Surveillance SocietiesPosted: November 3, 2009
by Sarah Meyer
Published: Oct. 31, 2009 – Index Research
In the name of “National Security“, one of the biggest lies is “making you safer .” This absurd promise applies to surveillance as well as to the reason for prisons, torture, rendition (kidnapping), etc. But “Making you safer” is really about making money for corporations.
2. OBAMA’S AFPAK WARS
5. AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND
8. EU: UK, GERMANY, FRANCE, IRELAND
13. LATIN AMERICA: Brazil; Colombia, Honduras, Peru
15. SURVEILLANCE COMPANIES
Research does not include either marine surveillance, medically-related surveillance and only little of the expensive drone surveillance in the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan,
HENRY PORTER, much respected columnist for the Observer, was the main inspiration for this research on surveillance. Porter has had an impressive career, which includes being the London editor of Vanity Fair.
Porter has recently published his superb novel, The Dying Light , which has ten 5* reviews on Amazon.co.uk. The book is also No. 1 on the ‘spy stories’ best seller list. This book is cheaper to buy on amazon.co.uk than on the US amazon website.
Porter writes: “Spy fiction used to explore the murky no man’s land between rival superpowers, but now the threat to freedom lurks far closer to home..”
In the name of “National Security”, one of the biggest lies is “making you safer .” This absurd promise applies to surveillance as well as to the reason for prisons, torture, rendition (kidnapping),, etc. But “Making you safer” is really about making money for corporations.
An article in The American Chronicle says: ”The governments of the major countries have put stimulus packages in place to aid industry in an effort to maintain employment, encourage apprenticeships and training and support the ongoing research and development that is necessary for growth.”
Surveillance is especially important in making fortunes for the US military-industrial complex on the backs of taxpayers.
Surveillance supports governmental ‘fear-mongering.’ Fear mongering, governments hope, will stop protests.
The UK surveillance system mirrors the present US Martial Law buildup, now with the excuse of H1N1 swine flu.
“The failure to be free is always the result of inner cowardice and passivity, of lack of determination in the assertion of your will in accordance with the voice of conscience.” Sculpting in Time , Andrei Tarkovsky 1986, (p. 237)
“Many theorists see Sicily’s history of banditry interwoven with that of the Mafia as a kind of continuing resistance to foreign occupations – six in all – which never permitted the creation of a stable state. … Since the state offered no protection, it fell to the individual to do what he could to defend himself, and his best recourse was to join forces with other victims of oppression in the organisation of underground action. Thus, according to the theory, the Mafia was born.” Norman Lewes, The Happy Ant Heap
Testing Afghanistan Assumptions
28.09.09. John Kerry, wsj. Some have argued that counterterrorism commandos and sophisticated surveillance might be effective at targeting al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
UK-style surveillance state spreads to Afghanistan
01.10.09. wired. The relative helplessness of soldiers in Afghanistan could soon end. In the next few months, a surprisingly unwarlike piece of kit inspired by the CCTV cameras that have proliferated in British cities and beyond, might tip the odds in favour of successful coalition counter-strikes, while reducing further the risk to civilians. That, in turn, could help turn the tide against the Taliban in embattled provinces such as Wardak. / Cameras, infrared sensors and miniature radars, mounted in clusters to 30-metre towers or dangled from a 15-metre-long aerostat blimp, are giving more and more coalition troops such a precise view of Taliban shooters that coalition artillery and mortar crews will be cleared to fire back more often, confident that they won’t hit civilians. / … Officially called the “Base Expeditionary Targeting and Surveillance Sensors-Combined,” but usually referred to as the “Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment” (RAID), the elevated sensor system is central to the strategy of the British, American, Canadian and Dutch forces in Afghanistan. / Surveillance technology just might help win the Afghanistan war for the coalition, but it would be a victory at a high price. Just as the spread of security cameras in the UK has alarmed civil rights advocates and the many everyday citizens caught in their unblinking gaze, the expanding Afghan surveillance state buys security at the price of the very freedoms the coalition is trying to bring to Afghanistan.
Battle of Wanat – Inside the Ambush
05.10.09. CBS. They also fired [ illegal ] white phospherous artillery at what they believed was a Taliban campfire. The rounds which were never intended to be used against personnel. They were supposed to be protecting the population but according to the report the people “whose homes were being leveled and . . . Neighborhoods . . . turned into battlefields .. / Saw no . . . Improvement in their lives and no real evidence of security.” Despite signs of an impending attack, unmanned surveillance drones which had been watching over the platoon were diverted to a higher priority mission. . . . For more on Wanat, see here.
Attack of the Drones
21.10.09. Priya Satia, The Nation. “Attack of the Drones,” a homage to the lesser of the Star Wars trilogies, is the headline of choice in reports on the One Good Thing to come out of the “war on terror”: very cool gadgets. With the media stoking laddish pleasure in “weapons porn” (Newsweek’s phrase), we might be forgiven for forgetting that this “greatest, weirdest, coolest hardware in the American arsenal” has neither brought the war to a swifter end nor enabled the capture of archenemy Osama bin Laden. / Indeed, behind the glittering mirage of news about the technological wizardry of drones and the giddy success of manufacturers from California to Karachi lies a chilling void of information about their use.
Israel drones to be used by Germany in Afghanistan
28.10.09. AP. Israel Aerospace Industries said Wednesday it would supply unmanned spy planes to Germany that will see action in Afghanistan early next year. / .. It would not reveal how many drones were sold or for how much but said it was a multimillion dollar deal.
Nimrod crash review: MoD put budget targets ahead of safety (29.10.09. Telegraph)
Obama signs bills for record Pentagon, Homeland Security spending
30.10.09. WSWS. US President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing the largest ever military budget, a gargantuan $680 billion for the Pentagon, including $130 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Thursday, he signed a spending bill funneling another $44 billion into the Department of Homeland Security, to strengthen the apparatus of state repression within the United States. / The back-to-back bill signings are a clear demonstration that Obama is extending and intensifying the program of militarism and attacks on democratic rights for which the Bush administration was deservedly hated, in the United States and worldwide.
NATO forces turn to warlords
31.10.09. Gareth Porter, Asia Times. … United States and other NATO military contingents operating in the provinces of Afghanistan’s predominantly Pashtun south and east have been hiring private militias controlled by Afghan warlords, according to these sources, to provide security for their forward operating bases, other bases and to guard convoys./ General Stanley McChrystal, the US’s chief in Afghanistan, has acknowledged that US and NATO ties with warlords have been a cause of popular Afghan alienation from foreign military forces. But the policy is not likely to be reversed anytime soon, because US and NATO officials still have no alternative to the security services the warlords provide.
Attack of the Obama drones: covering up the grisly facts
21.10.09. Stop the War. Drone surveillance is fast becoming the excuse for an extended American presence over Iraq and Afghanistan. But the US military’s certainty of the drones’ effectiveness is difficult to take on trust, when it neither counts nor identifies those killed. Related: ‘US Drone Attacks May Break International Law’ (28.10.09. AFP / ICH) US drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be breaking international laws against summary executions, the UN’s top investigator of such crimes said Tuesday. / ‘”You have the really problematic bottom line that the CIA is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws,’ Alston said.
U.S. Military Providing Surveillance Video
23.10.09. post chronicle. The South Waziristan campaign , which began a week ago, is designed to root out the Taliban, al-Qaida and other terror groups [protestors] suspected of using the tribal region as a sanctuary to launch attacks including across the border in Afghanistan against U.S. and NATO forces. / The Times report said the help [sic] strengthens Pakistan’s intelligence gathering and points to how the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama wants to deal with the insurgency in Pakistan [3rd US war] as part of its overall Afghan war strategy [2nd US war] / .. The current use of military drones for intelligence gathering is different from the Predator attacks carried out by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the Times said.
U.S. Speeds Aid to Pakistan to Fight Taliban
28.10.09 E. Schmitt, NY Times. Even as the Pakistani government plays down the American role in its military operations in Taliban-controlled areas along the border with Afghanistan, the United States has quietly rushed hundreds of millions of dollars in arms, equipment and sophisticated sensors to Pakistani forces in recent months, said senior American and Pakistani officials. / … President Obama personally intervened at the request of Pakistan’s top army general to speed the delivery of 10 Mi-17 troop transport helicopters. Senior Pentagon officials have also hurried spare parts for Cobra helicopter gunships, night vision goggles, body armor and eavesdropping equipment to the fight. / American military surveillance drones are feeding video images and target information to Pakistani ground commanders, and the Pentagon has quietly provided the Pakistani Air Force with high-resolution, infrared sensors for F-16 warplanes, which Pakistan is using to guide bomb attacks on militants’ strongholds in South Waziristan
Study: Ethiopia only sub-Sahara Africa nation to filter Net
08.10.09. infoworld. Though various African countries monitor and restrict Internet access in some way, Ethiopia is the only country with a technical filtering regime in the sub-Saharan region, according to a report by OpenNet Initiative, a collaborative partnership between Harvard, Toronto, Cambridge and Oxford universities.
US drones join Africa piracy fight (21.10.09. rocket news)
AFRICOM: Just another Western tool of de facto colonization
23.10.09. Rick Rozoff, media monitors. “The campaign to subjugate an entire continent with its more than one billion inhabitants to Western military and economic demands is an integral and milestone component of broader designs around the world.
US sends drones to monitor east African pirates
24.10.09. AP / news 4 u. US military surveillance drones are patrolling off Somalia’s coast for the first time in hopes of stemming a rising piracy trade.
Human Rights, media groups deplore abuse in Tunisia ahead of presidential election (24.10.09. Canadian press.)
Assaults on journalists in Tunisia must be punished
30.10.09. Amnesty Int. … Amnesty International said that the targeting of these journalists, all known critics of the Ben Ali’s government, reflects a wider and long standing pattern in which critics of the government, and human rights activists, are routinely subjected to oppressive police surveillance, threats and intimidation by security officials or people in plain clothes believed to be acting on their behalf.
Potential for Conflict in a Melting Arctic
30.09.09. J. Malone, moderate voice. The U.S. Geological Survey now estimates that the offshore Arctic contains over 400 billion barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent, and that estimate assumes existing oil and gas technologies – advances in exploration and drilling techniques could bump up that number significantly. / Retreating sea ice is opening new lanes, which means more tonnage through the Arctic, which in turn means more need for military patrols and monitoring. Ottawa is apparently already budgeting for drone aircraft earmarked for Arctic surveillance.
