by Giordano Bruno
Published: Jan. 18, 2010 – Neithercorp Press
Governments, regardless of their political structure or historical background, have always striven to not only control information, but also to gather it from the people by covert means. Often, this secretive observation of the citizenry escalates into a completely open and full-fledged surveillance state. The U.S. in particular stands on a precarious edge: the line between abhorring invasion of privacy, and embracing invasion of privacy as necessary for the “greater good.” Many people assume that such a mindset is forced on the masses by the elite, that strength of arms is somehow required to make them accept the conditions of a police state, but this is not always so. It is very difficult for governments, despite any technological developments or resources they may have, to enforce and maintain a fascistic political construct. In order to retain control, they must build a “Surveillance Culture;” a society in which the people watch each other, and where individuals censor themselves instead of being censored by the authorities. In the end, a police state cannot exist without the help of the people it means to dominate. By spying on each other, we destroy ourselves.
by Eric Sommer
Published: Jan. 14, 2010 – Pravda.ru
The western media is currently full of articles on Google’s ‘threat to quit China’ over internet censorship issues, and the company’s ‘suspicion’ that the Chinese government was behind attempts to ‘break-in’ to several Google email accounts used by ‘Chinese dissidents’.
However, the media has almost completely failed to report that Google’s surface concern over ‘human rights’ in China is belied by its their deep involvement with some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet:
Google is, in fact, is a key participant in U.S. military and CIA intelligence operations involving torture; subversion of foreign governments; illegal wars of aggression; and military occupations of countries which have never attacked the U.S. and which have cost hundreds of thousands of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere.
Is Big Business The Big Brother Controling your Life. A glimpse of the things to come about the surveillance society
by Joe Frick
First Published: Aug. 01, 1989 – edition of The Sun
CODED MICROCHIPS implanted in every person in the country would tie all of us into a master computer that could track anyone down at any moment, and plans for such a system are already under way whether you like it or not!
The secret scheme is being touted as a service for the protection of the people by high government officials, but some insiders who object to the move say it’s just another way for Big Brother to control its subjects.
Obama’s Wars (Last Updated: Thu. Oct. 29)
Kabul shootout over, 12 killed
Thu. Oct. 29 – A deadly attack on a guesthouse in central Kabul has ended with the deaths of three gunmen and six foreign UN employees staying at the hostel, an Afghan official has said.
Six dead, dozens wounded as violence rages in Iraq
Thu. Oct. 29 – At least six people have been killed and dozens of others have been wounded in the latest in a series of bomb attacks in Iraq.
Peshawar blast death toll reaches 105
Thu. Oct. 29 – The death toll from a car bomb in Pakistan’s Peshawar has reached 105, a day after the blast struck a market in the country’s most populous northwestern city.
Seven militants dead in NW Pakistan clashes
Thu. Oct. 29 – Pakistani troops have launched fresh attacks on hideouts of pro-Taliban militants in the northwest as insurgency and violence continues to plague the country.
200,000 displaced in South Waziristan
Tue. Oct. 27 – The Pakistan’s army says around 200,000 people have fled their homes in South Waziristan since the military launched a major offensive against militants in the area.
First US official resigns in protest at Afghan war
Tue. Oct. 27 – The US-led war in Afghanistan has forced the first American official to resign his post, questioning the reason behind Washington’s military presence in the country.
3 more NATO troops killed in Afghanistan
Mon. Oct. 26 – Roadside bombs and ambushes have left three more NATO soldiers dead in southern Afghanistan as casualties rise among the foreign forces occupying the country.
‘US using Jundallah in plot to destabilize Iran’
Mon. Oct. 26 – The US is trying to destabilize Iran’s borders by making use of the terrorist group Jundallah, a retired Pakistani general says.
Death toll rises to 147, Baghdad to mourn 3 days
Mon. Oct. 26 – The death toll in the double bombing that hit Baghdad on Sunday has risen to 147 and Iraq has declared a three-day national mourning period.
Anti-West protest in Kabul turns bloody
Mon. Oct. 26 – The second day of protests in Afghanistan over the report of burning of the Muslims holy book has turned bloody after at least three demonstrators were wounded.
