tagged w/ Wiretapping
Simon Glik, a lawyer, was walking down Tremont Street in Boston when he saw three police officers struggling to extract a plastic bag from a teenager’s mouth. Thinking their force seemed excessive for a drug arrest, Glik pulled out his cellphone and began recording.
Within minutes, Glik said, he was in handcuffs.
“One of the officers asked me whether my phone had audio recording capabilities,’’ Glik, 33, said recently of the incident, which took place in October 2007. Glik acknowledged that it did, and then, he said, “my phone was seized, and I was arrested.’’
The charge? Illegal electronic surveillance.
Jon Surmacz, 34, experienced a similar situation. Thinking that Boston police officers were unnecessarily rough while breaking up a holiday party in Brighton he was attending in December 2008, he took out his cellphone and began recording.
Police confronted Surmacz, a webmaster at Boston University. He was arrested and, like Glik, charged with illegal surveillance.
There are no hard statistics for video recording arrests. But the experiences of Surmacz and Glik highlight what civil libertarians call a troubling misuse of the state’s wiretapping law to stifle the kind of street-level oversight that cellphone and video technology make possible.
“The police apparently do not want witnesses to what they do in public,’’ said Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, who helped to get the criminal charges against Surmacz dismissed.
Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll rejected the notion that police are abusing the law to block citizen oversight, saying the department trains officers about the wiretap law. “If an individual is inappropriately interfering with an arrest that could cause harm to an officer or another individual, an officer’s primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the situation,’’ she said.
In 1968, Massachusetts became a “two-party’’ consent state, one of 12 currently in the country. Two-party consent means that all parties to a conversation must agree to be recorded on a telephone or other audio device; otherwise, the recording of conversation is illegal. The law, intended to protect the privacy rights of individuals, appears to have been triggered by a series of high-profile cases involving private detectives who were recording people without their consent.
In arresting people such as Glik and Surmacz, police are saying that they have not consented to being recorded, that their privacy rights have therefore been violated, and that the citizen action was criminal.
“The statute has been misconstrued by Boston police,’’ said June Jensen, the lawyer who represented Glik and succeeded in getting his charges dismissed. The law, she said, does not prohibit public recording of anyone. “You could go to the Boston Common and snap pictures and record if you want; you can do that.’’Continued... at link:Simon Glik, a lawyer, was walking down Tremont Street in Boston when he saw three... more
A federal appeals court in New York has ruled that US government agencies may now refuse to confirm or deny the existence of records when faced with a Freedom of Information Act request that might disclose sensitive intelligence activities, sources, or methods.A federal appeals court in New York has ruled that US government agencies may now... more
After the conflicting statements of mobsters Graviano and Spatuzza the loyalists of the premier, including the director of Tg1, claim victory saying that there was never any negotiation between the party of Berlusconi and the Mafia. Too bad that in reality this assumption is not only based on the statements of Spatuzza, now denied by his boss, but on a number of other witnesses and evidences. Indeed Dell'Utri before them had already been sentenced in first instance.
http://www.inaltreparole.net/en/news/mafiastato121209.htmlAfter the conflicting statements of mobsters Graviano and Spatuzza the loyalists of... more
Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel your private communications or records to U.S. law enforcement and spy agencies?
That’s the question muckraker and Indiana University graduate student Christopher Soghoian asked all agencies within the Department of Justice, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed a few months ago. But before the agencies could provide the data, Verizon and Yahoo intervened and filed an objection on grounds that, among other things, they would be ridiculed and publicly shamed were their surveillance price sheets made public.
continued....Want to know how much phone companies and internet service providers charge to funnel... more
In high-profile court cases, the NSA has refused to confirm or deny the existence of the documents detailing the surveillance of lawyers who represent prisoners of the so-called "war on terror," on the grounds that knowledge of the existence or nonexistence of the documents is itself a classified piece of information.
Ok, there's a lesson here. Republicans brought us war abroad and totalitarianism at home. Democrats bring us war abroad and totalitarianism at home. But - get this - there are OTHER OPTIONS. Obama voters, get ready to make up for your mistake in 2010 and 2012!In high-profile court cases, the NSA has refused to confirm or deny the existence of... more
If you haven't called your representatives about opposing the Patriot Act renewal, do it now.If you haven't called your representatives about opposing the Patriot Act... more
Everything I read about Fusion Centers makes them seem less and less of a good idea.
