Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged terrorism

Here’s an awkward question that may be urgent: Are we getting over 9.11? Will we ever? Do we want to?

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Over the past 12 years, the NATO campaign in Afghanistan has been primarily defined by the guerrilla nature of the war and the challenges it has posed to more conventional military forces. But irregular warfare is not limited to Afghanistan or even to South Asia. In his latest book, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla, renowned counterinsurgency strategist Dr. David Kilcullen analyzes conflicts in cities like Benghazi, Libya; Kingston, Jamaica; and Mumbai, India to explain the evolving face of warfare.

Scrutinizing major environmental trends — population growth, coastal urbanization, and increasing digital connectivity — he projects a future of feral cities, urban systems under stress, and increasing overlaps between crime and war, internal and external threats, and the real and virtual worlds. Researching transnational drug networks, local street gangs, and the uprisings of the Arab Spring, he emphasizes that dealing with these conflicts will require greater local insight and expertise outside the military realm — from the fields of urban planning, systems engineering, alternative energy technology, conflict resolution, and mediation.

The New America Foundation is pleased to welcome Dr. Kilcullen for a discussion on Out of the Mountains and how countries can diffuse these social conflicts when they arise.

PARTICIPANTS

Dr. David Kilcullen
Author, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla
Founding President and CEO, Caerus Associates
Lt. Col., Australian Army (res.)

Peter Bergen
Director, National Security Studies Program, New America Foundation

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Privacy cartoon

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In October 2009, Shawn Nee, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and photographer in Hollywood, California, was stopped by members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) while taking pictures at a stop on the L.A. subway system.

Disturbing information about the police stop reveals startling and troubling information about how the Sheriff’s Department reports on what it considers suspicious terrorist activity. And what’s happening in L.A. is almost certainly happening everywhere across the country.

The encounter was recorded on a body camera Nee wore for protection. A video of the event went viral as viewers watched Deputy Richard Gylfie ask Nee if he was in “cahoots with Al Qaeda” to sell his pictures “for a terrorist purpose.” After detaining Nee with the assistance of his partner Deputy Roberto Bayes, searching through the contents of Nee’s pockets, and holding Nee’s hands behind his back, Gylfie threatened to put him on “the FBI’s hit list.”

“On one level you’re thinking, is this really happening? And then on another level you’re thinking, this shouldn’t be happening,” says Nee of the incident. Nee became a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department along with two other photographers and the National Photographer’s Rights Organization. Nee is represented by Peter Bibring at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

“Photography is not a crime, it’s artistic expression,” says Bibring. “There is no reason to believe that just [because] he’s taking photographs he’s engaged in any kind of criminal or terrorist activity.”

Bibring says that millions of people every day use their cell phones, point-and-shoot cameras, and even professional-grade cameras to document their lives and the world around them. “In public areas, on public streets, no law bars people from taking photographs,” says Bibring.

The interesting part starts at the five minute mark.

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