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An excellent investigative piece in the East Bay Express reviews internal communications and other public records from city staffers and Oakland PD bureaucrats discussing the Domain Awareness Center, a citywide surveillance hub that's currently under construction. Oakland is a city with a decades-long problem with gang violence and street violence, and the DAC -- which will consolidate video feeds blanketing the city and use software to ascribe the probability of guilt to people in the feeds -- is being sold as a solution to this serious problem.
But the internal documents tell another story. Though the City of Oakland's public-facing DAC message is all about crimefighting and anti-terror surveillance, the internal message is very different. City bureaucrats and law enforcement are excited about DAC because it will help them fight protests.
Analysis of the internal documents found almost no mentions of "crime," "rape," "killings" -- but city officials frequently and at length discussed the way the DAC could be used to thwart street protests, future Occupy movements, and trade union activity including strikes.
Other records echo this political mission. In meeting minutes from a January 2012 meeting of the San Francisco Maritime Exchange's Northern California Maritime Area Security Committee, Domingo and Mike O'Brien, director of security for the Port of Oakland, described the DAC system as a tool that would help control labor strikes and community protests that threaten to slow business at the port. Following security reports from the US Border Patrol and the FBI, Domingo told the committee that Oakland law enforcement was "hoping that things would quiet down with the Occupy movement in the new year," according to the official minutes. Domingo thanked the Maritime Exchange for its support of Oakland's port security grant projects, which includes the DAC.
"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you..."
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Dec 23, 2013, 12:15 AM (12 replies)
(Note: I include a lengthy excerpt from the court filing, which are public records and not subject
DHS Interrogates NY Times Reporters At Border, Then Denies Having Any Records About Them
from the right,-sure dept
Thought it was just officials at UK airports detaining and interrogating journalists? According to a new lawsuit from two NY Times reporters, they were also pulled aside and interrogated by Homeland Security officials multiple times concerning their own reporting efforts. The two reporters, Mac William Bishop and Christopher Chivers were apparently pulled out for special interrogation at JFK.
Among other things, Plaintiffs seek records used or created by DHS employees in respect to the questioning of Plaintiffs at JFK Airport earlier this year. Plaintiffs were subject to segregated questioning by DHS employees at JFK on May 24, 2013, as they prepared to board an international flight for a work assignment as journalists. Subsequently, on June 6, 2013, Mr. Bishop was subjected to further segregated questioning by DHS employees at JFK as he returned to the United States.
Given this, the two journalists filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests on records pertaining to themselves... and got back absolutely nothing. After playing hot potato with the FOIA requests between different DHS agencies, the reporters basically got back messages saying that there were no records on either.
On September 27, 2013, ICE denied the Bishop Request. ICE reported in a "final response" that the unit had conducted a search and found no responsive documents.
On October 28, 2013, Mr. Bishop appealed ICE's denial. In his appeal letter, Mr. Bishop said it was "inconceivable that DHS has no records pertaining to " as someone who is "a frequent international traveler." He pointed out that on June 6, 2013 he had answered questions for DHS employees in a private room at JFK, and those answers were recorded on a computer.
On November 18, 2013, ICE denied Mr. Bishop's administrative appeal, finding that the agency had done an adequate search.
As for the TSA, that unit of DHS informed Mr. Bishop by letter on July 31, 2013 that his "request was too broad in scope." TSA required more information before processing the request.
On August 9, 2013, Mr. Bishop, through counsel, responded by letter. He restated the initial request and asserted that no legal authority supports the proposition that TSA could simply refuse to do the search.
More than two months later, on October 23, 2013, TSA told Mr. Bishop's counsel that it could not find the August 9, 2013 letter. Counsel subsequently provided a new copy of the letter and additional information about the June 6, 2013 questioning at JFK. There has been no further response from TSA.
Remember how Eric Holder insisted that the feds weren't going to keep intimidating journalists? Yeah, right.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 07:29 PM (0 replies)
This Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Newtown, Conn.’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty children, six staff members, shooter Adam Lanza and his mother all died that day. The killings reinvigorated both sides of the gun-control debate, but gun rights advocates maintained the edge they’ve had for years.
An impressive (roughly) 1,500 state gun bills have been introduced in the year since the Newtown massacre and, of those, 109 are now law, according to The New York Times. Seventy of the enacted laws loosen gun restrictions, while just 39 tighten them. And, though largely symbolic, some 136 bills nullifying federal gun regulations were sponsored in 40 states. In Colorado, two pro-gun control lawmakers were booted from office in historic recalls and a third stepped down in anticipation of a similar fight.
The nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, which promotes government openness and transparency, reviewed lobbying, spending and policies at the state and federal level over the years and, along nearly every metric, rights advocates have trounced opponents...
...Gun rights candidates and causes raised $29.4 million in direct contributions to candidates, parties, and PACs at the federal and state level. Gun control causes raised just $1.9 million, according to Sunlight-provided data from the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money In State Politics. In seven states—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming—no contributions whatsoever were made in support of gun control.
