With the exponential growth of fiber optic and wireless networks, the mass of data which can be "mined" for "actionable intelligence," covering everything from eavesdropping on official enemies to blanket surveillance of dissidents is now part of the landscape: no more visible to the average citizen than ornamental shrubbery surrounding a strip mall.
Commenting, Salon's Glenn Greenwald pointed out that the "domestic NSA-led Surveillance State which Frank Church so stridently warned about has obviously come to fruition."
"The way to avoid its grip is simply to acquiesce to the nation's most powerful factions, to obediently remain within the permitted boundaries of political discourse and activism."
As a person of faith, conscience, and logic, I refuse to remain silent, when I see a miscarriage of justice; when I see what could be intelligently addressed and mended; and when I see what should be done, but is not.
As readers of this site understand, I have had many peaceful, reasoned differences of opinion with the policies of both the current administration , and the previous administration.
And it is probably TORTURE for those surveilling us to read my emails or texts, because they so many times end with "much Light, Many Blessings," or expressions of love to my husband.
I never advocate violence as a way of resolving issues, because it rarely does. And my two great heroes of the 20th century are Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., because both of them embraced non-violence as the ultimate expressions of their cause, when they could have just as easily not done that.
So I will continue to advocate for peace and justice as long as I am breathing; and I plan to be breathing for a very, very long time.
In a victory for fair use, the publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Stephens Media, filed papers yesterday conceding that posting a short excerpt of a news article in an online forum is not copyright infringement. The concession will result in entry of a judgment of non-infringement in a long-running copyright troll case that sparked the dismissal of dozens of baseless lawsuits filed by Righthaven LLC.
The case began when the online political forum Democratic Underground -- represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Fenwick & West LLP, and attorney Chad Bowers -- was sued by Righthaven for a five-sentence excerpt of a Review-Journal news story that a user posted on the forum with a link back to the newspaper's website. Democratic Underground countersued, asking the court to rule that the excerpt did not infringe copyright and is a fair use of the material, and brought Righthaven-backer Stephens Media into the case.
The Court dismissed Righthaven's infringement case because it did not own the article, but Democratic Underground's counterclaim against Stephens Media continued. After initially attempting to defend the bogus assertion of copyright infringement, Stephens Media has now conceded it was incorrect.
Democratic Underground's motion for summary judgment:
Dion Nordick of Grand Forks told CBC News on Tuesday he found the motion-activated cameras in June, in trees overlooking the trailer he rents. They are now in his lawyer's possession.
Nordick said he took the cameras down, removed the memory cards inside, and found pictures of himself and his friends coming and going from his trailer among the 200 images on the cameras.
There were also pictures of drug busts, suicides and assaults, "and it looked like they just hadn't been erased off the card,” said Nordick.
He said he saw a photo of a dead body and images of a woman who was the apparent victim of an assault.
FYI formatting a memory card does NOT erase the files. It merely rests the file allocation tables. There are numerous software tools that will recover images from data cards. I used one myself when a set photographer on a show I was working on accidentally formatted the card in his camera, but I had my laptop with me and restored the images. If cops are leaving images on these cards, it opens up a whole raft of lawsuits for invasion of privacy!
Army engineers just met and discussed how far their “self-aware decision-making network” has come at the Communications Conference 2011 in Baltimore.
The future of modern weaponry is here, and it doesn’t look good.
This advanced draconian Skynet style fire-and-forget system is right out of the Terminator movies and could be coming to a battlefield (town) near you.
The wireless emergency alerts will be available in three categories – Presidential Alerts, Imminent Threats to Life and Property, and AMBER Alerts – and provide mobile users an additional tool for learning of impending danger in relation to their current location. Wireless users can opt out of all message types with the exception of presidential alerts.
Some potential examples of these alerts include:
An emergency message could be targeted to cell phones at a stadium event, informing attendees of where to go or what direction to drive following a nearby highway accident or chemical spill.
"Welcome to the Ministry of Fear, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, courtesy of the United States Of Amerika!" And apparently, these messages are soon to be MANDATORY!.
The Washington Post reports that, "More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time," making it the highest concentration of these big brother tools in the nation with one camera per square mile...
* First nationwide emergency alert test scheduled for 2pm EST
* Broadcast failed on many radio stations and cable channels
* Viewers got the message late or not at all, or saw a black screen
* Some cable customers heard a Lady Gaga record playing over the alert
It is a relic from the Cold War, designed to get information from the White House to the people, should the worst happen.
