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Why the recent Washington Post article should scare you.

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posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:47 AM
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I know that the Washington Post article "Top-Secret America" has already been addressed in the forums, however I would like to start this thread to discuss some of the private-sector companies hired as "contractors" by the US government in this post 9/11 world. As a self-diagnosed geek I like to keep myself up on current events in the technological world, but in all honesty this article and the corresponding search engine they have provided has disturbed me greatly. While I have always been somewhat aware of the governments tapping phones and invading our privacy, I always disregarded a lot of the information out there, since I personally have nothing to hide... but now, seeing some of these companies in here, I have to wonder if 'for our safety' the government has taken a few too many steps over the line...

Here is what I mean by that...

Here are just some of the disturbing private-sector companies currently "contracted" by the US government in the interest of "national security" and what they do(if you don't already know):

AT&T: Telecommunications
Adobe: Software Developer
Anonymizer, Inc: Identity Protection
Cisco Systems: Networking, IT
Dell, Inc: PC Supplier
Google: Search Engine
IBM: IT
Microsoft: Windows Software Developer
Motorola: Communications Technology
Novell: IT, Networking
Oracle USA: Database Software
Qualcomm, Inc: Telecommunications
Quest Software: Business Management
Red Hat, Inc: Linux Platform Developer
Sun Microsystems: Networking, Database, IT (and much more)
Symantec: Anti-virus Software Developer
Verizon: Telecommunications


In light of keeping this post short(er) I have only posted SOME of the private-sector companies *I* find most disturbing to be on this list. You can find the entire list of IT companies HERE, as well as the entire database of companies, including government agencies HERE.

Looking at the companies above and the resources they have available to them, I can only imagine what, if anything, the government is doing with them. Software developers who most of us have their products on our computers. Telecommunication companies that many people use. Hardware and software companies that we may have used... and ever an Identity Protection firm. While I can see logical reasons why having many of these companies as "contractors" would assist greatly in identifying and preventing terrorist threats, I can not help but think how much the government has possibly invaded every one of our daily lives, and we have not even known about it. Access to our GPS on our Phones, Telephone Calls, Text Messages, Computer, Internet browsing... No sir, I don't like it one BIT!

Keep your eyes open, I have a feeling this might just make a few people in the right spots a little more than a bit nervous, if they know what they are looking at!

~Rainy

(On an aside note)
Please forgive me if I posted this in the wrong forum, or I do not have the correct posting etiquette as this is my first post on ATS, and as such, I am bound to make a mistake or two. Mods you can move/edit my post as you see fit (not that you needed my permission!), just make sure to let me know what I did wrong so I do not do it in the future!


[Edited: Clarification on which article]

[edit on 20-7-2010 by Sararainmaker]




posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:55 AM
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reply to post by Sararainmaker
 


I don’t think it’s that these companies are doing anything untoward for the intelligence agencies rather they are probably doing what they do for the everyday consumer just with the obvious changes. So for example all Dell are doing is supplying them with PC’s, Google are providing them perhaps with a specialised search engine, Motorola are providing them with mobile phones and so on. I don’t think it’s the case the government is manipulating these companies to spy on us all. Granted some might be such as windows who have a nasty habit of installing “NSA keys” into their programming.

I am still going through the stuff in the WP so far the best stuff i have found is that 1.7 billion intercepts are made by the NSA and it also confirmed military and intelligence operations in Yemen.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 07:04 AM
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reply to post by kevinunknown
 


I truly hope you are right...

I am just your average every-day person with average everyday knowledge who happens to have a husband with a tin-foil hat collection. The idea of being misinformed by the MSM is a relatively new concept to me. I really want to believe that our government is doing what is best for us... but this list of contractors really scares me.

I am sure many of these companies really do only provide the government with computers, networking supplies, telephones, etc... but there are SO MANY. I know many of them are literally government contracting firms designed to make communication between the branches easier...

But WHY would they have an Identity Protection firm? What possible reason would they have for contracting with them? What possible reason would they have for contracting with both Red Hat, Inc (creators of Red Hat Linux) AND Microsoft?

I am not trying to spread unreasonable fear around the populace of ATS... But I have to admit, I am a little frightened myself at the possible scope of their reach....

[Edited: Typo... once again.]

[edit on 20-7-2010 by Sararainmaker]



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 08:16 AM
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S&F- not bad for your first post, not bad at all.

