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anarcho-queer:

Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants (MUST READ)
A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.
CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.
Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)
It’s an abrupt departure from Leahy’s earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill “provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.”
Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to “reconsider acting” on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF) is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.
One person participating in Capitol Hill meetings on this topic told CNET that Justice Department officials have expressed their displeasure about Leahy’s original bill. The department is on record as opposing any such requirement: James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, has publicly warned that requiring a warrant to obtain stored e-mail could have an “adverse impact” on criminal investigations.
Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said requiring warrantless access to Americans’ data “undercuts” the purpose of Leahy’s original proposal. “We believe a warrant is the appropriate standard for any contents,” he said.

anarcho-queer:

Senate Bill Rewrite Lets Feds Read Your E-mail Without Warrants (MUST READ)

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge. (CNET obtained the revised draft from a source involved in the negotiations with Leahy.)

It’s an abrupt departure from Leahy’s earlier approach, which required police to obtain a search warrant backed by probable cause before they could read the contents of e-mail or other communications. The Vermont Democrat boasted last year that his bill “provides enhanced privacy protections for American consumers by… requiring that the government obtain a search warrant.

Leahy had planned a vote on an earlier version of his bill, designed to update a pair of 1980s-vintage surveillance laws, in late September. But after law enforcement groups including the National District Attorneys’ Association and the National Sheriffs’ Association organizations objected to the legislation and asked him to “reconsider acting” on it, Leahy pushed back the vote and reworked the bill as a package of amendments to be offered next Thursday. The package (PDF) is a substitute for H.R. 2471, which the House of Representatives already has approved.

One person participating in Capitol Hill meetings on this topic told CNET that Justice Department officials have expressed their displeasure about Leahy’s original bill. The department is on record as opposing any such requirement: James Baker, the associate deputy attorney general, has publicly warned that requiring a warrant to obtain stored e-mail could have an “adverse impact” on criminal investigations.

Christopher Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said requiring warrantless access to Americans’ data “undercuts” the purpose of Leahy’s original proposal. “We believe a warrant is the appropriate standard for any contents,” he said.

— 1 year ago with 414 notes

#Government Surveillance  #Internet Privacy  #Senate  #Warrantless Surveillance  #civil liberties  #privacy  #Big Brother  #surveillance 
danceforthatanarchy:

1. On December 31, 2011, Obama signed the NDAA, giving him the ability to indefinitely detain any U.S. civilian without charge or trial. 
2. Obama supports internet censorship/surveillance. He plans to issue an executive order this year that resembles CISPA if the bill is not passed. 
3. Despite his claims, Obama has killed thousands of people, including civilians and children, with drone strikes.
4. The president redefined the word ‘militant’ to mean ‘all military-age males in a strike zone’. This allows him to refer to civilians killed in a drone strike as ‘militants’ to avoid counting civilian deaths.
5. President Barack Obama signed the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012 earlier this year allowing 30,000 drones to be used on U.S. soil by law enforcement, government agencies, corporations, etc.
6. Obama granted immunity to all government officials involved in torturing detainees. 
7. When a federal judge barred the white house from indefinitely detaining U.S. civilians, the Obama Administration appealed the decision and won the ‘right’ back. 
8. The Obama Administration and Lamar Smith (the creator of SOPA) are working together to have FISA renewed*. FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant.
9. When ACLU challenged the constitutionality of FISA, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the challenge.
10. Internet censorship has increased under Obama. The government has seized more than 750 domains in the past two years under a program called “Operation in Our Sites.” (.pdf)
11. William Binney, a former official with the National Security Agency, recently said that domestic surveillance in the U.S. has increased under President Obama, and trillions of phone calls, emails and other messages sent by U.S. citizens have been intercepted by the government.
12. Recently, the Obama Administration told a federal court that civilians have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in cellphone location data, and hence the authorities may obtain documents detailing a person’s movements from wireless carriers without a probable-cause warrant.
13. The Obama Administration argued in court earlier this year that they can spy on U.S. civilians with impunity. 
14. Even while denouncing Syria’s dictator, Obama has been arming Bahrain’s dictatorship with weapons that has killed several pro-democracy protesters.
15. When journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye reported on a U.S. drone strike that killed 14 women, 21 children and more in Yemen, he was arrested and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. After public outcry, Yemen’s president nearly released Shaye until Barack Obama called him on February 2, 2011 to request Shaye remain imprisoned. 
16. Drone strikes have dramatically increased under Obama. From 2000-2008, Bush authorized a drone strike in Pakistan every 28 days. During Obama’s administration, he authorized a drone strike in Pakistan every 6 days.
17. The Obama Administration is training and arming 15,000 African troops to fight a proxy war in Somalia, possibly violating an UN Embargo.
18. When a group of lawmakers sought documents that proved the Obama Administration illegally sold guns to Mexican drug cartels, Obama invoked executive privilege for the first time to keep to documents hidden. 
19. A few months ago, Obama’s trade documents were leaked. The documents revealed the Obama secretly gave big corporations the right to break domestic laws and violate national sovereignty. 
20. In 2009, Obama secretly cut a deal with lobbyist group PhRMA to reassure’ that industry would be protected against policies it disliked in exchange for support of the legislation and acceptance of other policies.”
21. President Obama deported undocumented immigrants at a faster rate then any other president in history. He is also close to deporting more undocumented immigrants than Bush did during his 8-year presidency. 
22. Obama has been extremely strict when it comes to whistleblowers. In fact, he has indicted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all past administrations combined.
23. Income inequality is worse under Obama than it was under Bush. The 1% received 65% of every dollar created from 2002-2007. The the recovery, 2009-2010, the 1% received 93% of every dollar created.
24. In 2008, Obama promised to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.40/hour. The current minimum wage remains at $7.25.
25. Obama has helped close hundreds of public schools nation-wide and replace them with for-profit charter schools.