SA Police cars fitted with mobile surveillance cameras
23.09.09. news.com.au. NEW mobile police surveillance cameras which automatically read number plates have become operational, SA Police have announced.
CCTV van to patrol CBD
12.10.09. ABC. The council says the system could cost about $100,000 a year.
Billionaire arrested over $22m insider trading scam
18.10.09. David Glovin, David Scheer, Bob Van Voris, Brisbane times. Electronic surveillance snares six Wall Street high-flyers.
NZ: Telecom blows whistle on Search and Surveillance Bill (30.10.09. Pogo was right)
DIA picks Canadian company for massive surveillance upgrade at airport (30.09.09. diaconspiracy files.)
March Networks Ranked as One of 50 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies in Canada (02.10.09. pr newswire)
Olympic industry greenwashing concerns activists
03.10.09. Columbia valley news. The Council of Canadians is committed to working with activists who are highlighting the negative aspects of the 2010 Games, especially the fact they are being held on unceded First Nations territories and are providing mining, resort, real estate and energy developers with opportunities to continue expansion of projects on indigenous territories throughout the province. / As well, we are concerned that the civil liberties of local communities and those who have a critique of the Games are being undermined by an unnecessary security presence. The security budget for the games has ballooned to $1 billion, while security and law enforcement agencies have identified protest groups as the most significant threat to the Games.
Battening Down the Hatches: Secret State Monitors Protest, Represses Dissent
11.10.09. pacific free press. As social networking becomes a dominant feature of daily life, the secret state is increasingly surveilling electronic media for what it euphemistically calls “actionable intelligence.” Take the case of Elliot Madison. …
Police State Canada 2010 and the Dark Side of the Olympics
12.10.09. Dana Gabriel, infowars. The 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, from February 12-28. It will be the largest security operation in Canadian history. Military planners will undoubtedly use it as a template for securing future high profile events. Canadian security officials continue to work closely with their American counterparts in preparation for the test that the Games will pose to the security of its shared border.
Harper government refuses to expand information, privacy laws (15.10.09. Canadian press)
Ottawa won’t budge on secrecy laws
16.10.09. the star. Privacy experts have warned that Canada’s outdated Privacy Act does not cover modern technologies, such as surveillance cameras and DNA samples from suspects.
Canada: Privacy Commissioner Concerned Over License Plate Spying (18.10.09. the newspaper)
IP Cameras Are the Next Growth Area in China’s Video Surveillance Equipment Market (04.08. research and markets)
Taxi GPS devices raise surveillance concern
27.09.09. news.alibaba. Sui went on to explain that the government has equipped cabs with Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in order to “protect the safety of the drivers and to collect traffic flow information for traffic management departments.”
Human rights concerns ahead of China’s 60th anniversary
29.09.09. in the news. Amnesty International has claimed authorities have increased surveillance, harassment and imprisonment of activists in an attempt to prevent them from raising human rights concerns during the apparent displays of “social harmony”.
Show of force for China anniversary 01.10.09. al jazeera)
Beijing Prepares for CIDEX 2008
03.10.09. minnick defense news. The China Defence Electronics Application Forum will include sessions on remote sensing, radar, guidance techniques, electronic information, electronic intelligence, electronic surveillance measures and communication encryption technologies.
Global Sources opens its largest-ever electronics trade shows with over 3,000 booths
12.10.09. Reuters. Global Sources’ Executive Director, Sarah Benecke, said: “Smart suppliers have realized that as the global economy starts to improve, they need to increase their marketing efforts to win orders and meet new buyers.
The People’s Republic at 60
14.10.09. weekly standard. After over four months of laborious dawn to dusk practicing, several dress-rehearsal run-throughs, and endless planning, the October 1 National Day parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Peoples’ Republic came off without a hitch. The fact that there were no glitches or major faux pas comes as no surprise because China is the land of no surprises. This is the land where the Communist Party’s legions of secret police, informants, security services, hidden microphones, video surveillance networks–aided by thousands of “patriotic volunteers”–are placed about in overwhelming numbers to make sure that someone planning something off-color (even if only in their dreams) never even gets to first base.
Let China’s “Big Brother” Program Make You Rich
23.10.09. howe street. This industrial hub [in Shenzhen] is not only home to millions of residents — it’s also teeming with high-tech surveillance equipment. As part of a project that began a couple of years before the Beijing Olympic Games, the government installed about 200,000 surveillance cameras throughout the city, according to journalist Naomi Klein./ Right now, the Chinese government is in the midst of a massive security overhaul. When the dust clears, the sprawling city of Shenzhen will contain more than 2 million closed-circuit television cameras. That’s double the number of cameras lining the streets and shops of London.
US urges China military dialogue
28.10.09. BBC. China has also criticised US surveillance of waters off Chinese coast.
China Moves to Repair Fire-Damaged TV Building (30.10.09. online wsj)
US calls for transparency by Chinese military in Asia-Pacific
31.10.09. news for u. n March, a US surveillance ship, the Impeccable, was surrounded by Chinese vessels in the South China Sea, with Beijing saying the Impeccable was conducting “activities in China’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea without China’s permission.”
European Security and Defence Policy. “Europe has never been so prosperous, so secure nor so free”. Its conclusion is that “The world is full of new dangers and opportunities”.
In modern combat, technology has become a weapon that is increasingly being investigated and deployed, often utilising methods and systems developed for the commercial market.. American Chronicle
‘Project Indect’: An A.I. to police all of Europe
20.09.09. Raw Story. The European Union is spending tens of millions of euros on an artificial intelligence system known as “Project Indect,” which would draw from multiple data sources, namely public surveillance cameras, in order to detect “threats” and recognize “abnormal behavior” across the whole continent. / According to the project’s Web site, once completed, Project Indect would even be able to track vehicles as a type of support network for EU police officers. / Perhaps more chilling, the project promises “continuous monitoring” of “web sites, discussion forums, usenet groups, file servers, p2p networks [and] individual computer systems”.
EU Plans Massive Surveillance Panopticon That Would Monitor “Abnormal Behavior”
21.09.09. Paul J. Watson, Prison Planet. The European Union is developing a 21st century panopticon, a beast surveillance system that critics describe as “Orwellian,” “sinister,” and “positively chilling,” that would collate data from numerous sources, including surveillance cameras and personal computers, in order to detect “abnormal behavior” across the entire continent. /In a broader sense, this is part of the move towards creating a pan-European federal police force, where information and powers are shared as part of a centralized system. It is also a giant step towards the creation of a European CIA tasked not with keeping tabs on foreign enemies, but spying on its own population. See also: EU funding ‘Orwellian’ artificial intelligence plan to monitor public for “abnormal behaviour” (23.09.09. Telegraph)
Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a “sinister step” for any country, adding that it was “positively chilling” on a European scale.
Superior Security Systems Boost the Seaport Security Markets in EU-Accession States Says Frost & Sullivan
22.09.09. news wire today. … the market earned revenues of over $27 million in 2008 and estimates it to reach $188 million by 2016. The application segments covered in this research service are perimeter security and intrusion detection systems, surveillance systems, and biometric and access control systems.
EU President Barroso: Europe will push its values at G-20 summit
23.09.09. CS monitor. This “new globalization” requires global governance, based on universal human values and reflecting the reality of economic interdependence.
EU Security-Industrial Complex
27.09.09. Surveillance Studies. It is not just a case of „sleepwalking into” or „waking up to” a „surveillance society”, as the UK’s Information Commissioner famously warned, it feels more like turning a blind eye to the start of a new kind of arms race, one in which all the weapons are pointing inwards.
EU defense ministers to meet in Göteborg
28.09.09. English people. EU defense ministers will meet in Göteborg on Monday to discuss European security and defense policies and coordinate stances so that the EU can be a global actor. / … As the EU presidency, Sweden will spread its integrated maritime surveillance techniques in dealing with shipping safety.
Big business and security
08.09.09. B. Hayes, Guardian. In its haste to cash-in on the security boom, the EU has outsourced its research agenda to corporate self-interest. The European security research programme (ESRP) has a €1.4bn EU budget and its twin objectives are to enhance European security and foster the growth of a globally competitive security industry in Europe. / It has created bodies outside the formal structure of the EU, beyond parliamentary scrutiny and democratic control. The result is a public research programme designed by lobbyists, for lobbyists, with corporations invited to shape the objectives and annual priorities, and then apply for the money on offer. / … Of 85 EU security research contracts awarded to the end of 2008 – worth some €210m – 40 projects (47%) were led by companies that primarily service the defence sector.
Defence industry dominates EU’s security research programme
30.09.09. annarky’s blog. The NeoConOpticon report, released today by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Statewatch, reveals the extent to which Europe’s largest defence and IT contractors are benefitting from a €1.4 billion EU “security research” programme that has the explicit aim of fostering a European Homeland Security industry to compete globally with the USA in a fast growing market. / “The whole process appears to have been designed by lobbyists, for lobbyists“, says Ben Hayes, TNI associate and author of the report. “In its desire to increase ‘industrial competitiveness’, the EU has effectively outsourced the design of the security research agenda to the some of the corporations that have the most to gain from its implementation”.
EU embryonic Home Office set up in secret talks under Lisbon Treaty
04.10.09. Telegraph. Under the plans, the scope of information available to law enforcement agencies and “public security organisations” would be extended from the sharing of DNA and fingerprint databases, kept and stored for new digital generation ID cards, to include CCTV footage and material gathered from internet surveillance. / Cosi will coordinate policy between national forces and EU organisations such as Europol, the Frontex borders agency, the European Gendarmerie Force and the Brussels intelligence sharing Joint Situation Centre, under measures known as the “Stockholm programme”. It will sharply step up collaboration among member states’ police forces.
What do you know about the EU “Stockholm Programme”
07.10.09. wise up journal. On the 6th October 2009 the EU Commission produced a 35 page document for the EU Parliament and the Council, called the “Stockholm Programme” that could more accurately be called the “Stockholm Syndrome”. / Despite the language used throughout the whole document appearing to care and respect people’s rights, it is the complete opposite, designed to hide the clear fact that it is about harmonising / standardising laws/cultures and people themselves. / It is a draft blueprint of the elite’s vision of how the EU should be run and how they should control nearly every aspect of our lives, which a article from the Telegraph on this issue shows. / The European Union is stepping up efforts to build an enhanced pan-European system of security and surveillance which critics have described as “dangerously authoritarian”. / Civil liberties groups say the proposals would create an EU ID card register, internet surveillance systems, satellite surveillance, automated exit-entry border systems operated by machines reading biometrics and risk profiling systems.
