Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • Reporter James Risen told to testify at hearing before CIA agent’s trial

    Source: Los Angeles Times. New York Times reporter James Risen was ordered Tuesday to appear at a Jan. 5 hearing to give limited testimony in advance of the trial of a former CIA officer who is charged with revealing classified information, including embarrassing details of CIA operations in Iran that appeared in Risen’s 2006 book, “State of War.” It was not clear whether Risen would testify, despite Justice Department assurances that it would not ask him whether former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was his source for the book or other questions that might help identify his source. The book detailed purported CIA mistakes in handling agents in Iran during alleged attempts to subvert Iran’s nuclear program.

  • Panel faults C.I.A. over brutality and deceit in terrorism interrogations

    Source: The New York Times. The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday issued a sweeping indictment of the Central Intelligence Agency’s program to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, drawing on millions of internal C.I.A. documents to illuminate practices that it said were more brutal — and far less effective — than the agency acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public. The long-delayed report delivers a withering judgment on one of the most controversial tactics of a twilight war waged over a dozen years. The Senate committee’s investigation, born of what its chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, said was a need to reckon with the excesses of this war, found that C.I.A. officials routinely misled the White House and Congress about the information it obtained, and failed to provide basic oversight of the secret prisons it established around the world.

  • The one man jailed for CIA torture tried to expose it

    Source: Huffington Post.The Justice Department is unlikely to prosecute anyone connected to the brutal torture techniques outlined in a Senate report released on Tuesday, but the one man already sitting in jail in connection with the CIA’s interrogation program tried to draw public attention to it. In an interview with ABC News in 2007, former CIA agent John Kiriakou was one of the first to acknowledge the existence of the CIA’s torture program.

  • Operation Auroragold: How the NSA hacks cellphone networks worldwide

    Source: The Intercept. The NSA documents reveal that, as of May 2012, the agency had collected technical information on about 70 percent of cellphone networks worldwide—701 of an estimated 985—and was maintaining a list of 1,201 email “selectors” used to intercept internal company details from employees. (“Selector” is an agency term for a unique identifier like an email address or phone number.) From November 2011 to April 2012, between 363 and 1,354 selectors were “tasked” by the NSA for surveillance each month as part of AURORAGOLD, according to the documents. The secret operation appears to have been active since at least 2010.

  • Favorite Recipes from the FBI Terrorist Cookbook

    Favorite Recipes from the FBI Terrorist Cookbook-Sunday, December 14, 2014, Attorney Kathy Manley, Chair of the Legal Committee of NCPCF will speak about FBI tactics in obtaining terrorist convictions, and in particular the case of Yassin Aref. Mel Underbakke, director of the Education and Outreach Committee of the NCPCF, will speak about the solitary confiinement of two Federal prisoners in Florida, Ziyad Yaghi and Sami Osmakoc.

  • More federal agencies are using undercover operations

    Source: the New York Times. The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show. Undercover work, inherently invasive and sometimes dangerous, was once largely the domain of the F.B.I. and a few other law enforcement agencies at the federal level. But outside public view, changes in policies and tactics over the last decade have resulted in undercover teams run by agencies in virtually every corner of the federal government, according to officials, former agents and documents.


    NCPCF is seeking the help of 100 individuals, who are willing to donate $50 each to 25 traumatized family members of targeted individuals, so NCPCF can fly them to the families conference to receive counseling, spiritual healing, and social support. Please read details below. Thank you.    NCPCF FOURTH FAMILIES’ CONFERENCE […]

  • Google Tells Cops to Get Warrants for User E-Mail, Cloud Data

    Source: Wired. The development surfaced as Google publicly announced that more than two-thirds of the user data Google forwards to government agencies across the United States is handed over without a probable-cause warrant.

  • Google Transparency Report Shows Government Snooping Up

    Source: Huffington Post. Law enforcement is asking Google for its users’ data more than ever — and most of the time, they aren’t getting a warrant first.

  • DOJ Refuses to Disclose How it Tracks Citizens Using GPS

    Source: The New American. “The Justice Department’s unfortunate decision leaves Americans with no clear understanding of when we will be subjected to tracking — possibly for months at a time — or whether the government will first get a warrant,” writes ACLU attorney Catherine Crump. “Privacy law needs to keep up with technology, but how can that happen if the government won’t even tell us what its policies are?”