32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

#1
32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security at Expense of Individual Rights

rasmussenreports.comTue Feb 19, 10:30 AM ET

Most Americans might have a difficult time sorting through the nuances of the Congressional debate over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but they are a bit more likely to trust Democrats in Congress than President Bush on the topic.

Just 25% of Americans say they followed news of the Congressional debate Very Closely. Another 31% said they followed it Somewhat Closely. Forty percent (40%) say they trust Democrats in Congress more than the President to establish "guidelines for wiretapping and other surveillance techniques." Thirty-six percent (36%) trust the President more while 23% are not sure who to trust.

As to the underlying issues, the country remains fairly evenly divided. Thirty-two percent (32%) believe that our legal system worries too much about national security at the expense of individual right. Twenty-five percent (25%) believe there is too much concern about individual rights at the expense of national security and 29% believe the balance is about right.

While still divided, those figures reflect a shift from last August when a plurality believed there was too much concern about individual liberty.

As you would expect, there are significant partisan differences on this question.

Forty-one percent (41%) of Republicans believe there is too much concern for individual rights while 36% of the GOP faithful believe the balance is about right.

Among Democrats, 44% believe there is too much concern about national security while 24% believe the balance is about right.

As for those not affiliated with either major party, 35% say our legal system is too concerned with protecting national security, 29% say the balance is about right, and 19% say there is too much concern for individual liberty.

Looking ahead to Election 2008, 48% of Americans say they trust one of the Democratic Presidential candidates more on the issue of establishing surveillance guidelines?€”25% pick Barack Obama, 23% Hillary Clinton. Thirty-three percent (33%) trust Republican John McCain more than either Democrat.

McCain is overwhelmingly preferred by Republicans. Democrats are fairly evenly divided between Clinton and Obama. Among the unaffiliated, 27% trust Obama, 24% McCain, and 15% Clinton. But, a plurality, 33%, are not sure which candidate to trust on this issue.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Print Story: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security at Expense of Individual Rights on Yahoo! News
 
#2
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security at Expense of Individual Rights
That means a majority 68% worry to little --- That is a problem -- We need people to continually be worried about national security.

Dear Politicians -- Protect our ASS !!!!!
 
#3
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

"Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Guess
 
#4
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

That means a majority 68% worry to little --- That is a problem -- We need people to continually be worried about national security.

Dear Politicians -- Protect our ASS !!!!!
Who, exactly, is currently threatening the "national security" of the US?
 
#6
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I already knew who would hit it first. . . .:cheers
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#9
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Wide awake, Nic. Please tell me who you think is currently threatening the national security of the United States.
Dawg,
You expect a response from Nic?

Anyway IMO,the major threat to national security,as it relates to the safety of the public from a terrorist attack, would come from a false flag operation initiated by the CIA, or another part of the US intelligence apparatus.

Otherwise the threat of an independent terror attack,completely off the radar, not set in motion for an intended purpose is minimal.

As for a direct threat of a conventional military action by any other nation on the US "Homeland",no country on the planet would/or has the capability, to do that at this,or any time in the foreseeable future.
 
#10
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Dawg,
You expect a response from Nic?

Anyway IMO,the major threat to national security,as it relates to the safety of the public from a terrorist attack, would come from a false flag operation initiated by the CIA, or another part of the US intelligence apparatus.

Otherwise the threat of an independent terror attack,completely off the radar, not set in motion for an intended purpose is minimal.

As for a direct threat of a conventional military action by any other nation on the US "Homeland",no country on the planet would/or has the capability, to do that at this,or any time in the foreseeable future.
Summed up very nicely, Scrimmage. However, the FEAR must be pushed.
 
#11
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I am not convinced there are major threats right now, and there should not be excess interference with individual liberties in the name of national security.
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#12
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Summed up very nicely, Scrimmage. However, the FEAR must be pushed.
I am not convinced there are major threats right now, and there should not be excess interference with individual liberties in the name of national security.
The FEAR must,and has been pushed to get all sorts of Acts and Directives passed which now give the government extra powers that dilute citizens constitutional rights.
Notice all the new powers that the government has assigned itself,The National Defense Authorization Act,The Military Commissions Act,National Security Presidential 51,Violent Activity and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act,and The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act,are mentioned in detail,in the article that follows.
Our individual liberties are already in peril,and most people aren't aware of it,know,and inform yourselves and others about what's going on before it's too late:

Rule by fear or rule by law?
Lewis Seiler,Dan Hamburg
Monday, February 4, 2008

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."

- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

Since 9/11, and seemingly without the notice of most Americans, the federal government has assumed the authority to institute martial law, arrest a wide swath of dissidents (citizen and noncitizen alike), and detain people without legal or constitutional recourse in the event of "an emergency influx of immigrants in the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."

Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.

According to diplomat and author Peter Dale Scott, the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of "all removable aliens" and "potential terrorists."

Fraud-busters such as Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, have complained about these contracts, saying that more taxpayer dollars should not go to taxpayer-gouging Halliburton. But the real question is: What kind of "new programs" require the construction and refurbishment of detention facilities in nearly every state of the union with the capacity to house perhaps millions of people?

Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), "Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies," gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to "a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order."

The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.

Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency." Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure "continuity of government." This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51.

U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Venice (Los Angeles County) has come up with a new way to expand the domestic "war on terror." Her Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (HR1955), which passed the House by the lopsided vote of 404-6, would set up a commission to "examine and report upon the facts and causes" of so-called violent radicalism and extremist ideology, then make legislative recommendations on combatting it.
According to commentary in the Baltimore Sun, Rep. Harman and her colleagues from both sides of the aisle believe the country faces a native brand of terrorism, and needs a commission with sweeping investigative power to combat it.

A clue as to where Harman's commission might be aiming is the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a law that labels those who "engage in sit-ins, civil disobedience, trespass, or any other crime in the name of animal rights" as terrorists. Other groups in the crosshairs could be anti-abortion protesters, anti-tax agitators, immigration activists, environmentalists, peace demonstrators, Second Amendment rights supporters ... the list goes on and on. According to author Naomi Wolf, the National Counterterrorism Center holds the names of roughly 775,000 "terror suspects" with the number increasing by 20,000 per month.

What could the government be contemplating that leads it to make contingency plans to detain without recourse millions of its own citizens?
The Constitution does not allow the executive to have unchecked power under any circumstances. The people must not allow the president to use the war on terrorism to rule by fear instead of by law.

Lewis Seiler is the president of Voice of the Environment, Inc. Dan Hamburg, a former congressman, is executive director.

<!--/articlecontent -->This article appeared on page B - 7 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Rule by fear or rule by law?
 
#15
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I dont know, but i'm afraid of the cubans! We have to all stand together and stop them.
 
#17
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Yup, they threaten us big time. And dont tell me I dont know what I'm talkin about, I've seen Red Dawn maybe 50 times!
 
