Arizona’s Checkpoint Rebellion
Liberals, libertarians, retirees, and activists protest against immigration patrols far from the border.
DHS Checkpoint Refusals
Am I being detained? Am I free to go?
Here's a Youtube video
of people refusing to submit to questioning and searches by the Department of Homeland Security and California's produce checkpoints. [more inside]
Wired: DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border
[Source policy document
]. Americans may find it useful to note that the definition of 'border' includes up to 100 miles from the nearest actual international border line.
is a smartphone app
designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling.
By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition,
the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
"Since 9/11, the U.S. has spent more than $1.1 trillion on homeland security."
To walk through an airport with Bruce Schneier is to see how much change a trillion dollars can wreak. So much inconvenience for so little benefit at such a staggering cost. And directed against a threat that, by any objective standard, is quite modest.
"Without knowing what they ought to fear
, US citizens might otherwise fail to support profitable national security initiatives." - Malcolm P. Stag III, Secretary of Fear [more inside]
"Hello friends, my name is Tino. Do you like the drums? Great man! I love them!
" As CEO and principal artist, Tino launched [Tino Corp] the label with a series of instructional albums called Tino's Breaks, which teach a new style of drumming with each installment.
Straight from their factory
to you, six volumes of breaks, from mambo (YT)
and dub (YT)
, to hallowe'en music (YT)
and Christmas dubs (Grooveshark)
. [more inside]
Following a widely-reported incident in which TSA agents required a 95-year-old cancer patient to remove her adult diaper
for inspection before being allowed to board her flight
, TV pundit Keith Olbermann has designated TSA chief John Pistole the "Worst Person in the World" and called for his removal
. In other news, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) says it has obtained evidence that "the Department of Homeland Security has failed to properly evaluate the level of risk from airport body scanners.
" Documents obtained by EPIC via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that "even after TSA employees identified cancer clusters possibly linked to radiation exposure, the agency failed to issue employees dosimeters - safety devices that could assess the level of radiation exposure." (News report with video: TSA workers fear radiation dangers from scanners.
) EPIC says the documents also indicate that DHS "mischaracterized the findings of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, stating that NIST 'affirmed the safety' of full body scanners.". In a private email response (PDF link)
, NIST stated that the institute had not tested the safety of the scanners. And yesterday the Texas legislature approved
a watered-down version
of its TSA "anti-groping" bill. The Idaho legislature is also considering an anti-TSA-groping bill
. [more inside]
The Department of Homeland Security and Wal-Mart have announced a partnership to promote the recent "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign, which urges citizens to report
"suspicious activity." At select locations, a brief DHS video message will urge shoppers to "contact local law enforcement" if they see anything out of the ordinary. Over 230 stores began playing these short videos Monday
, with another 588 stores in 27 states to come on-board in the next few weeks. [more inside]
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."
the "security service"
that allowed travellers to bypass TSA security lines, offered a Father's Day discount
if you purchased a one-year membership by June 21. On June 23, Clear ceased operations.
Sorry, no refunds.
Remember Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Julie Myers
, the immigration chief who had some controversy
during her tenure and introduced “operation scheduled departure” where illegal immigrants would turn themselves in
and who’s organization was refered to (in so many words) as the gestapo
by (Dem) Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez?
Yeah, she resigned
. [more inside]
Sadfilter: The death of Danieal Kelly. Danieal was a 14-year-old Philadelphia girl, born with cerebral palsy, who was denied care and neglected by her mother until her death of starvation, thirst and bedsores, shut away in her bedroom from her siblings. What had social services done to help her? Nothing -- until she died
, and a scramble to falsify documents began. Nine people have now been indicted
on various charges relating to her death and its investigation, including two case workers. The sight of one of her autopsy photos led the then mayor, John Street, to fire the acting commissioner of the DHS. [more inside]
Heckuva Job DHS! 5 Years of Corporate Cronyism. CREW
and Brave New Foundation
have joined forces
to create this video and a report, Homeland Security for Sale
, documenting five years of waste, fraud and abuse at the Department of Homeland Security. [Via Think Progress.]
Rehearsing the next terror attack.
before 911, the government paid little attention to the role of media and public communications in its national exercises. In 2003, Ogilvy PR was asked by the Department of Homeland Security to develop and manage a full-scale, sophisticated media element
in support of TOPOFF 3
, its most comprehensive terrorism response exercise ever. The result was a simulated yet eerily realistic news broadcast via the Virtual News Network
. The TOPOFF 4
exercise is scheduled to take place October 15-19, 2007.
Behold the newest weapon for the Department of Homeland Security: the Puke-Light!
