Tag Archives: spying

Oklahoma Bill to Stop Unconstitutional NSA Actions!

SB 1252 nsa

Kaye Beach

Jan. 28, 2014

SB 1252 The Fourth Amendment Protection Act by Sen. Nathan Dahm has been assigned to the Rules Committee.  Read more about SB 1252 here and you can read the bill (SB 1252) here

The bill must receive a majority vote to pass and your support can make the difference.  Specific action items are provided below.

A nationwide coalition, Nullify NSA, has formed in an effort limit NSA surveillance abuses through state legislation.

Nullify NSA website http://nullifynsa.com/

Nullify NSA on Facebook

The most important part of SB 1252 would bring a halt to the practice of  NSA intelligence being used to investigate people on matters unrelated to national security and then cover up the source of the information as was revealed by Reuters a few months ago.

(Reuters) – A  secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation  to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.. . .documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin – not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from  prosecutors and judges.  Read more

That revelation was responsible for the outburst from one outraged Oklahoma Republican at a Town Hall meeting that went viral last August.

Apparently OK Congressman Lankford was less than fully informed about some of the NSA’s programs that were being reported on, along with documentation, by the news media.  His audience, however,  was informed and Rep. Lankford’s seeming denials of what was known produced some understandable consternation.

Shortly after being challenged about the NSA’s activities at the Town Hall meeting, Rep. Lankford issued this statement:

“As a Member of Congress, I expect to receive accurate and complete information from a federal agency when requested. It is absurd that the
intelligence community was not completely forthcoming in its answers about classified government programs misusing Americans’ private information.  An agency that cannot fully answer questions asked by a  co-equal branch of government can expect significant structural changes and stringent oversight in the future.”

SB 1252 would put a stop to the NSA secretively passing on information collected  about Oklahomans without a warrant.

With the Fourth Amendment Protection Act in place (SB 1252), defense attorneys will be able to challenge data gathered without a warrants and passed on to state or local law enforcement.  Such data would be excluded as evidence. Judges will be obligated to disallow data gathered without a warrant.

“We know the NSA is sharing unconstitutionally gathered information with state and local law enforcement agencies – and it has nothing to do with keeping us safe from terrorists. This should offend every American who cares about the Constitution,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey. “Oklahoma may not be able to stop the NSA from vacuuming up the data, but it can darn sure make it as useless as a three dollar bill to state and local cops.” Read more

Nullify NSA provides the following Oklahoma action items to support SB 1252 in Oklahoma:

Oklahoma Action Steps

On January 6, SB1252 was prefiled by Sen. Nathan Dahm. This bill would big steps forward to protect Oklahoma residents from unwarranted surveillance (learn about it here).

STATUS – SB1252 has been assigned to the Rules committee where it will need to pass by majority vote.

YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED NOW. It doesn’t matter where in Oklahoma you live, take these actions today.

1. Contact the Committee Chairman.  Be strong but respectful. Ask her to promptly move SB1252 forward to a hearing and vote in the committee. Ask her to vote YES on SB1252

AJ Griffin (405) 521-5628 griffin@oksenate.gov

2. Contact all the other members of the committee. Again, be strong but respectful. Ask them each for a YES vote on SB1849. If they say they’re opposed, ask them why. If they’re undecided or will not commit to a YES vote, let them know you will be following up in a few days after they have a chance to consider it.

Rob Johnson (405) 521-5592 johnsonr@oksenate.gov
Don Barrington 405.521.5563 barrington@oksenate.gov
Cliff Branan (405) 521-5543 branan@oksenate.gov
Kim David (405) 521-5590 david@oksenate.gov
Eddie Fields (405) 521-5581 efields@oksenate.gov
John Ford (405) 521-5634 fordj@oksenate.gov
Jim Hlligan 405.521.5572 halligan@oksenate.gov
Constance Johnson (405) 521-5531 johnsonc@oksenate.gov
Clark Jolley (405) 521-5622 jolley@oksenate.gov
Ron Justice (405) 521-5537 justice@oksenate.gov
Bryce Marlatt 405.521.5626 marlatt@oksenate.gov
Al McAffrey (405) 521-5610 mcaffrey@oksenate.gov
Jubar Shumate (405) 521-5598 shumate@oksenate.gov
Frank Simpson (405) 521-5607 simpson@oksenate.gov
John Sparks (405) 521-5553 sparks@oksenate.gov
Rob Standridge (405) 521-5535  standridge@oksenate.gov
Gary Stanislowski 405.521.5624 stanislawski@oksenate.gov
Charles Wyrick (405) 521-5561 wyrick@oksenate.gov

