Surveillance, freedom of speech, civil liberties, civil rights

Articles About surveillance, freedom of speech, civil liberties.  Click the title to read the full article.  

With the advent of the National Security State many articles about surveillance, freedom of speech, and civil liberties appear routinely. Links are provided in this portfolio to some of these articles and videos.


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Human Rights Lawyer: Sweden Dropping Investigation of WikiLeaks’ Assange is “Long Overdue Decision”

Swedish prosecutors have dropped an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has denied the allegations, which he calls a pretext for his ultimate extradition to the U.S. to face prosecution under the Espionage Act. Since 2012, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. It’s not clear whether Assange will emerge any time soon. “This is a small victory, but in this long road to free Julian Assange and all the people working for WikiLeaks,” says our guest Renata Avila, a Courage Foundation trustee and human rights lawyer. “But it will finally help us lawyers to focus on the main issue, which is the persecution, the political persecution, and imminent prosecution of Julian Assange in the United States.”

Democracy Now!  May 19, 2017

Trade in the Digital Era, We Demand Popular Participation

nneutralityDaniel Cooper Bermudez for Popular Resistance – Digital rights are under threat in the United States and abroad as corporations and governments work together to infringe upon people’s privacy and limit essential civil and political rights such as freedom and equality in access to information. From the FCC’s dismantling of Net Neutrality to the inclusion of digital trade provisions in TPP that industry leaders want in NAFTA, the movement has been ready to fight back and has counter-proposals to guarantee that the internet remains free and open, a center for the global organizing required to foster a world fighting back climate change and human rights violations. -more-

Popular Resistance  May 5, 2017

Daniel Ellsberg: Trump Threat to WikiLeaks Is the ‘Nuclear Option’ Against the First Amendment

Statement by Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower:

“Obama having opened the legal campaign against the press by going after the roots of investigative reporting on national security — the sources — Trump is going to go after the gatherers/gardeners themselves (and their bosses, publishers). To switch the metaphor, an indictment of Assange is a ‘first use’ of ‘the nuclear option’ against the First Amendment protection of a free press. (By the way, the charges they’re reportedly considering against him — conspiracy, theft, and violation of the Espionage Act — are exactly the charges I faced in 1971.)

“If journalists and publishers fail to call this out, denounce and resist it — on the spurious grounds that Julian is ‘not a real journalist’ like themselves — they’re offering themselves up to Trump and Sessions for indictments and prosecutions, which will eventually silence all but the heroes and heroines among them.”

This statement by Daniel Ellsberg was read by Army veteran and retired diplomat Ann Wright at a news conference Friday morning outside the Department of Justice organized by ExposeFacts, a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

Video of the news conference, which also featured remarks by retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, is now available at Facebook Live. Higher quality video and audio will be available later today on YouTube and via @xposefacts.

   Antiwar  April 28, 2017

New Documents Show NYPD Infiltrated Black Lives Matter

Undercover officers with the New York Police Department (NYPD) not only infiltrated Black Lives Matter protesters, they become so embedded within the group as to have access to text communications available only to a limited number of organizers. And, they continued their undercover operations despite a lack of any evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Defending Rights and Dissent  April 6, 2017

In Spite of Local Law Limiting Investigations of First Amendment Assemblies, DC Police Infiltrated Organizing Group for Inauguration Protests

Before the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) had arrested a single protester at Trump’s inauguration, undercover agents had infiltrated one of the main groups organizing protests according to court documents.

Defending Rights and Dissent  April 19, 2017

Published on Apr 28, 2017

CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that Julian Assange’s arrest is a “priority” of the Trump administration. In response, numerous individuals — with differing perspectives on WikiLeaks — warn of a growing threat to press freedom.

Today at the Justice Department 2 former government officials addressed U.S. government policy toward WikiLeaks and whistleblowers:

* Ann Wright is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, and a 29-year veteran of the Army and Army Reserves. As a U.S. diplomat, Wright served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Krygyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia and helped re-open the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan in 2001. In March of 2003, she resigned in protest over the invasion of Iraq. She is co-author of Dissent: Voices of Conscience.

* Ray McGovern, a former Army officer and CIA analyst who prepared the President’s Daily Brief (under the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations), is co-founder of Sam Adams Associates for Integrity (see: samadamsaward.ch), which gave Julian Assange its annual award in 2010. Sam Adams Associates strongly opposes any attempt to deny Julian Assange the protections that are his as a journalist.

Contact at ExposeFacts (a project of the Institute for Public Accuracy):
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, sam [at] accuracy dot org.

EFF Releases Report on Ed Tech and Student Privacy

EFF is out with a new report that highlights concerns held by parents, students, teachers, and others over the privacy implications of the use of mobile devices and cloud services in K-12 classrooms across the country—so called education technology or “ed tech.” Concerns include a lack of transparency about how technology is used in classrooms, the difficulty of determining the privacy implications of ed tech, the absence of standard privacy precautions, and inadequate technology and privacy training for teachers.

The report is the result of an EFF survey, launched in December of 2015, which elicited responses from over 1000 students, parents, teachers, librarians, school administrators, system administrators, and community members.

While there are educational advantages to incorporating technology into the classroom experience, the survey results reflect an overarching concern that children as young as kindergartners are being conditioned to accept a culture of surveillance. EFF maintains that children should not be taught that using the Internet or technology requires sacrificing personal privacy.

EFF  April 13, 2017

Portland – The ACLU of Maine and five other New England ACLU affiliates today filed a lawsuit demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans.

