Thursday, October 18, 2007

Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders...

Here we go again...

Here's just another case how "big business" is working in cahoots with The Federal Gov't to share your personal info with each other.


Verizon Says It Turned Over Data Without Court Orders

Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post
October 16, 2007

Verizon Communications, the nation’s second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers’ telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times since 2005.

The company said it does not determine the requests’ legality or necessity because to do so would slow efforts to save lives in criminal investigations.

In an Oct. 12 letter replying to Democratic lawmakers, Verizon offered a rare glimpse into the way telecommunications companies cooperate with government requests for information on U.S. citizens.

Verizon also disclosed that the FBI, using administrative subpoenas, sought information identifying not just a person making a call, but all the people that customer called, as well as the people those people called. Verizon does not keep data on this “two-generation community of interest” for customers, but the request highlights the broad reach of the government’s quest for data.

The disclosures, in a letter from Verizon to three Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating the carriers’ participation in government surveillance programs, demonstrated the willingness of telecom companies to comply with government requests for data, even, at times, without traditional legal supporting documents. The committee members also got letters from AT&T and Qwest Communications International, but those letters did not provide details on customer data given to the government. None of the three carriers gave details on any classified government surveillance program.

From January 2005 to September 2007, Verizon provided data to federal authorities on an emergency basis 720 times, it said in the letter. The records included Internet protocol addresses as well as phone data. In that period, Verizon turned over information a total of 94,000 times to federal authorities armed with a subpoena or court order, the letter said. The information was used for a range of criminal investigations, including kidnapping and child-predator cases and counter-terrorism investigations.

Verizon and AT&T said it was not their role to second-guess the legitimacy of emergency government requests.

The letters were released yesterday by the lawmakers as Congress debates whether to grant telecom carriers immunity in cases in which they are sued for disclosing customers’ phone records and other data as part of the government’s post-September 11 surveillance program, even if they did not have court authorization. House Democrats have said that they cannot contemplate such immunity without first understanding the nature of the carriers’ cooperation with the government.

“The responses from these telecommunications companies highlight the need of Congress to continue pressing the Bush administration for answers. The water is as murky as ever on this issue, and it’s past time for the administration to come clean,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who launched the investigation with panel Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).

Congressional Democrats have been largely stymied in their efforts to have the Bush administration disclose the scope and nature of its surveillance and data-gathering efforts after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Revelations have come through press reports, advocacy groups’ Freedom of Information Act lawsuits and Justice Department inspector general reports.

In May 2006, USA Today reported that the National Security Agency had been secretly collecting the phone-call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by major telecom firms. Qwest, it reported, declined to participate because of fears that the program lacked legal standing.

Last month, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy group in San Francisco, obtained records through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit showing that the FBI sought data from telecom companies about the calling habits of suspects and their associates, the New York Times reported. Neither Qwest nor AT&T answered the lawmakers’ question as to whether they had received such requests for information.

Yesterday’s 13-page Verizon letter indicated that the requests went further than previously known. Verizon said it had received FBI administrative subpoenas, called national security letters, requesting data that would “identify a calling circle” for subscribers’ telephone numbers, including people contacted by the people contacted by the subscriber. Verizon said it does not keep such information.

“The privacy concerns are exponential each generation you go away from the suspect’s number,” said Kurt Opsahl, senior staff attorney with the EFF. “This shows that further investigation by Congress and the inspector general is critical.”

Earlier this year, the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the FBI may have improperly obtained phone, bank and other records of thousands of people inside the United States since 2003 by using national security letters and exigent letters, or emergency demands for records.

Michael Kortan, an FBI spokesman, said the bureau has suspended use of community-of-interest data “while an appropriate oversight and approval policy” is developed. He added that the inspector general is reviewing the use of those data.

Both Verizon and AT&T suggested in their letters that they already enjoy legal immunity under existing laws. But AT&T said that when the lawsuits involve allegations of highly classified activity, the company cannot prove its immunity claims.

Carriers are facing a raft of lawsuits from individuals and privacy advocates, such as the EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union, for allegedly violating Americans’ privacy by aiding the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program.

The federal government has intervened, arguing that to continue the case would divulge “state secrets,” jeopardizing national security.

The Senate Intelligence Committee could draft a bill this week that includes relief for the carriers. The administration is seeking blanket immunity, which would extend to anyone sued for assisting the government — not just telecom carriers — in its post-Sept. 11 surveillance programs.

