It was revealed by the Irish News this week that the British Crown Forces have been illegally harvesting the personal online data of the public in the occupied six counties, some of which then turned up in the hands of Loyalist death squads.
While Irish Republicans take a cynical view of the ‘privacy’ afforded by the British occupation, after years of finding listening devices in their homes and in their cars and due to the continual loss of digital devices such as phones and computers to the Crown Forces during house raids. This recent revelation rams home the reality of the Orwellian lengths British Intelligence counterinsurgency strategy affects everyone in the North of Ireland.
In the exclusive, the Irish News said it had seen the contents of a thumb drive (USB Pen) which contained the emails and passwords of private individuals and businesses which had been harvested from internet providers, computer transactions and traffic between multiple service providers was also recorded and was part of thousands of such files that ended up in the hands of Loyalist Paramilitaries.
Everyone is aware of the insidious relationship that exists between the PSNI/RUC, British Army, British Military Intelligence and Loyalist Death Squads. Collusion between these different strands of the Crown Forces has been responsible for a large number of murders of innocent Irish Catholic civilians. The continuing refusal to deal with the mass murders at Loughinisland despite all the material being public knowledge is indicative of the level of collusion and cover-up that continues between the British Crown Forces and Loyalist death-squads. Mi5 asset Drew Harris who was recently appointed the commissioner of An Garda Síochána has been heavily criticised by the families of those who had loved ones murdered for his role in burying the truth about collusion.
This revelation of mass online data harvesting should come as no surprise, the hegemony of western elites has been challenged in recent years by the ability to freely disseminate information via the internet. Activists who day and daily use the web for activism and for political organising must be conscious of the fact that everything said and done is monitored and most likely recorded and retained. Activists should research and use some of the innovative programmes and applications that have been developed by the Cypherpunk Movement that want to block ‘Big Brother’ from snooping and empower citizens to actively pursue privacy. The Onion Router ( TOR) https://www.torproject.org is an easily downloadable browser that all activists should consider using to frustrate such invasive techniques.
Saoradh call on all citizens to be vigilant to the ongoing attacks on their freedom and rights by the British Crown Forces, despite claims by some that the rebranded RUC would be reformed and accountable these revelations further reveal that nothing could be further from the truth. The British Crown Forces remain a colonial force using counterinsurgency strategy to continue subverting Irish sovereignty.