Tag Archives: surveillance
The US Department of Homeland Security already has an arsenal of drones to be deployed for whatever the agency deems fit, but the actual capabilities of those vehicles exceed what many Americans may expect.
The unmanned drones being used inside of the United States right now can’t shoot Hellfire missiles like their overseas counterparts. They can, however, conduct surveillance, intercept communications and even determine whether or not a person thousands of feet below the aircraft is armed.
The latest revelation comes courtesy of a DHS document that was recently obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, through a Freedom of Information Act request. After analyzing a partially-redacted drone “performance specification” file received through their FOIA plea, EPIC said that records indicate “the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is operating drones in the United States capable of intercepting electronic communications.”
Of the ten Predator B drones currently maintained by the agency, EPIC adds that the document confirms that those aircraft “have the capacity to recognize and identify a person on the ground.”
“The records obtained by EPIC raise questions about the agency’s compliance with federal privacy laws and the scope of domestic surveillance,” the center writes on their website this week.
Speaking to CNet, EPIC’s Open Government Project director, Ginger McCall, says the discovery shows just how dangerous drones could be to the privacy of the millions of Americans who could have drones overhead right this moment.
“The documents clearly evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is developing drones with signals interception technology and the capability to identify people on the ground,” McCall says. “This allows for invasive surveillance, including potential communications surveillance, that could run afoul of federal privacy laws.”
Since EPIC published their FOID’d documents last week, Cnet has managed to scrounge up an unredacted copy that outlines what the DHS was looking for in drones when the report was written in 2010. Specifically, the performance specifications note that while the DHS is not implementing drones for eavesdropping on America right now, “Further tasks, such as communication relay and interception, although not yet evaluated in the field, are assessed to also be best performed” by the unmanned aerial vehicles.
Additionally, DHS drones must “be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not” and “be capable of marking a target into a retrievable database.” No information is given as to what database that refers to, but a Homeland Security official speaking on condition of anonymity tells DHS that the drones lack — for now, at least — the ability to read a subject’s face to find out who they are.
“The drones are able to identify whether movement on the ground comes from a human or an animal, but that they do not perform facial recognition,” Cnet reporter Declan McCullagh says the DHS source’s claims.
“Any potential deployment of such technology in the future would be implemented in full consideration of civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy interests and in a manner consistent with the law and long standing law enforcement practices,” the source adds.
The Homeland Security department’s drones are currently used to allow federal officials to monitor any criminal activity on America’s borders to the north and south. As RT reported recently, however, a 2012 Supreme Court ruling determined that the government can conduct border patrol operations within 100 miles of an international crossing. By that logic, the approximately 200 million Americans residing within that parameter are subject to Border Patrol searches and, perhaps soon enough, surveillance drones.
By: John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute |
“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning. From metal detectors to drug tests, from increased policing to all-seeing electronic surveillance, the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes
In the American police state, you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.).
Indeed, at a time when we are all viewed as suspects, there are so many ways in which a person can be branded a criminal for violating any number of laws, regulations or policies. Even if you haven’t knowingly violated any laws, there is still a myriad of ways in which you can run afoul of the police state and end up on the wrong side of a jail cell.
Unfortunately, when you’re a child in the American police state, life is that much worse.
Microcosms of the police state, America’s public schools contain almost every aspect of the militarized, intolerant, senseless, overcriminalized, legalistic, surveillance-riddled, totalitarian landscape that plagues those of us on the “outside.”
From the moment a child enters one of the nation’s 98,000 public schools to the moment she graduates, she will be exposed to a steady diet of draconian zero tolerance policies that criminalize childish behavior, overreaching anti-bullying statutes that criminalize speech, school resource officers (police) tasked with disciplining and/or arresting so-called “disorderly” students, standardized testing that emphasizes rote answers over critical thinking, politically correct mindsets that teach young people to censor themselves and those around them, and extensive biometric and surveillance systems that, coupled with the rest, acclimate young people to a world in which they have no freedom of thought, speech or movement.
If your child is fortunate enough to survive his encounter with the public schools, you should count yourself fortunate.
Most students are not so lucky.
By the time the average young person in America finishes their public school education, nearly one out of every three of them will have been arrested.
More than 3 million students are suspended or expelled from schools every year, often for minor misbehavior, such as “disruptive behavior” or “insubordination.” Black students are three times more likely than white students to face suspension and expulsion.
For instance, a Virginia sixth grader, the son of two school teachers and a member of the school’s gifted program, was suspended for a year after school officials found a leaf (likely a maple leaf) in his backpack that they suspected was marijuana. Despite the fact that the leaf in question was not marijuana (a fact that officials knew almost immediately), the 11-year-old was still kicked out of school, charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court, enrolled in an alternative school away from his friends, subjected to twice-daily searches for drugs, and forced to be evaluated for substance abuse problems.
As the Washington Post warns: “It doesn’t matter if your son or daughter brings a real pot leaf to school, or if he brings something that looks like a pot leaf—okra, tomato, maple, buckeye, etc. If your kid calls it marijuana as a joke, or if another kid thinks it might be marijuana, that’s grounds for expulsion.”
Many state laws require that schools notify law enforcement whenever a student is found with an “imitation controlled substance,” basically anything that look likes a drug but isn’t actually illegal. As a result, students have been suspended for bringing to school household spices such as oregano, breath mints, birth control pills and powdered sugar.
It’s not just look-alike drugs that can get a student in trouble under school zero tolerance policies. Look-alike weapons (toy guns—even Lego-sized ones, hand-drawn pictures of guns, pencils twirled in a “threatening” manner, imaginary bows and arrows, even fingers positioned like guns) can also land a student in detention.
Acts of kindness, concern or basic manners can also result in suspensions. One 13-year-old was given detention for exposing the school to “liability” by sharing his lunch with a hungry friend. A third grader was suspended for shaving her head in sympathy for a friend who had lost her hair to chemotherapy. And then there was the high school senior who was suspended for saying “bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezed.
Unfortunately, while these may appear to be isolated incidents, they are indicative of a nationwide phenomenon in which children are treated like suspects and criminals, especially within the public schools.
The schools have become a microcosm of the American police state, right down to the host of surveillance technologies, including video cameras, finger and palm scanners, iris scanners, as well as RFID and GPS tracking devices, employed to keep constant watch over their student bodies.
Making matters worse are the police.
Students accused of being disorderly or noncompliant have a difficult enough time navigating the bureaucracy of school boards, but when you bring the police into the picture, after-school detention and visits to the principal’s office are transformed into punishments such as misdemeanor tickets, juvenile court, handcuffs, tasers and even prison terms.
In the absence of school-appropriate guidelines, police are more and more “stepping in to deal with minor rulebreaking—sagging pants, disrespectful comments, brief physical skirmishes. What previously might have resulted in a detention or a visit to the principal’s office was replaced with excruciating pain and temporary blindness, often followed by a trip to the courthouse.”
Thanks to a combination of media hype, political pandering and financial incentives, the use of armed police officers to patrol school hallways has risen dramatically in the years since the Columbine school shooting (nearly 20,000 by 2003). Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, these school resource officers (SROs) have become de facto wardens in the elementary, middle and high schools, doling out their own brand of justice to the so-called “criminals” in their midst with the help of tasers, pepperspray, batons and brute force.
