Chris’ note: At Daily Cut AM… Market Mission Control, we’re tearing down our “paywall” for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts. We’re bringing you our best ideas – paid or free – on how to get to the other side of the crisis with your health, your wealth, and your liberty intact.
Today, I’m passing on a note Dan Denning sent out to paid-up readers of The Bonner-Denning Letter. Dan was the first to raise the alarm on the Surveillance Society that’s coming to America. Now, he says the virus is speeding up the process in ways even he couldn’t have imagined.
Make sure to stick around to the end of today’s insight. Dan will show you the steps to take now to shield your privacy. We also got more reader feedback on the threat from surveillance that I want to share with you…
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the city of Baltimore over the use of high-resolution images from surveillance drones.
I did research on this in December and January while I was in Baltimore working with Legacy Research cofounder Bill Bonner. And the Surveillance Society I’ve been warning Bonner-Denning Letter readers about is being brought into existence right before our eyes.
Two books everyone should read right now are Eyes in the Sky by Arthur Michel and Permanent Record by Edward Snowden. The first is about mass surveillance in the real world. The second is about mass surveillance in our digital world.
As I’ll show you today, the coronavirus is fusing the mass surveillance of the digital and real worlds all at once.
In the March issue of The Bonner-Denning Letter, I predicted you’ll have to prove you don’t have the virus to get out of lockdown.
As I wrote…
It’s almost as if the coronavirus has become an excuse for the centralizers, do-gooders, and Deep Staters to dust off every authoritarian fantasy they’ve ever had and put it into a new law.
One way they’re doing that is through data-harvesting apps on your smartphone.
It’s already happening in China. And in Australia, where I’m hunkering down right now, the government is developing its own version.
Once installed on your smartphone, the apps allow the government to track your location. They’re already doing this using data other apps collect on you. But it’s going to be more explicit now.
The government app will be proof you’ve been tested… and aren’t contagious. It will also warn you if you’re near someone who IS sick.
In China, the app determines whether you’re allowed to travel… or even go out shopping. But these apps will go much further. They could even determine how you spend your money.
And to give you an incentive to use the app – if it’s not made mandatory to secure your release from lockdown – it could be the only place you can download or receive your monthly government stimulus checks. It’s what I call “Universal Basic Income Through the Back Door.”
It’s all happening – just faster than we thought possible. The coronavirus is the catalyst. It’s more important than ever that you don’t surrender your constitutional rights because you’re scared. But that’s what many Americans seem all too willing to do.
Part of our mission at The Bonner-Denning Letter this year is to fight back against this trend. There’s no point in keeping your wealth safe if you don’t have the freedom to enjoy it.
If you’re not yet a subscriber, the first step is to “go dark” to regain your privacy.
I know some of these steps may sound extreme. But the great thing about opting out of the Surveillance Society is that you get some freedom back in return.
I’ve been saying the same thing to readers for years. Opt out of these systems now… and stop self-reporting to the authorities… by taking the following four basic steps:
1. Delete your Facebook account – We think we have to be connected all the time. But by staying on the platform, you’re sharing massive amounts of personal data about yourself with the world. You can’t be a private citizen and be on Facebook.
2. De-Google your life – The way to stop Google, and the National Security Agency (NSA), tracking every web search you type and every webpage you visit is to ditch Google search and the Google Chrome web browser. DuckDuckGo won’t track you like Google does. And it offers a decent search service.
There’s also the Epic Privacy Browser. It works just like Chrome, except it doesn’t store data on you. You can also try Startpage for a search engine that doesn’t track and store your search queries. Firefox is the least intrusive of your browser options (Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer).
3. Buy a “dumb” phone – This is the only way to stop broadcasting your exact location 24 hours a day. An unlocked phone with 16 megabytes of memory and a 2 megapixel camera will set you back about $25. You won’t be able to play Candy Crush while you’re standing in line waiting for your caramel latte at Starbucks. But a dumb phone will relieve you of the urge to constantly fiddle with your “smartphone.” Result: more free time and a less cluttered brain.
