Top 10 Ways the United States is Becoming a Big Brother Society — TopTenzNet

Top 10 Ways the United States is Becoming a Big Brother Society — TopTenzNet

Top 10 Ways the United States is Becoming
a Big Brother Society In 1949, Eric Blair, known by the pen name
of George Orwell, published 1984; a novel that has shown its predictive power manifested
in the current state of society. Blair coined the term “Big Brother” for the symbolic
figurehead of the totalitarian state, Oceania. In the dystopian society, every citizen is
under constant surveillance with the government’s slogan: “Big Brother is watching you,”
a reminder of the state’s omnipresence. Our government has taken a slightly different
approach, but the end game is much the same. The leaks by Edward Snowden bring to light
what many of us already believed, that the United States is moving closer and closer
to a society where its citizens have nearly all actions monitored. In light of this, here’s
our “Top Ten Examples that we’re living in a Big Brother Society without knowing it.” 10. License Plates Ever heard of plate reading cameras? We didn’t.
Unbeknownst to many citizens, a plate reading camera is now mounted on many police cruisers
around the country. The device can check if a car is unregistered, uninsured or stolen.
In addition, police officers now have automatic license plate readers that are designed to
track the movements of every vehicle that passes. According to the ACLU, the devices
can capture and collect the license plate number, and the date, time and location of
every scan. A huge database of information on drivers has been collected and with the
improvements in technology, analysts believe that authority figures will have greater knowledge
of our movements. One of the biggest points of contention for many civil liberties activists
is the ability for third parties to gain access to said data. The connection of government
and the private industry should worry any citizen that wants to protect their privacy. 9. Sidewalk Cameras While it might be a foregone conclusion in
the United Kingdom that you’ll be monitored when you walk down the street, we’ve come
to demand our privacy and protection from government in the United States. It might
frighten some of you to know that in many cities, there’s a good chance that you’re
being monitored as you walk to work. An ACLU report has demonstrated that the city of Chicago
“has access to 10,000 publicly and privately owned cameras throughout the City…and in
the downtown district, virtually every segment of the public way is under video surveillance.”
Not only are cities spending money on surveillance cameras and software, but the Department of
Homeland Security has spent millions on even more sophisticated, high-tech video cameras.
So when you’re walking down the street, don’t forget to smile because there’s
a good chance there’s a camera somewhere watching. 8. Public Transportation There’s a good chance that you’ve seen
the slogan, “If you see something, say something” while riding public transportation. It just
so happens that you’re not the only one looking. The Department of Homeland Security
has funded installation of public bus video and audio surveillance in numerous U.S. cities.
A Wired article outlines that buses around the country are quietly adding microphones
that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations. Cities that
already have listen-in bus surveillance include San Francisco, Baltimore, Detroit, Hartford,
CT, Concord, NH (Park & Ride system), and Boston (high-def video only). Natural questions
that opponents of the measure have brought forward include the legality of such measure,
as the government would be eavesdropping without a warrant, “particularly since recordings
of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies.” 7. National Security Agency One of the biggest government agencies that
is responsible for spying on its citizens is the National Security Agency. Recently,
the likes of AT&T admitted that domestic internet traffic was being diverted through a splitter
cable, which essentially allowed NSA technicians access to our data. While Facebook and Microsoft
have denied their collusion with the government in this capacity, the Washington Post and
Guardian outlets have reported that the government has direct access to their servers. This intrusion
on our privacy goes back to the Bush administration and has only continued. With the ever present
threat of terrorism as a fear tactic, it is unlikely that citizens will truly ever be
able to have the sense of privacy that many desire. 6. Phone Calls One of the well-documented cases of espionage
is the government’s spying on our phone use. What is less known is that our locations
are also being collected. According to constitutional lawyers, while it’s illegal for the government
to listen to the content of private landline or cell phone conversations conducted entirely
within the U.S., the National Security Agency is allowed to collect phone call metadata
(i.e., time, date, location, phone numbers of each party). The catch, in regards to phone
calls, is the location on the other end of the line. Documents reveal that the NSA can
legally listen in on your conversation if you’re talking to someone who’s outside
the country. As mentioned earlier, it’s the monitoring of our locations via cell phones
that surprised us so much. Apparently, police departments around the country have been using
cell phones to track the locations of individuals without a court warrant. 5. Credit Cards Although it may come as no surprise that your
credit card data is collected, the depths of their use and the profile that is formed
around your shopping habits is alarming. Most credit card companies not only collect your
data but sell it to third parties. The conditions of your agreement allow the companies to perform
“data analyses” that has seemingly given them the right to create profiles on their
consumers and sell the information to the highest bidder. The NSA is one of the third
parties that obtain data from the credit card companies. According to Time magazine, the
credit card issuers could provide the NSA details such as an account or card numbers,
where and when a purchase was made, and for how much. In conjunction with the growing
amount of surveillance, it would not be difficult for the NSA to track down the specific individual
or individuals who make a respective purchase. 4. Emails A very interesting encounter occurred between
a staff member and management at Toptenz just days ago that fully demonstrates the Big Brother
society that we live in. After being paid for an article on North Korea, a note was
included about the contents for the payment. The message on the payment said: “for the
article on North Korea.” Somehow this message alerted some system of surveillance and the
payment was held from going through. Staff members were made to fill out forms just to
get the payment approved, and even then it took more than a week before it became apparent
it would not go through. The episode is startling because if such an innocent incident is being
investigated how do they have the ability to find the truly dangerous ones? 3. Cookies When a website asks you if you’re OK with
its cookie policy, do you have any idea what they mean? Cookies are small text files, given
ID tags that are stored on your computer’s browser directory or program data subfolders.
They allow government entities and private companies to track the websites that you visit
and eventually compile all the data gleaned from the cookies into huge databases. That’s
why when you search for a new bag or t-shirt, you’re likely to see advertisements for
said products on other websites that you visit. Some of the specific groups that have access
to this information include the NSA, local police, and the private sector, specifically
advertising companies. With the information they gain from your website traffic, third
parties can come up with a great picture of who you are as a consumer and a person. 2. Gumfish One of the least known ways we’re being
spied on by our government is through a tool called Gumfish. Reports state that the NSA
has developed mass surveillance operations via malware “implants” used to infect
computers worldwide. As a result, government agencies can access one’s webcam in a remote
fashion and turn it on, if they so please. According to a recent Wired article, the spy
tool called Gumfish can commandeer cameras on “infected” computers to take photos
and record conversations of unsuspecting private citizens – all of this seemingly done without
a warrant. 1. Endless War In homage to Orwell’s 1984, we thought we
should end with a reference to his iconic novel. The final way that shows we’re truly
living in a Big Brother society it is the almost perpetual state of war that we’ve
experienced as a population. Just like in 1984, where the nation was at war with enemies
that would change constantly. We’ve experienced more than a decade of war in the Middle East
with terrorism being declared the enemy. Before that, the Soviet Union was made to be the
biggest threat towards freedom, and we fought proxy wars around the world. If history serves,
it won’t be long till we’re engaged in another war, just like Orwell predicted.