danceforthatanarchy:

1. On December 31, 2011, Obama signed the NDAA, giving him the ability to indefinitely detain any U.S. civilian without charge or trial. 

2. Obama supports internet censorship/surveillance. He plans to issue an executive order this year that resembles CISPA if the bill is not passed. 

3. Despite his claims, Obama has killed thousands of people, including civilians and children, with drone strikes.

4. The president redefined the word ‘militant’ to mean ‘all military-age males in a strike zone’. This allows him to refer to civilians killed in a drone strike as ‘militants’ to avoid counting civilian deaths.

5. President Barack Obama signed the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012 earlier this year allowing 30,000 drones to be used on U.S. soil by law enforcement, government agencies, corporations, etc.

6. Obama granted immunity to all government officials involved in torturing detainees

7. When a federal judge barred the white house from indefinitely detaining U.S. civilians, the Obama Administration appealed the decision and won the ‘right’ back. 

8. The Obama Administration and Lamar Smith (the creator of SOPA) are working together to have FISA renewed*. FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant.

9. When ACLU challenged the constitutionality of FISA, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the challenge.

10. Internet censorship has increased under ObamaThe government has seized more than 750 domains in the past two years under a program called “Operation in Our Sites.” (.pdf)

11. William Binney, a former official with the National Security Agency, recently said that domestic surveillance in the U.S. has increased under President Obama, and trillions of phone calls, emails and other messages sent by U.S. citizens have been intercepted by the government.

12. Recently, the Obama Administration told a federal court that civilians have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in cellphone location data, and hence the authorities may obtain documents detailing a person’s movements from wireless carriers without a probable-cause warrant.

13. The Obama Administration argued in court earlier this year that they can spy on U.S. civilians with impunity. 

14. Even while denouncing Syria’s dictator, Obama has been arming Bahrain’s dictatorship with weapons that has killed several pro-democracy protesters.

15. When journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye reported on a U.S. drone strike that killed 14 women, 21 children and more in Yemen, he was arrested and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. After public outcry, Yemen’s president nearly released Shaye until Barack Obama called him on February 2, 2011 to request Shaye remain imprisoned. 

16. Drone strikes have dramatically increased under Obama. From 2000-2008, Bush authorized a drone strike in Pakistan every 28 days. During Obama’s administration, he authorized a drone strike in Pakistan every 6 days.

17. The Obama Administration is training and arming 15,000 African troops to fight a proxy war in Somalia, possibly violating an UN Embargo.

18. When a group of lawmakers sought documents that proved the Obama Administration illegally sold guns to Mexican drug cartels, Obama invoked executive privilege for the first time to keep to documents hidden. 

19. A few months ago, Obama’s trade documents were leaked. The documents revealed the Obama secretly gave big corporations the right to break domestic laws and violate national sovereignty. 

20. In 2009, Obama secretly cut a deal with lobbyist group PhRMA to reassure’ that industry would be protected against policies it disliked in exchange for support of the legislation and acceptance of other policies.

21. President Obama deported undocumented immigrants at a faster rate then any other president in history. He is also close to deporting more undocumented immigrants than Bush did during his 8-year presidency. 

22. Obama has been extremely strict when it comes to whistleblowers. In fact, he has indicted more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all past administrations combined.

23. Income inequality is worse under Obama than it was under Bush. The 1% received 65% of every dollar created from 2002-2007. The the recovery, 2009-2010, the 1% received 93% of every dollar created.

24. In 2008, Obama promised to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.40/hour. The current minimum wage remains at $7.25.