The horror stories are legion.
One SRO is accused of punching a 13-year-old student in the face for cutting the cafeteria line. That same cop put another student in a chokehold a week later, allegedly knocking the student unconscious and causing a brain injury. In Pennsylvania, a student was tased after ignoring an order to put his cell phone away.
Defending the use of handcuffs and pepper spray to subdue students, one Alabama police department reasoned that if they can employ such tactics on young people away from school, they should also be permitted to do so on campus.
Now advocates for such harsh police tactics and weaponry will tell you that school safety should be our first priority lest we find ourselves with another Sandy Hook. What they will not tell you is that such shootings are rare. As one congressional report found, the schools are, generally speaking, safe places for children.
In their zeal to crack down on guns and lock down the schools, these cheerleaders for police state tactics in the schools might also fail to mention the lucrative, multi-million dollar deals being cut with military contractors such as Taser International to equip these school cops with tasers, tanks, rifles and $100,000 shooting detection systems.
Indeed, the transformation of hometown police departments into extensions of the military has been mirrored in the public schools, where school police have been gifted with high-powered M16 rifles, MRAP armored vehicles, grenade launchers, and other military gear. One Texas school district even boasts its own 12-member SWAT team.
According to one law review article on the school-to-prison pipeline, “Many school districts have formed their own police departments, some so large they rival the forces of major United States cities in size. For example, the safety division in New York City’s public schools is so large that if it were a local police department, it would be the fifth-largest police force in the country.”
The ramifications are far-reaching.
The term “school-to-prison pipeline” refers to a phenomenon in which children who are suspended or expelled from school have a greater likelihood of ending up in jail. One study found that “being suspended or expelled made a student nearly three times more likely to come into contact with the juvenile justice system within the next year.”
Not content to add police to their employee rosters, the schools have also come to resemble prisons, complete with surveillance cameras, metal detectors, drug-sniffing dogs, random locker searches and active shooter drills. The Detroit public schools boast a “‘$5.6 million 23,000-sq ft. state of the art Command Center’ and ‘$41.7 million district-wide security initiative’ including metal detectors and ID system where visitors’ names are checked against the sex offender registry.”
As if it weren’t bad enough that the nation’s schools have come to resemble prisons, the government is also contracting with private prisons to lock up our young people for behavior that once would have merited a stern lecture. Nearly 40 percent of those young people who are arrested will serve time in a private prison, where the emphasis is on making profits for large megacorporations above all else.
Private prisons, the largest among them being GEO and the Corrections Corporation of America, profit by taking over a state’s prison population for a fee. Many states, under contract with these private prisons, agree to keep the prisons full, which in turn results in more Americans being arrested, found guilty and jailed for nonviolent “crimes” such as holding Bible studies in their back yard. As the Washington Post points out, “With the growing influence of the prison lobby, the nation is, in effect, commoditizing human bodies for an industry in militant pursuit of profit… The influence of private prisons creates a system that trades money for human freedom, often at the expense of the nation’s most vulnerable populations: children, immigrants and the poor.”
This profit-driven system of incarceration has also given rise to a growth in juvenile prisons and financial incentives for jailing young people. Indeed, young people have become easy targets for the private prison industry, which profits from criminalizing childish behavior and jailing young people. For instance, two Pennsylvania judges made headlines when it was revealed that they had been conspiring with two businessmen in a $2.6 million “kids for cash” scandal that resulted in more than 2500 children being found guilty and jailed in for-profit private prisons.
It has been said that America’s schools are the training ground for future generations. Instead of raising up a generation of freedom fighters, however, we seem to be busy churning out newly minted citizens of the American police state who are being taught the hard way what it means to comply, fear and march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.
As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, with every school police raid and overzealous punishment that is carried out in the name of school safety, the lesson being imparted is that Americans—especially young people—have no rights at all against the state or the police.
I’ll conclude with one hopeful anecdote about a Philadelphia school dubbed the “Jones Jail” because of its bad reputation for violence among the student body. Situated in a desperately poor and dangerous part of the city, the John Paul Jones Middle School’s student body had grown up among drug users, drug peddlers, prostitutes and gun violence. “By middle school,” reports The Atlantic, most of these students “have witnessed more violence than most Americans who didn’t serve in a war ever will.”
According to investigative reporters Jeff Deeney, “School police officers patrolled the building at John Paul Jones, and children were routinely submitted to scans with metal detecting wands. All the windows were covered in metal grating and one room that held computers even had thick iron prison bars on its exterior… Every day… [police] would set up a perimeter of police officers on the blocks around the school, and those police were there to protect neighbors from the children, not to protect the children from the neighborhood.”
In other words, John Paul Jones, one of the city’s most dangerous schools, was a perfect example of the school-to-prison, police state apparatus at work among the nation’s youngest and most impressionable citizens.
When management of John Paul Jones was taken over by a charter school that opted to de-escalate the police state presence, stripping away the metal detectors and barred windows, local police protested. In fact, they showed up wearing Kevlar vests. Nevertheless, school officials remained determined to do away with institutional control and surveillance, as well as aggressive security guards, and focus on noncoercive, nonviolent conflict resolution with an emphasis on student empowerment, relationship building and anger management.
The result: a 90% drop in serious incidents—drug sales, weapons, assaults, rapes—in one year alone. As one fifth-grader remarked on the changes, “There are no more fights. There are no more police. That’s better for the community.”
The lesson for the rest of us is this: you not only get what you pay for, but you reap what you sow.
If you want a nation of criminals, treat the citizenry like criminals.
If you want young people who grow up seeing themselves as prisoners, run the schools like prisons.
But if you want to raise up a generation of freedom fighters, who will actually operate with justice, fairness, accountability and equality towards each other and their government, then run the schools like freedom forums. Remove the metal detectors and surveillance cameras, re-assign the cops elsewhere, and start treating our nation’s young people like citizens of a republic and not inmates in a police state.
Contributed by John W. Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute.
By: Joe Wright |
Anyone who was called crazy for shouting from the rooftops back in 2005 when the first sign of drone testing in the United States was uncovered appears to have been vindicated. Small comfort as we are finally coming face to face with the consequences of our apathy.
North Dakota made international news recently as the first state to legalize weaponized drones for use upon its own citizens. But this still isn’t enough evidence for those whose heads remain buried in the sands of (they hope) blissful ignorance.
Several stunning revelations come from a mainstream media article that seems to accurately identify the problem: “Drone Policing in US Seen as ‘Wild West’.” AFP cites the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s discovery that “60 police forces across the country — from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama, North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Miami-Dade County — have asked for drone certification” and that, “Up to two dozen police forces are currently fully equipped with drones and trained to use them, including pioneers Grand Forks in North Dakota; Arlington, Texas; Mesa County, Colorado and the Utah Highway Patrol.”
Naturally, these police departments are attempting to justify drones as far cheaper alternatives to helicopters and other conventional aircraft. But that actually exacerbates the real problem, which is that it becoming cheaper and cheaper to institute pervasive surveillance and tracking … and now weaponization.
There have been some positive signs of semi-awakening to this reality, however. The actual sponsor of North Dakota’s drone legislation is having second thoughts and is aiming to change the law within two years, claiming that the police union imposed an amendment that directly reversed his original intent. Some of the more educated and active areas of the country have also pushed back hard against their department’s drone initiatives forcing police to abandon their fast-track plans.
