ACLU Sues Arizona Over Law Banning Boycotts Against Israel https://t.co/BkjKuk5r4e
— Anti-Media (@AntiMedia) December 9, 2017
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The federal government will soon begin searching through travelers’ books at the airport as airlines test out fingerprint scans.
Next time you choose to take a flight in the United States, you will not only be given the option of a free walk through the full body scanner or a complimentary rub down courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration. Your next flight might include a search of your laptop, books, and possibly a fingerprint scan. Since the launch of the Trump administration travelers have been subject to increasingly invasive measures in the form of laptop searches and discrimination against those traveling from majority Muslim countries.
Now the TSA is testing out new measures that require passengers to remove books and paper goods from their carry-on luggage. According to new reports from The Wall Street Journal and Sacramento Bee, the TSA had already begun to roll out these new invasive policies.
Just when you thought it was safe to selfie you latest WalMart-looting or molotov-cocktail-throwing night out, think again. According to the ACLU, law enforcement officials implemented a far-reaching surveillance program to track protesters in both Ferguson and Baltimore during their recent uprisings and relied on special feeds of user data provided by three top social media companies: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The ACLU of California has obtained records showing that Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provided user data access to Geofeedia, a developer of a social media monitoring product that we have seen marketed to law enforcement as a tool to monitor activists and protesters.
We are pleased that after we reported our findings to the companies, Instagram cut off Geofeedia’s access to public user posts, and Facebook has cut its access to a topic-based feed of public user posts. Twitter has also taken some recent steps to rein in Geofeedia though it has not ended the data relationship.
Further steps are required if these companies are to live up to their principles and policies by protecting users of all backgrounds engaging in political and social discourse.
We now know the following about these agreements:
The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.
Ron Wyden, a Senator from Oregon, has been one of the most influential and significant champions of Americans’ embattled 4th Amendment rights in the digital age. Recall that it was Sen. Wyden who caught Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, lying under oath about government surveillance of U.S. citizens.
Mr. Wyden continues to be a courageous voice for the public when it comes to pushing back against Big Brother spying. His latest post at Medium is a perfect example.
Here it is in full:
– No-fly list uses ‘predictive assessments’ instead of hard evidence, US admits (Guardian, Aug 10, 2015):
In May filing, Justice Department and FBI officials admit stopping US and other citizens from travelling is based on what the government believes they might do
The Obama administration’s no-fly lists and broader watchlisting system is based on predicting crimes rather than relying on records of demonstrated offenses, the government has been forced to admit in court.
In a little-noticed filing before an Oregon federal judge, the US Justice Department and the FBI conceded that stopping US and other citizens from travelling on airplanes is a matter of “predictive assessments about potential threats”, the government asserted in May.
– Report: The U.S. is putting fake cell towers in planes to spy on people (PC World, Nov 13, 2014):
The U.S. Department of Justice is putting devices that emulate cellphone towers in Cessna aircraft and flying them around the country to track the locations of cell phones, a practice that targets criminal suspects but may also affect thousands of U.S. citizens, according to a news report Thursday.The program is run by the Department of Justice’s U.S. Marshals Service and has been in operation since at least 2007, according to the report in the Wall Street Journal, which cited two unnamed sources. The aircraft are flown out of at least five metropolitan-area airports and can cover most of the U.S. population, it said.
Cell phones are programmed to connect to whichever nearby cell tower has the strongest signal. The fake cell towers trick phones into thinking they have the strongest signal, then read the devices’ unique registration numbers when they connect, the Journal report says.
– FBI Whistleblower: Pentagon, CIA, NATO and MI6 Were Masterminds Behind 9/11 (Washington’s Blog, Sep 11, 2014):
“As Far As People Who Ran The Show, It Was The Highest Levels of NATO, the U.S., MI6, CIA And The Pentagon”
In the real world, Edmonds is a former FBI translator who translated terror-related communications for the FBI right after 9/11. In that capacity, she read communications between terrorists and other radicals.
Edmonds has been deemed credible by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, several senators (free subscription required), and a coalition of prominent conservative and liberal groups.
The ACLU described Edmonds as:
The most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.
Famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says that Edmonds possesses information “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”. He also says that the White House has ordered the press not to cover Edmonds:
– After seven years, exactly one person gets off the gov’t no-fly list (Ars Technica, March 27, 2014):
New report on terrorism “blacklists” suggests it won’t be easier the next time.
A hearing in federal court Tuesday has apparently marked the conclusion of a drawn-out, costly, and, to use the judge’s own term, “Kafkaesque” legal battle over the government no-fly list. Malaysian college professor Rahinah Ibrahim sued the government back in 2006, after Dr. Ibrahim’s name mistakenly ended up on a federal government no-fly list.
– US terror ‘watchlist’ risks stigmatizing hundreds of thousands, says ACLU (Al Jazeera, March 15, 2014):
The U.S. government’s “massive” watchlist database risks stigmatizing hundreds of thousands of people as known or suspected terrorists – including some its own citizens, a leading civil liberties group has warned.
Around 875,000 names are believed to be on the list, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said. Many are included “based on information that is often stale, poorly reviewed, or of questionable reliability,” it added in a report published Friday. Moreover people are being put onto the watch list based on secret evidence and secret standards, with no meaningful process to challenge mistakes, the ACLU warned.
– Obama’s NSA ‘reforms’ are little more than a PR attempt to mollify the public (Guardian, Jan 17, 2014):
In response to political scandal and public outrage, official Washington repeatedly uses the same well-worn tactic. It is the one that has been hauled out over decades in response to many of America’s most significant political scandals. Predictably, it is the same one that shaped President Obama’s much-heralded Friday speech to announce his proposals for “reforming” the National Security Agency in the wake of seven months of intense worldwide controversy.
The crux of this tactic is that US political leaders pretend to validate and even channel public anger by acknowledging that there are “serious questions that have been raised”. They vow changes to fix the system and ensure these problems never happen again. And they then set out, with their actions, to do exactly the opposite: to make the system prettier and more politically palatable with empty, cosmetic “reforms” so as to placate public anger while leaving the system fundamentally unchanged, even more immune than before to serious challenge.