Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

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.

Drones may be the new weapon of choice

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 8:55 am by

drone1Drone devices are being lauded as the new frontier in the technology sector and both commercial and government actors can’t wait to get their hands on it. While it is undeniable that this technology can serve as a useful tool, it is important to note that drones can also be wielded as weapons.

Many drone advocates argue that commercial drone use doesn’t pose a genuine threat to civil liberties and that potential abuses are more likely among government agencies. But, it is incredibly difficult to assert that commercially collected data won’t fall into government hands. One need look no further than the National Security Agency (NSA) to see how government agencies are capable of collecting and aggregating commercial data, without a warrant, to serve their own purposes.

BORDC News Digest for 03/18/14

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 5:32 pm by

Current News 

3/18, Christian Payne, The Guardian, The principle of privacy is worth fighting for

3/18, Kim Zetter, Wired, A 10-Point Plan to Keep the NSA Out of Our Data

3/18, Aljazeera America, America needs a 21st century Church Committee

3/17, Faiza Patel, Al Jazeera America, A failure to protect our rights

3/16, Joe Wolverton, The New American, New House Plan Props Up NSA Surveillance of Phone Calls

3/14, Joe Wolverton, The New American, FISA Court Continues Collusion with Federal Surveillance Programs

How to enact drone legislation in your state

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 9:02 am by
(Photo Credit: Peace Fresno Action)

(Photo Credit: Peace Fresno Action)

1. Decide what you want

The first step is to decide what you want. There are different kinds of drone regulations. Two primary categories are public vs. private regulation. Do you want to regulate private drone use (e.g., stopping your neighbor from looking through your window with a drone), or public drone use (e.g., police or regulatory agencies surveilling an area or people like Illinois’ law), or both (like Montana’s law)? Have a rough idea of what you want so that you can pitch it to others when you…

BORDC News Digest 3/14/14

Friday, March 14, 2014 at 6:26 pm by

Current News 

3/13, J. Richards, CBS News, White House more involved in CIA-Senate dispute, reports say

3/13, Robert Schoon, Latin Post, In Feinstein CIA Speech, Constitutional Separation of Powers, Fourth Amendment Concerns Emerge

3/13, Ari Melber, Reuters, Our fierce fight over torture

3/12, Dan Froomkin, The Intercept, Calls for Brennan’s Ouster Emerge Along With Details of CIA Search of Senate Computers

3/7, Yasha Levine, Pando Daily, Oakland emails give another glimpse into the Google-Military-Surveillance Complex

3/6, Will Kane, SF Gate, Oakland to limit surveillance center to port, airport

Federal Judge abandons the Constitution, and the rights of Muslim Americans

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 8:20 am by

nypd-ny-muslims-811-thumb-640xauto-3955On Thursday, February 20, a federal judge based in Newark, NJ dismissed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) large scale surveillance of Muslims in New Jersey. The case of Hassan v. City of New York was brought by several individuals and organizations, with legal representation by Muslim Advocates and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

The history of surveillance and the Black community

Monday, February 24, 2014 at 8:41 am by

Photo credit: Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons

Original commentary by Nadia Kayyali and published on EFF Deeplinks blog February 13, 2014

February is Black History Month and that history is intimately linked with surveillance by the federal government in the name of “national security.”  Indeed, the history of surveillance in the African-American community plays an important role in the debate around spying today and in the calls for a congressional investigation into that surveillance. Days after the first NSA leaks emerged last June, EFF called for a new Church Committee. We mentioned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the targets of the very surveillance that eventually led to the formation of the first Church Committee. This Black History Month, we should remember the many African-American activists who were targeted by intelligence agencies. Their stories serve as cautionary tales for the expanding surveillance state.


The NYPD can’t hide anymore

Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8:44 am by
Oirignal photo from

Oirignal photo from

In 1971, a lawsuit was filed against the New York Police Department (NYPD) for engaging in unconstitutional surveillance practices against activist groups including the War Resisters League and the Black Panthers. This fight eventually brought on reform within the Department, but since the 9/11 terrorist attacks these changes have been rescinded. Now, the people are looking to the courts to, once again, curb the abuses of the NYPD.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the Department in regards to its surveillance program, which specifically targets Muslim communities. This program has allegedly classified Mosques as terrorist organizations, in order to secretly infiltrate them and spy on their members.  It has been reported that the NYPD has even created a wide-ranging map of the Muslim communities, recording intimate details of their lives, from where they pray to where they eat.


Paranoia, surveillance and military tactics: Have we become enemies of the government?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 10:08 am by


Original commentary by John Whitehead from the Rutherford Institute published on February 17, 2014.

Relationships are fragile things, none more so than the relationship between a citizen and his government. Unfortunately for the American people, the contract entered into more than 200 years ago has been reduced to little more than a marriage of convenience and fiscal duty, marked by distrust, lying, infidelity, hostility, disillusion, paranoia and domestic abuse on the part of the government officials entrusted with ensuring the citizenry’s safety and happiness.

Don’t believe me? Start paying attention to how you and your fellow citizens are treated by government officials—the ones whose salaries you are paying–and then focus in on how the government is spending your hard-earned tax dollars. Pay particular attention to the heavily armed officers in tactical gear, the surveillance cameras, the drones, the roving VIPR squads, the cops who shoot first and ask questions later, the military drills in small towns, the military equipment being funneled to small-town police departments, and the massive ammunition purchases by domestic agencies such as the Postal Service, the Department of Education, the IRS and the Social Security Administration.


US government officials describe journalism as a crime

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 8:48 am by
Original image from

Original image from

Since Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA mass surveillance, US government officials have alleged journalists’ reporting on these revelations as criminal. Although the US government has not officially charged any reporters with a crime related to reporting NSA activity, several high officials have clearly expressed a desire to do so. This raises deep concerns about American’s right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the Constitution.

National Security Agency (NSA) director Keith Alexander said in an October 2013 interview:

I think it’s wrong that newspaper reporters have all these documents, the 50,000 — whatever they have and are selling them and giving them out as if these — you know it just doesn’t make sense. We ought to come up with a way of stopping it. I don’t know how to do that. That’s more of the courts and the policymakers but, from my perspective, it’s wrong to allow this to go on.