PT Shamrock September 2011 Newsletter

September 2011 Newsletter

"In March of 2011, it was (quietly) reported that the US, after
110-year run as the number one country in factory production, had
ceded the crown to China - just 20 years earlier a third world,
backward giant. The business of China was business. The business
of America had become war."
- Gerald Celente

In this issue:

* Big Brother 2.0: 10 New Ways That The Government Will Be Spying
On You And Controlling Your Behavior
* Britian Begins Stealing Bank Deposits Ahead Of The Global Financial Collapse.
* Scary Stuff - Big Brother is watching you: The town where EVERY
car is tracked by police cameras
* Breaking News! Public Guardian to Expand Powers to Seize Assets
* Good News? Not! TSA cause yet more outrage by confiscating pregnant
woman's insulin and ice packs
* Did you know? As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared
* Bad News - Hackers Take $1 Billion a Year as Banks Blame Their Clients
* Bank of America sued for outsourcing customer calls overseas
* Food for thought - The Development of 'Privacy Killing Technologies'
* Horror Stories - 6 Creepy New Weapons the Police and Military
Use To Subdue Unarmed People
* The District of Criminals - Does Google spy for NSA? Judge says
you can't know
* Scientists warn face recognition searches pose 'ominous' privacy risk
* Police State - US cannot say how many had communications watched
* Hot Tips - Paypal Founder Peter Thiel Invests $1.25 Million to
Create Floating Micro-Countries
* Red Hot Product!
* Advisory - Google Admits Handing over European User Data to US
Intelligence Agencies
* 'Operation Shady Rat': Investigators uncover massive cyber attack
on U.S. and UN 'by China'
* Dumbing Down - First Amendment: Online Exhortation to Shoot Obama
Was Protected Speech, 9th Circuit Rules
* Dumb signs - The NSA Is Building An Artificial Intelligence System
That Can Read Minds
* Dumb facts - Russian Intelligence Calls Facebook "Information Warfare Weapon"
* Dumb criminal acts - Children defy police in Washington, purchase
lemonade at Capitol
* Dumbing Down Award of the month - This months award goes to....
* Unbelievable Dumbing Down - Your Voice Mail May Be Even Less
Secure Than You Thought
* As America's Economy Collapses, "New Normal" Police State Takes Shape
* Cannon Fodder - Watchdog hits out at Yahoo! for 'spying' on
customer emails to sell targeted advertising
* Oz Corner
* Bug Bites: Anonymous strikes again, hitting cybersecurity
contractor ManTech in order to embarrass the FBI
* Why is George Soros selling gold and buying farmland?
* Shamrock's Missive
* Tid Bits - Latest in Web Tracking: Stealthy 'Supercookies'
* Just in case! Use of surveillance cameras on the rise in Volusia, Flagler
* Quotes
* Tid Bits - Congress and Obama: We Need More Innocent People in Prison
* More Tid Bits - The Champions; A Businessman in Congress Helps
His District and Himself
* Bits n bobs - Florida Judge Declares State's Drug Law Unconstitutional
* More Bits N bobs - Why Rioters Won't Be Protected by BlackBerry
Messaging System
* Millionaires Go Missing - There's nothing like a recession to level incomes..
* Disturbing facts - A prime aim of the growing Surveillance State
* Letters To The Editor
* Quote of the month!
* PT Shamrock's Exclusive Member's Site!

*** Big Brother 2.0: 10 New Ways That The Government Will Be Spying
On You And Controlling Your Behavior

Are you ready for Big Brother 2.0? If you think that the hundreds of
ways that the government watches, monitors, tracks and controls us
now are bad, just wait until you see what is coming. We live in an
age when paranoia is running wild. As technology continues to develop
at an exponential pace, governments all over the globe are going
to discover a multitude of new ways to spy on us and control our
behavior. In a world where everyone is a "potential terrorist", we
are told that things like liberty, freedom and privacy are "luxuries"
that we can no longer afford. We are assured that if we just allow
the government to watch all of us and investigate all of us that
somehow that will keep us all safe. But it isn't just the government
that is watching us. Now we are being taught to spy on one another
and to report any trace of "suspicious activity" to the government
immediately. The entire civilized world is being transformed into
one giant prison grid, and many of the new technologies that are
now being introduced are going to make things even worse.

The following are 10 new ways that the government will be spying
on you and controlling your behavior....

#1 Are you ready for "electronic skin tattoos"? One team of
researchers has created an extremely thin, extremely flexible "smart
skin" that will open up a whole new world of possibilities. Wearing
"skin-mounted electronics" might seem like a great idea to tech
geeks, but it also could create a whole lot of new problems. The
following is how an article in one UK newspaper described this
new breakthrough....

The "epidermal electronic system" relies on a highly flexible
electrical circuit composed of snake-like conducting channels that
can bend and stretch without affecting performance. The circuit is
about the size of a postage stamp, is thinner than a human hair and
sticks to the skin by natural electrostatic forces rather than glue.

Yes, this kind of technology would be a great way to connect
wirelessly to the Internet and it would be helpful for doctors
that need to monitor their patients, but the potential for abuse
is also there.

Once this type of technology becomes widespread, governments will
be able to monitor the location and activities of their citizens
like never before.

In addition, this type of technology could one day become mandated
by governments. For example, someday you may be required to have
an "electronic skin tatoo" in order to prove your identity or to
participate in commerce.

Also, it is not too far of a stretch to imagine that "skin-mounted
electronics" could be used to control large populations. Just
remember, if you connect yourself physically to the Internet,
that also means that the Internet is connected to you.

#2 According to a shocking document obtained by Oath Keepers,
the FBI is now instructing store owners to report many new forms
of "suspicious activity" to them. According to the document,
"suspicious activity" now includes....

* paying with cash
* missing a hand or fingers
* "strange odors"
* making "extreme religious statements"
* "radical theology"
* purchasing weatherproofed ammunition or match containers
* purchasing meals ready to eat
* purchasing night vision devices, night flashlights or gas masks

According to WorldNetDaily, this document is part of a "series
of brochures" that will be distributed "to farm supply stores,
gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and motels."

#3 The U.S. military has developed an invisible "pain ray" that
is remarkably effective. The following is how a recent article
posted on Alternet described this weapon.... It sounds like a
weapon out of Star Wars. The Active Denial System, or ADS, works
like an open-air microwave oven, projecting a focused beam of
electromagnetic radiation to heat the skin of its targets to 130
degrees. This creates an intolerable burning sensation forcing those
in its path to instinctively flee (a response the Air Force dubs the
"goodbye effect").

Sadly, this weapon is already being used in American prisons. How
long will it be before it is used on the general population?

#4 Be careful about what you put up on Facebook or Twitter. Law
enforcement agencies all over the globe are now focusing on social
media as never before. For example, the NYPD has just created a
special "social media" unit dedicated to looking for criminals on
Facebook and Twitter.

#5 Facial recognition technology has now come of age. With the
millions of security cameras that are going up all over the world,
such technology is proving to be very useful for law enforcement
authorities. In fact, police in London are using it to track down
people that were involved in the London riots. The following is an
excerpt from a recent CBC report that described these efforts....

Facial recognition technology being considered for London's 2012
Games is getting a workout in the wake of Britain's riots, with
officers feeding photographs of suspects through Scotland Yard's
newly updated face-matching program.
Facial recognition technology is rapidly going to become part of our
everyday lives. In fact, now even Facebook is using it. Eventually
it is going to become very difficult to avoid the reach of this

#6 "Smart meters" are going into homes all over North America and
Europe. These smart meters monitor your home every single minute
of every single day and they transmit very sophisticated data about
your personal behavior back to the utility company. They are already
being used by police all over the United States in drug cases. If
a smart meter catches you using an "unusual" amount of energy there
is a good chance that your home will be raided.

The European Parliament has set a goal of having smart meters in
the homes of 80 percent of all electricity consumers by the year
2020, and Barack Obama is working very hard to get them into as
many American homes as he can.

#7 Our children are being trained to accept being under surveillance
almost constantly. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture
is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras
in the cafeterias of U.S. public schools so that government control
freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.

#8 Perhaps you thought that only Tom Cruise had to worry about
"pre-crime". Well, now "pre-crime" is popping up in the real
world too. The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has
announced that it will begin using analysis software to predict
crime by young delinquents and will place "potential offenders"
in specific prevention and education programs.

#9 According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are now using
"extraction devices" to download data from the cellphones of
motorists that they pull over. This is taking place even if those
pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.

The following is how an article on CNET News described the
capabilities of these "extraction devices"....

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text
messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell
phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with
different models and can even bypass security passwords and access
some information.

#10 LRAD sound cannons are already been used by law enforcement
authorities to disperse large crowds inside the United States. So
how much "damage" can sound do? Well, it turns out that sound can
actually do a whole lot of damage. The following is how Alternet
describes these cruel weapons....

The Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, built by American Technology
Corporation, focuses and broadcasts sound over ranges of up to
hundreds of yards. LRAD has been around for years, but Americans
first took notice when police used it in Pittsburgh to ward off
protesters at the 2009 G-20 summit. It is generally used in two
ways: as a megaphone to order protesters to disperse; or, if they
disobey, as an "ear-splitting siren" to drive them away. While LRAD
may not be deadly, it can permanently damage hearing, depending on
how it's used.

