No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they’re doing it. The story of that struggle… the detailed history of the use of general warrants as instruments of oppression from the time of the Tudors, through the Star Chamber, the Long Parliament, the Restoration, and beyond. What is significant to note is that this history is largely a history of conflict between the Crown and the press. . . . the Crown were given roving commissions to search where they pleased in order to suppress and destroy the literature of dissent, both Catholic and Puritan. Today, Yes, we hear echoes to the Cointelpro program of the 60s and 70s … as well as King George’s General Warrants to the Colonies … and the Star Chamber of 15th century England.
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