Although it’s supposed to be restricted by surveillance rules at local, state and federal levels, Immigration and Customs Enforcement () has built up a mass surveillance system that includes details on almost all US residents, according to a report from a major think tank.
ICE “now operates as a domestic surveillance agency” and it is able to bypass regulations in part by purchasing databases from private companies.
“Since its founding in 2003, ICE has not only been building its own capacity to use surveillance to carry out deportations but has also played a key role in the federal government’s larger push to amass as much information as possible about all of our lives,” the report’s authors state.
“By reaching into the digital records of state and local governments and buying databases with billions of data points from private companies, ICE has created a surveillance infrastructure that enables it to pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time.”
The researchers spent two years looking into ICE to put together the extensive report, which is called They obtained information by filing hundreds of freedom of information requests and scouring more than 100,000 contracts and procurement records.
Over the years, privacy law experts and civil rights activists and attorneys have accused ICE of overreach in its surveillance tactics directed at immigrants and Americans alike, but the Georgetown report paints a picture of an agency that has gone well beyond its immigration enforcement mandate, instead evolving into something of a broader domestic surveillance agency.
The agency is said to be using data from the Department of Motor Vehicles and utility companies, along with the likes of call records, child welfare records, , healthcare records and social media posts. ICE is now said to hold driver’s license data for 74 percent of adults and can in cities that are home to 70 percent of the adult population in the US.
ICE spent an estimated $2.8 billion between 2008 and 2021 on surveillance, data collection and data-sharing initiatives, according to the Georgetown report. The scale of ICE surveillance came as a shock to the report’s authors.
The authors wrote that ICE is able to carry out these actions in secret and without warrants. Along with the data it acquired from other government departments, utilities, private companies and third-party data brokers, “the power of algorithmic tools for sorting, matching, searching and analysis has dramatically expanded the scope and regularity of ICE surveillance,” . ICE has been able to sidestep congressional oversight and bypass attempts at state level to curtain its surveillance capabilities
“ICE has been able to build massive surveillance capabilities without needing authorization and without congressional oversight,” said Allison McDonald, a research fellow and co-author of the report. “That they have been able to build such an expansive infrastructure in relative secrecy is setting an alarming example for how federal agencies can evade scrutiny.”
Inside San Diego’s metropolitan area, California’s second largest city, home to some 275,000 residents, has made the history books. Their mark on history will be a dark one as they become the first city in America to be completely monitored by spy drones.
“On a per capita basis, they’re probably the most or one of the most surveilled cities in the country,” said Brian Hofer, executive director of the Oakland-based privacy advocacy group Secure Justice. “Pretty much the minute you walk outside your front door and move about your daily life, you’re going to be tagged and tracked by some law enforcement agency, even though you’ve likely never been suspected of any wrongdoing.”
Chula Vista’s drone program didn’t come to fruition over night. Instead, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies coordinated with with Chinese drone manufacturers and unscrupulous actors in Big Tech and have implemented the program over the course of several years.
In 2020, as fearful citizens begged the government for safety that never came, they willingly accepted this egregious invasion of privacy.
“The(Police) department is considering one strategy to use drone-mounted speakers to communicate and reach vulnerable populations in inaccessible areas of the city, like large urban canyons with homeless encampments,” the Chula Vista Police Department said in a press release when they began to spy on citizens 24/7. “Unsheltered persons are particularly vulnerable to the current pandemic, and their safety and welfare is important to stopping the spread of the disease.”
The company who manufactures the drones had no problem admitting the “Orwellian” nature of such a program. “What we saw in China, and what we’re probably going to see around the world, is using drones with cameras and loudspeakers to fly around to see if people are gathering where they shouldn’t be, and telling them to go home,” Spencer Gore, chief executive of U.S.-based drone company Impossible Aerospace, said. “It seems a little Orwellian, but this could save lives.”
“People don’t realize the depths of Chinese espionage and the fact that they use any opportunity,”said Jim Lewis, a researcher at the DC-based, bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies. “We face the biggest espionage battle we’ve ever had with China. The way people engage in espionage has changed. It’s moved largely to technology and digital devices.”
As we’ve seen with other Orwellian moves like license plate scanners and surveillance cameras, this drone program will not remain solely in Chula Vista and other states have already begun similar programs.
Promis 2.0 Governmental Mass surveillance has gone Worldwide.
Digital privacy advocates were alarmed but not surprised by a report alleging that police in Israel used NSO’s Pegasus spyware against Israeli citizens, including opponents of former right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As reported the special operations cyber unit of Israel’s police remotely planted the private company’s spyware on phones belonging to political activists, mayors, former government employees, and others, “taking over their devices and having the ability to listen to all their calls and read all their messages.”
