Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • U.S. drone attacks amount to human rights violations, Carter says

    Civil Freedoms Under Threat September 13, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: The Gazette. Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday that America is engaging in – and its citizens are accepting — human rights violations that “would never have been dreamed of” before the terrorist attacks that occurred in this country 11 years ago.

  • Attorney Richard Thompson Warns About Future Government Spying via Drones

    Civil Freedoms Under Threat September 13, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: Opposing Views. [Congress] just signed off on a five-year renewal for the FISA Amendments Act, which lets the feds spy on us on a just-trust-us basis. But the prospect of a future sky crowded with flying robo-snoops is apparently still able to rouse a shiver of dread in even the occasional jaded bureaucrat. At least, the Congressional Research Service recently issued a report fretting about the threats to our much-battered privacy posed by using drones in domestic surveillance.

  • Domestic Drones and Spying

    Civil Freedoms Under Threat September 12, 2012 at 0 comments

    Source: TownHall. In the next 10 years, there will be a projected 15,000 drones, also known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems, in the U.S. This projection is cited by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), an office created under a legislative initiative and designed to foster collaboration among government agencies, the private sector and academia on air transportation systems.

  • Feds Say Mobile-Phone Location Data Not ‘Constitutionally Protected’

    Source: Wired. The Obama administration told a federal court Tuesday that the public has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in cellphone location data, and hence the authorities may obtain documents detailing a person’s movements from wireless carriers without a probable-cause warrant. The administration, citing a 1976 Supreme Court precedent, said such data, like banking records, are “third-party records,” meaning customers have no right to keep it private. The government made the argument as it prepares for a re-trial of a previously convicted drug dealer whose conviction was reversed in January by the Supreme Court, which found that the government’s use of a GPS tracker on his vehicle was an illegal search.

  • AntiSec claims FBI is tracking Apple users

    Source: Washington Post. Claiming to be part of the hacking group AntiSec, a group of individuals has posted over 1 million Apple unique device IDs to the Web site Pastebin. According to the group that posted the information, the IDs were taken from a file of over 12 million such IDs stored on the laptop of a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.

  • You Can’t Trust Airport Security

    Source: Wall Street Journal. Is terrorism, then, as Mr. Hawley’s title would have it, a permanent emergency? No. When something is permanent, it is by definition not an emergency. It’s more like the New York subway guarded by the Iron Maiden turnstiles: The siren is always going off, day and night, and it sounds like an emergency, but eventually you just stop noticing it. All that remains is the turnstile, getting in your way for reasons you’ve forgotten or never knew. That’s the kind of security we can all be against.

  • Police admit to infiltrating Occupy Austin, may have acted as provocateurs

    Source: The Raw Story. According to the Austin Statesman, court documents and interviews show that the infiltrators “camped with other participants in the movement, marched in rallies and attended strategy meetings.” They may also have gone further, acting as provocateurs to encourage the use of lockboxes or “sleeping dragons” — lengths of PVC pipe into which protestors insert their arms to make it harder for police to remove them during a demonstration.

  • Software Meant to Fight Crime Is Used to Spy on Dissidents

    Source: NYT. The software has been identified as FinSpy, one of the more elusive spyware tools sold in the growing market of off-the-shelf computer surveillance technologies that give governments a sophisticated plug-in monitoring operation. Research now links it to servers in more than a dozen countries, including Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes.

  • Why S.F. arrest numbers matter to citizens

    Source: SF Gate. City residents discovered recently that the San Francisco Police Department failed to accurately report arrest statistics on race. Unnoticed and over many years, these statistics painted a false picture of whom the police have used their enforcement powers to arrest. These practices are unconstitutional, counterproductive and dehumanizing. But without accurate statistics, we can’t spot them – much less hold the police accountable.

  • PANDA’s fight to end NDAA once and for all

    Source: The Examiner. Judge Katherine Forrest ruled May 16th, 2012 in her southern district in Manhattan to favor a group of writers and activists who sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and the Defense Department with clams that provisions inside of the National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law Dec. 31, 2011 was blatantly unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction is considered a watershed moment in reversing decades of bipartisan assaults on civil liberties and the American Constitution.