- 3/26, Ryan Gallagher, Slate, FBI Pursuing Real-Time Gmail Spying Powers as “Top Priority” for 2013
- 3/26, Mitch Strohm, ABC15 (AZ), CISPA: Cybersecurity or internet privacy killer?
- 3/26, Tim Shorrock, The Nation, Obama’s Crackdown on Whistleblowers
- 3/26, Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, TSA Airport Screening Lawsuit Nears Court Date To Challenge Intrusive Searches
- 3/26, Finian Cunningham, Press TV, Guantanamo exposes reality of US fascism
- 3/26, Greg Miller and Julie Tate, Washington Post, CIA director faces a quandary over clandestine service appointment
Posts Tagged ‘CIA’
It’s been five years since Jim Scott embarked on his slog through the bureaucracy and secrecy of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in order to piece together why the government spied on his journalist father.
Paul Scott, who covered national security for the Northern Virginia Sun during the 1960’s, would walk to his neighbor’s house to call his sources in order to avoid a wiretap his family thought him paranoid to worry about. It wasn’t until 2007, when the CIA released a collection of documents called the Family Jewels, which outlined its illegal activities during the 1950’s-70’s, that Jim learned his father’s caution was justified.
In a recent article for the Washington Post, Ian Shapira describes Jim Scott’s five-year battle with the CIA to turn over documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Jim believes these documents will shed light on unanswered questions that linger after his father’s death.
Shapira’s article, in turn, raises a number of points worth elaborating on about the secrecy state.
- 3/24, Grant Gross, PC World, Bills would require warrants for police to use GPS tracking
- 3/24, David Pierce, The Verge, Mayor Bloomberg says surveillance drones are inevitable in NYC: ‘get used to it’
- 3/24, David Carr, New York Times, In Leak Case, State Secrecy in Plain Sight
- 3/24, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Washington Post, The CIA’s interrogation program deserves a public airing
- 3/24, Deborah Dupre, Examiner.com, Obama administration gives $50 million to keep Guantanamo open indefinitely
- 3/23, Traci Bridges, SCNow.com, Police drones? No thanks say local authorities
- 3/22, Elizabeth Flock, U.S. News and World Report, DHS Denies Massive Ammunition Purchase
- 3/22, Michael Endler, Information Week, Microsoft Reports On Patriot Act Data Requests
- 3/22, Joseph Menn and Deborah Charles, Reuters, US plan calls for more scanning of private Web traffic, email
- 3/22, Chris Finan, Wired, Don’t Hate CISPA — Let’s Fix It, Because We Need It
- 3/21, Timothy Pratt, New York Times, States Vie to Conduct Commercial Drone Tests
- 3/21, Michael Kelley, Business Insider, CIA Chief Tech Officer: Big Data Is The Future And We Own It
- 3/21, Meredith Clark, MSNBC, Drone hearing hints at expanded domestic role for unmanned systems
- 3/21, David Kravets, Wired, Microsoft, Too, Says FBI Secretly Surveilling Its Customers
- 3/21, Joseph Menn and Deborah Charles, Reuters, U.S. cyber plan calls for private-sector scans of Net
- 3/21, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Money Requested for New Prison at Guantánamo
- 3/21, Steve Inskeep and Tom Gjelten, NPR, Pentagon May Take Over CIA’s Drone Program
- 3/20, Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, CIA’s Gus Hunt On Big Data: We ‘Try To Collect Everything And Hang On To It Forever’
- 3/20, Matthew L. Wald, New York Times, Current Laws May Offer Little Shield Against Drones, Senators Are Told
- 3/20, Jennifer Peltz, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg says he’d veto proposal for NYPD monitor
- 3/20, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Number of Hunger Strikers Surges at Guantánamo
- 3/20, Gerry Smith, Huffington Post, Web Giants Fight CISPA, Push Back Against Resurrection Of Cybersecurity Bill
- 3/20, Andrea Peterson, ThinkProgress, The Government Can (Still) Read Most Of Your Emails Without A Warrant
- 3/20, Kevin Gosztola, Fire Dog Lake, The Push to End Warrantless Intrusions on Digital Communications
March 2013, Vol. 12 No. 03
View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/03/
March 2013, Vol. 12 No. 03
View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/03/
On March 6, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) forced a long overdue conversation in Washington about checks and balances on executive power by leading a bipartisan filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA.
