George Orwell warned us in his book 1984 of the possibility of a government which is at permanent war and stifles the freedom of it's citizens though wide domestic spying backed up by brutal policing... MassOps is hosting the BRICnic on august 4th (or 8/4) at 3:00pm in the park behind 1 Schroeder Place Roxbury MA which is the BRIC DHS fusion center. The nightmare of 1984 is upon us here in America. We are in a state of endless war- Iraq, Afghanistan, and especially the unending “war on terror” and we are under a vast domestic spying program (our federal government just voted to continue funding the NSA) and law enforcement is already brutal. Remember that the occupy movement was violently repressed and that (even in nonviolent places like New York) the “anti terror units” we're called upon to evict protesters. Activists are now “terrorists” in the eyes of law enforcement and are treated accordingly. It is time to stand up now and defy the criminality of our government- do not consent to your shackles!
Domestic spying is insidious. We now know that all of our travel and everything we say or write and whoever we say it to is recorded and scrutinized by our government which has so many laws on the book that it's been estimated that everyone commits three felonies a day. Now that you know the that your words are being recorded and scrutinized by a government that can lock you away at any moment you self censor your actions associations and speech. Domestic spying is against the fourth amendment, and causes serious damage to the first amendment, so it is not only onerous and insidious it is illegal. We the people are the sovereign power, this is our land by right, and the tyrants who seek to steal our land from us are criminals and must be opposed.
It's time to wake up and face the reality of 1984 here in America. It is time to see it for what it is- criminality on the part of those who are supposed to represent our interests and a perversion of the constitution. We will have our picnic in the park openly defying those who watch us and would steal from us our right to privacy and our right to speak. We will push back against the state by arming ourselves with knowledge to take home and spread to our friends and family. We will not cower to criminals and we will be vocal in our outrage at the seeping surveillance state. We reject 1984, come join us.
The BRICnic will be attended by Restore the Fourth who is observing Orwell Day by holding a panel of speakers. The docket includes Alex from Warrantless.org, Kade from the ACLU, Steve and Kendra of the Mass Pirate Party, KT of MassOps, and Chris Faraone a journalist, and author covering the Boston political & activist scene. We'll provide food, water, information, and defiance of authority so please bring your ears, and ideas so together we can successfully turn back this post 9/11 1984 authoritarian state.
-Delivered at an open hearing on the proposed legislation 7-9-13
Hi I'm KT and I'm an activist here in Massachusetts. I'm here today because you are my representative voice in state governance and you have a choice between two divergent paths in terms of privacy. I am a Verizon customer and a former occupier so for me the fact of criminally breached privacy is personal. On the one hand you could follow the federal government and take unAmerican unconstitutional steps to limit citizens rights and on the other hand you could take steps to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth from having their rights stripped from them. It is my sincere hope that you will choose the latter.
Over the past month Edward Snowden a former NSA contractor has made the world aware of both domestic and foreign surveillance by the US government. I mentioned that I am a Verizon customer because it is now a known fact that without a warrant specific to me or to any investigation I might have been involved in my personal data has been handed to the government to be stored and scrutinized under a general warrant. General warrants are exactly what the bill of rights prohibits. I also mentioned I am a former occupier because thanks to Freedom of Information Act requests it is known fact that the occupiers in Boston were processed as an “extremist” and a “potential terrorists” by our local fusion center with the help of Boston Police. I have already personally run afoul of our massive domestic surveillance at least twice despite never being arrested or facing charges or as far as I know even having a warrant specific to me. I ask that you please protect my privacy and the privacy of the citizens of the commonwealth.
You are looking at a proposals like the Free Speech act and the Electronic Privacy act which would- if passed- bring the requirement of a warrant to access electronic communications. Opposite those bills there is “An act updating the wire interception law” which dramatically expands the state level law enforcement's ability to wiretap. I strongly urge you to pass into law strong protective measures for citizen communications and vote down “an act updating the wire interception law”. The trend right now is to gather and hoard massive piles of data but this will not make us more secure, it will make us less safe and less free. For instance look how the NYPD have used their access to the FBI National Crime Information Center database, AP reported on a whole slew of misuses ranging from snooping into peoples data outside of the context of law enforcement to surveillance of a location before an armed robbery, to the officer who was using the database to select victims to kill and eat. I ask that you keep Massachusetts citizens data out of such hoards. It only takes one person to expose any or all of our personal communications, our location, and whatever other information gets stored. Law enforcement should spend more time reading the constitution that they've sworn to protect and less time reading my emails.
Our law enforcement does not need military equipment to do their job. They are not facing an opposing army. They certainly don't need drones. Currently the FBI is flying drones domestically without any restrictions on use, so today I ask that you consider ways to limit drone use within Massachusetts. The ACLU has made suggestions about how to do this, so all I will say is please make sure that drones can only be deployed without weapons and only when there are very specific warrants attached to their use. Drones have been used by our government to assassinate US citizens (our government confirms four such cases) so it is particularly worrisome that they are being used domestically without any guidelines.
Our government is founded on a set of documents that forms a contract about how we will be governed. There is a federal level contract and a state level contract, and at both levels there are protections from search and seizure without probable cause, and a right of citizens to communicate unmolested by the eyes of government. This is a right that on the federal level has been unquestionably breached. You can follow the Federal legislature down that rabbit-hole and enjoy the same 10% favor-ability polling they have or you can rebuke the trend and take steps to live up to the contract you have with we the people. Boston is the birthplace of the fourth amendment, and today you are in the position to protect that heritage. Please do not fail.