The lawsuit is seeking records from the Boston field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) related to CBP’s implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans at Bradley, Bangor, Burlington, Logan, Manchester and T.F. Green international airports.

“President Trump’s multiple executive orders have been a thinly veiled attempt to keep Muslims out of the country,” said Zachary Heiden, legal director at the ACLU of Maine. “The United States was founded on religious freedom, and our Constitution requires it. These orders are an attack on our most fundamental values, and the American people deserve to know how they are being carried out.”

ACLU  April 12, 2017

Surveillance Oversight Committees Confused ‘Oversight’ and ‘Overlook’

The bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees apologized during a press conference this morning for failing to provide rigorous supervision of the intelligence community, blaming past years’ inaction on a fundamental misunderstanding of the word “oversight.” “It was merely a miscommunication,” House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said. “We had mixed up the word ‘oversee’ and the word ‘overlook.’ We thought we were supposed to overlook the mistakes of the intelligence community, not provide oversight.” Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr said, “We unequivocally condone the privacy invasions committed by U.S. intelligence agencies. Oh shoot, I mean condemn.”

EFF  April 1, 2017

Police Killings In The US Continue To Rise

imageMore people have died at the hands of law enforcement in the US so far this year than during the same period in 2016, casting a dark shadow over the Donald Trump administration as it invests more power in the police. By 19 March this year, 271 people have already been killed by police, compared with 262 people by the same date in 2016, according to a database called Killedbypolice.net. There were fewer deaths (255) in 2015 and even fewer (209) in 2014 by the same point. The rising numbers do little to reassure critics of Donald Trump, who signed an executive order in February to invest more power in the police and who has all but scrapped the former Justice Department’s investigation into law enforcement violence around the US. -more-

By Rachael Revesz for Independent – Popular Resistance  March 30, 2017

FOR ALMOST FOUR years, a cottage industry of media conspiracists has devoted itself to accusing Edward Snowden of being a spy for either Russia and/or China at the time he took and then leaked documents from the National Security Agency. There has never been any evidence presented to substantiate this accusation.

In lieu of evidence, the propagators of this accusation have relied upon the defining tactic of tawdry conspiracists everywhere: relentless repetition of rumor and innuendo based on alleged inconsistencies until it spreads far enough through the media ecosystem to take on the appearance of being credible. In this case, there was one particular fiction — about where Snowden spent his first 11 days after arriving in Hong Kong — which took on particular significance for this group.

  The Intercept   March 21 2017

Is ‘Christianized Fascism’ the Biggest Threat We Face Under Trump? (Video)

“I think that the Christian right is a far more dangerous movement than the alt-right,” says Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges.

The Empire Files  February 28, 2017

Trump Administration Weighs Separating Mothers From Children at the U.S.-Mexico Border

  The U.S.-Mexico border in Nogales, Ariz. (Flickr / CC 2.0)

As the Trump administration continues its mass deportations apace, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering ramping up anti-immigration policies even further with a new rule that would separate mothers from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

That’s according to Reuters, which cites three unnamed government officials who had been briefed on the proposal intended “to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children.”

By Nika Knight / Common Dreams  Truthdig  March 4, 2017

Palantir Technologies Is Creating a Vast Immigration Database

  A new Palantir Technologies system will help immigration officials discover targets and administer deportation cases against them. (Wikimedia Commons)

Palantir Technologies, a software company founded by Silicon Valley conservative Peter Thiel, has almost finished creating a $41 million program for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The new technology, called Investigative Case Management (ICM), will greatly help ICE and the Trump administration deport undocumented immigrants.

Posted by Emma Niles  Truthdig  March 4, 2017

Civil Rights Groups Demand Immigration Agents Stop Impersonating Police Officers

LOS ANGELES – The ACLU Foundation of Southern California and a coalition of advocacy groups today sent a letter to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, Mayor Eric Garcetti and city council members, demanding that they take steps to prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers from impersonating police officers to gain access to homes and businesses in Los Angeles.

The deception critically endangers LAPD policies that seek to assure immigrant community members they can report crimes and assist police investigations without fear of deportation. These policies have been vital in furthering public safety.

By Staff, www.aclusocal.org  Popular Resistance  February 28th, 2017

CONGRESS MAY LACK TECHNICAL EXPERTISE TO PROPERLY INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN HACKING

The lack of technical chops among congressional staff has become a glaring problem as cyber attacks escalate and move to the political fore.

Jenna McLaughlin  The Intercept  February 28, 2017

Trump’s FCC Is Already Canceling Internet Services For Low-Income Customers

Lifeline has provided discount phone service for low-income customers since 1985. Last March, the FCC issued an order modernizing the program to include broadband internet access in response to growing concern that low-income people and communities of color are being left behind as access to high-speed internet expands nationwide.

The reform groups argue that the FCC should implement the order swiftly and push more resources into the program instead of kicking companies off the list of eligible providers.

“Lifeline … is the only federal program poised to bring broadband to poor families across the US so that they can connect to jobs, complete their homework, and communicate with healthcare providers and emergency services,” the groups wrote in a letter to the FCC.

Pai defended the FCC’s decision in a blog post earlier this month, pointing out that there are hundreds of other companies that provide Lifeline services, and the FCC is only “reconsidering” the nine companies’ eligibility for the program in order to root out “waste, fraud and abuse.” He added that the National Tribal Telecommunications Association had requested that some of the companies be reconsidered.

However, critics say the move undermines a key program for keeping the poor connected and raises doubts about Pai’s claims that he is as dedicated to “bridging the digital divide” as he claims to be.

