Surveillance State

Will Democrats Give GOP the Votes to Pass Controversial Spying Bill?

The Senate has scheduled a procedural vote Tuesday afternoon on a bill that would extend the controversial Section 702 of FISA. Critics of the legislation say it allows the government to surveil American citizens without a warrant. Its proponents claim it is a valuable tool in the fight against terrorism.And President Donald Trump? Well, he says both. Last week, he first tweeted this:

Russ Baker on Trump’s Troubling Call to Renew Surveillance Tool

The Trump administration is calling for the prompt reauthorization of a controversial part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Section 702 permits eavesdropping on high-value targets, including those designated as suspected terrorists, cyber actors, and others. FISA has been extended again and again, and, despite repeated assurances of safeguards, numerous examples of excesses and potential violations of Americans’ privacy have come to light.

Watching Big Brother

Twenty-five years ago, a California jury failed to convict four cops accused of savagely beating a black man. What sounds today like an all-too-common story was anything but back then. The verdict triggered massive unrest and, within a week, parts of Los Angeles had gone up in smoke and 55 people had died. So what made this case of police brutality different? The beating of Rodney King .

A First Amendment Win: Judge Lifts National Security Letter Gag Order

In a victory for privacy advocates, a federal judge for the first time fully lifted a gag order associated with a National Security Letter (NSL).The details of the case are complex, but the decision is a powerful affirmation of free speech protections under the First Amendment of the Constitution.NSLs are subpoenas that do not require the approval of a judge. The government uses them, ostensibly for the fight against terrorism, to obtain personal information from Internet service providers, banks and other businesses that keep data on US citizens.

The FBI Wants YOUR Face and Fingerprints

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is envisioning a future in which its agents would be able to use small handheld devices to collect fingerprints and photographs in the field and add them to a massive biometrics database.If the Bureau gets its way, that future is not too far off — it has already taken major steps this year to make it a reality.Most recently, the FBI is soliciting bids for the development of software that would enable agents to collect fingerprints and pictures of people they encounter.

Whistleblowers File $100 Million Suit against NSA, FBI

In a that has garnered virtually no public attention, five National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblowers are accusing the federal government of illegally retaliating against them for alerting the NSA and Congress to a waste of taxpayer funds that benefitted a well-connected contractor.The lawsuit tells the story of the infancy of the NSA’s efforts to surveil the Internet.

Germany Sacks Top Prosecutor Over Investigation of Journalists

Readers familiar with the US government’s aggressive pursuit of journalist Barrett Brown (see WhoWhatWhy’s coverage ) will find this of interest: Germany’s top prosecutor has been canned over his move to investigate whether two bloggers committed treason by publishing confidential documents.The prosecutor, Harald Range &; who idly stood by when it w

Surveillance and Oppression We Can Believe In

Sometimes, pictures speak louder than words. With the news that the Obama Administration is this picture should make it even more clear what the administration&;s definition of hope is:

Barrett Brown’s Day of Reckoning

Barrett Brown. Barrett Brown.
A feisty, confrontational journalist who exposed explosive details about the machinations of the national security apparatus and faced more than a century in prison has been sentenced to five years and three months.

And You Thought Red-Light Cameras Were Bad

Big Brother’s American toehold: Red-light cameras
Red-light cameras are the American manifestation of Big Brother’s unblinking eye. In China, the surveillance state takes no chances with its vision. Our only question: is it 20/20 or better?

Washington Has Discredited America

Washington’s Arrogance has Brought America Disrepute Years ago when I described the George W. Bush regime as a police state, right-wing eyebrows were raised. When I described the Obama regime as an even worse police state, liberals rolled their eyes. Alas! Now I am no longer controversial. Everybody says it.