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The Obama DOJ’s warrantless demands for e-mails

The Obama DOJ’s warrantless demands for e-mails

Salon
April 15, 2010


I want your emails.

A very significant case involving core privacy protections is now being litigated, where the Obama Justice Department is seeking to obtain from Yahoo “all emails” sent and received by multiple Yahoo email accounts, despite the fact that DOJ has never sought, let alone obtained, a search warrant, and despite there being no notice of any kind to the email account holders:

    In a brief filed Tuesday afternoon, the coalition says a search warrant signed by a judge is necessary before the FBI or other police agencies can read the contents of Yahoo Mail messages — a position that puts those companies directly at odds with the Obama administration.

As part of a case conducted largely under seal and thus hidden from public view, the DOJ demanded these emails from Yahoo without any effort to demonstrate probable cause to believe the email user was involved in the commission of any crime, but instead merely based on the vague claim that there is “reasonable grounds to believe” the emails “are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” If the DOJ position were accepted, Americans would have substantially less privacy protections in their email communications.

Federal law is crystal clear that a search warrant is required for the Government to obtain any emails that have been stored less than 180 days — one that requires a showing of probable cause and that the documents sought to be described with particularlity. In contrast to the nation’s largest telecoms’ eager cooperation with Bush’s illegal surveillance programs, Yahoo — to its credit — refused to turn over any such emails to the Government without a search warrant. As a result, the DOJ is now seeking a federal court Order compelling the company to comply with its demands, and a coalition of privacy groups and technology companies — led by EFF and including Google — have now filed a brief supporting Yahoo’s position. Both Yahoo and that coalition insist that federal law as well as the Fourth Amendment’s search and seizure protection bar the Obama DOJ from acquiring these emails without a search warrant.

Read Full Article Here

Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

Obama will bypass Congress to detain suspects indefinitely

Obama Supports Renewing The PATRIOT ACT

Joe Biden’s pro-RIAA, pro-FBI tech voting record

Obama Votes YES on FISA Spy-Bill, McCain Skips

Obama Supports Giving Telecoms Amnesty for Illegal Wiretaps

Obama Implements ‘Precrime’ ‘Prolonged Detention’ for Detainees

 



NSA Copying Internet Activity Worldwide

NSA Copying Internet Activity Worldwide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqaqgkDjMpU

 



Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest

Wired
March 10, 2010

Josh Gerstein over at Politico sent Threat Level his piece underscoring once again President Barack Obama is not the civil-liberties Knight In Shining Armor many were expecting.

Gerstein posts a televised interview of Obama and John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. The nation’s chief executive extols the virtues of mandatory DNA testing of Americans upon arrest, even absent charges or a conviction. Obama said, “It’s the right thing to do” to “tighten the grip around folks” who commit crime.

When it comes to civil liberties, the Obama administration has come under fire for often mirroring his predecessor’s practices surrounding state secrets, the Patriot Act and domestic spying. There’s also Gitmo, Jay Bybee and John Yoo.

Now there’s DNA sampling. Obama told Walsh he supported the 18 states, including the federal government, that have varying laws requiring compulsory DNA sampling of individuals upon an arrest for crimes ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. The data is lodged in state and federal databases, and has fostered as many as 200 arrests nationwide, Walsh said.

The American Civil Liberties Union claims DNA sampling is different from mandatory, upon-arrest fingerprinting that has been standard practice in the United States for decades.

A fingerprint, the group says, reveals nothing more than a person’s identity. But much can be learned from a DNA sample, which codes a person’s family ties, some health risks, and, according to some, can predict a propensity for violence.

The ACLU is suing California to block its voter-approved measure requiring saliva sampling of people picked up on felony charges. Authorities in the Golden State are allowed to conduct so-called “familial searching” — when a genetic sample does not directly match another, authorities start investigating people with closely matched DNA in hopes of finding leads to the perpetrator.

Wondering whether DNA sampling is legal?

The courts have already upheld DNA sampling of convicted felons based on the theory that the convicted have fewer privacy rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that when conducting intrusions of the body during an investigation, the police need so-called “exigent circumstances” or a warrant. That alcohol evaporates in the blood stream is the exigent circumstance to draw blood from a suspected drunk driver without a warrant.

 



Obama Advisor: BAN Conspiracy Theories

Obama Advisor: BAN Conspiracy Theories Against U.S. Government
Sunstein: Taxation and censorship of dissenting opinions “will have a place” under thought police program advocated in 2008 white paper

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
January 14, 2010

The controversy surrounding White House information czar and Harvard Professor Cass Sunstein’s blueprint for the government to infiltrate political activist groups has deepened, with the revelation that in the same 2008 dossier he also called for the government to tax or even ban outright political opinions of which it disapproved.

