The other day in my article "Surveillance metastasizes" I wrote how the NSA has basically been spun off into various daughter organizations, Fusion Centers, and various program agencies. All this was ordered by an National Security Directive you can find at the Whitehouse website. The article detailed a few of the orders, but not all of them. But it shows how fiendishly transparent our government can be in a Catch 22 Milo Minderbinder kind of way. Anyway one of the organizations had these Instructions:
"Using the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, an interagency and inter- national law enforcement task force established in 2000 and led by ICE, to assist with combating intellectual property theft and maintaining the integrity of public health, public safety, the military, and the U.S. economy."
... and I deduced (predicted): that "We can expect to find out that NSA intelligence sharing is helping Giant Companies go after people who download movies, pirate software and who knows what else." Well I was right (of course) the referenced organization exists and is relentless in it's pursuit of housewives, teachers and other people in search of material long in the public domain:
http://www.iprcenter.gov/reports/public-service-announcements is their website. And they have a mission:
"The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) stands at the forefront of the U.S. government’s response to global intellectual property (IP) theft. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters."
So they've been active since 2000. With some successes world wide! An article in the blog "Daily dot" claims " Mega founder Kim Dotcom had some key intelligence on his online activity, provided by a foreign government's spy powers" which were used to bring him down. They've also made it possible to arrest folks buying knock off purses and such in New Yorks Manhattan Garment District. That would have killed my late wife twice.
All these fusion centers and orgs are not strictly speaking NSA, so when NSA demurres from claims it spies on school teachers downloading files for teaching materials -- they are technically right. Our Catch 22 rules are secret, so if you want to see them you have to fill out a form. But what you will see, if you are ever allowed to see it, will be redacted.
Lots in the news today.
And when the NSC decided to protect "intellectual property" I'm sure they had more Kim Dotcom in mind than the school teachers they so openly went after recently. It's just easier to go after teenagers, cheap purse buyers, and moms, than Mega companies or actual Pedophiles who might be coaches at important universities or Senators, or Wall Street kleptarchs. Thus we find the FBI working with spies to go after folks protesting Wall Street instead of Wall Street. It's just easier and your benefactors will pay you. That's the law of intended/unintended consequences. Modern Catch 22.
PBS article on the spies spying on journalists and politicians to keep them in line: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_programs/july-dec13/whistleblowers_08-01.html
Yesterdays' post reviewing Sirota's article:The Ghost of J. Edgar Hoover lives on