[by Scott Swain]
Let's play the "what if" game. What if you are a person who speaks out against government corruption, invasion of privacy, or policies like the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, or Monsanto's domination of the FDA. Not a big deal in America, because we have freedom of speech, right?
But what if a lot of people are listening to you and your words are inspiring them to think and talk about those topics? What if the number of people subscribing to your channel or following you on Twitter or Google+ or Facebook is growing? What if those people are starting petitions and writing their representatives? What finally gets you noticed by people in power who support the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, violation of privacy, or Monsanto's dominion over the FDA? If you are against their programs of violence, you are not their friend. In their database, what is your label? What is your threat level? Does that threat level rise as you rise in number of subscribers or followers?
Compared to now, in the past they couldn't do much to you. But since 2001 they know every call you make, every email, every web site you visit, every relationship you have, every group or club you are part of, and everyone else in those groups.
"So what. All I've done is speak out against the violence and corruption. I've done nothing illegal. Even if they want me, they have no legal justification to get me."
Ah. But remember. They know every relationship. Every person who has "liked" or "plussed" your comments. Every person who you call or hang out with. Every person you date or marry. If you are in fact growing in your influence, then there is a huge list of people "related" to you. And, If they are looking, they are bound to find people related in some way to you that have broken the law. Or narrowly gotten away with something and that something, under this new kind of scrutiny, gets exposed. Next, those people get visits from FBI agents. Side note: This author has been visited by the FBI before and it is not fun.
So now the FBI has your ex girlfriend or an employee you fired eight years ago and they have them good. They can go to jail or they can say bad things about you. If you haven't studied up on what happened to Julian Assange (founder of WikiLeaks), I recommend you do. Being framed for rape is a big deal. Side note: a negative-propaganda Hollywood movie about him called "The Fifth Estate" is hitting screens in October. I urge you to boycott it.
"OK so they might have the motivation and the resources to shut up dissidents. Why is this a bad thing? Our government needs this kind of power in order to stop terrorists."
Can you honestly say that you are OK with our government - whoever happens to be in power at the time - having the power to silence those who do not agree with them? Even if you believe in government as something we need, which you obviously do, are you comfortable with the leader of the team you don't play for having this kind of power? In other words, if you are a Democrat, are you comfortable with a Republican having the power to silence your favorite politician, journalist, blogger, etc.? Do you understand why Freedom of Speech (1st Amendment) is important? If your answer is "no" then look at this: http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech
"There is a big difference between listening to people and silencing them."
That is true. But we know it happens. Many of us have known this has been going on for a long time. Now, thankfully, even mainstream media is starting to talk about it. Just a few weeks ago it was discovered by mainstream media that the IRS was targetting people who happen to be members of the Tea Party. Then there is the Justice Department recently caught spying on Associated Press reporters. Or look at what is being done to Bradley Manning right now. Finally, it will be telling to see what the current administration does to Edward Snowden.
#edwardsnowden #snowden #edwardsnowdenhero #snowdenhero #nsa #privacy #liberty