25. Obama has helped close hundreds of public schools nation-wide and replace them with for-profit charter schools.

(via anarcho-queer)

— 1 year ago with 3253 notes

#Obama  #civil liberties  #NDAA  #internet freedom  #privacy  #drones 
anarcho-queer:



WikiLeaks Blows The Whistle on ‘TrapWire’, A Government Funded Surveillance Program
Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.
Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.
The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.
Hacktivists aligned with the loose-knit Anonymous collective took credit for hacking Stratfor on Christmas Eve, 2011, in turn collecting what they claimed to be more than five million emails from within the company. WikiLeaks began releasing those emails as the Global Intelligence Files (GIF) earlier this year and, of those, several discussing the implementing of TrapWire in public spaces across the country were circulated on the Web this week after security researcher Justin Ferguson brought attention to the matter. At the same time, however, WikiLeaks was relentlessly assaulted by a barrage of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling the whistleblower site and its mirrors, significantly cutting short the number of people who would otherwise have unfettered access to the emails.
According to a press release (pdf) dated June 6, 2012, TrapWire is “designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports.” A system of interconnected nodes spot anything considered suspect and then input it into the system to be “analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.”
In a 2009 email included in the Anonymous leak, Stratfor Vice President for Intelligence Fred Burton is alleged to write, “TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance.” Burton formerly served with the US Diplomatic Security Service, and Abraxas’ staff includes other security experts with experience in and out of the Armed Forces.
What is believed to be a partnering agreement included in the Stratfor files from August 13, 2009 indicates that they signed a contract with Abraxas to provide them with analysis and reports of their TrapWire system (pdf).
Since its inception, TrapWire has been implemented in most major American cities at selected high value targets (HVTs) and has appeared abroad as well. The iWatch monitoring system adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department (pdf) works in conjunction with TrapWire, as does the District of Columbia and the “See Something, Say Something” program conducted by law enforcement in New York City, which had 500 surveillance cameras linked to the system in 2010. Private properties including Las Vegas, Nevada casinos have subscribed to the system. The State of Texas reportedly spent half a million dollars with an additional annual licensing fee of $150,000 to employ TrapWire, and the Pentagon and other military facilities have allegedly signed on as well.
In one email from 2010 leaked by Anonymous, Stratfor’s Fred Burton allegedly writes, “God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients.” Files on USASpending.gov reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense together awarded Abraxas and TrapWire more than one million dollars in only the past eleven months.

anarcho-queer:

WikiLeaks Blows The Whistle on ‘TrapWire’, A Government Funded Surveillance Program

Former senior intelligence officials have created a detailed surveillance system more accurate than modern facial recognition technology — and have installed it across the US under the radar of most Americans, according to emails hacked by Anonymous.

Every few seconds, data picked up at surveillance points in major cities and landmarks across the United States are recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence. It’s part of a program called TrapWire and it’s the brainchild of the Abraxas, a Northern Virginia company staffed with elite from America’s intelligence community. The employee roster at Arbaxas reads like a who’s who of agents once with the Pentagon, CIA and other government entities according to their public LinkedIn profiles, and the corporation’s ties are assumed to go deeper than even documented.

The details on Abraxas and, to an even greater extent TrapWire, are scarce, however, and not without reason. For a program touted as a tool to thwart terrorism and monitor activity meant to be under wraps, its understandable that Abraxas would want the program’s public presence to be relatively limited. But thanks to last year’s hack of the Strategic Forecasting intelligence agency, or Stratfor, all of that is quickly changing.

Hacktivists aligned with the loose-knit Anonymous collective took credit for hacking Stratfor on Christmas Eve, 2011, in turn collecting what they claimed to be more than five million emails from within the company. WikiLeaks began releasing those emails as the Global Intelligence Files (GIF) earlier this year and, of those, several discussing the implementing of TrapWire in public spaces across the country were circulated on the Web this week after security researcher Justin Ferguson brought attention to the matter. At the same time, however, WikiLeaks was relentlessly assaulted by a barrage of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, crippling the whistleblower site and its mirrors, significantly cutting short the number of people who would otherwise have unfettered access to the emails.

According to a press release (pdf) dated June 6, 2012, TrapWire is “designed to provide a simple yet powerful means of collecting and recording suspicious activity reports.” A system of interconnected nodes spot anything considered suspect and then input it into the system to be “analyzed and compared with data entered from other areas within a network for the purpose of identifying patterns of behavior that are indicative of pre-attack planning.”

In a 2009 email included in the Anonymous leak, Stratfor Vice President for Intelligence Fred Burton is alleged to write, TrapWire is a technology solution predicated upon behavior patterns in red zones to identify surveillance. It helps you connect the dots over time and distance. Burton formerly served with the US Diplomatic Security Service, and Abraxas’ staff includes other security experts with experience in and out of the Armed Forces.

