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Nikola Tesla Wasn’t The Only One: U.S. Places ‘Secrecy Orders’ On Thousands of Inventions

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Government secrecy is running rampant in an age where more and more people are demanding transparency. Did you know that the U.S. Government classifies over 500 million pages of documents each year? Justification for the mass classification of information is (apparently) done for the sake of “national security,” but as we know:

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“The dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts, far outweigh the dangers that are cited to justify them. There is a very grave danger that an announced need for an increased level of security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of censorship and concealment. That I do not tend to permit, so long as it’s in my control.” – JFK (source)

If a scholar wanted to research political, historical, scientific, or any other type of archival work, it would prove difficult and limiting seeing that most of their government’s activities are kept a secret. It is truly impossible to access the factual history of their country. The declassification of classified documents (a small portion) does not occur until decades after that information has been concealed, one great example of that is the UFO phenomenon, once believed to be a “conspiracy theory” by the masses before the substantial release of government documents showing otherwise. You can read more about that and access some of those documents here. Evidence is now pointing to the fact that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is no different.

The office is supposed to legally protect the inventions of entrepreneurs and companies, some of whom have developed ground breaking technology. Unfortunately, that’s not the case as new documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal how the Patent Office has been using a secret system to withhold the approval of some applications.

This 50-page document was obtained by Kilpatrick Towsend & Stockton, LLP, who commonly represent major tech companies that include Apple, Google and Twitter (to name a few). You can view that entire document HERE. (1)

The program delaying patent applications is called the Sensitive Application Warning System (SWAS). Usually, when an application is submitted for a patent approval it requires a couple of examiners who work with the Patent office to go through their process of approval. This process usually takes approximately 1 to 2 years, but  applications that are filed in SAWS must be approved from several people, and can be delayed for a number of years.

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“There is no official channel to notify an applicant once their patent is placed in the system, and the Patent Office has denied requests to divulge what applications are on the SAWS list.” (source)

The documents also indicate areas of technology that might have a patent application placed in the SAWS program – these include smartphones, internet-enabling systems and more. This information is set to be published in an online journal called “Law360” to inform the public. Tech Columnist Alyssa Bereznak at Yahoo News states that most companies are fully aware of this.

I first came across this recent information in her article, which you can view here, but I felt compelled to add more information.

As you will see below, there is more information that has surfaced prior to these documents that suggest this type of “invention secrecy” goes far beyond these technologies.

One great example (out of many) of delayed patent applications comes from Dr. Gerald F. Ross. He filed a patent application for a new invention he had devised to defeat the jamming of electromagnetic transmissions at specified frequencies. It was not until June 17, 2014 (almost 37 years later) that this patent was granted. (2)

Invention Secrecy Is Still Going Strong

As great as it is to see new information pertaining to invention secrecy come to light, it’s also important to note (as reported by the Federation of American Scientists; see annotated bibliography) that there were over 5000 inventions that were under secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 2014, which marked the highest number of  secrecy orders in effect since 1994.(3)

This is all thanks to an act many people are unaware of. It’s called the “Invention Secrecy Act” and it was written up in 1951. Under this act, patent applications on new inventions can be subject to secrecy orders. These orders can restrict their publication if government agencies believe that their disclosure would be harmful to national security.(4)(5)

As mentioned earlier, “national security” has become an excuse and justification for the classification of a large amount of information on a variety of topics that the public is deliberately kept in the dark about. Apparently, many of these projects and inventions go far above and beyond presidential knowledge.

“It is ironic that the U.S. should be fighting monstrously expensive wars allegedly to bring democracy to those countries, when it itself can no longer claim to be called a democracy when trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars, have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief know nothing about.”  (source) – Paul Hellyer, Former Canadian Defense Minister.

