Testimony prepared for the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission in support of the work of the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition on 10-10-13Details
Albany resolution against NDAA indefinite detention is a great first step, even though it does not ban indefinite detention as one organization has claimed.Details
For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. – Jesus Christ
The U.S. Department of Justice denied a request by tech companies Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and Linkedln to allow them to disclose more information about the frequency with which they are contacted by the U.S. government to give up user data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (More info here)
The DOJ claims that giving these companies the ability to tell the public more about requests from federal organizations like the NSA would pose a risk to national security.
So, letting Americans know about its own government spying on them would set us up for real trouble huh? How about the threat to national security posed by the government itself? Shouldn’t the Constitution and transparency be more important? After all, you are four times more likely to be killed by a lightning bolt than by a terror attack.
Patrick Henry understood that government must remain transparent.
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
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
On July 29, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) signed the Anti-Drone Spying bill (HB2710) into law.
The new law will require law enforcement to obtain a warrant for drone use in all but a few cases.
Provides that drones may be used by law enforcement agency for purpose of surveillance of persons only pursuant to a warrant or in emergency circumstances. Provides that law enforcement agencies may use drones to intercept communications only as provided under laws relating to wiretaps other interceptions of communications. Requires destruction of images and other information acquired by use of drone within 30 days.
The bill also outlaws weaponized drones.
Representative John Huffman (R ) said, “I feel that we were able to craft our bill to get ahead of the curve and ensure people’s rights were protected — but also to let Insitu and other companies in the industry know that we are willing to work with them.”
The House passed its version of the bill 52-7 on April 15. The Senate passed the amended version 23-5 on June 10th. The differences between the two bills were resolved in committee, and it was sent to the governor for his signature.
While the exceptions for drone use raise legitimate concerns, as things existed, Oregonians had no protections against drone surveillance. Law enforcement agencies in Oregon could use drones any time, anywhere, with absolutely no parameters. Under the new law, drone use will be extremely limited and circumscribed.Details
Now that the dust has settled a bit after Jerry Brown signed AB351 into law, it’s important to ask, what’s next?
If you thought the work was done and California would be “indefinite-detention” free, you thought wrong. The passage of the California Liberty Preservation Act was an important first step towards the nullification of federal indefinite detention practices in the state, but not the last one.
This advice from Samuel Adams probably sums it up best:
“Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance.”
The enemies of liberty will not rest, and neither can we.
CALIFORNIA LIBERTY PRESERVATION ACT
AB351 now makes it “state policy” to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government. It reads, in part:Details
Michael Boldin, founder and executive director of the Tenth Amendment Center, discusses the states’ rights approach to fighting NSA spying on Americans; the unlikely coalition that pushed through the NDAA-defying California Liberty Preservation Act (AB-351); and using anti-commandeering court precedents to withhold water and power from NSA data centers in Utah and Texas.Details
As we’ve reported previously: in August, Herndon, KS Mayor Kenny Chartier sent an email to “[every] municipality, city and town in the state of Kansas [with] an e-mail address,” urging them to pass ordinances similar to Herndon’s in support of the Second Amendment Protection Act, which was signed into law by Governor Brownback in April. Three cities have since answered that call: Muscotah, Easton, and most recently, Strong City.
At their September 10 meeting, the Strong City city council passed the Right to Bear Arms Ordinance into law with a margin of 5-0.
“No agency of the City of Strong City, KS, or person in the employ of the City of Strong City, KS shall enforce, provide material support for, or participate in any way in the enforcement of any act, law, treaty, order, rule or regulation of the government of the United States regarding personal firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition within the Boundary of this City of Strong City, KS.” —Right to Bear Arms Ordinance, Strong City, KSDetails
In a revelation that should be a surprise to nobody, The New York Times recently reported that the NSA conducted a secret program that collected the cell phone data of Americans in order to track their location.
This program ran from 2010 to 2011 and used data from cell towers to track the location of users’ cell phones, according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Essentially, the NSA was using phone data to virtually follow people.
An official familiar with the test project said its purpose was to see how the locational data would flow into the N.S.A.’s systems. While real data was used, it was never drawn upon in any investigation, the official said. It was unclear how many Americans’ locational data was collected as part of the project, whether the agency has held on to that information or why the program did not go forward, according to the Times.
The program is now allegedly discontinued, but Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) does not feel that we know the whole truth about it.Details
The illegal spiers at the NSA are looking for impressionable youngsters to do their bidding, according to a recent press release.
The Air Force Institute of Technology at Ohio, Auburn University in Alabama, Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, and Mississippi State University have been given a CAE-Cyber Operations designation in the NSA’s desperate attempt “to cultivate more U.S. cyber professionals in an ever-changing global environment.”
The NSA is redoubling its efforts to create and maintain their Orwellian surveillance system, and they’re banking on compliance and assistance from America’s youth. Both students and facility will be targeted under this program by the rapacious government snoopers and recruited into the massive surveillance bureaucracy.
This is yet another example of big government using the higher education system to do their bidding. In another instance, the University of Maryland recently receive over $10 million from the Department of Homeland Security to produce ‘intelligence’ that classified advocates of decentralized government as potential terrorists. Thus, any type of partnership between big government and higher education must be looked at with an extreme amount of caution.Details