California’s governor Brown vetoes drone warrant bill

September 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

Up for Re’election this year…. Voters don’t care.

(Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have placed strict regulations on how law enforcement and other government agencies can use drones, his office said on Sunday.

The measure, which passed the state’s Senate and Assembly with broad support, would have required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using an unmanned aircraft, or drone, except in emergencies such as a fire or a hostage-taking.

“There are undoubtedly circumstances where a warrant is appropriate. The bill’s exceptions, however, appear to be too narrow,” Brown said in his veto message.

Brown said the bill could have imposed standards on law enforcement beyond what is required by both the U.S. and California Constitutions.

Under the measure, other public agencies would have been allowed to use drones, or contract for their use, to achieve their “core mission,’ so long as that mission was not to gather criminal intelligence.

The law would have also required that data, video or photos collected from the drones be destroyed by public agencies within a year, except in certain cases.

Supporters of the bill said it would protect civil and privacy rights of state residents and prevent warrantless surveillance.

“The era of govt. surveillance continues,” the bill’s author, Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, tweeted on Sunday evening. He expressed disappointment over the veto.

The measure faced opposition from law enforcement groups, including the state’s police chiefs and sheriff’s associations, as well as the Los Angeles District Attorney.

Idaho and Virginia have also passed laws restricting uses of pilotless aircraft because of privacy concerns.

The Federal Aviation Administration, under growing pressure to set rules that would permit broader drone use, on Thursday loosened restrictions by granting six television and movie production companies permission to use the aircraft to shoot scenes on closed sets.

Supreme Court’s Sotomayor warns of Drones: ““frightening” changes in surveillance technology”

September 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

Americans should be more concerned about their privacy being invaded by the spread of drones, Justice Sonia Sotomayor (Translated: Grove Boss) told an Oklahoma City audience on Thursday.

Speaking before a group of faculty members and students at Oklahoma City University’s law school on Sept. 11, Justice Sotomayor said “frightening” changes in surveillance technology should encourage citizens to take a more active role in the privacy debate. She said she’s particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

Said Justice Sotomayor:

There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that’s happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don’t like the fact that someone I don’t know…can pick up, if they’re a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property.

Technological advances make it possible for devices to “listen to your conversations from miles away and through your walls,” Justice Sotomayor said. “We are in that brave new world, and we are capable of being in that Orwellian world, too.”

Justice Sotomayor, the first Hispanic justice, also talked about diversity on the high court bench, saying there was still room for improvement in areas beyond race, ethnicity and gender.

“We don’t have one criminal defense lawyer on our court,” she said, saying the high court also lacked justices with big law experience or who come from solo practices. “There’s something not good about that.”

“The president should be paying attention to that broader diversity question,” she said,according to a report in the Oklahoman.

Justice Sotomayor, whose visit to the school coincided with 9/11 ceremonies, also spoke about lessons that Americans could draw from the 2001 terror attacks.

“I learned what being a united America was like,” the native New Yorker said, according to the Oklahoman. “I watched people see past their differences and find their commonality.”

Associated Press

 

Justice Sotomayor: Americans Should be Alarmed by Spread of Drones...Privacy being invaded…

 

Pilot spots drone flying over Nashville airport...


Mysterious Men Dropping From Helicopters In CA To Chop Down Pot Plants...


REVEALED: Feds threatened massive fine against YAHOO; Demanded user data...

Surveillance fight…

Documents Unsealed…

Police to citizens: Be careful what you tweet

August 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

YES… COPS MONITOR YOU! 

SEATTLE (AP) — Police in Washington state are asking the public to stop tweeting during shootings and manhunts to avoid accidentally telling the bad guys what officers are doing.

The “TweetSmart” campaign began in late July by a coalition of nine agencies, including the Washington state patrol and the Seattle police, and aims to raise awareness about social media’s potential impact on law enforcement.

Some have called the effort a step that could lead to censorship; others dismissed it as silly. Police, however, say it’s just a reminder at a time when cell phones and social networks can hasten the lightning-quick spread of information.

A social media expert at the International Association of Chiefs of Police said she’s unaware of similar awareness campaigns elsewhere but the problem that prompted the outreach is growing.

“All members of the public may not understand the implications of tweeting out a picture of SWAT team activity,” said Nancy Korb, who oversees the Alexandria, Virginia, organization’s Center for Social Media.

“It’s a real safety issue, not only for officers but anyone in the vicinity,” Korb said.