The reporting indicates that the extrajudicial surveillance occurred without court supervision, and police did not request search or bugging warrants for the targeted individuals—who were suspected of no crimes
Those scandals include repeated revelations that NSO’s spyware was surreptitiously installed on the devices of dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, and others around the world—especially in other Middle Eastern nations—as well as reporting last month that Pegasus was used by an unknown party or parties to hack the iPhones of nearly a dozen U.S. State Department officials.
Reported by Calcalist, NSO’s spyware was also used by police for phishing purposes: attempts to phish for information in an intelligence target’s phone without knowing in advance that the target committed any crime. Pegasus was installed in a cellphone of a person close to a senior politician in order to try and find evidence relating to a corruption investigation.”
The outage only lasted an hour, but it was a chilling reminder of how reliant the world has become on internet-connected technologies to do everything from unlocking doors and turning up the heat to accessing work files, sending emails and making phone calls.
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 human beings and eventually dominating every aspect of our lives.
Look around you. Everywhere you turn, people are so addicted to their internet-connected screen devices—smart phones, tablets, computers, televisions—that 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.
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.
Yet it’s not just freedom that hangs in the balance. Humanity itself is on the line.
If ever Americans find themselves in bondage to technological tyrants, we will have only ourselves to blame for having forged the chains through our own lassitude, laziness and abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos that render us wholly irrelevant.
Indeed, we’re fast approaching Philip K. Dick’s vision of the future as depicted in the film Minority Report. There, police agencies apprehend criminals before they can commit a crime, driverless cars populate the highways, and a person’s biometrics are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.
Cue the dawning of the Age of the Internet of Things (IoT), in which internet-connected “things” monitor your home, your health and your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities regulated and your life under control and relatively worry-free.
This “connected” industry has become the next big societal transformation, right up there with the Industrial Revolution, a watershed moment in technology and culture. These Internet-connected techno gadgets include smart light bulbs that discourage burglars by making your house look occupied, smart thermostats that regulate the temperature of your home based on your activities, and smart doorbells that let you see who is at your front door without leaving the comfort of your couch.
Indeed, it is expected that by 2030, we will all experience The Internet of Senses (IoS), enabled by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), 5G, and automation. The Internet of Senses relies on connected technology interacting with our senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch by way of the brain as the user interface. In other words, the IOS will rely on technology being able to access and act on your thoughts.
Unfortunately, in our race to the future, we have failed to consider what such dependence on technology might mean for our humanity, not to mention our freedoms.
Have we done our due diligence in asking all the questions that need to be asked before unleashing such awesome technology on an unsuspecting populace?
Let me put it another way.
If you were shocked by Edward Snowden’s revelations about how NSA agents have used surveillance to spy on Americans’ phone calls, emails and text messages, can you imagine what unscrupulous government agents could do with access to your internet-connected car, home and medications? Imagine what a SWAT team could do with the ability to access, monitor and control your internet-connected home—locking you in, turning off the lights, activating alarms, etc.
Orwell’s masterpiece, 1984, portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state. There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society. Snitches and cameras are everywhere. And people are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought crimes. The government, or “Party,” is headed by Big Brother, who appears on posters everywhere with the words: “Big Brother is watching you.”
Make no mistake: the Internet of Things and its twin, the Internet of Senses, is just Big Brother in disguise.
In an Early 2019 blog post ,Independent journalist Dagny Taggart wrote the following article concerning the future development of Artificial Intelligence (AI)surveillance and the push for for global governance.
Will humanity eventually be destroyed by one of its own creations?
If you find the idea of living in a computer simulation that is run by unknown beings troubling, wait until you hear Bostrom’s latest theory : “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.” Bostrom took the stage at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, to share some of the insights from his latest work. While speaking to head of the conference, Chris Anderson, Bostrom argued that mass surveillance could be one of the only ways to save humanity – from a technology of our own creation.
His theory starts with a metaphor of humans standing in front of a giant urn filled with balls that represent ideas. There are white balls (beneficial ideas), grey balls (moderately harmful ideas), and black balls (ideas that destroy civilization). The creation of the atomic bomb, for instance, was akin to a grey ball — a dangerous idea that didn’t result in our demise.
Bostrom posits that there may be only one black ball in the urn, but, once it is selected, it cannot be put back. (Humanity would be annihilated, after all.)
