A former police officer died while trying to set ablaze a food cart belonging to a blogger who exposed crooked cops and other corrupt city officials. ArkansasMatters.com reported Friday that former Little Rock Police Officer Todd Payne died when blogger Ean Bordeaux (pictured above) tackled him as Payne tried to flee the scene of the attempted arson.
Bordeaux is the proprietor of the Corruption Sucks blog, a webpage dedicated to exposing corruption in the Little Rock local government and in the state government of Arkansas. At about 4:30 a.m. on Friday, he awoke to find the hot dog cart he operates for a living in flames.
Inmates at an Alabama prison plan to stage a work stoppage this weekend and hope to spur an escalating strike wave, a leader of the effort told Salon in a Thursday phone call from his jail cell.
“We decided that the only weapon or strategy … that we have is our labor, because that’s the only reason that we’re here,” said Melvin Ray, an inmate at the St. Clair correctional facility and founder of the prison-based group Free Alabama Movement. “They’re incarcerating people for the free labor.” Spokespeople for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and his Department of Corrections did not respond to midday inquiries Thursday. Jobs done by inmates include kitchen and laundry work, chemical and license plate production, and furniture-making. In 2011, Alabama’s Department of Agriculture reportedly discussed using inmates to replace immigrants for agricultural work; in 2012, the state Senate passed a bill to let private businesses employ prison labor.
Illinois Police Launch Anti-Terror Style Manhunt For Owner of Parody Twitter Account That Mocked Mayor
[...] Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said officers were investigating the creator of the Twitter account for false personation of a public official. It’s hard to believe but true that the offense is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
‘Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi is out with an explosive new book that asks why the vast majority of white-collar criminals have avoided prison since the financial crisis began, while an unequal justice system imprisons the poor and people of color on a mass scale. In “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,” Taibbi explores how the Depression-level income gap between the wealthy and the poor is mirrored by a “justice” gap in who is targeted for prosecution and imprisonment. “It is much more grotesque to consider the non-enforcement of white-collar criminals when you do consider how incredibly aggressive law enforcement is with regard to everybody else,” Taibbi says.’ (Democracy Now!)
[...] The three billion phone calls made in the U.S. each day are snatched up by the agency, which stores each call’s metadata (phone numbers of the parties, date and time, length of call, etc.) for five years. Each day telecom giants turn over metadata on every call they have processed. Every out-of-country call and email from (or to) a U.S. citizen is grabbed by NSA computers, and agents are authorized to listen to or read any of them.
The agency searches for and seizes nearly everything we do on the Internet. Without bothering with the constitutional nicety of obtaining a warrant, its XKeyscore program scoops up some 40 billion Internet records every month and adds them to its digital storehouse, including our emails, Google searches, websites visited, Microsoft Word documents sent, etc. NSA’s annual budget includes a quarter-billion dollars for “corporate-partner access” – i.e., payments to obtain this mass of material from corporate computers.
Snowden says that in his days as an analyst, he could sit at his computer and tap into any American’s Internet activity – even the President’s. The sheer volume of information sucked up by the agency is so large that as of 2008, it maintained 150 data processing sites around the world. NSA’s budget is an official secret, but a Snowden document shows that it gets about $11 billion a year in direct appropriations, with more support funneled through the Pentagon and other agencies.
President Obama recently announced an “overhaul” of the NSA’s collection of bulk phone records. The reform may require phone companies to store metadata it collects for 18 months for the NSA’s use with the approval from a special court. This might sound reasonable, but it is still gathering bulk data on millions of innocent Americans – by corporations for the government. And what about Internet, email and other surveillance? NSA is too heavily vested in its programs; it is not going to give up spying on us.
Campaigners have raised privacy concerns over a facial recognition database being developed by the FBI that could contain 52m images by 2015. The civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) obtained information about the project through a freedom of information request. It said it was concerned that images of non-criminals would be stored alongside those of criminals. The FBI say the database will reduce terrorist and criminal activities.