So what type of technology is under restriction under the Invention Secrecy Act? We don’t really know, but a previous list from 1971 was obtained by researcher Michael Ravnitzky. Most of the technology listed seems to be related to various military applications. You can view that list HERE. (6)

As Steven Aftergood from the Federation of American Scientists reports:

“The 1971 list indicates that patents for solar photovoltaic generators were subject to review and possible restriction if the photovoltaics were more than 20% efficient. Energy conversion systems were likewise subject to review and possible restriction if they offered conversion efficiencies in “excess of 70-80%.” (source)

Secrecy is No Secret 

A couple of years before the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, the National Security Act was created. As a result, a number of intelligence groups and executive bodies followed. None of these groups had any active congressional oversight. The United States has a history of government agencies existing in secret for years. The National Security Agency (NSA) was founded in 1952, its existence was hidden until the mid 1960’s. Even more secretive is the National Reconnaissance Office, which was founded in 1960 but remained completely secret for 30 years. Along with this secrecy is the information these agencies obtained, and continue to obtain until this day.

Special Access Programs are another great example of secrecy. From these we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as ‘deep black programs.’ A 1997 US Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.” (7)(8)

We don’t really hear about black budget programs, or about people who have actually looked into them. However, the topic was discussed in 2010 by Washington Post journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin. Their investigation lasted approximately two years and concluded that America’s classified world has:

“Become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.” (9)

You can read more about the Black Budget in detail HERE.

Today, it seems to be evidently clear that secrecy has lead to what Dwight Eisenhower warned us about:

“In the council of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential disaster of the rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.” (source)

What Has All This Secrecy Led To?

The fact that so much information is concealed from the public domain has led to a kind of “breakaway civilization.” A term coined by Richard Dolan.

Someone, or some groups are “in the know.” This or these groups who have had access to information over many decades that the public hasn’t is no doubt living and perceiving the world in a different way from what the masses do. This has led to a world within worlds, a separate civilization apart of our own who have access to knowledge that we don’t. Who are they? What are they doing? Why are they doing it? What do they know?

You can read what Richard has to say about it here.

Sources:

(1) http://www.scribd.com/doc/249032641/SAWS-FOIA-Response 

(2)http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8,754,801.PN.&OS=PN/8,754,801&RS=PN/8,754,801

(3)  http://fas.org/sgp/othergov/invention/stats.html

(4) http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/35/part-II/chapter-17

(5)http://fas.org/sgp/othergov/invention/35usc17.html

About FAS: Visit their website here. View their board members here.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) works to provide science-based analysis of and solutions to protect against catastrophic threats to national and international security. Specifically, FAS works to reduce the spread and number of nuclear weapons, prevent nuclear and radiological terrorism, promote high standards for nuclear energy’s safety and security, illuminate government secrecy practices, as well as track and eliminate the global illicit trade of conventional, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

FAS was founded in 1945 by many of the Manhattan Project scientists who wanted to prevent nuclear war and is one of the longest serving organizations in the world dedicated to reducing nuclear threats and informing the public debate by providing technically-based research and analysis on these issues.

FAS is a non-profit membership organization, with members from the academic, non-profit and government communities. For more information on FAS membership and to join, please visit our Membership page.

FAS staff comprise a highly skilled and dedicated team with professional experience in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, nuclear engineering, physics, and political science. More than 65 Nobel science laureates have endorsed FAS as members of the Board of Sponsors.

(6) http://fas.org/sgp/othergov/invention/pscrl.pdf 

(7) http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-CDOC-105sdoc2/content-detail.html

(8) Dolan, M. Richard and Zabel, Bryce. A.D. After Disclosure. New Page Books. 2012

(9) http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/

Related Article: Nikola Tesla’s 5 Lost Inventions That Threatened The Global Elite

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‘Jeffrey Epstein Committed Suicide’ Rules Medical Examiner

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    New York’s chief medical examiner has ruled Jeffrey Epstein's death suicide by hanging.

  • Reflect On:

    How could the biggest most important witness of our lifetime die so carelessly before trial? Why is there still so much we haven't been told about this Epstein case?

New York’s chief medical examiner has completed their autopsy and ruled that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City.

Epstein was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges that had been reported for years but not much was done about them. His case is the highest profile case in a very long time involving many high level and elite figures and politicians.  Due to this, many believe he may have been murdered, and regardless of this ruling, that may still be the case.