EU signs up new cyber-security boss
16.10.09. the inquirer. THE EUROPEAN UNION has appointed Dr Udo Helmbrecht as the executive director of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).
EU BOOSTS SEA SURVEILLANCE, MIGRANTS IN SPOTLIGHT (16.10.09. chronicle.gi.)
BRUSSELS IS ‘PLOTTING A SPY STATE’
25.10.09. Sunday express. A CHILLING report warns Britons will be powerless to prevent a super-surveillance state in Brussels once the Lisbon Treaty is ratified. / .. The study, due to be published this week, raises the spectre of a Europe getting its own secret service and storing data on millions of citizens./ Following the “yes” vote in the Irish referendum, only the Czech Republic stands in the way of full ratification.
|War Criminal Blair
Is Tony Blair the right man to be president of Europe?
25.10.09. Charles Grant and Henry Porter, Observer. Yes, says Charles Grant. His presence would improve the global credibility of the EU. No, says Henry Porter. He co-authored the Iraq war and is not a convinced democrat.BUT. Hope exists after all?
Tony Blair’s bid for EU presidency sinks
30.10.09. Guardian. Ex-PM’s chances of winning role slide as Sarkozy and Merkel fail to back himBLAIR: War Crime Pays
31.10.09. Daily Mail / Peoples Voice. Inside the shadowy (and very lucrative) world of Blair Inc: How the ex-PM has become a one-man multinational money-making machine. At a conservative estimate, he has made £15million from his commercial activities since stepping down as prime minister in 2007, and there is every sign that his earning capacity is increasing. He remains in demand as a £100,000-a-time international speaker, he has contracts to provide advice with several banking institutions, he is writing his memoirs, and he has established Tony Blair Associates (TBA) to provide advice to foreign governments for money. WikiPedia: Impeach Blair campaign. Brussells Tribunal: LEGAL CASE FILED AGAINST FOUR US PRESIDENTS AND FOUR UK PRIME MINISTERS FOR WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND GENOCIDE IN IRAQ.
London threatened with EU court action
29.10.09. europolitics (extract). The United Kingdom does not always provide sufficient protection for its internet users and could face action before the EU Court of Justice if it fails to comply with EU rules guaranteeing the confidentiality of electronic communications.
EU goes to next stage in privacy action against Britain
30.10.09. Guardian. UK government gets a final warning on claims that its laws don’t protect Britons from ad targeting companies such as Phorm. … / the EU Commission has also sent letters of formal notice, the first stage of the infringement procedure, to Romania, Poland and Germany.
VIDEO: Britain is ‘surveillance society’ (2008)
Waiter, there’s a spy in my soup
20.09.09. Observer. Last week, I went out with some friends after a party. We ended up in a restaurant in Marsham Street, central London, the heart of surveillance land. / … Our party of 10 sat down and ordered. I looked round and saw that our table was being watched by three cameras. / There is almost nothing that annoys me more than this kind of pointless blanket surveillance which paying customers are told is for their protection.
UK Billboards Equipped with License Plate Spy Cameras (22.09.09. the newspaper)
“Intelligent” Pre-Crime Surveillance Cameras Coming Within Five Years
23.09.09. Steve Watson, Prison Planet. Surveillance cameras that can identify suspicious individuals and prevent crimes before they take place could be rolled out all over the UK within the next five years scientists have claimed. The program, named ISIS (Integrated Sensor Information System), presumably after the Pagan Goddess, is in development at Queen’s University Belfast. See also Artificially Intelligent CCTV could prevent crimes before they happen (23.09.09. Telegraph)
All UK Dogs to be Microchipped
27.09.09. Britannia radio. ‘Even dogs cannot escape the surveillance state. Under plans to be put forward by both Labour and the Conservatives at the next election, all dogs will have to be fitted with a microchip with their owner’s name, address and phone number. / In addition, a national database will hold details of all dogs in the country, including their breed, age and health. Owners who fail to insert a microchip containing a unique barcode will face a fine and possibly the right to keep their dog.’ [cats next?]
Drivers’ details sold by DVLA are used in bizarre roadside adverts for Castrol (27.09.09. Daily Mail)
Wanted in UK: Women 007s who can drive, read maps
28.09.09. Times of India. British security agency MI5 is urging women to apply for £25,000 per year mobile surveillance officer roles. / The unusual step comes at a time when the security services are suggested to be desperately short of women to carry out surveillance operations on the 2,000 terror suspects, being monitored up and down the country.
The UK is now a surveillance society
29.09.09. Ken Craggs, Online Journal. Next month, local authorities (councils) in the UK will again be giving details about citizens to the Audit Commission. Personal details are handed over if a citizen pays Council Tax, claims Housing Benefit, lives in a council’s property, is disabled and has a travel pass, residents’ parking permit, or a blue badge; has a licence for market trading, market operating, taxi driving or a personal licence to sell alcohol. / The Audit Commission then crosschecks the information with information that other public bodies have about citizens. These public bodies include the National Health Service, other local authorities, government departments, Age Concern, Council of Mortgage Lenders, National Association of Pension Funds, Trades Union Congress (TUC), UNISON, Passenger Transport Authorities, Police Authorities, Fire and Rescue Authorities, National Park Authorities, Waste Authorities, and non-government organisations, such as pension schemes and housing associations.
Gordon Brown’s sleight of hand on ID cards
29.09.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. So the full energy of this disastrously wasteful and intrusive policy remains in tact. Gordon Brown’s announcement that a reduction in the amount of personal detail required for ID cards and passports will mean that people’s civil liberties are being respected is obvious nonsense.
Call for Papers: 4th Surveillance & Society Conference, 2010 (30.09.09. April 13-15 2010)
Surveillance state ‘a good thing’
30.09.09. BBC. “The surveillance state is in many circumstances a jolly good thing,” an adviser to the NHS has told a fringe meeting at the Labour Conference.
Internet game that awards points for people spotting real crimes on CCTV is branded ‘snooper’s paradise’
05.10.09. Daily Mail. The ‘Internet Eyes’ service involves players scouring thousands of CCTV cameras installed in shops, businesses and town centres across Britain looking for law-breakers. Players who help catch the most criminals each month will win cash prizes up to £1,000.
CCTV to be trialled in A&E departments
08.10.09. nursing times. The Welsh Assembly has announced that the use of CCTV cameras are to be piloted at four A&E departments from December.
Big Brother culture attacked by country’s top barrister
08.10.09. C. Hope, Telegraph. The ‘Big Brother’ culture is on the march across Britain, allowing the state to snoop on phone calls, emails and even walking the dog, the country’s top barrister, Desmond Browne QC, has warned.
Smart meters could be ‘spy in the home’ (11.10.09. Telegraph)
One CCTV camera in Harrow nets the Council over £1m a year (12.10.09. labour matters)
Intelligent CCTV system
12.10.09. the engineer. Threatening behaviour on buses could soon be tracked and confronted by remote security analysts to protect the public from assaults and other criminal activity. / This is the hope of researchers at Queen’s University Belfast who are developing intelligent software to recognise anti-social behaviour from real-time CCTV feeds.
Soaring CCTV cameras ‘are costly, futile and politically motivated’
13.10.09. Lindsay McIntosh, Times Online. CCTV fails to cut crime and the technology needs to be curbed in Scotland, where the number of cameras has almost doubled in the past six years, a leading academic has said. / Mike Press, who has spent the past decade studying how design can contribute to crime reduction, told The Times that the expensive policy is politically motivated and ineffectual. He also warned that it can have the opposite effect of that intended, by giving citizens a false sense of security and encouraging them to be careless with property and personal safety. / “We should, as a society, question why we have got it,” said the professor of design policy at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. “Our civil liberties have been crushed and trampled upon and compressed and this is part of that. We have yet to see it have any positive impact. I think we should have a moratorium on it.”/ …His comments come after figures, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that there are now 2,235 public CCTV cameras and mobile camera vans in Scotland, compared with 1,269 in 2003. / … Professor Press believes that much of the increase is driven by the marketing efforts of security companies who promote the crime-reducing benefits of their products. He described it as a “lazy approach to crime prevention” and authorities should instead be focusing on how to alter the environment to reduce offending. / .. An average camera costs £25,000 to build, while a purpose-built portable unit is £80,000. Scottish councils and police are said to have spent more than £4 million on CCTV in the past three years.
A David for this surveillance Goliath?
13.10.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. I have to concede that there is some sign that David Cameron has taken on board the arguments being made here and elsewhere. In a part of his conference speech that was not well covered he said: “To be British is to be sceptical of authority and the powers-that-be. That’s why ID cards, 42 days and Labour’s surveillance state are so utterly unacceptable, and why we will sweep the whole rotten edifice away.”/ Apart from a speech he made in the House of Commons about 42 days, this is the third time he has gone on record about liberty and privacy, which is important and signals that a change of government will at least stop some of the worst excesses of the executive. But much more is needed. / the opposition needs to map the database state, possibly by drawing on the report done by Professor Ross Anderson and Phil Booth of NO2ID for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. / This found that the United Kingdom had become has become the “most invasive surveillance state, and the worst at protecting privacy, of any western democracy”. It concluded that a quarter of public sector databases are either disproportionate, run without consent, have no legal basis, or have major privacy or operational problems. …
UK: Airport passengers to have ‘naked’ photos taken by full-body X-ray machine
13.10.09. daily mail / ICH. The full body scanner, being trialled at Manchester Airport, will also show up any breast enlargements, false limbs, piercings, and a clear outline of passengers’ private parts.
British Legion fury at ‘eyesore’ CCTV camera
14.10.09. hounslow chronicle. Members of Heston Royal British Legion have expressed their ‘disgust’ after council chiefs put up a CCTV camera beside the war memorial without any consultation.
The pocket spy: Will your smartphone rat you out? (14.10.09. new scientist)
Pigs subvert surveillance
15.10.09. David, ubisurv. apparently pigs in several locations have independently learnt how to get round this surveillance system. Some pigs hate the collars so much that they rip them off. These pigs then don’t get to eat of course, but other pigs have learnt that if they pick up the collars they can go through the gate a second time – and they have even taught other pigs how to this… see VIDEO
Government anti-terrorism strategy ‘spies’ on innocent
16.10.09. Vikram Dodd, Guardian. The government programme aimed at preventing Muslims from being lured into violent extremism is being used to gather intelligence about innocent people who are not suspected of involvement in terrorism, the Guardian has learned. / The information the authorities are trying to find out includes political and religious views, information on mental health, sexual activity and associates, and other sensitive information, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Other documents reveal that the intelligence and information can be stored until the people concerned reach the age of 100. / Tonight Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, branded it the biggest spying programme in Britain in modern times and an affront to civil liberties. / The government and police have repeatedly denied that the £140m programme [Preventing Violent Extremism] is a cover for spying on Muslims in Britain. VIDEO.