I think there are several other reasons besides money:
1. The public is a lot less accepting of security theater
Sandy Hook happened in a state that had already banned "assault weapons" to "protect the public"
The fact that such a law didn't work, along with other useless "beer keg" laws like magazine size limits
have not gone unnoticed.
2. Too many gun controllers went the culture war route after Sandy Hook
There were more than a few posters here at DU that called all gun owners child killers.
In other words, they went Teabagger on gun owners. Gun owners noticed, and decided there was
no percentage in trying to placate people like this.
3. The self-nomonated chief spokesperson for gun control is a richer, better-educated
version of Richard Daley who is as morally challenged as Ted Nugent and Wayne Lapierre
Nugent and Lapierre are awful human beings, but at least they haven't boasted about having
their own army that is wont to harrass and surveil brown people and Muslims.
I doubt Bloomie will have any qualms whatsoever about elbowing Gabby Giffords' new PAC
out of the limelight:
Gabrielle Giffords sets up gun control PAC
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Dec 12, 2013, 05:16 PM (3 replies)
Cheap 3D printer works with steel
Next: a printed gun that's dangerous and affordable
By Richard Chirgwin, 9th December 2013
The one thing that made 3D printed guns tolerable to the non-gun-owning community was that they were made of plastic, because metal 3D printers were costly. Now, a bunch of scientists from Michigan Tech are showing off a cheap 3D printer that fabricates in metal.
Metal 3D printing isn't new, but it's been expensive until now. The open-source Michigan project, here, offers a bill of materials costing just under $US1,200 to build the 3D printer, controlled by a Linux computer.
The printer, described in detail here, produces steel components, and while its creators describe it as “a work in progress”, they've already successfully produced simple shapes like sprockets.
Steel is melted for printing using a low-cost gas-metal arc welder under the control of a simple open source micro-controller, and models can be created in Blender or OpenSCAD, or anything else that can output an STL file.
I wouldn't trust a barrel made by this method, but it looks like it could print a workable receiver
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Tue Dec 10, 2013, 12:18 AM (6 replies)
Hammond supporters publish alleged list of foreign targets that FBI had him hack
List includes gov't sites from Turkey, Iran, Brazil, Slovenia, and more.
by Cyrus Farivar - Nov 15 2013, 3:04pm EST
During the sentencing hearing of convicted hacker Jeremy Hammond on Friday, the young Chicagoan began to read from his prepared statement, saying that he had been directed to hack various foreign government websites by Anonymous leader turned FBI informant Sabu.
In court, Hammond said that “these intrusions, all of which were suggested by Sabu while cooperating with the FBI, affected thousands of domain names and consisted largely of foreign government websites, including those of Turkey, Iran—” before the judge cut him off and said that the list of targets was to be redacted.
However, shortly after the hearing concluded, Jacob Appelbaum, a well-known American computer security researcher currently living in Berlin, began tweeting what he claimed was the unredacted list of targets, based on a Pastebin post. Appelbaum later linked to that version of Hammond’s statement, which was not redacted.
Said list can be found at:
Text from a previously unpublished statement which seems to clarify above redactions:
“Sabu also supplied lists of targets that were vulnerable to “zero day exploits” used to break into systems, including a powerful remote root vulnerability effecting the popular Plesk software. At his request, these websites were broken into, their emails and databases were uploaded to Sabu’s FBI server, and the password information and the location of root backdoors were supplied. These intrusions took place in January/February of 2012 and affected over 2000 domains, including numerous foreign government websites in Brazil, Turkey, Syria, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nigeria, Iran, Slovenia, Greece, Pakistan, and others. A few of the compromised websites that I recollect include the official website of the Governor of Puerto Rico, the Internal Affairs Division of the Military Police of Brazil, the Official Website of the Crown Prince of Kuwait, the Tax Department of Turkey, the Iranian Academic Center for Education and Cultural Research, the Polish Embassy in the UK, and the Ministry of Electricity of Iraq.
Sabu also infiltrated a group of hackers that had access to hundreds of Syrian systems including government institutions, banks, and ISPs. He logged several relevant IRC channels persistently asking for live access to mail systems and bank transfer details. The FBI took advantage of hackers who wanted to help support the Syrian people against the Assad regime, who instead unwittingly provided the U.S. government access to Syrian systems, undoubtedly supplying useful intelligence to the military and their buildup for war.
All of this happened under the control and supervision of the FBI and can be easily confirmed by chat logs the government provided to us pursuant to the government’s discovery obligations in the case against me. However, the full extent of the FBI’s abuses remains hidden. Because I pled guilty, I do not have access to many documents that might have been provided to me in advance of trial, such as Sabu’s communications with the FBI. In addition, the majority of the documents provided to me are under a “protective order” which insulates this material from public scrutiny. As government transparency is an issue at the heart of my case, I ask that this evidence be made public. I believe the documents will show that the government’s actions go way beyond catching hackers and stopping computer crimes.”
Very clever of the Feds- hack other countries without any messy links to *.gov or *.mil
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Nov 16, 2013, 05:49 PM (2 replies)
Poland peels back layers on secret CIA prison for suspected terrorists
By Roy Gutman
McClatchy Newspapers August 13, 2012
STARE KIEJKUTY, Poland — On an idyllic lake surrounded by woods and a double row of mesh-and-razor-wire fences about 100 miles north of Warsaw, there stands a secluded villa that the CIA once used to interrogate – and allegedly torture – top al Qaida suspects.