Sunstein was appointed by President Obama to head up the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an agency within the Executive Office of the President.

On page 14 of Sunstein’s January 2008 white paper entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” the man who is now Obama’s head of information technology in the White House proposed that each of the following measures “will have a place under imaginable conditions” according to the strategy detailed in the essay.

    1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing.

    2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.

That’s right, Obama’s information czar wants to tax or ban outright, as in make illegal, political opinions that the government doesn’t approve of. To where would this be extended? A tax or a shut down order on newspapers that print stories critical of our illustrious leaders?

And what does Sunstein define as “conspiracy theories” that should potentially be taxed or outlawed by the government? Opinions held by the majority of Americans, no less.

The notion that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing JFK, a view shared by the vast majority of Americans in every major poll over the last ten years, is an example of a “conspiracy theory” that the federal government should consider censoring, according to Sunstein.

A 1998 CBS poll found that just 10 per cent of Americans believed that Oswald acted alone, so apparently the other 90 per cent of Americans could be committing some form of thought crime by thinking otherwise under Sunstein’s definition.

Sunstein also cites the belief that “global warming is a deliberate fraud” as another marginal conspiracy theory to be countered by government action. In reality, the majority of Americans now believe that the man-made explanation of global warming is not true, and that global warming is natural, according to the latest polls.

But Sunstein saves his most ludicrous example until last. On page 5 he characterizes as “false and dangerous” the idea that exposure to sunlight is healthy, despite the fact that top medical experts agree prolonged exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of developing certain cancers.

To claim that encouraging people to get out in the sun is to peddle a dangerous conspiracy theory is like saying that promoting the breathing of fresh air is also a thought crime. One can only presume that Sunstein is deliberately framing the debate by going to such absurd extremes so as to make any belief whatsoever into a conspiracy theory unless it’s specifically approved by the kind of government thought police system he is pushing for.

Despite highlighting the fact that repressive societies go hand in hand with an increase in “conspiracy theories,” Sunstein’s ’solution’ to stamp out such thought crimes is to ban free speech, fulfilling the precise characteristic of the “repressive society” he warns against elsewhere in the paper.

“We could imagine circumstances in which a conspiracy theory became so pervasive, and so dangerous, that censorship would be thinkable,” he writes on page 20. Remember that Sunstein is not just talking about censoring Holocaust denial or anything that’s even debatable in the context of free speech, he’s talking about widely accepted beliefs shared by the majority of Americans but ones viewed as distasteful by the government, which would seek to either marginalize by means of taxation or outright censor such views.

No surprise therefore that Sunstein has called for re-writing the First Amendment as well as advocating Internet censorship and even proposing that Americans should celebrate tax day and be thankful that the state takes a huge chunk of their income.

The government has made it clear that growing suspicion towards authority is a direct threat to their political agenda and indeed Sunstein admits this on page 3 of his paper.

That is why they are now engaging in full on information warfare in an effort to undermine, disrupt and eventually outlaw organized peaceful resistance to their growing tyranny.

 

Sunstein’s Paper Provides More Evidence COLINTELPRO Still Operational

Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
January 14, 2009

Cass Sunstein’s white paper, entitled “Conspiracy Theories,” is an exclamation point in the latest chapter of a long history of government tyranny against citizens who organize in opposition to the government. Sunstein argues that individuals and groups deviating from the official government narrative on a number of political issues and events are a national security threat. The administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs formulates “a plan for the government to infiltrate conspiracy groups in order to undermine them via postings on chat rooms and social networks, as well as real meetings, according to a recently uncovered article Sunstein wrote for the Journal of Political Philosophy,” writes Paul Joseph Watson.


FDR, an icon for many liberals, sent the FBI after citizens who opposed his war policies.

Sunstein’s plan is a reformulation of a long-standing effort to subvert the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. Concerted government attacks against organized political opposition began soon after the founding of the republic — specifically with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 by the Federalists — but have gained critical momentum in the modern era.

During the First World War, the government created the Bureau of Investigation, predecessor to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and appointed J. Edgar Hoover as its head. Hoover’s Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of police and the military — described as a “citizens auxiliary” — conducted mass raids against the anti-war movement of the time, according to documents released by the Church Committee in the 1970s. The Bureau, specifically designed as a national political police force, “rounded up some 50,000 men without warrants of sufficient probable cause for arrest” for the crime of opposing the First World War.

In 1920, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer conducted a massive program in 33 cities and rounded up over 10,000 people. The Church Committee report (p.384) talks of “the abuses of due process of law incident to the raids.” According to Robert Preston (Aliens And Dissenters), the Palmer Raids involved “indiscriminate arrests of the innocent with the guilty, unlawful seizures by federal detectives” and other violations of constitutional rights. The Church Committee (p.385) “found federal agents guilty of using third-degree tortures, making illegal searches and arrests, using agents provocateurs.” Palmer and Hoover found no evidence of a proposed Bolshevik revolution as they claimed but a large number of the rounded up suspects continued to be held without trial.

