German citizens, or any other government has ever had on its people.

The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email,  text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information,  employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.

Some also claim that the government is also using facial recognition software and surveillance cameras to track where everyone is going.  Moreover, cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011. (And – given that your smartphone routinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way.)    Your iPhone, or other brand of smartphone is spying on virtually everything you do  (ProPublica notes: “That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker“).

As the top spy chief at the U.S. National Security Agency explained this week, the American government is collecting some 100 billion 1,000-character emails per day, and 20 trillion communications of all types per year.

He says that the government has collected all of the communications of congressional leaders, generals and everyone else in the U.S. for the last 10 years.

He further explains that he set up the NSA’s system so that all of the information would automatically be encrypted, so that the government had to obtain a search warrant based upon probably cause before a particular suspect’s communications could be decrypted.  But the NSA now collects all data in an unencrypted form, so that no probable cause is needed to view any citizen’s information.  He says that it is actually cheaper and easier to store the data in an encrypted format: so the government’s current system is being done for political – not practical – purposes.

He says that if anyone gets on the government’s “enemies list”, then the stored information will be used to target them. Specifically, he notes that if the government decides it doesn’t like someone, it analyzes all of the data it has collected on that person and his or her associates over the last 10 years to build a case against him.

As we’ve previously documented, the spying isn’t being done to keep us safe … but to crush dissent and to smear people who uncover unflattering this about the government … and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and here).

And as we point out at every opportunity, this is not some “post-9/11 reality”.  Spying on Americans – and most of the other attacks on liberty – started before 9/11.

Senator Frank Church – who chaired the famous “Church Committee” into the unlawful FBI Cointel program, and who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – said in 1975:

Th[e National Security Agency's]  capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.  [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny ….

We can debate whether or not dictators are running Washington. But one thing is clear: the capacity is already here.

TechDirt points out:

While the Stasi likely wanted more info and would have loved to have been able to tap into a digitally connected world like we have today, that just wasn’t possible.

That’s true.  The tyrants in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Stasi Eastern Europe would have liked to easedrop on every communication and every transaction of every citizen.  But in the world before the internet, smart phones, electronic medical records and digital credit card transactions, much of what happened behind closed doors remained private.

(And modern tin pot dictators don’t have the tens of billions of dollars necessary to set up a sophisticated electronic spying system).

In modern America, a much higher percentage of your communications and transactions are being recorded and stored by the government.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1672891012 Greg Burton

    Isn’t it amazing what a false-flag attack (9/11), a few FBI/DOJ concocted, agent provocateur inspired domestic terrorist attacks, police state laws, passed in the dead of night, without review, can do to a constitutional republic? And all the fools who voted for Bush, now Obama, who are now being spied upon, thought this was all about fighting “al Qaeda” in countries far, far away.

  • escapefromobamastan

    I have to repeat here that zionist, dual citizen Michael Chertoff (who released the dancing Israelis who were high fiving, celebrating and filming the 9/11 attack on the towers as it occurred-which indicates foreknowledge), while head of Dept. of Homeland Security hired zionist EX-EAST GERMAN STASI (head of the General Intelligence Administration, the foreign intelligence division of East Germany’s Ministry for State Security [Stasi]), Marcus Wofe (now dead and burning in hell), and EX-SOVIET COMMUNIST KGB, CHIEF OF THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, Gen. Yevegeny Maksimovich Primakov, to set up the internal security/intelligence for the communist Department of “Homeland” Security. If any citizen of this former supposedly representative republic thinks our Constitution is still in effect had better think again. We are living in a post-constitutional communist/facist (both created by zionism) technocratic police state and they, along with the bankers who fund them, have picked the meat totally off the bones of this country. All based on a false flag attack on 9/11. And both parties are two heads on the one snake with the same goals who have totally abandoned this country and its citizens. We have been hung out to dry.

  • sherlock32555

    The american people don’t care what the goverment does as long as they get taken care of. The people deserve every right taken from them. Like the old saying goes, you don’t know what you have til you lose it and them its to late. You let the goverment put their hands on you when you go to the airport, well I must feel safe or the big bad man will get me. The result was the patroit act. Did anyone read it…hell no! People still sneak things through. The children are the ones I feel sorry for because the greedy and stupid ones now want it all at the cost of their kids and grandkids. Talk about no brain cells to rub together. Signed Tired of being screwed and not get to enjoy it!