By Mike Ludwig, www.truth-out.org  Popular Resistance  February 27th, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — Analysts at the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence arm found insufficient evidence that citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries included in President Donald Trump‘s travel ban pose a terror threat to the United States.

A draft document obtained by The Associated Press concludes that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of terrorism threats to the United States and that few people from the countries Trump listed in his travel ban have carried out attacks or been involved in terrorism-related activities in the U.S. since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.

By VIVIAN SALAMA and ALICIA A. CALDWELL  APNews  February 25, 2017

Snowden: ‘Finally: Irrefutable Evidence That I Never Cooperated With Russian Intel’

Snowden: ‘Finally: Irrefutable Evidence That I Never Cooperated With Russian Intel’

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden has spoken on a report suggesting Vladimir Putin is considering sending him back to the US as a “gift” to President Donald Trump, claiming the story proves he is not a spy.

“Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel,” Snowden said. “No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they’re next.”

Truthdig  Common Dreams Staff February 11, 2017

The TSA’s use of physical indicators to look for suspicious travelers has been roundly criticized by watchdogs who say there’s no science behind it.

Cora Currier  The Intercept  February 8, 2017

Jeremy Scahill’s Intercepted | Two Former FBI Counterterror Agents Slam Trump’s Torture Policies

Click here for the podcast. 

The Intercept  February 1, 2017

The lawsuit accuses Barrett Brown’s prosecutors of abusing their power by monitoring anonymous political contributions to his legal defense fund.

Alex Emmons  The Intercept  February 7, 2017

 Tribe Uneasy About Border Surveillance Plans on Their Land

As a member of Southern Arizona’s Tohono O’odham Tribe, Ofelia Rivas uses Native-language names for the desert outside her adobe home and the animals that inhabit it. She has names for the stoic cactus, for the furrowed bluffs, for the humbling, boundless horizons.

By Tim Vanderpool, YES! Magazine | Truthout Report February 5, 2017

A police officer arrests a protester outside Ferguson, Missouri.A police officer arrests a protester outside Ferguson, Missouri. | Photo: Reuters

Anti-police brutality activists argue that the law will be used disproportionately against people of color.

A police chief in Louisiana is now applying the its “Blue lives matter” law, approved by the state’s Democratic governor last year, which allows officers to charge those who resist arrest in any situation with hate crime against law enforcement.

Telesur English  January 25, 2017

How To Leak To ProPublica

1propubBy ProPublica. We are a team of investigative journalists devoted to exposing abuse of power. If you’ve got evidence showing powerful people doing the wrong thing, here’s how to let us know while protecting your identity. Our job is to hold people and institutions accountable. And it requires evidence. Documents are a crucial part of that. We are always on the lookout for them — especially, now. Have you seen something that troubles you or that you think should be a story? Do you have a tip about something we should be investigating? Do you have documents or other materials that we should see? We want to hear from you. Here are a few ways to contact us or send us documents and other materials, safely, securely and anonymously as possible. -more-

Popular Resistance  January 9, 2017

The U.S. government is creating a new $160 million bureaucracy to shut down information that doesn’t conform to U.S. propaganda narratives, building on the strategy that sold the bloody Syrian “regime change” war, writes Rick Sterling. By Rick Sterling  Consortium News  January 1, 2016 The U.S. establishment is not content simply to have domination over […]

Rise Up Times  January 3, 2017

Obama’s Recently-Signed National Defense Authorization Act Includes A ‘Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act’. The Intercept’s Alex Emmons Explains…

Rise Up Times  January 2, 2017

Something About This Russia Story Stinks

Nearly a decade and a half after the Iraq-WMD faceplant, the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment

President Obama with Vladimir Putin. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)President Obama with Vladimir Putin. (photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

n an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia. Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country. President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails.

“These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government,” he wrote.

Russia at first pledged, darkly, to retaliate, then backed off. The Russian press today is even reporting that Vladimir Putin is inviting “the children of American diplomats” to “visit the Christmas tree in the Kremlin,” as characteristically loathsome/menacing/sarcastic a Putin response as you’ll find.

This dramatic story puts the news media in a jackpot. Absent independent verification, reporters will have to rely upon the secret assessments of intelligence agencies to cover the story at all.

 By Matt Taibbi  Rolling Stone Reader  Supported News  December 31, 2016

U.S. government begins asking foreign travelers about social media

Since Tuesday, foreign travelers arriving in the United States on the visa waiver program have been presented with an “optional” request to “enter information associated with your online presence,” a government official confirmed Thursday. The prompt includes a drop-down menu that lists platforms including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, as well as a space for users to input their account names on those sites.

By  Politico  December 22, 2016

The refrain of Russian attribution has been repeated so regularly and so emphatically that it’s become easy to forget that no one has ever truly proven the claim.

By Sam Biddle  The Intercept  December 14, 2016

Using Holidays As A Distraction, Obama Just Signed NDAA ‘Propaganda’ Provision To Destroy Free Press

President Obama signed into law the 2017 NDAA and its Orwellian countering foreign propaganda provisions — all but making censorship official policy.