#18
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Yup, they threaten us big time. And dont tell me I dont know what I'm talkin about, I've seen Red Dawn maybe 50 times!
Good movie for 1984; but the premise was later shown to be false. Though the Ruskies always had an enormous edge in armored vehicles, I think history later showed the bear to be less capable than he really was. Our kill ratio with the M1 Abrams against the Soviet main battle tanks of the period, the--T-72 and the T-64A--would have been tremendous. Moreover, though we couldn't have know it at the time of the movie due to our overly optimistic estimation of the quality of Soviet aircrew and aircraft, we would have enjoyed complete air superiority over North America. In the modern theater of war, he who has superiority of the air will own the ground as well. . . .
 
#19
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Good movie for 1984; but the premise was later shown to be false. Though the Ruskies always had an enormous edge in armored vehicles, I think history later showed the bear to be less capable than he really was. Our kill ratio with the M1 Abrams against the Soviet main battle tanks of the period, the--T-72 and the T-64A--would have been tremendous. Moreover, though we couldn't have know it at the time of the movie due to our overly optimistic estimation of the quality of Soviet aircrew and aircraft, we would have enjoyed complete air superiority over North America. In the modern theater of war, he who has superiority of the air will own the ground as well. . . .

What people fail to understand is that NORAD watched and continues to watch everything in the sky over North America. There would be no chance of paratroopers being able to land anywhere inside the continental United States without a US response.
 
#20
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I only saw the movie a few times, but I think there was something or other that took out much of the capability of NORAD to allow the paratrooper insertion. Of course, in the movie you also had to swallow the "armored thrust through Canada" bit to get to the good stuff. . . .:hung:+clueless
 
#21
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I only saw the movie a few times, but I think there was something or other that took out much of the capability of NORAD to allow the paratrooper insertion. Of course, in the movie you also had to swallow the "armored thrust through Canada" bit to get to the good stuff. . . .:hung:+clueless

I remember it mentioning tactical nuclear strikes. What they fail to undertstand is that Cheyenne Mountain AFB, where the war room in "Wargames" was located, would, for the most part, survive a direct nuclear attack. Tactical nukes aren't of the strength of ICBM's.

Either way, you have to suspend your disbelief a lot to actually think Red Dawn could happen.

Americans, as a society, are quite heavily armed. It would be quite an undertaking for any army to invade the US and hold territory for any length of time.
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#22
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I remember it mentioning tactical nuclear strikes. What they fail to undertstand is that Cheyenne Mountain AFB, where the war room in "Wargames" was located, would, for the most part, survive a direct nuclear attack. Tactical nukes aren't of the strength of ICBM's.

Either way, you have to suspend your disbelief a lot to actually think Red Dawn could happen.

Americans, as a society, are quite heavily armed. It would be quite an undertaking for any army to invade the US and hold territory for any length of time.
What we need to worry about is the threat to our constitutional government from within, as the Bush administration is seeking to add ,the euphemistically titled "Protect America Act", to the growing list of measures[see post #12 in this thread for some others] that've have been passed, which limit or restrict individual liberties.

Some details on what "Protect America" really means follow in this article by Paul Craig Roberts,hardly a radical source[note his credentials at the end]:

<TABLE width="90%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%">
More Lies From The Bush Fascists
By Paul Craig Roberts

22/02/08 "
ICH" -- -
President George W. Bush and his director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, are telling the American people that an unaccountable executive branch is necessary for their protection. Without the Protect America Act, Bush and McConnell claim, the executive branch will not be able to spy on terrorists, and we will all be blown up. Terrorists can only be stopped, Bush says, if Bush has the right to spy on everyone without any oversight by courts.
The fight over the Protect America Act has everything to do with our safety, only not in the way that Bush and McConnell assert.
Bush says the Democrats have put our country more in danger of an attack by letting the Protect America Act lapse. This claim is nonsense. The 30 year old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act gives the executive branch all the power it needs to spy on terrorists.
The choice between FISA and the Protect America Act has nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, at least not from foreign terrorists. Bush and his brownshirts object to FISA, because the law requires Bush to obtain warrants from a FISA court. Warrants mean that Bush is accountable. Bush and his brownshirts argue that accountability is an infringement on the power of the president.
To escape accountability, the Brownshirt Party came up with the Protect America Act. This act eliminates Bush's accountability to judges and gives the telecom companies immunity from the felonies they committed by acquiescing in Bushs illegal spying.
Bush began violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in October 2001 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10488458/ when he spied on Americans without obtaining warrants from the FISA court.
Bush pressured telecom companies to break the law in order to enable his illegal spying. In court documents, Joseph P. Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest Communications International, states that his firm was approached more than six months before the September 11, 2001, attacks and asked to participate in a spying operation that Qwest believed to be illegal. When Qwest refused, the Bush administration withdrew opportunities for contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Nacchio himself was subsequently indicted for insider trading, sending the message to all telecom companies to cooperate with the Bush regime or else. http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/10/16/former-telcom-ceo-bushs-illegal-spying-began-months-before-911-attacks/
Bush has not been held accountable for the felonies he committed and for leading telecom companies into a life of crime.
As the lawmakers who gave us FISA understood, spying on people without warrants lets a political party collect dirt on its adversaries with which to blackmail them. As Bush illegally spied a long time before word of it got out, blackmail might be the reason the Democrats have ignored their congressional election mandate and have not put a stop to Bushs illegal wars and unconstitutional police state measures.
Perhaps the Democrats have finally caught on that they cannot function as a political party as long as they continue to permit Bush to spy on them. For one reason or another, they have let the Orwellian-named Protect America Act expire.
With the Protect America Act, Bush and his brownshirts are trying to establish the independence of the executive branch from statutory law and the Constitution. The FISA law means that the president is accountable to federal judges for warrants. Bush and the brownshirt Republicans are striving to make the president independent of all accountability. The brownshirts insist that the leader knows best and can tolerate no interference from the law, the judiciary, the Congress, or the Constitution, and certainly not from the American people who, the brownshirts tell us, wont be safe unless Bush is very powerful.
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison saw it differently. The American people cannot be safe unless the president is accountable and under many restraints.
Pray that the Democrats have caught on that they cannot give the executive branch unaccountable powers to spy and still have grounds on which to refuse the executive branch unaccountable powers elsewhere.
Republicans have used the war on terror to create an unaccountable executive. To prevent the presidency from becoming a dictatorial office, it is crucial that Congress cease acquiescing in Bushs grab for powers. As the Founding Fathers warned us, the terrorists we have to fear are the ones in power in Washington.
The al Qaeda terrorists, with whom Bush has been frightening us, have no power to destroy our liberties. Compared to the loss of liberty, a terrorist attack is nothing.
Meanwhile, Bush, the beneficiary of two stolen elections, has urged Zimbabwe to hold a fair election. America gets away with its hypocrisy because no one in our government has enough shame to blush.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan?s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
from:
Protecting America – From the President
 
#23
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Wide awake, Nic. Please tell me who you think is currently threatening the national security of the United States.
You are really absurb. Our borders are a sieve , Al Quaeida threatens us constantly, We have stopped umpteen attacks since 9/11 from terrorists and we have been attacked here at home and abroad numerous times in the last 20 years. My God -- The people in this country. "There is no problem, why are we so worried"

Again, I say, Wake up BOY !!!!
 