Now allow me to ask a couple of questions. What if you discovered that government, through stock ownership, already had controlling interest in the companies you listed? The CEO's know it, the boards of directors know it but the public is intentionally left in the dark. What kind of arrangement would we have here? How hard would it be for government to demand and get whatever it wanted from these companies?

A guy you've probably never heard of has been trying for almost twenty years to wise the public up to just such an arrangement. Allow me to introduce Walter Burien and CAFR1.

CAFR is an acronmy for Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. To make a long story short, government runs two sets of books. The one we get to see is the budgetary basis of government (the one they always point to when they want to jack taxes). The one we don't get to see covers all revenue from all sources and believe me this is the one you want to get your eyes on.

To use Walter's classic example suppose you make $100,000 dollars a year and allocate $20,000 of that money towards your household budget each year. But, try as you might you just can't seem to live within your budget- what do you do? Would you go to your neighbor and ask for $20,000 from him to help you make ends meet or would you draw from that $80,000 dollar reserve you have left? In our world the neighbor would tell you to go screw yourself.

But, this is exactly how government operates and has done so for over fifty years. They constantly tell us we need to pay more taxes to maintain the budget but never tell exactly how much money they take in and from all sources. It's a great scam.

Now, it may appear that I've wandered off on a tangent but it goes right to the heart of this discussion. The tie in is that every editor of every newspaper, the Washington Post included, gets a copy of the "second book" each year but for some reason they never mention it in their publications. Why do you suppose that is?

Wouldn't you think that if composite government has controlling interest in these companies it would merit mention when the discussion of these government contractors came up? Especially when spying and bailouts are the news of the day.

Uncle Sam doesn't have to twist arms, hell, they run these companies from the inside.

You want to get really mad. The spying and snooping isn't the worst of it. Based upon the numbers there is NO REASON we should be required to pay taxes. Government could be 100% funded from the profits it makes on its investments. Moreover, above and beyond funding government the investments do so well each of us should get money back from the different government entities who tax the hell out of us. It was our money they invested.

I encourage everyone to read up and understand how this scam works. And for sure understand why these patriotic Fortune 500's are so eager to do the government's bidding.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 09:06 AM
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Just a suggestion... anonymity would allow them to troll the internet without disclosing their ip. They'd be able to join ATS as Joe Shmoe and no one would be the wiser, for instance.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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I agree with kevinunknown. Just because one of these companies is on the payroll does not automatically mean they are doing something sneaky. However, the one I do think is interesting is Adobe. For the company who makes photoshop to be contracted out seems a little fishy.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:07 AM
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hey rainnmake-a welcome our secret little club here . ive been hanging round for about 6 months now and still have not posted evrytime i try its already got 2-3 threads on the topic so i contribute when i can...

i would be willing to bet the insiders at these companys are just as nervous as you and and i are about this whole socialism thing going on eww
nice job rain provider lookfoward your hubbys post to lol bye =o)

-peace



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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Now let us suppose that the bailouts were in fact a big humongous scams, to buy off cheap all of the companies, it would be very wise to think that everything is now under surveillance. Think about it, one dell computer, one Xbox, one blackberry, and they have complete access to your house and what is going on in there (not that anyone really would be interested by my kitchen conversation)

But more interesting even, is the fact, that there is no real reason why they need that much surveillance, or money, unless it is being funneled for something bigger. I mean most of these conspiracy stories can be tied up together. Us government takeover of free companies, 9/11 conspiracy of knowing beforehand of events, the haarp project, Underground military bases and of course upcoming events that can be linked to 2012. But none of it is really clear how all of this ties up together.

But we are no longer in a free society, we are now in a controlled regime, and there is no longer any way of hiding anything from everyone. And until someone rises up against this, everything will continue exactly how it goes. When you think about the Federal Reserve that creates money out of thin air, and takes that money to control everything and everyone, creates a system of war that never ends, creates apathy control of the mind, creates mind altering drugs, paterns of thought, illusions to consume.

Now those of us who have read a lot on ATS know that this is not very far from the truth. The actual reason they need this much control, is beyond me. Or maybe not, the bigger the lie, the more the people needed to follow up and keep the balloon from popping water all over the place. And If I had to place an educated guess, the combination of the system itself, the technology that was recovered from those unidentified objects that crashed due to radar interference in the 50’s and the impeding belief that our solar system is going through changes, might be the reason they are trying to control the populace.

Since there’s not enough $ in the world to build continents underground, they are selecting who will make it or not.

My other guess would be denver airport is a sign of things to come, that Anubis statue that was recently added, should have you alert!!!