What is believed to be a partnering agreement included in the Stratfor files from August 13, 2009 indicates that they signed a contract with Abraxas to provide them with analysis and reports of their TrapWire system (pdf).

Since its inception, TrapWire has been implemented in most major American cities at selected high value targets (HVTs) and has appeared abroad as well. The iWatch monitoring system adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department (pdf) works in conjunction with TrapWire, as does the District of Columbia and the “See Something, Say Something” program conducted by law enforcement in New York City, which had 500 surveillance cameras linked to the system in 2010. Private properties including Las Vegas, Nevada casinos have subscribed to the system. The State of Texas reportedly spent half a million dollars with an additional annual licensing fee of $150,000 to employ TrapWire, and the Pentagon and other military facilities have allegedly signed on as well.

In one email from 2010 leaked by Anonymous, Stratfor’s Fred Burton allegedly writes, “God Bless America. Now they have EVERY major HVT in CONUS, the UK, Canada, Vegas, Los Angeles, NYC as clients. Files on USASpending.gov reveal that the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense together awarded Abraxas and TrapWire more than one million dollars in only the past eleven months.

— 1 year ago with 215 notes

#orwellian  #surveillance  #big brother  #civil liberties  #creepy 
occupyallstreets:

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor
Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket mushroomed into $3,170 in fines and fees and 40 days in jail when she couldn’t afford to pay it. Gina is one of many swept up in America’s new debtors’ prisons, a growing problem nationwide. 
Also this week, the ABA Journal  told the story of the Philadelphia courts’ aggressive efforts to collect unpaid fines and fees, many of which are decades old. Ameen Muqtadir was billed nearly $41,000 for two failures to appear in court dating back to 1991 and 1997—even though he’d been incarcerated at the time of each hearing. Meanwhile, Hakim Waliyyudin spent 12 days in jail while he raised the money to post a $1,000 bond with the court; after the criminal charges against him were dismissed, the court clerk told him that he owed another $9,000 plus $1,500 in collection fees because of a missed court date. Although a free attorney from Community Legal Services ultimately convinced the court to waive the judgment and collection charges against Hakim, many other indigent defendants around the country face further jail time when they cannot pay court-ordered fines and fees. 
As the ACLU emphasized in its October 2010 report, In for a Penny: The Rise of America’s New Debtors’ Prisons, jailing people for unpaid court debts imposes devastating human costs on men and women whose only remaining crime is that they are poor. Upon release, they face the daunting prospect of having to rebuild their lives yet again, while their substantial legal debts pose a significant, and at times insurmountable, barrier as they attempt to re-enter society. They see their incomes fall, their credit ratings worsen, their prospects for housing and employment dim, and their chances of ending up back in jail or prison increase. Many must make hard choices each month as they attempt to balance their needs and those of their families with their legal financial obligations. They also remain tethered to the criminal justice system—sometimes decades after they complete their sentences—and live under constant threat of being sent back to jail or prison, solely because they cannot pay what has become an unmanageable legal debt.
Aggressive collection of legal financial obligations creates a two-tiered system of justice in which the poorest defendants are punished more harshly than those with means. Although courts attempt to collect legal financial obligations from indigent and affluent defendants alike, those who can afford to pay their legal debts avoid jail, complete their sentences, and move on with their lives. Those unable to pay end up incarcerated or under continued court supervision. Perversely, they also often end up paying much more in fines and fees than defendants who can pay their legal financial obligations. Additionally, the imposition of legal financial obligations disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the prisoner population.
Courts have found that incarcerating people for debts they couldn’t afford to pay violates the 14th Amendment. Further, it creates hardships for men and women who already struggle with re-entering society after being released from prison or jail, and wastes resources in an often fruitless effort to extract payments. In an age when more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before, unnecessarily and unfairly, we should be shutting down debtors’ prisons, not creating more of them.

occupyallstreets:

Courts Should Stop Jailing People for Being Poor

Across the country, cash-strapped cities and counties are throwing poor defendants in jail for failing to pay legal debts that they can never hope to manage. On Monday, the New York Times told the story of Gina Ray, whose $179 speeding ticket mushroomed into $3,170 in fines and fees and 40 days in jail when she couldn’t afford to pay it. Gina is one of many swept up in America’s new debtors’ prisons, a growing problem nationwide. 

Also this week, the ABA Journal  told the story of the Philadelphia courts’ aggressive efforts to collect unpaid fines and fees, many of which are decades old. Ameen Muqtadir was billed nearly $41,000 for two failures to appear in court dating back to 1991 and 1997—even though he’d been incarcerated at the time of each hearing. Meanwhile, Hakim Waliyyudin spent 12 days in jail while he raised the money to post a $1,000 bond with the court; after the criminal charges against him were dismissed, the court clerk told him that he owed another $9,000 plus $1,500 in collection fees because of a missed court date. Although a free attorney from Community Legal Services ultimately convinced the court to waive the judgment and collection charges against Hakim, many other indigent defendants around the country face further jail time when they cannot pay court-ordered fines and fees. 