Korb said she is not aware of any social media post that has led to the injury of a police officer, but she said there have been a few close calls. Other times, tweets have interfered with investigations.

In those cases, police tweet back and ask people to back off.

Korb said citizen journalists generally respond well when the reasons are explained.

“It’s not that they don’t want the public to share information,” she said. “It’s the timing of it.”

Social media speculation and reports challenged Boston police during the search for the marathon bombers.

FILE - In this Tuesday, June 10, 2014, file photo, police direct parents to waiting students arriving by bus at a shopping center parking lot in Wood Village, Ore., after a shooting at Reynolds High School, in nearby Troutdale.

AP Photo: Troy Wayrynen, File

FILE – In this Tuesday, June 10, 2014, file photo, police direct parents to waiting students arriving by bus at a shopping center parking lot in Wood Village, Ore., after a shooting at Reynolds High School, in nearby Troutdale.

Two recent incidents led the Washington State Patrol to organize the “TweetSmart” campaign: the search for a gunman in Canada after three officers were killed and a shooting at a high school near Portland, Oregon.

“I saw it personally as far back as Lakewood,” said State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins, referring to social media traffic during the manhunt for a man wanted for killing four officers in Washington state in 2009.

At the time, people speculated online about why police were combing a Seattle park while a search was on for the man, Calkins said.

Calkins said police agencies can do their own preventative maintenance with social media by getting information out there when crime is happening.

“We have to respond with a smart phone almost as fast as we respond with a gun,” said Calkins, who along with Korb commended the Seattle Police Department for its use of social media.

Department spokesman Sean Whitcomb said they use social media to engage the public and believe that getting public safety information out quickly will help minimize rumors and speculation.

“We recognize there’s a responsibility to use every tool at our disposal to keep the public safe,” Whitcomb said.

Seattle photographer Michael Holden said he saw a direct path between asking people not to share crime photos and eventually forbidding them to take them.

Holden said citizens have good reasons to take pictures of police and he does not worry about criminals using social media to find out what law enforcement is doing.

“I think the criminals are probably having more pressing concerns than checking Twitter,” he said.

Perry Merriel, a trucker from Ephrata, Washington, said he’s not sure why the public needs a reminder to follow common sense on social media. “They are putting their lives on the line for you,” he said.

“It should go without saying: don’t advertise what they’re doing,” he said.

National Guard Will Have Authority to Make Arrests

July 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

WESLACO – National Guard troops will have the authority to make arrests once they are deployed to the Rio Grande Valley.

Gov. Rick Perry announced last week he was sending up to 1,000 troops to help secure the border.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS on Monday asked the Texas military forces if the troops will make arrests. Officials responded with a short e-mail.

“As guardsmen, our troops can be activated with a law enforcement mission if directed by the governor to do so,” the statement said.

Full Article

Judge Upholds Detroit Mother’s Right to Protect her Daughter from Forced Drugging

July 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

Journalist Kelly O’Meara will join us on today’s edition of the Jack Blood Show (7.22.14) to break this down!

Despite prosecutors’ second attempt this year to bring criminal charges against Detroit mother Maryanne Godboldo, who underwent a 10 hour stand-off with police for refusing to administer a powerful antipsychotic drug to her daughter, Wayne County District Judge Gregory Bill has become the second judge this year to dismiss the charges.

Detroit, MI (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

 

On July 11th, 2014, there was loud applause in the court when Wayne County District Judge, Gregory Bill, reaffirmed the dismissal of criminal charges against Detroit mother, Maryanne Godboldo for a second time this year. [Case No. 11057748, 36 District Court, Detroit, Michigan, filed 03/27/2011] [1] The mental health watchdog, Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), applauds Judge Bill in upholding Maryanne’s right to protect her daughter from forced psychiatric drugging.

In March 2011, the Maryanne Godboldo casegarnered international headlines when images of a SWAT team, tanks and a helicopter, showed up at the home of a Detroit mother after she refused to administer an antipsychotic drug to her daughter.[2] The seizure of the then 13-year old caused a firestorm of press and public outcry.[3] By December 11th, 2011, nine months and numerous court hearings later, Godboldo was acquitted of all charges, with the judge calling the court order that was used by Child Protective Services (CPS) to try to gain entry into the home invalid. [4]

Maryanne’s story began in 2011 when she chose to fight for the medical well-being of her 13-year old daughter, Ariana, refusing to give the child the dangerous, and potentially lethal, antipsychotic drug Risperdal.[5] What ensued from there is as follows:

