An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Nadia Prupis follows:
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Hemisphere was first revealed by the New York Times in 2013, but was described at the time as a “partnership” between AT&T and drug enforcement agencies used in counter-narcotics operations.
Neither, it turns out, is entirely true…
Evan Greer, campaign director at the digital rights group Fight for the Future, said Tuesday, “The for-profit spying program that these documents detail is more terrifying than the illegal [National Security Agency] surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed. Far beyond the NSA and FBI, these tools are accessible to a wide range of law enforcement officers including local police, without a warrant, as long as they pay up.”…
And because the contract between the telecom company and the U.S. government stipulates only that agents not speak about Hemisphere if a probe using it becomes public, investigators may be left with no choice but to create a false narrative to explain how they obtained certain evidence, according to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Adam Schwartz.
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My two online responses to the above linked-to article follow:
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It truly illustrates the fact that corporations rule and, while governments rule, technically, it’s more like they manage in the service of corporations and rich people. If ‘free trade’ agreements haven’t clued people into that fact, then no one can argue, successfully, that darkness has not swept the earth. When criminal corporations can go to law enforcement agencies and enlist them in their criminality, tell them to shut up about it and expect those agencies to comply, then one can pretend that it’s otherwise, but we all see from that that the present global neoliberal/ neoconservative order, which includes many states that claim to be democratic, is a vast, sophisticated criminal enterprise. I’m reminded of terrorist and Cold War warrior JFK’s words about the Soviet Union being a “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy.” Speaking of conspiracy, There’s multiple agencies and organizations happily working together here in order to keep civilization from being civilized while macho people who have lied and bullied their way into positions of authority play their sick game of ‘riches for the strongest’, looking for glory etc.. We are looking at a gangster corportocracy, mafia capitalism and criminal politicians – made men – masquerading as public servants.
Terrorist and Cold War (1) warrior JFK yammered about the Soviet Union being a “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy.” He was gazing, lovingly, in a [mirror] that showed a self-modified individual, namely one, like many, who jettisoned his God-given conscience and qualities (honesty, loyalty, compassion, a love on justice and a hatred of injustice) to become a believer in inequality, a player in the godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’. Gazing, but aware and enjoying the adulation of those observing him loving himself.
Interestingly, As Chomsky (who is coming under increasing attack as the darkness deepens and spreads) points out, the internal planning records of US admins reveals not a fear of any supposed Soviet military threat or intention to conquer the world, but a fear of the example it’s system – communism – set for others. The genocidal founding fathers made choices long ago that US ruling class members have endorsed ever since, preferring inequality and a country (and later, they hoped, a world) in which the ‘strong’ would prevail and rule (in their words, benevolently) over the weak (suckers who truly believe in law and order). And so we arrive at today’s neoliberal/ neoconservative global order and millions and millions of victims of the austerity that is part and parcel of neoliberalism, who, when they push back against the elite-inspired abuse, only succeed in thrilling the 1%, for glory that’s unseen isn’t glory.
Organizations, agencies and individuals of all sorts – political classes, CEOs and their corporations, rich people, militaries – comprise the gangster corporatocracy. But there’s no monolithic and ruthless conspiracy there. Just as neo-nazis are fine, but environmentalists and regular people whose lands are invaded by destroyers, aided and abetted by their political partners, and who would like to protect their drinking water and safeguard their chidren are “extremists.”
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When I recall JFK’s “monolithic and ruthless” conspiracy statement, I see a phenomenon I have called gazing in a mirror. It is behavior, by the 1%, that has no real purpose. Rather, It comes straight from, and is a reflection of, their self-modified character as godless, glory-seeking creatures. Where there was the image of God, namely one revealing qualities of honesty, compassion, a love of justice and a hatred of injustice and cruelty, there is now none of those. There’s reason, but it’s now reason in the service of darkness and it’s reason that, given time, will slip into unreason. For darkness is its own reward.
When you embrace darkness and criminality, thinking how much more clever you are than those (mugging victims, victims of neoliberalism and neoconservatism) who you’ve victimized, many who truly believe in law & order (because they’re sane and, in many cases have children whose futures they are concerned about), you are started down a path that includes denying reality. You’ll only get good at it as time passes. We ‘are’ our brothers (etc) keeper, at least when we forego self-modification and, in accordance with our God-given design, care about each other, recognizing that it’s both right on principle and sane. When everyone cares about his and her neighbor, then no one can fail. It’s sobering to reflect on the fact, talked about by Chomsky – who, in the spreading and deepening darkness, more and more people are attacking – that planning records of US admins shows a fear, not of an evil Soviet presence and threat, but of an example set by a system unlike that preferred by the genocidists who created the United States. People, if allowed to freely choose, would always prefer a system in which they took care of each other over a dog eat dog system (capitalism, now in its rotten form of neoliberal capitalism) which always tosses up losers, making the thieves and plunderers feel so strong, since they create the losers by their behavior, including their business as usual, including rule-making in accordance with Chicago school dogma.