CISPA: Should We Care?

Column by Paul Bonneau.
 
Exclusive to STR
 
Yet again the puppet masters have gotten all the puppets jumping about in a frenzy. It makes me wonder whether there is actually reason to get exercised about this bill.
 
Certainly, the notion that the U.S. government will protect the Internet from attacks is absurd, given that the source of all the most serious attacks (of which CISPA is yet another example) is that very same U.S. government.
 
But really, why should we care?
 
First, isn’t it pretty clear they are already using surveillance on the Internet as much as they please, whether they are authorized to do so or not? It would be pretty naive to imagine agents of this lawless government would actually obey the law or fear the consequences of ignoring it. If an FBI man shows up on the doorstep of your ISP and asks to see logs or put a device on a server, what do you think is going to happen? A valiant, strenuous defense of your privacy? Don’t make me laugh.
 
Second, isn’t the fix for this problem a technical one? Just get yourself set up to use a VPN server for your browsing and email, make sure the company headquarters is located offshore and the servers you use are offshore also, and then it doesn’t matter if you do a search for cookie recipes or nuclear bomb recipes--the government will not be able to figure out your encrypted traffic. My VPN service costs $5 a month, not too much to pay for privacy. “Freedom isn’t free...”
 
What makes more sense? Lobbying for a government solution (e.g. killing CISPA, until they bring up the next incarnation) even though that won’t deter the snoops in any case? Or setting up VPN?
 
Yes, it is slower and I don’t use it all the time. But if I used a Canadian server, it probably wouldn’t be much of a slowdown at all (although not as private either, since the Canadian government is a lapdog of the U.S. government).
 
We can be certain that any non-governmental bad guys seeking to attack the Internet are going to be using VPN or TOR or Enigmail or Hushmail for communication (thus making CISPA entirely worthless, even in a theoretical sense). If they are, shouldn’t you be too?
 
Third, do we really care if they monitor and store all our traffic? They still need expensive human beings to really sort through it all. Anyway, it’s one thing to get the goods on somebody, another thing entirely to act on it. Can you imagine how many people are on the Internet, every day saying “the government sucks”? No, you’re not the only one. They already know who all the anarchists are. It doesn’t matter until the government tries to round them all up; when that happens, we will be in our Revolution, a completely new ball game.
 
Get VPN, or set up TOR; use them now and then to stay in practice and to poke the snoops in the eye, and get on with your life. Don’t let the puppet masters keep you jumping.
 
Do let me know if I’m wrong about this...
 

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Paul Bonneau's picture
Columns on STR: 76
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Samarami's picture

It was one of my kids (4 of the 7 are now over 50 :-[ ) who once said, "...but you're old, your children are raised, you rent a little apartment, you can go to the white man's jail with impunity..." and that was correct as far as it went at the time. Agreed. It was one of my vain attempts to proselytize freedom from voting and elections and the whole maelstrom of governmentalism.

I think of our friend and martyr, Irwin Schiff, who will probably die in prison for presuming (I guess that was what he presumed) that the white man would indeed see the accuracies of "the law" as he presented it at "The-Bench" (a religious term -- like "Pew" for a place to place your smelly ass in a church). I wonder if Irwin thought that those vultures might just let him go back to speaking truth openly and unabashedly.

I use "hushmail" now and again. I don't know why. It's sort of a pain in the arse if it's the white man I fear. And I think of our older friend, Étienne de la Boétie (he's been on topic a lot lately here):

    "...FOR THE PRESENT I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him..."

For the present minions of state will go to any conceivable length to snuff out all theaters we might devise to proclaim our message of freedom. That will include (especially) the web if, as you so colorfully point out, those "providers" will lie down and spread their legs to any request The Man might make of them.

And they will. Willingly and eagerly.

Gotta quash them anti-americans. Yes sir ree Bob.

State predators know, as de la Boétie illustrates, that the masses are with them. Even that small number who might chance upon STR or Lew Rockwell or other broadcasters of the freedom message (Pauliens) will only contain a very small percentage of swashbucklers geared to go up against them, and that percentage can be handled by obfuscation -- they don't need swords or spears for those few who will rise up against them.

