Ted’s essays

poking Big Brother in the eyes

THEY can access every part of your computer, your cell phone and your smart appliances.

THEY can turn them on even when you have turned those appliances off.

THEY monitor, collect and store every bit of electronic traffic coming to or from you.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Of course “the founding fathers” did not anticipate personal computers, e-mails and cell phones. Therefore invading our privacies on those was not specifically covered. Surely Sam Adams, Tom Jefferson, Jim Madison and the rest would have approved the oaf-fishal disrespect of those privacies we have today.

Fascism is a form of totalitarianism in that it holds the State to be the highest value, to which all individuals must be completely loyal. Yet it is distinguishable from other forms of totalitarianism in its exultation of war and violence as a means of invigorating the state and the people. Its focus on nationalism means fascism may vary in detail from country to country, but always it brings war – against others and against the individual.

Mussolini’s Italy invented it. It is derived from the Roman ‘fasces’, the bundle of sticks around an ax which represented the Roman Imperium and, interestingly, adorns the United States Congress building.

More simply defined, fascism is the merger of corporate and state. Where, for example, Google, NSA, Microsoft, CIA, Intel and Raytheon all work together sharing anything and everything about anybody and everybody.

electronic schematic symbol for a resistor

A baby step into resistance is switching to any of the Linux operating system varieties on you computer. “Open source” means they are designed and built in the open where anyone savvy to the language can see there are no sneaky back doors or spyware built in.

Over a decade of using Linux has made me acutely aware of how much of every Apple or Windoze computer is dedicated to their real masters. We merely rent the devices so THEY can be privy to our affairs. Those machines start, stop, run as if they had minds of their own. The reality is not far removed from that.

Happily, several mainstream computer manufacturers are responding to a growing market for Linux machines, of people who are ready to walk away from the big, ugly, dominant pair. Here are three you can buy running Linux right off the shelf.

Among the beauties of Linux are operating systems that do not HOG computing resources. Without fascist demands built into them, a much smaller, less-capable machine can accomplish far more work that YOU ASK FOR than one working mostly for THEM with working for you as a secondary job.

Unfortunately, even Linux operating systems on standard computers leave certain vulnerabilities deliberately designed into the computer hardware itself. While they aren’t big enough to drive a truck through, the holes are there.

Along comes crowd-funded computer company built from its inception with privacy as a primary goal. No need to put a piece of tape over your camera, these guys give you a switch to physically turn it on and off, along with the wireless and microphone.

Unheard of … with “unheard” being applied quite literally into the design. NOBODY can turn them on when you want them off.

They are also in the process of crowd-funding cell phones with the same objectives.

These are not low end, nor are they inexpensive. However, for the price of inviting Apple into your life, you could have a superior product AND retain control of your privacy.

Now officially on my list. I merely await a fistful of dollars with NEW COMPUTER written on them.

Click the headline link below to learn much more about Purism as a company, a concept, why they exist, and why you should care.


Purism follows a strict belief in users’ rights to privacy, security, and freedom. We developed Purism so that users can have access to the highest quality computers without compromising these beliefs.

Our essence, in a nutshell:

We believe people should have secure devices that protect them rather than exploit them.
To serve that purpose, we provide everything people need into a convenient hardware and software product.
We offer high-quality privacy, security, and freedom focused computers and software.