Featured Articles

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

Analysts expect ARM to do well next year

British chip designer ARM could cash in on the mobile industry's rush to transition to 64-bit operating systems and hardware.

More...
Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Huawei and Xiaomi outpace Lenovo, LG in smartphone market

Samsung has lost smartphone market share, ending the quarter on a low note and Xiaomi appears to be the big winner.

More...
Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

Intel Broadwell 15W coming to CES

It looks like Intel will be showing off its 14nm processors, codenames Broadwell, in a couple of weeks at CES 2015.

More...
Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Gainward GTX 980 Phantom reviewed

Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the recently introduced Gainward GTX 980 4GB with the company’s trademark Phantom cooler.

More...
Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac ZBOX Sphere OI520 barebones vs Sphere Plus review

Zotac has been in the nettop and mini-PC space for more than four years now and it has managed to carve…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Monday, 08 July 2013 09:52

Abe Lincoln created US surveillance state

Written by Nick Farell

y lawbookhammer

When he wasn’t killing Vampires

The New York Times claims that the development of the US surveillance state goes a long way back into US history. In 1862, after President Abraham Lincoln appointed him secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton penned a letter to the president requesting sweeping powers.Central to these powers were getting total control of the telegraph lines.

The idea was that by routing those lines through his office, Stanton would keep tabs on vast amounts of communication, journalistic, governmental and personal. At the time the telegraph was the Internet of its day and while the traffic was lighter, the fact that it was rerouted through a centralised office is pretty much how Prism works.

On the back of Stanton’s letter Lincoln scribbled his approval: “The Secretary of War has my authority to exercise his discretion in the matter within mentioned.” Stanton’s next move was to arrest dozens of newspapermen arrested on questionable charges. A reporter for The New York Herald, who had insisted that he be given news ahead of other reporters, was arrested as a spy.

Stanton’s office made his department the nexus of war information. He collected news from generals, telegraph operators and reporters. He used his power over the telegraphs to influence what journalists did or didn’t publish. It was not until 1862, the House Judiciary Committee looked at the question of “telegraphic censorship” and called for restraint.

But the sequence is pretty much history repeating itself. Use the justification of a war to centralise the information, spy on citizens, arrest the journalists or brand them traitors. The only down side is that a war on terror is always endless, whereas the civil war did eventually stop – well not in Alabama of course.

Nick Farell

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Facebook activity

Latest Commented Articles

Recent Comments