statism watch

Archive for January 8th, 2010

US Domestic Espionage Alert: Spy Drone Discovered

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Flashback: Canada’s military peers into future, sees drone patrols, draft, insurgency | Sarnia resident plans ‘moon’ protest of US border spy balloon | Military spycraft patrols Ontario border from Fort Drum | Pentagon plans blimp to spy from new heights | Remote-controlled planes could spy on British homes | Predator drones patrolling border irk Manitoba MLA | U.S. set to launch Predator drones to monitor Manitoba border | Military Tech on the Home Front: Predator drones to begin surveillance of Canada-US border | Kids to Help Create Drones, ‘Fuzzy’ Line to Be Drawn between Military and Civil Spheres | Canadian military acquiring new helicopters, drones | Unmanned spy planes to police Britain | Austin police testing unmanned spy drones | Nunavut taken aback by military plan for drone patrols | U.S. to patrol Manitoba border with drone aircraft

News Junkie Post
January 8, 2010

KPRC news in Houston recently filmed a secret experiment by law enforcement agencies including the Dept. of Homeland Security of a drone intended to spy on Americans.

The drone uncovered during this investigation are not like the large, expensive models used by the military for targeted strikes on militants half a world away. These are manufactured by Insitu out of Bingen, Washington (corporate offices located in Australia), only weigh about 40 pounds (18.1 kg) before monitoring equipment is installed. This model has the capacity to stay airborne for up to a day.

The Houston Police Department responded with the following statement, “Potential public safety applications include mobility, evacuations, homeland security, search and rescue, as well as tactical.”

Such benign excuses were also used during the passage of draconian bills such as FISA and the Patriot Act before it was revealed the much more insidious and rampant applications of those tools.

Houston is within the coastal and border zone of America, where two-thirds of the population lives and where constitutional rights are routinely disregarded according to the ACLU, yet this poses the question about whether this is pilot program and the usage of unmanned drones might become a regular policy of law enforcement agencies in surveillance operations.

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Dutch police develop mobile body scans

Friday, January 8th, 2010

How do you feel about having your genitals viewed and your body bathed in microwave radiation – the equivalent of 10,000 cell phone calls – to get into a show, an arena, a movie?

Flashback: Whole-body airport scanners are basically safe–or are they? | Body scanners coming to Canadian airports | UK: New scanners break child porn laws | US implements travel profiling: Tougher air screening for ’security-risk’ countries | UK: Full-body scanners being ordered for airports, says Gordon Brown | Group slams Chertoff on conflict of interest in scanner promotion | The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother | Underwear Bomber Renews Calls for ‘Naked Scanners’ | Federal Privacy Commissioner raises alarm over terror security measures | Privacy watchdog OKs ‘naked’ airport scanners | Security may soon test ‘virtual strip search’ at large Canadian aiports | US Border Guards to Expand Use of X-Ray Body Scanners | Homeland Security seeks Bladerunner-style lie detector | Greyhound introduces security screening of passengers, bans fruit, carry-ons | Germany rejects full-body scans at airports | Interpol wants facial recognition database to catch suspects | ‘Pre-crime’ detector shows promise | Eye scans, fingerprints to control NZ borders | Air passengers to undergo ‘virtual strip search’ | US Homeland Security Keen on ‘Novel’ Israeli Airport Security Technology | Israel startup uses behavioral science to identify terrorists | Airport scanner a ‘virtual strip search’

DutchNews.nl
January 8, 2010

Rotterdam police are trying to develop a portable scanner which will allow them to see through people’s clothing and look for concealed weapons, the NRC reports on Friday.

The force has been given a €500,000 government grant to develop the mobile weapons detector, which would use similar technology to the scanners being introduced at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, the paper says.

The aim is to develop a prototype ready for production within three years.

The paper bases its claim on a confidential document which suggests the scanner could first be used as an alternative to random body searches in high risk areas. The mobile detector would enable the search to be carried out more quickly and would only be used on people suspected of carrying concealed weapons, police spokesman Paul De Kruijf told the paper.

The document also mentions the possibility of carrying out long-distance scans and mass scans on crowds at events such as football matches. In addition, the scan could be combined with a sniffer detector which would analyse an ‘air sample’ from a suspect for traces of drugs or explosives, the paper says.

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Whole-body airport scanners are basically safe–or are they?