    • InnerCynic

      Pathetic it is. When I see all the attention and voices raised in protest over some nonsensical crap that an “entertainer” does, and the “whatever” attitude exhibited over what really matters, well, destruction couldn’t come fast enough.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Skyblayde Skyblayde MedicineMan

      I dont deserve that, I was born into this without consent of my integrity. I do not deserve it, I was just a kid thinking that i was doing the right thing going to work and getting a job and going to college.

      The youth are innocent, they never deserved this.

      • sherlock32555

        We were all born into this mess that the idiots made. Its how we choose to live and hope make a better place for our children. There are some that have control problems and then their are some that have a mind of evil. Myself, I wish people would open their eyes to what is going on around them and not get hoodwinked into believing what these evil people say. I’m a person that reads the research and I watch what they do and say ( how they vote). Actions speak louder than words. It makes me sad to see this once great country go to hell. People think that Nafta is good, but its competing with the labor forces that are paid pennies on the dollar. How can we compete with this and still have the same lives as before? No, all it has done is destroy us. The jobs went down to Mexico and then to China and India and any country that would pay slave wages. This is why China has nets under the factory windows and the windows bordered because their people are jumping out of them. Now ask yourself this, is this how I want to live or leave to my love ones? Did you ever read the research on fluoride and why it has skull and crossbones on the barrels? Why do you need mercury in the vaccines? Why are they taking away the our rights? Why do we have borders wide open when we were attacked on 911? Why are they letting illegals in? I could go on and on. This is why I make statements that I make! None of us deserve this, but we have to play the hand that is dealt us and not stupid enough to bet on it. Some people are just that stupid!

  • SirJames

    Moon’em every chance you get. What can they do with all that info. It’s like standing under Niagara Fall with a cup, hoping to get a drink. Yes about half the population will turn Fascist, but half won’t. Every time these people have tried this system, they have failed – by implosion – waiting is as good as taking them on. Read history – it’s cheaper than valium :-) I’m not being trite. They really are idiots, fanatics and mentally disturbed. The rest of us are lazt, fat and happy…but there is comfort in history, seriously.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeb-Stuart/100003734510370 Jeb Stuart

    So we’re screwed. What else is new. I guess we should hope for an EMP event from space or something to wipe all this stuff out.

    • Sly

      I love your picture xD

  • beijing shots

    “As we’ve previously documented, the spying isn’t being done to keep us safe … but to crush dissent and to smear people who uncover unflattering this about the government ” Now if this were actually the case, then how do you explain your website still being up? And you still being a free man. Oh! that’s right, I forgot. You’re foundation funded.

  • William Flatt

    The government is spying on us because they’re scared to death of armed Americans. That’s why they have been bad-mouthing the citizen militias since 1994!

    • Pat T. Sherman

      Their’s some truth in what you say, another… reason is gov. new abuility to kill citizens using the new drones fly overs… (Are they practice ing in cases of riots and/ or sending out visual threats
      To use on mobs of angry citizens?…why? What are they in fear about something and/or, why? I think you get the message. Even, blogging I cut back on any w. b. materials. Freedom of speech may have a price (“get back”) by 1/2 the country against you.

  • Unclechuck2

    As long as we don’t do aanything wrong we don’t care!

  • ching chong

    easedrop

  • JOHNNY BARTEE

    So how do you Federal agents, military, and politicians like being monitored 24/7? Yeah, you thought you would be immune to this because of your alleged “status” with the government. Well, you are DEAD wrong. YOU are the very enemy that will be killed first by those above you, those who HATE your guts and want to see you dead before they come for rest of us.

    Not so funny now is it, Mr. & Mrs. Federal Agent.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Good point at the end: The Nazis, the Stasi and the KGB would have collected the same amount of info on every citizen if they had existed in a world of internet communications, smartphones, digital transactions and surveillance cameras. In other words, the U.S. Government is not more evil than they were, it’s equally evil.

  • Nate Jaeger

    Excellent article, tells you all you need to know. Today the President spoke and said he is taking all the Data and all the Metadata away from the NSA and the White House and re-storing it someplace else under independent supervision. Now where could that be? Dorthy’s house in Kansas, protected by ToTo?

 

 

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