3. Call Back – any NO or UNDECIDED – in 3-4 days. Ask if they’ve had a chance to review the legislation and what their opposition might be. Comment below or contact us at info@offnow.org with any information you get.

4.  on Twitter?  Retweet

5. Write a letter to the editor. Look up your local newspaper and submit a letter to the editor voicing your support for SB1252. Following strong legal principles, it’s essential that Oklahoma no longer help the federal government spy on all of us. Passing SB1252 will make that happen.

http://offnow.org/oklahoma/

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Gov. Fallin and Steve McKeever’s Drone Questing Collaboration

fallin red queen

Kaye Beach

March 27, 2012

Interesting article published today by FastCompany;

Inside Oklahoma’s Quest To Dominate The American Drone Industry

How politicians, universities, and aerospace firms are teaming up to turn the Sooner State into America’s UAV capital.

. . .Oklahoma businesspeople, academics, and politicians are collaborating through an organization named USA-OK, which aims to make the heartland state the focal point of American UAV development. A quasi-affiliated group, the Governor’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Council (PDF), was formed via an executive order from Governor Mary Fallin in 2011. Both organizations are lobbying for commercial drone test sites in Oklahoma and increased government assistance [that means your tax dollars!] in luring more large military contractors to the state.

Stephen McKeever, Oklahoma’s Secretary of Science and Technology and a prominent figure in the state’s UAV industry, told Fast Company that Oklahoma is already home to approximately 15 companies servicing the UAV industry. . . According to McKeever, the state offers a variety of incentives and subsidies for aerospace companies of all sizes.

McKeever and Fallin are busy luring this industry to Oklahoma meanwhile Mckeever and Fallin killed HB 1556 which would have simply required law enforcement to get a warrant before engaging in targeted surveillance of individuals and prohibit weaponization of the drones.

. . .Last month, the FAA announced that they are seeking six domestic test sites for UAVs. Due to the obvious commercial possibilities in, say, selling small aircraft for $1,000 a pop to farmers and real estate agencies looking to do aerial monitoring on a budget, UAVs are potential huge business. Giants such as Boeing and hundreds of smaller companies see commercial UAV usage as a gold rush waiting to happen.

State authorities inside Oklahoma issued a strategic drone plan detailing ways to build up the local UAV industry. These plans center on bringing one of the domestic UAV test sites to Oklahoma, which already tests military UAVs. . .

The FastCompany article mentions the Oklahoma UAS [DRONE] Summit held this Tuesday in Norman, but like the media in general, provides little detail on the conference.  (No mention of ‘Pesky Critters’ at all.)

This week, a major UAV convention took place in Oklahoma as well. . . .The agenda includes discussions of UAV use by emergency first responders, the Homeland Security Department’s proposed domestic spy drones. . .

Drone manufacturers even have lobbyists. [You don’t say!]  . . .Michael Toscano, the organization’s president, advocates the integration of commercial drones into American airspace. Toscano, in an interview, stressed job creation possibilities if the FAA legalizes commercial drones.

AUVSI spent big dollars in lobbying on the FAA bill that expanded the use of drones in US airspace.  Their money was well spent too.

As a PowerPoint presentation recently obtained by Republic Report shows, the industry group all but wrote the legislation. “Our suggestions were often taken word-for-word,” it says. Read More

Mr. Toscano wasalso  right by Gov. Fallin’s and Stephen McKeever’s side on Jan 17th at a press conference held at the State Capitol in order to unveil the marvelous benefits of drone technology that is being cultivated with our tax dollars.