    • With a “rubber stamped” court order in hand, CPS enlisted the services of Detroit’s SWAT team to go to the Godboldo home and remove the child from her mother.[6]

 

 

    • After a 10-hour standoff with police, and assurances that the teenager would not be removed to a psychiatric facility or forcibly drugged, Godboldo agreed to end the standoff. Both assurances were not upheld and Ariana was taken to a psychiatric facility where the child was drugged against her mother’s will.[7]

 

 

    • It took days for Godboldo’s attorneys to locate the child in a psychiatric facility. Once they found Ariana, they discovered that the teenager’s prosthetic leg had been taken from her and she had been forcibly given psychiatric drugs.[8]

 

 

    • After nearly two months of legal hearings, Ariana was released into the custody of her aunt, while Godboldo awaited trial for the defense of her child and home.[9]

 

 

  • State prosecutors further attempted to prosecute Godboldo for an alleged “warning shot” fired during the illegal entry by police, in an attempt to seize her child. In March 2014, 36th District Court Judge Ronald Giles ruled that given the illegal entry of Godboldo’s home, “…the defendant, in fact, did use reasonable force…to prevent an illegal attachment.” Judge Giles further explained, “The Detroit Police did not have the authority to remove a child at that time…based on the invalid court order that was being used and presented.”[10]

 

Despite numerous dismissals of the criminal charges leveled against Godboldo by Judge Giles and Judge Bill and the appeals court, prosecutors continue to appeal the dismissal. A spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office stated, “We do not agree with the court’s ruling affirming the dismissal of the case in 36th District Court, and we will be appealing to the Michigan Court of Appeals.”[11]

In an exclusive interview with CCHR, Allison Folmar, Godboldo’s attorney and champion, says, “In many ways this case really puts psychiatrists and the pharmaceuticals on trial because they tried to do something that they had no right to do. There are a multitude of lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company that makes Risperdal. This is a devastating, harmful drug that should not have been prescribed for this child.”[12]

Folmar has no doubt that Maryanne will prevail, and acknowledges that many positive changes have occurred in the state and even across the country as a result of this case. For example, no more can emergency removal orders be “rubber stamped,” probation officers are prohibited from signing orders and the CPS no longer will investigate cases of parents who refuse to drug their child.[13]

Folmar sums up what she believes transpired in the Godboldo case: “This case has far reaching implications for parents, not only in Detroit, but across the country, to choose whether or not to drug their child. It is a case of misdiagnosis, misinformation and unrestrained persecution. Parents need to understand this is not an isolated case and it is happening across the nation far too often.”

Read the full article here.

About Citizens Commission on Human Rights: CCHR is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious mental health watchdog. Its mission is to eradicate abuses committed under the guise of mental health and enact patient and consumer protections. CCHR has helped to enact more than 150 laws protecting individuals from abusive or coercive mental health practices.

[1] Kim Craig, “Judge upholds lower court’s decision to dismiss charges against Maryanne Godboldo,” ABC 7 Detroit, July 11, 2014, wxyz.com/news/region/detroit/mom-accused-of-standoff-with-police-over-daughters-medication-in-court

[2] “Ten hour siege, a SWAT team… and a TANK: How police dealt with mother who refused to give her child medication,” Daily Mail, April 15, 2011, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377178/SWAT-teams-10-hour-siege-mother-Maryanne-Godboldo-Detroit.html

[3] “Detroit Judge Upholds Decision In Standoff Mom’s Case,” CBS Detroit, December 12, 2011, detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/12/12/detroit-judge-upholds-decision-standoff-moms-case/

[4] Kim Craig, “Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services,” ABC 7 Detroit, Mar 14, 2014, wxyz.com/news/weve-won-says-maryanne-godboldo-after-judge-dismisses-criminal-charges-against-detroit-mom

[5] “Mother Battles Michigan Over 13-Year-Old Daughter’s Medication,” Fox News, May 22, 2011, foxnews.com/us/2011/05/22/mother-battles-michigan-13-year-old-daughters-medication/; “Risperdal (risperidone) tablets, Risperdal (risperidone) oral solution, and Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) oral disintegrating tablets,” FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, August 2010, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm225758.htm; “Dear Healthcare Provider,” Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., Apr. 2003, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm168933.htm; “Risperdal (Risperidone) Apr 2003,” FDA Safety MedWatch, April 2003, fda.gov/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm153478.htm

