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Author Topic: Police State - Official Thread  (Read 68199 times)
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« Reply #825 on: November 20, 2012, 04:31:25 PM »

Bi-Partisan screw job.  Just like the NDAA 

Both parties are the same behind closed doors. 

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« Reply #826 on: November 20, 2012, 08:22:03 PM »

Homeland Security Wants To Double Its Domestic Drone Fleet
 


Michael Kelley|Nov. 20, 2012, 5:56 PM|721|22



Since 2005, the federal government has awarded at least $12 billion in contracts for drones and drone supplies and maintenance.


 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to more than double its fleet of Predator drones for surveillance missions inside the United States, Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports.
 
The DHS recently signed a contract with General Atomics —worth as much as $443 million — to purchase up to 14 Predator drones, which would add to its current fleet of 10 if Congress appropriates the funds.
 
Timm notes that the DHS Inspector General issued a report faulting the DHS for wasting time, money and resources on drones, and chastised the agency buying two drones last year despite knowing these problems.
 
The DHS uses the drones not only to patrol U.S. borders (through Customs and Border Protection), but also flies drone missions on behalf of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with little oversight.  Last month EFF sued DHS under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about details of the secretive program.
 
Plus, the DHS has launched a $4 million program to "facilitate and accelerate the adoption" of small, unmanned drones by police through becoming the middleman between drone manufacturers and law enforcement. The agency is in a favorable position to make deals since the drone business is booming.
 
In September the Congressional Research Service released a report warning that domestic drones—which will soon have the capacity to see through walls and ceilings— may be able to bypass constitutional privacy safeguards because of their high level of sophistication.
 
Earlier this year the Federal Aviation Authority said it expects 30,000 of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fill U.S. skies by the end of the decade.

SEE ALSO: Drone Propaganda Site Pops Up Just In Time For Obama's Second Term >


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/government-domestic-drone-fleet-2012-11#ixzz2Cp7urdIg

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« Reply #827 on: November 20, 2012, 08:45:16 PM »

How does that apply to the story I posted.  It doesn't. 


HA...boom.

You know you've relegated his argument to utter nonsense when he has to resort to making up shit that he thinks the guy 'might' do, lol.

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« Reply #828 on: November 21, 2012, 11:24:33 PM »

UPDATED: Widower of woman shot by Culpeper officer found dead
Inside Nova ^ | November 13, 2012 | Rhonda Simmons
Posted on November 21, 2012 9:07:18 PM EST by Altariel

The widower of the woman shot and killed by a Culpeper police officer on North East Street in February was found dead in his Friendship Heights apartment Tuesday, seven months after his wife’s untimely death.

According to Virginia State Police, a maintenance crew who entered Gary D. Cook’s apartment to conduct routine service for the apartment complex discovered his body. He was 62.

Preliminary findings of an autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas revealed Cook died of natural causes, according to VPS spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Cook’s residence around 10:29 a.m. for a report of a deceased male. According to Geller, the CCSO contacted the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation Culpeper Field Office to handle the circumstances regarding the “unattended death.”

Yellow caution tape, Virginia State Police troopers, Culpeper County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives flanked the apartment building of 1000 Friendship Way, forbidding onlookers from getting too close to the scene while they waited for a search warrant to investigate this case.

Cook filed a $5.35 million wrongful death lawsuit in May against former town police officer Daniel Wayne Harmon-Wright who stands accused in the shooting death of Patricia Ann Cook, Gary Cook’s wife.

Harmon-Wright, 32, of Gainesville pleaded not guilty to the following charges: murder, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle, malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle resulting in a death and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in the shooting death of Patricia Ann Cook on Feb. 9 in downtown Culpeper. Meanwhile, Harmon-Wright, a U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran, is free on $100,000 bond awaiting his jury trial in Culpeper County Circuit Court on Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m.

Harmon-Wright, a five-year veteran with Culpeper town police, was terminated in June after formal charges were filed against him.

According to the Virginia State Police, Harmon-Wright responded to a report of a suspicious woman sitting in a Jeep Wrangler parked in the Epiphany Catholic School’s middle school parking lot in the 300 block of North East Street around 10 a.m.