As the ACLU emphasized in its October 2010 report, In for a Penny: The Rise of America’s New Debtors’ Prisons, jailing people for unpaid court debts imposes devastating human costs on men and women whose only remaining crime is that they are poor. Upon release, they face the daunting prospect of having to rebuild their lives yet again, while their substantial legal debts pose a significant, and at times insurmountable, barrier as they attempt to re-enter society. They see their incomes fall, their credit ratings worsen, their prospects for housing and employment dim, and their chances of ending up back in jail or prison increase. Many must make hard choices each month as they attempt to balance their needs and those of their families with their legal financial obligations. They also remain tethered to the criminal justice system—sometimes decades after they complete their sentences—and live under constant threat of being sent back to jail or prison, solely because they cannot pay what has become an unmanageable legal debt.

Aggressive collection of legal financial obligations creates a two-tiered system of justice in which the poorest defendants are punished more harshly than those with means. Although courts attempt to collect legal financial obligations from indigent and affluent defendants alike, those who can afford to pay their legal debts avoid jail, complete their sentences, and move on with their lives. Those unable to pay end up incarcerated or under continued court supervision. Perversely, they also often end up paying much more in fines and fees than defendants who can pay their legal financial obligations. Additionally, the imposition of legal financial obligations disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities, who are disproportionately represented among the prisoner population.

Courts have found that incarcerating people for debts they couldn’t afford to pay violates the 14th Amendment. Further, it creates hardships for men and women who already struggle with re-entering society after being released from prison or jail, and wastes resources in an often fruitless effort to extract payments. In an age when more Americans are deprived of their liberty than ever before, unnecessarily and unfairly, we should be shutting down debtors’ prisons, not creating more of them.

(via anarcho-queer)

— 2 years ago with 87 notes

#Dickensian  #debtors prison  #wtf  #civil liberties  #rights  #freedom  #oppression 

occupyallstreets:

John McCain Introduces CISPA-like Bill

The Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information and Technology Act of 2012 (SECURE IT), introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and widely supported by Republicans, would essentially do the same thing as CISPA.

(via anarcho-queer)

— 2 years ago with 91 notes

#internet freedom  #civil liberties  #privacy  #cispa 
occupyallstreets:

CISPA Replaces SOPA As Internet’s Enemy No. 1 (Must Read)
The Internet has a new enemy. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), also known as H.R. 3523, is a “cybersecurity” bill in the House of Representatives. While CISPA does not focus primarily on intellectual property (though that’s in there, too), critics say the problems with the bill run just as deep. 
As with SOPA and PIPA, the first main concern about CISPA is its “broad language,” which critics fear allows the legislation to be interpreted in ways that could infringe on our civil liberties. The Center for Democracy and Technology sums up the problems with CISPA this way:

    •    The bill has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies notwithstanding privacy and other laws;    •    The bill is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications as a result of this sharing;    •    It is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military;    •    Once the information is shared with the government, it wouldn’t have to be used for cybesecurity, but could instead be used for any purpose that is not specifically prohibited.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) adds that CISPA’s definition of “cybersecurity” is so broad that “it leaves the door open to censor any speech that a company believes would ‘degrade the network.’”
Moreover, the inclusion of “intellectual property” means that companies and the government would have “new powers to monitor and censor communications for copyright infringement.”
Furthermore, critics warn that CISPA gives private companies the ability to collect and share information about their customers or users with immunity — meaning we cannot sue them for doing so, and they cannot be charged with any crimes.
According to the EFF, CISPA “effectively creates a ‘cybersecurity’ exemption to all existing laws.”

“There are almost no restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a company can claim it was motivated by ‘cybersecurity purposes.’” the EFF continues.
“That means a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop cybersecurity threats.”

Read the full text of CISPA here, or the full official summary at the bottom of this page.
Read More

occupyallstreets:

CISPA Replaces SOPA As Internet’s Enemy No. 1 (Must Read)

The Internet has a new enemy. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), also known as H.R. 3523, is a “cybersecurity” bill in the House of Representatives. While CISPA does not focus primarily on intellectual property (though that’s in there, too), critics say the problems with the bill run just as deep. 