True Activist  December 24, 2016

The legacy of the science of coercion continues into the present day, resulting in “media wars” waged with psychological warfare becoming more blatant…

By Sue Ann Martinson  Rise Up Times  December 7, 2016

State-sponsored broadcasting CEO to be appointed directly by US president

RT  December 18, 2016

Investigating Law Enforcement’s Possible Use of Surveillance Technology at Standing Rock

Following several reports of potentially unlawful surveillance, EFF sent technologists and lawyers to North Dakota to investigate. We collected anecdotal evidence from water protectors about suspicious cell phone behavior, including uncharacteristically fast battery drainage, applications freezing, and phones crashing completely. Some water protectors also saw suspicious login attempts to their Google accounts from IP addresses originating from North Dakota’s Information & Technology Department. On social media, many reported Facebook posts and messenger threads disappearing, as well as Facebook Live uploads failing to upload or, once uploaded, disappearing completely.

By Stephanie Lacambra, Electronic Frontier Foundation | News Analysis
Truthout  December 20, 2016

‘Russia card’ (Video)

Coleen Rowley comment on Rise Up Times Facebook page: Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern and other former intelligence analysts explain how Brennan’s CIA is working with neocon warhawks to push for war and a kind of internal “regime change.”
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When it comes to American politics specifically and European politics in general, there is nothing like playing the Russia card. If there is something wrong or there is something you don’t like, simply blame Vladimir Putin. That is exactly what the CIA is doing.  CrossTalking with Ray McGovern, Philip Giraldi, and James Jatras.

Google Publishes Eight Secret FBI Requests

The internet search company chose at the time not to publish the actual subpoena, but it is now releasing redacted versions of that letter and seven others, as well as correspondence with the FBI pertaining to their release.

“In our continued effort to increase transparency around government demands for user data, today we begin to make available to the public the National Security Letters (NSLs) we have received where, either through litigation or legislation, we have been freed of nondisclosure obligations,” Richard Salgado, Google’s director of law enforcement and information security policy wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

  The Intercept  December 13 2016

Drowning in Information: NSA Revelations From 262 Spy Documents

An Iraqi family looks out the front gate of their home following a car bomb on Nov. 19, 2004, in Baghdad. (photo: Marwan Naamani/Getty)
An Iraqi family looks out the front gate of their home following a car bomb on Nov. 19, 2004, in Baghdad. (photo: Marwan Naamani/Getty)

y the first half of 2004, the National Security Agency was drowning in information. It had amassed 85 billion phone and online records and cut the ribbon on a new hacking center in Hawaii — but it was woefully short on linguists who could make sense of captured communications and lacked enough network analysts to effectively monitor all the systems it had hacked.

The signals intelligence collected by the agency was being used for critically important decisions even as NSA struggled to understand it. Some bombs in Iraq were being targeted based entirely on signals intelligence, a senior NSA official told staff at the time — with decisions being made in a matter of “minutes” with “less and less review.”

Information overload is just one of several themes running through 262 articles from the NSA’s internal news site, SIDtoday, which The Intercept is now releasing after careful review. The documents also detailed an incident in which the Reagan administration appears to have leaked classified intelligence to the press for political purposes, described in an accompanying article by reporter Jon Schwarz.

By Micah Lee and Margot Williams, The Intercept  December 8, 2016
Posted on Reader Supported News

The Investigatory Powers Bill, dubbed the “Snoopers’ Charter” by critics, will hand British police and spy agencies new powers to hack computers and access vast troves of private data.

Ryan Gallagher  The Intercept  November 22, 2016

The technology can be used to monitor political ad social justice movements, posing risks to First Amendment-protected activity.

Rise Up Times  Brennan Center for Justice  November 19, 2016

Bershidsky, for some odd reason, thinks these protests are about convincing Trump in some interpersonal manner. They’re actually about demonstrating mass disapproval of the pending regime and its stated goals, not appealing to Trump’s better angels.

By Adam Johnson  Rise Up Times  FAIR  November 17, 2016

Project X,” a short film by Henrik Moltke and Laura Poitras. This article is the product of a joint reporting project between The Intercept and Field of Vision.

The NSA has operated a top-secret surveillance program out of an iconic AT&T building in Manhattan, documents indicate.

THEY CALLED IT Project X. It was an unusually audacious, highly sensitive assignment: to build a massive skyscraper, capable of withstanding an atomic blast, in the middle of New York City. It would have no windows, 29 floors with three basement levels, and enough food to last 1,500 people two weeks in the event of a catastrophe.

Ryan Gallagher, Henrik Moltke  The Intercept  November 16, 2016

RELATED: MEGA DOOM TOWERS DISCOVERED IN EVERY MAJOR U.S. CITY

How Israel Became a Hub for Surveillance Technology

Israel’s cyberwarriors are increasingly taking their skills to the private surveillance industry. And now Israel, the self-proclaimed “startup nation,” is selling its products around the world to governments that want to spy on their own citizens.

Alex Kane  The Intercept  October 17, 2016

ACLU Wants 23 Secret Surveillance Laws Made Public

The secret opinions affect the government’s use of malware, its attempts to compel technology companies to circumvent encryption, and the CIA’s bulk collection of financial records under the Patriot Act.

Alex Emmons  The Intercept  October 19, 2016

The U.S. Government Wants to Read Travelers’ Tweets Before Letting Them In

Despite pushback from civil liberties advocates, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is poised to start collecting social media information from people entering under the visa waiver program.

 Cora Currier  The Intercept  October 21, 2016

A BROAD COALITION of over 50 civil liberties groups delivered a letter to the Justice Department’s civil rights division Tuesday calling for an investigation into the expanding use of face recognition technology by police. “Safeguards to ensure this technology is being used fairly and responsibly appear to be virtually nonexistent,” the letter stated. The routine unsupervised use of face recognition systems, according to the dozens of signatories, threatens the privacy and civil liberties of millions — especially those of immigrants and people of color.