#24
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

You are really absurb. Our borders are a sieve , Al Quaeida threatens us constantly, We have stopped umpteen attacks since 9/11 from terrorists and we have been attacked here at home and abroad numerous times in the last 20 years. My God -- The people in this country. "There is no problem, why are we so worried"

Again, I say, Wake up BOY !!!!
Actually, the border with Canada is the sieve. Yet, neither the R's or the D's are doing anything about it.
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#25
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

You are really absurb. Our borders are a sieve , Al Quaeida threatens us constantly, We have stopped umpteen attacks since 9/11 from terrorists and we have been attacked here at home and abroad numerous times in the last 20 years. My God -- The people in this country. "There is no problem, why are we so worried"

Again, I say, Wake up BOY !!!!
Who,what,and where are Al Qaeda exactly?
They're like a non-specific, amorphous blob of fear, that turns up in so many places,and can't be accurately described,found, or kept under control.This always present,lurking, danger is used as the reason for passing Acts and Directives,which have increased executive[presidential]power -in the name of security-while decreasing the individual citizens rights and liberties in many ways.
Many of the attacks that have been stopped since 9/11,were instigated by informants,or government agents who encouraged hapless,or gullible usefull-idiots/fools to indulge their imaginations,and/or fantasies of grandiose terrorist plots,that would never be pulled off.
When there's a 45 billion dollar Homeland Security budget, than a somewhat credible threat has to come up once in awhile even if one needs to be manufactured,or staged in-house.
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#26
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

A real wake up call!
1 reason that the Canadian border has been allowed to be a sieve,could be to allow for easier mobility for US and Canadian troops to cross into each others territories.
An agreement to allow this was signed Febreuary 14th,2008 in Texas,but neither government did much to inform their citizens of the new reality.
What kind of emergency is being envisioned?;and could this be another step toward a rumored North American Union?

<TABLE width="90%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD width="100%">
Canada, U.S. Agree To Use Each Other's Troops In Civil Emergencies

By David Pugliese
Canwest News Service

22/02/08 "Canwest News" -- -- Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.

The U.S. military's Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

The new agreement has been greeted with suspicion by the left wing in Canada and the right wing in the U.S.

The left-leaning Council of Canadians, which is campaigning against what it calls the increasing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries, is raising concerns about the deal.

"It's kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration. We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites," said Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians.

Trew said there is potential for the agreement to militarize civilian responses to emergency incidents. He noted that work is also underway for the two nations to put in place a joint plan to protect common infrastructure such as roadways and oil pipelines.

"Are we going to see (U.S.) troops on our soil for minor potential threats to a pipeline or a road?" he asked.

Trew also noted the U.S. military does not allow its soldiers to operate under foreign command so there are questions about who controls American forces if they are requested for service in Canada. "We don't know the answers because the government doesn't want to even announce the plan," he said.

But Canada Command spokesman Commander David Scanlon said it will be up to civilian authorities in both countries on whether military assistance is requested or even used.

He said the agreement is "benign" and simply sets the stage for military-to-military co-operation if the governments approve.

"But there's no agreement to allow troops to come in," he said. "It facilitates planning and co-ordination between the two militaries. The 'allow' piece is entirely up to the two governments."

If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military, Scanlon added.

News of the deal, and the allegation it was kept secret in Canada, is already making the rounds on left-wing blogs and Internet sites as an example of the dangers of the growing integration between the two militaries.

On right-wing blogs in the U.S. it is being used as evidence of a plan for a "North American union" where foreign troops, not bound by U.S. laws, could be used by the American federal government to override local authorities.

"Co-operative militaries on Home Soil!" notes one website. "The next time your town has a 'national emergency,' don't be surprised if Canadian soldiers respond. And remember - Canadian military aren't bound by posse comitatus."

Posse comitatus is a U.S. law that prohibits the use of federal troops from conducting law enforcement duties on domestic soil unless approved by Congress.

Scanlon said there was no intent to keep the agreement secret on the Canadian side of the border. He noted it will be reported on in the Canadian Forces newspaper next week and that publication will be put on the Internet.

Scanlon said the actual agreement hasn't been released to the public as that requires approval from both nations. That decision has not yet been taken, he added.

? Ottawa Citizen 2008
Copyright ? 2008 CanWest Interactive

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source:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19410.htm
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#27
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...


InfraGard another word for "snitch"?

Here's another extra-governmental group largely unknown to the general public,tied to the FBI and Homeland Security.

It started with a few people and had a modest mission ,but has now grown to to 23,682,with a much broader mandate.

InfraGard is an information trading system,which could be used against those with unpopular ideas/opinions,and as a domestic spying platform.Those who join InfraGard agree to strict secrecy,which is anti-thetical to what a supposedly free and open society is all about.

What kind of threat to American civil society could an outfit like InfraGard,operating in the shadows,develop into?

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="75%" align=center border=0><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR><TR vAlign=top><TD><TABLE borderColor=#000000 cellSpacing=5 cellPadding=9 width="100%" align=center border=1><TBODY><TR><TD><!--startclickprintinclude--><!--clickprintexcludeimages-->[FONT=Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif][FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]InfraGard: An Unhealthy Government Alliance[/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif][FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]by Gary D. Barnett[/FONT][/FONT]​


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[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]There is an organization that is quietly and secretly becoming very large and powerful. The FBI started this partnership or alliance between the federal government and the private sector in 1996 in Cleveland with a few select people. After September 11, 2001, when the general population replaced their rationality with fear, this organization, called InfraGard, continued growing, and with little notice. By 2005 more than 11,000 members were involved, but as of today, according to the InfraGard website, there are 23,682 members, including FBI personnel. At first glance, many would think this alliance healthy and useful in the fight against ?terrorism,? but upon further examination, one has to wonder. [/FONT]