And there was something distinctly 20th century about the first test of the national alert system- immediately derided as 'a flop'.
Around the country, the planned interruption to all television, cable and radio channels at 2pm EST today came late or not at all, sparking fears about what would happen in a real emergency.
The FEMA/FCC takeover test was scheduled to happen nationwide about 17 minutes ago. Here in Portland we got a warning about 5 minutes before 11am pacific but then the test never happened.
I repeat, we got no FEMA test here in Portland. Others on different forums are reporting that it didnt happen in their area either while at the same time many are reporting they did see the test at least for a few seconds.
Right now I think its safe to assume the test DID NOT fully work.
Update: It is confirmed that it did not happen in many of the cities throughout the United States.
Videos that have already been posted:
In recent weeks the governments of Britain, Israel, the US, Japan, India and China have reported alleged cyber attacks by foreign militaries, hackers, and malicious software like Duqu, a virus similar to the Stuxnet cyber weapon constructed by Israel and the US for use against Iran’s nuclear program. Although the nature and origin of the attacks or even whether they took place at all cannot be independently confirmed, the supposed threats are being used to propose punishing new legislation aimed at stifling internet freedoms and are igniting new rivalries in what many see as the battlefield of the 21st century: cyberspace.
Find out more about the coming battle for internet freedom in this week’s edition of GRTV Behind the Headlines.
Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet-like attack. The threat was written by the same authors, or those that have access to the Stuxnet source code, and the recovered samples have been created after the last-discovered version of Stuxnet. Duqu’s purpose is to gather intelligence data and assets from entities such as industrial infrastructure and system manufacturers, amongst others not in the industrial sector, in order to more easily conduct a future attack against another third party. The attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on various industries, including industrial control system facilities.
Big Brother is on the march in the United States and as I have previously shown, once one delves into the depths of this system it is nothing short of astounding to the point where Orwell wouldn’t even believe it was possible...
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children.
Under the Tories' omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal.
Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it's done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 1 1/2 years if it's in a rental or poses a safety risk.
The omnibus legislation imposes one-year mandatory minimums for sexually assaulting a child, luring a child via the Internet or involving a child in bestiality. All three of these offences carry lighter automatic sentences than those for people running medium-sized grow-ops in rental property or on someone else's land.
The maximum sentence for growing marijuana would double from seven to 14 years, the same maximum applied to someone using a weapon during a child rape, and four years more than for someone sexually assaulting a kid without using a weapon.
In B.C., if police and prosecutors don't rebel against the new laws, we're going to be hit with massive jail costs, says Simon Fraser University criminologist Neil Boyd. The new marijuana legislation will increase the proportion of pot criminals in B.C. jails from less than five per cent to around 30 per cent, at a cost of $60,000 to $70,000 per inmate annually, Boyd says.
"Why put people who are not violent in jail?" Boyd asks. "People who commit serious violent crime are already dealt with pretty harshly, and crime rates are down, not up."
Harper's U.S.-style war on drugs ignores our southern neighbour's expensive failed effort. "Eight states — including New York, where laws were the most punitive in the nation — have repealed most of these mandatory-minimum sentences, and dozens of other jurisdictions are considering repeal or reform," a February report from Human Rights Watch says.
Even the government's own Justice Department questions the use of mandatory minimums. "There is some indication that minimum sentences are not an effective sentencing tool," reads a 2010 report from the department. "They constrain judicial discretion without offering any increased crime-prevention benefits."
This argument seemed to alarm several of the justices. "If you win this case then there is nothing to prevent the police or the government from monitoring 24 hours a day the public movement of every citizen of the United States," Justice Breyer said. "And no one, at least very rarely, sends human beings to follow people 24 hours a day. That occasionally happens. But with the machines, you can. So if you win, you suddenly produce what sounds like 1984."
What is an enhanced driver’s license?
They are dual-purpose documents designed for the user’s convenience. In addition to serving as a typical driver’s license or ID card, they may be used to re-enter the U.S. at its land or sea ports when returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean. This flexibility speeds your passage back across the border. They verify your identity and citizenship – no other proof is needed. Enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards are among the federally approved border-crossing documents when entering the U.S. required under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
Continue reading Enhanced Driver’s Licenses can be Scanned by up to...