Interestingly, Toscano thinks that there is no need for addition privacy regulation.

Toscano says the drone industry thinks existing laws are sufficient: ”We believe that your Fourth  Amendment rights are protected.

Well that figures since legislation like Oklahoma’s HB 1556 might interfere with what Toscano sees as an open market.

Toscano. . .says there are nearly 19,000 law enforcement entities in the United States, of which only 300 now have aerial surveillance capacities.

“Those departments have helicopters which cost about $1,500 an hour to operate,” Toscano says. “You can fly these drones for maybe less than $50 hour. A lot of smaller departments can now afford this technology.” read more

Fallin_UAS_0

At the Jan. 17th press conference, McKeever said;

 “We fully recognize that reasonable people could have reasonable concerns and these must be dealt with that’s what our elected officials and government authorities are for.”

Fallin added that;

“We’re not interested in spying on anyone.”

Mary Fallin isn’t counting the little people.  Maybe she doesn’t consider what we would consider spying as spying.  Maybe she just thinks of as over sight.

Did you know that ‘OverSite’  is actually another great surveillance technology program  being promoted out of OSU’s Multispectral Laboratories and tested on unsuspecting Oklahomans at sporting events. 

‘To look at their RV parked at a game or concert, you’d never know that inside is all this technology and more’ link

umlThe Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) is a public-private partnership “between the University and Anchor Dynamics Inc (ADI), which receives support from Ponca City Development Authority and ConocoPhillips, designed to accelerate commercialization of new technologies.”  http://www.okstate-uml.org/content/company-history

The UML acts as a “Trusted Agent” for U.S. Government, technology developers and operators.

Naturally, like the non-spying drones,  this is being done with a little boost from the non-spying Department of Homeland Security

The proof of concept demonstration was funded by the Department of Homeland Security. Link

OverSite incorporates facial recognition technology and a trick camera to spy on the crowd without them ever knowing a thing.  (but it’s not spying! It’s ‘OverSite’!) Read more 

And with all of the time, energy and money that has been spent, not one thing has been done to address the biggest concern of ordinary Oklahomans which is their privacy and safety.  It is the ordinary people of this state, after all,  who are paying for the ‘incentives’ being offered to court the drone industry here.

Little people, little problems.  We have our nightmares and they have their dreams. . .

Stephen McKeever, a transplanted Brit living in Oklahoma, dreams of turning his state into the capital for drones — the unmanned aircraft that, the Federal Aviation Administration predicts, will swarm the skies by the thousands within two decades. Read more

Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS): Homeland Security, NLETS and the IACP Target Your Biometric Driver’s License Photo

target dl 1

Kaye Beach

Dec. 29, 2012

In the modern surveillance state it’s all about the biometrics, especially facial recognition which allows for at-a-distance identification and investigation of individuals without their knowledge or consent-no warrant required!

Very few realize that upon issuance of a state driver’s license, a state identification card, or any other form of government issued photo ID, we are having our facial biometrics captured by high resolution photography.  The analog cameras in every state have been replaced with high resolution digital cameras that capture, map, digitize, and database our facial features for use with facial recognition technology.

The federal REAL ID Act was passed in 2005.  The first (and most important!) benchmark of REAL ID is capture and retention of the driver’s license applicant’s facial image.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The following is from an article published in Nov. of this year by the Police Chief, the official magazine of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP);

(“Image” means biometric image which is quite different than a simple photograph)

“In 2006, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate gave the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) funds to implement driver’s license image sharing between the states. Nlets is a nonprofit organization owned by the 50 states that has connections to every federal, state, local, and military law enforcement agency in the United States. If an agency’s technical capabilities allow, officers can query state driver’s license databases from a mobile or a desktop device and obtain an image in a manner of seconds.”

