You say Police State, I say potato. Either way let's discuss surveillance and government overreach.

Edwin wrote:

Our most paranoid friends were right.

You don't have to be paranoid to be right about how and whether we're being surveilled.

Tanglebones wrote:

In a bit of irony re: Glenn Greenwald's choice of home nation -
Brazil Admits It Spied On U.S. Diplomats

I have no problem with a country spying against any foreign diplomats on its soil, because a significant part of American diplomatic staff abroad are spies themselves.

More precisely, a significant number of spies are *added* to diplomatic staff. I think the number of State Department employees overseas who are actually spies is pretty small, for obvious reasons.

Seattle is getting in on the game.

You Are a Rogue Device

A New Apparatus Capable of Spying on You Has Been Installed Throughout Downtown Seattle. Very Few Citizens Know What It Is, and Officials Don’t Want to Talk About It.

---
CIA pays AT&T $10 million a year for call data.

As recently noted, you'd be hard pressed to find a company that has been more cooperative with the NSA's massive global information hoovering than AT&T, who has not only allowed the agency to clone fiber lines at network head ends, but has even advised the government on how to best break the law while acting as volunteer intelligence analysts. This is all quite profitable for AT&T, be it via multi-billion-dollar government contracts, or direct wiretap payments.

Now a report in the New York Times reveals that AT&T is also getting paid by the CIA for access to international call data, including the overseas call data for Americans. Americas. The Times note that the agreement is entirely voluntary, does not require subpoenas, and AT&T is getting $10 million annually for their cooperation. Continuing a pattern of muteness on the issue, AT&T only offered this comment when asked about the payments:

quote: "We We value our customers privacy and work hard to protect it by ensuring compliance with the law in all respects. We do not comment on questions concerning national security."

The CIA Should probably be annoyed that they're having to pay for information, since AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein suggested the NSA is getting copies of every shred of data that touches AT&T's network for free.

There is monetary incentive to continue violating privacy.

DoJ is scaling back claims about value of bulk phone records collection because they are falling apart under scrutiny.

http://justsecurity.org/2013/11/07/b...

It's never been about terrorism. Never. That was just the cover story.

I thought this article was fantastic: When the Man Comes Around, Give Him This Form (warning, the form itself is a pdf).

Attached to the e-mail was a document called the “Public Servant’s Questionnaire.” The form asks government officials to answer 16 basic questions about their investigation in the event they have shown up on a citizen’s doorstep to “take a look around.”

The Public Servant’s Questionnaire includes questions like the following:
•Will [the] Public Servant furnish a copy of the law or regulation which authorizes this investigation?
•Does Public Servant reasonably anticipate that any information sought or collected in this investigation will form the basis of or lead to criminal action against Citizen or any other entity?
•Will Public Servant read aloud that portion of the law authorizing the questions Public Servant will ask?
•What other uses may be made of this information?
•[Will the Public Servant] name all other agencies or government sources that supplied any information pertaining to Citizen?

Far from being unreasonable, the answers to these simple questions can be illuminating for property owners who are surprised to see government officials on their doorsteps. You can use the answers to this questionnaire as a resource to understand why the government employee has showed up on your doorstep.

The reaction of cops asked to fill out this form would be interesting to see.

Nevin73 wrote:

I thought this article was fantastic: When the Man Comes Around, Give Him This Form (warning, the form itself is a pdf).

Instructions unclear, imprisoned in Guantanamo.

Put that away before I arrest you for obstruction of justice... oh BTW we are now going to come up with a reason to tear your life apart.

Author Of The PATRIOT Act Goes To EU Parliament To Admit Congress Failed, And The NSA Is Out Of Control

Sensenbrenner promised more strict oversight from Congress, but also noted (realistically) that Congress's authority is mostly limited to domestic spying -- and that the US government needed to work more closely with foreign governments concerning foreign spying.

If Congress really cared they would have cut NSA's budget already. It is all political theater while the machine keeps chugging along.

Judge: “NSA exceeded the scope of authorized acquisition continuously” [ArsTechnica]

New declassifed documents show legal arguments over bulk metadata collection.

Yet another Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge has blasted United States intelligence officials for disregarding the court’s guidelines for domestic surveillance of American e-mail metadata traffic, a program that ran for around a decade before ending in 2011.

“[National Security Agency’s] record of compliance with these rules has been poor,” wrote Judge John D. Bates in a 117-page opinion (PDF) whose date was redacted. The opinion is just one of a series of documents released and declassified late Monday evening by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Edwin wrote:

New declassifed documents show legal arguments over bulk metadata collection.

Yet another Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge has blasted United States intelligence officials for disregarding the court’s guidelines for domestic surveillance of American e-mail metadata traffic, a program that ran for around a decade before ending in 2011.

“[National Security Agency’s] record of compliance with these rules has been poor,” wrote Judge John D. Bates in a 117-page opinion (PDF) whose date was redacted. The opinion is just one of a series of documents released and declassified late Monday evening by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

I wouldn't count on that.