CCTV ‘won’t help catch the criminals’” (- 09, burton mail)
Cameras in the Classrooms
19.10.09. Fox news. Nearly 100 schools in the UK have signed up to in-class surveillance efforts using high definition cameras, mikes, and recorders. / … As for the US, officials at the Chicago national headquarters of the PTA tell us they are not aware of any widespread use of cameras in classrooms, but if the demand is there, Big Brother could come to American schools too!
New website launches for IP surveillance network solutions (21.10.09, pandct. 57 pg. booklet)
Art and the surveillance society
21.10.09. Guy Aitchison, open democracy. The UK’s surveillance society has been the target of some fantastic satirical artwork, most famously by Banksy whose wonderful “One Nation Under CCTV” piece adorns a wall above a Post Office near Oxford Circus. Now, over at Guidespot, Jay Ferris has put together a great collection of CCTV-themed pieces.
Spying at $630 per minute
21.10.09. Kipp report. Around $630 a minute, amounting to $330 million per year will be spent on public surveillance in the UK, according to a report in The Daily Mail. Officials in the country will have access to details of every click made by every citizen on the internet. According to the report, the amount indicates a 1,700 percent increase on the cost of the current surveillance program in the UK. / The “snooping actions” carried out by the police and government department has increased by 44 percent in two years, the report says.
Anger over Risborough CCTV costs (25.10.09. bucks free press)
Secret files reveal covert network run by nuclear police
20.10.09. Rob Evans, Guardian. • Industry-funded force uses moles and surveillance; • Strategic aims include tackling ‘public disquiet’. The nuclear industry will pay £57m this year to finance the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC). The funding comes from the companies which run 17 nuclear plants, including Dounreay in Caithness, Sellafield in Cumbria and Dungeness in Kent. / … The force is expected to expand as the government presses ahead with plans for a new generation of nuclear plants, which are likely to attract protests. / … Rose, the chief surveillance commissioner, noted last year: “The strategic aims of the constabulary remain on the threat from terrorism and public disquiet over nuclear matters, including demonstrations/protests and criminal offences towards nuclear movements/installations.” / The force keeps secret the extent of its clandestine surveillance operations on protesters and others. It has been collecting more intelligence in recent years./ .. He (Rose) says he has been told during inspections that “senior officers regard covert surveillance as a long-term requirement”
Ever-Present Surveillance Rankles the British Public
24.10.09. NY Times. A report in 2007 by the lobbying group Privacy International placed Britain in the bottom five countries for its record on privacy and surveillance, on a par with Singapore.
Police in £9m scheme to log ‘domestic extremists’
25.10.09. Paul Lewis, Rob Evans, Matthew Taylor, Guardian. Police are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases. / The hidden apparatus has been constructed to monitor “domestic extremists”, the Guardian can reveal in the first of a three-day series into the policing of protests. Detailed information about the political activities of campaigners is being stored on a number of overlapping IT systems, even if they have not committed a crime.
Report: UK police categorize political activists as ‘domestic extremists’
25.10.09. Raw Story. British police inspectors have been building a massive, secret database containing personal information on thousands of otherwise innocent political activists, an investigative report revealed Sunday.
How police rebranded lawful protest as ‘domestic extremism’
25.10.09. Rob Evans, Paul Lewis, Matthew Taylor, Guardian. The term “domestic extremism” is now common currency within the police. / … Police insist they are just monitoring the minority who could damage property or commit aggravated trespass, causing significant disruption to lawful businesses. Activists respond by claiming this is an excuse that gives police the licence to carry out widespread surveillance of whole organisations that are a legitimate part of the democratic process.
Campaigner uncovers police files for £10 and a letter (25.10.09. Rob Evans, Paul Lewis, Guardian)
Doth I protest too much?
25.10.09. Mark Thomas, Guardian. When police admit you could be put on a secret database for being at a demo, it’s time to worry
The breakdown of free society
26.10.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. The shocking Guardian report into the surveillance operations run by the police National Public Order Intelligence Unit makes it clear that the right of free protest in Britain now hangs in the balance, and that the very expression of opinion and attendance at meetings is enough for an individual to be categorised as an enemy of society. / Anyone now who feels strongly about climate change or the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is now liable to be labelled a “domestic extremist” to be photographed and monitored and to be subject to automatic tracking by the number plate recognition system. There are few stories that capture the parlous state of Britain’s democracy like this one, and I suggest none that portray the government’s institutionalised contempt for rights and its casual attitude to unfettered growth of police powers./ The outrage that will be expressed in the wake of the investigation by Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Matthew Taylor, which is to run over the next two days, will mean nothing unless we manage to change attitudes across the board. We now live in a society whose values and instincts have been so skewed by Labour’s corrosive rule that it is possible in one week to watch the leader of a fascist organisation promoting his cause on BBC TV – and the next to learn that legitimate protesters with mainstream views are regarded as “domestic extremists” and harried by the police using anti-terror laws when their cars pass through the field of automatic number plate recognition cameras.
Police forces challenged over files held on law-abiding protesters
26.10.09. Rob Evans, Paul Lewis, Guardian. Chief constables will be forced to justify the legality of recording thousands of law-abiding protesters on secret nationwide databases, the government’s privacy watchdog announced today.
Big Brother, we’re watching you
28.10.09. Alexander Deane, Guardian. Our research shows that four out of five Britons believe their freedoms are disappearing. Left and right must fight this together
Charles Clarke just doesn’t get it
29.10.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. “In the areas of security and liberty many would argue (and I agree) that there has been too much legislation,” wrote Charles Clarke last week. / Some may experience a sense of vindication reading this but I believe the proper reaction is nearer scorn, for the article contains neither concession nor apology, but is merely an attempt to reposition Labour before the next election.
Pub closed due to faulty CCTV
29.10.09. morning advertiser. A pub closed for three days under police pressure because its CCTV cameras weren’t working.
UK gets final warning over Phorm trials
29.10.09. the register. The UK government today came a step closer to international embarrassment over its failure to act against BT and Phorm for their secret trials of mass internet snooping technology.
31.10.09. Guardian. While the initial coverage of Arun Kundnani’s report for the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), “Spooked”, has focused on accusations of spying and large-scale targeted surveillance, the most insightful aspect of the report is its charting of the transformation of counter-terrorism policy in the UK. Kundnani illustrates in a non-emotive manner how the government’s Prevent strategy has metamorphosed from a policy based on community engagement and partnership into a policy which seeks to control how and what Muslim communities are thinking and saying.
A deeply flawed DNA test
02.10.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, called the human provenance pilot project, run by the UK Border Agency “naive and scientifically flawed”.
Determining Human Provenance
14.10.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. The original memo on the UK Borders site said: “The nationality swapping – Isotope analysis and DNA testing process has been has been temporarily suspended and the instruction withdrawn. Officers will be notified when the process resumes.” / It now reads, “Alterations have been made to the nationality swapping – Isotope analysis and DNA testing process. This process continues to operate. The present instruction has been withdrawn whilst amendments are made.”
This is no innocent U-turn on DNA
19.10.09. Henry Porter, Guardian. Knowledge of the Home Office statement on the subject is all you need to have to understand that the project remains a live ambition. Its spokesman said:
That is pure waffle.Ireland
Tensions mounts over CCTV in Kilmore Quay
07.10.09. Wexford People. THE Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has been granted planning permission for CCTV cameras at Kilmore Quay, despite a huge number of local objections. [story of Mrs. Paton, trailed by Poole police)
UK gets tough on cybercrime with new cyber security center
11.10.09. gov monitor. Leading edge research that will help keep crime off the internet and combat anti-social behaviour and street crime is to be unveiled today at the official opening of the UK’s lead cyber security research centre. / The new £30 million Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, has been set up to exploit the university’s international research expertise in high performance data and network security and intelligent surveillance. / The centre is one of the first Innovation and Knowledge Centres (IKCs) created in the UK. Funders include the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board. / … Currently, while much criminal activity is captured by the UK’s four million CCTV cameras, very little is observed in real time because of the high cost of employing sufficient numbers of people to monitor activity on screens.
Big Brother’s watching you in Courchevel… (19.10.09. les arcsnet)
Criminal charges filed in Deutsche Bahn employee spying case
21.10.09. the local.de. The case allegedly details criminal surveillance within Deutsche Bahn and there are several individuals who have accused the company of violating data protection laws, the spokesperson said. Investigations are still ongoing, he added.
Increased electronic surveillance
06.10.09. Barents observer. Finland’s border to Russia is increasingly being guarded with surveillance equipment, with personnel watching computer screens instead of patrolling the bush.
Indian CCTV Market Analysis – 2009 Edition (Report linker.)
India’s New IT Law Increases Surveillance Powers
27.10.09. IDG / pc world. A new IT law has come into force in India that frees Internet portals from liability for third-party content and activity, but also gives the government powers to monitor communications on the Internet, and block web sites that are found to be offensive.
Sweden’s Axis to tap digital surveillance market in India (30.10.09. live mint)
Israeli firm to unveil helicopter spy drone
08.10.09. haaretz. Steadicopter says the main advantage of the helicopter system is that it can observe places inaccessible by more conventional espionage methods, such as ordinary drones.
Israel’s export of occupation police tactics
09.10.09. the rebel. The training offered by Israeli police and security forces is exported all over the world. For example in India, Israel has drawn upon its experience in south Lebanon, rural West Bank and urban population centers in Gaza and the West Bank to help train Indian forces. According to a 9 September 2009 article in Defense News, the inspiration for these efforts came after New Delhi took “a keen interest in the homeland security operations, armaments and surveillance devices used by Israeli troops.” Discussion of exporting to US, Canada, China … However, no country in the world has a closer cooperation with Israeli police forces than the US. Just a sampling of US cities and institutions that have trained or are training in Israeli methods are Alameda County; Atlanta; Boston; Cambridge, MA; Commerce, GA; Detroit; Duxbury, MA; Georgia Tech University; Knoxville, TN; Los Angeles: the Maryland Department of Transportation; Miami; New York City; Pembroke Pines, FL; San Francisco; San Mateo; Santa Clara; Seattle; Stamford, CT; Sterling Heights, MI; and Suffolk County, NY. Low-level bilateral relationships between city police, sheriff’s departments and other agencies of order in the US are reinforced by arrangements put in place by high-level officials like the memorandum of understanding signed by former Minister Dichter and former US Director of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff in 2007. A statement put out prior to the agreement and quoted by The Jerusalem Post stated “that there exists a vital need to promote operational, scientific and technological cooperation between the parties in the field of homeland security.”