The Second World War brought a new wave of government terrorism against political opponents. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a 1940 issued a memorandum giving the FBI the power to use warrantless wiretaps against suspected subversives, that is to say activists opposed to U.S. involvement in the war. FDR not only unleashed the FBI on activists, but concerned citizens as well. After giving a speech on national defense in 1940, FDR had his press secretary, Stephen Early, send Hoover the names of 128 people who had sent telegrams to the White House criticizing the address. “The President thought you might like to look them over,” Early’s note instructed Hoover.

Following the Second World War, the government engineered the immensely profitable (for the military-industrial complex) Cold War and the attendant Red Scare. In 1956, the FBI established COINTELPRO, short for Counter Intelligence Program. COINTELPRO was ostensibly manufactured to counter communist subversion, but as a numerous documents reveal the program focused almost exclusively on domestic opposition to government policies.

The Church Committee explains that COINTELPRO “had no conceivable rational relationship to either national security or violent activity. The unexpressed major premise of much of COINTELPRO is that the Bureau has a role in maintaining the existing social order, and that its efforts should be aimed toward combating those who threaten that order.”

“This is a rough, tough, dirty business, and dangerous,” former Assistant to Director Hoover, William C. Sullivan, told the Church Committee. “No holds were barred.”

This “rough, tough, dirty business” included infiltration of political groups, psychological warfare, legal harassment, and extralegal force and violence. “The FBI and police threatened, instigated and conducted break-ins, vandalism, assaults, and beatings. The object was to frighten dissidents and disrupt their movements,” write Mike Cassidy and Will Miller. “They used secret and systematic methods of fraud and force, far beyond mere surveillance, to sabotage constitutionally protected political activity. The purpose of the program was, in FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s own words, to ‘expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize’ specific groups and individuals.”

After the Church Committee exposed COINTELPRO, the government claimed it had dismantled the program. However, in the 1980s, the Reagan administration legalized the tactics by signing Executive Order 12333.

“There is every reason to believe that even what was not legalized is still going on as well. Lest we forget, Lt. Col. Oliver North funded and orchestrated from the White House basement break-ins and other ‘dirty tricks’ to defeat congressional critics of U.S. policy in Central America and to neutralize grassroots protest. Special Prosecutor Walsh found evidence that North and Richard Secord (architect of the 1960s covert actions in Cambodia) used Iran-Contra funds to harass the Christic Institute, a church-funded public interest group specializing in exposing government misconduct,” Cassidy and Miller continue.

In addition, North worked with FEMA to develop contingency plans for suspending the Constitution, establishing martial law, and holding political dissidents in concentration camps. Since the false flag attacks of September 11, 2001, the government has worked incessantly to fine tune plans to impose martial law. It has also worked to federalize and militarized law enforcement around the country.

Brian Glick (War at Home) argues that COINTELPRO is a permanent feature of the government. “The record of the past 50 years reveals a pattern of continuous domestic covert action,” Glick wrote in the 1990s. “Its use has been documented in each of the last nine administrations, Democratic as well as Republican. FBI testimony shows ‘COINTELPRO tactics’ already in full swing during the presidencies of Democrats Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman. COINTELPRO itself, while initiated under Eisenhower, grew from one program to six under the Democratic administrations of Kennedy and Johnson… After COINTELPRO was exposed [by the Church Committee], similar programs continued under other names during the Carter years as well as under Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. They have outlived J. Edgar Hoover and remained in place under all of his successors.”

Sunstein’s call for authoritarian action against government critics — including outright censorship in addition to the established tactics mentioned above — reveals that COINTELPRO has indeed outlived Hoover.

“Some conspiracy theories create serious risks. They do not merely undermine democratic debate; in extreme cases, they create or fuel violence,” writes Sunstein. “Even if only a small fraction of adherents to a particular conspiracy theory act on the basis of their beliefs, that small fraction may be enough to cause serious harms.”

Sunstein’s analysis dovetails with that of the Department of Homeland Security. In its now infamous report on “rightwing extremism,” the DHS insists members of the constitutionalist movement (including Libertarians and advocates of the Second Amendment) are not only violent but also virulent racists (a conclusion provided pre-packaged by the ADL and the SPLC).

If realized, Cass Sunstein’s call for outright censorship and the absurd proposal to impose fines and taxes on people who hold political views contrary to those of our rulers will naturally result in a redoubling of political activity on the part of the truth movement (specifically mentioned as “kooks” by Sunstein) and Libertarians and Constitutionalists.