The facial recognition database is part of the bureau’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme which is a large biometric database being developed to replace the current Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). The programme, which is being rolled out over a number of years, will offer “state of the art biometric identification services” according to the bureau’s website. As well as facial recognition images the programme is being developed to include the capture and storage of finger prints, iris scans and palm prints.
A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday.
NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department’s Intelligence Division.
An ongoing review of the division by new Police Commissioner William Bratton found that the same information collected by the unit could be better collected through direct contact with community groups, officials said.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Thursday condemned the United States for criminalizing homelessness, calling it “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” that violates international human rights treaty obligations. It also called upon the U.S. government to take corrective action, following a two-day review of U.S. government compliance with a human rights treaty ratified in 1992. “I’m just simply baffled by the idea that people can be without shelter in a country, and then be treated as criminals for being without shelter,” said Sir Nigel Rodley, chairman of the committee in closing statements on the U.S. review. “The idea of criminalizing people who don’t have shelter is something that I think many of my colleagues might find as difficult as I do to even begin to comprehend.”
The Committee called on the U.S. to abolish criminalization of homelessness laws and policies at state and local levels, intensify efforts to find solutions for homeless people in accordance with human rights standards and offer incentives for decriminalization, including giving local authorities funding for implementing alternatives and withholding funding for criminalizing the homeless. Those recommendations run counter to the current trends in the nation. Laws targeting the homeless—loitering laws that ban sleeping or sitting too long in one public spot, or camping in parks overnight—have become increasingly common in communities throughout the country as homelessness has skyrocketed.
When sheriff’s deputies here noticed a burst of necklace snatchings from women walking through town, they turned to an unlikely source to help solve the crimes: a retired Air Force veteran named Ross McNutt.
McNutt and his Ohio-based company, Persistent Surveillance Systems, persuaded the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to use his surveillance technology to monitor Compton’s streets from the air and track suspects from the moment the snatching occurred.
The system, known as wide-area surveillance, is something of a time machine – the entire city is filmed and recorded in real time. Imagine Google Earth with a rewind button and the ability to play back the movement of cars and people as they scurry about the city.
U.S. police raid innocent family because of indoor garden, spied on their purchases and dug through trash
‘Abby Martin reports on the Bureau of Land Management’s siege of a Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada over cattle grazing on federal land, which has escalated into a heavily militarized standoff between the agency and protestors defending the rights of the rancher.’ (Breaking the Set)
- Huge Difference Between Coverage by Conservative and Liberal Media
- Militia members, ultra-conservatives rally to cause of Nevada rancher
- ‘Good progress’ in cattle roundup to decelerate
- Ripples of Nevada range showdown spreading in West
- Nevada Governor Calls Federal Cattle Roundup ‘Intimidation’
- County Commissioner says Bundy supporters ‘better have funeral plans’
- Stun gun used on rancher’s son in cattle roundup
- Federal Agents Taser Protesters at Bundy Ranch Protest (Video)
- Sen. Harry Reid Behind BLM Land Grab of Bundy Ranch?
- Drudge Report Slammed as ‘Recklessly Hyping’ Cliven Bundy Standoff by Liberal Organization
- Right-Wing Media Are Throwing Gas On A Rancher’s Violent Threats Against The Government
- Feds deploy snipers, arrest man for filming outside First Amendment area
- BLM established a ‘First Amendment Area’
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said. The NSA’s decision to keep the bug secret in pursuit of national security interests threatens to renew the rancorous debate over the role of the government’s top computer experts.
Heartbleed appears to be one of the biggest glitches in the Internet’s history, a flaw in the basic security of as many as two-thirds of the world’s websites. Its discovery and the creation of a fix by researchers five days ago prompted consumers to change their passwords, the Canadian government to suspend electronic tax filing and computer companies including Cisco Systems Inc. to Juniper Networks Inc. to provide patches for their systems.
Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers.
- MoDOT employee: ‘The LRAD puts out up to 153 decibels of sound..’
