Twilight Zone: Bill Connor

Bill Connor: Racist

How long is canned food good for?

I googled this.

Bloggers answered.


How do you determine how long a can of food will last? Actually, it's kind of hard to guess, but here are a few guidelines when trying to determine the shelf life of your canned foods:

Home-canned foods Most sources say that home-canned foods will store safely for at least one year.

With other food items, the level of acid in the food is the critical element for determining how long it may store. Low-acid foods last longer on your shelves than foods with higher amounts of acid. Some sources say all commercially canned food should last at least two years. Here are some more specific recommendations:

Low-acidic foods Surprising to some, canned meats can last the longest. Most sources say they will keep for 2 to 5 years. Some sources say they will last even longer. I found a shocking story about a can of meat that was 118 years old. It was opened, analyzed, and found to still have most of the nutrients. It was still good after more than 100 years! You may not choose to eat canned meats that are this old, but likely yours will last more than the recommended five years. Other low-acid foods are soups without tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, and peas.

High-acidic foods For best quality, use high-acidic foods within one year or so. Foods in this category are tomatoes, fruit, and foods with a lot of vinegar in them. Still, many of these canned foods will still be edible after years worth of storage, even if they are not at the peak of quality and nutrition.

So what does it mean when we learn that something will last "at least two years?" How long will it last after the two years is over? Again, this depends on who you ask. Some people will say that you should discard the cans at this point, but most will tell you that canned foods can last for a lot longer, even years and years longer. You'll just have to use your own discretion and inspect your cans carefully before eating the food inside. Read the next article in the canned food series, "Canned Food Storage Safety" to know what to look for when inspecting cans for safety.


The dates stamped on the can are the packing date.

I take it you are speaking about canned food from the store, and NOT home canned goods.

The number of years your food is good for will vary dramatically. What types of food are you talking about?
What conditions have the food been stored in? Hot and humid or dry, dark and cool?

I have a very large pantry. We have about two years worth of food storage. We are working toward seven years worth of food storage.

Modern canned foods are very safe. Examine any old cans...any dents, rust, or bulging? Discard them.

If the can is in pristine condition (no dents, rust, or bulging), you should be able to safely eat the food for at least 10 years.

Foods that are very salty ( most condescend soups), items that have a lot of sugar (peaches in heavy syrup, or jelly), or items that are very acidic and stored in glass (pickles), may be good for 20 years or more, as long as they have not been exposed to light in the case of items in glass.

There are certain items which will never go bad. Salt, sugar, and honey will never go bad. You could store them for thousands of years, and use them safely. In the case of honey and sugar, insects might get into them, but they will never actually go rancid.

The food items that I am cautious with are canned meats, canned fish, and canned items containing meat. Those are items I do not store beyond 10 years.


Canned food is pretty safe from bacterial action. but there can be exceptions of fx production temperatures were not correct. That is usually what causes 'bulging' cans.

Canned food is not necessarily safe from chemical reactions. The metals used in the can may react with the food and contaminate it. If the can is sealed with a solder containing lead the lead could diffuse into the food and that is not healthy. cans older than about 20 years were made with metals only and should not be trusted.
Modern cans are usually made with an inner polymer lining to avoid such contamination, but even there production errors can give rips or holes in the lining so metal and food can get at each other.

And finally cans can corrode from the outside until holes appear through which bacteria and whatever can get at the food.

Heat and moisture accelerate corrosion and chemical reactions so storage in a cool dry place improve the odds of the can staying good.

You can be lucky and have a can that is still eatable after hundreds of years, but you can also be unlucky and get a can that has gone bad after a few years. maybe even before the expiration date.

So it is not true that cans 'never really go bad'. At least not without a lot of caveats: perfect production, cool dry storage, non acidic food, etc.


PT Shamrock - June 2011 Newsletter

June 2011 Newsletter

"Modern Americans are so exposed, peered at, inquired about, and spied
upon as to be increasingly without privacy -members of a naked society
and denizens of a goldfish bowl."
- Edward V. Long, former United States Senator from Missouri, 1908-1972

In this issue:

* Senate Sneaks RFID Drivers License, Internet ID into Transportation
* Scary Stuff - Spying on U.S Citizens -- Uncle Sam turns his
multi-billion dollar espionage network on U.S Citizens
* Did you know? Did you know that the US government classified over
16 million documents as top secret in 2010 alone? That's 16,000,000!
* Breaking News! Still no timetable for deletion of DNA records
* Good News? Davis alleges criminal misuse of CCTV cameras by
government and police
* Did you know? White House Wants to Track and Tax Your Mileage
* Bad News - Don't Buy A House In 2011 Before You Read These 20
Wacky Statistics About The U.S. Real Estate Crisis
* Bad News.... Microsoft Will Ruin It And Co-Opt It With Us Government
* Food for thought - U.S. To Introduce Draconian Anti-Piracy
Censorship Bill
* Horror Stories - Police buy software to map suspects' digital movements
* The District of Criminals - Electronic Surveillance: America's Secret
Domestic Spying Apparatus
* FBI Tracking Device Teardown
* Police State - Americans, Everything You Do Is Monitored
* Hot Tips - Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange's 1 Kilo Gold
Contract To End Comex Gold Futures Trading (And "Bang The Close")
* Red Hot Product
* Advisory - Check Your Car for a GPS Tracker
* Internal Passport: Terror Alert Overload Leads To Call For
"No Ride List"
* Dumbing Down - We're not stalking people, we're just
trying to improve service, Apple tells Congress hearing on privacy
* Dumb Laws - Drivers to be fined GBP80 for littering, even if it
wasn't them
* Dumb signs - Big Brother, is the Red Squad back to Chicago?
* Dumb facts - 'Rich continue to get richer,' says financial report
* Dumb criminal acts - How the US government will seize your
retirement account
* Dumbing Down Award of the month - This issues award goes to....
* Unbelievable Dumbing Down - Mexico's Sweeping AML Bill Likely to
Become Law This Month, Say Former Officials
* Britons eye up property bargains in recession-hit Europe
* VISA launching 'digital wallet' for U.S. banks
* Cannon Fodder - Introducing Senate Bill 3081
* Bug Bites: TomTom Sells Out Users to Police
* TSA Lies About The U.S. Constitution
* Shamrock's Missive
* Tid Bits - Court: No right to resist unlawful police entry
* Just in case! Secret Service interrogates Tacoma 7th grader
* Quotes
* Tid Bits - In Florida, off-the-job conduct may put your unemployment
benefits at risk
* More Tid Bits - In public statement, TSA lies about the Constitution
* Bits n bobs - Divorce Lawyers' New Friend: Social Networks
* More Bits N bobs - It Gets Worse! The second time in a
week a court decided against the right of citizens in their home
* Singapore could look to review immigration policies
* The world's best places to live: celebrity dream homes
* The Cyprus property dream
* Hints & Tips - Buenos Aires: the world's best place to live?
* Letters To The Editor
* Quote of the month!
* PT Shamrock's Exclusive Member's Site!

*** Senate Sneaks RFID Drivers License, Internet ID into
Transportation Bill - Adrian Wyllie, 1787 Network

The Florida Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and
Accountability on Wednesday approved an amendment to include
"electronic authentication," as well as "biometrics" to Florida
Driver's licenses. In addition, the amendment to SB 1150, which
passed committee on a 12-0 vote, instructs the Department of Highway
Safety and Motor Vehicles to provide a security token that can be
electronically authenticated through a personal computer.

This new amendment lays the groundwork for radio frequency
identification (RFID) chips to be implanted into drivers' licenses.

In much the same way that merchandise in a warehouse includes RFID
tags to track items through the distribution process, RFID tags on
drivers' licenses would give authorities an additional tool to track
anyone carrying a drivers' license within the reception range of an
RFID reader.

The Real ID Act of 2005, implemented in Florida on January 1, 2010,
has integrated the more expansive personal data set collected by
drivers' license issuing agencies in the participating states into a
national database.

In Florida, this database already includes biometrics in the form of
computer facial recognition data, collected at the time one's DHSMV
photo is taken. Sheriffs' departments in at least 22 Florida counties
tap into the database as part of their facial recognition system, or
FRnet, and feed real-time images from video cameras to instantly
identify anyone whose face is in these cameras' field of view.

This FRnet database, which is accessible to federal, state, and even
local municipal agencies, also contains highly personal information,
including scans of birth certificates, social security cards, marriage
licenses, and other documents.

Also in the amendment is a provision for the DHSMV to provide a
"security token that can be electronically authenticated through a
personal computer." It is unclear from the amendment whether the
driver's license itself would act as the token or a key fob/USB device
would be issued.

The Obama Administration has recently pushed for the assignment of a
single, unique authentication key for Internet users, which many are
calling the "Internet driver's license." Commerce Secretary Gary
Locke and White House Cybersecurity czar Howard Schmidt met with
computer industry leaders in January seeking input on how this new
system would work. Locke confirmed that they in the process of
drafting a "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace"
and said that the Internet ID would likely come in the form of a
"smart card."

The stated goal of the Obama Administration strategy is to provide
online consumers an easy way to securely access Internet retailers or
financial services without having to remember multiple passwords,
while reducing online fraud.

Schmidt brushed off the obvious government surveillance potential of
this new technology by saying, "Let's be clear: We're not talking
about a national ID card."

