"The German word Gleichschaltung is used in a political sense
to describe the process by which the Nazi regime successively
established a system of totalitarian control over the individual,
and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce."
It Can't Happen Here!
- 2014/03/24: Nation: Spy Agencies, Not Politicians, Hold the Cards in Washington
- 2014/03/23: Guardian(UK): Eisenhower's military-industrial warning rings truer than ever
- 2014/03/18: HuffPo: Facebook's New 'DeepFace' Program Is Just As Creepy As It Sounds
- 2014/02/20: UNZ: Harassed by the Empire -- They Do It Because They Can
I’m a WASP, in my late 60s and retired after spending most of my working life in finance. I’m a US Army veteran. And I get harassed by Customs and Border Protection each time I return to my home in the USA.
Clearly there is now a wide and growing chasm between the government and the governed, between the entrenched interests of the national security state and the rights of its citizens. We are now all living in police state light, as my experiences with Border Protection agents seem to confirm.
- 2014/02/17: HutchinsonNews: Kansas 1861-2013
- 2014/02/17: MSimon: Stephen Harper and the Shadow of the Police State
- 2014/02/07: AntiWar: The New Dark Age -- Don’t say we didn’t warn you...
- 2014/01/27: TMoS: Yep, That's the Face of Fascism All Right
- 2014/01/23: CCurrents: The Surveillance Mindset And The Aftermath
- 2014/01/16: TAD: Why Are Dozens Of High Ranking Officers Being Purged From The U.S. Military?
- 2013/12/31: WSWS: The pseudo-legal arguments for a police state
- 2013/12/16: TCCB2: An Emerging Police State
For the last several years, I have been increasingly concerned that our governments at both the Federal and Provincial levels have been enabling an environment that is fundamentally hostile to civil society and individual freedoms.
- 2013/11/09: TMoS: Thought Crimes, Welcome to the Brave New World
- 2013/10/31: JCA: An Enemy of the State -- Redefining 'Imminent Threat'
In early 2013, a Department of Justice white paper surfaced that laid out the Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen.
The government lawyers who wrote the 16-page document asserted that the government need not possess specific intelligence indicating that an American citizen is actively engaged in a particular or active terror plot in order to be cleared for targeted killing.
Instead, the paper argued that a determination from a 'well-informed high level administration official' that a target represents an 'imminent threat' to the United States is a sufficient basis to order the killing of an American citizen.
- 2013/10/24: CDreams: How the US Government Betrayed the Constitution and invented an Imaginary Fascist One
- 2013/10/18: CCurrents: What America Has Become
- 2013/09/30: AntiWar: We Live in a Police State -- The NSA isn’t just spying on foreigners
- 2013/09/25: CCurrents: Life On The Line: Can Humanity Survive?
- 2013/09/16: TruthDig: The Origins of Our Police State by Chris Hedges
- 2013/09/16: NorRe: The Emerging Police State
- 2013/09/10: ABC(Au): Lawyers fear new police powers for Queensland G20 events are 'draconian' breach of rights
New measures to maintain law and order during the G20 summits in Queensland next year have lawyers concerned people will be locked away in prison without bail.
The G20 Safety and Security Bill, now before State Parliament, would allow police to arrest and detain anyone deemed a threat without giving them bail for at least the week of the summit.
Police would be able to search people on the spot and publicly broadcast the names and photos of people listed "prohibited" from the city.
Peter Shields from the Queensland Law Society says the proposed changes are drastic and a breach of basic rights.
- 2013/09/07: WSWS: German commission defends the framework of a police state
A six-member government commission published its report last week on Germany’s security setup. It makes clear that in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, the framework of a police state have been put in place. At the same time, the report proposes to legitimize this security apparatus by providing it with a new legal basis.
- 2013/08/20: FDL: Barrett Brown, Glenn Greenwald, and the Mafia State
You should not be surprised because you should know what Western states like the United States and the United Kingdom have become in the world today -- hit squads for a transnational elite, the global 1%. They have no allegiance, they have no care for legality, and they have no real legitimacy. And what’s more, they know it. It’s about power, which is an end not a means to an end.
- 2013/08/20: TMoS: The Stunningly Rapid Rise of the National Security State. This Shit is Beginning to Get Scary
- 2013/08/19: FFF: Ten Reasons the U.S. Is No Longer the Land of the Free by Jonathan Turley
- 2013/08/10: WSWS: Obama’s press conference: The smiling face of a police state
- 2013/08/10: WSWS: Transportation Security Administration now patrolling Amtrak and public events
- 2013/08/01: CPunch: America’s Police State Marches On, Media in Tow
- 2013/07/22: Wonkette: Why Is US America Turning Into Nazi Germany? Antonin Scalia Explains It All
- 2013/07/17: DerSpiegel: Interview: Putin Turning Russia 'Into a Police State'
Blogger Alexei Navalny defied Putin. Now he faces six years in prison. In an interview with Spiegel online, Russian human rights icon Lyudmila Alexeyeva explains why the Kremlin is trying to muzzle the opposition leader -- and why it could backfire.
- 2013/07/15: AlterNet: It's Time for Americans to Admit That We've Had a Coup d’etat
- 2013/07/14: TruthDig: Locking Out the Voices of Dissent
- 2013/07/10: TruthDig: Secret Intelligence Court a Precursor to Tyranny
The current of awkward revelations concerning the clandestine or publicly misrepresented practices of the present and recent American administrations goes on. A long exposition in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune from July 8 concerns a widely unknown American secret court dealing with intelligence actions. The court decides whether certain actions are or are not legal, issues its rulings in secret and creates a new body of American law (or lawlessness, when it contravenes established public and constitutional law, which it is accused of doing). This is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The justification for this secret court -- as is usual in the development of 20th century secret police states -- is national security. The American case differs from the prominent earlier examples of such states in Bolshevik Russia and Nazi Germany, in that this American secret court operates behind a screen of what seem to be guilty obfuscations, which their authors know will not stand up to serious examination. Such obfuscations simply provide the rationales for concealment of this legal mechanism from public, press, and all but a certain number of congressmen and senators, all willing to provide the simulacrum of oversight because of their personal commitment to the belief that the United States makes itself secure by walking on what former Vice President Richard Cheney melodramatically described as "the dark side."
- 2013/07/15: WSWS: Britain to use secret evidence in court
The Justice and Security Act 2013 (JSA) came into force this month. The key provision contained within the legislation creates a new judicial procedure which will permit the use of secret evidence in any civil trial in the UK.
The move represents a severe attack on the right to a fair trial and will supplement the vast array of repressive powers already at the disposal of the state. Under conditions of deepening social inequality and with social tensions rising, Britain’s ruling elite are trampling on fundamental democratic rights like their counterparts in the United States and across Europe.
- 2013/07/15: Asia Times: Surveillance dystopia looms [2 parts]
- 2013/07/10: WSWS: The infrastructure of a police state emerges in Europe
Former NSA employee Edward Snowden has exposed the infrastructure of a police state whose surveillance powers far exceed those of totalitarian dictatorships such as the German Nazi regime.
American and European intelligence agencies monitor and store the communications data of hundreds of millions of citizens. Based on the metadata of tapped connections, they can draw up a seamless profile of an individual’s movements and contacts. This in turn enables them to selectively filter out the content of conversations and emails.
- 2013/06/18: TruthOut: Indefinite Surveillance: Say Hello to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014
- 2013/06/20: AntiWar: Understanding the Latest Leaks Is Understanding the Rise of a New Fascism
- 2013/06/17: EmptyWheel: 5th Amendment Silence: One Day In Salinas We Let It Slip Away
- 2013/06/14: NYT:Opinionator: The Real War on Reality
If there is one thing we can take away from the news of recent weeks it is this: the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived.
- 2013/06/13: CBC: Internet survey shows many Americans say 'Big Brother' is here
Long-running study on Internet use finds 86 per cent of Americans are online
- 2013/06/12: BangkokPost: Surveillance scandal signals a creeping police state
- 2013/06/10: WashEx: Gene Healy: 'It can't happen here' just did
- 2013/06/07: Xinhuanet: U.S. intelligence chief defends intelligence collection program
U.S. intelligence chief Thursday defended the PRISM program that tapped into internet companies.
He said related reports published by Guardia and Washington Post contained "numerous inaccuracies."
Media reports said FBI are secretly tapping into the central servers of nine U.S. internet companies.
The U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Thursday defended the code-named PRISM program that tapped into internet companies for intelligence, saying the related reports published by the British Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post contained "numerous inaccuracies."
- 2013/06/05: CSM: NSA collects Verizon phone records under secret court order
- 2013/06/04: EFF: A Junk Decision on Warrantless DNA Collection
- 2013/06/06: BBC: US 'orders Verizon to disclose millions of phone records'
[The court order was described by one civil rights group as "beyond Orwellian"]
The US National Security Agency (NSA) is collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans, according to the Guardian newspaper.
The British paper published what it said was a secret court order directing the Verizon company to hand over electronic data on all its customers on an "ongoing daily basis".
Civil liberties groups said the details of the report were "stunning".
The US government, security agencies and Verizon have not commented.
The US Center for Constitutional Rights said it appeared to be "the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued".
- 2013/06/06: Guardian(UK):GG: Revealed: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily
Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama
- 2013/06/04: DemNow: American Fascism: Ralph Nader Decries How Big Business Has Taken Control of the U.S. Government
- 2013/06/04: WSWS: US Supreme Court allows police to take DNA samples of arrestees
- 2013/05/30: RT: Miami cops choke teenager because he gave them a stare
- 2013/05/18: CDreams: Radicalized = Weaponized = Kill at Will
- 2013/05/16: CDreams: Pentagon 'Rewrites Constitution' Affirming Endless War
Senate hearing on the Authorization for Use of Military Force confirms congressional war powers rendered 'null and void'
- 2013/05/17: TMoS: The Permanent Warfare State Comes Clean, Are You Listening?
- 2013/05/13: Wired:TL: Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform
- 2013/05/14: LIP: U.S. Military ‘Power Grab’ Goes Into Effect -- Pentagon Unilaterally Grants Itself Authority Over ‘Civil Disturbances’
- 2013/05/03: FDL: Number Of Names On Terrorism Suspect Database Jumps To 875,000
- 2013/05/03: WSWS: California community put on police lockdown
- 2013/04/25: WSWS: The Boston lockdown and the Bill of Rights
With the implementation of a state of military siege against the population of Boston last week, the American ruling class has crossed a historical, legal and political Rubicon. The die is cast and the sun is setting on the democratic forms of rule that have existed in the United States for the past two centuries.
- 2013/04/23: Guardian(UK): Boston bombing: FBI backlash 'risks turning US into surveillance state'
- 2013/03/22: RT: 'US a police state, George Orwell's 1984 happening before us'
- 2013/03/19: SlashGear: Obama administration believes no warrant is needed for authorities to use GPS tracking on vehicles
- 2013/03/19: WSWS: Plans for military surveillance of Americans’ financial records
- 2013/03/07: CCurrents: Corporatism Or The True Face Of Terrorism
- 2013/03/07: CCurrents: Is The US An Imperialist Nation?
- 2013/02/28: Slate: Details Revealed on Secret U.S. “Ragtime” Domestic Surveillance Program
- 2013/02/15: Slate: FBI Files Unlock History Behind Clandestine Cellphone Tracking Tool
- 2013/03/06: SoS: The NSA's Ragtime Surveillance Program and the Need for Leaks
- 2013/03/07: SoS: How the FBI Intercepts Cell Phone Data
- 2013/03/09: WSWS: UK government passes legislation for secret courts
On Monday, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government pushed its Justice and Security Bill through the House of Commons. By enabling the government to cover up its crimes, the bill raises the spectre of an untrammelled dictatorship.
- 2013/03/02: CCurrents: Federal IDs For All U.S. Workers: A Trial Balloon?
- 2013/02/23: BRitholtz: Scorecard: How Many Rights Have Americans REALLY Lost?
- 2013/02/18: al Jazeera: NDAA: Pre-emptive prosecution coming to a town near you
The potent charge of terrorism has been used to systematically curtail justice, writes author.
In the US, due process - one of the defining features of a democratic judicial process - continues to be badly bludgeoned: Obama fights tooth and nail to push through NDAA, which would allow indefinite detention of US citizens, and the definition of terrorism has expanded its unwieldy scope, casting a widening net that ensures more and more people are captured in its snare.
The US has pursued "domestic terrorism" by practicing pre-emptive prosecution, that is, going after individuals who have committed no crime but are alleged to possess an ideology that might dispose them to commit acts of "terrorism". Maintaining that it can -and should - be in the business of divining intent, the government decimates crucial elements of the US justice system.
Thus, in cases where terrorism is charged, prosecutors need not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, only the defendant's potential for committing a crime need be established in order to convict.
- 2013/02/08: CStross: Political failure modes and the beige dictatorship
For a while I've had the unwelcome feeling that we're living under occupation by Martian invaders. (Not just here in the UK, but everyone, everywhere on the planet.) Something has gone wrong with our political processes, on a global scale. But what? It's obviously subtle — we haven't been on the receiving end of a bunch of jack-booted fascists or their communist equivalents organizing putsches. But we've somehow slid into a developed-world global-scale quasi-police state, with drone strikes and extraordinary rendition and unquestioned but insane austerity policies being rammed down our throats, government services being outsourced, peaceful protesters being pepper-sprayed, tased, or even killed, police spying on political dissidents becoming normal, and so on. What's happening?
- 2013/01/28: Guardian(UK):GG: Pentagon's new massive expansion of 'cyber-security' unit is about everything except defense
Cyber-threats are the new pretext to justify expansion of power and profit for the public-private National Security State
- 2013/01/16: BRitholtz: US: Truth Is Too Dangerous to Disclose by Washingtons Blog
- 2013/01/08: NBC: Disney World to track visitors with wireless wristbands
- 2013/01/08: SoS: DHS Gets to Spy on Everyone
[...] Basically, the Total Information Awareness program is back with a different name
- 2013/01/07: WSWS: Obama administration blocks information request on assassination of US citizens
- 2013/01/02: MoJo: American Law Allows the Government to Engage in Unconstitutional Behavior Without Explaining Why
- 2013/01/03: CDreams: Judge Says Under Law Executive Branch Can Commit Acts That Sure Do Seem Unconstitutional Without Having to Explain Why They Allegedly Aren't
- 2013/01/02: ICH: The Coming Drone Attack On America
- 2012/12/30: CDreams: Revealed: How the FBI Coordinated the Crackdown on Occupy
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
- 2012/12/29: Guardian(UK): Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent
- 2012/12/30: NakedCapitalism: Banks Deeply Involved in FBI-Coordinated Suppression of "Terrorist" Occupy Wall Street
- 2012/12/28: ACLU: Senate Reauthorizes Warrantless Wiretapping -- After Defeating Moderate Reforms, Senate Extends Unchecked Surveillance Powers for Five Years
- 2012/12/28: AntiWar: Senate Renews FISA Warrantless Wiretapping Program -- The secretive surveillance bill is now sent to President Obama to sign
- 2012/12/05: WashingtonsBlog: Americans Are The Most Spied On People In World History
- 2012/12/28: CDreams: Senate Votes to Extend Sweeping Bush Era Surveillance Powers
Even modest attempts to reign in domestic spying law fail as Senators defend sweeping powers for NSA
- 2012/12/28: CDreams: GOP and Feinstein Join to Fulfill Obama's Demand for Renewed Warrantless Eavesdropping
The California Democrat's disgusting rhetoric recalls the worst of Dick Cheney while advancing Obama's agenda
- 2012/12/29: WSWS: White House, Congress extend police-state FISA law
- 2012/12/28: Wired:TL: Senate Approves Warrantless Electronic Spy Powers
- 2012/12/26: ICH: Twin Swords Of Damocles Over The Heads Of All Humanity
- 2012/12/26: TampaBay: Big Brother is watching more than ever
Over 200 years ago, the United States set the standard for promoting liberty. Our founding documents established a free people entitled to a zone of privacy. We were not walking suspects waiting to be checked out by the government. But that is not how the Obama administration sees it. A new set of rules governing counterterrorism will allow an intelligence agency to sort through and maintain massive government databases of personal information on innocent Americans. This unjustified surveillance has come about without public debate and asks Americans to give up too much privacy.
New data-mining and storage rules for the National Counterterrorism Center, a little-known intelligence agency charged with connecting dots on terror-related information, have already been secretly authorized by Attorney General Eric Holder, according to the Wall Street Journal. They were approved over the objections of privacy advocates within the administration.
- 2012/12/23: TruthDig: The Final Battle by Chris Hedges
- 2012/12/24: CDreams: The Final Battle by Chris Hedges
Over the past year I and other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg have pressed a lawsuit in the federal courts to nullify Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This egregious section, which permits the government to use the military to detain U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers, could have been easily fixed by Congress. The Senate and House had the opportunity this month to include in the 2013 version of the NDAA an unequivocal statement that all U.S. citizens would be exempt from 1021(b)(2), leaving the section to apply only to foreigners. But restoring due process for citizens was something the Republicans and the Democrats, along with the White House, refused to do. The fate of some of our most basic and important rights—ones enshrined in the Bill of Rights as well as the Fourth and Fifth amendments of the Constitution—will be decided in the next few months in the courts. If the courts fail us, a gulag state will be cemented into place.
The corporate state knows that the steady deterioration of the economy and the increasingly savage effects of climate change will create widespread social instability. It knows that rage will mount as the elites squander diminishing resources while the poor, as well as the working and middle classes, are driven into destitution. It wants to have the legal measures to keep us cowed, afraid and under control. It does not, I suspect, trust the police to maintain order. And this is why, contravening two centuries of domestic law, it has seized for itself the authority to place the military on city streets and citizens in military detention centers, where they cannot find redress in the courts. The shredding of our liberties is being done in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism. But the NDAA is not about protecting us. It is about protecting the state from us. That is why no one in the executive or legislative branch is going to restore our rights. The new version of the NDAA, like the old ones, provides our masters with the legal shackles to make our resistance impossible. And that is their intention.
- 2012/12/23: CDreams: NRA Suggests a Police State
- 2012/12/19: AntiWar: Congress Drops Feinstein Amendment to NDAA -- There is now nothing in the bill that prevents the indefinite detention of US citizens
- 2012/12/18: ICH: Martial Law in Arkansas -- SWAT cops to ask for IDs from everyone in Arkansas town
- 2012/12/12: ACLU: U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens
- 2012/12/14: ICH: U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens
- 2012/12/13: ICH: Spy Agency Conducts Surveillance on All US Citizens
- 2012/12/12: MoJo: The Surveillance State Grows Another Tentacle
- 2012/12/11: RawStory: Public buses being outfitted with sophisticated audio surveillance across U.S.
- 2012/12/05: ZeroHedge: Americans Are The Most Spied On People In World History
- 2012/12/05: EFF: Newly Released Drone Records Reveal Extensive Military Flights in US
- 2012/12/05: Guardian(UK): Feinstein amendment doubles down on NDAA's assault on constitutional rights
While US government lawyers persist in defending the menacing Section 1021 in court, a Senate initiative makes matters worse
- 2012/12/04: WashingtonsBlog: Top NSA Spying Chief: "If You Ever Get On Their Enemies List, Like Petraeus Did, Then You Can Be Drawn Into That Surveillance"
- 2012/12/01: Cryptome: Julian Assange: Cryptographic Call to Arms
This book is not a manifesto. There is not time for that. This book is a warning.