However, a disturbing comment appears in the AFP article from a Director at the Teal Group Corporation, an aerospace defense contractor that obviously would love to see a drone swarm in every town. Philip Finnegan acknowledges that there is some “political risk” at the moment, but is betting on the short-term memory of the American population, as well as their tendency to become acclimatized to all of the trappings of a full-blown police state.
He predicted that the commercial market will take off within five years as the public grows increasingly comfortable with drones and law enforcement uses them more.
So there you have the mentality of those who would profit from the further eradication of liberty inside the United States … just wait it out, you’ll give up and take it eventually.
Don’t become comfortable; spread the word and resist now, because if we think we currently have problems with a brutal police force imagine that force empowered by the same joystick surveillance and weapons that have taken over in “enemy territory.”
Where does your local police force stand on the use of drones? Please leave your comments below.
Joe Wright’s articles can be found at ActivistPost.com
By: Kristen Anderson, Activist Post |
Don’t feel like your privacy is invaded enough? Hoping that the government will begin collecting more of your personal data? Good news! Garbage trucks may soon hit the streets fitted with license plate readers in the San Francisco Bay Area. These handy scanners will sweep the streets at least once a week and provide law enforcement with vehicle location in real time.
The City Counsel voted 4-1 in August to continue planning how to use the technology to provide efficient and effective intelligence to local law enforcement. The scanners cost $15,000 each, and the city could have a constant stream of data coming in.
While law enforcement touts this as an efficient way to deter vehicle theft and locate vehicles that have already been stolen, many are expressing alarm. The plan raises significant concerns due to the fact that it would turn private waste collection companies into agents of law enforcement. The ramifications of this kind of data storage is causing outrage among civil liberties activists because it is not clear what the limits of this data are. Will the data really only be used to help locate stolen vehicles? Or will it be used if law enforcement want to find a criminal suspect? Will it be used if the government wants to monitor the movements of certain citizens? How long before this plan comes to a city near you?
Kristen Anderson writes for ActivistPost.com
By: Jason Erickson, Tech Swarm |
Although drones have been all but welcomed into American skies by the U.S. government, the devil still remains in the details.
The proliferation of drones for hobby, commercial, or law enforcement has faced some significant setbacks, while still marching forward as though it’s inevitable that drones will be part of the future landscape in America.
There are several issues at play, especially when it comes to smaller drones such as the quadcopters that tend to be used most by hobbyists, journalists and local law enforcement. The primary issue is of course privacy, as it appears that even sunbathing 200 feet in the air on a wind turbine doesn’t guarantee a bit of seclusion these days. But, in tandem with that, is the idea that a remote-controlled device equipped with fast-spinning blades is becoming an increasing part of the public experience, which one man recently likened to a “flying lawnmower.”
One company believes they have found a solution that might work to help alleviate safety concerns: essentially putting drones on a leash.
The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech will collaborate with Drone Aviation Holding Corp., a Jacksonville-based aviation company, to research, test, and advance the commercialization of the company’s tethered unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones.
The organizations began test flights this month in Jacksonville, Florida, to explore the reliability, safety, and commercial-use cases for the company’s family of tethered drones, and ultimately report the results to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“We are excited to demonstrate the advantages and many potential civil and commercial uses of our tethered drones,” said Jay Nussbaum, chairman of Drone Aviation Holding Corp. “This ongoing partnership will focus on evaluating the increased safety features and technical advantages of our tethered drones and sharing that data with the FAA for the potential commercial deployment of ‘WATT’ systems into the national airspace for first responders and commercial entities.”
The FAA selected the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech in December, 2013, as one of six national test sites to conduct research to integrate unmanned aircraft into the nation’s airspace. Since then, the partnership has worked with unmanned aircraft systems to aid emergency responders, survey energy pipeline infrastructure, study agricultural land, and teach reporters to cover news.
“At Virginia Tech, we see tremendous opportunity for tethered-drone technology because of its unique capabilities and safety profile, making it applicable to a large number of applications from news broadcasting to emergency response and facility security,” said Rose Mooney, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, headquartered at the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech. “We look forward to working with Drone Aviation Holding Corp., the FAA, and our consortium partners to explore the commercial application of this this novel UAS technology.”
The WATT-200 is designed to safely provide secure and reliable aerial monitoring for extended durations while being tethered to the ground via a high strength armored tether. Unlike hobbyist drones or manned aircraft, the WATT model delivers the long-flight duration and commercial grade, real-time video-monitoring capabilities day or night, the company said.
While it is commendable to look for solutions that will prevent the type of free-for-all that is developing in the small drone sector, the idea of tethered drones sounds like the possible establishment of fixed drone outposts. In a society that already is plagued by excessive surveillance, is this just one more step toward the expansion of an all-seeing eye?
Jason Erickson writes for TechSwarm
By: Mac Slavo | SHTFplan.com –
Implantable RFID tracking chips. You know, to stop terrorism.
And to keep tabs on all the welfare queens, in order to keep tax dollars accountable.
There will be other rationales, too.
But really, governments just want to do all the spying they can within their power – and right now, technology offers more power than ever before to carry out universal surveillance, track and trace every person and every thing and put civil rights in the backseat where they belong.
The latest proposal from a politician in the Finnish government seems like a near-future dystopic film, but may not be far reality.
It’s not much of a stretch to imagine that the U.S., Britain or other governments in Europe would do this too, if they could get away with it.
In fact, an RFID chipped population could only be years away.
Sputnik News reports:
A politician from Finland’s conservative Finns Party suggested implanting welfare recipients with satellite-tracking chips following news that some recipients continued receiving payments after leaving the country to join ISIL.
A member of Finland’s right-wing Finns Party, Pasi Maenranta, has suggested implanting all recipients of government assistance with satellite-tracked chips if they choose to leave the country.
Maenranta made the proposal after Finnish media revealed that some recipients of government assistance continued to receive payments after leaving the country to join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
“The law should be changed: To receive payments from Kela [the Social Insurance Institution], one has to tell exact data about your location using your personal code, read by a satellite. It is also possible to implant electronic chips to all going abroad, who for example receive medical welfare from Kela,” Maenranta wrote on his Facebook page.
It is true that Western governments essentially created ISIS, by agitating angry Muslims with continued aggression, while at the same time funding the “new al Qaeda” extremist group via the misguided efforts to arm and bankroll “Libyan rebels” and “Syrian rebels.”
Really, the Pentagon and NATO have been building up our own enemy, and using its horrendous violence to frighten the public back into the War on Terror.
Under the new twist, Muslim immigration to the West has been increased, and Western governments have been subsidizing future jihadists, too. Many are on the government dole, until and even after, they decide to leave and join ISIS/ISIL.
Meanwhile, normal struggling citizens who accept government assistance might be tracked via an implanted chips… betraying all the rights governments in “free countries” are supposed to protect. They might not be doing anything wrong at all, but now they are under constant watch.
But as George W. Bush famously said, “they hate us for our freedoms,” right?
By: Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post –
Never a country known for its human rights and civil liberties, Kuwait is now attempting to take the lead in the Gulf for the country most integrated with the technological control grid and biometric surveillance state. This is because the small nation recently announced the passage of a law that mandates every person residing in Kuwait must submit to a DNA sample that will be stored in a massive database upon penalty of fines and jail time.
