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 […]

Turns out, MBTA has plenty of dollars – for surveillance.

by Alex Marthews on February 7, 2014

Kade Crockford reports that DHS has awarded the MBTA $7 million to refit its buses with fancy new surveillance cameras. Why? Oh, no reason in particular. But the MBTA is at pains to point out that they spent none of their own money on the project. What’s wrong with free money? Let me tell you […]

Democratic process challenges use of DHS surveillance cameras

by Alex Marthews on November 25, 2013

This is a guest post by Adam Weiss of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. From 2008 to 2010, Boston and eight surrounding cities and towns installed surveillance cameras provided by a grant through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Urban Areas Security Initiative. DHS’ website describes the cameras as part of a system that […]

StopWatchingUs DC rally rocks out: 3,000+ people call for NSA reforms

by Alex Marthews on October 28, 2013

This Saturday, DC saw something it had never seen before. A city that treats the superficial hatreds of party politics as its lifeblood, saw thousands of people from across the political spectrum gather to denounce NSA mass spying. We heard, and roared approval for, the words of feminist Naomi Wolf, Dennis Kucinich (Democrat), Justin Amash […]

David House lawsuit sheds light on border laptop searches

by Alex Marthews on September 12, 2013

  Cambridge resident David House got a nasty shock back in December 2010, when on his way back from vacation in Mexico he landed in Chicago, and found himself in a Homeland Security interrogation room. What was House’s crime? Being involved with the Bradley Manning Support Network. He was generally sympathetic to Wikileaks’ efforts to […]

The IRS Is Up In All Of Your Email, Warrantlessly; but Fret Not, Peons, It Is For Your Own Good

by Alex Marthews on April 11, 2013

The ACLU reported on Wednesday that the IRS may be reading Americans’ emails without a warrant, because all Americans are now terrorists tax evasion is just like terrorism look because they can OK jeez you people with all your Constitution this and Constitution that shut up already!

Close the Fusion Centers, Free the American People

by Alex Marthews on March 27, 2013

[Artwork adapted slightly from Leo Reynolds on Flickr] After the 9/11 attacks, a traumatized nation considered whether the attacks could have been thwarted by coordinating intelligence-gathering better between the FBI and CIA. From that impulse grew the fusion centers, of which there are now at least 72 77 86 across the country. Us lucky SOBs here […]

By 2020, Stingray Will Be Launched! New Doohickey Allows Police To Get Everybody’s Cellphone Locations Without Going Through the Telcos

by Alex Marthews on March 11, 2013

We continue our series updating you on the exciting new world of mass surveillance you should expect in a few short years (previous posts include discussions of real-time life recording, terahertz surveillance and indoor cellphone tracking), by bringing you the Stingray.

Joined-Up Government Can Be A Bad Thing

by Alex Marthews on December 14, 2012

The National Counterterrorism Center is now being allowed access to all governmental databases to trawl for suspicious activity. The Wall Street Journal (“U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens”) and the Volokh Conspiracy (“DHS Dresses Up A Turf Fight as a Privacy Issue While Ignoring the Lessons of 9/11″) both report on […]

DHS: All Your Blogs Are Belong To Us

by Alex Marthews on September 25, 2012

Who is the Department of Homeland Security tracking online? EPIC brings the results of a Freedom of Information Act request that discloses a Department of Homeland Security contract with General Dynamics to monitor comments on websites. Thanks for the tips, DHS snooping guys! If I hadn’t been reading some of these before, I certainly will […]