Everyone is watching—all the time

October 25, 2013

Spying on Democracy
Heidi Boghosian
City Lights Books

Reviewed by Emanuele Corso
I haven’t reviewed any books for quite a while. This one, however, compels me to recommend it to anyone who is concerned about or isn’t aware of our government’s prolific domestic spying and its consequences. In the name of keeping us safe from terrorists the NSA, FBI, CIA, and the entire host of organizations, governmental and private, from the municipal to the national level are destroying the meaning and value of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. In short, in their minds they must destroy our open democratic society in order to “save” us. Tragically, the question has now become, who is going to save us from them?

The New York City Police Department  gets special attention from the author for its despicable treatment of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The NYPD created situations that forced protesters into circumstances for which they would then be arrested. That’s called entrapment. Not to be forgotten either is the $4.6 million “donation” to the NYPD by Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, conveniently made during the Occupy protests, making sure his interests were protected. The transaction made clear the NYPD’s priorities and loyalties. The combination of class warfare and militarized police suppression of lawful protest across the US is a clear indication of the direction in which we are being steered and by whom.

As to the global scope of surveillance read today’s (10/25/13) headlines exposing the US for tapping the phones of the heads of state of our allies—Brazil, France, and Germany among them. Our government is monitoring the phone calls of 35 world leaders. It isn’t just we Americans who are being surveilled  it’s also people who are supposed to be our allies. As detailed by Ms Boghosian, it isn’t just the government gathering and storing information about us either. Each and every purchase you make using a credit card in a store or on the internet is noted, aggregated, and sold. The information gathered is sold to corporations wishing to peddle their wares to you and, of course, the data is shared with the government.

Spying on Democracy is a scary book. It details and explains how every aspect of your life is being constantly examined, regardless of any acts on your part that would indicate you have terroristic tendencies or affiliations. Your phone calls, your credit-card transactions, the books you buy, your waist size, your friends — all of this data and metadata is under a microscope and stored away for future use. The heads of government spy operations lie about these activities, even when called before congress and testifying under oath. Heidi Boghosian is a brave and patriotic individual in the same manner as Edward Snowden. If the efforts of these patriots go unheeded we are in for a sorry ride to the end of freedom of speech and expression.

Buy the book. Inform yourself. And remember, everyone is always watching you.

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