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Think Mass Government Spying's Alright?

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0 # sickmacias89 2014-02-11 21:10
This reminds me of our class discussions on our death list and how many couldn't believe it actually exist. When I was a kid I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew we couldn't trust Bush or any part of our gov't. Its a massive bureaucracy that does what it pleases because it has this wall it can hide from, yet we as country are allowed to all information within it? I'm lost.
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0 # KG7 2014-02-12 13:59
I couldn't agree more. When big government abuses its power, in any capacity, its us, the citizens that suffer. When it comes to mass surveillance of its people, government uses words like "terrorism" and "safety" in a weak attempt to gain acceptance of its intrusive actions. If they are allowed to operate like this, unchecked, then their gathering info from our every day lives via email, txt, calls, what websites we visit, etc. will only be the beginning. Where will the intrusion end? When a government results to these kinds of basic rights violations on its subjects to protect them from acts of terrorism, than terrorism has already won.
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0 # ktli 2014-02-15 22:21
I agree with you. I also curious to the gov't, the NSA especially, confidentiality procedures. Since Snowden could expose their surveillance activities, how they guarantee or prevent such incident from happening again and how they prevent the terrorists get a hold of their records.
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0 # dgjr_91 2014-02-15 23:30
I would have to completely agree with you, the government is going to the extremes with this mass surveillance being 'necessary to fight terrorism'. Ever since the 9/11 attacks many of us citizens if not all have now been subject to being spied on although we have not been accused of any wrongdoing. How ridiculous is it that now the government feels the need to even suspect of citizens of the country as possible threats or involved in threats against our own nation. They have completely disregarded the Bill of Rights right to privacy, a basic human right. I also think the fact that you mention that if government finds it necessary to violate this basic human right, then terrorism has already won, sounds correct. I too believe terrorism has already won.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 23:36
State terrorism and anti-state terrorism are a unity of opposites that feed and fuel each other. The solution for the people is to break out of the (il)logic of that dichotomy. State terrorism has for now won, but the matter is still up for resolution because at this point the masses of people have not really entered into the fray. When and if they do thru the efforts of political activists, then the whole matter will be up for a radically different resolution. It's like a sports contest where one side's been dominating but the other side hasn't even begun to draw upon its potential yet. Those who hold power now can only do so as long as they manage to keep the people from entering into political life in a real, mass, and living way. For that to happen requires that there be leadership from amg the people.
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0 # dgjr_91 2014-02-16 02:02
So we need more masses of people plus political activists to start putting pressure to end the mass surveillance? When will this happen and what do you think will happen then? Will there really be an end to the violation of our right to privacy?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-16 03:47
I don't have a program that tells us when this will happen. It doesn't work that way. We have to draw people forward like you and people you know as leaders to fight for this. If people meekly accept mass suspicionless surveillance than they are saying that they are ok with the annihilation of their civil liberties. You need to ask yourself which side you stand on in that because a choice is inescapable. If you choose to do nothing then you are choosing to accept it. If you choose to fight against tyranny, then that's what humanity needs.
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0 # LB11 2014-02-12 21:32
I find the title "Dont care if the US government watches what you do?" very interesting. Alot of people actually dont care if the government watches peoples every moves. They get convinced that mass surveilence is in their best interest because it will protect them from anyone who threatens their freedoms but inactually the mass surveilience itself is doing just that. It is easy to believe that you as an individual are not being watched since most of us dont experience any first hand tangible evidence of this taking place. Peoples lack of belief makes them less likely to fight against it.However, The longer this is allowed to go on,the more comfortable the government is going to feel using more and more mass surveillance techniques. If this is not stopped soon we eventually wont have any control over our everyday lives including our own opinions and beliefs and eventually the government might not even be curtious enough to hide what they are doing.
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0 # lcdisney37 2014-02-13 00:38
I don't believe it is necessarily the fact that people do not care if the government watches, more like they believe there isn't much they could do to stop it. It would take thousands of people to raise this issue to the government, and although there are more people in the US population then people in government we don't do anything. Everybody talks a lot about how the government is trying to control us but because of fear nothing is yet to be done.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-13 01:09
Actually, there were national and int'l demonstrations yesterday doing what you say no one's doing. It IS more that ppl think they lose nothing by gov't spying on everyone than that they can't do anything about it - the evidence for which is what many ppl say when asked. The reasons why things are the way they are is not MAINLY because of ppl's inactions or apathy. It's mainly b/c the gov't is exercising its use of propaganda and coercion to mislead ppl & intimidate them. We can break out of it but it takes ppl like yourself to actually help by doing something yourself & thereby help to break others out.
