Posted January 2, 2013
by Jerry Alatalo
“Everything secret degenerates; nothing is safe that does not bear discussion and publicity”.
– Lord Acton (1834-1902)
People sometimes use the phrase “that’s more information than I needed”. In a recent talk given by Jacob Applebaum, his information steers people toward having to decide whether it is more than they needed – or important to become aware of. In my disheveled pile of papers with notes containing names and issues to look into, Mr. Applebaum’s name had been written, so here we went looking into what he has to say.
Let me first say that his talk has information and language which can only be translated by men and women who have a great knowledge of computer science, and that my knowledge is limited to a few computer courses taken years ago, albeit that experience lends a certain amount of insight into his messages. After listening to his extremely fact-filled presentation, it seemed only logical to share his views with as many people as possible. Mr. Applebaum’s talk is very disturbing.
After Edward Snowden took the actions in 2013 which made him a household name, many people have come to the view that “This doesn’t have anything to do with me, I haven’t done or said or written anything wrong. They are trying to catch terrorists, and that’s a good thing – to protect people from attacks”. Where my concern about Mr. Applebaum’s revelations naturally focused was the effects of government secret activities on the effectiveness of investigative journalism.
In the view of many men and women investigative journalists are at the frontlines of human evolution, in that men and women around the world are reporting the truth of conditions and situations which directly affect the lives of millions – billions – of human beings. In a real sense investigative journalists represent humanity as its de facto army of scouts and go-between of the people and powerful interests – interests who in certain instances practice tyrannical acts.
A tyrant is defined as an oppressive, unjust, or absolute ruler. Tyranny is despotic abuse of authority, and/or a state ruled by tyrant(s). A recent example of just how important investigative journalism has become is the reporting on events surrounding the August 2013 chemical attacks in Syria, just outside Damascus. As a result of efforts taken by journalists, namely reporting on who was responsible for the attacks – the Syrian government or rebel mercenary groups, it could be asserted that truth-seeking reporters were largely responsible for stopping a potentially devastating military escalation of violence and killing.
For this single reason, that men and women investigative journalists literally prevented a possibly tragic event which would have greatly harmed millions of innocent people, humanity must do everything possible to allow these men and women reporters to do their work. In 2013 there were 70 some reporters confirmed to have died while working in the field. Only God knows how many may have died as a result of spying, where information illegally obtained from phones, computers, etc. placed individuals in the category of “enemy” to one or the other “side”.
For journalists, at least those who practice real journalism – unbiased and only seeking the truth – there is no “side” for taking. These men and women are serving to uncover facts which expose both good and bad truths, intentionally or not in the awareness of the citizenry, for sharing it so that a more thorough knowledge is available in decision-making processes. Because of the risk associated with secret surveillance, where journalists are having their computers, information, and sources compromised, activities undertaken by NSA and similar organizations around the world hold the possibility of blocking important truths from reaching citizens in nations around the Earth.
As Mr. Applebaum views the current situation, there is a real “digital form of tyranny” taking place. He speaks about how, if he were to take actions similar to governments with regard to spying and surveillance, he would be facing a very long prison sentence. Besides “digital tyranny” he describes the present situation as “militarization of the internet”, done with taxpayer money and without the consent of the people, and without the awareness of members of the U.S. Congress.
More disturbing is that most members of Congress would not understand how vast is the spying issue – and the technology utilized – even when told of the activities. He conveys that the NSA has more power than any institution, nation, group, or individual, and that this power holds the potential for actions not in the best interests of the people – not only in the USA but nations around the Earth. Investigative journalists, honest politicians and business people, non-governmental organizations, and the rising number of citizen reporters all have reason for great concern.
In other words, all men and women around the world who do work to expose political and financial corruption, war crimes and crimes against humanity, tax havens and tax avoidance schemes, major reforms of monetary systems, labeling and banning of GMO foods, environmental pollution, etc. are potential victims of government interference in their efforts. In essence, continuation of secretive, technologically complex, out-of-view actions can derail progress and positive steps forward on the human evolutionary path.
Toward the end of this talk, Mr. Applebaum goes into an even more worrying topic – equipment which includes something called a “continuous wave generator” – suggesting the ability to aim 1 kilowatt of energy into persons at their computers. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who died in his late fifties recently of a rapidly metastisized cancer, was a South American leader who survived a coup attempt and was an outspoken critic of United States foreign policy – while Venezuela has some of the world’s largest oil reserves. Keep in mind that a few years ago religious televangelist Pat Robertson openly called for Hugo Chavez’ assassination. Keep in mind as well that a number of South American national leaders have been stricken by cancer in recent years.
Keep in mind that the USA has been behind the overthrows of democratically elected governments during the years after World War II. Some of these coups and assassinations include Mossadegh of Iran, Allende of Chile, Arbenz of Guatemala, Lumumba of Congo, United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold, President John F. Kennedy, and others. Some will call this line of thought delving into “conspiracy theory”.
In many cases conspiracy was actually practiced. Not in “theory”, put in practice. The reason I post this talk by Mr. Applebaum is to help stop any possible conspiracy to silence factual reports from investigative journalists, and in the process speed dissemination of truth to all people on Earth.
Perhaps there will be more men and woman touched by this post who decide to come forward and share information previously hidden from view. Information which makes possible actions based on the total truth – resulting in improvements in the lives of human beings on Earth – in ways impossible without revelations of the previously unknown.
(Thanks to Aiden Ljubuncic @ YouTube)
- Video: NSA can hack your home Wi-Fi network from 8 miles away (bgr.com)
- iSpy: Latest report says NSA has backdoor access to iPhones (siliconbeat.com)
- NSA Intercepts Laptops Purchased Online to Install Spy Malware (financearmageddon.blogspot.com)
- ACLU sues US over NSA spying (bbc.co.uk)