You don’t know Pamela Jones, but you should

By | August 20, 2013

Most of you aren’t familiar with a blog called Groklaw. It’s a legal blog that would only appeal to a very few. But the owner of the site, Pamela Jones, announced in a blog post that she has decided to shut down her site and remove herself from the Internet. And the reasons she gives are the recent moves from private e-mail services such as Lavabit and Secret Circle to shut down their businesses in order to protect customers from government surveillance.

While Pamela Jones and her Web blog may be obscure and unknown to you, her final blog post is chilling and, I’m afraid, prescient. So I’ve included an excerpt from her final article and I urge you to read the rest of it (link provided after the excerpt) – because although you may not know Pamela Jones, she has something to say to each one of you.

“…I hope that makes it clear why I can’t continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the US out or to the US in, but really anywhere. You don’t expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That’s it exactly. That’s how I feel.

So. There we are. The foundation of Groklaw is over. I can’t do Groklaw without your input. I was never exaggerating about that when we won awards. It really was a collaborative effort, and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate.

I’m really sorry that it’s so. I loved doing Groklaw, and I believe we really made a significant contribution. But even that turns out to be less than we thought, or less than I hoped for, anyway. My hope was always to show you that there is beauty and safety in the rule of law, that civilization actually depends on it. How quaint.

If you have to stay on the Internet, my research indicates that the short term safety from surveillance, to the degree that is even possible, is to use a service like Kolab for email, which is located in Switzerland, and hence is under different laws than the US, laws which attempt to afford more privacy to citizens. I have now gotten for myself an email there, p.jones at mykolab.com in case anyone wishes to contact me over something really important and feels squeamish about writing to an email address on a server in the US. But both emails still work. It’s your choice.

My personal decision is to get off of the Internet to the degree it’s possible. I’m just an ordinary person. But I really know, after all my research and some serious thinking things through, that I can’t stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write. I’ve always been a private person. That’s why I never wanted to be a celebrity and why I fought hard to maintain both my privacy and yours.

Oddly, if everyone did that, leap off the Internet, the world’s economy would collapse, I suppose. I can’t really hope for that. But for me, the Internet is over.

So this is the last Groklaw article. I won’t turn on comments. Thank you for all you’ve done. I will never forget you and our work together. I hope you’ll remember me too. I’m sorry I can’t overcome these feelings…”

Please read the final entire article by Pamela Jonesyou may think it has nothing to do with you, but it does. What happens to one of us, happens to all of us — and it happens because not enough of us care enough to stand up for what is right – and that includes myself.

Never forget, the United States Government was founded by rebels, men and women who sought freedom from the tyranny of the King of England. The United States of America was formed by brave men of great intellect, who were called terrorists by the king, whose biggest fears were not of the people, but of a creating a government which could ever become too powerful.

They created safeguards, a bicameral congress, and separate judicial and executive branches, not so they could act in collusion, but so they could check each others’ powers. So these men, our founding fathers as we have come to call them, created a constitution, with many built-in safeguards to keep the government out of our private lives, and to keep it from beoming too powerful; indeed, they took great care to keep it from becoming just another tyrannical form of government.

In addition to the safeguards they built into the constitution, they also included what we now call The Bill of Rights”. And they established The Bill of Rights to prevent our government from trampling on our freedoms – or becoming a police state – and to make sure every citizen was given equal opportunity to pursue his or her God-given right to life, liberty and happiness without undo interference from any government.

And now, not because of one president, or two presidents, but because of the slow erosion of our constitutional protections over many administrations and congresses, most all of them created under the guise of national security or safety — for our security — we have all lost some, if not all of our privacy.

From the stoplight cameras, to the license plate scanners, to the cameras on street corners, to the halls of congress, to the Oval Office, to the NSA, IRS, CIA, FBI, and right down to your state and local governments, your privacy and your rights are under attack. Your right to the expectation of privacy has vanished, and your other rights are seriously being abridged.