THIS IS NO DRILL !
100 years of congressional efforts to limit corporate spending in elections going down the drain !
This is a pretty depressing saga unfolding right before our eyes and it's another reason why we need cameras in the Supreme Court so we can view the mockery Roberts is making out of the Third Branch of government. They are about to grant corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to attack political candidates right up until an election, which would make destroy the very fabric of our voting structure. Did you know that a corporation is an individual in Scalia's mind?
Watching the Supreme Court make its campaign finance jurisprudence disappear.
The Supreme Court is returning early from its summer recess to consider a potential watermark case that couldoverturn a century of campaign finance restrictions and clear the way for unregulated spending by corporations on political campaigns. The case, Citizens United v. The Federal Election Commission, has grown from a limited question about a political documentary to a broad challenge to the government's right to restrict corporations from spending money to support or oppose political candidates.
Encompassing questions on First Amendment rights, the power of corporations and the influence of money on political elections, it's no wonder the case has created an assortment of strange bedfellows. Conservatives and liberals appear on both sides, either to defend the government's right to restrict corporate political advocacy or, on the other side, to argue that such regulations are a violation of the First Amendment.
To help sort through the complicated background and ramifications of the case, Bill Moyers talks with two prominent lawyers: Trevor Potter, president and general counsel of The Campaign Legal Center, who has submitted a brief to the court in support of the F.E.C.; and Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment attorney, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of Citizens United. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09042009/profile.html
VIDEO : http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09042009/watch2.html
WAKE UP AMERICA !
CORPORATE FASCISM THRIVES IN USA
WHITE NOISE RANTS
MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR HYPOCRISY
“It’s here that the American dream decided it liked the taste of the vomit it was chocking on. Just rolled over on its back and screamed for more drugs. it didn't die.“ - Warren EllisTHIS IS NO DRILL ! 100 years of congressional efforts to limit corporate spending... more
Seven juveniles in PA busted for trafficking in controlled substance: lemonade, Free Masons in Fiji arrested for sorcery, Obama's popularity is slipping, the Downsizer Dispatch, wiretapping the trains in Maryland, White House economic numbers, and a police officer in Denver pulls gun on employee for being too slow with his coffee.
http://www.freemindstv.comSeven juveniles in PA busted for trafficking in controlled substance: lemonade, Free... more
What did you do for AT&T? How long did you work there?
I worked at AT&T for 22 and a half years. My job was basically to keep the systems going. They were computer systems, network communication systems, Internet equipment, Voice over Internet [Protocol (VoIP)] equipment. I tested circuits long distance across the country. That was my job: to keep the network up. ...
So you handled the hottest high-tech stuff that AT&T had.
That's right. Our job was to keep everything up and running smoothly.
What goes on inside the building on Folsom Street [in San Francisco]?
While I was there we worked on three floors which belonged to AT&T. The sixth floor was the traditional phone switch, ... which handled the public's telephone calls and was the workhorse of the phone system. The seventh floor was where the Internet room was, and that's where I spent a lot of my time. That's where there are a lot of Cisco routers, a lot of fiber-optic lines coming in and going out. The eighth floor is more diversified, more routers and other kinds of equipment, what's called multiplex equipment and various kinds of telecommunications equipment.
So this is an operations center. Are we talking about serving San Francisco? Are we talking about serving the state of California? Are we talking about America and Asia? What's the traffic that's going through there?
Well, this is an important hub for the Bay Area in terms of if you're talking about Internet. There's lots of Internet traffic, as you can imagine, that goes in and out of this office, probably hundreds of fiber-optic lines that go out, carrying billions -- that's billions with a "B" -- billions of bits of data going in and out every second every day. So all the Web surfing you're doing, whatever you're doing on the Internet -- the pictures, the video, the Voice over Internet -- all that stuff's going in and out of there.
And then of course there's also the traditional phone switch, which is doing what it's been doing since before the Internet.
Handling millions of calls. ...
Handling millions and millions of phone calls, right. That's its job.
So this is a big hub.
It's a big hub, yes.
Take me back to the summer of 2002. What happens? ...
