Has anyone ever told you how to catch a wild pig?
You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.
They get used to that and start to eat, again you continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.
Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.
You know that the NSA is reading your e-mails, and listening to your phone calls. You know that the IRS is checking your party affiliation and Tea Party status to decide whether or not to audit you. You know that (certain) reporters are investigated by the Department of Justice for doing their jobs. You know that the DHS is encouraging you to spy on your neighbor and co-workers, and conducting illegal searches on the highway. You know that warrants are not always obtained before the FBI collects your e-mails, facebook messages, hacks your webcam, and collects other social media information. You know that drones have been made capable of tracking every moving object in a 15 miles radius. But just in case you still had doubts that 1984 was prophetic (or an instruction manuel) here’s a couple, possibly new, revelations about the extent of the surveillance state.
The federal government is tracking the credit card purchases of about 80% of Americans’ credit cards. The Dodd-Frank legislation created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the help of Elizabeth Warren. After tirelessly attempting to avoid the question at a congressional hearing, the director of the department admitted that about 900 million credit card accounts were monitored and had data collected by the CFPB. This data is then stored in a totally secure database the bureaucrats assured us, and like, when have they ever lied before? They aren’t even interested in our spending patterns, they even said so themselves. I’m sure the data isn’t an invitation to financial criminals… like the type the legislation was passed to stop. But regardless of the good or bad deeds of the agency, it is unConstitutional under the Fourth Amendment to unreasonably search and seize Americans’ information without due process.
New street lights are being put up all throughout the country, but they illuminate more than just the sidewalks. These “Intellistreets” were commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security and are already installed in cities like Las Vegas, Chicago, and Detroit.
The ability to record street conversations is merely one special feature of the Intellistreets lighting system, which is linked back to a central data hub via a ubiquitous wi-fi connection. The ‘smart’ street lights can also act as surveillance cameras, make loudspeaker security announcements (See Something, Say Something), as well as track “RFID equipped staff,” which could be any of us given the increasing amount of clothing and products which are RFID tagged.
These will add to audio monitoring capability that already engulfs us with microphones in Xbox’s, Google TV’s, “gunshot detectors” around cities that can also hear loud-ish conversations, black-boxes being added to cars, and the agreements we don’t read that authorize apps we download to monitor and record audio at any time the device is running. We can’t quite blame the government for all of those, but we can bet that they will find a way to unConstitutionally use these microphones we have placed all around us.
The gate is rapidly slamming shut on the American people. And, well, you know what happens to pigs once they are corralled, don’t you?