But effectively, the Real ID Act has turned the individual states'
drivers' licenses into a national ID card. Should this amendment to
SB 1150 become law and be implemented, it would give federal, state
and local government agencies the ability to easily and stealthily
track all Floridians without warrant, in violation of the Fourth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Schmidt also used a similar claim to one used during the national
health care debate, which was that participation would be voluntary.
In Florida, that may mean that one would have to opt out of getting a
driver's license to avoid the additional governmental tracking

The Real ID Act already specifies that beginning in 2013, Americans
must have a Real ID compliant driver's license or identification card
in order to access government services or buildings. This includes
the ability to pass through a TSA checkpoint at the airport or enter a
federal courthouse.

Will we soon need a Real ID driver's license to access the Internet or
go to Wal-Mart? Given the White House's recent plans, and the Florida
Legislature's willing compliance, it seems that it is only a matter of
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Scary Stuff

Spying on U.S Citizens - Uncle Sam turns his multi-billion dollar
espionage network on U.S Citizens
- Alexander Higgins

Massive spike in domestic spy operations, over 12,000 "special ops"
personnel deployed daily, 100s of thousands of secret surveillance
requests rubber stamped by crooked judges, secret illegal spy
operations conducted in over 75 countries and over $11 billion spent
annually to cover it all up. And this is only the tip of the iceberg
that the feds were willing to declassify through various Freedom of
Information Requests. Much more still remains classified in the
interest of National Security.

A series of previously classified documents obtained by The Federation
of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy reveals that spy
operation against U.S citizens here in the homeland have spiked
massively over the last year and so has the government's cost to cover
up their plethora of illegal activities.

But first a little background to explain how America has arrived to
this point in the first place.

The Executive Branch of the US Government has found a loophole in the
legal system that has effectively abolished the Constitution by
allowing our entire bill of rights to be suspended at will. This
probably best explains it:

Understanding Enemy Combatant Status and the Military Commissions Act,
Part I. Enemy Combatant Status: No More Pernicious Doctrine

The Hamdi Decision: A Defeat and Deadly Precedent

The 2004 Supreme Court decision in the case of Yasir Hamdi has been
touted by many, including the ACLU, human rights organizations, and
the mainstream press, as a victory for civil rights, the Constitution,
and the rule of law. It is nothing of the sort. While the Hamdi
majority paid lip service to limits on the executive in time of war
and to "due process," it joined Bush as a willing accomplice in his
current attempt to murder the Bill of Rights.

Apologists for the Court point out that Bush did not get all that he
wanted. That is true. Bush wanted absolute and plenary power to
designate anyone, citizen or not, an "enemy combatant" and do as he
pleased with them detaining, interrogating, even torturing and
executing them if he saw fit with no judicial interference at all.

Instead, the Court insisted that there be some manner of a deferential
administrative hearing before Bush got to do as he wished. That is
the only difference of any substance. Rather than insisting that
Hamdi, a U.S. citizen, receive all of the protections of the accused
which are his due under the Bill of Rights, the Court breathed new
life and legitimacy into this destructive doctrine that had lain
around unused and nearly forgotten, like a dusty, but still dangerous
"loaded weapon," since the World War II Ex Parte Quirin decision
(1942). The Hamdi Court, citing Quirin, stated unequivocally that
"[t]here is no bar to this Nation's holding one of its own citizens as
an enemy combatant." According to the majority on the Court, the mere
labeling of a person as an "enemy combatant" removes the shield of the
Bill of Rights and replaces it with a new judge-created system of
minimal administrative process to "challenge" that designation. Under
this system, the accused will have none of the procedural protections
of our Bill of Rights: No Grand Jury indictment; no trial by jury with
its requirement of a unanimous verdict of twelve of one's peers; no
possibility of an unreviewable acquittal and immunity from further
prosecution; and no protection against compelled self incrimination.
The presumption of innocence is gone, as is the requirement of a
showing of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the government
will enjoy a presumption that its allegations are accurate. The
accused will have the burden of proving his innocence, but will have
no right to compulsory process of witnesses and no right to confront
the secret evidence and witnesses against him.

At most, according to the Hamdi majority, "a citizen held in the
United States as an enemy combatant [will] be given a meaningful
opportunity to contest the factual basis for that detention before a
neutral decision maker" and access to counsel to assist (as best they
can) in that hearing. The Court made clear that the definition of "a
meaningful opportunity" will have to be fleshed out by subsequent
courts, and a military tribunal may qualify as a "neutral decision
maker" for that minimal, administrative hearing to determine status.
And this is touted as a victory.

How did we get here? As war is the greatest engine of tyranny known
to man, it should come as no surprise that like many such usurpations
before it, this doctrine of absolute power was born in the fires of
war. Source: Dirt Rhodes Scholar

The United States government has effectively undermined the very
foundation of our nation's democratic roots and has destroyed the
republic and all that for which it stands. Simply by alleging you are
a terrorist, treasonous or a threat to national security without any
due process of law whatsoever you immediately no longer have any
constitutional rights or protections granted thereunder. Effectively
our government has become an evil chameleon acting under the facade of
a freedom-loving democratic nation and protector of human rights only
to shape-shift into a ruthless totalitarian dictatorship at will.

Several articles from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS)
Project on Government Secrecy reveals some stunning revelations about
how out of control America's espionage network has become through
information learned from a series of documents obtained through
Freedom of Information Act requests.

The information reveals that the US Government has been approved for
hundreds of thousands of surveillance requests by categorically
labeling hundreds of thousands of US Citizens as suspected
"terrorists", i.e. enemy combatants. As we have seen over the years
the Department of Homeland Security is amassing a massive database of
all kinds of "threats to National Security" from you local activists
protesting against fracking that pollutes drinking water of millions
of people to those attending anti-nuclear rallies.

The method really is ingenious. In essence the United States has
declared war against its very own citizens and all civil and
constitutional rights are immediately abolished.

The reports reveal the massive spike in domestic spying of alleged
"suspected terrorists" has increased massively under the Obama
administration and comes along with a bill of over $11 billion dollars
to cover up their illegal activities, I mean classify them.

The massive increase in secrecy spending is also coupled with new that
over 12,000 "special ops" are deployed in various covert operations on
a daily basis to over 75 countries around the world.

* Courts rubber stamped 1,579 applications for foreign
intelligence purposes, along with 96 applications for access to
business records and a whopping 24,287 "national security letter"
requests to spy on 14,212 different U.S. persons.

* While Obama has stumped on the campaign trail with repeated promises
of "transparency" a sharp rise in national security secrecy under his
watch was matched by a sharp increase in the financial costs of the
classification system, causing classification-related costs to a
whopping $11.42 which was a new record high.

* The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has grown steadily by 3 to
5% every year since 9/11 bring the total number of special forces
personal to over 60,000 with a total annual cost of $9.8 billion for
2011 and a requested budget of $10.5 billion for 2012.

* It was reported that on any given day last year in excess of 12,000
Special Operations Forces are deployed in action in more than 75
countries across the globe.

Domestic Intelligence Surveillance Grew in 2010 FAS reports that the
Feds have increased domestic spy operations in every available arena
that they were required to report on. It should be noted that these
figures do not include numbers for the various methods of spying on US
citizens the Government implements for which they need not receive
permission, such as warrant-less wiretapping, GPS tracking and of
course the various CIA and NSA spy operations which are considered "a
matter of national security.

FAS first reports on applications granted through the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court.

"During calendar year 2010, the Government made 1,579 applications to
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (hereinafter 'FISC') for
authority to conduct electronic surveillance and/or physical searches
for foreign intelligence purposes," according to the new report (pdf).
This compares to a reported 1,376 applications in 2009. (In 2008,
however, the reported figure 2,082 was quite a bit higher.)

They then also highlight espionage applications which granted access
to spy on business records.

In 2010, the government made 96 applications for access to business
records (and "tangible things") for foreign intelligence purposes, up
from 21 applications in 2009.

And finally touch base on the astounding level of "national security
level" requests granted to the FBI.

In 2010, the FBI made 24,287 "national security letter" requests for
information pertaining to 14,212 different U.S. persons, a
substantial increase from the 2009 level of 14,788 NSL requests
concerning 6,114 U.S. persons. (In 2008, the number of NSL requests
was 24,744, pertaining to 7,225 persons.)

Finally they note that there is no indication that the Federal
Governments oversight spying on U.S citizens has grown the amount of
spying that is being done.

A copy of the latest report to Congress, dated April 29, was released
under the Freedom of Information Act.

A recent report from the Congressional Research Service addressed
"Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Set to
Expire May 27, 2011?. FISA Amendments in the USA Patriot Act
were discussed at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on
"Reauthorization of the Patriot Act" on March 9, 2011, the record
of which has just been published. Related issues were discussed in
another House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Permanent Provisions of
the Patriot Act" (pdf) on March 30, 2011.

Annual Secrecy Costs Now Exceed $10 Billion Next the FAS newsletter
reveals the Federal governments tab to censor and cover up all of
their illegal activities to maintain "national security" has grown
over 15% since last year reach a staggering $11.42 billion for all
"classification-related" expenses. They also reveal that over
classification is one of the many contributing factors to the
staggering increase in cost.

Ironically the costs for "classification" related expenses" did not
include the costs for did not disclose security cost estimates for the
large intelligence agencies the Office of the Director of National
Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security
Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National
Reconnaissance Office because those costs are considered classified.

When pressed on why the costs of classification for the other agencies
could be revealed the government responded because that is classified
information. However, as FAS revealed the information is classified
because somebody said it's classified, not because it could
demonstrably or even plausibly damage national security.