Kuwait has 1.3 million citizens that will be subject to the law but its 2.9 million foreign residents are subject as well. Any person who refuses to submit to the DNA tests and data mining operation will be subject to $33,000 in fines and up to one year in prison. Any person who provides a fake sample will face up to seven years.
Kuwait passed this law conveniently after an Islamic State (and thus NATO-directed) bombing of a Shiite mosque on June 26. The law is being justified as a way to make it easier for law enforcement to track down criminals and terrorists after the attacks have been committed. Thus, the incident stands as another Problem-Reaction-Solution-style terrorist attack justifying an even more totalitarian police state response.
“We have approved the DNA testing law and approved the additional funding. We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” independent MP Jamal Al Omar said.
Kuwait now stands as the only country in the world that makes DNA tests and participation in a DNA database compulsory. But is it just the first? After all, many countries including England, Australia, Sweden, and the United States maintain stored databases of the DNA of convicted criminals with the United States maintaining a database of the DNA of even those who have merely been arrested but not convicted. In addition, the U.S. database also maintains the DNA of missing persons and their families. Now, with the exception of Kuwait, the United States maintains the world’s largest DNA database.
The growing number of countries building, maintaining, and subsequently mandating various forms of biometric identification and biometric databases is not only concerning, it is becoming the norm. In 2012, India launched a nationwide program involving the allocation of a Unique Identification Number (UID) to every single one of its 1.2 billion residents. Each of the numbers are tied to the biometric data of the recipient using three different forms of information – fingerprints, iris scans, and pictures of the face. All ten digits of the hand will be recorded, and both eyes are scanned.
The Japanese have had a mandatory national UID system in place since 2002, under the Basic Resident Register (BRR) program. Under the BRR, each individual must provide their name, birthdate, gender, and physical address to municipal governments who, in turn, issue the citizen a UID. However, an update to the initiative, called My Number Bill, was introduced in February 2012 that streamlined the information sharing process between government tax, social security, and emergency mitigation agencies. This was merely the next phase toward the goal of the Japanese government to centralize already-collected information about each one of its citizens and to expand this program to contain even more data. The information collected on Japanese citizens under their current system is fed into a nationwide computer database known as the Juki-net, which is made up of 3,200 municipal governments. The Juki-net serves as the common data sharing database between the municipal governments and, to some extent, the central government.
Israel also has a mandatory biometrics program. As Justin Lee writes for BiometricUpdate.com,
Initially passed by the Knesset in December 2009, the Biometric Database Law mandates the collection of fingerprints and facial images from all Israeli residents, as well as integrating these biometric details in domestic ID cards and national passports.
The legislation also called for the creation of a biometric government database for the purpose of managing access control, identification of individuals and to help law enforcement officials locate criminal suspects. The law is intended to curb identity theft, as well as the loss, theft and destruction of the current blue ID cards issued by the Interior Ministry.
In a report submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office and to the Knesset Chairman, Erdan emphasized the importance of implementing the biometric system and said the transition would be gradual.
“Smart biometric records that cannot be faked […] will lead to the full protection of the identity of Israeli citizens,” Erdan told Channel 10. “It will provide a balance between our duty to ensure the security of citizens and our duty to protect their privacy. We will promote a gradual transition to mandatory biometric documentation.”
The first phase of the biometric identification system was implemented in June 2013, and since then, some 640,000 people have volunteered to submit their biometric details to the database, said Erdan.
While most of the data collection and database storage via biometrics in the United States is rolled out under the auspices of greater convenience, concepts such as biometric programs for food stamp recipients, and employee tagging are gaining traction, indicating that the push for the eventual mandating of participation in such programs is clearly not far off.
Kuwait may be the first in terms of mandating DNA database participation in the world, but it is only first. Kuwait simply stands as the latest country to make a step forward in the international game of leap frog toward a global surveillance state, technological control grid, and total prison planet.
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
By: Carey Wedler | AntiMedia –
Leaked emails from an Italian-based hacking company reveal that government agencies engage in surveillance more invasive than previously thought, spending millions of dollars on spyware and malware software to accomplish their questionable goals. Tellingly, their use of the product places them squarely in the same category as other repressive regimes around the world.
After hackers ironically hacked Hacking Team, a Milan-based company that sells strictly to governments, hundreds of gigabytes of emails and financial records were leaked. The emails show that the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Army all purchased software that enables them to view suspects’ photos, emails, listen to and record their conversations, and activate the cameras on their computers, among other things.
According to documents obtained by The Intercept, an internal request to purchase RCS was denied by DEA management in 2011 because it was “too controversial.” By 2012, however, the DEA had resolved its concerns, likely spending a similar amount to the $773,226.64 (plus thousands in maintenance fees) the FBI invested in its own set of software.
Hacking Team was so committed to business with these American agencies that it concocted codenames to refer to them. As The Intercept summarizes,
Hacking Team has been sharply criticized for its sale of RCS to oppressive regimes around the world. From Sudan to Bahrain, Hacking Team seeks business opportunities with rulers that target political activists, journalists, and political opponents—putting the American government agencies that employ the same technology—and often have the same objectives— in questionable company.
Aside from RCS, one of the more contentious revelations is the company’s hard sell that it can bypass encryption, a capability the FBI has openly desired since phone companies made encryption a default setting last year. According to one company newsletter, Hacking Team offers “technologies to ACCESS THE DATA…IN CLEARTEXT, BEFORE it gets encrypted by the device and sent to the network and AFTER it is received from the network and decrypted by the device itself. Actually, THIS IS precisely WHAT WE DO.”
The FBI did seek warrants to use Hacking Team technology in a handful of cases, but apparently uses a different platform for “critical” investigations. What the FBI really wanted from the Italian firm, according to leaked emails, was “more ability to go after users of Tor, the anonymizing web browser.” Such users accounted for 60% of the FBI’s use of Hacking Team products.
Regardless of how the technology is used, the FBI has encountered skepticism from lawmakers. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, asked the director of the FBI for “more specific information about the FBI’s current use of spyware,” in order for the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate “serious privacy concerns.”
In spite of these legitimate concerns, the technology is permeating other levels of government. Largely because of aggressive marketing by Hacking Team, District Attorney offices around the country are eager to use the software. From San Bernadino to Manhattan, government lawyers have expressed strong interest in using the company’s products for investigations, suggesting a dangerous permeation of unconstitutional surveillance into an already decaying justice system.
Whether or not the government agencies who have purchased the software use it extensively or not is, at this point, irrelevant. That such bureaus and government officials have so much as the desire to use it–in some cases, in spite of a clear understanding of its controversial nature—is cause enough for concern.
Meanwhile, Hacking Team has remained ambivalent. Company spokesperson Eric Rabe said, “we do not disclose the names or locations of our clients” and “we cannot comment on the validity of documents purportedly from our company.”
More telling of the company’s rationalization of perpetuating authoritarianism in the name of profit, however, is a quote from Giancarlo Russo, the company’s chief operating officer. In a 2013 email, he wrote,
“If you buy a Ferrari… they can teach you how to drive. They cannot grant you will be the winner of the race…If Beretta sell [sic] you a gun, the most peculiar and sophisticated one, they can teach how to use it. They can not grant you are going to shoot your target properly on the field.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article referred to Hacking Team as “Hacking Tools.” The error has since been corrected.