As history repeatedly demonstrates, when faced with a strong and determined political opposition government invariably turns to more brutal and violent methods to enforce its will. Our rulers understand this and that is why they are hurriedly finishing their high-tech police and surveillance grid.

Obama Regulation Czar Advocated Removing People’s Organs Without Explicit Consent

 



Americans gave up liberty for homeland security

Americans gave up liberty for homeland security
This educational video made in 1948 should remind us all how America has lost so much freedom since 9/11 when the American people believed the government that Alqaeda hates our liberties and that we should let them wiretap without a warrant and violate your privacy for the good of the homeland and that we must wage expensive wars or the terrorists might hit us again. Benjamin Franklin once said “If you give up your liberty for a bit of security, then you deserve to lose both”. Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVh75ylAUXY

 



Senate panel approves Patriot Act renewal

Dem-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee extends PATRIOT Act provisions

Capitol Hill Blue
October 9, 2009

Key US lawmakers passed legislation Thursday extending three key provisions of the PATRIOT Act, the sweeping intelligence bill enacted after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Backing a White House request, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the measure 11 votes to 8 to extend until 2013 three clauses that would have expired by 31 December. The bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

The provisions include the “roving wiretap” clause, used to monitor mobile communications of individuals using multiple telephone lines, and the “lone-wolf” provision, which enables spying on individuals suspected of terrorist activity but with no obvious connection to extremist groups.

Lawmakers also extended the life of controversial section 215, known as the “library records provision” that allows government agencies to access individual’s library history.

The committee had earlier met in a closed-door meeting with members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the intelligence community on ensuring their actions would not impede investigations already underway.

The senators also debated freeing up law enforcement actions that have been hampered by legislation and court rulings since the first program was launched by former president George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11, which enabled collecting sensitive information for years without a court order.

Republicans senators have remained critical of placing restrictions on the intelligence community, saying they should more of a free hand in the early stages of investigations.

But their Democratic counterparts have decried the fact that the provisions still do not in their view adequately respect the privacy of ordinary Americans.

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold said he feared handing a “blank check” to law enforcement agencies and criticized the Democrat-controlled committee for not passing safeguards that even Republicans supported during the Bush administration.

“Among the most significant problems is the failure to include an improved standard for Section 215 orders, even though a Republican controlled Judiciary Committee unanimously supported including the same standard in 2005,” he said in a media advisory.

“But what was most upsetting was the apparent willingness of too many members to defer completely to behind the scenes complaints from the FBI and the Justice Department, even though the administration has yet to take a public position on any of the improvements that I and other senators have proposed. … [While] I am left scratching my head trying to understand how a committee controlled by a wide Democratic margin could support the bill it approved today, I will continue to work with my colleagues to try to make improvements to this bill.”

Michael Macleod-Ball, acting director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington legislative office said the rights group was “disappointed” that further moves were not made to protect civil liberties.

“This truly was a missed opportunity for the Senate Judiciary Committee to right the wrongs of the PATRIOT Act,” he said.

“We urge the Senate to adopt amendments on the floor that will bring this bill in line with the Constitution.”

Obama Supports Renewing The PATRIOT ACT

 



Telephone Companies Are An Arm Of Government Admits DOJ

Telephone Companies Are An Arm Of Government Admits DOJ

Wired News
October 9, 2009


AT&T was the first of many telcos sued for helping the NSA spy on Americans without warrants

The Department of Justice has finally admitted it in court papers: the nation’s telecom companies are an arm of the government — at least when it comes to secret spying.

Fortunately, a judge says that relationship isn’t enough to squash a rights group’s open records request for communications between the nation’s telecoms and the feds.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation wanted to see what role telecom lobbying of Justice Department played when the government began its year-long, and ultimately successful, push to win retroactive immunity for AT&T and others being sued for unlawfully spying on American citizens.

The feds argued that the documents showing consultation over the controversial telecom immunity proposal weren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act since they were protected as “intra-agency” records:

“The communications between the agencies and telecommunications companies regarding the immunity provisions of the proposed legislation have been regarded as intra-agency because the government and the companies have a common interest in the defense of the pending litigation and the communications regarding the immunity provisions concerned that common interest.”

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffery White disagreed and ruled on September 24 that the feds had to release the names of the telecom employees that contacted the Justice Department and the White House to lobby for a get-out-of-court-free card.

“Here, the telecommunications companies communicated with the government to ensure that Congress would pass legislation to grant them immunity from legal liability for their participation in the surveillance,” White wrote. “Those documents are not protected from disclosure because the companies communicated with the government agencies “with their own … interests in mind,” rather than the agency’s interests.”

The feds were supposed to make the documents available Friday, but in a motion late Thursday, the Obama administration is asking for a 30-day emergency stay (.pdf) so it can file a further appeal.

Read Full Article Here

Obama Pushes For Renewal of Warrantless Spying