According to Bostrom, the only reason that we haven’t selected a black ball yet is because we’ve been “lucky.”
If scientific and technological research continues, we will eventually reach it and pull it out. Our civilization has a considerable ability to pick up balls, but no ability to put them back into the urn. We can invent but we cannot un-invent. Our strategy is to hope that there is no black ball.
If technological development continues then a set of capabilities will at some point be attained that make the devastation of civilization extremely likely, unless civilization sufficiently exits the semi-anarchic default condition
Bostrom believes the only thing that can save humanity is government.
Bostrom has proposed ways to prevent this from happening, and his ideas are horrifyingly dystopian:
The first would require stronger global governance which goes further than the current international system. This would enable states to agree to outlaw the use of the technology quickly enough to avert total catastrophe, because the international community could move faster than it has been able to in the past. Bostrom suggests in his paper that such a government could also retain nuclear weapons to protect against an outbreak or serious breach.
The second system is more dystopian, and would require significantly more surveillance than humans are used to. Bostrom describes a kind of “freedom tag,” fitted to everyone that transmits encrypted audio and video that spots signs of undesirable behavior. This would be necessary, he argues, future governance systems to preemptively intervene before a potentially history-altering crime is committed. The paper notes that if every tag cost $140, it would cost less than one percent of global gross domestic product to fit everyone with the tag and potentially avoida species-ending event
These tags would feed information to “patriot monitoring stations,” or “freedom centers,” where artificial intelligence would monitor the data, bringing human “freedom officers” into the loop if signs of a black ball are detected.
Being monitored by artificial intelligence is a horrifying idea.
Obviously, there are huge downsides and indeed massive risks to mass surveillance and global governance.On an individual level, we seem to be kind of doomed anyway.
I’m just pointing out that if we are lucky, the world could be such that these would be the only way you could survive a black ball.
So to summarize,according to our Global Governance Do-gooders,Humanity is ultimately irresponsible and unable to maintain freedom and security. So eventually when it comes to peace and the future survival of Humankind,Humans will need to forgoe their antiquated ideas of Freedom,Liberty and Independence. We will need to be lorded over by our Transhumanist /AI assisted global overlords.
Fast forward to 2021/22
In the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic, (and every other virus outbreak since has somehow,become our new existential threat)the framework of a Global surveillance state has expanded even further with our current level of Mass surveillance and AI algorithms.
The only way were going to get ahead of this worldwide deadly (99.8% survival rate) virus, And every other endemic virus hereafter is to allow ourselves to be constantly surveilled,tracked,traced and compliant with the Biosecurity dictates of our government’s. Because you know..they’re just trying to keep us alive and “safe” guys…..
The growing Global surveillance network that watches our every move and tracks our everyday habits hasn’t DONE ENOUGH to provide us with Safety from our newest invisible enemy.
the Internet’s system of surveillance has been perfected beyond our imaginations (and usually beyond our acknowledgment). It now extends over email, social media, credit card payments, cell-phone use, and travel records. Every flight and hotel booking, every payment and bank transfer, every call, every picture can be brought together in a singleplatform and mined for interesting or unusual patterns.
Yet, while extending in every direction, this system was completely powerless to warn us about the coronavirus or to help us fight it. That is about to change—and our concept of personal privacy will have to change with it.
If only we could get past this pesky idea of anonymity,privacy and freedom of movement,we could beat you all……errr i mean this virus into submission:
If only governments used all the technology already available to them. Each case could then be treated according to individual parameters. Once a person has been confirmed to be infected, his or her close contacts could automatically be traced and instructed to get tested. Meanwhile, the infected person’s compliance with lockdown instructions could be tracked using digital tools that monitor individual travel and behavior patterns.
Of course, this would require governments accessing cell-phone users’ individual data—and eliminating the legal hurdles currently preventing them from doing so.
One obvious possibility as we slowly lift the physical restrictions now in place is to replace those blunt instruments with something more advanced and intelligent. Imagine a new coronavirus patient is detected. Once he or she tests positive, the government could use cell-phone data to trace everyone he or she has been in close proximity to, perhaps focusing on those people who were in contact for more than a few minutes. Everyone in that list would receive a message ordering them to immediately go into isolation. They would themselves be tested, and the process would start again.
Your cell-phone signal could then be used to enforce quarantine decisions. Leave your apartment and the authorities will know. Leave your phone behind and they will call you. Run the battery down and a police car will be at your door in a manner of minutes.