[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]InfraGard began as an alliance between the FBI and local businesses with the objective of investigating cyber threats. Since that time, little resemblance to that design exists. According to InfraGard?s own website, [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]<SMALL>InfraGard is an information sharing and analysis effort serving the interests and combining the knowledge base of a wide range of members. At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector. InfraGard is an association of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement agencies, and participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence [emphasis added] to prevent hostile acts against the United States. </SMALL>[/FONT]​
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Every InfraGard chapter has an FBI special agent coordinator attached to it, and this FBI coordinator works closely with FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. Initially, while under the direction of the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), the focus of InfraGard was cyberinfrastructure protection, but things have gotten much more interesting since September 11, 2001. NIPC then expanded its efforts to include physical as well as cyberthreats to critical infrastructures. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]A progression is occurring, but it gets even more interesting as time passes. In March 2003, NIPC was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security which now has total responsibility for critical infrastructure protection (CIP) matters. Part of the Department of Homeland Security?s mission is to facilitate InfraGard?s continuing role in CIP activities and to further develop InfraGard?s ability to support the FBI?s investigative mission, especially as it pertains to counterterrorism and cyber crimes. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]InfraGard?s stated goal ?is to promote ongoing dialogue and timely communications between members and the FBI.? Pay attention to this next part: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]<SMALL>InfraGard members gain access to information that enables them to protect their assets and in turn give information to government that facilitates its responsibilities to prevent and address terrorism and other crimes. </SMALL>[/FONT]​
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]I take from this statement that there is a distinct tradeoff, a tradeoff not available to the rest of us, whereby InfraGard members are privy to inside information from government to protect themselves and their assets; in return they give the government information it desires. This is done under the auspices of preventing terrorism and other crimes. Of course, as usual, ?other crimes? is not defined, leaving us to guess just what information is being transferred. Since these members of InfraGard are people in positions of power in the ?private? sector, people who have access to a massive amount of private information about the rest of us, just what information are they divulging to government? Remember, they are getting valuable consideration in the form of advance warnings and protection for their lives and assets from government. This does not an honest partnership make; quite the contrary. [/FONT]



[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]In my article ?The New Crime of Thinking,? I criticized H.R.1955 and Senate 1959, which, if passed, will literally criminalize thought against government. As usual, the exact type of thought is left undefined. This vagueness in the thought-crime legislation together with the secrecy of InfraGard makes for a dangerous combination. S.1959, if passed, will be attached to the Homeland Security Act and InfraGard is already a part of the Department of Homeland Security. This is not a coincidence. Under section 899b of S.1959 it is stated: [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]<SMALL>Preventing the potential rise of self radicalized, unaffiliated terrorists domestically cannot be easily accomplished solely through traditional Federal intelligence or law enforcement efforts, and can benefit from the incorporation of State and local efforts. </SMALL>[/FONT]​
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]This appears to be a direct reference to the InfraGard program. Moreover, in section 899c of S.1959 the new commission created after passage is to build upon and bring together the work of other entities, and will establish, as designated under 899d, a ?Center of Excellence.? This center will be university-based, and is to study ?violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism? in the United States. According to InfraGard?s mission statement, it is a group of businesses, academic institutions, state and local law enforcement, and other participants dedicated to sharing information and intelligence. Keep in mind that this new center will be, and InfraGard already is, a part of the Department of Homeland Security. I?m just speculating, of course, but is it possible that InfraGard will be a domestic police and spying arm for the government concerning ?thought crime?? [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]There is a definite and natural link here, and it should give us pause. The definitions concerning thought crime are vague and unclear, left to the interpretation of government only. InfraGard, on the other hand, is an organization cloaked in secrecy. It holds secret meetings with the FBI. It also, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, shares information (what information, we don?t know) with the Secret Service and all government agencies involved with security in the United States. [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]One question on InfraGard?s application for membership is, Which critical infrastructures does your organization belong to? Some choices listed are defense, government, banking and finance, information and telecommunications, postal and shipping, transportation, public health, and energy. At least 350 of the Fortune 500 companies have representation in InfraGard, this according to their website. These representatives have access to most of our private records, including phone and Internet use, health records, and banking and finance records. Considering the recent attempts by President Bush and his administration to protect many telecommunications companies and executives from prosecution for releasing private information, how many of the top telecom executives are members of InfraGard? I, for one, would be very interested in this information, but alas, it is not public information; it is secret. [/FONT]



[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]According to InfraGard?s own policies and procedures, [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]<SMALL>The interests of InfraGard must be protected whenever presented to non-InfraGard members. Independent of the type of presentation, (interview, brief, or published documentation) the InfraGard leadership and the local FBI representative should be made aware of the upcoming presentation. The InfraGard member and the FBI representative should agree on the theme of the presentation. The identity of InfraGard members should be protected at all times. </SMALL>[/FONT]​
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]This means that no one outside InfraGard is to know who is a member unless previous approval has been given. In addition, when interviews with members of the press are forthcoming, all questions should be submitted in writing prior to the interview. The InfraGard leadership and the local FBI representative should review the submitted questions, agree on the character of the answers, and identify the appropriate person to be interviewed prior to the interview. Even demeanor is addressed in this directive, and strict guidelines for behavior are listed. You see, when I said secret, I wasn?t kidding. [/FONT]


[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]The bottom line is this: This is an organization created by the FBI, sanctioning individuals from the private business sector to provide information, sensitive and private information, to government agencies for special concessions. These concessions, or favors, according to an article titled ?The FBI Deputizes Business,? in <CITE>The Progressive</CITE> magazine, include advance warning on a secure portal about any threatening information related to infrastructure disruption or terrorism. InfraGard notes as much on their website by advertising for members ?access to an FBI secure communication network complete with VPN encrypted website, webmail, listservs, message boards and much more.? Also advertised: ?Learn time-sensitive, infrastructure related security information from government sources such as DHS [Department of Homeland Security] and the FBI.? Is this elitist group of InfraGard members a group of Americans superior to the rest of us? Are they truly privileged or just selling their souls for protection and favors? And how involved will they be in watchdog activities, activities sanctioned by the U.S. government? Is this a new kind of conscription by government meant to increase its surveillance capabilities so that it can monitor our lives even more than it does now? [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Legislation, bureaucracies, and government/business partnerships created since 9/11 have severely infringed our freedom. Almost all of the so-called terror-protection legislation has been linked ? and in many cases it is linked ? to increased government oversight of the rest of us. This is evident concerning InfraGard and the Department of Homeland Security. If this program is for the benefit of this country, why are the members? names and their activities kept so secret? Why do some gain protection and early warning while the rest of us do not? And what information and ?intelligence? is being shared? Since these business members are fully protected by government, how far will they go, and when will it be too late to stop this secret assault by this behemoth we call government? [/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]February 23, 2008[/FONT]​
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif]Copyright ? 2008 Future of Freedom Foundation [/FONT]
link:
InfraGard: An Unhealthy Government Alliance by Gary D. Barnett
 
#28
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

INFRAGARD=RAT OUT YOUR NEIGHBORS

DARE=RAT OUT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

TREASON=RAT OUT THE FEDERAL GOVENMENT
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#29
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

INFRAGARD=RAT OUT YOUR NEIGHBORS

DARE=RAT OUT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

TREASON=RAT OUT THE FEDERAL GOVENMENT
diggin,
Is the DARE you're referring to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program,which puts police in 3 out of 4 school district classrooms?
DARE's a 2 billion dollar failed in it's stated mission,but someone's making money on it,and get government more involved in citizens personal business program.
Does DARE encourage students to provide information to police,while presenting itself as solely educational?
Ratting out the government might usually be TREASON,but sometimes the whistle needs to be blown,and someting needs to be disclosed for the public good[eg. The Pentagon Papers,or the 6 nukes that were flown over the US in 2007],then it's truly PATRIOTIC to do so.