LRAD sound cannons do not discriminate. When they are being used
to disperse protesters, any innocent bystanders in the area will be
affected as well. If anyone gets too close to an LRAD sound cannon
while it is in use, permanent damage can result. Small children
and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Sadly, the use of LRAD
sound cannons is becoming more common. In fact, they have even been
used to break up college block parties.
So is this the kind of world that you want to live in?

Do you want your children and grandchildren to live in a world
where liberty and freedom are all but forgotten?

This world is headed toward a very dark place. These "Big Brother"
technologies are going to become even more pervasive and even
more oppressive. If this trend is not stopped now, someday these
technologies will get into some very evil hands, and then all hell
will be unleashed.

So what do all of you think about these "Big Brother"
technologies? Please feel free to email us your comments with
your opinion.
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Britian Begins Stealing Bank Deposits Ahead Of The Global Financial Collapse.
- Presscore Canada

It happened before and it is starting again. Government confiscating
(stealing) the people's life savings. Just like in 1929 the British
government began its theft of the people's life savings just before
the Great Depression. After an inflationary run-up in prices and
asset values, the stock market crashed in 1929, and the economy
soon went with the crash. This time the British government is
disguising its outright theft by claiming the entire contents of
safety deposit banks are owned by criminals and the contents are
the proceeds of crimes.

In March of 2011 the British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered
British police to execute Operation Rize - raid and seize the entire
contents (art, gold ingots, gold dust, jewelery and cash) of nearly
7,000 safety deposit boxes from three vaults in London. The British
government simply told Scotland Yard that the safety deposit boxes
were used by criminals to store cash, guns and drugs.

The British government instructed the police to arrest anyone who
went to the vaults to try and recover the contents of their safety
deposit boxes. Those who protested the seizure of the contents of
their safety deposit boxes were to be charged with various offenses
including pedophilia, money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms

When word spread about the government raid and theft of the contents
of their safety deposit boxes people rushed to the bank vaults. The
police arrested 146 and charged 30 (those with the most cash and
gold in their safety deposit boxes) with trumped up pedophilia,
money-laundering, drug-dealing and firearms charges.

This isn't the first time the British government ordered the seizure
of its people's deposits. Back in June 2008, 1 year after the global
economic crisis began, police armed with automatic weapons were
ordered by Gordon Brown to seize (to take by force) thousands of
deposit boxes, ranging from small book-sized boxes to large walk-in
safes in a string of west London raids. Armed robbery is defined
as a crime "involving the use of a weapon in the taking of money
or goods in the possession of another, from his or her person or
immediate presence".

The contents of safety deposit boxes were stolen by the British
government from Park Lane Safe Depository in Park Street, Hampstead
Safe Depository in Finchley Road, and Edgware Safe Depository in
High Street, Edgware.

The British government came up with the idea back in 2006. The
British government needed new money and the only new and real money
was being held by the people in safety deposit boxes. The government
can't tax what is sitting for years in thousands of safety deposit
boxes so they decided to confiscate it all. The confiscation of
the people's money was codenamed Operation Rize. Operation Rize
being code for Ruse. The ruse is the British government labeling all
safety deposit box owners as criminals in order to steal the valuable
contents of their safety deposit boxes. Every safety deposit box in
the largest vaults in London were ordered raided based entirely on
the British government's assertion that a handful of safety deposit
box owners were suspected of being corrupt.

Why is this significant for people in the United States? The
U.S. government is preparing to do the same in the United States.

The U.S. government has been stealing its people's money since 2008
and the only real money ($trillions) left in the United States is
being kept in its peoples' safety deposit boxes. The U.S. government
has lost its prized AAA rating and the S&P made it known that
it could drop it again in November. Yesterday, Guan Jianzhong,
chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, said the U.S. currency
(the worthless Federal Reserve Note) is being "gradually discarded
by the world," and the "process will be irreversible." Because of
the rating downgrade and foreign governments dropping the worthless
Federal Reserve Note, the U.S. government is being forced by the
Federal Reserve bankers to make preparations to confiscate the
people's valuable financial assets held in safety deposit boxes
across the U.S. by using the same false accusation as the British
government - all safety deposit box owners are criminals and the
contents of those boxes deemed to be criminal proceeds.

Government confiscation (theft) of its peoples gold dates back to
the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. In 1917, President Woodrow
Wilson was forced by the bankers of the newly formed Federal Reserve
to sign the "TWEA" into law, forbidding American individuals and
businesses from engaging in trade with "enemy nations." The world's
functional gold standard, which had overseen tremendous global
economic growth in the early years of the twentieth century, was
effectively halted by the Federal Reserve bankers and the outbreak
of World War I soon followed. With gold no longer being the standard
for trade (the worthless counterfeit Federal Reserve Note replaced
it) the stage was thus set for the Great Depression and World War II.

Shortly after taking office sixteen years later, Franklin Delano
Roosevelt was forced by the Federal Reserve bankers to sign
Executive Order 6102 into law, prohibiting the "hoarding" of
gold. Under this Federal Reserve order, Americans were prohibited
from owning more than $100 worth of gold coins, and all "hoarders"
(i.e. people who owned more than $100 worth of gold) were forced,
by law, to sell their "excess" gold to the Federal Reserve bankers
at the prevailing price of $20.67 per ounce.

Then, once the Federal Reserve bankers had all the gold, FDR
revalued the dollar relative to gold so that gold was now worth
$35 an ounce. By simple decree, the Federal Reserve bankers had
thereby robbed millions of American citizens at a rate of $14.33
per ounce of confiscated gold, which is why most historians agree
that the Gold Confiscation of 1933 was the single most draconian
economic act in the history of the United States - that is until
the Federal Reserve bankers did it again 75 years later.

On November 24, 2008, U.S. Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
wrote, "In bailing out failing companies, they are confiscating
money from productive members of the economy and giving it to
failing ones. By sustaining companies with obsolete or unsustainable
business models, the government prevents their resources from being
liquidated and made available to other companies that can put them
to better, more productive use. An essential element of a healthy
free market, is that both success and failure must be permitted to
happen when they are earned. But instead with a bailout, the rewards
are reversed - the proceeds from successful entities are given to
failing ones. How this is supposed to be good for our economy is
beyond meĆ¢¦. It won't work. It can't work¦ It is obvious to most
Americans that we need to reject corporate cronyism, and allow the
natural regulations and incentives of the free market to pick the
winners and losers in our economy, not the whims of bureaucrats
and politicians."

Shamrock's commet: We urge readers in the strongest possible terms
to obtain the free report:
"Revealed: Where And How To Legally Buy, Move And Store Gold Abroad"
by best selling author and second passport expert, Dr. Charles

Obtain your free PDF download copy at
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Scary Stuff

Big Brother is watching you: The town where EVERY car is tracked
by police cameras
- Mail Online

A sleepy Home Counties market town has become the first in Britain
to have every car passing through it tracked by police cameras.

Royston, in Hertfordshire, has had a set of police cameras installed
on every road leading in and out of it, recording the number plate
of every vehicle that passes them.

The automatic number-plate recognition system will check the plates
against a variety of databases, studying them for links to crimes,
and insurance and tax records, and alerting police accordingly.

There were just seven incidents of vehicle crime in the town last
month, and residents believe the unmarked cameras are an invasion
of their privacy.

Quaint... and under surveillance: Royston, Hertfordshire is a
small town with low-level crime, but is being monitored by the new
police system

The system, due to be switched on in the next few days, also allows
police to compile 'hotlists' of vehicles that they are interested
in and which will be flagged up when the ANPR system

Details of the cars movements will stay on police records for two
years, or five if the car is connected to a crime, the Guardian

The system, which is operated regionally, has sparked fears that
the data could be abused and has led to claims that it is a big
brother network that the public are completely oblivious of.

Guy Herbert, general secretary from NO2ID, which campaigns against
databases storing the public's details, said: 'It's very sinister
and quite creepy.

'They can approach anyone they like, but there's no legal basis
for them doing so.
'There's no way to regulate how they use ANPR, they are the authority
on it and they have their own rules.

'So there's no way to protect people's privacy.'

Mr Herbert also takes issue with the fact that the cameras are not
advertised to the motorist, so many are unaware they have even been
caught on the camera.

But Inspector Andy Piper, the ANPR manager for Hertfordshire and
Bedfordshire, and a Royston resident himself, insists that the
system will not be abused.

He told the Guardian: 'We only deal with people we're interested
in stopping - that's the criminal element that comes into our
county intent on committing crime, and unsafe drivers, disqualified
drivers, or people driving uninsured vehicles, who we want to take
off the road.'

Watching you: The ANPR cameras have been installed in the roads
leading in and out of Royston

The ANPR cameras, which are not usually advertised to the public,
seem bizarre given Royston's low level of crime. The town has a
population of 15,000.

Following the most recent meeting of the Royston Neighbourhood Panel,
it was decided that the local top priority of speeding should be
replaced by shoplifting.

So some have questioned why Hertfordshire Police have taken such
measures to track all of cars coming in and out of the town, which
borders the Cambridgeshire and Essex counties.
Former Royston mayor Rod Kennedy believes the system is targeting
the wrong area and details of vehicles should be deleted, unless
they have committed a crime or are not registered.

'I just feel that we are on this slippery slope where everything
we do will be monitored. I don't see why the honest citizen in a
rural area such as this should have their movements tracked.'

