Many people around the world do not want a surveillance society, but the truth is that it has never been easier to follow different people 24/7/365. Many are looking to Communist China, and its tactics and impact on society.
But surveillance isn`t something new. The Nazis did it. So did the Communists in East Germany. The Nazis had Gestapo, while the Communists had Stasi, and Stasi is the official name for Ministerium fur Staatsicherheit (German: «Ministry for State Security»).
Stasi was a secret police agency of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Furthermore; the Stasi was one of the most hated and feared institutions of the East German communist government. It all started after World War II: in 1950, and it lasted until the end in 1990 (after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989).
The difference between Gestapo and Stasi is that Gestapo had 40,000 officials watching a country of 80 million, while the Stasi employed 102,000 to control only 17 million. One might add that the Nazi terror lasted only twelve years, whereas the Stasi had four decades in which to perfect its machinery of oppression, espionage, and international terrorism and subversion.
By at least one estimate, the Stasi maintained greater surveillance over its own people than any secret police force in history.
The Stasi employed one secret policeman for every 166 East Germans. By comparison, the Gestapo deployed one secret policeman per 2,000 people.
Stasi agents infiltrated and undermined West Germany`s government and spy agencies.
The Stasi was much worse than the Gestapo, if you consider only the oppression of its own people, according to Simon Wiesnthal of Vienna, Austria, who has been hunting Nazi criminals for half a century. But, why was the Stasi so extremely good?
Many of the techniques used by the Stasi had actually been pioneered by the Nazis and in particular the Gestapo. They relied heavily on information-gathering and intelligence in order to create an atmosphere of fear and to get citizens to denounce one another. It worked extremely successfully. But, why did they do it? What was the goal of the Stasi?
The goal was to destroy secretly the self-confidence of people, for example by damaging their reputation, organizing failures in their work, and destroying their personal relationships. Considering this, East Germany was a very modern dictatorship. The Stasi didn`t try to arrest every dissident.
They had many different tactics, including questioning, repeated stop, and searches, strange noises on telephone lines, and conspicuous visits to the workplace so that bosses and colleagues were aware of the police interest.
The Stasi steamed open letters, copied them, filed them, and sent them on. They went into homes when people were out and bugged them. They tapped into the phone infrastructure of the building, maintained contacts and occasionally cooperated with West German terrorists.
The Stasi`s function was similar to the KGB, serving as a means of maintaining state authority. This was accomplished primarily through the use of a network of civilian informants. KGB also invited the Stasi to establish operational bases in Moscow and Leningrad to monitor visiting East German tourists.
The Stasi also acted as a proxy for KGB to conduct activities in other Eastern Bloc countries, such as Poland, where the Soviets were despised.
Due to their close ties with Soviet intelligence services, Mielke referred to the Stasi officers as «Chekists». In 1978, Mielke formally granted KGB officers in East Germany the same rights and powers that they enjoyed in the Soviet Union.
Between 1950 and 1989, the Stasi employed a total of 274,000 people in an effort to root out the class enemy. In 1989, the Stasi employed 91,015 people full-time, including 2,000 fully employed unofficial collaborators, 13,073 soldiers and 2,232 officers of the GDR army, along with 173,081 unofficial informants inside GDR, and 1,553 informants in West Germany.
Regular commissioned Stasi officers were recruited from conscripts who had been honorably discharged from their 18 months’ compulsory military service, had been members of the SED, had had a high level of participation in the Party`s youth wing`s activities, and had been Stasi informers during their service in the Military.
The candidates were then made to sit through several tests and exams, which identified their intellectual capacity to be an officer and their political reliability. University graduates who had completed their military service did not need to take these tests and exams.
They then attended a two-year officer training program at the Stasi college (Hochschule) in Potsdam.
By 1995, some 174,000 inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (Ims) Stasi informants had been identified, almost 2,5% of East Germany`s population between the ages of 18 and 60. 10,000 Ims were under 18 years of age.
From the volume of material destroyed in the final days of the regime, the office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BstU) believes that there could have been as many as 500,000 informers.
A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included.
Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extent of any surveillance largely dependent on how valuable a product was to the economy), and one tenant in every apartment building was designed as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei (Vopo).
Spies reported every relative or friend who stayed the night at another`s apartment. Tiny holes were drilled in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras.
Schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.
A large number of Stasi informants were tram conductors, janitors, doctors, nurses, and teachers. Mielke believed that the best informants were those whose jobs entailed frequent contact with the public.
In some cases, spouses even spied on each other.
The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the armed services) to those in the dissident movements (such as in the arts and the Protestant Church).
Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members. Informants were made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only around 7,7%, according to official figures, were coerced into cooperating.
The Stasi had files on everyone. They spied on almost every aspect of East German`s daily lives, and they carried out international espionage. It kept files on about 5,6 million people and amassed an enormous archive. The archive holds 111 kilometers of files in total.
The Stasi was the official state security service of East Germany, the German Democratic-Republican in short the GDR. The Stasi`s motto was «Schild und Schwert der Partei» (Shield and Sword of the Party).
«The Party» was the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
The Stasi perfected the technique of psychological harassment of perceived enemies known as Zersetzung, which is a term borrowed from chemistry that literally means «decomposition». Chemical decomposition means chemical breakdown.
For example, the stability of a chemical compound is eventually limited when exposed to extreme environmental conditions such as heat, radiation, humidity, or the acidity of a solvent. Because of this chemical decomposition is often an undesired chemical reaction.
The goal was to paralyze people, and it could do so because it had access to so much personal information and to so many institutions.
By the 1970s, the Stasi had decided that the methods of overt persecution that had been employed up to that time, such as arrest and torture, were too crude and obvious. Such forms of oppression were drawing significant international condemnation.
It was realized that psychological harassment was far less likely to be recognized for what it was, so its victims, and their supporters, were less likely to be provoked into active resistance, given that they would often not be aware of the source of their problems, or even its exact nature.
International condemnation could also be avoided.
Zersetzung (decomposition) was designed to side-track and «switch off» perceived enemies so that they would lose the will to continue any «inappropriate» activities.
Anyone who was judged to display politically, culturally or religiously incorrect attitudes could be viewed as a «hostile-negative» force and targeted with Zersetzung methods.
For this reason members of the Church, writers, artists, and members further developed in a «creative and differentiated» manner based upon the specific person being targeted i.e. They were tailored based on the target`s psychology and life situation.
Tactics employed under Zersetzung usually involved the disruption of the victim`s private or family life.
This often included psychological attacks, such as breaking into their home and subtly manipulating the contents, in a form of gaslighting i.e. Moving furniture around, altering the timing of an alarm, removing pictures from walls, or replacing one variety of tea with another, etc.
Other practices include property damage, sabotage of cars, travel bans, career sabotage, administering purposely incorrect medical treatment, smear campaigns which could include subversion, wiretapping, bugging, mysterious phone calls or unnecessary deliveries, even including sending a vibrator to a target`s wife.
Increasing degrees of unemployment and social isolation could and frequently did occur due to the negative psychological, physical, and social ramifications of being targeted.
USUALLY, VICTIMS HAD NO IDEA THAT THE STASI WERE RESPONSIBLE.
The victims didn`t know what was happening. They were confused, and everybody around the target could watch as he or she crumbled under the relentless pressure of state harassment. Zersetzung was designed by the Stasi, and it was a form of psychological harassment to wreak havoc on an individual, without any need to arrest or torture the target.
Many thought that they were losing their minds, and mental breakdowns and suicide were sometimes the results. There is ongoing debate as to the extent if at all, to which weaponized directed energy devices, such as X-ray transmitters, were also used against victims.
A direct-energy weapon (DEW) is a ranged weapon that damages its target with highly focused energy without a solid projectile, including lasers, microwaves, particle beams, and sound beams. Potential applications of this technology include weapons that target personnel, missiles, vehicles, and optical devices.
The main goal was to give the victims a lot of pain because that was much better than putting them in prison and torturing them. One of the symptoms was called the Havana syndrome. It was a syndrome of medical symptoms reported by US personnel in Havana, Cuba, and other locations, suspected by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to be caused by microwave energy.
