thinksquad:

Angry Canadians are rare. But Patricia Moon qualifies.
Until 2012, Moon was actually an American – albeit one who had lived in Canada for 32 years. She settled in so well that in 2008, she added Canadian citizenship to her US one.
But Moon cut ties with America three years ago, after new banking laws aimed at tax evaders required expats like her to file more thorough US tax returns. She was five years behind on the news. “I was terrified we’d lose all our money,” she says.
After back-filing years of tax returns, Moon renounced her US citizenship in 2012. It was a defiant act she describes as being one of the first canaries to leave the coalmine as US banking laws make life more difficult for American expatriates. She wasn’t pleased she had to do it.
“It was like cutting off my right arm,” to not be American any more, says Moon, who only became a Canadian citizen in 2008. “Now, I’m simply angry.”
In February this year, the US and Canadian governments signed an intergovernmental agreement to co-operate on Fatca. The Foreign Accounts Taxation Compliance Act required all foreign banks to disclose the financial information of any American with assets over $50,000 sitting in banks outside of the US.
Steep penalties add muscle to the law. If a foreign bank – not just in Canada, but anywhere – fails to report even a single US citizen as a customer to the IRS, the US Treasury department would withhold 30% of the banks’ US income as penalty.
Foreign banks, some of whom earned a reputation as tax scofflaws, are now deeply afraid of the Internal Revenue Service.
The US government is policing foreign banks aggressively as it comes down hard on any company that helps tax evaders, money launderers and other criminals.
Scared of running afoul of US banking laws, foreign banks are taking extreme steps to limit US citizens to a narrow range of services.
The result for expats has been a chaotic brew of closed bank accounts, mysterious excuses and a scramble to find local banks that would allow them to park their money.
Even those Canadians who might be called ‘accidental Americans’ don’t like the long arm of the IRS.
Courtney Welch’s Canadian bank found out that he was, in spite of possessing a Canadian passport for the last 41 years, a dual citizen of US and Canada. He was naturalised as a child when his parents moved to Canada, but retains a dual-American citizenship because he was a minor.
To avoid breaking any laws, Welch will have to renounce his US citizenship and file five years’ worth of tax returns as well as possibly thousands of dollars to the US government in taxes on income he earned in Canada. He will have to foot bills for airplane flights and miss out on wages – and that’s not counting the $2,350 fee to renounce a citizenship he never assumed in the first place.
Welch, who has no intentions of living in the US, finds the idea that he has to pay taxes to the US government ridiculous.
“I feel about the same obligation to file US tax papers as you would if the supreme court of Uruguay all of a sudden decided you were a citizen and had to file a tax return there,” he tells the Guardian.
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/sep/24/americans-chased-by-irs-give-up-citizenship-after-being-forced-out-of-bank-accounts

The government made yet another new law for stealing money from everyone they possibly can.
And named it FATCAT.

thinksquad:

Angry Canadians are rare. But Patricia Moon qualifies.

Until 2012, Moon was actually an American – albeit one who had lived in Canada for 32 years. She settled in so well that in 2008, she added Canadian citizenship to her US one.

But Moon cut ties with America three years ago, after new banking laws aimed at tax evaders required expats like her to file more thorough US tax returns. She was five years behind on the news. “I was terrified we’d lose all our money,” she says.

After back-filing years of tax returns, Moon renounced her US citizenship in 2012. It was a defiant act she describes as being one of the first canaries to leave the coalmine as US banking laws make life more difficult for American expatriates. She wasn’t pleased she had to do it.

“It was like cutting off my right arm,” to not be American any more, says Moon, who only became a Canadian citizen in 2008. “Now, I’m simply angry.”

In February this year, the US and Canadian governments signed an intergovernmental agreement to co-operate on Fatca. The Foreign Accounts Taxation Compliance Act required all foreign banks to disclose the financial information of any American with assets over $50,000 sitting in banks outside of the US.

Steep penalties add muscle to the law. If a foreign bank – not just in Canada, but anywhere – fails to report even a single US citizen as a customer to the IRS, the US Treasury department would withhold 30% of the banks’ US income as penalty.

Foreign banks, some of whom earned a reputation as tax scofflaws, are now deeply afraid of the Internal Revenue Service.

The US government is policing foreign banks aggressively as it comes down hard on any company that helps tax evaders, money launderers and other criminals.

Scared of running afoul of US banking laws, foreign banks are taking extreme steps to limit US citizens to a narrow range of services.

