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Domestic Surveillance and Spying, a Threat against Average Citizens
Generally about actors and purposes behind domestic surveillance
Instances of several cathegories are surveilling, spying and recording data about average citicens in any community in the world. The data is stored, analyzed and distributed to cooperating instances. Instances that perform these actions or resceive and use the data are private companies, police, child protective agencies, secret services, social services, health authorities and many more.
Persons spyed upon, which essentially is averybody, are usually litttle aware of the extent of these activities and the number or instances that ultimately take advantage of them. The collected data is used to detect or investigate crime, to protect children, to combat illness, for national security, for scientific use, to find the appropriate targets for advertizing, for public planning, to develop compny strategies and much more.
Since most of this activity is secret, or performed in a hideous way, the purposes are also poorly known in most instances, and objectives openly communicated may only be vicarious for the real purposes that are not gebnerally told. Steadily more this surveillance activity is explained with the need for protection children against abuse and the need for hindering terrorist attacs. let us look at common methods in use naoaday for spying on individual persons or families in an avarage society:
Spying by commercial companies against their customers
When you go to the supermarket or any other bigger store, the products and quantities you buy together with your bank account is read into the payment terminal and stored in the computer connected to that terminal. These data are then typically distributed to a third party that build up a dossier about the buyng habits associated with your bamk account. The third party then gets personal information about you and your family from the bank and identifies you as individuals. Based on your buying habits they then deduce a lot about the personal life of you and your children. Legislation will of cource in varying degree regulate such activities. But these laws are always formulated in such a way that public services and special priviledged private companies have full access.
Spying by website owners against their visitors
Most websites that give you free information, for example those belonging to newspapers, are associated with spyware that register data about your activities, store them in a central and distribute them further to third parties. The script for these functions is typically loaded up by a basic script integrated in the page you read on. What the uploaded spyscript does, will vary from time to time, and can also be adjusted for the individual user. Based on what can be deduced about your interests, the website will also load up scripts to present adverts for individualized products and cervices.
Also most blogs or private webpages based on free systems like for example Wordpress contain scripts that upload spyware when you read or write at the blog. These systems will automatically place the script for uploading of the active spyscripts in the code when the blog or webpage is constructed. A developer with programming knowledge can of cource take that script out, but most forget to do it, or it is against the contract for use of the free development system to do it. When someone reads or writes into the blog or webpage, his activities will be recorded, and what is interesting will be distributed to third parties.
Surveillance installations in buildings and public areas
It is a wellknown fact that surveillance cameras with microphones are installed all around at public places like streets, stores, theatres, cinemas, hospitals, sport arenas and schools. There is a growing tendency to install such cameras also at places where intimate activities occur, like locker rooms and toilets, so that anything you do at those places is surveilled. Often the cameras at the most itimate places are hided so you do not know that they are there, or are camuflaged as some other type of installation. What you or your children do at all these places is also videotaped and stored. These data is steadily more often analyzed and the most interesting things from these audiovisual datas are distributed to third parties which most typically will be police, social servcises and child protective agencies.
Domestic surveillance with drones
Drones that fly around high and low to record the activities of citicens are becoming steadily more commen, and these drones are typically used secretly so no-one knows about it. Must so-called UFO-sightings are probably due to sightings of such drones. They takes photos, perform videotaping and listen to wireless communications. They may also contain technology to interfere with such communications. Most typically they surveil districtwise, but are also used to surveil persons on individual basis. There is a growing tendency to especially survil children and their parents with drones. Such drones are most often operated by polic units, but stedily more often privat companies, property owners, child protective agencies and social services use drones as a part of their arsenal.
Surveillance by Internet and telephone providers against their customers
Your telefone service provider or ISP provider is constantly registering and storing data about all your connections and also stor all messages you have resceived or sent. They can also store your voiced conversations if that is of interest. Traditionally the old data are erazed when the roll for the abonnent is full and new data is filled in, but steadily more some key data are stored permanently. These recorded data are handed to authorities on a regular basis or after request. The extent of these routines will vary between communities, what obligations the law in the community impose upon the providers, and to what extent the individual provider abides to requests they are not obliged to follow according to the law.
Some, perhaps most, providers will however be likely to regard the authorities as a customer and gladly handle over any type and extent of data for an appropriate payment. The provider will of course also sell data about you to third parties that then will send you adverts based on what they can deduce about your interests or use the data about you for their own interest in a variaty of ways. Sharing of data about the customers to third parties is usually based on an agreement between the customer and the provider. But often the customer must agree to get the service, or the contract text is too long and too complicated for most customers to be aware of ehat he techinally agrees to.
