Tag Archives | Homeland Security

Homeland Security Hires Military Contractor To Monitor Social Media

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

A Freedom of Information Act request has revealed the Department of Homeland Security awarded a contract in 2010 to General Dynamics’ Advanced Information Systems in order to provide constant surveillance of social media, according to The Washington Post.

GD Information War

The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed the request, and according to a training manual that was among the documents they received, DHS engaged in monitoring comments on Facebook, Twitter and blogs to obtain public sentiment on a proposed transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to a town in Michigan. The $11 million contract awarded to General Dynamics is expected to produce “reports on DHS, Components, and other Federal Agencies: positive and negative reports on FEMA, CIA, CBP, ICE, etc. as well as organizations outside the DHS,” according to Computer World.

An unnamed senior DHS official denied any such snooping or out of bounds monitoring and said the training manual is no longer in use.… Read the rest

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TSA Recruiting ‘Junior Officers’ at Airports

TSA Junior BadgeVia InfoWars:

Remember when you were growing up and wanted to be a police officer, fire fighter or other public servant?

Now the TSA appears to be tapping children as future recruits for airport checkpoints, as evidenced by this novelty “Junior Officer” badge handed out at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Not only are young, impressionable fliers indoctrinated by the unconstitutional checkpoints themselves, but now by a subtle driver to join the team someday when they can get the power to conduct their own pat-downs and body scans.

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EU Bans Airport X-Ray Scanners Over Health Concerns

TSA ScanReports Julia Whitty on Mother Jones:

Citing health concerns, the European Union banned from European airports this week the same kind of X-ray scanners used by TSA in airports across the US. Here’s the EU’s wording:

In order not to risk jeopardising citizens’ health and safety, only security scanners which do not use X-ray technology are added to the list of authorised methods for passenger screening at EU airports.

In How Safe Are TSA’s Porno Scanners? I wrote about the risks of using ionizing radiation in routine airport screenings. Concerned scientists have noted the health risks of X-ray scanners, where even low levels of radiation increase cancer risks. They also note that TSA’s safety testing is flawed, since:

  1. testing is not done on the skin, which receives most backscatter X-rays
  2. the devices used for testing airport scanners are not designed for testing airport scanners

Worse, as Pro Publica points out, TSA’s safety tests are strangely obtuse:

The researchers’ names have been kept secret, and the report on the tests is so “heavily redacted” that “there is no way to repeat any of these measurements.”

Read More on Mother Jones

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U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners

X-RayMichael Grabell reports on ProPublica:

On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.

One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.

“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company.

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TSA Finds Four To Five Guns In Carry-On Bags Every Day At Airports

P14-45 HandgunReports Mike M. Ahlers on CNN:
Federal airport screeners still find four to five guns at checkpoints on a typical day, the Transportation Security Administration's chief told a Senate hearing Wednesday. "Yesterday we found six, including one at ... Bradley (airport in Connecticut) — a loaded gun with seven rounds in it, in a checked bag that (a passenger) was trying to get through," Administrator John Pistole said. Passengers typically say they forgot the weapon was in their bag, TSA officials said. But in one recent case, a passenger at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport tried to board a plane with two pistols, three ammunition magazines, eight knives and a hand saw in a carry-on bag, the TSA said. That passenger was arrested by local law enforcement.
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Homeland Security Office Stages a Mock Zombie Invasion

Night of the Living DeadAn Ohio office of the Emergency Management Agency — part of the Department of Homeland Security —
will stage a mock zombie attack on Halloween using more than 225 volunteers dressed as zombies at an Ohio college.

“Organizers hoped the theme would attract more volunteers than previous simulations of industrial accidents or train crashes,” the AP reports, quoting a spokesman for the agency as saying that “People got zombie fever here in Delaware.” The exercise included decontamination procedures for hazardous materials, and was inspired by an “emergency preparedness” post on the CDC web site citing the popular fascination with zombies. (The number of zombie ebooks in Amazon’s Kindle store has increased by 13.9% in just the last two months.)

Now, “Dozens of agencies have embraced the idea,” the AP reports, “spreading the message that if you’re prepared for a zombie attack, you’re prepared for just about anything.”

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No 9/11 10th Anniversary Threats

From Reuters:

There have been no credible or specific threats against the United States yet ahead of the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.

U.S. officials have been on high alert for possible plots to reprise in some form of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which al Qaeda operatives hijacked commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“We have no specific or credible threats involving the 9/11 anniversary to date,” she told reporters during a news conference on an unrelated subject…

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White People Mad About Homeland Security “How to Identify A Terrorist” Video

This has been blowing up in the conservative blogosphere and media since Paul Joseph Watson posted it on InfoWars yesterday:
A new promotional video released by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes white middle class Americans as the most likely terrorists, as Big Sis continues its relentless drive to cement the myth that mad bombers are hiding around every corner, when in reality Americans are just as likely to be killed by lightning strikes or peanut allergies.
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Surgically Implanted Bombs Are New Terror Threat

Airport Body ScannerGet ready, the U.S. Government’s TSA is warning airlines of a new twist on suicide bombing that will undoubtedly lead to more intrusive searches at airports. Christi Parsons reports for the LA Times:

The government has warned airlines that terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into people in an attempt to circumvent screening procedures, according to U.S. officials.

There is no indication of an immediate plot, but the new information could lead to additional screening procedures at the nation’s airports. Existing scanners would not necessarily detect bombs implanted under a person’s skin, experts said.

While the information suggests such a threat would come from overseas rather than domestic groups, federal officials are ordering precautions both in the U.S. and abroad, the official said.

The idea of surgically implanting bombs has been examined by intelligence agencies in the past, but new information has suggested that terrorist groups are seriously considering the technique, officials said.

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TSA Orders 95-Year-Old Woman To Remove Adult Diaper

Enough with the madness - this is way, way too far over the line. And the TSA is not even apologizing! From CNN:
The Transportation Security Administration stood by its security officers Sunday after a Florida woman complained that her cancer-stricken, 95-year-old mother was patted down and forced to remove her adult diaper while going through security. Reports of the incident took hold in social media, with scores of comments on the topic and reposts appearing hourly on Twitter Sunday afternoon...
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