Peaceful: Royston May Fayre, Priory Memorial Gardens, Royston, is a
quiet town But Inspector Piper told the Mail that many businesses
were in favour of the system. 'On first sight, the ANPR coverage
of such a low crime town as Royston may seem an unusual choice,
but ANPR works both as a deterrent and a detection tool.

'The local district council and local business group funded the
cameras to help protect their businesses and local residents
from crime.

'And when we look at the bigger picture in terms of Hertfordshire,
as well as nationally, the position of the cameras makes a lot of
sense strategically to target those criminals travelling into the
county on the main roads in that area.'

The ANPR system uses a mixture of mobile cameras inside police cars
and fixed installations in some locations.

Police argue it helps trace missing people and identify witnesses
to help with crimes but James Welch, Legal Director for Liberty,
a human rights campaigning group said there needs to be tougher
rules to stop it from being vulnerable to misuse.

'ANPR technology captures an identifying marker - a car's number
plate - so has the capability to track and record an individual's
movements far more intrusively than CCTV,' he said.

'While there may be crime detection gains the potential for abuse is
great. 'We need an informed debate about the extent and potential
of this technology and proper statutory regulation is already
long overdue.'
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*** Breaking News!

Public Guardian to Expand Powers to Seize Assets
- Janet Phelan

AB 1288, which is now in front of the California Legislature, would
expand the timeframe in which the Public Guardian's office could take
control of an elder's assets, prior to filing for conservatorship
over that individual.

Now hold on a minute. Does this bill actually state that the Public
Guardian can come in and take over assets without a guardianship
being in place? How in the world can that be allowed?

Well, the law authorizing this is already on the books, as Probate
Code 2900, which allows the PG to seize assets based on "intent"
to file for guardianship.

AB 1288 would just give the Public Guardian a bit more time to
hit the bank. As written into law, PC 2900 allows the PG's office
fifteen days to mosey over to the savings and loan and take all
of Grandma's hard earned cash, based on "intent" and without an
official determination of incapacity by any court of law. AB 1288
would give the PG an extra chunk of time to do exactly the same
thing and would include the option to kick out family or friends
living with the proposed conservatee.

And, most tellingly, without even telling Grandma. The only notice
that needs to be given to the prospective ward is if the assets are
in a Trust. Sans that document, the PG can simply drive up to the
bank, grab Granny's dinero and take off like a bandit, and Granny
isn't even entitled to be told what hit her.

According to Assemblyman Rich Gordon's office (Gordon is the author
of 1288), this is only to protect the elder's assets from "injury
or loss." In an email on August 4, Gordon aide Margot Grant wrote:

AB 1288 would provide that if the public guardian or public
conservator determines that the requirements for appointment of a
guardian or conservator of the estate are satisfied, and the public
guardian or public conservator intends to apply for appointment
as the public guardian or public conservator only if the real or
personal property held in the trust is subject to loss, injury,
waste, or misappropriation.

We can only assume that the folks in Sacramento are living in
a bubble and haven't gotten the skinny from Southern California
yet. According to an aide in a Riverside County Supervisor's office,
who spoke under conditions of anonymity, "The Public Guardian's
office has been looting estates for years. That is old news."

AB 1288 will be coming up for a vote shortly. It is only a matter
of time before the hazy shroud of "intent" is lifted and the
free-for-all begins in earnest. I can foresee the day when turning
sixty five will occasion an official "launch" party, as the birthday
senior will make a run for the border. Getting out of dodge before
one officially enters one's "golden years" may turn into a race
for the safety and security of a country which does not regard its
elders as cash cows.

Mexico is looking better all the time...
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Good News? Not!

TSA cause yet more outrage by confiscating pregnant woman's insulin
and ice packs Security screener said items were explosives risk
- Daily Mail

A pregnant woman had her insulin and ice packs confiscated by the
Transportation Security Administration because a screener claimed
they were an explosives risk.

The diabetic woman was travelling alone from Denver International
Airport to a baby shower in Phoenix when she was questioned by a
TSA agent as she went through security.

'He's like, "Well, you're a risk,"' the woman, who did not wish to be
named, said. 'I'm like, "Excuse me?" And he's like, "This is a risk
... I can't tell you why again. But this is at risk for explosives."

Insulin out: The diabetic pregnant woman was left crying by TSA
agents who confiscated her insulin

'I got a bottle of nail polish. I got hair spray bottles. I got
needles that are syringes. But yet I can't take through my actual
insulin?' she asked.

The mother-to-be said she brought the appropriate doctor's note
and the medication was labelled correctly, so she's perplexed as
to why her insulin would be confiscated this time.

Especially because she and her husband have travelled around the
world with her medical supplies, including insulin and syringes,
and have never encountered any troubles before, she said.

'When I started asking for names of people everybody scattered even
more and left me crying at the TSA checkpoint,' the woman told 7NEWS.

She said she was able to get half a vial through security, apparently
unnoticed by TSA agents.

'It was at the bottom of my lunch box because they didn't search it
all the way through. They just took out everything on top,' she said.

The woman has since made arrangements for additional insulin to be
delivered to her while she's in Arizona.

'I've travelled like this for a ton of my life. And now I'm scared
to death,' she said.

'It made me feel upset and made me feel somewhat helpless,' said
the woman's husband.

The TSA, even though they are apologising, question the woman's
story and believe there was some kind of misunderstanding.

'We talked to all of our people and they didn't touch her insulin,'
said a TSA spokeswoman.

She said ice packs are only allowed if they're completely frozen
and the woman's were not.

'I talked to the supervisor, who said she was upset. She calmed
down and (said) she needed ice and (the TSA agent) told her how to
get ice from the concourse and went on,' the spokeswoman added.

Regardless of this case, the American Diabetes Association told 7NEWS
that many diabetics face obstacles and humiliation when they travel.

'I think we should, you know, make every effort like this to educate
people, so it happens less often or not at all,' said Doctor Michael
McDermott, with the American Diabetes Association.
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*** Did you know?

As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared

Eddie Leroy Anderson of Craigmont, Idaho, is a retired logger,
a former science teacher and now a federal criminal thanks to his
arrowhead-collecting hobby.

With the growing number of federal criminal statutes, it's become
increasingly easy for Americans to end up on the wrong side of the
law. Kelsey Hubbard talks with WSJ's Gary Fields about the impact.

In 2009, Mr. Anderson loaned his son some tools to dig for arrowheads
near a favorite campground of theirs. Unfortunately, they were on
federal land. Authorities "notified me to get a lawyer and a damn
good one," Mr. Anderson recalls.

There is no evidence the Andersons intended to break the law,
or even knew the law existed, according to court records and
interviews. But the law, the Archaeological Resources Protection
Act of 1979, doesn't require criminal intent and makes it a felony
punishable by up to two years in prison to attempt to take artifacts
off federal land without a permit.

* Many Failed Efforts to Count Nation's Federal Criminal Laws

Faced with that reality, the two men, who didn't find arrowheads
that day, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and got a year's probation
and a $1,500 penalty each. "We kind of wonder why it got took to
the level that it did," says Mr. Anderson, 68 years old.

Wendy Olson, the U.S. Attorney for Idaho, said the men were on an
archeological site that was 13,000 years old. "Folks do need to
pay attention to where they are," she said.

The Andersons are two of the hundreds of thousands of Americans to
be charged and convicted in recent decades under federal criminal
laws-as opposed to state or local laws-as the federal justice system
has dramatically expanded its authority and reach.
As federal criminal statutes have ballooned, it has become
increasingly easy for Americans to end up on the wrong side of
the law. Many of the new federal laws also set a lower bar for
conviction than in the past: Prosecutors don't necessarily need to
show that the defendant had criminal intent.

On the Wrong Side of the Law

The first federal criminal statute, signed into law on April 30,
1790, includes only a handful of offenses: treason, counterfeiting,
piracy, and murder, maiming and robbery in federal jurisdictions. It
fit on to two sheets of parchment, each around 27 inches by 22
inches, and was handwritten in iron gall ink.

The law is currently kept in a vault in the National Archives in
Washington, D.C. See a digital copy, or click here to read the text.

These factors are contributing to some unusual applications of
justice. Father-and-son arrowhead lovers can't argue they made an
innocent mistake. A lobster importer is convicted in the U.S. for
violating a Honduran law that the Honduran government disavowed. A
Pennsylvanian who injured her husband's lover doesn't face state
criminal charges-instead, she faces federal charges tied to an
international arms-control treaty.

The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens:
treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the turn of the 20th century,
the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today,
there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according
to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor
John Baker.

There are also thousands of regulations that carry criminal
penalties. Some laws are so complex, scholars debate whether they
represent one offense, or scores of offenses.

Counting them is impossible. The Justice Department spent two years
trying in the 1980s, but produced only an estimate: 3,000 federal
criminal offenses.

The American Bar Association tried in the late 1990s, but concluded
only that the number was likely much higher than 3,000. The
ABA's report said "the amount of individual citizen behavior now
potentially subject to federal criminal control has increased in
astonishing proportions in the last few decades."