Survaillance by security agencies of internet and telephone traffic
Telephone companies also typically have permanent surveillance lines from their servers to police units so that the communication of spcific citizen can be tapped at will any time. Internet providers like Gooogle, AOL, Wordpress, Microsoft or Yahoo might also have such lines installed. Google denies this to be the case however.
In many countries there are moves to increase the bandwith of this surveiilance network by connecting such lines to all local telecommunication link stations, and not only to central servers. The objective of this expansion is be able to surveil and record all communication to and from all citizens at all times. These activities are of cource regulated by law, but these vary between communities and often give the authorities wide privileges, and do not be sure that the authorities themselves abide to the law.
In June 2013 a former employee of FBI and of a contractor company working for NSA (National security agency), Eduard Snowden, revealed through newspapers documents that prove that NSA surveil the comunication of all customers of certain telephone companies and of services like Google, yahoo, Skype, AOL, Microsoft and Youtube. The documents were mailnly copies of approval from courts in the USA that they could freely take in data bout whole groups of citizens. According to the documents the surveillance were massive regarding comunication crossing the border to USA, but somewhat unclear about the extent of surveillance of purely domestic communication. However, Snowdon told that around 9000 employees in the NSA, or their subcontractors, can tap any communication of any citizen or company at his own discretion without consulting a court, and a representative of the American senate confirmed that that is the case, and Snowden himself confirmed that he was one of those having had that privilage.
It seems that the surveillance plan is working this way: The providers handle over to the NSA scheduled lists that dentify all calls and all communication sessions and the people involved in these. For people thay are specially interested in surveilling, they record in real time the calls and sessions and all data transfere during the calls and sesions, including voice and pictures. The surveillance is achieved through wires directly connected to the backbone servers of the providers. The sytem used by the NSA is identified with the name PRISM, but some or perhaps much of the data processing is probably done by proprietary software belonging to the providers, because the providers themselvs perform surveillance in order to sell data about custoners and their cativities. Probably the providers are paid a rather huge revenue from the authorities for the the data they hand over.
Surveillance by GPS tracking and satellites
There has for along time been equipment on the market that allow an instance with a tracking receiver to trck the route of a person or vehicle carying a GPS device with communication to the tracking device. Employers commonly use this equipment to track where their cars are at any time. GPS traking is also steadily more used by social services to track the wearbout of individual that are under special care.
However, cellphones are steadily more equipped with GPS function, inluding possibilities for the provider to track individuals carrying the phone. New cars sold on the market are also by now furnished with GPS functions installed and posibillities to track the car. These functions are there and can be activited even if you do not pay for them so that you can utilize them yourself. Certain authorities can contact the GPS functions in your phone or in your car, either through the wires into the backbone servers of the providers or directly. Be sure these posiibilities are used, even though it is difficult to know how much.
The globe is by now surrounded by surveillance satelites. These have cameras and antennas to spy even on tiny spots on the surface of earth. Rumors say that the cameras actually can read the number plates on cars, or even a newspaper laying open at the ground. It is difficult to say how far this ability goes, but be sure it goes rather far. By locating you with GPS and then directing the satellite cameras and antennas towards you, it is possible for certain authorities to actually record your daily activities in realtime. From specific criminal cases and terrorist cases it has been revealed that these possibilities are really used.
Secret remote tracking and monitoring of vehicles and of the driver, and remote crntrole of the vehicle
Modern vehicles have installed GPS tracking, radio communications and computer programs that authorities can use both to remotely track the vehicle, surveil the actions of the driver and passengers and take controle of the technology in the vehicle.
The system used in Europe was developed in the 1990s on behalf of the European Union and private data firms helped develop the system.
You get it with the purchase even if you have not bought and paid for it but do not know it and your country probably has surveillance sentrals that secretly monitor the vehicles in the country by these systems and can take controle of your vehicle, or the manufacturers of the car have such centrals that also can be disposed by authorities.