... In 2002 I was sitting at my workstation one day, and some e-mail came in. I opened it up, and it was just a notice saying that somebody from the National Security Agency, NSA, was going to come visit for some business. They didn't say what, of course, just letting us know. I was also told the same thing by the manager of the office.
Don Henry, who mentioned that there was going to be a visit from this person from the National Security Agency. ... That struck me as a little odd to begin with, because I remember from back in the '70s, the NSA is not supposed to be doing domestic spying, so what were they doing in an AT&T company office? It struck me as odd, but I didn't know anything more about it, so I just let it lie and waited for the guy to come.
Sometime later, maybe a few weeks -- I don't remember exactly -- he did show up. This NSA representative showed up at the door. I happened to be the one who opened the door. I let him in. I directed him to the appropriate people. He was very closemouthed and unsmiling, and he did his business. ... I didn't hear anything about it for a while, and I thought, well, that was over and I'll probably never hear anything about it again. So I never kept the e-mail. I thought it was just routine e-mail, and I'd never hear about it again. That whole incident probably took place in, I think it was the summer of 2002.
[more at link]What did you do for AT&T? How long did you work there? I worked at AT&T for... more
The President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano replied to criticism for having signed the security decree saying that to defend the Constitution is best to use a feather rather than a rotating scimitar, and that "those who invoke powers and even duties of intervention I have not " aren't familiar with the Constitutional Charter. According to the President may also be useful a serious debate on the law about wiretapping because there is "a problem of revision of rules and behaviors."The President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano replied to criticism for... more
The problem of the premier Silvio Berlusconi is the difficulty of denying the facts. It's a fact that he was a member of P2 secret masonic lodge and that P2 was a criminal organization, involved in diversionary manouvres in the investigation on Italian massacres. It's a fact that he hiread as groom in his villa a guilty mobster, then even murderer, and that one of his most loyal friends, Marcello Dell'Utri, was sentenced for external aid to Mafia. It's a fact that many girls have attended his villas and were paid for this.The problem of the premier Silvio Berlusconi is the difficulty of denying the facts.... more
Klein, 64, was a retired AT&T communications technician in December 2005, when he read the New York Times story that blew the lid off the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. Secretly authorized in 2002, the program lets the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) monitor telephone conversations and e-mail messages of people inside the U.S. to identify suspected terrorists.Klein, 64, was a retired AT&T communications technician in December 2005, when he... more
The President of the Republic Napolitano summoned the Minister of Justice Alfano for a dialogue about the decree on wiretapping. The President pointed out how the law would be dangerous, because it prevents the judiciary to investigate effectively against the mafia and in all cases where the perpetrator of a crime is unknown. Infringes the freedom of the press because it prevents journalists to talk about wiretapping, including summarizing them, while other proofs of a trial could be summarized.The President of the Republic Napolitano summoned the Minister of Justice Alfano for a... more
Urges Court to Rule Email Privacy Is Constitutionally Protected
Cincinnati - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other civil liberties groups filed an amicus brief in Warshak v. United States urging the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday to hold that the government's seizure of email without a warrant violated the Fourth Amendment and federal privacy statutes, as well as the Justice Department's own surveillance manual.
During its criminal investigation, the Department of Justice illegally ordered defendant Stephen Warshak's email provider to prospectively "preserve" copies of his future emails, which the government later obtained using a subpoena and a non-probable cause court order. The government accomplished this "back door wiretap" by misusing the Stored Communications Act (SCA), which is only supposed to be used for obtaining emails already in storage with a provider.
In Wednesday's filing, EFF argues that the government's seizure violated federal privacy laws and Warshak's Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy in his email. As a result, the illegally seized emails should have been suppressed by the district court where Warshak was tried. All told, the government acquired over 27,000 emails spanning over six months from Warshak's email provider, all without probable cause.
"The Justice Department not only violated the Fourth Amendment and federal privacy statutes but its own surveillance manual when it conducted this 'back door wiretap' to intercept six months worth of emails without a warrant," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "Thankfully, this abuse has given the appeals court yet another opportunity to clarify that the Fourth Amendment protects the privacy of email against secret government snooping, even when it's in the hands of an email provider."
EFF filed a similar amicus brief with the 6th Circuit in 2006 in a civil suit brought by Warshak against the government for its warrantless seizure of his emails. There, the 6th Circuit agreed with EFF that email users have a Fourth Amendment-protected expectation of privacy in the email they store with their email providers, though that decision was later vacated on procedural grounds.