The rise in national security secrecy in the first year of the Obama
Administration was matched by a sharp increase in the financial costs
of the classification system, according to a new report to the

The estimated costs of the national security classification system
grew by 15% last year to reach $10.17 billion, according to the
Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). It was the first time
that annual secrecy costs in government were reported to exceed $10

An additional $1.25 billion was incurred within industry to protect
classified information, for a grand total of $11.42 in
classification-related costs, also a new record high.

Many factors contribute to the rise in secrecy costs, but one of them
is widespread overclassification. Ironically, the new ISOO report
provides a vivid illustration of the overclassification problem.

Secrecy News asked two security officials to articulate the damage to
national security that could result from release of the security cost
estimates for the intelligence agencies, but they were unable to do
so. They said only that the classification of this information was
consistent with intelligence community guidance. But this is a
circular claim, not an explanation.

Special Operations Forces on the Rise Finally the FAS newsletter
touches base on the sharp increase in US special forces operations,
nothing that special forces and the CIA worked hand in hand the
reported assassination of Osama bin Laden.

Yes, "reported" is there words as well as mine. FAS reports the
number of special operations personal has steadily risen 3-5% over the
last several years. Over 12,000 Special Ops personnel are deployed to
various missions on a daily basis with a budget that has increased
from $2.1 billion in 2001 to $9.8 billion for the 2011 fiscal year and
a request for $10.5 billion for the 2012 fiscal year.

U.S. Special Operations Forces continue to experience rapid post-9/11
growth, with swelling ranks, rising budgets and a new set of missions.
Special operations forces were reportedly involved along with CIA
personnel in the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on May 1.

"Special operations" are defined (pdf) as military operations that are
"conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments
to achieve military, diplomatic, informational, and/or economic
objectives employing military capabilities for which there is no broad
conventional force requirement. These operations often require
covert, clandestine, or low visibility capabilities . Special
operations differ from conventional operations in degree of physical
and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment,
independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed
operational intelligence and indigenous assets."

New doctrine published last month for Special Operations lists 11
"core activities" versus 9 in the previous edition (2003), reflecting
the addition of "security force assistance" aiding the development
of foreign security forces and counterinsurgency. See "Special
Operations," Joint Publication 3-05, April 18, 2011.In addition to its
core tasks, US SOCOM is also assigned by law (10 USC 167j) to perform
"such other activities as may be specified by the President or the
Secretary of Defense." This is an open-ended category that is
analogous to the statutory language used to authorize CIA covert
actions, and it can be used to underwrite an almost unlimited variety
of clandestine missions. But while there is a well-defined mechanism
for congressional oversight of covert action, no similar process for
congressional notification and review appears to exist for clandestine
SOF missions.

A U.S. SOCOM Factbook, dated November 2010, is available here

Traditionally all male, Special Operations Forces are recognizing new
roles for women, Adm. Olson said. "Our attached female Cultural
Support Teams (CSTs) allow us to reach key elements of the population
in some environments which was not previously possible. This concept
of attaching females to SOF units is effective and long overdue; we
are urging the Services to recognize the capabilities of CSTs as
essential military skills." Curiously, Adm. Olson cited the Office
of Strategic Services, the CIA precursor organization, as an exemplar
of innovation for SOCOM to follow, suggesting that more contemporary
models were hard to find. "Our efforts to become more innovative
include studying the best practices of other organizations. For
example, we are inspired by the ability of the World War II's Office
of Strategic Services to rapidly recruit specialized talent, develop
and acquire new technologies and conduct effective global operations
within the period of its relatively brief existence."

Other referenced documents in the Special Ops report which were in
text clipped removed from the excerpt

* 2011 SOCOM posture statement

* Budget Requests From The U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special
Operations Command, And U.S. Transportation


* U.S. Special Operations Forces: Background and Issues for Congress

Why Does Any Of This Matter To Me?

So you just mind your own business, do the daily rat race, come home
sit on the couch and watch the tube. Rinse, later and repeat. You
have nothing to worry about right?

Wrong! Let us not forget history, lest we be bound to repeat the same

Nazi Germany:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

And they will come for you. In fact they already are.

Silence is the Death of Liberty

Posted by George Washington's Blog

First they tortured a U.S. citizen and gang member I remained
silent; I wasn't a criminal
Then they tortured a U.S. citizen, whistleblower and navy veteran
I remained silent; I wasn't a whistleblower
Then they locked up an attorney for representing accused criminals
I remained silent; I wasn't a defense attorney
Then they arrested a young father walking with his son simply because
he told Dick Cheney that he disagreed with his policies
I remained silent; I've never talked to an important politician
Then they said an entertainer should be killed because she questioned
I remained silent; I wasn't an entertainer
Then they arrested people for demanding that Congress hold the President
to the Constitution
I did not speak out; I've never protested in Washington
Then they arrested a man for holding a sign
I did not speak out; I've never held that kind of sign
Then they broke a minister's leg because he wanted to
speak at a public event
I remained silent; I wasn't a religious leader
Then they shot a student with a taser gun and arrested him for
asking a question of a politician at a public event
I remained silent; I wasn't a student
They they decided that they could assassinate U.S. citizens without trial
I said nothing; I assumed I wasn't on any hit list
When they came for me, Everyone was silent;
there was no one left to speak out.

Inspired by the poem First They Came by Martin Niemoller, which was
written about the Nazis.

I originally wrote this poem in 2007. I have updated it with the
additional verse about assassinations.
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*** Did you know?

Did you know that the US government classified over 16 million
documents as top secret in 2010 alone? That's 16,000,000 documents!

Something is rotten in Denmark, or rather in the USA!

WikiLeaks Exposes Secrecy Abuse

Ronald Goldfarb, writing in The Hill, points out that 90 percent of
the 16 million classified documents generated each year should be open
in the first place. "The burden," he writes, "ought to be on those
classifying confidentially to make the clear case for secrecy, and the
presumption should be for openness."

Ronald Goldfarb in The Hill:

Presently, over 4,000 federal government officials have the power
initially to classify documents. The classification system costs us
$7 billion a year to classify 17,000 documents a day, 16 million per
year. In addition, over 3 million employees have the power to declare
a derivative classification if they use, excerpt or paraphrase a
classified document they do so 5,000 instances a day, 50 million
documents a year. The natural tendency is to err on the side of
safety and overdo it. Categories of classification are subjective,
and different classifiers draw different conclusions. With no sunset
provision to undo these classifications, and an uncertain, slow and
expensive FOIA system, documents tend to stay classified.

The Wiki experience shows how silly some of the secrecy has been
shielding idiosyncratic behavior of eccentric officials, and how
enlightening some of the disclosures have been our wasting money by
giving it to corrupt officials in Afghanistan.

Read more -

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*** Breaking News!

Still no timetable for deletion of DNA records

The planned deletion of the DNA profiles of millions of innocent
people still lacks a definitive timetable, it was revealed today.
Conservative MP Philip Davies asked the government how much time would
be required once the legislation has been passed to remove the DNA of
people who have been found innocent but whose records remain on the
database. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said:

"Our aim is to remove the vast majority of non-convicted people from
the NDNAD (National DNA Database) as soon as is practicable, following
enactment of the relevant provisions."

The minister had previously announced that over 6 million DNA profiles
have now been entered onto the database since it was created,
including more than 1 million people who do not have "a current
conviction, caution, formal warning or reprimand".

Whereas previously DNA could be kept indefinitely by the police, even
if someone had been arrested but not charged or convicted, the
Protection of Freedoms Bill 2011 sets out new legislation. Those
arrested for minor crimes will have their DNA removed if they are not
convicted, however anyone arrested for a serious crime will have their
record kept for three years as a precaution.

Certain elements of the police have attempted to use the deletion of
DNA from the database as a means to scare the public via reports in
the media about rapists and murderers going free as a result.
Genewatch UK dismissed the police figures claiming an additional 1,000
crimes may occur every year as false, determining the real number to
be closer to 12 low-level crimes.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, challenged the plans of the

"They are going too far in restricting the use of DNA from suspects
who have been arrested. Of course there must be safeguards in the
system, but sensible use of DNA also helps catch very dangerous
criminals and prevents innocent people being wrongly charged too."

These people, many of whom are children, have never been found guilty
of a crime; however their DNA records still remain on a database
amongst violent criminals. The government must move swiftly to enact
this legislation, delete these records and establish good practice for
maintaining a DNA database.
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Good News ?

Davis alleges criminal misuse of CCTV cameras by government and police
- AP

David Davis has alleged that the Home Office and Metropolitan Police
may have broken the law while using security camera images. The claim
was made during Home Office questions in the House of Commons.

He described an event around 12 months ago when he was tipped off that
the Whitehall department along with the Met had misused CCTV and
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in an illegal

The Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden said:

"A year ago I was approached by a whistleblower with an allegation
there had been criminal misuse of CCTV and ANPR information by the
Home Office and a part of the Metropolitan Police."

"I established that the individual knew the insides of the
organisations concerned an ongoing operation, that he had no obvious
reason for malice or deceit, and I sent the information to the Home

However, Mr. Davis claimed he never received a response when he
delivered the allegations to Home Secretary Theresa May. Mrs. May
assured him that she would investigate the allegations thoroughly, she

"I will go back and ensure this matter is brought to my attention."

We await the results of this investigation with interest, as the
allegations, if part of a wider pattern of misuse, could create a
scandal on a massive scale.
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*** Did you know?

