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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/29/19

Technotyranny: The Iron-Fisted Authoritarianism of the Surveillance State

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re will come a time when it isn't 'They're spying on me through my phone' anymore. Eventually, it will be 'My phone is spying on me.'" " Philip K. Dick

Red pill or blue pill? You decide.

Twenty years after the Wachowskis' iconic 1999 film, The Matrix, introduced us to a futuristic world in which humans exist in a computer-simulated non-reality powered by authoritarian machines a world where the choice between existing in a denial-ridden virtual dream-state or facing up to the harsh, difficult realities of life comes down to a red pill or a blue pillwe stand at the precipice of a technologically-dominated matrix of our own making.

We are living the prequel to The Matrix with each passing day, falling further under the spell of technologically-driven virtual communities, virtual realities and virtual conveniences managed by artificially intelligent machines that are on a fast track to replacing us and eventually dominating every aspect of our lives.

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Science fiction has become fact.

In The Matrix, computer programmer Thomas Anderson a.k.a. hacker Neo is wakened from a virtual slumber by Morpheus, a freedom fighter seeking to liberate humanity from a lifelong hibernation state imposed by hyper-advanced artificial intelligence machines that rely on humans as an organic power source. With their minds plugged into a perfectly crafted virtual reality, few humans ever realize they are living in a dream world.

Neo is given a choice: to wake up and join the resistance, or remain asleep and serve as fodder for the powers-that-be. "You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe," Morpheus says to Neo in The Matrix. "You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."

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Most people opt for the red pill.

In our case, the red pilla one-way ticket to a life sentence in an electronic concentration camphas been honey-coated to hide the bitter aftertaste, sold to us in the name of expediency and delivered by way of blazingly fast Internet, cell phone signals that never drop a call, thermostats that keep us at the perfect temperature without our having to raise a finger, and entertainment that can be simultaneously streamed to our TVs, tablets and cell phones.

Yet we are not merely in thrall with these technologies that were intended to make our lives easier. We have become enslaved by them.

Look around you. Everywhere you turn, people are so addicted to their internet-connected screen devicessmart phones, tablets, computers, televisionsthat they can go for hours at a time submerged in a virtual world where human interaction is filtered through the medium of technology.

This is not freedom.

This is not even progress.

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This is technological tyranny and iron-fisted control delivered by way of the surveillance state, corporate giants such as Google and Facebook, and government spy agencies such as the National Security Agency.

We are living in a virtual world carefully crafted to resemble a representative government, while in reality we are little more than slaves in thrall to an authoritarian regime, with its constant surveillance, manufactured media spectacles, secret courts, inverted justice, and violent repression of dissent.

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John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. Whitehead's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties has earned him numerous accolades and (more...)
 

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Janet Supriano

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I'm wary of making a comment to this.

I think the program has progressed beyond the 'opt-out' date.

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 12:21:56 AM

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Patricia 0rmsby

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There is no question we are being surveilled. Cameras are everywhere, even not counting all the smartphones; our comments are swept up and stored away. There is a certain amount of "opting out" you can still do. Because I am made physically ill by the radiation, I have never owned a cell phone. A smart meter will be forced on me--no opt out in Japan, so at that point I will have no choice but to live without utilities. I'm vocal on-line about why I eschew "smart" technology, but I doubt it will save me if they decide I'm really suspicious or just want to make an example of someone who defies them.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 1, 2019 at 3:13:56 AM

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Michele Goddard

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I remember people laughing at me when I said I didn't like the idea of a camera in my phone that was connected to the internet. I put tape over the built in camera on my computer and was taunted about where I keep my tinfoil hat. When I said I didn't want a car with On Star because even if you don't pay for the service the tracking device is still in the car. People suggested I must be hiding something if I was that paranoid. For a long time I felt like I was the only person who worried about these things.


I tried to tell people that I have nothing to hide other than the normal life functions we wouldn't want broadcast to the general public but I wasn't worried about the government "getting dirt" on me because I'm fully aware that if the government ever had a reason to make me into a criminal, manufacturing fake evidence would be easier and more cost effective than watching me for hours waiting for something to happen. I mean look at Assange. And if the government can come up with fake evidence to rationalize its desire to wage war, then I'm sure coming up with a folder of bogus crimes I"ve committed would be a piece of cake. Of course my friends would know I'm innocent, but in a world of "social justice" where people are convicted in the public square were evidence isn't examined for authenticity, then everyone else would follow the narrative. (Venezuela is a case in point).