"The government's illegal email surveillance in this case raises troubling questions about how often the Justice Department has bent the law or broken it outright in other criminal investigations," said Bankston. "This 'back door wiretap' is yet another demonstration of why Congress must update the federal surveillance statutes to require comprehensive reporting on how the government is using its spying authorities."
The amicus brief was also signed by the ACLU of Ohio and the Center for Democracy and Technology.
For the full amicus brief:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/Warshak_EFF_Amicus_Brief.pdfUrges Court to Rule Email Privacy Is Constitutionally Protected Cincinnati - The... more
The Obama administration insists it has no obligation to provide access to a top secret document in a wiretapping case, setting up a showdown next week with the judge who ordered it released.
Justice Department lawyers, in a response Friday with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, also argued that Judge Vaughn Walker had no cause to penalize the government over its refusal to turn over the document.
Walker on May 22 threatened to punish the administration for withholding the document, which he ordered given to lawyers suing the government over its warrantless wiretapping program.
The judge has ordered department lawyers to appear before his court Wednesday to make the case why he should not award damages to the now-defunct Oregon chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. That group is challenging the wiretapping program.
In its response, the department said that in this case "disclosure of classified information — even under protective order — would create intolerable risks to national security."
The filing said President Barack Obama has authorized access to classified information on a "need-to-know" basis and argued that the government "cannot be sanctioned for its determination that plaintiffs do not have a need to know classified information."
The Al-Haramain case has been a focal point for civil liberties groups questioning the legality of the warrantless wiretapping program, and has become one of several instances where the current administration has taken its cue from the Bush administration in citing national security as justification for keeping secrets.The Obama administration insists it has no obligation to provide access to a top... more
WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she was aware a few years ago that Rep. Jane Harman had been overheard on a government wiretap.
"A few years ago, maybe three years ago, they did brief me," Pelosi told reporters at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
She said that when a member of Congress is recorded as part of a wiretapped conversation, intelligence officials inform congressional leaders.
"That happened at that time," Pelosi said. She added that the classified briefing was not detailed, and she did not tell Harman at the time.
"All I knew is that she was wiretapped," Pelosi said.
"When you are briefed on something, it isn't your information to share with anybody else," she added. "Even if I wanted to share it with her, I would not have had the ability to share it with her."
Harman has said she first learned of the wiretapping last week from a reporter who had knowledge of the transcript of the recording.
Congressional Quarterly reported Monday that Harman was overheard in a National Security Agency wiretap agreeing to seek lenient treatment for two former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee who were under investigation and later indicted for unlawfully possessing and disclosing classified information.WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she was aware a few years... more
Whoa, now wait a cockeyed minute here… A French & Russian expression in one headline !!!??? Have I just lost 95% of the perennial red blooded American’s attention ? (as if all un-Americans are what …green blooded & part of the reptilian invasion of 2012 ; ) !!!???
You’re not stupid, they just talk to you that way ;)
Puns & wise cracks aside, a “fait accompli” is…
[fe tA-kawN-plee] .French. An accomplished fact; a thing already done: The enemy's defeat was a fait accompli long before the formal surrender.’
…and a “leitmotiv ”…
leit·mo·tiv / Etymology: German Leitmotiv, from leiten to lead + Motiv motive
1 : an associated melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation especially in a Wagnerian music drama
2 : a dominant recurring theme
So now that close to 100% of readers went elsewhere for their hard earned entertainment buck, let me get straight to the point about… The Politics of « Fait Accompli » : An American Leitmotif ;)
The powers that be just don’t have time to bother with democracy. It’s a messy process at best even when one has perfected the art of stealing an election or two. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCR6IdTQTeE&feature=channel_page
Why define a “reality” based justification when one can just “make it so” and explain later with whatever comes to mind. One can always fabricate “facts” that fits the action already taken later on.
Torture induced rationalization anyone ?
Make it so !
Let’s say…oh, the invasion of Irak, shall we ?