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    Wayne Shaw

    NSA the unemployable stealing your property and fondling you child's genitals to keep finding nothing and capturing no persons intending harm to others!

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    Eric Taylor

    You know, Winston wasn't SURE it was April, 1984. While I'm fairly sure it WAS April it could have been ANY year. Thanks to double think human memories were anything but reliable.
    Winston stated he thought is was about 1984 but he might have been completely wrong.
    He remembered the war in his childhood and we all sort of assume it was World War II he was remembering. Hell there might have never even been a war when Winston was a child. Winston might have stated his writing at any time in the future. He considered it to be 1984 because that was what Big Brother considered the year to be.
    Freedom is the freedom to say two plus two equals four.
    The current trend in my government has me DEEPLY concerned.

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    Eric Taylor

    #6 Just because the government can't do it legally, that doesn't mean they aren't doing it. So long as they never use the collected data in court how would we know? If it were me I'd listen in while looking for suspects. If I found anything I'd bring more attention to that person and look for whatever evidence I could legally collect, enough to get probable cause. Failing that I could always manufacture the evidence.

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    Eric Taylor

    You're an Englishman living in Poland. Why do you have to deal with the NSA? Not THAT is scary if they have their slimy fingers in Poland!

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    Few notes. On #10 aren't the readers more bigbrothery than the plates, afterall their purpose is to certificate tax payments. Also the #5 maybe shouldn't be considered a government encroachment on private liberties as a great majority of people are happy to give all that information to private companies in exchange for a slightly easier shopping experience. And the #1 is kind of a given, it'd be more of a relevation that since toppling the Taliban in '01 America's nemesis has mostly been theoretical….

