statism watch

School Spycams Case Explodes As Feds Initiate Probe

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Flashback: Pennsylvania schools spying on students using laptop Webcams, claims lawsuit | Texas Schoolkids Tagged With GPS Tracking Devices | 50 Toronto high schools to have armed police presence | UK schoolkids trained to inform on ‘extremist’ classmates by police DVD | UK Schoolkids Protest CCTV, Hidden Microphones in Class | Lunchtime lockdown to promote healthier eating: T.O. school plan | Schools seek more police as crime drops | Police presence in high schools makes the grade | Has your child been CAFed? How the Government plans to record intimate information on every child in Britain | Safety report author Falconer on armed police in schools: “Facile” | Parents, children to be fingerprinted at initial 250+ nursery schools in UK | Frequent school lockdowns raise questions | 27 Toronto schools to get armed police presence | Two trustees stand opposed to armed police in schools | Armed police officers heading to high schools | Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets | CCTV cameras spying on hundreds of classrooms | Armed Police to Roam Toronto High Schools | $4 Million Earmarked for Cameras, “Respect” at Toronto Schools | School removes CCTV cameras from children’s toilets after furious protest from parents

Steve Watson, PrisonPlanet.com
February 22, 2010

PBS show highlights ease of using big brother technology

The case of the Lower Merion school district in Philadelphia spying on students in their homes via school issued laptops has gone viral, with the FBI announcing that it has opened an investigation into the matter.

As we reported Friday, the district faces a class action lawsuit after it allegedly issued laptop computers to 1,800 students across two high schools and then used concealed cameras within the machines to covertly monitor the behaviour of students and their parents.

In addition to charges of invasion of privacy, theft of private information, and unlawful interception, the school district has now become the focus of an FBI probe, as well as an investigation by Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

An FBI spokesman, speaking anonymously, told CNN it was investigating to see if wiretap or computer intrusion laws had been broken.

Students from the school described the schools alleged actions as “disgusting” and “a little scary”.

“How do I trust this school district when they have done something like this?” one parent asked.

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Pennsylvania schools spying on students using laptop Webcams, claims lawsuit

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Your school is rapidly becoming a prison camp. And now you can take the prison home with you! (No doubt this will save you from ‘the terror’ somehow.) This is meant to condition your children to living in a police state. Tell them now. Teach them the meaning of liberty.

Flashback: Texas Schoolkids Tagged With GPS Tracking Devices | 50 Toronto high schools to have armed police presence | UK schoolkids trained to inform on ‘extremist’ classmates by police DVD | UK Schoolkids Protest CCTV, Hidden Microphones in Class | Lunchtime lockdown to promote healthier eating: T.O. school plan | Schools seek more police as crime drops | Police presence in high schools makes the grade | Has your child been CAFed? How the Government plans to record intimate information on every child in Britain | Safety report author Falconer on armed police in schools: “Facile” | Parents, children to be fingerprinted at initial 250+ nursery schools in UK | Frequent school lockdowns raise questions | 27 Toronto schools to get armed police presence | Two trustees stand opposed to armed police in schools | Armed police officers heading to high schools | Texas truant students to be tracked by GPS anklets | CCTV cameras spying on hundreds of classrooms | Armed Police to Roam Toronto High Schools | $4 Million Earmarked for Cameras, “Respect” at Toronto Schools | School removes CCTV cameras from children’s toilets after furious protest from parents

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
February 18, 2010

Class-action suit alleges schools remotely activate Webcams on school-issued notebooks

A suburban Philadelphia school district remotely activates the cameras in school-provided laptops to spy on students in their homes, a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday alleged.

According to the lawsuit filed by a high school student and his parents, the Lower Merion School District of Ardmore, Pa. has spied on students and families by “indiscriminate use of and ability to remotely activate the Webcams incorporated into each laptop issued to students by the School District.”

Approximately 1,800 students at the district’s two high schools have been given laptops as part of a state- and federally-funded “one-to-one” student-to-laptop initiative.

Michael and Holly Robbins of Penn Valley, Pa., said they first found out about the alleged spying last November after their son Blake was accused by a Harriton High School official of “improper behavior in his home” and shown a photograph taken by his laptop.

