In light of news that every day the entirety of telecom giant Verizon’s call system records are handed over to the NSA, news that Occupy Wall Street protest attendees’ cellphones were logged should hardly come as a shock. It nonetheless bears noting that cellphone metadata of march and rally participants was likely specifically logged, as security expert Steven Ramdam recently noted. This means that individuals were directly targeted for their engagement with First Amendment-protected activity.
So, let me see if I have this right. As a result of my coverage of Occupy events in New York City where I went to observe and cover the protests and marches for this blog and exercise my First Amendment Rights, my cell phone was put on a surveillance regime. Not only that but the phone usually ends up in bed with me at night while I listen to various podcasts and books so I have been literally sleeping with the enemy and depending on what technology they’ve been using, they have been able to record everything that I did or didn’t do there. Everything that happened in my house has probably been recorded for posterity and stored on a cloud server at the NSA. I should probably warn the new owners of my old house…
Now, I can imagine a bunch of stupid whip kissers out there thinking that anyone who went to an Occupy event deserved this because nothing bad happens to you if you are obedient and pious. But I’d like to know if 2nd Amendment assholes who threaten to shoot the shit out of anyone who threatens to take away their guns are similarly targeted and if not, why not.
Someone has some explaining to do, preferably in front of a Congressional committee.
Lest we forget who we are talking about, this picture was taken at the peak of the Occupation of Zuccotti Park in October 2011. These are the people who were bugged. We’re not talking about lice infested anarchists. We’re talking about ordinary Americans who went to the park on a nice October day to check things out and talk to other like minded people about economics. For this, we’re not entitled to privacy. It just goes to show how powerful Occupy was to the ruling elite and their politicians. More than ever, I’m glad I went. I rocked the boat just by showing up. How many Americans can say that they were considered dangerous enough to be bugged simply because they were there? The rest of you can hold your manhoods cheap.
Come to think of it, that means Paul Krugman and his wife were probably bugged too but in their case, they’ve always been rabble rousers and trouble makers.