The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

04 December 2011

Third American Revolution, reasons to fight: The burgeoning Police State

The Great Eye of Mordor-on-the-Potomac is upon you:

"...wall upon wall, battlement upon battlement, black, immeasurably strong, mountain of iron, gate of steel, tower of adamant... Barad-dûr, fortress of Sauron."
– Vision of Frodo Baggins
[This is what is built when we give up our liberty]
 IF WE look beneath the surface of our public affairs, we can discern one fundamental fact, namely: a great redistribution of power between society [Society = you and me, the taxpayers--HM] and the State...

It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power. There is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.

--Alfred Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State, 1935

From yesterday's

Cherie Anderson runs a travel company in southern California, and she’s convinced the federal government is reading her emails. But she’s all right with that.
“I assume it's part of the Patriot Act and I really don't mind,” she says. “I figure I'm probably boring them to death."

[This is the attitude that is the death of Liberty, this is the great Lack of Eternal Vigilence that dooms the United States of America to police state "homeland" instead of the Land of the Free and the home of the Brave.  This is the abrogation of  the primary responsibility by the American citizen.--HM]

It's likely Anderson is not alone in her concerns that the government may be monitoring what Americans say, write, and read. And now there may be even more to worry about: a newly revealed security research project called PRODIGAL -- the Proactive Discovery of Insider Threats Using Graph Analysis and Learning -- which has been built to scan IMs, texts and emails . . . and can read approximately a quarter billion of them a day.

“Every time someone logs on or off, sends an email or text, touches a file or plugs in a USB key, these records are collected within the organization,” David Bader, a professor at the Georgia Tech School of Computational Science and Engineering and a principal investigator on the project, told

PRODIGAL scans those records for behavior -- emails to unusual recipients, certain words cropping up, files transferred from unexpected servers -- that changes over time as an employee "goes rogue." The system was developed at Georgia Tech in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Army's secretive research arm that works on everything from flying cars to robotic exoskeletons.

Initially, PRODIGAL will scan only the communications of military volunteers and people who work in federal agencies. But the very existence of such a project is sure to unnerve citizens like Anderson. Is the government reading my emails? Are they already monitoring me?

"Some people say it's one step further toward a police state," said Anthony Howard, a book author and security expert who has consulted for the Department of Homeland Security.

Read more in Fox News