It appears Epstein fashioned a noose out of a bedsheet and hung himself from a bunk bed in his cell. Epstein was allegedly able to kill himself just days after being taken off suicide watch at the prison as he had previously attempted suicide. Just so happens, guards on duty at the prison reportedly left Epstein unsupervised for longer than prison regulations require, giving him the time to commit suicide.

If Epstein’s case is this high profile, and he is likely the biggest most important witness is perhaps our lifetimes, how is it that the prison could have let this happen so easily and carelessly? Worthy of questioning regardless of the medical examiners ruling.

More details to come.

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The First & Only No-Kill State For Shelter Animals In The US Has Been Declared

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Photo courtesy of Brandywine Valley SPCA
Photo courtesy of Brandywine Valley SPCA

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    America has finally announced its first no-kill state: Delaware. All brick-and-mortar shelters in the First State have at least a 90% save rate which qualifies it as the very first full state working to lead a no-kill movement.

  • Reflect On:

    The no-kill movement is a beautiful one. It shows that the human-animal bond is not only seen and felt, but important enough to us as a collective to take action. Do you believe the goal of having all of America being no-kill by 2025 is attainable?

Sound the alarm! Happy news to share with you all today… Amid all of the perceived chaos that is taking over our screens and mainstream media, it’s always important to touch base on the good news that occurs. This week, Delaware has become the first official no-kill state for shelter animals, and I couldn’t be happier to hear and share this.

As not only a pet lover myself, but a cat-mom of 3 amazing shelter animals as well, I know and have seen the various traumas that can result from either life before being placed into a shelter or during their time there due to anxiety, etc. — and it doesn’t stop there. We’ve all heard the stories, and though I had yet to dive into the details myself personally due to not having the heart for it, it is a fact that some shelters rid themselves of ‘unwanted pets’ every cycle as the shelter seeks more room for new-coming potentials.

A volunteer cradles three rescued kittens.

Photo courtesy of Brandywine Valley SPCA

With that said, this is very BIG news — not only has Delaware taken on the task to reevaluate how its shelters are run and deal with overcrowding, but Delaware has also taken initiative in the ‘no-kill’ movement.

A Best Friends Animal Society volunteer hugs a rescue dog.

Photo courtesy of Brandywine Valley SPCA — The work of staff and volunteers at rescue organizations across the country and public support have already helped drastically reduce the number of pets dying each year in shelters from an estimated 17 million in the 1980s to now around 733,000 dogs and cats. Photo courtesy of Best Friends Animal Society

The nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society, which is working with shelters, animal welfare organizations and government agencies across the country to make America a no-kill country by 2025, announced the news at their annual conference in Dallas, Texas.

Linda Torelli, director of marketing for the Brandywine Valley SPCA, which has three locations in Delaware and cares for more than 14,000 animals each year, credited a multipronged approach with helping the First State achieve no-kill status — and its citizens.

“The community in Delaware is very oriented to pet advocacy, so we had their support,” she told TODAY.

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Brandywine Valley SPCA implemented numerous programs so that 95% of animals that enter the open-admission shelter find homes. Torelli said because cats are euthanized at twice the rate of dogs, the nonprofit instituted the practice called trap, neuter and return, aka TNR, to save the lives of feral or “community” cats that would otherwise be euthanized. In TNR, advocates humanely trap the felines, and veterinarians spay or neuter them before they are released back into the community.

Open adoptions — which don’t require time-intensive applications that involve things like home inspections but instead focus on matching a pet with a potential adopter’s lifestyle — help move animals more quickly through the shelters. – As reported by TODAY

The Takeaway

We all either know someone or are that someone who has gone to a shelter and adopted their best friend at some point. And while we all aim to do our part, it’s a HUGE step to know that shelters themselves are now also taking initiative so that there is ‘no pet left behind’ if you will.

So many wonderful pets, companions, and memories are birthed thanks to adoption and it is beautiful to see that more intention is being set on creating a community that is aware of a movement to aid in eliminating the need to kill for the lack of insufficient adoptees. As a personal thank you to all of you who have or will adopt and welcome a new friend into your lives & homes – a reminder to remember you are saving a life when doing so. So, THANK YOU! And thank you, Delaware, for being the shift!

