As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) doles out billions of dollars to convince local police departments to surrender control to the federal agency, a recent report indicates that intelligence gathered at precincts-cum-surveillance-centers will be shared among all levels of law enforcement.Details
Last week, the FDA announced a plan to require food makers to phase out trans fats. According to an AP report, the agency did not set a specific timeline, but will collect comments before determining just how long food producers will have to get the nasty fat out.Details
Think state and local law enforcement aren’t watching you with high-tech federally-owned drones? Think again.
In a new post, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports that Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, released an updated list of “times the agency has flown its Predator drones on behalf of other agencies — 500 flights in total over a three-year period.”
Some of the more interesting revelations contained in the report — obtained by EFF as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit — include the fact that CBP drones flew more than 100 missions on behalf of the Department of Justice.
As the EFF story indicates, this level of cooperation between CBP and the Department of Justice “is in direct contradiction to a recently released DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report (pdf) that stated DHS had flown its drones on only two occasions for DOJ law enforcement components.”
Although many of the agencies borrowing CBP drones were revealed in earlier lists, there are a few new entries: “Grand Forks SWAT, the North Dakota Narcotics Task Force, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Minnesota Drug Task Force, and several branches of the military.”
Read that again: “Several branches of the military” are flying drone missions above the United States. For what lawful purpose could the armed forces be conducting such operations domestically? Furthermore, the likelihood is high that such activities run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the U.S. military from performing domestic law-enforcement duties.Details
Scott Walker is at it again. The governor of Wisconsin, who has previously publicly stated his intention to resist Obamacare, had his state’s Department of Natural Resources reject federal requests to close portions of parks in the wake of the federal government’s shutdown. The Wisconsin DNR also reopened a boat launch that the federal government…Details
Last week, during a hearing in the Imperial Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Dianne Feinsten went to bat for the NSA – defending their wildly unconstitutional spying program as “lawful, effective and constitutional”
This is in light of the fact that the NSA intends to collect all U.S. telephone records and put them in a searchable “lock box” in the interest of “national security.” That’s how PCWorld reported on what General Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, told U.S. senators.
“There is no upper limit” on NSA telephone-records collection, Alexander said. “I believe it is in the nation’s best interest to put all the phone records into a lock box that we can search when the nation needs to do it.”
Fact: The 4th Amendment doesn’t authorize this kind of mass intrusion into your privacy, no matter what these people happen to say.Details
The END is near for federal marijuana “laws” (which have no constitutional authority),whether or not they choose to admit it. In fact, bringing in the banksters is admitting it. These guys will surely want to expand business. “The Justice Department and federal banking regulators will help clear the way for financial institutions to transact business…Details
After the uproar over his plan to appoint Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to head his intelligence review board, President Obama promised to pack the group with “outside experts.”
News of the names of board members reveals that the president’s definition of “outside” comes from somewhere outside the dictionary.
The five men tapped to lead the panel known officially as the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies are Richard A. Clarke (shown), Michael Morell, Cass Sunstein, Geoffrey Stone, and Peter Swire.
It would be challenging to assemble a group more “inside” the government.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s response to the announcement of the board members sums up the situation exactly. Said EFF: “A task force led by General Clapper full of insiders — and not directed to look at the extensive abuse — will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying.”Details
originally posted at The New American
The National Security Agency was forced to de-classify a document, the contents of which make it easy to see why the snoops wanted it kept secret.
In an 85-page ruling handed down by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (commonly known as the FISA court) judge John D. Bates, the NSA was called out “for repeatedly misleading the court that oversees its surveillance on domestic soil, including a program that is collecting tens of thousands of domestic e-mails and other Internet communications of Americans each year,” the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Bates found that the NSA routinely misled the court as to the scope of its domestic surveillance activities.
“The court is troubled that the government’s revelations regarding N.S.A.’s acquisition of Internet transactions mark the third instance in less than three years in which the government has disclosed a substantial misrepresentation regarding the scope of a major collection program,” former FISA court chief judge Bates wrote in his ruling.
Most of the secret NSA programs recently brought to light by the Edward Snowden leaks are mentioned by Bates as being evidence of the NSA’s blatant disregard for the Constitution and for legal limits on its surveillance authority.Details
Richard Nixon kicked off a War on Drugs that still rages today.
Nixon’s directive has remained true for the last 40 years.
“This is one area where we cannot have budget cuts because we must wage what I have called total war against public enemy number one in the United States, the problem of dangerous drugs.”
In total war, combatants and the civilian population are not differentiated.
When the phenomena of crack cocaine (crack cocaine is just powder cocaine with baking soda, water, and heat) hit the streets, President Reagan signed into law mandatory minimum sentences that disproportionally sentenced users of crack cocaine and users powder cocaine. Crack, with it longer sentences, was primarily a poor minority drug.
Methamphetamine sparked the three strikes rule in the 90’s, and people are now serving life sentences for non-violent drug crimes.
Today we’ve moved on to the synthetics. We had the sudden DEA terror show that started with the zombie face eating frenzy. That hasn’t popped back up in mainstream media, but now the feds have been able to throw it on a Schedule too.Details
The National Security Agency (NSA) is using a “secret backdoor” to conduct warrantless searches of the e-mails and phone calls of American citizens, the Guardian (U.K.) reports. As with earlier reports, this latest revelation comes from information given to the newspaper by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Spencer Ackerman and James Ball, reporting for theGuardian, write that a rule change that was previously unreported is giving the NSA the inroad it needs to monitor “individual Americans’ communications using their name and other identifying information.”
In a statement to the Guardian, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) reportedly said that this rule change makes it possible for the NSA to conduct “warrantless searches for the phone calls or e-mails of law-abiding Americans.”
The regulatory restatement relied on by the NSA to justify their unconstitutional surveillance was “approved in 2011” by the Obama administration, in direct contradiction to the president’s commitment to protect the constitutionally protected privacy of the American public “from the NSA’s dragnet surveillance programs.”
The federal spy apparatus is relying on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments of 2008 (FISA). This provision purports to grant the government the “authority to target without warrant the communications of foreign targets, who must be non-US citizens and outside the US at the point of collection.”Details