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words, From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. , November 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA

Your state department of public safety or DMV driver’s license database provides your biometric data which tethers your body to other unique biographical data such as your social security number, age, address and more.  As a tool for surveillance and control, your faceprint is invaluable.

 “Today, more than 25 states have implemented this technology and are providing law enforcement images. In the next year, at least 12 more states will implement this technology.” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Now,  law enforcement can, simply by taking your picture, identify and investigate you as you go about your business in public without you even being aware that this is happening.

“For some time now, officers have been able to retrieve images through a mobile device while on the street to help identify individuals.” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

The truth is that they cannot do this everywhere, yet.  While the technology is in place there is still the issue of access to be dealt with.  This is a legal and not a technical matter.  As we know, if the government has the technical ability to do something, they believe that they should be able to do it.  In other words, the law must conform to the capability of the technology and not the other way around.  Policy, once (somewhat) grounded in principle is now rooted in practice so now if they can do it, they will do it and they are doing it.

Undercover cops secretly use smartphones, face recognition to spy on crowds

This kind of surveillance is damaging.   Psychologically, pervasive surveillance, or even the possibility of it, is universally understood to change the behavior of those subjected to it.  It induces conformity of behavior and of thought as well.  As the range of surveillance grows, our ability to simply be, to exercise our free will, shrinks.

“Nlets will not consider photo sharing a success until it is implemented in all 50 states” link

Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS)

“Nlets and DHS S&T have been working to expand the use of images in public safety. A new DHS/Nlets project called Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS)” A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

NLETS formerly the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Service is now THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & PUBLIC SAFETY NETWORK

NLETS

“links together every state, local, and federal and International law enforcement (INTERPOL), justice and public safety agency for the purpose of exchanging critical information.”  http://www.nlets.org/

As this law enforcement writer notes,

“when we engage in innovative law enforcement technology solutions, we need to take extra care to adequately address the security and privacy of personally identifiable information.”  

And who does the writer fear, is not adequately addressing the security and privacy of our personally identifiable information?  Good old NLETS.

Read; When the Cops are Worried About Your Privacy-You Should Worry Too!

NLETS role has always been to serve the state’s law enforcement needs, but that role, as noted by NLETS, is changing.

From Hot Trends and Innovations at Nlets 2012 Slide # 42

While Nlets is 45 years old this year, we have always taken the “child” role, with the States being the “parent”

–In recent years, the child is becoming the parent in many aspects.

Why? For one thing NLETS is now being funded and thus, directed by the federal government.

nlets grant funders Hot trends innovations ppt 2012Slide # 47

Slide # 17

From Hot Trends and Innovations at Nlets 2012

PROJECT SPONSOR

Department of Homeland Security

When lines of authority are blurred, power naturally defaults to the highest level.  The states are not ‘partners’ with the federal government in matters that require state authority over their jurisdiction.

From the Legal Information Institute;

Jurisdiction-The term jurisdiction is really synonymous with the word “power”

Jurisdiction is the territory within which a court or government agency may properly exercise its power

State and local policing is a jurisdictional matter and the states and local governments have conceded their authority in this.  Informational jurisdiction is no exception and in fact leads physical control.

What is revealed in this IACP Nov. 2012 article is that the Department of Homeland Security has funded an international non-governmental organization, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), to manage the operational issues of the endeavor; Targeted Interstate Photo Sharing (TIPS).

“The DHS S&T has funded the IACP Technology Center to provide a practitioner group to advise Nlets on operational issues. These experienced practitioners will provide input on how this technology can be used in the field.”

What that means is that we are in trouble. 

The IACP is an international, non-governmental organization accredited by the United Nations and has been instrumental in bringing about profound changes to our nation politically, technologically and culturally.  There has been a great paradigm shift in our nation since 9-11 that spans all agencies of government.  This shift affects every aspect of our lives and has practically decimated the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.  US citizens, regardless of their political persuasion, are united in astonishment as they witness the slash and burn abrogation of one cherished right after another.

There is no sector of our society left untouched by the new paradigm and each has its own specialists attending to the transformation in their particular realm.  In the realm of policing, it is the IACP who is in charge of nurturing and tending this transformation.