Here's some info on DARE:
Ineffective DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program Remains Popular

Virtually everyone loves the Drug Abuse Resistance Education or DARE program. That is, except scientific researchers who consistently find that that it is completely ineffective. In fact not a single published report has ever found DARE to be effective and some have even found it to be
counterproductive. That is, students who took the program later consumed more alcohol and did more drugs than did those who didn?t take the program.

Given its complete failure and expensive price tag (costing perhaps two billion dollars each year), why would anyone not be opposed to the boondoggle? About three of every four school districts in the U.S. uses the DARE program. Perhaps its popularity represents the victory of hope over reality. In any case:

to read more:
Ineffective DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program Remains Popular
 
#30
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Hey Scrim, I'm on your side, my slant on this mess is to return internal security to the states, let the states decide which programs are needed.

The DARE program teaches the wrong message, the message is........
TURN IN ANYONE YOU SUSPECT OF USING DRUGS, this includes your own family, another glaring example of the using the citizens of this country to spy on each other (once your busted, regardless if you are convicted, you are subject to further investigation), thus giving those in power more leverage.

My thinking is that all this internal spying in the name of national security is hogwash, the people of this country armed to the teeth, anyone would have to be out of their mind to launch a ground attack here, its claimed that on opening day of big game hunting season in Pennsylvania there is amassed the largest single armed force on the planet. That being said, if BIG BROTHER needs to spy on those he feels are a threat, he can get a judges order!

Besides, who was it that started letting in the "BAD GUYS" in the first place, and who was it that started the hostility between them and us?
Most intelligent people know that the support of Israel was/is the root issue here. Allowing Israel to function as a rouge state for fifty plus years
has escalated the problem, and now, even if Israel was somehow reigned in, the damage is done. Israel's stance has always been very clear, one Jewish life is worth a hundred Arab lives, to this end the hostilities will continue.
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#31
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...


Add the "Reynard"project,to the US governments sweeping attempt to achieve total information awareness,-primarily through the combination of legislation,social engineering,mass media persuasion/brainwashing,and technology-on what everbody's doing and why ,any and everywhere,all the time.

What is the ultimate purpose of this contol grid?

U.S. Spies Want to Find Terrorists in World of Warcraft
By Ryan Singel
February 22, 2008 | 2:15:43 PMCategories: Spooks Gone Wild

Be careful who you frag. Having eliminated all terrorism in the real world, the U.S. intelligence community is working to develop software that will detect violent extremists infiltrating World of Warcraft and other massive multiplayer games, according to a data-mining report from the Director of National Intelligence.


The Reynard project will begin by profiling online gaming behavior, then potentially move on to its ultimate goal of "automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world."

  • The cultural and behavioral norms of virtual worlds and gaming are generally unstudied. Therefore, Reynard will seek to identify the emerging social, behavioral and cultural norms in virtual worlds and gaming environments. The project would then apply the lessons learned to determine the feasibility of automatically detecting suspicious behavior and actions in the virtual world.
  • If it shows early promise, this small seedling effort may increase its scope to a full project.
Reynard will conduct unclassified research in a public virtual world environment. The research will use publicly available data and will begin with observational studies to establish baseline normative behaviors.
The publicly available report -- which was mandated by Congress following earlier concerns over data-mining programs -- also mentions several other data-mining initiatives. These include:
  • Video Analysis and Content Extraction - software to automatically identify faces, events and objects in video
  • Tangram - A system that wants to create surveillance and threat warning system that evaluates known threats and finds unknown threats to issue warnings ahead of an attack
  • Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination - This tool is reminiscent of the supposedly-defunct Total Information Awareness program. It seeks to access disparate databases to find patterns of known bad behavior. The program plans to work with domestic law enforcement and Homeland Security.
The report gives no indication why the find-a-terrorist cell in Sims project is called Reynard, though that is a traditional trickster figure in literature.
Photo: CyberExtruder
Via Secrecy News. Full unclassified DNI data mining report (.pdf)
link:
U.S. Spies Want to Find Terrorists in World of Warcraft | Threat Level from Wired.com
 
#32
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Can somebody explain to me why we are looking for terrorists in virtual reality??
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#34
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Can somebody explain to me why we are looking for terrorists in virtual reality??
4625,
Maybe that's where Osama bin Laden's been hiding out all these years,LOL,he,and some other alleged terror threats, don't seem to exist in the real physical world anymore anyway.
and,or
It could be payback,and the start of cyber-snooping,for the hack done on John Poindexter too,LOL.

As this excerpt
from diggin'4gold's linked article tells:

Keeping Track of John Poindexter

Paul Boutin
12.14.02 | 2:00 AM
<DROPLINK></DROPLINK>The head of the government's Total Information Awareness project, which aims to root out potential terrorists by aggregating credit-card, travel, medical, school and other records of everyone in the United States, has himself become a target of personal data profiling.

Online pranksters, taking their lead from a San Francisco journalist, are publishing John Poindexter's home phone number, photos of his house and other personal information to protest the TIA program.

Matt Smith, a columnist for <CITE>SF Weekly,</CITE> printed the material -- which he says is all publicly available -- in a recent column: "Optimistically, I dialed John and Linda Poindexter's number -- (301) 424-6613 -- at their home at 10 Barrington Fare in Rockville, Md., hoping the good admiral and excused criminal might be able to offer some insight," Smith wrote.

"Why, for example, is their $269,700 Rockville, Md., house covered with artificial siding, according to Maryland tax records? Shouldn't a Reagan conspirator be able to afford repainting every seven years? Is the Donald Douglas Poindexter listed in Maryland sex-offender records any relation to the good admiral? What do Tom Maxwell, at 8 Barrington Fare, and James Galvin, at 12 Barrington Fare, think of their spooky neighbor?"

Smith said he wrote the column to demonstrate the sense of violation he felt over his personal records being profiled by secretive government agencies.
"I needed to call Poindexter anyway, and it seemed like a worthy concept that if he's going to be compiling data that most certainly will leak around to other departments and get used, one way to get readers to think about it was to turn that around," Smith said.

What Smith didn't realize was that Poindexter's phone number and other information would end up on more than 100 Web pages a week later as others took up the cause.