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The government has your baby’s DNA

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

This is going on in Canada as well. The government and the insurance companies love you. Nothing to see here.

Flashback: UK Police routinely arresting people to get DNA, inquiry claims | UK: Police ‘must purge innocent DNA’ | Newborn’s Blood Samples Raise Questions of Privacy | Study finds genetic discrimination by insurance firms | US: Ruling allowing Taser use to get DNA may be nation’s first | UK: Police ‘arrest innocent youths for their DNA’, officer claims | UK: Fury as Commons denied vote on DNA database | Australians refused insurance because of poor genes

Elizabeth Cohen, CNN.com
February 4, 2010

When Annie Brown’s daughter, Isabel, was a month old, her pediatrician asked Brown and her husband to sit down because he had some bad news to tell them: Isabel carried a gene that put her at risk for cystic fibrosis.

While grateful to have the information — Isabel received further testing and she doesn’t have the disease — the Mankato, Minnesota, couple wondered how the doctor knew about Isabel’s genes in the first place. After all, they’d never consented to genetic testing.

It’s simple, the pediatrician answered: Newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it’s often done without the parents’ consent, according to Brad Therrell, director of the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center.

In many states, such as Florida, where Isabel was born, babies’ DNA is stored indefinitely, according to the resource center.

Many parents don’t realize their baby’s DNA is being stored in a government lab, but sometimes when they find out, as the Browns did, they take action. Parents in Texas, and Minnesota have filed lawsuits, and these parents’ concerns are sparking a new debate about whether it’s appropriate for a baby’s genetic blueprint to be in the government’s possession.

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Texas Schoolkids Tagged With GPS Tracking Devices

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

The militarization of schools has infested Canada, as well. Note the armed police in Toronto schools as well as the armed drill conducted at the Bickford Centre, also in Toronto. Have news of similar police state activity in your community? Post it in our forum!

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

Paul Joseph Watson, PrisonPlanet.com
January 22, 2010

Latest evidence that schools are now youth internment centers training kids to accept the prison planet

A judge has ordered 22 students at Bryan Highschool in Texas to carry GPS tracking devices in the name of preventing truancy, another example of how schools are now youth internment centers — preparatory camps for brainwashing kids to accept the prison planet.

“Bryan High students who skip school will soon be tracked 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” reports KBTX.

“It’s called the Attendance Improvement Management Program or AIM, and it has been used across Texas and the United States.”

Students who skip class are now forced to attend “truancy court” and be lectured by a judge before being mandated to carry a GPS tracking device.

“Students on the program are tracked with a hand-held GPS device between the time they leave for school in the morning and the time they check in for curfew at night.”

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UK: 50 years on, an apology to thalidomide scandal survivors

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Sarah Bosely, The Guardian
January 14, 2010

Government issues long-awaited apology and a new £20m compensation package to 466 thalidomiders

Fifty years after the one of the worst disasters in medical history, hundreds of survivors of the thalidomide scandal today got an apology from the government and a new £20 million compensation package.

There are 466 thalidomiders, as they call themselves, all of them in middle-age, born between 1958 and 1961 to mothers who unwittingly took the drug Distaval for morning sickness in the early months of pregnancy. The babies suffered a variety of deformities, mostly to both arms, both legs, or all four limbs. Some also suffered damage to their internal organs.

Today Mike O’Brien, minister of health, announced a new funding scheme that will help survivors cope with the changing needs of age. He also offered what campaigners said they wanted even more — an apology.

“The Government wishes to express its sincere regret and deep sympathy for the injury and suffering endured by all those affected when expectant mothers took the drug thalidomide between 1958 and 1961,” he told the House of Commons.

“We acknowledge both the physical hardship and the emotional difficulties that have faced both the children affected and their families as a result of this drug, and the challenges that many continue to endure, often on a daily basis.” He knew, he added, “that a lot of thalidomiders have waited a long time for this”.

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Toxic cadmium taints kids’ jewelry

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Cadmium. A carcinogen that dumbs down kids. Now, why do you think Chinese manufacturers would be knowingly making children’s toys with Cadmium?