Here is just one example;

Intelligence Led Policing and Fusion Centers: How the IACP Helped the USA to Cross the Rubicon

I hate to share information like this without providing you with any solutions.  I have been working diligently for years to find a way for us to protect our biometric data which is the key to our government’s efforts to create the most effective and efficient surveillance society ever experienced on this earth.

Although I have found no solution in legislation, no real willingness by enough of our elected representatives to do what they took an oath to do; to protect our liberty I do still recommend that you contact your state representative and tell them if you have concerns about open access to your data contained in the state Dept. of Public Safety database.  Tell them that you expect them to protect your personal information from being freely shared and used on a whim to track and spy on you.  They need to hear concerns from their constituents.

It is clear that we cannot stop the government from sharing this information in ways that will hurt our ability to control our own lives.   If we want to protect ourselves we must remove our biometrics from the system by either not giving it to them in the first place or taking legal action to remove it.

That is what I am trying to do, remove my biometric data from the system.  There is just no good reason for it being collected in the first place and no one ever informed me or you of what was being taken from us when we applied for our state driver’s license and they certainly never warned us about the repercussions of trusting them with our most personal information.

Read more about my lawsuit

My Real ID Reckoning

Latest update and request for support

Stop Biometric ID!  Kaye Beach needs your support for lawsuit

Schools-Social Laboratories for Human Surveillance

Kaye Beach

Oct. 10, 2012

The latest story about Texas school children being tagged and tracked with active RFID tracking devices  (the passive variety is considered “a little less Big Brotherish.”) has caused some controversy.  We are told that this is no big deal, that the RFID tracking simply allows the school to more efficiently do what it already does-take attendance and keep track of students whose safety and well-being is entrusted to the school by parents. But there is much more going on here and the issue deserves to be examined in a broader context.

Here is an excellent article by David Rosen of AlterNet that pulls together a variety of news relating to the tracking and surveillance of students.  If you are even slightly uncomfortable about the implementation of these high tech schemes being unleashed on our children, you should read every word of this article which provides some much needed context to the individual stories that trickle down to us from time to time.

These children are the leaders of tomorrow and their experiences at school help serve to fix the values that they will carry with them into adulthood and they are being immersed in an environment saturated with sensors designed to supervise, control and correct them.  (Here are some other objections to student RFID tracking)

Rosen’s article covers RFID and GPS tracking, electronic monitoring devices being used on kids to combat obesity in New York, electronic monitoring of calories consumed in school cafeterias,  networked CCTV systems that are directly  accessible to police and disturbing abuse of student privacy through CCTV cameras,  school computers that use cameras to remotely spy on students in their own homes, federal funding of school surveillance and more.

I would like to add one thing to  Rosen’s litany; biometric identification such as finger scanning to make lunch lines more efficient 

Rosen writes;

Few parents or children are fully aware of the scope of the tracking and surveillance now going on in American schools. Three simple questions need to be addressed: What is happening to all the personal data captured about the students? How long it is being retained? And are school administrators providing it to law enforcement authorities or commercial vendors?

Here is the AlterNet article.

Kids Tagged With RFID Chips? The Creepy New Technology Schools Use to Track Everything Kids Do — And the Profit Motive Behind It

Department Of Homeland Security Announces “If You See Something, Say Something™” Partnership With The City Of Charlotte

Kaye Beach,

The Department of Homeland Security continues to expand it “See Something, Say Something” campaign into every imaginable sector of society.  “See Something, Say Something” is a DHS program designed to encourage ordinary people to report anything they believe to be unusual to the authorities.

Those reports then become a SAR-Suspicious Activity Report, many of which are forwarded on to the FBI to be held in their eGaurdian database for a number of years collecting additional bits of information on the individual.

Think something like this might have a chilling effect on free speech or political participation? Certianly.  That is exactly what such a program is designed for; to keep you fearful and in your place.