As with SOPA and PIPA, the first main concern about CISPA is its “broad language,” which critics fear allows the legislation to be interpreted in ways that could infringe on our civil liberties. The Center for Democracy and Technology sums up the problems with CISPA this way:

    •    The bill has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies notwithstanding privacy and other laws;
    •    The bill is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications as a result of this sharing;
    •    It is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military;
    •    Once the information is shared with the government, it wouldn’t have to be used for cybesecurity, but could instead be used for any purpose that is not specifically prohibited.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) adds that CISPA’s definition of “cybersecurity” is so broad that “it leaves the door open to censor any speech that a company believes would ‘degrade the network.’”

Moreover, the inclusion of “intellectual property” means that companies and the government would have “new powers to monitor and censor communications for copyright infringement.

Furthermore, critics warn that CISPA gives private companies the ability to collect and share information about their customers or users with immunity — meaning we cannot sue them for doing so, and they cannot be charged with any crimes.

According to the EFF, CISPA “effectively creates a ‘cybersecurity’ exemption to all existing laws.”

There are almost no restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a company can claim it was motivated by ‘cybersecurity purposes.’” the EFF continues.

That means a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop cybersecurity threats.

Read the full text of CISPA here, or the full official summary at the bottom of this page.

Read More

(via socialuprooting)

— 2 years ago with 4695 notes

#civil liberties  #internet  #censorship  #big brother  #freedom  #sopa 
occupyallstreets:

Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Offense, No Matter How Minor
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.
About 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails, Justice Kennedy wrote.
Under Monday’s ruling, he wrote, “every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed.”
Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said strip-searches were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so.
The decision endorses a more recent trend, from appeals courts in Atlanta, San Francisco and Philadelphia, in allowing searches no matter how minor the charge. Some potential examples cited by dissenting judges in the lower courts and by Justice Breyer on Monday included violating a leash law, driving without a license and failing to pay child support.
Read More

occupyallstreets:

Supreme Court Approves Strip Searches For Any Offense, No Matter How Minor

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

About 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails, Justice Kennedy wrote.

Under Monday’s ruling, he wrote, “every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the four dissenters, said strip-searches were “a serious affront to human dignity and to individual privacy” and should be used only when there was good reason to do so.

The decision endorses a more recent trend, from appeals courts in AtlantaSan Francisco and Philadelphia, in allowing searches no matter how minor the charge. Some potential examples cited by dissenting judges in the lower courts and by Justice Breyer on Monday included violating a leash law, driving without a license and failing to pay child support.

Read More

(via anarcho-queer)

— 2 years ago with 91 notes

#civil liberties 
occupyallstreets:

Police Are Using Phone Tracking and Monitoring As A Routine Tool (Must Read)
Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.
The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.
With cellphones ubiquitous, the police call phone tracing a valuable weapon in emergencies like child abductions and suicide calls and investigations in drug cases and murders. One police training manual describes cellphones as “the virtual biographer of our daily activities,” providing a hunting ground for learning contacts and travels.
But civil liberties advocates say the wider use of cell tracking raises legal and constitutional questions, particularly when the police act without judicial orders. While many departments require warrants to use phone tracking in nonemergencies, others claim broad discretion to get the records on their own, according to 5,500 pages of internal records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union from 205 police departments nationwide.
Theinternal documents, which were provided to The New York Times, open a window into a cloak-and-dagger practice that police officials are wary about discussing publicly. While cell tracking by local police departments has received some limited public attention in the last few years, the A.C.L.U. documents show that the practice is in much wider use — with far looser safeguards — than officials have previously acknowledged.
In cities in Nevada, North Carolina and other states, police departments have gotten wireless carriers to track cellphone signals back to cell towers as part of nonemergency investigations to identify all the callers using a particular tower, records show.
In California, state prosecutors advised local police departments on ways to get carriers to “clone” a phone and download text messages while it is turned off.
Read More

occupyallstreets:

Police Are Using Phone Tracking and Monitoring As A Routine Tool (Must Read)

Law enforcement tracking of cellphones, once the province mainly of federal agents, has become a powerful and widely used surveillance tool for local police officials, with hundreds of departments, large and small, often using it aggressively with little or no court oversight, documents show.

The practice has become big business for cellphone companies, too, with a handful of carriers marketing a catalog of “surveillance fees” to police departments to determine a suspect’s location, trace phone calls and texts or provide other services. Some departments log dozens of traces a month for both emergencies and routine investigations.

With cellphones ubiquitous, the police call phone tracing a valuable weapon in emergencies like child abductions and suicide calls and investigations in drug cases and murders. One police training manual describes cellphones as “the virtual biographer of our daily activities,” providing a hunting ground for learning contacts and travels.

But civil liberties advocates say the wider use of cell tracking raises legal and constitutional questions, particularly when the police act without judicial orders. While many departments require warrants to use phone tracking in nonemergencies, others claim broad discretion to get the records on their own, according to 5,500 pages of internal records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union from 205 police departments nationwide.