16 Israeli companies to attend Delhi defence expo
09.10.09. sind today. The Israeli pavilion will provide solutions for emergency preparedness and response, critical infrastructure protection, transportation security (aviation, marine and land); counter terrorism, law enforcement and intelligence, surveillance.
Israeli security expert helping South Africa make 2010 World Cup safe
11.10.09. j post. But South African-born Israeli security expert Marc Kahlberg – hired by the South African authorities to provide Israeli policing know-how and technological solutions – told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that police in the country are well prepared for the tournament, and that soccer tourists will be safe so long as they remain in city “safe zones.” / … Other Israeli defense firms have pitched in to the South African security effort as well, including Bet Alfa Technologies and Elbit Systems Ltd [see ‘Companies, below]. These companies have sold their hi-tech solutions to the South African police.
Department of Defence’s shameful deal with Separation Wall supplier
12.10.09. swp. An Israeli company, Elbit Systems Ltd, has just won a defence contract to supply surveillance equipment for new Irish army armoured cars. / The surveillance equipment is to be mounted on the 27 new Irish armoured vehicles which are being bought for €19.6m from BAE Systems of South Africa. / .. Under International Law Ireland has obligations not to not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by the wall. Entering into a contract with a company who is directly implicated in the oppression of the Palestinian people is illegal and unacceptable. / Minister Kristin Halvorsen declared that “The International Court of Justice has said the fence construction breaches the Fourth Geneva Convention and that Elbit is clearly aware of exactly where and how the system is intended to be used”. This is in direct contrast to the situation in Ireland where it appears the Department ignores international humanitarian law when it comes to Defence spending.
Three suspected Israeli spy devices blown up in Lebanon
18.10.09. A security official in south Lebanon told AFP the devices were used for “surveillance of communications by the resistance,” referring to the Shiite Hezbollah movement which fought a bloody 34-day war with Israeli in 2006 that devastated the south of the country.
Israeli Police Don Arab Disguise
21.10.09. Jonathan Cook, Countercurrents. Civil rights groups in Israel have expressed outrage at the announcement last week that a special undercover unit of the police has been infiltrating and collecting intelligence on Israel’s Arab minority by disguising its officers as Arabs.
Lawyers in EU draw up list of alleged IDF war criminals
27.10.09. Haaretz. A number of human rights groups are busy working to create an international organization that would enable closer surveillance of those they suspect of war crimes and torture, as well as seek warrants for their arrest.
Spy Devices In Lebanon OK, Israel Says (28.10.09. official wire)
But not fisherman taking photos in Gaza
Shot after photographing the Gaza sea
28.10.09. Eva Bartlett, uruknet. On 4 October, Ashraf Abu Suleiman, a 16-year-old from Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, went to the northwest coast town of Sudaniya to visit an ill school friend. The teen then went to the sea, where he rolled up the legs of his pants, waded into the water and enjoyed the late summer morning. He took some photos of the sea and of the area around him, intending to play with the photos later on Photoshop, a hobby he and his father share. / Minutes later, Ashraf was running in blind terror as Israeli soldiers in a gunboat off the coast began shooting at Palestinian fishermen.
Yaalon: Israel Will Continue Surveillance Inside Lebanon Until Hizbullah Disarms (31.10.09. Naharnet.)
Hochiki and Bosch Security Systems co-operate to sell IP Video Surveillance Systems in Japan (28.09.09. Canada net)
Strategic Implications of Chinese Aid and Investment in Latin America
07.10.09. jamestown. The implications of this trend can be understood in terms of four overlapping effects: (1) the interaction is transforming the physical, economic, educational and social structure of the region; (2) it is enabling the survival and spread of regimes oriented against the United States, Western-style democracy and economic models; (3) it is enabling the emergence of Brazil as a regional powerbroker; and (4) it is undermining the United States as a source of political and economic influence in the region, as well as U.S. options for regional engagement. While China is transforming Latin America through such effects, however, this does not imply that they are deliberate, primary objectives of Chinese foreign policy toward the region.
Surveillance cameras in the favelas
20.10.09. ubisurv. A couple of weeks ago, I found out that the military police had installed surveillance cameras in the favela of Santa Marta, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. VIDEO.
An overview of the DAS Scandal
07.10.09. cipol. On February 21, 2009, Colombia’s most-circulated newsweekly, Semana, broke an important story. It revealed that the Administrative Security Department (DAS), the Colombian Presidency’s internal intelligence agency, had been carrying out a campaign of wiretaps and surveillance of human rights defenders, Supreme Court justices, opposition politicians, and journalists. DAS agents also followed their targets’ children, wives, and assistants. / New evidence has emerged over the course of 2009. It indicates that the DAS was conducting warrantless wiretapping since at least 2003 through 2008, and possibly this year. The full extent of the illegal spying, and the identity of the individual(s) who ordered the program, remain unknown.
Surveillance Camera Footage of Honduras Coup Invasion of Channel 36
08.10.09. Al Giordano, narco news. 2 VIDEOS. It should be added that this kind of jackbooted censorship is endorsed and defended by the US public relations firm of ‘Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates on behalf of the Office of the President of the Republic of Honduras,’ and Washington DC lobbyist Lanny Davis, enemies of press freedom, all. So next time any of those goons in suits and ties try to spin a story angle on you, kind journalists, remember to ask them about the invasion and censorship of Channel 36, in which they, too, are complicit.”
Peru’s Fujimori admits to corruption
29.09.09. AFP. Fujimori, 71, accepted counts of bribing opposition lawmakers, illegal purchase of a media outlet and wiretapping politicians, journalists and businesspeople through top aide and spymaster Vladimiro Montesinos.
Buzz word: Fusion centre.
DoD Announces New Information-Sharing Access to Help Fusion Centers Combat Terrorism
14.09.09. public intelligence. The Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security (DHS) today announced an initiative to grant select state and major urban area fusion center personnel access to classified terrorism-related information residing in DoD’s classified network.
U.S. Intelligence Budget: $75 Billion, 200,000 Operatives. Fusion Centers Will Have Access to Classified Military Intelligence
26.09.09. Tom Burqhardt, Blacklisted news. Speaking at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club September 15, Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, disclosed that the current annual budget for the 16 agency U.S. “Intelligence Community” (IC) clocks-in at $75 billion and employs some 200,000 operatives world-wide, including private contractors.
Tennesse Fusion [spying] Center: Teachers Be On the Lookout (11.10.09. Reuters / public intelligence)
Senate Democrat Backs Extending Surveillance Methods
22.09.09. Reuters. U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on Tuesday unveiled a bill to extend three controversial surveillance techniques that are set to expire this year, setting up a battle among Democrats. / Leahy proposed added privacy safeguards while extending permission for authorities to use roving wiretaps, access business records and track suspected foreign militants who may be working individually instead of with a larger group
Obama Administration Seeks Renewal of Three Key Parts of PATRIOT Act
22.09.09. Demoncracy Now. The administration has asked lawmakers to extend powers allowing the government to collect a wide range of financial and personal records, as well as monitor suspects with roving wiretaps.
Administration wants to continue surveillance law
23.09.09. AP. The Obama administration promised Congress on Tuesday to negotiate stronger privacy protections for Americans under terrorism surveillance but insisted on retaining current authority to track suspects and obtain records. See also The U.S. Creeps Closer To A Police State (29.09.09. Shamus Cooke, countercurrents). When the Patriot Act was first enacted, there was no shortage of writers and activists warning about the potential of misuse. These predictions have been fully confirmed. Both the Military Commissions Act and the Patriot Act have created what many believe to be the framework for a full-fledged police state, with the initial flurry of abuses creating a series of dangerous precedents./ One famous precedent is the so-called Telecom scandal, where tele-communication corporations colluded with the Bush-controlled National Security Agency to illegally spy on an unknown number of innocent people.
Report: Massive FBI database set to quadruple in size
23.09.09. Raw Story. In the months after 9/11, the Pentagon’s research arm launched a controversial project known as “Total Information Awareness” — a massive database collating every available bit of digital information about, well, everything. After a public outcry, Congress defunded the project in 2003. / But now, it looks like it’s back, and this time in the hands of the FBI, under the name National Security Branch Analysis Center, or NSAC. A news report at Wired magazine says the NSAC has now collected more than 1.5 billion pieces of information, much of it from the private sector. / … The news report, based on declassified data, adds more weight to the argument that the expansion of government power in the wake of the 9/11 attacks has been used for more than hunting terrorists. RAW STORY reported on Wednesday that the “sneak-and-peek” search warrants the Bush administration said were crucial to counter-terrorism aren’t actually being used for terrorist surveillance, and are primarily being used in drug investigations. See also Big Brother FBI (08.10.09. T. Burghardt, global research)
Bush’s wiretapping goes to court in S.F.
23.09.09. Sfgate. Neither the president’s constitutional powers as commander in chief nor Congress’ authorization to use military force against terrorists after Sept. 11, 2001, entitled Bush to override a 1978 law requiring court approval for electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists, Eisenberg argued.
“Intelligent” Pre-Crime Surveillance Cameras Coming Within Five Years (23.09.09. Steve Watson, Prison Planet)
24.09.09. Liliana Segura, AlterNet. A hot new iPhone App uses GPS technology to track registered sex offenders everywhere. Are they keeping you safe, or profiting off paranoia?
Obama’s Terrorism Policy: Change If Necessary, But Not Necessarily Change
25.09.09. JURIST. In the past week the Obama administration has made two policy announcements which suggest that President Obama’s terrorism policy has come to resemble that of his predecessor. / … President Obama’s predecessor was criticized for routinely invoking the state secrets privilege in a number of lawsuits over that administration’s domestic electronic surveillance program and its practice of extraordinary renditions. Many hoped President Obama would reverse or at least limit the controversial practice of asserting the privilege in these and like cases. But President Obama continued the practice of his predecessor in asserting the privilege, effectively shutting down the litigation of many controversial cases.
