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Today: Mon, March 30 2015  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Repression and Police State
10 February 2015
Do they have something to hide?
by Liberty
 sub-topic» General

There’s been a lot of this kind of thing about recently. On Tuesday, we discovered that police forces in England and Wales have uploaded 18 million photographs to a facial recognition database – including people never even charged with an offence. An incredibly invasive tool, created with no public or parliamentary consultation and with little regard for the law (which you’d think the police would be more concerned with), designed to track millions of us – regardless of guilt or innocence.

18 September 2014
Daniele Watts and the Need to Legalize Prostitution
by Gina Luttrell
 sub-topic» General

If all of this sounds familiar—discrimination against people of color, stopping and hurting people for peaceful activity, all because something that does not harm anyone is illegal—perhaps that is because it is eerily similar to the stories we hear out of the War on Drugs. Prostitution—not sex trafficking—hurts no one. Consensual behavior between two adults should not be subject to the whims of the state, even when—especially when—that behavior involves sex.

For this, and a hundred thousand other reasons, it’s time to legalize prostitution, and give these people some peace.

07 September 2014
David Cameron Accused of Offending 'Basic Principles of Law' with Terrorism Plan
by the Huffington Post UK
 sub-topic» General

David Cameron has been warned that his plan to prevent British citizens who are accused of fighting with terror groups abroad from returning home offends the "basic principles" of British law.

25 February 2014
Honing in on the Surveillance State
Their lies are coming unravelled
by Justin Raimondo
 sub-topic» General

All of which brings us a bit closer to showing that the central purpose of the NSA’s activities has zero to do with real terrorism, rationally defined, and everything to do with going after "rogue" actors, such as WikiLeaks and yours truly, who are engaged in what we used to call journalism. They don’t care all that much about, say, al-Qaeda in Syria as they do about Assange’s personal life or what my "real name" is (as they put it in an April 2004 memo)..

28 November 2013
Measuring the Extent of a Police State
by Wendy McElroy
 sub-topic» General

People dismiss America's drift into totalitarianism for several reasons. One of them is how thoroughly Americans have come to identify freedom with political procedures, like the 'right' to vote, to run for office or to petition a congressman. But these alleged freedoms still exist because they serve the state and not the individual. The state relies upon people's participation for its legitimacy. These faux freedoms only keep people from demanding the real thing. Freedom does not rest upon access to the state; it rests on the word "no," spoken by individuals.

17 November 2013
I Was Wrong on "Opting Out"
by Robert P. Murphy
 sub-topic» General

If everybody who objects to the TSA opts out, it would force the government’s hand to either discontinue the scanning or to drop the farce that it is “voluntary.” That’s why I will be opting out as much as possible in my future traveling.

14 November 2013
A grilling that wouldn't have scared a puppy
by Isabella Sankey
 sub-topic» General

As feared, yesterday’s “grilling” consisted of friendly and open-ended questions – resulting in few specific answers and barely anything not already on the public record. These public servants have presided over blanket surveillance of the entire population without public, parliamentary or democratic mandate. But Parliament’s response yesterday was woeful. There was also an odd, circular feel to proceedings with questions about accountability met by repeated statements about oversight by the Committee – despite the fact that little of substance was discussed.

31 October 2013
Odds that You are a Terrorist: 1 in 624,297
by Mac Slavo
 sub-topic» General

We’re not suggesting that terrorism doesn’t exist, but considering that 1 in 1000 Americans in 2010 were the subject of police misconduct ranging from excessive force beatings and murder to sexual assault and false arrest, perhaps the government should turn its surveillance on itself, rather than the 99.9% of Americans who want nothing more than to be left alone.

The statistics are crystal clear in this regard: the danger posed by agents of the government terrorizing the American people seems to be much more probable than that of a rogue terrorist.

18 August 2013
The Security State's Reaction to Snowden Shows Why It's Doomed
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

Meanwhile, the internal witch hunt atmosphere in the U.S. security apparatus is alienating the very contract-work hackers whose skills it is increasingly dependent on. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sticker on Snowden’s laptop wasn’t a deviation the NSA’s leadership failed to catch. It’s typical of the cultural pool from which the NSA, of necessity, recruits its contractors. Such people read the news, and they aren’t impressed with the government’s draconian treatment of people like Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Recruiters are running up against increased skepticism among those with the skills it needs; the chilly reception NSA chief Keith Alexander met with at DefCon is symbolic of this new atmosphere.

10 August 2013
Committing War Crimes is a Duty: Reporting Them is a Felony
by William Norman Grigg
 sub-topic» General

Unlike countless other U.S servicemen who took refuge in the idea that obedience to superiors immunizes criminal behavior, Manning tried to discriminate between “insurgents” and innocent bystanders, only to find that such distinctions do not exist when one is fighting a war of aggression. When he expressed concerns about this to his superiors, Manning was told to choke down such questions and get back to the task of killing people who resented being occupied by a prohibitively stronger foreign power.