Theinternal documents, which were provided to The New York Times, open a window into a cloak-and-dagger practice that police officials are wary about discussing publicly. While cell tracking by local police departments has received some limited public attention in the last few years, the A.C.L.U. documents show that the practice is in much wider use — with far looser safeguards — than officials have previously acknowledged.

In cities in Nevada, North Carolina and other states, police departments have gotten wireless carriers to track cellphone signals back to cell towers as part of nonemergency investigations to identify all the callers using a particular tower, records show.

In California, state prosecutors advised local police departments on ways to get carriers to “clone” a phone and download text messages while it is turned off.

Read More

(via anarcho-queer)

— 2 years ago with 67 notes

#big brother  #civil liberties 

socialuprooting:

Obama administration expands illegal surveillance of Americans

rockyanderson2012:

Last Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder enacted guidelines that further expand the US government’s asserted powers to collect and store private information, without a warrant, concerning individuals who are not suspected of any crime.

The guidelines constitute a further step by the Obama administration to expand and entrench unconstitutional spying operations on the American people by all levels of government that were spearheaded by the Bush administration.

In the period since September 11, 2001, the US government has secretly compiled vast databases containing private information on the American public. These databases include telephone conversations, the contents of personal emails, visited web sites, Google searches, text messages, credit card transactions, mobile phone GPS location data, travel itineraries, Facebook activity, medical records, traffic tickets, surveillance camera footage and online purchases. The vast quantities of information that are being collected and stored by the US government far exceed what was gathered by the most infamous police states of the last century.

Holder’s guidelines permit intelligence officials to secretly use these databases to profile and track Americans who have no connection to terrorism—alleged or otherwise—for up to five years. The previous guidelines, issued in 2008 by Bush administration Attorney General Michael Mukasey, were understood to limit the retention of such information to 180 days.

According to an article Friday in the New York Times, the new guidelines are expected to result in increased collection and “data mining” of information on ordinary Americans by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).

The Electronic Privacy Information Center issued a brief statement denouncing the guidelines: “The change represents a dramatic expansion of government surveillance and appears to violate the Privacy Act of 1974, which limits data exchanges across federal agencies and establishes legal rights for US citizens.”

The guidelines, which are couched in military, legal and intelligence jargon, were drafted in secret and not made available for public comment before they were enacted. In addition to Holder, National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew G. Olsen and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr. signed the guidelines.

The new guidelines must be understood as part of a vast escalation of domestic surveillance being undertaken by the Obama administration. According to a report last week in Wired magazine, the Obama administration is constructing a secret facility of unprecedented size in Bluffdale, Utah to store and process all of the information it is presently gathering about Americans. The new data center is conceived as a central hub that will link to National Security Agency (NSA) electronic eavesdropping facilities that are already operating around the country. “The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013,” the report stated.

“Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails―parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter,’” the article reported.

[…]

Also revealed last week were Department of Homeland Security (DHS) internal manuals for agents in the department’s Media Monitoring Capability program. The manuals were ordered released pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request. These manuals make clear that the agency has been closely monitoring political discussions and activity on social media sites such as Facebook. The manual identifies as “items of interest” warranting investigation any activity on social media sites concerning “policy directives, debates and implementations related to DHS.”

The escalation of domestic surveillance by the Obama administration is one aspect of the disintegration of American democracy. On December 31 of last year, Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which gives intelligence agencies and the military the power to abduct any person, anywhere in the world, including US citizens, and imprison him or her indefinitely in a facility such as the one located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The NDAA was followed by Holder’s speech earlier this month asserting the power of the president to unilaterally assassinate US citizens without any kind of judicial process whatsoever. The pseudo-legal arguments advanced by the Obama administration in support of these measures exceed the most authoritarian presumptions of the Bush administration.

These unprecedented attacks on democratic rights, in which the entire political establishment and both Democrats and Republicans are participating, must be understood as preemptive preparations by the political establishment to meet the coming social upheavals with police state measures.

— 2 years ago with 66 notes

#big brother  #surveillance  #civil liberties 
Obama signs anti-protest Trespass Bill →

punkpedagogy:

And the winning segment of this analysis: “Under the act, protesting in areas covered by Secret Service could land a demonstrator behind bars, and the thing about the Secret Service (in case you couldn’t tell by their name), is that they don’t always make it clear where they are. You could even say that the service they provide, at times, is kept secret.”

(via rematiration-deactivated2013111)

— 2 years ago with 38 notes

#civil liberties  #first ammendment 
cuntofdoom:

sluttysharks:

epic4chan:

DEAR WORLD, Internet service providers will begin spying on you!
This is not just the USA, this is also Europe, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
ACTA is another attempt by Hollywood and others to end privacy and freedom to protect their profits.
These well done videos provide an overview:
Video 1 
Video 2
We got to stop this!
Poland is planning protests.
Europe, contact your representatives.
UK, sign this petition.
USA, reblog this post. Make new posts. Join the EFF. Stay involved.
They won’t give up, and neither will we.