- Field Test: LRAD mounted to the back of a MoDOT work vehicle
- LRAD Corporation: ‘When you hear that, you do pay attention…’
- LRAD capable of causing irreversible damage if used past 130 decibels
- LRAD device used during G20 in Pittsburgh in 2009
- LRAD lands U.S. Air National Guard order for LRAD 100X units
- San Diego Sheriff deploys LRAD area denial weapons at political meetings
- Taser drone getting a lot of interest from military and law enforcement
- Taser Drone Launched in Texas
- French Reveal Plans for Taser Flying Saucer
- Pilotless police drone takes off
- Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs
- An Aerial Crime-Fighting Tool Banks on Portability
- Spy Drones Foreseen in 1988 Movie ‘They Live’
“Smartphones are fading. Wearables are next” – CNN Money
Edward Snowden’s now infamous NSA leaks have sparked intense debate across the world. The leaks confirmed what many already knew; The NSA is listening to our phone calls, monitoring social networks and more.
This is only the beginning of an Orwellian, Minority Report future.
In the near future, consumers will be adorning themselves with wearable technology that will weave an incredibly detailed picture of their lives. A cloud of information will float around you with details on sleep habits, what you ate for breakfast, who you are meeting for dinner, your heart rate, and much more. Insurance companies will likely harvest this data to adjust your rates. Governments will undoubtedly hack into this cloud of personal data to track down dissidents. Marketers will have access to a goldmine of personalized information that will be used to market products.
These wearables are sold to the public as a means of making life easier, which they undoubtedly will. With that convenience there will be a price to pay in privacy.
- Smartphones are fading. Wearables are next
- Wearables: one-third of consumers abandoning devices
- Wearable Tech: Keeping It Close to the Chest
- Will Insurance Companies Use Smart Appliances to Monitor “Unhealthy” Habits?
- Google introduces ‘Android Wear’ software for smartwatches
- Motorola Patent Points To Electronic Neck “Tattoos” That Double As Microphones
- Man is wired up to 700 sensors to capture every single detail of his existence
- IBM official urges you to “embrace” 24/7 biometric surveillance
- CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher
- Ubiquitous Computing has Built Ultimate Surveillance Society
- “Planned-opolis” Cities Already Being Tested in South Korea
In 2009, when Robert H Richard IV, an unemployed heir to the DuPont family fortune, pled guilty to fourth-degree rape of his three-year-old daughter, a judge spared him a justifiable sentence – indeed, only put Richard on probation – because she figured this 1-percenter would “not fare well” in a prison setting.
Details of the case were kept quiet until just the other day, as Richard’s ex-wife filed a new lawsuit accusing him of also sexually abusing their son. Since then, the original verdict has been fueling some angry speculation – shock, horror – that the defendant’s wealth and status may have played a role in his lenient sentencing.
I hate to shatter anyone’s illusions, but inequality defines our criminal justice system just as it defines our society. It always has and it always will until we do something about it, beyond just getting upset at local news stories.
America incarcerates more people than any other country on the planet,with over 2m currently in prison and more than 7m under some form of correctional supervision. The people who make up this outsize correctional population do not typically come from the Delaware trust-fund-creep demographic: more than 60% are racial and ethnic minorities, and the vast majority are poor.
[...] Alexander came to the NSA in 2005, as one of the service’s first digitally proficient general officers. For most of his tenure he expanded the agency’s powers and influence tremendously, and in 2010 he added to his duties as the first leader of Cyber Command, a new organization devoted to defending military networks and nearly inextricable from NSA.
But Alexander’s run at the NSA will be forever linked to the revelations of its global surveillance dragnets. Snowden’s leaks to the Guardian, the Washington Post, First Look and other news outlets made the NSA infamous worldwide and yielded a consensus domestically against the bulk collection of US phone data. Defense secretary Chuck Hagel said the Snowden leaks had created “one of the most challenging periods” in the NSA’s history.