09 August 2013
Truth as Treason
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

Does that not describe precisely the mindset of those who criticize Manning and Snowden? Don’t U.S. officials and their supporters condemn and vilify Manning and Snowden for revealing the truth about U.S. government operations to the American people? Don’t they say that they are traitors who are helping America’s enemies by disclosing the truth to the American people about the lies and crimes of the U.S. national-security state? Don’t they say that the law is the law and, therefore, must be obeyed even when it’s wrong? Don’t they say that Manning and Snowden need to be punished severely in order to discourage others from doing the same thing? In their minds, doesn’t the truth that Manning and Snowden revealed constitute treason?

13 July 2013
The Most Dangerous Man in the World and How to Stop Him
by David Wiggins
 sub-topic» General

The Troop kills. The Troop is not necessarily strong or intelligent, although he can be both. The Troop has no conscience, or if he does have one, he does not use it. The Troop believes. Facts that contradict The Troop’s beliefs are considered false by definition. The Troop has a weakness for sociopathic monsters. The Troop follows orders and has never heard an order he will not try to obey. The Troop dominates, and uses force to ensure that others cannot do as they please. The Troop works for money. The Troop finds what he does to be glorious.

11 May 2013
Stop-and-Frisk as a Policy of State Control over Blacks and Latinos
by Ari Paul
 sub-topic» General

This mentality of the state results in catastrophic social consequences. As Peart told me during an interview at the offices of the Center for Constitutional Rights, despite having no intentions of being a criminal, his numerous stop-and-frisks gave him the creeping feeling that he perhaps he was, indeed, a criminal. Day in and day out, taxpayers are paying police to tell a generation of blacks and Latinos—on their way to work, school, a friend’s house or the park–that they are bad, bad people. That’s a pretty powerful way for the state to control people, when you’re not only controlling their movement, but their emotions and unconscious thoughts.

17 February 2013
The Relentless March of the U.S. Police State
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

Each day, the U.S. police state grows larger, more powerful, more pervasive, and more menacing. When will the majority awaken to the realization that this threat has nothing to do with party politics, that it makes no difference whether a Republican or a Democrat occupies the presidency while our freedoms are demolished?

17 December 2012
Government Spying Out of Control
by Andrew P. Napolitano
 sub-topic» General

FISA gives the government unchecked authority to snoop on all Americans who communicate with any foreign person, in direct contravention of the Fourth Amendment. The right to privacy is a natural human right. Its enshrinement in the Constitution has largely kept America from becoming East Germany. Moreover, everyone in Congress has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, which could not be more clear: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…" shall not be violated, except via a warrant issued by a neutral judge upon the judge finding probable cause of crime. If we let Congress, which is a creature of the Constitution, change the Constitution, then no one’s liberty or property is safe, and freedom is dependent upon the political needs of those in power.

03 July 2012
For Their Eyes Only
by Liberty
 sub-topic» General

On May 28th 2012 the Government introduced the “Justice and Security Bill” in the House of Lords. If passed, this Bill will make drastic changes to our system of justice and fair trials. Liberty believes that the proposals are dangerous and unnecessary. They will not only overturn centuries of common law fair trial protections for those seeking to challenge the actions of the State, but also undermine the vital constitutional principle that no one is above the law, including the Government.

30 May 2012
Another Surveillance Law: One More Step towards the Big Brother State
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

And this is what makes the logging of our electronic communications so important. It is a central component in the apparatus of surveillance and control. Of course, the Ministers and the general authorities will never admit that this is its purpose. They insist on its need so we can all be kept safe from terrorists and other criminals. They tell us that no ordinary people will be affected – that those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear. Well, this argument should by now be seen with the contempt it deserves. We all have something to hide, even if it is not presently against the law. And the argument has been used again and again. How often have we been told that a deviation from the old constitutional norms is needed in the face of some exceptional danger, and that the new powers will only be used against that danger? How often have the new powers been immediately used to spy on and control ordinary people?

03 May 2012
Thrning Homeland Security into the Green Police
by Rob Douglas
 sub-topic» General

In order to comply with the new strategy, senior leadership at DHS must ensure that “environmental justice is appropriately integrated into their specific mission: maritime safety, security, and stewardship; federal assistance authority; emergency management programs; border security; transportation security; immigration services; law enforcement training; science and technology research; and mission support and asset management.”

Further, “[a]s the Department’s capacities and mission areas evolve in response to improved understanding of emerging threats to safety and security, the concepts of this strategy will be extended to match the commitment to environmental justice in those new areas.”

There now, don’t you feel safer?