On the grounds of the Polish intelligence-training academy and nicknamed “Markus Wolf” for the former East German spy chief, it’s the focal point for a top-secret probe that Polish prosecutors have launched into how their government tolerated rampant violations of international and Polish law.
If former officials are brought to trial, or if the stacks of classified files in the prosecutors’ offices are made public, the result will be revelations about an American anti-terrorism operation whose details U.S. officials are fighting to keep secret.
Already the prosecutor has charged Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, Poland’s former interior minister and intelligence chief, with unlawful detention and corporal punishment for allowing the CIA to operate at Stare Kiejkuty from December 2002 to September 2003.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 10:16 PM (0 replies)
Or just good old fashioned thoughtcrime?
S'okay, I've run into people like you before:
friendly_iconoclast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-09 06:34 PM
Professor Called Police After Student Presentation
This happened at Central Connecticut State University
Professor Called Police After Student Presentation
Posted by admin on 2/24/09 • Categorized as News
For CCSU student John Wahlberg, a class presentation on campus violence turned into a confrontation with the campus police due to a complaint by the professor.
On October 3, 2008, Wahlberg and two other classmates prepared to give an oral presentation for a Communication 140 class that was required to discuss a “relevant issue in the media”. Wahlberg and his group chose to discuss school violence due to recent events such as the Virginia Tech shootings that occurred in 2007.
Shortly after his professor, Paula Anderson, filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against her student. During the presentation Wahlberg made the point that if students were permitted to conceal carry guns on campus, the violence could have been stopped earlier in many of these cases. He also touched on the controversial idea of free gun zones on college campuses.
That night at work, Wahlberg received a message stating that the campus police “requested his presence”. Upon entering the police station, the officers began to list off firearms that were registered under his name, and questioned him about where he kept them.
They told Wahlberg that they had received a complaint from his professor that his presentation was making students feel “scared and uncomfortable”.
“I was a bit nervous when I walked into the police station,” Wahlberg said, “but I felt a general sense of disbelief once the officer actually began to list the firearms registered in my name. I was never worried however, because as a law-abiding gun owner, I have a thorough understanding of state gun laws as well as unwavering safety practices.”
Professor Anderson refused to comment directly on the situation and deferred further comment.....
Strange seeing such thoughts expressed by the same person who once wrote:
No roll back on free speech. What a stupid notion. If the point of view / person cannot stand challenge and ridicule, then it is a sure sign that it is dogma and NEEDS to swept out.
I guess some free speech is freer than other free speech for you...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 12:21 AM (0 replies)
Selectman Barry Greenfield introduced an enforcement discussion Wednesday that he hopes will lead to the safeguarding of guns in town — keeping them out of the hands of children.
The selectman said state law requires Massachusetts gun owners to keep their firearms locked away or rendered inoperable.
The problem, he said, is that police do not have the authority, granted by a local ordinance, to enforce the law and inspect the safeguarding of guns at the homes of the 600 registered gun owners in town.
The selectman said he has spoken with Swampscott Police Chief Ron Madigan about this.
"We need the ability to enforce the state law," the selectman said.
Apparently, this fuckwit is unfamiliar with the Fourth Amendment...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Nov 13, 2013, 10:42 PM (16 replies)
(More formally, "Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America")
Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (www.momsdemandaction.org) was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. We are a non-partisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws, loopholes and policies that for too long have jeopardized the safety of our children and families.
Shannon Watts's Overview
Founder at Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Freelance Senior Consultant/Counselor at Fleishman-Hillard
Founder and President at VoxPop Public Relations
Vice President, Corporate Communications at WellPoint
And not exactly run by a progressive, either:
...At WellPoint, Troughton led a team of 40 public relations professionals responsible for implementing communications programs for the 14 states in which the company operates, as well as the company's business units.
Previously, Ms. Troughton served as director of Global Communications for GE Healthcare, a $15 billion medical diagnostics and device business within General Electric.
Troughton also served as director of Public and Corporate Affairs for Monsanto Company in St. Louis where she led external initiatives designed to generate positive, proactive media coverage of the company's agriculture biotechnology products.
In addition, Troughton was vice president of Corporate and Public Affairs at Fleishman-Hillard public relations agency in Kansas City, Missouri, where she developed strategic issues and crisis management programs to help protect and enhance the reputation of public and private organizations and corporations.
A 'grassroots' organization that just happened to be founded by someone with decades of
experience in the PR industry and who ran her own firm?
Suuuure it is.
P.S.- Troughton Watts also produced this gem:
"An assault weapon enables humans to shoot 10 rounds in one minute"
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri Nov 8, 2013, 02:10 PM (44 replies)
Seems like the guy who pretty much invented it didn't have a problem
with white guys playing it...
And it looks like some of the guys in Antibalas (the premier Afrobeat band around)
are a little melanin-challenged:
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Mon Oct 28, 2013, 08:13 PM (1 replies)