Secrecy and manipulation: On the FBI’s propaganda war and the shaping of public opinion

Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm by

Original commentary from Privacy SOS blog published on Wednesday, April 16.

A4490-20Longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was obsessed with the public’s perception of him and his enemies. As a result of this obsession, an agent could do no wrong greater than publicly embarrass the director or the bureau. Hoover knew that image and representation were more important than reality, so he worked hard to hide the truth from the public and his congressional purse-string-holders, and spin fabulous tales starring himself and his sharp-dressing agents as great American heroes.

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Missouri law embodies spirit of Fourth Amendment

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 10:46 am by

missouri-sealMissouri is laying out the law plain and simple: there will be no warrantless searches of electronic data and communications in their state. On April 3, the Missouri Senate passed legislation that would give electronic data and communications the same Fourth Amendment protections as “persons, houses, papers, or effects.”
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Constitution in Crisis :: BORDC February Newsletter

Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:22 am by

Constitution in Crisis

February 2014, Vol. 13 No. 02

View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2014/02/


States resisting the NSA dragnet

January witnessed continuing public outrage over the surveillance state’s assault on our fundamental rights and civil liberties.


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When the NSA & universities collaborate: a discussion with leading privacy experts at Johns Hopkins University

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 10:17 am by

bca8e39ceOn Tuesday, April 15, BORDC executive director, Shahid Buttar, spoke on a panel with privacy experts, Christopher Soghoian, ACLU Technologist, Matt Green and Joel Andreas, Johns Hopkins University professors, to discuss ways the intelligence community has begun to co-opt our higher education system. Each year the NSA gives millions of dollars to universities around the country in the form of scholarships, research grants, training, technology, and promises of jobs to students. This degree of influence and the bias it creates is concerning, particularly in the way the issues of mass surveillance is addressed and responded to on these campuses. Below is video from the evening’s discussion.
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FBI plans to have 52 Million photos in its NGI face recognition database by next year

Monday, April 14, 2014 at 10:45 am by

Original commentary by Jennifer Lynch published April 14, 2014 on EFF Deeplinks Blog

FBI NGI Face Recognition IllustrationNew documents released by the FBI show that the Bureau is well on its way toward its goal of a fully operational face recognition database by this summer.

EFF received these records in response to our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for information on Next Generation Identification (NGI)—the FBI’s massive biometric database that may hold records on as much as one third of the U.S. population. The facial recognition component of this database poses real threats to privacy for all Americans.
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NSI program makes mass suspicion, surveillance, and profiling national standards

Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 9:25 am by

blog_governmentsurveillanceAfter receiving a great deal of public criticism about the NSA, the Obama administration and federal agencies have been forced to reform their mass surveillance programs. But it seems the federal government is proving to be adaptable, finding other ways and means of collecting massive amounts of data on innocent, law-abiding Americans. The National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) is the new form of mass surveillance, and federal agencies as well as local law enforcement are partaking in it.
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Cities around the country say: fusion centers are wasteful, fraudulent, and ineffective

Friday, April 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm by

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 10.48.20 PMThursday, April 10, 2014 was a National Day of Action against Fusion Centers. Diverse, multiracial grassroots coalitions from around the country held rallies, press conferences, and creative actions to challenges civil liberties by fusion centers, which coordinate the surveillance activities of local police alongside federal agencies like the NSA and FBI. Fusion centers have operated at unknown cost, failed to meaningfully serve a public benefit, and drawn critics including Senators across the partisan spectrum, the ACLU, environmentalists, Muslim Americans, peace activists, and Ron Paul supporters.

Participating cities in yesterday’s action included: Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Below the jump are quotes from organizers, as well as photos and videos from several of the sites.

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April 5 day of action against deportation: 2 million, 2 many!

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm by

Original commentary by Alok Bhatt published April 7, 2014 on the  Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission blog.

IMG952671At around 3:00pm on the chilly afternoon of Saturday, April 5, members of Connecticut’s immigrant community, representing over ten cities across the state, converged on the Abraham A. Ribcoff Federal Building (Federal Building) in Downtown Hartford to rally against the nearly 2,000,000 deportations perpetrated under the Obama administration. The Federal Building houses Connecticut’s primary immigration court, from which many community and family members have been  banished from the United States, often for non-violent offenses. In Connecticut, approximately 35% of deportation proceedings initiate without any criminal conviction.
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We say #StopSpying on the National Day of Action Against Fusion Centers

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9:09 am by

dont-spy-on-meToday coalitions across the United State will rally, protest, and demonstrate against local fusion/spy centers to inform the public about the spy centers and police/state surveillance.  As Americans, we demand that Congress shut down fusion centers; end funding to these centers and release all Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs).
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Just salute and follow orders’: When secrecy and surveillance trump the rule of law

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 8:58 am by

Original commentary by John Whitehead, published March 31, 2014 on the Rutherford Institute blog.

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“The Secret Government is an interlocking network of official functionaries, spies, mercenaries, ex-generals, profiteers and superpatriots, who, for a variety of motives, operate outside the legitimate institutions of government. Presidents have turned to them when they can’t win the support of the Congress or the people, creating that unsupervised power so feared by the framers of our Constitution…”—Journalist Bill Moyers and White House press secretary under President Johnson (1988)

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Why fusion centers matter: FAQ

Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm by

 Original commentary by Nadia Kayyali published April 7, 2014 on the Electronic Frontier Foundation Deeplinks blog

While Homeland-SecurityNSA surveillance has been front and center in the news recently, fusion centers are a part of the surveillance state that deserve close scrutiny.

Fusion centers are a local arm of the so-called “intelligence community,” the 17 intelligence agencies coordinated by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). The government documentation around fusion centers is entirely focused on breaking down barriers between the various government agencies that collect and maintain criminal intelligence information.
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