Flashback: New toxic milk case in China kept secret for a year, reports say | Copenhagen: Global Population Control Program Suggested To Stop Climate Change | UK: Two-year-olds at risk from ‘gender-bending’ chemicals, report says | Reduce fetal exposure to BPA and phthalates, experts say | Bisphenol A traces found in baby food: Health Canada | Elevated BPA levels in people drinking out of plastic bottles, study finds | Tests find Bisphenol A in majority of soft drinks | Chemical ban targets toys, rubber duckies | As in Canada, gender-bending chemicals in UK rivers grow more potent | Chemicals feminizing males, study suggests | Major report to reveal male gender under threat from pollutants | CBC broadcasts “The Disappearing Male”, an expose of hormone-disrupting plastics | Plastics ingredient linked to feminization in children | Health Canada adds bisphenol A to list of toxic substances | Scientists Note Hormones in Water, Feminization of Fish Downstream of Montreal | New study raises concerns Bisphenol-A could be related to heart disease | Air freshener chemicals could impact fertility: study | Bisphenol tied to lower brain function | Chemical Industry Source of Hyped FDA Study ‘Exonerating’ Plastic Bottles

CBC News
January 11, 2010

U.S. and Canadian product safety authorities will investigate the presence of cadmium in children’s jewelry imported from China, and Wal-Mart has pulled the items from shelves after lab tests showed some were made almost entirely of the toxic metal.

The promise for action is the result of an Associated Press investigation that found some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting cadmium for lead in cheap charm bracelets and pendants being sold throughout the United States and possibly Canada.

It comes just days before the head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is to deliver a speech to Asian manufacturers lauding them for abandoning the use of lead in children’s products.

In the most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for AP, cadmium made up a startling 91 per cent of the metal content, measured by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children.

Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the U.S. commission, said the agency would study the test results and take the necessary action. Health Canada said it is concerned and has begun an investigation.

High hazard

Cadmium is a known carcinogen. A listing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks it No. 7 among the 275 most hazardous substances in the environment.

Like lead, cadmium can hinder brain development in the very young, according to recent research. Children don’t have to swallow an item to be exposed. They can get persistent low-level doses by regularly sucking or biting jewelry with a high cadmium content.

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Shock study: 12% of kids sexually abused in govt. custody

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

This is the culture of the worm, the parasite.

Our veins are thin
Our rivers poisoned
We want the sweet meat
We want the young blood

- Radiohead

Flashback: UK: New scanners break child porn laws | The future of the residential school commission — An interview with Judge Murray Sinclair | Abused children revictimized by public institutions: Cornwall report | Irish church and police covered up child sex abuse, says report | Rape case to force defence contractors Halliburton/KBR into the open | Police review 1980s allegations against bishop | Pope ‘led cover-up of child abuse by priests’ | Ex-employees claim Blackwater pimped out young Iraqi girls | US Lawsuit: Cops tasered 3 kids in shelter, threatened one with sodomy | B.C. ‘public guardian’ accused of abusing senior’s rights, property seizure | Abu Ghraib abuse photos ’show rape’ | Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More | Children’s Services Ministry sued by Advocate for Stonewalling Beating Investigation | Police decline to lay charges in school sex-abuse allegations | Commission to Probe Graves at Native ‘Residential School’ Sites | Links between Judge Ramsay, RCMP and Child Predation in our Justice System | Alberta Barren: The Mannings and forced sterilization in Canada

Daniel Tencer, RawStory
January 7, 2010

Some 12 percent of minors held in government custody are sexually abused, and in some facilities the rate reaches a stunning one in three children, says a report released Thursday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The first-ever National Survey of Youth in Custody found that no less than 10 percent of the 26,550 juveniles being held in detention facilities in the US are abused by staff at the facility, while another 2.6 percent report abuse at the hands of other inmates.

Among the facilities studied were six identified to have rates of sexual abuse as high as three in 10. According to the Associated Press, those six facilities are Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana; Corsicana Residential Treatment Center in Texas; Backbone Mountain Youth Center in Swanton, Maryland; Samarkand Youth Development Center in Eagle Springs, North Carolina.; Cresson Secure Treatment Unit in Pennsylvania; and the Culpeper Juvenile Correctional Center, Long Term, in Mitchells, Virginia.