These civil rights groups were provided with advance copies of a watershed 150-page report detailing — in many cases for the first time — how local police departments across the country have been using facial recognition technology. Titled “The Perpetual Lineup,” the report, published Tuesday morning by the Georgetown Center on Privacy & Technology, reveals that police deploy face recognition technology in ways that are more widespread, advanced, and unregulated than anyone has previously reported.

  The Intercept  October 18, 2016

U.K.’s Mass Surveillance Databases Were Unlawful for 17 Years, Court Rules

A special tribunal has found that British spy agencies maintained huge secret databases of people’s private data without adequate safeguards between 1998 and 2015.

Ryan Gallagher  The Intercept  October 17, 2016

In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast as Putin Plots

EXCERPT

But come January, Democrats will continue to be the dominant political faction in the U.S. — more so than ever — and the tactics they are now embracing will endure past the election, making them worthy of scrutiny. Those tactics now most prominently include dismissing away any facts or documents that reflect negatively on their leaders as fake, and strongly insinuating that anyone who questions or opposes those leaders is a stooge or agent of the Kremlin, tasked with a subversive and dangerously un-American mission on behalf of hostile actors in Moscow.

To see how extreme and damaging this behavior has become, let’s just quickly examine two utterly false claims that Democrats over the past four days — led by party-loyal journalists — have disseminated and induced thousands of people, if not more, to believe. On Friday, WikiLeaks published its first installment of emails obtained from the account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. Despite WikiLeaks’ perfect, long-standing record of only publishing authentic documents, MSNBC’s favorite ex-intelligence official, Malcolm Nance, within hours of the archive’s release, posted a tweet claiming — with zero evidence and without citation to a single document in the WikiLeaks archive — that it was compromised with fakes…

Glenn Greenwald  The Intercept  October 15, 2016

Google revealed Wednesday it had been released from an FBI gag order that came with a secret demand for its customers’ personal information.

Jenna McLaughlin  The Intecept  October 14, 2016

Appeals Court Ruled Officials Could Be Sued for Unconstitutional Profiling and Abuse; Ashcroft, Ziglar, Mueller Seeking Reversal

October 11, 2016, Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a request by former high-level Bush administration officials to review a 2015 ruling allowing them to be sued for their roles in the post-9/11 profiling, immigration detention, and abuse of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian men. Former FBI director Robert Mueller, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner James Ziglar, and Attorney General John Ashcroft will be urging the Court to protect government officials who create and implement unconstitutional policies.

“No one is above the law. To suggest that the most powerful people in our nation should escape liability when they violate clearly established law defies the most fundamental principle of our legal system,” said Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Staff Attorney Rachel Meeropol. “At a time when racial and religious profiling are put forward as serious policy proposals for dealing with everything from immigration to terrorism, it is more important than ever that the high court affirm that government officials, especially those at the highest levels, can be held accountable when they break the law. We look forward to making that argument before the justices.”

The plaintiffs in Turkmen v. Ashcroft and other men detained after 9/11 came to the attention of the FBI in 2001 through discriminatory tips by scared citizens about “Arabs” working long hours, or “Middle Eastern” men renting post office boxes. Mueller ordered that all such tips be thoroughly investigated, even those based on blind animus, and Ashcroft ordered that everyone arrested as a result be held as a suspected terrorist until cleared by the FBI, then deported.

Center for Constitutional Rights  October 11, 2016

Supreme Court to consider lawsuit against former attorney general Ashcroft

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would consider a long-running lawsuit against former attorney general John D. Ashcroft and other top officials filed by immigrants who say they were racially profiled and illegally detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The court will be even more shorthanded than usual: Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan recused themselves from the case, meaning it could be heard by a minimum quorum of six justices. The nine-member court has a vacancy because of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February.The case was filed by six men on behalf of hundreds of mainly Muslim noncitizens who were detained on civil immigratioc xzn charges for as long as eight months. They never were charged with terrorism but were held in harsh conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. …Read the full piece here.

Center for Constitutional Rights
Washington Post  October 11, 2016  Updated October 12, 2016

WikiLeaks, 10 Years of Pushing the Boundaries of Free Speech

Wikileaks, a stateless media organization, with no allegiance to any country and no corporate or government money behind it, has published over 10 million documents in its first decade of publishing. (Image: Screenshot/Wikileaks)

“To me, freedom of speech is something that represents the very dignity of what a human being is… that’s what marks us off from the stones and stars.” These are words spoken by Mario Savio, the spokesperson for the Free Speech Movement in the 60’s. Decades later, the power of free speech has surged onto the global stage and began reclaiming the dignity of humanity.

We are now entering WikiLeaks 10 year anniversary. The organization registered their domain on October 4, 2006 and blazed into the public limelight in the spring of 2010 with the publication of Collateral Murder. This video footage depicted the cruel scenery of modern war seen from an Apache helicopter gun-sight. It became an international sensation, with the website temporarily crashing with the massive influx of visitors.

By Nozomi Hayase  Common Dreams  October 4, 2016

‘Shameful’: Yahoo Spied on Email Customers at Government’s Request

Rights groups said the news proves “the failure of U.S. government reforms to curb NSA’s tendency to try and indiscriminately vacuum up the world’s data.”

