World News & Events

Be Careful about Dissent


Be careful about dissent, because to this day many governments around the world maintain a very tough stance on dissent, and act very harshly towards those who participate.
Students in Thailand have been arrested for using a three-fingered salute they saw in the movie Hunger Games. In Turkey, Twitter, You-Tube, and other social media sites have been blocked, while in Russia the word “crisis” has been totally banned from its use in public.

You can see the backlash of insecure governments against the free expression of their citizens everywhere. There was a time long ago when the U.S was a refreshing outlier on dissent, because at the time of its founding, the Land of the Free took a bold stance in asserting that its citizens all had a number of inalienable rights, and dissent was one of them. But gradually these rights have been chipped away, particularly in this century as we’ve seen the rise of a trade-off between liberty and security.

Today the U.S is rapidly joining the ranks of insecure, and oppressive governments rather than moving apart from them. Yes, someone in the United States can still technically publish an article that is critical of the government, but you cannot have comfort in your privacy. You can have no reasonable expectations that your phone, emails, and social media accounts will not be hacked and monitored by the government that you are being critical of.

You can have no reasonable expectations that your financial accounts won’t be frozen if you push the envelope too far, nor that you will be spared by abusive tax authorities for starting a grassroots political opposition group, and expressing dissent. In recent years we have seen people arrested for doing menial tasks, like feeding the homeless, for collecting rainwater, and for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial.

Exactly how Free is this in your Book?

In the name of security, one major thing that the U.S Government have been cracking down on over the last few years is taking photographs, and video recordings in public places. We’re not talking about sneaking into the CIA headquarters here. We’re talking about normal people, taking normal pictures within public areas, as being totally unacceptable in the governments eyes.

Amtrak famously invited the American nation a few years ago to take pictures of its trains. Photographers far and wide obliged, and many of them were arrested or detained by police for engaging in suspicious activity. Apparently taking a photograph is now considered suspicious activity. You can no longer take photographs of something so insipid as an airline safety briefing… or TSA checkpoint.

And this doesn’t even begin to describe the consequences of photographing police officers, and federal agents engaging in public duties within the public arena, It’s all forbidden… and all in the name of security. (The U.S Government invades its citizens privacy, saying that if they have nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear. Ironically they do not apply the same standard to themselves, and frown upon those who show any form of dissent in public.)

This past month, one Congressman finally said that enough was enough and proposed a new bill to bring back Americans First Amendment rights. The bill stated that photographers taking footage in public areas, should NOT be restricted by threats of confiscation or arrest as these things infringe on the democratic rights U.S citizens have to free speech. When you think about it, it’s really sad that they needed to propose a new law to give Americans back their original and Constitutional rights.

Nevertheless, that’s what happened. And the bill was submitted. And guess what; They killed it. Just two weeks after the bill was submitted to congress, it was squashed. So as pathetic as it was that they needed to submit this bill in the first place, it’s even worse that they had to kill it, and told Americans that their constitutional rights are being taken away each and every day.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, tells you everything you need to know about the state of justice and Liberty in the Land of the Free. But look, this isn’t intended to be gloomy. Fact is, Freedom is still alive and well, somewhere out there in the world. It just isn’t as dependent on geography as much as it used to be. Borders are increasingly irrelevant. And while there are plenty of countries out there where you can feel much more free, there are still plenty of steps you can take to protect your own personal Freedom.

For example, adding a bit of encryption software, or moving your email account to an offshore server is a great step to regain digital privacy, and it costs absolutely nothing.
And one of the biggest steps we recommend everyone take is to establish an offshore bank account to move some currency to a safe and stable place where your savings cannot be confiscated, with the click of a mouse.

Author: Simon Black. Founder,

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