Phone-phreaking hackers supplied details on the Verizon switch serving the admiral's home. The popular Cryptome privacy-issues website posted satellite photos of the house.
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#35
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Another day another list,like the Treasury Department "blacklist" which comes out of the TD's "Office of Foreign Asset Control",or OFAC,and has 6,400 names on it already.Many routine financial transactions result in a person being checked against this list.
If this was an isolated case of government information gathering and managing,it might not matter that much,but when added to the growing arsenal of acts,directives,laws,lists etc., it's troubling to think of the wide array of legal and other trouble,which could be brought to bear, in the near-future, on anyone that deviates too far from a certain standard citizen profile.

</NYT_KICKER>
<NYT_HEADLINE type=" " version="1.0">A Wave of the Watch List, and Speech Disappears </NYT_HEADLINE>

By ADAM LIPTAK
</NYT_BYLINE>Published: March 4, 2008

<NYT_TEXT>Steve Marshall is an English travel agent. He lives in Spain, and he sells trips to Europeans who want to go to sunny places, including Cuba. In October, about 80 of his Web sites stopped working, thanks to the United States government.

The sites, in English, French and Spanish, had been online since 1998.

Cuban history and culture. Still others ? www.ciaocuba.com and www.bonjourcuba.com ? were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists.

?I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all,? Mr. Marshall said on the phone from the Canary Islands. ?We thought it was a technical problem.?

It turned out, though, that Mr. Marshall?s Web sites had been put on a Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his American domain name registrar, eNom Inc., had disabled them. Mr. Marshall said eNom told him it did so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company, based in Bellevue, Wash., says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog.

Either way, there is no dispute that eNom shut down Mr. Marshall?s sites without notifying him and has refused to release the domain names to him. In effect, Mr. Marshall said, eNom has taken his property and interfered with his business. He has slowly rebuilt his Web business over the last several months, and now many of the same sites operate with the suffix .net rather than .com, through a European registrar. His servers, he said, have been in the Bahamas all along.

Mr. Marshall said he did not understand ?how Web sites owned by a British national operating via a Spanish travel agency can be affected by U.S. law.? Worse, he said, ?these days not even a judge is required for the U.S. government to censor online materials.?

A Treasury spokesman, John Rankin, referred a caller to a press release issued in December 2004, almost three years before eNom acted. It said Mr. Marshall?s company had helped Americans evade restrictions on travel to Cuba and was ?a generator of resources that the Cuban regime uses to oppress its people.? It added that American companies must not only stop doing business with the company but also freeze its assets, meaning that eNom did exactly what it was legally required to do.

Mr. Marshall said he was uninterested in American tourists. ?They can?t go anyway,? he said.

Peter L. Fitzgerald, a law professor at Stetson University in Florida who has studied the blacklist ? which the Treasury calls a list of ?specially designated nationals? ? said its operation was quite mysterious. ?There really is no explanation or standard,? he said, ?for why someone gets on the list.?
Susan Crawford, a visiting law professor at Yale and a leading authority on Internet law, said the fact that many large domain name registrars are based in the United States gives the Treasury?s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, control ?over a great deal of speech ? none of which may be actually hosted in the U.S., about the U.S. or conflicting with any U.S. rights.?
?OFAC apparently has the power to order that this speech disappear,? Professor Crawford said.

The law under which the Treasury Department is acting has an exemption, known as the Berman Amendment, which seeks to protect ?information or informational materials.? Mr. Marshall?s Web sites, though ultimately commercial, would seem to qualify, and it is not clear why they appear on the list. Unlike Americans, who face significant restrictions on travel to Cuba, Europeans are free to go there, and many do. Charles S. Sims, a lawyer with Proskauer Rose in New York, said the Treasury Department might have gone too far in Mr. Marshall?s case.

?The U.S can certainly criminalize the expenditure of money by U.S. citizens in Cuba,? Mr. Sims said, ?but it doesn?t properly have any jurisdiction over foreign sites that are not targeted at the U.S. and which are lawful under foreign law.?

Mr. Rankin, the Treasury spokesman, said Mr. Marshall was free to ask for a review of his case. ?If they want to be taken off the list,? Mr. Rankin said, ?they should contact us to make their case.?

That is a problematic system, Professor Fitzgerald said. ?The way to get off the list,? he said, ?is to go back to the same bureaucrat who put you on.?
Last March, the Lawyers? Committee for Civil Rights issued a disturbing report on the OFAC list. Its subtitle: ?How a Treasury Department Terrorist Watch List Ensnares Everyday Consumers.?

The report, by Shirin Sinnar, said that there were 6,400 names on the list and that, like no-fly lists at airports, it gave rise to endless and serious problems of mistaken identity.

?Financial institutions, credit bureaus, charities, car dealerships, health insurers, landlords and employers,? the report said, ?are now checking names against the list before they open an account, close a sale, rent an apartment or offer a job.?

But Mr. Marshall?s case does not appear to be one of mistaken identity. The government quite specifically intended to interfere with his business.
That, Professor Crawford said, is a scandal. ?The way we communicate these days is through domain names, and the Treasury Department should not be interfering with domain names just as it does not interfere with telecommunications lines.?

Curiously, the Treasury Department has not shut down all of Mr. Marshall?s .com sites. You can still find, for now, www.cuba<240>-guantanamo.com.


<NYT_AUTHOR_ID>from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/04/u...ssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin
 

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What you contemplate you imitate
#36
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

If the general public's not concerned with ever increasing government powers to snoop into their business,it makes the steady expansion of information gathering and warehousing more likely.Security doesn't have to be gained at the expense of liberty.
The danger's a surveillance tipping point will be reached,where the line of good intentions gets crossed, and masses of compiled data are then regularly put to evil uses.<!-- Begin Article Main -->

<!-- Begin Tout1 -->
<!--sridhar@MT added the following code -->The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) in Virginia. the NCTC has elements of the FBI and CIA where terrorism-related information is shared on a real-time basis.
Christopher Morris / VII for TIME
<!---end of 10 qns code -->


Do Americans Care About Big Brother?
Friday, Mar. 14, 2008 By MASSIMO CALABRESI/WASHINGTON

Pity America's poor civil libertarians. In recent weeks, the papers have been full of stories about the warehousing of information on Americans by the National Security Agency, the interception of financial information by the CIA, the stripping of authority from a civilian intelligence oversight board by the White House, and the compilation of suspicious activity reports from banks by the Treasury Department. On Thursday[3/13/2008], Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine released a report documenting continuing misuse of Patriot Act powers by the FBI. And to judge from the reaction in the country, nobody cares.

A quick tally of the record of civil liberties erosion in the
United States since 9/11 suggests that the majority of Americans are ready to trade diminished privacy, and protection from search and seizure, in exchange for the promise of increased protection of their physical security. Polling consistently supports that conclusion, and Congress has largely behaved accordingly, granting increased leeway to law enforcement and the intelligence community to spy and collect data on Americans. Even when the White House, the FBI or the intelligence agencies have acted outside of laws protecting those rights ? such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act ? the public has by and large shrugged and, through their elected representatives, suggested changing the laws to accommodate activities that may be in breach of them.