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    Lexi Burris

    "if you see something say something" right out of nightvale.

    the more popular version used on merch ans after the pilot episode is "if you see something, say nothing, and drink to forget" so mixed signals

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    jacob davies

    We have automatic license palate readers on most police cars in the UK, and mounted cameras that read all cars plates, its called AMPR.

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    ScabbyGuitarist Hendon

    1984 is coming to life in the 1st world and we all role on our backs like turtles and let it all happen

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    Travis polson

    People can fight back with non violence non compliance or stop blindly giving your money to people and not caring what they do with it .
    Most of all stop letting governments keep secrets there has to be some kind of citizen over sight on any issue including national security .

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    The plate reading cameras are also used on toll roads. There was a story just this year of a truck driver in New York whose front plate had been wired up with fishing line. This way the driver could flip the plate when going though scanning toll barriers and bypass the camera. The rear plate had also been bent to prevent it's being scanned.

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    If you see something, say something.

    But be prepared for when you say something, you'll be called a racist.

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    #1 So peace is freedom or that we are not so busy being at war we have time to actually look at what is going on and actually do something about it.

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    Mikoto Misaka

    There really isn't anything on this list that seems like a bad idea. With all the terrorists now days you can't be too careful.

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    Sarah Tineo

    I have watched different shows/episodes of shows that had it not been for those cameras, the police wouldn't have been able to solve the crime by pointing them to the victim, the murderer, or further evidence they needed.

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    Geass Railfan

    i think 99% of people who believe were heading for big brother didn't or barely read 1984, much like yourself. You don't know how big of a difference is between the USA and 1984. and i read the novel.

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    Adam Guillory

    well, i mean, for #1, really? endless war? and you call the cold war an actual war? it was the THREAT of war, but no shots were fired. so, we are not in perpetual war. since we had about 60-ish years of peace in between WW2 and the war on terror.

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    Harry B

    I really don't get the fuss over this type of stuff. Most of it prevents crimes and terrorism, so I'm all for cctv and things like that. However things such as two and phone tapping really need a warrant at minimum.

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    Why is an Englishman looking for big brother in America??? Have you looked around the UK lately, theyre FAR closer to big brother than the US could ever be, what with constitutional powers intact. In England you cant even fart in the wrong direction without both being seen on ccd tv and someone getting ornery about it and wanting you arrested for what you might do next, or think next.

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    H Anaya

    I honestly think China is already a big brother state and as technology advice the communist (in name only) party will only strengthen there grip on their citizens.

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    Dominick Goertzen

    I'm honestly happy that big bro is watching us. it's safety. without this terrorists would be able to not be tracked, found, and shut down. it's protection. the only person who has something to hide, are people doing something illegal.

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    Zenas Starchild

    NSA should be changed to the NPSA. NPSA stands for National Paranoid schizophrenic Agency. All we need now is for them to get violent and we have an American version of the Luftwaffe. Sense the NSA is reading this… Trump made me do it.

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    Roger Smallman

    1984 is pretty much the governments election manifesto in the UK; at least only bit they seemed to ever implement.

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    Shinichi Kudo

    Soon America's new anthem will be:
    "War is peace,
    Ignorance is strength,
    Freedom is slavery." xD Orwell quotes are amazing.

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    Countries spy on each other and share the intelligence as to circumvent laws.

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    Those who would give up a little liberty for a little security get neither – I think that was Ben Franklin

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    I'm not that worried about what the government is doing with my data… advertisers on the other hand…

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    As I recall, Britain was the first to put all citizens under digital video surveillance in big cities like London. I considered that Big Brother had arrived at last. So "the kettle is calling the pot Black." As for all the privacy intrusion in these United States, The War on Terror has been the reason for this STASI-like activity.

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    With the licence plate readers tracking cars, our phones already do that and don't require us walking past a cop. Plus that data is sold by companies like Facebook and Apple.

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    As an American, this was just a lovely video. Sigh… I love how technology is advancing, but why can't they use it for other things?

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    Christy Meaux

    I think it's kinda happening. Social media ( I guess like…here) was a win win. You have people volunteering their info online.

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    Kate the Great

    You forgot to talk about the Newspeak. You know, we can't talk about anything except what the Liberals want us to talk about or we're in trouble for hate speech and microaggressions.
    Oh yeah, and all the propaganda. does anyone really think it's a coincidence that all the main news outlets have the same opinions?

