The EyeOpener Report- How to Boycott Big Tech

BFP VideoThere are people who are still hoping that some Congressional committee or some brave Senator or some court case will somehow put an end to the total surveillance madness that has been carefully built into the very source code of the software and operating systems and internet services which billions around the world continue to use. This not only overlooks the fact that the entire program was overseen from its very inception by these same legislators and courts. It also ignores the testimony of Russ Tice that all of the key committee members and members of the judiciary have been wiretapped by the NSA for at least a decade, meaning that any efforts to stop this system from those corners is likely to be immediately identified and quashed with bribery, blackmail or threats.

While this seems to be an intractable situation, there is a missing piece of this puzzle that few have yet explored: us. The corporations have forced no one to purchase their booby-trapped, NSA backdoor spy-laden software or operating systems. People have purchased it of their own free will, whether out of ignorance, or inertia, or an unwillingness to seek out alternatives. But alternatives to many of the Big Tech products do exist, and making use of them is much easier than many believe.

Find out more about this topic and boycott as a viable solution in this week’s EyeOpener Report with James Corbett.

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*The Transcript for this video is available at Corbett Report: Click Here


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  1. avatar Haley11 says:

    Good information in here. My only qualm is that as a non-techie and as someone with very little knowledge of computers and operating systems, the thought of Open Source networks and being able to “change the code” is quite intimidating. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I need a course or a tutor to teach me how to do all this. Or “For Dummies” book or something. Where does one begin?

    Also, the only technology James didn’t really touch on is cell phones. I would like to know where I can turn to to get good coverage, data, and all the other bells and whistles of a smart phone with the knowledge that my data isn’t being siphoned off to the government or elsewhere.

  2. WARNING!!!

    I think this episode might give a little too much false hope that Open Source software is safe from the prying eyes of the NSA. This is false. Anyone who’s worked with computers as tech support, as a programmer/developer, or has kept up with even cursory literature about security, will tell you that there’s always a way to crack encryption. There isn’t anything that’s totally secure. It’s really a time/value ratio, that determines whether or not someone is going to break in. Build a better mouse trap and then comes an even better mouse, so to speak.

    And note that the NSA knows exactly which traffic is yours because of your ISP. Everything that you do online is totally identifiable to you. If the NSA is targeting you, they will find a way to crack whatever encryption you use, if they choose.

    If you are going to run around town, dressed in a costume and wearing a hat with infrared lights to stop any facial recognition, stopping in for a few minutes here and a few minutes there, finding open connections, or places where you think you can be anonymous, hey, maybe you’ll avoid detection – I don’t know.

    This episode was heavily entrenched on the individual responsibility side of what can be done. Sort of like shopping at Walmart. Do as much as you can not to support evil companies. Right. Agreed. But there is another side that needs attention and is usually discounted by Corbett, as he has philosophical issues with it. That is systemic solutions.

    Yes, humbly, I come from a Ralph Nader point of view here. Once upon a time, regulation was possible. This is a big can of worms, I know, but there are still several of us out here that want government accountability. Corporate accountability. Impossible, say the Venus/AnCaps. Give up on that already. Haven’t you seen how corrupt the system is?

    Yes, I know. But, it’s still my goal to have a system and a government that is accountable and transparent. AND stop going to Walmart. But don’t quit your job, just because you need to use Microsoft software there.

    Aside from the philosophical balance missing in this episode (all the onus on the individual), there is a false sense of security being promoted.

    Otherwise… Great information!

    I will definitely check out Diaspora, not because it will protect me from the NSA, but becuase they won’t sell me out to every commercial enterprise interested.

    I will definitely check out Start Mail, but I’m not sure I will pay $5/month for a false sense of privacy. Again, NSA surely knows about it, records the transmissions as they pass through the network, decrypt if and when they want.

    and so on… Thanks for all of the info – I do use Start Page for searching, after hearing about it from Corbett, but not because I think it protects me from the NSA et al.

  3. This episode deserves more praise than I gave it initially. I just thought it was most important to start by abruptly interrupting this line of thought that open source is secure from the NSA. I apologize for not reveling in the benefits of open source – maybe if the context in which it was presented was more reasonable (i.e. protecting from unwanted commercial interests).

  4. I agree with you Xicha. It has to be both. Bottom-up (people taking more interest and responsibility for the digital activities) and top-down, because as individuals we can only protect ourselves so-far. Like as you say, as long as they can directly tap into the ISPs every bit and byte can be traced, copied and stored. On the horizon there might be solutions like independent wireless networks but those are still far off and might never be realized. So we need to work on both sides. Personal responsibility and retake governments as protectors of the law, as opposed to violators. I agree with James in that I don’t expect a saviour to do it for us. We have to be the saviour together.

