Stop-and-Frisk Campaign: About the Issue The NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices raise serious concerns over racial profiling, illegal stops and privacy rights. The Department’s own reports on its stop-and-frisk activity confirm what many people in communities of color across the city have long known: The police are stopping hundreds of thousands of law abiding New Yorkers every year, and the vast majority are black and Latino. An analysis by the NYCLU revealed that innocent New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics. Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports. Get Informed Stop and Frisk Practices
Homeland Security Presents 'Evidence' For Domain Seizures; Proves It Knows Little About The Internet - Or The Law Earlier this week, we noted how the owners of the various hiphop blogs and Torrent-Finder, the torrent search engine, that were seized by Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group still hadn't been provided the details on why their domains were seized. However, that's no longer the case. A partial affidavit and the seizure warrant for those sites has been released, and it highlights how ridiculously clueless Homeland Security is on this issue (you can read the whole thing at the bottom of this post). What's troubling isn't just that the folks who made the decision to seize these domain names don't seem to know what they're talking about, but that they seem to have relied almost exclusively on the MPAA for their (lack of) knowledge on the subject at hand. It looks like the four blog/forum sites (RapGodFathers, OnSmash, Dajaz1 and RMX4U) and Torrent-Finder were all lumped together into a single warrant and affidavit.
SOPA on the ropes? Bipartisan alternative to 'Net censorship emerges The Senate's PROTECT IP Act and the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are so noxious that even the Business Software Alliance has serious reservations, and SOPA's main backer had to take to the virtual pages of National Review today to quell a growing revolt among his conservative colleagues about "regulating the Internet." Whatever you think of the legislation, it unquestionably represents a sea change in the US approach to the Internet, one which explicitly contemplates widespread website blocking and search engine de-listing. The level of debate on an issue this important has been... suboptimal.
Imagine if the US government, with no notice or warning, raided a small but popular magazine's offices over a Thanksgiving weekend, seized the company's printing presses, and told the world that the magazine was a criminal enterprise with a giant banner on their building. Then imagine that it never arrested anyone, never let a trial happen, and filed everything about the case under seal, not even letting the magazine's lawyers talk to the judge presiding over the case. And it continued to deny any due process at all for over a year, before finally just handing everything back to the magazine and pretending nothing happened. Breaking News: Feds Falsely Censor Popular Blog For Over A Year, Deny All Due Process, Hide All Details...
GAO Concludes Piracy Stats Are Usually Junk, File Sharing Can Help Sales
When Troy Davis was executed in Georgia, despite the recantation of seven of the nine witnesses who had testified against him and despite the lack of other material evidence implicating him in the murder for which he was convicted, it seemed like things could not get much worse for due process. Two weeks later, the US skipped the messiness of court hearings altogether and executed its own citizen, Anwar Al-Awlaki, with a unpiloted drone. The government and the mainstream media tried to rationalize what had once been unthinkable: the summary execution of a citizen without due process. What Happens in Yemen: The "End" of Citizenship and How We Got Here
Is Your Senator Using The Distraction Of The Debt Ceiling To Support The Feds Secret Interpretation Of Spying Laws? from the dept We were just reporting on how Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was tap dancing around some specific questions about how much warrantless spying on Americans US federal intelligence agencies do. Much of that discussion revolved around the controversial FISA Amendments Act (recursively called the FAA) of 2008, which you may recall as the law that both made warrantless wiretapping officially legal (despite the fact that the federal government had been doing it for years under a very questionable legal theory) granted telecom companies retroactive immunity for having helped the feds get such wiretaps despite the lack of warrants (and, in some cases, nothing more than a post-it note asking for it). The FAA is set to expire in 2012, but, as we've seen with law that grants the federal government more power to spy on Americans without oversight, there is the folks in power want to give up such things.
Intelligence Chief To Wyden: It Would Be Difficult To Reveal What You Want Us To Reveal Because We Don't Want To Reveal It from the dept We've been covering Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall's attempts to get folks working in national intelligence to explain their interpretation of certain provisions of the PATRIOT Act. It hasn't been too difficult to piece together the implication that the government has interpreted the already controversial Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to allow it to gather geolocation data of pretty much anyone in the US from their mobile phone provider without a warrant or any other oversight. If you're unfamiliar with it, Section 215 was the part of the PATRIOT Act that allowed the feds to demand "any tangible thing (including books, records, papers, documents and other items)," from an organization, just as long as the records are being asked for "in connection with" a terrorism investigation.
ACLU chief 'disgusted' with Obama - Josh Gerstein
The Obama administration’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers suffered two serious and well-deserved defeats. The first occurred in the prosecution of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who was accused of multiple acts of espionage, only for the DOJ to drop virtually all of the charges right before the trial was to begin and enter into a plea agreement for one minor misdemeanor. Today, The Washington Post – under the headline ”Judge blasts prosecution of alleged NSA leaker” — reports that the federal judge presiding over the case “harshly criticized U.S. prosecutors’ treatment of a former spy agency official accused of leaking classified material.” As the transcript of Drake’s sentencing hearing published by Secrecy News reflects, Judge Richard Bennett of the U.S. Obama's whistleblower war suffers two defeats - Glenn Greenwald
TITCH: Block Big Brother's Internet snoops Americans are moving more and more of our personal data onto the Internet. We send and save emails through Hotmail and Gmail. We share photos with Flickr and post videos on YouTube. We set up everything from our calendars to video rentals so they can be managed remotely from our cellphones and multiple computers. What most Americans don’t realize is that if the government wants to read your emails, look at your pictures or gain access to any data that you have stored online for more than 180 days on sites including Yahoo!
The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda. A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives. US spy operation that manipulates social media