“It’s rare in these situations where there’s agreement between the plaintiffs and the defendants — that there are plenty of protections for telecommunications providers in the existing laws,” said the EFF’s Opsahl, adding that no new immunity is necessary. “It appears that we both agree that the court should be able to look at the full situation, despite the state-secrets privilege.”

In its letter, Verizon said that on occasion, it receives requests without correct authorizations. For instance, it said, it once received a request for stored voice mail without a warrant. The company does not respond until proper authorization is received, it said.

AT&T and Verizon both argued that the onus should not be on the companies to determine whether the government has lawfully requested customer records. To do so in emergency cases would “slow lawful efforts to protect the public,” wrote Randal S. Milch, senior vice president of legal and external affairs for Verizon Business, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

“Public officials, not private businessmen, must ultimately be responsible for whether the legal judgments underlying authorized surveillance activities turn out to be right or wrong — legally or politically,” wrote Wayne Watts, AT&T’s senior executive vice president and general counsel. “Telecommunications carriers have a part to play in guarding against official abuses, but it is necessarily a modest one.”



I never thought that The Verizon Dude (Real Name: Paul Marcarelli) would sell out the customer...

Ed Brown (Possibly) Gassed, Tortured In Deprivation Tank...

I found this article after I heard about an older couple getting "bum rushed" by The Feds for protesting the Federal Tax Law

Ed Brown Gassed, Tortured In Deprivation Tank
Tax protester speaks for first time since arrest in prison phone call

Audio Clip of the recently imprisoned Ed Brown.

Here's a clip of Elaine's son (Ed's step-son) speaking about how he hasn't talked to her since the arrest.

Ed and Elaine Brown: Tax Protesters



All this over some money owed to The IRS?

What's next, getting arrested by The ATF for buying a beer, a gun, and a pack of smokes?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Army Tests Bio-Weapons on U.S. Citizens...

This lil' clip is from a show Bill Kurtis did some years back on A&E.

Army Tests Bio-Weapons on U.S. Citizens


Makes ya think, doesn't it?

If they were doing all that "back in the day," what the Hell are they doing now?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The fantasy of L.A.'s 'race war'

It keeps getting better and better...

Read below.


The fantasy of L.A.'s 'race war'

Gregory Rodriguez
October 1, 2007

Get this: A new study by three UC Irvine criminologists has concluded that Los Angeles is not on the brink of a major interracial crime wave. Surprised? That's understandable. Because for the last several years, the media have been increasingly fixated on the specter of black-versus-brown violence.

Last January, a CNN anchorwoman asked a visibly perturbed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa whether Los Angeles was "in the middle of a race war." That same month, this newspaper published an opinion piece claiming that "Latino ethnic cleansing of African Americans from multiracial neighborhoods" was an "increasingly common trend."

Yes, there have been high-profile incidents of Latino-black violence (mostly involving gang members in and outside of prison), but, as the new study's authors suggest, those stories tend to be sensationalized in the media to make those crimes seem like the rule rather than the exception. Furthermore, whereas the antics of white thugs are generally treated as unreflective of the opinions of whites at large, the media often interpret the actions of black and Latino criminals as the logical extension of the sentiments of the majority of their law-abiding ethnic brethren.

Granted, the study's findings are nothing to brag about. A murder is a murder is a murder. But other than "a blip" in black-on-Latino homicides in 2005 and another in Latino-on-black killings in 2006, the study's authors conclude that there is no upward trend in interracial violent crime.

According to the study, which focused on six years of data from four precincts in the Los Angeles Police Department's South Bureau, street violence has been overwhelmingly intra-racial rather than interracial. According to scholars John R. Hipp, George E. Tita and Lindsay N. Boggess, "blacks are about 500% more likely to assault a fellow black than a Latino and about 650% more likely to murder a fellow black." For their part, Latino offenders are also much more likely to assault or murder a fellow Latino than an African American.

So why has the media been so quick to embrace the specter of full-scale black-Latino warfare?

Well, let's face it, newspapers and other media are not above playing on readers' fears (or maybe even their wishes). In this paper, a January story titled "Racial attacks by gangs rising, L.A. officials fear" ran on the front page, whereas the article on the new study of racial crime was published on the fourth page in Section B.

Still, I suspect there's more at play than just the mere selling of newspapers. A nationwide Gallup poll in August on race relations may hold some clues. When pollsters inquired about the state of black-white relations, 75% of Anglo respondents said they were either very good or somewhat good. But when asked about black-Hispanic relations, Anglo respondents were much less upbeat, with only 46% describing them positively. The low opinion whites have of Latino-black relations is particularly interesting given that 68% of blacks and 59% of Latinos considered black-Latino relations generally good.