“I started to read these files about all the victims in just one region of Germany that the Gestapo had processed,” Gellately says. “It would have taken a large force of secret police to collect information on so many people. I needed to know just how many secret police there really were. So I asked an elderly gentleman who would’ve lived through those times, and he replied, ‘They were everywhere!'”

That was the prevailing myth.

“But I had evidence right there in my hands that supported a different story,” Gellately explains. “There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.” -Robert Gellately, Earl Ray Beck Professor, Department of History

05/21/2012 07:00 AM EDT

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the expansion of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” public awareness campaign to the city of Charlotte, N.C. Earlier today, DHS Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs Betsy Markey joined Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and officials from the Charlotte Area Transit System, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to announce the partnership between DHS and the city of Charlotte.

“If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign materials will be visible throughout Charlotte – in the Charlotte Area Transit System, in public buildings, on the city website and at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In addition, a 30-second “If You See Something, Say Something™” Public Service Announcement will be broadcast on the local Charlotte government access television station.

DHS also separately announced the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign partnership with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organizations. The partnership will begin in eight different metropolitan areas including Baltimore, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Orlando, St. Paul, Southwest Florida, and Washington, D.C. with plans to expand to other cities in the future.

The “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign – originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and now licensed to DHS for a nationwide campaign – is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

The Department launched the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative – an administration effort to train state and local law enforcement to recognize behaviors and indicators related to terrorism and terrorism-related crime; standardize how those observations are documented and analyzed; and ensure the sharing of those reports with the Federal Bureau of Investigation-led Joint Terrorism Task Forces for further investigation.

Recent expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign include partnerships with numerous sports teams and leagues, transportation agencies, private sector partners, states, municipalities, and colleges and universities. DHS also has Public Service Announcements which have been distributed to television and radio stations across the country.

DHS will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign nationally to ensure America’s businesses, communities, and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the country safe.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.

###

The Database: Why Criminal Governments Spy On Citizens

The Database: Why Criminal Governments Spy On Citizens

By Brandon Smith

Posted Oct 6, 2011

At the very foundation of perhaps every modern day conflict between the expansive powers of unchecked bureaucracy and the dwindling freedoms of the ordinary citizen dwells the vital issue of privacy. Privacy and the right to hold personal and political views without being singled out and scrutinized by government is absolutely essential to any society which dares to deem itself “fair and just”. Ultimately, without the presence of these two liberties, and without people to defend them, a nation is ill equipped to circumvent the growth of tyranny, and anyone claiming to be “free” in the midst of such a culture is living a delusion of the highest order.

Often, social engineers attempt to direct debate over the issue of privacy towards rationalizations of relative morality, or artificially delineated priorities. We quibble over the level of government intrusion that should be tolerated for the sake of the “greater good”. We struggle with questions of bureaucratic reach, wondering at which point we should consider government a threat to the safety and liberty of the people, rather than a servant and protector. The dialogue always turns towards “how much” room government should be given to lumber about our personal lives. Rarely do we actually confront the idea that, perhaps, government should not be welcomed at all into such places.

Really, what makes a governmental entity so special that it should be allowed free access to the activities of the average citizen? Why should ANY intrusion of privacy be tolerated, let alone the kind that goes on today? Our most important concern is not how much leeway our government should be given to snoop into our pocket books, our medical records, our education, our political leanings, or our child rearing philosophies, but rather, whether or not they fulfill any purpose whatsoever through these actions. Is the government, as it exists now, even necessary, or does it cause only harm?

Under tyranny, privacy is usually the first right to be trampled in the name of public safety. Its destruction is incremental and its loss a victim of attrition in the wake of more immediate crisis. Disturbingly, many people become so fixated upon the threats of the moment that they lose complete track of the long term derailment of their own free will in progress. Government, no matter how corrupt, is seen as an inevitability. Conditioned by fear, desperation, insecurity, and sometimes greed, we begin to forget what it was like to live without prying eyes constantly over our shoulders. In the past decade alone, Americans have witnessed a substantial invasion of our individual privacy as well as a destabilization of the legal protections once designed to maintain it. Not just America, but most of the modern world has undergone a quiet program of surveillance and citizen cataloging that goes far beyond any sincere desire for “safety” and into the realm of technocratic domination.

