Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts tagged Security Theater

Known as Stingrays, the FBI has admitted to using cell phone towers to track you. Their usual response includes they must do this to catch terrorists, pedophiles and missing children.

The press conference actually occurred back in October, but the video didn’t surface until this weekend and hadn’t been reported on until the Charlotte Observer’s excellent investigation into the use of Stingrays by local police was published on Sunday.

Stingrays work by allowing police to track the movement of a suspect, and are often used without a warrant, which was recently declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.

Comey also said that the agency has “nothing to hide” from “good people,” but that secrecy is important if Stingrays are going to be effective. Comey doesn’t note, however, that, in trying to track down any one “bad person,” the agency law enforcement necessarily tracks the locations of everyone within a wide geographic radius, thanks to the way the technology works.

The ACLU, meanwhile, has said that every year, millions of good people are getting wrapped up in a surveillance dragnet they didn’t ask to be involved in.

“The devices wrap up innocent people, which looks like a dragnet search that’s not legal under the Fourth Amendment,” Nate Wessler, a staff attorney for the ACLU, recently told me. “Even if they’re tracking a specific suspect, they’re getting info about every bystander. That’s a concern.”

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From Schiphol Airport:

Schiphol regularly tries out new technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation. Recently, we began using Google Glass in the terminal and outside on the airfield. By tapping into this innovative technology, we hope to both gain a better insight into the passenger experience and support operations at the airport.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest in Europe. Airport authority officers are trialling Google Glass as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information.

The airport started its trial of Glass last month, and has developed a Glass app which lets staff ask the device for gate or aircraft data and have the results displayed via the headset or on their smartphone. Another future feature the airport hopes to implement is the ability to measure the placement distance of barriers on the taxiway just by looking at them, rather than officers having to manually take measurements. It goes without saying that that’s going to require a very thin margin of error.

The airport is not committed to Glass beyond trialling it at this point. Any decision about whether the face computers will become a permanent fixture on staff will be taken next year, it said.

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Samuel Bryant of Brooklyn Park was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. (Anne Arundel police photo)

Samuel Bryant of Brooklyn Park was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense. (Anne Arundel police photo)

Yet another TSA employee has been arrested on sex abuse charges.

Samuel Bryant, 40, was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense.

Bryant is accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old girl on three occasions at his Brooklyn Park home on Jan. 5. The girl told a sibling about the alleged abuse on Feb. 4,and the sibling told their mother, according to charging documents.

Attorney Peter O’Neill, who is representing Bryant, said his client “vehemently denies having any improper relationship or improper touching with this young lady.”

A TSA spokeswoman said early Wednesday afternoon the agency was terminating Bryant’s employment. Bryant later updated his social media page to say he is unemployed.

“These alleged crimes are egregious and intolerable,” said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.

O’Neill called the termination “wholly inappropriate.”

“That’s essentially convicting him before he has a chance to defend himself.”

Bryant was a lead transportation security officer for the TSA, according to his LinkedIn professional networking page. People in that position screen passengers, manage and train employees, and oversee the operations of TSA checkpoints, according to the TSA website.

Bryant had worked for the TSA since March 2004, according to his networking page.

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From TSA Watch:

We are seeking funds to start a National Watchdog Group that will force the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) to clean up their act.

We are a Citizen Watchdog Group, working to protect traveler rights and dignity from abuses by the TSA. We strive to ensure no violations go unreported and grievances are addressed and redressed.

Mission Statement: TSA Watch is a new membership organization being built to will serve the traveling public, American Citizens and Visitors, by working to ensure personal liberty is not sacrificed in the pursuit of national security. For the first time the public will work together in increasing numbers to watch the TSA and make sure all violations are reported. Members and other travelers will enjoy a centralized place to share their own complaints about the TSA, get help with filing official complaints with the TSA itself, and work together to seek redress of grievances and a halt to TSA’s worst patterns of violating human rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.

Long Description:

TSA Watch will become the “go to” organization for Citizens and guests to address their concerns with the US Transportation Security Administration, the TSA.

For those who don’t know, the TSA is the organization that conducts most screening and searches of air travelers, and increasingly travelers of every modality.

While we prepare the infrastructure for the launch of our fully functional watchdog group, with all of it’s features, this Facebook page will serve as a forum for those who wish to share their TSA experiences publicly. We will also share news, videos and other information pertaining to TSA misbehavior.

Please feel free to share your tales of TSA mistreatment as comments, which will be curated and then made public.

Discussion:
Currently, there are numerous violations being reported in a haphazard manner across the Internet, but there is no one place to collect this information and do something about it. Complaints vary, but the top six areas of complaint include:

1. Lack of accomodation in security screening for travelers with documented medical conditions that routinely trigger in depth scans,
2. Theft of personal property,
3. Damage to personal property,
4. Sexual violations by TSA Agents groping the breasts, genitals, and other private areas of a person’s body,
5. Abusive language and attitude directed by the agents to people, and
6. Arbitrary delay of travelers making them miss their connections, which leads to lost work, happiness, and opportunity.

We will address these violations by:
1) creating TSA Watch, a new national membership organization
2) bringing to light the frequent violations of traveler’s person, property, and dignity currently made by TSA personnel,
3) by documenting patterns of these abuses,
4) by bringing further light through investigation of those TSA divisions and personal making the most egregious violations, and
5) bringing public scrutiny to these abuses through every medium we can.

The group has a go fund me page to raise support.

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Politicians in Congress are pushing to declassify 28 pages from the 9/11 reports. Rep. Massie spoke in July about why these particular pages need to be declassified.

the former co-chairman of the panel that produced the heavily-redacted 2002 report will hold a Capitol Hill press conference calling for its complete release. Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham will join Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), as well as 9/11 families, to demand President Obama shine light on the entire blanked-out Saudi section.

Graham claims the redaction is part of an ongoing “coverup” of the role of Saudi officials in the 9/11 plot. He maintains the Saudi hijackers got financial aid and other help from the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and the Saudi embassy in Washington, as well as from wealthy Sarasota, Fla., patrons tied to the Saudi royal family.

Jones and Lynch say they will reintroduce their resolution urging Obama to declassify the information in the newly seated Congress. The bipartisan bill has attracted 21 co-sponsors, including 10 Republicans and 11 Democrats, since first introduced 12 months ago.

organizers have launched a letter-writing campaign to encourage senators to sign the resolution, including Sen. Charles Schumer, who in 2003 led a group of 46 senators in penning a letter to Bush.

Schumer (D-NY) at the time said, “The bottom line is that keeping this material classified only strengthens the theory that some in the US government are hellbent on covering up for the Saudis.”

The New Yorker discussed the 28 pages, questioning why they are still kept secret. No one is allowed to see the documents from the Bush, Cheney and Bill Clinton interviews with the commission, if they exist. Those interviews were said to have no recordings, no transcripts and no one was under oath.

The behavior of the government is why people are skeptical about everything the U.S. government says and does. The whole notions appears to be simply conspiracy, but those who have seen the 28 pages say there is nothing in them that threaten national security and no reason to not let the public read them. By keeping them secret, the government is fueling the conspiracy fire.

James Bamford’s documentary, Spy Factory, touches on what the CIA knew and how it works, including the information it had, but refused to share with the FBI.

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