“The widespread sexual abuse of children in juvenile facilities shows that public officials either aren’t paying attention or can’t be bothered to do the right thing,” said Jamie Fellner, senior counsel for Human Rights Watch. “The high rates of victimization are powerful testimony to the failure of governments to safeguard the boys and girls in their care.”

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New toxic milk case in China kept secret for a year, reports say

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Note to Chinese officials: This would be one of those occasions for which there couldn’t possibly be any argument you could make against disclosure. Do you just not like sharing information? What were you thinking? And a word on semantics: ceasing to put poisonous plastic into milk product is not simply ‘improving product safety’.

Flashback: “Trace amounts” of Melamine found in Canadian infant formula | Tests find melamine in candies, milk, infant formula from China

Tania Branigan, The Guardian
January 6, 2010

Officials announced closure of Shanghai Panda last week after reportedly opening melamine investigation last February

A fresh scandal over toxic milk products has shocked Chinese consumers, with state media today reporting claims that officials waited almost a year before warning the public.

The government pledged to clean up the dairy industry in autumn 2008, when 300,000 babies were taken ill and six died after drinking melamine-tainted Sanlu-brand infant formula. The issue reared its head again last week when food safety authorities in Shanghai announced they had shut down the Shanghai Panda company after discovering it was producing condensed milk and milk powder laced with the same chemical.

The China Daily newspaper suggested today that officials began investigating the company as early as February last year. Chinese press said Shanghai Panda was among more than 20 dairy firms found to have melamine in their products during the Sanlu scandal, but was allowed to resume production after promising to improve product safety.

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UK: New scanners break child porn laws

Monday, January 4th, 2010

How’s that Manic Street Preachers song go again? Watch the video – “If you tolerate this, then your children will be next”.

Flashback: 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’

Alan Travis, The Guardian
January 4, 2010

The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned.

Privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines are so graphic they amount to “virtual strip-searching” and have called for safeguards to protect the privacy of passengers involved.

Ministers now face having to exempt under 18s from the scans or face the delays of introducing new legislation to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws.

They also face demands from civil liberties groups for safeguards to ensure that images from the £80,000 scanners, including those of celebrities, do not end up on the internet. The Department for Transport confirmed that the “child porn” problem was among the “legal and operational issues” now under discussion in Whitehall after Gordon Brown’s announcement on Sunday that he wanted to see their “gradual” introduction at British airports.

A 12-month trial at Manchester airport of scanners which reveal naked images of passengers including their genitalia and breast enlargements, only went ahead last month after under-18s were exempted.

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The future of the residential school commission – An interview with Judge Murray Sinclair

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

“…there’s a lot more that needs to be said. We haven’t been able to get to the bottom of the missing children, for example. We know that we’re talking in the hundreds of children that were sent to the schools and never came home.”

Flashback: GG relaunches Truth and Reconciliation Commission | New members tapped for residential school commission: report | Chair to have final say as residential schools commission jobs rewritten | Remaining 2 members resign from residential schools commission | Commission to Probe Graves at Native ‘Residential School’ Sites | Government to hold talks over future of residential-schools commission | Chairman quits troubled residential-school commission | Truth commission tied too closely to government: aboriginal groups | Canada hears of native abuse pain | Location of Mass Graves of Residential School Children Revealed for the First Time; Independent Tribunal Established

Joe Friesen, The Globe and Mail
December 20, 2009

After a year lost to infighting, the residential schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission is up and running again under its new chair, Manitoba Judge Murray Sinclair.

He and commissioners Marie Wilson and Wilton Littlechild have begun travelling the country, meeting with some of the 80,000 aboriginal survivors of the schools.

The commission will also hold seven national events designed to promote reconciliation. The first will be in Winnipeg next June.

It was more than a year ago that Mr. Sinclair’s predecessor, Ontario Judge Harry LaForme, abruptly resigned, blaming conflict with his fellow commissioners and interference from the Assembly of First Nations.

What is the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s mandate?

We’re the first commission of its kind in the world looking at how children were treated by governments. We are mandated to tell the full and complete story of the residential schools. The second component of our mandate is to look into a process of reconciliation to overcome the legacy of the residential school experience.

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