Thursday, July 23, 2009
Cable TV Workers Trained To Spy On Citizens
Bright House Networks employees will watch for "suspicious behavior," which according to law enforcement and DHS guidelines includes being politically active, displaying bumper stickers, or disagreeing with the government
Paul Joseph Watson
July 23, 2009
One of the largest cable TV companies in the United States is training its employees to look for suspicious behavior and report it to police under the guise of a neighborhood watch initiative.
Since according to law enforcement and Homeland Security guidelines, suspicious behavior includes owning guns, being politically active, and having bumper stickers on your car, the cable guy’s next visit to your house may turn out to have more interesting consequences than you originally anticipated.
"Operation Bright Eyes is designed to maximize the eyes and ears of Bright House Networks field service representatives and other employees to easily identify suspicious behavior and to quickly report criminal activities to police," according to a Fox 35 report.
All current and new Bright House employees will receive training to help them use the ‘resources at their disposal’ to "become familiar with residents and activities in neighborhoods" and report anything they deem unusual to the authorities in order to "keep our neighborhoods safe".
Since when was it the job of the cable guy to run around pretending to be an undercover cop? This program is ripe for abuse and another advancement in the tattle-tale stasi society being created in order to make the sheeple self-police their behavior, constantly aware that they are being watched by secret police and living in fear that big brother will catch any minor indiscretion.
The legacy of training Americans to spy on each other in the name of "safety" has its origins in Operation TIPS, which was supposedly nixed by Congress, a DOJ, FBI, DHS and FEMA coordinated program that would have recruited one in twenty-four Americans as domestic informants, a higher percentage than was used by the Stasi in Communist East Germany.
Government funding was cut after an outcry but private funding continues and the same program was introduced under a number of sub-divisions including AmeriCorps, SecureCorps and the Highway Watch program.
More recently, ABC News reported that "The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort…..to aid with criminal investigations."
In July last year we reported on how hundreds of police, firefighters, paramedics and utility workers have been trained and recently dispatched as "Terrorism Liaison Officers" in Colorado, Arizona and California to watch for "suspicious activity" which is later fed into a secret government database.
Also last year, a New York Times feature article heartily celebrated the fact that an increasing number of Americans are becoming informants and turning in their neighbors and family members to the authorities in return for cash rewards. In a piece about a new program run by Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers, citing gas prices, foreclosure rates and runaway food price inflation, The Times lauds the fact that citizens are reporting on each other, ensuring "a substantial increase in Crime Stopper-related arrests and recovered property, as callers turn in neighbors, grandchildren or former boyfriends in exchange for a little cash."
Forget Orwell’s 1984, this purebred tyranny is about as sophisticated as the wacky dictatorship portrayed in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1987 movie The Running Man, where citizens are reminded by huge TV screens placed on street corners that they can "earn a double bonus for reporting on a family member!"
Bright House Networks has 2.4 million customers and covers "several large cities including Tampa Bay and Orlando, Florida; Bakersfield, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; Detroit, Michigan; and Birmingham, Alabama; along with several other smaller regions in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle."
Perhaps that 2.4 million figure will begin to dwindle once customers find out that the cable guy is eyeing them up for suspicious activity.
What constitutes suspicious activity isn’t listed, but if it’s in line with law enforcement and Homeland Security guidelines – watch out.
As we have previously documented, people displaying suspicious behavior as defined by law enforcement authorities in documents such as the MAIC report, along with Homeland Security lexicon files, include Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag.
Homeland Security even equates people who express disagreement with the government with domestic extremists and terrorists. So if the cable guy sees an Alex Jones DVD in your TV cabinet, will that mandate a call to the cops?
There seems little need for President Obama to even create his promised "domestic security force," and such a move would merely represent a centralization of what is already underway, since a plethora od programs that train Americans to report on each other are already firmly in place across the country.
Commentary: My conversation with Bright House
by Larry Simons
I wanted to see how widespread this was, so I called the Bakersfield, CA office and spoke with a supervisor. After I asked her if Bright House’s employees were being trained to spy on its employees, the woman said, “No, that’s not true, what article was this?” Here are portions of the rest of our chat:
ME: So you’ve never heard of Operation Bright Eyes?
SUPERVISOR: Operation Bright Eyes, yes, but that’s not to spy on people
ME: Well, it sounds like it’s a program where the employees that go into homes are going to do the work of cops
SUPERVISOR: No, we wouldn’t do that because we wouldn’t put our employees in jeopardy as far as safety. It’s more for them to be aware of their surroundings and you know, basically, what is going on, not to put themselves in jeopardy or danger
ME: Well, the article that I’m reading right in front of me says….
SUPERVISOR: How old is this article?
ME: Hold on, it’s from….
SUPERVISOR: Well, see, we don’t have that program here in Bakersfield. Are you calling from Bakersfield?
ME: No, I’m calling from Maryland. I’m reading an article from an Orlando FOX affiliate website
SUPERVISOR: Yeah, we’re a smaller system out in Bakersfield, CA. The Orlando system is a huge system
ME: You’ve heard of Operation Bright Eyes, so you’re…familiar with it
SUPERVISOR: I’ve heard of it, yes, I’ve heard of it. In fact, if you go to, um, if you go on the Internet you can Google Operation Bright Eyes and there’s all kinds of articles that come up from Bright House that will tell you about it
ME: But what you said about it is not what’s in this article. It doesn’t talk about ‘for their safety’, it says “to easily identify suspicious behavior and to quickly report criminal activities to police.” It sounds like spying to me
SUPERVISOR: Well, if you’d like to speak to someone at the Orlando division, that’s your interpretation of spying. It’s not spying. And I really don’t feel at liberty to comment on it since we don’t have that program here in Bakersfield……it’s more that they’re lending a hand in law enforcement
ME: I didn’t know that was the job of cable TV people
SUPERVISOR: Well, it’s like I said, if you’d like to speak to someone at the Orlando division, you’re more than welcome to but I don’t have any comment
And that concluded our chat. What struck me as odd was that she knew about Operation Bright Eyes, but then gave the incorrect information on what it is. Also, why would she have heard of it if their office doesn’t participate in that program?
Then, when I told her that the OBE program was for the purpose of reporting suspicious behavior and criminal activity to the police, she said it wasn’t spying and it was “my interpretation?” What is spying if that isn’t it?
According to thefreedictionary.com, the definitions of spying is “One who secretly keeps watch on another or others”, “To discover by close observation”, “To seek or observe something secretly and closely” and “To make a careful investigation”. That is exactly the objective of Operation Bright Eyes, the one she even admitted to me when she said, “it’s more that they’re lending a hand in law enforcement”.
Besides, if her definition [of OBE] is true, that it's for their employees to "be aware of their surroundings and you know, basically, what is going on", wouldn't they do that anyway?
The most glaring contradiction on her part was her first telling me, “No, we wouldn’t do that [have their employees do the work of cops] because we wouldn’t put our employees in jeopardy as far as safety”, and then telling me, “…it’s more that they’re lending a hand in law enforcement”. Well, which is it? Are they not doing the dangerous work of the police or are they lending a hand to the police?
They can’t both be true.
Thanks to PrisonPlanet for posting my commentary, here.