Intimate and secret exams of children and adults with the purpose of domestic surveillance
When you or your children visit the family doctor, pediatrician, health center or hospital, or when your children have a physical exam in the school, you typically will deliver a urine specimen or it is taken blood specimens. These specimens will of cource be used to controle traditional fysiological parameters, like hemoglobin, blood sugar, cholesterole and lipids. They are also often used to test you for use of illegal drugs, but also legal substances used in a way the society does not approve. Sometimes it is openly communicated that such tests are done, but often not. In addition it is possible to find out a lot more about you or your families lifestyle by applying specific tests to the specimens. The results of the tests are typically stored in central databases, and distributed to interessents that can be insurance companies, social services, child protective agencies, scientific institution and private companies.
If you, and especially your children are under anesthesia for some procedure, being tonsillectomy, dental work or whatever, it is a great chance that the staff or someone cooperating with the staff will do secret exams, take secret pictures, or take secret specimens, often of a very intimate kind, to find out as much as possible about you and your children. And what they find is used by all kind of community services, but perhaps especially the social services and the child protective agecies.
In many societies children are frequently sent to special exams to screen for sexual abuse or sexual behavior that the society does not approve. or to investigate observations that are interpreted as symptoms of sexual abuse. These exams are sometimes done secretly when the child is under anesthesia for some other reason, sometimes with the child awake. In many societies one has got to a situation where the authorithies nearly automatically suspect parents for abusing their children, and always suspect children that deviate some way from the social norm to be victims of sexual abuse. It does not matter for the society if the deviation is positive or negaive. For example will a child that is more intelligent than the average, and showing interests accoring to his or her intelligence nearly automatically be suspected for being an abuse victim.
During these exams they will take all kind of specimens, including specimens from all body openings and they will take intimate picture of the child. These data will be stored permanently and the data themselves or the interpretations made from the data will be distributed to interessents, like police, social services, the school, scientific institutions and child protective agencies.
Many countries have secret rooms in schools and kindergartens where they bring in children, give the child anesthesia ro put the child to sleep and make th child forget, and then let the child undergo intimate exams, to explore signs that have made the authorities suspicious, for general intimate monitoring or for scientific studies. When the child is brought into these rooms, it looks like it is taken out of the class for some pedagogic activity, and the secret room will usually be connected with some room for special training where the child is normally supposed to wear little clothes. Since the child is given some medication to forget, the only thing the child remembers aftwrwards is some training activity, but the child still will often show strange behavior afterwards or tekk strange things that make parents wonder.
The constellation school - child protective agencies - police
The school keeps a protocols about every child in the society. In that protocoll are of cource noted things like charcters, issues of bad behaviour and violations of order. But the school also note all kind of deviance from the avarage regarding habits, body appearance, clothes, behaviour, thoughts, interests, skills and speach and regardless of the deviance objectively is neutral, bad or good. The school likes the child to learn the curriculum and be able to solve all tasks well during examinations. But a child that is extremely clever and shows much deeper knowlege about some subject that that demanded of him by the curriculum, is regarded as deviant and his extreme skill is noted as an issue for worry. Much of what is noted is held secret for the parents.
In most western societies child protective agencies keep a dabase about children in the society, in some for all children, in others for children that people and instances have issue a mesage of worry or a note about something deviant. These instcances can be ordinary citizens, the school, the police, family doctors, hospitals, school health services and others. The agency in each community gets periodical repports about the children in the society from the school, health services, social services and police. These reports list all deviances that these instances have noted about the children since the last report.
In many societies the ashool, health services, sosial cervices, child protective agency and the police meet togeather regularly, discuss specific children and exchange notes about specific children. During such meetings they also commonly plan investigations directed against specific children and agree on the role each part shall have in the investigation, but usually with the child protective agency as the coordinator.
Many societies have an arrangement callled "report of worry". It generally means that any person or instance can issue a message, named or anonymous, to the child protective agencies about any issue regarding a child that worries them. An whatever they report the reporting person is extempt from prosecution should the issue be a misunderstanding or be plainly untrue. The child protective agency has the obligation and right to start investigation about the child when such a report has been issued from someone. The "report of worry" and the reporting person is held secret for the parents, and usually also the investigation in its initial face. Often will the investigation not go longer that the initial steps, but there will be secret notifications in the database, and the chil is scheduled for a thighter surveillance thereafter, but wthout the knowledge of the parents.
The parents are generally not aware of the thight surveillance their chikldren are subjected to, and about the recording of data about their children by the mentioned instances, neither that performed as a regular routine, nor that done upon special notes about vorry or deviances.
Recording of banking transactions
In many countries your banking transactions are recorded by authorities either in realtime or by lists sent from the bank to the authorities. How far this recording goes, will vary. Most common is however a realtime recording of all transactions crossing the borders to or from the country.
