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Docs show NYPD infiltrated liberal groups

March 25, 2012 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights, Prison Industrial Complex

From CBS News:

Undercover NYPD officers attended meetings of liberal political organizations and kept intelligence files on activists who planned protests around the country, according to interviews and documents that show how police have used counterterrorism tactics to monitor even lawful activities.

In April 2008, an undercover NYPD officer traveled to New Orleans to attend the People’s Summit, a gathering of liberal groups organized around their shared opposition to U.S. economic policy and the effect of trade agreements between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

When the undercover effort was summarized for supervisors, it identified groups opposed to U.S. immigration policy, labor laws and racial profiling. Two activists — Jordan Flaherty, a journalist, and Marisa Franco, a labor organizer for housekeepers and nannies — were mentioned by name in one of the police intelligence reports obtained by the AP.

“One workshop was led by Jordan Flaherty, former member of the International Solidarity Movement Chapter in New York City,” officers wrote in an April 25, 2008, memo to David Cohen, the NYPD’s top intelligence officer. “Mr. Flaherty is an editor and journalist of the Left Turn Magazine and was one of the main organizers of the conference. Mr. Flaherty held a discussion calling for the increase of the divestment campaign of Israel and mentioned two events related to Palestine.”

The document is available here.

New rules allow citizens’ data to be held longer

March 22, 2012 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights

From WashingtonPost:

The Justice Department has approved guidelines that allow counterterrorism officials to lengthen the period of time they retain information about U.S. residents, even if they have no known connection to terrorism.

Senior U.S. officials familiar with the guidelines said the changes allow the National Counterterrorism Center, the intelligence community’s clearinghouse for terrorism data, to keep such information for up to five years. Currently, the center must promptly destroy any information about U.S. citizens or residents unless a connection to terrorism is evident.

FBI Turns Off Thousands of GPS Devices After Supreme Court Ruling

February 26, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, White Privilege

From WSJ:

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning the warrantless use of GPS tracking devices has caused a “sea change” inside the U.S. Justice Department, according to FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann.

Mr. Weissmann, speaking at a University of San Francisco conference called “Big Brother in the 21st Century” on Friday, said that the court ruling prompted the FBI to turn off about 3,000 GPS tracking devices that were in use.

These devices were often stuck underneath cars to track the movements of the car owners. In U.S. v. Jones, the Supreme Court ruled that using a device to track a car owner without a search warrant violated the law.

After the ruling, the FBI had a problem collecting the devices that it had turned off, Mr. Weissmann said. In some cases, he said, the FBI sought court orders to obtain permission to turn the devices on briefly – only in order to locate and retrieve them.

UK Plans More Spying On Internet Users Under ‘Terrorism’ Pretext

February 19, 2012 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Copyleft/Free Culture

From The Telegraph:

Details of every phone call and text message, email traffic and websites visited online are to be stored in a series of vast databases under new Government anti-terror plans.

Landline and mobile phone companies and broadband providers will be ordered to store the data for a year and make it available to the security services under the scheme.

The databases would not record the contents of calls, texts or emails but the numbers or email addresses of who they are sent and received by.

For the first time, the security services will have widespread access to information about who has been communicating with each other on social networking sites such as Facebook.