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AT&T, Verizon, and the rest a hearty signal to go on pimping for the government.” After writing that column, Nat Hentoff, who’d been with the Village Voice since it started in the mid-1950s, got laid off. Snooping through our telecoms was only the beginning. Even after Congress held back funding for the “Suspicionless Surveillance” program developed by a new Total Information Awareness department (don’t you just love the labels?), Bush apparently kept it going anyway. This was broader than the warrantless wiretaps, giving law enforcement the right to inspect our credit cards and bank transactions on the off-chance we might be tied in to terrorists.23 In shooting an episode called “Big Brother” for my TV series, my son Ty and I came to Minneapolis to film a little B-roll. We went downtown to First and Washington Avenue. There wasn’t one camera, there were four—on every single street corner! A middle-aged guy came by on a bike and I stopped him to ask if he’d ever noticed this. He said, “No, what are they filming?” I told him, “I don’t know, but obviously they’re watching us, they’ve got every direction covered.” I found out that private corporations provide the money to buy the cameras. The city says, “Great, it doesn’t cost us a thing,” and the taxpayers say, “Great, my taxes don’t go up.” But are the corporations doing this out of the goodness of their heart, to make a safer America? The cameras are all run by computer. One thing that automatically triggers them is when four or more people are together: “Must be up to something, let’s film them.” We were all outraged and stunned when we read George Orwell’s 1984 in school. But I’m afraid he was a prophet. Big Brother is watching, and it’s happening in subtle ways. I imagine few of you have heard of InfraGard. A year ago, I was happily ignorant that it existed. Their brochure describes a “collaborative effort” between government and private industry to protect our “critical infrastructures” like banking and finance, agriculture and food, telecommunications, transportation systems, and the like. “An InfraGard member is a private-sector volunteer with an inherent concern for national security,” says the brochure. Their members connect to a national network of Subject Matter Experts, SMEs for short, and communicate through local chapters with federal law enforcement and government agencies.24 It looks completely up-and-up. As of early 2008, InfraGard had 86 chapters around the country, representing more than 23,000 figures in private industry. Over 350 of the Fortune 500 companies are said to be involved. If they follow what the pamphlet says, these are patriotic Americans who meet with agents

Profile for HAROLD ARROYO, JR.

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

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