In Peculiar Progressive‘s Jan. 19, 2015 column, headlined “Following Paris, Police States Grow as Economies Shrink”, we led with these two paragraphs:
Paris’s Charlie Hebdo and supermarket attacks have set the stage for another post-9/11, as countries rev up police/military efforts on terror while hoping that will keep citizens’ frightened minds off the shriveling world economy.
France, the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Belgium are examples of nations seeing the Paris attacks as a chance to further instill fear into citizens and plot ways to increase a police-state environment. The effort is in cooperation with major corporate media outlets which are tirelessly repeating news reports of the states’ policing efforts.
Now, as the year draws to its close with the highly publicized new tragic Paris attacks, we again see the increased efforts to grow police/military states as the global economy continues to dissolve.
France leads the way. President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency, and is pushing strongly supported legislation to censor the Internet and expand police power. As techraptor.net reports:
The French activist group La Quadrature du Net reports on a recent bill adopted by the French National Assembly, which undermines judicial oversight of police searches, as well as granting the government tremendous power to censor the internet. It passed the national assembly by a large margin, 551 votes to 6. In order to become a law it must still be passed by the Senate.
The primary purpose of the bill is to extend the current state of emergency to last three months rather than 12 days as is normally the case. This alone is enough to concern activists. During the state of emergency, the police are able to carry out administrative searches and seizures, which don’t require any judicial oversight. La Quadrature du Net is highly critical of police usage of administrative searches since the Paris attacks to investigate crimes unrelated to terrorism.
The bill also expands the scope of administrative searches to take into account new developments in technology since the law governing states of emergency was originally passed. Now police can search and seize electronic devices of French resident, to gain access to any data on them. This search authority includes any data stored online which can be accessed through usernames and passwords obtained by police during their investigation.
Hollande has said he also wants a constitutional amendment to increase government policing powers, which indicates he’s ready to alter the fabric of French law and society.
Reminiscent of U.S. government actions following 9/11, Belgium’s leadership is holding its citizens on high alert against an “imminent” terrorist attack.
The United Kingdom has upped its efforts for the military to control Great Britain’s streets, as reported in The Telegraph‘s story “Anti-terror plan for thousands of troops on Britain’s streets”. And the BBC reports on efforts to control the online terror propaganda battle.
In the U.S., last week Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler called for expanding wiretapping laws to combat the likes of the Paris attacks. Privacy advocates opposed the idea, calling it a radical departure from legal precedent.
Meanwhile, the Millionaire Congress continues its drive to dissolve Americans’ privacy, with the Senate having recently pushed through a fourth censoring-surveillance bill: the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). The Senate bill number is S. 754. The bill goes to a conference committee before going to President Obama.
Many activist groups, security experts and major tech companies, such as Apple and Twitter, have expressed opposition to CISA.
Local U.S. police are also getting into the surveillance act, as mic.com recently reported in its series “Police Are Using Futuristic Tech to Detain You Before You’ve Committed a Crime”.
India’s also active in the dystopian effort, according to scroll.in in its recent report: “Orwellian state: Does independent India use the Raj’s sedition law even more than the British did?”
In Europe, Dr. Israel Butler, an advocacy consultant, argues that the entire European Commission abdicates responsibility in upholding fundamental values for the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
Meanwhile, we’re seeing the disease spread to South America, with Melanie Hargreaves’ piece “New anti-terrorism law threatens Brazil’s civil society”.
At the basis of this, of course, are government efforts (especially U.S. weapons sales to nearly everybody) to keep citizens occupied with terror while their economies fold. We’ve written often of financial analysts’ concerns with the growth of global debt, both public and private. We’ll give you a taste of the continuing trend with two of this week’s articles, one titled “Global Trade Just Snapped: Container Freight Rates Plummet 70% in 3 Weeks”. The other examines U.S. college loan debt leaving millennials with no investment options.
But, hey, since it’s Thanksgiving, let’s close on a note of gratitude: While constantly involved in endless war, we have yet to reach a nuclear war.