The presence of several key figures at the 2014 Bildeberg Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark indicates that the future of privacy worldwide is in dire straights.According to the Bildeberg Group’s official press release, members discussed several key topics this weekend while also asking the question, “Does privacy exist?” Given the fact that the architects of the modern surveillance state were among the attendees, the real question is, will Bildeberg end privacy as we know it?
Keith Alexander, know for his motto “Collect it All,” is arguably the most brazen director to reside over the National Security Agency. Overseeing some of the agency’s most controversial domestic spying programs, Alexander’s total disregard for the Fourth Amendment has been bemoaned by countless people within the intelligence community.
“Alexander tended to be a bit of a cowboy: ‘Let’s not worry about the law. Let’s just figure out how to get the job done,’” a former intelligence official toldForeign Policy in 2013.
Despite his clear disregard for Constitutional law, Alexander repeatedly lied to media when confronted about his tenure with the agency. When asked if he had witnessed any illegal acts during an April interview with the Daily Show, Alexander strangely denied seeing any wrongdoing while admitting that multiple NSA employees had been engaged in unlawful activity.
“In my time, no. Not that I know of. You know, one of the most impressive things that I’ve seen in my career was people who made a mistake, that could be a huge mistake, stepping up to say ‘I made a mistake,’” Alexander said. “And in every case, to my knowledge, everyone but 12 individuals stepped forward at the time they made those mistakes.”
In fact, top-secret documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the agency had “broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008.”
Under the watch of Alexander, the agency also began using new collection methods in secret for months until the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled them unconstitutional. Alexanders attendance at the Bildeberg Conference reveals that the group is clearly more interested in protecting their own privacy than that of the American people.
David Petraeus, pictured above jogging outside this year’s conference, has publicly rejoiced over the increase in household devices that connect to the internet, noting that the rise of the “Internet of Things” has allowed the CIA to spy in ways once thought unimaginable.
During a speech at a 2012 summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, Petraeus enthusiastically remarked on the ability to spy on targets through different home appliances.
“Transformational is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies, particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft,” Petraeus said. “Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.”
With the emergence of “smart meters,” which tie into the larger smart grid, all internet-connected appliances can be monitored remotely. In a 2012 study, researchers in Germany analyzed several smart meters and found that the devices transmitted unencrypted data, giving researchers incredibly detailed data which even included what was being watched on TV. Such information will undoubtedly be siphoned into the servers of intelligence agencies, allowing them to map every aspect of an individual’s or family’s life.
With dishwashers, refrigerators and ovens now being released with built-in WiFi, the ability of the intelligence communtity to surveil or hack any private home is quickly approaching. Infowars detailed the attendance of Petraeus at the 2013 Bildeberg Conference in Watford, United Kingdom as well, where the group discussed, “How big data is changing almost everything.”