Archive for the ‘Big Brother is Watching You’ Category

LOLcats for freedom

August 6, 2008

Bureaucrash, a kick arse website that strives to remind us all of how we’ve been surrendering our liberties to the government for decades, posted some very funny LOLcats. Here’s but a sample below.

See more here.

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U.S. govt now given power to seize anyone’s laptops upon entering the country

August 3, 2008

U.S. citizens and foreign travelers can have their laptops seized without warrant “or without suspicion of wrongdoing” for an unspecified amount of time.  Wasn’t there something in the news lately about China censoring foreign journalists’ access to the internet while at the Beijing Olympics?  Ask your local patriot about how these policies differ……

Agents are empowered to share the contents of seized computers with other agencies and private entities for data decryption and other reasons, the newspaper said.

DHS officials said the policies applied to anyone entering the country, including U.S. citizens, and were needed to prevent terrorism.

Read the rest of this bullshit very necessary security policy. We thank you government for keeping us safe!

More here.

Cop arrests man for (spins the wheel of made up laws)…”unlawful photography”

July 15, 2008

Nearly everyone carries a cell phone and it’s hard to find one without that camera feature.  It’s convenient when you want to take that impromptu photo, but a Tri-Cities area man ended up behind bars after snapping a shot of a Johnson County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.

The cell phone photographer says the arrest was intimidation, but the deputy says he feared for his life.

“Here’s a guy who takes me out of the car and arrests me in front of my kids.  For what?  To take a picture of a police officer?” said Scott Conover.

A Johnson County sheriff’s deputy arrested Scott Conover for unlawful photography.

“He says you took a picture of me.  It’s illegal to take a picture of a law enforcement officer,” said Conover.

Conover took a picture of a sheriff’s deputy on the side of the road on a traffic stop.  Conover was stunned by the charge.

“This is a public highway,” said Conover.

And it was not a place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy as Tennessee code states.  The deputy also asked Conover to delete the picture three times.

“He said if you don’t give it to me, you’re going to jail,” said Conover.

Under the advice of the Johnson County attorney, the sheriff would not comment and the arresting deputy said he didn’t want to incriminate himself by talking to us.

In an affidavit, the deputy said he saw something black with a red light which he thought was a threat.  Conover was also arrested for pointing a laser at a law enforcement officer.

“At no time did I have a laser.  I had an iPhone,” said Conover.

When you take a picture in the dark with Conover’s Apple iPhone, there is no flash or any light that comes from the phone that could be mistaken for a laser.

In a witness statement by a Mountain City officer, is says the deputy asked about the picture rather than looking for a laser.

“If you arrested me, wouldn’t you take the laser?  If you arrested me, wouldn’t you take the camera?” said Conover.

He expects these charges to be dismissed.

“This guy maliciously arrested me, charging me with phony charges that he don’t even understand himself,” Conover said.

The American Civil Liberties Union would not comment on Conover’s case without fully reviewing the allegations, but told us there is no law that prohibits anyone from taking photographs in public areas, even of police.  Taking photos is protected by the First Amendment.  Conover is ordered to appear in a Johnson County court on August 6th.

Source

A good resource utilized by photographers that gives an overview of a photographer’s rights can be found here.

ACLU to file suit against FISA

July 13, 2008

Wired’s Threat Level blog reports that the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Recently passed by both the House and Senate, FISA was signed into law on Thursday by President Bush. The ACLU has fought aspects of FISA in the past. The new complaint (PDF) alleges the following: “The law challenged here supplies none of the safeguards that the Constitution demands. It permits the government to monitor the communications of U.S. Citizens and residents without identifying the people to be surveilled; without specifying the facilities, places, premises, or property to be monitored; without observing meaningful limitations on the retention, analysis, and dissemination of acquired information; without obtaining individualized warrants based on criminal or foreign intelligence probable cause; and, indeed, without even making prior administrative determinations that the targets of surveillance are foreign agents or connected in any way, however tenuously, to terrorism.”

Source

UK Local Goverment Association head-Stop spying for trivial offenses. Sir Simon Milton-No.

June 23, 2008

There has been growing anger about the methods used by councils to probe minor crimes, such as dog fouling.

The powers were introduced under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act as part of the Government’s anti-terror drive but it is claimed some councils are abusing the powers.

This really shouldn’t be shocking. The government pushes intrusive legislation under the guise of society’s protection and people comply. And your freedoms get chipped away little by little…..

It’s for your safety. Does anyone actually still believe that?

Actual headline: Pirate Bay bitchslaps Swedish law with SSL

June 23, 2008

Sweden just passed a controversial law allowing all communications going out of the country will be tapped, and that information can be shared with agencies outside of the Swedish government, including the U.S. National Security Agency. I’m sure this is done under the veil of making everyone “safe.”

Original story

The Pirate Bay plans to offer encryption services to people who use the BitTorrent tracker site in a direct attempt to combat a new controversial snoop law passed in Sweden last week.

Peter Sunde, who is one of the men behind the notorious tracker site, said in a blog post yesterday:

“Many people have asked me what we’re planning to do – and the answer is ‘A lot!’. We’re going to help out in any way we can with fighting the law,” he said. “This week we’re going to add SSL to The Pirate Bay. We’re also going to help out making a website about easy encryption – both for your hard drives and your net traffic.”

Sunde said that The Pirate Bay also plans to lower the price for a system that runs VPN-tunnels and that it will be opened up for international use too.

He also called for ISPs to boycott Sweden. “More stuff is planned – together with other people that work against the law we’ve talked about asking the international ISPs to block traffic to Sweden,” Sunde said.

“Yes, that’s right! We want Sweden to be banned from the internet. The ISPs need to block Sweden in order to protect their own customers integrity since everything they do on Swedish ISPs networks will be logged and searched.”

The Pirate Bay, which isn’t located in Sweden, hopes that wrapping SSL security around its site will add a layer of protection for anxious Swedes worried about having their internet activities snooped on.

Sweden’s parliament ushered in its contentious wiretapping law last Thursday after the proposal was amended earlier that day.

Under the new law, all communication across Swedish borders will be tapped, and information can also be traded with international security agencies, such as America’s National Security Agency.

On Friday Sweden’s Pirate Party, which strongly defends the BitTorrent site, said it will take Sweden to the European Court of Human Rights because the law is a clear breach of the European Convention for the Bay bitchslaps Swedish law with SSL