White House Wants to Track and Tax Your Mileage
- David A. Patten,

Conservative economists, commentators, and politicians are blasting a
draft Obama administration plan that envisions using Big Brother-like
tracking devices on private cars to tax drivers on how many miles they

The new tax scheme, designed to help fund transportation spending,
would determine your mileage by installing electronic equipment on
your car. This would involve monitoring your location and how far
you've traveled.

Fox host Lou Dobbs offered this reaction to the trial balloon on his
radio show Thursday: "We've got an effective unemployment rate of
nearly 17 percent in this country, and these idiots want to tax car
mileage. It's nuts, what they want to do," he said.

Cato economist Chris Edwards tells Newsmax that the proposal, which he
considers "a terrible idea," is part of the reauthorization of U.S.
transportation programs that is expected to occur sometime in the next
12 months.

"There is a high degree of risk that there's going to be all kinds of
big government, intrusive stuff in this bill," he warns.

The administration, stung by rising gas prices and an 8-month high in
jobless claims Thursday, is backing away from the draft proposal

White House spokesperson Jennifer Psaki called the proposed tax "an
early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within
the administration."

The 498-page draft of the administration's Transportation
Opportunities Act was obtained and published by Transportation Weekly.

Psaki told that the draft plan "does not take into account
the advice of the president's senior advisers, economic team or
Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the president."

There has been growing momentum in recent months to find a new way to
finance transportation spending.

In March, the Congressional Budget Office offered support for taxing
drivers based on how many miles they travel. Payment, it suggested,
could be collected automatically at service stations.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., also has voiced
support for taxing mileage.

The draft of the transportation proposal, which reportedly has been
circulated within the Department of Transportation and the Office of
Management and Budget, would create a $300 million office within the
Federal Highway Administration to be called the "Surface
Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office."

The office would be tasked with defining "the functionality of a
mileage based user fee system and other systems," according to the

One Republican quick to criticize the mileage tax on Thursday: Former
GOP Sen. George Allen.

Allen, who is campaigning to represent the Old Dominion in the U.S.
Senate, released a statement that: "In our struggling economy, the
worst thing Washington can do is raise taxes on middle-class families
and small businesses. Yet that is exactly what the latest scheme
being floated by Washington Democrats calls for."

Concerned that increasingly fuel-efficient vehicles will reduce
revenue from current gasoline taxes, state officials in Oregon, Iowa,
Nevada, and Texas already are considering tax proposals based on
mileage driven.

In Minnesota, the state department of transportation is conducting a
research project that would use smart phones with a GPS application to
monitor mileage. Critics point out, however, that taxing drivers
based on miles driven rather than gallons consumed would decrease
their incentive to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Quite apart from the economic issues are the privacy concerns. Allen
labeled the tax an "onerous, big brother proposal."

Edwards, the editor of, tells Newsmax:
"There's clearly a potential for privacy abuses with such a system,
government tracking American citizens driving around in their cars.
These government data bases have often been hacked and leaked. So
there's a big privacy concern here."

The draft proposal calls for field trials to test the feasibility of
the mileage tax, but does not specify when or where those trials would
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Bad News

Don't Buy A House In 2011 Before You Read These 20 Wacky Statistics
About The U.S. Real Estate Crisis
- The Economic Collapse

Unless you have been asleep or hiding under a rock for the past five
years, you already know that we are experiencing the worst real estate
crisis that the U.S. has ever seen. Home prices in the United States
have fallen 33 percent from the peak of the housing bubble, which is
more than they fell during the Great Depression. Those that decided
to buy a house in 2005 or 2006 are really hurting right now. Just
think about it. Could you imagine paying off a $400,000 mortgage on a
home that is now only worth $250,000? Millions of Americans are now
living through that kind of financial hell. Sadly, most analysts
expect U.S. home prices to go down even further.

Despite the "best efforts" of those running our economy, unemployment
is still rampant. The number of middle class jobs continues to decline
year after year, but it takes at least a middle class income to buy a
decent home.

In addition, financial institutions have really tightened up lending
standards and have made it much more difficult to get home loans.

Back during the wild days of the housing bubble, the family cat could
get a zero-down mortgage, but today the pendulum has swung very far in
the other direction and now it is really, really tough to get a home
loan. Meanwhile, the number of foreclosures and distressed properties
continues to soar. So with a ton of homes on the market and not a lot
of buyers the power is firmly in the hands of those looking to buy a

So will home prices continue to go down? Possibly. But they won't go
down forever. At some point the inflation that is already affecting
many other segments of the economy will affect home prices as well.

That doesn't mean that it will be middle class American families that
will be buying up all the homes. An increasing percentage of homes
are being purchased by investors or by foreigners. There are a lot of
really beautiful homes in the United States, and wealthy people from
all over the globe love to buy a house in America.

But because of the factors mentioned above, it is quite possible that
U.S. home prices could go down another 10 or 20 percent, especially
if the economy gets worse.

So what is the right time to buy a house?

Nobody really knows for sure.

Mortgage rates are near record lows right now and there are some great
deals to be had in many areas of the country. But that does not mean
that you won't be able to get the same home for even less 6 months or
a year from now.

In any event, this truly has been a really trying time for the U.S.
housing market. Hordes of builders, construction workers,
contractors, real estate agents and mortgage professionals have been
put out of work by this downturn. The housing industry is one of the
core pillars of the economy, and so a recovery in home sales is
desperately needed.

The following are 20 really wacky statistics about the U.S. real
estate crisis....

#1 According to Zillow, 28.4 percent of all single-family homes with a
mortgage in the United States are now underwater.

#2 Zillow has also announced that the average price of a home in the
U.S. is about 8 percent lower than it was a year ago and that it
continues to fall about 1 percent a month.

#3 U.S. home prices have now fallen a whopping 33% from where they
were at during the peak of the housing bubble.

#4 During the first quarter of 2011, home values declined at the
fastest rate since late 2008.

#5 According to Zillow, more than 55 percent of all single-family
homes with a mortgage in Atlanta have negative equity and more than 68
percent of all single-family homes with a mortgage in Phoenix have
negative equity.

#6 U.S. home values have fallen an astounding 6.3 trillion dollars
since the housing crisis first began.

#7 In February, U.S. housing starts experienced their largest decline
in 27 years.

#8 New home sales in the United States are now down 80% from the peak
in July 2005.

#9 Historically, the percentage of residential mortgages in
foreclosure in the United States has tended to hover between 1 and 1.5
percent. Today, it is up around 4.5 percent.

#10 According to RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings in the United States
are projected to increase by another 20 percent in 2011.

#11 It is estimated that 25% of all mortgages in Miami-Dade County are
"in serious distress and headed for either foreclosure or short sale".

#12 Two years ago, the average U.S. homeowner that was being
foreclosed upon had not made a mortgage payment in 11 months. Today,
the average U.S. homeowner that is being foreclosed upon has not made
a mortgage payment in 17 months.

#13 Sales of foreclosed homes now represent an all-time record 23.7%
of the market.

#14 4.5 million home loans are now either in some stage of foreclosure
or are at least 90 days delinquent.

#15 According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, at least 8 million
Americans are currently at least one month behind on their mortgage

#16 In September 2008, 33 percent of Americans knew someone who had
been foreclosed upon or who was facing the threat of foreclosure.
Today that number has risen to 48 percent.

#17 During the first quarter of 2011, less new homes were sold in the
U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.

#18 According to a recent census report, 13% of all homes in the
United States are currently sitting empty.

#19 In 1996, 89 percent of Americans believed that it was better to
own a home than to rent one. Today that number has fallen to 63

#20 According to Zillow, the United States has been in a "housing
recession" for 57 straight months without an end in sight.

So should we be confident that the folks in charge are doing
everything that they can to turn all of this around?

Sadly, the truth is that our "authorities" really do not know what
they are doing. The following is what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had
to say about the housing market back in 2006....

"Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the
decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that
house prices will probably continue to rise."

Since that time U.S. housing prices have experienced their biggest
decline ever.

At some point widespread inflation is going to reverse the trend we
are experiencing right now, but that doesn't mean that most American
families will be able to afford to buy homes when that happens.

As I have written about previously, the middle class in America is
shrinking. The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 18
million over the past four years and today 47 million Americans (a new
all-time record) are living in poverty.

Millions of our jobs are being shipped overseas, the cost of living
keeps going up and an increasing percentage of American families are
losing faith in the economy.

More Americans than ever are talking about "the coming economic
collapse" as if it is a foregone conclusion. Our federal government
is swamped with debt, our state and local governments are swamped with
debt and our economic infrastructure is being ripped to shreds by

So sadly, no, there are not a whole lot of reasons to be optimistic at
this point about a major economic turnaround.

The U.S. economy is going down the toilet and the coming collapse is
going to be incredibly painful for all of us.

Hopefully when that collapse comes you will have somewhere warm and
safe to call home. If not, hopefully someone will have compassion on
you. In any event, we all need to buckle up because it is going to be
a wild ride.
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*** Bad News.... Microsoft Will Ruin It And Co-Opt It With Us
- The Wall Street Journal

Microsoft Corp. racked up a whopping $8.5 billion phone bill to buy
Skype SARL even though there were no signs of other serious bidders
for the provider of free online video and voice chats, as the software
giant moved aggressively to ramp up its growth.