The result for expats has been a chaotic brew of closed bank accounts, mysterious excuses and a scramble to find local banks that would allow them to park their money.

Even those Canadians who might be called ‘accidental Americans’ don’t like the long arm of the IRS.

Courtney Welch’s Canadian bank found out that he was, in spite of possessing a Canadian passport for the last 41 years, a dual citizen of US and Canada. He was naturalised as a child when his parents moved to Canada, but retains a dual-American citizenship because he was a minor.

To avoid breaking any laws, Welch will have to renounce his US citizenship and file five years’ worth of tax returns as well as possibly thousands of dollars to the US government in taxes on income he earned in Canada. He will have to foot bills for airplane flights and miss out on wages – and that’s not counting the $2,350 fee to renounce a citizenship he never assumed in the first place.

Welch, who has no intentions of living in the US, finds the idea that he has to pay taxes to the US government ridiculous.

“I feel about the same obligation to file US tax papers as you would if the supreme court of Uruguay all of a sudden decided you were a citizen and had to file a tax return there,” he tells the Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/sep/24/americans-chased-by-irs-give-up-citizenship-after-being-forced-out-of-bank-accounts

The government made yet another new law for stealing money from everyone they possibly can.

And named it FATCAT.

(via moralanarchism)

antigovernmentextremist:

On May 30th, 2013, Edward Snowden left behind his family, his country, and his lucrative job as a contractor for the National Security Agency to blow the whistle on the most far-reaching and invasive spying programs in human history. A year ago today journalist Glenn Greenwald, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and NSA contractor-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden were combing through the millions of documents Snowden brought with him to Hong Kong to reveal for the first time the inner workings of the most secretive government agency of the most powerful and monolithic government in history. The year that followed shed an unprecedented amount of light on some of the most egregious abuses of power ever committed against the citizens of a supposed free country. Below you will find the list I have compiled of more than one hundred news articles detailing the extent the NSA has gone to effectively eliminate privacy in the 21st century.
On June 5th, 2013, Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian broke the first story from leaked NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden, the bulk collection of Verizon phone records.
Shortly after the initial revelation that the NSA was bulk collecting all Verizon customers’ phone data, the Guardian published the Prism story.
A Washington Post article would corroborate that the Prism program allows the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, to tap into the servers of 9 U.S. based internet companies
Sunday June 9th, 2013 the Guardian releases the first interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
These revelations prove that James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, lied under oath before Congress in months prior when asked about dragnet surveillance.
Further revelations would go on to prove that President Obama blatantly lied to the American people when he told Charlie Rose of PBS that the NSA cannot and does not listen to the phone calls of American citizens.
Greenwald details how the FISA court is nothing more than a rubber stamp on the NSA’s ability to monitor every form of communication.
In 2012, the federal government submitted 1,856 requests for user data to the FISA court and 100% of those applications were approved.
On June 21st, the federal government charged Edward Snowden under the World War I era Espionage Act.
In an excellent interview with VICE, Greenwald explains how metadata can tell government snoops more about a person than if they were just listening or reading the content of our communications. (The whole interview is worth your time but the section on metadata begins around 09:45).
Another document leaked by Snowden shows the level at which major tech companies cooperated with the U.S. government in handing over its customers’ private information.
In Late July the Guardian posted the first story detailing the NSA program “XKeyscore” which allows the NSA to monitor “nearly everything a user does on the Internet.”
David Gregory asks Glenn Greenwald why he shouldn’t be prosecuted for reporting on NSA leaks, Greenwald unloads.
NSA loophole allows for the warrantless search of U.S. citizens emails and phone calls.
On Sunday, August 18th, 2013, David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner, was detained for 14 hours by British authorities at Heathrow airport “under schedule 7 of the Terrorism act of 2000." 
NSA analysts channel broad powers to snoop on love interests.
NSA analysts eavesdropped in on phone sex conversations between deployed troops in Iraq and their loved ones back home.
Email service used by Edward Snowden, Lavabit, shuts down rather than comply with federal prosecutors and hand over encryption keys of over 400,000 customers.
How NSA analysts spied on the UN and the EU.
NSA used its powers to spy on media outlet Al Jazeera’s communications.
US government spends $250,000,000 a year to work with tech companies to insert weaknesses into products.
The NSA can tap directly into user data on iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.
In September of 2013 it was revealed that the Obama administration won a ruling in the FISA court in 2011 to remove restrictions on NSA searching of American citizens’ data.
Reports detail how NSA and GCHQ attempted on multiple occasions to crack Tor email encryption services, exploiting vulnerabilities in the Firefox browser giving them access to an individual’s entire computer.
President Obama insists NSA surveillance is essential, NSA oversight however is not.
How the NSA deploys malware, revelations reveal how the NSA infects computers to take control
Patriot Act author says James Clapper should be fired, prosecuted.
Revealed: NSA spied directly on German Prime Minister Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone, President Obama having approved of it himself. 
"The NSA has been systematically eavesdropping on the Mexican gov’t for years. It hacked into the president’s public email account and gained deep insight into policy making and the political system.”
NSA monitored the phone calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts.
President Obama approved Angela Merkel’s phone tapping three years before it was revealed to the public by Snowden leaks.
Spain summons US ambassador over claim that NSA tracks 60 millions Spanish calls per month.
Greenwald to Christiane Amanpour: NSA has nothing to do with terrorism.
NSA stores data to target any citizen at any time.
NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers. (Reminder: Yahoo bought Tumblr just over a year ago, just weeks before the NSA revelations came to light).
Experts warn NSA revelations may cause breakup of the Internet as Brazil, Germany and India move to establish separate networks to block U.S. spying.
UK government accuses Guardian editor of risking national security for reporting on NSA, GCHQ surveillance programs.
The edge of the abyss: Exposing the NSA’s all-seeing machine.
C.I.A. collecting global data on money transfers under same law that permits NSA data collection.
U.S. House of Representatives approves NSA funding bill with $75 million to prevent future Snowdens.
NSA infected 50,000 computers with malware designed to steal sensitive information.
NRA teams up with ACLU on NSA lawsuit claiming NSA beginning gun registry.
NSA spied on porn habits in effort to discredit radicalizers.
How spy agencies and corporations worked together to spy on activists and non-profits.
Heading into the holiday season of 2013, NSA sent home talking points for employees to talk to their families.
DROPOUTJEEP: The NSA program that grants total access to the Apple iPhone.
Jeremy Scahill: There is a war on journalism.
NSA morale down following Snowden leaks (boo hoo).
The NSA is handing over your phone data to the DEA and the DEA is covering it up. Still think this is about terrorism?
Lawmakers overseeing NSA receive millions from intelligence contractors.
New Zealand backpacker stripped of all electronics at airport following attendance at a conference on leaked Snowden material.
Senior White House official: We may never know true extent of Snowden NSA leaks.
Obama appointed NSA review panel: End bulk collection of phone records.
Obama administration rejected only substantive NSA reforms proposed by own review group.
