Archive | August 6, 2013

DEA Secretly Using NSA Eavesdropping Data For Drug Prosecutions

DEA

The phone, internet, and email data gathered by the NSA isn’t kept for terrorism investigations, but rather is secretly shared with law enforcement across the country for use in drug prosecutions and more. Prosecutors then pretend they acquired the information through other means. Reuters reveals:

A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to “recreate” the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated.

The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, NSA, Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Homeland Security. It was created in 1994 to combat Latin American drug cartels and has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred.

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Boston Bomber Tsarnaev’s Conspiracy Theory Subscriptions

Issue 4 AFP 2011 Main BodyThe Wall Street Journal‘s Alan Cullison managed to obtain access to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s former apartment where he discovered an array of so-called conspiracy theory publications:

…The papers included The First Freedom, an Alabama-based newspaper that espouses “equal rights for whites” and whose websites features a Confederate flag. Another was The Sovereign, a New York-based publication that alleges the U.S. is under the sway of Israeli lobbyists, and that Israel and the Department of Homeland Security were “deeply involved” in the Boston bombings. Neither paper returned requests for comment.

Mr. Tsarnaev got his own subscription to American Free Press, a paper that the Southern Law Poverty Center said promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. A spokeswoman for the paper denied it had such an agenda, saying the paper publishes “news that the established media won’t.” She confirmed that someone bought Mr. Tsarnaev a “get acquainted” 16-week subscription in December. It expired in April, at about the time of the Boston Marathon attack.

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Who Killed The Music Industry?

Genesis Live 01An interesting interactive journey through the death of the music industry from Pando Daily:

Since 2000, the amount of revenue created from selling or streaming music in America has been cut in half, from $14.3 billion to $7 billion, according to that most despised trade organization, the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA. And yet listeners have more access to music than ever, and there’s nothing to suggest that demand for music is down.

So what or who is to blame?

Is it Apple’s fault for launching iTunes and forever severing songs from albums? Is it the record executives’ fault who, facing this shift from $17 albums to $0.99 singles, continued to rely on old, byzantine licensing and sales models, even as their industry hemorrhaged money before their eyes? Is Internet piracy to blame, with Napster forever changing the way we find and consume music, and BitTorrent bringing about the record industry’s worst nightmare?

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Peace Activist And World Passport Creator Garry Davis Dies

garry davisA man born before his time? The Los Angeles Times writes:

Gary Davis, who registered himself and more than 950,000 others as “world citizens,” was an activist who founded the World Government of World Citizens, which issues its own “world passports,” visas, birth certificates and other documents in an effort to rise above national borders and the conflicts they breed.

Sometimes the documents work and sometimes they don’t — Davis was jailed at least 32 times — but his broader aim was to draw attention to what he saw as the violent lunacy of nationalism.

“Contrary to most people in the world who want to make world peace and who say that love is the answer, he realized the answer is political,” said his son Troy. “It’s not just love your neighbor. You have to change the system.”

Arthur Kanegis, a San Diego filmmaker who has a documentary about Davis in production, said, “He used to say: ‘The World Passport is a joke — but so are all the other passports.

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