Spying on U.S. citizens by a host of alphabet agencies has been going on for decades, but the actual cataloging of the public by government became most direct during WWII, which saw the use of the Census Bureau as a tool for collecting the names and residencies of Japanese Americans, as well as the highly illegal and unconstitutional internment of these innocents and their families:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=confirmed-the-us-census-b

The creation of lists designed to brand dissenters, activists, and even average passive persons has only become more prevalent since. From the McCarthy witch hunts (based on some real threats but skewed by McCarthy’s ignorance of the bigger picture), to the Cointelpro antics of the Vietnam era, government spying and cataloging has been a way of life and an expected prerequisite part of the relationship between citizenry and leadership. Though consistently opposed, surveillance has become ingrained into our social framework.

Read more

Object to Naked Scans and TSA Groping? DHS wants to ID these “domestic extremist”

Kaye Beach

12/1/10

On Nov 24th I wrote about a writer who said that he“was contacted by a source within the DHS who is troubled by the terminology and content of an internal memo reportedly issued yesterday.”

The memo in question here has yet to surface and some question whether or not Hagmann’s assertion or factual.  (see comments)

At the same time some are taking the matter seriously;

On Nov. 29th Bob Barr on behalf of the Liberty Guard, a non profit organization,  filed with the TSA a FOIA request for any documents:

“pertaining to instructions to staff, employees or supervisors that affect
the public when members of the public are asked to submit to
full body scans or “pat downs” while attempting to board
aircraft, which have been adopted by the TSA or DHS. I also
request any documents which discuss the aforementioned issue and
contain the terms “national opt-out day,” “Bob Barr”, “Opt Out
Alliance”, “Liberty Guard”, “John Tyner”, “domestic extremists”,“drudgereport.com,” “Matt Drudge”, “prisonplanet.com”, “Alex Jones” and any other term or proper name germane to the
aforementioned terms and matter.”

Read the FOIA request

Bob Barr was one of those named in the MIAC Report (see below) so maybe the idea that DHS is labeling those who dissent as domestic extremists doesn’t seem so far fetched.   I can say after reading intensively over the last few years about DHS and  Fusion Centers, it would not surprise me at all if there is something to Hagmann’s assertions.

Paul Joseph Watson writes;

The Freedom of Information Act request also aims to uncover why the TSA made the decision to “stand down” on its normal security procedures the day before Thanksgiving in what was a blatant public relations ploy to deflate the impact of the national opt out day protest which had been scheduled for the same day.

Read More

We shall see….

Object to Naked Scans and TSA Groping?  DHS wants to ID these “domestic extremist”

Kaye Beach

11/24/2010

Big surprise.  Americans who take issue with the government’s nudie scanners or public groping of their  most personal of effects are being labeled as “domestic extremists” by DHS.

It is important to note that the label is not reserved for violent objectors. The term is used to describe any person, group or alternative media source” that actively objects to, causes others to object to, supports and/or elicits support for anyone who engages in such travel disruptions at U.S. airports in response to the enhanced security procedures. According to Doug Hagmann’s post on Fed Up Flyers dated Nov 23, 2010.

Hagmann says that after he published this article he “was contacted by a source within the DHS who is troubled by the terminology and content of an internal memo reportedly issued yesterday.” by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano

Furthermore the TSA is instructed to identify these individuals and share this information with “Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division, the Extremism and Radicalization branch of the Office of Intelligence & Analysis (IA) division of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Doug Hagmann writes;

The memo, which actually takes the form of an administrative directive, appears to be the product of undated but recent high level meetings between Napolitano, John Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA),and one or more of Obama’s national security advisors. This document officially addresses those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as “domestic extremists.”