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    Marige OBrien

    About #7, the NSA and the government relating to the internet. The funding of the research at MIT and Stamford U that led to the creation of the internet came from the US military. In short, the internet was originally a military project that was farmed out. Originally, they wanted a reliable means of communication after an apocalyptic event. Once it was licensed for public use, the government still held on to some control, including the licensing of websites, an FBI unit specifically watching the internet and the whole IP address system.

    And don't kid yourself. If a website exists — even the dark web — it's because the FBI uses it as bait. As with the best counterfeiters, the FBI has also hired the best hackers in the world.

    This is also the reason the US has always been so far ahead of the rest of world in terms of internet access and why it's so biased toward the US. Oh, and it was first created in 1947. Yes. 1947… imagine. If you don't believe me, do a search for "History Of The Internet." I, myself, worked on an inTRAnet (private internet working between specific locations) in the early 1980's.

    Incidentally, the US interstate highway system was also a military funded project (so that transports can move quickly across the country) and the reason the interstate are kept in much better condition than the rest of the highway systems in America.

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    Justin Letchford

    Not only have I read 1984 but I've also lived in a communist country, some of these are true yet I can safely say that I've experienced the malicious versions, there's a huge contrast in my experience.

    In the book, The Party has a slogan "Freedom is Slavery" meaning that the people knew they had no freedom but had been taught to hate freedom as a bad thing. In the west, the opposite is seen, we love freedom, we hate slavery and individuals are the ones trying to bring about an Orwellian society. Unlike the book, there's more than one Winston out there to call out true Orwellian tactics when they see it.

    That being said, I do thank you for bringing attention to the book and what it can now teach us about the world we are currently living in. There are many other disturbing parallels other than these that hold a lot more weight such as Newspeak and sexual control. Again though, that's all being done by individuals and while it's concerning in itself, the concern only extends to the government when these individuals try to either get into government or exert influence over it.

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    Average Joes Creations

    This was interesting except for the last fact. The us is in war because we are basically the world police force. Not many countries will stand up and help injustices carried out in the world. So the u.s. being a super power will be in war more often than not to help countries that cannot do so themselves. A lot of countries in the world example want to talk to make peace or use words to make things better but, sometimes that doesn’t work and it requires action and boots on ground to make a difference. It’s not that the u.s. wants to be in war all the time. Sure there are some places we shouldn’t be involved in. There are others that desperately need help and no one is doing anything…

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    Michael Shaw

    What about the DNA that we have checked.If they can have have access to the rest of our info,what is stopping them from our DNA.

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    Silent Witness

    Paranoia strikes deep…

    Into your life it will creep…

    It starts when you're always afraid…

    Step out of line, the man come and take you away…

    It's time we stop, children, what's that sound?

    Everybody look what's going down!


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    Jeff Harbaugh

    How to survive the worldwide starvation crisis caused by Peak Oil;

    "What can I do"?

    According to the experts you should:
    1. Garden with sustainable agriculture techniques (less pesticides and fertilizer (organic or better yet permaculture)).
    2. Buy food and manufactured goods made locally
    3. Pay down debt
    4. Learn skills they will be useful in the future and make friends that have useful skills you don't have (related to providing food, water, shelter, and medical care. A necessary skill is organic/permaculture gardening/farming). Very important: medical plant and medical skills are the best way to ensure your survival. All others will gladly sacrifice their life to protect your life, so you are around to use your medical knowledge to keep their families alive.
    5. I recommend to invest some money into technologies to increase the "carrying capacity" of the planet (high risk investments);
    A. decrease environmental impact per capital
    B. alternatives for our food system input to improve production
    C. alternatives to our current living arrangements,
    D. alternatives to our plastics industry,
    E. alternatives to disaster capitalism
    F. "Savior technologies", ie faster-than-light travel, "game changer" technologies, ie Cold fusion energy & "delaying technologies", ie deep drilling technologies.
    6. I also recommend you inform and prepare your family, friends, and others. It is best to initially suggest people have an emergency kit… for any emergency such as flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, loss of electricity due to a winter storm. Then, if the friend or relative puts together a disaster kit, what I do is introduce Peak Oil (by telling them of the 43 second movie trailer , the "National Geographic Collapse" movie on YouTube, & free book downloads;
    7. For the truly motivated, a community based organization to mitigate Climate Change and Peak Oil is:
    (For non USA;

    Google "2052 free book summary download", &

    The free book "Plan C" workbook download;

    See the Facebook page: "National Geographic Collapse movie"

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    Echo Wolf

    You're right America along with many other first world countries have big brother policies or laws in place. On the same point the United States still guarantees free speech unlike the UK, Canada, and Australia.