Microsoft made an unsolicited bid for the Internet company last month
and clinched its deal late Monday, nixing a planned Skype public
offering and short-circuiting any talks with competitors such as
Google Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, defended the price in an
interview, saying the deal the biggest in his company's 36-year
history will let Microsoft "be more ambitious, do more things."

While Facebook, Google and Cisco Systems Inc. had shown interest in
Skype, Microsoft was by far the most determined buyer, people familiar
with the matter said.

The price tag three times what Skype fetched 18 months ago is a sign
of just how hungry Microsoft is for growth opportunities especially in
the mobile-phone and Internet markets. Those missed opportunities are
increasingly worrisome to Microsoft investors as traditional profit
engines, like its Windows software, are showing signs of slowing.

The Skype deal is a gamble by Mr. Ballmer that he can succeed where
those that have gone before him have failed: using the
phone-and-video-calling service to make money. Microsoft's ambitious
goal is to integrate Skype into everything from its Xbox videogame
console to its Office software suite for businesses.

Microsoft also hopes Skype can jump-start its effort to turn around
its fortunes in the mobile-phone market, an area where it has lagged
far behind Apple Inc. and Google. Phones running Microsoft software
were just 7.5% of the smartphone market last quarter, according to
Comscore Inc.

The Skype purchase comes as the technology industry's momentum is
increasingly being fueled by consumers, with the explosive rise of
social network Facebook, now at more than 600 million global members,
and devices such as Apple's iPad and iPhone reshaping the cellphone
and computer markets.

That has pushed many big tech companies that had largely relied on
businesses for growth from Dell Inc. to Cisco to seek ways into
consumer technologies.

Some of those moves haven't paid off, however. Cisco, for example,
recently shut down the division that made its Flip video cameras, just
two years after acquiring the business.

Whether Microsoft can make a Skype acquisition work especially at such
a rich price is a question mark. EBay Inc. bought Skype in 2005 for
around $3.1 billion but took a $1.4 billion charge for the transaction
in 2007 after it failed to produce hoped-for synergies.

EBay decided to shed the business, and sold a 70% stake in Skype to a
group of investors led by private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners
about 18 months ago. The deal valued all of Skype at a $2.75 billion.

Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft and Skype have far more in common than
Skype had with eBay since both companies are in the "communications
business." He said communications technologies have been "the
backbone" of Microsoft's growth in recent years and that Skype has
"built a real business," with more than $860 million in 2010 revenue.

"I think our case for why to bring this together comes from a very
different place," he said.

Overall, Skype has more than 170 million active users and 207 billion
minutes of voice and video conservations flowing through its service.
But despite its widespread use, it has been slow to convert users into
paying customers and generate meaningful profits. It had a net loss
of $7 million last year.

Skype lets people make free phone calls between computers or pay
pennies-a-minute to make overseas calls from traditional phones, and
increasingly it's being used in the form of an app on smartphones to
avoid paying higher fees to wireless carriers for phone calls.

The acquisition comes three months after Microsoft struck an ambitious
partnership with cellphone maker Nokia Corp. under which the Finnish
company will rely on Microsoft software to power its smartphones.

Nokia, which is now heavily exposed to the decisions Microsoft makes
regarding its mobile software, declined to say whether it had received
a heads up on the deal. "Skype has been available to Nokia users for
a number of years already, and we certainly understand the value of
the asset that Microsoft has just acquired," a spokeswoman said. She
said the company will watch to see how Microsoft makes use of Skype.

Mr. Ballmer said Microsoft would continue to make Skype available for
Apple's gadgets and devices running Google software.

Tony Bates, Skype's chief executive, said Microsoft will help Skype
expand its audience into the billions, from hundreds of millions of
users. "I think our combined assets really accelerates and extends
that," he said.

Skype filed for an IPO last August and had since held discussions with
various companies about potential partnerships, said people familiar
with the matter. Microsoft was exploring partnerships with Skype, Mr.
Ballmer said, but quickly concluded an acquisition made the most
sense. In early April, he made an unsolicited offer to Silver Lake,
which owns 39% of the company.

Microsoft at that point was the only serious bidder, according to
people familiar with the matter, but the IPO alternative was credible
enough to help Skype drive a harder bargain.

"Microsoft put forth a very compelling offer," said Egon Durban, a
partner at Silver Lake who negotiated the deal.

The $8.5 billion price tag for Skype surprised some industry
executives and investors Tuesday, sending Microsoft's shares down 16
cents to $25.67 on Nasdaq. Mr. Ballmer said the deal will add to
Microsoft earnings during the first year after it closes, though that
calculation excludes certain items such as amortization. Microsoft
expects the deal to close by the end of 2011.

Meg Whitman, eBay's former CEO who faced criticism for acquiring
Skype, said she was gratified to see the company bought for such a
high number. She said Skype is at the center of a "sea change" in how
people communicate with each other.

"Is Skype worth $8.5 billion? I don't know, but it depends on how big
the platform grows," said Ms. Whitman. EBay, which initially lost
money on the Skype acquisition, will end up with a profit of about
$1.4 billion.

One point in Microsoft's favor: the company plans to purchase
Luxemburg-based Skype with cash held overseas, money that it could not
otherwise bring back to the U.S. without paying repatriation taxes of
more than 30%. The majority of Microsoft's roughly $50 billion in
cash is held overseas.
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Food for thought

U.S. To Introduce Draconian Anti-Piracy Censorship Bill

The U.S. Government is determined to put an end to online piracy. In
an attempt to give copyright holders and the authorities all the tools
required to disable access to so-called rogue sites, lawmakers will
soon introduce the PROTECT IP Act. Through domain seizures, ISP
blockades, search engine censorship, and cutting funding of allegedly
copyright infringing websites, the bill takes Internet censorship to
the next level.

Internet censorship is a hot topic this year.

During the past 12 months the U.S. Government seized more than 100
domain names it claimed were promoting copyright infringement. But
this was just the beginning. The domain seizures pale in comparison
to a bill that's about to be introduced by U.S. lawmakers.

Dubbed the PROTECT IP Act, the bill will introduce a wide-scale of
censorship tools authorities and copyright holders can use to quash
websites they claim are facilitating copyright infringement. It is
basically a revamped and worsened version of the controversial COICA
proposal which had to be resubmitted after its enaction failed last

The summary of the bill begins with a recital of the now-standard
industry claims about the financial harm caused by copyright
infringement. Claims that interestingly enough were put in doubt by
the U.S. Government last year, but are still used to push anti-piracy
legislation through globally.

"Copyright infringement and the sale of counterfeit goods are reported
to cost American creators and producers billions of dollars and to
result in hundreds of thousands in lost jobs annually. This pervasive
problem has assumed an especially threatening form on the Internet,"
the bill document reads.

It is further explained that the PROTECT IP Act is needed as an
extension of the already controversial domain seizures. As reported
previously, it is now relatively easy for a seized website to continue
operating under a new non-US based domain name. With the new bill,
however, the authorities and copyright holders have a broader scale of
tools they can use.

"The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft
of Intellectual Property Act ("PROTECT IP Act") authorizes the Justice
Department to file a civil action against the registrant or owner of a
domain name that accesses a foreign Internet site, or the
foreign-registered domain name itself, and to seek a preliminary order
from the court that the site is dedicated to infringing activities,"
the document continues.

In case a domain is not registered or controlled by a U.S. company,
the authorities can also order search engines to remove the website
from its search results, order ISPs to block the website, and order
ad-networks and payment processors to stop providing services to the
website in question.

"If the court issues an order against the registrant, owner, or domain
name, resulting from the DOJ-initiated suit, the Attorney General is
authorized to serve that order on specified U.S. based third-parties,
including Internet service providers, payment processors, online
advertising network providers, and search engines. These third
parties would then be required to take appropriate action to either
prevent access to the Internet site, or cease doing business with the
Internet site."

Although the above is already quite far-reaching, the bill also allows
for private copyright holders to use some of the same tools as the
Government. Without due process, copyright holders can obtain a court
order to prevent payment providers and ad-networks from doing business
with sites that allegedly facilitate copyright infringement. Unlike
the DOJ, copyright holders can not obtain orders to block sites
through ISPs or search engines.

The summary of the bill does not go into the constitutional issues
that arise with several of the measures. However, it ensures that the
legislation is in the best interest of the public by protecting people
from any website that "endangers the public health." The only
protection for accused websites is that they can "petition the court
to suspend or vacate the order," but lessons from the previous domain
seizures show that this process can take up several months.

The PROTECT IP Act is expected to be officially introduced in the
coming weeks, and more details will be released at the time. Sources
close to the U.S Government say the bill has already gathered a lot of
support among legislators, which is a worrying message for the
relatively free-Internet as its known today.
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Horror Stories

Police buy software to map suspects' digital movements
- AP

Geotime software, bought by the Met, collates data from social
networking sites, satnavs, mobiles and financial transactions

Britain's largest police force is using software that can map nearly
every move suspects and their associates make in the digital world,
prompting an outcry from civil liberties groups.

The Metropolitan police has bought Geotime, a security programme used
by the US military, which shows an individual's movements and
communications with other people on a three-dimensional graphic. It
can be used to collate information gathered from social networking
sites, satellite navigation equipment, mobile phones, financial
transactions and IP network logs.

Police have confirmed its purchase and declined to rule out its use in
investigating public order disturbances.

Campaigners and lawyers have expressed concern at how the software
could be used to monitor innocent parties such as protesters in breach
of data protection legislation. Alex Hanff, the campaigns manager at
Privacy International, called on the police to explain who will decide
how this software will be used in future.