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Flashback: Body scanners coming to Canadian airports | UK: New scanners break child porn laws | US implements travel profiling: Tougher air screening for ’security-risk’ countries | UK: Full-body scanners being ordered for airports, says Gordon Brown | Group slams Chertoff on conflict of interest in scanner promotion | The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother | Underwear Bomber Renews Calls for ‘Naked Scanners’ | Federal Privacy Commissioner raises alarm over terror security measures | Privacy watchdog OKs ‘naked’ airport scanners | Security may soon test ‘virtual strip search’ at large Canadian aiports | US Border Guards to Expand Use of X-Ray Body Scanners | Homeland Security seeks Bladerunner-style lie detector | Greyhound introduces security screening of passengers, bans fruit, carry-ons | Germany rejects full-body scans at airports | Interpol wants facial recognition database to catch suspects | ‘Pre-crime’ detector shows promise | Eye scans, fingerprints to control NZ borders | Air passengers to undergo ‘virtual strip search’ | US Homeland Security Keen on ‘Novel’ Israeli Airport Security Technology | Israel startup uses behavioral science to identify terrorists | Airport scanner a ‘virtual strip search’

John C Hayes, DiagnosticImaging.com
January 8, 2010

Since the attempted explosion of an airliner as it was landing in Detroit on Christmas Day by an alleged terrorist from Nigeria, global air safety experts have been scrambling to enact new safety measures. A quick answer has come in the form of whole-body scanners that use low-level radiation to allow screeners to see through clothing to identify hidden weapons or explosives.

These things have been around for a while, but, outside of a few pilot locations, haven’t really gained much attention until now. Given the circumstances of the Detroit incident, we shouldn’t be surprised that airports all over the world are rushing these systems into use.

Most of the press has been concerned with privacy issues–the systems essentially strip passengers naked–and focused far less on health safety matters. Still, the safety issue is starting to engage the public. Recent news reports have suggested the new scanners are basically safe. But a more nuanced look at the question suggests the answers are not yet all that clear.

There are two technologies in use in the U.S.: Backscatter technology uses x-rays delivering less than 10 microrem of radiation per scan, equivalent to the radiation one receives inside an aircraft flying for two minutes at 30,000 feet, according to the American College of Radiology. Another approach relies on millimeter-wave technology, which uses radio waves in the millimeter-wave spectrum. Two rotating antennae cover the passenger from head to toe with low-level radiofrequency energy.

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American cash gives Yemen a reason to join the hunt for al-Qaeda

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Flashback: Britain, U.S. to fund Yemen anti-terror unit | Underwear Bomber’s Visa Had Expired, Say Yemeni Authorities | US plots retaliatory strikes against al-Qaida in Yemen over plane bomber | Officials Admit Second Man Detained As More Witnesses Emerge in ‘Underwear Bomb’ Case | Detroit bombing: US had received intelligence suggesting Nigerian was planning an attack | US jet plot suspect ‘was in Yemen in December’ | Obama vows to step up terror fight | U.S. quietly takes terror war to Yemen | ‘Al-Qaeda’ in Yemen claims responsibility for attack on plane | Britain ‘barred US air terror suspect’ | Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport | Father of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, Nigerian terror suspect in Flight 253 attack, warned U.S. | British student held over alleged airline bomb attempt

Patrick Martin, The Globe and Mail
January 8, 2010

Abdul Majeed Zandani, a strident Sunni cleric, spoke for many Yemenis when he told his Sanaa congregation that the attempt to blow up an American airliner was part of a dire conspiracy to justify the U.S. occupation of Yemen.

Lah! Lah! Lah !” (No! No! No!) The worshippers shouted as they rose to their feet in fury at the deviousness of the Americans.

While fears have been stoked across this impoverished land about the intense and sudden scrutiny of Washington, some see the growing threat of al-Qaeda — and the U.S. response to it — as a golden opportunity for embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“I think he’s the big winner,” a prominent Yemeni businessman said. “The country stands to get a big influx of money, and he’ll get all the credit.”

Already last week, U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress for $150-million in military aid to Yemen this year, up from $10-million in 2009.

“And now,” a member of the country’s Shura Council said, “al-Qaeda is our top priority.”

What a turnaround.

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Only $350 to join GPS bandwagon and jettison privacy: track kids, auto, social network

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Has anyone thought about the way that being under constant supervision in the social panopticon is going to psychologically sculpt a child? In a village, a lot of people know your business, sure – but this level of centralized observation is an instrument of control, not curiosity.

Flashback: UK: Children to be tracked by sat nav to stop bad behaviour | Do you snoop on your teen? | GPS wristwatch helps parents track children | Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets

Robert Cribb, Toronto Star
January 8, 2010

From kids to cars, those closest to your heart can now be monitored with Orwellian technology

The red dot inching along a digital map of Toronto is my 5-year-old daughter.

While I sit in my downtown office, she’s walking to school across town with a GPS device tucked into her backpack that lets me track her online.

Consider it the digital age version of Neighbourhood Watch.

The Entourage PS device from Calgary-based Blackline GPS ($350; www.blacklinegps.com; available at Future Shop and The Source) is a devilishly clever bit of Orwellian technology that provides Big Brother oversight on those which are closest to your heart, from your car to your kid.

About the size of a bulky remote control, the Entourage PS slides under the seat of your car — or into a purse or bag — and reports its location, movement and speed through satellite signals that are harnessed and beamed to a personal web page or even your BlackBerry screen.

With an account and a password (subscriptions are $15 a month), the device constantly updates locations and even sends a warning email or text message if your car — or kid — moves unexpectedly.

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George Galloway, on aid mission to Gaza, is deported from Egypt

Friday, January 8th, 2010

“We’re under firm orders to let those people starve. Get the hell out of here, Limey.”