Civil libertarians are in a state of despair. "People don't realize how damaging it is to a democratic society to allow the government to warehouse information about innocent Americans," says Mike German, national security counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Or do they? In all the examples of diminished civil liberties, there are few, if any, where the motivating factor was something other than law and order or national security. There are no scandalous examples of the White House using the Patriot Act powers for political purposes or of individual agents using them for personal gain. The Justice IG report released Thursday, for example, examined some 50,000 National Security Letters issued in 2006 to see whether the FBI misused that specialized kind of warrantless subpoena. The IG found some continuing abuse of the power, but blamed it for the most part on sloppiness and bad management, not nefarious intent. In a press release accompanying the report, Fine said, "The FBI and Department of Justice have shown a commitment to addressing these problems."

There may, nonetheless, be reasons to feel wary of the civil liberties vs. security trade-off into which Americans have bought. If the misuse documented in the Justice IG report stems from incompetence, Americans may not be getting the security they bargain for in sacrificing their civil liberties. It's also possible the Justice IG may yet find among the abused Patriot Act powers examples of an FBI agent stalking his girlfriend or doing a favor for a political operative friend. Fine is still preparing a report on the illegal use of "exigent letters" in unauthorized demands for records from business.

For now, however, civil libertarians will have to continue to argue that the danger lies not in how the government's expanded powers are being used now, but how they might be used in the future. "The government can collect information about the average citizen without any concern for their rights, but the citizen can't find out what the government is doing, and that's inimical to government of we the people," says the ACLU's German. So far, that argument hasn't convinced the people.

link:
Do Americans Care About Big Brother? - TIME
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#37
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

In the future while you're watching this:

YouTube - Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me

will somebody be looking back at you too?

Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You?
Written by Chris Albrecht
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 11:42 AM PT

If you have some tinfoil handy, now might be a good time to fashion a hat. At the Digital Living Room conference today, Gerard Kunkel, Comcast?s senior VP of user experience, told me the cable company is experimenting with different camera technologies built into devices so it can know who?s in your living room.
The idea being that if you turn on your cable box, it recognizes you and pulls up shows already in your profile or makes recommendations. If parents are watching TV with their children, for example, parental controls could appear to block certain content from appearing on the screen. Kunkel also said this type of monitoring is the ?holy grail? because it could help serve up specifically tailored ads. Yikes.

Kunkel said the system wouldn?t be based on facial recognition, so there wouldn?t be a picture of you on file (we hope). Instead, it would distinguish between different members of your household by recognizing body forms. He stressed that the system is still in the experimental phase, that there hasn?t been consumer testing, and that any rollout ?must add value? to the viewing experience beyond serving ads.
Perhaps I?ve seen Enemy of the State too many times, or perhaps I?m just naive about the depths to which Comcast currently tracks my every move. I can?t trust Comcast with BitTorrent, so why should I trust them with my must-be-kept-secret, DVR-clogging addiction to Keeping Up with the Kardashians?
Kunkel also spoke on camera with me about fixing bad Comcast user experiences, the ongoing BitTorrent battle and VOD. But he mostly towed the corporate line on these issues (the monitoring your living room came up after my camera was put away).
To see the interview video,and read comments on this story,go to:
Comcast Cameras to Start Watching You? ? NewTeeVee
 

scrimmage

What you contemplate you imitate
#38
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

Another metric to keep tabs on people called "Writeprint", might cause you to be singled out as someone to keep watch on if what you're saying is a little too different.​





Do You Write Like a Terrorist?

By Noah Shachtman
September 24, 2007 | 12:00:00 PMCategories: Info War
You might think your anonymous online rants are oh-so-clever. But they'll give you away, too. A federally-funded artificial intelligence lab is figuring out how to track people over the Internet, based on how they write.



The University of Arizona's ultra-ambitious "Dark Web" project "aims to systematically collect and analyze all terrorist-generated content on the Web," the National Science Foundation notes. And that analysis, according to the Arizona Star, includes a program which "identif[ies] and track individual authors by their writing styles."
That component, called Writeprint, helps combat the Web's anonymity by studying thousands of lingual, structural and semantic features in online postings. With 95 percent certainty, it can attribute multiple postings to a single author.
From there, Dark Web has the ability to track a single person over time as his views become radicalized.


The project analyzes which types of individuals might be more susceptible to recruitment by extremist groups, and which messages or rhetoric are more effective in radicalizing people.


The research comes with risks, according to the NSF.
Dark Web also uses complex tracking software called Web spiders to search discussion threads and other content to find the corners of the Internet where terrorist activities are taking place. But according to [Arizona's] Hsinchun Chen, sometimes the terrorists fight back.
"They can put booby-traps in their Web forums," Chen explains, "and the spider can bring back viruses to our machines." This online cat-and-mouse game means Dark Web must be constantly vigilant against these and other counter-measures deployed by the terrorists.
The Arizona group has been at this sort of research for a while, now -- sifting through more than 900,000 Islamist web pages. Here's a report Xeni filed last year for NPR on the Dark Web project. And here's a meaty blog post from Dancho Danchev on related projects.




Strangely, the Arizona AI lab's website seems to be down right now. But, thanks to the magic of Google, you can read a whole bunch of the the group's "Dark Web" research papers here. As the Star notes:
In one study, Chen found terrorist Web sites and U.S. government sites are equally sophisticated on the technical level. But terrorist Web sites are about 10 times richer in multi-media content like pictures and video and also about 10 times more effective in creating a community. Terrorist sites are quick to provide answers and instruction when their users ask questions, he said.


from:​

 
#39
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

An update from Bruce Schneier, someone who knows real security. . .
_______________________________________________

Schneier on Security

A blog covering security and security technology.
<!-- /robots --> Beyond Security Theater