"Once millions and millions of pieces of microdata are aggregated, you
end up with this very high-resolution picture of somebody, and this is
effectively what they are doing here.

"We shouldn't be tracked and traced and have pictures built by our own
government and police for the benefit of commercial gain," he said.

Sarah McSherry, a partner at Christian Khan Solicitors, which
represents several protesters in cases against the Metropolitan
police, said: "We have already seen the utilisation of a number of
tactics which infringe the right to peaceful protest, privacy and
freedom of expression, assembly and movement. All of these have a
chilling effect on participation in peaceful protest. This latest
tool could also be used in a wholly invasive way and could fly in the
face of the role of the police to facilitate rather than impede the
activities of democratic protesters."

Hugh Tomlinson QC, a specialist in privacy, said a public body such as
the police must be able to justify the lawfulness of how it uses the
information it collects and retains. "Storing data because it's
potentially interesting or potentially useful is not good enough.
There has got to be some specific justification," he said.

According to Geotime's website, the programme displays data from a
variety of sources, allowing the user to navigate the data with a
timeline and animated display. The website claims it can also throw
up previously unseen connections between individuals. "Links between
entities can represent communications, relationships, transactions,
message logs, etc and are visualised over time to reveal temporal
patterns and behaviours," it reads.

The software was displayed in Britain earlier this month at the
defence industry Counter Terror exhibition in Olympia, west London.
Curtis Garton, product management director for Oculus, the company
that markets the programme, said the Metropolitan police was the only
UK police force to have purchased the software. "[There are] a few
countries that we don't sell to, but in terms of commercial sales
pretty much anybody can buy," he said. The issue of data retention
and how it is used has become a major political and judicial issue.
The European justice commissioner, Viviane Reding, said in March that
data protection rules also applied to data retention. "Individuals
must be informed about which data is collected and for what purposes,"
she said. "To be effective, data protection rights need to actually
be enforced."

The Guardian disclosed last week that an 86-year-old man had been
granted permission to take legal action against police chiefs who kept
a detailed record of his political activities on a clandestine

John Catt, who has no criminal record, is bringing the high court
action against a secretive police unit that systematically logged his
presence at more than 55 peace and human rights protests over a
four-year period.

Some academics have praised the software as a positive move for the
police in their fight against terrorist groups and organised crime.

Professor Anthony Glees, director of the University of Buckingham's
Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, said he was aware of
tracking software such as Geotime, the use of which he described as
"absolutely right".

"There are these dangerous people out there and we need to stay ahead
of the game in order to deal with the threat that they pose," he said.
"My feeling is: if it can be done, and if its purpose is the
protection of the ordinary citizen that wants to go about their lawful
business ... then it's absolutely fine."

A spokesman for the Met confirmed that Geotime had been paid for, and
said several possible uses for it were being assessed, including as a
tool in "telephone investigations".

He declined to clarify what a telephone investigation might be or how
much the software cost. Neither could he comment on whether the
software might be used during investigations into public order
offences in the future.

"We are in the process of evaluating the Geotime software to explore
how it could possibly be used to assist us in understanding patterns
in data relating to both space and time. A decision has yet to be
made as to whether we will adopt the technology [permanently]. We
have used dummy data to look at how the software works and have
explored how we could use it to examine police vehicle movements,
crime patterns and telephone investigations," he wrote in an email.

Alongside the Met, the Ministry of Defence is also examining Geotime.
A spokesman said: "The MoD is assessing Geotime as part of its
research programme but it is not currently being used on operations."
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*** The District of Criminals

Electronic Surveillance: America's Secret Domestic Spying Apparatus
- Tom Burghardt

Despite last week's "termination" of America's b te noire, Osama bin
Laden, the reputed "emir" and old "new Hitler" of the Afghan-Arab
database of disposable Western intelligence assets known as al-Qaeda,
Secrecy News reports an uptick in domestic spying.

Never mind that the administration is engaged in an unprecedented war
on whistleblowers, or is systematically targeting antiwar and
solidarity activists with trumped-up charges connected to the
"material support of terrorism," as last Fall's multi-state raids on
anarchists and socialists in Chicago and Minneapolis attest.

In order to do their best to "keep us safe," Team Obama is busily
building upon the criminal legacy bequeathed to the administration by
the Bush regime and even asserts the right to assassinate American
citizens "without a whiff of due process," as Salon's Glenn Greenwald
points out.

According to a new Justice Department report submitted to Congress we
learn that "during calendar year 2010, the Government made 1,579
applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
(hereinafter 'FISC') for authority to conduct electronic surveillance
and/or physical searches" on what U.S. security agencies allege are
"for foreign intelligence purposes."

The April 29 missive, released under the Freedom of Information Act,
documents the persistence of our internal security apparat's targeting
of domestic political opponents, under color of rooting out

Secrecy News analyst Steven Aftergood comments that "this compares to
a reported 1,376 applications in 2009. (In 2008, however, the
reported figure--2,082--was quite a bit higher.)"

"In 2010," Aftergood writes, "the government made 96 applications for
access to business records (and 'tangible things') for foreign
intelligence purposes, up from 21 applications in 2009."

Also last year, America's premier domestic intelligence agency, the
FBI, "made 24,287 'national security letter' requests for information
pertaining to 14,212 different U.S. persons, a substantial increase
from the 2009 level of 14,788 NSL requests concerning 6,114 U.S.
persons. (In 2008, the number of NSL requests was 24,744, pertaining
to 7,225 persons.)"

As I have pointed out many times, national security letters are
onerous lettres de cachet, secretive administrative subpoenas with
built-in gag orders used by the Bureau to seize records from
third-parties such as banks, libraries and telecommunications
providers without any judicial process whatsoever, not to mention the
expenditure of scarce tax dollars to spy on the American people.

"Money for Nothing..."

With U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's February announcement that
the Department of Justice will seek $28.2 billion from Congress in
Fiscal Year 2012, a 1.7% increase, the FBI is slated to reap an $8.1
billion windfall.

We're told that the "administration supports critical national
security programs within the department, including the FBI and the
National Security Division (NSD)."

"The requested national security resources include $122.5 million in
program increases for the FBI," including "$48.9 million for the FBI
to expand national security related surveillance and enhance its Data
Integration and Visualization System, as well as "$18.6 million for
the FBI's Computer Intrusion Initiative to increase coverage in
detecting cyber intrusions."

Rather ironic, considering that ThreatPost reported last month that a
U.S. Department of Justice audit found that the FBI's ability to
"investigate cyber intrusions" was less than adequate. The report
disclosed that "fully 36% [of field agents] were found to be

To make matters worse, "FBI field offices do not have sufficient
analytical and forensic capabilities to support large scale
investigations, the audit revealed." All the more reason then to
shower even more money on the Bureau!

And with the FBI demanding new authority to peer into our lives, on-
and offline, the FY 2012 budget would "address the growing
technological gap between law enforcement's electronic surveillance
capabilities and the number and variety of communications devices
available to the public, $17.0 million in program increases are being
requested to bolster the department's electronic surveillance

One sure sign that things haven't changed under Obama is the FBI's
quest for additional funds for what it is now calling it's Data
Integration and Visualization System (DIVS). According to April
congressional testimony by FBI Director Robert Mueller, DIVS will
"prioritize and integrate disparate datasets across the Bureau."

Another in a long line of taxpayer-funded boondoggles, it appears that
DIVS is the latest iteration of various failed "case management" and
"data integration" programs stood up by the Bureau.

As I reported last year, previous failed efforts by the FBI have
included the Bureau's Virtual Case File (VCF) project. Overseen by
the spooky Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), VCF
cost taxpayers some $170 million dollars before it crashed and burned
in 2006.

And when defense and security giant Lockheed Martin took over the case
management brief, VCF, now rechristened Sentinel, also enjoyed a
similarly expensive and waste-filled fate. A 2009 report by the
Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found
that despite some $450 million dollars showered on Lockheed Martin and
assorted subcontractors, the Sentinel system "encountered significant

According to a notice quietly posted in August in the Federal
Register, "DIVS contains replications and extractions of information
maintained by the FBI in other databases. This information is
replicated or extracted into DIVS in order to provide an enhanced and
integrated view of that information."

Wait a minute! Isn't that what VCF and Sentinel were supposed to do?
We're told that the "purpose of DIVS is to strengthen and improve the
methods by which the FBI searches for and analyzes information in
support of its multifaceted mission responsibilities to protect the
nation against terrorism and espionage and investigate criminal

(Dirty) Business as Usual

While the FBI and the Justice Department have failed to prosecute
corporate criminals responsible for the greatest theft and upward
transfer of wealth in history, not to mention the virtual
get-out-of-jail-free cards handed out to top executives of the
drug-money laundering Wachovia Bank, they're rather adept at trampling
the rights of the American people.

As the San Francisco Bay Guardian recently reported, while corporate
lawbreakers get a free pass, "San Francisco cops assigned to the FBI's
terrorism task force can ignore local police orders and California
privacy laws to spy on people without any evidence of a crime."

According to a Memorandum of Understanding obtained by the ACLU, "it
effectively puts local officers under the control of the FBI,"
investigative journalist Sarah Phelan disclosed.

