(ed. A propos the back door built into iPhones, the following article gives a chilling view of what's in store.)
Decider Guy Demands Further Erosion of the Fourth
Written by Kurt Nimmo
If Bush and the neocons have their way, your cell phone will be an official government surveillance device. Of course, your cell phone and computer connected to the internet are already surveillance devices, it is just that Bush and the neocons want to enshrine this fact in law.
“President Bush used his weekly radio address Saturday to urge Congress to modernize a law that governs the interception of communications between suspected terrorists abroad,” reports Voice of America, the official propaganda organ of the U.S. government. In other words, the NSA, CIA, and the Pentagon, through so-called modernization, will be able to legally monitor all “terrorist” communications, that is to say anybody who opposes the government. As we know, the NSA has done this for decades. Bush is simply advertising to make it all this incessant snooping legal and above board.
“Mr. Bush said the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is badly out of date and needs to be updated to include new communication technologies including cell phones and the Internet…. The president said his administration is recommending changes to the law that will allow the government to collect intelligence about foreign targets in foreign locations without obtaining court orders…. He said the changes will facilitate intelligence efforts while protecting American civil liberties.”
FISA already provides the ability to “collect intelligence about foreign targets in foreign locations,” so this statement is, to say the least, disingenuous. Fact of the matter is, Bush—read: the neocons and their kissing cousins, the neoliberals—want to legalize snooping millions of Americans “without obtaining court orders,” that is to say Bush and crew want to further erode the Fourth Amendment. Naturally, in the parlance of Bushzarro world, this is considered “protecting American civil liberties,” when in fact it is the exact opposite.
Here is an excerpt from the commander and decider guy’s radio address earlier today:
To fix this problem, my Administration has proposed a bill that would modernize the FISA statute. This legislation is the product of months of discussion with members of both parties in the House and the Senate—and it includes four key reforms: First, it brings FISA up to date with the changes in communications technology that have taken place over the past three decades. Second, it seeks to restore FISA to its original focus on protecting the privacy interests of people inside the United States, so we don’t have to obtain court orders to effectively collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets located in foreign locations. Third, it allows the government to work more efficiently with private-sector entities like communications providers, whose help is essential. And fourth, it will streamline administrative processes so our intelligence community can gather foreign intelligence more quickly and more effectively, while protecting civil liberties.
Translation: future generations of cell phones will be outfitted with snoop technology, thus making it easy for the government to listen in on your next conversation with Osama, or rather the ghost of Osama—or maybe listen in on a conversation with your brother-in-law who complains a lot about the government. Changing FISA, itself a violation of the Fourth Amendment, assigning it the role of “protecting the privacy interests of people inside the United States,” is simply an effort to sweep the “FISA court” (when a normal court will not do) aside, as this will allow “the government to work more efficiently with private-sector entities like communications providers,” for instance the cozy relationship the government shares with AT&T, which is nothing new (the NSA has collaborated with AT&T and other carriers since the early 1950s to violate the civil liberties of Americans). Bush, or rather his puppet masters, simply want to codify all of this in law and slap a sticker on the package declaring it protects the privacy of all Americans.
Meanwhile, in a radio address Nancy Pelosi declared the “threat of terrorist violence against the United States is growing. al-Qaeda is gaining strength, and Osama bin Laden continues to elude capture. There is not a moment to spare to take the steps necessary to keep the American people safe,” or continue the destruction of the Bill of Rights, long ago put on the endangered list, as there is no “al-Qaeda” threat to the “homeland,” or maybe it should be das Vaterland, but simply a drumbeat marching us to tyranny and ultimately slavery, as our rulers are determined to reduce America to slave plantation based on the China model. In order to make that process more efficient, a Stasi- or KGB-like snoop state apparatus is mandatory."