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0 # KG7 2014-02-15 16:21
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing (Edmund Burke).
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0 # LB11 2014-02-16 07:50
I'm sure the majority of people do care if their being watched I was just saying that the people who don't care probably don't see how the government is using propaganda to blind them of the governments real motives and goals for using mas surveillance in the first place. If you don't know your being deceived,what do you have to fight against? Also I do agree that a lot of people who are informed are to afraid to react or don't believe that their efforts will be effective. Getting thousands or maybe even millions of people to go against the government does sounds like a hard task. Most people are intimidated by the challenge.I for one however believe in the whole "be the change you want to see in the world" idea. If you feel strongly about something do whatever it takes to make it happen. It only takes one person to start a revolution, imagine the power behind thousands of people.
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0 # mart909 2014-02-13 18:39
I find this very interesting. I don't believe it really is that people do not care but its just that they feel like they can't really do anything about it because it is the United States. One against the country, sounds like there is no chance of winning there. They fear for what will and can happen. This country is pretty much taking over every aspect of the citizens life. Through actions like these they control what the individual does. They inflict fear in their lives since now we all have to think twice about what we say or do because someone is always watching. Little by little we can notice that its not freedom but an illusion of freedom that we an given.
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0 # OLI 2014-02-15 01:45
I agree with mart909 "that people do not care but its just that they feel like they can't really do anything" and I am one of those people who does believe that it is one against the US. My father works for LAX and has several friends that work for the FBI, and he has told me that they help to profile people, with the txts that are sent out. For ex if you text the word "bomb" its triggers computers and you get put into a profile pool. Once my dad told me that I became very cautious with the words I text or email. So, I do have a fear that if I stand up I will be "punked" by the govt and who knows what they can do. So, I know it is wrong but I try to keep under the radar and hope to live a simple lifestyle, but how does one get out of this cycle and how does one become courageous enough to become that leader?
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 02:12
There are a multitude of ways that ppl can do things that are part of a larger process and not everyone has to be upfront and publicly known. One cannot live a simple life immune from the storms that this system produces, including the literal storms it produces thru their ignoring and contributing further to climate change. Mart909 says it's "One against the country" but that's wrong. It's not you against the world. Most of the world is on the side of those who want to do something against the system but they don't know how and ppl who have more understanding and aren't fatalists need to act to spread the word.
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0 # OLI 2014-02-15 21:46
Well I feel that we are all waiting for that "one" leader to help us start this movement, but shouldn't we all become leaders so we all can lead. I also feel that a leader wont come into picture until the population of the US no longs feels free. For ex. If the US govt does take this leader out through unconstitutiona l means or because they label him a terrorist, how would we respond? I forgot the name of the journalist in a past article, but he fought for certain rights and was speaking against the govt, but then saw photos of what the govt does to people and backs off. Do you think the govt is allowing these certain hiccups (Snowden and Manning) to happen to keep keep disturbances down and fear within the public?
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0 # princessdah 2014-03-26 12:55
I agree!the surveillance on people violates privacy but many people do not know they are being watched. In our class discussion I remember talking about how they will tap your phone call and have spies look through your window and helicopters or jets with high definition equipment that can see through your walls. Also if u speak of doing a murder or say the word bomb you can hear your phone being tapped nd call listened too.. it should be illegal for the government to spy on citizens because it violates privacy laws.
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0 # debdawg91 2014-02-14 07:04
Honestly, this would not be a huge deal if Snowden would have kept his mouth shout, but in reality the only reason why it is now problem because people are now aware of whats going on. Now that the people are realizing whats really going on, it pisses a lot of people off. Our rights are being violated. As a U.S citizen I feel violated. What happen to our protection? I agree, it does not matter what party you come from this affects everyone and it is time to take a stand and fight back. Be that voice!
