As a result of the Stratfor hack, some of the dangers of the unregulated private intelligence industry are now known. It has been revealed through Wikileaks and other journalists around the world that Stratfor maintained a worldwide network of informants that they used to engage in intrusive and possibly illegal surveillance activities on behalf of large multinational corporations.
Somhow those Ten Men - at the time they were called Recruiters, of course - discovered that Constance had been at the library. Most likely one of their informants saw her come out, because it was on that very day that the brutes showed up and threatened the librarians. Who told them nothing, incidentally.' 'The same thing happened in Holland, ' Kate reflected. 'You'd think these guys would learn their lesson - librarians know how to keep quiet.' 'It helps to ask politely, ' said Mr. Benedict
Trenton Lee Stewart
They know you can't get people to stop smoking, so they develop a system of informants. That's the whole idea of second-hand smoke, you know. Make second-hand smoke dangerous and turn everybody against smokers. Then they say you can't even smoke in a bar -- a bar! -- because bartenders have a right to a smoke-free "workspace." Ah, bartenders, those health nuts ...
The regime of control tightens inexorably in our schools, many of which now have video cameras, police patrols, chain-link fences, random unannounced locker searches, metal detectors, drug-sniffing dogs, networks of informants, undercover police posing as students, and a comprehensive system of passes so that there is a record of each student's authorized whereabouts at all times. What a perfect preparation for life in a prison or a totalitarian society!
No-knock police raids destroy Americans' right to privacy and safety. People's lives are being ruined or ended as a result of unsubstantiated assertions by anonymous government informants. ... Unfortunately, no-knock raids are becoming more common as federal, state, and local politicians and law enforcement agencies decide that the war on drugs justified nullifying the Fourth Amendment. ... No-knock raids in response to alleged narcotics violations presume that the government should have practically unlimited power to endanger some people's lives in order to control what others ingest.
In Uganda, I wrote a questionaire that I had my research assistants give; on it, I asked about the embalasassa, a speckled lizard said to be poisonous and to have been sent by Prime minsister Milton Obote to kill Baganda in the late 1960s. It is not poisonous and was no more common in the 1960s than it had been in previous decades, as Makerere University science professors announced on the radio and stated in print... I wrote the question, What is the difference between basimamoto and embalasassa? Anyone who knows anything about the Bantu language-myself included-would know the answer was contained in the question: humans and reptiles are different living things and belong to different noun classes... A few of my informants corrected my ignorance... but many, many more ignored the translation in my question and moved beyond it to address the history of the constructs of firemen and poisonous lizards without the slightest hesitation. They disregarded language to engage in a discussion of events... My point is not about the truth of the embalasassa story... but rather that the labeling of one thing as 'true' and the other as 'fictive' or 'metaphorical'-all the usual polite academic terms for false-may eclipse all the intricate ways in which people use social truths to talk about the past. Moreover, chronological contradictions may foreground the fuzziness of certain ideas and policies, and that fuzziness may be more accurate than any exact historical reconstruction... Whether the story of the poisionous embalasassa was real was hardly the issue; there was a real, harmless lizard and there was a real time when people in and around Kampala feared the embalasassa. They feared it in part because of beliefs about lizards, but mainly what frightened people was their fear of their government and the lengths to which it would go to harm them. The confusions and the misunderstandings show what is important; knowledge about the actual lizard would not.