Susanne Posel, Contributor
Google is stating in their most recent Transparency Report that the US government has stepped up their surveillance on civilians. According to the Internet giant, more personal data is being profiled on Americans and their habits on the Web.
Dorothy Chou, senior policy analyst at Google explains: [G]overnment demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report.”
Google says that they have been refusing to comply with governmental requests to take down content on the Internet because of fake court orders that appear to be frivolous or illegitimate.
Using the claim that content being removed is racist in nature or defaming of public figures, governments around the world are requesting that the Internet be censored. However, this new trend is indicative of the Big brother controls being enacted against the free speech of citizens in sovereign nations. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK have topped the list of countries that seek to control content on the Internet.
Back in May, it was made public that the relationship between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Google is not going to be disclosed.
A US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, ruled last week that the NSA does not need to confirm nor deny (known as a “Glomar” response) its collaborations with Google; how the two work together to spy on American citizens in the name of protecting the public from “cyber-attacks”.
The court’s ruling states effectively that regardless of a filing by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) with the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents as to the relationship, the US government does not have to divulge any arrangement between the NSA and the search engine giant.
It is now being reported that Obama has signed a secret policy directive that gives the military complete control over the Internet should the US come under a cyberattack. Being called Presidential Policy Directive 20, the alleged document (being classified) is a guideline that explains how specific federal agencies will be empowered by the Obama administration to intercept online “breaches of security” – including hacking and other digital attacks.
This document assures that the US government is taking the offensive and proactive approach to digital security where network defense is recognized as operations designed to ensure defense of national security. Whether it means shutting down main servers or local computers that have been identified as targets, a complete shutdown of Internet access (although it requires cybersecurity legislation) would not be out of the realm of possibility.
The military’s role in cybersecurity with regard to digital attacks will be to ensure that US digital information, data, and privacy be protected. This new responsibility will work in conjunction with law enforcement network defenses that are being used to para-militarize the Web using cyber units.
In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft have collaborated to create pre-crime and counterterrorism technology to aid federal intelligence and local law enforcement agencies domestic and international.
The Domain Awareness System (DAS) will be a very sophisticated software technology that aggregates and analyzes public information in real time that will produce comprehensive reports to be used by NYPD to ascertain potential threats and pre-crime activity.
Last month the leaked version of Obama’s cybersecurity executive order is a compromise by the administration offered to those concerned about Big Brother controls invading US citizen’s privacy on the Web. One concession outlined is the sharing of Internet traffic information by the US government and private sector corporations involving critical infrastructure and electrical grid. Social media companies would not be held under the same mandate.
The DHS, specifically Secretary Janet Napolitano, will be given the sole power of oversight, rather than Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA). Napolitano will be empowered to reference top-secret intelligence reports only known to her to base identification of cyberthreats and individual targets.
In a proactive move, Janet Napolitano, in her blog entitled “Inspiring the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals”, would like future generations to learn about cybersecurity so that their contribution to the federal government is secure to “ensure their professional development.” The collaboration of the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency will support “the nation’s educational infrastructure by supporting Centers of Academic Excellence” to make sure that the “scope of cyber education” becomes an important function for those in the field as inspired by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE).
NICE is meant to “establish an operational, sustainable and continually improving cybersecurity education program for the nation to use sound cyber practices that will enhance the nation’s security.” The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) oversee NICE by providing information and leverage to encourage the development of citizens to become “responsible” when using the Internet.
DHS has begun an initiative to purvey propaganda onto American citizens called Stop.Think.Connect. (STC). The STC have teamed with Microsoft to create public service announcements (PSAs) that convince average Americans how to perceive the inflated threat hackers have on the US government’s cybersecurity.
Some of the founders of the STC initiative are AT&T, Costco, Experian, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, Mircosoft, Paypal, Symantec, Verisign, Visa, Walmart, and Yahoo!.
Susanne Posel is the Chief Editor of Occupy Corporatism. Our alternative news site is dedicated to reporting the news as it actually happens; not as it is spun by the corporately funded mainstream media. You can find us on our Facebook page.