Politicos Protected by Smartphone Decision, Too

26SCOTUS-master675Today all nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices agreed that a search of one’s cellphone without a warrant by a law enforcement agency is a violation of the fourth amendment and requires the obtaining of a search warrant. In Chief Justice John Roberts written opinion he stated that,“Cellphones have become important tools in facilitating coordination and communication among members of criminal enterprises, and can provide valuable incriminating information about dangerous criminals,” but, “Privacy comes at a cost.”

Upon the first reading of this decision one might think that criminals are the only ones being protected by this opinion for they may now more easily use their smartphones to set up illegal enterprises. But what about us that are politically active? Three reasons we and like-minded folks should be thankful for this decision: COINTELPRO, Project MINARET, and the FBI.

As Wikipedia can so much more eloquently explains:

COINTELPRO (an acronym for COunter INTELligencePROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.[2]National Security Agency operation Project MINARET targeted the personal communications of leading Americans who criticized the Vietnam War, including Senators (e.g., Frank Church and Howard Baker), civil rights leaders (e.g., Dr. Martin Luther King), journalists, and athletes.[3][4]

Do a good read-up on COINTELPRO and Project MINARET, which took place from the 1956 to 1971, and tell me that your not in support of this decision. Could you imagine if J. Edgar Hoover ever got MLK’s or the Students for a Democratic Society’s smartphones what changes in history may have occurred?




NSA Surveillance On “Frontline”

indexI just spent the last three hours watching two great episodes of the PBS program “Frontline” that deal with the history of the NSA surveillance program.

The first episode is a two-hour piece on the creation and development of the program from the time of 9/11/2001,  to the inclusion that NSA actions still continue with Pres. Obama.  It includes interviews with everyone (sans Bush/Cheney) and gives a detailed account of the history of the program.

The second episode of one hour contains a brief introduction to Edward Snowden and then the complicity by major tech corporations with the NSA and the FBI regarding electronic surveillance.

Plus the website has many complimentary information and interviews that I have yet to look into but look interesting. It is important and compelling viewing.

See Here.

Pushing Against The Surveillance Innocent Muslims

603d16f3-7843-41ce-b8a7-23208b42aa59-460x276The NYPD announced yesterday that it was closing it’s “Demographic Unit.”

If you don’t know about this task force, it was first reported by the AP in 2011 that a special NYPD unit was conducting surveillance of normal Muslims, recording where they worshiped, where they ate, what they talked about at the cafe, etc., in an effort to thwart further terror attacks following 9/11.

This was a ridiculously overblown reaction by the NYPD, post-9/11, and is a violation of civil rights.

So now, according to this report in The Guardian, groups are trying to make sure that other NYPD units are not going to pick up where the Demographics Unit left off.

Read Here.



“The Day We Fight Back”

4a716d9a-de79-4fde-b0a9-e2fd6b46bc1d-460x276A short piece in The Guardian on “The Day We Fight Back” protests that occurred Tuesday involving organizations and individuals against government surveillance of internet activity.

Interesting to see how protests are further morphing as the digital age is progressing, if even it is still the digital age at all.

Read Here.


Surveillance State: Could It Manipulate Elections?

29b466736A great thought-piece in The Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf exploring the question of rather or not the mass-data being collected by the NSA and the CIA could be used to manipulate elections. He explores many differing scenarios through which this could happen. An important read.

Read Here.


NSA Now Admits Searching Message Contents

o-NSA-PHONE-RECORD-COLLECTION-facebook It seems like every other day the NSA is admitting that, after being leaked by some whistle-blower, they further and further invade American’s privacy by collecting, and now reading, our electronic communications. In this NYT article, pay attention to the quotes from the ACLU for people will soon be afraid to visit controversial pages or e-mailing politically incorrect content to each other due to NSA “collecting.”

Read Here.

NSA Tracking All of Your Internet Activity

XKeyscore mapA must-read article in The Guardian by Glenn Greenwald about a NSA computer program called  XKeystore that can track almost all of you internet activities, including the content of your e-mail messages, sites visited, and searches. Read this and beware of your own democratically-elected government.

Read Here.

How Snowden’s Leaks Allows Judicial Actions

snowden-340This is a good article in The Post about how the revelations regarding government surveillance by the NSA by whistle blower Edward Snowden is allowing for judicial action by opponents which was not possible before. Good read.

Read Here.