14 Americans killed in Afghanistan crashes
Mon. Oct. 26 – The US military says a helicopter crash has killed 10 Americans in western Afghanistan after an earlier crash claimed lives of four US soldiers.
Israeli Apartheid (Last Updated: Tue. Oct. 27)
Prisoner Society: more than 2,000 cases of torture in Israeli prison during past year
Tue. Oct. 27 – Ramallah / PNN – President of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Qaddura Fares, reported today that during the past year there have been more than 2,000 cases of torture in Israeli prison.
Israel denying Palestinians access to clean water
Tue. Oct. 27 – As a result of Israel’s ‘discriminatory’ policies, Palestinians’ access to water supply is far below the minimum recommended by the World Health Organization.
Netanyahu insists Israel is only for Jews
Mon. Oct. 26 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has openly voiced the Israeli government’s plans to expel indigenous Palestinian Arabs from their occupied lands.
OIC warns Israel over Al-Aqsa abuses
Mon. Oct. 26 – The Organization of the Islamic Conference has warned Israel of ‘dangerous consequences’ for acts of sacrilege in the holy Al-Aqsa mosque compound In Jerusalem.
Israel to drop ‘ethnic cleansing’ from schoolbooks
Mon. Oct. 26 – The Israeli Education Ministry plans to omit a passage in their history books that tells the story of the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, describing it as ‘ethnic cleansing.’
Totalitarian Tiptoe to the New World Order (Last Updated: Tue. Oct. 27)
Brussels ‘Home Office’ plot to snoop on all of Europe
Tue. Oct. 27 – Brussels bureaucrats are plotting a massive expansion in the use of surveillance and controversial extradition powers, a report warned last night.
UK: Police in £9m scheme to log ‘domestic extremists’
Mon. Oct. 26 – 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.
Atlanta seeks to add 500 surveillance cameras
Mon. Oct. 26 – What you might call Real Pedestrians of Atlanta is a rather modest video surveillance: a few dozen cameras monitoring select locations in the city every second. But the city has applied for millions in federal stimulus funds so it can train about 500 more cameras on city streets.
More News (Last Updated: Thu. Oct. 29)
Colombia, US to sign a military pact this week
Thu. Oct. 29 – Bogota is on the verge of signing a military pact with Washington, granting the US access to Colombia’s bases, in what the two allies describe as an enhanced war on “narcoterrorism.”
Fidel Castro’s sister Juanita was a CIA agent
Tue. Oct. 27 – Today, Donna was revealed to the rest of the world as Juanita Castro – the sister of Fidel and Raúl, rulers of Cuba and legendary conquerors of US espionage efforts – when she blew the whistle on her career as a CIA agent.
Bishop fined €12,000 for denying Holocaust
Tue Oct. 27 – British Bishop and Holocaust-denier Richard Williamson has been fined over remarks on Swedish television that fewer than 300,000 Jews died in Nazi death camps.
Zelaya confident about return to power
Mon. Oct. 26 – Ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya says he is confident that he will eventually be reinstated, despite the collapse of negotiations with de facto leader Roberto Micheletti.
by Ken Boehm
Published: Aug. 31, 2009 – nlpc.org
NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.
The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”
by Cheryl Phillips
Published: Aug. 28, 2009 – War is Crime
Are you bragging to your MySpace friends about that big job promotion while evading taxes for the past few years? Maybe you are delaying tax payments to the state but boasting on Facebook that business is better than ever? If you are active in social media then it might be a good idea for you to pay your taxes. State revenue agents could be reading your updates.
More than 300 children a day have their DNA taken by the police and added to the national database.
Already 412,670 youngsters under 15 have their genetic profiles stored.
Once 15 to 17-year-olds are added, the total rises to an astonishing 1.1million, according to Freedom of Information replies revealed yesterday.
The DNA samples, from children as young as ten, are kept regardless of whether or not they were ever charged.
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The Department of Homeland Security is expanding a pilot project that uses fingerprint scanners and kiosks to speed travelers headed overseas through airport security.
