Posts Tagged ‘Fourth Amendment’

Former NSA Employee William Binney Discusses Massive Surveillance of US Email, Phone, and Text Communications

December 15th, 2012 No comments

Long-time former NSA (National Security Agency) employee William Binney was recently interviewed about the NSA’s massive electronic surveillance and collection of what he says is essentially all email sent and received in the US.

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance

Binney reveals that the NSA has developed electronic eavesdropping systems such as the “Narus device” that can continuously capture and store all the email transmitted over a 10 gigabit per second Ethernet feed at line rate (full bandwidth). By deploying these devices inside of Internet Service Providers around the nation, sites such as such as the AT&T building in San Francisco, the NSA can capture very nearly every email sent or received in the US each day.

They store these emails for later use when the government finds it wants to investigate or attack a person, such as they recently did to General David Petreus and General John Allen who had become, by some reports, on the outs with the Obama Administration. This may have to do with how News Corp. reportedly encouraged Petreus to run for US President against Obama.

Although neither were accused of any crime, the government accessed their emails, including email drafts, and other electronic communications to snoop on them and the people with whom they were communicating.

There might be some justification to do this to them because they have Top Secret security clearances. Dishonest personal conduct, such as that of a sexual affair while married, is considered one of the “red flags” warranting investigating and even pulling a security clearance. However, most people do not have a security clearance and thus the wholesale capture of more or less the entire population’s email traffic is not reasonable even if they were engaging in the same scandalous behaviors as Petreus and Allen.

FBI Raid On Binney To Intimidate Whistleblowers

Binney has personal experience with government intimidation. In 2007, as he was speaking out against the US government’s illegal surveillance state, the government decided to retaliate against him. On July 26, 2007, the FBI raided his home with 10 to 12 agents with guns drawn as he was in the shower.
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RFID Tracking Of School Children Has Potential For Abuse By Government And Criminals

September 11th, 2012 No comments

A school district in San Antonio, Texas, is implementing mandatory RFID tracking of students in two of schools, John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School, at a cost of over $500,000. Andrea Hernandez, a student at one of these high schools, is refusing to wear the RFID badge. The Hernandez family and their supporters are protesting against the system over concerns of it being used to violate privacy rights.

San Antonio News Covers RFID Tracking Card Resistance on School Campuses

RFID tracking devices such as these students are to be forced to wear can be detected up to about 70 feet away. Some say the ranges may already be longer than this with recent RFID systems.

Although the basic underlying technology is very similar to proximity cards that been used widely in businesses for decades, most of those ID cards have to be in close physical proximity to a scanner (within a foot) for their RFID information to be captured. The badges being used in San Antonio reportedly contain batteries and higher power transmitters that can be tracked at much greater distances.

Some have been attacking this family as Christian wackos who believe the RFID badges are the “mark of the beast” mentioned in Revelations in the Bible. But there is plenty that can be said about the potential problems of abuse of this technology that has nothing to do with religion.
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Former Gov. Jesse Ventura Rightly Labels United States the “Fascist States of America”

November 9th, 2011 10 comments

Jesse Ventura is not just a former wrestling star. He’s also the former governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, a former Navy SEAL, and a man disgusted by the fascist United States of America. Almost a year ago, he filed suit against the US government’s TSA (Transportation Security Administration) over its practice of patting him down that is an evident violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure.

US Constitution Fourth Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Ventura been a frequent target for pat-downs and other searches because he has a titanium hip implant. But he’s obviously no security threat given his personal history.

What particularly angers Ventura is that his suit was tossed out of Federal court on the grounds that the Federal courts have no jurisdiction over the TSA. Yes, you read that right — the TSA cannot be sued in Federal court unless perhaps you have the money and connections to somehow get a case into the Federal Appeals courts. That essentially means the TSA can essentially do anything it wants because access to those courts is extremely difficult to obtain. The US government’s abusive policies have led him to label the nation as the “Fascist States of America” and vow to seek dual citizenship in Mexico.
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