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Cops Incorporate Private Cameras Into Their Surveillance Networks

Police have their sights set on every surveillance camera in every business, on every porch, in all the cities and counties of the country. Grocery store trips, walks down the street, and otherwise minding your own business when outside your home could soon come under the ever-present eye of the government. In a quiet but rapid expansion of law enforcement surveillance, U.S. cities are buying and promoting products from Georgia-based company Fusus in order to access on-demand, live video from public and private camera networks. The company sells police a cloud-based platform for creating real-time crime centers and a streamlined way for officers to interface with their various surveillance streams, including predictive policing, gunshot detection, license plate readers, and drones.

UN Expresses Concerns Over Reports Of US Spying On Its Top Officials

The United Nations officially expressed concern over recent reports of the US government spying on its top officials, including Secretary General António Guterres, and attempting to interfere in their work. The statement came from UN Secretary General’s official spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric on Tuesday, April 18. Dujarric said that the “UN officially expressed to the host country its concern regarding recent reports that the communications of the secretary general and other senior UN officials have been the subject of surveillance and interference by the US government.” He also asserted that the said US actions violate its obligations to the UN Charter and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN.

Prevent: Health Workers Resist UK’s ‘Counter Terrorism’ Strategy

In the two decades since the UK government unveiled its ‘counter terrorism’ strategy ‘Prevent’, campaigners and human rights organizations have consistently documented its impact on racialized and otherwise marginalized communities, and the ways in which public services—including healthcare—have been weaponized in this process. A part of the government’s broader counter-terrorism strategy called CONTEST, Prevent’s stated objective is to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” First implemented in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, Prevent was amended in 2011 to deal with “all forms of terrorism and with non-violent extremism.”

US Shoots Down High-Altitude Balloon And Whips Up Anti-China Paranoia

On Monday, February 6, China lodged a formal protest with the United States over the latter’s decision to shoot down a balloon last week. In a statement, China’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Xie Feng held the US accountable for setting back progress made in attempts to stabilize relations between the two nations. The Chinese statement also came in the wake of US government officials and politicians whipping up anti-Chinese paranoia. A US fighter plane downed the high-altitude unmanned balloon originating from China, within US airspace, with much publicity and spectacle on Saturday, February 4. The US deployed an F-22 fighter jet to shoot an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile at the balloon just over the coast of North Carolina on the US east coast, with the US set to collect the debris from its territorial waters. Xie said that the “indiscriminate use of military force” against the balloon, which China maintains is a “civilian unmanned airship,” had “seriously violated the spirit of international law and international conventions.”

Assange Visitors Renew Request For CIA To ‘Purge And Destroy’ Files On Them

Attorneys and journalists, who visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while he was living under political asylum in the Ecuador embassy, amended their lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for allegedly spying on them. The complaint [PDF] filed in the Southern District of New York now even more explicitly seeks an injunction against the CIA to prevent the agency “from utilizing in any way, or revealing to any third party, the content of materials seized” from the plaintiffs, who are all US citizens. It also asks the court to order the CIA to “purge and destroy all such materials from their files.” In the initial lawsuit that was filed in August 2022, the CIA, along with former CIA director Mike Pompeo, UC Global, and UC Global director David Morales, were sued for their alleged role in violating the privacy of attorneys Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Deborah Hrbek and journalists John Goetz and Charles Glass.

AZ Attorney General Created An Illegal Surveillance Program

Phoenix, Arizona - Last year, Sen. Ron Wyden raised alarms about one of the largest government surveillance programs in recent memory. Sen. Wyden revealed that the Arizona attorney general’s office, in collaboration with the Phoenix Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, had engaged in the indiscriminate collection of money transfer records for transactions exceeding $500 sent to or from Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as to or from Mexico. Any time anyone in the U.S. used companies like Western Union or MoneyGram to send or receive money to or from one of these states or Mexico — whether to send a remittance home, or help a relative with an emergency expense, or pay a bill — a record of their transaction was deposited into a database controlled by the Arizona attorney general and shared with other law enforcement agencies.

GOP Has Not Created A New Church Committee

House Republicans last week announced that they would quickly create a special committee that they referred to as the Church Committee II.  Formally, they named it the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.  The subcommittee was created on a straight party-line vote:  All 221 Republicans voted in favor while all 211 Democrats were opposed. It will be chaired by far-right Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, the former wrestling coach at Ohio State University whom six former wrestlers accused of doing nothing to help them, despite the fact that he knew they were being molested by the team doctor.  Jordan is also the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; in one of life’s ironies, despite graduating from an obscure law school in central Ohio, he never bothered to take the bar exam.

Number Of Immigrants Under Punitive Surveillance Quadrupled Under Biden

Over the past two years, despite President Joe Biden’s campaign promises to bring fairness to the immigration system, the current administration has quadrupled the number of people enrolled in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) so-called “alternatives to detention” (ATD) surveillance program, and has doubled the number of people held in immigration jails. There is no acceptable justification for this rapidly growing surveillance dragnet. As advocates working toward the abolition of immigration detention, we are outraged that the Biden administration is increasingly turning immigrants’ homes and communities into an extension of prison cells. Our vision must extend beyond abolishing immigration jails themselves, as they are only one part of a larger racist, exclusionary system that targets and harms our communities.