[6] “Ten hour siege, a SWAT team… and a TANK: How police dealt with mother who refused to give her child medication,” Daily Mail, April 15, 2011, dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377178/SWAT-teams-10-hour-siege-mother-Maryanne-Godboldo-Detroit.html; “Charges reinstated against Maryann Godboldo, mom involved in police standoff over care of daughter,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 29, 2013, wxyz.com/news/region/detroit/charges-reinstated-against-maryann-godboldo-mom-involved-in-police-standoff-over-care-of-daughter

[7] Heather Catallo, “Mom who chose to take daughter off medication files lawsuit, alleges daughter deprived of prosthesis,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 10, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis

[8] Heather Catallo, “Mom who chose to take daughter off medication files lawsuit, alleges daughter deprived of prosthesis,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 10, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/mom-who-chose-to-take-daughter-off-medication-files-lawsuit-alleges-daughter-deprived-of-prosthesis

[9] “Godboldo May Be Reunited With Daughter,” CBS Detroit, May 6, 2011, detroit.cbslocal.com/2011/05/06/godboldo-may-be-reunited-with-daughter/

[10] Kim Craig, “Charges dismissed against Detroit mom who fought removal of daughter by Child Protective Services,” ABC 7 Detroit, Mar 14, 2014, wxyz.com/news/weve-won-says-maryanne-godboldo-after-judge-dismisses-criminal-charges-against-detroit-mom

[11] Elisha Anderson and Gina Damron, “Judge upholds dismissal of charges against mom in police standoff case,” Detroit Free Press, July 11, 2014, freep.com/article/20140711/NEWS01/307110149/ruling-upheld-Detroit-Maryanne-Godboldo-mother-antipsychotic-medication-judge

[12] David Sell, “Johnson & Johnson settles five Risperdal suits,” Philadelphia Inquirer, October 06, 2012, articles.philly.com/2012-10-06/business/34280657_1_risperdal-suits-j-j-antipsychotic-drug; Sophia Pearson, Phil Milford and Jef Feeley, “Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Settle Five Rispersal Suits,” Bloomberg News, October 4, 2012, bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-04/johnson-johnson-agrees-to-settle-five-rispersal-suits.html; “Risperdal (risperidone) tablets, Risperdal (risperidone) oral solution, and Risperdal M-Tab (risperidone) oral disintegrating tablets,” FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, August 2010, fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/ucm225758.htm

[13] Heather Catallo, “Families torn apart illegally? Heather Catallo investigates,” ABC 7 Detroit, May 9, 2012, wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/removal-order; State of Michigan Department of Human Services, “Mandated Reporter’s Guide,” DHS Pub 112 (Rev. 2-13), michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Pub-112_179456_7.pdf

US government says online storage isn’t protected by the Fourth Amendment

July 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State, Sci-Tech

A couple months ago, a New York judge ruled that US search warrants applied to digital information even if they were stored overseas. The decision came about as part of an effort to dig up a Microsoft user’s account information stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft responded to the ruling and challenged it, stating that the government’s longstanding views of digital content on foreign servers are wrong, and that the protections applied to physical materials should be extended to digital content. In briefs filed last week, however, the US government countered. It states that according to the Stored Communications Act (SCA), content stored online simply do not have the same Fourth Amendment protections as physical data:

Overseas records must be disclosed domestically when a valid subpoena, order, or warrant compels their production. The disclosure of records under such circumstances has never been considered tantamount to a physical search under Fourth Amendment principles, and Microsoft is mistaken to argue that the SCA provides for an overseas search here. As there is no overseas search or seizure, Microsoft’s reliance on principles of extra-territoriality and comity falls wide of the mark.

From the Justice Department’s point of view, this law is necessary in an age where “fraudsters” and “hackers” use electronic communications in not just the U.S. but abroad as well. Indeed, the Microsoft account in this case is in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation.

Full Article

Terror suspect says U.S. agents breach privacy rights of millions

July 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas, Police State

An Uzbekistan refugee charged with conspiring with foreign terrorists accuses U.S. intelligence agents of using a “backdoor” strategy to violate his privacy rights and those of millions of people, including virtually every U.S. citizen who corresponds with anyone overseas.

Defendant Jamshid Muhtorov of Aurora filed a motion seeking to toss out evidence collected against him through warrantless wiretaps. He is also seeking to view wiretap evidence collected against him that has been sealed for national security reasons.

