“IN MY COUNTRY, THEY CLAIMED SURVEILLANCE WAS FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE. SAME IN SOVIET RUSSIA. SAME IN EAST GERMANY”

You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.

Maybe Obama won’t do it. Maybe the next guy won’t, or the one after him.  Maybe this story isn’t about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. Maybe it’s about your daughter or your son. We just don’t know yet.  But what we do know is that right now, in this moment we have a choice. Are we okay with this, or not? Do we want this power to exist, or not?

Submitted by a Middle Eastern reader who has survived a totalitarianism dictatorship and surveillance state:

I live in a country generally assumed to be a dictatorship. One of the Arab spring countries. I have lived through curfews and have seen the outcomes of the sort of surveillance now being revealed in the US.  People here talking about curfews aren’t realizing what that actually FEELS like. It isn’t about having to go inside, and the practicality of that. It’s about creating the feeling that everyone, everything is watching.
The purpose of this surveillance from the governments point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilize the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people.

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