On August 24th, the Global Entry Trusted Traveler program will be available at 13 additional airports in the United States and Puerto Rico, bringing the total number of airports equipped with the technology to 20. The program is also available at airports in the Netherlands through a partnership.
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WASHINGTON — Airlines this week will begin requiring some people making reservations for domestic flights to submit their dates of birth and genders as part of a screening process aimed at keeping boarding passes out of the hands of suspected terrorists, the Transportation Security Administration said.
The agency said the screening would all play out behind the scenes, meaning there should be no additional delays for passengers at airport terminals. The change will be phased in starting Saturday. Not all airlines are fully participating yet and might not request the data.
The TSA said it would be up to individual airlines or travel agents to decide how to collect the required information at the time a reservation is made. The program, called Secure Flight, is aimed at meeting congressional mandates, including those passed in 2007 to put into practice recommendations from the commission that investigated the 2001 terrorist attacks. The government’s goal is to vet all passengers on domestic commercial flights by early next year.
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Police have secretly been told to continue with the unlawful ‘Big Brother’ policy of indefinitely storing DNA samples taken from entirely innocent people.
It is more than seven months since European judges ruled that DNA taken from 850,000 people who were not convicted of any crime could not be stored for life.
But a leaked letter by one of the country’s most senior policing officials reveals that forces have been warned against starting to destroy the unlawful samples.
Chief constables have been ‘strongly advised’ they should stick to the old rules allowing blanket retention of DNA samples until at least 2010.
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WASHINGTON (AFP) – US officials may seek to expand and widen agreements that demand that airlines supply sensitive data on passengers arriving from Europe, according to a senior Homeland Security official.
The plan, if pursued, could go beyond an existing deal with the European Union that allows trans-Atlantic airlines transfer credit card, e-mail addresses, passport, travel itineraries and other data belonging to European passengers to US officials.
Rand Beers, who heads the Department of Homeland Security’s protection division, said preliminary discussions had begun with the Spanish government to gauge the possibilities of a fresh pan-European deal.
“Obviously one of the things that we are looking at is whether or not it might be more appropriate to have a overarching or umbrella agreement with the European Union,” Beers said.
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It is surely the biggest Big Brother project yet conceived. India is to issue each of its 1.2 billion citizens, millions of whom live in remote villages and possess no documentary proof of existence, with cyber-age biometric identity cards.
The Government in Delhi recently created the Unique Identification Authority, a new state department charged with the task of assigning every living Indian an exclusive number. It will also be responsible for gathering and electronically storing their personal details, at a predicted cost of at least £3 billion.
The task will be led by Nandan Nilekani, the outsourcing sage who coined the phrase “the world is flat”, which became a mantra for supporters of globalisation. “It is a humongous, mind-boggling challenge,” he told The Times. “But we have the opportunity to give every Indian citizen, for the first time, a unique identity. We can transform the country.”
If the cards were piled on top of each other they would be 150 times as high as Mount Everest — 1,200 kilometres.
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Schools claim it cuts costs and time – but the civil liberties implications are vast…
by Yvonne Singh
As voters express concern about surveillance technology, is it becoming second nature to the Facebook generation – used to publishing intimate details of their private lives on the worldwide web – who, in later life, may be less vociferous in their opposition to such schemes?
An increasing number of today’s schoolchildren are forgoing the humiliating daily name call of registration, and are instead having to “fingerswipe” in and out of class, or to give it its proper name: biometric registration. According to campaign group LeaveThemKidsAlone, schools have fingerprinted more than two million children this way, sometimes even without their parents’ consent. A statement on its website claims: “It’s part of an enormous softening-up exercise, targeting society’s most impressionable, so they’ll accept cradle-to-grave state snooping and control.”
Hard-pressed schools and local councils with tight budgets are being enticed by a new generation of software that promises to cut administration costs and time. In the last 18 months, several Guardian readers have written into the paper expressing concern at this new technology being trialled on their children. Everything from “cashless catering schemes” to “kiddyprints” instead of library cards is being introduced by stealth into the nation’s schools, it is claimed.