The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization.
These transformations have come about silently, because those who know what is going on work in the global surveillance industry and have no incentives to speak out. Left to its own trajectory, within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there.
- 2012/11/13: WSWS: Urban Shield exercises in Boston test police-state tactics
Boston-area news outlets did their best to give mundane coverage to a chilling announcement earlier this month: that Boston police S.W.A.T. teams, along with public transit police, the Coast Guard, “intelligence” personnel, bomb disposal units, and other forces would be conducting exercises in subway stations, abandoned movie theaters, and other public locations. Residents were told not to worry about the sound of gunfire during the exercises set for November 3.
The Urban Shield exercises are funded by the US Department of Homeland Security and have also been held in cities in California over the past two years. Funding is through Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grants, a program established in response to Barack Obama’s 2011 Presidential Policy Directive 8, titled "National Preparedness."
While Urban Shield includes exercises designed to simulate natural disasters and disease outbreaks, its emphasis clearly is on police tactics and "security."
- 2012/10/16: CCurrents: The Former Nation of America Is Gone, Welcome To Police State Amerika
- 2012/09/19: ACLU: Ninth Circuit Will Re-Hear Mandatory DNA Collection at Arrest Lawsuit
- 2012/09/18: DemNow: From Guantánamo to NDAA: Obama Admin Bids to Preserve Indefinite Detention at Home and Abroad
- 2012/09/18: ZeroHedge: US Totalitarian State Wins After All: Obama Reinstates NDAA Military Detention Provision
- 2012/09/14: NakedCapitalism: Police State Watch: NYPD to Install Checkpoints, Demand ID in Lower Manahttan on OWS Anniversary
- 2012/08/31: CDreams: US is the Worst Police State in the World -- By the Numbers
- 2012/08/31: CCurrents: This Is Not America
- 2012/08/07: Wired:TL: Appeals Court OKs Warrantless Wiretapping
The federal government may spy on Americans’ communications without warrants and without fear of being sued, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in a decision reversing the first and only case that successfully challenged President George W. Bush’s once-secret Terrorist Surveillance Program.
"This case effectively brings to an end the plaintiffs’ ongoing attempts to hold the executive branch responsible for intercepting telephone conversations without judicial authorization," a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote...
- 2012/08/05: GRC: The Ascendancy of a Criminal Financial Elite
The Two Faces of a Police State: Sheltering Tax Evaders, Financial Swindlers and Money Launderers while Policing the Citizens
- 2012/07/26: ICH: The Rise of the Police State and the Absence of Mass Opposition
- 2012/07/25: CPunch: America's Descent Into Darkness -- Slouching Towards Nuremberg?
- 2012/07/23: RawStory: NSA whistle blowers allege data being collected on every American
- 2012/07/19: Sophos: Telecom firm says "No" to FBI surveillance demands
- 2012/07/18: WSJ: Covert FBI Power to Obtain Phone Data Faces Rare Test
- 2012/07/13: RawStory: NSA whistleblower: They’re assembling information on every U.S. citizen
- 2012/06/20: Consortium: Strangling the Republic
- 2012/07/14: GRC: The Great Transformation: From the Welfare State to the Imperial Police State
- 2012/07/11: Gizmodo: Hidden Government Scanners Will Instantly Know Everything About You From 164 Feet Away
Within the next year or two, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will instantly know everything about your body, clothes, and luggage with a new laser-based molecular scanner fired from 164 feet (50 meters) away. From traces of drugs or gun powder on your clothes to what you had for breakfast to the adrenaline level in your body—agents will be able to get any information they want without even touching you.
And without you knowing it.
- 2012/07/10: Prism: Mimicking Police State Tactics in the ‘Land of the Free’
- 2012/07/05: AlterNet: Weimar America: Four Major Ways We're Following In Germany's Fascist Footsteps
- 2012/06/24: Atlantic: 5 Signs of a Radical Change in U.S. Politics
- 2012/06/24: AlterNet: Why Is the Government Collecting Your Biometric Data?
- 2012/06/18: CCurrents: Thousands Of Military Drones To Be Deployed Over US Mainland
- 2012/06/14: Atlantic: An Eye Without an 'I': Justice and the Rise of Automated Surveillance
- 2012/06/14: GRC: The Coup of 2012: Encroachment upon Basic Freedoms, Militarized Police State in America
- 2012/06/12: Prism: Anti-Terror Practices Transforming America into a Police State
- 2012/06/07: USAToday: Judge estimates 30K secret spying orders approved yearly
- 2012/06/06: BRitholtz: Imagine if America was a dictatorship...
- 2012/05/18: EnergyBulletin: The shadow of fascism
The presidential election is over, and the result has been exactly what was expected : the "socialist"candidate won over the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, even if by a relatively small margin. All elections, however, have their share of surprises, and this one was no exception, since the far-right leader Marine Le Pen scored nearly 18%, better than her father in 2002 when he shocked the world by reaching the second round. This is by no way an isolated phenomenon. The very same Sunday Hollande was elected, the Greeks sent to their parliament 21 activists from the Golden Dawn, a fringe far-right party, complete with a svatiska-like symbol and roman salutes. Add to that Hungary, whose constitution the right wing government has recently changed in a decidedly authoritarian direction and the 17% scored in the Netherlands by Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom, and it becomes obvious Europe has a far right problem.
- 2012/05/14: EFF: DHS Considers Collecting DNA From Kids; DEA and US Marshals Already Do
- 2012/05/10: TNA: The Surveillance State: Knowing Every Bit About You
- 2012/05/16: GRC: Drones: From "Military Use" to "Civilian Use". Towards the Remote UAV Policing of Civil Society?
- 2012/05/10: CCurrents: When All Is Said And Done
- 2012/05/06: Salon:GG: Surveillance State democracy
As the FBI seeks full access to all forms of Internet communication, it is not voters who need to be convinced
- 2012/05/02: SouthernStandard: This is happening in America?
- 2012/05/02: al Jazeera: 39 ways to limit free speech
Is freedom of expression really free when the government can punish that expression because of its political content?
- 2012/05/01: NakedCapitalism: Charlotte to Suspend Constitutional Free Speech and Assembly Protections to Help Bank of America, Duke Shareholder Meetings
- 2012/05/01: AlterNet: Fascist America: Have We Finally Turned The Corner?
- 2012/04/24: GRC: How Liberty Was Lost
- 2012/04/20: Guardian(UK): The cyber misinformation campaign against USA Today
It's not hard to find a precedent for the harassment alleged by USA Today of its staff investigating Pentagon propaganda
- 2012/04/23: OpenMedia: Infographic: How the authorities would get information on you with the government's proposed online spying plan
- 2012/04/19: NatJo: In Nothing We Trust
Americans are losing faith in the institutions that made this country great.
- 2012/04/20: DemNow: National Security Agency Whistleblower William Binney on Growing State Surveillance
- 2012/04/20: DemNow: Detained in the U.S.: Filmmaker Laura Poitras Held, Questioned Some 40 Times at U.S. Airports
- 2012/04/20: DemNow: "We Don’t Live in a Free Country": Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Gov’t Surveillance
- 2012/04/20: DemNow: Whistleblower: The NSA is Lying -- U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails
- 2012/04/21: Guardian(UK): The TSA's mission creep is making the US a police state
The out-of-control Transportation Security Administration is past patdowns at airports -- now it's checkpoints and roadblocks
- 2012/04/19: EurActiv: EU rubber-stamps airline passenger data transfers to the US
- 2012/04/17: Eschaton: No Wanker Today
The ESCHATON DECADE has been a pretty fucked up decade, a time when this country stopped even bothering to pretend to live up to many of its supposed ideals. We go to war and kill lots of people for no good reason, elites have eliminated any accountability for themselves for criminal wrongdoing, we've tortured and assassinated people, and the response to massive economic suffering and related criminal fraud has been to give lots of free money to the people who caused it all.
And one premise of his blog is that all of this shit happens, in part, because of the fucking wankers who rule our public discourse.
- 2012/04/16: TruthDig: First They Come for the Muslims
Tarek Mehanna, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced Thursday in Worcester, Mass., to 17½ years in prison. It was another of the tawdry show trials held against Muslim activists since 9/11 as a result of the government’s criminalization of what people say and believe. These trials, where secrecy rules permit federal lawyers to prosecute people on “evidence” the defendants are not allowed to examine, are the harbinger of a corporate totalitarian state in which any form of dissent can be declared illegal. What the government did to Mehanna, and what it has done to hundreds of other innocent Muslims in this country over the last decade, it will eventually do to the rest of us.
- 2012/04/13: CCurrents: How Did We Let This Happen?
- 2012/04/13: uComics: (cartoon - Rall) If we have to live in a police state, let's have fun on the way to fascism
- 2012/04/09: uComics: (cartoon - Rall) First they searched our cars and ...
- 2012/04/03: EFF: UK Government Proposes Law Monitoring Every Email, Phone Call, and Text Message
- 2012/04/03: EFF: Local Cops Following Big Brother's Lead, Getting Cell Phone Location Data Without a Warrant
- 2012/04/02: Guardian(UK): Britain won't be the only country snooping on people's internet use
If the government gets its way and starts monitoring what you're emailing, it will join a list of countries with a draconian approach to the internet
- 2012/03/30: CR: Thinking Critically
- 2012/04/01: BBC: Email and web use 'to be monitored' under new laws
The government will be able to monitor the calls, emails, texts and website visits of everyone in the UK under new legislation set to be announced soon.
Internet firms will be required to give intelligence agency GCHQ access to communications on demand, in real time.
The Home Office says the move is key to tackling crime and terrorism, but civil liberties groups have criticised it.
Attempts by the last Labour government to take similar steps failed after huge opposition, including from the Tories.
A new law - which may be announced in the forthcoming Queen's Speech in May - would not allow GCHQ to access the content of emails, calls or messages without a warrant.
But it would enable intelligence officers to identify who an individual or group is in contact with, how often and for how long.
- 2012/03/26: Independent(UK): Planning a trip to Canada or the Caribbean? US Immigration may have other ideas...
New security checks are already in place -- even for flights hundreds of miles from American airspace
- 2012/03/28: EurActiv: MEPs give green light to passenger data deal with the US
The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties has given the green light to a controversial data transfer deal with the United States, the so-called passenger name register (PNR) agreement.
- 2012/03/23: AlterNet: Are Police Building a Massive DNA Database?
- 2012/03/22: AntiWar: Government Now Allowed to Store Info on Innocent Americans
Under new Obama administration rules, information on Americans with no clear ties to terrorism can be held for at least 5 years
- 2012/03/22: AlterNet: SWAT Teams and Campus Spies? 7 Ways the Homeland Security State Has Taken Over Our Universities
- 2012/03/21: AlterNet: Exposed: Massive New Spy Center Built to Track Your Emails and Phone Calls
- 2012/03/20: BoingBoing: (cartoon - Bolling) Tom the Dancing Bug: "Hello! You've Been Targeted For a Drone Assassination!" Helpful Info From Your U.S. Government
- 2012/03/20: AntiWar: Demolishing Due Process by Rep. Ron Paul
It is ironic but perhaps sadly appropriate that Attorney General Eric Holder would choose a law school, Northwestern University, to deliver a speech earlier this month in which he demolished what was left of the rule of law in America.
- 2012/03/15: Wired:DR: CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher
- 2012/03/13: AlterNet: 8 Creepy Spy Technologies That Can Be Hitched to Your Neighborhood Drones
- 2012/03/12: GRC: The Collapse of American Democracy
- 2012/03/06: HuffPo: We Take Care of Our Own: Eric Holder and the End of Rights
Historians of the future, if they are not imprisoned for saying so, will trace the end of America's democratic experiment to the fearful days immediately after 9/11, what Bruce Springsteen called the days of the empty sky, when frightened, small men named Bush and Cheney made the first decisions to abandon the Constitution in the name of freedom and created a new version of the security state with the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, secret prisons and sanctioned torture by the U.S. government. They proceeded carefully, making sure that lawyers in their employ sanctioned each dark act, much as kings in old Europe used the church to justify their own actions.
Those same historians will remark from exile on the irony that such horrendous policies were not only upheld by Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and professor of Constitutional law, but added to until we came to the place we sadly occupy today: the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, publicly stating that the American Government may murder one of its own citizens when it wishes to do so, and that the requirements of due process enshrined in the Constitution's Fifth Amendment, itself drawn from the Magna Carta that was the first reflowering of basic human rights since the Greeks, can be satisfied simply by a decision by that same president.
- 2012/03/05: CCurrents: How To Fund An American Police State
- 2012/02/29: Guardian(UK): The NDAA: a clear and present danger to American liberty
- 2012/02/27: HLRecord: Indefinite Detention Under the NDAA: the Great Attack on Civil Liberties You May Not Have Heard About
- 2012/02/21: TRM: Canada creeps toward becoming a closed society
- 2012/02/20: Salon: Hypnotized into an endless dirty war -- America has decided it has the right to kill whoever it wants, whenever it wants
- 2012/02/20: SlashDot: UK Government To Demand Data On Every Call, Email, and Tweet
- 2012/02/19: SlashDot: UK Plans More Spying On Internet Users Under 'Terrorism' Pretext
- 2012/02/18: TheAge: [Australian] Police spy on web, phone usage with no warrants
- 2012/02/17: Rabble: The threat of 'Big Brother' Internet monitoring in Canada
- 2012/02/16: AntiWar: The NDAA and the Militarization of America
- 2012/02/13: PostMedia: Bill provokes privacy fears -- Net, cellphones; Police could probe without warrant
Police will get much easier access to the web-surfing habits and personal information of all Canadians if a new law - expected to be introduced in the House of Commons next week - passes.
Privacy watchdogs caution if the so-called Lawful Access law is passed, it would give police access to webbrowsing history and sensitive personal information, and would grant greater permission to track the cellular phones of suspects - much of it without the requirement of a warrant.
The bill, which is on the order paper for this week, would require Internet service providers and cellular phone companies to install equipment that would monitor users' activities so that the information could be turned over to police when requested.
- 2012/02/13: MGeist: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lawful Access, But Were (Understandably) Afraid To Ask
- 2012/02/13: SlashDot: Canadian Govt To Introduce Massive Internet Surveillance Law
- 2012/02/13: CBC: FBI seeks social media data mining tool
The U.S. government is seeking software that can mine social media to predict everything from future terrorist attacks to foreign uprisings, according to requests posted online by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
Hundreds of intelligence analysts already sift overseas Twitter and Facebook posts to track events such as the Arab Spring. But in a formal "request for information" from potential contractors, the FBI recently outlined its desire for a digital tool to scan the entire universe of social media -- more data than humans could ever crunch.
The Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also have solicited the private sector for ways to automate the process of identifying emerging threats and upheavals using the billions of posts people around the world share every day.
- 2012/02/09: BRitholtz: WashingtonsBlog: Who Is a Terrorist?
- 2012/02/09: SlashDot: FAA Bill Authorizes Surveillance Drones Over US
- 2012/01/20: Salon: Creeping authoritarianism on Capitol Hill -- What we can learn from one congressman's convoluted defense of the NDAA
- 2012/01/21: Salon:GG: Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure
- 2012/01/20: AntiWar: The World War on Democracy
- 2012/01/16: WashingtonsBlog: An Objective Comparison of the U.S. to Regimes that Everyone Labels Repressive
- 2012/01/04: WaPo: 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free
- 2012/01/15: SolChrom: 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free - The Washington Post
- 2012/01/14: AntiWar: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery ... and Fighting Back is ‘Aggression’
- 2012/01/03: CCurrents: Watch Out : USA's Long Arm Has Reached You!
- 2012/01/03: CCurrents: Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law
- 2012/01/02: CCurrents: R.I.P. Bill of Rights 1789 - 2011
- 2012/01/03: NYMag: The Absolute Moron’s Guide to the New Military Detention Laws
- 2011/12/29: ACLU: WTF? (What the Fawkes?)
- 2012/01/02: Guardian(UK): The NDAA's historic assault on American liberty
By signing into law the NDAA, the president has awarded the military extraordinary powers to detain US citizens without trial
- 2012/01/02: GRC: The Inauguration of Police State USA 2012. Obama Signs the "National Defense Authorization Act"
- 2011/12/25: GRC: Military to Designate U.S. Citizens as Enemy During Collapse -- FEMA Continuity of Government Plans Prep Total Takeover of Society
- 2011/12/23: JQuiggin: Cognitive dissonance and detention without trial
Now that Obama has signalled that he will sign the National Defense Authorization Act, US citizens have no legal rights that can’t be over-ridden by miltary or presidential fiat. Anyone accused of being a terrorist linked to Al Qaeda can be arrested, shipped overseas and held indefinitely without trial, or alternatively tried by military commissions. And, if arrest isn’t feasible or convenient then (at least outside the US), they can be hunted down and assassinated, with or without warning.
- 2011/12/22: TheWeek: Loom of the jackboot: Obama gives military extreme powers
- 2011/12/21: OCRegister: Americans should fear new detention law -- New law exposes Americans to risk of indefinite detention
- 2011/12/19: DemNow: Obama Prepares to Authorize Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens for First Time Since McCarthy Era - Glenn Greenwald on NDAA
- 2011/12/20: WiC: The secret program empowering Obama to kill anyone, anywhere, without any explanation
- 2011/12/18: InfoWars: Presidential Frontrunner Warns Martial Law Being Established in America
- 2011/12/12: TPR: Occupy 2.0: Persisting In A Police State
- 2011/12/17: FDL: Set Your Doomsday Clock to 11:51 pm
The National Defense Authorization Act is not a leap from democracy to tyranny, but it is another major step on a steady and accelerating decade-long march toward a police state.
- 2011/12/16: WSWS: Obama, Congress back legalization of a police state
- 2011/12/15: WSWS: Obama administration backs bill authorizing indefinite military detention of US citizens
- 2011/12/15: MWL: Amerika 2.0 -- Concentration Camps and Indefinite Detention of American Citizens...
- 2011/12/15: IrregularTimes: Indefinite Imprisonment Roll Call of Shame: Only Sanders, 6 Democrats and 6 GOP Stand Up
Today, both the Republican and Democratic political parties lost the right to claim that they stand for freedom, justice and the American way.
In the U.S. Senate this afternoon, there came to the floor a terrible bill for a final vote. This bill, H.R. 1540, the Defense Authorization Act, contained a provision that would allow the federal government to imprison Americans without criminal charge for as long as it wants -- on the mere accusation of association with a terrorist organization.
- 2011/12/15: InformedComment: Obama and NDAA: Chipping away at the Constitution - HRW
- 2011/12/15: al Jazeera: Detaining US citizens: How did we get here?
The US Senate is pushing to give the military the option of indefinitely detaining US citizens without trial.