    Australia has no free speech amendment.

    Canada has a free speech amendment subject to change of the Canadian government with the ability to put laws in place that go over there free speech amendment.

    The UK has a specific corner called the Speech Corner which is the only place that guarantees free speech which in recent months maybe even years has been violated by the police in the UK.

    American supreme Court has stated even hate speech is still free speech.

    No government is perfect but ask yourself this, can you change the laws of your country without violence if you have no guarantee of free speech.

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    I don't know how you never heard of plate reading cameras. That's how you pay your highway tolls in Ontario. A camera takes a picture of your license plate and the government bills you automatically. There is a huge upside to this, no more toll booths. What ACLU was concerned about already happened though. A PC politician accessed the cameras records without permission to benefit his campaign.

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    Dan Jakubik

    The post 9/11 terrorism minded paranoia of the USA federal government, namely the NSA. Gumfish is new to me.

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    Diane the Dinosaur

    In the two yrs. since you made this video things have continued to go downhill. As the young people get older they are becoming increasingly used to the cameras & the loss of privacy. Eventually there will be no one left who remembers how the U.S. used to be. All that will be left will be Big Brother. Unless something happens to turn this country around we are doomed, & as we go, so goes the world.

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    Paul Wilson

    Hello Mr Whistler, I find your videos and your site very interesting, whilst I do not agree with everything most is informative and intelligent. I wonder if you have already made a video about the growing world population, if not I think it would be worth it. The present population is somewhere between 7 and 8 billion yearly birth rate between 105 and 110 billion, death rate is about 43/44 billion which gives a total yearly population increase of something like 62 billion people. This seems to me a subject of interest, and rarely talked about. I await your comment with interest. P L Wilson

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    joy bergemann

    Our public buses all have cameras. All our stores have cameras. Our government needs to stop the drug trade. Banned all smoking. Drinking is super bad too. Those are the things the government needs to get rid of first.

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    The thing is, if you can eradicate most crime, and not drastically reduce individual freedoms, the majority of people probably won't mind.

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    Nina Cookson

    I love George Orwell book. I read 1984 in 1982. I was just learning programming in high school. The book haunted me over the yrs and I've been saying big brother is watching. They really are looking at all aspects of our lives. Very frightening…

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    Cereal Pirate

    As a tech I should offer a service that removes the Camera and the microphone from computers !!! The gov cant turn it on if it isnt there !!!!

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    The fact your even able to talk and discuss this topic shows the US is not as Big Brother as you think.

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    Crystal Glory

    Big Brother is no longer a conspiracy theory. It was on the Tampa Bay News 9 that some big cities in USA want the government to put a ban on Big Brother. Those facial recognition surveillance cameras…it's no secret now! They said it on the news. 👍😎

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    Ricky Barber

    So true, the U.S. is becoming a BIG NUISANCE, whoops, I mean, BIG BROTHER.
    It's unreal how much info. they skim from us. A lot of it is repeat of course. Seems like every minute of everyday, BIG BRO. knows when you get gas, groceries even taking a dump.
    Like all the licenses we have to have to be leagle… AND WE PAY (THEM) to be legit !!
    Does that piece of plastic make you a driver? Does it make you a fisherman? Does it make you a marksman? Does it make FIDO a better mutt? The answer to all above is…HELL NO. It doesn't make you anything but deeper in the poor house.
    It's been nothing but a snowball that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
    Maybe if our Great Grandparents
    Grandparents and our parents had set their foot down, we could have set our foot down without much problem.

    T aking
    A ll
    X tra, after taking what little we had to begin with.

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    WOW a Brit is telling the US is a Big Brother state with CCTV when it is well documented that the UK is the most monitored nation in the world lol

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    Mark Orahoske

    Despite having the same first name as me, ever since I was irradiated by Facebook I've always wanted to punch Mark Zuckerberg right in his face, even before I knew who he was. He has one of those faces that just needs to be punched

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    Fvck Google

    Privacy is dead, has been for decades (when paper records first started getting computerized and collected into databases). Dunno why the US gov't even bothers to pretend with silly privacy laws while lying to everyone's faces. At least China's gov't is less of a liar and doesn't pretend as much (cameras are everywhere there and they make no apologies for it for starters).

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