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Posts Tagged ‘Police State

Government arms race kicks into high gear as DHS buys 2,700 armored vehicles for streets of America

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Nothing to see here folks, just 2,700 light tanks for the streets of the USA… don’t worry about it.

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(NaturalNews) When DHS purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition to be used domestically, inside the USA, and I said this looks like a government agency preparing for war with the American people, I was told, “That’s crazy. The government would never do that.”

When DHS purchased 7,000 full-auto assault rifles to be used inside the United States, calling them “personal defense weapons” that could be used in urban warfare, I was once again told I was crazy for suggesting the government was arming up for war with the American people.

Now DHS has retrofitted 2,717 “Navistar Defense” armored vehicles for service on the streets of America. Cli [From Government arms race kicks into high gear as DHS buys 2,700 armored vehicles for streets of America]

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Written by Sean Bozkewycz

March 5, 2013 at 16:18

NSA allowed to continue wanrrantless internet spying

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The US has quietly renewed a law that retroactively authorises what the NSA has been doing for years – spying on the email and internet usage of people across the globe.

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Everything that you do on the internet is now recorded and stored indefinitely. Thoughtcrime may not land you in hot water yet, but as the global police state grows, what you tweet, update or blog could be used against you in the future.

Don’t worry they say, if you’re not doing anything wrong, there’s nothing to worry about. Yeah right. Here’s something to worry about – the US army is also creating hordes of fake online identities to wage propaganda war on social media.

Four amendments to the laws were also defeated. Patrick Martin writes:

“One of the amendments would have required the NSA to obtain a warrant to monitor the Internet communications of an American citizen. Another would have shortened the reauthorization period from five years to three. A third would have made public the procedural opinions of the secret FISA court, established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which outline the scope of the communications monitored by the NSA.

“The fourth amendment would have required the NSA to reveal the extent to which it is monitoring the communications of American citizens.”

America’s intelligence apparatus has been building massive data centres to store the vast volume of data it captures.

“The Washington Post estimated in a 2010 report that the NSA stores 1.7 billion communications—e-mail, telephone calls and other messages—every single day. An NSA whistleblower has charged that the agency’s database has accumulated more than 20 trillion interchanges between Americans.”

But why? Martin explains:

The driving force of this repressive activity is not fear of terrorism, but fear of the intractable social contradictions within the United States and the emergence of mass popular opposition to the austerity measures being introduced to devastate social services and the living standards of working people. In the final analysis, the buildup of police-state powers testifies to a truth long upheld by socialists: the growth of social inequality within capitalism, the ever-widening gulf between the financial aristocracy at the top and the rest of the population, undermines any basis for democracy.”

Read the entire article here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2012/12/29/pers-d29.html

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 24, 2013 at 06:50

Posted in Uncategorized

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WikiLeaks editor denounces mass internet surveillance and US attacks on democratic rights – World Socialist Web Site

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WikiLeaks editor denounces mass internet surveillance and US attacks on democratic rights

By Richard Phillips 
11 December 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has stepped up his exposure of the escalating US-led attacks on legal and democratic rights with a series of media appearances over the past few weeks to promote his bookCypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet. Co-authored with Jacob Applebaum, Jeremie Zimmermann and Andy Mueller-Maguhn, the book warns that state authorities and giant corporations are using the Internet to facilitate massive spying operations.

“The Internet,” Assange declares in the introduction, “has led to revolutions across the world but a crackdown is now in full swing. As whole societies move online, mass surveillance programs are being deployed globally. Our civilization has reached a crossroads.”

In line with the Obama administration’s campaign against WikiLeaks, most of the mainstream media has largely ignored the book. Others, such as the American television network CNN, have brushed aside the book’s themes while claiming that Assange’s principled defence of press freedom is hypocritical. CNN journalist Erin Burnett, who hosts the network’s prime time nightly news program—“Erin Burnett: OutFront”—attempted this approach in late November.

CNN producers assured Assange that the program would discussCypherpunks, but Burnett, who began her career as a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs before moving into television journalism, had no intention of allowing the WikiLeaks founder to participate in any such discussion.

Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after he was granted political asylum by that country, in the wake of a British High Court decision to extradite him to Sweden on bogus sexual misconduct charges. The Australian citizen rightly fears that if he is sent to Sweden he will be extradited to the US to face frame-up espionage charges. A grand jury has already been convened in that country to indict him, while the American military has branded WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as “the enemy,” placing them on a legal par with Al Qaeda.

After an initial question about the book, CNN anchor Burnett provocatively asked Assange if he felt “any guilt” about the situation facing Bradley Manning, the young US soldier currently facing pretrial hearings for allegedly leaking classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

Assange calmly replied that the brutal treatment being meted out to Manning was aimed at trying to coerce the young man into a confession that would directly implicate WikiLeaks. The case, he observed, was another “reflection of the decay in the rule of law.” Assange pointed out that the UN’s special rapporteur Juan Mendez had described Manning’s treatment as akin to torture.