A Justice spokeswoman said there was no quantifiable number. Criminal
statutes are sprinkled throughout some 27,000 pages of the federal

There are many reasons for the rising tide of laws. It's partly due
to lawmakers responding to hot-button issues-environmental messes,
financial machinations, child kidnappings, consumer protection-with
calls for federal criminal penalties. Federal regulations can
also carry the force of federal criminal law, adding to the legal

With the growing number of federal crimes, the number of people
sentenced to federal prison has risen nearly threefold over the past
30 years to 83,000 annually. The U.S. population grew only about 36%
in that period. The total federal prison population, over 200,000,
grew more than eightfold-twice the growth rate of the state prison
population, now at 2 million, according the federal Bureau of
Justice Statistics

Tougher federal drug laws account for about 30% of people sentenced,
a decline from over 40% two decades ago. The proportion of people
sentenced for most other crimes, such as firearms possession, fraud
and other non-violent offenses, has doubled in the past 20 years.

The growth in federal law has produced benefits. Federal legislation
was indispensable in winning civil rights for African-Americans. Some
of the new laws, including those tackling political corruption
and violent crimes, are relatively noncontroversial and address
significant problems. Plenty of convicts deserve the punishment
they get.

Roscoe Howard, the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia,
argues that the system "isn't broken." Congress, he says, took
its cue over the decades from a public less tolerant of certain
behaviors. Current law provides a range of options to protect
society, he says. "It would be horrible if they started repealing
laws and taking those options away."

Still, federal criminal laws can be controversial. Some duplicate
existing state criminal laws, and others address matters that might
better be handled as civil rather than criminal matters.

Some federal laws appear picayune. Unauthorized use of the Smokey
Bear image could land an offender in prison. So can unauthorized
use of the slogan "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute."

The spread of federal statues has opponents on both sides of the
aisle, though for different reasons. For Republicans, the issue is
partly about federal intrusions into areas historically handled
by states. For Democrats, the concerns include the often lengthy
prison sentences that federal convictions now produce.

Those expressing concerns include the American Civil Liberties Union
and Edwin Meese III, former attorney general under President Ronald
Reagan. Mr. Meese, now with the conservative Heritage Foundation,
argues Americans are increasingly vulnerable to being "convicted
for doing something they never suspected was illegal."

"Most people think criminal law is for bad people," says Timothy
Lynch of Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. People don't
realize "they're one misstep away from the nightmare of a federal

Last September, retired race-car champion Bobby Unser told a
congressional hearing about his 1996 misdemeanor conviction for
accidentally driving a snowmobile onto protected federal land,
violating the Wilderness Act, while lost in a snowstorm. Though
the judge gave him only a $75 fine, the 77-year-old racing legend
got a criminal record.

Mr. Unser says he was charged after he went to authorities for help
finding his abandoned snowmobile. "The criminal doesn't usually
call the police for help," he says.

A Justice Department spokesman cited the age of the case in declining
to comment. The U.S. Attorney at the time said he didn't remember
the case.

Some of these new federal statutes don't require prosecutors to
prove criminal intent, eroding a bedrock principle in English and
American law. The absence of this provision, known as mens rea,
makes prosecution easier, critics argue.

A study last year by the Heritage Foundation and the National
Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers analyzed scores of proposed
and enacted new laws for nonviolent crimes in the 109th Congress of
2005 and 2006. It found of the 36 new crimes created, a quarter had
no mens rea requirement and nearly 40% more had only a "weak" one.

Some jurists are disturbed by the diminished requirement to show
criminal intent in order to convict. In a 1998 decision, federal
appellate judge Richard Posner, a noted conservative, attacked a
1994 federal law under which an Illinois man went to prison for three
years for possessing guns while under a state restraining order taken
out by his estranged wife. He possessed the guns otherwise legally,
they posed no immediate threat to the spouse, and the restraining
order didn't mention any weapons bar.

"Congress created, and the Department of Justice sprang, a trap"
on a defendant who "could not have suspected" he was committing a
crime, Judge Posner wrote.

Another area of concern among some jurists is the criminalization
of issues that they consider more appropriate to civil lawsuits. In
December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considered
liberal, overturned the fraud conviction of a software-company
executive accused of helping to issue false financial statements. The
government tried "to stretch criminal law beyond its proper bounds,"
wrote the Circuit's chief judge, Alex Kozinski.

Civil law, he said, is a better tool to judge "gray area"
conduct-actions that might, or might not, be illegal. Criminal law,
he said, "should clearly separate conduct that is criminal from
conduct that is legal."

Occasionally, Americans are going to prison in the U.S. for
violating the laws and rules of other countries. Last year, Abner
Schoenwetter finished 69 months in federal prison for conspiracy
and smuggling. His conviction was related to importing the wrong
kinds of lobsters and bulk packaging them in plastic, rather than
separately in boxes, in violation of Honduran laws.

According to court records and interviews, Mr. Schoenwetter had
been importing lobsters from Honduras since the mid-1980s. In early
1999, federal officials seized a 70,000-pound shipment after a tip
that the load violated a Honduran statute setting a minimum size on
lobsters that could be caught. Such a shipment, in turn, violated
a U.S. law, the Lacey Act, which makes it a felony to import fish
or wildlife if it breaks another country's laws. Roughly 2% of the
seized shipment was clearly undersized, and records indicated other
shipments carried much higher percentages, federal officials said.

In an interview, Mr. Schoenwetter, 65 years old, said he and other
buyers routinely accepted a percentage of undersized lobsters
since the deliveries from the fishermen inevitably included smaller
ones. He also said he didn't believe bringing in some undersized
lobsters was illegal, noting that previous shipments had routinely
passed through U.S. Customs.

After conviction, Mr. Schoenwetter and three co-defendants appealed,
and the Honduran government filed a brief on their behalf saying
that Honduran courts had invalidated the undersized-lobster law. By a
two-to-one vote, however, a federal appeals panel found the Honduran
law valid at the time of the trial and upheld the convictions.

The dissenting jurist, Judge Peter Fay, wrote: "I think we would be
shocked should the tables be reversed and a foreign nation simply
ignored one of our court rulings."

Robert Kern, a 62-year-old Virginia hunting-trip organizer, was also
prosecuted in the U.S. for allegedly breaking the law of another
country. Instead of lobsters from Honduras, Mr. Kern's troubles
stemmed from moose from Russia.

He faced a 2008 Lacey Act prosecution for allegedly violating Russian
law after some of his clients shot game from a helicopter in that
country. In the end, he was acquitted after a Russian official
testified the hunters had an exemption from the helicopter hunting
ban. Still, legal bills totaling more than $860,000 essentially
wiped out his retirement savings, Mr. Kern says.

Justice Department officials declined to comment on Messrs. Kern
and Schoenwetter.

One area of expansion has been environmental crimes. Since its
inception in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has grown to
enforce some 25,000 pages of federal regulations, equivalent to about
15% of the entire body of federal rules. Many of the EPA rules carry
potential criminal penalties. Krister Evertson, a would-be inventor,
recently spent 15 months in prison for environmental crimes where
there was no evidence he harmed anyone, or intended to.

In May 2004 he was arrested near Wasilla, Alaska, and charged with
illegally shipping sodium metal, a potentially flammable material,
without proper packaging or labeling.

He told federal authorities he had been in Idaho working to develop
a better hydrogen fuel cell but had run out of money. He had moved
some sodium and other chemicals to a storage site near his workshop
in Salmon, Idaho, before traveling back to his hometown of Wasilla
to raise money by gold-mining.

Mr. Evertson said he believed he had shipped the sodium legally. A
jury acquitted him in January 2006.

However, Idaho prosecutors, using information Mr. Evertson
provided to federal authorities in Alaska, charged him with
violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, a 1976
federal law that regulates handling of toxic waste. The government
contended Mr. Evertson had told federal investigators he had
abandoned the chemicals. It also said the landlord of the Idaho
storage site claimed he was owed back rent and couldn't find the
inventor-allegations Mr. Evertson disputed.

Once the government deemed the chemicals "abandoned," they became
"waste" and subject to RCRA. He was charged under a separate federal
law with illegally moving the chemicals about a half-mile to the
storage site.

"If I had abandoned the chemicals, why would I have told the
investigators about them?" said Mr. Evertson in an interview. He
added that he spent $100,000 on the material and always planned to
resume his experiments.

Prosecutors emphasized the potential danger of having left the
materials for two years. "You clean up after yourself and don't
leave messes for others," one prosecutor told the jury, which
convicted Mr. Evertson on three felony counts. Prosecutors said
clean-up of the site cost the government $400,000. Mr. Evertson,
57, remains on probation, working as night watchman in Idaho.

In a statement, Ms. Olson, the Idaho U.S. Attorney, said that by
leaving dangerous chemicals not properly attended he endangered
others and caused the government to spend more than $400,000 in
clean-up costs. "This office will continue to aggressively prosecute"
environmental crimes, she said.

Critics contend that federal criminal law is increasingly, and
unconstitutionally, impinging on the sovereignty of the states. The
question recently came before the Supreme Court in the case of
Carol Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who is fighting a six-year prison
sentence arising out of violating a 1998 federal chemical-weapons
law tied to an international arms-control treaty. The law makes
it a crime for an average citizen to possess a "chemical weapon"
for other than a "peaceful purpose." The statute defines such a
weapon as any chemical that could harm humans or animals.

Ms. Bond's criminal case stemmed from having spread some chemicals,
including an arsenic-based one, on the car, front-door handle and
mailbox of a woman who had had an affair with her husband. The
victim suffered a burn on her thumb.