Once the boots are on the ground, it’s fuckin’ too late to be all pissy & apologetic about it all, isn’t it ? It is our duty to support our troops… deleted uranium poisoning & all ! It is our duty, to “shut up” & put up, we are told ! Stand by our man, what ever child chewing monster he is ! Just follow orders like a good German ! Blast the lessons of WW2, the Nuremberg trial & centuries of soaked blood human history. We have a war to win ! Take no prisoner, unless you want to torture them ! Gun-ho diplomacy, mercenaries, false fag operations & a good old mediated carrot & stick routine will do wonder on those pesky public opinion polls. We do what has to be done, now deal with it mofo !
In other words… Do the deed and wonder & negotiate about the fallout later. A by-partisan whitewash will do fine. Only bleeding heart leftists will have time to notice anyway while the rabble has their collective nose to the grinder of economic survival. The masses are rendered poor, demoralized & frightened and therefore, they’ll think that perhaps the safest thing to do is to take orders & hope for the best ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JLc5dqZCOU&feature=channel_page
We are being “terrorized” into inaction after being “terrorized” into their self-fulfilling appropriated grander “American century” plan ! http://www.newamericancentury.org/
Le “fait accompli” becomes the only debatable reality while the motives themselves are never to be questioned again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmhL8bjL9vc&feature=channel
The same goes for torture, spying on US citizens, fraudulent bailouts, 9-11, racist penal system, CIA’s coverts operations, Mossad spies, private armies, franken-food… you name it, its always the same device, the “leitmotiv” of American politics.
“Conspiracy stuff' is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.” – Gore Vidal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTv7cSBNGXI&feature=channel_pageWhoa, now wait a cockeyed minute here… A French & Russian expression in one... more
Before the media starts in on their assessment of the first 100 days, I thought current could take a stab at it first.
Do you think Obama accomplished good things in his first 100 days? Do you feel mislead by expectations of what he would accomplish?
I tend to fall in the middle, but Prison Planet points out some things that may not be what we were expecting of Obama, and will probably not make the mainstream summation of his first 100 days.
- Will Obama support Dennis Kucinich’s efforts to bring war crimes charges against Bush, Cheney and others for deceiving the country into a war or will he protect them against such charges like Nancy Pelosi has done?
- Will Obama bring war crimes charges against Bush, Cheney and others for authorizing torture and will the torture of suspects under U.S. detention, a complete violation of both the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, cease under an Obama administration?
- Will Obama withdraw American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan without sending them away again to bomb another broken-backed third world country?
- Will Obama end the warrantless secret surveillance and phone-taps of American citizens?
- Will Obama cease his support for the Bush-administration backed banker bailouts, hated by the majority of Americans, and target the real cause of the problem - the Federal Reserve - or will he continue to give taxpayers’ money to banks who are merely hoarding it all for themselves?
- Will Obama repeal Patriot Acts I and II as well as reversing Bush’s signing statement and acknowledging the repeal of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act? Will Obama seek to continue the militarization of America and preparations for martial law through Northcom and the secret government or will he dismantle the police state that has been constructed over the last eight years by the Bush administration?
- Will Obama follow through on his rhetorical support for the second amendment or will he seek to ban guns as he did in Illinois?Before the media starts in on their assessment of the first 100 days, I thought... more
WASHINGTON — The head of the Senate intelligence committee said Thursday that she would hold a hearing to examine the National Security Agency’s interception of domestic communications after new reports that recent wiretapping went beyond what Congress has authorized.
“These are serious allegations, and we will make sure we get the facts,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who leads the Senate intelligence committee. “The committee is looking into this, and we will hold a hearing on this subject within one month.”
The New York Times reported in Thursday’s editions that the N.S.A. had intercepted private e-mail messages and phone calls of Americans in recent months on a scale that went beyond the broad legal limits established by Congress last year, citing interviews with government officials. The agency also sought in 2005 or 2006 to wiretap an unidentified congressman as part of a foreign intelligence operation, The Times said.
Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who has been active in overseeing intelligence issues, said Thursday that the report of wiretapping problems was part of “a tragic retreat from the principles that had governed the sensitive area of government surveillance for the previous three decades.”
Mr. Feingold called for reforms in intelligence law as well as the public release of certain aspects of wiretapping operations “so that the American people can better understand their scope and impact.”
End of Excerpt
Source: New York Times OnlineWASHINGTON — The head of the Senate intelligence committee said Thursday that... more