(RINF) – Terrifying new research shows Facebook’s ambitions to track users has gone far beyond the company’s ‘old’ technology that recognises users faces, which in itself poses a dizzying array of privacy concerns.
The new development, dubbed Pose Invariant PErson Recognition (PIPER), gathers information about your clothing, hairstyles and body shapes and currently holds a 83% accuracy rate, already incredibly high and is expected to increase even further.
Yann LeCun, head of artificial intelligence at Facebook explained how it works:
“There are a lot of cues we use. People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back. For example, you can recognise Mark Zuckerberg very easily, because he always wears a gray T-shirt.”
In an effort to ease fears over the invasive technology, Facebook denied plans to integrate it onto their site.
Ari Entin, a Facebook spokesman told the media:
“This is so far, experimental, long-term research. I don’t think this is something that we would see any time soon.”
The networking giant are right to thread lightly as they have a history of violating privacy laws. In 2012 the company was ordered to destroy its facial recognition database in Germany after authorities deemed it was in violation of German law. In 2015 Facebook was sued by Carlo Licata who claimed he and others had their rights violated under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Despite the denials by Facebook that their new technology will not be used, when is the last time a tech company – one that can only survive financially by collecting information about its users and then selling that information, invested in highly invasive software that it did not use it for profit?
Mick Meaney is the founder and editor of RINF Alternative News , founded in 2004 as a response to increasing levels of media distortions and lies.
Signals collection has a long secretive and enigmatic history. The very definition of espionage implies spying, most closely associated with foreign sources. Since the Echelon network, the unified function of data retrieval became a given during the cold war. With the revelation of Prism, advances in sophisticated electronic devices and software algorithms provide a major leap. The article, Is PRISM the US version of Echelon?, sums up the evolution. “With this kind of setup and ambition to capture and evaluate private conversations (well, not so private now), makes Echelon that much more believable, and that PRISM is a reflection of the infamous project, but focused solely on the US.”
Bankwatch takes a sanguine attitude towards Why PRISM? ECHELON has been around since 1948 supported by US, UK, Canada, Australia. At the same time, the publication references the capacities of the original analogue technology.
“The ECHELON system is fairly simple in design: position intercept stations all over the world to capture all satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic communications traffic, and then process this information through the massive computer capabilities of the NSA, including advanced voice recognition and optical character recognition (OCR) programs, and look for code words or phrases (known as the ECHELON Dictionary) that will prompt the computers to flag the message for recording and transcribing for future analysis. Intelligence analysts at each of the respective listening stations maintain separate keyword lists for them to analyze any conversation or document flagged by the system, which is then forwarded to the respective intelligence agency headquarters that requested the intercept.”
This machinery of electronic snooping has no instinctive restraint on the subject or content, when the technocratic engineers are left to design the next level of the “All Seeing Eye”. The notion that the Prism program is shocking certainly does not conform to the even increasing capacity of surveillance society that has already discarded the presumption of privacy.
The Wall Street Journal forecasts the total integration of data because Technology Emboldened the NSA, to capture all that is digital.
“At a 2009 conference on so-called cloud computing, an NSA official said the agency was developing a new system by linking its various databases and using Hadoop software to analyze them, according to comments reported by the trade publication InformationWeek.
The system would hold “essentially every kind of data there is,” said Randy Garrett, who was then director of technology for the NSA’s integrated intelligence program. “The object is to do things that were essentially impossible before.”
Nonetheless, the Director of National Intelligence issues fact sheet on PRISM in response to leaks, wants you to accept that the government is adhering to stature authority and protecting vital national security interests. “While focusing on the letter of the law and the government’s good intentions, Clapper dodges any mention of how much information (or what kind) is actually collected with the PRISM program.”
OK, only a blood brother operative of the intelligence community will challenge the proposition that the collection of electronic information is the main function of their Skynet self-aware artificial intelligence system. The true debate is whether the data collected is destined for use against targeted American citizens, for nefarious purposes.
Mashable attempts to explain the methodology of PRISM: Does the NSA Really Get Direct Access to Your Data?, and how the “so called” judicial review function of FISA Court approval is processed.
“For Ashkan Soltani, an independent privacy researcher and technologist, this is “a process for submitting [Section] 702 requests and getting responses in a machine-readable form.”
The 41-page PRISM Powerpoint presentation “could be seen as a business development deck indicating all the various providers that they currently have ‘relationships with,'” he told Mashable.
The system is “basically a data-ingestion API,” he said.
Soltani speculated that based on what we know now, PRISM is a “streamlined way” to submit Section 702 orders to the companies for them to review the requests, and it gives the NSA the ability to handle and process the response “in an automated fashion,” just like an app like TripIt, which automatically parses information from your flight reservations.”
According to the American Dream, the terminator assignment is being assembled. The disturbing use of a database maintained since the 1980s by the federal government, Main Core: A List Of Millions Of Americans That Will Be Subject To Detention During Martial Law, is the ultimate application of the individual dossiers that are generated from signals collection.
“Main Core contains personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data, which comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources, is collected and stored without warrants or court orders. The database’s name derives from the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”
Looking through the historic prism and behavioral pattern of the shadow government agencies, the lack of dramatic public outrage seems to be the only consistent factor out of the denial denizens that love to salute the flag, while willingly forfeiting their bill of right protections. This regretful conduct is seen in the example from, “Christopher Ketchum of Radar Magazine that first reported on the existence of Main Core. At the time, the shocking information that he revealed did not get that much attention. That is quite a shame, because it should have sent shockwaves across the nation…”
Now we are all supposed to empathize with the hysteria of the political careerist class over the disclosures of Edward Snowden. The bipartisan spots of the carnivore leopards never change. When John Boehner Calls Snowden a Traitor, he speaks for much of the establishment and equates loyalty to the state as the very definition of nationalism.
Again, the chronicle of the military-industrial-intelligence-complex is replete with treasonous deeds against the constitutional republic. Remember the Carnivore system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications? Maybe your memory goes back to the archetype whistleblower. None other than the iconic Daniel Ellsberg speaks out on the current scandal in the Guardian letter, Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America.
“In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:
“I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”
The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America’s intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – “at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left.”
That has now happened. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA, FBI and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of. Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America.”
Yes, Virginia our great founding fathers came from not only this old dominion, but had a state of mind that fought the revolutionary war against tyranny. The United Stasi of America is the definitive meaning of the evil empire that protects the globalist criminals that control the political apparatus, known as the federal government.
The echelon network of subversion and espying is but a rung on a ladder of a coercive control. The prism of deception is the false reality your controllers use to relinquish your will to oppose the repression. The secret intelligence agencies only serve their own bureaucratic interests as they obey their master operative superiors.
The disinformation culture is the permanent realism and the snitch society is an essential requirement necessary to keep the imperium in power. With the Americanization of domestic terrorists, Tea Party activists and the Patriotic Truth movement are in the sights of totalitarian gangsters.
Is there any doubt that the NSA, FBI and CIA act as if they are above the law and unaccountable? The great divide between legitimate authority and clandestine oppression is narrow and fragile. The essential question is who is the true enemy? As the surveillance technology perfects their reach and assimilates the application of their data assets, the military option under martial law intensifies. No one is safe. Big Brother has become the impending Terminator.