Flashback: UK MP George Galloway takes Canadian speaking ban to court | UK Anti-war MP banned from Canada

Haroon Siddique, The Guardian
January 8, 2010

Respect MP has spent past month travelling from London to deliver aid and supplies to Gaza Strip

George Galloway was today deported from Egypt after plainclothes police officers refused him re-entry into the Gaza Strip and bundled him on to a plane for London.

The Respect MP Galloway, declared “persona non grata” by the Egyptian foreign ministry, arrived back in the UK at around 1pm.

He had spent the past month travelling from London to deliver 198 truckloads of aid and supplies to Gaza in a challenge to Israel‘s economic blockade of the territory.

The supplies made it through to Rafah, but when Galloway and Ron McKay, his aide, arrived at the crossing from Gaza to Egypt, they were confronted by police officers.

On arriving at Heathrow airport, Galloway told the al-Jazeera television channel: “It’s always been a badge of honour to be deported by a tinpot dictator, and that’s what happened this morning.

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Canada no longer a haven for war resisters

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Flashback: War resister takes refuge in Vancouver church | Liberal MP introduces war resisters bill | Federal website changes undermine Iraq resisters: critics | Canadian Parliament votes again to let U.S. war resisters stay | War resister Kimberly Rivera gets 11th hour stay from deportation | U.S. war resister gets temporary stay of removal | Resisters of a ‘dumb’ war | Kenney’s comments prejudice hearings for war resisters, critics say | U.S. war resister, mother of 3 must leave Canada | Federal government orders U.S. war resister deportedAnother U.S. War Resister to be deported | U.S. War Resister ’surprised’ deportation order stayed | National Day of Action as Protesters Urge Vote to Let War Resisters Stay | U.S. deserter feared torture orders | Early U.S. war deserter ordered deported | U.S. army war resister’s deportation sparks outrage | U.S. war resister Corey Glass granted stay of deportation order | U.S. deserter wins appeal | MPs vote to give asylum to U.S. deserters, Tories say no | U.S. soldier who fled to Canada ordered deported

Sandro Contenta, Global Post
January 8, 2010

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to send back the some 200 American asylum-seekers who have fled the Iraq war.

TORONTO, Canada – Canada has long been a haven for Americans escaping their wars.

During the American Revolutionary War in the late 1700s, an estimated 50,000 colonists who wanted to remain loyal to Britain fled north to what would later become Canada. Thousands more crossed the border during the Civil War, using an underground railroad that led escaped slaves to freedom.

Canada’s role as a sanctuary during the Vietnam War is well known. The conflict spurred an estimated 50,000 Americans old enough for military service to immigrate north, according to sociologist John Hagan, author of “Northern Passage: American Vietnam War Resisters in Canada.” Hagan was among the draft dodgers and military deserters that did so.

Many Canadians would consider this tradition a noble one. But it has come to an end.

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, some 200 American soldiers have fled to Canada looking for asylum. The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is determined to send them back.

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Mind-reading systems could change air security

Friday, January 8th, 2010

They’ve been pushing this stuff for years. With the recent revelation that Michael Chertoff (ex head of the Department of Homeland Security) is promoting body scanner companies and has been for some time, it becomes pretty clear what the real motive to push a bunch of questionable new technology into the airports is – the profit motive, backed by massive conflicts of interest for the officials within the military-industrial complex. That and the chance for the control freaks to poke, prod, observe, question, scan, strip, and record you some more, to treat you like a submissive prisoner. And why? Because of the threat of the Underwear Bomber? Is that the reason you want to give your kids as to why you let your liberty slip through your fingers incrementally?

Flashback: Airport security starts in the parking lot | The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother | UK: New biometric security checks could include brain scans, heart rhythm fingerprinting | Homeland Security seeks Bladerunner-style lie detector | Researchers use brain scans to read people’s memories | Halifax thinks again about subjecting applicants to lie-detector tests | ‘Pre-crime’ detector shows promise | India’s use of brain scans in courts dismays critics | Brain will be battlefield of future, warns US intelligence report | US Homeland Security Keen on ‘Novel’ Israeli Airport Security Technology | Israel startup uses behavioral science to identify terrorists

Michael Tarm, Associated Press
January 8, 2010

CHICAGO — A would-be terrorist tries to board a plane, bent on mass murder. As he walks through a security checkpoint, fidgeting and glancing around, a network of high-tech machines analyzes his body language and reads his mind.

Screeners pull him aside.

Tragedy is averted.

As far-fetched as that sounds, systems that aim to get inside an evildoer’s head are among the proposals floated by security experts thinking beyond the X-ray machines and metal detectors used on millions of passengers and bags each year.

On Thursday, in the wake of the Christmas Day bombing attempt over Detroit, President Barack Obama called on Homeland Security and the Energy Department to develop better screening technology, warning: “In the never-ending race to protect our country, we have to stay one step ahead of a nimble adversary.”

The ideas that have been offered by security experts for staying one step ahead include highly sophisticated sensors, more intensive interrogations of travelers by screeners trained in human behavior, and a lifting of the U.S. prohibitions against profiling.

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