Snowden and others react to new allegations that Yahoo scanned all of its customers incoming emails last year on behalf of the government. (Image: Esther Vargas/flickr/cc)

Snowden and others react to new allegations that Yahoo scanned all of its customers incoming emails last year on behalf of the government. (Image: Esther Vargas/flickr/cc)

In an astounding and “unprecedented” new account of U.S. government surveillance, Reuters reported Tuesday that Yahoo secretly scanned all of its customer’s incoming emails for a specific set of characters, per request of the National Security Agency (NSA) or FBI.

“The order issued to Yahoo appears to be unprecedented and unconstitutional. The government appears to have compelled Yahoo to conduct precisely the type of general, suspicionless search that the Fourth Amendment was intended to prohibit.”
Patrick Toomey, ACLU

The news agency broke the investigation after speaking with “two former employees and a third person apprised of the events,” who described how the email giant complied with the vast government directive and built a custom software program to scan hundreds of millions of accounts for a “specific set of characters.”

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer, Deirdre Fulton, staff writer
Common Dreams  October 4, 2016

Five Lawmakers Are Challenging Gag Orders on FBI National Security Letters

The Department of Justice’s policies surrounding lengthy gag orders on secret FBI requests for records are unconstitutional, wrote five members of Congress in a legal …

Jenna McLaughlin  The Intercept  September 29, 2016

EUROPE’S TOP HUMAN RIGHTS COURT WILL CONSIDER LEGALITY OF SURVEILLANCE EXPOSED BY EDWARD SNOWDEN

Ten organizations – including Privacy International, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International – are taking up the landmark case against the U.K. government in the European Court of Human Rights (pictured above). In a 115-page complaint released on Thursday, the groups allege that “blanket and indiscriminate” surveillance operations carried out by British spy agencies in collaboration with their U.S. counterparts violate privacy and freedom of expression rights.

  The Intercept  September 30, 2016

The court’s decision was sparked by a case filed by a group of Cambodians who alleged that authorities, including the government, military, police and the courts, have been complicit in land grabbing since 2002, which has led to the forced eviction of more than 300,000 people.

Philippines Oil Price Hike ProtestProtesters throw used oil at the seal of Shell Oil Company, one of the so-called Big 3 oil firms in the country, to protest a new round of gasoline and other oil products Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013 at the financial district of Makati city, east of Manila, Philippines. (AP/Bullit Marquez)

The International Criminal Court announced Thursday it will now hold corporate executives and governments legally responsible for environmental crimes.

The Hague court made explicit references to widening its approach to include land grabbing, which has allowed private corporations, with the help of governments, to take over large areas of foreign land to exploit natural resources. It will also prosecute for environmental destruction.

“Chasing communities off their land and trashing the environment has become an accepted way of doing business in many resource-rich yet cash-poor countries,” said Gillian Caldwell, executive director at Global Witness. “Company bosses and politicians complicit in violently seizing land, razing tropical forests or poisoning water sources could soon find themselves standing trial in the Hague alongside war criminals and dictators. The ICC’s interest could help improve the lives of millions of people and protect critical ecosystems.”

The violence surrounding environmental conflicts also often leaves corpses in its wake. In 2015, more than three people were murdered each week attempting to defend their lands from land grabbing, according to Global Witness. The group estimated that an area the size of Germany has been leased to international investors in developing countries since 2000.

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Julian Assange Says He’ll Turn Himself In If Chelsea Manning Is Pardoned

“If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange — despite its clear unlawfulness.” Continue reading →

MintPress News  September 16, 2016

Top-secret documents expose the controversial role of a massive NSA surveillance base in England’s countryside.

Ryan Gallagher — Sep. 6  The Intercept

‘Pardon Snowden’ Campaign Takes Off as Sanders, Ellsberg, and Others Join

‘His bravery was a catalyst for the modern movement to defend democracy,’ said Malkia Cyril of Center for Media Justice

The Pardon Snowden campaign urges people around the world to write to Obama throughout his last four months in the White House. (Photo: Antonio Marín Segovia/flickr/cc)

Prominent activists, lawmakers, artists, academics, and other leading voices in civil society, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), are joining the campaign to get a pardon for National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“The information disclosed by Edward Snowden has allowed Congress and the American people to understand the degree to which the NSA has abused its authority and violated our constitutional rights,” Sanders wrote for the Guardian on Wednesday. “Now we must learn from the troubling revelations Mr. Snowden brought to light. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies must be given the tools they need to protect us, but that can be done in a way that does not sacrifice our rights.”

Nadia Prupis, staff writer  Common Dreams  September 14, 2016

Is Hillary Clinton's Criticism of Edward Snowden a Distraction From Real Issue of Surveillance?

Is Hillary Clinton’s Criticism of Edward Snowden a Distraction From Real Issue of Surveillance?

By Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now! | Video Interview
Truthout  September 14, 2016

Posters calling for the release of Chelsea Manning are displayed at the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 29, 2014. (Photo: Torbakhopper)Posters calling for the release of Chelsea Manning are displayed at the San Francisco Pride Parade on June 29, 2014. (Photo: Torbakhopper)

On Friday, I spent the day reading lawsuits filed by parents of non-transgender students alleging that the specter of trans bodies in spaces shared with their children infringed their parenting rights as well as the privacy rights of their children. In what can only be described as a cruel set of legal filings, parent groups represented by anti-LGBT legal organization, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), have escalated their strategic assault on trans existence.

By Chase Strangio, Medium | Op-Ed  Truthout  September 14, 2016

Truthdigger of the Week: Former British Ambassador and Whistleblower Craig Murray

I have been refused entry clearance to the USA to chair the presentation of the Sam Adams Award to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou and to speak at the World Beyond War conference in Washington DC. Like millions of British passport holders I have frequently visited the USA before and never been refused entry clearance under the visa waiver programme.