Mid-December 2013, federal judge Richard Leon found that NSA bulk data collection likely violates 4th amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Snowden says this vindicates his actions.
How the NSA puts U.S. elections at risk.
The NSA ‘probably’ collects data on Congress’ phone calls. 
The NSA’s secret role in the U.S. assassination program.
Larry Klayman, the lawyer who won ruling against NSA claims U.S. government harassing him.
Klayman: The NSA is a totalitarian attack on our human rights.
Merkel compares NSA to the Stasi, the official state security force of totalitarian East Germany prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, in heated exchange with President Obama.
Greenwald to European Union: NSA’s goal is total elimination of privacy.
White House NSA Panel Member: Snowden leaks are treasonous.
President Obama can’t point to a single terrorist attack thwarted by NSA.
NSA intercepting laptops purchased online to install spyware.
Different federal judge rules NSA mass collection is legal and dismisses lawsuit brought by ACLU.
NSA hackers can hijack your Wi-Fi from 8 miles away.
The NSA ‘can literally watch every keystroke you make.’
Apple insists it did not assist NSA in backdoor access to iPhone, denies awareness of DROPOUTJEEP.
NSA seeks to build quantum computer capable of cracking nearly all forms of encryption.
Senator Bernie Sanders presses NSA to reveal if it spies on members of Congress.
NSA responds: Congress afforded ‘same privacy protections as all US persons.’
Senator Rand Paul plans to file class action lawsuit against NSA.
Senator Dianne Feinstein admits her NSA reform bill designed to protect existing surveillance programs.
Pentagon reports Snowden downloaded 1.7 million intelligence files.
500 years of history shows how mass surveillance is always aimed at silencing dissenting opinion.
Analysis of 225 terrorist attacks since 9/11 shows NSA surveillance ‘has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.’
President Obama’s NSA reform goal: no more Edward Snowdens.
NSA devises radio pathway into computers.
NSA collects millions of text messages daily in ‘untargeted global sweep.’
Obama speech on NSA reforms affirms belief that mass spying has a future.
Tech firms say Obama proposals fall short of expectations.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange slams Obama speech as full of lies.
Electronic Freedom Foundation scores Obama’s NSA reform speech:3.5 out of 12.
US surveillance imperils freedom of expression around the globe.
Civil Liberties Oversight Group: NSA metadata collection is ‘screamingly’ illegal.
Democratic Establishment Unmasked: Prime Defenders of NSA Bulk Spying
Spy agencies exploit ‘leaky apps’ like Angry Birds to learn gender, income, age and more.
A glossary of terms pertaining to NSA/GCHQ spy scandal.
Tech companies’ ‘NSA Transparency Reports’ are largely PR stunts.
While the NSA strives to learn every detail about us, it works to conceal its own actions from others.
Footage released of Guardian editors destroying hard drives provided by Snowden under watchful eyes of GCHQ technicians.
President Obama stands by James Clapper despite untruthful Senate testimony. 
NYT editor slams Obama administration, saying treatment of Snowden has scared sources resulting in a “real freeze” on reporting.
David Miranda’s detention: a chilling attack on journalism
How the NSA tracks people’s physical location.
Watchdog group: NSA actions pose direct threat to journalists.
Press freedom under attack - the risks journalists face by reporting.
Snowden documents reveal covert surveillance and pressure tactics on Wikileaks and its supporters.
How covert agents infiltrate the Internet to manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations.
Optic Nerve: How UK spy agency collected millions of webcam images from Yahoo users.
Snowden: I raised concerns internally 10 times before going rogue.
Julian Assange: NSA has grown into a rogue agency.
The NSA masqueraded as Facebook to infect millions of computers with malware.
NSA contractors anonymously fantasize about killing Snowden.
Quantum: The NSA’s Most Powerful Internet Attack Tool
Mystic: 100% voice collection of phone calls for 30 day period
Greenwald: President Obama’s proposed NSA reforms 'cosmetic, basically a PR gesture.'
NSA “chilling effect” feared by writers.
DOJ still ducking scrutiny after misleading the Supreme Court on surveillance. “Misleading” is putting it nicely. The DOJ lied to the Supreme Court in order to get them to dismiss a case brought by the ACLU.
Compare NSA’s Facebook malware denial to its own classified documents.
NSA put Merkel on list of 122 targeted world leaders.
Greenwald on 'limitless' NSA ambitions.
USA Freedom Act gutted, privacy advocates withdrawal support.
The Guardian and New York Times win Pulitzer Prize for Greenwald’s NSA reporting.
The NSA is recording every cell phone call in the Bahamas.
Judge Andrew Napolitano’s review of Glenn Greenwald’s book ‘No Place to Hide’
Full interview between Edward Snowden and Brian Williams.
Glenn Greenwald to release names of Americans spied on by NSA.
Unaired comments from Snowden’s interview with Brian Williams details how the U.S. government had the information to detect the 9/11 attacks.
Some takeaways: You can’t trust a single thing the government says. While it is spending tremendous amounts of resources attempting to eradicate privacy, it is working just as hard to shroud its own actions in secrecy. The surveillance state is not being erected around us for our own safety. It is a tool to crush dissent. The NSA’s mantra has been to “collect it all.” The programs are capable of seeing your very thought processes. Every keystroke you make, every link you click, every article you read, where you were and more. They have the capacity to know more about you than your therapist or your significant other. They know not only whom you associate with, but also who your associates associate with. It could be said they can know more about you than you know about you.
And the end result of this is that when people feel that they can be watched at any moment, they begin to police their own actions. It’s Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon transposed to the 21st century. When the government can know everything about a person, when privacy is effectively eliminated, it creates a subservient class. The telescreens of George Orwell’s “1984” exist today in the form of personal computers and smartphones. Big Brother is always present in our lives, capable of knowing the most intimate details of our lives. And the government treats the exposing of this fact to the general public as treason.
Such broad powers cannot be trusted with anyone. The NSA’s surveillance powers elevate the executive branch to a level unimaginable by the Founders. The president can and likely does track the communications of members of the legislature and judiciary. The checks and balances of the Constitution are rendered hollow and irrelevant by the size and scope of the NSA’s powers. It poses a threat to the liberties and freedoms of everyone in the world.
Since education is the whole point of Edward Snowden’s leaks I want you all to reblog this post and to tweet it on Twitter and share it on Facebook. Spread this list far and wide. The more people know the more likely they are to engage on the issues and actually bring about substantive reform.
Photo credit to the great amphigoryglory.

