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Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 pretext for U.S.GOV’T STALKING — ACLU/Truthout report

ACLU & Truthout images
… Exposing rapid advent of technologically advanced surveillance state in shadows of Twin Towers

“We as a people must decide what it is we want to ‘secure.’ If we want America to be a ‘land of the free’, we must refuse to be controlled by fear, and work together to achieve these reforms.”
Excerpting, minor editing by Carolyn Bennett

joint project of truthout dot org and the aclu
Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the ‘Homeland’ http://www.surveillanceinthehomeland.org/surveillance/58-did-the-bush-administration-continue-to-secretly-operate-john-poindexters-tia-program.html

ACLU & Truthout images
“Ten years after the devastating attacks on New York and Washington, the fundamental promises of American democracy are hanging by a thin thread.

Promoted by a culture of war and fear, the U.S. government has steadily chipped away at those legal protections that enabled ‘we the people’ to rule ourselves.

Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the ‘Homeland’ charts the course of this shift, exposing the rapid advent of a technologically advanced surveillance state in the shadows of the Twin Towers [blog: http://www.surveillanceinthehomeland.org/blog.html].

From fusion centers to license plate sharing technology, the expansion of surveillance methods has been a hallmark of the past ten years. Investigative journalists and privacy advocates consider just how far the surveillance state has expanded and what it has actually done for our security [surveillance blog: http://www.surveillanceinthehomeland.org/surveillance.html]

Border security and ‘homeland’ security are integrally linked both in the language used to justify their continuing growth and in the companies that profit off this growth. In this section, [the reporters] look at private prison companies and their role in legislation, the introduction of biometric ID cards and how Islamophobia is used to fuel the war effort [immigration blog: http://www.surveillanceinthehomeland.org/immigration.html].

Freedom of Information Act requests are the bread and butter of investigative reporting, and [the reporters] compile what years of tireless requests by the ACLU have shed light on — including warrantless wiretapping, database sharing and the targeting of dissidents [the FOIA blog: http://www.surveillanceinthehomeland.org/freedome-of-information-act.html].

see also
PrivacySOS dot org?

The closing decades of the 20th century brought something new: the potential for mass surveillance, made possible by the evolution of computer technology. When the government responded to the attacks of 9/11 by enlisting that technology in the service of national security, the potential became reality.

Since 9/11, the government has directed dramatically expanded powers of surveillance at all of us, not just people suspected of wrongdoing. Our international phone calls, our emails, our financial records, our travel itineraries, and our images captured on digital cameras now swell a mountain of data that is being collected in the name of mining for suspicious patterns and associations.

But while the government has gained more and more power to watch us, it has largely kept us in the dark about what it is doing, building a new architecture of domestic surveillance, about which we know very little.

What must we know if we want to remain a free society? ‘PrivacySOS’ shines sunlight on surveillance (SOS) and highlights actions you can take to protect your privacy.

If we are to remain a democracy, the public must be brought in from the dark.
Mechanisms of transparency, accountability and effective oversight must be established at the federal and state levels, so that people can have access to information about fusion centers and other elements of the domestic surveillance system, and have some way of redressing power abuses. 
Individuals should be able to learn what information the government maintains about them, and any exemptions should be narrowly tailored to protect individuals from harm or maintain appropriate secrecy about ongoing investigations.
There should be standards regarding data collection, validation, accuracy, retention and sharing that safeguard privacy.
Robust laws should be passed protecting First Amendment rights, and prohibiting law enforcement agencies from collecting information about individuals’ political and religious views, associations or activities, unless that information directly relates to an investigation based on reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct.
Profiling on racial, religious and ethnic grounds should be barred as counterproductive and unjust, and serious steps taken to build genuine communities of trust that will enhance public safety.
We as a people must decide what it is we want to ‘secure.’ If we want America to be a ‘land of the free’, we must refuse to be controlled by fear, and work together to achieve these reforms.

Sources and notes

Project: Part IV — Where Do We Go from Here ?
Rolling Back the Surveillance State
Surveillance in the Age of 

Total Information Awareness

Part I. Introduction and History of Spying
Part II. Expanding Surveillance Powers and Technology
Part III. Targets of the Surveillance System
Part IV. Where Do We Go from Here?
The High Cost of Post 9/11 Surveillance
Rolling Back the Surveillance

Image at Truthout website
TRUTHOUT provides an independent platform for  in-depth investigative reporting and critical analysis, to reveal systemic injustice and to offer transformative ideas to strengthen democracy http://www.truth-out.org/about

The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities.

The ACLU is the nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. These rights include —

Image at http://intlawgrrls.blogspot.com
First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.

Right to equal protection under the law - protection against unlawful discrimination

Right to due process — fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake

Right to privacy — freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs


see also
Uprising, September 9, 2011,“Ten Years Later: Surveillance in the ‘Homeland’”  (host, producer, interviewer Sonali Kolhatkar; guest: Nancy Murray, Director of Education at ACLU Massachusetts) 
Uprising lead: “The activities of Americans are now watched by around 800,000 individuals at the local and state levels, who may file reports to federal agencies on citizens without any warning or explanation. 
“U.S. residents carry out the most mundane, personal activities at risk of being recorded in one way or another by taps on phones, emails, and faxes. 
“The infamous illegal wiretapping program started under President Bush (code-name Echelon) is explored by Truthout’s Jason Leopold, who also details the lesser known satellite spying program ‘Tempest.’  
“Tempest allows data to be collected by satellites that can capture images from half a mile away — from computer monitors to the ATM screen at the bank. 
“Most recently, the Associated Press uncovered collaboration between the New York Police Department and the CIA to monitor ‘ethnic communities.’ 
“The ACLU of Massachusetts and Truthout hope their series on surveillance ‘will help stimulate debate about whether we are on the right track in the war against terrorism.’” http://uprisingradio.org/home/

ACLU logo at http://intlawgrrls.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-job-immigrant-rightsaclu.html


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