As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear oral arguments in a case Tuesday that could determine if authorities can track U.S. citizens with GPS vehicle trackers without a warrant
The 25-year-old resident of San Jose, California, says he found the first one about three weeks ago on his Volvo SUV while visiting his mother in Modesto, about 80 miles northeast of San Jose. After contacting Wired and allowing a photographer to snap pictures of the device, it was swapped out and replaced with a second tracking device. A witness also reported seeing a strange man looking beneath the vehicle of the young man’s girlfriend while her car was parked at work, suggesting that a tracking device may have been retrieved from her car.
Then things got really weird when police showed up during a Wired interview with the man.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon's researchers plan to bolster their efforts to create offensive weapons for use in cyber warfare, reflecting a growing concern over digital threats, US officials said Monday...
Israel has ordered the shutdown of a dovish Israeli-Palestinian radio station, officials and the station's operators said on Sunday.
The station and other critics said the move was politically motivated, and part of a broader assault on democracy by conservative forces in the government.
Some members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition have pushed forward a series of measures recently that critics say are aimed at stifling opponents.
GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence are developing a British capability to launch cyber attacks against hostile states and terrorists, the government has admitted for the first time.
wo separate units in the Defence Cyber Operations Group are working on an offensive capability to strike back at enemies trying to launch electronic attacks on Britain’s critical national infrastructure.
They are also likely to come up with computer programmes that could disable the conventional or nuclear capabilities of hostile nations.
US authorities have initiated the largest round of domain name seizures yet as part of their continued crackdown on counterfeit and piracy-related websites. With just a few days to go until “Cyber Monday” more than 100 domain names have been taken over by the feds to protect the commercial interests of US companies. The seizures are disputable, as the SOPA bill which aims to specifically legitimize such actions is still pending in Congress.
Hundreds of journalists on Sunday took part in an "emergency conference" to discuss what they referred to as immediate threats to freedom of the press.
The conference, held at Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque, was called in response to a recent downsizing in Israeli media outlets, the pending closure of Channel 10 and a bill toughening Israeli libel laws.
The host, Motti Kirshenbaum, said the conference was aimed at "fortifying the freedom of the press at a time when there are attempts to (limit it)," adding that "the Israeli press is powerful and influential. Not that it is free of biases or mistakes, but pluralism is crucial to the media's work and must be safeguarded."
It is most difficult to defend press freedom when one is dealing with a governmental structure highly allergic to facts and the truth.
In the wake of the Department of Homeland Security announcing its propaganda partnership with hotels to recruit citizen spies, a loyal reader alerted us that the Sheraton-run CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort in Danvers, Massachusetts is blocking access to alternative news websites using a content filter service called IBAHN. The firsthand account of which websites were blocked is as follows...
Councils across the country have recruited thousands of ‘citizen snoopers’ to report ‘environmental crime’.
They target dog foulers, litter louts and neighbours who fail to sort their rubbish properly.
The volunteers act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of their neighbourhoods and are encouraged to take photos of ‘environmental crime’ and send them in with location details for a rapid response.
They are given hand-held GPS computers for the task or phone cards to cover the cost of using their own devices. Evidence gathered this way is sometimes used in criminal prosecutions.
There are already 9,831 snoopers signed up – a 17 per cent increase on the number two years ago – and a further 1,310 are set to be recruited and trained as part of schemes run by 18 councils.
Volunteers often apply to become ‘street champions’ through council websites, but many have also been lured by recruitment drives in local newspapers.
Critics said yesterday the trend to create an army of neighbourhood detectives was leading to a Big Brother society and a culture where prying on neighbours was considered the norm.
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Citizen spies are the hallmark of totalitarian regimes, fomenting distrust and suspicion between what should be friendly neighbors in order to keep everyone in line...
Residents of Austin, Texas may soon have the power to issue parking tickets by taking a few photographs of someone else's car with their smartphones. A unanimous council voted on October 20 to explore the concept of deputizing vigilante meter maids using an iPhone app. Disabled advocates pushed the program at the council meeting in the hopes of guaranteeing easier parking. They were joined by others who were just interested in writing the $511 tickets.
Can Killer Drones Be Turned on America? 50 Countries Are Trying to Get Their Hands on Military Drone Technology -- What Will They Do With It?
Today, the United States maintains a near monopoly on military drone technology, with only Israel and Britain also deploying these systems. But the landscape is rapidly changing. As David Cortright at the University of Notre Damepoints out, more than 50 countries are developing or buying drone systems, including China and Iran, and even non-state actors want in on the business. The United States is now using drones to patrol borders and collect information about Mexican narcotraffickers. U.S. law enforcement agencies are also eager to use the technology against criminals on U.S. soil, with Texas sheriffs leading the way. Unmanned drones are already used in Japan, Australia, and other countries for such civilian activities as crop dusting and lifeguarding.
