“JUDGES: At this grave crisis in the history of our country, you have been offered a peculiarly desirable gift, a gift almost too opportune to be of human origin: it almost seems heaven sent. For you have been given a unique chance to make your Senatorial Order less unpopular, and to set right the damaged reputation of these courts. A belief has taken root which is having a fatal effect on our nation — and which to us who are Senators, in particular, threatens great peril. This belief is on everyone’s tongue, at Rome and even in foreign countries. It is this: that in these courts, with their present membership, even the worst criminal will never be convicted provided that he has money… … Let us imagine, on the other hand, that this great wealth succeeds in undermining the conscience and honesty of the judges. Well, even then I shall accomplish one thing. For the general conclusion will not be that the judges failed to find a guilty defendant — or that the defendant lacked a competent prosecutor. On the contrary: the deduction will be that there are no good judges in the land” .
I open with this poignant quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero because we seem to be at the same point today. We are faced with the same choice. Turn a blind eye or confront and condemn evil for what it is. In Cicero’s time, he was confronting the corruption of Gaius Verres, a governor in one of Rome’s oldest provinces. Sicily. Verres was brought to judgment for complaints brought against him by Sicilian communities under his rule. Large amounts of money were demanded in restoration from Verres, so his case dealt with extortion and other accusations of abuse . Some (the reactionary left) may think that our modern-day “Verres” is President Donald Trump. Perhaps. But if that is true, then these same people need to likewise condemn Obama, Bush, Clinton, the older Bush., Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, and so on down the line. For all of these men have put the citizen’s rights in danger through their executive orders and actions. All of them are guilty of the same crimes as Gaius Verres. Indeed, anyone with any government authority is party to some immoral crime in some way. All deserve to be prosecuted by a skilled orator like Cicero. Cicero was successful in convicting Verres for his crimes, though unfortunately for Cicero, his love of freedom and posturing against tyranny would eventually make him a martyr. But the “Verres” confronting us today is something larger and more insidious than anything Cicero could have dreamed of. The extortion and abuse of power is beyond that of anything Verres could have ever hoped to achieve. Our modern-day “Verres” is not a single man, but government. The CIA and the “deep state” specifically.
What is Vault7?
Vault7 is the Wikileaks code name for the largest release of leaked information on the Central Intelligence Agency that has ever occurred. It details a frightening arsenal of Orwellian like weapons used to spy on… well… everyone. Wikileaks notes:
“The first full part of the series, ‘Year Zero’, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election… ‘Year Zero’ introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of ‘zero day’ weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones” .
Essentially, Vault7 contains information to make you apologize to your tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist friend for all the grief you gave him.
You’re TV and other Smart Devices are a Microphone
EDB (Embedded Development Branch) is essentially a piece of malware the CIA used to attack smart televisions and other devices and allowed the microphone on these items to be used as a listening device . This sounds so insane that it just couldn’t be true, but the leaked information shows otherwise. You have “Pterodactyl” which was a project designed to be a “custom hardware solution to support media copying” . “Gyrfalcon” collected user information and passwords. “Sparrowhawk” logged keystrokes. Wikileaks notes:
“The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server” .
This is some really creepy privacy and property invading criminal activity. As an Anarcho-Capitalist, I put no stock in the US Constitution as a useful document. But there are many big “L” libertarians and Conservatives that worship the document. What happened to the 4th amendment?
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” .
By their own laws, they are not allowed to do this and yet here they are doing it. They are spying on you and me with the ability to enter our respective properties through our electronic devices and gain information outside of the legally proper way as outlined by the US Constitution. I hope this historical point can serve as a reminder and I suggest understanding what Lysander Spooner meant when he said, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist” . My dear limited government friends, your precious document has done nothing for you!
Other Uses of EDB and “Russian Hackers”
One of the most frightening revelations in the CIA leaks is the ability to hack a modern cars computer. Wikileaks again notes, “As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations” . It’s very clear in some leaked notes how a branch meeting was set up in applying this malware to things like vehicle systems . Think about that for a minute. That is terrifying. Also consider this:
“The CIA’s Remote Devices Branch‘s UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.
With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.
UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques” .
What this means is that what the former Obama administration and the left are calling “Russian Hackers” may not actually be “Russian hackers” but the CIA pretending to be Russia. If the CIA can tamper with evidence like this, any accusation that Russia “hacked” the election is questionable and the narrative the left is trying to sell should be taken with a very healthy dose of skepticism. Perhaps the whole “Trump is a Russian puppet!” narrative was a set up by the CIA in the first place? It certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibilities.
But I Have Nothing to Hide!
I have already had multiple people say, “It’s OK, I have nothing to hide so who cares if they are spying on me?”. That’s fine if you think that way, but your preferences are not shared by everyone else. Some of us like to be secure in our “persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” and your silly case of Stockholm syndrome is not shared by others (such as myself). So it is absolutely a violation of my person and property and your apathy to having your rights infringed has no business being forced on me. Nor is such a perspective an argument. You’re preference for being spied on through all of your electronic devices by some jerk in Langley Virginia does not count as a sound refutation of the outrage felt by people like myself.
My property is mine and no one else has the right to improperly access my property. You don’t get to set permissions about my privacy or my property.
This brings me back to the beginning and Cicero. He brought up an important question to the Roman Senate and other government officials of his day. He gave them a choice. The Senate could continue to believe that its own were above the law and they could continue to let special interest rather than justice prevail. By doing so, the perception of the Senate would continue to decline in the eyes of the civilian population. The populations both domestically and abroad would understand how “there are no good judges in the land”. Or they could save face and serve justice. What has all of this done for us? Has it made us safer? Obviously it has not.
As an anarcho-capitalist, both of these options can work in the favor of true liberty. Ideally, we want people’s delusions regarding government to be shattered and discarded. The other side, that of “good guys in politics” actually holding the CIA responsible (and maybe by some divine miracle abolishing it), is a shrinking of governmental power. Both option can be used to further liberty. But keep one thing in mind:
If this was 1776 and King George was doing this, it would mean war.