- 2011/12/14: AntiWar: House and Obama OK Forever-Prison Bill -- Law will allow indefinite detentions without charge or trial, even for American citizens
- 2011/12/14: HRW: US: Refusal to Veto Detainee Bill A Historic Tragedy for Rights -- President Decides to Sign Ill-Conceived National Defense Authorization Act
- 2011/12/14: al Jazeera: US anti-terrorism bill: Liberty vs security
Is the principle of indefinite detention without trial now an accepted and permanent part of American life?
- 2011/12/14: al Jazeera: US Congress to vote on indefinite detention
The US aims to declare the world a battlefield, making virtually anyone vulnerable to indefinite military detention.
- 2011/12/11: TPR: Occupy The Police State
- 2011/12/10: Independent(UK): Bankers are the dictators of the West
- 2011/12/08: CCurrents: Defense Authorization Act Will Destroy Bill of Rights
The grim face of totalitarianism is emerging in the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) now before Congress.
This bill is the last mile post on America’s sad, well-traveled road to the butcher shop of dictatorship. We have been headed that way for some time and, with a little help from Congress, we’ll arrive there shortly, putting an ugly end to the American experiment. The Senate December 1st passed the bill by a vote of 93-7.
In the name of "defense," NDAA underwrites $662-billion for continued U.S. aggression in our many foreign wars while, on the domestic front, it incinerates the last surviving shreds of the Bill of Rights. According to the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU), it authorizes presidents "to order the military to pick up and imprison people, including U.S. citizens, without charging them or putting them on trial." (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) So much for Amendment VI to our Constitution that "the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial."
- 2011/12/03: CCurrents: S 1867: Killing The Bill of Rights and Declaring War On Americans
- 2011/12/03: CCurrents: Deranged Senate Votes For Military Detention Of All Terror Suspects And A Permanent Guantánamo
- 2011/12/02: DailyCaller: The terrorists have won
Since 9/11, Senator Lindsey Graham has said repeatedly that we must fight the terrorists "over there" so we don’t have to fight them "over here." But this week, Graham threw that all out the window. Apparently, we are now at war everywhere. Forever.
Commenting on the controversial Section 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act -- which many contend gives the federal government new powers to arrest American citizens without charge -- Graham made clear this week that "1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland."
The entire world is now a "battlefield"? "Including the homeland"?
- 2011/12/02: Atlantic: Ceding Liberty to Terror: Senate Votes Against Due-Process Rights
Asked to deny presidential authority to indefinitely detain Americans without charges or a trial, they declined, citing the threat of al-Qaeda.
- 2011/12/01: Salon:GG: Congress endorsing military detention, a new AUMF
And yet here we have the Congress, on a fully bipartisan basis, acting not only to re-affirm the war but to expand it even further: by formally declaring that the entire world (including the U.S.) is a battlefield and the war will essentially go on forever.
- 2011/12/02: InformedComment: Senate Bill Allows Arrest of Americans by Military Anywhere
- 2011/11/28: AlterNet: How Zuccotti Park Became Zuccotti Prison: Creeping American Police State
- 2011/11/28: AntiWar: Defense Bill Would Allow Military to Indefinitely Detain Americans
The provision would give broad powers to the president and the military to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely
- 2011/11/23: ACLU:B: Senators Demand the Military Lock Up American Citizens in a "Battlefield" They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window
- 2011/11/28: al Jazeera: Locking up profits
Private prison companies strive to keep millions behind bars to keep their profits up.
- 2011/11/22: BWeek: Palantir, the War on Terror's Secret Weapon
A Silicon Valley startup that collates threats has quietly become indispensable to the U.S. intelligence community
- 2011/11/26: SlashDot: Palantir, the War On Terror's Secret Weapon
- 2011/11/22: AlterNet: Pepper-Spraying Protesters Is Just the Beginning: Here Are More Hypermilitarized Weapons Your Local Police Force Could Employ
- 2011/11/23: al Jazeera: Americans get a Shabak Education [intimidation by security forces]
The world enters a new phase where the students are slowly becoming the teachers, forcing bloody change says author.
- 2011/11/18: WaPo: License plate readers: A useful tool for police comes with privacy concerns
- 2011/11/17: Prism: Are Western Democracies Turning into Police States?
- 2011/11/16: AlterNet: Police or Paramilitary Forces? The Militarization of American Law Enforcement
- 2011/11/16: BBC: Police in Northern Ireland consider using mini drones
Police aerial surveillance in Northern Ireland may be about to take on a whole new form - one that belongs more to the world of sci-fi and the future.
The PSNI is considering the use of mini drones to combat crime and the dissident republican threat. They are not the large missile carrying drones used by the US military.
- 2011/11/14: AlterNet: Militarizing the Police: How the Drug War and 9/11 Led to Battle-Dressed Cops Cracking Down on Peaceful Protests
- 2011/11/09: Nation: Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street
- 2011/11/14: al Jazeera: Militarising the police from Oakland to NYC
If the infrastructure of a police state is created, it's only a matter of time before those aggressive powers are used.
- 2011/11/09: CRG: The US is a Police State
- 2011/11/07: WiC: How the U.S. is blending law enforcement with warfare
- 2011/11/01: RWER: "The 400 wealthiest Americans now own more than the ‘lower’ 150 million Americans put together."
- 2011/10/27: InfoWars: New Street Lights To Have "Homeland Security" Applications
- 2011/10/28: CRG: Americans: Awash In Spin
- 2011/10/28: DerSpiegel: The Second Gilded Age -- Has America Become an Oligarchy?
The Occupy Wall Street movement is just one example of the sudden outbreak of tension between America's super-rich and the "other 99 percent." Experts now say the US has entered a second Gilded Age, but one in which hedge fund managers have replaced oil barons -- and are killing the American dream.
- 2011/10/24: AntiWar: Welcome to the New America -- Government Assassinates 16-Year-Old Boy; the People Cheer
- 2011/10/16: BBC: FBI’s DNA database upgrade plans come under fire
- 2011/10/14: CCurrents: Now A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) For Vehicles
- 2011/10/14: ACLU: D.C. Judge: Government Doesn't Need a Warrant to Demand Cell Phone Location Information
- 2011/10/13: ACLU: Surveillance in Post-9/11 America
- 2011/10/11: MediaCoop: Unlawful Access: the coming Canadian surveillance state
- 2011/10/11: Guardian(UK): How the US government secretly reads your email
Secret orders forcing Google and Sonic to release a WikiLeaks volunteer's email reveal the scale of US government snooping
- 2011/10/02: TruthOut: Domestic Spying Across the Country
- Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the "Homeland"
- 2011/10/02: TGBeaver: The lay of the land . . .
- 2011/09/28: WiC: Even those cleared of crimes can stay on FBI’s watch list
- 2011/09/25: NakedCapitalism: Welcome to the Police State: NYC Cops Mace Peaceful Protestors Against Wall Street
- 2011/09/24: OpenDem: Beware your public square: Britain is under attack from ‘talking’ CCTV cameras
- 2011/09/22: WiC: A secret license to kill
- 2011/09/19: ACLU: Will the Senate Forget the Lessons from Japanese-American Internment?
The U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable, changing detention laws to imprison people -- including Americans -- indefinitely and without charge. Before they proceed, they should review our own history by listening to the voices of the last people systematically targeted and detained by the U.S. government: Japanese-Americans.
Today the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) sent an important letter to the Senate regarding two damaging sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - Sections 1031 and 1032. As we've talked to you about before, this would be the first time since 1950 that Congress authorized the American government to detain its citizens without charge or trial.
- 2011/09/21: LFR: Fourteen Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
- 2011/09/08: Politico: Post-9/11, NSA 'enemies' include us by James Bamford
- 2011/09/09: AlterNet: The Spy Who Tweeted Me: U.S. Spooks Launch Effort to Mine Social Media
- 2011/09/07: AlterNet: Our Creeping Police State: How Going to the Mall of America Can Land You in an FBI Counterterrorism Report
- 2011/09/02: EFF: Government Internet Surveillance Starts With Eyes Built in the West
What has long been an EFF issue is once again making headlines. In recent days, the world is seeing damning reports of authoritarian regimes spying on their citizens using American- and European-made surveillance technologies, with new evidence emerging from Bahrain, Libya, Syria, and Thailand.
- 2011/08/30: AlterNet: 5 Unexpected Places You Can Be Tracked With Facial Recognition Technology
- 2011/08/25: SlashDot: Cybercrime Treaty Pushes Surveillance Worldwide
- 2011/08/23: Rabble: All-encompassing surveillance or 21st-century citizenship?
- 2011/08/24: BBC: 'Smart' CCTV could track rioters
CCTV that can automatically monitor criminal behaviour and track suspects is being developed by UK scientists.
Researchers at Kingston University have created a system that uses artificial intelligence to recognise specific types of behaviour, such as someone holding a gun.
The technology is capable of following a person across multiple cameras.
- 2011/08/15: DVoice: As Economy Tanks, "New Normal" Police State Takes Shape
- 2011/08/12: EFF: BART Pulls a Mubarak in San Francisco
- 2011/08/12: al Jazeera: US railway blocked phones to quash protest
California rail transit provider [BART] asked mobile providers to cut service to hamper protesters angry over police shooting.
- 2011/08/12: S&R: And now this: Colorado authorities are already tracking social media
- 2011/08/02: Guardian(UK): China extends surveillance into supermarkets, cinemas and classrooms
Estimated 10m-plus surveillance cameras were installed in China last year, prompting human rights concerns
- 2011/07/28: Wired:DR: Bill Would Force Intel Chief to Renounce ‘Secret Patriot Act’
- 2011/07/21: BostonHerald: Lawyer: Cop scanner ‘crosses line’
Civil libertarians are raising the alarm over the state’s plans to create a Big Brother database that could map drivers’ whereabouts with police cruiser-mounted scanners that capture thousands of license plates per hour -- storing that information indefinitely where local cops, staties, feds and prosecutors could access it as they choose.
"What kind of a society are we creating here?" asked civil rights lawyer Harvey Silverglate, who along with the ACLU fears police abuse.
"There comes a point where the surveillance is so pervasive and total that it’s a misnomer to call a society free any longer."
- 2011/07/13: NakedCapitalism: Surveillance State Tactics Increasing: Police Starting to Use Facial Recognition Devices
- 2011/07/11: AlterNet: Militarized Police: Why Is the FBI Treating Americans Like Enemy Combatants?
- 2011/07/04: CCurrents: A Question For Reflection On The 4th Of July: Is The United States A Representative Democracy Or A Mirage Democracy?
- 2011/07/05: AlterNet: Why Do the Police Have Tanks? The Strange and Dangerous Militarization of the US Police Force
- 2011/07/05: uComics: (cartoon - Danziger) The Roberts Court Limo Service
- 2011/07/01: DailyCensored: 2011 Independence Day: Declare "emperor has no clothes" facts of US tyranny today
- 2011/06/20: MoJo: Surprise! TSA Is Searching Your Car, Subway, Ferry, Bus, AND Plane
- 2011/06/22: Guardian(UK): A sinister cyber-surveillance scheme exposed
Hacked emails from security contractor HBGary reveal a disturbing public-private partnership to spy on web users
- 2011/06/20: DVoice: Killing Democracy One File at a Time: Justice Department Loosens FBI Domestic Spy Guidelines
- 2011/06/20: CDreams: The Patriot Act and the Quiet Death of the US Bill of Rights
- 2011/06/14: DemNow: FBI to Expand Domestic Surveillance Powers as Details Emerge of Its Spy Campaign Targeting Activists
- 2011/06/12: NYT: F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
The F.B.I. soon plans to issue a new edition of its manual, called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, according to an official who has worked on the draft document and several others who have been briefed on its contents. The new rules add to several measures taken over the past decade to give agents more latitude as they search for signs of criminal or terrorist activity.
- 2011/06/13: WiC: FBI agents get leeway to push privacy bounds
- 2011/06/02: AlterNet: Has America Become a Corporate Police State?
- 2011/05/31: AlterNet: America's Creeping Police State
- 2011/05/31: AntiWar: Enabling a Future American Dictator
- 2011/05/28: BRitholtz: WashingtonsBlog: We’ve Gone from a Nation of Laws to a Nation of Powerful Men Making Laws in Secret
- 2011/05/27: AntiWar: The American Deep State
Osama bin Laden was killed in "posh Islamabad suburb" where he lived for six years and, as Eli Lake recently wrote in The New Republic, "almost certainly relied on" some elements of Pakistan’s military and intelligence apparatus to do so safely and secretly. This process was enabled by what Lake calls Pakistan’s "deep state." That is, Pakistan’s national security bureaucracy is sufficiently muscled and autonomous to work relatively independently of Pakistani political leaders.
He describes Pakistan’s deep state like so: "a network of current and retired intelligence and military officers who are actively undermining the official policy of Pakistan’s government." What Lake’s article astoundingly misses is that this seems a perfect description of the situation here in the U.S. Neoconservatives like Lake have found it extremely difficult to comprehend when condemning other nations for profound evils or institutional failures: for them it is a grave and reproachful wrong, even threat, while our exact behavior or mishap is either forgiven by default, or utterly imperceptible, as seems to be the case with Lake.
- 2011/05/21: EmpireBurlesque: A Brief Primer on the Recent Supreme Court Decision in Kentucky v. King
- 2011/05/25: Wired:DR: There’s a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know.
Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.
- 2011/05/25: Guardian(UK): US to store passenger data for 15 years
Draft of Washington-EU deal leaked to the Guardian shows agreement 'violates basic European principles'
- 2011/05/23: DVoice: Protecting Us from Our Freedoms: Congress Set to Renew Patriot Act Spy Provisions
- 2011/05/21: CDreams: This Is What A Police State Looks Like
- 2011/05/18: AlterNet: Outrage: Supreme Court Gives the Green Light for Cops to Raid Homes If They Smell Marijuana, Hear Suspicious Sounds
- 2011/05/20: Salon:GG: The always-expanding bipartisan Surveillance State
- 2011/05/16: SoS: The Inner Workings of an FBI Surveillance Device
- 2011/05/16: LA Times: Supreme Court gives police a new entryway into homes
The Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision in a Kentucky case, says police officers who loudly knock on a door in search of illegal drugs and then hear sounds suggesting evidence is being destroyed may break down the door and enter without a search warrant.
- 2011/05/16: CSM: Supreme Court: No warrant needed if police discern destruction of evidence
- 2011/05/14: CourierPress: Indiana Supreme Court: citizens have no right to resist unlawful police entry -- Local case behind court's decision
People have no right to resist if police officers illegally enter their home, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a decision based on a Vanderburgh County case.
The ruling overturned centuries of common law, a fact the court acknowledged in the decision, noting that some scholars trace its origin to the Magna Carta in 1215.
- 2011/05/08: al Jazeera: Global capitalism and 21st century fascism
The global economic crisis and the attack on immigrant rights are bound together in a web of 21st century fascism.
- 2011/04/28: Guardian(UK): British firm offered spying software to Egyptian regime - documents
Gamma Internationa's Finfisher program would have enabled government spies to monitor activists and censor websites
- 2011/04/25: DVoice: No Place to Hide: Internet Tracking Probe Unveiled as New Smartphone Spy Scandal Unwinds
- 2011/03/25: NYT: It’s Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know
- 2011/03/18: DVoice: Dead among the Living: Zombie Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism
- 2011/03/15: AlterNet: Assange: The Internet Could Create a "Totalitarian Spying Regime"
- 2011/02/11: FPJ: Black 9/11: A Walk on the Dark Side [3 parts]
In his important 2006 book, Nemesis, the Last Days of the American Republic, the third and concluding part of a trilogy, the late Chalmers Johnson, who was an expert on Japan and US foreign policy, writes that as much as 40% of the Pentagon budget is "black," meaning hidden from public scrutiny. If the figure is even approximately correct, and I believe it is, the number is alarming because it suggests that democratic oversight of US military research and development has broken down. In which case our democratic values and way of life are presently at risk; not from without, as there is no foreign enemy that can destroy the US Constitution, but from within.
- 2011/03/05: EmpireBurlesque: A Nation Stripped Bare: Fascism Has Come to America
- 2011/03/04: Guardian(UK): China plans to track Beijing citizens through their mobiles
- 2011/02/28: DVoice: Washington’s Internal Security Apparatus: A Long History
- 2011/02/15: DemNow: Authorities Search and Copy U.S. Journalist’s Notes, Computer and Cameras After Returning from Haiti
- 2011/02/11: McClatchyDC: Obama assertion: FBI can get phone records without oversight
The Obama administration's Justice Department has asserted that the FBI can obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process or court oversight, according to a document obtained by McClatchy.
That assertion was revealed -- perhaps inadvertently -- by the department in its response to a McClatchy request for a copy of a secret Justice Department memo.
Critics say the legal position is flawed and creates a potential loophole that could lead to a repeat of FBI abuses that were supposed to have been stopped in 2006.
The controversy over the telephone records is a legacy of the Bush administration's war on terror. Critics say the Obama administration appears to be continuing many of the most controversial tactics of that strategy, including the assertion of sweeping executive powers.
- 2011/02/01: NWW: Watchdog Group questions Google's relationship with NSA
Consumer Watchdog group issues report that implies Google is protected by "inappropriate secret relationship" with NSA.
- 2011/02/02: CCurrents: How The US Became A Police State
- 2011/01/31: CCurrents: Decades In The Making: The U.S. Police State
- 2011/02/02: BBC: EU plans bigger exchange of air passenger data
The EU plans to expand transfers of air passenger data in a drive to prevent terrorism and other serious crimes such as drug trafficking.
In future all airlines flying to and from destinations in the EU will have to transfer passenger data to national authorities on request, the plan says.
The US, Canada and Australia already get such data from the EU.
- 2011/02/01: EUO: EU to collect data of international air travellers
- 2011/01/31: InformedComment: Kolin: How the US Became a Police State
- 2011/01/25: SoS: REAL-ID Implementation
- 2011/01/23: WiC: The National Security State of America
- 2011/01/23: SlashDot: Norwegian Police, Seeking Info On 2 Bloggers, Take Data From 7,000 Accounts
- 2011/01/20: BBC: Is CCTV creeping too far?
- 2011/01/18: DVoice: From Military-Industrial Complex to Permanent War State
- 2011/01/18: DVoice: White House Plans to Launch Internet ID System, Further Eroding Civil and Political Rights
- 2011/01/16: AlterNet: Is Fascism Lurking in America?
- 2011/01/14: SlashDot: Russia Moves To Universal ID Card
- 2011/01/12: CCurrents: How To Defeat American Fascism
Almost every day I think to myself "What the hell has happened to my country?" I still have a hard time coming to terms with the brutality and the crass disregard for human life that has become a cornerstone of American foreign policy. I also have a hard time coming to terms with this new American concept of fighting this so-called "War on Terror" that has led to the dissolution of our fundamental freedoms as expressed in the bill of rights.
This new America is fundamentally a dictatorship of the affluent.
- 2011/01/09: AntiWar: Obama Moves Forward With Federal Internet ID Scheme -- Commerce Dept Program Would Reinvent the Wheel, Only With Federal Control
- 2011/01/03: DerSpiegel: Right-Wing Extremism -- The Village Where the Neo-Nazis Rule
Hitler salutes in the street and firing practice in the forest: Neo-Nazis have taken over an entire village in Germany [Jamel, near Wismar in the far northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania],
and authorities appear to have given up efforts to combat the problem. The place has come to symbolize the far right's growing influence in parts of the former communist east.