I shall apply for a visa via the State Department as suggested but I must be on a list to be refused under the ESTA system, and in any event it is most unlikely to be completed before the conference.

It is worth noting that despite the highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you?

By Emma Niles  Truthdig  September 10, 2016

How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything on a Smartphone

nytimes.com  September 2, 2016

The Criminalization of Poverty: Woman Describes Fines and Arrests After $1.07 Check Bounces

The Criminalization of Poverty: Woman Describes Fines and Arrests After $1.07 Check Bounces

By Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now! | Video Interview September 2, 2016

Judge Denies Hepatitis C Cure for Mumia Abu-Jamal, but Finds Lack of Care in Prison UnconstitutionalJudge Denies Hepatitis C Cure for Mumia Abu-Jamal, but Finds Lack of Care in Prison Unconstitutional

By Amy Goodman and Juan González, Democracy Now! | Video Interview  September 2, 2016

How a middle-aged pro-democracy activist was falsely accused of terrorism and placed on a top-secret NSA surveillance list.

Ryan Gallagher, Nicky Hager  The Intercept  August 14, 2016

Former FBI Chief Claims Most Terror Attacks Are Committed By Our CIA & FBI (Video)

Image: Former FBI Chief Claims Most Terror Attacks Are Committed By Our CIA & FBI (Video)

Former FBI Chief, Ted Gunderson, discusses terror attacks and who is behind them…

By:   Talk Network  August 09, 2016

 

Jimmy Carter Defends Edward Snowden, Says NSA Spying Has Compromised Nation’s Democracy

Former President Jimmy Carter announced support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden this week, saying that his uncovering of the agency’s massive surveillance programs had proven “beneficial.”

 Speaking at a closed-door event in Atlanta covered by German newspaper Der Spiegel, Carter also criticized the NSA’s domestic spying as damaging to the core of the nation’s principles.

“America does not have a functioning democracy at this point in time,” Carter said, according to a translation by Inquisitr.

No American outlets covered Carter’s speech, given at an Atlantic Bridge meeting, which has reportedly led to some skepticism over Der Spiegel’s quotes. But Carter’s stance would be in line with remarks he’s made on Snowden and the issue of civil liberties in the past.

By Kevin M. Thompson   News Magazine  August 10, 2016

 

VINDICATION FOR BALTIMORE POLICE CRITICS — BUT NO ACTION

Running to 163 pages, the Department of Justice report on the ongoing abuse inflicted upon African Americans by the Baltimore police is full of stories like these.

  The Intercept  August 10, 2016

EARLY IN THE fight against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq, the National Security Agency was blindsided by enemy fighters’ frequent use of rudimentary wireless communications devices known ashighpowered cordless phones,according to documents among 263 published today by The Intercept.

The documents, drawn from the agency’s internal news site, SIDtoday, and provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, date mostly to the latter half of 2003, and show the NSA was at the time rapidly expanding its internet monitoring.

,   The Intercept  August 10, 2016

FBI AGENT GOADED GARLAND SHOOTER TO “TEAR UP TEXAS,” RAISING NEW ALARMS ABOUT BUREAU’S METHODS

  The Intercept  August 9, 2016

 

Michael German, former FBI agent and a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University of Law, spoke at Peacestock on terrorism. Peacestock is sponsored by Minnesota Chapters of Veterans for Peace.

Peacestock 2016  July 9, 2016

 

WHEN HILLARY CLINTON first acknowledged in March 2015 that she had indeed used a private email account —  and her own server — to conduct official government business as secretary of state, it would have been hard to imagine that her campaign would 16 months later pronounce itself “pleased” that an FBI investigation concluded that she and her aides “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

  The Intercept  July 5 2016

FBI Recommends No Charges for Hillary

Hillary Clinton. (photo: AP)

Hillary Clinton. (photo: AP)

BI Director James B. Comey said Tuesday that his agency will not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state, but called Clinton and her staff “extremely careless” in handling sensitive material.

Comey said the FBI investigations into more than 30,000 emails — and others pieced together from data “fragments” — determined that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” The findings now go to the Justice Department.

The announcement — which came only about 72 hours after FBI agents interviewed Clinton — in some ways lifts the cloud that has been hanging over Clinton’s presidential campaign for months.

But it will almost certainly spark criticism that the outcome of the high-profile probe was a foregone conclusion, influenced heavily by political considerations.

By Matt Zapotosky, The Washington Post  Reader Supported News  July 5, 2016

REVIVAL OF US COLD WAR-ERA COMMITTEE TO ECHO MCCARTHY FEAR TACTICS

The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s 2017 Intelligence Authorization Bill includes a request that the White House reinstate a Cold-War-era presidentially-appointed group to unmask Russian spies and uncover Russian-sponsored assassinations.

By  

America under Communism” a 48 page cautionary tale of how easy it would be for Communists to take over the US. It was published “”To make you more alert to the menace of Communism.”

United States – The proposed revival of a Cold War-era committee to hunt for Russian espionage and assassination plots in the United States was just a tactic to foster fear-mongering among the American people, AT&T/National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Mark Klein told Sputnik.

 

FBI Seeks to Withhold Public Records on Orlando Massacre

Hdlns9 fbiorlando

Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the FBI has asked law enforcement agencies to withhold public records in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre. In a June 20 letter, the FBI asks other law enforcement agencies to “immediately notify the FBI of any requests your agency received [so] the FBI can seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels, as necessary.” More than two dozen media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel, have requested public documents, and a federal lawsuit has been launched to demand their release.