  5. avatar hermaph says:

    If someone wants to be unseen go to an internet cafe somewhere in the city and not the local one. Or some other interface do what you gotta do and then leave. Don’t do it from home etc. If you want to be unseen then be unseen. I don’t think you can be unseen from your set addresses emails etc without some serious tech efforts. Or on a serious note … I have an idea ‘regulate’ to protect privacy…. oh what a good idea …. oh oh oh I’ve got an idea what about a bill of rights or constitution to limit the power of governments… oh why didn’t someone think of that … what a good idea… if we gave that to people they would protect it wouldn’t they and tyranny would never be able to occur. :0

  6. @hermaph: privacy issues include not only illegal searches. ever talked to a telemarketer?

  7. the constitution can’t protect and defend itself. we’re supposed to do that part, hermaph. why the sarcasm about it? was it a stupid idea?

  8. be sure to bring you chipped driver license and use your credit card in or around the internet cafe. and don’t worry, there are no cameras anywhere inside or on the street outside.

  9. avatar Richard says:

    hermaph, you sound like the artilleryman from War of the Worlds. The fight is lost so humans must learn to live like rats, underground. Scourer the sewage systems and go to an internet cafe if they want privacy. Resigned to their fate. The constitution and bill of rights have failed and thats it. The Martians rule the Earth all we have to look forward to is to make the most of it.

    He is a great character. It is very appealing to go ‘underground’, say sayonara and turn your back on the whole thing. Sometimes we are all a lttle like him just to get by. It’s no real solution though, just resignation.

  10. avatar hermaph says:

    Where a hoody. Don’t use your own ID. And yes the fight for the constitution has largely been lost. Oh and don’t use your drivers license or credit card etc. That is if you seriously have something to do and you don’t want to be detected. Why? Because we can’t do it from home safely? Am I missing something here?

    Who said resign? But don’t blind yourself either. Is someone assuming something?

    I spend my days teaching children fighting the good fight and informing myself by research and studying in education hoping to make a difference. Spending my complete income every 3 months to pay to study for 6. I know what it is like to fight with all the love in your heart and give it to those that are too young to even know of the mess they are born into.

    I’ve walked the protests and we lost most.

    Yes, you detected a little humor above, however my advice is sincere unless you know some serious script.

    IMO you made some interpretive assumptions.

    Thanks, stay safe be smart and protect yourself.

    :)

  11. avatar hermaph says:

    your joking right ?

  12. avatar hermaph says:

    any advice for us rats ?

  13. avatar hermaph says:

    Your comments have made me think… please excuse my sarcasm I don’t like sarcasm myself and don’t like to see my own writing embedded with it so thanks for calling me out on it.

    Actually, seriously morally I feel mortally wounded and had all but given up in frustration and disgust then I discovered the swell of ‘resistant media’ such as ‘boiling frogs’ and discovered the moral conviction of Sibel and allowed a slither of hope to take root. Still, deep in my soul I feel we have all been betrayed because many madmen and madwomen rule the world. As AGM documents an institutional culture of elites share a mindset to power that stretches around the world as a State of global governance. Within that context, military arsenals are being stocked the real economy is being destroyed bubble by bubble and I am having historical sea sickness de javu in the bottom of my belly. So you have called me out on it and I think your right I wrote with a terribly frustrated and sarcastic tone. I can clearly read that above. @Xicha Thanks for pointing this out.

    @Richard, I practice imagining and lucid dreaming and your beautiful writing above bring to the fore a brilliant story of nightmare vision that has stayed mainstream in our culture and won’t go away. But if it comes to men who like to sit back in the artillery I relate more to Ciaphas Cain. It is a terrible State that we are in. I really do believe that we have lost the war because after WW2 when we thought we’d stopped fighting the war State carried on a state of war.

    After studying a little bit of South African and African history as an undergraduate and reading about corporate tyranny then majoring in Asian studies I think I have read enough evidence to use that old quote
    “what they’ve done to the rest they’re now doing to the west”

    Yes, we’ve lost. In families around the world we’ve lost those we love and we are still losing them today. Yes I am extremely upset to the point that I would express sarcasm. Thanks for seeing me through it.

    Have they turned the water off yet or are we still boiling?

  14. “…moral conviction of Sibel and allowed a slither of hope to take root.”

    I know exactly what you mean. I’ve been through a couple giving up cycles myself. The first was when I realized at 14 that none of my fellow junior high students cared about how much an MX missle cost or why we shouldn’t be supporting the Contras. And the adults were writing the stupidest letters to the editor back in the mid-80′s. How things change and stay the same.

    I’ve had a few lucid imagination dreams – always started coming down when I realized my success and stopped trying. I wonder if that says something about our current struggle. All I can say is that for generations, my family has sacrificed for the good of the community and government, although local, and that government isn’t “better”. But, I think it’s because not enough families have that tradition.

    Anyway, I think we’re all in the same boat concerning this kind of frustration. Let’s not miss a chance, if we find one. At least what we have going on here at BFP allows us to support something with integrity. We’re working together now. Thanks for the comments.

  15. avatar hermaph says:

    Thanks for blowing some conceptual wind across my sails and sailing me on.

  16. …gently down the stream…life is but a dream

  17. how come we don’t sing that at protests?

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