Call me cynical, but I suspect that Anglo race fatigue may be involved in this negative view of the situation. You know what I'm talking about. Over the last generation, a growing number of white Americans have expressed their exasperation with the seeming intractability of racial issues in the U.S.

Does that make whites who feel this way racist? No, not necessarily. But I imagine that plenty of them are eager to consign the issue of race to a new set of players and, indeed, may be relieved that the media's preoccupation with black versus brown has eclipsed that of white versus black. "They want to say, 'Look at them. It's not just us,' " said essayist Debra Dickerson. "They're not the guilty ones."

But contemporary black-Latino tensions don't somehow erase -- or render routine -- the historical divisions between white and black in America. To pretend the two relationships are equivalent is to downplay the official role and legacy of white supremacy in American history. Racial violence committed on society's edges by marginal black and Latino thugs is not the same as that which was condoned by white elected officials and respected citizens not so very long ago. Correct me if I'm wrong, but large groups of Latino and black family men have not been known to form lynch mobs, and our Mexican American mayor has not barred black students from the city's schools.

I can't help thinking that there is some sort of wish fulfillment in the black-versus-brown fixation. But all the wishes in the world won't erase the legacy of our nation's painful racial past.


Truth to tell, ALOT of what you hear about this is Black-Latino Gang Violence, specifically The Mexican Mafia vs. The Black Guerrilla Family.

But to ask to question why would people try to escalate "Black-Latino Violence?"

The answer is simple:

Pit Black against Brown against White against Yellow.

That's called "Divide and Conquer," folks...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sheriff's Deputies Hold Arrest Contests...

Here's some more crazy stuff.

You think "The Wray Affair" is bad here in Greensboro, check this out...



05:29 AM PST

Sheriff's Deputies Hold Arrest Contests

LA Times:

Los Angeles- Participating in sports such as football, weightlifting and boxing has long been part of the culture within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. But deputies have recently been playing some new games -- on-duty enforcement competitions that have police watchers across the country crying foul.

One recent competition, described in an internal Sheriff's Department e-mail obtained by The Times, was called "Operation Any Booking." The object was to arrest as many people as possible within a specific 24-hour period.

Other one-day competitions have included "Operation Vehicle Impound," a contest aimed at seizing as many cars as possible. And another challenged deputies to see how many gang members and other suspected criminals could be stopped and questioned.

The prize for winning was nothing more than "bragging rights," said Lt. James Tatreau, who helped organize the events that involved teams of deputies patrolling the southeast Los Angeles cities of Lakewood, Bellflower, Paramount, Artesia and Hawaiian Gardens. The station is one of 23 that make up the nation's largest sheriff's department.

"It's just a friendly competition to have a little fun out here," Tatreau said. It was Tatreau who sent the e-mail about the booking contest Aug. 15. Tatreau said he viewed the games, which began in July, as a morale booster for overworked deputies who, because of staffing shortages, are required to work four overtime shifts a month.

But police accountability experts, civil libertarians and defense attorneys condemned the practice, saying that it trivialized traumatic encounters such as arrests and having a car impounded, and raised questions about deputies' motives in taking such actions.

Hubert Williams, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation, which promotes innovative policing strategies, called the competitions "highly problematic and inappropriate."

"The arrest is one of the most potent tools in the possession of law enforcement and should be used with great thought," Williams said. "It's not a competition or a game."

Others, including Los Angeles County Public Defender Michael P. Judge, worried that the games might also prompt deputies to make illegitimate arrests to boost their statistics.

"Certainly, it calls into question whether there was a legitimate reason to book any of the people who were booked during the time of the competition," Judge said.

"It's crazy," said Jane White, the associate director of the National Center for Community Policing. "I'm at a loss for words. I've never heard of anything like this before."

After being called for comment by The Times on Wednesday, Sheriff Lee Baca said he spoke with the Lakewood station lieutenant. Baca called the competitions a well-meaning but ill-conceived idea that promoted "the wrong values."

"We train deputies to be independent thinkers and leaders," Baca said. "The lesson learned here is that -- whether it's for morale purposes or to increase productivity -- law enforcement is not the kind of service where you can dictate the activity.

"We're not into numbers, we're into quality," he said. "I don't think it will occur again."