Fauquier County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Fisher, special prosecutor in this case, described the encounter between Harmon-Wright and Cook as a “brief struggle at the window of this particular motor vehicle,” before she was shot several times.

According to testimony during Harmon-Wright’s bond hearing in June, Harmon-Wright fired his department-issued Glock seven times – two at the driver’s side window behind which Cook was sitting, inflicting non-fatal wounds.

Harmon-Wright shot Cook in the head and back with bullets lodging in her brain and another fatal shot severing her spine going into her heart and lungs.

In May, Cook’s widower, Gary Cook, filed a $5.35 million wrongful death lawsuit in Culpeper County Circuit Court against Harmon-Wright.

Two months later, Gary Cook’s lawyers expressed interest in possibly expanding the wrongful death lawsuit to include Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins and former chief Dan Boring, now a Culpeper Town Councilman.
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« Reply #829 on: November 28, 2012, 07:30:56 AM »

November 26, 2012, 10:49 amComment

Justice Department Expands Hunt for Data on Cellphones
 
By SOMINI SENGUPTA


Associated Press The Justice Department building in Washington.


 Fans of “The Wire,” the HBO series, will recall what a gold mine cellphones turned out to be for police investigating a drug ring in Baltimore. Detectives in the show used them to construct a map of who called whom at what time and how often.

Indeed, a list of incoming and outgoing calls on an individual’s cellphone can provide a robust trail of evidence.

Cellphones seem to be increasingly attractive to the Department of Justice, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union show. Agencies affiliated with the department used more than 37,600 court orders in 2011 to gather cellphone data, a sharp increase from previous years. They were almost equally divided between “pen register” data, which captures outgoing phone numbers, and “trap and trace” orders, which refer to incoming phone numbers, which means one phone could have two separate orders associated with it.

The total number has roughly doubled since 2007, when cellphone communications were more limited.

By law, the data can be obtained without a search warrant establishing probable cause, though the authorities do need to tell a court that it is relevant to an investigation. To get a wiretap that allows authorities to actually listen in on the contents of a call has higher legal barriers; law enforcement officials have to convince an impartial judge of probable cause.

The lower legal threshold allows law enforcement agencies to capture crucial information, including the time and date of calls and their length, helping law enforcement officials deduce important associations among callers. Each order, the A.C.L.U. pointed out, could affect one or more individuals.

Pen register orders can also allow law enforcement number to obtain data about e-mails, like the “to” and “from” fields, though not the content of those communications.

Among the total orders, the United States Marshals Service led the pack, with more than 16,000, followed by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Justice Department, unlike local police, is required to report how many such orders it seeks. Still, the A.C.L.U. said it had to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the latest figures.
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« Reply #830 on: November 28, 2012, 08:51:52 PM »

TSA Blasted for Exposing Breasts of Texas Congressman's Teen Grandniece
 The New American ^ | 28 November 2012 | Alex Newman

Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:53:42 PM by VitacoreVision





The Transportation Security Administration is under heavy fire after publicly exposing the breasts of a teenage girl during its controversial “screening” procedures.

TSA Blasted for Exposing Breasts of Congressman's Teen Grandniece


The New American
 28 November 2012


 The Transportation Security Administration is under heavy fire after publicly exposing the breasts of a teenage girl during its controversial “screening” procedures. Of course, passengers routinely complain of TSA abuse and molestation — some 17,000 formal complaints have been lodged against the widely ridiculed and despised unconstitutional Homeland Security agency just since 2009, documents show.

 The latest scandal, however, has turned into an international firestorm for the embattled bureaucracy, largely because the then-17-year-old victim was the grandniece of Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas). More than a few analysts noted that countless regular Americans suffer similar abuse and humiliation every single day; virtually nothing is ever done.

 Now, though, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are crying foul while demanding investigations. Rights activists from across the political spectrum, meanwhile, have jumped on the opportunity to rein in the federal abuses once and for all.

According to official documents obtained by reporter Scott MacFarlane with an Atlanta TV news station, the girl was traveling to Australia on a trip with her classmates at Southwest Christian School in Texas. An internal investigation by TSA noted that after being selected for “secondary screening” and a so-called “pat-down,” which critics regularly equate with sexual molestation and assault, the screener "removed minor passenger from the corral." Yes, the report uses the word corral, defined as an enclosure or pen for domesticated animals.