The Face of Poverty: Homeless Jobless Single Mother With Lousy Options Arrested For Being Homeless Jobless Single Mother Who Chose One of Them
The awful story of Shanesha Taylor is what’s wrong with the state of our union: The mother of two from Scottsdale, Arizona got called to a job interview she urgently needed. With no place to leave her two young kids – no neighbors because she’s homeless, no co-workers because she’s jobless, no paid childcare because she has no money, no free childcare because our government, which at the same time is trying to restrict birth control so women have to have more kids they don’t have the resources to care for – she left them in her car, with the windows cracked, at naptime. When she came back from the interview 45 minutes later, someone had called the police, who arrested her, charged her with two child abuse felonies, put her in in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa County Jail, and put her kids in state custody.
A team of Yale researchers, led by a then-undergraduate student, have made an astonishing step forward in brain science. The (perhaps unsettling) breakthrough allows scientists to use a medical imaging machine and a well-trained algorithm to visually reconstruct faces seen by test subjects. As seen below, their technique returns some results with a truly astonishing level of accuracy. Oddly, their results seem to have been possible specifically because the brain processes faces in such a unique and distributed way. This study takes the field’s greatest and most intractable problem and leverages it to truly impressive effect.
- Homeland Security moves forward with ‘pre-crime’ detection
- Indian Court Accepts Brain Scans as Evidence of Murder
- ABC World News Tonight report on ‘No Lie MRI’
- Homeland Security Detects Terrorist Threats by Reading Your Mind
- Met uses computer algorithms to predict where crime will happen
- Cars could soon monitor our emotions
- Zuckerberg, Musk invest in secretive artificial intelligence company
- Thought (Crime), Technology, and the Constitution
Scores of security companies selling everything from Taser-resistant clothing to armored vehicles packed a convention center here this week. Outside the showroom, speakers from the top of organizations like Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security gave talks to members of the security industry about their organizations’ operations and needs.
Now in its eighth year, the Border Security Expo may be more important than ever for the security industry. With America’s foreign wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over or coming to a close, many security companies are now forced to look for new markets to maintain their business levels.
Many within the security industry have turned to border security, a potentially lucrative alternative to fill in the gaps. Still, it remains to be seen just how much, if anything, the border region can offer the security industry.
‘Abby Martin talks about the crackdown on individuals who choose to live ‘Off the Grid’ citing a examples such as a man in Oregon who faced jail-time for collecting rainwater and a Florida woman who was forced to re-connect to the state’s electrical grid.’ (Breaking the Set)
Mark A. Adams, 59, was arraigned Friday, March 14, by Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank on a felony charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.
Adams was arrested during a March 4 Bridgeport Township meeting by three Bridgeport Township police officers after violating the township’s three-minute time limit set for people making public comments and refusing to stop talking when township officials told him to.
In a February 19 front-page story, the Washington Post appeared to be breaking news of yet another massive federal surveillance program invading the privacy of innocent Americans. The Department of Homeland Security, the story said, had drawn up plans to develop a national license-plate tracking database, giving the feds the ability to monitor the movements of tens of millions of drivers — a particularly intrusive form of suspicionless bulk surveillance, considering how strongly we Americans feel it’s none of the government’s business where and when we come and go.
The next day, however, the Post called off the alarm. The plan, the newspaper reported, had been canceled. Threat averted. Move along. But the Post had gotten it all wrong. DHS wasn’t planning to create a national license-plate tracking database — because several already exist, owned by different private companies, and extensively used by law enforcement agencies including DHS for years. The only thing actually new at DHS — the solicitation for services the Post decided was front-page news — was a different form of paperwork to pay for access.
And far from going away, the databases are growing at a furious pace due to rapidly improving technology and ample federal grant money for more cameras and more computers. Tens if not hundreds of millions of observations per month are streaming into bulging electronic archives, often remaining there indefinitely, for a vast array of clients in both the public and private sector. So rather than being the tale of an averted threat, the bulk license-plate tracking saga is actually a story about yet another previously unimaginable loss of privacy in the modern information age.