Just my 2 cents,



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by CmdrZero
 



S&F- not bad for your first post, not bad at all.


Thank You!



What if you discovered that government, through stock ownership, already had controlling interest in the companies you listed?


A few years ago I might have denied this as "crazy talk" but these days, I am just not so sure what to believe. We live in a different world now, and I suppose it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest now.


How hard would it be for government to demand and get whatever it wanted from these companies?


Well... In this case, it's not very difficult for our government to demand what they want from the private-sector even without control over a good portion of their stock. There are new and old laws they can "use" in the interest of national security, real or not, to get any kind of information they want from anyone... I just had no idea they were already employing so many... that everyone uses.


Allow me to introduce Walter Burien and CAFR1.


I will have to read this, though I already know it's a rabbit hole I may not want to jump down. Better to be informed of all possibilities, right?


Would you go to your neighbor and ask for $20,000 from him to help you make ends meet or would you draw from that $80,000 dollar reserve you have left? In our world the neighbor would tell you to go screw yourself.


A very profound analogy to taxes... and a sad realization of the human spirit all in one.


The tie in is that every editor of every newspaper, the Washington Post included, gets a copy of the "second book" each year but for some reason they never mention it in their publications. Why do you suppose that is?


Fear, I'd imagine. Our government and it's national security program is a scary thing. I have seen the MSM backpedal on many occasions, or just downplay events, especially in light of the recent oil spill. I have known for years that no media source is true news, since there is always a spin of some sort, but lately, it's become more apparent than ever.

Wouldn't you think that if composite government has controlling interest in these companies it would merit mention when the discussion of these government contractors came up? Especially when spying and bailouts are the news of the day.

Thank you for your lengthy and informative reply. I will definitely take a look at the link you provided today!

~Rainy



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by findingth3truth
 


It's not so much Photoshop that concerns me in this case, but Acrobat. There are PDF's all over the internet and many corporations and people use them to transfer and read information.

...But again, this COULD just be a case of using a companies software for internal communications, Though if the article is in fact true, they don't seem to do too much of that.

...though the idea of the government looking at *my* photos both disturbs and amuses me greatly.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:09 PM
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This topic surely roils my blood.

To try and remain somewhat fair and balanced, I can see why those companies would be tapped for various and sundry legitimate reasons.

However, our government has repeatedly shown countless times that it cannot be trusted to audit its own branches, decrease compartmentalization, re-examine or reform current policies based on new data, and, least of all, spend wisely.

How can the American public be comfortable with the government willing agencies into existence that are immune to accountability when we have citizens subsisting on cans of cat food?

If our government cannot be trusted to balance its own checkbooks legitimately, how can it be trusted -- behind closed doors, no doubt -- when it sends our information overseas to China, or Israel?

This whole thing reeks of abuse.

Abuse of every day taxpayers.

How can the government -- as big as it is -- need to tap the private sector?

They [the U.S. Government] has LOST 3.3 TRILLION dollars -- that's 3.3 x 10^12 -- or -- 3,300,000,000,000 in the past decade. Try counting to a thousand sometime.

If they can LOSE 3.3 trillion dollars of our tax money, you'd think they could spring for an IT department or two with a coupla SQL nerds who know what they're doing. By they're not. They blow our money on secret agencies and then need to blow even MORE money to tap the private sector. What the hell are the original agencies used for then since our government is going straight to the private sector ANYWAY?

This speaks volumes to me that our government, and its agencies are COMPLETELY ineffective ON ALL FRONTS. It's abusive to American tax-paying citizens, it's an abuse of trust, and it's a complete abuse of stewardship.

I'm rambling.

Sorry, scatterbrained today.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:26 PM
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reply to post by guavas
 


*grins* I am amused to be able to reply to my husband when he is in the same room, but this is a point I would like to bring up for everyone to think about.

In February 1958, the US government responded to the launch of Sputnik by creating DARPA, which networked the countries RADAR. This was the birth of the internet. Up until 1988 The ARPANET was completely controlled by the US government. [Source]

Why is it that the people who CREATED the internet in the first place do not have the "Best and the Brightest" researchers and developers available to create their own specialized programs and research software? Why do the creators of the internet need to tap into private sector companies?



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 06:30 PM
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That last paragraph needs to be on fliers stapled to every telephone pole in the nation. I cannot emphasize in words just how important that paragraph needs to be stated and RE stated. I couldn't have put it better myself.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by Sararainmaker
 




What possible reason would they have for contracting with both Red Hat, Inc (creators of Red Hat Linux) AND Microsoft?