The software companies that are jostling for a stake in this lucrative market, such as VeriCool and CRB solutions, boast several testimonials on their websites, arguing that this technology not only minimises lunchtime queues and paperwork, but also tackles more serious problems such as truancy and bullying (a cashless system negates the need to be biffed for your lunch money). They even claim that their systems promote healthy eating, as pupils accrue points for eschewing sugary snacks.
Furthermore, CRB solutions is quick to reassure pupils and staff that “this wasn’t the same sort of fingerprinting that the police did … in fact, parts of the ‘fingerprint’ are converted (using a mathematical algorithm) into digital data which can then be used for future recognition.”
However, the police and security services do use coded algorithms when taking the fingerprints of a suspect, as well as taking inky fingerprints that are kept on paper file. And it is this data that they use to match fingerprints at the scene of a major crime. The implications are vast – the nation’s schools aren’t exactly the safest place for the storage of this sensitive data – and anyone with access to the system and a mobile SIM card can download the information from a computer, increasing the chances of identity theft. Unless the computer system is professionally purged, before this data has a chance to be leaked, it can remain in cyberspace for eternity to be retained for all sorts of dubious purposes.
It’s odd that this drive towards fingerprinting children coincides with the government’s keenness to expand the national DNA database – we already have one of the largest in the world – with more than four million people on file, including nearly 1.1 million children.
It seems that in the blink of an eyelid (or iris scan), our children are losing the civil liberties and freedoms we are fighting so hard to preserve.
Hundreds of teenagers are having their DNA taken by police in case they commit crimes later in life, an officer has disclosed…
Officers are targeting children as young as 10 with the aim of placing their DNA profiles on the national database to improve their chances of solving crimes, it is claimed.
The alleged practice is also described as part of a “long-term crime prevention strategy” to dissuade youths from committing offences in the future.
The claim comes amid widespread criticism of government proposals to store DNA profiles of innocent people, including some children, on the database for up to 12 years.
Civil liberty campaigners have condemned the tactic of as “diabolical” and said it showed contempt for children’s freedom.
A Metropolitan Police officer made the claims after figures were released showing that 386 under-18s had their DNA taken and stored by police last year in Camden, north London.
The officer said: “Have we got targets for young people who have not been arrested yet? The answer is yes. But we are not just waiting outside schools to pick them up, we are acting on intelligence.
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BLAINE, Wash. – New rules requiring passports or new high-tech documents to cross the United States’ northern and southern borders are taking effect Monday, as some rue the tightening of security and others hail it as long overdue.
The rules are being implemented nearly eight years after theand long after the 9/11 Commission recommended the changes. They were delayed by complaints from state officials who worried the restrictions would hinder the flow of people and commerce and affect dependent on international crossings.
In 2001 a driver’s license and an oral declaration of citizenship were enough to cross the Canadian and Mexican borders; Monday’s changes are the last step in a gradual ratcheting up of the rules. Now thousands of Americans are preparing by applying for passports or obtaining special
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by Tony Bunyan
The EU’s new five-year plan for justice and home affairs will export the UK’s database state to the rest of the EU…
Every five years the EU adopts a five-year plan for justice and home affairs affecting many areas of EU citizens’ civil liberties – policing, immigration and asylum, criminal law, databases and data protection. The Tampere programme (2000-2004) was followed by the Hague programme[pdf] (2005-2009), which included the commitment to bring in biometric passports and ID cards, and a new programme will be adopted in Stockholm in December.
The process of deciding the content of these five-year plans is long and complicated and rarely makes it into the mainstream news until they have been adopted – when, of course, it is too late for the public to influence its content or direction. The Tampere programme was drawn up and negotiated by officials of the council of the European Union and the European commission, without any consultation with national or European parliaments, let alone civil society, and adopted in closed sessions[pdf] by the European council (EU prime ministers). This time we know a little more. In January 2008 the council set up a future group[pdf], who produced a report on home affairs last summer.
Its proposals are examined in a special Statewatch report: The shape of things to come[pdf]. These include the new “principle of convergence”, described as “the pooling of sovereignty” by enforcing standard training, equipment and information technology across all the law enforcement agencies (police, immigration and customs) and backed by legal harmonisation to remove “obstacles” (such as the need for judicial authorisation and data protection) to gathering, accessing and transferring data and intelligence. This will allow unregulated automated access to data and intelligence by hundreds of national state agencies across Europe, bringing into practical effect the “principle of availability” (all data and intelligence held has to made available to all the other state agencies in the EU) in the Hague programme.