US Labor Agency Fights Corporate Spying

The top lawyer for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the United States has come out strongly against workplace surveillance and management technology that may be used to disrupt union organizing and discourage whistleblower complaints. Jennifer Abruzzo, who is general counsel for the NLRB, wrote a memo in October that was sent to officials at the agency’s regional offices. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which was passed in 1935, protects the “right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”

The Rise Of India’s Dystopian Surveillance State

A few months after Narendra Modi was re-elected in 2019, India’s Parliament passed a discriminatory bill extending citizenship to refugees from six religious minority communities, except for Muslims from the neighboring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Following the controversy, a series of protests erupted across the country. The capital city of Delhi witnessed ghastly communal riots, as members of the minority Muslim community were targeted by far-right groups that rallied in support of the bill. To identify the alleged “rabble rousers and miscreants,” including the protesters, law enforcement officials acknowledged using what they called the Automated Facial Recognition System.

Amazon Wants Surveillance Robots In Every Home

Exciting news guys! Amazon has created a new robot, the Astro, to spy on people in their homes – and this one is smarter and sneakier than the Alexa. Tanya Basu of MIT Technology Review reports, “Amazon has a new plan for its home robot Astro: to guard your life  … The cute home assistant could be the most powerful, invasive home robot we’ve seen thus far.” It might be cute, but you have to ignore the fact that it’s watching you while you’re on the toilet and zapping your dog for getting in the way. “Amazon announced Wednesday that its home robot, Astro, will be getting a slew of major updates aimed at further embedding it in homes – and in our daily lives,” Basu continues. That’s not cute, it’s terrifying! Why does it have its own drones? Nothing that comes with drones is your friend. I don’t care if it’s a Dunkin’ Donuts Rainbow Cupcake. It shouldn’t have drones!

The FBI Is An Enemy Of Indigenous Liberation

In 1969, American Indian Movement (AIM) activists occupied Alcatraz Island, invoking the Sioux Treaty of 1868, which grants unused federal lands to indigenous groups. Over the next several years, AIM also occupied the Mayflower. And Mount Rushmore. And the Bureau of Indian Affairs. And Wounded Knee. And other sites across the United States emblematic of the ongoing refusal of the American government to fulfill treaty obligations. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, AIM became the vanguard of indigenous liberation. They fought back against police violence, illegal seizure of land, and the economic marginalization of indigenous people. Through direct action, formation of patrols documenting police abuses, and other confrontational tactics, AIM brought media attention to long-neglected issues relating to indigenous sovereignty and abuses at the hands of the state.

Employers’ Productivity Standards Are Not Real Science

Whether you’re working in a warehouse or piano factory, processing insurance claims, or taking care of patients, the use of worker productivity monitoring continues to expand. Workplaces where jobs are monitored and measured—and workers required to meet certain performance metrics—pose a particular set of challenges for stewards. Most historians recognize Fredrick Winslow Taylor and his 1911 book The Principles of Scientific Management as the genesis of these schemes. Taylor’s technology was basic by today’s standards: clipboards and stopwatches. Frank and Lillian Gilbreth (of Cheaper by the Dozen fame) expanded on this by using frame-by-frame film study of workers performing tasks with a specially calibrated “microchronometer,” documenting worker micro-motions and the time they took.

John Miller ‘Chose To Lie About Something That’s Well-Documented’

Janine Jackson: In March of this year, John Miller—then deputy commissioner of intelligence and counter-terrorism for the New York Police Department—told a New York City Council meeting that “there is no evidence” that the NYPD surveilled Muslim communities in the wake of September 11, 2001—”based,” he said, “on every objective study that’s been done.” At that point, media had extensively documented the unconstitutional discrimination of the NYPD’s so-called “Demographics Unit,” including installing police cameras outside mosques, and reporting store owners who had visible Qurans or religious calendars. And the NYPD had agreed to disband the unit in the face of multiple federal lawsuits.

FBI Spied On And Harassed Black Revolutionary Who Was Killed

Seals was shot to death in 2016, then set on fire in his car in an unsolved murder. Local St. Louis media outlet the Riverfront Times obtained a declassified copy of the more than 900-page FBI report on Seals. The FBI fully redacted approximately 860 of the pages, and partially redacted parts of the remaining roughly 45 pages. In the report, the FBI called Seals “a self-described revolutionary who has espoused somewhat militant rhetoric and has access to weapons.” The Riverfront Times article shows how the FBI used local police to harass Seals. In June 2016, the activist was “investigatively detained” by local police who pulled over Seals in his car on FBI orders. Seals had proudly described himself on his Twitter account as a “Revolutionary, Activist, Unapologetically BLACK, Afrikan in AmeriKKKa.”
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