I'm surprised at your question/disbelief. Red Hat provides a contract for using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on their servers and Microsoft obviously sells them the whole Windows Environment. There is absolutely nothing sinister about them purchasing software from both companies.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 09:58 PM
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all those companies have important data

they can use tecniques to get information about the users and their patterns

Adobe, Google, Microsoft, ... they all MAY be monitoring user activities and selling the information for the government



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:29 PM
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A corporate parasite octopus that has grown larger than godzilla

but is all too REAL.

It should scare the crap out of any thinking caring American.

Blood sucking your taxdollars & promoting more wars over imaginary things.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:39 PM
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online.wsj.com...


Google Says It Mistakenly Collected Data on Web Usage

Google Inc. said an internal investigation has discovered that the roving vans the company uses to create its online mapping services were mistakenly collecting data about websites people were visiting over wireless networks.

The Internet giant said it would stop collecting Wi-Fi data from its StreetView vans, which workers drive to capture street images and to locate Wi-Fi networks. The company said it would dispose of the data it had accidentally collected.

So they have a picture of your house and hacked your wifi and downloaded your web history in a simple drive by.

www.cnn.com...


((CNN) -- Google made headlines when it went public with the fact that Chinese hackers had penetrated some of its services, such as Gmail, in a politically motivated attempt at intelligence gathering. The news here isn't that Chinese hackers engage in these activities or that their attempts are technically sophisticated -- we knew that already -- it's that the U.S. government inadvertently aided the hackers.

In order to comply with government search warrants on user data, Google created a backdoor access system into Gmail accounts. This feature is what the Chinese hackers exploited to gain access.

Google's system isn't unique. Democratic governments around the world -- in Sweden, Canada and the UK, for example -- are rushing to pass laws giving their police new powers of Internet surveillance, in many cases requiring communications system providers to redesign products and services they sell.

Many are also passing data retention laws, forcing companies to retain information on their customers. In the U.S., the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act required phone companies to facilitate FBI eavesdropping, and since 2001, the National Security Agency has built substantial eavesdropping systems with the help of those phone companies.


So the US told Google to add a spying feature to there software and China hacked it and was able to spy on the US and other countries with the added features.

And don't forget when the hackers learned to act like they were a google bot. Hackers had free reign with this one for a while.


How Googlebot accesses your site
For most sites, Googlebot shouldn't access your site more than once every few seconds on average. However, due to network delays, it's possible that the rate will appear to be slightly higher over short periods. In general, Googlebot should download only one copy of each page at a time. If you see that Googlebot is downloading a page multiple times, it's probably because the crawler was stopped and restarted.

Googlebot was designed to be distributed on several machines to improve performance and scale as the web grows. Also, to cut down on bandwidth usage, we run many crawlers on machines located near the sites they're indexing in the network. Therefore, your logs may show visits from several machines at google.com, all with the user-agent Googlebot. Our goal is to crawl as many pages from your site as we can on each visit without overwhelming your server's bandwidth. Request a change in the crawl rate.


www.google.com...

[edit on 20-7-2010 by JBA2848]



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:43 PM
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reply to post by Sararainmaker
 


if y=9 and x=2 then:

Sararainmaker

For what it is worth your post was flawless and I enjoyed it.

Like you I never worry to much about these things because I do not feel I have anything to hide. But...

It would not surprise me at all if our computers, cell phones, phones, faxes, emails, computer chipped cars are all used to gather and track massive amounts of data from each of us and go into a huge data base for some kind of government project. Like to track specific information, such as shopping habits, travel routes, hot words of topic you name it and it is all for intlellegence gathering, for what who knows? I am not paraniod about it or spend a lot of time thinking about it but I completely believe this is our reality as sure as the sun shines.

Melissa101

[edit on 20-7-2010 by Melissa101]



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 10:45 PM
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Originally posted by findingth3truth
I agree with kevinunknown. Just because one of these companies is on the payroll does not automatically mean they are doing something sneaky. However, the one I do think is interesting is Adobe. For the company who makes photoshop to be contracted out seems a little fishy.

doesn't sound too fishy to me
being that the Fed Gov's main doc of choice is in
the .pdf format. And Adobe creates that format.

Just download almost any gov file from a website
and it will 99% of the time be in .pdf format.



posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by boondock-saint
 


Don't forget just befor we went into Iraq Adobe gave the military a hack to create popups on the computer screens of people in Iraq they thought would turn on Saddam.



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