Operation Any Booking did not result in an increase in arrests on the day of the contest, according to records provided to The Times in response to a public records request. The cities reported a combined total of 28 arrests, which was equal to the daily average that month.

The impound competition, however, appears to have dramatically increased the number of vehicles seized, records show. On average, deputies in the five-city area hauled away 4.7 cars a day in July. On the day of the contest, July 11, they impounded 37 vehicles -- which owners could not recover until they paid a towing fee.

Deputies in Lakewood seized 18 vehicles that day, half the total they would impound over the course of the month.

The number of field interviews with gang members and other suspected criminals also soared during the contest to increase that particular enforcement activity. Tatreau said the spike occurred because some deputies had fallen out of the habit of doing that intelligence gathering.

Before he was contacted by Baca, Tatreau said he stood by the idea to encourage deputies' productivity and had been encouraged by deputies who liked the competition.

"They were pumped and excited," Tatreau said. "I've never got any negative feedback. It's not a quota or review system. It's a morale booster."

Like every station, Tatreau said, there are "good, hardworking deputies and there are the lazy guys." He said he was trying to encourage the less motivated deputies to get more involved in proactive police work.

Tatreau said he joined the Lakewood station about 18 months ago and noticed that some deputies weren't pulling their weight. Some patrol deputies made 15 to 20 arrests a month, while others made seven arrests in an entire year, he said.

"It frustrates me that people are so against doing work and cry foul," he said.

Tatreau said he was "almost certain" that he was the one who came up with the original idea to have deputies compete, but that he did so with the approval of his captain.

On the day of the contests, a sheet of paper was posted in the watch commander's office where deputies reported their activity. At the end of the 24-hour period, the team results were tallied.

"We're not doing anything wrong," Tatreau said. "No way, no how did anyone encourage officers to falsify a report or an arrest."


You would figure with all of the violence in LA, that these guys would have something BETTER TO DO!!

School Guards Break Child's Arm And Arrest Her For Dropping Cake (No Joke!)

What the Hell is going on?!

It took me awhile to post this because I wanted to be sure this wasn't a joke or a mistake of some kind.

Is this still America, "Land of the Free & Home of The Brave," or is this The Old Soviet Union or Communist China?

Just peep this crap out.


School Guards Break Child's Arm And Arrest Her For Dropping Cake
Pandemic of police and security violence continues unabated | September 30 , 2007
Steve Watson

UPDATE: High School Secuity Guards Attack Teen With Camera Then Frame Him

School security guards in Palmdale, CA have been caught on camera assaulting a 16-year-old girl and breaking her arm after she spilled some cake during lunch and left some crumbs on the floor after cleaning it up.

The incident occurred last week at Knight High School in Palmdale and was caught on a cell phone camera by another pupil who was then also assaulted by the security guards.

Watch video of the incident here and here.

The girl, Pleajhai Mervin, told Fox News LA that she was bumped while queuing for lunch and dropped the cake. After being ordered to clean it up and then re-clean the spot three times, she attempted to leave the area out of embarrassment but was jumped on by security who forced her onto a table, breaking her wrist in the process.

Pleajhai also says that the security guard in the picture yelled "hold still nappy-head" at her, which at the time she did not know was a racist comment.

In an even more shocking development the security guards later had the mother of the girl arrested after she sought out an attorney and demanded that the guard be arrested, telling her that if she wanted the guard detained then she herself would also be charged with battery after she allegedly pushed the guard and an assistant principal of the school. She has also been suspended from her job at another school in the county.

The school expelled Pleajhai for five days before then having her arrested for battery and for littering (the dropping of the cake). Then they had the pupil who captured the video arrested along with his sister who was merely present at the scene.

A walkout is planned for this morning by some students, after which the protesters will call for the firing of the main security guard involved.

The incident serves as another unbelievable case in the wave of police brutality sweeping the country. In recent days we have covered multiple incidents of this nature and have compiled them into a page which will no doubt be added to in the months to come.

Commentators have linked the increased cases of brutality with a post 9/11 mentality in America where civil liberties have been totally diminished and the anointed "authorities" simply consider themselves above the law.

Former Reagan government official Paul Craig Roberts, for instance, has succinctly described the mentality as having turned "an epidemic of US police brutality into a pandemic".

The media reports linked above clearly sympathize with the girl and her mother but only because the girl "fully complied with the guards' orders".

