Remember 1984? The book, not the year. In it, the government is all-knowing, or at least all-watching. Could present day nations be turning into this kind of authoritarian (dare we say "totalitarian"?) Orwellian nightmare?
New laws in several countries seem to be tossing out many rights that citizens have long considered their due. Today, Dale Sinner considers some of these new laws and what that means to these rights - and what we can do about the whole situation.
What's Your Internationalization "Trigger Point"?
It's not as if there isn't already a huge body of evidence suggesting that the US, Canada, the UK and EU are transforming into authoritarian, Orwellian nightmares.
Prior to 9/11, it seemed American's civil liberties were mostly in place. At least we thought they were.
Those were the days.
Sadly, the protections in the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments to the US Constitution have disappeared.
Here's just a little sampling.
Since 9/11, US lawmakers have casually tossed aside more than two centuries of American jurisprudence. We believed those lawmakers when they swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. They didn't.
The 4th amendment to the US Constitution protects US citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, and guarantees citizens the right to privacy in their personal effects.
Any American expectation of privacy was lost with the bizarre, hasty passage of the USA Patriot Act on October 26, 2001.
Make no mistake - the Patriot Act and Patriot Act II render protections under the Bill of Rights null and void.
The Patriot Act and associated security and anti-terrorism laws supersede the US Constitution.
These laws, ostensibly passed to make you safe, allow the government to:
Intercept, record and archive each and every telephone conversation, fax, email, web search or other electronic communication you make, forever
Monitor your banking, and alert federal authorities each time you spend $10,000 or more in cash, or deposit or withdraw amounts as small as $3,000
Secretly break into your home, search for "evidence," then leave surreptitiously, all without warrant (called "sneak and peak")
Arrest any American without due process - without warrant and without any notification to family - based on an executive finding that the person (not even formally) accused is somehow associated with "terrorism," no matter how that's defined
Spy on, or secretly infiltrate, churches, community groups, or any other organization for reasons of "security"
- Review your library records and Amazon purchases, perhaps in the manufacture of evidence
Frankly, it is incredible. Check here to find out what Patriot Act really means if you don't believe me.
No More Privacy
Don't be fooled - you have zero expectation of privacy under the Patriot Act, and my guess is, from here on out, you never will. At least not with the new $2 billion Internet spy center being built in Utah - touted to have the ability to trace, record and archive every electronic communication on Earth.
Don't worry if you didn't hit "save" - the US National Security Agency did that for you.
Former senior NSA mathematician William Binney helped automate the NSA's worldwide eavesdropping network. He quit when the agency defied the US Constitution and began listening in on Americans. He said the authorities "didn't care" about constitutional guarantees.
During an interview for Wired magazine, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together and said, "We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state."
And It's Only Just Begun.
You might think that, as the law-abiding citizen you are, you won't be subject to unreasonable searches and seizures. That happens in third world countries, not in the US. Not to people who obey the law. Not to good people.
Not only can police take what's yours without placing you under arrest or accusing you of a crime, you have to fight to get back what belongs to you.
Just ask George Reby.
A Tennessee police officer stopped him for speeding and simply took his cash from him. The officer didn't charge him with any crime, because he had committed no crime. Nor did the officer find any evidence to suspect Reby of one. The police officer simply confiscated the man's cash.
To someone my age, this sort of officially sanctioned corruption is simply astounding. I never imagined this would happen in America.
At least Mr. Reby got away with his life. He wasn't jailed, swept into some invisible gulag, and tortured into "confessing" to something he didn't do.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed at the end of 2011, allows the indefinite, secret detention of anyone - including American citizens on American soil - without charge and without trial.
Goodbye 5th and 6th Amendments - We Enjoyed Having You.
Basically, the law allows for an American to be jailed, swept into some invisible gulag and tortured into "confessing" to something he didn't do.
The NDAA gave the government extraordinary authority to become the very dictatorship feared by Americans for decades.