The Stasi Skynet engulfs everyone. There is no way out of the matrix as long as the globalists operate their spy network. The system is designed to eliminate any and all dissent. Overload the data collectors by intensifying the practice of liberty at every opportunity.
“It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.” – Jameel Jaffer
SARTRE is the pen name of James Hall, a reformed, former political operative. This pundit’s formal instruction in History, Philosophy and Political Science served as training for activism, on the staff of several politicians and in many campaigns. A believer in authentic Public Service, independent business interests were pursued in the private sector. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, several successful ventures expanded opportunities for customers and employees. Speculation in markets, and international business investments, allowed for extensive travel and a world view for commerce. He is retired and lives with his wife in a rural community. “Populism” best describes the approach to SARTRE’s perspective on Politics. Realities, suggest that American Values can be restored with an appreciation of “Pragmatic Anarchism.” Reforms will require an Existential approach. “Ideas Move the World,” and SARTRE’S intent is to stir the conscience of those who desire to bring back a common sense, moral and traditional value culture for America. Not seeking fame nor fortune, SARTRE’s only goal is to ask the questions that few will dare … Having refused the invites of an academic career because of the hypocrisy of elite’s, the search for TRUTH is the challenge that is made to all readers. It starts within yourself and is achieved only with your sincere desire to face Reality. So who is SARTRE? He is really an ordinary man just like you, who invites you to join in on this journey. Visit his website at http://batr.org.
Asymmetric tactics rely on the idea of fighting smarter, rather than fighting directly, against a larger or more technologically advanced aggressor. It means turning your opponent’s strengths into weaknesses.
For instance, if your opponent relies on the superiority of his tanks and armor, make him fight in the mountains where his armor is useless. If he relies on air superiority, make him sift through a thick canopy where his eye in the sky sees nothing, or make it dangerous for him to land and refuel such vehicles at all. If he relies on body armor for safety, make him fight uphill so that the extra weight wears him down. If his surveillance and security techniques are a little too sensitive and effective, create constant false positives, until he can no longer trust his own alert systems. And, if most of his weaponry and soldiers are heavily reliant on a particular piece of technology, make that technology useless in the field. Force your opponent to fight on fairer ground, where the man with the most skill and intelligence prevails rather than the man with the most million dollar toys.
There is no such thing as fool proof combat technology. There is a way to trick or defeat or survive ANY weapon and any enemy. Period.
Drones and thermal vision have been held up to the common citizenry for years as the end-all-be-all of combat and surveillance technology. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the claim that no one can hide from thermal imaging and that predator drones herald the end of free resistance to tyranny. I find this assertion to be rather absurd, considering militaries across the globe have already developed their own thermal evasion suits (which means it IS possible to hide from thermal vision) and drones seem to kill more innocent bystanders than actual enemy combatants. I will admit that thermal vision use is skyrocketing amongst military and police across the board, and this is because it is indeed effective to a point.
Thermal imaging and drones in the hands of a corrupt establishment make a couple of things very difficult for any resistance – First, you might be able to hide, but you won’t be able to move freely without risk, especially in groups. Second, you might be able to act defensively, but never offensively. Advancing on an objective protected by thermal surveillance would be extremely difficult. Constantly being on the defensive takes the initiative away from those who want to fight back against tyranny. Without the ability to go on the offensive, you will inevitably lose. Hiding in a hole in the mountains for the rest of your life is not an option if you want your children and their children to experience liberty.
Today’s combat reality is that of the digitized battlefield. All modern military units now rely on full spectrum surveillance, computer models, and real time data. Thermal vision is a cornerstone of this model because it is currently the best way to identify potential threats before they can act, rather than after they act. Unfortunately, there is no doubt this kind of surveillance power will be misused, and the spread of drones for domestic applications proves that the establishment’s intention is to utilize thermal against the population, rather than in defense of the population. Therefore, thermal vision must be negated if people are to remain free. We might not be able to fight against misused drones directly, but we can make their primary advantage useless. Here is how it is possible to remove thermal vision as a threat, and thus nullify the primary strength of the drones (and other weapons) in our skies:
Thermal Vision And Drone Misconceptions
Now that you know it is more than possible for civilians to obtain thermal evasion, lets go over some of the most common misconceptions about thermal imaging and drone technology.
Building a suit that hides a person from thermal imaging is impossible?
Clearly, this is false, as we have shown in the video above. Add to this the fact that military units field their own thermal evasion suits (multi-spectral camouflage) for special purposes, and I think we’ve permanently buried the ludicrous assumption that a thermal evasion suit is a fruitless endeavor. Most existing suits, including those used by governments, boast a thermal reduction rating of 60% to 80%. It is important to recognize that there is currently no organization or company offering thermal evasion suits for widespread use by civilians. We have given the public free access to information on building their own suits if they wish, and we are offering professionally made suits for sale with a thermal reduction rating of 90% or more at Snakebite Tactical.
We made no attempt to hide “heat spots” within the tests in the above video. We want to make it clear that this is a 90% effective suit, which is more than enough for almost any application. Achieving 100% reduction at distances of 10 ft to 10 yards in a wearable suit is very difficult, and a person would still need to practice proper field craft in order to remain unseen. However, we believe our suit design more than meets the standards of currently issued military grade suits; suits which are not available to the public anyway.
Thermal imaging sees through walls?
This is movie-land nonsense. A thermal imager can see the heat you emit through a very thin wall if you are leaning against it, but remove your body from contact with the surface and the heat signature will disappear. Thermal imagers have a difficult time identifying stationary people through leaves and the branches of trees, let alone walls. As long as you are not in contact with the item, your heat will not be seen through the item.
Thermal vision sees through forests?
No. Not a chance. In fact, if your only goal is to hide, then a thick forest is the absolute best place to be if thermal surveillance is in use, even without a suit. If your plan is to advance on an objective, then the situation changes, but if you are a lone individual that just doesn’t want to be found, staying in the woods and dense terrain away from people who might rat you out is your best bet. Apply a thermal suit to the scenario and now your are fully mobile without fear of detection.
You will never see a drone coming, so having a suit is meaningless anyway?
Gotta love this kind of fuzzy logic. The claim apparently assumes that drones simply fly miles above the Earth silently raining hellfire missiles down on random heat signatures on the ground without identification. This is not how drones operate.
Drones are mainly used as OVERWATCH for teams of men already on the ground. A drone might see your signature when you are not wearing a suit, but a drone pilot will not waste ordinance on you until you are identified as a viable target. Most of the successful strikes you see in the news and on YouTube are targets that were already lazed by a team on the ground (this is something the DoD rarely mentions, because they want to retain the mystic surrounding drones). The drone is then sent in to attack the target that the team identified. When a military unit comes into contact with an enemy, a drone may be sent in to observe and identify targets. This is a situation where thermal evasion is essential. If those targets throw on thermal evasion gear, the drone becomes a useless platform. If you are under threat by drones and ground opponents, you can leave the area at will without being traced, or you can advance and attack your aggressor without being betrayed by your own heat signature. Your suit does not need to be worn at all times in order to be useful.
I don’t need a thermal evasion suit, I can just buy a thermal blanket or tarp at a fraction of the cost?