- 2010/12/28: NYO: Soon To-Be Ex-Congressman John Hall Warns Against Creeping Fascism
- 2010/12/29: RawStory: Democratic lawmaker: Citizens United puts US on path to fascism
- 2010/12/30: RawStory: Judge warns of ‘Orwellian state’ in warrantless GPS tracking case
- 2010/12/25: CCurrents: The Rise and Rise of Super Fascism
- 2010/12/25: WiC: Lawless police state
- 2010/12/23: DVoice: Lawless Police State
- 2010/12/20: ACLU: Federal, State And Local Law Enforcement Collecting Information On Innocent Americans
- 2010/12/20: Salon:GG: The government's one-way mirror
- 2010/12/20: WaPo: Top Secret America -- Monitoring America
- 2010/12/20: AntiWar: US Government Building (Another) Vast Domestic Spying Network -- Reports Point to Massive Database on US Citizens
- 2010/12/03: APOV: Here Is Your Authoritarian Corporatocracy At Work ...
- 2010/12/03: PP: CNN Reporter Put On Watch List After Criticizing TSA
- 2010/12/02: Wired: Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans’ Credit Cards in Real Time
- 2010/12/01: WiC: "Terrorism" is now a fabrication of a national security state
This is not a conspiracy theory. To say that terrorism is a fabrication of a national security state is to say that when the label "terrorist" starts being indiscriminately applied to anyone who threatens the government we have taken another step towards totalitarianism.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, is calling for WikiLeaks to be designated a terrorist organization.
- 2010/11/30: DVoice: The Politics of Fear
- 2010/11/30: CBC: Airlines submit watch list data on U.S. flights
All 197 airlines that fly to the U.S. are now collecting names, genders and birth dates of passengers so the government can check them against terror watch lists before they fly, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.
Getting all air carriers that travel to or through the U.S. to provide this information marks a milestone in the government's counterterrorism efforts and completes one of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.
The program, called Secure Flight, has been delayed for years because of privacy concerns and went through three versions before it was approved. It's designed to give U.S. authorities more time to identify and remove suspected terrorists from flights and reduce instances when passengers are mistaken for people on terror watch lists.
- 2010/11/28: TMoS: America's Government Has Surrendered to Corporatism
- 2010/11/23: CNN: Is America on the path to 'permanent war'?
Some scholars say U.S. is on an unsustainable path to "permanent war" - Author: "Fixing Detroit should take precedent over fixing Afghanistan" -
America's "global occupation force" betrays Founding Father's vision, book says - Afghan war supporters says nation's enemies have declared permanent war on us
- 2010/11/18: WiC: Karen Greenberg: How at risk is the justice system?
- 2010/11/13: ACLU: Obama Administration Considering Indefinite Detention Of 9/11 Suspects -- Federal Court Trials Only Way To Achieve Real Justice
- 2010/11/11: TPR: Assassination In Court, US Argues to Make Legal What It’s Always Done
- 2010/11/11: Salon:GG: Is Terrorism being used to erode free speech rights?
- 2010/11/15: Salon:GG: The "pro-Constitution=pro-terrorist" canard
- 2010/11/05: CMurray: The Stew of Corruption
British democracy has lost its meaning. The political and economic system has come to serve the interests of a tiny elite, vastly wealthier than the run of the population, operating through corporate control. The state itself exists to serve the interests of these corporations, guided by a political class largely devoid of ideological belief and preoccupied with building their own careers and securing their own finances.
- 2010/11/14: TStar: Tales of horror from a police state -- ours
I sat in a plain, ordinary downtown hotel seminar room for two days this week, listening, one after another, to utterly jarring stories of police sadism at the G20.
Tales of women forced to pee through their jeans. Naked students ordered to lift their testicles for inspection. A woman snatched from a downtown corner and dropped off near midnight in the shadows of Scarborough, no directions or hope of finding her way home.
The hearings by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and National Union of Public and General Employees were focused on the summit this past summer in Toronto. But it often felt like a history lesson on 1935 Germany.
- 2010/11/11: TMoS: The 14 Steps to Fascism, or, America This Way
- 2010/11/08: TruthDig: A Recipe for Fascism
American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.
- 2010/11/04: CCurrents: America: Land of Police State Persecution
What do you call a country that glorifies wars and violence in the name of peace. One that's been at war every year in its history against one or more adversaries. One that believes pacifism is sissy and unpatriotic. One that feels militarism is a higher form of civilization. One that threatens planetary life.
One corrupted by malfeasance. One with the world's largest prison population, a domestic gulag besides others abroad. One placing no value on human rights and life. One exploiting the many for the few. One empowering money over people, championing concentrated wealth. One calling fake elections real.
One practicing torture as official policy. One dripping with racism and hatemongering. One with the highest homicide rate of all western nations and a passion for guns. One where violent films, sports, and video games are most popular. One where authorities participate in illicit drugs trafficking, letting major banks launder revenues.
One where state-sponsored terrorism subverts democratic freedoms, targeting the weak and disadvantaged relentlessly. One recklessly out of control, harsh and inhumane on a fast track toward despotism. One where the rule of law is rhetoric, not policy, where dominance supersedes rights, where dissent is now criminal.
One also where authorities persecute residents for their race, faith, ethnicity, or immigration status. One where thousands targeted are arrested, charged, convicted, wrongfully imprisoned, and at times deported after weeks, months or even years of harsh incarceration.
- 2010/11/01: NYT: Opt Out of a Body Scan? Then Brace Yourself
- 2010/10/29: IoI: U.K. Security Agencies Want Internet Service Providers To Routinely Store ALL User Email And Web Activities For 1 Year (Does This Sound Like Freedom?)
- 2010/10/28: AlterNet: Is the 'Digital Hive' Turning into a Soft Totalitarian State?
- 2010/10/21: ACLU: Obama Administration Promotes DHS And Pentagon Cybersecurity Partnership -- ACLU Warns Of Growing Military Presence In Domestic Law Enforcment And Security Operations
- 2010/10/21: DVoice: The "Cyberwar" Is Over and the National Security Agency Has Won
- 2010/10/23: AlterNet: Fascist America: Is This Election the Next Turn?
- 2010/10/20: Telegraph(UK): Every email and website to be stored
Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans.
- 2010/10/20: SlashDot: UK To Track All Browsing, Email, and Phone Calls
- 2010/10/19: ACLU: Administration Pushes For Expanded Wiretapping Capabilities -- ACLU Warns Of Potential For Abuse
- 2010/10/15: TStar: Staggering' conditions on accused G20 ringleader
Alex Hundert’s words will not appear in this story.
Unlike other Canadians, he’s not allowed to speak to the press.
At least that’s how a court interpreted the new bail conditions placed on Hundert, an accused ringleader of violence during the G20 summit in June.
"It’s staggering in its breadth," said John Norris, Hundert’s lawyer. "I’ve never heard of anything as broad as that."
Hundert, 30, faces three counts of conspiracy pertaining to G20 activities, and was released in July on $100,000 bail with about 20 terms, including not participating in any public demonstration.
Shortly after his release, the Crown filed an appeal to revoke his bail. Superior Court Justice Todd Ducharme ruled against that appeal.
On Sept. 17, shortly after Ducharme’s decision, Hundert was arrested for participating in a panel discussion at Ryerson University -- which police deemed to be a public demonstration.
- 2010/10/04: AlterNet: Surveillance State: Government Snooping, Prying, and Informing Worse Than You Think
- 2010/09/21: CIR: Database of suspicious activity going live with little attention
- 2010/10/01: IoI: Toronto Police Using Facial Recognition Software To Find G20 "Most Wanted"
- 2010/10/01: IoI: U.S. "Suspicious Activity" Database Going Live With Not Much Discussion Or Scrutiny
- 2010/09/29: CSM: Can the US assassinate an American citizen living in Yemen?
The targeted killing of Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, without due process, would violate the gold standard of international law set by the Nuremberg trials -- and defy the US Constitution.
- 2010/09/28: OpenDem: Surveillance does not make us safe
- 2010/09/29: BBC: India to compile 'world's biggest' ID database
India has launched a huge national identity scheme aimed at cutting fraud and improving access to state benefits.
Using biometric methods, including an iris scan, the system will log details of India's population of more than one billion people on a central database.
It was launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi in western India.
The data will be stored online in what India says will be the biggest such national database in the world.
- 2010/09/13: SlashDot: Dept. of Homeland Security To Test Iris Scanners
- 2010/09/07: FAS:SN: Pentagon Seeks "Coordination" of Media Activities
- 2010/09/13: FAS:SN: State Secrets vs. the Rule of Law
- 2010/09/07: RawStory: Federal court: 4th Amendment standard does not always apply to mobile phone location data
- 2010/09/06: AlterNet: Creepy Biometric IDs to Be Forced Onto India's 1.2 Billion Inhabitants
- 2010/09/02: CCurrents: Continuity Of Government: Coup d'Etat Authority In America
- 2010/09/02: DemNow: Appeals Court Ruling Allows Government to Use GPS to Track People’s Moves
- 2010/09/01: UrukNet: Continuity of Government: Coup d'Etat Authority in America
- 2010/08/29: WMTC: the u.s. police state at home and abroad
- 2010/08/28: AlterNet: Inside Top Secret America
- 2010/08/27: CNN: Court allows agents to secretly put GPS trackers on cars
Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person's car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Oregon in 2007 surreptitiously attached a GPS to the silver Jeep owned by Juan Pineda-Moreno, whom they suspected of growing marijuana, according to court papers.
- 2010/08/26: Salon:GG: Debating America's surveillance state
- 2010/08/25: RawStory: Van-mounted body scanners coming to a street near you?
- 2010/07/23: IslamTimes: Is the United States a Dictatorship?
- 2010/08/11: AlterNet: The Right-Wing Hardliner Immigration Approach Would Create a Police State -- Is That What Those Supposed Freedom Lovers Want?
- 2010/08/10: ACLU: National Security Letter Recipient Can Speak Out For First Time Since FBI Demanded Customer Records From Him -- FBI Partially Lifts Gag Order In ACLU Case
- 2010/08/10: CATO: The Digital Surveillance State: Vast, Secret, and Dangerous by Glenn Greenwald
- 2010/07/30: AlterNet: California Storing DNA of Innocent People
- 2010/07/30: DemNow: Google Teams Up with CIA to Fund "Recorded Future" Startup Monitoring Websites, Blogs & Twitter Accounts
- 2010/07/26: AllGov: Judge Rules CIA Can Withhold Info about Illegal Methods
A federal judge has backed CIA efforts to conceal information about treatment of detainees, even if the suppressed records contain details about illegal activity on the part of the intelligence agency.
- 2010/07/23: WMTC: the definition of a police state depends on where you live - what country, and what postal code
- 2010/07/09: EurActiv: Assertive Parliament ratifies EU-US anti-terror deal
After rejecting an earlier version in February, the European Parliament approved a revised EU-US bank-data sharing deal yesterday (8 July), asserting its new-found role in the EU's institutional power game under the Lisbon Treaty.
Having rejected the original SWIFT agreement negotiated by the European Commission and the US Treasury in February, MEPs approved the amended deal by 484 votes to 109.
The agreement will enter into force on 1 August 2010.
- 2010/06/29: Wired:TL: ACLU Study Highlights U.S. Surveillance Society
- 2010/07/06: CDreams: This Big Brother Is in the U.S.
Private information on innocent citizens will be handed over to U.S. law enforcement authorities under [SWIFT] an agreement slated for approval by the European Parliament this week.
- 2010/06/25: ZeroHedge: Guest Post: Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?
But with yesterday’s Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project decision (No. 08-1498, also 09-89) of the Supreme Court, coupled with last week’s Arar v. Ashcroft denial of certiorari (No. 09-923), the case for claiming that the U.S. is a fascist police-state just got a whole lot stronger.
- 2010/06/25: CanWest: 'Secret' law lets police arrest for failing to show ID near summit
- 2010/06/22: NakedCapitalism: Gonzalo Lira: Is the U.S. a Fascist Police-State?
- 2010/06/20: SST: The Twisted Genius on Lieberman's Bill
- 2010/06/20: SST: "Lieberman Introduces Bill Targeting Internet Freedom"
- 2010/06/14: DM:GnXp: The State May Have Your Genome Sooner Than You Think
- 2010/06/14: EUO: EU instrument for spying on 'radicals' causes outrage
Civil rights watchdogs and MEPs have attacked new EU plans to gather data on people who voice or share "radical messages" in a bid to pre-empt terrorist attacks.
Political activists labelled as "Extreme right/left, Islamist, nationalist or anti-globalisation" may in future find themselves under surveillance in line with a new, so-called, EU "data compilation instrument" put at the disposal of police and security forces in member states.
The 70-question long "instrument," covering ideologies, dissemination channels, personal and professional data on "agents," would help police and security officials gather comparable intelligence across the EU, which could later be pooled together into a single data base.
Although non-binding, the guidelines can legitimise police co-operation and new practices in the member states. The instrument was made public last month by Statewatch, a civil liberties watchdog, after being agreed by EU ministers in April.
- 2010/06/11: ZDNet: [Australian] Govt wants ISPs to record browsing history
Companies who provide customers with a connection to the internet may soon have to retain subscriber's private web browsing history for law enforcement to examine when requested, a move which has been widely criticised by industry insiders.
The Attorney-General's Department yesterday confirmed to ZDNet Australia that it had been in discussions with industry on implementing a data retention regime in Australia. Such a regime would require companies providing internet access to log and retain customer's private web browsing history for a certain period of time for law enforcement to access when needed.
Currently, companies that provide customers with a connection to the internet don't retain or log subscriber's private web browsing history unless they are given an interception warrant by law enforcement, usually approved by a judge. It is only then that companies can legally begin tapping a customer's internet connection.
- 2010/06/11: Delimiter: [Australian] Govt may record users’ web history, email data
The Federal Government has confirmed it is considering a policy requiring Australian internet providers to retain precise data on how their users are using the internet, with the potential to include information on emails sent and -- reportedly -- their web browsing history.
- 2010/06/03: GizModo: Are Cameras the New Guns?
In response to a flood of Facebook and YouTube videos that depict police abuse, a new trend in law enforcement is gaining popularity. In at least three states, it is now illegal to record any on-duty police officer.
- 2010/06/01: AlterNet: SWAT Raids Gone Wrong -- Paramilitary Policing Is Out of Control
- 2010/06/03: SlashDot: EU To Monitor All Internet Searches
- 2010/05/27: AnecdotalEcon: Slouching Toward Despotism
- 2010/05/26: OpenDem: Essential Reading on the US Prison-Industrial Complex
- 2010/05/21: Salon:GG: Obama wins the right to detain people with no habeas review
Few issues highlight Barack Obama's extreme hypocrisy the way that Bagram does.
- 2010/05/23: JQuiggin: The policy ratchet and US civil liberties
- 2010/05/21: ACLU: Federal Court Rules Bagram Prisoners Can't Challenge Their Detention In U.S. Courts
Decision Gives Government Unchecked Power To Detain Individuals Indefinitely Without Due Process Or Transparency, Says ACLU
- 2010/05/21: AlterNet: Supreme Court Says Feds Can Detain Sex Offenders Indefinitely: Why That's Dangerous
The U.S. Supreme Court's 7-2 ruling this week in U.S. v. Comstock, which declared that the federal government has the right to hold convicted sex offenders in "civil commitment" even after they have completed their prison sentences, has alarmed civil libertarians, many of whom are asking: If the government can keep sex offenders in preventive custody as long as they remain "dangerous," what will stop it from doing the same with terror suspects? The rights of terrorists -- like those of sex offenders -- might matter little to the average American, but the implications for a free society are unmistakeably dangerous.
- 2010/05/17: WaPo: Court: Sexually dangerous can be kept in prison
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal officials can indefinitely hold inmates considered "sexually dangerous" after their prison terms are complete.
The high court reversed a lower court decision that said Congress overstepped its authority in allowing indefinite detentions of considered "sexually dangerous."
"The statute is a 'necessary and proper' means of exercising the federal authority that permits Congress to create federal criminal laws, to punish their violation, to imprison violators, to provide appropriately for those imprisoned and to maintain the security of those who are not imprisoned by who may be affected by the federal imprisonment of others," said Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the majority opinion.
- 2010/05/11: TP: Seattle Police Officer Taped Kicking Latino Man In The Head, Pledging To ‘Beat The Mexican Piss’ Out Of Him
- 2010/05/06: ACLU: Members Of Congress Propose Bill To Strip Citizenship From American Terrorism Suspects
- 2010/05/02: EnergyBulletin: Oil spills, crime waves and the increasing militarization of American life
- 2010/04/30: AlterNet: Nascent Police State: Stay Away from Arizona
- 2010/04/30: UOH: Fascism on the march -- more states consider "Papers Please" law
- 2010/04/12: Progressive: Chomsky Warns of Risk of Fascism in America
- 2010/04/16: ACLU: Obama Administration Officials Drafting Secret Indefinite Detention Policy -- Government Must Follow Rule Of Law, Says ACLU
According to a report today in the Los Angeles Times, some Obama administration officials are in the process of drafting classified guidelines that would allow the government to indefinitely hold terrorism suspects outside of the United States without charge or trial.
The policy, if adopted, would apply to future terrorism captures, and is reportedly still being debated within the administration with some officials voicing objections.
The ACLU continues to call on the Obama administration to adhere to the rule of law in its handling of terrorism suspects.
- 2010/04/07: TPR: Former Bush Official [Rademaker] Says Prosecuting Crimes Of Aggression A ‘Bad Idea’
- 2010/04/08: BBC: NZ denies US controls intel base -- Waihopai listening post is part of the US-led Echelon eavesdropping network
A New Zealand government intelligence base is not "under US control or assisting military operations in Iraq", the country's spy chiefs say.
- 2010/04/07: SlashDot: Google Gives the US Government Access To Gmail
- 2010/04/05: DVoice: "Managing" Data and Dissent: Where Big Brother Meets Market Fundamentalism
- 2010/04/06: BBC: Super-injunction review ordered
A major review of the use of super-injunctions to gag the media has been ordered, it has been announced.
A committee of senior judges, newspaper group representatives and libel lawyers will look at the issue and meet for the first time on 4 May.
An injunction granted to Swiss firm Trafigura seemed to restrict comments in parliament and footballer John Terry had one which was later repealed.
MPs have expressed fears that their freedom to speak is being restricted.
Super-injunctions are highly secret injunctions where the press cannot even refer to the fact that an injunction has been granted.
In a report published in February, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of MPs expressed "grave concern" about parliamentary freedom of speech.
The committee called for new laws to clarify the limits on the use of super-injunctions against comments made in Parliament.
- 2010/04/01: BBC: India launches biometric census
India is launching a new census in which every person aged over 15 will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database.
The government will then use the information to issue identity cards.
Officials will spend a year classifying India's population of around 1.2 billion people according to gender, religion, occupation and education.
- 2010/03/30: CCurrents: Is America ‘Yearning For Fascism?’