In court filings, Ms. Bond's attorneys argued the chemical-weapons
law unconstitutionally intruded into what should have been a state
criminal matter. The state didn't file charges on the chemicals, but
under state law she likely would have gotten a less harsh sentence,
her attorneys said.

Last month, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled Ms. Bond has standing
to challenge the federal law. By distributing jurisdiction among
federal and state governments, the Constitution "protects the
liberty of the individual from arbitrary power," Justice Anthony
Kennedy wrote for the court. "When government acts in excess of
its lawful powers, that liberty is at stake."

During oral arguments in the case, Justice Samuel Alito expressed
concern about the law's "breadth" by laying out a hypothetical
example. Simply pouring a bottle of vinegar into a bowl to kill
someone's goldfish, Justice Alito said, could be "potentially
punishable by life imprisonment."
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Bad News

Hackers Take $1 Billion a Year as Banks Blame Their Clients
- Bloomberg

Valiena Allison got a call from her bank on a busy morning two years
ago about a wire transfer from her company's account. She told
the managers she hadn't approved the transfer. The problem was,
her computer had.As Allison, chief executive officer of Sterling
Heights, Michigan-based Experi-Metal Inc., was to learn, her company
computer was approving other transfers as she spoke. During hours
of frantic phone calls with her bank, Allison, 45, was unable to
stop this cybercrime in progress as transfer followed transfer. By
day's end, $5.2 million was gone.She turned to her bank, a branch
of Comerica Inc., to help recover the money for her metal-products
firm. It got all but $561,000 of the funds. Then came the surprise:
the bank said the loss was Experi-Metal's problem because it had
allowed Allison's computer to be infected by the hackers."At the
end of the day, the fraud department at Comerica said: 'What's
wrong with you? How could you let this happen?'"

Allison said.In increments of a few thousand dollars to a few million
per theft, cybercrooks are stealing as much as $1 billion a year
from small and mid-sized bank accounts in the U.S. and Europe like
Experi-Metal, according to Don Jackson, a security expert at Dell
SecureWorks. And account holders are the big losers.

'Losing More Now'
"I think they're losing more now than to the James Gang and
Bonnie and Clyde and the rest of the famous gangs combined," said
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat who chaired
a Select Committee on Intelligence task force on U.S. cybersecurity
in 2010.

Organized criminal gangs, operating mostly out of Eastern Europe,
target small companies, school districts and local governments that
maintain fat commercial bank accounts protected by rudimentary
security measures at community or regional banks. The accounts
typically aren't covered by insurance as individual accounts are.

"If everyone knew their money was at risk in small and medium-sized
banks, they would move their accounts to JPMorgan Chase," said
James Woodhill, a venture capitalist who is leading an effort to
get smaller banks to upgrade anti-fraud security for their online
banking programs.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank, is the only
major U.S. bank that insures commercial deposits against the type
of hacking that plagues smaller banks, Woodhill said.

"Chase has invested substantially in fraud prevention and detection
capabilities for our clients," Patrick Linehan, a JP Morgan spokesman,
said in an e-mail. "If there is fraud on an account, we work with
our clients on a case-by-case basis."

Smaller Banks
Smaller banks as well as many of the victims tend not to make the
thefts public, according to interviews with the customers and
experts such as Woodhill. As the threat becomes better known,
small-business customers and other target entities may shift
their business to large, national banks, which can better absorb
the losses to maintain customer relations and which have better
security policies to protect clients from such crimes.

"It's frightening for small businesses because they have no
clue about this," said Avivah Litan, an analyst at Stamford,
Connecticut-based Gartner Inc., which does computer analysis. "They
just don't have any clue, and everyone expects their bank to protect
them. Businesses are not equipped to deal with this problem, and
banks are barely equipped."

Customers used to being made whole when they are victims of
credit-card fraud or ATM thefts have had to sue small and medium-size
banks to recover losses after being blamed by their branches for
permitting the crime, as Allison was.

Law Enforcement
The traditional help of law enforcement hasn't been there either
for such customers. In the heyday of bank robberies in the 1930s,
the FBI became famous for Tommy-gun shootouts with the bad guys,
who were put on the Most Wanted list. In most cases, the identities
of the John Dillingers and Pretty Boy Floyds of the 21st Century
aren't known because of online anonymity, and the bureau doesn't
disclose statistics on how much these cybercrooks are stealing.

Victims in the last two years have ranged from Green Ford Sales,
a car dealership in Abilene, Kansas, to Golden State Bridge Inc.,
a construction company in California wine country. No need to use
a mask or gun. These criminals can steal millions from the comfort
of their homes dressed in their pajamas.

The crime profits can be staggering and the risks minimal. Jackson,
the security expert, said three sophisticated gangs each haul in
at least $100 million a year. That dwarfs the $43 million taken in
all conventional bank heists in the U.S. last year, from stick-ups
to burglaries, according to the FBI.

A $100 Million Hit
"A $100 million hit on a bank or a series of banks," Whitehouse
said. "That's a pretty big bank robbery. And it doesn't even make
the press. It just trickles through in FBI tip sheets."

To law enforcement officials, cybercrime is a new priority. Both
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service,
which has jurisdiction over financial crimes, have boosted manpower
to combat computer-enabled robberies and have formed partnerships
with foreign law-enforcement agencies.

Those efforts have been swamped by the explosion in e- commerce, said
Chris Swecker, a former FBI assistant director who advises companies
on cybersecurity. As millions of customers have shifted online,
criminals have followed, their hacking tools and nimble criminal
organizations racing ahead of old- school law enforcement models.

"Through cybercrime, transnational criminal organizations pose
a significant threat to financial and trust systems," including
banking, stock markets and credit-card services, according to a
National Security Council report issued in July.

National Security Threat
Cybercrime has risen to the level of a national security threat,
according to the report, citing a "critical shortage of investigators
with the knowledge and expertise to analyze the ever increasing
amounts of potential digital evidence."

The banking industry's reluctance to confront this problem head-on
has allowed criminals to reinvest some of their booty to create
better, more effective malicious software, known as malware,
according to Woodhill.

Malware is what hurt Earl Goossen, business manager for Green Ford
Sales, when he logged on to the company's payroll account at First
Bank Kansas at 7:45 a.m. central standard time on Nov. 3, 2010. Just
two days earlier he'd used his computer to arrange for the bank to
send out the $63,000 payroll to employee accounts. Everything went
smoothly at first. Goossen responded to a follow-up e-mail request
from First Bank Kansas to okay the payroll, just as he did on the
1st and 15th of every month.

Malicious Software Unbeknownst to Goossen, malicious software had
infected the computer with a so-called worm, which had the ability
to grab passwords, user names and credit-card data. Some malware
allows hackers thousands of miles away to take remote control of
machines it infects, as if they were sitting at the keyboard. This
malware is affordable and easy to obtain. A basic version sells
for less than $5,000, Jackson said. Many models, licensed like
commercial software from Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc.,
even come with tech support, he said.

The worm on Goossen's machine allowed thieves to log onto the website
of the auto dealer's bank using Goossen's credentials and set up
a second payroll batch for the usual amount for nine non-existent
employees. The additional payroll was sent out overnight by First

The software allowed the hackers to grab Goossen's e-mail password
and banking details. All they had to do was change the notification
e-mail address to a name under their control.

Gun-Toting Robbers
When an amount like Green Ford's $63,000 is taken from a bank by
gun-toting robbers, the FBI would typically dispatch special agents
to cordon off the crime scene and interview witnesses. No agents
arrived in Abilene on Nov. 4, and no one at the company was ever
interviewed by the bureau about the theft.

Green Ford's owner, Lease Duckwall, filled out a report with
local police, who don't have a cybercrime unit. The Kansas
Bureau of Investigation examined his computer and found nothing
of use. Frustrated, Duckwall turned detective, interviewing bank
employees, victims of similar crimes and whoever knew anything
about cybertheft. In the end, the trail went cold.

Representatives of the FBI and the Secret Service insist they are
not overwhelmed.
"I don't think it's right to conclude that because there are not
a lot of arrests that law enforcement is not doing its job," said
Gordon Snow, the FBI's assistant director of the cyber division.

Fighting Cybercrime
The FBI and Secret Service have increased the number of agents
dedicated to fighting cybercrime. Last September, as part of
"Operation Trident Beach," U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan arrested a
gang of money mules in connection with a wide-ranging cyberfraud ring
that had stolen $70 million from banks and tried to grab another
$150 million in the U.S. and Western Europe. No ringleader was
arrested, even though five were questioned by police in Ukraine,
according to the FBI.

The inability to put handcuffs on suspects in Eastern Europe
is a source of frustration for law enforcement, according to
representatives of the FBI and Secret Service. "We can't let that
stop us from continuing to move forward," said Pablo Martinez,
who heads the cybercrime unit at the Secret Service. "You have to
go after every target." Mules, used by hackers as cutouts, are an
obvious target, even the unwitting ones. When thieves stole the
money from Duckwall's dealership, some of the money first went to
Shawn Young's account in upstate New York. Young thought it was a
legitimate transaction -- at first.

Assistant Manager
Young, 35, was officially an assistant manager for R.E. Company Back
Office. He got his job in October through a Careerbuilder website
ad that said an Australian office services company was looking to
expand into New York state. He was selected to scout locations in
the Binghamton area. It did seem odd his new employer never asked
for his Social Security number, he said in an interview.

