Tag Archives | Civil Liberties

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 WeAreChange

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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.

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Former Adviser: Obama as ‘Ruthless and Indifferent to Rule of Law’ as Bush

Beth Brogan writes at Common Dreams:

A former security adviser for Barack Obama now says the Pentagon’s targeted drone program is counter-productive, is “encouraging a new arms race,” and has killed far more civilians than has been acknowledged.

In an article for the January 2013 issue of the journal International Affairs, Michael Boyle, a La Salle University expert on counterterrorism who served as an adviser on the Obama campaign’s counterterrorism expert group from July 2007-November 2008, writes that the Obama administration’s increasing reliance on drone attacks is having “adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists,” the Guardian reports.

Although Obama pledged to end the so-called ‘War on Terror,’ Boyle continues:

“Instead, he has been just as ruthless and indifferent to the rule of law as his predecessor … while President Bush issued a call to arms to defend ‘civilisation’ against the threat of terrorism, President Obama has waged his war on terror in the shadows, using drone strikes, special operations and sophisticated surveillance to fight a brutal covert war against al-Qaida and other Islamist networks.”

Boyle argues that the administration has been “successful in spinning the number of civilian casualties” because it has reportedly begun counting all military-age men in the strike zone as militants unless the administration has clear evidence to the contrary, the Guardian reports.

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Iraq Torture Payoff, Indigenous Fight Back, Truth Seekers Prosecuted, Free Cuban 5

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks about the threat against indigenous sovereignty and the growth of the Idle No More movement beyond Canada; calls out the corporate media for their obsession with supermodels and instead highlights a successful lawsuit against defense contractor L-3 Services for torture at Iraq's infamous Abu Ghraib Prison; talks to whistleblower and lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, about recent developments in the cases of ex CIA official John Kiriakou, and PFC Bradley Manning; BTS wraps up the show with a look at the Cuban Five, a group of Cuban intelligence agents who have been incarcerated in the US since 1998 as the forgotten political prisoners of the Cold War.
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Federal Court Affirms Constitutional Right To Give Cops The Middle Finger

Via the Huffington Post, the most cherished of liberties has been defended. Use it freely and often:

A police officer can’t pull you over and arrest you just because you gave him the finger, a federal appeals court declared Thursday. In a 14-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that the “gesture…is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.”

John Swartz and his wife Judy Mayton-Swartz had sued two police officers who arrested Swartz in May 2006 after he flipped off an officer who was using a radar device at an intersection in St. Johnsville, N.Y. Swartz was later charged with a violation of New York’s disorderly conduct statute.

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