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What Are The Hong Kong Protests All About?

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Photos by Anthony Kwan & Peter Y. Chuang, Unsplash

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Protests in Hong Kong against an 'Extradition Bill' that threatens the freedom of residents have ramped up, to the point where the Hong Kong Airport had to be shut down and the Chinese army is closer to intervening upon this semi-autonomous nation.

  • Reflect On:

    Is Hong Kong now the central theatre playing out the struggle between Eastern and Western sociopolitical ideologies?

I decided to take on this article, first to inform myself better about the motivations behind the Hong Kong protests, which have been ratcheting up in recent days, and then to pass on a basic understanding to you, the reader, so that together we can follow the events going on in this allegedly ‘autonomous’ Chinese territory with some degree of context.

First, it must be understood that Hong Kong developed into a commercial powerhouse as a British colony, and its residents enjoyed some aspects of democratic freedom not available on mainland China. British rule of Hong Kong ended when it was returned to China in July of 1997 under the framework of “one country, two systems.” The “Basic Law” constitution guaranteed to protect, for the next 50 years, the democratic institutions that make Hong Kong distinct from Communist-ruled mainland China.

The struggle for an expansion of democratic freedoms on the island have been ongoing in some form or another ever since, with some initiatives specifically supported by the “Basic Law.” Meanwhile, the national Chinese government has attempted to resist such reforms, and has been working to augment its own power and influence over Hong Kong:

  • In 2003, Hong Kong’s leaders introduced legislation that would forbid acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government. But when an estimated half a million people turned out to protest against the bill, it did not go forward.
  • In 2007, China delayed constitutional plans to implement universal suffrage in elections for the chief executive of Hong Kong until 2017; however, they added more seats for lawmakers elected by direct vote in a way that divided the pro-democracy camp.
  • In 2014, the Chinese government introduced a bill allowing Hong Kong residents to vote for their leader in 2017, but the candidates still needed to be approved by Beijing. Massive protests led legislators to formally reject the bill, and electoral reform stalled. As a result, the current chief executive, Carrie Lam, was hand-picked in 2017 by a 1,200-person committee dominated by pro-Beijing elites.

In other words, it was not a question of if there would be another populist uprising in Hong Kong, but when.

New Extradition Bill Is The Catalyst

Earlier this year, Chief Executive Lam pushed amendments to extradition laws that would allow people to be sent to mainland China to face charges. In some ways, this had a similar agenda to the bill introduced in 2003 that would have directly forbidden acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government.

This latest bill is a bit more subtle, but the end result would be the same: those Chinese dissidents who are working for greater autonomy from mainland China and full democracy in Hong Kong are de facto enemies of the state, since they are working to erode China’s power over the economic and political affairs of Hong Kong. And China wants to be able prosecute such activities.

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Even before this bill, Beijing’s influence over Hong Kong had been on the rise. Activists have been jailed and pro-democracy lawmakers disqualified from running or holding office, while independent booksellers started disappearing from the city, before reappearing in mainland China facing charges. And so when the extradition bill came out, the population of Hong Kong clearly saw it as an attempt to undermine and subvert The “Basic Law” and give Beijing full authority to try pro-democracy activists under the judicial system of the mainland.

Protests Erupted

Protests started small, relatively speaking, but as we have seen with the Yellow Vest protests, attempts to crack down with a hard hand are not deterring people as much as they used to, and in fact protesters become emboldened by seeing an increase in participation. Here is an early timeline of the protests:

  • March 31: the first protest was attended by 12,000 pro-democracy protesters according to organizers (police put the peak figure at 5,200).
  • April 28: an estimated 130,000 protesters joined the march against the proposed extradition law (police estimated 22,800 joined at its height), the largest since an estimated 510,000 joined the annual July 1 protests in 2014. A day after the protest, Chief Executive Carrie Lam was adamant that the bill would be enacted and said the Legislative Councillors had to pass new extradition laws before their summer break.
  • June 9th: while reports suggested it had been the largest ever, it was certainly the largest protest Hong Kong has seen since the 1997 handover, surpassing the turnout seen at mass rallies in support of the Tiananmen protests of 1989 and July 1st demonstration of 2003. CHRF convenor Jimmy Sham said that 1.03 million people attended the march, while the police put the crowd at 270,000 at its peak.
  • June 16th: even though a day earlier Carrie Lam announced that she would suspend the second reading of the bill without a set a time frame on the seeking of public views, the pro-democracy camp demanded a full withdrawal of the bill, and went ahead with the rally, which the Civil Human Rights Front claimed saw the participation of “almost 2 million plus 1 citizens.” The government issued a statement at 8:30 pm where Carrie Lam apologized to Hong Kong residents and promised to “sincerely and humbly accept all criticism and to improve and serve the public.” Still, she did not meet the protesters’ demands of withdrawing the bill completely or resigning.

As the timeline goes forward beyond the suspension of the second reading of the bill, the protests have grown bigger, with more widespread involvement. It is impossible to list all the events that have taken place, but a good compilation can be found here.

Police have violently clashed directly with protesters, repeatedly firing teargas and rubber bullets. As well, it seems that there have been instances of unsanctioned pro-Beijing thugs on a mission to injure protesters, where police did not intervene. However, as political authorities are slowly learning in recent times, protests that resist strong-arm tactics see their demands grow beyond their initial grievance and demand reparations for state violence that has occurred during the protests themselves. Protesters have vowed to keep their movement going until these core demands are met:

  • the resignation of the city’s leader, Carrie Lam
  • an independent inquiry into police tactics
  • an amnesty for those arrested
  • a permanent withdrawal of the bill

The Geopolitical Context

The protests here are emblematic of a larger struggle between different systems of national governance. Hong Kong is a particularly unique case as it is a region that developed some mature institutions of Western Democracy while still always being tied to a major Eastern civilization.

Beijing has issued increasingly shrill condemnations of the protest but has left it to the city’s semi-autonomous government to deal with the situation. But that does not mean they cannot influence even more serious internal measures. On Thursday, Chen Daoxiang, the head of the Chinese army garrison in Hong Kong, said the military was “determined to protect [the] national sovereignty” of Hong Kong and would help put down the “intolerable” unrest if requested. The army released a promotional video showing tanks and soldiers firing on citizens in an anti-riot drill.

A tweet yesterday from the Editor in Chief of China’s state-owned tabloid, Hu Xijin, warns of an imminent showdown in the wake of protests at the Hong Kong airport that were so disruptive that the Hong Kong airport authority advised all passengers to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible:

There is an implied threat that the mainland Chinese army may get involved. Chinese military vehicles have gathered in Shenzhen, a city in mainland China bordering Hong Kong, and military exercises may soon be underway.

Of course, the actions of the Chinese government are being closely watched by the Western world, and there has been no lack of condemnation for the strong-armed tactics of police. The condemnation will only increase if the Chinese government institutes even more severe measures. Countering this, Beijing has ramped up its accusations that foreign countries are “fanning the fire” of unrest in the city. China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi has ordered the US to “immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs in any form”.

Whatever happens, the people in Hong Kong seem quite steadfast in demonstrating that they don’t want to allow meaningful change to be kicked down the road any longer, and certainly don’t want any more limitations to their freedom. We will see how this struggle plays out this time around.

The Takeaway

Before we start taking sides on the issues behind this protest, it is important to note that neither Chinese-style communism nor any current implementation of Western-style democracy present themselves as true vehicles for the full burgeoning of our individual sovereignty and our collective evolution.

Certainly the struggle in Hong Kong provides more and more individual citizens the opportunity to implicate themselves directly in our system of governance, and the ripple effect of this is that more people in the world will awaken to the fact that each and every one of us has an innate choice in the way we consent to be governed as a society.

Once we clear the veils of control-based deception and come to truly grasp our sovereignty and our ability to choose, we will then be in a much better position to give an informed consent to any social or political institutions we decide to create and maintain.

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