Part of his job was to transfer payments made by some of the
company's U.S.-based clients to various programmers. He corresponded
with his boss, Samantha Simons, exclusively through the company's
intranet site.

At 8:45 a.m. on Nov. 3, Young got his first payment-related
assignment. He logged into the R.E. Company Back Office intranet
site and learned from his supervisors that $4,975 had been deposited
into his account at M&T Bank in Endicott, New York. The sender was
Green Ford Sales.

Act Quickly
His boss said he could keep $145 of the money if he acted
quickly. Within 10 minutes, he withdrew the funds and drove to the
closest Western Union Co. office, a few miles away. Young pulled
into the Western Union parking lot and his cell phone rang. It was a
manager from the M&T Bank branch where he'd made the withdrawal. She
said the bank had discovered the wire transfer wasn't authorized. It
was only then that Young realized something might be wrong, he said.

On his way back the bank, his phone rang again. It was Simons,
calling from a Syracuse telephone area code to see if there was a
problem with the transfer. Young, who had never spoken with his boss,
told her he'd been asked to return the funds. In a matter-of-fact
manner, Simons said OK and hung up, he said.

After learning from his bank that the wire transfer from Green Ford
had been unauthorized, Young tried to log into the R.E. Company
Bank Office website, but his access had been terminated.

"I was lucky I did not send the money," Young said. "I dodged a bullet there."
Christine Palmer wasn't as fortunate. In February, the single
mother from New Britain, Connecticut who moonlights as the manager
of a band, Enemy Remains, applied for a position advertised on

Flexible Gig A woman named "Jennifer" from CS Office Services
called to say she had the job, a flexible gig that paid by the
assignment and required her to help process transactions. On March
3, after a few weeks of online training, Palmer woke up to find
that $98,000 had been deposited into her account at Bank of America
Corp. An e-mail instructed her to withdraw $9,000 in cash and wire
it to three individuals in the Ukraine via Western Union. Then,
Palmer was to transfer the rest of the funds to a Ukrainian bank
account. As a fee, Palmer could keep $1,800 of the total. Before
she'd completed the wire transfer, a man with an Eastern European
accent called, urging her to speed things up.

"He sounded very concerned, which made me think I was going to lose
my job," Palmer said.

Stolen Funds
It wasn't until a few days later, when Charlotte, North
Carolina-based Bank of America halted the wire transfer and told
her the funds had been stolen, that Palmer realized CS Office
Services didn't really exist, and that her employers were part of
a criminal scheme.

Bank of America closed Palmer's account and told her she was
responsible for paying back the $9,000 she'd wired overseas.

Palmer said she no longer looks for jobs advertised on web sites.

Unwitting money mules aren't the only ones to have gotten wake-up
calls in the new world of bank cybercrime. Customers sometimes find
their friendly bank has become an adversary, quoting the fine print
of account contracts about who is responsible for what.

On May 7, 2009, cyberthieves hacked into the bank account of Patco
Construction Inc., based in Sanford, Maine, and initiated a series
of wire transfers totaling $56,594. Some transfers bounced back,
causing Ocean Bank to send owner Mark Patterson a routine return
notice via the U.S. Postal Service.

Transfer Money
Over the next several days, the crooks continued to transfer money
out of Patco's account, removing almost $500,000 before Patterson
received the mailed letter from Ocean Bank. The bank eventually
recovered a portion of the transfers, leaving Patco with a loss of
$345,444, according to Patterson.

Patterson said Ocean Bank rebuffed his attempts to reach a
settlement, so in January 2010 he sued. He argued the bank should
have done a better job monitoring the company's bank account. Ocean
Bank argued that its protections were "commercially reasonable,"
in keeping with general guidance issued by the U.S. banking industry
in 2005.

In May, a federal magistrate judge in Portland, Maine, found for
Ocean Bank, now known as People's United Bank, a unit of Bridgeport,
Connecticut-based People's United Financial Inc.

U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby in Portland affirmed the
magistrate's decision today.

The magistrate's ruling infuriated Woodhill, who co-founded
Authentify, a cybersecurity firm, in 1999. He is trying to change
the law governing liability in hacking cases.

"I can't fathom how one could consider a security procedure that
makes it easy for people to steal money from school districts,
churches and small businesses to be commercially reasonable,"
Woodhill said.

Woodhill faulted banks for downplaying or hiding the scope of bank
heists, a posture he attributes to fear of undermining confidence
in an online banking system that saves financial institutions tens
of millions of dollars a year in transactions that don't have to
be processed by a human teller.

Last year, Woodhill came to the rescue of Karen McCarthy, whose
marketing firm was victimized by hackers in February 2010. McCarthy,
who made one wire transfer on the same day every month, for $1,000,
noticed a problem with her computer on Feb. 10. The screen had
turned blue and appeared frozen, while other computers in her firm
seemed to function normally.

McCarthy's Plans
In the weeks leading up to the frozen-screen episode, McCarthy
had reached an agreement to sell her firm, Little & King. She'd
bought out her lease, sold her office equipment and supplies and
was preparing to join the new company as an employee, leaving behind
the worries of business ownership.

After her computer froze, she printed out statements from Toronto
Dominion Bank in preparation for the sale of her company. Over
the Feb. 13-15 Presidents Day weekend, she couldn't figure out
discrepancies between recent bank statements and the amount in
her company's checking account. Finally, on the Monday evening,
a national holiday, she checked her online banking account and saw
five unauthorized wire transfers.

She called TD Bank in a panic. Because of the holiday, she was
told no one was available. The next morning she marched into her
TD Bank branch, in Massapequa, New York, and asked an assistant
manager for help.

Calls Not Returned
At first the manager told her the bank would get her money back,
she said. Once it became clear the funds were stolen, the bank
stopped returning her calls, McCarthy said.

The theft derailed the sale of McCarthy's company, forcing her to
raid her children's college funds for needed cash. Of the $164,000
stripped from her account, TD Bank recovered almost $95,000, leaving
her about $70,000 in the hole -- and without an office or equipment,
she said.

When she learned TD Bank was to hold a fraud-prevention seminar
on May 13, 2010, in Burlington, Vermont, she hopped on a plane
and slipped into the meeting. During the morning presentation,
when an expert in wire transactions was talking about ways that
small businesses could protect themselves from the dangers posed
by cybercriminals, McCarthy raised her hand.

Why wasn't TD Bank doing a better job protecting its small-
business clients, she asked. How had TD Bank allowed $164,000 to
be wired out of her account even though she hardly every made wire
transfers? As the speaker tried to respond, McCarthy kept peppering
him with questions about his bank's responsibilities to its clients.

Let's Talk Outside
Two bank representatives, including TD Bank's head of corporate
security and investigations, walked over to McCarthy's table and
suggested they continue the subject outside. McCarthy told the head
of security it was good to meet him finally, since she'd been calling
him for weeks following the robbery and had never gotten through.

Jennifer Morneau, a spokeswoman for TD Bank, confirmed that there
was such an incident involving a "woman from Long Island" at one
of its anti-fraud seminars, and didn't have any further information.

"We constantly monitor and assess the security of our systems,"
Morneau said in an e-mailed statement. "We also believe that
educating our customers is one of the best ways to help them
defend against online fraud and identity theft, because even the
best security measures can only prevent fraud if customers are
also vigilant about employing the necessary safeguards to protect
their information."

Anti-Bank Website
With Woodhill's support, McCarthy started a website she calls and has organized other
cybercrime small-business victims across the country. In industry
presentations, Woodhill uses her as an example in describing
what's wrong with online banking and the current rules governing
the commercial accounts of small businesses.

"If every small-business account holder in America knew what Karen
McCarthy had gone through, there would be a run on the banks,"
he said.

Last year Woodhill supported a proposed law, introduced by
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, that would
have extended protections enjoyed by individual bank depositors
to publicly funded entities such as school districts and town
governments. Congress adjourned before any vote was taken.

Woodhill is now pushing for a federal law that would require regional
and community banks to warn their commercial clients explicitly of
the dangers of cyber fraud. He's hired former Louisiana congressman
Billy Tauzin, a Democrat turned Republican who chaired the House
Energy & Commerce committee, to represent him.

Bank Opposition
The American Banking Association has opposed attempts to
extend cyberfraud protection from depositors to small-business
clients. Until recently, the association's position has prevailed.

Then came the Experi-Metal lawsuit brought by Valiena Allison
against Dallas-based Comerica. In June, U.S. District Judge Patrick
J. Duggan ruled in Detroit in favor of Allison and Experi-Metal,
agreeing Comerica's response to the fraud didn't meet standards of
good faith and fair dealing. Comerica agreed to pay Allison almost
the entire amount stolen.

Other cybercrime victims have taken note of this precedent, said
Brian Krebs, who has written about the Little & King case and other
cyberthefts on his blog (

Village View, an escrow company based in Redondo Beach, California,
that was robbed of $465,558 by cyberthieves in March of 2010, sued
Professional Business Bank just two weeks after the Experi-Metal

Bank Attitudes
The last thing community banks want is to be at odds with their
clients, said Doug Johnson, a senior policy analyst for the American
Bankers Association.

