Archive for the ‘FISA’ Category

Senate Intel Chair: Torture Did Not Lead To Bin Laden In Any Way @TPM

More and more evidence suggests a key piece of intelligence — the first link in the chain of information that led U.S. intelligence officials to Osama bin Laden — wasn’t tortured out of its source. And, indeed, that torture actually failed to produce it. 

:::MORE HERE:::



Here is second life for news that matters: 

The 10 tools of Online Oppressors

WIRED: Domestic Surveillance Court Approved All 1,506 Warrant Applications in 2010

Commentary c/o Julian “squeaky clean” Sanchez: 

 Record Number of Americans Targeted by National Security Letters

NYTimes Op-Ed: Personal Data: Safer in America or in Europe

Children of Guanajuato, Mexico in Biometric Database

U.S. Attorney Escalates Attacks on Civil Liberties of Anti-War, Palestinian Human Rights Activists

Homeland Security Suspends Ineffective, Discriminatory Immigration Program

SEC’s Schapiro says surveillance tools ‘inadequate’

Canada, U.S. in talks to share surveillance data

Here is second life for news that matters.

BOSTON TEA PARTY OPPOSES NATIONAL ID,  PERIOD. I guess national id cards are officially unamerican.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying to sell the EDL in Michigan.  Florida is fighting it.  Downsize D.C. amid coalition efforts wants their repeal.  Real ID after 5 years is still getting consistently bad press from the blogosphere.

Facecrook’s Mark Zuckerberg, dubbed Little Caesar, waits for someone to defend his privacy.  We hope for a different haircut and to know how much money is awarded to the person who sues the pants off of him …. again.

Facebook as Caesar

GPS tracks again… that’s what it does.  Now it gets your kids and the prisoners.  All sitting prospects in the public-private target range for the gubmint market.  I’ll bet you’re really surprised. Commentary by EFF.

FUSION CENTER UPDATE:  CIR reports… Special word goes out to the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  What do they do? They provide information about Electronic Privacy. It’s awesome when they do.

Alternet tackles naked body scanners on the street in broad daylight. God, what a weird feeling that must have been…

STATUS: We are wondering about the individual mandate for a national healthcare ID.

India’s issues with the Unique Identification Authority of India.  FYI…Don’t buy a cell phone in China...

BEIJING — China wants people who buy new cell phone numbers to register their personal details, joining many European and Asian countries in curbing the anonymous use of mobile technology.

There have been some changes to  FISA,  warrentless cell or telephone tapping are up for PUBLIC INPUT until OCTOBER 24, 2010.   I’m TELLIN’!!

Germany’s national ID cards move to contactless technology citing NXP as national ID card chip of choice.  c/o Contactless News

“The German government has selected NXP as the supplier of an inlay solution containing a SmartMX chip, packaged in an ultra-thin module. Issuance of German contactless ID cards, which will replace the current paper-based IDs, will start in November. More than 60 million cards are expected to be rolled out over the next ten years.”

FLOGGER Jim Harper takes you on an East German train ride and makes some connection you may have missed.

Denver has a nasty case of Bad Cop according to ProLibertate. However, here’s a report causing cognative dissonance in the deliverance of justice in a UK case where CCTV got a bad cop off the streets.

BTC – CNBC’s David Faber produced Big Brother, Big Business in 2006 right around the time FISA and other US tech capacities to surveill the public became apparent.

To date, it’s one of the only mainstream media releases of it’s kind which convey’s the role of Big Tech in the surveillance industrial complex.  If you’ve been catching up on the digest of information released via  WaPo’s TOP SECRET AMERICA, some of this starts to look glaringly familiar.

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=6061213358499552766&hl=en&fs=true

The number of wiretaps authorized by state and federal judges in criminal investigations jumped 26 percent from 2008 to 2009, according to a report released Friday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Courts authorized 2,376 criminal wiretap orders in 2009, with 96 percent targeting mobile phones in drug cases, according to the report. Federal officials requested 663 of the wiretaps, while 24 states accounted for 1,713 orders.
Not one request for a wiretap was turned down.  :::MORE HERE::: 

c/o Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com


“UPDATE: Dan Froomkin echoes, and elaborates on, several of the points here, in his Huffington Post piece entitled: “Ruling Against Bush Wiretaps Also Slaps Down Obama’s Executive Overreach.” He writes: “the ruling should serve as a wake-up call to those who thought that the days of executive overreach were behind us.”

And Charlie Savage and Jim Risen have a new NYT article which, in the course of discussing whether the Obama DOJ will appeal this decision, examine the likely motives and goals of the Obama administration here, none of which reflect well on them at all.”