 The girl was not offered a “private screening,” the report noted, though passengers often prefer to be screened publicly anyway to ensure that there are witnesses to the controversial procedure in case of extraordinarily inappropriate fondling or other incidents. As the teen was enduring a “pat-down of the stomach area,” the top of her dress came loose and slipped down to her stomach, according to the internal investigation at least, revealing her breasts to everyone in the vicinity. Analysts suggested the dress had actually been pulled down, a far more plausible scenario.

 Surveillance cameras caught the humiliating event on film, but TSA claimed the footage was not good enough to determine whether its screener had “properly conducted” what commentators said sounded a lot like “sexual assault.” The girl’s chaperones, according to the report, became “visibly upset” about the event and notified her parents. On the following day, her father filed a formal complaint.

 The incident happened at the international airport in Los Angeles (LAX) some two years ago. However, it came to light only in recent days after journalist MacFarlane obtained the internal TSA report about the investigation using the Freedom of Information Act. When the findings were publicized, outrage quickly ensued.

 News of the scandal has since gone viral, attracting headlines across America and beyond. Major press outlets from the United Kingdom to Iran have also covered the resulting uproar. Meanwhile, countless victims of TSA abuses took the opportunity to vent their fury in online comment sections over the lawless but routine violations of the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

 Rep. Hall, describing the incident as “brutal” and saying his grandniece had been “badly mistreated,” called on the TSA to fire the screener responsible for exposing his relative’s body at the airport. The 17-term congressman from Texas is also seeking a proper federal investigation of the incident, according to news reports.

“We have no desire to revive a painful event of the past, one that we abandoned any effort for litigation for privacy reasons,” Hall said in a statement quoted in the press. “We did not want to hurt our niece any more than she had already been hurt.”

 Other lawmakers have also entered the fray. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), for example, contacted the massive screening bureaucracy to ask for a review and to express concerns about “potentially invasive screenings.” Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters of California, whose district includes LAX, also complained to TSA about the suffering and humiliation endured by her colleague’s young relative.

 It is also not the first time lawmakers have had unpleasant experiences with the TSA. Earlier this year, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) missed a flight to Washington, D.C., after being detained by screeners for refusing a full-body pat-down. The incident happened at the Nashville, Tennessee, airport when a so-called “naked-body scanner” found some sort of alleged “anomaly” around the conservative senator’s knee.

 Sen. Paul’s father Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a hero to millions of Americans for his devotion to liberty and the Constitution, has been a foe of the TSA and its lawless abuses from the start. “Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?” the congressman wondered in his farewell address this month. “Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.”

 Last year, meanwhile, a congressional report determined that despite squandering close to $60 billion in taxpayer funds on the TSA, screening is based on “theatrics” and has failed to catch a single terrorist. Passengers and crew, the investigation found, are actually the most effective line of defense. Ironically, perhaps, the explosive report said air travel is no safer now than it was before September 11, 2001.

 The out-of-control agency has become “an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy, more concerned with human resource management and consolidating power,” according to the report, released in November of 2011. “Today, TSA's screening policies are based in theatrics. They are typical, bureaucratic responses to failed security policies meant to assuage the concerns of the traveling public.”

 This week, a stinging investigation by Charles Kenny, a fellow at the Center for Global Development and the New America Foundation, found that the TSA actually makes air travel less safe. Still, despite the facts and the growing surge of public revulsion, the Department of Homeland Security continues purporting to usurp new powers for itself, with the TSA still seeking to expand its “mission” far beyond the confines of “corrals” at airport terminals.

 In typical fashion, the widely loathed screening agency attempted to blame the teenage victim after the latest scandal exploded into the global press, claiming the girl’s dress being too loose was the problem — not the molestation. “We regret that the incident of more than two years ago was one that caused embarrassment to the young lady; however, an investigation concluded that the event was accidental,” TSA claimed in a statement cited in media reports.

 According to the official report about the internal investigation, the bureaucrat responsible for disrobing the girl was “counseled on the expectation of our agency for professionalism and customer service.” By “customers,” TSA was presumably referring to its hapless victims who are lawlessly forced to submit to the violation of their rights in order to board an airplane, and more recently, sometimes even a bus or train.