While the author of the article stop’s short of calling for an outright Totalitarian Bio-security regime,(he even manages to advocate for some small form of privacy) The hit’s keep coming with this statement of complete cognitive dissonance:
Privacy hawks may disagree, but a surveillance system can be a way to leave people alone. Properly designed, it consists of a kind of security perimeter—mostly virtual—within which life can go on undisturbed.
The future we have to look forward to if we want to remain protected from future pandemics,(or insert your favorite boogeyman…Rabid nationalist’s next???)is in pre-emptive action and monitoring. The author calls for a sort of Phillip. K. Dick Pre-crime version of Health surveillance:
In any event, we are only at the beginning. The real game is not to create the technology to monitor restrictive measures during an outbreak but to prevent it from happening in the first place. In two or three years, after the coronavirus threat has receded, the challenge will be to build the kind of system that can prevent future pandemics before they occur, just as the goal of an effective counterterrorism policy must be to stop potential attacks during the planning stage rather than to catch the culprits after they succeed.
And just to throw in a little flashback bit of fear mongering,For those of you who had the displeasure of living through the decade of a global war on terror (GWOT):
The chances that the system will not be gradually expanded to include biosecurity look very slim, not least because the coronavirus pandemic has already become immeasurably more devastating than any terrorist attack could hope to be.
Be afraid plebs..be very afriad. Because our Global overlords will see to it that we will always have some enemy to face,that requires the sacrifices of our physical and eventually mental freedom.
In the U.S. and throughout the world, there has been a recent push to implement a variety of “vaccine passport” regimes, many of which rely on digital technologies such as mobile applications to carry a record of — so far, at least — one’s Covid-19 vaccination records.
These “tools” are presented by public officials and significant sections of the media in recent weeks and months as an inevitability of sorts, a technological progression as natural as breathing.They are also presented as a “new” response to an unprecedented crisis.
These technological applications are touted as a means of keeping businesses open and ensuring “peace of mind” for members of the public who remain wary about entering public spaces.But just how new is this “new” technology? And will the use of technology be limited to COVID vaccinations, or for purposes of “health?”
International ‘alliances’ backing the melding of ‘Big Tech’ and ‘Big Health’
t was the beginning of the preceding decade, January 2010, when Bill Gates, via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, proclaimed “we must make this the decade of vaccines,” adding that “innovation will make it possible to save more children than ever before.”
In launching this so-called “Decade of Vaccines,” the Gates Foundation pledged $10 billion in funding. But Gates wasn’t the only actor behind this initiative.
These same actors — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the WEF — organized the now-notorious Event 201 pandemic simulation exercise, in October 2019, just before COVID entered our lives.
“The Bill Gates’ Gavi Vaccine Alliance in 2018 published a paper on its INFUSE program that ought to be required reading for every parent of young children. Published more than a year before anyone had heard of Covid-19, the document explains why Fauci, Gates and the corrupt U.S. government are so intent on getting these “vaccines” into the bodies of younger and younger people.
The Gavi alliance, flush with $1.16 billion in taxpayer dollars is partnering with the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the Gates Foundation and other globalist organizations to advocate for creating a registered, verifiable, digital ID for every child on the planet. This ID will be tied to each child’s vaccination status.
“Don’t be confused by the bit about ‘building a healthier and more prosperous future.’ That’s just window dressing. This is all about data collection and has nothing to do with health.
“The real purpose behind the historic, unprecedented push to vaccinate the very young, even against diseases like COVID that do not pose a threat to them, is to fold the current generation of children into the blossoming global digital identity system.”
Taking ‘health passports’ a step (or more) further: digital wallet regimes take shape
The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 30 passed H.R. 550, the Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021.
If passed by Congress, this law would provide $400 million in funding to expand vaccine-tracking systems at the state and local level, enabling state health officials to monitor the vaccination status of American citizens and to provide this information to the federal government.
Meanwhile, several states, including New York (via its “Excelsior Pass”) and Connecticut introduced their own digital COVID vaccination certificate. New York went so far as to make a “blueprint” of its vaccine pass platform available, “as a guide to assist other states, territories, and entities in the expansion of compatible COVID-19 vaccine credential systems to advance economic development efforts nationwide.”
The rollout of digital platforms gives rise to questions about the safety of individuals’ data on these digital platforms, despite government reassurances to the contrary regarding privacy.
Moreover, it remains unclear how long “COVID passports,” whether in digital or paper form, will remain enforced, or if governments plan to make such a regime permanent.