Last week, a woman at DC's Reagan Airport was detained
because of water in her son's sippy cup
. In an unusual step, the TSA has posted their own Mythbusters site
where they show the security footage and the official incident report. Here is BoingBoing's take on the video.
And a security/security technology blogger posts about the larger lesson that people readily side against the TSA "because there's no accountability or transparency in the DHS."
Gonzales pushes plan to criminalize copyright infringement,
making it punishable by life imprisonment; to increase wiretaps; and to require Homeland Security to notify the RIAA in certain circumstances. "To meet the global challenges of IP crime." I'd comment on this, but I'm afraid that someone might think I was copying someone else. The Intellectual Property Protection Act
(official press release
) appeared previously in a speech (2005)
and as a draft (2006)
- now the Justice department is pushing Congress to bring it forward. [newsfilter]
The House of Death
A DHS/DEA/DoJ/US Media coverup. Another victory in the War on Drugs?
When 12 bodies were found buried in the garden of a Mexican house, it seemed like a case of drug-linked killings. But the trail led to Washington and a cover-up that went right to the top.
Other online coverage
--Recognizing the imminent threat hippies and assorted leftists obviously pose to us all, a massive cyber terror simulation (international and involving 115 organizations) recently came to light: ...The attack scenario detailed in the presentation is a meticulously plotted parade of cyber horribles led by a "well financed" band of leftist radicals who object to U.S. imperialism, aided by sympathetic independent actors.
At the top of the pyramid is the Worldwide Anti-Globalization Alliance, which sets things off by calling for cyber sit-ins and denial-of-service attacks against U.S. interests. WAGA's radical arm, the villainous Black Hood Society, ratchets up the tension on day one by probing SCADA computerized control systems and military networks ...
Sexual Predators on the Internet:
Today we heard testimony about sexual exploitation of children on the Internet during a Congressional hearing
Tonight a Homeland Security official is held
for soliciting for a child on Internet.
Red State, Meet Police State
--take a big anti-Bush bumper sticker, some DHS cops, and an outspoken and educated federal employee. Put them in Boise, Idaho. Mix well. "It's the First Amendment for a reason--not the last, not the middle. The first."
National Information Exchange Model (NIEM)
Sometimes, its the unheralded steps, that take you most quickly to your destination.
On October 7, 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and their associated domains announced the first release of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Version 0.1. NIEM "establishes a single standard XML foundation for exchanging information between DHS, DOJ, and supporting domains, such as Justice, Emergency Management, and Intelligence."
The release of this specification, and the development of the systems that utilize it may actually be the cataylst for more 'progress' in information mining on the individual than most other, well publicized efforts.
NIEM Mission: "To assist in developing a unified strategy, partnerships, and technical implementations for national information sharing — laying the foundation for local, state, tribal, and federal interoperability by joining together communities of interest."
When you say it like that, it sounds sort of cool!
Private Mail--Not. ...Goodman, an 81-year-old retired University of Kansas history professor, received a letter from his friend in the Philippines that had been opened and resealed with a strip of dark green tape bearing the words “by Border Protection” and carrying the official Homeland Security seal. ...the agency can, will and does open mail coming to U.S. citizens that originates from a foreign country whenever it’s deemed necessary. ...
Live News Filter: Federal air marshal fires shots in jet bridge of American Airlines flight in Miami. NBC
New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
A very enlightening article for anyone needing a little refresher in geography.
New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure.
The United States historically has depended on the Mississippi and its tributaries for transport. Barges navigate the river. Ships go on the ocean. The barges must offload to the ships and vice versa. There must be a facility to empower this exchange... Without this port, the river can't be used. Protecting that port has been, from the time of the Louisiana Purchase, a fundamental national security issue for the United States.
Dept. of Homeland Security: Emergencies and Disasters
In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.
Clearly, we are in good hands.
Innovative Emergency Management
So this private company got the contract to develop the plan last year. The original release: the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Now all press releases regarding it have been pulled from their website
Alarming Article on Security Procedures
What is alarming is not necessarily that there is a "no-fly" list, or that we have security measures in response to a percieved terrorist threat. What's alarming is that there seems to be no accountabity or due process demanded from public officials. Without accountability, what's to stop public officials from acting arbitrarily, or for some political endeavor? (See the Plame case.)
Combined with the Right's seeming position that the president is above the law in prosecuting a war, U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 03-1027 (Rumsfield v. Padilla) and Case No. 03-6696 (Hamdi v. Rumsfield), (see also the recent DOJ position papers), and for the 1st time I am becoming nervous that America might devolve into something like a police state.
WSJ - "FedEx's newfound enthusiasm for a frontline role
in the war on terror shows how the relationship between business and government
has changed in the past few years. In some cases, these changes are blurring the division between private commerce and public law enforcement."
