Tag Archives | Security State

Julian Assange at SXSW: ‘People Are Products Sold to Advertisers’

Picture: Espen Moe (CC)

Picture: Espen Moe (CC)

Julian Assange Skyped into music and culture festival South by Southwest to address the masses. He had some choice words for interviewer Benjamin Palmer of digital advertising firm the Barbarian Group.

Industry site AdAge reported that Assange was referring to Google when he made the comment, but I can’t help to wonder if he had meant to include the Barbarian Group, as well as SXSW’s ubiquitous corporate sponsors. He also made some other interesting comments about the NSA and the “military occupation of the internet,” which you can read here.

I found one full video of the event, and I can’t guarantee it will be live for very long. It’s after the jump. Watch it while you can

AdAge

It was still one of the more interesting and different sessions for SXSW attendees, who thus far have been inundated as expected with expensive and often pointless brand activations.

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Don’t Worry About Obama Spying On You—Just Kidding, You Should Worry

article-obama-1207Ah, the sweet smell of Thursday morning outright denial-of-reality.

Yes, in a sweeping scoop from The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald, it has been revealed that the Obama administration since at least April has been hoovering up millions of Verizon subscribers’ phone data – customers within the United States, calling other customers within the United States. Monitoring such ‘domestic only’ communications is strictly forbidden by the NSA’s mandate, but don’t worry, some hardcore Obama policy defenders on Twitter and on the cable news networks this morning have a reality distortion field… or wish they had one.

You see, according to such apologists for warrantless spying, this isn’t a big deal because a) Bush was doing it in some form also and b) it’s just ‘metadata.’

To address point A: and their point is? Weird world we live in when the best justification you can come up with is that the Mission Accomplished Guantanamo waterboarding torture war with the wrong country guy with a ranch in Crawford, Texas did it also.… Read the rest

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Federal Judge: Courts Rubber-Stamp White House on Security Issues

Federal District Court Judge Royce Lamberth has said what many civil libertarians have long thought. According to Politico

Speaking at a conference for federal employees who process Freedom of Information Act requests, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said his fellow jurists usually rubber-stamp agency claims that disclosing information would jeopardize national security.

“It bothers me that judges, in general, are far too deferential to Exemption 1 claims,” Lamberth said, referring the language in FOIA that allows for withholding of information classified pursuant to an executive order. “Most judges give almost blind deference on Exemption 1 claims.”

Judge Lamberth, a graduate of the University of Texas, was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987. He previously served as an Army JAG officer and as a federal prosecutor. His recent decisions have included ordering the release of Richard Nixon’s testimony concerning the Watergate scandal and controversially issuing an injunction to prevent the Obama administration from destroying embryos used in stem cell research.… 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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Your Papers, Please: Man Deals with “Immigration Checkpoint” 350 Miles Away from Border

Your federal dollars at work: A Homeland Security/ICE checkpoint apparently checking passers-by for proof of United States citizenship. As the fellow in this video points out, it is more than likely a pretense to snoop for drugs. Remember the magic phrase: "Am I being detained? Am I free to go?" Oh! Also remember to have a camera and witnesses. DISCLAIMER: This is not to be construed as legal advice, and your own your own success implementing this strategy may - and probably will - depend on your gender, ethnicity and the color of your skin. Exercising your rights may result in side effects up to and including: Ass-beatings by thugs with badges, indefinite detentions, trumped-up charges, placement on watch lists and even death.
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Yes, The TSA is Laughing at Your Naked Body

I know you’re going to be shocked when you hear this, but it seems that the TSA screeners at your local airport are, in all likelihood, laughing at your naked body when you go through the scanner. A former TSA agent turned blogger confirms the sordid (and entirely expected) details.

Via The Daily Mail:

‘I witnessed light sexual play among officers, a lot of e-cigarette vaping, and a whole lot of officers laughing and clowning in regard to some of your nude images, dear passengers,’ the former agent wrote.

‘Bad’ behavior: The whistleblower said that poorly trained TSA screeners fresh out of high school have been tasked with looking at nude pictures in sealed image operator rooms

The blogger partially attributed this childish behavior to lack of education and training, saying that this is what happens when people ‘fresh out of high school or a GED program’ are put in charge of analyzing nude images of people in a hermetically sealed room.

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