So the DEA is using methods of “combating terrorism” to further their own rent seeking activities, and trying to cover it up. This news should come as no surprise to any critically thinking individual, sadly however it does. Many people particularly your average American, are still surprised by these revelations, and when they’re not they take the partisan road. What these folks fail to understand is it matters not who holds “the ring of power”, both sides will abuse it. The State by it’s very nature will continue to grow and intrude on the market, and the rights of the individual. As this process continues, the State will naturally “spy” on everyone. Sure it will start with the excuse of protecting “us” from an external threat like “terrorism”, but it won’t be long before the State apparatus begins using these tactics to keep tabs on EVERYONE. The more abuses the State perpetrates, the more it will need to spy on folks to make sure they are not a “threat”. This also has a chilling effect, certain aspects of the domestic spying are revealed to the public to make the people afraid to say anything, for fear of being labeled a “terrorist” and getting thrown in a cage. The need for the State to spy on everyone is so out of control that they are building a massive data collection center to store and analyze all incoming and outgoing traffic. The good news is that eventually the State will consume itself. It will become so oppressive that it will no longer be able to function, it will turn on it’s own minions. The Surveillance/Police state will begin to crumble under it’s own weight. However there’s no reason we can’t and shouldn’t help to accelerate this process.
So what can we as vigilant individuals do? First thing I would suggest is Don’t Be Afraid! Fear of being labeled a terrorist(or any of the other classifications) will prevent you from speaking out against the immorality of the State and it’s actions. This is exactly what they want, and why the have made an example of Bradley Manning. Fear is what gives tyrants their power, losing your fear makes it harder for the State (or anyone else) to control you.
First, connect with like minded individuals. There are many groups and individuals out there that are opposed to the growing surveillance/police State. Get involved, help out with information, skills, or donations. This is just one example of many, EFF sues NSA over warrantless government spying program Remember there is strength in numbers.
Next, start using the tools available to make the State’s spying more difficult. Email and chat encryption are a good start. If you are a fan of Pidgin make sure to install and run the OTR(Off The Record) plugin, there are two great guides for setting up encrypted email and OTR Here and Here. Even if you have nothing to hide it is a great idea to use encryption. The more people that use it the harder it will be for groups like the NSA to decipher all our traffic. Use a VPN or Virtual Private Network to surf the web. I have used and really like Boleh VPN. There are also encrypted phones that can be used as a secure tool for communication, these are however expensive and limited in capability. If more folks start using these tools, it will become the norm and people who use them won’t get singled out.
Remember one thing, nothing in this world is “free”. Many of the products and services that we are “given” are used to spy on us for marketing purposes and are utilized by the various intelligence agencies. Facebook and Skype (and Microsoft Windows for that matter) come to mind. All those free, cool apps on your “smartphone” are great, but use them at your own risk. I have declined installing a great number of apps because I actually read the Permissions!
Another fun tactic is to use words that are “flagged” as suspicious in everyday communications. Put some of these words in your Facebook/Twitter status updates, your emails, your chats or on forum posts. Hell you could put them in a tag line in all your electronic communications. Again lets overwhelm these criminals, overload their systems!
The last and arguably most important thing is education! Whenever possible highlight the abuses of privacy by the State to Joe Sixpack in everyday conversation. Don’t come on too strong, frame the examples in ways that hit home to that specific individual. Podcast, Blog, use the social media sites, talk to people! Believe it or not there are still a great many people who are ignorant to what’s going on. As a soldier for Liberty I feel it is my duty to inform and educate as many people as possible. We may not achieve true Liberty in our lifetimes, but if we work tirelessly we may help to achieve it for our children. As I said the Surveillance/Police state is unsustainable, and it will collapse. At that time the market for Liberty will be very strong, let’s all work as a “Collective of Individuals “towards this goal.
“The United Nations is a Threat, Exposure to the State results in Erosion of liberty, the politicians in D.C. are nothing but Swine, The US aids Drug Gangs in their violence, Al Queda is a CIA operation, Hurricane Tornado Earthquake…oh my!” ?