Turn The Light On! It's Us Or Them For the Future of the Web

Search form

Turn The Light On! It's Us Or Them For the Future of the Web

Turn The Light On! It's Us Or Them For the Future of the Web
Fri, 8/30/2013 - by Adbusters
This article originally appeared on Adbusters

Here’s a scary thought. What if PRISM and X-Keyscore are just the tip of the iceberg? A trial run. A mock deployment to work out the glitches of a system ten times more Orwellian than what we’re seeing now. Think for a moment that the security interests behind these programs are not simply arrogant. What if they’re acting out of real fear?

Ponder the possibility that they’re putting these first tentative boots on the ground because they know that when climate disruption seriously hits the fan, surveillance, information and intelligence will be the only thing separating the cowering elites from the starving horde.

In this scenario, the Timothy McVeigh’s, the Osama bin Laden’s, the terrorist Chechnya brothers, will become retrospective chicken feed compared to what the surveillance state really fears – those who threaten to tackle the ideology of corporate capitalism and the God of economic growth that has pushed human civilization to the brink of survival. Think journalists. Think climate scientists. Think activists. Think environmentalists. Think you. If you’ve experienced an internet disruption lately, chances are it wasn’t on account of the weather.

Google and Facebook sold us out. The information society turned against us. The dream of being connected is suddenly dystopic. The virtual commons is more closed than the real one ever was. And it is becoming clearer and clearer that open source technology will not be enough to save us.

Our social networks have been infiltrated. Our short time with the upper hand has been called. Totalitarian states around the globe are waking up to the fact that if you really want to stay one step ahead, you don’t suppress communication, instead you empower communication with gadgets and free Wi-Fi and listen in. And now we’re all walking around with personal surveillance devices in our pockets, smartphones, which we voluntarily fill with every single detail of our lives.

If we’re going to win the web-game back, we’re going to need whistleblowers more than ever. In fact, we’ll need a global army of insiders courageous enough to turn the lights on at the black box.

The last remnants of hope that America could somehow move beyond its brutal military megalomania died when Obama gave a thumbs-up to the most sophisticated domestic surveillance apparatus in human history. He had a chance to side with Snowden, to side with a new radical democracy, a new type of heroic myth, but instead he chose the gutless route. His only reprieve is that the people themselves don’t seem to mind. Weak leader. Weak people. It’s hard to tell who leads whom anymore.

America has truly become a nation of sheep . . . a nation of people too fat to fight and too chicken-shit to speak-up. Trust the shepherd. He’ll lead us to pasture. They’d rather shut their eyes and close their ears so long as the HBO keeps running and the Super Big Gulps keep flowing.

Is this really how the American Revolution ends, a revolution that despite all of its contradictions and bullshit inspired the world for two hundred years? What the hell ever happened to the spirit of Nathan Hale – my only regret is that I have but one life to lose for my country?

You at the CIA! You at the NSA! You at the White House! You in the Armed Forces! You at the IRS! You at Goldman Sachs! You hiding behind that computer screen, that algorithm, that drone, that computer program, that security clearance . . . you can’t hide anymore.

9/11 exploded the myth of American military might. Now Snowden has exposed the soft underbelly of the surveillance state. If you have a drop of human blood left in your veins, surely what you’re doing eats away at you the very same way that it ate away at him. It’s time to wake up. You’re on the wrong side of history. There is no “just following orders” anymore. America is at a crossroads and you’re standing right in the middle of it.

First one. Then five. Then hundreds. Then thousands. Then too many to prosecute. Then a new American Revolution. Then America saves itself.

What’s it going to be America? Are you really just a nation of obese amoebas, cowering in line, saying baaaaaaaaaahhhh like the rest, waiting to be sheared?

…Or are you a nation of heroes?

Originally published by Adbusters

Article Tabs

Guatemala protests, Otto Pérez Molina, #RenunciaYa, anti-corruption protests, CICIG, Guatemala massacres

Pressure to impeach President Otto Pérez Molina for his involvement in a major corruption scandal that has thrown the country into political crisis is mounting.

whistleblowers, Thomas Drake, Edward Snowden, Diane Roark, Ed Loomis, J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, NSA secrets, NSA revelations, National Security Agency, THINTHREAD, Michael Hayden, Keith Alexander, TRAILBLAZER, Whistleblower Protection Act

The NSA wasn't interested in having its faults pointed out – so it sent the DOJ after the whistleblowers.

350.org, The Academy of Sciences, fossil fuel divestment

The Natural History Museum and 350.org launched a collaborative campaign calling on the country’s top science and natural history museums to dump all stocks in oil, coal and gas.

household debt, student debt, credit card debt, debt illegitimacy, International Citizen debt Audit Network, odious debt, debt resistance, positive money, negative-interest currency

No street protests are necessary, no confrontations with riot police, to stop payment on a credit card or student loan – the financial system is vulnerable to a few million mouse clicks.

money in politics, Super PACs, Federal Election Commission, Citizens United, Campaign Legal Center, campaign finance laws, campaign finance reform

Spending more than twice as much as the last three White House races combined, the unregulated fundraising juggernauts backed by unlimited contributions from wealthy donors threaten to completely shape – and control – the 2016 race.

Al Jazeera, You Stink, Beirut,

Clashes intensify as protests sparked by the city's garbage problem widen in scope, and the prime minister calls an emergency parliament session.

Posted 5 days 11 hours ago
Seattle school protests, income inequality, wealth inequality, Seattle school policies, Seattle transit inequality

We want all inequitable policies to be challenged.

Posted 4 days 14 hours ago
police body cameras, police surveillance, Michael Brown, Stingray

The spread of body cameras into our schools may come as surprise to some, but it shouldn’t.

Posted 4 days 14 hours ago
Corinthian Colleges, Bank of America

An invisible entity strongly influenced the messy unwinding of Corinthian Colleges: Bank of America.

Posted 4 days 14 hours ago
Truthout, private corrections companies, Corrections Corporation of America, GEO Group, In The Public Interest

Private corrections companies are spending millions of dollars

Posted 3 days 13 hours ago
police body cameras, police surveillance, Michael Brown, Stingray

The spread of body cameras into our schools may come as surprise to some, but it shouldn’t.

Al Jazeera, You Stink, Beirut,

Clashes intensify as protests sparked by the city's garbage problem widen in scope, and the prime minister calls an emergency parliament session.

pesticides, GMOs, Hawaii

Local doctors are in the crosshairs over whether corn that’s been genetically modified to resist pesticides is a source of prosperity or of birth defects and illnesses.

Corinthian Colleges, Bank of America

An invisible entity strongly influenced the messy unwinding of Corinthian Colleges: Bank of America.

Sign Up