Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged Security Theater

A ticketed passenger, who was apparently also drunk, posed as a TSA worker, patting down women at San Fransisco International Airport.

The man, who was wearing khaki pants and a blue polo, may have swiped plastic blue gloves to look the part.

According to authorities, the man returned to the passenger screening area and convinced a passenger who was already screened to go to a private booth. What happened inside isn’t exactly clear, because she disappeared to catch her flight.

Real TSA agents became suspicious of the man when he was seen ushering another woman into the private screening area, because men are only allowed to screen women in the booths if a female agent is present.

So drunken behavior by a fellow employee is not considered suspicious.

The 53-year-old man was detained until police arrived. He faces a public drunkenness charge, but could face additional charges.

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It’s something most students learn in elementary school — the United States is made up of 50 states and the District of Columbia. But Channel 9′s Justin Gray found out it’s a lesson that an Orlando agent with the Transportation Safety Administration seems to have missed.

A TSA spokesman told Gray that all of the TSA agents in Orlando are being shown copies of District of Columbia driver’s license.


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The New America Foundation held a discussion on National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance threats to cybersecurity, Internet freedom and the economy, and what can be done from both a personal and policy level to counter these threats.

Video cannot be embedded, but is worth watching.

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Heaps of baby photos, fitness selfies, medical records and resumes are among thousands of private communications scooped up and stored by NSA spy programs.

That’s according to new disclosures based on documents Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, gave to The Washington Post — disclosures that show just how easy it is for Americans’ private conversations to be swept into the spy agency’s traps.


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The militarization of American law enforcement continues.

The Caiman, a 12-foot tall armored vehicle is coming to the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio. It is one of 35 Caimans being made available across Ohio.

The vehicles were built with thick walls to handle gunfire and even explosives and provide protection to the soldiers and now law enforcement riding inside its V-shaped interior.

And why is such a vehicle necessary on the streets of America?

Sheriff Ray Stone thinks they are a great idea.

if there is a shooter still in a building or an area and there is an injured officer or person lying on the ground, it can be often be impossible to get medical assistance to them. Deputies and members of the county Special Response Team wear bullet proof vests, but often ride in vehicles with no more protection from bullets than any car or truck.

Now with the addition of the Caiman to the sheriff’s office equipment, Stone points out someone can drive the Caiman between the shooter and the injured person, which would make it safer to provide that assistance needed to save the life of a downed person.

The vehicle can be used as a shield for law enforcement to get behind while making an approach.

And this scenario is something that happens in a battlezone, not in every day America. An incident, such as the one described above, is rare enough that militarizing the police department is not a justifiable response.

Additionally, the Caiman is air conditioned and heated, which Stone pointed out can be really useful during a situation out in the elements for long periods of time. The vehicle can be used as a command center during a stand off or other operation when law enforcement could be on location far from a warm shelter for a long time.

So, in addition to instilling fear, which is what this vehicle aims to do, the police can’t survive unless they are in a climate-controlled vehicle in which the fearful public must pay for gas to keep law enforcement comfortable.

Imagine how intimidating it could be to meet this large armored vehicle coming down a road in Columbiana County or headed toward a home during a drug raid or standoff situation.

One does not need to imagine. The sheriff’s department will be parading it around soon enough.

It also has places where guns can be mounted. It was designed for a convoy of soldiers on patrol in Iraq to be able see and respond with gunfire if needed.

Explain, again, why this is necessary on the streets of America?

As U.S. troops withdraw from the region, the federal government has many of these $733,000 vehicles still in good condition and without a use. Instead of letting the Caimans sit, become rusty and be without a purpose, the vehicles are being offered to local law enforcement for the cost of shipping them. Stone said he is even hopeful the shipping cost may be covered by a grant in the end.

Chief Deputy Allan Haueter notes the Sheriff’s Office Caiman has only 17,000 miles on it.

It doesn’t matter how cheap these vehicles are or how few miles have been put on them, there isn’t a need for such a thing in the United States unless the U.S. government and law enforcement are planning on controlling the population through continued fear.

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