Burnett attempted to dismiss this response by claiming it was simply an indication of the WikiLeaks founder’s “strong point of view.” In other words, it was just another opinion, rather than a clear statement of fact. “I don’t want to get into detail” about Manning’s treatment, she retorted, and then asked Assange to comment on the legal case and whether a plea deal by Manning could endanger WikiLeaks.

Assange refused to fall for this ploy—stating that it was legally unwise to discuss the specifics of the case, given that the trial was underway—and returned to his book’s warnings about the assault on basic democratic rights.

What is happening, he continued, was “part of a much wider process… [and one] which all the top national security journalists in the United States are talking about… Dana Priest from the Washington Post, in her book Top Secret America, likens what’s going on to a metastasising cancer, where we now have five million people in the national security clearance system in the United States, a state within a state…

“This is a worldwide phenomenon,” he continued. “The new game in town is strategic surveillance. It is cheaper now to intercept all communications in and out of a country, store it permanently, than it is to simply go after one particular person.”

Burnett again tried to deflect, asking the WikiLeaks editor to discuss recent reports on his health. He refused, stating that this was “not very important” and referred back to his book and the escalating assault on democratic rights.

Burnett insisted that the WikiLeaks founder talk about press freedom in Ecuador, suggesting that in light of recent reports of Ecuador’s suppression of the press, his stance was hypocritical. Assange again refused to be provoked and explained that he had agreed to the television interview in order to discuss his book, not Ecuador.

“Why will you not talk about Ecuador?” the now agitated Burnett shouted.

Assange made clear that the small South American country played no role in the global internet spying operations and that while he was concerned about the suppression of free speech, which, he said, was “an extremely big problem all over the world”, so was “the collapse in the rule of law.”

In this regard, the WikiLeaks editor reviewed US government attacks on the legal rights of journalists, including the six year incarceration of an Al Jazeera journalist in Guantánamo Bay, and warned that such anti-democratic assaults were a threat to all serious journalists.

“The topic of this book is what is happening to all of us and the threats that all of us face,” he explained. “In the 1930s, certain people saw what was going on and they saw the general trends. I’m telling you there is a general trend. I am an expert and have lived through it. Other experts have lived through different facets of this… This is a state change. This is not a matter of simply a small change to an individual. It is a sea change in politics. And we are going to have to do something about it. If we don’t do something about it, we all run the risk of losing the democracy that we’ve treasured for so long.”

Unable to answer these remarks, Burnett quickly ended the interview.

While Assange powerfully rebuffed the crude provocations thrown at him by the CNN journalist, the interview once again reveals the intense hostility of the corporate media establishment towards the WikiLeaks web site and its founder. The whistle blowing site has not just revealed the war crimes of US imperialism and its political allies, but exposed the complicity of the mainstream media in these crimes. Well-heeled establishment figures, such as Burnett and others have no interest in genuine journalism. They have become nothing but cyphers for Washington’s slanders and lies. The full “OutFront” interview can be viewed here.

WikiLeaks editor denounces mass internet surveillance and US attacks on democratic rights – World Socialist Web Site:

(Via WSWS)

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 17, 2012 at 15:19

Bill C-309 (Canada’s Anti-Mask Law) and its Discontents | Mostly Water

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As the Police State closes in around the globe with near universal warrantless surveillance, CCTV saturation, indefinite detention and the building of prisons and concentration camps, Canada declares its hand on ‘unlawful assemblies’ and those wishing to conceal their identities.

Bill C-309 (Canada’s Anti-Mask Law) and its Discontents | Mostly Water: “Bill C-309 (Canada’s Anti-Mask Law) and its Discontents

Contributed by blackandred on Sat, 2012/12/15 – 12:55pm In sections: Canada Anarchy Resistance Security apparatus Bill C-309 and its Discontents

By Eric Jacobs; December 11, 2012 – Linchpin http://linchpin.ca/

On October 31, 2012, Parliament voted to approve Bill C-309, an amendment to Section 65 of the Canadian Criminal Code also known as the Preventing Persons from Concealing Their Identity during Riots and Unlawful Assemblies Act. Following a formal rubber-stamping by the Senate, this bill will establish two new criminal offences, each with alarmingly harsh sentencing provisions. Once Bill C-309 becomes law, individuals charged with wearing a mask or other disguise while participating in a riot (defined as ‘an unlawful assembly that has begun to disturb the peace tumultuously’) will face an indictable offence carrying a maximum sentence of ten years; those charged with concealing their identity while participating in an unlawful assembly could face either an indictable offence — carrying a maximum sentence of five years — or a less serious summary offence. The crime of rioting currently carries a maximum two year sentence, whereas participation in an unlawful assembly is a basic summary offence.