Civil rights attorney Veena Dubal told the Bay Guardian that during
"the waning months of the Bush administration" the FBI "changed its
policies to allow federal authorities to collect intelligence on a
person even if the subject is not suspected of a crime. The FBI is
now allowed to spy on Americans who have done nothing wrong--and who
may be engaged in activities protected by the First Amendment."

"It's the latest sign of a dangerous trend: San Francisco cops are
working closely with the feds, often in ways that run counter to city
policy," Phelan writes. "And it raises a far-reaching question: With
a district attorney who used to be police chief, a civilian commission
that isn't getting a straight story from the cops, and a climate of
secrecy over San Francisco's intimate relations with outside agencies,
who is watching the cops?"

Apparently, no one; and in such a repressive climate the federal
government has encouraged the FBI to target anyone deemed a threat to
the new corporate order.

Earlier this year, an Electronic Frontier Foundation report revealed
that the Bureau continues to systematically violate the constitutional
guarantees of American citizens and legal residents, and does so with
complete impunity.

As I wrote at the time, this was rather ironic considering the free
passes handed out by U.S. securocrats to actual terrorists who killed
thousands of Americans on 9/11, as both WikiLeaks and FBI
whistleblower Sibel Edmonds disclosed.

According to EFF, more than 2,500 documents obtained under the Freedom
of Information Act revealed that:

* From 2001 to 2008, the FBI reported to the IOB approximately 800
violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing
intelligence investigations, although this number likely significantly
under-represents the number of violations that actually occurred.
* From 2001 to 2008, the FBI investigated, at minimum, 7000 potential
violations of laws, Executive Orders, or other regulations governing
intelligence investigations.
* Based on the proportion of violations reported to the IOB and the
FBI's own statements regarding the number of NSL violations that occurred,
the actual number of violations that may have occurred from 2001 to 2008
could approach 40,000 possible violations of law, Executive Order, or other
regulations governing intelligence investigations.
(Electronic Frontier Foundation, Patterns of Misconduct: FBI Intelligence
Violations from 2001-2008, January 30, 2011)

But FBI lawbreaking didn't stop there. Citing internal documents, EFF
revealed that the Bureau also "engaged in a number of flagrant legal
violations" that included, "submitting false or inaccurate
declarations to courts," "using improper evidence to obtain federal
grand jury subpoenas" and "accessing password protected documents
without a warrant."

And just last week the civil liberties' watchdogs reported that "the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has
revealed the FBI lied to the court about the existence of records
requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), taking the
position that FOIA allows it to withhold information from the court
whenever it thinks this is in the interest of national security."

The court sharply disagreed and asserted that "the Government cannot,
under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the Court."

The Court held, following settled case law that goes all the way back
to Marbury v. Madison (1803) that "Numerous statutes, rules, and
cases reflect the understanding that the Judiciary cannot carry out
its essential function if lawyers, parties, or witnesses obscure the

Skewering the FBI, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney wrote that
while "The Government contends that the FOIA permits it to provide the
Court with the same misinformation it provided to Plaintiffs regarding
the existence of other responsive information or else the Government
would compromise national security ... that argument is

Nevertheless, that court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals still
held that despite the Bureau's obvious attempt to bamboozle the
federal judiciary, thus subverting the separation of powers amongst
the three co-equal branches of government as stipulated in the U.S.
Constitution (Article III), "disclosing the number and nature of the
documents the Government possesses could reasonably be expected to
compromise national security." (see: Islamic Shura Council of S.
California v. FBI.)

In other words, while the Bureau was chastised for withholding
relevant documents from the court that might demonstrate their illegal
surveillance of organizations and individuals who have never been
indicted, or even charged, with so-called "terrorism offenses," the
"national security" card trumps everything.

Electronic Surveillance

Late last month, EFF staff attorney Jennifer Lynch reported the group
had "recently received documents from the FBI that reveal details
about the depth of the agency's electronic surveillance capabilities
and call into question the FBI's controversial effort to push Congress
to expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)
for greater access to communications data."

The documents were obtained under a FOIA request by EFF after a 2007
report published by Wired disclosed that the FBI had deployed "secret
spyware" to track domestic targets.

According to Wired, "FBI agent Norman Sanders describes the software
as a 'computer and internet protocol address verifier,' or CIPAV."

In a follow-up piece, investigative journalist Ryan Singel revealed
that the FBI "has quietly built a sophisticated, point-and-click
surveillance system that performs instant wiretaps on almost any
communications device."

That surveillance system known as DCSNet, or Digital Collection System
Network, formerly known as Carnivore, "connects FBI wiretapping rooms
to switches controlled by traditional land-line operators,
internet-telephony providers and cellular companies," Wired reported.

"It is far more intricately woven into the nation's telecom
infrastructure than observers suspected," Singel wrote at the time, a
point underscored a year later when whistleblower Babak Pasdar blew
the lid off the close relations amongst America's telecoms and the
Bureau's illegal surveillance programs.

As Antifascist Calling reported at the time, a telecom carrier Pasdar
worked for as a security consultant, subsequently named as Verizon by
The Washington Post, said the company maintained a high-speed DS-3
digital line that allowed the Bureau and other security agencies
"unfettered" access to the carrier's wireless network, including
billing records and customer data "transmitted wirelessly."

While Verizon denied the report that the FBI has open access to its
network, their mendacious claims were demolished when the
secrecy-shredding web site Cryptome published the firm's "Law
Enforcement Legal Compliance Guide" in 2010.

Amongst the "helpful hints" provided to law enforcement by the
carrier, Verizon urges state spies to "be specific."

"Do not include wording such as 'any and all records'", we read. "The
courts have traditionally ruled that this wording is considered overly
broad and burdensome. Request only what is required." On and on it

According to documents obtained by EFF, the technologies discussed by
Bureau snoops, when installed on a target's computer, allows the FBI
to collect the following:

* IP Address
* Media Access Control (MAC) address
* "Browser environment variables"
* Open communication ports
* List of the programs running
* Operating system type, version, and serial number
* Browser type and version
* Language encoding
* The URL that the target computer was previously connected to
* Registered computer name
* Registered company name
* Currently logged in user name
* Other information that would assist with "identifying computer users,
computer software installed, [and] computer hardware installed"
(Electronic Frontier Foundation, New FBI Documents Provide Details on
Government's Surveillance Spyware, April 29, 2011)

According to initial reporting by Wired, the FBI may have infiltrated
the malicious program onto a target's computer by "pointing to code
that would install the spyware by exploiting a vulnerability in the
user's browser."

Lynch comments that "although the documents discuss some problems with
installing the tool in some cases, other documents note that the
agency's Crypto Unit only needs 24-48 hours to prepare deployment."

Once the tool is installed, Bureau snoops aver "it stay[s] persistent
on the compromised computer and ... every time the computer connects
to the Internet, [FBI] will capture the information associated with
the PRTT [Pen Register/Trap & Trace Order]."

The privacy watchdogs write that the Bureau "has been using the tool
in domestic criminal investigations as well as in FISA cases, and the
FISA Court appears to have questioned the propriety of the tool."

This is particularly relevant, and troubling, considering that the FBI
and other secret state agencies such as the CIA and NSA already
possess formidable surveillance tools in their arsenals and that
private security outfits such as HBGary and Palantir--as well as
hundreds of other firms--are busily concocting ever-more intrusive
spyware for their state and private partners, as the massive
disclosure of internal HBGary emails and documents by the
cyber-guerrilla group Anonymous revealed.

With all the hot air from Washington surrounding claims by the FBI and
other secret state satrapies that they'll "go dark" unless Congress
grants them authority to build secret backdoors into America's
communications networks, EFF revealed that documents "show the FBI
already has numerous tools available to surveil suspects directly,
rather than through each of their communications service providers."

"One heavily redacted email notes that the FBI has other tools that
'provide the functionality of the CIPAV [text redacted] as well as
provide other useful info that could help further the case'."

What is clear from the latest document release is that it isn't the
FBI that's "going dark" but the right of the American people to free
speech and political organizing without the threat that
government-sanctioned malware which remains "persistent" on a
"compromised computer" becomes one more tool for building "national
security" dossiers on dissidents.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

*** FBI Tracking Device Teardown

Kyle Wiens dropped by the Wired News offices to tear apart a GPS
tracking device believed to belong to the FBI. See
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

*** Police State

Americans, Everything You Do Is Monitored
- Mac Slavo

When President Obama talked about a transparent administration during
the run up to the 2008 election most Americans assumed he was talking
about openness in government dealings. Obviously, this is not the
case, as evidenced by the administration's handling of the universal
health care legislation which was passed without a single American
having had a chance to read it for 72 hours before a vote as the
President promised would be the case with all legislation, refusal to
release photographic evidence of the Osama Bin Laden raid, the
President's own birth certificate which has taken two years to be made
public, and the many secret meetings held with Congressional members
behind closed doors.

It should be clear by now that Big Government's domestic surveillance
policies under Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush are being
furthered expanded by Mr. Obama.

Transparency, it seems, had nothing to do with making government more
visible. It did, however, have everything to do with making your like
more transparent.

Before we itemize the many ways in which you're being watch, surveyed,
monitored and aggregated, this latest report by Alex Thomas of The
Intel Hub reiterates, yet again, that digital surveillance
capabilities are not just isolated to intelligence agencies:

A lawsuit filed on Tuesday alleges that Aaron's, a huge furniture rent
to buy company, used software and a special device on their computers
that enabled them to spy on PC renters.

According to the lawsuit, the company is able to track keystrokes and
snap webcam pictures in the home of their customers.

