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New York Times: Militarization of America's Police

 

Nancy Grace Slams Piers Morgan On Gun Control

When the interview turned to gun control, a subject on which Morgan has voiced strong opinions, CNN TV Host Grace responded:

"If it weren’t for the British, we wouldn't even have to have protections to carry guns.  It was the British way back when we founded America who were running through all of our homes, trying to take our stuff. So we're protected under the constitution. So it’s not really right for a Brit to jump up and start talking to us about gun control."

LOL!  Hey Piers, it's called the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  You can't change it on a little TV show!

 

USA Plunges To 46th In World Press Freedom Index

The 2014 World Press Freedom Index spotlights the negative impact of conflicts on freedom of information and its protagonists. The ranking of some countries has also been affected by a tendency to interpret national security needs in an overly broad and abusive manner to the detriment of the right to inform and be informed. This trend constitutes a growing threat worldwide and is even endangering freedom of information in countries regarded as democracies.

Finland tops the index for the fourth year running, closely followed by Netherlands and Norway, like last year. At the other end of the index, the last three positions are again held by Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea, three countries where freedom of information is non-existent. Despite occasional turbulence in the past year, these countries continue to be news and information black holes and living hells for the journalists who inhabit them.

This year’s index covers 180 countries, one more than last year. The new entry, Belize, has been assigned an enviable position (29th). Cases of violence against journalists are rare in Belize but there were some problems: defamation suits involving demands for large amounts in damages, national security restrictions on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and sometimes unfair management of broadcast frequencies. 

Please read more here.

Lights Out for NSA? State Lawmakers Push to Cut Water, Electricity to Spy Agency

by Steve Nelson

U.S. News & World Report

The National Security Agency’s headquarters in Ft. Meade, Md., will go dark if a cohort of Maryland lawmakers has its way.

Eight Republicans in the 141-member Maryland House of Delegates introduced legislation Thursday that would deny the electronic spy agency “material support, participation or assistance in any form” from the state, its political subdivisions or companies with state contracts.

The bill would deprive NSA facilities water and electricity carried over public utilities, ban the use of NSA-derived evidence in state courts and prevent state universities from partnering with the NSA on research.

State or local officials ignoring the NSA sanctions would be fired, local governments refusing to comply would lose state grant funds and companies would be forever barred from state contracts.

The bill was filed as emergency legislation and requires support of three-fifths of delegates to pass. It was referred to the chamber’s judiciary committee.

NSA facilities in Maryland use a massive amount of water and electricity, the supply of which might be jeopardized by the legislation.

....

The legislative wave is spearheaded by the Tenth Amendment Center, which along with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee launched the OffNow coalition last year seeking to cut off water to the NSA’s just-built Utah Data Center.

Legislation hasn’t yet been introduced in Utah, but lawmakers in Arizona, California, Tennessee, Washington and other states have filed bills based on model legislation from the Tenth Amendment Center.

Several of those bills were introduced with bipartisan sponsorship. The Arizona bill has been the most successful to date, winning 4-2 approval by the state Senate Government and Environment Committee on Feb. 3.

...

The Maryland bill would almost certainly have the largest impact of any of the proposed state bans, some of which were introduced in states with either nonexistent or minimal known on-the-ground agency presence.

 

“Maryland has almost become a political subdivision of the NSA,” Tenth Amendment Center Executive Director Michael Boldin said in a statement. “The agency relies heavily on state and local help. This bill bans all of it." 

...

Three pending federal lawsuits seek to end the NSA’s bulk collection of phone metadata and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., plans to file a fourth. So far, judges have had mixed rulings. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon of Washington, D.C., handed legal activist Larry Klayman a preliminary win Dec. 16 after deciding the phone program is an “almost Orwellian” violation of the Fourth Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley of New York disagreed, finding the program “lawful” on Dec. 27 and dismissing a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is appealing. Klayman is also suiting to halt the NSA’s PRISM Internet program.

Please read more here.

Forbes: NSA Intercepts Laptops Ordered Online & Installs Spyware

by Erik Kain

With each new story we hear of the NSA’s spying program, things get a little bit crazier—a little more Hollywood, and a lot more galling.

From planting agents in video games like World of Warcraft to a spy satellite adorned with a world-devouring, tentacled octopus (pictured above) the NSA has shown time and again that it’s willing to go to just about any length to gather intelligence on both domestic and foreign citizens.

The latter isn’t problematic beyond diplomatic tension. Spy agencies are, by design, bankrolled to spy on allies and enemies abroad. When it comes to domestic spying, however, we run into problems.

The latest report, this time via Der Spiegel and based on internal NSA documents, reveals that the NSA, in conjunction with the CIA and FBI, has begun intercepting laptops purchased online in order to install (quite literal) spyware and even hardware on the machines. The NSA terms this “interdiction.” Agents divert shipments to secret warehouses, carefully open the packages, install the software and/or hardware, and send them on their way.

According to the report, this operation is carried out by the NSA’s elite hacking unit, or TAO—not to be confused with the much less imposing Taoism—though there are few details on the scope or targets of the program.

The spy agency reportedly has backdoor access to numerous hardware and software systems from prominent tech companies such as Cisco, Dell, and Western Digital, among others. The NSA can even exploit Microsoft Windows error reports to find weak spots in compromised machines in order to install Trojans and other viruses.

The Der Spiegel report also notes that the NSA has successfully tapped into some of the massive, under-sea fiber-optic cables that connect the global data infrastructure, in particular the “SEA-ME-WE-4″ cable system.

“This massive underwater cable bundle connects Europe with North Africa and the Gulf states and then continues on through Pakistan and India,” Der Spiegel reports, ”all the way to Malaysia and Thailand. The cable system originates in southern France, near Marseille. Among the companies that hold ownership stakes in it are France Telecom, now known as Orange and still partly government-owned, and Telecom Italia Sparkle.”

As the aforementioned giant octopus logo proudly proclaims: “Nothing is beyond our reach.” Lately it appears that this is not so much boasting as a simple statement of fact.

NSA Spying Music: "Ladies Night"

 

Hey, to any body from the NSA listening in, rock on!

Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian: Tens of Millions of Innocent Americans on NSA Target List

 

 

Glenn Greenwald, the reporter at The Guardian who broke the story about NSA surveillance programs, discusses the information received from whistleblower Edward Snowden, saying the federal government is now trying to “scare the American people” to justify its “massive spying program.”

 

Petition to Deport CNN's Piers Morgan Back to England: 100,000+ Signatures

Alex Jones, one of the people behind the petition to get British host Piers Morgan deported, appeared on his CNN program tonight to explain his support of the Second Amendment and to denounce those who want to confiscate weapons.