Brownshirts Patrolling Montana USA
29.09.09 final redoubt. A private security force whose biggest role is helping the U.S. government to combat terrorism is now patrolling the streets of a town in Montana, acting as law enforcement but accountable to nobody and operating completely outside the limitations of the U.S. constitution in a chilling throwback to the brownshirts of Nazi Germany.” / “The American Police Force organization is a paramilitary unit that provides surveillance, investigative, and military services across the world, according to its website, which shows men dressed in military fatigues carrying machine guns. / This is completely unconstitutional and a flagrant threat to the liberty and security of the population of Hardin. VIDEOS
FBI disclosure stokes fears
30.09.09. politico. The FBI’s release of portions of its internal manual for investigations is stoking fears among some civil liberties and Muslim organizations that the federal law enforcement agency is engaged in intrusive surveillance of political and religious groups with no connection to crime or terrorism.
US Supreme Court to decide terrorism support law
30.09.09. Reuters. The U.S. Supreme Court said on Wednesday it would hear an Obama administration appeal defending part of the Patriot Act, which has been criticized by civil liberties groups for giving the government broad powers.
No More Unlawful Government Spying: Pass the Justice Act Now!
01.10.09. The American Civil Liberties Union/Alternet. Senator Russ Feingold and nine other senators have introduced S. 1686, the JUSTICE Act, which reforms our surveillance laws, including the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.
Supreme Court to Take Up PATRIOT Act With Review of Humanitarian Aid Case
01.10.09. Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now!/Alternet. In its first review of the PATRIOT Act, the Court will rule on an anti-terror law outlawing any aid to groups on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups.
Feingold Leads The Fight For Our Rights Against The Patriot Act
03.10.09. junkie post. On October 1ST, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its debate on a version of a bill to extend the Patriot Act. It was a very troubling start falling far short of including much needed civil liberties and rights of privacy protections. The water-down version of the bill proposed by Senators Feinstein & Leahy is not reversing most of the unacceptable provisions contain in the original Patriot Act. / However, a few Senators are putting their best efforts to safeguard American citizens’ rights. …
Surveillance Will Expand To Midtown, Mayor Says
04.10.09. NY Times. A network of private and public surveillance cameras, license plate readers and weapons sensors already established in Lower Manhattan as an electronic bulwark against terrorist attacks will soon expand to a large patch of Midtown Manhattan
Blighter radar helps secure American border
– . Cambridge wireless. Frustrated by the current intruder interception rate in their local area, a group of ranch owners have developed their own state-of-the-art multi-sensor surveillance systems, utilising the Blighter radar, to protect their land and help the enforcement organisations intercept and apprehend the immigrants.
|Who’s in Big Brother’s Database?
05.10.09. James Bamford, NY books. The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency by Matthew M. Aid. On a remote edge of Utah’s dry and arid high desert, where temperatures often zoom past 100 degrees, hard-hatted construction workers with top-secret clearances are preparing to build what may become America’s equivalent of Jorge Luis Borges’s “Library of Babel,” a place where the collection of information is both infinite and at the same time monstrous, where the entire world’s knowledge is stored, but not a single word is understood. At a million square feet, the mammoth $2 billion structure will be one-third larger than the US Capitol and will use the same amount of energy as every house in Salt Lake City combined. / Unlike Borges’s “labyrinth of letters,” this library expects few visitors. It’s being built by the ultra-secret National Security Agency—which is primarily responsible for “signals intelligence,” the collection and analysis of various forms of communication—to house trillions of phone calls, e-mail messages, and data trails: Web searches, parking receipts, bookstore visits, and other digital “pocket litter.” Lacking adequate space and power at its city-sized Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters, the NSA is also completing work on another data archive, this one in San Antonio, Texas, which will be nearly the size of the Alamodome.
GESTAPO USA: Gov’t-Funded Vigilante Network Terrorizes America
06.10.09. now public. A virulent form of government-enabled domestic terrorism is destroying the lives of citizens across America. / Victims of so-called organized “gang stalking” or “community stalking” charge that the rule of law has broken down nationwide at the hands of state-supported vigilantes — operating under the cover of citizen community policing and neighborhood watch corps and business-related anti-terrorism programs, supplemented by municipal workers and members of private and fraternal organizations. / A nationwide network comprised of these citizen groups, funded and apparently overseen by elements of government at multiple levels, is the mechanism of “extrajudicial” targeting and punishment that victims say is dispensing officially tolerated “vigilante justice” — a bypass of the judicial system and the rule of law. / … Information gleaned from surveillance, such as details of private conversations, is funneled to the street stalkers — who then repeat these “directed” comments within earshot of the target — a form of psychological harassment intended to provoke anxiety and fear. … / see VIDEO Air Force Research Lab’s Directed Energy Directorate
United States calls for rigorous IMF surveillance
06.10.09. Comcast. In remarks prepared for delivery to the IMF and World Bank annual meetings here, Geithner said the IMF needed to help police economic and currency policies among the Group of 20 developed and emerging countries.
Homeland Security plans to scan air travelers’ bodily functions (06.10.09. Raw Story)
Presidential Powers During Cybersecurity Emergencies
06.10.09. find law. aides to Senator Jay Rockefeller reportedly have been working recently on a revised draft Senate bill that would give the President broad powers in the event of a Cybersecurity emergency, and that apparently would go so far as allowing the President to temporarily seize control over computer networks in the private sector.
Congress Is Losing Its Chance to Reform the Patriot Act
07.10.09. Michael Macleod-Ball, huff post. The bill, The USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act, includes minor tweaks to the Patriot Act but does not go nearly far enough to thoroughly protect the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans. / The Patriot Act is a reactionary law. It was passed 45 days after 9/11 with virtually no debate and granted the government sweeping surveillance powers including the ability to conduct secret searches of Americans’ homes without warrants or even the presence of the resident. / Easily one of the most dangerous powers handed over in the Patriot Act was the expansion of the National Security Letters (NSL) statute which allows the government to demand a huge variety of our information (medical records, tax records, books we borrow from the library, etc.) from recipients like Internet service providers (ISP), financial institutions, and libraries without any proper judicial oversight.
Patriot Act Excesses
07.10.09. NY Times editorial. Congress is headed toward renewing the provisions — including expanded authority to search financial records, conduct roving wiretaps and track “lone wolf” terrorist suspects — without adequate oversight or safeguards or touching other problematic areas of the new surveillance and intelligence framework. / … over all, the measure taking shape in the Senate committee is far too weak to restore essential constitutional checks and balances. / … The question is what powers the government really needs and how best to balance them with the rights and liberties on which this nation was founded. / … To a troubling extent, the debate is happening in the dark. Several senators have asked the Obama administration to release classified information that would inform thediscussion without harming national security. It has largely been ignored. / … It [the review] is one more critical chance to add missing civil liberties and privacy protections, address known abuses and trim excesses that contribute nothing to making America safer.
Senate committee approves reauthorization of expiring Patriot Act provisions
08.10.09. JURIST. The portions of the act to be renewed allow federal authorities to conduct “roving” wiretaps, compel the production of business, medical and library records, and designate suspects as “lone wolf” agents of a foreign power. The bill would also impose greater oversight on the FBI’s use of its surveillance powers and would cause several provisions of the act to expire after another four years.
Should U.S. Government Use Illegal Wiretaps Against Americans Not Involved In Terrorism? (08.10.09. Dan Scott, Indymedia.)
Obama versus Obama on the PATRIOT Act
09.10.09. Leslie Harris, Huff Post. While the bill they passed strengthened civil liberties in several small ways, the Committee failed to make any meaningful improvements to the PATRIOT provisions that are most prone to abuse. Disturbingly, Obama Administration officials played a significant behind the scene role in opposing stronger civil liberties protections, directly contradicting Obama’s positions as a Senator. / … Why did President Obama about-face on the very civil liberties protections he supported a few short years ago as a Senator?
Obama Lawyer Says No Position on Bush – Era Wiretaps
09.10.09. Reuters/NY Times. A lawyer [Thomas Bondy] for the Obama administration said on Friday it had no position on the legality of the former Bush administration’s program to intercept Americans’ e-mails and phone calls without a warrant. / The suit, filed in 2007 by the Center for Constitutional Rights against the Bush administration Justice Department and the National Security Agency, said both agencies refused to release the records first requested by the rights group in January 2006. / Justice Department lawyer Thomas Bondy told the appeals court it should uphold a lower court’s decision that ruled in favor of the government’s position that it did not need to confirm or deny the existence of any records.
Round-Up of Reactions to Yesterday’s PATRIOT Vote (09.10.09. Kevin Bankston, eff.)
Obama continues assault on democratic rights
12.10.09. WSWS. . Actions taken by President Barack Obama over the past month have confirmed that he is every bit as committed as his predecessor, George W. Bush, to the expansion of the police powers of the state. / Last week, Obama moved to significantly weaken a “media shield” bill advancing through Congress that would give new protection to government whistle-blowers and journalists in cases involving sources who speak with reporters on condition of anonymity. It marked yet another volte-face for Obama, who as a senator championed a similar measure. / … Obama’s transparent aim is to intimidate the press and prevent members of the intelligence and defense apparatus from revealing government secrets and crimes. / … The latest moves follow a well-established pattern. Since his inauguration, the candidate of “change” has consistently upheld the anti-democratic policies of the Bush administration. … Obama, no less than Bush, represents the interests of the American financial aristocracy.. / .. The police-state framework built up under Bush and Obama is a response by the ruling elite to a threat not from foreign terrorists, but from its main enemy—the American working class.
|Nobel “Peace” Prize“When war becomes peace,
When concepts and realities are turned upside down,
When fiction becomes truth and truth becomes fiction.
When a global military agenda is heralded as a humanitarian endeavor,
When the killing of civilians is upheld as “collateral damage”,
When those who resist the US-NATO led invasion of their homeland are categorized as “insurgents” or “terrorists”.
When preemptive nuclear war is upheld as self defense.
When advanced torture and “interrogation” techniques are routinely used to “protect peacekeeping operations”,
When tactical nuclear weapons are heralded by the Pentagon as “harmless to the surrounding civilian population”
When three quarters of US personal federal income tax revenues are allocated to financing what is euphemistically referred to as “national defense”
When the Commander in Chief of the largest military force on planet earth is presented as a global peace-maker,
When the Lie becomes the Truth”. Michel Chossudovsky
Obama Administration Accused Again of Concealing Bush-Era Crimes
12.10.09. Matt Renner, truthout. Last week, in a federal courthouse in New York, Obama’s Justice Department attorneys again argued in favor of secrecy. The case involved 23 lawyers representing detainees at Guantánamo Bay who alleged in court papers that they were targets of the Bush administration’s so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program(TSP), an initiative operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) that Obama called “unlawful and unconstitutional” during his presidential campaign in 2007. / “Our work with our clients may have been deeply compromised by illegal surveillance carried out by the last administration,” said Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, a civil rights organization. “The new administration has no legal basis for refusing to come clean about any violations of attorney-client privilege by the NSA.”
