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The Internet is a surveillance state

Editor's note: Bruce Schneier is a security technologist and author of "Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive."

By Bruce Schneier | CNN

(CNN) -- I'm going to start with three data points.

One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

Two: Hector Monsegur, one of the leaders of the LulzSac hacker movement, was identified and arrested last year by the FBI. Although he practiced good computer security and used an anonymous relay service to protect his identity, he slipped up.

And three: Paula Broadwell,who had an affair with CIA director David Petraeus, similarly took extensive precautions to hide her identity. She never logged in to her anonymous e-mail service from her home network. Instead, she used hotel and other public networks when she e-mailed him. The FBI correlated hotel registration data from several different hotels -- and hers was the common name.

The Internet is a surveillance state.

Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.


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I've had my suspicions about the Internet ...

... from very early on.

But I have a new theory about what it is and why they gave it to us. And, yes ... it was given to us by the PTB, it was not just some spontaneous invention created by the multitudes. If you know anything about who created the technology (the military) and how it works (IP addresses which are translated into domain names and email addresses) and who controls the nameservers and whatnot, you'd realize that it wasn't just this thing a bunch of volunteers created out of thin air, like some people think.

Anyway, what I think it is is the new Library of Alexandria.

Imagine the amount of information stored in server farms across the globe. Damn near every book transcribed, manuscript, audio recording, video recording, speech, schematic, blueprint, work of art, IDEA, etc., etc., etc., is stored on easily searchable servers located around the world. Google has scoured them all for all that info and has it all stored in their own server farms. I forgot to mention Wikipedia. The amount of knowledge on Wikipedia alone is staggering.

They let US create the greatest wealth of knowledge ever accumulated (by a long shot) and they just sat back and profited off of it. Sure, some good people profited along the way, but we see that wealth being re-routed back to its "proper owners".

Yes, it's great for tracking but I think that's just a bonus for them.

I think we were just used to create the greatest wealth of knowledge in history and when they depopulate, the folks who remain will be as ignorant as the serfs of the dark ages and their lords will have the truest, most potent source of power of all ... KNOWLEDGE.

Just my little tin-hat theory.

Work for pay, pay for freedom
Fuck 'em all, we don't need 'em

I dont necassarilly disagree,

I dont necassarilly disagree, but they would'nt have been able to control EVERY aspect, sometimes a thing comes on to strong, to big, that undersirable outcomes happen, if they had a plan for it, they've lost some control of it.......well, unless their plan was always to cause tension, in that case, we're already screwed

INTER: to deposit a dead body in the earth or in a tomb

My "pre-crime" definition of INTER*net ---> a method or trap for ensnaring and entombing everyone because none are without sin, and are already assumed to sentenced to death (save a pardon from Christ).

Google and Download Ghostery

It stops the tracking and annoying adds from all the sites you visit and research. Have had no problem with it. It is blocking 8 trackers on this DP page.

Ghostery +1'd

I've got about 13 blocked from the DP using Ghostery.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.


Sure but it's voluntary

If I didn't want to participate in this surveillance, I could find ways to get by without internet. Most of us also walk around with GPS location devices we call "smart phones". Fooled were those that thought these would come as implants in the skin. Just put it in the phone you cannot live without. Facebook has an entire database of facial data of its users. Cross check that across all the surveillance cameras in an area and bingo, there you are.

This technology is coming and evolving no matter what. It's up to us to figure out how and why we use it. I believe we are going through a growing phase of an over abundance of development and it'll take some time and some bright minds to figure out just how this continues to become a part of our daily lives.

Remember, as much as they're watching, they too are being watched.

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Its also important for us to

Its also important for us to support developers creating tools to circumvent intrusions in our lives, with complete control of who or what gets our information, by creating the demand as best we can

Good article, but this fellow is a little late to the party.

Well, better late than a no-show. (I suppose it is important for the CNN audience to hear this sooner or later.)

Just assume that complete surveillance, intel collection, and interpretation are well-consolidated and underway. Have been for a few years at least by now.

Secret rooms at telecom sites. Fusion Centers. FaceBook funded by intel industry players, organizations, and capital. Etc. Etc.


They are and have always been steps--no, leaps--ahead of us. The M.O. of the feds within the last decade is to push lawmakers for the ability to employ certain surveillance tactics in the name of national security, of course, but it usually comes to light that they already are using those tactics. Then, if lawmakers / courts decide such behaviors are unConstitutional, the feds may / may not cease and desist (and usually not). One can bet they don't get rid of ANY illegally-obtained data!

They are above the law. They create the threat, then "come to the rescue" with the solution, as most of us here realize [ie: underwear bomber fixed up so that warehouses of scanners (likely already ordered) can be deployed in airports per already-crafted legislation].

Or the occasional domestic "terrorists" the feds catch every so often. In 90+ % of such cases, undercover fed assets recruit the guy, set him up, draw up and give him the plans, sell him the materials for explosives, and then nab him! Ha! In the REAL world this is called "entrapment". (Just like how fractional reserve banking in practice would be considered fraud in any other industry / business model!) But I digress....

What would the Founders do?

But it helps us too.

I bet that without the internet and the exchange of information it allows government would be even more powerful. I bet the controlled main street media and lack of communication on the internet, that the government would already have completely eliminated the 2nd amendment. Without the internet Ron Paul would never have been able to get out his message or raised the army he did.

So let's look at both sides. And don't use google for searches. Use something more private like duck-duck-go and install anti tracking software like ghostery. There are means to cover some of your tracks. At least make it hard for them to track you.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.

Great summary of what we live

Great summary of what we live in today, gonna get to a point, where no one will trust them untill all their storage is destroyed.....pull it down, and rebuild from the ground up, assuming we can ever trust them to do so, considering how easy it would be to claim they've done so, and not(technically speaking).......the only thing that would have worked is, NOT DOING IT IN THE BLOODY FIRST PLACE

This is not something that just happens, there has to be a will to do so, which is enough to be disgusted, the arrogance, the assumption and the entitlement persona

Sorry, this thing riles me up, i dont think enough people realise what kind of control they'll have if we give them the time to solidify this, hell, could already be to late, if not updated info, they could already have a massive database, and then take as much leisurely time in creating programs to use that information