:::ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE:::

CLG>>By DEVLIN BARRETT (AP) – 2 days ago

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder says a lawsuit in San Francisco over warrantless wiretapping threatens to expose ongoing intelligence work and must be thrown out.

In making the argument, the Obama administration agreed with the Bush administration’s position on the case but insists it came to the decision differently. A civil liberties group criticized the move Friday as a retreat from promises President Barack Obama made as a candidate.

Holder’s effort to stop the lawsuit marks the first time the administration has tried to invoke the state secrets privilege under a new policy it launched last month designed to make such a legal argument more difficult.

Under the state secrets privilege, the government can have a lawsuit dismissed if hearing the case would jeopardize national security.

The Bush administration invoked the privilege numerous times in lawsuits over various post-9/11 programs, but the Obama administration recently announced that only a limited number of senior Justice Department officials would be able to make such decisions. It also agreed to provide confidential information to the courts in such cases.

Under the new approach, an agency trying to keep such information secret would have to convince the attorney general and a panel of Justice Department lawyers that its release would compromise national security.

Holder said that in the current case, that review process convinced him “there is no way for this case to move forward without jeopardizing ongoing intelligence activities that we rely upon to protect the safety of the American people.”

The lawsuit was filed by a group of individuals who claimed the government illegally monitored their communications. To proceed with the case, Holder said, would expose intelligence sources and methods.

Holder said U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who is handling the case, was given a classified description of why the case must be dismissed so that the court can “conduct its own independent assessment of our claim.”

The attorney general said the judge would decide whether the administration had made a valid claim and “we will respect the outcome of that process.”

That is a departure from the Bush administration, which resisted providing specifics to judges handling such cases about what the national security concerns were.
Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group in San Francisco that is pursuing a similar lawsuit against the government, called Holder’s decision “incredibly disappointing.”

“The Obama administration has essentially adopted the position of the Bush administration in these cases, even though candidate Obama was incredibly critical of both the warrantless wiretapping program and the Bush administration’s abuse of the state secrets privilege,” said Bankston.

Government Must Provide More Information on Campaign to Give Telecoms Retroactive Immunity

San Francisco – A judge ordered the government Thursday to release more records about the lobbying campaign to provide immunity to the telecommunications giants that participated in the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White ordered the records be provided to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) by October 9, 2009.

The decision is part of EFF’s long-running battle to gather information about telecommunications lobbying conducted as Congress considered granting immunity to companies that participated in illegal government electronic surveillance. Telecom immunity was eventually passed as part of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) of 2008, but a bill that would repeal the immunity — called the JUSTICE Act — was introduced in the Senate last week.

“Today’s ruling is a major victory for government transparency,” said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. “As the court recognized, it was unlawful for the government to deny Americans access to this information in the midst of the debate over telecom immunity last year. We’re pleased these records will now be available to the public as Congress considers the JUSTICE Act.”

EFF has been seeking information about the telecom lobbying campaign under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) since 2007, as news reports detailed an extensive and expensive lobbying campaign seeking immunity for telecommunications companies that participated in unlawful surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. Officials at the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) were vocal supporters of the immunity proposals, working closely with telecoms. Using the FOIA, EFF asked the DOJ and the ODNI for any communications between the agencies, members of Congress, and telecom companies related to lobbying for telecom immunity.

The DOJ and ODNI argued that the records requested by EFF were protected by FOIA exemptions covering agency deliberations and other privileged communications. But in today’s order, the judge ruled that as the communications were with Congress and lobbyists, the exemptions did not apply. The judge also found that the identities of telecom representatives who lobbied for immunity could not be kept from the public on privacy grounds.

“Today’s ruling shows that aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act is necessary to challenge government secrecy,” said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. “We cannot allow the government to drag its feet in making relevant information available to the American public.”

EFF also represents the plaintiffs in Hepting v. AT&T, a class-action lawsuit brought by AT&T customers accusing the telecom of violating their rights by illegally assisting in widespread domestic surveillance. In June of 2009, a federal judge dismissed Hepting and dozens of other lawsuits against telecoms, ruling that the companies had immunity from liability under the FAA. EFF is appealing the decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, primarily arguing that the FAA’s immunity provision is unconstitutional in granting the president broad discretion to block the courts from considering the core constitutional privacy claims of millions of Americans.

For the full order:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/foia_C0705278/OrderGrantSJ-Sep09.pdf

For more on the litigation:
http://www.eff.org/issues/foia/cases/C-07-05278

For more on the JUSTICE Act:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/09/eff-supports-justice