“There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations—some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers—into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI,” the ACLU warned in its August 2004 report The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society.
InfraGard is the head of the octopus. The tentacles are all the corporate entities who have now entered into a partnership with the FBI. The partnership will grow over time and the beast will become stronger. This is the inevitable result of the fascist policies of the Bush administration, and those preceding it too.
One of the advantages of InfraGard, according to its leading members, is that the FBI gives them a heads-up on a secure portal about any threatening information related to infrastructure disruption or terrorism.
The InfraGard website advertises this. In its list of benefits of joining InfraGard, it states: “Gain access to an FBI secure communication network complete with VPN encrypted website, webmail, listservs, message boards, and much more.”
It’s funny how accomodating the government can be when it wants to. They’ve really rolled out the red carpet for their tentacles. There’s so much love between corporations and the government — it’s starting to creep me out. It’s like being in a disgusting, twisted orgy.
…Man, my own analogies really disturb me sometimes…
This special status concerns the ACLU.
“The FBI should not be creating a privileged class of Americans who get special treatment,” says Jay Stanley, public education director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program. “There’s no ‘business class’ in law enforcement. If there’s information the FBI can share with 22,000 corporate bigwigs, why don’t they just share it with the public? That’s who their real ‘special relationship’ is supposed to be with. Secrecy is not a party favor to be given out to friends. . . . This bears a disturbing resemblance to the FBI’s handing out ‘goodies’ to corporations in return for folding them into its domestic surveillance machinery.”
I agree completely. InfraGard reeks of favoratism and corporatism. It’s fucking disgusting and the FBI should be ashamed. What happened to democracy? It sounds great on paper and I’m sure these fascists would claim they’re protecting democracy, but that’s no different than destroying the village in order to save it.
This business owner says he attended a small InfraGard meeting where agents of the FBI and Homeland Security discussed in astonishing detail what InfraGard members may be called upon to do.
“The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage,” he says. “From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we’d be given specific benefits.” These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out.
But that’s not all.
“Then they said when—not if—martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted,” he says.
A whole ‘nother class o’ people. Well ain’t that just peachy keen?
In a fascist state, yes, it is.
But not in a democracy.