Gideon Oliver spoke to me of the devastating effect this kind of surveillance has had on activists. “People fear that detectives are following them around. They panic. It’s a movement-dismantling tactic.” Most Occupy protesters are new to activism and are emotionally unprepared to deal with this kind of intimidation. Nor, so far as I have seen, are they inclined to seek the advice of older activists who were under surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s, before the protections of the original Handschu Decree, which prohibited political spying, were put in place. Those activists nevertheless found ways to continue their political work.
From an article on the NYPD's Intel Division
. [more inside]
posted by eviemath
on Oct 23, 2012 -
The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT
] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian
] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan
on Sep 2, 2012 -
The year 2009 began a disturbing new trend: the criminalization of whistleblowing. The Obama administration has pursued a quiet but relentless campaign against the news media and their sources. This Article focuses on the sources who, more often than not, are whistleblowers. A spate of “leak” prosecutions brought under the Espionage Act has shaken the world of whistleblower attorneys, goodgovernment groups, transparency organizations, and civil liberties advocates. The Obama administration has prosecuted ﬁve criminal cases under the Espionage Act, which is more than all other presidential administrations combined. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar
on Aug 15, 2012 -
Back in May this year, British Twitter user Paul Chambers
was found guilty
of sending a 'menacing electronic communication'.
The communication in question? A Twitter update written when stuck at an airport, saying the following: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" [more inside]
posted by Catseye
on Nov 12, 2010 -
A mechanic noticed a strange device under the hood of a customer's car and offered to remove it for him. The customer, an Egyptian-American student named Yasir Afifi, shows his roommate, who posts pictures of it on Reddit to find out what the heck it is. Turns out it's an FBI GPS tracking device
, and the agency turned up quickly demanding he give it back. The ACLU is reportedly getting involved. [more inside]
posted by richyoung
on Oct 8, 2010 -
"is an adventure web-game created by Littleloud, published by Channel 4
and written by acclaimed comic book author, Kieron Gillen
. Set in 2027 in the heart of an authoritarian security state, The Curfew could be described as a miniature Canterbury Tales set in a not-so-distant future, where citizens must abide by government security measures and 'sub citizens' are placed under curfew at night. The player must navigate this complex political world and engage with the characters they meet along the way to work out who they should trust in order to gain freedom.
Choose wisely and you could change the course of history. Choose poorly, and it'll be changed for you."
posted by catchingsignals
on Aug 6, 2010 -
ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance.
"The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website
Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report
(PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles
, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying."
posted by homunculus
on Jun 29, 2010 -
Summums want to place their own monument
in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode
in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]
: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk." [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on Nov 13, 2008 -
"Ever since President Bush confirmed the existence of a National Security Administration wiretapping program in late 2005, he has insisted it is aimed only at terrorists’ calls and protects Americans’ civil liberties ("This is a limited program
designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America — and I repeat: limited.")....However, ABC News
reports [text with embedded video
] that the NSA frequently listened to and transcribed the private phone calls of Americans abroad....These conversations included those of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and American aid workers abroad, such as Doctors Without Borders."* [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Oct 9, 2008 -
Your Rights As A Photographer:
As most of us are no doubt aware, the right to take photographs in the United States is being challenged more than ever--people are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples have included photographing industrial plants, bridges
, buildings, trains,
and bus stations. Print and carry this pamphlet in your wallet, pocket, or camera bag to give you quick access to your rights and obligations concerning confrontations over photography. [via] [more inside]
posted by fandango_matt
on Nov 9, 2007 -
He once stopped a school bus on a busy interstate because he “needed a hug” from the kids inside. He’s been known to strap weapons to his chest and leg that he has no authority to carry or conceal, then wear them in public. He once bulldozed an elderly woman’s house, promising to build her a better one. He then forgot to build it. He recruited a team of kids to torch a row of dilapidated shotgun houses, without clearance or first turning off the utilities. Meet The Worst Mayor In America
posted by stupidsexyFlanders
on Oct 23, 2007 -
Buy Sudafed, have a chat with Officer Friendly.
Detective Brian Lewis returns to his desk after lunch, scanning e-mails he missed.
One catches his eye: It says a suspected member of a methamphetamine ring bought a box of Sudafed at 1:34 p.m. at a CVS pharmacy.
Minutes later, Lewis is in his truck, circling the parking lot, searching for the woman.
is one of the new computerized tracking systems that will notify police of your decongestant purchases. Buy too much, or buy if you're already a suspect, and you'll be getting a visit from the law. Uncomfortable? Better hold your nose - the next version of the software will match you against everyone on your street to see if your aggregate buying warrants investigation.
We've discussed the
before, but this level of tracking opens up a new can of worms. It seems a small step before you get this tautology:
Why do you care that she bought Sudafed?
Because she's a suspected meth ring member.
Why do you think she's in a meth ring?
Because she bought Sudafed, silly!
posted by bitmage
on Jul 19, 2007 -