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Chertoff Linked to Body Scanner Manufacturer

Chertoff Linked to Body Scanner Manufacturer

Boston Globe
January 2, 2010

WASHINGTON – Since the attempted bombing of a US airliner on Christmas Day, former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff has given dozens of media interviews touting the need for the federal government to buy more full-body scanners for airports.

What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. Chertoff disclosed the relationship on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.

An airport passengers’ rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff’s use of his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.

“Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive,’’ said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners.

Chertoff’s advocacy for the technology dates to his time in the Bush administration. In 2005, Homeland Security ordered the government’s first batch of the scanners – five from California-based Rapiscan Systems. Rapiscan is one of only two companies that make full-body scanners in accordance with current contract specifications required by the federal government.

Currently 40 body scanners are in use among 19 US airports. The number is expected to skyrocket, at least in part because of the Christmas Day incident. The Transportation Security Administration has said it will order 300 more machines.

In the summer, TSA purchased 150 more machines from Rapiscan with $25 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Rapiscan was the only company that qualified for the contract because it had developed technology that performs the screening using a less-graphic body imaging system, which is also less controversial. (Since then, another company, L-3 Communications, has qualified for future contracts, but no new contracts have been awarded.)

Military-Industrial Complex Set To Make A Killing From Body Scanners

 



Chertoff Attacks Bill of Rights, Corporate Media Ignores Story

Chertoff Attacks Bill of Rights, Corporate Media Ignores Story

Kurt Nimmo
TruthNews
December 21, 2007

Do a Google news search on “National Applications Office.” As of this morning, the search engine returns a measly ten results, never mind that the National Applications Office, described as a subset of the Ministry of Homeland Security, will “coordinate access to spy-satellite data for non-military domestic agencies, including law enforcement,” according to Nick Juliano of Raw Story, citing a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal.

“Chertoff insists the scheme to turn spy satellites — that were originally designed for foreign surveillance — on Americans is legal, although a House committee that would approve the program has not been updated on the program for three months,” in other words there is no “legal framework,” but then the neocons don’t need no stinkin’ legal framework.

Even so, Chertoff said not to worry, because “warrants will be obtained when required before collecting satellite intelligence, and the program won’t use technology to intercept verbal communications.”

Of course, capturing verbal communications is not the job of the Ministry, but rather the NSA. Chertoff takes us for morons — and, apparently, a lot of us are — when he promises to obtain warrants and obey the Constitution, sort of the same way Bush’s massive snoop program obtains warrants. Chertoff is simply attempting to mollify us, not that the corporate media is following this story. Naturally, this makes perfect sense, as there are other, more important stories to report on, for instance the pregnancy of Britney Spears’ sixteen year old sister.

But wait a minute. Chertoff wasn’t finished. In addition to the eye in the sky, our Lavrentiy Beria of the neocon commissariat promised “a cyber-security strategy, part of an estimated $15 billion, multiyear program designed to protect the nation’s Internet infrastructure,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Replace the words “cyber-security strategy” with “cyber snoop strategy” and you’ll get a better idea of what Chertoff and the Ministry have in mind. “The program has been shrouded in secrecy for months and has also prompted privacy concerns on Capitol Hill because it involves government protection of domestic computer networks.” in other words, “domestic computer networks,” that is to say the network you are using to read this, will be protected from thought crime.

“Both areas put Homeland Security in the middle of a public debate over domestic spy powers, kicked off by the revelation two years ago that the National Security Agency had been eavesdropping on some conversations in the U.S. without a warrant.”

Some? As we know, the NSA is employing a vacuum cleaner approach, grabbing everything going over domestic networks, both telephonic and internet, and running keyword algorithms on it all to ferret out al-Qaeda associations. Of course, in this context, al-Qaeda is anybody who disagrees with the government, not strictly a couple mythical guys in a CIA constructed cave complex in Afghanistan.

Back in April, the Ministry demanded Verisign hand over the “master keys” to the internet, an effort that drew about as much attention from the corporate media as the current “cyber-security strategy” and the Ministry’s eye in the sky.

“If it succeeds, the US will be able to track DNS Security Extensions (DNSSec) all the way back to the servers that represent the name system’s root zone on the Internet,” Nick Farrell wrote at the time. “Effectively it would mean that US spooks could snoop on anyone in the Worldwide wibble and place control of the Interweb tubes firmly in the paws of the US government.”

If the U.S. and the Ministry controlled the DNS root zone, they would be able not only to snoop more effectively, but would be able to control DNS lookups. Put in layman’s terms, this means the Ministry would be able control a wide range of internet activity, from email delivery to surfing the net. Imagine a “no-fly” list for the internet.

As for the Ministry’s “satellite surveillance tools,” operated by the newly created National Applications Office, it’s all about real-time snooping.