Bill C-309, submitted by Conservative MP Blake Richards, was one of three private members bills pushed through Parliament by Stephen Harper’s majority government that day; the other two included Bill C-217, which sets harsh new punishments for those convicted of vandalizing war memorials and Bill C-350, which forces claimants who are awarded monetary settlements from the court to use the funds to first pay back pre-existing court-ordered debts, such as child support, victim compensation or restitution payments.

Traditionally speaking, private members bills rarely become law; major legislative initiatives are usually promoted by cabinet members of the sitting government, not by party backbenchers. The Harper government has begun to change this convention, publicly throwing their support behind a number of private members bills — which require far less constitutional scrutiny and parliamentary oversight than their government-sponsored equivalents — as part of a broader strategy aimed at tightening their control over the political agenda in Ottawa.

Beyond the populist rhetoric of taking a ‘tough stance on crime’, recent Conservative efforts such as C-309 are best understood as part of a massive expansion of this country’s Prison-Industrial-Complex, and a shift towards a more Americanized system of incarceration. When Stockwell Day announced, in 2010, the government’s plan to spend $9 billion dollars on the construction of new prisons, liberal commentators quickly responded by pointing out that crime rates in the country have actually been declining for years. This confusion belies a lack of understanding on the part of many progressives of the true role that prisons play in capitalist society. The myth of prisons popularly conceived of as institutions intended to deter and ultimately rehabilitate criminals ignores the rampant culture of recidivism fostered by a system that does not address the root causes of crime, and purposefully makes the process of reintegration into society more difficult for those leaving prison. It also shrouds the much more important role of the Prison-Industrial-Complex as both a lucrative site of corporate profit and a vital tool of State control.

It is no secret that Bill C-309 is a response to the spread of black bloc tactics in Canada — such as those witnessed in Vancouver during the city’s 2010 Anti-Olympic protests and 2011 Stanley Cup riot, in Toronto during the G20 Summit, and more recently during this year’s student strike in Québec. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament on the day of the bill’s passage, Richards explained why various police chiefs and business leaders had asked him for these tough new laws. ‘They have individuals coming to gatherings of various types and looking to cause trouble and they come with a toolkit. They’ve got a bag, they’ve got a mask, they’ve got a disguise, black clothing, they’ve got hammers to break windows, objects to throw at the police, things to start fires with.’

These new measures should hopefully serve as a wake-up call to anarchists and anti-authoritarians in this country. If you identify yourself as an enemy of the State and capitalism, it should come as no surprise when the State begins to treat you accordingly. In this current age of austerity, it is only prudent for the ruling class to reposition themselves into a more advantageous position to crush the resistance that their policies will inevitably provoke. This is why they are building more prisons — and passing new laws to fill them. Realizing this, the question then becomes: what are we going to do about it?

In terms of the deployment of black bloc tactics, this bill suggests the need for a tactical shift, with a stronger emphasis on avoiding unnecessary arrests. What constitutes an unlawful assembly and/or riot is ultimately up to the discretion of police officers on the ground. Any assembly of three or more people can be declared ‘unlawful’ at any time, thus clearing the way for police officers to surround and arrest small groups of masked protesters. Being aware of police movements and avoiding falling into these types of traps will become increasingly important, as will tactics such as de-arresting and breaking kettles. Along with this must come an increased awareness of the presence of surveillance cameras and the use of plainclothes police — as investigators will likely be happy to wait until after things in the streets have died down to come and arrest black bloc participants in their homes or on their way to work.

Even more importantly, however, anarchists must strengthen our bonds to the mass movements of the working class. The days of the anti-globalization movement are over, and the St. Paul principles that ostensibly served to navigate the rules of ‘diversity of tactics’ are ill-suited to our emergent reality. This approach does not mean we need to compromise our politics — in fact, it demands that we bring anarchism out of the ghetto of radical activism and demonstrate its relevance to those who comprise our natural base of support. The alternative is complicity in the State’s ongoing efforts to marginalize us, thereby leaving us even more vulnerable to the full weight of its repressive security apparatus.

Anarchists also urgently need to develop a strategy that sees the potential of incarceration not as a worst-case scenario, but as an increasingly likely consequence of struggle. Our prison support work must extend beyond letter-writing and fund-raising events (as important as these are) towards a practice that breaks through the isolation of prison walls in more meaningful and productive ways. If the jails are going to be full of anarchists, then they should become breeding grounds for anarchism. As capitalism ramps up its attacks on the working class, larger segments of the population will be drawn into open class war. Things are going to get ugly. As anarchists and revolutionaries, it is our responsibility to meet this coming period of increased repression with clarity of vision and an inspiring depiction of the new world we believe is truly worth fighting for.”

 

(Via MostlyWater.ca)

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 16, 2012 at 10:27