 Aside from the wanton violations of Americans’ constitutionally guaranteed, unalienable rights, the TSA has also refused to respect federal court decisions. In August, for instance, a U.S. appeals court demanded that the agency promptly explain its brazen failure to obey the law and a judicial order issued a year earlier.

With Americans across the political spectrum becoming increasingly outraged by TSA abuses, some state lawmakers are taking action. In Texas, for example, a bill to criminalize the “screening” procedures as sexual assault was passed overwhelmingly as Democrats and Republicans united to protect the rights of Texans.

 Now, the celebrated Texas Travel Freedoom Act, HB 80, recently pre-filed by state Rep. David Simpson, aims to put an end to TSA lawlessness in the Lone Star State once and for all. Activists, however, are hoping to end the abuses nationwide, and with a congressman’s grandniece becoming the latest high-profile victim, analysts say achieving that goal just got a big boost. Indeed, the entire unconstitutional Department of Homeland Security is increasingly in the crosshairs, too.
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« Reply #831 on: November 28, 2012, 09:16:00 PM »


The senate is not able to rewrite a bill without it going back to the house for retification.

What the hell is reid trying to pull??
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« Reply #832 on: November 28, 2012, 09:22:12 PM »

The senate is not able to rewrite a bill without it going back to the house for retification.

What the hell is reid trying to pull??

If the Senate and the House pass different versions of a bill, there is a joint Committee that tries to "iron things out" and which then submits the revised bill to both Houses of Congress for an up or down vote.
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« Reply #833 on: November 29, 2012, 05:13:22 AM »

If the Senate and the House pass different versions of a bill, there is a joint Committee that tries to "iron things out" and which then submits the revised bill to both Houses of Congress for an up or down vote.

Thanks
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« Reply #834 on: November 29, 2012, 03:52:04 PM »

Trooper Accused of Stealing from Victim of Fatal Crash [CT]
 www.nbcconnecticut.com ^ | Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 | Updated 2:48 PM EST | Staff

 
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:59:44 PM



A 43-year-old state trooper has been charged with larceny, accused of stealing jewelry and cash from the victim of a fatal crash on Route 15 in Fairfield on Sept. 22.

Trooper Aaron Huntsman, an 18-year veteran of the department, has been suspended from the department, according to state police.

Police began investigating when the victim’s family determined that jewelry, clothing and cash were missing, state police said.

The Connecticut Post is reporting that Huntsman is accused of stealing $3,000 in cash and a gold chain from the victim's body.

The family obtained the victim’s clothes from the hospital, but were not able to find jewelry.

As State Police investigated, they determined that no jewelry was logged into evidence and a large amount of cash was found in the trooper’s police cruiser.

Police obtained an arrest warrant on Wednesday charging Huntsman with two counts of third-degree larceny, interfering with police and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Police arrested Huntsman on Thursday.

He was released after posting a $5,000 bond and will be arraigned in Superior Court GA #2 Bridgeport on Dec. 10.

According to the state Web site, Huntsman's state police salary is $80,000 and he made almost $112,000 in 2011.
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« Reply #835 on: November 29, 2012, 08:43:30 PM »

Trooper Accused of Stealing from Victim of Fatal Crash [CT]
 www.nbcconnecticut.com ^ | Thursday, Nov 29, 2012 | Updated 2:48 PM EST | Staff

 
Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:59:44 PM



A 43-year-old state trooper has been charged with larceny, accused of stealing jewelry and cash from the victim of a fatal crash on Route 15 in Fairfield on Sept. 22.

Trooper Aaron Huntsman, an 18-year veteran of the department, has been suspended from the department, according to state police.

Police began investigating when the victim’s family determined that jewelry, clothing and cash were missing, state police said.

The Connecticut Post is reporting that Huntsman is accused of stealing $3,000 in cash and a gold chain from the victim's body.

The family obtained the victim’s clothes from the hospital, but were not able to find jewelry.

As State Police investigated, they determined that no jewelry was logged into evidence and a large amount of cash was found in the trooper’s police cruiser.

Police obtained an arrest warrant on Wednesday charging Huntsman with two counts of third-degree larceny, interfering with police and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Police arrested Huntsman on Thursday.

