Spying Is Meant to Crush Citizens’ Dissent, Not Catch Terrorists

Preface: NSA Lied When It Said It Doesn’t Record Content Last week, Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman –  who has reviewed many of the documents leaked by Ed Snowden – told PBS’ Frontline: Who’s e-mailing whom? Who’s texting whom? Who’s doing Skype calls with whom? They’re collecting a lot of information, a lot of content of phone calls. They’re actually recording the voices— not for all of our calls, but for a lot of U.S. telephone calls. Background. Okay, now you’re ready for the main story … Spying Is Meant to Crush Citizens’ Dissent, Not Catch Terrorists While many Americans understand why the NSA is conducting mass surveillance of U.S. citizens, some are still confused about what’s really going on.In his new book, No Place to Hide, Glenn Greenwald writes: The perception that invasive surveillance is confined only to a marginalised and deserving group of those “doing wrong” – […] Read More

2014: Say Goodbye To “Net Neutrality” – New FCC Proposal Will Permit Discrimination Of Web Content

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, The concept of “net neutrality” is not an easy one to wrap your head around. Particularly if you aren’t an expert in how the internet works and if you don’t work for an ISP (internet service provider). In fact, I think that lobbyists and special interest groups make the concept intentionally difficult and convoluted so that the average person’s eyes glaze over and they move on to the next topic. I am by no means an expert in this area; however, in this post I will try to explain in as simple terms as possible what “net neutrality” means and what is at risk with the latest FCC proposal. I also highlight a wide variety of articles on the subject, so I hope this post can serve as a one-stop-shop on the issue. The concept of “net neutrality” describes how broadband […] Read More

2013: Life in Prison for Stealing Candy? Thousands of Prisoners Sentenced to Die Behind Bars for Nonviolent Crimes

The number of prisoners serving life for nonviolent crimes is truly staggering. This past August, the Lafayette-based IND Monthly published a story about a 54-year-old man named Bill Winters, incarcerated at a medium-security prison in Epps, Louisiana. Winters, who is black, was arrested in June 2009, after he drunkenly entered an unlocked oncologist’s office on a Sunday morning, setting off a security alarm. When police arrived, he had rummaged through a desk drawer, and was in possession of a box of Gobstoppers candy. Winters was convicted of simple burglary a week before Thanksgiving, and given a seven-year prison sentence—hardly a slap on the wrist. But a few days later, the prosecutor in his case, Assistant District Attorney Alan Haney, sought additional punishment for Winters, under the state’s habitual offender law. Based on his record of nonviolent offenses, which went back to 1991 and ranged from cocaine possession to burglary, the trial court resentenced […] Read More

Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop Watching Us' rally

Statement from whistleblower Edward Snowden read to crowd featuring groups from left and right of political spectrum Thousands gathered by the Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday to march, chant, and listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us, a gathering to protest “mass surveillance” under NSA programs first disclosed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Billed by organizers as “the largest rally yet to protest mass surveillance”, Stop Watching Us was sponsored by an unusually broad coalition of left- and right-wing groups, including everything from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos to the Libertarian Party, FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty. The events began outside Union Station, a few blocks away from the Capitol. Props abounded, with a model drone hoisted by one member of the crowd and a large parachute carried by others. One member of […] Read More

2013: NSA document: critics of US drone program considered ‘threats,’ ‘adversaries,’ ‘propagandists’

By Madison Ruppert Editor of End the Lie An anti-drone protest in San Diego on April 5, 2013 (Image credit: Steve Rhodes/Flickr) A top secret internal US government website states that opponents to the U.S. drone program are to be considered “adversaries,” “threats” and “propagandists,” according to a Guardian report. This is hardly surprising, given that pretty much everything is considered an indicator of potential terrorist activity, including undermining the government’s narrative. The website, which looks similar to Wikipedia, contains entries written only by individuals “with top secret clearance and public key infrastructure certificates.” These certificates are cards that give unique access to restricted parts of NSA systems, according a Guardian interview with Edward Snowden. All of the entries are “peer reviewed,” according to Snowden, which means that the statements reflect official government positions. In listing “threats to unmanned aerial vehicles,” the expected physical dangers, including “air defense threats,” […] Read More

2013: Chair of Senate Intelligence Committee says CISPA sister bill in the works

Reuters / Gary Cameron The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, could soon appear again on Capitol Hill. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) says she’s prepared a draft bill that will complement the House-penned CISPA that was approved earlier this year. Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters at The Hill on Tuesday that she intends on moving forward with a draft bill she helped created to serve as a counterpart to the cybersecurity act approved in the House of Representatives in April by a vote of 288-to-127. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and Dutch Ruppersberger originally introduced CISPA in late 2011 and touted it as a necessary implement to counter cyberattacks waged at the computer systems of businesses based in the United States. It was passed by the House in mid-2012 but failed to make its way to the Senate, prompting Rogers and Ruppersberger to […] Read More