- 2010/03/26: CCurrents: The McCain-Lieberman Police State Act
- 2010/03/26: CBC: China's Google blocking works in tests
- 2010/03/23: ACLU: Senator Graham Proposes Indefinite Detention Legislation To White House
- 2010/03/17: EFF: Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine... And Fighting It
- 2010/03/19: AlterNet: McCain and Lieberman's "Enemy Belligerent" Act Could Set U.S. on Path to Military Dictatorship
- 2010/03/18: AlterNet: Loud Sex Enough for Cops to Search Your Home, Court Rules
- 2010/03/18: AlterNet: The FBI Could Be Watching You on Facebook
- 2010/03/08: CDreams: Calling All Rebels
There are no constraints left to halt America's slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.
- 2010/03/05: ACLU: TSA Expands Use Of Invasive Body Scanners
- 2010/02/26: EFF: Epic Fail in Congress: USA PATRIOT Act Renewed Without Any New Civil Liberties Protections
- 2010/03/04: BBC: Police to take prints on the beat
All 43 police forces in England and Wales are to start using mobile fingerprint scanners to check the identity of suspects in the street.
Up to 3,000 devices, the size of a mobile phone, will be deployed this summer, enabling officers to cross-reference prints with national records.
The National Policing Improvement Agency has signed a three-year contract worth £9m with US firm Cogent Systems.
Civil liberty campaigners fear the devices could lead to random searches.
- 2010/03/02: BBC: German court orders data deletion
Vast amounts of telephone and e-mail data held in Germany must be deleted, the country's highest court has ruled.
The constitutional court overturned a 2008 law requiring communications data to be kept for six months.
The law - designed to combat terrorism and serious crime - required telecoms companies to keep logs of calls, faxes, SMS messages, e-mails and internet use.
But nearly 35,000 Germans lodged complaints against it, arguing that the law violated their right to privacy.
Responding to a class-action lawsuit, Germany's constitutional court described the law as a "particularly serious infringement of privacy in telecommunications".
However, it did not rule against data retention in principle.
- 2010/02/25: DemNow: Author Shane Harris on "The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State"
- 2010/02/25: CWorld:Blog: Leaked Microsoft intelligence document: Here's what Microsoft will reveal to police about you
- 2010/02/20: NakedCapitalism: George Washington: Governments From Around the World ADMIT That They Carry Out False Flag Terror
- 2010/02/17: DerSpiegel: The Big Brother of Europe? France Moves Closer to Unprecedented Internet Regulation
The lower house of the French parliament has approved a draft bill that will allow the state unprecedented control over the Internet. Although the government says it will improve security for ordinary citizens, civil rights activists are warning of a "new level" of censorship and surveillance.
- 2010/02/14: PSGraham: America’s emerging police state
- 2010/02/08: at-Largely: FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited
- 2010/02/04: CNN: The government has your baby's DNA
Genetic testing for newborns started in the 1960s - Specimens are often given to outside researchers - Scientists have said the collection of DNA samples is a "gold mine" for doing research
- 2010/02/05: CNet: FBI wants records kept of Web sites visited
The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.
FBI Director Robert Mueller supports storing Internet users' "origin and destination information," a bureau attorney said at a federal task force meeting on Thursday.
- 2010/02/04: ACLU: Intelligence Official Acknowledges Policy Allowing Targeted Killings Of Americans -- ACLU Says More Information Needed On Policy That Grants President Power To Target Americans Abroad
- 2010/02/01: CBC: Nearly 1,000 Olympic security cameras go live
With just 10 days to go until the opening of the 2010 Winter Games, nearly 1,000 security cameras have been turned on to monitor the crowds, which are already starting to fill the streets.
About 900 of the cameras were installed by the RCMP-led Olympic security team around venues for the Games, while another 90 cameras were installed by the City of Vancouver around public sites in the downtown area.
- 2010/01/26: SoS: More Surveillance in the UK
- 2010/01/21: EFF: EFF Plans Appeal of Jewel v. NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Case -- Court Rules That Mass Surveillance of Americans is Immune From Judicial Review
- 2010/01/23: BBC: Photographers' terror law protest
Professional and amateur photographers have gathered in London's Trafalgar Square to protest against terror stop and searches.
The photographers say police are intimidating people with cameras in tactics to target possible terrorists.
Last week the European Court of Human Rights ruled the power to stop people without suspicion was indiscriminate.
The government is appealing, saying it is vital to make cities a hostile place for any possible attacker.
- 2010/01/22: CSM: Supreme Court ruling: Do we really trust corporations more than elected officials?
- 2010/01/21: at-Largely: SCOTUS ruling = Powell Memo goal = Fall of democracy...
- 2010/01/21: DSwanson: SCOTUS: Corporations=People, Spending=Speech
- 2010/01/20: AlterNet: Obama Confidant's Spine-Chilling Proposal to 'Cognitively Infiltrate' Conspiracy Theorist Groups
- 2010/01/19: WaPo: FBI broke law for years in phone record searches
The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions.
E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats.
A Justice Department inspector general's report due out this month is expected to conclude that the FBI frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, bureau officials confirmed.
- 2010/01/15: Salon:GG: Obama confidant's spine-chilling proposal
[...] In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, [Cass] Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-"independent" advocates to "cognitively infiltrate" online groups and websites -- as well as other activist groups -- which advocate views that Sunstein deems "false conspiracy theories" about the Government.
- 2010/01/15: CanWest: Surveillance-camera use ‘mushrooming’: study -- Practice is accepted, watchdog notes
The use of surveillance cameras in Ottawa and other Canadian cities is "mushrooming," but so far the public appears unconcerned, according to a new report by the Surveillance Camera Awareness Network (SCAN).
Among other things, the OPP are acquiring surveillance cameras with automated licence-plate-recognition technology, and the RCMP have installed cameras at Vancouver Olympic venues and tourist sites.
As well, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver have deployed thousands of surveillance cameras on their transit systems, and half a dozen Canadian cities, including Ottawa, have adopted taxi cameras.
Surveillance cameras "generally seem to be accepted without demur," the report says. Indeed, "public opinion is generally very favourable to their installation."
A nine-nation survey found "the overwhelming majority" of those polled believe camera surveillance is effective at reducing crime. In Canada, nearly three in four hold that view.
What's lacking, says the report, is evidence to support that belief.
- 2010/01/14: Eureka: Canadians should be concerned about camera surveillance -- Queen's University report
- 2010/01/12: CCurrents: Insouciant Americans
The "war on terror" is a far greater threat to Americans than all the terrorists in the world combined. This is so because the "war on terror" has destroyed the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
- 2010/01/04: JFulton: What's new in the British police state?
- 2009/12/30: EmpireBurlesque: Update on Our Brave New Slavery: Yes, It Applies to American Citizens, Too
- 2009/12/20: WB: Is America Still a Nation of Laws?
- 2009/12/20: NakedCapitalism: Supreme Court Guts Due Process Protection
- 2009/12/15: BBC: Australia intends to introduce filters which will ban access to websites containing criminal content
- 2009/12/09: NewScientist:SSS: Spying begins on UK web users
- 2009/12/09: AlterNet: Homeland Security Embarks on Big Brother Programs to Read Our Minds and Emotions
- 2009/12/05: RawStory: Sprint manager: ‘Half’ of all police surveillance includes text messaging
According to a graduate student's research into the spying policies of major U.S. telecommunications companies, at a recent security conference a Sprint surveillance manager told a group of onlookers that half of all police requests include the target's text messages.
Half of millions -- including some 8 million automated, web-based requests for GPS location, all in just over a year's time.
- 2009/12/03: SoS: Sprint Provides U.S. Law Enforcement with Cell Phone Customer Location Data
- 2009/12/04: EurActiv: Web under threat from 'snooping' authorities
Governments and companies pushing for greater monitoring of Internet activity pose a major threat to freedom and democracy, according to Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.
- 2009/12/01: EFF: Surveillance Shocker: Sprint Received 8 MILLION Law Enforcement Requests for GPS Location Data in the Past Year
- 2009/12/01: Wired:TL: Yahoo, Verizon: Our Spy Capabilities Would ‘Shock’, ‘Confuse’ Consumers
- 2009/11/27: DerSpiegel: Spying on Terrorist Cash Flows -- EU to Allow US Access to Bank Transaction Data
As part of the war on terror, American intelligence services have been monitoring European bank transactions since 2001. When the EU found out about it in 2006, they were outraged. But now it looks like the bloc will agree to a controversial deal that will allow the covert data transfer to continue.
- 2009/11/24: AlterNet: Feeling Nervous? 3,000 Behavior Detection Officers Will Be Watching You at the Airport This Thanksgiving
- 2009/11/18: SlashDot: Chicago's Camera Network Is Everywhere
- 2009/11/15: LA Times: TSA is secretly watching you
Covert officers at 161 U.S. airports, including LAX, look for suspicious behaviors. The program has led to arrests on charges of drug trafficking, among others.
To identify dangerous people, the Transportation Security Administration stations behavior-detection officers at 161 U.S. airports, including ones in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.
- 2009/11/14: PeakEnergy: Britain presses on with Big Brother telecoms database
- 2009/11/10: Telegraph(UK): State to 'spy' on every phone call, email and web search
Every phone call, text message, email and website visit made by private citizens is to be stored for a year and will be available for monitoring by government bodies.
- 2009/11/10: CBS: Justice Dept. Asked For News Site's Visitor Lists
- 2009/11/11: ZeroHedge: More Attacks On Online Free Speech? Justice Department Subpoenas Site's Visitors IP Addresses
- 2009/11/11: BBC: Six-year limit on DNA of innocent
The DNA of most innocent people arrested in England and Wales will no longer be held for more than six years, the Home Office has confirmed.
But police may be allowed to keep DNA from those arrested for terrorism, even if they are freed or found not guilty.
It comes after the European Court of Human Rights ruled last year that the National DNA Database was illegal.
Ministers say the package of proposed reforms will protect privacy - but also allow police to use DNA to solve crime.
- 2009/11/11: AlterNet: Feds Wanted Private Data on All Visitors to Liberal News Site [Indymedia.us]
- 2009/11/09: BBC: UK surveillance plan to go ahead
The Home Office says it will push ahead with plans to ask communications firms to monitor all internet use.
- 2009/11/03: Wired:DR: U.S. Needs Hit Squads, ‘Manhunting Agency’: Spec Ops Report
[...] A recent report from the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations University argues that the CIA didn’t go far enough (.pdf). Instead, it suggests the American government should set up something like a "National Manhunting Agency" to go after jihadists, drug dealers, pirates and other enemies of the state.
- 2009/11/02: CCurrents: FBI Has 400,000 People On Terrorism "Watch List"
- 2009/11/02: SoS: The FBI and Wiretaps [DCSNet]
- 2009/10/29: NatureTGB: UK still pushing to keep innocents’ details on DNA database
- 2009/10/21: DerSpiegel: Technology Boost for Orwell -- EU to Monitor Deviant Behavior in Fight against Terrorism
The European Union is funding ambitious programs aimed at monitoring human behavior in an effort to identify deviance and pick out potential terrorists. The implications for privacy are myriad.
- 2009/10/24: AlterNet: Presidential Power Has Gone Way Too Far
- 2009/10/24: AlterNet: After the Billionaires Plundered Alabama Town, Troops Were Called in ... Illegally
- 2009/10/23: SlashDot: Dutch Gov't Has No Idea How To Delete Tapped Calls
- 2009/10/16: ACLU: Court Rules Government Can Continue To Suppress Detainee Statements Describing Torture And Abuse -- Transcripts Of Combatant Status Review Trials Essential To Accountability For Torture, Says ACLU
- 2009/10/13: Guardian(UK): How super-injunctions are used to gag investigative reporting
The Guardian has been served with at least 12 notices of injunctions that could not be reported so far this year
- 2009/10/05: AlterNet: Why Is the Military Infringing on Obama's Decison-Making Turf?
- 2009/10/05: NYT: Surveillance Will Expand To Midtown, Mayor Says
A network of private and public surveillance cameras, license plate readers and weapons sensors already established in Lower Manhattan as an electronic bulwark against terrorist attacks will soon expand to a large patch of Midtown Manhattan, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said Sunday as they announced the allocation of $24 million in Homeland Security grants toward the effort.
Mr. Bloomberg said the expanded monitoring network would cover the areas between 30th and 60th Streets, from the Hudson to the East River.
"We cannot afford to be complacent," he said, noting that Midtown includes landmarks like Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building and the United Nations.
Like the system downtown, the expanded surveillance network would feed streams of data for analysis to a coordination center at 55 Broadway. Mr. Bloomberg, who made the announcement at the center with Mr. Kelly, said work on the Midtown system would begin next year and be completed in 2011.
- 2009/10/02: CBC: Laptop searches fair game for border agents
The arrest of a Catholic bishop on child-pornography charges highlights the power of Canadian border agents to see not just your passport, but the contents of your laptop computer.
Between them, the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP enforce dozens of statutes -- the border agency at various ports and crossings, the Mounties in areas that fall between ports of entry.
The Customs Act gives Canada's border officers authority to examine people's personal baggage and goods whether they are arriving or departing from Canada, including scrutiny of electronic devices.
- 2009/10/02: SlashDot: Corporations Now Have a Right To "Personal Privacy"
- 2009/09/30: PLB: Since when does a legal entity have "privacy" rights?
- 2009/09/29: CCurrents: The U.S. Creeps Closer To A Police State
- 2009/09/30: Times(UK): Gore Vidal: ‘We’ll have a dictatorship soon in the US’
The grand old man of letters Gore Vidal claims America is ‘rotting away’ -- and don’t expect Barack Obama to save it
- 2009/09/30: SlashDot: Scientists Decry "Horrifying" UK Border Test Plan
- 2009/09/09: OLJ: Why the U.S. is not a democracy
- 2009/09/03: AlterNet: Eisenhower's Forgotten Warning and the Threat of Authoritarian Currents in Our Politics
- 2009/08/28: AlterNet: Will Biometric Passports Lead to a State of Constant Surveillance?
- 2009/08/24: HuffPo: Common Sense 2009
The American government -- which we once called our government -- has been taken over by Wall Street, the mega-corporations and the super-rich. They are the ones who decide our fate. It is this group of powerful elites, the people President Franklin D. Roosevelt called "economic royalists," who choose our elected officials -- indeed, our very form of government. Both Democrats and Republicans dance to the tune of their corporate masters. In America, corporations do not control the government. In America, corporations are the government.
This was never more obvious than with the Wall Street bailout, whereby the very corporations that caused the collapse of our economy were rewarded with taxpayer dollars. So arrogant, so smug were they that, without a moment's hesitation, they took our money -- yours and mine -- to pay their executives multimillion-dollar bonuses, something they continue doing to this very day. They have no shame. They don't care what you and I think about them. Henry Kissinger refers to us as "useless eaters."
- 2009/08/21: CanWest: Canada plans to share fingerprint database with U.K., Australia
Calling asylum seekers a "vulnerable group," Canada's privacy commissioner expressed concern Friday about a new government plan to share fingerprint information with Britain and Australia to combat immigration fraud.
The three-country agreement was announced Friday with little fanfare, with Canada and the two countries providing assurances that no one's privacy would be violated and that no database for the prints would be created.
A lawyers' group in Australia also raised privacy concerns about the plan, which the United States and New Zealand were expected to join later on.
- 2009/08/20: OLJ: Americans: Serfs ruled by oligarchs
Americans think that they have "freedom and democracy" and that politicians are held accountable by elections. The fact of the matter is that the US is ruled by powerful interest groups who control politicians with campaign contributions. Our real rulers are an oligarchy of financial and military/security interests and AIPAC, which influences US foreign policy for the benefit of Israel.
Have a look at economic policy. It is being run for the benefit of large financial concerns, such as Goldman Sachs.
- 2009/08/11: OurFuture: Fascist America II: The Last Turnoff
- 2009/08/14: AlterNet: 7 Ways We Can Fight Back Against the Rising Fascist Threat
- 2009/08/07: AlterNet: Is the U.S. on the Brink of Fascism?
- 2009/07/30: BBC: UK's national ID card unveiled
- 2009/07/28: TruthDig: America the Great ... Police State by Gore Vidal
- 2009/07/29: DerSpiegel: Big Brother Is Watching Your Blackberry -- How Wired Gadgets Encroach on Privacy
With every high-tech gadget we buy, we give up a little more privacy. Many devices today are in constant communication with their manufacturer. And it's not just consumers who are losing their rights -- the technology gives authoritarian states whole new ways of keeping tabs on individuals.
- 2009/07/27: WSWS: The specter of a police state -- Bush administration considered using military to arrest "Lackawanna Six"
- 2009/07/16: Guardian(UK): Secret evidence imperils the core values of British justice
- 2009/07/13: Guardian(UK): The US army's enemy within
Struggling to recruit for its foreign wars, the US military has quietly dropped prohibitions against enlisting neo-Nazis
- 2009/07/03: CBC: Obama's internet monitoring plan moves forward -- Proposal for defending against cyber attacks worries privacy experts
- 2009/07/01: FTimes: Policy retreat over identity cards
Alan Johnson, home secretary, has ruled out making ID cards compulsory for UK citizens, signalling a significant retreat by the government on its flagship £4.8bn national scheme.
In his first big policy announcement, Mr Johnson said: "Holding an identity card should be a personal choice for British citizens ... just as it is now to obtain a passport."
As a result, pilots and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports will not have to carry the cards in a test scheme, to which unions objected strongly.
- 2009/06/30: BBC: Climbdown on compulsory ID cards
Home Secretary Alan Johnson has dropped plans to make ID cards compulsory for pilots and airside workers at Manchester and London City airports.
The cards were due to be trialled there - sparking trade union anger.
Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said that the reverse in policy was "an absurd fudge" and "symbolic of a government in chaos".
But Mr Johnson said the ID card scheme was still very much alive - despite Tory and Lib Dem calls to scrap it.
He said the national roll-out of a voluntary scheme was being speeded-up - with London to get them a year early in 2010...
- 2009/06/26: CBC: Secret police wiretaps fly under the radar -- Warrant-less eavesdropping prompts questions over privacy
[...] CBC News has learned that McMynn's case is just one of at least 267 cases between 2000 and 2008 where major police forces across the country used warrant-less wiretaps.
The information was obtained through freedom of information and access to information requests. Some forces -- including Toronto, London and Winnipeg -- released only partial information, citing secrecy provisions in the Criminal Code, and the Quebec provincial police never responded.
"There might be a lot more instances in which it is being used and that's what's troubling," says James Stribopoulos, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto.
"I think people would be alarmed to know, there are no checks on the exercise of that power."
- 2009/06/27: WaPo: White House Weighs Order on Detention -- Officials: Move Would Reassert Power To Hold Terror Suspects Indefinitely
- 2009/06/27: TPMM: Report: Obama Admin Drafts Memo To Detain Terror Suspects Indefinitely
- 2009/06/26: RawStory: White House drafts executive order to allow indefinite detentions
- 2009/06/25: AlterNet: Big Business Is Aiding the Internet Crackdown in Iran and China -- Will the Technology Be Used on Americans Next?