In the last month, BORDC and coalitions we support across the nation have appeared in various press outlets to promote concerns about constitutional rights and the powers of police and intelligence agencies that abuse them.
Have you read BORDC’s blog lately? The People’s Blog for the Constitution has attracted a growing audience that has tripled over the past year. Featuring news & analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, it offers a great way to stay up-to-date and informed.
Highlights from the past month include:
- Strict immigration enforcement both wasteful and harmful by Munazza Fairooz Khan
- Virginia joins growing list of states to stand against drones by Michael Figura
- Berkeley community groups protest Kayla Moore’s death by Emily Walsh
- February 2013 Patriot Award: Peggy Littleton by Imad Khan
- Massachusetts legislature to consider drone privacy bills by Yiqian Wang
- Brown liars and the rise of ‘Warrior Academics’ by Kyla Kuvach
- San Francisco says no to indefinite military detention by Nadia Kayyali
- A promising step against domestic drones by Dave Mitchell
- Supreme Court ruling goes to the dogs by Rebecca Palermo
- BORDC in the News: March 4-11, 2013 by Alok Bhatt
- Killing us softly by Shahid Buttar
On Tuesday, March 5, BORDC’s Shahid Buttar spoke at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. Hosted by the American Constitution Society, his talk, which was videotaped and is available online, addressed “Power and Accountability in the Post-9/11 era: torture, targeted killing, and domestic drone surveillance.”
On Sunday, May 5, BORDC will host a reception in San Francisco celebrating the organization’s first decade of grassroots organizing to restore civil liberties, and several recent policy victories across the San Francisco Bay Area.
Every month, BORDC honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in his or her community to the movement to restore civil liberties and the rule of law. This month, the Patriot Award goes to Mary Madden for her extraordinary and committed activism and organizing.
To view campaigns supported by BORDC at a glance, visit our interactive campaign maps for local coalitions addressing surveillance and profiling by local law enforcement, or military detention under the NDAA. To get involved in any of these efforts, please email the BORDC Organizing Team at organizing (at) bordc (dot) org. We’re eager to hear from you and help support your activism!
- Nationwide: Campaigns emerge to address domestic surveillance drones
- Boston and Cambridge, MA: Diverse coalition takes action in several ways
- Hartford, CT: Public education on how immigration enforcement could undermine civil liberties
- New York City, NY: Residents gather to challenge drones and detention, while lawsuit proceeds vs. NYPD stop-and-frisk profiling
- Annapolis, MD: Statewide coalition challenges NDAA, plans upcoming discussion event
- Asheville, NC: Coalition mobilizes to support proposed Civil Liberties Ordinance
- Cleveland, OH: Coalition launches monthly vigils, bus tour, and petitions
- Chicago, IL: Coalition mobilizes to challenge suppression of dissent, anti-immigrant profiling
- Madison, WI: New coalition initiates public education campaign
- Helena, MT: House votes unanimously to approve bill vs. NDAA
- Los Angeles, CA: Coalition plans community mobilization for upcoming Police Commission meeting
- San Francisco, CA: The 18th city to say “No!” to indefinite detention under the NDAA
- Seattle, WA: Community considers racial profiling and drones
- Friday Harbor, WA: Coalition organizes educational forum
Earlier this month, Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013 (HR 637), a bipartisan bill that would establish basic legal ground rules for the domestic use of unmanned drone aircraft. The principles now governing searches by this new technology are vague, and the clarity of this bill would greatly benefit both police and the public.
The Cyber Information and Sharing Act (CISPA) was first introduced last year by Representatives Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). It prompted widespread opposition, including a veto threat from President Obama, in addition to a petition with over 800,000 signatures, and a widespread online campaign dubbed “Stop Cyber Spying Week.” Nonetheless, CISPA is back.
Calls for comprehensive reform of federal immigration law have prompted a bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill. Most observers, however, have overlooked how stronger immigration enforcement could undermine the rights of not only immigrants, but also US citizens.
On March 15, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the CIA must respond to a FOIA request by the ACLU seeking information about the targeted killing program using drone aircraft. While the decision does not require the actual disclosure of the documents, which the lawsuit will now move on to address, it does represent a rare example of the federal judiciary standing up to government secrecy and asserting an independent check and balance.