Brian and Crystal Byrd, the couple who filed the lawsuit, claim that
they were never told about these intrusive spying measures.

While computer privacy experts agree that Aaron's has the right to
install devices that enable them to shut down the computers remotely,
customers must be told that they are being monitored.

The couple only found out about the spying after an Aaron's employee
showed them a picture of Brian Byrd that was taken remotely while the
Byrds were in their home.

"After they showed us the picture, I, of course, felt violated,"
Crystal Byrd said in an interview Monday. "There are many times I sat
in front of that computer with barely nothing on. So I didn't know if
they had taken lots of pictures of us or what," reported the Wyoming

Brian Byrd also reported that he thinks the picture was shown to him
in order to intimidate him into an easy repossession. Source: The
Intel Hub

While we often hear protests from privacy advocates about government
intrusion into the lives of Americans, what many fail to understand is
that it's not just the government. Private businesses like Aaron's,
as well as large corporate conglomerates, are themselves engaging in
the surveillance of Americans with the development of products and
services specifically for this purpose and often without the consent
of their customers, or, through terms of services agreements that
include dozens of pages of unintelligible fine print.

As modern technology continues to advance at breakneck speeds, just as
the merger of the corporations and the state are occurring within
political circles, so to are they becoming more prevalent in the
intelligence sphere.

Fellow Americans, everything you do is being monitored.

With respect to the government, it's not by choice. However, when
dealing with private businesses, we have readily accepted our own fate
by accepting into our lives the very technologies that make it all

* What You Do Online Is No Secret: As you sit in the perceived privacy
of your own home reading this article, a log of your surfing habits
and preferred reading or video viewing subjects is being created.
Your IP address, that unique identifier the points specifically to the
broadband line connected to your home modem, is time stamped with
every web site you visit. Everything you watch at video web sites,
everything you download online, and even your search queries are
logged. You don't even have to have an account with a major online
service provider your IP is sufficient but that user account you
create is used to further improve your personal profile and

* We can see you. We can hear you. Not only are your actions logged,
but if you were deemed a person of interest for whatever reason, that
little camera staring back at you on top of your monitor or that
microphone built directly into your PC can be flipped on for remote
surveillance at any time. While Aaron's furniture or the local school
district may need to install special software to remotely view what
you're doing in your bedroom, public sector intelligence groups
operating on equipment that is technologically advanced compared to
the consumer products of today is perfectly capable of entering your
'secure' home network and turning on those video and audio features
and you'd have absolutely no clue it's going on.

* Your cell phone is a mobile monitoring device. Much like your
computer, all modern day cell phones come with cameras. And they all
have a microphone. It is no secret that law enforcement agencies have
the ability to easily tap these devices and listen and watch anything
that's going on. This capability is essentially hard-wired right into
the phone. In fact, it has been reported that even if your cell phone
is turned completely off, the microphone can still be remotely
activated. The only known solution is to remove the battery if you
want to ensure complete privacy. Sounds pretty far-fetched doesn't
it? Up until two weeks, so did the notion that Apple and Android
phones could track and log everywhere you go. We now know that this
is exactly what's happening, and literally, every movement you make is
tracked within inches of your location. A log of everywhere you have
been has been logged if your cell phone was in your pocket.

* Phone Conversation and Email Analysis. If you haven't guess yet,
phones can be dangerous to your personal privacy. In the 1990's, the
few alternative media web sites on the internet often discussed a
little know operation in Europe called Echelon. It was hard core tin
foil conspiracy type stuff. You know, the kind where intelligence
agencies were plugged into the entire phone, fax and email grids and
had computers analyzing conversations in multiple languages looking
for keywords and keyword strings. If you said a specific word, your
conversation was immediately red-flagged and distributed to
appropriate intel desks. As sci-fi as this may sound, it turns out
that the 'conspiracy theorists' were 100% correct about Echelon. Its
existence has been confirmed by the US government. Of course, no such
system could possibly exist here domestically.

* Your pictures are not private. When you snap those photos of the
kids in the front yard and subsequently post those pictures on your
favorite social network, guess what? That's right, an inquiring
viewer on your social networking account can track exactly where that
picture was taken. Remember that location logging thing with your
cell phone? It turns out that every single picture you take with most
newer model cell phones will be tagged with specific GPS coordinates.
When you upload that picture anywhere online, that location
information becomes publicly available. So anyone who wants to know
can now track down exactly where it is your kids were when the picture
was taken, or, where exactly you were if you happened to engage in an
activity that may be deemed illegal.

* The social network. For many, it's fun to spend every waking hour
updating the rest of the world on what we're doing. We publish our
thoughts. We upload our pictures. We even click a like button at the
end of articles like this one to let people know what we're into and
what they should be reading. As social networking becomes bigger,
connecting hundreds of millions of people across the world, so to does
the profiling of members of these networks. Have you agreed with what
a certain person has said in a recent post? If they're a
person-of-interest for whatever reason, then guess what? You've just
become one too. Did your friend recently take a picture of you at a
party getting rowdy? Once that hits the social network, facial
recognition technology will identify you and publish your name for all
the world to see, including current or future employers. It's a
social network, and its purpose is to learn everything about you.
Perhaps this is why key U.S. intelligence agencies made no effort to
hide their $5 billion investment in the largest network in the world
recently. Social networking is a critical tool in the struggle to
categorize every person on earth.

* Toll tags and license plates. Even if you've given up the cell
phone and prefer to go without for privacy reasons, when you drive
around town you may have noticed those little intersection cameras
at least four of them on every major (or more regularly now, minor)
intersection. While most of them may not be tied to the computer
processing systems yet, some, and especially those in sensitive areas
and toll booths can automatically read your license plate. Like your
cell phone, your position can be logged on a regular basis with either
your toll tag or simply, your license plate. Impossible? Not really.

Especially when you consider that the information required to track
your personal movements are nothing but a few data bytes. All anyone
really needs to keep extensive records is a bigger hard drive.

* We know your underwear size. Admittedly, we sometimes have a hard
time remembering what size pants or shirts we need to purchase. But
while our memory may be failing, private data aggregators have plenty
of it, and the processing power to boot. Everything you have ever
bought with a credit card or membership club card is sent off for
processing and aggregation to centralized data centers. While you may
use a Visa card at one store, a Mastercard at another, and pay cash
with a grocery membership card somewhere else, it's as easy as finding
your name and cross referencing that on your cards and your entire
shopping profile can be created. The purpose, we're told, is to
better improve our shopping experience and provide market data to
companies so that they can improve their advertising. We can only
guess at who else has access to this information, which happens to be
very easily accessible and widely available for a small fee.

* Radio Frequency Identification. Say you've decided to scrap cell
phones, internet surfing and electronic payment or membership cards.
And, you choose to walk everywhere you go. Not a problem for
enterprising surveillance technologists. Large retail distributors
have already begun implementing RFID technologies into every major
product on store shelves. For now, most of the RFID tracking is
limited to transportation and inventory control and is designed to
track products on the pallet level. Tracking capabilities are
improving, however, and are quickly being implemented on the
individual product level. That means when you buy a soda at your
local grocery store, an RFID monitoring station will be capable of
tracking that soda across the entire city, with the goal eventually
being whether or not you put that aluminum can in a trashcan or a
recycle bin once you were finished drinking it. One day, you may be
issued a ticket by a law enforcement computer autmatically for failing
to dispose of your trash properly. Again, it's simply an issue of
hard drive space and processing power and technology will soon get
over that hurdle. All electronics, clothing, food packaging, and just
about everything else will soon contain a passive RFID chip.

* Ripping Data Off Your Private, Secure, chip-enhanced personal
identification cards. Passports, driver's licenses, credit cards,
cell phones they all store data. Personal data like banking
information, birth date, social security numbers, pictures, phone
books basically everything you've ever wanted to keep private. As
storage technology further integrates into our daily lives, and
everything from our passports to our health insurance cards contains a
digital chip that stores our private information, it will become much
easier to rip that data from your purse or wallet without ever
touching you. A recent report indicated that local law enforcement
officials now have devices that, when you're pulled over, can remotely
pull all of the data on your cell phone. This demonstrates how simple
it is for anyone, be it law enforcement or criminals, to gain access
to everything about you including you personal travel habits.

* Eye in the sky. We've previously reported about domestic drone
programs in Houston and Miami. Local and state law enforcement
agencies are increasingly adding Federal and military technologies to
their surveillance arsenals. Drones have the capability of flying
quietly and at high altitude, while monitoring multiple targets
simultaneously. It's been reported that domestic drones can not only
monitor in the visible light spectrum, but night vision and infrared.

That means they can 'see' what you're doing in your home behind closed
doors. Incidentally, there have been reports of roaming ground
patrols with similar infrared technology, capable of seeing right
through your walls. This is not science fiction this is reality
right now. Combine this with real-time spy agency satellites and
interested parties have the ability to see and hear you, even when
you're locked indoors with computers and cell phones disabled.

* Security cameras. We've already discussed traffic cams. But
cameras are not limited to just the government. Residences, retailers
and even day cares are now interconnecting camera security systems
with online web browsing. And, as we pointed out earlier, these are
easily subject to unauthorized access. Certain cities in the US are
now allowing residents to register their personal or business camera
systems with the city to allow for local police monitoring. The
government doesn't need to push the technology on us. The people
willingly accept the technology en masse in exchange for a sense of
being more secure.

(My email client cut the rest off for some odd reason.)