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0 # mart909 2014-02-15 00:12
That was a contributing factor towards why people are now aware of this. There definitely has to be a change but doubt anything will be done because the government will pretty much do what it wants either way. This reminds me of the things they said to Snowden because of what other things he knows that the US fears he will say. Who knows of how much effort they are putting towards getting him into US territory
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 02:00
Here is where understanding dialectics makes a difference. When you say that there needs to be change but the gov't can quash whatever they want you're analyzing things on-sidedly versus two-sidedly or dialectically. The gov't is doing these things such as the massive surveillance and attacking dissent and suspending civil liberties etc. precisely because they are in a strategically weak position, not because of strength. You need to look beneath the surface at things in their dynamic motion to appreciate what the possibilities are. In addition, fatalism is a self-fulfilling cycle of futility.
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0 # KG7 2014-02-15 16:11
Debdawg91: Are you suggesting that ignorance is bliss and this is all Snowden's fault for "not keeping his mouth shut"?
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0 # sintricity08 2014-02-15 11:48
I agree, a government only remains legitimate as to how far they are willing to go to retain itself. America is going further and further by entering wars against those who do not seek to harm us and choosing not to reveal its true intentions to the public. Our media downplays the important and over broadcasts events that are causing little to no effect on our lives. Surveillance of Americans will only lead to harming those who try to stop it, provoke revolution, and spread the truth of things.
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0 # debdawg91 2014-02-15 18:12
KG7: Not at all. Just agree with what we had discussed in class about if Snowden hadn't brought it up we would not be in the mess, at least not yet. its not Snowden's faulty at all, like Loo stated if you go to their website it already tells you. people just choose not to know. Now that the are somewhat forced to know people are angry. Ignorance is not always bliss at least not in this case.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 18:49
debdawg: You're referring to the NSA's own website where they admit they're monitoring adversaries. I don't, however, agree with you that people choose not to know. They don't know what they don't know so there's no choice involved there. While it's true there are some who deny what they learn, the main problem isn't that. The main problem is that most ppl don't know what's really going on. To argue that ppl know & that they're in denial is to miss the key aspect of our collective situation. Did ppl who went to the GTMO program on campus know before they went? And were they in denial then or after?
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0 # ktli 2014-02-15 22:04
As dynamic materialism states, “consciousness is based upon matter but consciousness in turn can affect matter and change it.” In short, the consciousness and will are fully due to material agency. Since the 911 attacks, the Gov’t surveillance activities have become more frequent and severe. As an immigrant, this shocks me. I thought America is a “free country”, but I guess I was wrong. In the name of “to safeguard against terrorism,” the US gov’t is spying on Americans and its allied countries, but they never clearly explained how it operates and when will they stop. Such activities remind me of dictatorship.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 22:44
Yes, it's a dictatorship. Or more accurately, a bourgeois dictatorship in which there is democracy betw and among members of the bourgeois but they as a class exercise dictatorship over the rest of the society. So the GOP and Dems operate as a fraternity with their varying degrees of dispute but they present a united front against anyone who represents a real departure and challenge to bourgeois rule. Over those ppl it's sheer dictatorship.
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0 # KLR 2014-02-15 22:08
LB11: I have to agree. Most people don't care that the government is using mass surveilence techniques to track us. What worries me the most is the fact that the Government can form the wrong conclusion about someone that is innocent. Maybe they clicked on the wrong website. Maybe they texted the wrong person on accident. Maybe they played the wrong social game. Whatever it is, the government can ruin an innocent persons' life just because they think he/she is a threat.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 22:35
Actually, according to polling data, a majority of Americans ARE concerned about and opposed to the gov't's mass spying. At the same time, most people do not know the true reasons why the gov't is doing this and that is something that has to be spread to them.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 23:10
There's been a theme in many ppl's comments on the website that the public is responsible for why things are the way they are by the public being in denial or uncaring or distracted or accepting of that which they should not accept. The empirical data don't support these views. So why are these views so common? I think b/c Democratic Theory holds that public policy is due to public sentiment & Demo Theory is what's been drummed into ppl's heads from the earliest ages so ppl tend to accept it w/o thinking carefully abt it. It's important for ppl to understand the real shortcomings of democratic theory & recognize that fundamentally things are the way they are NOT because the majority want it that way but because those in power want it that way and create opinion to support them & present a facade that what they're doing is what the ppl want when in reality it is not. That's why theoretical sophistication is so needed and why you need theory to penetrate surface appearances.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-15 23:13
For more on this point, see Chap 5 of Globalization and the Demolition of Society. For a partial rendering of that chapter, see http://dennisloo.com/Articles/why-democracies-aren-t-democratic-part-3-of-the-making-a-radical-rupture-with-conventional-thinking-series.html.
