Republic Reborn

Fight For The Future of Liberty

Bellum omnium contra omnes

The Surveillance State is in a Hobbesian state of nature, according to a fresh Bloomberg article.  But should it be feared more or less once it emerges from that state?

An NSA Breach and the New Hobbesian War on on Our Privacy

“Aside from puncturing the aura of the NSA as an all-seeing eye, the Times story also shows that today the greatest threat to our privacy is not an organization with a monopoly of surveillance power, but rather the disaggregation of surveillance power. It is not the citizen versus the state. Rather it is a Hobbesian state of nature, a war of all against all. Today, foreign governments and private hackers can use the same tools we all feared the U.S. government would use.”

This is a most interesting piece, ascribing to total surveillance the qualities of a virus, rather than a centralized, top-down government program.  With the theft of digital CIA spy tools, total surveillance is likened to a plague for which there is currently little in the way of a cure.  We are the surveillance state, and we are the surveilled. We are the architects of our own Panopticon.

The recent NYT story, Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the NSA to Its Core, the Bloomberg piece links to paints a damning portrait of the NSA: an agency powerful enough to create extremely potent cyber weapons, but not the means to keep them safe.  Once the theft occurs, the thieves then taunt the agency as it descends into culture of wide-eyed paranoia about who may be leaking.

Despite all this, I’m an optimist.  I believe a shield, a vaccine, can be developed and widely distributed just as easily as the surveillance virus has been.  But it pays, I think, to question the wisdom of a government agency creating powerful spy tools, without a care as to what Pandora’s Box they’re opening.

Daily Links

Reason: Is Silicon Valley Building the Infrastructure for a Police State?

Lawmakers need to get control of the use of drones by the police

Slate: The Fragmented Surveillance State. Most important read of the day.  We often think of Big Brother surveillance as far off, deep within a high-tech NSA bunker, when it’s really down the street in your police department.

Mass internet surveillance as art

High Times: DEA says it won’t arrest CBD oil users. A voice of reason from the agency thinks their resources would be better used by targeting the opioid crisis rather than cracking down on people treating their illnesses with a harmless oil.

Time: The Real Risk of Buying Medical Marijuana Online. Study finds that only 30% of online cannabis products contain amount of CBD oil stated on label.

Study shows that over-the-counter pain medication just as effective as opioids in the ER

 

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