"FedEx... has granted customs inspectors access to the company's database of international shipments, which includes the name and address of a shipper, the package's origin and its final destination. The databases also include credit-card information and other payment details that the government is not entitled to solicit outside of a criminal investigation. "Our guys just love it," says one senior customs official overseeing inspections at international courier companies." [UPS
, nor even the USPS
will provide this much assistance to the DHS without a warrant.]
"Two years ago, after intense lobbying by FedEx
of the Tennessee state legislature, the company was permitted to create a 10-man, state-recognized police force
. FedEx police wear plain clothes and can investigate all types of crimes, request search warrants and make arrests on FedEx property."
Be afraid: The national threat-alert level today is yellow or "elevated
," with "significant risk of terrorist attacks," says the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the alert level has been elevated since December of 2003, when it was raised from orange. During the election season, the Fox News network flashed the terror alert level in their "crawl" as if there was breaking news -- the sort of thing that prompted some liberal wags
to ridicule the entire system. Now former DHS secretary Tom Ridge says that the Bush administration was "really aggressive" about raising the threat-alert level
during his tenure, even when the agency felt that the intelligence didn't warrant it.
Less than 60 percent of federal homeland-security funding sent to New York State this year has ended up in New York City.
New York’s elected officials often complain about the way the Department of Homeland Security distributes money. They repeat the finding that America spends more money per capita securing Wyoming than protecting New York State. Quietly, however, New York officials in both parties have created a local copy of Congress’ spending priorities, distributing money to places like remote Wyoming County.
For example, Ontario County (pop. 100,000) is purchasing a climate-controlled mobile command post, said Jeffrey Harloff, director of the county’s emergency-management office. Mr. Harloff will buy the vehicle with his share of the Department of Homeland Security’s main grant to the state. How will he use the command post? It depends on who’s asking.
"If it’s the federal government asking me, it is for the intended purpose of W.M.D. incidents and HazMat incidents," Mr. Harloff said. "In reality, we’re going to use it for everyday stuff in our office."
Seventh Bush cabinet member to resign since Election Day.
(National threat level remains at yellow.) Of course, the best part about being the second
Secretary of Homeland Security is, the only person they can compare you to is Tom Ridge. Meanwhile, any picks for the next security czar?
D.H.S. - The Series. "... a multimillion-dollar episodic series, will explore the inner workings of the Department of Homeland Security, teaming the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and National Security Administration (NSA) together with "first responders" such as local police, fire and safety administrators."
The series is being pitched to prospective networks today
and has the full support of President Bush and Tom Ridge. "They love it. They think it is fantastic," say the series' producers at Steeple Productions, located in the Seventh-Day Adventist
Community of Zillah, Washington
. Not familiar with Steeple Productions
? Well, perhaps you might find their four-episode "Creation Vs Evolution
" series enlightening.
The Last Stage of Delirium Research Group
(LSD-PLaNET) have posted code
on the Internet that can allow hackers to exploit a previously disclosed vulnerability
in Microsoft's Windows operating system. This kind of thing happens all the time. What never happened before is a widespread government and media panic
perpetuating the buffer overrun threat
as terroristic in nature, originating
from the Department of Homeland Security
and upsetting the gerneral public at large.
Southeast Airlines has plans to install digital video cameras
throughout the cabins of its planes to record the faces and activities of its passengers at all times. Furthermore, the charter airline will store the digitized video for up to 10 years. And it may use face recognition software to match faces to names and personal records.
Quoram busting Democrats tracked as terrorists.
Disagree with the majority Party, and Homeland Security
may like a word with you.
Muslim men have been asked to undergo "Special Registration"
, a Department of Homeland Security program in its early stages. Men who hail from 25 targeted countries are required to be fingerprinted, photographed, give up credit card and bank account numbers, and are then given a registration number. So far, 46 people have been arrested, but none for terrorist-related activities. Is this an acceptable security precaution or the first sign of history repeating itself
Homeland Security Threat Monitor
is a small Windows application that runs in your system tray, showing the current terrorism threat level. Features blinking notification of increased threat level! [via Small Values of Cool]
University City, Missouri stands up against homeland security
and gets reprimanded by a U.S. Attorney. A resolution passed by the city council to protect citizens' rights from being violated by city employees, including police, "puts all citizens at risk" and could result in "catastrophic loss of life," according to U.S. Attorney Ray Gruender.
The Skyline Terrorist Survival Kit.
Tom Ridge's suggested kit
may not be enough. How can you be prepared for a terrorist attack without a martini glass, a can of Ranch Style Beans and a copy of Red Dawn