- 2009/06/24: Rabble: Free speech vs. surveillance in the digital age
- 2009/06/20: CBC: Electronic snooping bill a 'data grab': privacy advocates
- 2009/06/19: LeDaro: Stephen Harper: The completion of police state
- 2009/06/18: BBC: First trial without jury approved
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a criminal trial can take place at Crown Court without a jury for the first time in England and Wales.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, made legal history by agreeing to allow the trial to be heard by a judge alone.
It is the first time the power has been used since it came into force in 2007.
- 2009/06/10: CCTimes: Defense Department sees protests as terrorism
- 2009/06/18: CBC: ISPs must help police snoop on internet under new bill
- 2009/06/18: CanWest: Feds to give cops Internet-snooping powers
Police will be given new powers to eavesdrop on Internet-based communications as part of a contentious government bill, to be announced Thursday, which Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan has said is needed to modernize surveillance laws crafted during "the era of the rotary phone."
The proposed legislation would force Internet service providers to allow law enforcement to tap into their systems to obtain information about users and their digital conversations.
Police have lobbied for a new law for almost 10 years, saying that they need to access "Internet safe havens" for gangsters, sexual predators and terrorists.
"This is really not about the warrantless tracking of Canadians' Internet use," said Clayton Pecknold, of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.
- 2009/06/18: Guardian(UK): America accused of spying on millions of emails
- 2009/06/17: NYT: E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress
The National Security Agency is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged...
- 2009/06/07: LVRJ: Subpoena seeks names -- and lots more -- of Web posters
Free speech should be practiced only by those who are ready to deal with the consequences, which just might include a knock on the door by a friendly federal investigator wanting to know if you posted an anonymous comment on a Web site. Were you advocating violence or confessing to breaking the federal tax laws?
This is not a hypothetical.
On May 26 the Review-Journal published an article about an ongoing federal tax evasion trial. The primary defendant, Las Vegan Robert Kahre, stands accused of tax fraud for using the rather inventive argument that he could pay people in U.S. minted gold and silver coins based on their precious metal value but for tax purposes use their face value, which is many times less.
The story was posted on our Web site. When last I checked nearly 100 comments were appended to it, running the gamut from the lucid to the ludicrous.
This past week the newspaper was served with a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. attorney's office demanding that we turn over all records pertaining to those postings, including "full name, date of birth, physical address, gender, ZIP code, password prompts, security questions, telephone numbers and other identifiers ... the IP address," et (kitchen sink) cetera.
- 2009/06/10: CBC: Furor grows over secret background checks on potential jurors
- 2009/06/10: G&M: Ottawa to seek biometric data on visitors
The incoming head of Canada's spy agency says new rules requiring digital fingerprints and photos at foreign visa offices will be extended to every visitor from any country in the world -- including close European allies such as France and Britain.
Speaking in his current position as deputy minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Richard Fadden said the use of such biometric data will be phased in over time, starting with countries considered to pose higher security risks.
The plan is to phase in the rules between 2011 and 2013 for countries whose nationals require a visa for travel, work or study in Canada. But Mr. Fadden revealed yesterday that the longer-term plan will extend the rules to citizens of the nearly 60 countries who travel to Canada relatively hassle-free through exemptions from the visa process.
- 2009/06/04: NYT: Telecoms Win Dismissal of Wiretap Suits
A federal judge on Wednesday threw out more than three dozen lawsuits claiming that the nation’s major telecommunications companies had illegally assisted in the wiretapping without warrants program approved by President George W. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks.
Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court in Northern California said that although consumer and privacy groups raised important constitutional issues in their claims, Congress had left no doubt about its “unequivocal intention” when it passed a measure last summer giving immunity to phone carriers in the wiretapping program.
The ruling represents a major victory not only for AT&T and other carriers, which faced potential damages of billions of dollars if they lost the cases, but also for intelligence officials in Washington who had fought assertively in their defense. Officials from both the Bush and the Obama administrations maintained that the cooperation of the phone companies has been vital to national security and that penalizing them for their participation would jeopardize important surveillance operations.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy and civil liberties group, said they would appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- 2009/05/23: BBC: Camera grid to log number plates
A national network of cameras and computers automatically logging car number plates will be in place within months, the BBC has learned.
Thousands of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras are already operating on Britain's roads.
Police forces across England, Wales and Scotland will soon be able to share the information on one central computer.
Officers say it is a useful tool in fighting crime, but critics say the network is secretive and unregulated.
Kent's Chief Constable, Michael Fuller, commented: "We've seen an increase of some 40% of arrests since we've been using this technology.
"I'm very confident that we're using it properly and responsibly, and that innocent people have nothing to fear from the way we use it."
- 2009/05/22: WSWS: The Obama-Cheney "debate" and the threat of dictatorship in America
- 2009/05/14: Guardian(UK): America's growing surveillance state
The Obama administration isn't just watching rightwing extremists. It's watching us all -- and we should all be concerned
- 2009/05/07: ChicagoTrib: Wisconsin court upholds GPS tracking by police
- 2009/05/10: SlashDot: Warrantless GPS Tracking Is Legal, Says WI Court
- 2009/04/27: CBC: U.K. backs down from email, phone database
- 2009/04/27: SlashDot: UK Government To Monitor All Internet Use
- 2009/04/24: SwissInfo: Expert warns e-passports are open to abuse
Plans for a new passport have sparked debate over the inclusion of an electronic chip containing biometric details, and the creation of a central fingerprint database.
Peter Heinzmann, a professor of internet technologies and applications at Rapperswil Technical College outside Zurich, tells swissinfo of the risks posed by the project.
Supporters, including the government and a majority in parliament, argue a European single border treaty, known as the Schengen accord, obliges Switzerland to introduce biometric passports by March next year.
- 2009/04/24: PeakEnergy: Congress Seeks "Kill Switch" For Internet
- 2009/04/24: AlterNet: U.S. Cities Increasing Use of Armed Mercenaries to Replace Police
- 2009/04/23: SlashDot: Germany Institutes Censorship Infrastructure
- 2009/04/19: NYT: F.B.I. and States Vastly Expand DNA Databases
Law enforcement officials are vastly expanding their collection of DNA to include millions more people who have been arrested or detained but not yet convicted. The move, intended to help solve more crimes, is raising concerns about the privacy of petty offenders and people who are presumed innocent.
Until now, the federal government genetically tracked only convicts. But starting this month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will join 15 states that collect DNA samples from those awaiting trial and will collect DNA from detained immigrants -- the vanguard of a growing class of genetic registrants.
The F.B.I., with a DNA database of 6.7 million profiles, expects to accelerate its growth rate from 80,000 new entries a year to 1.2 million by 2012 -- a 17-fold increase. F.B.I. officials say they expect DNA processing backlogs -- which now stand at more than 500,000 cases -- to increase.
- 2009/04/14: NewScientist: Eyeball spy turns the tables on Big Brother
- 2009/04/09: PeakEnergy: UK launches massive program to archive every email
- 2009/04/09: WpgSun: Your trash is open to cops
The Supreme Court of Canada says a former national team swimmer had no right to privacy when he put out garbage that included evidence of a home-based ecstasy lab.
The high court ruled 7-0 that Russell Patrick abandoned his privacy rights when he put the four bags out for collection alongside a public alleyway in Calgary.
"The police did not breach (Patrick’s) right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure," Justice Ian Binnie wrote on behalf of the court.
"He abandoned his privacy interest when he placed his garbage for collection at the rear of his property where it was accessible to any passing member of the public. ... His conduct was incompatible with any reasonable expectation of confidentiality."
The police did not have to step onto Patrick’s property to retrieve the bags, Binnie noted, but "they did have to reach through the airspace over his property line."
The case was considered a key test on whether garbage is constitutionally protected, like homes and telephone conversations.
- 2009/04/06: BBC: Net firms start storing user data
Details of user e-mails and net phone calls will be stored by internet service providers (ISPs) from Monday under an EU directive.
The plans were drawn up in the wake of the London bombings in 2005.
ISPs and telecoms firms have resisted the proposals while some countries in the EU are contesting the directive.
Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, said it was a "crazy directive" with potentially dangerous repercussions for citizens.
All ISPs in the European Union will have to store the records for a year. An EU directive which requires telecoms firms to hold on to telephone records for 12 months is already in force.
The data stored does not include the content of e-mails or a recording of a net phone call, but is used to determine connections between individuals.
Authorities can get access to the stored records with a warrant.
- 2009/04/05: KDenninger: The Constitution Dies - To Thunderous Applause
- 2009/03/30: IndexResearch: Will Economic Crisis Lead To A Police State World?
- 2009/03/26: AlterNet: FBI Director Pushes to Renew PATRIOT Act Surveillance Powers
- 2009/03/26: OLJ: Tracked by spies and informers
The February 26 revelation in the Los Angeles Times that FBI domestic intelligence informant and ex-convict Craig Monteilh and others were paid handsomely to spy on Muslim Americans in their houses of worship in Southern California should come as no surprise. Such domestic intelligence gathering has a history in the United States.
The annals of modern domestic surveillance in America are contained in the massive 1976 Church Committee Reports of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The reports, drafted by the Senate in the wake of the Watergate scandal, should have ended domestic intelligence abuses, but in the post-9/11 climate, their warnings and descriptions of crimes against liberty go unheeded.
- 2009/03/25: SlashDot: German Police Raid Homes of Wikileaks.de Domain Owner
- 2009/03/23: SMH: Secret searches spreading too far
This week, the upper house of State Parliament is expected to consider a law to allow police to enter in secret and search the homes of those suspected of committing crimes. The bill was pushed through the lower house this month and, assuming it passes, will allow general duties police to use covert search warrants to investigate a range of ordinary criminal offences, which can be heard by a jury and are punishable by seven or more years in prison.
Not only suspected offenders and those suspected of helping them are covered - so are the neighbours.
- 2009/03/23: SMH: Protest at secret search powers
The stealth with which the NSW Government has sought to give police the power to search people's homes secretly has angered lawyers and civil libertarians.
Lawyers and human rights defenders representing six groups have written to the Premier, Nathan Rees, demanding to know why they were not consulted on the plan to extend already "unnecessary" police powers.
The NSW Attorney-General introduced legislation to Parliament this month that would allow police to search the homes of people not suspected of any crime, but whose homes adjoined those of people who are. The laws build on state terrorism legislation in 2002.
- 2009/03/17: PeakEnergy: Banned hyperlinks could cost you $11,000 a day
- 2009/03/16: WikiLeaks: Australia secretly censors Wikileaks press release and Danish Internet censorship list
- 2008/12/23: WikiLeaks: Denmark: 3863 sites on censorship list, Feb 2008
- 2009/03/17: SMH: Banned hyperlinks could cost you $11,000 a day
The Australian communications regulator says it will fine people who hyperlink to sites on its blacklist, which has been further expanded to include several pages on the anonymous whistleblower site Wikileaks.
- 2009/03/17: SlashDot: Wikileaks Pages Added To Australian Internet Blacklist
- 2009/02/12: Guardian(UK): Documenting dissent is under attack
From Monday, you could be arrested for taking and publishing a photograph of someone in intelligence, the police or armed forces
As reported in the Guardian today, Monday is the enforcement date for section 76 of the Counter Terrorism Act 2008, and as a photojournalist who documents political dissent on the streets -- and sometimes fields -- of Britain, I'm worried about how this legislation is going to affect my job.
Terror legislation has been increasingly used by this government, and sometimes brutally enforced by the police, to criminalise not only those who protest but also those who dare to give the oxygen of publicity to such dissent.
From Monday it will be an offence to elicit or attempt to elicit information about an individual who is or has been a member of the armed forces, intelligence services, or a police officer in Great Britain -- it's been an offence in Northern Ireland since 2000. It will also be an offence to publish such information.
- 2009/03/13: OLJ: Rome Diary, March 2009: Fascist times in the land where lemon trees bloom
- 2009/03/13: OLJ: Eyes wide shut: A look at British news censorship
- 2009/03/12: OLJ: What’s law got to do with it?
In an article titled, Memos Provide Blueprint for Police State, Marjorie Cohn, sets out clearly the role of two key figures in the drafting of a set of memoranda that overturned the most basic protections American citizens had against arbitrary state harassment and violence, effectively turning the U.S. into a police state.
[...] But the one striking feature that jumps out of this whole affair is the ease with which a series of memos made it ‘legal’ for the U.S. armed forces and security agencies to torture people, spy on citizens, rendition people to third countries to be tortured, and to even suspend freedom of speech and assembly; as tens of thousands of American demonstrators wishing to use their public spaces to assemble and practice their free speech rights can tell you.
So, we must ask: What is law? And is the U.S. a country based on laws?
- 2009/03/06: RawStory: Harpers editor: America had a dictator for eight years
- 2009/03/07: TI:CF: (cartoon - Roberts) Still nothing to fear...
- 2009/03/04: RawStory: Turley: Bush terror memos are 'very definition of tyranny'
- 2009/03/03: Harpers: George W. Bush’s Disposable Constitution
Yesterday the Obama Administration released a series of nine previously secret legal opinions crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel to enhance the presidential powers of George W. Bush. Perhaps the most astonishing of these memos was one crafted by University of California at Berkeley law professor John Yoo. He concluded that in wartime, the President was freed from the constraints of the Bill of Rights with respect to anything he chose to label as a counterterrorism operations inside the United States.
- 2009/03/06: RawStory: Harpers editor: America had a dictator for eight years
- 2009/03/04: DVoice: War Comes Home to Britain
Freedom is being lost in Britain. The land of Magna Carta is now the land of secret gagging orders, secret trials and imprisonment. The government will soon know about every phone call, every e-mail, every text message. Police can willfully shoot to death an innocent man, lie and expect to get away with it. Whole communities now fear the state. The foreign secretary routinely covers up allegations of torture; the justice secretary routinely prevents the release of critical cabinet minutes taken when Iraq was illegally invaded. The litany is cursory; there is much more.
- 2009/03/06: OLJ: Memos provide blueprint for police state by Prof. Marjorie Cohn
Seven newly released memos from the Bush Justice Department reveal a concerted strategy to cloak the president with power to override the Constitution. The memos provide 'legal' rationales for the president to suspend freedom of speech and press; order warrantless searches and seizures, including wiretaps of U.S. citizens; lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely in the United States without criminal charges; send suspected terrorists to other countries where they will likely be tortured; and unilaterally abrogate treaties. According to the reasoning in the memos, Congress has no role to check and balance the executive. That is the definition of a police state.
- 2009/03/05: DailyTelegraph(UK): Police will have power to secretly search homes
Police will be allowed to secretly search suspects' homes and remotely access their home computers for a month under the most draconian covert operation laws the state has seen.
And no one will know, because of a provision allowing investigators to keep those being spied on in the dark for up to three years.
- 2009/03/04: ABC(Au): NSW to allow secret searches, hacking
New South Wales Police are being given sweeping new powers to search people's homes and hack into their computers for up to three years without their knowledge.
The State Government admits police have already used the measures, even though the Supreme Court ruled the practices unlawful in 2006.
The Government says new legislation, to be introduced into Parliament today, will ensure police evidence collected using the practices will hold up in court.
- 2009/03/05: SlashDot: Australian Police Given Covert Search and Hacking Powers
- 2009/03/05: DemNow: Lawmakers Debate Establishing "Truth Commission" on Bush Admin Torture, Rendition and Domestic Spying
JUAN GONZALEZ: And your assessment of these latest memos that the Justice Department has released, in terms of the further proof that they show possible criminal actions?
MICHAEL RATNER: I’m glad you said that, Juan, "further proof," because, you know, we’ve known a lot of this from the beginning. You know, I remember, actually, six weeks after 9/11 writing an article called "Moving Toward a Police State (Or Have We Arrived?)" And we’ve certainly seen the effects of these memos. We’ve seen the military arrest Jose Padilla in the United States. We’ve seen them do that to al-Marri. We’ve seen torture. We’ve seen secret sites. We’ve seen warrantless wiretapping.
But what we see in these memos -- and I recommend them to everybody, because you read these, you are seeing essentially the legal underpinnings of a police state or a dictatorship of the president. There’s no doubt about it. That’s what it is, and it’s not theoretical. These were the actual building blocks of what we had in this country for eight years, in which—and the one you mentioned when we opened, Juan, that what happened here was one of these memos said the military could operate in the United States, and operate in the United States despite the Posse Comitatus law, which prohibits the military from operating in the United States. And when it operates -- this is really extraordinary -- they can arrest and detain -- "arrest" is not the right word -- kidnap anyone they want and send them to a detention place anywhere in the world without any kind of law.
And then, on top of that, they can disregard the First Amendment. So this conversation we’re having right now, they could say, "Well, this is harmful to the national security of the United States" -- that’s what these memos say -- "this type of conversation is harmful, and we can ban this conversation." And then they could put the military at the door to the firehouse and come in and say the Fourth Amendment, the one that protects us against unlawful searches, that the military could walk in here, search all of us and see if we have anything they don’t like on us. So, no First Amendment, no Fourth Amendment, no Fifth Amendment -- essentially, the end of the Constitution and 225 years of constitutional history. In the face of this, this kind of memo, we’re seeing Leahy say, "Let’s see what kind of mistakes were made."
- 2009/03/02: SlashDot: UK Government Wants To Bypass Data Protection Act
"Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, currently being debated by the UK Parliament, would allow any Minister by order to take from anywhere any information gathered for one purpose, and use it for any other purpose..."
- 2009/02/26: SlashDot: US District Court Says Defendant Must Provide Decrypted Data
- 2009/02/24: Telegraph(UK): Remote-controlled planes could spy on British homes
Police could soon use unmanned spyplanes like those used to track enemy troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for surveillance operations on British homes.
- 2009/02/21: SunTimes: Surveillance cams help fight crime, city says -- Goal is to have them on every corner
Mayor Daley has argued that security and terrorism won’t be an issue if his Olympic dreams come true because, by 2016, there will be a surveillance camera on every street corner in Chicago.
- 2009/02/13: Cryptome: Clear and Roving Danger
- 2009/02/16: CBC: No bobby pictures please, we're British -- New law could stop tourists, media photographers from snapping police
- 2009/02/16: WpgFP: Britain's newest anti-terror law: Don't take pictures of cops
- 2009/02/15: S&M: Towards a police state
- 2009/02/08: BBC: Government plans travel database
The government is compiling a database to track and store the international travel records of millions of Britons.
Computerised records of all 250 million journeys made by individuals in and out of the UK each year will be kept for up to 10 years.
The government says the database is essential in the fight against crime, illegal immigration and terrorism.
But opposition MPs and privacy campaigners fear it is a significant step towards a surveillance society.
The intelligence centre will store names, addresses, telephone numbers, seat reservations, travel itineraries and credit card details of travellers.
- 2009/01/31: CanWest: Growth of surveillance in Canada is 'undeniable' -- Study finds initial resistance has waned
At least 14 Canadian municipalities are using surveillance cameras to monitor people in public spaces, and another 16 are considering them or have considered them, according to the first independent study of video surveillance in Canada.
Though publicly run "open-street cameras" attract the most attention, they make up a relatively small percentage of all camera surveillance, says the first phase of a report by the Surveillance Camera Awareness Network (SCAN).