On March 15, a federal judge in California struck down National Security Letters (NSLs) as unconstitutional violations of free speech. US District Judge Susan Illston ordered the Justice Department and FBI to stop issuing NSLs, which are unilateral demands for private information unsupported by a judicial warrant, and also ordered them to stop enforcing gag orders attached to NSLs in other cases.
On February 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow warrantless wiretapping to continue. The controversial decision places the National Security Agency (NSA) above the law and insulates it from judicial review.
The transpartisan grassroots movement against the domestic detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is growing. Nearly 20 cities have passed resolutions supporting Due Process, and organizers are using Facebook to help build statewide campaigns in several states.
BORDC supports grassroots organizers as they build diverse coalitions seeking local protections and civil rights and civil liberties. A pair of upcoming convenings offer opportunities for organizers to travel to the Northeast in April, or Bay Area in May, to share skills and case studies with allies from other cities.
To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC has provided micro-grants to coalitions that have participated in one of BORDC’s anchor convenings, such as the May 2012 convening in Chicago. Grants of $300 to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility, host events, or build capacity.
- 3/20, Kathy Matheson, Associated Press, Judges asked to rule on warrantless GPS tracking
- 3/20, Tony Romm, Politico, CISPA panic may be premature
- 3/19, Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable, Reddit, Craigslist and 30,000 Other Websites Oppose CISPA
- 3/19, Emily Andrews, Salt Lake (UT) Tribune, Utah Sen. Lee sponsors email privacy bill
- 3/19, Daniel Klaidman, The Daily Beast, Exclusive: No More Drones for CIA
- 3/19, Glenn Greenwald, Guardian (UK), The FBI’s anticipatory prosecution of Muslims to criminalize speech
- 3/18, Petra Bartosiewicz, The Nation, NYPD Surveillance of Muslims Has Created a Climate of Fear
On March 11, a series of organizations released a report entitled “Mapping Muslims,” which traces the human impact of the NYPD”s illegal spying program targeting Muslims in and around New York City. The report, based on interviews with 57 members of Muslim communities in New York City, takes stock of the spying programs’ effects on religious practice, freedom of speech, social and community relations, law enforcement relationships and college campuses.
In 2011, the Associated Press revealed that the NYPD, assisted by the CIA, was mapping and tracking Muslim residents and their businesses and places of worship through a secret squad, known as the “Demographics Unit.” However, the revelations of the AP failed to curtail the deeply racist and discriminatory pseudo-ethnographic project, which now goes by the euphemism, the “Zone Assessment Unit.”
The interviews conducted for the report make clear that the NYPD’s activities suppressed and chilled the practice of many Muslim’s faith. Individual interviewees observed:
It’s as if the law says: the more Muslim you are, the more trouble you can be, so decrease your Islam.
There are always parked, unmarked cars outside of mosques.
The impact on first amendment protected speech and community openness was found to be similarly chilling. According to Hamza, owner of a business monitored by the NYPD’s Demographics Unit:
I don’t allow Al-Jazeera on in our hookah bar. Particularly when things flare up in the Middle East. We can’t control what people start saying in response to the news, and we never know who else is in the bar listening.
- 3/17, Matthew L. Wald, New York Times, Domestic Drones Stir Imaginations, and Concerns
- 3/17, Aliya Sternstein, NextGov, DHS Cyber Czar Mark Weatherford to step down
- 3/16, Jillian Rayfield, Salon, Islamophobia still has its place at CPAC
- 3/15, Robyn Greene, ACLU, Intel Officials Admit “Cyber Pearl Harbor” Unlikely Soon, Agree Cyber Should be Kept in Civilian Hands
- 3/15, Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, FBI surveillance tool is ruled unconstitutional
- 3/15, Peter Finn and Julie Tate, Washington Post, Appeals court rejects CIA’s argument over acknowledging drone operations
- 3/15, Josh Gerstein, Politico, Court deals blow to CIA drone secrecy
- 3/15, Amy Goodman, Guardian (UK), Prisoner protest at Guantánamo Bay stains Obama’s human rights record
- 3/14, Josh Gerstein and Manu Raju, Politico, President Obama: I’m no Dick Cheney on drones
- 3/13, Shahid Buttar, People’s Blog for the Constitution, Killing us softly
- 3/13, Stephen Rohde, TruthOut, Bush Detained Alleged Terrorists Without Due Process – Obama Is Killing Them With Drones