Some common bio-effects of non-lethal electromagnetic weapons include difficulty breathing, disorientation, nausea, pain, vertigo, and other systemic discomfort.
Interference with breathing poses the most significant, potentially lethal results. Light and repetitive visual signals can include epileptic seizures. Bection and motion sickness can also occur.
After German reunification, revelations of the Stati`s international activities were publicized, such as its military training of the West German Red Army Faction. Stasi experts also helped train the secret police organization of Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia.
They helped Fidel Castro`s regime in Cuba. Stasi officers helped in the initial training and indoctrination of Egyptian State Security organizations under the Nassar regime. They helped to create secret police forces in the People`s Republic of Angola, the People`s Republic of Mozambique, and the People`s Republic of Yemen.
The Stasi organized and extensively trained Syrian intelligence services under the regime of Hafez al-Assad. They also helped to set up Idi Amin`s secret service. They helped the President of Ghana.
Documents in the Stasi archives state that the KGB ordered Bulgarian agents to assassinate Pope John Paul II, who was known for his criticism of human rights in the Eastern Bloc, and the Stasi was asked to help with covering up traces.
The Stasi in 1972, also made plans to assist the Ministry of Public Security (Vietnam) in improving its intelligence work during the Vietnam War.
That was then, but how is it now? We must ask ourselves how our own society is built. The Stasi had a system for monitoring telephone conversations, but if they could do it in the 70s, what can be happening even today? What about social media, emails, smartphones, and computers.
A lot of people believe that China`s social system is scary. But that system is not only about China. It`s in many other countries in Europe and America. They have surveillance cameras, face recognition, and the requirements to always praise the government. It sounds like an Orwellian nightmare come true. Or a Stasi system of surveillance.
China`s social credit system affects freedom of speech, resulting in censorship and self-censorship, ultimately silencing any form of opposition. But this is not only about China. The web itself is a surveillance machine. As it stands today, you are what you click.
Once you`re logged on to your computer and have access to the internet, the system will see what you are doing, and you will be tracked by your browser, by third parties, by cookies, and by almost all the sites you are logging into.
The data you give the third party for free is aggregated and a profile about you is being created. Most of the information you give away for free is being used for targeted advertisements. But it could well be used to create a so-called Social Credit System.
Once all the data is collected, the profile is created, and it can be very difficult to change your own profile. Your profile of yours will lead to real-life consequences.
In addition, China has set up more than 100 so-called overseas police stations across the globe to monitor, harass, and in some cases repatriate Chinese citizens living in exile, using bilateral security arrangements struck with countries in Europe and Africa to gain widespread presence internationally, according to CNN.
The State Security Ministry is the principal civilian intelligence, security, and secret police agency of the People`s Republic of China, responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence, and political security. The MSS is active in industrial espionage and adept at cyber espionage.
A document from the US Department of Justice described the agency as being like a combination of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Many foreign analysts describe the Communist «Part-State» and its security agencies as being left without a real ideology, relying only on repression and the stoking of Chinese nationalism, more recent works, however, highlight the increasing importance of Marxism-Leninism in the worldview, internal culture and self-image of the CCP security apparatus; Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong remain the central influences, although classical Chinese thinkers such as Sun Tzu are also studied.
1,412 billion live in China. How many agents do they have? Only 87 million live in Iran, and they have its own Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to protect the priests at the top. It is a multi-service primary branch of the Iranian Armed Forces. Active personnel last year was 210,000, while 60,000 was paramilitary forces.
According to BBC, the UK is preparing to formally declare that Iran`s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a terrorist organization. It follows a similar decision made by the US in 2019. After a popular antigovernment protest in Iran, the number of people killed by security forces has increased.
The state of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been criticized by Iranians and international human rights activists.
The Stasi was one of the most hated and feared institutions of the East German communist government. Nor is CCP so popular. Iran`s Revolutionary Guard is also unpopular. The funniest thing is that they are all funded by «the people».
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