Google Earth Used to Track People, Vehicles in Real Time (13.10.09. skipease. With VIDEO)
Liz Cheney Launches Group to “Keep America Safe” (13.10.09. CBS)
About the ACLU’s National Security Project
ACLU. The Project litigates cases relating to detention, torture, discrimination, surveillance, censorship, and secrecy.
Obama Administration Accused Again of Concealing Bush-Era Crimes
14.10.09. Matt Renner, TruthOut / alternet. Last week, in a federal courthouse in New York, Obama’s Justice Department attorneys again argued in favor of secrecy. The case involved 23 lawyers representing detainees at Guantánamo Bay who alleged in court papers that they were targets of the Bush administration’s so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program(TSP), an initiative operated by the National Security Agency (NSA) that Obama called “unlawful and unconstitutional” during his presidential campaign in 2007. / “Our work with our clients may have been deeply compromised by illegal surveillance carried out by the last administration,” said Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, a civil rights organization. “The new administration has no legal basis for refusing to come clean about any violations of attorney-client privilege by the NSA.”
Obama gets criticism from both sides
15.10.09. ABC. You know what I thought was going to be a transformational president in my opinion has turned out to be the third Bush presidency,” says Garvin. ./Garvin has a long list of grievances; he listed “His retreat on the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] issue and surveillance, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are more troops there now than a year ago, uh Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” VIDEO.
White House Backs Controversial Domestic Surveillance Provisions
16.10.09. VOA News. The Obama administration is urging lawmakers to extend three provisions of the controversial domestic surveillance law known as the USA Patriot Act. / The U.S. Justice Department issued a letter Tuesday asking Congress to renew provisions of the law that allow authorities to conduct roving electronic eavesdropping, or wiretaps, access business records and track so-called “lone wolf” suspects with no known links to foreign powers or terrorist groups.
Telecoms, Lobbying, Congress & the National Security State
18.10.09. pacific free press. Federal District Court Judge Jeffrey White denied a motion by the Obama administration that the court issue a 30-day stay to “release records relating to telecom lobbying over last year’s debate over immunity for corporate participation in government spying,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported. / … One might add, since the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a well-funded surveillance-industrial-complex fueled by giant defense firms and the telecommunications industry have, as investigative journalist Tim Shorrock reported back in 2005 “fielded armies of lobbyists to keep the money flowing.”
TSA Announces $4.9 Million for Airport Surveillance at Philadelphia International Airport (19.10.09. ITN newsonling)
Exclusive: U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets
19.10.09. Noah Shachtman, Wired. America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon. / In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.
CIA To Monitor Internet Chatter For Anti-Government Sentiment
20.10.09. Paul Joseph Watson, Prison Planet. High-tech fascism straight out of V For Vendetta on the horizon. In the 2005 movie V For Vendetta, a film about a totalitarian society ruled by a fascist government with an iron surveillance fist, there’s a scene where state spooks drive down a residential street with a gadget that records the conversations people are having inside their homes and gives them a rating on how antagonistic towards the authorities they are.
House bill would make changes in Patriot Act
21.10.09. AP. House Judiciary Committee leaders on Tuesday introduced a bill to place new restrictions on government surveillance and seizures in anti-terrorism investigations, while allowing the Obama administration to continue some tactics used by its predecessor./ Three important sections of the USA Patriot Act will expire at year’s end, unless Congress continues them in the law designed to prevent a terrorist attack on the homeland.
The Patriot Act: Does it actually work? (21.10.09. LA Times).
Harris Poll Shows 96 Percent of Americans Support Uses of Video Surveillance to Counteract Terrorism
22.10.09. Reuters. Four out of five adults feel that in extreme cases, such as a terrorist attack, the government should be able to use any available means to protect citizens, and more than half (54 percent) of U.S. adults are even willing to put a portion of the government`s stimulus funds toward setting up video surveillance to help reduce crime. / …However, citizen support of video surveillance rests on the assumption that more cameras will result in more secure environments, but that isn`t the case.
Mind Your Tweets: CIA and European Union Building Social Networking Surveillance System
24.10.09. anti-fascist calling. That social networking sites and applications such as Facebook, Twitter and their competitors can facilitate communication and information sharing amongst diverse groups and individuals is by now a cliché. / It should come as no surprise then, that the secret state and the capitalist grifters whom they serve, have zeroed-in on the explosive growth of these technologies. One can be certain however, securocrats aren’t tweeting their restaurant preferences or finalizing plans for after work drinks. / No, researchers on both sides of the Atlantic are busy as proverbial bees building a “total information” surveillance system, one that will, so they hope, provide police and security agencies with what they euphemistically call “actionable intelligence.” / In this context, the whistleblowing web site Wikileaks published a remarkable document October 4 by the INDECT Consortium, the Intelligence Information System Supporting Observation, Searching and Detection for Security of Citizens in Urban Environment. …
Privacy and the Patriot Act
25.10.09. LA Times. In the aftermath of 9/11, legislators cut legal corners to protect the nation. Congress should amend that now by revising certain expiring provisions of the law.
Poisoning at Harvard
25.10.09. boston herald. Harvard University Medical School is locking down its New Research Building, installing new surveillance cameras and imposing tighter security after researchers in the pathology department of the Boston building drank poisoned coffee and were hospitalized.
|US MARTIAL LAWS EXPANDVIDEO: The Militarization of the Police Force in USAHeavily armed law enforcement teams will scatter across the Bay Area this weekend
22.10.09. contra costa times / legitgov. Twenty-seven crack teams will compete in the Urban Shield exercise25 teams practice emergency response (23.10.09. ABC / legitgov.)Worst Case: Choosing Who Survives in a Flu Epidemic
24.10.09 NY Times / legitgov. MOMENTS OF TRUTH: Health officials are deciding who would be treated if hospitals are overwhelmed by patients with the H1N1 flu virus/ New York’s governor has declared a state of emergency and hospitals are following the state’s pandemic ventilator allocation plan — actual guidelines drafted in 2007 that are now being revisited. / In recent years, officials in a host of states and localities, as well as the federal Veterans Health Administration, have been quietly addressing one of medicine’s most troubling questions: Who should get a chance to survive when the number of severely ill people far exceeds the resources needed to treat them all? / The draft plans vary. In some states, patients with Do Not Resuscitate orders, the elderly, those requiring dialysis, or those with severe neurological impairment would be refused ventilators, or admission to hospitals. Utah divides epidemics into phases. Initially, hospitals would apply triage rules to residents of mental institutions, nursing homes, prisons and facilities for the “handicapped.” If an epidemic worsened, the rules would apply to the general population. / Federal officials say the possibility that America’s already crowded intensive care units would be overwhelmed in the coming weeks by flu patients is small but they remain vigilant.
LA officials to unveil $437M police headquarters (24.10.09. AP)
Pentagon has nation’s kids under surveillance
26.10.09. info zone. Recruiters hit pay dirt in 2002, when then-Rep. (now Sen.) David Vitter (R-La.) slipped a provision into the No Child Left Behind Act that requires high schools to give recruiters the names and contact details of all juniors and seniors. Schools that fail to comply risk losing their NCLB funding. This little-known regulation effectively transformed President George W. Bush’s signature education bill into the most aggressive military recruitment tool since the draft. Students may sign an opt-out form-but not all school districts let them know about it.
NSA Supercenters to Store Americans’ Private Data Permanently
29.10.09. Thomas R. Eddlem, New American / ICH. The National Security Agency is building huge new storage facilities to store the unconstitutionally gained data on the American people’s telephone calls and Internet traffic permanently, including new buildings in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Antonio, Texas.
FBI agents assassinate Michigan Islamic leader
29.10.09. workers org. Conversion to the Islamic faith within the African-American community has been taking place at a phenomenal rate over the last few decades. The federal government has used both the scourge of anti-Islamic hysteria and racism to enhance the repressive apparatus in the United States. This pattern of surveillance, harassment and entrapment is utilized in a desperate attempt by Homeland Security and the Pentagon to build support for the ongoing wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Exercise Seeks Battlefield Information Effectiveness
29.10.09. defense link. U.S. warfighters and allies operating in Afghanistan and Iraq depend on various sensor platforms that can provide information about the enemy’s whereabouts night or day, a senior U.S. military officer said today. / That’s why the annual joint Empire Challenge demonstration, which explores how to improve dissemination of vital intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to battlefield commanders, is so important, Air Force Col. George J. Krakie, the director of this year’s exercise, told American Forces Press Service. / … U.S. military members from all service branches as well as allied participants from France, Norway, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand took part in this year’s demonstration, Krakie said. / .. This year’s Empire Challenge was conducted at 20 sites worldwide, Krakie said, with scenarios based on lessons learned and case studies that came out of Iraq or Afghanistan. / The main ground demonstrations conducted at China Lake, Calif ., took advantage of geographic and climatic conditions similar to those found in Afghanistan. China Lake “had the terrain we wanted,” Krakie said, as well as the heat, dust and wind.
BlackBerry App Can Spy on You, US CERT Warns (30.10.09. security management)
Obama Administration Invokes State Secrets Privilege…Again
30.10.09. ABC. The Obama administration invoked the controversial “state secrets” privilege again on Friday, arguing that if U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker were to permit a legal case against the government to proceed, he would be putting national security at risk. / Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement about the case, Shubert et. al v. Obama, that “there is no way for this case to move forward without jeopardizing ongoing intelligence activities that we rely upon to protect the safety [sic] of the American people.” / The statement and legal documents were released in a particularly active Friday afternoon document dump — including stimulus jobs numbers and White House visitors logs. / … President Obama has invoked the state secrets privilege in a number of cases since taking office.
1,600 are suggested daily for FBI’s list (01.11.09. Walter Pincus, Washington Post)
NATO ground surveillance deal moves forward after 15-nation agreement
28.10.09. flight global. Made on 25 September, the agreement will enable prime contractor Northrop Grumman and its multinational industry partners to complete their proposal for the RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle-based AGS system. The US company will then enter into negotiations that it believes will “support contract award next year”.
