Category Archives: Mission

White Flags On The Brooklyn Bridge: Massive Surveillance Can’t Even Stop Minor Crimes

by Alex Marthews on August 8, 2014

On July 22, at 3:30am, in place of the Stars and Stripes that usually fly over the Brooklyn Bridge, bleached-out American flags appeared instead. Despite three surveillance cameras and allegedly round-the-clock police surveillance, four or five people, their identities still unknown, were able to cover up the lights trained on the flags, take them down, […]

CIA Chief John Brennan Is Getting A Little Bored, People

by Alex Marthews on August 1, 2014

Whoa, for a moment there I was worried. Our own Inspector-General here at the CIA has verified that we tortured people and then lied about it and then illegally surveilled the Intelligence Committee that’s supposed to oversee us, to intimidate them into not publishing the report that documents the torture and lying and covering up. […]

Bullying on the Buses: Boston School Department Says More Surveillance Is The Solution

by Alex Marthews on July 31, 2014

The Boston Globe reports that the Boston School Department, worried about bullying on yellow buses, is buying audio-enabled camera systems to install on them. MBTA buses have already added camera systems that are not enabled for audio. As ever, the justification is “safety”: driver safety, student safety, whatever kind of safety. Mention the word “safety”, […]

The Executive’s Humpty-Dumpty Terrorism Watchlisting Policy: Lessons from People v. Morales

by Alex Marthews on July 25, 2014

The Intercept’s publication of the criteria for the terrorism watchlists throws some light at least on what the government tells itself a terrorist is. This is a matter of keen interest to many of us, since a close reading of the following text tells you a lot about the values and priorities of our new-minted […]

At HOPE X: Artist Essam Attia, cool research, and Restore The Fourth!

by Alex Marthews on July 18, 2014

The tenth biennial Hackers on Planet Earth Conference starts today and runs through Sunday at the Hotel Pennsylvania in NYC. We’ll be there as part of the Restore The Fourth delegation (I’m the national chair of Restore The Fourth). I and Zaki Manian will be hosting a radio show 10am-11am on Radio Statler, the HOPE […]

Three Bills To Protect Privacy: We Need Calls. Now.

by Alex Marthews on July 16, 2014

The powerful MA Senate Ways and Means Committee is voting on whether to approve three privacy-protecting bills. The ACLU is asking Massachusetts residents to call their legislators; do it today if you can! The License Plate Privacy Act would limit the ability of law enforcement to track your movements around the state, by keeping an […]

Are Boston Police Using Stingrays? Help MuckRock Find Out

by Alex Marthews on June 4, 2014

Today’s news in Wired that the federal government is willing to send in the US Marshals to prevent disclosure of how local police departments are using stingrays, makes it seem that what they’re hiding is pretty important. Our friends at public information service Muckrock.com are launching a new research project to find out exactly what […]

Why Would Anybody Distrust The Spies? Ben Wittes on the “Intelligence Legitimacy Paradox”

by Alex Marthews on May 18, 2014

Ben Wittes of the Brookings Institute has a new article on the popular security blog Lawfare in which he worries that the intelligence project has lost legitimacy in the eyes of the public. No kidding. Wittes argues, the threat environment America faces is growing ever more complicated and multifaceted, and the ability to meet it […]

Spying is Censorship

by Gregg Housh on April 30, 2014

[We welcome our newest contributor, Gregg Housh, an activist focused on internet freedoms, censorship, over-prosecution and Anonymous. This article is cross-posted at 0v.org. - Alex.] It was February 6th, 2011 that I had to give some bad news to my wife. Her pseudonym (one she calls “as subtle as John Zeus”) was on the list […]