President Obama offered assurances that he wouldn't use it on us when he signed the law after .... um ... saying that he didn't agree with the law he had just signed.
The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. My administration will not authorize the indefinite detentions without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.
So, basically the president said he won't authorize what the bill authorized with his signature.
Well, that's good. I mean, at least he had reservations. Republican candidate for president, Congressman Ron Paul has a few on the latest (2013) version.
Anyway, I'm sure we'd all like to believe assurances that it would never be used on us. I mean, stuff like that never really happens to law-abiding citizens, right?
That's probably what the smart, law-abiding citizens who heard this thought:
The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures...The number of cases in which an internal necessity exists for having recourse to such a law is in itself a limited one.
Whew - that's a relief. Thanks, Adolf.
I thought the Enabling Act meant you and your National Socialists were going to start ruling by decree, and terrorizing anyone who didn't go along. I'm really glad to hear you'll be practicing some restraint here.
But seriously, I could go on about, for example:
- How the Real ID Act (a law requiring, for all intents and purpose, a de facto internal passport) is coming into force next year,
- How by the end of this decade approximately 30,000 unmanned drone aircraft will be patrolling the skies over the continental US,
- How - if the notion of unmanned aerial drones all over the US weren't enough - some police departments are already discussing arming their drones with rubber bullets and tear gas,
But I think you get the picture.
Other Countries, Too
To be fair, it's not like the US is the only western nation on the path to dictatorship.
The UK has become an absolute trailblazer toward the total surveillance society. Smile; there are 68.7 cameras per 1,000 people living in the borough of the City of London.
You could get a speeding ticket from space if UK surveillance satellites see you speeding on the M1. (Actually, they calculate your speed from the time you got on and when you got off.)
Safe deposit boxes in the UK are anything but safe, if this gross tale of London police officers smashing open safe deposit boxes and confiscating their contents is any indication.
Canada now appears to be taking its cue from the US in requiring that Internet providers allow government real time access to user accounts and personal information.
Even tiny mostly alpine Austria has decided to collect Internet data on all its citizens:
The Austrian data retention law compels all ISPs and telcos operating in Austria to retain everyone's incoming and outgoing phone numbers, IP addresses, location data, and other key telecom and Internet traffic data. The information is collected for all citizens, rather than just those suspected of criminal activity. In many cases, the data is handed over to law enforcement.
My, How Far We've Come.
And knowing just how far we've come in these past ten or twelve years, knowing what used to be unthinkable in the US or Canada or the EU is now law, what do you suppose the next ten years will bring?
Think you will enjoy more freedom, or less?
What do you suppose will happen if, say, there's another terrorist attack like 9/11? Or a false flag attack?
How about a war with Iran that escalates beyond regional conflict?
Given the powers held by the Department of Homeland Security to conduct random searches on national highways, buses and at train stations, what do you think the chances are that in a major natural disaster or national emergency, you and your family will be able to freely travel to a safer location with enough cash to get by?
Given what you already know, do you think it's wise to put off taking action to internationalize yourself, your family or your assets even one more day?
But Where to Get Started?
Simply by following the classic diversification strategies:
Internationalize your finances by starting with an overseas bank account, and expanding from there into foreign gold storage, international brokerage accounts and investing and beyond, as warranted.
Consider heading overseas for a while. Having a "bolt-hole" outside your default jurisdiction can provide a level of security not achievable at home.
Diversify your income by starting a new business in a new market, getting a job in another country, or getting into a profession that doesn't make you dependent on staying in one place.
- Look at acquiring a second citizenship outside your current government's sphere of influence. Arguably, this is more difficult for Americans, but definitely not impossible.
And don't be fooled into thinking that there are no more good places, safe jurisdictions or secure bolt-holes for "ass and assets." While much of the Western world is suffering from the natural consequences of a decades-long socialistic experiment, there are many other places around the world that can serve you just fine. You just have to find the best ones for you.
Indeed, International Man exists to help you do that.