What on earth have things come to when children are being physically assaulted and arrested in schools by huge fat thugs 5 times their size for "not complying with orders"?

Police and security officials are being trained that it's OK to beat, torture and taser anyone should they not answer their questions or comply with their every order.

The "security" and well being of citizens is no longer the concern of these moronic hired beefbrains who revel in their false positions of power. Ask yourself, why is the security guy pictured above wearing shades indoors? Because it is part of the gang mentality of these idiots who think its cool to put the fear of life into small kids and then break their bones if they fail to cower like mice when picked upon.

We have been covering the rise of the police state mentality in tandem with the erosion of liberty for some time now. The incident narrated above represents a stark evolution. Watch the following clip from around ten years ago which was featured in Alex Jones' 2004 Film Martial Law: Rise of the Police State , where police assault and break the arms of peaceful protestors.

The difference now is that the police and security guards are breaking the arms of children and tasering students for merely asking questions or for dropping birthday cake.


Here's more...


High School Security Guards Attack Teen With Cell Phone Camera Then Frame Him
Incident provokes national outrage | September 29, 2007
Steve Watson

High School security guards in Palmdale CA have reacted viciously to an incident that was caught on camera last week, creating false charges against school children to detract from their own excessive actions which have since hit the headlines.

The incident at Knight High School, which received national attention yesterday, blew up after security thugs assaulted a 16 year old school girl and broke her arm after she dropped some cake and did not clean it up to the satisfaction of the guards.

The Guards then viciously assaulted a 16 year old boy who captured video of the incident on his cell phone. After the guards noticed the boy was filming them they forcefully tackled him, pushing his head into the ground and twisting his arm behind his back. The boy's sister attempted to intervene as other students began to film on phones.

After initially letting the boy go, the security guards had him and his sister arrested a day later on assault charges after angry parents hit out and demanded the firing of the guards in question. The school also had the girl who dropped the cake arrested for littering and the girl's mother arrested on a separate fabricated assault charge.

While the mainstream media has played down this terrible incident merely referring to it as a "scuffle", and Knight High School has refused to condemn the actions of the guards, public reaction has been heated.

This incident represents another example of how police and security personnel believe they can simply invent charges against innocent people they clash with. Two weeks ago we featured a story on a motorist who caught a St. George Police Sergeant named Kenline stating that he had the power to invent charges that would put the man behind bars.

Here is a new article on the incident from KNBC.

Saturday September 29, 2007

PALMDALE, Calif. -- Parents and students at Knight High School protested Friday morning because of an incident in which three teenagers and a mother were arrested last Thursday after alercations with security guards, prompting an investigation into the guards' behavior.

The altercations were videotaped by students at a birthday celebration during the school's lunch hour. At some point, birthday cake was tossed around and landed on the floor, sparking a series of events.

A female student who is shown on the video being held down by a guard said she had dropped cake and bent down to clean it up. She said when the security guard told her to clean up part of the mess that had been overlooked, a verbal altercation erupted -- and quickly turned physical.

The security guard grabbed her by the arm as she headed out, the student said. She said the security guard was overzealous in twisting her arms and, despite her pleas, he broke her wrist, which was later put into a cast.

"He grabbed me by my arm and put my arm behind my back and pulled it up until it hurt," said student Pleajhai Mervin. "Then, he slammed me on the table."

The security guard called her a "nappy-head," Mervin said.

Mervin, who was later arrested and expelled from school, said that when the security guard realized the incident was being recorded, he tackled the other student taking the video. That male student was also arrested, and his sister was arrested when she saw him on the ground with the guard and tried to intervene, she said.

The male student has been incarcerated at a juvenile detention center, KNBC reported, because he was already on probation for robbery at the time of the incident.

After Mervin's mother, Latricia Majors, arrived at the school, she was arrested for allegedly battering the principal. Majors spent the evening in jail. Majors later said she hired an attorney from the Cochran firm and planned to sue the school district.

"I want justice for my daughter," Majors said. "The security guards who wronged her, I want them to be held accountable for their actions."

The Antelope Valley Union School District said in a statement: "A recent incident occurred... that has caused serious concern within the district and our community... an event that resulted in a physical confrontation between school staff and students.

"The district has launched an investigation... and an employee of the district has been placed on paid administrative leave."

The district's superintendent told KNBC that physical confrontation is always a last resort to maintain order.

District officials said the 25-year-old security guard has been with the district for two years.


Judge for Yourself

All over some f*&king cake?

Someone needs to do something NOW!!!