He was released after posting a $5,000 bond and will be arraigned in Superior Court GA #2 Bridgeport on Dec. 10.

According to the state Web site, Huntsman's state police salary is $80,000 and he made almost $112,000 in 2011.


Life in prison should about do it.. in gen pop
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« Reply #836 on: November 29, 2012, 08:47:43 PM »

they can search emails without a warrant... BUT THEY STILL NEED A SUBPOENA



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« Reply #837 on: November 29, 2012, 10:08:36 PM »

Video: Feds shut down 100-year-old oyster company, destroy some lives and dreams
 Hot air ^

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:37:42 PM by TigerClaws

Hey, no bigs. It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.


(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...
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« Reply #838 on: December 02, 2012, 06:34:46 PM »

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuET0kpHoyM&feature=youtube_gdata_player




Fucked up!!!! 
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« Reply #839 on: December 03, 2012, 01:46:54 PM »

Wow.  Been reading this thread, and it's enough to make a good person's blood boil. 

Really have to wonder about the toolbags on this thread that make such effort to barf out excuses.  These are the same people who allow the subversion of democracy to take place, without asking a single fucking question about the fucking signs that are slapping them in the fucking face, and the same people that will "follow orders" until the last free man is taken.

Disgusting, inferior excuses for citizens.  YOU are the problem.
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« Reply #840 on: December 03, 2012, 03:33:49 PM »

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuET0kpHoyM&feature=youtube_gdata_player




Fucked up!!!! 

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« Reply #841 on: December 03, 2012, 03:47:10 PM »

Video: Feds shut down 100-year-old oyster company, destroy some lives and dreams
 Hot air ^

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:37:42 PM by TigerClaws

Hey, no bigs. It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.


(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...


Fuck. Really?

got a link 33?
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« Reply #842 on: December 03, 2012, 08:17:48 PM »

Video: Feds shut down 100-year-old oyster company, destroy some lives and dreams
 Hot air ^

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 9:37:42 PM by TigerClaws

Hey, no bigs. It’s just a 100-year-old company and California’s only surviving cannery, a sustainable, family-owned operation employing 30 people. The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in a seven-year fight with the federal government and environmental groups over whether it’s 40-year lease would be renewed this week. The Lunny family, which owns the oyster farm, was among a group of families that sold their ranch lands to the National Parks Service in the 1970s to protect them from developers, with the understanding they would get 40-year-leases renewed in perpetuity. After buying and operating the oyster farm without incident— they were even featured as outstanding environmental stewards by the National Parks Service— the Lunnys learned in 2005 they were accused of bringing environmental damage to an area the NPS and environmentalists were anxious to designate as the nation’s first federally recognized marine wilderness.


(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...


People should know better than to rely on "understandings". Once you sign on the dotted line any understandings go out the door and the only thing that matters is what's on paper.

To be clear, I'm not saying that the behavior of the government is appropriate (or even reasonable). If the story is accurate then I don't think it is. What I am saying is different:

If you have an "understanding" or "verbal agreement" about how a contract you are about to sign is to be interpreted, or if you negotiate concessions then make sure that those things are put in writing, in the body of the contract before you sign. It's common sense.
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« Reply #843 on: December 03, 2012, 08:20:13 PM »

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/feds-shut-down-100-year-old-oyster-company/?cat_orig=money

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« Reply #844 on: December 03, 2012, 08:52:11 PM »

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57556704-38/cops-to-congress-we-need-logs-of-americans-text-messages


And it gets worse!   

Wtf!!! 
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« Reply #845 on: December 04, 2012, 01:39:16 PM »

Fuck. Really?

got a link 33?

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/04/family-owned-california-oyster-farm-to-fight-federal-government-over-lease


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« Reply #846 on: December 05, 2012, 04:42:23 AM »

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/12/04/three-motorists-suing-new-york-city-over-red-light-cameras


It's all about the benjis. 
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« Reply #847 on: December 05, 2012, 04:48:41 PM »




That's fucked up!
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« Reply #848 on: December 07, 2012, 12:51:37 PM »


Black boxes in cars raise privacy concerns

 

 
Many motorists don't know it, but it's likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there's a snitch along for the ride.
 
