Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • Revamped Detroit Metro Airport body scanners do away with explicit body images

    Source: Detroit Free Press Revamped Detroit Metro Airport body scanners do away with explicit body images BY ELLEN CREAGER  Aug. 4, 2011   Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus is in the process of installing and updating software in their new Advance Imaging Machines which does a full body scan of passengers […]

     
  • Boston TSA Agents Have Their Eyes on You

    Source: AOL Travel. Boston TSA Agents Have Their Eyes on You by AOL Travel Staff.

    Under a new pilot program kicking off in a little more than a week at Boston Logan International Airport, TSA employees will pose a variety of questions to passengers and determine whether or not they pose a threat based on their verbal and physical reactions to the queries. Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques is a method commonly used in Israel, where it has been fairly successful, but some doubt TSA agents, not exactly renowned for their sensitivity, are the keenest observers of subtlety.

     
  • Security Firm Sees Global Cyberspying

    Source: New York Times. Security Firm Sees Global Cyberspying by DAVID BARBOZA and KEVIN DREW.
    Cybersecurity is now a major international concern, with hackers gaining access to sensitive corporate and military secrets, including intellectual property. The report comes after high-profile computer network attacks aimed at the International Monetary Fund, Sony and the Lockheed Martin Corporation, America’s largest military contractor.

     
  • ACLU seeks info on how police use cellphone data

    Source: Associated Press  ACLU seeks info on how police use cellphone data By CRISTIAN SALAZAR August 3, 2011 The use of cellphone location data by law enforcement agencies is “shrouded in secrecy” even though it has become widespread throughout the country, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday in demanding […]

     
  • Despite New Denials by Rumsfeld, Evidence Shows US Military Used Waterboarding-Style Torture

    Source: Truthout. Despite New Denials by Rumsfeld, Evidence Shows US Military Used Waterboarding-Style Torture by: Jeffrey Kaye. A CCR report on “Torture, Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba” said that on one occasion prison guards demanded to search Idr’s cell. Idr cooperated, but they came in, sprayed him in the face with a chemical irritant and put him into restraints. According to the report, “Guards then slammed him head first into the cell floor, lowered him, face-first into the toilet and flushed the toilet – submerging his head. He was then carried outside and thrown onto the crushed stones that surround the cells. While he was down on the ground, his assailants stuffed a hose in his mouth and forced water down his throat.” As a result, Idr’s face was paralyzed for several months.

     
  • Mobile biometrics to hit US streets

    Source: AlJazeera. Mobile biometrics to hit US street: Despite fuzzy legality, US law enforcement will soon be able to perform mobile iris scans and fingerprinting by D. Parvaz .

     
  • Congress out to spy on your ‘puter

    Source: New York Post. Congress out to spy on your ‘puter by JULIAN SANCHEZ.
    If Congress had to name laws honestly, it would be called the “Forcing Your Internet Provider to Spy On You Just In Case You’re a Criminal Act of 2011″ — a costly, invasive mandate that even the co-author of the Patriot Act, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), says “runs roughshod over the rights of people who use the Internet.” Traditionally, citizens in a free society are presumed innocent. If the police want to look through your computer files, the Fourth Amendment requires them to show a judge that there’s “probable cause” to suspect wrongdoing. The PCIPA turns that assumption on its head, treating every Internet user as a presumptive criminal and exploiting a serious Fourth Amendment loophole.

     
  • Getting Away With Torture: the Ill Treatment of Detainees

    Source: Truthout. Getting Away With Torture: the Ill Treatment of Detainees by: Stephen Rohde.
    In a new comprehensive 107-page report entitled “Getting Away with Torture: The Bush Administration and Mistreatment of Detainees,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) concludes that “there is sufficient basis for the U.S. government to order a broad criminal investigation into alleged crimes committed in connection with the torture and ill-treatment of detainees, the CIA secret detention program, and the rendition of detainees to torture” focusing on alleged criminal conduct by “former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and CIA Director George Tenet.”

     
  • Olsen: Patriot Act May Allow Cell Phone Tracking

    Source: National Journal. Olsen: Patriot Act May Allow Cell Phone Tracking.
    The Patriot Act may have given the federal government powers to use cell phone data to track Americans inside the United States, the general counsel for the National Security Agency said. The Wall Street Journal quotes Matthew Olsen, who has been nominated to lead the National Counterterrorism Center, as saying it is possible. “There are certain circumstances where that authority may exist,” Olsen told the Senate Intelligence Committee at his confirmation hearing.

     
  • Nominee for counterterrorism chief is grilled on Guantanamo Bay detainee plans

    Source: Washington Post. Nominee for counterterrorism chief is grilled on Guantanamo Bay detainee plans by Peter Finn. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Olsen, who is general counsel at the National Security Agency, a series of oblique questions about possible legal authorities derived from the USA Patriot Act, which governs various surveillance activities. He asked whether there are “significant secret interpretations” of the Patriot Act and amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that remain secret.