On December 20 (2002), the New York Times published a story with an exceedingly ominous headline: "Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring Internet."
I can think of some reasons not to be as alarmed as I am at this bit of news and to greet this is just another ho-hum from a big journal. When you ask, Who is so naïve as to suppose the administration was not monitoring already? This simply appears as confirmation of what is going on.
Another yawn comes from realizing this news is actually old stuff, as noted in the article. The proposal was adumbrated September last in "draft form." (When the draft appeared it called for "industry" to do the monitoring, but now, in the current version, government will undertake to do it. Surprise! Surprise!)
And I am sure you can find other notes of "business as usual" in the article.
The dead-pan reporters, John Markoff and John Schwartz, who never come even close to saying the dread word censorship, run on for a couple of dozen short paragraphs about how the purpose of the proposal is, of course, the urgent search for terrorist activities and not at all about invading privacy, etc., etc., which is the worry of the Internet service providers and others they interviewed.
But any lover of the Internet is going to get cold chills from, if nothing else, the story's lead: "The Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users."
Surveillance! Ah, how deliciously World War II (movie version). Can you see those marvelous Nazi officers that Hollywood always had on tap, asking for your papers as you attempt to escape on the last train out of Berlin? They'll surveillance you all right, have no fear. Ach! Ceeteezen Weiss, strengst verboten! (I remember those words from some war movie).
I have long felt the Bush Administration is not shaping up as the most glorious friend of freedom the world has ever seen. I have said before in this space that whenever the boilerplate rolls out from the Oval Office you can usually do a direct Orwellian translation: peace means war, security means danger, freedom means government control, etc. That's when they are talking platitudes or denying the obvious.
But when they are telling you what's coming they manage to be a bit more direct: the title of this proposal is "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace."
Also one Ms. Tiffany Olson, deputy chief of staff for the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board (don't you love those titles?) said, according to the Times article, that the need for a large-scale operations center is real, because Internet service companies and other online companies only have a view of the part of the Internet that is under their control. "We don't have anybody that is able to look at the entire picture. When something is happening we don't know it's happening until it's too late." (Like 9/11 presumably?)
Or this from an unidentified official with a "major data services company": "Am I analogizing this to Carnivore? Absolutely. But in fact it's 10 times worse. Carnivore was working on much smaller feeds and could not scale. This is looking at the whole Internet."
Gary North has made a virtuoso demonstration of the miracle of the Internet in offering just three or four links that revealed the depth and extent of the linkage of the CFR, the OSS and CIA, the Rockefeller interests, and the national government under a whole string of Presidents since FDR.
Just for starters, FDR was a Rockefeller man through and through and his alter ego, Harry Hopkins, often credited with "winning the war," carried water for the Rockefellers all his life. The Rockefellers hired a couple of historians (academics are notoriously cheap) to falsify the record of FDR's role in the start of WW II, and that's just one thing to their credit. As a friend of mine said, they rigged up a long-lasting depressed stock market in the 30s and then "bought the country back with sandwiches."
Missing from the panorama North opened to view was any comment on a particular bte noir of mine, Beardsley Ruml, the inventor of the withholding tax, a Rockefeller employee and later government official, who is deserving of a special day on the national calendar set aside for the burning of his effigy in every county public square. Money buys loyalty big-time, but loyalty to the commonwealth? Not a bit of it.
I hope that somebody who knows more about the possibilities in this area, and the technical side of whether or not it is possible for the Powers That Be to control the Internet as they now control the major media, will now come forward to reassure us that I am wrong to see this as a real threat to the ability to check the suppressed history of the age just past and to find out what is really going on today.
I have great respect for people mastered by the desire to dominate. In the end they are headed for ruin, but they are the devil's own instruments while they are in action, and they famously don't like criticism. They are very thin-skinned and, like Orcs, very ugly when aroused.
December 21, 2002