4. Download an encrypted messenger app – Conversations on WhatsApp (which Facebook owns) are encrypted for the moment. But the feds recently asked Facebook to allow them to spy on peer-to-peer conversations on its messaging app.
WhatsApp has over 2 billion users (mostly foreign), making it a prime target for wiretapping by U.S. security services. Skype (owned by Microsoft) isn’t much better. Wickr, Telegram, and Signal are securer alternatives.
Meantime, we should reckon with the fact that the current crisis may accelerate the use of digital technology to track people in order to control and restrain their behavior.
In a worst-case scenario, the coronavirus could become the catalyst for an even bigger, more intrusive, more authoritarian Surveillance State.
Chris here – If you want to hear more from Dan and Bill, check out the special message Bill just put out from his ranch in a remote corner of northwestern Argentina.
It will fill you in on their thinking about the coronavirus crisis and its effect on the markets. You’ll also have the chance to get access to Bill and Dan’s in-depth research on how to keep your wealth safe.
Finally, if you’re still not convinced that we’re entering a new era of digital surveillance, check out the interview we did with Mr. and Mrs. “X.” They’re British schoolteachers living and working in China. They show how it all works.
Getting on to our packed mailbag, many of our readers agree with Dan about binning your smartphone…
Going dark is the only way. If you believe for a moment that Google and whoever comes next won’t share your data, I have a flying saucer you can have for free.
Americans are totally addicted to convenience. We now have two generations of people who grew up in this instant gratification world. Stop and observe the public at large for just five minutes and see how many people are NOT using their phone. It’ll probably be less than 5%. The cell phone is the adult pacifier… on steroids.
Those who don’t read and heed [Legacy Research cofounder] Doug Casey’s writings are afraid of the truth or too lazy to fend for themselves. More than a successful speculator, he’s a historian. I’m his age and, as Doug has stated, the America we knew is gone.
Maybe one day, when you receive a video of you and your partner having sex in your own home, you’ll get the message. Wake up.
– Jim M.
I gave up Facebook long ago. However, when in Europe, I used WhatsApp. I only recently found out that Facebook now owns this app, too. I don’t like Facebook or Google. I have used Amazon only once. All are in cahoots to get as much information about you as they can. They just want to sell your details and make more money.
– Stafford W.
Agree that a bit of paranoia is good. Too much technology is being used for “my own good.” Can’t think of any government program of data collection that has not been hacked or misused.
– Donald N.
It’s not so much paranoia as self-security. We wear clothes not only for warmth or style, but to keep certain things private.
If the man on the street knows more about you than your mother… will you eagerly make his acquaintance? If I can no longer tell you what I am thinking for fear that I may get in trouble with the authorities, then I have lost my freedom of speech.
Governments already control the military and the police. That is enough power for them. Giving “authorities” more power through knowledge of every aspect of one’s life is huge. What will we have to surrender next?
A microchip can be placed painlessly just under the skin, either in your hand or forehead. It can carry your social security number and other ID… banking information… passwords, etc.
When we are all thus branded, they will govern our very souls. A battle rages through ages, but one must stand back far enough to see it.
– Rudolph A.
For some folks, the threat from smartphone surveillance is not such a big deal. Just stick with older tech… and do a little forward-planning when you need information…
I still use an old-fashioned, 3G flip-phone. I have no need for the smartphone’s features, nor all the extra cost for the phone and the service. I have a laptop for those features.
I don’t always have instant gratification when I want to look something up. So what? I jot myself a note to do it later on the laptop. And I plan ahead for info I might need while on the go, like a map and directions for where I’m going.
Just separate true phone functions and computer functions into two devices, and you’ll be fine without a smartphone. You should see the reactions I get when people see me use the flip-phone. It’s like I’m an alien.
– Tony J.
Do you agree with Donald that a bit of paranoia is a good thing? Or do you trust the government to respect your privacy?
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April 22, 2020
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