[I was asked to write this essay for the New Internationalist (n. 427, November 2009, pp. 10–13). It's nothing I haven't said before, but I'm pleased with how this essay came together.]
Terrorism is rare, far rarer than many people think. It's rare because very few people want to commit acts of terrorism, and executing a terrorist plot is much harder than television makes it appear. The best defenses against terrorism are largely invisible: investigation, intelligence, and emergency response. But even these are less effective at keeping us safe than our social and political policies, both at home and abroad. However, our elected leaders don't think this way: they are far more likely to implement security theater against movie-plot threats.
A movie-plot threat is an overly specific attack scenario. Whether it's terrorists with crop dusters, terrorists contaminating the milk supply, or terrorists attacking the Olympics, specific stories affect our emotions more intensely than mere data does. Stories are what we fear. It's not just hypothetical stories: terrorists flying planes into buildings, terrorists with bombs in their shoes or in their water bottles, and terrorists with guns and bombs waging a co-ordinated attack against a city are even scarier movie-plot threats because they actually happened.
Security theater refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security. An example: the photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No-one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards. Airport-security examples include the National Guard troops stationed at US airports in the months after 9/11 -- their guns had no bullets. The US colour-coded system of threat levels, the pervasive harassment of photographers, and the metal detectors that are increasingly common in hotels and office buildings since the Mumbai terrorist attacks, are additional examples.
To be sure, reasonable arguments can be made that some terrorist targets are more attractive than others: aeroplanes because a small bomb can result in the death of everyone aboard, monuments because of their national significance, national events because of television coverage, and transportation because of the numbers of people who commute daily. But there are literally millions of potential targets in any large country (there are five million commercial buildings alone in the US), and hundreds of potential terrorist tactics; it's impossible to defend every place against everything, and it's impossible to predict which tactic and target terrorists will try next.
Feeling and Reality
Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders. When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense.
Often, this "something" is directly related to the details of a recent event: we confiscate liquids, screen shoes, and ban box cutters on airplanes. But it's not the target and tactics of the last attack that are important, but the next attack. These measures are only effective if we happen to guess what the next terrorists are planning. If we spend billions defending our rail systems, and the terrorists bomb a shopping mall instead, we've wasted our money. If we concentrate airport security on screening shoes and confiscating liquids, and the terrorists hide explosives in their brassieres and use solids, we've wasted our money. Terrorists don't care what they blow up and it shouldn't be our goal merely to force the terrorists to make a minor change in their tactics or targets.
Our penchant for movie plots blinds us to the broader threats. And security theater consumes resources that could better be spent elsewhere.
Any terrorist attack is a series of events: something like planning, recruiting, funding, practising, executing, aftermath. Our most effective defenses are at the beginning and end of that process -- intelligence, investigation, and emergency response -- and least effective when they require us to guess the plot correctly. By intelligence and investigation, I don't mean the broad data-mining or eavesdropping systems that have been proposed and in some cases implemented -- those are also movie-plot stories without much basis in actual effectiveness -- but instead the traditional "follow the evidence" type of investigation that has worked for decades.
Unfortunately for politicians, the security measures that work are largely invisible. Such measures include enhancing the intelligence-gathering abilities of the secret services, hiring cultural experts and Arabic translators, building bridges with Islamic communities both nationally and internationally, funding police capabilities -- both investigative arms to prevent terrorist attacks, and emergency communications systems for after attacks occur -- and arresting terrorist plotters without media fanfare. They do not include expansive new police or spying laws. Our police don't need any new laws to deal with terrorism; rather, they need apolitical funding. These security measures don't make good television, and they don't help, come re-election time. But they work, addressing the reality of security instead of the feeling.
The arrest of the "liquid bombers" in London is an example: they were caught through old-fashioned intelligence and police work. Their choice of target (airplanes) and tactic (liquid explosives) didn't matter; they would have been arrested regardless.
But even as we do all of this we cannot neglect the feeling of security, because it's how we collectively overcome the psychological damage that terrorism causes. It's not security theater we need, it's direct appeals to our feelings. The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we -- and our leaders -- need to react with indomitability.
Refuse to Be Terrorized
By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant "bring 'em on" rhetoric. There's a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats.
We should treat terrorists like common criminals and give them all the benefits of true and open justice -- not merely because it demonstrates our indomitability, but because it makes us all safer. Once a society starts circumventing its own laws, the risks to its future stability are much greater than terrorism.
Supporting real security even though it's invisible, and demonstrating indomitability even though fear is more politically expedient, requires real courage. Demagoguery is easy. What we need is leaders willing both to do what's right and to speak the truth.
Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage. The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses, the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies, the more we're doing the terrorists' job for them.
We saw some of this in the Londoners' reaction to the 2005 transport bombings. Among the political and media hype and fearmongering, there was a thread of firm resolve. People didn't fall victim to fear. They rode the trains and buses the next day and continued their lives. Terrorism's goal isn't murder; terrorism attacks the mind, using victims as a prop. By refusing to be terrorized, we deny the terrorists their primary weapon: our own fear.
Today, we can project indomitability by rolling back all the fear-based post-9/11 security measures. Our leaders have lost credibility; getting it back requires a decrease in hyperbole. Ditch the invasive mass surveillance systems and new police state-like powers. Return airport security to pre-9/11 levels. Remove swagger from our foreign policies. Show the world that our legal system is up to the challenge of terrorism. Stop telling people to report all suspicious activity; it does little but make us suspicious of each other, increasing both fear and helplessness.
Terrorism has always been rare, and for all we've heard about 9/11 changing the world, it's still rare. Even 9/11 failed to kill as many people as automobiles do in the US every single month. But there's a pervasive myth that terrorism is easy. It's easy to imagine terrorist plots, both large-scale "poison the food supply" and small-scale "10 guys with guns and cars." Movies and television bolster this myth, so many people are surprised that there have been so few attacks in Western cities since 9/11. Certainly intelligence and investigation successes have made it harder, but mostly it's because terrorist attacks are actually hard. It's hard to find willing recruits, to co-ordinate plans, and to execute those plans -- and it's easy to make mistakes.
Counterterrorism is also hard, especially when we're psychologically prone to muck it up. Since 9/11, we've embarked on strategies of defending specific targets against specific tactics, overreacting to every terrorist video, stoking fear, demonizing ethnic groups, and treating the terrorists as if they were legitimate military opponents who could actually destroy a country or a way of life -- all of this plays into the hands of terrorists. We'd do much better by leveraging the inherent strengths of our modern democracies and the natural advantages we have over the terrorists: our adaptability and survivability, our international network of laws and law enforcement, and the freedoms and liberties that make our society so enviable. The way we live is open enough to make terrorists rare; we are observant enough to prevent most of the terrorist plots that exist, and indomitable enough to survive the even fewer terrorist plots that actually succeed. We don't need to pretend otherwise.


http://www.schneier.com/blog/
 
#40
Re: 32% Say U.S. Legal System Worries Too Much About National Security...

I like the theme of "Do You Write Like a Terrorist?" in tandem with "Is Big Brother Watching You On the Web?"

I and a few of my civic activism colleagues back in the 2001-4 range had a common signature block which we would use on a lot of our intra-group emails (which originated from locations across the USA and Canada).

I no longer have it, but here's a paraphrase:

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Terrrorists, Allah, fertilizer, gunpowder, shrapnel, Iran, tanks, George Bush, Timothy McVeigh, suicide, Koran, Oklahoma City, Janet Reno, Ruby Ridge, Pearl Harbor, illegal immigrants, ryder trucks, World Trade Center, Iraq, Al Queda, Indonesia, explosion, bullets, bodies, United Airlines, stop reading my personal fucking email you fascist FBI Fucks.
 
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