Soon, the skies will be very crowded indeed. And the sound of drones that have become part of everyday life in "areas of concern" will someday become part of everyone's life, as ubiquitously intrusive as flat-screen TVs and annoying ringtones. Perhaps these unmanned aerial vehicles will simply pick you out of a crowd so that the police department can hit you up for unpaid parking tickets or your spouse's lawyer can verify adultery and grounds for divorce. But that assumes that drones will be seamlessly integrated into the fabric of legal and social norms, a technology no different from tasers or the Police National Computer.
But what's happening today in Pakistan is beyond the law. It's not even subject to the rules of war. The drone wars that the Obama administration has inherited from the Bush years – and expanded dramatically – are conducted by the CIA. The spy agency doesn't need to abide by the Geneva Conventions or acquire congressional approval for its actions. It doesn't bother with niceties such as national sovereignty. And, in contrast to other agencies that only dabble in falsehood, breaking the law and not telling the truth are integral to the operations of the CIA.
Federal officials claim two men from Georgia who are supposedly members of a militia planned a domestic terror attack with the deadly poison ricin.
Court documents state that 73-year-old Frederick Thomas told others in the “fringe group” that he intended to fashion his attack on the online novel “Absolved,” which involves small groups of citizens attacking U.S. officials. Fox News expert Mike Vanderboegh wrote the novel.
“In Vanderboegh’s novel, which was self-published online, underground militia fighters declare war on the federal government over gun control laws and same-sex marriage, leading to a second American revolution,” writes Matt Gertz for the Soros-funded Media Matters operation.
Something you usually may only see in Baghdad or Iraq, militarized or tactical armored and weaponized vehicles during riots and wars, has now appeared in Downtown Ventura California. This does go along with the militarization of police across the country. The police don’t trust the American people anymore when they use armored vehicles with weapon firing ports in addition to their usual police cruisers.
Even when I was able to go inside several military bases with my grandpa (A veteran) none of them used armored tactical vehicles. Even the military police vehicles which I saw several were only police cruisers.
Michael Remington was the one that discovered that Ventura California police is using militarized vehicles in addition to their normal police cruisers.
VENTURA?!?!? You have GOT to be flipping kidding me. I'm a native Californian, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand how such an expense could be justified by VPD.
Have American citizens become criminal, by their very existence, and are we slouching toward Code Napoleon law, the core premise of which is everyone accused is considered guilty, until their are proven innocent?!?
The increasing militarization of the police worries me, greatly,particularly in this regard.
Militarization of police exemplified by “virtually unstoppable” Armored Personnel Carrier at Occupy Tampa
A glaring example of this steady march toward de facto martial law in which police are so militarized there is little to no difference between them and the military itself occurred at Occupy Tampa recently.
It is essentially a way for the government to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act and 1878 by simply militarizing the police to the point where they are indistinguishable from the actual armed forces, effectively eliminating the need to even declare martial law.
For reasons which remain unclear, the Tampa Police Department in Tampa, Florida’s Tactical Response Team, or TRP, rolled out what some have been calling a “tank” to Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa.
The machine that failed, as detailed below, selected all of the candidates the voter didn't wish to vote for when he attempted to vote a straight-ticket ballot.
If a government cannot prove the honesty and accuracy of the elections by which they claim authority over the people, then the people are neither legally nor morally obligated to obey that government's dictates nor to pay its bills, and may with full justification resist with lethal force efforts to coerce said obedience and looting.
Senior police chiefs authorised undercover police officers to give false evidence in court to protect their cover as environmental protesters, it was claimed last night.
The claims led to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary delaying a report into undercover police tactics at the last minute.
It had been due to be published today and was thought to be critical of the police.
The High Court has ruled the Catholic Church can be held liable for the wrongdoings of its priests.
A Danish man has filed a writ against Alexandra Hospital for secretly implanting a microchip inside of his body during a 1988 operation, which he says later caused him to hear voices.
After being stabbed in the lung, Mr. Mogens Tindhof Honore received surgery at the hospital in his chest and lung. Later, in 1997, X-rays revealed a metal instrument akin to a microchip present in his left lung. At the time of the operation, Alexandra Hospital was a government hospital under the Ministry of Health...