NATO sponsors critical infrastructure protection technology demonstration
05.10.09. isria. More than 160 companies will join military units and technology experts to show, test and explain technologies for defending against different threat scenarios, including mortar, rocket and improvised explosive devices; chemical and biological attacks; and threats to land-based, maritime and aviation infrastructure. Technologies for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and non-lethal capabilities will also be shown.
Verizon Business to Help Strengthen Network Security for NATO
19.10.09. ca-sys. Under a new deal valued at about $5 million covering two years and an optional one-year extension, Verizon Business through Verizon Cybertrust Security in Belgium will implement a highly resilient virtual private network for approximately 30 locations on the agency’s existing network.
“It is the so-called sane people that have led the world to the brink of catastrophe.” . From the film, Nostalghia, by Andrei Tarkovsky
Competition grows in high-definition security imaging
23.09.09. UPI. Competition in security imaging technologies is becoming fierce as demand for high-definition surveillance grows worldwide, giving manufacturers the chance to tap lucrative new markets.
C4ISR Journal Names Winners For 2009 ‘Big 25 Awards’ (01.10.09. pr news)
= = =
* this is not a complete “Companies” list. Suggestions for further companies welcome: email me? Ta.
Artesian Solutions announces year on year growth increase of 60% (01.10.09, News blaze)
It is not possible to search “surveillance’ on this website. There is zero information of any use. If, however one googles Blackwater-XE-surveillance, one finds more material .
Blackwater has arms warehouse in Islamabad
22.10.09. daily star/legitgov Blackwater has implanted sensitive instruments at Sihala to monitor activities of Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Kahuta, as well as to keep an eye on the nuclear assets of Pakistan. But US rejects allegations.
‘Blackwater behind Peshawar blast’
31.10.09. press tv.ir/ Peoples’ Voice. Pakistan’s pro-Taliban militants blame private US security firm Blackwater for a Wednesday bomb blast in Peshawar which killed over 100 people. See also
here and here
Canon Forays into Surveillance Space
07.10.09. Techtree. The company also announced its foray in the security business with a range of 10 network Surveillance IP cameras suitable for various security and surveillance applications like monitoring, tracking and recording human movement even in the dark.
New U.K. Cybersecurity Centre Opens Doors
23.09.09. dark reading. Leading edge research that will help keep crime off the internet and combat anti-social behaviour and street crime is to be unveiled today at the official opening of the UK’s lead cyber security research centre. / The new £30 million Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, has been set up to exploit the university’s international research expertise in high performance data and network security and intelligent surveillance.
China Security & Surveillance – A Speculative Growth Company – CSR
29.09.09. Beating buffet. China Security & Surveillance Technology, Inc. (CSST) manufactures, distributes, installs, and services surveillance and safety products and systems in mainland China. The Company’s customers include governmental entities [customs agencies, courts, public security bureaus, prisons, schools, museums, sports arenas, libraries, airports, hotels, real estate, banks, mines, railways, supermarkets, and entertainment venues. CSST operates primarily in five segments: Installation, Manufacturing, Distribution, Software, and Services.
China Security raises $58.5 mln in stock offering (07.10.09. Forbes)
OR China Security & Surveillance shares drop (28.10.09. AP)
OR Reuters story , “the Company’s cash position at the end of the third quarter was $100.98 million, up from $89.47 million at the end of second quarter 2009.”
College benefit from advanced IP CCTV system that improves security and safety (-. Controlware blog)
EF Johnson inks $11M military order
29.09.09. Dallas biz journal. The company will provide secure broadband technology, energy management tools and real-time video surveillance for use by the American military.
Elbit Systems also supply the surveillance equipment for the apartheid separation wall. The Norwegian government dropped the Israeli firm Elbit Systems Ltd. from the government pension fund, because regular people brought to the attention of their government Elbit’s involvement in building the Apartheid Wall in the Occupied West Bank.
Israel’s largest defense company opens office in Azerbaijan (07.10.09. qwstneverything)
(see Israel, above)
Shares tips from the newspapers
28.09.09. IndigoVision makes video surveillance equipment which is digital and internet based, meaning it is more reliable and quicker to access than the analogue equipment that accounts for 90% of closed-circuit television cameras. It has installed systems in 64 countries, and recently signed a contract with the Canada Border Services Agency to monitor the entire US-Canadian border and Vancouver airport.
Kratos wins contracts valued at $6.6 million (16.10.09. UPI)
L-3 makes communications and surveillance systems for the federal government,
L-3 profit jumps 19% on demand for surveillance technology (27.10.09. market watch)
Lockheed Martin gets $133 million Army pact to provide threat-detection systems (07.10.09. Washington examiner)
TotalView Central Management Tool Optimizes the Call Center Workforce
02.10.09. TMCnet. TMCnet has discussed various video surveillance contracts secured by NICE Systems (News – Alert) for casinos in Oklahoma and for small- and mid-sized deployments.
Northrop Grumman Space Tracking and Surveillance System Demonstrator Satellites Successfully Launched Into Orbit
26.09.09. transworld news. Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.
USAF gets plug-and-play sensors (02.10.09. UPI. $153 million contract )
13.10.09. pr newswire. Northrop Grumman has a strong presence in the UK with a heritage spanning nearly 100-years. The company operates from primary locations in London, Fareham, Chester, Coventry, New Malden, Peterborough, RAF Waddington and Solihull and provides avionics, communications, electronic warfare systems, marine navigation systems, unmanned ground vehicle systems, C4ISR solutions and mission planning, IT systems and software development, aircraft whole life support and airport security solutions.
Pivetal provides a comprehensive range of managed services for voice, data and converged networks, from basic surveillance through to highly integrated fault, performance and configuration management. NOC services, repair and return, patch and software upgrades are also available. / customers include BT, Cable & Wireless and Nortel, comprising both carrier and enterprise technologies ranging from TDM through to next generation IP voice and converged services.
makes all sorts of scary robots and surveillance equipment
uk style surveillance state spreads to afghanistan
RAID started as a small-scale experiment in Afghanistan in 2003. The idea, according to Peter Schoate, the Raytheon program manager, was to take the military’s standard daytime and infrared cameras and give them a wider field of view by elevating them. “They liked it and it took off,” Schoate said of his military customers. The Pentagon and the British Ministry of Defence bought extra RAID sets – some strictly tower-mounted, others strapped to blimps – and installed them at the biggest bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, a RAID-style aerostat was a veritable landmark, bobbing over the sprawling British military base in Basra province, southern Iraq. Soon smaller bases began getting them too. / Today, there are “several hundred” installed RAID systems,
Army Awards Raytheon $13 Million to Improve Situational Awareness for Pilots (07.10.09. prnewswire)
Raytheon Anschütz integrates Romanian Surveillance System (24.10.09. open pr)
RISCO GROUP USA – MILESTONE SYSTEMS (23.09.09. Source Security)
Blue Star signs Chinese distribution agreement
28.09.09. IB Times. Chinese video security company, Blue Star has signed a strategic partnership agreement with WinHi Technology Electronic, the exclusive distribution agent for Samsung Electronics‘ surveillance products in China.
SANYO Unveils Nine New HD Surveillance Cameras (23.09.09. TMCnet)
Microwaves in Europe: Upbeat During the Downturn?
28.09.09. American chronicle. Terahertz systems are beginning to appear on the commercial market, aimed at imaging and spectroscopic applications for safety, security and environmental surveillance, with the life sciences also being a rich field of application.
United Technologies Said to Lead GE-Security Bidding (27.10.09. Bloomberg)
My personal emails to my sister, who lives in the U.S. were blocked by Verizon. In order to communicate with her, Verizon requested that I fill in a Verizon “Whitelist Request Form.” I refused to do this, neither being a fan of the US government surveillance system nor wishing my details to go on some US/UK ‘terrorist’ list because I disagree with most rhetoric, policies and plans. The “Verizon package” was unfortunately too seductive, so I no longer, sadly, communicate with her.
NSA has massive database of Americans’ phone calls
11.05.06. usa today. The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT & T, Verizon, and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY. / … The NSA record collection program: “It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world,” said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA’s activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency’s goal is “to create a database of every call ever made” within the nation’s borders, this person added. For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.
How Verizon Turned Over Surveillance Documents Without Court Order (16.10.09, beta news)
Hoyer: No Support To Revisit Telecom Immunity From Wiretapping Suits
29.09.09. Nasdac. Some of the largest U.S. phone companies including AT & T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. , were accused of cooperating with government requests to provide access to Americans’ phone calls and emails following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The companies themselves always declined to comment on their participation.
Telephone Company Is Arm of Government, Feds Admit in Spy Suit
08.10.09. wired. The Department of Justice has finally admitted it in court papers: The nation’s telecom companies are an arm of the government — at least when it comes to secret spying. / … The Electronic Frontier Foundation wanted to see what role telecom lobbying of Justice Department played when the government began its year-long, and ultimately successful, push to win retroactive immunity for AT & T and others being sued for unlawfully spying on American citizens. / .. The feds were supposed to make the documents available Friday, but in a motion late Thursday, the Obama administration is asking for a 30-day emergency stay (.pdf) so it can file a further appeal.
FCC approves adoption of ‘net neutrality’ rules
22.10.09. JURIST. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday to approve the formation of rules mandating so-called “net neutrality,” promising openness commensurate with the ideals of the Internet itself. The idea of net neutrality, supported unanimously by the FCC commissioners, is to allow an open flow of information over the Internet, regardless of the amount of revenue generated by the information. The implementation of new rules has been vigorously opposed by telecommunications giants Verizon and AT & T among others, which argue that such rules would inhibit their ability to effectively manage Internet traffic. The FCC at the same time announced a call for public input to the process, in order to maximize consumer benefit under the proposed rules.
Piecing together smart cameras at DemoFall 09 (23.09.09. Cnet.)
VIDEO: spy gear listening devices (Sept. 09)
Voyeur Nation: Media, Privacy, And Peering In Modern Culture, Kindle, Basic Books 2004. “In his book Voyeur Nation, (2000) critique what he describes as a culture of ‘mediated voyeurism’, in which, for reasons largely to do with media company profits, our worst voyeuristic instincts are being sanctioned and fed.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
“Post Democracy” from Index Research :
U.S. Martial Law Timeline (21.08.07. Index Research)
US Surveillance: These Boots Are Made for Walking (10.10.07. Index Research)
Will Economic Crisis Lead To A Police State World ? (30.03.09. Index Research)
Drones from Index Research:
Drones (01.06.09. Index Research: ‘War in Pakistan’)
U.S. Drones in Pakistan (26.10.09. Index Research)
Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK. She is on the BRussels Tribunal Advisory Committee.