You and I gotta be free. Whether and when others take up the sword of freedom is up to them. I'll try to remain fit and agile and with a good attitude of liberty to help them along as they request my help.

But I can't pull 'em onto the freedom wagon.

Keep up the good work, Paul, and don't be afraid to write for the world to see what you know to be true. You've been doing a good job of that.

"CISPA" or any other of the white man's machinations cannot harm a free man.

Sam

Samarami's picture

Boétie:

    But O good Lord! What strange phenomenon is this? What name shall we give it? What is the nature of this misfortune? What vice is it, or, rather, what degradation? To see an endless multitude of people not merely obeying, but driven to servility? Not ruled, but tyrannized over? These wretches have no wealth, no kin, nor wife nor children, not even life itself that they can call their own. They suffer plundering, wantonness, cruelty, not from an army, not from a barbarian horde, on account of whom they must shed their blood and sacrifice their lives, but from a single man; not from a Hercules nor from a Samson, but from a single little man. Too frequently this same little man is the most cowardly and effeminate in the nation, a stranger to the powder of battle and hesitant on the sands of the tournament; not only without energy to direct men by force, but with hardly enough virility to bed with a common woman! Shall we call subjection to such a leader cowardice? Shall we say that those who serve him are cowardly and faint-hearted? If two, if three, if four, do not defend themselves from the one, we might call that circumstance surprising but nevertheless conceivable. In such a case one might be justified in suspecting a lack of courage. But if a hundred, if a thousand endure the caprice of a single man, should we not rather say that they lack not the courage but the desire to rise against him, and that such an attitude indicates indifference rather than cowardice? When not a hundred, not a thousand men, but a hundred provinces, a thousand cities, a million men, refuse to assail a single man from whom the kindest treatment received is the infliction of serfdom and slavery, what shall we call that? Is it cowardice?

Étienne de la Boétie, not much more than a teenager, almost 500 years ago, had "our" number. And your essay above affirms that Boétie was not uncovering new or unknown facts about human "civil" government organizations and the villainy of individual "leaders" ("presidents", "prime ministers", "kings", et al.) thereof. He was merely reporting what he had observed at the time. He identified a strange, almost spiritual compulsion on the part of large percentages of virtually any mass of human beings known, to tread -- without overt compulsion -- into slavery. In many (most) cases they enslaved themselves, singing praises to their masters.

There have always been a tiny percentage in every mass of slaves in all history who have escaped and have lived to discover freedom. We at STR are not unique. But it is very, very important to remember: slaves resent freemen.

A relatively few of the slaves, presented with logic, might come to desire liberty from their chains. To that extent I'll go along with our friend Jim Davies. But not a large percentage.

Few slaves want liberty enough to go up against that wienie of a tyrant they perceive to be "the-powers-that-be" (what a hateful term for freemen to even utter). Or to risk the ire of their families and friends who can never admit to being slaves and who have no desire to escape what they perceive as "Our-Great-Nation".

The late Aaron Russo discovered the criminal nature of "Our" government and made a documentary on it before he died. You can view it here. I recommend your taking the time (over an hour, I think) to watch it. Aaron wrings his hands and strikes out in anger and brings along a lot of Ron Paulien types to anger also.

Was Russo effective? Are there any freemen on this website who got here from his efforts? I hope so -- he may owe his life to the message he tried to present to the docile sheep. And Russo was not one of us. Russo believed in political action -- but he believed it should come from "good" politicians. We recognize that to be oxymoronic.

My message is not that "we" shouldn't post and publish the message of freedom. No, no. My message is that I must get free and remain free if I am going to be of any help to you or to my loved ones.

I can reach out to help you if you ask, but I cannot be responsible for your acquisition of whatever you deem to be "freedom". That's strictly your responsibility.

Boétie:

    "I do not know how it happens that nature fails to place within the hearts of men a burning desire for liberty, a blessing so great and so desirable that when it is lost all evils follow thereafter, and even the blessings that remain lose taste and savor because of their corruption by servitude. Liberty is the only joy upon which men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would receive it. Apparently they refuse this wonderful privilege because it is so easily acquired..."

I am a sovereign state.

Sam

Glock27's picture

Where do you find such sites?