Muhtorov’s arguments could have far-reaching consequences, if, as he claims, federal intelligence agents are routinely violating Fourth Amendment privacy rights on a massive scale. Documents released by the government in Muhtorov’s case have, piece by piece, defined a previously secretive intelligence-gathering strategy.

Intelligence agents have routinely scanned millions of e-mail and phone communications of U.S. citizens, even though it is illegal to directly tap those contacts without a warrant, his motion says.

Full Article

The U.S. military is not-so-shockingly studying your Facebook and Twitter habits

July 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State, Sci-Tech

It should come as no surprise in the era of Edward Snowden that the U.S. military is keeping an eye on your social media habits, but the Defense Department is also funding Facebook-style behavioral experiments on you.

The Guardian reported Tuesday that DARPA, the Defense Department’s research arm, has given millions of dollars to projects that examine activity on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Pinterest, and other social networks as part of its Social Media in Strategic Communication program. According to the newspaper, one of the studies involved sending messages to users to gauge their responses. DARPA even looked at Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber’s Twitter accounts to determine how messages spread across the network.

The military also looked at Kickstarter projects. The potato salad crowdfunding campaign would actually make more sense if it turned out to be a government conspiracy.

Full Article

These White Boxes Could Track Your Every Move

July 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

In fall 2013, Seattle, WA, residents noticed mysterious white boxes installed on street corners throughout downtown Seattle. Their interest only grew when curious WiFi networks with the names of those street corners began to pop up on their mobile phones as available networks to connect to. The boxes and WiFi turned out to be a wireless mesh network set up by the city for emergency personnel to communicate in case of a disaster.

“Ultimately it’s designed to keep our community safe, to help out with criminal investigations and just to be a part of effective government,” says Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, a public information officer with the Seattle Police Department (SPD). The network was paid for with a $2.7 million port security grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

But privacy advocates say the network may be capable of much more than its intended use, including tracking the location of Seattle residents. After the story broke in The Stranger newspaper, it was met with so much concern from the public that the SPD turned off the mesh network in November 2013 and promised to develop protocols for its use.

“Protocols would give the Seattle police the opportunity to show how they are going to use surveillance technology to protect people and show how they are going to protect their privacy,” says Brian Robick, senior policy strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

But, with focus turned finding a new police chief, the city has gone nine months without a finalized privacy policy for the network. Robick says that the policy is important because—although the SPD says its intention is not to track users and Aruba Networks, the company that manufactured the network, told Reason TV that the product bought by Seattle is not designed to track users—things could change in the future with a new police chief or software updates.

“The city council has asked that every single time you add something or change something that the police disclose it, and we’re still waiting for them to disclose what they are going to do with the base line, but without that we have no assurances of what they are going to add onto the network to change it to do other things,” says Robick.

Although it’s hard to predict what a city might do with newly acquired technology, the city’s 2012 Request for Proposal shows diagrams that would have given the Washington State Fusion Center a direct connection to the mesh network. The Washington State Fusion Center tries to stop major crimes and terrorist acts by collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data submitted by local law enforcement agencies like the SPD and federal agencies like DHS and the FBI.

“That has been a surprising bit of information to some of the folks we have spoken with in the city and the police department when we bring it up,” says Robick who points out that he doesn’t think it’s their intention to have that connection anymore.

“But I do think that it’s interesting that when cities are campaigning for grants that they build in additional information sharing and, in a way, barter the people’s privacy in order to get the funds to put up these systems.”

UPDATE: The city of Seattle has confirmed that the $2.7 million cost of the mesh network only covered equipment and services and after installation the total cost of the network was $4.4 million.

Written and produced by Paul Detrick. Camera by Alex Manning and Detrick. Music by Ergo Phizmiz and Podington Bear.

About 6:12 minutes.

Second German government worker suspected of spying for US

July 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Police State

German authorities are investigating the second case of a government employee suspected of spying on confidential government affairs for US secret services within a week.

Public prosecutors confirmed that the home and office of a defence ministry employee in the greater Berlin area had been searched on Wednesday morning.

They told the Guardian that a search had been conducted “under suspicion of secret agent activity” and that evidence – including computers and several data storage devices – had been seized for analysis. The federal prosecutor’s office confirmed that no arrest had yet been made.

According to Die Welt newspaper, the staffer being investigated is a soldier who had caught the attention of the German military counter-intelligence service after establishing regular contact with people thought to be working for a US secret agency.

The news came just days after a member of the German intelligence agency BND confessed to having passed more than 200 confidential files to a contact at the CIA.

Full Article

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