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The Anti-TSA Backlash: It Ain’t Just a Right-Wing Thing

Posted by Kevin Carson on Nov 25, 2010 in Commentary23 comments

Well, it seems Homeland Security and the TSA are classifying the anti-TSA backlash as a “domestic extremist” movement. A DHS memo from Janet Napolitano referred to the individuals who tried to “interfere with” the new airport security regime by objecting to it or opting out, along with public commentators and organized movements which encouraged such behavior, as “domestic extremists.” She called on the government to investigate individuals and movements associated with the anti-TSA backlash.

And now MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is dismissing the anti-TSA movement as a bunch of right-wingers. Monday night (Nov. 22) Matthews did a segment on the new back-scatter body scan machines. One of the guests, Ginger McCall of the Open Government Project and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, cited evidence that the machines are ineffective at detecting low-density materials like the powdered explosive carried by the Underwear Bomber, and simply create an “illusion of security.”

Matthews, outraged, demanded her explanation as to why the government would deliberately do something that didn’t work. McCall responded that it might have something to do with the fact that a lot of money was changing hands. When challenged further by the aghast Matthews, she elaborated that former DHS Secretary Chertoff had ties to the companies that manufacture the scanner.

This sent Matthews on a rampage for the rest of the segment, sputtering demands for names and documentation as McCall, attempting to talk in the face of his machine-gun interruption, tried to explain the concept of a revolving door between government agencies and private industry.

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Possibly relevant “extremists” articles;

Missouri Fusion Center Designates 75% of the Population as Subversives, Extremists

TSA: “I Thought Maybe You Might Be Representing a Terrorist Organization”

HB 2810 The Oklahoma Sovereignty Act: Stuck in Liebmanns Craw

Hats Off to Jesse Ventura-Fusion Centers Exposed!

Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Power Point

Americans need to know about these new UN-American institutions.

Much appreciation to the Governor and his show for diving into the Fusion Centers!

Skeptical?  See the documents for yourself.

Operation DeFuse

These are the questions to ask about fusion centers

Surveillance, America’s Pastime

CBS News Reports;

Stephan Salisbury: A Hall of Shame of State Snooping, Prying, and Informing

The dried blood on the concrete floor is there for all to see, a stain forever marking the spot on a Memphis motel balcony where Martin Luther King, Jr. lay mortally wounded by a sniper’s bullet.

It is a stark and ghostly image speaking to the sharp pain of absence. King is gone. His aides are gone. Only the stain remains. What now?
That image is, of course, a photograph taken by Ernest C. Withers, Memphis born and bred, and known as the photographer of the civil rights movement.  He was there at the Lorraine Motel, as he had been at so many other critical places, recording iconic images of those tumultuous years.

In addition to photographing moments large and small in the struggle for black civil rights in the South, Withers had another job. He was an informer for the FBI, passing along information on the doings of King, Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, Ben Hooks, and other leaders of the movement. He reported on meetings he attended as a photographer, welcomed in by those he knew so intimately. He passed along photos of events and gatherings to his handler, Special Agent William H. Lawrence of the FBI’s Memphis office. He named names and sketched out plans.

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The Rise of the Fusion-Intelligence Complex

A critique of political surveillance after 9/11

Anthony B. Newkirk

The private sector – the Nation’s principal provider of goods and services and owner of 85 percent of our infrastructure – is a key homeland security partner…
(Office of Homeland Security 2002, viii)
I believe that Fusion Centers will be the centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence sharing for the future and that the Department of Homeland Security will be working and aiming its programs to underlie Fusion Centers… [T]he private sector… can…also provide vital support for the sustainability of Fusion Centers… (Janet Napolitano 2009)

A report by Privacy International (2007) ranked the United States of America and Great Britain as “endemic surveillance societies” along with China, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. These findings are not surprising. But a significant, albeit unheralded, fact is that political surveillance is undergoing significant organizational changes in the context of neoliberal globalization. In the United States, for instance, this relationship is defined less by customary state forces and, increasingly, by interlocking public-private partnerships. Largely overlooked in these developments is the creation of entities known as “fusion centers.”