I’m going to keep spamming ACTA posts. It’s just so important. I can’t even…

yeah really, SOPA is such small potatoes compared to this

cuntofdoom:

sluttysharks:

epic4chan:

DEAR WORLD, Internet service providers will begin spying on you!

This is not just the USA, this is also Europe, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and more.

ACTA is another attempt by Hollywood and others to end privacy and freedom to protect their profits.

These well done videos provide an overview:

We got to stop this!

Poland is planning protests.

Europe, contact your representatives.

UK, sign this petition.

USA, reblog this post. Make new posts. Join the EFF. Stay involved.

They won’t give up, and neither will we.

I’m going to keep spamming ACTA posts. It’s just so important. I can’t even…

yeah really, SOPA is such small potatoes compared to this

— 2 years ago with 8142 notes

#acta  #civil liberties  #sopa  #internet 
Doctor Gets Court Order to Confine Pregnant Woman Against Her Will

Doctor Gets Court Order to Confine Pregnant Woman Against Her Will

With issues like the Stupak Amendment and Nevada’s Personhood Initiative in the national spotlight, I am aware that a woman’s right to choose whether or not to carry a fetus to full-term is under attack.

What I didn’t realize, perhaps naively, is that her right to choose how to carry a fetus is also under fire. Last March, Florida resident Samantha Burton was in week 25 of her pregnancy when she paid a visit to her doctor. Burton was showing signs of potential miscarriage, so her physician ordered bed rest. Burton explained that, as a working mother of two toddlers, bed rest simply wasn’t a viable option and then proceeded to ask for a second medical opinion. Seems reasonable, right?

Her doctor, however, was having none of that. Rather than refer Burton for the desired second opinion, he instead felt it necessary to contact state authorities, who then proceeded to force Burton to be admitted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital against her will and undergo any procedure the doctor felt like prescribing. When Burton had the audacity to request a change in the hospital in which she was being treated, the court denied her request. Three days into her forced hospitalization, Burton miscarried.

Never mind that there is actually no scientific research to support the claim that bed rest helps prevent preterm birth and that even the American College of of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not believe it should be routinely recommended. Never mind Burton’s very real concern for the care of her two small children. Never mind the psychological, physical, and financial toll this takes on her family. The only thing that mattered to the doctor and the government was that they got their (ultimately ineffectual) way.

Oh, and did I mention this case gets worse? Burton (with help from her pro bono lawyer and the ACLU) sued the State of Florida claiming it — duh — violated her constitutional rights. The court ruled against her, claiming that that State was merely maintaining “status quo” in the situation. Hmmm. I never knew forcing a woman to bed rest in a hospital was status quo. Perhaps I’ve been ill-informed.

It is scary to think that the government feels it can negate the bodily autonomy of pregnant women for any reason, let alone for something like this. Where does this stop? If a doctor lacking scientific support can force a woman into a hospital of his choosing for the tests of his choosing, what’s next? Certainly it seems as if the bar has been set pretty low in terms of the criteria needed to override a woman’s freedom to make informed decisions for herself.

Burton’ lawyers filed for appeal and the case is now being heard in Florida’s First District Court of Appeals. Hopefully, this time the court will acknowledge the bodily autonomy of pregnant women and reverse the lower court’s frightening and potentially dangerous ruling. I shudder to think of the consequences of the earlier decision being upheld.

itsjustsummer: This is complete and utter bullshit!  When the hell did a woman’s uterus become public property??  Please let me know, and I’ll make sure I pave a parking lot next to mine.

girl-incomplete: W. T. F.

veggielezzyfemmie: LKAJFLJSDLKFJSKDJ WHAT THE FUCK LSKDJFLKSDJFSLDKFJSD

sexualtictactoe: What in the hell. I cannot even take this bullshit right now.

inherhipstheresrevolutions: And apparently women have all the rights they need now…

(Source: summerslens, via flapjackstate)

— 3 years ago with 758 notes

#misogyny  #bodily autonomy  #civil liberties  #pregnancy  #sexism  #oppression  #freedom 
If you’re outraged about Egypt shutting down the internet, please consider this…

thenoobyorker:

“A bill giving the president an Internet “kill switch” during times of emergency that failed to pass Congress last year will return this year, but with a revision that has many civil liberties advocates concerned: It will give the president the ability to shut down parts of the Internet without any court oversight.” -Raw Story

How large of a role does the internet play in your life?

(Source: genericlatino, via tranqualizer)

— 3 years ago with 254 notes

#egypt  #united states  #repression  #government  #civil liberties  #free speech  #free press  #internet  #censorship