There is an action currently taking place in our federal government that could, in the long term, mark the beginning of the end of free speech as we know it here in the U.S.of A.
Just recently, that sprawling catch-all bureaucracy famous for groping grandma at the airport in the name of preventing ‘terrorism,’ the dubiously-named Department of “Homeland Security”, announced that it is seeking a ‘Media Monitoring Service.’
Though this may sound innocuous enough, it appears to be yet one more attack on the entire American citizenry by the deep state, setting up another layer of mass surveillance for our government to indiscriminately spy on us and compile data for the digital dossiers it will soon have on every single human being.
DHS wants to initiate a massive, ceaseless capability of monitoring every journalist, blogger, publication, website, social media influencer or other online information outlet that publishes anything whatsoever relating to the Department.
This is clearly a big brother type surveillance operation aimed at compiling a comprehensive database of anyone speaking (writing) about the government. This massive effort would empower a “Security” arm of the federal government to track upwards of 290,000 global news sources, including every online, print, broadcast, cable, radio, trade and industry publications, local, national and international information outlets, traditional news sources, and even social media!
This total information dragnet is another step forward in tightening the government’s noose around the necks of every American and anyone who still believe in freedom here and around the world.
Is there not already a crushing, inescapable amount of surveillance on our every communication, conversation, email, text, Tweet, post, purchase or movement?
As if the insidious backend mining by every major social media platform of every conceivable data point about every person who exists in our modern world were not creepy and invasive enough, now we have the massive power and reach of our government taking this inescapable monitoring and mining to the next level.
Unlike social media, however, there would be no “opt out”. This feels like the type of totalitarian overwatch that was a fact of life in the Soviet Union and has become the reality of life in the most authoritarian, controlling regimes the world has ever known, from North Korea to the People’s Republic of China to fundamentalist theocracies like Iran!
And what could the overlords of state do with all this data? For each and every information generator or influencer found, a list would be compiled of all contact details and pretty much every bit or piece of information that the government unilaterally determines to be relevant.
This would include all publications an online media participant or influencer writes for, and a comprehensive overview of anything and everything ever published by that person. While it may be downplayed as merely passive data gathering that somehow serves a legitimate government need to avail itself of information, the reality is that such a comprehensive, universal, omnipresent information-gathering power is evidence of government approaching a totalitarian or fascist state.
Are we going to trust the DHS to self-monitor and police itself, so as not to grossly ignore our rights as free people to form our own opinions and share them without fear of being placed on a watch list or secretly categorized and profiled by faceless agents of the state? This is akin to expecting the proverbial fox to guard the henhouse.
It was only recently that the NSA was exposed for running a “black ops” program that illegally monitors and stores every type of communication from every single American citizen. This program, called PRISM, empowers officials to collect any and all data on any all people, from search history to email and phone contents to file transfers to live chats, worldwide.
History has made it abundantly clear that when a government suppresses its citizens, when it tries to control our thoughts and our basic right to free speech and our freedom of the press, it has set up an incredibly dangerous situation.
This type of unprecedented expansion of government power will only continue until and unless the people rise up, in whatever manner they can and however long it takes, to pushback against tyranny, injustice and oppressive state power.