Private closed-circuit (CCTV) cameras in convenience stores, malls and banks, along with cameras on buses, subways, taxis and in airports, are far more numerous and increasingly common, say the SCAN researchers, a group of academics operating under the banner of the Surveillance Project at Queen's University in Kingston.
The use of surveillance cameras has exploded worldwide, especially since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.
- 2009/01/23: Wired:27B/6: NSA Whistleblower: Wiretaps Were Combined with Credit Card Records of U.S. Citizens
- 2009/01/26: Wired:27B/6: NSA Whistleblower: Grill the CEOs on Illegal Spying
- 2009/01/29: SlashDot: More Claims From NSA Whistleblower Russell Tice
- 2009/01/21: RawStory: Whistleblower: NSA spied on everyone, targeted journalists
- 2009/01/22: EFF: Whistleblower Reveals New Abuses of Wiretapping Power
- 2009/01/22: ThinkP: Former NSA Analyst [Russell Tice]: NSA ‘Monitored All Communications’ Of Americans, Targeted Journalists
- 2009/01/16: APOV: Advent Of Authoritarian State = Incompetence + Lies + Ignorance
- 2009/01/15: ThinkP: FISA court expected to rule that President can wiretap without a court order
- 2009/01/16: NYT: Intelligence Court [FISA Court of Review] Rules [NSA] Wiretapping Power Legal
- 2009/01/15: SlashDot: Wiretapping Program Ruled Legal
- 2009/01/15: SlashDot: Collateral Damage as UK Censors Internet Archive
- 2009/01/04: Times(UK): Police set to step up hacking of home PCs
- 2009/01/04: SlashDot: UK Police To Step Up Hacking of Home PCs
- 2009/01/03: SlashDot: India Sleepwalks Into a Surveillance Society
- 2009/01/01: TechFrag: Futuristic Security Checkpoints Know What You Do Before You Do It
- 2008/12/27: CBC: Film-style ratings needed for websites: British minister
- 2008/12/21: GulfTimes: Big Brother Google?
- 2008/12/12: EmpireBurlesque: Rotted From the Head: Senate Lays Bare Bush Torture System -- But So What?
- 2008/12/19: OLJ: Cheney admits detainee torture role
- 2008/12/15: NewsWeek: Now We Know What the Battle Was About
[...] Two knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that the clash erupted over a part of Bush's espionage program that had nothing to do with the wiretapping of individual suspects. Rather, Comey and others threatened to resign because of the vast and indiscriminate collection of communications data. These sources, who asked not to be named discussing intelligence matters, describe a system in which the National Security Agency, with cooperation from some of the country's largest telecommunications companies, was able to vacuum up the records of calls and e-mails of tens of millions of average Americans between September 2001 and March 2004.
- 2008/12/15: ThinkP: Newsweek confirms massive data mining effort triggered warrantless wiretapping showdown
- 2008/12/12: Guardian(UK): Ex-MI5 chief 'astonished' at how many  organisations use anti-terror law
- 2008/12/07: ConstVigil: Interactive project on the fourteen steps to fascism, eh? Updated with new links
- 2008/12/05: CBC: Human rights court says U.K. DNA database violates rights
- 2008/12/04: CCurrents: Censorship In America?
- 2008/12/01: BBC: EU to search out cyber criminals
Remote searches of suspect computers will form part of an EU plan to tackle hi-tech crime.
The five-year action plan will take steps to combat the growth in cyber theft and the machines used to spread spam and other malicious programs.
It will also encourage better sharing of data among European police forces to track down and prosecute criminals.
Europol will co-ordinate the investigative work and also issue alerts about cyber crime sprees.
- 2008/12/02: SkashDot: European Police Plan to Remote-Search Hard Drives
- 2008/12/01: TPR: Pentagon Training 20,000 Soldiers to Work Inside U.S. By 2011
- 2008/12/01: WaPo: Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.
- 2008/11/29: PeakEnergy: Making The Internet Illegal In Italy
- 2008/11/13: HeraldSun: Australian web filter to block 10,000 internet sites
- 2008/11/10: Cryptogon: British Government Seeks Unprecedented Powers to Censor the Media
- 2008/11/11: OLJ: Britain's digital surveillance: Hiding from Her Majesty's "black boxes"
- 2008/11/07: SlashDot: UK Outlines Plan For Internet Black Boxes
- 2008/10/30: HeraldSun: Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship
- 2008/10/26: CCurrents: Rep. Sherman Feels Heat For Reporting On Threat Of Martial Law
- 2008/10/24: CCurrents: Is America Fascist?
- 2008/10/25: BBC: Testing times -- Australia prepares national firewall to police net use
- 2008/10/22: AntiWar: What Happens in a Police State...
- 2008/10/20: CBC: Ontario's enhanced ID cards will be 'privacy nightmare': critics
- 2008/10/20: WaPo: DARPA Contract Description Hints at Advanced Video Spying
Real-time streaming video of Iraqi and Afghan battle areas taken from thousands of feet in the air can follow actions of people on the ground as they dig, shake hands, exchange objects and kiss each other goodbye.
The video is sent from unmanned and manned aircraft to intelligence analysts at ground stations in the United States and abroad. They watch video in real time of people getting in and out of cars, loading trunks, dropping things or picking them up. They can even see vehicles accelerate, slow down, move together or make U-turns.
"The dynamics of an urban insurgency have resulted in a rapid increase in the number of activities visible in the video field of view," according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Although the exploits of the Predator, the Global Hawk and other airborne collectors of information have been widely publicized, there are few authoritative descriptions of what they can see on the ground.
But some insights into the capabilities of the Predator and other aircraft can be drawn from a DARPA paper that describes the tasks of a contractor that will develop a method of indexing and rapidly finding video from archived aerial surveillance tapes collected over past years.
- 2008/10/13: CWorld: No opt-out of [Australian] filtered Internet -- Policy to be set after trial
- 2008/10/20: Register: Interpol proposes world face-recognition database
- 2008/10/20: SlashDot: Interpol Pushing World Facial Recognition Database
- 2008/10/17: SlashDot: China To Photograph All Internet Cafe Customers
- 2008/10/15: Guardian(UK): Criminalising dissent -- US states are spying on political activists and classifying them as terrorists in order to stifle protest
- 2008/10/15: BBC: Giant database plan 'Orwellian'
Proposals for a central database of all mobile phone and internet traffic have been condemned as "Orwellian".
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said the police and security services needed new powers to keep up with technology.
And she promised that the content of conversations would not be stored, just times and dates of messages and calls.
But the Lib Dems slammed the idea as "incompatible with a free country", while the Tories called on the government to justify its plans.
Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.
The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request - but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.
Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.
Without increasing their capacity to store data, the police and security services would have to consider a "massive expansion of surveillance," Ms Smith said in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research earlier.
- 2008/10/15: PeakEnergy: UK Storm over Big Brother database
- 2008/10/08: EmpireBurlesque: The Orwellosphere: Anglo-American Drive to 'Total Security State' Rolls On
- 2008/10/11: SlashDot: UK Government Says More Spying Needed
- 2008/10/09: SoS: Nonviolent Activists Are Now Terrorists
- 2008/10/08: WaPo: Maryland Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists -- Surveillance's Reach Revealed
- 2008/10/08: CCurrents: A Futile Bailout As Darkness Falls On America
America has become a pretty discouraging place. Americans, for the most part, will never know what happened to them, because they no longer have a free and responsible press. They have Big Brother’s press.
- 2008/10/06: CCurrents: America ! Be Truly Afraid
- 2008/10/05: Times(UK): [UK] Government will spy on every call and e-mail
- 2008/10/03: CDreams: Ike: The Silent Storm
[...] In the dark of the night 45, 000 homes were destroyed and millions of residents lost electricity, water,
and roofs. Then Ike turned north, leaving hundreds of thousands more Americans without power
in a 200 mile wide swath from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes.
[...] The Media was not allowed to film people being rescued from rooftops in Texas. They were prohibited from
flying over the small towns and beaches isolated by flooding and decimated by the hurricane. Local press raged
about the conditions, then fell silent in a game of play-nice hoping to be allowed at least limited access.
Not once did the national press report this suspension of the first amendment. The sound of black hawk
helicopters could be heard for miles.
- 2008/10/02: WSWS: The Wall Street bailout and the threat of dictatorship
- 2008/09/29: CCurrents: Welcome To America's Nightmare
- 2008/09/30: PeakEnergy: Big Brother Is Watching Your Car
- 2008/09/30: AntiWar: It Can Happen Here! [Israeli fascism]
- 2008/09/27: WP: Jim Marrs On The Rise Of The Fourth Reich
- 2008/09/25: BBC: Foreign national ID card unveiled
The first identity cards from the government's controversial national scheme are due to be revealed.
The biometric card will be issued from November, initially to non-EU students and marriage visa holders.
The design - containing a picture and digitally-stored fingerprints - is a pre-cursor to the proposed national identity card scheme.
Critics say the roll-out to some immigrants is a "softening up" exercise to win over a sceptical general public.
- 2008/09/24: PeakEnergy: Interesting Comment --- on the commencement of active military operations in the Northcom region
- 2008/09/22: PeakEnergy: A Permanent Security Force For NorthCom
The Army Times reports that the US army has commenced security operations in Northcom - an unstable country teetering on the edge of financial collapse - Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1. Luckily the local intelligence services have gathered a huge list - well over 1 million names now - of potential troublemakers for them to keep an eye on. Whatever happened to that "Posse Comitatus" thing anyway?
- 2008/09/17: SlashDot: National Car Tracking System Proposed For US
- 2008/09/17: Guardian(UK): US elections 2008 -- Democrats ask court to defend right to vote -- Republicans 'exploit mortgage crisis to disqualify opponents'
- 2008/09/15: Guardian(UK): Fears over privacy as police expand surveillance project -- Database to hold details of millions of journeys for five years
- 2008/09/12: NakedCapitalism: Michigan (And Maybe Ohio): Lose Your Home, Lose Your Vote
- 2008/09/11: Guardian(UK): Sarkozy orders review after outcry over police database [Edvige]
- 2008/09/09: DailyIndia: Sarkozy faces opposition over new intelligence spy system
French President Nicolas Sarkozy faced an embarrassing split in his Cabinet on Monday over a computer system that the new French internal intelligence service will use to spy on the private lives of millions of law-abiding citizens.Defence Minister Herv Morin broke government ranks to side with a growing revolt against Edvige, an acronym for a police database that will store personal details including opinions, the social circle and even sexual preferences of more or less anyone who interests the State.Edvige, which is also a woman's name, was created by decree in July to store data on anyone aged 13 or above who is "likely to breach public order".
"Sarkozy's Big Sister", as it has been dubbed, will also track anyone active in politics or trade unions and in a significant role in business, the media, entertainment or social or religious institutions. Listed people will have limited rights to consult their files.
- 2008/09/08: CNet: Widespread cell phone location snooping by NSA?
- 2008/08/30: RawStory: Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war
- 2008/09/02: CCurrents: Looking At America's Police Stat
- 2008/09/01: CCurrents: The Slow Death Of Democracy And The Rise Of The Corporate Hydra
- 2008/09/01: AlterNet: RNC Raids Have Been Targeting Video Activists
- 2008/08/31: SlashDot: In MN, Massive Police Raids On Suspected Protestors
- 2008/08/30: WSWS: Britain: Labour government proposes huge increase in state surveillance
- 2008/08/27: PeakEnergy: The unblinking universal eye
- 2008/08/25: WSWS: Bush administration widens domestic spy agency powers
- 2008/08/23: NewScientist: Surveillance made easy
- 2008/08/20: Google:AP: Senators: FBI rules could target innocent people
- 2008/08/22: NYT: A New Rush to Spy
There is apparently no limit to the Bush administration’s desire to invade Americans’ privacy in the name of national security. According to members of Congress, Attorney General Michael Mukasey is preparing to give the F.B.I. broad new authority to investigate Americans -- without any clear basis for suspicion that they are committing a crime.
Opening the door to sweeping investigations of this kind would be an invitation to the government to spy on people based on their race, religion or political activities. Before Mr. Mukasey goes any further, Congress should insist that the guidelines be fully vetted, and it should make certain that they do not pose a further threat to Americans’ civil liberties.
- 2008/08/20: NYT: New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers
- 2008/08/21: SwampPolitics: Mukasey to delay approval of FBI regs
- 2008/08/22: SlashDot: As of October, FBI To Allow Warrantless Investigations
- 2008/08/22: Rabble: My American border story
- 2008/08/20: WaPo: Citizens' U.S. Border Crossings Tracked -- Data From Checkpoints To Be Kept for 15 Years
The federal government has been using its system of border checkpoints to greatly expand a database on travelers entering the country by collecting information on all U.S. citizens crossing by land, compiling data that will be stored for 15 years and may be used in criminal and intelligence investigations.
Officials say the Border Crossing Information system, disclosed last month by the Department of Homeland Security in a Federal Register notice, is part of a broader effort to guard against terrorist threats. It also reflects the growing number of government systems containing personal information on Americans that can be shared for a broad range of law enforcement and intelligence purposes, some of which are exempt from some Privacy Act protections.
While international air passenger data has long been captured this way, Customs and Border Protection agents only this year began to log the arrivals of all U.S. citizens across land borders, through which about three-quarters of border entries occur.
The volume of people entering the country by land prevented compiling such a database until recently. But the advent of machine-readable identification documents, which the government mandates eventually for everyone crossing the border, has made gathering the information more feasible. By June, all travelers crossing land borders will need to present a machine-readable document, such as a passport or a driver's license with a radio frequency identification chip.
2008/08/16: WaPo: U.S. May Ease Police Spy Rules - More Federal Intelligence Changes Planned
The Justice Department has proposed a new domestic spying measure that would make it easier for state and local police to collect intelligence about Americans, share the sensitive data with federal agencies and retain it for at least 10 years.
The proposed changes would revise the federal government's rules for police intelligence-gathering for the first time since 1993 and would apply to any of the nation's 18,000 state and local police agencies that receive roughly $1.6 billion each year in federal grants.
Quietly unveiled late last month, the proposal is part of a flurry of domestic intelligence changes issued and planned by the Bush administration in its waning months. They include a recent executive order that guides the reorganization of federal spy agencies and a pending Justice Department overhaul of FBI procedures for gathering intelligence and investigating terrorism cases within U.S. borders.
- 2008/08/13: SlashDot: UK Gov't Proposes Massive Internet Snooping, Data Storage
- 2008/08/13: SlashDot: Police Secretly Planting GPS Devices On Cars
- 2008/08/08: GRC: Has America become Fascist?
- 2008/08/03: SlashDot: Israel Moves Toward a National Biometric Database
- 2008/08/03: SlashDot: FBI Seizes Library Computers Without Warrant
- 2008/08/03: NYT: Feel the Eyes Upon You
- 2008/07/31: CBC: Sask. introducing high-tech ID for U.S. border crossings
[...] Special driver's licences that can be used instead of passports at land border crossings will be introduced by June.
Beginning June 1, the U.S government will require all visitors to prove their citizenship at the border. People who fly to the U.S. will still need passports.
[...] SGI [Saskatchewan Government Insurance] spokeswoman Sherry Wolf said the new cards will have security features, including an embedded radio frequency identification chip.
"There'll also be some form of biometrics, probably a facial recognition technology, as well as what's called a machine-readable zone which is consistent with the passport," she said.
- 2008/07/31: SlashDot: Citizens Spy On Big Brother
- 2008/07/29: EUO: US to screen foreign air passengers
Washington is set to electronically collect data on all European visitors who currently enjoy visa-free travel to the United States. An online registration system, first kicking-in on a voluntary basis, will ask for a number of personal data, including on health.
The Electronic System of Travel Authorisation (ESTA) - presented by US Department of Homeland Security representative Jackie Bednarz on Monday (28 July) - is designed to track high-risk passengers and will be officially launched on 1 August.
The procedure will become mandatory only on 12 January 2009, with all passengers from visa vaiwer programme countries - including children - required to receive an authorisation to travel before they board a US-bound airplane or vessel.
- 2008/07/22: BBC: [UK] 'Spying' requests exceed 500,000
More than 500,000 official "spying" requests for private communications data such as telephone records were made last year, a report says.
Police, security services and other public bodies made requests for billing details and other information.
Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Paul Kennedy said 1,707 of these had been from councils.
A separate report criticises local authorities for using powers to target minor offences such as fly-tipping. [...]
Figures show public bodies made 519,260 requests to "communications providers" such as phone and internet firms for information in 2007.
Under available powers, they can see details such as itemised phone bills and website records. But they are not allowed to monitor conversations.
The total number of requests for last year - amounting to more than 1,400 a day - compared with an average of fewer than 350,000 a year in the previous two years.
- 2008/07/22: OLJ: The plan is to get everyone microchipped
- 2008/07/21: AntiWar: Court Confirms President's Dictatorial Powers
Wake up, America! On July 15, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled by 5 votes to 4 in
the case of Al-Marri v. Pucciarelli [.pdf] that the president can arrest U.S. citizens and legal
residents inside the United States and imprison them indefinitely, without charge or trial,
based solely on his assertion that they are "enemy combatants." Have a little think about it,
and you'll see that the Fourth Circuit judges have just endorsed dictatorial powers.
- 2008/07/18: ArsTechnica: A big wishlist for a scary, secret anticounterfeiting pact [ACTA]
- 2008/07/14: CCurrents: Sami Al-Arian: From Exoneration To Criminal Indictment
- 2008/07/16: BoomanTrib: Deeply Disturbing
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (one level below the Supreme Court) has just ruled that Bush was granted
the unlimited power by Congress to detain indefinitely anyone in the United States (you, me, your teenage son
or daughter, anyone at all) merely be declaring them an enemy combatant. In a split 5-4 decision the Fourth Circuit
also held that said enemy combatant was permitted to "challenge" that detention, but failed to elaborate
on what form that challenge should take.
- 2008/07/14: ACLU: Terrorist Watch List Hits One Million Names
- 2008/07/14: at-Largely: 1 Million "terrorists"
- 2008/07/11: CO: The New Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
[...] Future presidents can learn a lot from all this -- do exactly what the Bush Administration did!
If the law holds you back, don't first go to Congress and try to work something out. Secretly violate
that law, and then when you get caught, staunchly demand that Congress change the law to your liking
and then immunize any company that might have illegally cooperated with you. That's the lesson.
You spit in Congress's face, and they'll give you what you want.
- 2008/07/11: OLJ: FISA ‘compromise’ completes transformation of US into full police state
- 2008/07/11: Independent: The Bipartisan Surveillance State
- 2008/07/10: HuffPo: The Unitary Executive Congress
- 2008/07/07: SlashDot: Ray Gun Puts Voices Inside Your Head
- 2008/07/05: EconView: [Mikhail] Gorbachev: Will the US Become an Empire or a Democracy?