The Public Health Agency of Canada(PHAC) accessed location data from 33 million mobile devices to monitor people’s movement during lockdown, the agency revealed this week. (That’s 3/4’s of Canada’s total populationBtw)
“Due to the urgency of the pandemic, (PHAC) collected and used mobility data, such as cell-tower location data, throughout the COVID-19 response,” a spokesperson stated.
PHAC used the location data to evaluate the effectiveness of public lockdown measures and allow the Agency to “understand possible links between movement of populations within Canada and spread of COVID-19,” the spokesperson said. The Agency is planning to track population movement for roughly the next five years, including to address other public health issues, such as “other infectious diseases, chronic disease prevention and mental health,” the spokesperson added.
Privacy advocates raised concerns to the National Post about the long-term implications of the program. “I think that the Canadian public will find out about many other such unauthorized surveillance initiatives before the pandemic is over—and afterwards,” David Lyon, author of Pandemic Surveillance and former director of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University, said in an email.
Lyon warned that PHAC “uses the same kinds of ‘reassuring’ language as national security agencies use, for instance not mentioning possibilities for re-identifying data that has been ‘de-identified.’”
“In principle, of course, cell data can be used for tracking.”Increased use of surveillance technology during the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new normal in the name of security, Lyon said.
The pandemic has created opportunities for a massive surveillance surge on many levels—not only for public health, but also for monitoring those working, shopping and learning from home.”
“Evidence is coming in from many sources, from countries around the world, that what was seen as a huge surveillance surge—post 9/11—is now completely upstaged by pandemic surveillance,”
The pandemic has created opportunities for a massive surveillance surge on many levels—not only for public health, but also for monitoring those working, shopping and learning from home.”
PHAC’s privacy management division conducted an assessment and “determined that since no personal information is being acquired through this contract, there are no concerns under the Privacy Act,” the PHAC spokesperson said.
Mass surveillance and State sponsored/directed spying and tracking of citizens scored another victory recently in the summer of 2021. The Australian government passed a massive Surveillance bill (in less than 24 hours) that not only grants them the power to monitor it’s citizens online activity, but to also actively intervene,interrupt (Hack) and modify (Frame?) online accounts and data. It comes as no surprise to those who’ve been paying attention to Australia’s slide toward technocratic Authoritarianism. Australia (much like it’s Five eye’s intelligence partners)has had for many years a developing Mass surveillance infrastructure.
In the lead up to this,in 2018 Australia passed the TOLA act,which allowed Law enforcement and Intelligence agencies the ability to(Read:Coerce) “compel communications providers to provide assistance in accessing content as well as extensions to warrant-based collection powers.” The act also gave the power to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO),to grant immunity from prosecution any provider/entity that would provide assistance.
Data disruption warrant: gives the police the ability to “disrupt data” by modifying, copying, adding, or deleting it. While it’s called a warrant, there is an emergency authorization process for cases when it is “not practicable” to get a warrant. So a data disruption “warrant” can be issued under something referred to as an emergency authorization,which means that Australia now has a warrant less surveillance regime on the books.
A Network activity warrant: Which allows the police to collect intelligence from devices or networks that are used, or likely to be used, by those subject to the warrant. This “warrant” power allows access to networks where there is suspicion of serious online offenses,although what qualifies as “serious” has a variety of definitions in the legislation. The definitions are purposely vague so as to allow broad interpretation,which would enable widespread surveillance across social media and messaging platforms.
An Account takeover warrant: allows the police to take control of an online account (e.g. social media) for the purposes of gathering information for an investigation. This power also allows for the ability to lock the account holder out. This can be done covertly and without consent, so the individual wouldn’t necessarily know what is going on until or if they are ever charged.The warrant is applicable for a maximum of 90 days (though extensions are possible) — so that is the length of time a law enforcement officer can impersonate you or use your accounts to monitor your activity and gather information.
Even with all the broad spying powers introduced by this bill, There was at least one “recommendation” for public advocacy & introducing a public interest advocate into this process. A public interest candidate is someone who would argue on behalf of the affected individual in the room where as now only a police officer and a judge get to play judge and jury. But As it stands, the Australian government remains uninterested in allowing individuals to defend their rights: there is no one to argue on your behalf, and there is never any notification to the individual (even after the fact) so you will never know if you were subject to any of these powers.
Being that the bill was passed with little opposition,and rushed through the legislature with all parties in lockstep with the surveillance agenda. Australia’s government has shown it’s contempt for it’s citizens privacy in order to accrue more powers for “fighting online crime”. Continuing the global trend (Since 2001) of developed nations curtailing citizens civil liberties,in the name of “national security”.
Surveilling Citizen’s protests – Equal opportunity across the board