"Banks don't like to sue their customers and customers don't like
to sue their banks," he said. "When disputes occur, it's best to
try to work together for an appropriate result."
Woodhill said the banking industry is behind the curve on this
matter, just as it was in 1978 when it opposed the Electronic Funds
Transfer Act, which protects consumer bank deposits from fraud.

"That's one of the biggest favors Congress ever did for banks, even
though they were against it," he said. "Banks truly do not understand
what their own interests are. Corporate lobbyists only play defense."
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*** Bank of America sued for outsourcing customer calls overseas
- National Law Journal

A class action filed Wednesday accuses Bank of America Corp. of
putting the privacy of its customers' financial data at risk of
U.S. government surveillance by transferring service calls to
overseas call centers.

A class action filed Wednesday accuses Bank of America Corp. of
putting the privacy of its customers' financial data at risk of
U.S. government surveillance by transferring service calls to
overseas call centers.

According to the complaint, which was filed on behalf of Bank of
America customers in Washington and nationwide, service calls
to the bank are often transferred abroad without any notice to
customers. When that happens, the customers' digitized financial
records are sent electronically to the call center. The suit was
filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Outsourcing to foreign call centers is a common practice, but
the problem, according to the lawsuit, is that the financial
information being transferred electronically isn't protected against
U.S. government collection or surveillance in the same vein as
domestic electronic transfers of the same information.

"By routing Plaintiffs' [financial information] to foreign national
personnel residing overseas, Bank of America affects a forfeiture
of the Constitutional and statutory rights that constrain the
surveillance by the United States Government," the class alleges.

The lawsuit claims violations of the federal Right to Financial
Privacy Act and other local consumer protection laws.

The class is seeking $100 per class member for each electronic
transfer for data overseas, along with other damages, including
treble damages.

The complaint also asks for Bank of America to stop transferring
the data overseas without first getting authorization from customers.

The class is being represented by Joseph Hennessey of Beins,
Goldberg & Hennessey in Chevy Chase, Md.

"When they make the decision, as a cost cutting measure, to outsource
calls to foreign nationals overseas, they're doing it at the expense
of their customers' rights under U.S. law and the Constitution,"
Hennessey said in a phone interview today. By law, he said,
"consumers should be provided notice and some kind of choice
about how their data is handled and how the telecommunications
are serviced."

Bank of America spokesman Lawrence Grayson said the company had
not received the lawsuit or had an opportunity to review it.

Hennessey's firm filed similar class actions against American Express
Company in late May and early June Washington federal court and a
California Superior Court. Hennessey has also written for years on
what he sees as potential violations of the Fourth Amendment right
against unreasonable search and seizure posed by the transmission
of information to call centers overseas.

In a 2005 piece published in the Legal Times, Hennessey wrote that,
"Since the Fourth Amendment provides no protection to foreigners
living overseas, the National Security Agency has the authority to
intercept any communication that has at least one foreign terminus."

"The same statute that makes it a criminal act to intercept wire,
oral, and electronic communications preserves the NSA's right to
intercept such signals when they are directed outside the United
States," he wrote.
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Food for thought

The Development of 'Privacy Killing Technologies': A Link to the
Murdoch Scandal?
Black Ops for Major U.S. Banks and Corporations
- Tom Burghardt

Following revelations earlier this year by The Tech Herald that
security firms with close ties to the Pentagon ran black ops for
major U.S. banks and corporations, it became clear that proprietary
software developed for the military and U.S. intelligence was being
used to target Americans.

Those firms, including now-defunct HBGary Federal, parent company
HBGary, Palantir (a start-up flush with cash from the CIA's venture
capital arm In-Q-Tel) and Berico Technologies had partnered-up with
the Bank of America's law firm Hunton & Williams and the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce and devised a sub rosa plan of attack against WikiLeaks
and Chamber critics.

And when the cyber-guerrilla collective Anonymous published some
70,000 emails and documents filched from HBGary servers, it was
off to the races.

In the intervening months since that story first broke, journalists
and researchers have turned their attention to a dark web of security
firms developing surveillance software for law enforcement, the
Pentagon, and repressive foreign governments.

Last week, Wired revealed that one such shadowy firm, TruePosition,
"a holding of the Liberty Media giant that owns Sirius XM and
the Atlanta Braves," is marketing "something it calls 'location
intelligence,' or LOCINT, to intelligence and law enforcement
agencies," investigative journalist Spencer Ackerman disclosed.

The Pennsylvania-based company has sold their location services
system to NSA surveillance partner AT&T and T-Mobile, allowing
those carriers to pinpoint "over 60 million 911 calls annually."

"For the better part of decade," Ackerman writes, "TruePosition has
had contracts to provide E-911 services with AT&T (signed originally
with Cingular in 2001, which AT&T acquired) and T-Mobile (2003)."

Known as "geofencing," the firm explains that location tech
"collects, analyzes, stores and displays real-time and historical
wireless events and locations of targeted mobile users."

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported that amongst the services
TruePosition offers clients are "products for safety and security
applications, including family monitoring, personal medical alert,
emergency number service, and criminal tracking."

Additionally, BusinessWeek reports, the company tailors its
"enterprise applications" to corporations interested in "workforce
management, asset tracking, and location-based advertising; consumer
applications, including local search, traffic, and navigation."
But what should concern readers is the firm's "government
applications" market which includes everything from "homeland
security" and "military intelligence" to "force tracking."

According to a press release posted on the firm's web site, the
"TruePosition Location Intelligence Management System (LIMS)" is a "a
multi-dimensional database, which uses probes within mobile networks
to capture and store all mobile phone network events - including
the time and the location of events. Mobile phone events are items
like calls made and received, text messages sent and received, a
phone powered on and off, and other rich mobile phone intelligence."

Deploying technology dubbed Uplink Time Difference of Arrival
(U-TDOA), the system, installed on cell phone towers, identifies
a phone's approximate location - within 30 meters - even if the
handset isn't equipped with GPS.

Undoubtedly the system can save lives. "In one case," Ackerman
reports, "a corrections officer ... was abducted by a recent
parolee. But because her cellphone was turned on and her carrier
used TruePosition's location tech, police were able to locate the
phone along a Kentucky highway. They set up a roadblock, freed the
officer and arrested her captor."

All well and good. However, in the hands of repressive governments
or privacy-invading corporations, say Rupert Murdoch's media empire,
there just might be far different outcomes.

A Link to the Murdoch Scandal?
The relevance of location intelligence in general and more pointedly,
TruePosition's LIMS cellphone surveillance products which may, or
may not, have been sold to London's Metropolitan Police and what
role they may have played in the Murdoch News of the World (NoW)
phone hacking scandal have not been explored by corporate media.

While the "who, what, where" aspects of the scandal are now coming
sharply into focus, the "how," that is, the high-tech wizardry
behind invasive privacy breaches, and which firms developed and
profited from their sale, have been ignored.

Such questions, and related business entanglements, should be of
interest to investigators on both sides of the Atlantic.

After all, TruePosition's parent company, the giant conglomerate
Liberty Media currently holds an 18 percent stake in News

With corporate tentacles stretching from investments in TimeWarner
Cable to Expedia and from QVC to Starz and beyond, Liberty Media
is a multi-billion dollar media behemoth with some $10.9 billion
in revenue in 2010, according to an SEC filing by the firm.

With deep pockets and political clout in Washington the company is
In 2011, Liberty's CEO, John C. Malone, surpassed Ted Turner as
the largest private landowner in the United States, controlling
some 2.1 million acres according to The New York Times.

Dubbed "Darth Vader" by The Independent, Malone acquired a 20
percent stake in News Corp. back in 2000 and "was one of the main
investors who rode to the rescue of Mr Murdoch in the early 1990s
when News Corp was on its knees."

The New York Times reported back in 2005 that Malone's firm was
"unlikely to unwind its investment in the News Corporation" because
he considered "the stake in the News Corporation a long-term
investment, meaning that the relationship between him and Rupert
Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation, was not likely to
be dissolved any time soon."

After acrimonious mid-decade negotiations that stretched out over two
years, the media giants cobbled together a deal in 2006 resulting
in a $11 billion asset swap, one that gave Liberty control of the
DirectTV Group whilst helping Murdoch "tighten his grip" on News
Corp., according to The New York Times.

Interestingly enough during those negotiations, investment banking
firms Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase along with the white
shoe law firm Hogan & Hartson advised News Corp., while Liberty
was represented by Bear Stearns and the Baker Botts law firm,
long time Bush family consiglieres.

All this can be chalked-up to an interesting set of
coincidences. However, the high stakes involved and the relationships
and connections forged over decades, including those amongst players
who figured prominently in capitalism's 2008 global economic crisis
and Bush family corruption, cannot be ignored.

A Suspicious Death
Last week's suspicious death of former NoW whistleblower Sean Hoare
should set alarm bells ringing.

When the scandal broke, it was Hoare who told The New York Times
last year that senior editors at NoW and another Murdoch tabloid,
The Sun, actively encouraged staff to spy on celebrities and others,
including victims of the London terror attacks, British soldiers
killed in Afghanistan and Iraq and the murdered teenager Milly
Dowler; all in pursuit of "exclusives."

The Guardian reported that Hoare said that "reporters at the NoW
were able to use police technology to locate people using their
mobile phone signals, in exchange for payments to police officers."

"He said journalists were able to use 'pinging', which measured
the distance between a mobile handset and a number of phone masts
to pinpoint its location," The Guardian revealed.