Its just the idea that you don't get to decide whether your spied on by these devices, its just whether you decide you need the devices more than you need your privacy and value your safety.


I think humanity can still save itself if we return to that old well known hippie phrase "Tune in, turn on, drop out" The exact meaning as described by its most famous speaker Timothy Leary,


" 'Turn on' meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers engaging them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. "Tune in" meant interact harmoniously with the world around youexternalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. "Drop out" suggested an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. "Drop Out" meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily, my explanations of this sequence of personal development are often misinterpreted to mean "Get stoned and abandon all constructive activity".


(Source: Wikipedia quote from 1983 autobiography Flashbacks)

Submitted on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 2:38:04 AM

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Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 4:03:14 AM

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I grew up without being surveilled. I had not a problem with that because the world worked just fine. Now, everyone is surveilled with the excuse that to catch the bad guy they must watch everyone because if they don't watch, the bad guy will get away. It pisses me off knowing I have and will not do anything wrong worthy of anyone's caring what I do, yet they watch me and everything I do. It pisses me off knowing I am on camera all the while I walk down the street. It pisses me off because my business is my business and everyone's business is their own business and it ain't no business of the people surveilling me, even if it is me going to Sunday school. If I go to a "conspiracy" website, or talk on the phone about "conspiracy," or text or email about something like 9/11 being not just a conspiracy "theory" but a conspiracy "fact," I know I will be put on some sort of list.

So, I know I am on at least one list. Who knows how many they have.


The younger generation(s) have and are growing up knowing they are being watched and so it seems normal to them, and that it be what it be, and surely there must be some good reason that they do it. After all, they have nothing to hide, so what is wrong with them being watched.

Watch out, 5g and Agenda 21 and microchips are on their way. I think it is about all over. Total control is on the horizon.


"The Technocratic Age is slowly designing an every day more controlled society. The society will be dominated by an elite of persons free from traditional values who will have no doubt in fulfilling their objectives by means of purged techniques with which they will influence the behavior of people and will control and watch the society in all details". "... it will become possible to exert a practically permanent watch on each citizen of the world". - Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, "Between Two Ages -- America's Role in the Technetronic Era"

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 3:47:31 AM

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Surveillance is like anything else, technology, fireams, authority and so on. Its not about the tool. Its about the user. The problem is that technology increases the efficiency of human effort so it magnifies all of our actions.


There are multiple firearms in my house, all secured safely. I am a nonvioent, anti-war person and I have never had a desire to hurt anyone and won't even squash a bug if I can pick it up and throw it outside. So a firearm to me is a method of protection. I'm 48 years old, small in stature and although strong for my size no match for a full grown man. When I'm home with my grandchild or out walking my dog I want to be at peace I knowing I can protect myself and my grandchild if need be.


I have Surveillance cameras around my house. So does my daughter. Both of us have been the victims of theft and recovered our property in great part due to our cameras. There have been two women assaulted within view of my cameras in the last two years. I had both incidents on video and although the police were able to resolve the matters without it, it was nice to know if those women needed the video I had to prosecute their assailants, it may have helped them.


The problem isn't the technology. The problem is who is using it. People with money and power have gotten control of this technology and use it for evil purposes because they are evil. As for the government putting me on a list, oh well. I used to worry about being on government watch lists because of the books I checked out of the library so I guess I've always had an awareness that the government wants to keep tabs on us.


The problem is, we have become such a slave class, working long hours to pay our bills that we don't have time watch them.

Submitted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 12:33:28 PM

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Power always gradually accrues to those sorts of people. In an age of plenty for all, people forget vigilance. When the good ties end, the people holding the reins are revealed.

Their misrule always comes to a bloody end.

The most important thing in the intervening years is to avoid sticking out.

Submitted on Saturday, Jun 1, 2019 at 3:21:55 AM

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"We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government." " William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice, dissenting in Osborn v. United States, 385 U.S. 341 (1966)


Submitted on Saturday, Jun 1, 2019 at 5:04:14 PM

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