“The spy surveillance satellites are considered by military experts to be far more powerful than those currently available to civilian officials,” notes Wikipedia. “For example, they can take color photos, see through cloud cover and forest canopies, and use different parts of the light spectrum to locate traces left by chemical weapons. However, the full capabilities of these systems are among the most carefully held governmental secrets.” In October, Congress filed an injunction against the NAO, fretting over civil liberty issues, that is to say at least some of our Congress critters are worried about the Ministry using secretive government technology to further erode the Constitution.

Bureaucrats and underwear drawer snoopers fear not. Because, as should be expected, Congress will flip somersaults like a well-trained dog, afraid of being seen as rolling out a red carpet for al-Qaeda.

“If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the United States one of the world’s most closely monitored nations,” writes Tim Shorrock. It has nothing to do with Muslim miscreants and everything to do with keeping tabs on the sort of people who hand out sandwiches to Halliburton employees.

In fact, dropping Halliburton’s name in here is entirely appropriate, as the NAO effort will be subcontracted. “The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors, including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC),” Shorrock continues. “These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.”

Finally, recall Donald Kerr, principal deputy director of National Intelligence and the National Reconnaissance Office, instructing us to surrender any antiquated reverence for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. “I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity,” declared Kerr in October.

“Anonymity has been important since the Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms,” explains Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The government has tremendous power: the police power, the ability to arrest, to detain, to take away rights. Tying together that someone has spoken out on an issue with their identity is a far more dangerous thing if it is the government that is trying to tie it together.”

Indeed, it is all about people speaking out. It has absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaeda, now a perennial boogieman used to scare school children and intellectually flabby adults alike. The Ministry, NRO, NAO, working with the likes of Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation, are dismantling the Constitution and erecting a high-tech control grid.

But never mind. Didn’t you know that MTV’s Tila Tequila is bisexual? I mean, who has the time to worry about the Bill of Rights when we are offered such lurid spectacles?

DHS Finalizing Spy Satellite Program To Watch Americans Without Congressional Oversight
http://www.infowars.net/articles/december2007/201207Satellite.htm

 



Homeland Security Spy Satellites to Watch Americans

DHS Finalizing Spy Satellite Program To Watch Americans Without Congressional Oversight
Plans also include “cyber-security strategy” to “protect” domestic computer networks

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
December 20, 2007

The Department of Homeland security is forging ahead and finalizing plans to use a network of spy satellites for domestic surveillance despite the fact that the Congressional committee supposedly overseeing the program has had no update on it for over three months.

A report in today’s Wall Street Journal suggests that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is in the process of finalizing a charter for the program this week, regardless of the fact that it is supposed to be suspended.

The DHS had declared that the program was “on hold” after its existence was made public in August, prompting an outcry amongst civil libertarians and lawmakers.

Demands to justify the congressional legality of the satellites, which were originally mandated for foreign surveillance,followed the revelation that a new department branch called the National Applications Office would oversee the program and be responsible for providing images from the satellites to non military law enforcement agencies.

Critics have called for cuts to DHS funding, stressing that the program is in direct violation of the Posse Comitatus act, which prevents the use of military for domestic law enforcement. It also violates the fourth amendment as the satellites are capable of seeing through the walls of people’s homes.

Domestic intelligence and security agencies are now receiving more funding for spy satellites than the military.

“We still haven’t seen the legal framework we requested or the standard operation procedures on how the NAO will actually be run,” House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie G. Thompson told the WSJ.

In addition to the satellites, the surveillance program also includes new forms of internet monitoring:

Mr. Chertoff also plans soon to unveil a cyber-security strategy, part of an estimated $15 billion, multiyear program designed to protect the nation’s Internet infrastructure. The program has been shrouded in secrecy for months and has also prompted privacy concerns on Capitol Hill because it involves government protection of domestic computer networks.

Essentially the program would allow the DHS to regulate and control access to the internet in the name of “protecting” national security.

The news comes on the back of separate revelations that another military spy agency, the NSA has increasing control over SSL, now called Transport Layer Security, the cryptographic protocol that provides secure communications on the internet for web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other data transfers.

In other words the agency is capable of intercepting and reading your emails and instant messages in real time.

We also learned this week that the lawyer for an AT&T engineer has alleged that “within two weeks of taking office, the Bush administration was planning a comprehensive effort of spying on Americans’ phone usage.” That is BEFORE 9/11, before the nation was embroiled in the freedom stripping exercise commonly known as the “war on terror” had even begun.

We shouldn’t be surprised obviously, Government surveillance programs targeting Americans are legion and have been in place for decades.

Ministry of Homeland Security Developing X-Ray Snoop Device
http://www.truthnews.us/?p=1366

Homeland Security Cameras Scan License Plates at Mall
http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=36386