The first and most obvious advantage to a thermal evasion suit is that it CAN BE WORN. There is no existing tarp or thermal blanket system that can be worn against the human body and still hide that body from thermal imaging. All of these items conduct heat which can be seen almost as soon as you touch them. If a heat reflecting tarp was a practical working solution to thermal imaging, then you would see hundreds if not thousands of videos on the web proving their effectiveness and governments would not be keeping their own suits such a secret. The reality is, these items are only useful if you plan to stretch them out above you without physical contact, and stay in one place without moving. They are highly defensive in nature and severely limited in their application.
We have developed the very first thermal evasion system available to the public that can be worn for long periods of time and that also provides effective visual camouflage. Our suit works as a ghillie as well as a thermal evasion tool, meaning, it works in thermal, and in visible light. A thermal cloak offers near total 360 degree coverage against thermal imaging devices in the air and on the ground while the person is also mobile. Meaning, instead of constantly hiding from the enemy and being on the defensive (a losing strategy), you can advance on the enemy if you wish without detection. There is no comparison whatsoever in the level of application between a thermal blanket and a thermal suit.
This does not mean a suit solves all your problems. If you walk through an open field and start break-dancing, someone will see you. A thermal suit does not necessarily hide blatant movement by the wearer. You still need to follow proper field craft methods including the use of cover and concealment. Add to this the thermal reduction properties of the suit, and you are much less likely to be detected, even under heightened scrutiny.
I don’t need a thermal suit, I can just hide in the city amongst the crowds and blend in?
I’m sure there are situations when operating in a city might be called for, but frankly, the idea is extraordinarily ill conceived when one considers the surveillance grids being put in place in most major metropolitan areas. Thermal is not your worst enemy in the city. Try CCTV networks with facial and biometric recognition. Try numerous possible collaborators and quislings in a city environment (known for more passive and subservient populations permanently attached to the establishment umbilical cord) who might point the finger at you. The city is a BAD place to be under almost any circumstance that results in crisis and lost liberty, and probably the worst place to be if you are trying to avoid observation and surveillance.
That said, watch almost any police chopper thermal footage in a city and tell me the person being chased was better off without a thermal suit. Imagine you are being chased for simply being a proponent of liberty. Imagine that one day you wake up in the middle of your home city a designated criminal. Would you rather have a thermal evasion suit, or, do you plan to outrun the chopper?
Mud will hide your heat signature?
No, it will not. At least not for more than a minute, and it better be some thick friggin’ mud. Despite what Arnold Schwarzenegger may have taught you, heat transfers through mud just as it does through most other materials.
Drones will find you with LIDAR if they can’t see you with thermal vision?
LIDAR is a form of laser based radar which is bounced off surfaces to create a 3D map of a large area. I’m not sure exactly where the idea came from that drones use LIDAR for personnel detection, but this is simply not so, at least not currently. LIDAR is being tested by the DoD and private contractors for personnel detection using GROUND based 360 degree units, and the effective range of these experimental units is rather limited. Aerial LIDAR is used for mapping of terrain. The complexity of ground based objects (think in terms of millions of objects in any given field of view) makes personnel tracking from the air all but impossible. Ground based LIDAR also requires a recognizable human shape at close range in order to “alert” on an intruder, which means the ThermTac suit (which removes normal human shape) would only HELP in preventing detection. From my research as of 2015, LIDAR for surveillance often suffers from numerous false positives, which means it is a very weak system for tracking personnel. Thermal vision is a far greater threat than LIDAR.
Even if you have a suit that blocks your body heat, you can still be tracked by your footprints?
Under perfect conditions and the use of a sensitive thermal imager on the ground, your footprints MIGHT be visible using a ground based unit right after you imprint them, but it is still unlikely you will be found. Quick thermal imprints (caused by footsteps) disappear within seconds, and are difficult if not impossible to pick out from any distance beyond a few yards. Rubber and plastic soled shoes do not in most cases transfer very much heat into the ground, and the theory that crushed grass releases more heat in thermal imaging is utter nonsense. Too many ideas about thermal imaging are drawn from television and movies, which greatly embellish the capabilities of such devices. If footprints were an effective way to track people using thermal, then Search and Rescue units (many have access to excellent thermal devices) would have numerous examples of this along with numerous success stories (these examples do not exist).
One legitimate danger involving footprints occurs when a very large number of people (small groups are not an issue) travel together in single file. This constant imprinting on the same path by multiple footfalls can indeed leave a residual trail that can be found several minutes later, enough time to be tracked by a thermal imager.
Thermal evasion suits will help terrorists?
As stated in the video, the world’s worst terrorist groups are often trained by our own governments and covert intelligence agencies. If covert agencies have access to thermal evasion techniques, then it only follows that so do the people they train. I have no doubt that we will be accused of aiding terrorists by releasing this information, because that is really the only recourse the establishment has to try to stop the use and spread of thermal cloaks (or they will claim that the suit is a scam and doesn’t actually work. Of course, people will be able to test this for themselves). They will have to try to shame people into refusing to adopt thermal evasion as a means of defense. Trust me, I’ve seen this kind of propaganda used against people merely for talking about methods that MIGHT work. Read any military forum where someone discusses thermal evasion, and invariably a dozen henpecking statists will ask them if they are “with ISIS or Al-Qaeda” to shut them up.
Self-defense is an inborn right, not a privilege granted by arbitrary authority. You do not need permission to obtain means of defense against a threat, even if that threat has thermal imaging at his disposal and a license from the state to kill you. Our thermal suit design is a culmination of three years of tireless effort. We believe the information belongs in the hands of the citizenry, not only in the hands of governments and those they train. The greater threat to the common good is a lack of knowledge that makes free people weak and vulnerable. The goal of this project is to remove a clear weakness in the American people. If you are not informed, and not prepared, then you will never be secure. Some people would have you believe that thermal imaging and drones are for your safety. We say YOU are the only person that can be trusted to provide for your own safety. If anything, thermal eyes and lurking drones present a more intense danger to you and your freedom than any terrorists they are supposedly intended to fight against.
For more information on thermal evasion, check out some of our essays at Snakebite Tactical.
If you would like to support the publishing of articles like the one you have just read, or support further projects like our ThermTac thermal suit project, visit our donations page here. We greatly appreciate your patronage.
Brandon Smith is the founder of the Alternative Market Project, an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for barter and mutual aid. Join www.Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the unstable mainstream system and build something better. You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected].
A June 6, 2013 London Guardian article first revealed lawless NSA spying. It was just the beginning of much more to come.
Information supplied by Edward Snowden showed the NSA spies secretly and unconstitutionally on its citizens and residents – besides overstepping its authority abroad.
He connected important dots for millions. He explained spying in America is pervasive. Constitutional rights no longer matter.
Anything goes remains official policy. The NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA and Homeland Security systematically operate by their own rules.
Snowden said “I really want the focus to be on (the documents he revealed) which I hope will trigger among citizens around the globe what kind of world we want to live in.”
Enactment of the USA Freedom Act (the renamed Patriot Act) did little to change things. US spy agencies continue trampling on Bill of Rights protections.
They compromise due process, habeas rights, free expression, assembly and association, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Big Brother spying continues unabated. Meaningful change remains elusive. Mass surveillance goes on in ways few Americans realize.
Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act is one of many unconstitutional tools. It’s unaddressed by Congress and the White House. Major media ignore it.
The NSA uses it to justify mass collection of phone calls and emails directly from communications providers.
Ostensibly used for foreign spying, it collects meta-data communications of Americans unrelated to national security.
It’s done without court authorized warrants. It collects large portions of Internet traffic directly from its providers – unconstitutionally and in violation of international human rights laws.
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and major telecommunications companies are complicit in spying on their customers.
The USA Freedom Act changed little. Judicial oversight is entirely absent. Congressional members are told little about what goes on.
Intelligence community officials largely stonewall them. Spying monitors friends and foes alike. It’s about control.
It’s for political and economic advantage. It’s to be one up on foreign competitors.
It’s for information used advantageously in trade, geopolitical, and military relations.
Domestic spying is longstanding. It’s got nothing to do with protecting national security. Not a single new millennium act of terrorism occurred on US soil – nor were any foiled.
Claims otherwise were false. 9/11 remains the mother of all Big Lies. It had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or crazed Arabs. It had everything to do with scaremongering the public to support America’s imperial agenda.
The so-called “war on terror” is war OF terror on the American people and others wrongfully targeted worldwide. Washington needs enemies to justify its rogue policies. Fear-mongering creates them.
So-called bad guys are largely Muslims, Russians, Chinese, North Koreans, others not in lockstep with US policies, and ordinary people wanting respect for their fundamental rights.
Authority granted under the 1981 Executive Order 12333 remains deeply troubling. It’s used to justify recording 100% of foreign countries’ telephone calls.
Its loophole-ridden provisions let the NSA:
• “Collect, including through clandestine means), process, analyze, produce, and disseminate signals intelligence information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes to support national and departmental missions;
• Act as the National Manager for National Security Systems as established in law and policy, and in this capacity be responsible to the Secretary of Defense and to the Director, National Intelligence; (and)
• Prescribe security regulations covering operating practices, including the transmission, handling, and distribution of signals intelligence and communications security material within and among the elements under control of the Director of the National Security Agency, and exercise the necessary supervisory control to ensure compliance with the regulations.”
On July 31, 2008, EO 12333 was amended to:
• “Align (it) with the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004;
• Implement additional recommendations of the 9/11 and WMD Commissions; (and)
• Further integrate the Intelligence Community and clarify and strengthen the role of DNI as the head of the Community; Maintain or strengthen privacy and civil liberties protections.”
By law, NSA’s mission is limited to monitoring, collecting and analyzing foreign communications. It way oversteps by mass spying at home and abroad on the phony pretext of protecting national security.
Snowden revealed vital information everyone needs to know. “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity,” he said.
Nor should anyone tolerate Big Brother intrusiveness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Free and open societies don’t spy on their citizens. They don’t invent phony threats as justification.
America is a belligerent nation waging endless wars of aggression against invented enemies. Fear-mongering is rife. It’s done to rape, ravage and destroy one country after another.
It’s a tactic used to scare people to believe they’re safer by sacrificing fundamental freedoms. Mass surveillance is a defining rogue state characteristic.
Post-9/11, government-usurped authority turned America into a police state. Big Brother watches everyone. Tuesday Senate passage of the USA Freedom Act (the renamed Patriot Act) changed little.
Government intrusion into the private lives of its citizens remains largely unchanged. The only good news is that USAF slightly rolled back its intrusiveness instead of giving spy agencies more powers.
History shows restrictions imposed are easily circumvented or ignored. A separate article discusses systematic FBI misuse of Patriot Act authority.
Bureau secrecy and cover-up make it impossible to know the full extent of its lawlessness. It operates ad libitum with minimum oversight and accountability.
One example is its mass surveillance of US citizens by drones and other aircraft. On June 2, AP reported “(s)cores of low-flying planes circling American cities…”
“They’re “part of a civilian air force operated by the FBI and obscured behind fictitious companies…”
It’s not secret. It’s been reported before. In July 2013, the agency admitted using drones for domestic surveillance numerous times without court authorized warrants or other forms of oversight.
At the time, deputy director Stephen D. Kelly said “(t)he FBI uses UAVs in very limited circumstances to conduct surveillance when there is a specific operational need.”
“Since late 2006, the FBI has conducted surveillance using UAVs in eight criminal cases and two national security cases.”
Former FBI director Robert Meuller admitted spying on US citizens with no “operational guidelines.”
Warrantless spying by any means threatens everyone. No probable cause is needed. No restraints are imposed. Constitutional protections are circumvented.
Once a program is established, it takes on a life of its own. In the last decade, FBI aerial spying expanded to “civilian air force” level.
In April alone, AP identified at least 50 FBI aircraft conducting more than 100 flights over urban and rural areas in 11 states.
It cited a 2009 budget document indicating 115 planes, including 90 Cessna aircraft.
FBI aerial spying is longstanding. Today, drones and other aircraft are equipped with high-tech cameras for close-up visual surveillance as well as technology able to monitor thousands of cell phones – a blatant breach of privacy.
According to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley (R. IA):
“It’s important that federal law enforcement personnel have the tools they need to find and catch criminals.”
“But whenever an operation may also monitor the activities of Americans who are not the intended target, we must make darn sure that safeguards are in place to protect the civil liberties of innocent Americans.”
No safeguards whatever exist – nor does Congress back up high-minded rhetoric with effective policies protecting the public from abusive government practices.
Rogue agencies like the FBI, NSA, CIA, DEA and Homeland Security operate by their own rules – easily circumventing weak and ineffective restraints on their authority.
Congressional inaction effectively rubber-stamps them. It permits unaccountable police state practices no free society would tolerate.
AP learned the FBI uses at least 13 fake companies to conceal its activities – including FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services.
ACLU policy analyst Jay Stanley called its flights significant if they’re “maintaining a fleet of aircraft whose purpose is to circle over American cities, especially with” today’s sophisticated surveillance technology.
Details the FBI confirmed concur with published reports since at least 2003 about suspicious-looking planes overflying US cities being government ones.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and US Marshals Service have their own aerial surveillance programs using sophisticated technology, much like the FBI’s.
Basic information about these programs are secret. Heavily redacted Justice Department Inspector General documents alone inadequately explain what the public has a right to know.
They’re spied on – by the FBI, NSA, CIA, DEA, Homeland Security and other rogue government agencies, especially post-9/11.
Spies “R” us defines US policy. America is a total surveillance society unfit to live in. Big Brother watches everyone intrusively – in blatant breach of fundamental constitutional protections.
Fabricated national security threats justify the unjustifiable. The so-called “war on terror” is phony. The war OF terror by Washington on its citizens is real.
Unconstitutional spying today in America is pervasive. It’s institutionalized. Privacy rights no longer matter. Fundamental freedoms are being trampled. They’re disappearing in plain sight.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. www.claritypress.com/Lendman.html Visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com.
The overreaching surveillance state in the U.S. certainly takes most of the headlines, but the UK is every bit on par if not worse. A recent report, responded to below by Steve Jolly of NOCCTV, indicates that there have been 700,000 police requests to access private communications in the UK over a two-year period – which amounts to a request every 2 minutes. And these requests are almost never denied; in fact, they have a 96% approval rate. This surely can’t purely be to “thwart terrorism.”