A Stout Read. Take some Antacids before hand.
The ending quote says it all:
You either believe in freedom or you don’t. It’s that simple.
Everything else is just a deadly distraction. As Orwell observed in 1984:
“All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice.”
(click on above link to be re-directed)
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!
The human race is on the brink of momentous and dire change. It is a change that potentially smashes our institutions and warps our society beyond recognition. It is also a change to which almost no one is paying attention. I’m talking about the coming obsolescence of the gun-wielding human infantryman as a weapon of war. Or to put it another way: the end of the Age of the Gun.
The advantage of people with guns is that they are cheap and easy to train. In the modern day, it’s true that bombers, tanks, and artillery can lay waste to infantry—but those industrial tools of warfare are just so expensive that swarms of infantry can still deter industrialized nations from fighting protracted conflicts. Look at how much it cost the United States to fight the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, versus how much it cost our opponents. The hand-held firearm reached its apotheosis with the cheap, rugged, easy-to-use AK-47; with this ubiquitous weapon, guerrilla armies can still defy the mightiest nations on Earth.
Read the Remainder at Quartz
In a first, a Manhattan federal judge presiding over a narcotics case has decided that drug evidence obtained through cell phone surveillance technology called “Stingray” won’t be admissible in court.
StingRay (also known as “Hailstorm” or “TriggerFish”) is an “IMSI catcher“ basically acts like a cell phone tower, and sends out signals which force cell phones to ping them back with information showing their owner’s location and other identifying information. If an agent is tracking a suspect, the pings kind of work like the game “hot or cold.” The closer you get to the phone, the stronger (or hotter) the pings will become.
Judge William Pauley on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis’ rights were violated when DEA agents used a Stingray without a warrant to locate and search his Washington Heights apartment in Manhattan during a drug-trafficking investigation.
According to court documents, the DEA sent a technician with the StingRay to the area where Lambis lived. The technician walked around, sending out signals, until the strength of responding pings led him to Lambis’ apartment building. The technician entered the building and then walked up and down the hallways until he found the specific apartment where the pings were the strongest.
Later that evening, DEA agents knocked on Lambis’ door and asked his father for permission to search the apartment. In Lambis’ bedroom, agents recovered “narcotics, three digital scales, empty zip lock bags, and other drug paraphernalia.”
Privacy advocates say the use of the Stingray technology without a warrant encroaches on or even violates people’s constitutional rights. But despite concerns, the devices have become an increasingly common and popular item in law enforcement’s arsenal.
Research by the American Civil Liberties Union found that at least 13 federal agencies use StingRay technology, including the NSA, Homeland Security, the FBI and the army. In New York (and in many other states), both state and local police are equipped with Stingrays. An investigation by USA Today found that the technology was used even for routine crimes, like petty theft.
The ACLU found that the NYPD had used Stingrays more than 1,000 times between 2008 and May 2015 without any written policy on obtaining a warrant.
“If carrying a cell phone means being exposed to military grade surveillance equipment, then the privacy of nearly all New Yorkers is at risk,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the ACLU’s New York branch said earlier this year.
Pauley’s ruling on Tuesday follows what was celebrated as a landmark decision by privacy advocates in April, when Maryland’s second highest court ruled that police need a probable cause warrant to track cell phones using StingRays.
After the decision, the Baltimore office of the public defender began reviewing hundreds of cases which hinged on StingRay technology, all of which could potentially be challenged as a result of the Maryland court ruling.
Read the Original Article at Vice News
Not sure if you guys have been paying attention to the clowns in the Senate lately, in typical backdoor fashion (kind of like the secret night time session where they passed CISA 74 to 21) they are attempting to pass legislation that if it goes through, Online Privacy will truly be an afterthought in the United States.-SF
An effort in the U.S. Senate to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s authority to use a secretive surveillance order has delayed a vote on a popular email privacy bill, casting further doubt on whether the legislation will become law this year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday postponed consideration of a measure that would require government authorities to obtain a search warrant before asking technology companies, such as Microsoft and Alphabet Inc’s Google , to hand over old emails. A version of the Senate bill unanimously passed the House last month.
Currently, federal agencies do not need a warrant to access emails or other digital communications more than 180 days old due to a provision in a 1986 law that considers them abandoned by the owner.
But Republican party senators offered amendments Thursday that privacy advocates argued contravened the purpose of the underlying bill and would likely sink its chances of becoming law.
Those amendments include one by Senator John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the Senate, that would broaden the FBI’s authority to deploy an administrative subpoena known as a National Security Letter to include electronic communications transaction records such as the times tamps of emails and their senders and recipients.
Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Lee, the Democratic and Republican authors of the email privacy bill, agreed to postpone the vote to give time to lawmakers to review the amendments and other provisions of the bill that have prompted disagreement.
NSLs do not require a warrant and are almost always accompanied by a gag order preventing the service provider from sharing the request with a targeted user.
The letters have existed since the 1970s, though the scope and frequency of their use expanded greatly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
In 2015 requests for customer records via NSLs increased nearly 50 percent to 48,642 requests, up from 33,024 in 2014, according to a U.S. government transparency report.
The Obama administration has for years lobbied for a change to how NSLs can be used, after a 2008 legal memo from the Justice Department said the law limits them largely to phone billing records. FBI Director James Comey has said the change needed essentially corrects a typo.