antigovernmentextremist:

On May 30th, 2013, Edward Snowden left behind his family, his country, and his lucrative job as a contractor for the National Security Agency to blow the whistle on the most far-reaching and invasive spying programs in human history. A year ago today journalist Glenn Greenwald, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and NSA contractor-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden were combing through the millions of documents Snowden brought with him to Hong Kong to reveal for the first time the inner workings of the most secretive government agency of the most powerful and monolithic government in history. The year that followed shed an unprecedented amount of light on some of the most egregious abuses of power ever committed against the citizens of a supposed free country. Below you will find the list I have compiled of more than one hundred news articles detailing the extent the NSA has gone to effectively eliminate privacy in the 21st century.

Some takeaways: You can’t trust a single thing the government says. While it is spending tremendous amounts of resources attempting to eradicate privacy, it is working just as hard to shroud its own actions in secrecy. The surveillance state is not being erected around us for our own safety. It is a tool to crush dissent. The NSA’s mantra has been to “collect it all.” The programs are capable of seeing your very thought processes. Every keystroke you make, every link you click, every article you read, where you were and more. They have the capacity to know more about you than your therapist or your significant other. They know not only whom you associate with, but also who your associates associate with. It could be said they can know more about you than you know about you.

And the end result of this is that when people feel that they can be watched at any moment, they begin to police their own actions. It’s Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon transposed to the 21st century. When the government can know everything about a person, when privacy is effectively eliminated, it creates a subservient class. The telescreens of George Orwell’s “1984” exist today in the form of personal computers and smartphones. Big Brother is always present in our lives, capable of knowing the most intimate details of our lives. And the government treats the exposing of this fact to the general public as treason.

Such broad powers cannot be trusted with anyone. The NSA’s surveillance powers elevate the executive branch to a level unimaginable by the Founders. The president can and likely does track the communications of members of the legislature and judiciary. The checks and balances of the Constitution are rendered hollow and irrelevant by the size and scope of the NSA’s powers. It poses a threat to the liberties and freedoms of everyone in the world.

Since education is the whole point of Edward Snowden’s leaks I want you all to reblog this post and to tweet it on Twitter and share it on Facebook. Spread this list far and wide. The more people know the more likely they are to engage on the issues and actually bring about substantive reform.

Photo credit to the great amphigoryglory.

(via laliberty)

(Source: cissexiest, via anituhhsarkeesian)

If democracy is not going to be capable of righting the wrongs of this world, then what will? If the majority is steadfast in favor of tyranny, then what option is the minority left with?
I am really trying to move away from the word ‘libertarianism.’ Progressives [have also done] a pretty good job in the last couple years of demonizing words like ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty’—these are becoming like the dirty words of irresponsible people. I really like the idea of moving back to ‘voluntarism’ and weeding out people who don’t ask what that even means.
Politics is a place where people go to be angry, where people go to be paranoid, where people go to fantasize about bad things happening to people they don’t like. It is a terrible place—an extremely hostile place—for introducing new ideas.
Would the NSA's massive amount of conversation data be helpful in developing AI? : Futurology →

That awkward moment when your futuristic AI companion/operating system is also a deadly spy.

image

'Fake’ cellphone towers found in U.S. →
Science progresses by exploring the unknown, finding the unexpected, and being challenged by sceptics. The quest for knowledge is a search for things we don’t already know. It is, when all is said and done, an exploration of our ignorance. In the unforgiving post-graduate world where I was expected to apply my knowledge usefully to the satisfaction of my benefactors, I slowly came to realise that education was a form of classical conditioning in the Pavlovian mode; we were its dogs, and both the tricks we were to perform and the rewards we would consequently receive were made abundantly clear to us. It is a principle of democratic governance that the effectiveness of the process depends critically upon the vibrancy of opposition. If in parliament there is no effective opposition, then government tends towards virtual dictatorship, no matter that members were democratically elected in the first place. There is no doubt that science is governed. There are rules, and the rules are enforced.