DHS spy grids end central databases of all movements of all citizens
Th GPS tracking networks directed on cars and on persons, and the connection networks owned by telphone companies and IT providers contain at any time information making it possible to track any person or vehicle that carries some telecommunication device in realtime and maintain a realtime-updated central database of the movements and whereabouts of all these persons at any time with a good acuracy. Such databases are established in many countries or areas by now. These databases can then be accessed by various public services at any given time to find any person. Once a person has been located within a certain area from that database, he can be tracked to the exact point he is by local tracking devices in drones or ordinary vehicles.These devices will use antennas, infrared cameras, thermodetection or on wil use old fashioned methods like dogs to track him down.
Are people being secretly chipped to track their movements?
As soon as you are talking about chipping of people, which is inoperating small tracking devices in their bodies, you are rediculed and instantly called paranoid. The fact is however that the technology is there, it is used for animals, and authorities are talking about using it for criminals or persons doomed not to be able to take properly care of themselves. Based on the historical evidence that authorities nearly always secretly begin uising new technology to surveil people, one must conclude that certain goverments in certain areas probably are chipping people secretly to track their movements. We do not know the extensions of this practice, however.
If it is done with a person, it is probably done when that person is in hospital or at a health center for some surgery or examination under atesthesia, and the person will probably have marks or strange symptoms from unexpected body areas thereafter for some time. Most probably it is done with children, and usually without the knowledge of the parents. The practice of giving children general anesthesia when this is not necessarty, suggests an ordeal of the kind being common.
The law and domestic spying
Often authorities plainly break the law by their activities. Sometimes some surveillance activities are explicitely allowed by the law while others are forbidden. More often however, one uses law tricks that make ordinary citizens think thay can be safe from some activities, while the law practically opens for nearly everything. One trick is to write the pragraphs in three sections as follows:
- The first section explicitly allows someting and forbids something.
- The next section tells that the things forbidden are allowed if a special approval is applied for and granted by a higher instance.
- The third section tells that if the situation is very special or urgent, one can still do what is forbidden by the first section, but then a report shall be issued to the higher instance.
By using ill-defined criteria like "special" or "urgent" one can actually do whatever one wants because it is difficult to say exactly where the situation has developed into something "special" and "urgent", and also because you can find "special" or "urgent" aspects in virtully all situations. In some cases the lawmakers have also made secret laws that allow total surveillance.
Psycological manipulations of the public to make it accept extensive surveillance
The most common manipulation to make people accept total surveillance is to make people fear intensively some threat, to induse an intense anger towards people representing that threat, to excert psycological manipultion that gives many of the same injuries as the threats themselves, and to advocate total surveillance as absolutely necessary to neutralize the threat. Historically comunism was the common threat authorities in the western countries used to focus at. When the communist block broke togeather, the authorities began an intense focusation on sexual abuse of children and the threat from pedopils. By no one keeps on focusing on the child abuse threat, but the treat from terrorist of all kind is by now an even stronger focal point.
The threats from these factors are to some extent real, and this fact makes the propaganda more efffective, but they are exaggerated in al means. Besides that, the total surveillance togeather with other draconian means to neutralize the threats will easily produce the same and even greater injuries as the threats themselves. The focusation usually takes the following approach:
- One greatly extends the definition of the threat. By now nearly all kind of corporeal contact with a child can be called child abuse, and nearly all methods of protesting againt the conditions in the society can be called therrorism.
- One greatly exaggerates the frequency of the threatening acts.
- One greatly exaggerates the harm done by the threatening acts also when they are real.
- One propagates intense focus on the threats throug all channels tht can reach people.
- There will allways be people that has been subjected to the threatening acts or believe thay have been. The stories of these pople get full coverage in all mass media. the same people are also manipulated to speak positively about total surveillance and other draconian measures.
Variations between the societies of the World
All the activities told about here do not apply to every society in every country on Earth, at least not in equally extensive degree, but be sure that at least some of them in some degree apply to the society where you live, and in many societies they apply in full extent, and regardless of the society is a democratic one or one that tends towards dictatorship. In all societies there are of cource laws that regulate surveillance of this kind, but the laws are invariably constructed in such a way that certain authrities have nearly full privilage to spy at you or your children with any type of means. The autorities that have the greatest privilages, are usually not the ordinary police, but more often child protective agencies, the school system and social services.
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