I'm a dirty skimmer so maybe this wasn't covered before, but this is undoubtedly one of the worst examples of police overreach I've ever had the mispleasure to hear about. Word of warning, don't read this while you're eating something:

A New Mexico man is suing police for allegedly "subjecting him to multiple digital penetrations and three enemas," among other "shockingly invasive medical procedures" -- all on an invalid warrant, all without finding any drugs -- his lawyers claim.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/06/justic...

So next time you get pulled over, relax or you too could end up enduring many hours of probing.

Because all police departments are the same? Why don't we have 100,000 cases of this a year, then?

This one is sort of frightening. My car came with "hidden" compartments. Typically they can be used for unsightly stereo components or to store emergency gear like jumper cables and such.

plavonica wrote:

This one is sort of frightening. My car came with "hidden" compartments. Typically they can be used for unsightly stereo components or to store emergency gear like jumper cables and such.

Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking.
Jayhawker wrote:
plavonica wrote:

This one is sort of frightening. My car came with "hidden" compartments. Typically they can be used for unsightly stereo components or to store emergency gear like jumper cables and such.

Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking.

According to that article, it's basically illegal in Ohio to drive a car with a hidden compartment if you have prior felony drug trafficking charges. So never mind if a person has reformed and paid his or her dues to society, but wants to hide the car stereo in an older vehicle. As the ACLU pointed out in the article, there's no viable reason to focus on the container when trafficking itself is already a felony.

WipEout wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:
plavonica wrote:

This one is sort of frightening. My car came with "hidden" compartments. Typically they can be used for unsightly stereo components or to store emergency gear like jumper cables and such.

Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking.

According to that article, it's basically illegal in Ohio to drive a car with a hidden compartment if you have prior felony drug trafficking charges. So never mind if a person has reformed and paid his or her dues to society, but wants to hide the car stereo in an older vehicle. As the ACLU pointed out in the article, there's no viable reason to focus on the container when trafficking itself is already a felony.

There are other rights felons never regain, so I don't find this to be completely unreasonable. Of course, the entire war on drugs is unreasonable, so there is that.

In news of government overreach of a more local nature:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/v-fullstory/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html

Black man arrested dozens of times for trespassing...
...at a convenience store...
...where he works.

House intel bill adds $75 million to NSA budget to stop future Snowdens

See? They're fixing the problem. The leaks.

Make no mistake: the US government has declared us all to be its adversaries. This has been stated explicitly in NSA documentation, and it's being expressed in an utterly clear way here as well.

We are the enemy. You are the adversary.

plavonica wrote:

More policing shenanigans.

And here is the kicker.....

New Mexico is one of those "Tort Reform" states with sovereign immunity laws.

http://www.cozen.com/admin/files/pub...

So "so sorry about your rectum, but no suing".

Paleocon wrote:
plavonica wrote:

More policing shenanigans.

And here is the kicker.....

New Mexico is one of those "Tort Reform" states with sovereign immunity laws.

http://www.cozen.com/admin/files/pub...

So "so sorry about your rectum, but no suing".

That would only bar some causes of action (and even then exceptions may kick in), it also wouldn't apply to Federal constitutional claims (e.g., the section 1983 action that is included in the original complaint).

deftly wrote:

In news of government overreach of a more local nature:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/v-fullstory/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html

Black man arrested dozens of times for trespassing...
...at a convenience store...
...where he works.

I grew up near there. Doesn't surprise me at all. If this guy did anything to try and change the situation in his favor, he would be dead.

If it's a police state for the least of us, it's a police state for all of us.

It's important to remember that we don't get to define 'least'. The police do.

The ACLU had a good point in that article about Miami Gardens. The city is setting itself up to go bankrupt paying out damages and possibly face further problems from the feds.

Honestly I hope they end up bankrupt with all officers involved including the chief in federal prison.

Ha. That'll be the day. Remember that Miami is where cops unlock the thumb retention on their holsters for the service pistols when someone asks how to file a complaint against police. They didn't want to file a complaint, just wanted to ask how.

Robear wrote:

Because all police departments are the same? Why don't we have 100,000 cases of this a year, then?

Because you never know if you're going to get Officer Friendly or some Deputy who thinks he's Jack Bauer and you live within the jurisdiction of Magistrate Rubberstamp.

Edwin wrote:

Ha. That'll be the day. Remember that Miami is where cops unlock the thumb retention on their holsters for the service pistols when someone asks how to file a complaint against police. They didn't want to file a complaint, just wanted to ask how.

Yeah I know. But I have this recurring dream where the feds come in and arrest the entire department at gunpoint, complete with FBI swat teams storming the police station, and judges who throw the book at excessive force, etc.

I am a bad person.

Ha! The FBI actually being useful in Miami? Forgive me for being jaded with their history of corruption in Miami and f*cking things up in Latin America.