And all of us seem willing and ready to sacrifice our precious rights and our privacy for a little extra safety and security. Unfortunately the safety and security are an illusion, but the diminishing of our constitutional rights and the loss of our personal right to privacy are not.

It’s too bad that people who expose the government or who criticize the government, or those who try so hard to change the course we are on, are called “traitors” or “terrorists” or ”anti-government nut jobs”. I don’t think Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams – or any of the others who tried so hard to ensure that we the people were free from an oppressive government, as well as from serious governmental and illegal intrusions into our private daily lives were anti-government nut jobs, do you?

In the end, we are all to blame, because we have all allowed it to happen. We all stood by and watched while our private lives were being invaded and our freedoms diminished. We allowed ourselves to fear that something else was going to happen, something terrible, something unknown and catastrophic– and the government took advantage of that fear and played on it — and used it as an excuse to suspend some of our constitutional rights, to invade our privacy and thus make a mockery of Abraham Lincoln’s plea that “the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from this Earth”.

I’m glad I’m not a twenty-something right now. I feel sorry for our children and grandchildren and their children. If things go unaltered in the future, none of them will ever know the freedom that most of us enjoyed when we were children and young adults growing up — when we all enjoyed the freedoms and privacy guaranteed by our constitution – which now has become a torn and shredded document. And most of the damage has been done because almost all of us let our fear overcome reason — and the government seized more power by using our fears to control us.

Maybe someday, someone will come along and lead a revolt and take our country back, not in a political way, but in a human way.

It’s not one administration’s fault — to blame one president for all our woes is wrong – the facts show a different history. Our rights have been slowly taken away or altered over many administrations — and all three branches of our government, rather than checking each others’ powers have colluded to create a governmental juggernaut that now will be almost impossible to stop.

In the end is your fault, and it’s my fault. We stood by in fear and let the government take away some of our constitutional freedoms, and now our privacy. Where will it end?

Samuel Johnson wrote that “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, and I couldn’t agree more.

 

 

14 thoughts on “You don’t know Pamela Jones, but you should

  1. Melanie Wood

    Wow: Look what happened while America took a nap.
    Now: Can we still believe in Magic?
    How: Don’t be distracted even if the package is real shiney.

    Reply
  2. Ken Roberts

    I don’t think it is fear but rather apathy, not being tuned in to what is going down . we go about our lives making a living dealing with problems at home to the point we did neglect our great country and now we have one in there that has no qualms about stepping all over the constitution. I think since Lincoln there has been a steady chipping away at our republic , a steady decline in leadership and ever since Clinton lied and got a wrist slap instead of being removed in shame we have these leaders that do as they please. I don’t blame any one politician but I do blame the news media which should be our voice to trouble but instead they have hid much from public view , they have colored things up in pastels so no one can tell what color it is they are showing us. well over 200 years this great experiment lasted so we can be glad it lasted that long and who knows when enough wake up we might even pull it back a bit. “Wake up Amerika!”

    Reply
  3. Ken Roberts

    There is not enough room on the internet to out line the way we were duped. from education or rather indoctrinating our kids to revision of history to being enthralled with movie stars and shiny people. Being lied to by the very ones that should be the gate keepers . It will take a very human effort and I do fear it will be with blood . Pray .

    Reply
  4. LaBonBon

    This is a terrific story! Thanks you, TC and Darcy, for bringing it to our attention.

    Ken, you are right about everything. You are a wise man! Well said!

    Reply
  5. connie

    I want to thank TC and Darcy for this article and I’m going to post it on my Facebook page. Way back in the early 60′s I read a novel by Taylor Caldwell called a Prologue to Love. What was on page 141 opened my eyes to what was happening to our beloved country and the rest of the world. In a few paragraphs,the history of the world and the future of our country was there. Miss Caldwell had the foresight in most of her novels to see what was coming in the future and put it on paper for all of us to see who read her novels.As the years went by, I became more aware of what was transpiring here in our country and I subscribed to a few patriotic newsletters and tried to warn friends and family of what was happening and their reply was ” If you don’t like living in the U.S., then leave.” They refused to see their freedoms were being stripped away and are still being taken away. ” This is still the greatest country in the world.” is their reply. It’s going to take a lot more than prayer to save us and the future generations and as Ken said, It’s been a good run and I’m thankful that I grew up with the many freedoms that I don’t have today.