In the next few days, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders - better known as "black boxes" - in all new cars and light trucks. But the agency is behind the curve. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.
 
When a car is involved in a crash or when its airbags deploy, inputs from the vehicle's sensors during the 5 to 10 seconds before impact are automatically preserved. That's usually enough to record things like how fast the car was traveling and whether the driver applied the brake, was steering erratically or had a seat belt on.
 
The idea is to gather information that can help investigators determine the cause of accidents and lead to safer vehicles. But privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.
 
Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn't speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria's data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn't belted in.
 
In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV's recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn't have his seat belt on.
 
There's no opt-out. It's extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. Although some vehicle models have had recorders since the early 1990s, a federal requirement that automakers disclose their existence in owner's manuals didn't go into effect until three months ago. Automakers who voluntarily put recorders in vehicles are also now required to gather a minimum of 15 types of data.
 
Besides the upcoming proposal to put recorders in all new vehicles, the traffic safety administration is also considering expanding the data requirement to include as many as 30 additional types of data such as whether the vehicle's electronic stability control was engaged, the driver's seat position or whether the front-seat passenger was belted in. Some manufacturers already are collecting the information. Engineers have identified more than 80 data points that might be useful.
 
Despite privacy complaints, the traffic safety administration so far hasn't put any limits on how the information can be used. About a dozen states have some law regarding data recorders, but the rest do not.
 
"Right now we're in an environment where there are no rules, there are no limits, there are no consequences and there is no transparency," said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group. "Most people who are operating a motor vehicle have no idea this technology is integrated into their vehicle."
 
Part of the concern is that the increasing computerization of cars and the growing transmission of data to and from vehicles could lead to unintended uses of recorder data.
 
"Basically your car is a computer now, so it can record all kinds of information," said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers. "It's a lot of the same issues you have about your computer or your smartphone and whether Google or someone else has access to the data."
 
The alliance opposes the government requiring recorders in all vehicles.
 
Data recorders "help our engineers understand how cars perform in the real world, and we already have put them on over 90 percent of (new) vehicles without any mandate being necessary," Bergquist said.
 
Safety advocates, however, say requiring data recorders in all cars is the best way to gather a large enough body of reliable information to enable vehicle designers to make safer automobiles.
 
"The barn door is already open. It's a question of whether we use the information that's already out there," said Henry Jasny, vice president of Advocates for Highway and Automotive Safety.
 
The National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing for recorders in all passenger vehicles since the board's investigation of a 2003 accident in which an elderly driver plowed through an open-air market in Santa Monica, Calif. Ten people were killed and 63 were injured. The driver refused to be interviewed and his 1992 Buick LeSabre didn't have a recorder. After ruling out other possibilities, investigators ultimately guessed that he had either mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal or had stepped on the gas and the brake pedals at the same time.
 
When reports of sudden acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles cascaded in 2009 and 2010, recorder data from some of the vehicles contributed to the traffic safety administration's conclusion that the problem was probably sticky gas pedals and floor mats that could jam them, not defects in electronic throttle control systems.
 
"Black box" is a mechanic's term for a part that should only be opened by someone with authority to do so. The term is most widely used to refer to flight data recorders, which continually gather hundreds of data points about an aircraft's operation during flight. Aircraft recorders, by law, are actually bright orange.
 
Some automakers began installing the recorders at a time when there were complaints that air bags might be causing deaths and injuries, partly to protect themselves against liability and partly to improve air bag technology. Most recorders are black boxes about the size of a deck of card with circuit boards inside. After an accident, information is downloaded to a laptop computer using a tool unique to the vehicle's manufacturer. As electronics in cars have increased, the kinds of data that can be recorded have grown as well. Some more recent recorders are part of the vehicle's computers rather than a separate device.
 
Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., has repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, introduced legislation to require that automakers design recorders so that they can be disabled by motorists
 
A transportation bill passed by the Senate earlier this year would have required that all new cars and light trucks have recorders and designated a vehicle's owner as the owner of the data. The provision was removed during House-Senate negotiations on the measure at the behest of House Republican lawmakers who said they were concerned about privacy.
 
"Many of us would see it as a slippery slope toward big government and Big Brother knowing what we're doing and where we are," Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., who is slated to take over the chairmanship of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in January, said at the time. "Privacy is a big concern for many across America."


