Citizen Surveillance on the Rise, Zero Tolerance for First and Fourth Amendments

Surveillance state

Some say the further we travel into the future, the darker it looks for average citizens. With wages for the bottom 90 percent of Americans stagnant and wages for the top 1 percent skyrocketing, I would agree that most Americans are in for a ride—One of those scary rides that keeps flipping you upside down continuously. The opportunity for every American to achieve wealth has dwindled away. That doesn’t mean that we can’t get it back though.

For citizens who just want to have a job, be able to pay off their student loans, to drink safe water and food, indulge in whatever intoxicants they please and not have their private data used against them, you are out of luck (for now). Maybe some time in the far future we can return to a United States that valued the 1st and 4th Amendment, but for now our path is headed to an increasingly more surveillanced, bleak and austeriy-driven state. The trend towards a police state is become increasingly disturbing. What’s even more disturbing is seeing so many people ignore the trampling of the 1st and 4th Amendment. They’re quick to dismiss any police officer that may have abused their power in the occupy events. I guess they think that as long as they keep their hair trimmed and take showers twice a day, the police won’t bother them. Hm.

Here’s a look into what happened earlier in October to Occupy Wall Street. Bloomberg and his teams were detaining journalists who were just doing their job. They also trashed the whole camp, destroying any evidence against the state the camp may have had. Not only can the state search, seize and destroy anyone’s property they deem fitting, now journalists cant even report on news if the state says it is too dangerous. Excuse me, but when did journalists need permission to cover news in the first place?

The first of many reasons why I feel we are entering a police state is because of the amount of spying going on in America, by corporations and by governments as a result of the PATRIOT Act. Recently, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a SWAT team raided the home of prominent Civil Rights Lawyer Barbara Arnwine for reasons unknown (Not the first time prominent civil rights leaders were under scrutiny from the federal government). She said she was trapped in her house at gunpoint for three hours.

Also, take a look at what Germany is doing to their citizens. They’re using Trojan virus to record citizens through their own laptop computers. They’re also saving keystrokes and data. Well, if the government wants to look at a guy’s laptop, be prepared to see a lot of porn and a little bit of terrorism plots. Do you think America is going to remain behind in these Spy Wars? The FBI is also working on technology that can recognize facial structures. This on top of the fact that they are capturing our faces through our own computers’ cameras. Now these companies and the government will have no doubt who we are when presenting evidence to the courts.

More of the taxpayer’s money is being spent on the military industrial complex. Americans have sent drones into six sovereign nations to conduct lethal attacks on citizens (some of them even being American citizens who never received due process). In a time when the Super Committee failed to make the necessary cuts to entitlement programs and add revenue to a stagnant economy, the committee fails to come to a consensus. With the recent failure of the debt committee, the Democratically-controlled 112th Congress made sure they and the Republicans hurried up and passed a $662 billion defense bill to bypass any cuts to the military caused by Obama’s trigger. Way to hold up your end of the bargain folks…

The surveillance of the citizens is on the rise, but there is less surveillance over food contamination. In fact, tens of millions of dollars are being cut from the FDA’s food inspections services. We’ve already seen the worst outbreak of Listeria in 50 years. Do we really need to cut inspection services that so many of us rely on?

The country is also becoming less compassionate of fellow Americans. I’m used to seeing the patriotic videos of Americans coming together in times of stress, but the way things are happening now, we look more like first-graders refusing to share. And if we do have to share, we’ll go home and cry to mom about it. And listening to these Republican debates and seeing the inaction of Democrats in the Senate and the presidency, you would think it was political capital to degrade the poor, middle-class and struggling families. More and more middle-class families are having to cut back just to make ends meet. The dollar just doesn’t make it as far as it used to.

It’s also illegal for undocumented immigrants to have water in Alabama. This is amazing to think about. Can we blame the children of undocumented workers for the actions of their parents? Their parents may have made a bad choice, but what does that say about our country when we remove a basic necessity of life from the children of illegal immigrants. Way to stay classy, Alabama.

The homeless and unemployed are drug tested when applying for heat and cooling assistance without evidence to support that they are predominately drug users. And how crazy is this? To further degrade those who are already struggling and then have them pay for their own embarrassing drug tests? Yeah, tax the struggling, as if they can afford that… I understand the logic of keeping drug abusers and free riders off of welfare and not creating incentives for them to stay on that system, but should we be disarming a known economic stimulus, especially in tough times like these? Plus giving people money that they’ll spend immediately is a known stimulus. Now, welfare and SNAP benefits are not the best ways we should go about bringing an economic recovery, but in times of austerity, every dollar counts. And what about the people who really need a little extra assistance?

In Kansas, domestic abuse services are being cut because they are “too costly” for the state. Not really surprised with this move by Kansas, though. Not too much earlier, the state banned all abortion clinics, even though abortion is legal in the United States. As a result to the “burden” of trying those convicted of domestic abuse, the abuse has become decriminalized.

Where is this country headed? That’s a question that many of us are left wondering during these times of austerity. The last hope we have is freedom on the Internet. It is up to us to expose the crimes of those in power with our phones, computers, interactions with each other, social media and the Internet. The Internet is all we have.

It’s no surprise to see those in power trying to control more and more of our lives through Internet regulation. They know that the Internet is a monster who practices anarchy and if the powers don’t control it soon, they’ll lose. This is why Wikileaks has been under public and governmental scrutiny. The governments and corporations don’t want their dirty business being shared with consumers so of course they’re going to be against Wikileaks. Just take a look at the PIPA and SOPA Acts that will dramatically curb our freedoms if they become law.

Times are changing. Where will each of us stand in the face of adversity? You better answer that question soon because when the time comes, you don’t want to be on the wrong side.

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