The Senate Intelligence Committee this week passed a bill to fund the U.S. intelligence community that contains a similar provision that would allow NSLs to be used to gather email records.
Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, voted against the proposal and said it “takes a hatchet to important protections for Americans’ liberty.”
Read the Original Article at Reuters
I know we joke a lot about national security technology becoming more and more like “Minority Report”, but folks, this is already been purchased by DHS. This is Happening. -SF
“Faception” Technology can match an individual with various personality traits and types with a high level of accuracy
A Tel-Aviv based start-up company says it has developed a program to identify personality types such as terrorists, pedophiles, white collar offenders and even great poker players from facial analysis that takes just a fraction of a second.
Faception claims it has signed a contract with a homeland security agency to help identify terrorists, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Furthermore, it says it successfully identified nine of the terrorists involved in November’s terror attacks in Paris, according to the Daily Mail.
And it asserts that its technology was able to accurately classify 25 out of 27 facial images of poker players and non-poker players in a blind test.
Read the Remainder at Times of Israel
It is a very common trend to see “Counter-Terrorism” programs and technology that were once used to save American Military and Civilian lives in war get re-directed to spy on American citizens in Peace time. This is something to keep in mind with this program. -SF
Relentless attacks on American military personnel at the height of the Iraq war made the U.S. intelligence community confront a dire problem: They needed real-time intelligence to take Al Qaeda off the battlefield and dismantle its bomb-making factories.
This realization was the start of a highly secretive program, developed by the National Security Agency, to put NSA specialists on the battlefield in order to send “near real-time” intelligence to the troops so they could avoid ambushes and root out insurgents. For the first time, going in depth with Fox News, senior NSA leadership is speaking publicly about that program, called the Real Time Regional Gateway or RT-RG.
“Starting in 2005, we started seeing a big uptick in casualties caused by IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and ambushes,” NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett told Fox News. The RT-RG program created to combat those attacks, he said, “was really a complete change in how we provided signals intelligence support to the tactical war fighter.”
The program, parts of which were classified until now, has dispatched thousands of NSA experts into war zones since 9/11. It has put those experts – from an agency most-known for its controversial surveillance programs – at grave risk across multiple theatres. But in the process, officials say, RT-RG has saved the lives of fellow Americans.
Col. Bob Harms, one of the first people on the ground for the NSA at Baghdad’s Camp Victory, said the goal was to “get in front of our adversaries.”
Exclusive images shared with Fox News from Camp Victory show the basic set-up, which took traditional streams of intelligence and married it up with information gathered from raids – for instance, taking satellite images and combining that with on-the-ground information about an insurgent’s movements and contacts, to pinpoint threats.
Some of the most useful information came from captured operatives – information known in the intel world as “pocket litter.” Harms said this included “pattern of life” details including “when do they go to sleep, where do they go to sleep, where do they work and those types of things.”
The NSA’s goal was to compress the timeline for crunching all this information from a period of weeks or days, to just hours or minutes. Think of it like a phone app — but instead of giving directions, it’s flagging threats.
“[Battlefield commanders] would actually feed us information … so that we could give them a roadmap to the next site,” Harms explained.
Ledgett said the program harnessed big data, in a way that it could be used immediately on the battlefield. Ledgett said RT-RG “integrated hundreds of pieces of information,” and then software was developed to draw connections that could “put things on graphical displays” so it was easy for analysts and operators to understand.
“It might connect something like a phone number to a location, to an activity and display that to an analyst who could then, via radio, contact a convoy and say, ‘Hey looks like there’s an ambush waiting for you at this point — go left or go right or take an alternate route,’” he said.
Asked about collateral damage – the accidental killing of civilians — Ledgett said the program reduced those numbers because targeting data was drawn from multiple sources. No further specifics were offered.
Retired Gen. Jack Keane, a Fox News military analyst, said the program “gave a tool to brigade commanders, who were spread out all over the battlefield, something that they never had before.”
It also took NSA experts out of the office and placed them in the field, to work side-by-side with special operations.
“We needed to be coffee-breath close in order to have that shared situational understanding,” Harms said.
The program extended from Iraq to Afghanistan, and then other conflict zones that the NSA will not publicly identify. The statistics, declassified for this report, are sobering.
“Since 2001, we’ve deployed 5,000 NSA people to Iraq and 8,000 to Afghanistan — and in total, 18,000 to hostile areas around the world,” Ledgett said. “When the operational community embraces you that way and says ‘I want you on my team and I want you there with me’ … that’s a pretty significant statement of value.”
The deployments came with risk. Since 9/11, 24 names have been added to the NSA’s memorial wall, which pays tribute to fallen employees. Among them is NSA technical expert Christian Pike, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2013 working with the Navy SEALs.
“I’m sorry, I get a little emotional about this one,” Ledgett said, taking a pause during the interview as he described a cabinet in his office with memorial cards for James T. Davis, one of the first Americans killed in Vietnam; NSA’s Amanda Pinson, killed by an IED in Iraq while providing signals intelligence support; and Christian Pike. Pike was also a family friend.
This Saturday is Armed Forces Day – and what was a ground-breaking NSA program a decade ago is now widely used by the war fighter.
Ledgett said one of the commanding generals in Iraq during the surge credited the NSA with helping take over 4,000 insurgents off the battlefield.
“There was an intense effort here … How do we drive those losses down?” Ledgett said. “Our job was to get the information to the people who needed it.”
Read the Original Article at Fox News