Second, to harness the digital tsunami[pdf]: “Every object the individual uses, every transaction they make and almost everywhere they go will create a detailed digital record. This will generate a wealth of information for public security organisations”, leading to behaviour being predicted and assessed by “machines” (their term) which will issue orders to officers on the spot. The proposal presages the mass gathering of personal data on travel, bank details, mobile phone locations, health records, internet usage, criminal records however minor, fingerprints and digital pictures that can be data-mined and applied to different scenario – boarding a plane, behaviour on the Tube or taking part in a protest.
Third, it is proposed that by 2014 the EU needs to create a “Euro-Atlantic area of cooperation with the USA in the field of freedom, security and justice”. This would go far beyond current co-operation and mean that policies affecting the liberties and rights of everyone in Europe would not be determined in London or Brussels but in secret EU-US meetings.
The formal process will start when the commission adopts proposals in June. The European parliament will be consulted when it re-assembles in September. The commission’s draft can be re-written at will by the European council and adopted in closed session. This will set in stone the measures to be put forward by the commission and determine the agenda for the new European parliament.
Statewatch has set up an observatory tracking all the documents as they appear so that you can find out what is going on and the European civil liberties network[pdf] is seeking to alert civil society to the dangers.
We can either leave these decisions to our leaders (and an elite group of civil servants) or we can insist on an open and meaningful debate now before it is too late. The idea that the surveillance society and database state is just a UK issue is naive: it is a European one in which our government plays a very active role.
The US Department of Homeland Security is set to kickstart a controversial new pilot to scan the fingerprints of travellers departing the United States.
From June, US Customs and Border Patrol will take a fingerprint scan of international travellers exiting the United States from Detroit, while the US Transport Security Administration will take fingerprint scans of international travellers exiting the United States from Atlanta.
Biometric technology such as fingerprint scans has been used by US Customs and Border Patrol for several years to gain a biometric record of non-US citizens entering the United States.
But under the Bush Administration, a plan was formulated to also scan outgoing passengers.
Michael Hardin, a senior policy analyst with the US-Visit Program at the United States Department of Homeland Security told a Biometrics Institute conference today that the DHS will use the data from the trial to “inform us as to where to take [exit screening] next.”
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The most democratic country in the world, the USA, violates human rights. All foreigners leaving the United States will have to undergo the humiliating process of biometric data collection from May 28.
All the people leaving the territory of the United States of America will have their fingerprints and pictures taken. Robert Mocny, director of the US-VISIT program at DHS, stated that the foreign nationals departing from two international airports of the country will have to undergo the procedure. The pilot program will be launched in Atlanta (Georgia) and Detroit (Michigan).
The procedure will become mandatory for everyone – both US citizens and foreigners – from 2010. US authorities say that the procedure will not make passengers stay at the airports longer than usual.
The screening process will take up to 1.5 minutes, US officials assert. The equipment has been prepared.
Until recently, fingerprints were taken only from foreigners holding US entry visas. They received special passport inlays indicating the dates of their stay in the country as a result of the procedure.
The current measures, Mocny said, were taken within the scope of the struggle against illegal immigrants.
“Once a visa is issued and tied with a biometric, once a passport is issued and tied to a biometric, that passport or visa cannot be used by anybody else,” he said. “There are tens of millions of lost or stolen passports that circulate the globe on the black market used by international criminals and terrorists. This [biometric verification] puts a stop to that,” Mocny said.
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The DNA profiles of people released without charge or found not guilty by a court could be stored for up to 12 years on a national police database.
The proposal, announced by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, is in response to a European court ruling that criticised the Government for keeping genetic records of innocent people.
Opponents accused ministers of defying the spirit of the court’s decision by drawing a distinction between DNA samples, which will be destroyed, and the genetic profiles they generate.
The judgment last year ruled that the indefinite storage of samples, profiles and fingerprints of everyone arrested was unlawful.
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