    Reply
  6. HogMan

    I could not agree with you more on what you just wrote but for me to take it a bit more from a Christain point of view we are opperateing on feelings today which will in the end will spell trouble for all of us. The Bible says that if my people that are called by my name will turn from there wicked ways he will hear from heaven and heal our land. Now this tells me that the lovers of God have reached a place in life that they love the world and what it offers more that God himself. I beleive that the internet will be used by satan to know what is going on in the world during the tribilation period and use it as a control device. As Stalin once said to take America you do it from within and through its youth. We have got to a point that we cant even talk anymore in the same room without checking out texts or email. I know that some will read this and think that this guy is a nut but be sure of one thing this nut is screwed on the right bolt. May God bless everyone of you and i Hope God will bless America again for all of our sakes.

    Reply
  7. carol

    BE CAREFUL PEOPLE, A ONE WORLD ORDER IS IN THE MAKING.JUST A WARNING. WHEN IT DOES HAPPEN, ALL, AND I MEAN ALL OF OUR RIGHTS WILL BE TAKEN AWAY.

    Reply
  8. CJ Wells

    So when are you going to run for president? How wonderful it would be to have someone in office that puts honesty, truthfulness, and ethics above riches and power!

    Reply
    1. connie

      CJ,

      Hi CJ, It would be wonderful if someone like TC or Darcy could run for president and win but people like them won’t have a chance as it’s been proven over and over again that patriots are not wanted like Ron Paul or others. The destruction of our country was planned many years ago and sadly, they are right on target it seems.

      Reply
  9. Sandra Cloud

    Rebellion starts from when people finally wake up. This administration would prefer we stay asleep for 4 more years and then let them elect more of the same to “guide” us back to sleep while emptying our bank accounts, taking our jobs, our homes, our privacy…..zombies anyone?

    Reply
  10. Colin Jones

    We in Australia looked up to the U.S.A for its generosity of spirit, its enterprising approach to everything and giving the average Joe an even break. Those days have long gone and it is happening down under as well. The security goons keep amassing huge budget allocations and with buildings to match to house their secretive trade. Who would know what they know about us now and like some of your correspondents above I too have lived through the best of times and now, the worst of times.

    Reply
  11. Amy DeMeo

    I’m with the apathy but also fear opinion. But ppl only listened to one of Bin Laden’s threats…the physical one. No one listened when he said he wanted to destroy our economy and destroy our democracy. He’s a happy guy right now

    And I was so happy to have a constitutional lawyer for a President. Greatest disappointment in my lifetime.

    Reply
  12. Griff

    “puts honesty, truthfulness, and ethics above riches and power”!
    That said it all ,,right there !
    You can not name one company or organization in the world that has more millionaires in it than the US government. Greed and power creates a self serving government!

    Reply
  13. John Foster

    Personally, I agree with a lot that has been said.
    I started putting down how I felt but then I quit when it was longer than TC’s.
    Let me say that I’m sorry that Pamela Jones little corner in this world is gone, for she and her followers show be able to converse about what ever they want as long as it doesn’t effect anyone out side their group.
    But because of lack of common decency, morals and respect of other peoples rights, which was taught at a mother’s knee in the past generations, the world’s respect for laws and authority has deteriorated to the point that this cannot be guaranteed.
    But then, what makes this ‘invasion of privacy’ any different than the of lack of common decency, morals and respect of other peoples rights we experience everyday?
    Just remember your rights ceased to exist at the end of your nose.
    When you stand on top of a mountain and yell, you cannot expect the rest of the world to close their ears. This is exactly what you are doing when you use the internet despite all the laws and regulations we try to put in place.
    Maybe a good law for the future, “If you don’t want everybody to hear something, don’t say it.

    Reply

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