Read more: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/20286045/black-boxes-in-cars-raise-privacy-concerns#ixzz2EOhmyUx9

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« Reply #849 on: December 10, 2012, 08:02:57 AM »

True Drone Lies
 Townhall.com ^ | December 10, 2012 | Katie Kieffer

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 7:48:51 AM



 Superheroes often live double lives. But so do super-villains. For four years, the Obama administration has been living a double-life regarding drones.



Publicly, the president and his leadership tell us they are using drones to protect our borders and promote national security. The administration dismisses challenges to its drone policies as falsehoods, but these “lies” are alarmingly close to the truth.



True Drone Lies at Home

Drone creep is happening. On Valentine’s Day, Obama signed the unconstitutional FAA Modernization and Reform Act, allocating $63.6 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) between 2012 and 2015. Basically, he authorized the FAA to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to loosen and expand drone regulations for both military and private/commercial use. This law violates both the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution’s mandate that Congress—not the President—make all laws.



Since February, the administration has gone on a drone-buying binge—despite Inspector General audits indicating that agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) do not need and cannot afford the drones they already have access to.



The DHS will soon have a fleet of 24 domestic drones after reportedly signing a contract worth $443 with General Atomics for 14 more Predator drones. The drones are being purchased under the guise of “border security.” However, reports indicate the federal government is using these drones to violate our Fourth Amendment rights.



Obama must know his drone policy is unconstitutional and liable to congressional and/or judicial challenge. For, he is moving to codify it: “The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program… the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized…” reports the New York Times.



Domestically, we must demand that Congress hold the president accountable for his incessant prowl for more control over our lives through the use of unconstitutional drones.



True Drone Lies in Iran

In Iran, we find many examples of the concerns that arise from the administration’s international drone policy. Using drones to spy on Iran is backfiring. We appear to be losing more than we are gaining because we are forfeiting our intelligence secrets and inciting blowback.



U.S.-Iran relations are complex, so I will provide a timeline with concrete examples:



December 4, 2011: Iranian forces brought down a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone equipped with proprietary stealth technology. The U.S. was using the drone to monitor Iran’s military and nuclear facilities. The Pentagon played down the capture and President Obama asked Iran to return the drone.



February 1, 2012: Iran’s government contracted an Iranian toy company to produce a pink, $4 toy model of the Sentinel and sent it to the White House. "No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country," Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Lt. Commander Gen. Hossein Salami reportedly said.



April 22, 2012: Iran announced that it had successfully recovered sensitive data from the Sentinel—including information we had supposedly erased. Iran also said it was building a duplicate drone since the Sentinel was almost entirely intact at the time of capture.



November 1, 2012: Iran’s air and sea borders are highly disputed, yet the U.S. risked Iranian ire and flew a U.S. MQ-1 Predator drone over what Iran considers to be its territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. An Iranian SU-25 Frog-foot warplane shot at our drone in retaliation.



December 4, 2012: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps naval forces captured a U.S. drone that reportedly violated Iran’s airspace. Since the drone did not belong to the U.S. Navy, it most likely belonged to the CIA or the Department of Defense’s National Security Agency and was conducting surveillance on Iran.



Going Forward

We must improve our stealth drone technology or our rivals will continue to intercept it. The Predator drones we use abroad put our national security at risk because their unencrypted GPS signal is easy for an enemy to spoof and they are susceptible to jamming (according to a September Government Accountability Office report). Why are we using such underdeveloped technology?



In addition to improving our stealth technology, but we must exercise more discretion in deciding whether to use it. Iran views U.S. drone surveillance as a direct act of aggression. If we seriously want to negotiate with Iran and avoid an unnecessary war, we must reevaluate our constant snooping with bug-prone drones.



Our drones are stirring up anti-American sentiment abroad. In just four years, the CIA’s drones have killed 2,500 people (plus numerous unreported civilians). Citizens in Iran, Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan progressively view our drones as violating their national sovereignty and are angered by the civilian deaths they cause.



The Obama administration may call them lies. But we know these “lies” are true: U.S. domestic drone policy ravages our constitutional freedoms while U.S. international drone policy incites blowback and threatens our national security.
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