- 2008/07/04: SlashDot: Bavarian Police Can Legally Place Trojans On PCs
- 2008/07/03: TP:WonkRoom: Proposed Race Profiling Program Will Provide ‘False Sense Of Security’
- 2008/07/02: Google:AP: Race profiling eyed for terror probes
- 2008/07/01: SoS: Kill Switches and Remote Control
- 2008/06/30: SlashDot: FBI's New Eye Scan Database Raising Eyebrows
- 2008/06/30: Guardian(UK): New pact would give EU citizens' data to US
- 2008/06/26: Wired:SM: I've Seen the Future, and It Has a Kill Switch
- 2008/06/27: PeakEnergy: Five Myths About the New Wiretapping Law
- 2008/06/23: BBC: Sweden approves wiretapping law - Sweden's parliament passes new laws on surveillance, labelled Europe's most far-reaching eavesdropping plan
- 2008/06/18: WikiLeaks: How to train death squads and quash revolutions from San Salvador to Iraq
- 2008/06/18: SlashDot: Wikileaks Gets Hold of Counterinsurgency Manual
"The document, which has been verified, is official US Special Forces doctrine. It directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive
surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates
warrantless searches, detainment without charge and the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates bribery,
employing terrorists, false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it directly
advocates the extensive use of 'psychological operations' (propaganda) to make these and other 'population & resource control' measures more palatable."
- 2008/06/13: OLJ: "Big Brother" presidential directive: "Biometrics for Identification and Screening to Enhance National Security"
- 2008/06/12: BBC: Opponents of 42 days to fight on
Opponents have vowed to fight on after the government narrowly won a vote to extend the time limit for holding terror suspects without charge.
The plan to extend the detention limit to 42 days got through the Commons with a majority of nine MPs.
- 2008/06/11: BBC: Prime Minister Gordon Brown has narrowly won a House of Commons vote on extending the maximum time police can hold terror suspects to 42 days
- 2008/06/09: FAS:SN: Presidential Directive Orders Sharing of Biometric Data
- 2008/06/09: FAS:SN: House Bill Embraces Controlled Unclassified Info
- 2008/06/04: EmpireBurlesque: Main Core Blues: Stranger in a Strange Land
- 2008/06/05: WaPo: D.C. Police to Check Drivers In Violence-Plagued Trinidad
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced a military-style checkpoint yesterday to stop cars this weekend in a Northeast Washington neighborhood inundated by gun violence, saying it will help keep criminals out of the area.
Starting on Saturday, officers will check drivers' identification and ask whether they have a "legitimate purpose" to be in the
Trinidad area, such as going to a doctor or church or visiting friends or relatives. If not, the drivers will be turned away.
- 2008/06/05: APOV: Authoritarian Fascism - Bush Style
- 2008/06/02: TLC: Police State 2.0
- 2008/05/30: SlashDot: Prototype EU Airplane Spy Cams Watch For Facecrime
- 2008/05/27: CCurrents: Fascism:The Night Of Broken Glass In Rome
- 2008/05/23: OM: Fingerprint Registry in Housing Bill!!!
Section 605 (a):
BACKGROUND CHECKS."In connection with an application to any State for licensing and registration as a State-licensed loan originator, the applicant shall, at minimum, furnish to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing
System and Registry information concerning the applicant?s identity, including"
(1) fingerprints for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive such information.
- 2008/05/23: BoomanTrib: Are You One of the 8 Million?
- 2008/05/22: RS: China's All-Seeing Eye
With the help of U.S. defense contractors, China is building the prototype for a high-tech police state. It is ready for export.
- 2008/05/22: SlashDot: US Firms Read Employee E-mail On a Massive Scale
- 2008/05/20: ThinkP: Govt. May Have Massive Surveillance Program For Use In "National Emergency," 8 Million "Potential Suspects"
- 2008/05/20: BBC: Criticism for 'UK database' plan
Plans for a super-database containing the details of all phone calls and e-mails sent in the UK have been heavily criticised by experts.
The government is considering the changes as part of its ongoing fight against serious crime and terrorism.
- 2008/05/20: Times(UK): "Big Brother" database for phones and e-mails
A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public is being
planned as part of the fight against crime and terrorism. Internet service providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies would hand over the records to the Home Office under plans put forward by officials.
The information would be held for at least 12 months and the police and security services would be able to access it if given permission from the courts.
The proposal will raise further alarm about a “Big Brother” society, as it follows plans for vast databases for the ID cards scheme and NHS patients.
- 2008/05/14: OLJ: It is definitely fascism when it happens to you
- 2008/05/14: SlashDot: 85% of Chinese Citizens Like Internet Censorship
- 2008/05/12: TWM: Surveillance State Update...
- 2008/04/29: GovExec: Roots of surveillance standoff go back decades
- 2008/05/08: OLJ: Executive or imperial branch?
- 2008/05/08: OLJ: The winds of Fascism blowing across Europe
- Wiki: Continuity of Operations Plan aka Continuity of Government Plan
- 2008/04/27: NYT: Letters Give C.I.A. Tactics a Legal Rationale
The Justice Department has told Congress that American intelligence operatives attempting to thwart terrorist attacks can legally use interrogation methods that might otherwise be prohibited under international law
- 2008/04/23: Iconoclast: Transcript: FBI director on surveillance of 'illegal' Internet activity
- 2008/04/24: ArsTechnica: FBI wants to move hunt for criminals into Internet backbone
- 2008/04/25: SlashDot: FBI Wants Authority To Filter Net Backbone
2008/04/25: Guardian(UK): Face scans for air passengers to begin in UK this summer - Officials say automatic screening more accurate than checks by humans
- 2008/04/22: WaPo: U.S. to Insist That Travel Industry Get Fingerprints
- 2008/04/20: WpgFP: Canadians could face order for DNA at border
- 2008/04/19: ICH: U.S. to Expand Collection Of Crime Suspects' DNA - Policy Adds People Arrested but Not Convicted
- 2008/04/17: SlashDot: AU Government Demands Universal Wiretapping
- 2008/04/16: Yahoo: Feds to collect DNA from every person they arrest
- 2008/04/17: SlashDot: DHS to Begin Collecting DNA of Anyone Arrested
- 2008/04/15: CDreams: Fascism Is Creepy
- 2008/04/15: SoS: More RIPA Creep
- 2008/04/16: ThinkP: Chertoff Says Fingerprints Aren't "Personal Data"
- 2008/04/16: AngryBear: Martial law declared for... 'other condition'
- 2008/04/15: PeakEnergy: You're Being Spied On For Your Own Good
- 2008/04/11: Jurist: Top White House officials approved harsh interrogation methods: reports
- 2008/04/12: WSWS: Top Bush aides directed torture from the White House
- 2008/04/12: WaPo: Administration Set to Use New [satellite] Spy Program in U.S. - Congressional Critics Want More Assurances of Legality
- 2008/04/07: SoS: Internet Censorship
- 2008/04/08: AntiWar: The Emerging Surveillance State by Rep. Ron Paul
- 2008/04/04: WaPo: Administration Asserted a Terror Exception on Search and Seizure
The Justice Department concluded in October 2001 that military operations combating terrorism inside the United States are not limited by Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, in one of several secret memos
containing new and controversial assertions of presidential power. [...] The memo was written by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, who also wrote or
co-wrote many of the key legal opinions that asserted an expansive view of presidential power in the Bush administration's early years. [...]
The Justice Department has dropped 22 out of 24 cases of alleged detainee abuse by civilian employees and contractors referred by the CIA and the Defense Department. A U.S. official said the Yoo memo's legal arguments that interrogators are
exempt from such criminal liability could have been part of the reason why those cases were dropped.
- 2008/04/05: WaPo: Every Click You Make -- Internet Providers Quietly Test Expanded Tracking of Web Use to Target Advertising
- 2008/04/05: SlashDot: ISPs Using "Deep Packet Inspection" on 100,000 Users
- 2008/03/31: CPunch: Congress, the Bush Adminstration and Continuity of Government Planning - The Showdown
- 2008/04/02: BBC: US interrogation memo made public
The Pentagon has declassified a legal memo from March 2003 which approved the use of harsh interrogation techniques for terror suspects held abroad.
The US Justice Department memo, since overruled, said President George W Bush's war-time authority superseded international laws on interrogation.
It gave legal justification for aggressive methods, so long as interrogators did not intend torture. Its release follows a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
- 2008/03/31: SoS: N-DEx National Intelligence System
- 2008/03/06: WaPo: National Dragnet Is a Click Away - Authorities to Gain Fast and Expansive Access to Records
- 2008/03/26: SoS: NSA's Domestic Spying - essentially the same as Total Information Awareness
- 2008/03/26: StageLeft: 1984 (Again, and Again, and Again)
- 2008/03/23: BBC: Heathrow fingerprint plan probed
Plans to fingerprint passengers at Heathrow's new Terminal 5 are being probed by the data protection watchdog.
The Information Commissioner's Office warned airport operator BAA it may be in breach of the Data Protection Act.
- 2008/03/20: 27B/6: Feds Tout New Domestic Intelligence Centers; Press Stays Home
- 2008/03/18: SoS: The Continuing Slide Towards Thoughtcrime
- 2008/03/17: SoS: Camera that Sees Under Clothes
- 2008/03/17: Guardian(UK): Precious liberty
As civil liberties come under ever greater pressure, it's time we exposed the old lie that says the innocent have nothing to fear
[...] The creation or adoption of instruments of control, surveillance, and eavesdropping, along with laws and powers to detain, proscribe, silence and punish in areas of thought and activity
which were once not subject to such interference, is like loading a gun: we put the loaded gun in the hands of a benign and concerned government wishing to protect us from terrorism, illegal
immigration and organised crime, then they pass the gun to the next generation of government, and they in turn to the next ... and so unpredictably into the future, in the hope that things will
always be such, and times such, and people such, that benignity can and will reign all the way, with the ordinary citizen still functionally free and secure throughout.
History teaches a painfully different lesson about such naive hopes. If one would try to protect oneself against things going
wrong, do not create instruments that could all too easily go wrong in the wrong hands - and very, very wrong at that.
- 2008/03/12: DerSpiegel: The world from Berlin - 'The Hallmarks of a Totalitarian State'
Germany's high court has declared laws enabling British-style total surveillance of drivers illegal. Privacy advocates and
commentators applaud the ruling, but they ask if the court is trying to stop the laws from snowballing into a police state -- or just water them down.
- 2008/03/12: CanWest: Gomery: Canada on road to 'one-man government' - Sponsorship inquiry boss worried about concentration of power in PMO
- 2008/03/11: PhysOrg: New camera brings about vast improvement for surveillance
- 2008/03/11: PeakEnergy: NSA Domestic Spying Grows: Agency Sweeps Up Data
- 2008/03/11: 27B/6: Report: NSA's Warrantless Spying Resurrects Banned 'Total Information Awareness' Project
- 2008/03/10: TPMM: The surveillance program the Bush Administration has assembled
- 2008/03/08: SlashDot: Japan IDs All Its Citizens
- 2008/03/07: SlashDot: British Airport Will Require Fingerprints From Domestic Passengers
- 2008/03/06: WaPo: National Dragnet Is a Click Away - Authorities to Gain Fast and Expansive Access to Records
- 2008/03/07: SlashDot: National "Dragnet" Connecting at State, Local Level
- 2008/03/06: Telegraph(UK): ID database will be 'universal' by 2017
- 2008/03/05: Register: US.gov disappears European-owned Cuba websites - Blacklists never lie
- 2007/12/17: GRC: Police State America - A Look Back and Ahead
- 2008/03/01: SlashDot: Japan Seeking to Govern Top News Web Sites
- 2008/02/27: at-Largely: ACLU: U.S. Terror List Now Exceeds 900,000 Names
- 2008/02/25: SlashDot: An Epidemic of Snooping
- 2008/02/23: PhysOrg: Malaysian bloggers warned being monitored: report
A Malaysian government minister has accused bloggers, who have been writing avidly on upcoming elections, of being cowards and warned they are being monitored, a report said Friday
- 2008/02/19: CCurrents: Not If -- When - A review of actions taken by this Administration that point to a possible declaration of martial law
- 2008/02/19: OLJ: Failed fascist states
When Hermann Hesse warned of the rise of fascism in Germany he was rejected by a majority of the population. The truth is that most people were experiencing firsthand the benefits of fascist ideology.
Today we look at that part of our global history with shame, asking ourselves how something like Auschwitz could be allowed to happen. The problem is that while we identify it in our past, we are reluctant to acknowledge it happening in
our present. During the rise of the short-lived Nazi empire, criticizing Hitler and his party to the average German civilian would have undoubtedly received strong rejection. Today the same holds true to critics of the mighty ‘democratic’
empire, built by the U.S. with the submissive support of its ‘client states.’
- 2008/02/18: OLJ: Concentration camps in America: The consequences of 40 years of fear
- 2008/02/18: FairUse: The invasion of America - Creeping intrusions against our privacy rights are an assault on the Constitution
- 2008/02/14: G&M: No need for RCMP to keep files secret, privacy czar says
More than half the files in the RCMP's secret data banks should not be there, the federal Privacy Commissioner said yesterday in a report that is likely to renew calls for an overhaul of the national police force.
An audit by the commissioner's office found that tens of thousands of files in the RCMP's two "exempt" banks - which are
designed to hold the most sensitive national security and criminal intelligence information - should not be secret, and many should have been removed years ago.
"These finds are particularly concerning given that, with few exceptions, the audit was conducted on randomly selected files
already examined by the RCMP as part of an internal review," Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said in a news release accompanying the report.
Ms. Stoddart said the large number of files kept secret was not only unjustifiable, but illegal.
- 2008/02/12: Google:AP: Domestic Access to Spy Imagery Expands
- 2008/02/13: SlashDot: US Set to Use Spy Satellites on US Citizens
- 2008/02/13: EUO: EU unveils plans for biometric border controls
- 2008/02/13: BBC: EU plans biometric border checks
Visitors to the EU could face digital fingerprinting at airports under plans to beef up border security, EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini has said.
He said travellers from outside the EU could face a biometric test as part of their visa while those not needing a permit would be checked on arrival.
There are also plans to improve border surveillance and land and sea patrols.
- 2008/02/11: WSWS: Britain: Labour government minister bugged by police
- 2008/02/10: PeakEnergy: Orwell's Cuttlefish
- InfraGard - Public Private Partnership -Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- 2008/02/08: AlterNet: FBI Deputizes Private Contractors With Extraordinary Powers, Including 'Shoot to Kill'
- 2008/02/09: Guardian(UK): Behind the Great Firewall
210 million Chinese have web access and any day now China will have more users than the US. But instead of spreading freedom, the net has been tamed by Beijing's iron grip
- 2008/02/08: People's Daily: China removes 200 million "harmful" pieces of online information
- 2008/02/06: WpgFP: Keep driver info in Canada, feds told - High-tech licences spark privacy fears
Personal information about Canadian drivers must stay in the country as plans are developed to introduce high-tech driver's licences in Canada that will be accepted as identification at United States border crossings, Canada's privacy
commissioners said Tuesday.
The commissioners issued a statement calling on Ottawa and provincial and territorial governments participating in the so-called enhanced driver's licence programs to ensure the personal information of participating drivers stays in Canada.
The commissioners also said they continue to voice their opposition to any plans to introduce national identity cards and systems.
- 2008/02/06: BradBlog: Diebold Voting Machine Key Copied From Photo At Company's Own Online Store!"
- 2008/02/06: SlashDot: Master Diebold Key Copied From Web Site
- 2008/02/05: ThinkP: Bush Administration Plans To Install Black Box Sensors On Private-Sector Computer Networks
- 2008/02/05: OLJ: The Weimar Republic
- 2008/02/04: CNN: FBI wants palm prints, eye scans, tattoo mapping
FBI expected to award $1 billion contract to help collect data on people - Privacy advocate says it's the first step toward a "surveillance society" -
FBI says it's needed to help track terrorists and other criminals - Palm prints and optical eye scans likely to become more common
- 2008/01/30: News(Au): [Australian Federal Police chief Mick] Keelty calls for media terror blackout
- 2008/01/31: SlashDot: Australian Police Chief Seeks Terror Reporting Ban
- 2008/01/30: TWM: Signing Statement Frenzy...George Bush's signing statement frenzy has now reached epic proportions...
- 2008/01/29: CCurrents: Traffic Jam On The Highway To Hell
- 2008/01/29: ThinkP: Bush Issues Signing Statement On Defense Act, Waiving Ban On Permanent Bases In Iraq
- 2008/01/29: FindLaw: Terrorism and Speech
Restrictions of all sorts have multiplied in the heightened security environment of the last six-and-a-half years, so it should be no surprise that, around the world, legal restrictions on speech have tightened. Since 2001, there has been
a clear trend toward prohibiting speech perceived as supporting terrorism, and toward barring the dissemination of materials--including books, videos, and other forms of written and graphic communication--that are believed to be of
use for terrorist activity.
- 2008/01/28: AntiWar: American Liberty Teetering on Edge of Abyss
- 2008/01/25: Guardian(UK): Face recognition technique aids security - and lookalike searches
- 2008/01/22: TGBeaver: "Server in the Sky" is the FBI's proposed database sharing of biometric information...
- 2008/01/17: CCurrents: Institutionalized Spying On Americans
2008/01/12: JTurley: Your Papers Please: The United States Adopts a National ID Card And Abandons Priniciples
- 2008/01/17: GRC: Institutionalized Spying on Americans - Homeland Security's National Applications Office (NAO)
- 2008/01/16: Slate: Has AT&T Lost Its Mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet
- 2008/01/17: CNet: Should AT&T police the Internet?
AT&T has said it is testing filtering technology that will look for copyrighted material. But should the company be acting as Internet cop?
- 2008/01/17: SlashDot: AT&T's Plan to Play Internet Cop
- 2008/01/15: CBC: U.S. seeks support for international security database
- 2008/01/16: NZHerald: NZ may join FBI-led global database to fight crime, terror
- 2008/01/15: PhysOrg: UK Considers Role in US Terror Database
- 2008/01/15: NZHerald: Injected chip plan to track offenders
Britain is planning to implant "machine-readable" microchips - like those used on pets - under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of electronic tagging.
Because of concerns about the security of existing tagging systems and prison overcrowding, the British Ministry of Justice is investigating the use of satellite and radio-wave technology to monitor criminals.
But, instead of being contained in bracelets worn around the ankle, the tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews.
The "radio frequency identification" tags, as long as two grains of rice, can carry information about individuals, including identities, address and offending record.
- 2008/01/15: SlashDot: 'War on Terror' Allies Form Information Consortium
- 2008/01/15: Guardian(UK): FBI wants instant access to British identity data - Americans seek international database to carry iris, palm and finger prints
- 2008/01/11: SlashDot: National ID Cards Mandated in the US, If You're Under 50
- 2008/01/11: CNN: New rules on licenses pit states against feds
Tighter rules aimed at bolstering security, but foes say they go too far - States will need to seek waiver if they need more time to comply -
Civil liberties organizations have argued against rules' impact - Cost of program was reduced in effort to garner states' support
- 2008/01/11: PeakEnergy: Australia To Get Censored Internet
- 2008/01/07: NewScientist: US and UK rival China for government surveillance
- 2008/01/05: CCurrents: An Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove
- 2008/01/04: PRWatch: Somebody's Watching You
- 2008/01/04: FPB: Big Brother is watching you
"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in
the flag and carrying the cross." -Sinclair Lewis
Last modified April 2, 2014