For instance, with stories like the recent Singularity Hub article entitled, “Revolutionary New Brain Chip Allows Monkeys To Grasp AND Feel Objects Using Their Thoughts,” these emerging technological possibilities are almost impossible to ignore.
This article discusses how scientists have recently announced the creation of an implantable device that can be placed in the brain and which will allow for the control of computers by thought. Dr. Miguel Nicolelis and company have already tested these devices in monkeys with stunningly accurate results. In addition to allowing the user to control the computer by thought, it also allows the user to feel the virtual object it is manipulating.
Americans may be fleeing from stocks in droves, but they sure aren’t shy about rotating the resulting meager liquidation proceeds into weaponry.
In the last year and a half at least 10 experts, whistleblowers and BP connected individuals have died under mysterious circumstances.
This information was widely reported in an April 10th, 2011 video which at the time listed 9 deaths and 3 imprisonments, disappearances, or attempted assassinations.
Now, another BP oil spill connected individual has mysteriously died, moving the number of oil spill connected deaths to at least 10.
Ohio Mother claims her 6 year old Daughter Strip Searched
we have reported before, the attitude within schools has been
changing to that of prisons. Education has become training, and
good students have become model prisoners. There are countless
examples of this.
Today just marks a new low.
An Ohio woman has removed her child from a school after discovering
that without her knowledge or consent the school performed a search
of her 6 year old daughter that entailed removing her clothes.
As part of a federally funded project, public street lights will soon have the ability to record conversations, broadcast government warnings, advertise just about anything, and possibly even x-ray bodies for concealed weapons, just like the highly controversial TSA scanners. The street light surveillance systems are fail-proofed because they are linked together through underground cables and a wireless network, so if one goes out, the rest still work in tandem.
The nuclear portion of the 2011 Arizona Vigilant Guardian drill is set to start tomorrow and will simulate a detonation of an improvised nuclear device(IND) in Phoenix, Arizona.
The drill will be the largest ever to take place in Arizona history and comes just days before the passing of the asteroid known as YU55, the FEMA/FCC takeover drill, and the massive tsunami drill.
Over 200 agencies are set to be involved including the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, TSA, National Guard, members of the health care community, and local police and first responders for a total of 8,000 people.
Obama Admin Seeks Permission To Lie In Response To Freedom Of Information Requests - Even To The Courts
Now the Obama/Holder Justice Department is attempting to re-write the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), empowering or even compelling government agencies to deny the very existence of records they know to exist if they believe they are legitimately exempted from disclosure. Of course they are most likely the sole arbiter of whether they are indeed exempt from disclosure. In effect the Obama/Holder Justice Department wants to be free to legally lie about the existence of records in response to FOIA requests.
Mined data from social networking could become a factor in determining premiums for both personal and business insurance
The insurance industry is paying increasing attention to what people and businesses post on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day.
Half of Facebook users 'can't keep up' with site's snooping policies as privacy rules change EIGHT times in two years
Three million snooping operations have been carried out over the past decade under controversial anti-terror laws.
They include tens of thousands of undercover missions by councils and other state bodies which are not responsible for law enforcement.
Cases include a family who were spied on to check they were not cheating on school catchment area rules and so-called ‘bin criminals’.
The campaign group Justice is demanding the hugely controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act – under which all the operations were authorised – be scrapped altogether.
The group’s report, titled Freedom from Suspicion, says: ‘The UK has, in the space of 40 years, gone from a society in which mass surveillance was largely a theoretical possibility to one in which it has become not only ubiquitous but routine.’
The system was developed by the British firm Datong plc, according to The Guardian, which noted that the U.S. Secret Service and a number of Middle Eastern regimes also patronize the company.
The signal this device projects covers an area for 10 miles around, and the variety of data it can produce is specific enough to track the exact location of any mobile device on the network. It can even be used to shut off all mobile devices in its range.
The full range of its capabilities are classified, The Guardian added, and Datong plc did not comment on the initial report.
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Council accused of a 'staggering invasion of privacy' as it plans to record EVERY conversation that takes place in taxi cabs
A council has been accused of a ‘staggering invasion of privacy’ after announcing it plans to record every conversation that takes place in taxi cabs.
Oxford City Council will fit all of its 652 taxis with at least one CCTV camera to record all conversations between passengers from the moment the engine starts running.
Homeland Security has been working closely with hotels on many levels as private partners in the war on terror, as part of the expanding If You See Something, Say Something program...