Hoare described "how reporters would ask a news desk executive to
obtain the location of a target: "Within 15 to 30 minutes someone
on the news desk would come back and say 'Right, that's where
they are.'"

Quite naturally, this raises the question which "police technology"
was used to massage NoW exclusives and which firms made a pretty
penny selling their wares to police, allegedly for purposes of
"fighting crime" and "counterterrorism"?

It was Hoare after all who told The New York Times just days before
his death that when he worked for NoW "pinging cost the paper nearly
$500 on each occasion."

According to the Times, Hoare found out how the practice worked
"when he was scrambling to find someone and was told that one of
the news desk editors, Greg Miskiw, could help."
The Times reports that Miskiw "asked for the person's cellphone
number, and returned later with information showing the person's
precise location in Scotland."

An unnamed "former Scotland Yard officer" interviewed by the Times
said "the individual" who provided confidential information to
NoW and other Murdoch holdings "could have been one of a small
group entitled to authorize pinging requests," that is a senior
counterterrorism officer charged with keeping the British public

Hoare told the Times "the fact that it was a police officer was
clear from his exchange with Mr. Miskiw."

"'I thought it was remarkable and asked him how he did it, and he
said, 'It's the Old Bill, isn't it?'"

"At that point, you don't ask questions," Hoare said.

Yet despite the relevance of the reporter's death to the scandal,
police claimed Hoare's sudden demise was "unexplained but not
thought to be suspicious." Really?

As the World Socialist Web Site points out: "The statement is at the
very least extraordinary, and at worst sinister in its implications."

Left-wing journalist Chris Marsden wrote that "Hoare is the man who
broke silence on the corrupt practices at the News of the World and,
most specifically, alleged that former editor Andy Coulson, who later
became Prime Minister David Cameron's director of communications,
was fully aware of phone hacking that took place on an 'industrial

Aside from the secret state, what other entities are capable
of intercepting phone and other electronic communications on
"an industrial scale"? Given Rupert Murdoch's close ties to the
political establishment on both sides of the Atlantic, is it a
stretch to speculate that a "sympathetic" intelligence service
wouldn't do all they could to help a "friend," particularly if cash
payments were involved?

How could Hoare's death not be viewed suspiciously?

Indeed, "the morning after Hoare's body was found," Mardsen writes,
"former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and
his former deputy, John Yates, were to give evidence before a home
affairs select committee. Stephenson had tendered his resignation
Sunday and Yates Monday."

Conveniently, for those with much to hide, including police, "the
death of Hoare means that his testimony will never be heard by any
such inquiry or, more importantly, by any criminal investigation
that may arise."

Yet, despite a pending coroner's inquest into the exact cause of
the reporter's death, corporate media have rushed to judgement,
labeling anyone who raise suspicions as being, what else,
"conspiracy theorists."

This despite the fact, as the World Socialist Web Site reported
Saturday that information has surfaced "regarding the extent of
News International links to known criminals."

Indeed, on July 6 left-wing journalist Robert Stevens reported
that "Labour MP Tom Watson told Parliament that News International
chief executive and former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks
'was present at a meeting with Scotland Yard when police officers
pursuing a murder investigation provided her with evidence that
her newspaper was interfering with the pursuit of justice'."

"'She was told of actions by people she paid to expose and discredit
David Cook [a Detective Superintendent] and his wife Jackie Haines
so that Mr. Cook would be prevented from completing an investigation
into a murder'.

"Watson added," Stevens writes, that "'News International was paying
people to interfere with police officers and were doing so on behalf
of known criminals. We know now that News International had entered
the criminal underworld'."

Although Hoare had suffered from years of alcohol and cocaine abuse,
he was in rehab and by all accounts on the road to recovery. Hoare
could have died from natural causes but this has not yet been

Pending histology and toxicology tests which will take weeks, and
a coroner's inquest was adjourned July 21 until said test results
were in, short of a definitive finding, nothing can nor should be
ruled out, including murder, by a party or parties unknown.

While it would be a fatal exercise in rank stupidity for News
Corp. to rub out Sean Hoare, would others, including police or
organized crime figures caught up in the scandal and known to have
been paid by News Corp. "people to interfere with police officers"
and to have done so "on behalf of known criminals," have such qualms?

An Open Question
We do not know if TruePosition sold LIMS to London's Metropolitan
Police, key players in the Murdoch hacking scandal, and the firm
won't say who they sell to.

However, whether they did or did not is a relevant question. That
security firms develop and sell privacy-killing products and then
wash their hands of responsibility how and by whom their products are
used - for good or ill - is hardly irrelevant to victims of police
repression or private corruption by entities such as News Corp.

The issue here are the actions taken by our corporate and political
minders who believe that everything in terms of smashing down
walls between public and private life is up for grabs, a commodity
auctioned off to the highest bidder.

While we are told by high-tech firms out to feather their nests and
politicians that "law enforcement" require we turn over all our data
to police to "keep us safe," the Murdoch scandal reveals precisely
that it was police agencies corrupted by giant corporations which
had allowed such criminal behavior to go unchecked for years.

And with Congress and Obama Justice Department officials pursuing
legislation that will require mobile carriers to store and disclose
cell-tower data to police and secret state agencies - all without
benefit of a warrant, mind you - as well as encryption back doors
built into the internet, we are reaching a point where a perfect
storm threatens privacy well into the future, if not permanently.

A Looming Threat
Since LIMS 2008 introduction some 75,000 mobile towers in the
U.S. have been equipped with the system, FoxNews, ironically enough,
reported two years ago.

That same report informed us that "LOCINT continues to operate in
Middle Eastern and Asia-Pacific nations where no legal restrictions
exist for tracking cell phone signals."

TruePosition's marketing vice president Dominic Li told Fox "when you
establish a geofence, anytime a mobile device enters the territory,
our system will be alerted and provide a message to the customer."

Li went on to say, "we realize that this has a lot of value to
law enforcement agencies outside of search and rescue missions. It
gives rise to a whole host of new solutions for national security."

In keeping with the firm's penchant for secrecy, risk averse when it
comes to negative publicity over the civil liberties' implications
of their products, "citing security concerns," Fox reported that
"company officials declined to specify which countries currently
use the technology."

TruePosition claims that while wireless technology "has
revolutionized communication" it has a "dark side" as "terrorists
and criminals" exploit vulnerabilities to create "serious new
threats to the security of nations worldwide."

Touting their ability to combine "location determination and
network data mining technologies," TruePosition "offers government
agencies, security experts and law enforcement officials powerful,
carrier-grade security solutions with the power to defend against
criminal and terrorist activity."

Never mind that most of the "serious new threats" to global
citizens' rights come from unaccountable state security agencies
and international financial cartels responsible for the greatest
theft of resources in human history.

For interested parties such as TruePosition, "actionable
intelligence" in the form of "data mining to monitor activity and
behavior over time in order to build detailed profiles and identify
others that they associate with," will somehow, magically one might
say, lead to the apprehension of "those who threaten the safety
of citizens."

Unasked is the question: who will protect us from those who develop
and sell such privacy killing technologies?

Certainly not Congress which has introduced legislation "that would
force Internet companies to log data about their customers," CNET
News reported earlier this month.

"As a homeland security tool," Wired reported, LIMS is
"enticing." Brian Varano, TruePosition's marketing director told
Spencer Ackerman to "imagine an 'invisible barrier around sensitive
sites like critical infrastructure,' such as oil refineries or
power plants."

"The barrier contains a list of known phones belonging to people
who work there, allowing them to pass freely through the covered
radius. 'If any phone enters that is not on the authorized list,
[authorities] are immediately notified,'" Varano told Wired.

While TruePosition's technology may be useful when it comes to
protecting nuclear installations and other critical infrastructure
from unauthorized breaches and may be an important tool for
investigators tracking down drug gangs, human traffickers, kidnappers
and stalkers, as we have learned from the Murdoch scandal and the
illegal driftnet surveillance of Americans, the potential that
governments and private entities will abuse such powerful tools is
also likely.

According to Wired while "TruePosition sells to mobile carriers,"
the company is "cagey about whether the U.S. government uses its
products." Abroad however, Ackerman writes, "it sells to governments,
which it won't name. Ever since it came out with LOCINT in 2008,"
Varano said that "'Ministries of Defense and Interior from around
the world began beating down our door'."

That technological "quick fixes" such as LOCINT can augment the power
of secret state agencies to "easily identify and monitor networks
of dissidents," doesn't seem to trouble the firm in the least.

In fact, such concerns don't even enter the equation. As Wired
reported, the company "saw a growth market in a field" where such
products would have extreme relevance: "the expanding, globalized
field of homeland security."

"It really was recession-proof," Varano explained to Ackerman,
"because in many parts of the world, the defense and security
budgets have either maintained where they were or increased by a
large percentage."

Small comfort to victims of globalized surveillance and repression
that in many places, including so-called "Western democracies,"
are already an ubiquitous part of the political landscape.

Consider the ease with which police can deploy LIMS for monitoring
dissidents, say anticapitalist activists, union leaders or citizen
organizers fighting against the wholesale theft of publicly-owned
infrastructure to well-connected corporations (Greece, Ireland
or Spain for example) by governments knuckling-under to IMF/ECB
demands for so-called "deficit reduction" schemes.