Legislation

One of the more disturbing aspects of the U.S. Department of Education is its obsession with data collection. But it all makes perfect sense if you see it from the point of view of the educational totalitarians whose aim it is to use behavioral psychology for the purpose of modifying and controlling human behavior.

On Friday, July 6, President Barack Obama continued his quest to codify his own dictatorship with the issuing of a new executive order granting himself yet another expansive, unconstitutional power. The power afforded to the President in this latest executive order is so frighteningly expansive that it exceeds the scope of the authority acceded to the president in all his previous edicts.

 

On Monday, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA) urged Congress to act swiftly to establish workable guidelines and jurisdictional boundaries in the war against destructive computer attacks that might be made against the online infrastructure of the United States.

General Keith Alexander of the U.S. Army delivered an address at the American Enterprise Institute arguing that the need for such congressional action is urgent, and that something has to be done before the nation is hit with a disabling cyberattack. He insisted that the likelihood of such an assault was increasing.

Cellphone carriers report an increase in the number of law enforcement requests for user information. The Air Force is training drone pilots by having them follow civilian cars.

With Ron Paul’s bill H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, headed for a floor vote in the House in the next two weeks (and likely success at passage with 263 sponsors), he and his son Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are now focusing on the Internet.

His Campaign for Liberty (C4L), started in 2008 with some four million dollars of campaign funds from his unsuccessful run for the White House that year, has issued its manifesto to continue the fight: “The Technology Revolution: A Campaign for Liberty Manifesto.”

On July 2, social media service Twitter released its first ever “Transparency Report” revealing the alarming number of requests it has received from the government of the United States to delete tweets and disclose information about its users.

 

“I don’t know if America has a leadership problem; it certainly has a followership problem,” New York Times columnist David Brooks laments. “Vast majorities of Americans don’t trust their institutions.” I think Brooks is wrong, though I wish he were right.

On Monday a group representing about 7,000 drone manufacturers and operators from government organizations, industry and academia released an industry-wide code of conduct to allay fears of privacy violations.  According to the press release issued by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, describes the code as “a set of guidelines to provide AUVSI members – and those who design, test and operate UAS for public and civil use – with recommendations for their safe, non-intrusive operation.”

As the sprawling surveillance site being constructed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Utah grows larger and nearer completion every day, the domestic spy service remains tightlipped about just how much and what kind of personal electronic data they have already collected and collated. Not only does the NSA refuse to provide such information, it insists that it cannot be forced to.

In July of 2011 and again in May 2012, Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to James R. Clapper, Jr., the Director of National Intelligence, asking him a series of four questions regarding the activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies regarding domestic surveillance.

Many Americans are justifiably anxious about drone use by the federal government against the American people, but the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations says that concerns about our privacy are overblown.“While many are understandably anxious about the seemingly inevitable expansion of drones a cross the United States, I argue that many fears are either overblown or based on misperceptions,” wrote Micah Zenko on the Council on Foreign Relations website June 21.

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