Democracy Now! June 30, 2016  Headlines

 

SECRET RULES MAKE IT PRETTY EASY FOR THE FBI TO SPY ON JOURNALISTS

The classified rules, obtained by The Intercept and dating from 2013, govern the FBI’s use of National Security Letters, which allow the bureau to obtain information about journalists’ calls without going to a judge or informing the news organization being targeted. They have previously been released only in heavily redacted form.

Cora Currier  The Intercept  June 30, 2016

 

LuxLeaks: Whistleblowers Fined & Sentenced

Judges have handed down their verdict against Former PriceWaterhouseCoopers employees Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet. The pair leaked documents that implicated over 300 multinational corporations, in secretly negotiated deals with the Luxembourg government to avoid paying taxes on profits made in Europe.

Telesur  June 29, 2016

THE FBI HAS “hundreds of millions of dollars” to spend on developing technology for use in both national security and domestic law enforcement investigations — but it won’t reveal the exact amount.

By Jenna McLaughlin  The Intercept  June 25, 2016

 

A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will be shared with other intelligence agencies like the FBI without first applying any screens for privacy. The ACLU of Massachusetts blog Privacy SOS explains why this is important.

  Washington Post  March 10, 2016

 

Now in his 5th year of political asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union could allow Assange to step out from what the UN has deemed ‘arbitrary detention.’

Photo: Facebook

LAST MONTH, A GROUP OF STUDENTS at University of California at Irvine gathered to protest a screening of the film “Beneath the Helmet,” a documentary about the lives of recruits in the Israeli Defense Forces. Upset about the screening of a film they viewed as propaganda for a foreign military, the students were also protesting the presence of several IDF representatives who here holding a panel discussion at the screening.

  The Intercept  June 23 2016

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES, including the FBI, have been knocking on the doors of activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention in July.

As the city gears up to welcome an estimated 50,000 visitors, and an unknown number of protesters, some of the preparations and restrictionsput in place by officials have angered civil rights activists. But the latest string of unannounced home visits by local and federal police mark a significant escalation in officials’ efforts to stifle protest, they say.

  The Intercept  June 23, 2016

Dramatic House Sit-In on Guns Is Undercut by Focus on Secret, Racist Watchlist

CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS TOOK the unprecedented step of conducting an actual sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, demanding that Republican leaders allow votes on gun control legislation.

But this unusually bold and moving tactic was undercut by the fact that its chief goal is a political gimmick that would do little to stop gun violence, while expanding the use of a deeply flawed anti-terror watchlist.

  The Intercept  June 22, 2016

A controversial amendment that would expand the FBI’s surveillance power was narrowly defeated in the Senate Wednesday.

The final tally was 58 to 38, two votes shy of the 60 needed for the amendment to move forward. The issue will likely surface again soon, however, as Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., immediately filed for a motion to reconsider the amendment.

The amendment — lumped on last-minute to a criminal justice funding bill — would have expanded the scope of information the FBI can collect by sending technology and Internet companies what’s known as a national security letter—without getting any kind of court approval first.

Jenna McLaughlin  The Intercept  June 22, 2016

ISIS IN AMERICA | Nine Lost Souls the FBI Charged as Terrorists While Letting the Orlando Shooter Go

In the United States, 88 people have been arrested on charges of supporting ISIS since 2014, according to statistics compiled by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. Who are they? Most are young, male, and American citizens. But in contrast to the Islamic State’s own propaganda, as well as the statements of many political figures, many of the U.S. supporters of ISIS come across as more pathetic than fearsome. While media reports have trumpeted the danger of sleeper cells, most of the people arrested by the FBI appear to have been wayward, isolated young men (and a few women) with little connection to international terrorist groups.

,   The Intercept  June 17, 2016

Freedom Rider: Orlando Massacre and U.S. Foreign Policy

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

The terms “lone wolf” and “self-radicalization” make no sense when the FBI won’t leave Muslim Americans alone, but instead lures them into “terror plots,” and the U.S. provides arms, money and protection for jihadist terror overseas. The FBI tried to entrap – that is, recruit – Orlando gunman Omar Mateen, just as the U.S. recruited jihadists in Syria. “If Mateen’s crime was inspired by ISIS, any condolences coming from President Obama are phony.”

Black Agenda Report  June 23, 2016

Orlando massacre: ‘ISIS capitalizing on lone-wolf attacks inspired by terror propaganda’

Many Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) attacks have been carried out by people who have no direct connections with the group, but who were inspired by terrorist “propaganda” and a quite successful “information war,” former FBI agent Coleen Rowley told RT.

“It is a very worrying trend … If people are merely inspired and there’s this information war taking place where ISIS actually has a very much an upper hand … ISIS is seen as one of the only entities that is fighting the United States and they are carrying on propaganda,” she said.

This post includes photos and several videos and features Coleen Rowley’s comments.

AlterNet  June 13, 2016

New revelations raise questions about the FBI’s role in shaping Mateen’s lethal mindset.
(With a comment by Coleen Rowley.)

2 comments

  1. For further information, please review Ross Gelbspan’s book: “Break-ins, Death Threats, and the FBI’s covert war against the Central America movement”

    Like

  2. I commented for an Associated Press article by Lynn Touhy, about the Tor software on our library internet system, and Homeland Security’s Fusion Center Boards with just ‘Corporate Representatives’ rather than ‘Public Representatives-such as League of Women Voters-which we’d had on ‘Local Emergency Planning committees’…

    Like

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