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0 # dgjr_91 2014-02-15 22:54
It was not until recently I found out we were being watched by the government. How do I feel about that and do I care? Of course. Edward Snowden's recent global surveillance disclosure should have and did serve as a wake up call for citizens of the United States. Our government is spying on it's own people, after denying it all, the NSA has finally felt the pressure and admitted that they have been watching us. Their has been way too much secrecy in this country and it is corrupt of the government to keep crucial actions such as mass surveillance from it's people, this is no longer a secret and the suspicionless surveillance needs to stop now. The government constantly tries to justify mass surveillance as necessary to fight terrorism and protect the national security but we must remember, one of our basic rights is the right to privacy and what the government has been doing is taking this right away from us.
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0 # dgjr_91 2014-02-15 22:55
Continued...
We have to make an effort to be aware of what the government is doing, to maintain ourselves well informed and fight against it. As mentioned in Stop Watching Us' website, "A free society should not have secret laws!...and in a surveillance state, democracy itself is dead."
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0 # Bland 2014-02-16 05:31
Wow, this is pretty intense. I am still in awe over the fact that our givernment is watching over us, not in denial, just awe. I m still baffled as to why the government feels that mass surviance is the answer. Is this merely them abusing their power? How do we stop it? Do we the people have the power ? I believe this ties into your article regarding seeking the truth nd looking for the answers.
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0 # KT10 2014-02-16 07:23
I find this post very disturbing, because like everyone knows, it's obviously violating our privacy and rights. It makes me feel like we are always being watched 24/7. I wonder what the true reason is behind spying on every citizen. Even if someone got jailed for something, I doubt their rights during a trial will be used fairly for them. If there is mass spying within our government and overseas, why is it justifiable for our country to spy on other countries? Honestly, there's probably so much more we don't know because this all seems so complicated as to why this still occurs. I really hope there will be a stop to this, because this is just appalling and till this day I still can't believe it's happening.
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0 # Dennis Loo 2014-02-16 14:59
See this article re: why this is going on - http://dennisloo.com/Sample-Data-Articles/we-are-the-enemy-whistleblowers-journalists-protestors-and-the-people.html
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0 # sintricity08 2014-02-16 17:53
they do it because they want control over us and want the world an its people to be fearful and yet mindful of the fact that someone is watching them. Just as we discussed in class, a government will use coercion and persuasion to get what it wants, and I feel this surveillance was coerced upon us and yet persuaded because people will openly admit to not caring about it.
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0 # sickmacias89 2014-02-19 03:12
After reading We Are The Enemy; Whistleblowers, Journalist, Protestors, and the People i thought of the graphic comic V for Vendetta which is a story created by David Llyod around the time Margret Thatcher came to rule and when AIDS was discovered. The story comes from the U.K.'s Guy Fawkes day when a british solider attempted blowing up parliament in 1605 and the story goes on the idea that people should not fear their gov't, but that gov't should fear its people. Which i believe is part of the reason our gov't says its a great idea to watch over us, because they for some part fear us and what we can do.
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0 # AP158 2014-02-19 07:19
I think that you all have great point of views. It’s true when a government is as big as ours, we as citizens think that we are going to be ignored and judged if we intent to change any of their procedures. The fact that the government is able to track our every move is disturbing because it violates the fact that we are entitled to privacy. I understand the need for the government to track a person moves if he/she was involved in a crime and this is the only way to solve the case. But with that said, even then the government should ask for permission. I think many Americans are not aware of the rights that they have and those that are, are afraid to demand them.
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0 # AP158 2014-02-19 07:20
cont...The surveillance of the government reminded me about the same way that we remain silent and afraid when we are pulled over by the police and asked to be searched. Many Americans as we learned in the New Jim Crow by Alexander remain quiet and allow themselves to be searched because they are afraid of what the result will be if they say no to the officer. We can see the correlation of power over the people in order to keep control.
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Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12