Tag Archives | Civil Liberties

The NSA PRISM Leak of Snowden and The Pentagon Papers of Ellsberg

The more things change, the more they stay the same, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have any(Steven Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers leak, left; Edward Snowden of the NSA PRISM leak, right)

Of course, you won’t find too much support for that “traitor” and “defector” on the mainstream news networks (even Andrew Napolitano seems to be the lone voice lionizing Snowden as an ”American hero” on the Fox News Network).

Dana Stuster writes at Foreign Policy.

“…[T]he reaction to Snowden’s leaks is in many ways different than the response Ellsberg received when the Pentagon Papers were published four decades ago. Then, politicians went out of their way to be associated with Ellsberg’s disclosures. Sen. George McGovern, who was running for president at the time, told the New York Times that he suggested Ellsberg make the Pentagon Papers available to “a respectable newspaper” and that he did not release the Pentagon Papers himself because it would have seemed too political, according to an Aug.

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Outrage Over IRS Targeting of Tea Party Shows Glaring Double Standard

Picture: "Tea Party Bumper Sticker" Matthew Reichbach (CC)

Picture: “Tea Party Bumper Sticker” Matthew Reichbach (CC)

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

This week, President Obama expressed “outrage” over the targeting of such groups from the IRS. “I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it. And we’ll make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this,” he told reporters at a press conference. The New York Daily News reports two Senate committees controlled by Democrats announced investigations on Monday and House Republicans said they would investigate as well. According to CNN, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said “We need to know who knew what, and exactly what mistakes were made.The American people have questions for the IRS and I intend to get answers.”

While it’s certainly troubling (and not surprising) the IRS would be investigating and scrutinizing certain groups with a political agenda more than others, the “outrage” from politicians of all political stripes is nearly laughable when placed in the larger context of law enforcement targeting other political and activist groups.… Read the rest

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Americans Take to Streets to Demand They Be Indexed in National Biometric Database.

photo courtesy US Social Forum

Thousands of Americans took to the streets on May 1 to demand Congress allow the Department of Homeland Security to establish a national photo database of all 330 million residents.

You didn’t hear? WIRED reports:

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan [immigration] legislation is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.

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Landmark CCTV Case in Australia: Government Seeks to Change Law to Resume Surveillance

This sign is under surveillance
Image by lonely radio

Last week (2nd May), in the midst of Privacy Awareness Week [1], an Australian campaigner, Adam Bonner won a landmark decision against CCTV cameras in New South Wales [2]. The decision did not rule that the cameras in the town of Nowra should be switched off, but instead ordered the local council to stop breaching the Information Protection Principles of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act. Remedies were suggested by the Privacy Commissioner but suffice to say Shoalhaven council has switched the cameras off whilst deciding its next move.

The decision of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal New South Wales ordered that:

1. The Council is to refrain from any conduct or action in contravention of an information protection principle or a privacy code of practice;

2. The Council is to render a written apology to the Applicant for the breaches, and advise him of the steps to be taken by the Council to remove the possibility of similar breaches in the future.

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Why You Should Never Speak To The FBI Without A Lawyer Present

From the ACLU of Massachusetts comes words of wisdom from civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who explains quickly and clearly why activists (or anyone else) should never have a conversation with an FBI agent without a lawyer and tape recorder present. The reason? Because the FBI is capable of blackmailing almost anyone into becoming an informant:

Learn how the FBI can manipulate what you say and use it against you, and how to prevent them from doing so! With civil liberties and civil rights attorney Harvey Silverglate.

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Police Arrest and Delete Footage From Hacker, Hacker Gets It Back

WeAreChange recently got a chance to meet up with Alex from Federal Jack and Hack Miami, to get the full story of his arrest and destruction of evidence by the Miami Police Department. Alex was arrested for merely filming the police in Miami, the police later illegally deleted the footage from Alex’s camera and charged him with resisting arrest. The Miami Police officer who made the arrest, Richard Anastasi was later found guilty of extortion and kidnapping in a separate case.

How To Recover Video Footage That Was Deleted By The Police

In this video Alex breaks down how he was able to recover his video footage that was able to exonerate him from the false charges put on him by the Miami PD. Here is a step by step process on how to recover deleted files from your camera.

This is a link to the software to recover deleted footage http://www.cgsecurity.org/

Via WeAreChangeRead the rest

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The Manufacture of “Surveillance by Consent”

“the CCTV proposals in the Protection of Freedoms Bill are really about manufacturing consent”
No CCTV article ‘The Freedom Committee, CCTV / ANPR and the Manufacture of Consent’ (2nd May 2011) [1]

One nation under CCTV
Image by T.J.Blackwell

It’s not often that you get to witness the birth of a new philosophy but that is what we are told is at the heart of the new Surveillance Camera Code of Practice published by the UK’s Home Office this month [2]. Drum roll please, here it is, the new philosophy – “Surveillance by Consent”.

Now as new philosophies go it’s not the best and it’s not really new, nor is it a philosophy. In fact it’s more of a slogan, or more precisely a propaganda slogan. And what it contains a ready-made judgement to save you the trouble of thinking about the issue at hand, in this case surveillance. Surveillance you are told is by consent.… Read the rest

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DHS Granted Right To Seize Any Electronic Devices Within 100 Miles Of A U.S. Border

As decreed by the Orwellianly-named DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Wired reports:

The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog of  has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.

“We conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful,” the two-page memo said.

The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later.

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. The government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.

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More Than 80 Public Entities In U.S. Requested Drone Authorizations In 2012

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

As White House officials spent the week defending targeted assassinations via drone strikes, the FAA released a new drone authorization list which highlights law enforcement agencies and other entities nationwide who have applied to use drones in domestic airspace for surveillance. Thanks to a Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the release shows several sherrif’s departments, The State Department and several community colleges requested drone authorizations in 2012. Coupled with the FAA’s original list, 81 entities through October of 2012 have requested drone authorization.

Together with the website MuckRack, the EFF is building a database of drones authorized to fly in domestic airspace. So far, MuckRack has filed 275 public records requests to federal, state, and local agencies nationwide.

Read the full post at Diatribe Media.Read the rest

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