Cities around the country say: fusion centers are wasteful, fraudulent, and ineffective

by Alex Marthews on April 15, 2014

[Guest post from Adwoa Masozi of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.] Thursday, April 10, 2014 was a National Day of Action against Fusion Centers. Diverse, multiracial grassroots coalitions from around the country held rallies, press conferences, and creative actions to challenges civil liberties by fusion centers, which coordinate the surveillance activities of local police […]

No Way To Complain = No Complaints = No Problem!

by Alex Marthews on April 14, 2014

Boston’s fusion center, the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, no longer hosts their privacy policy on their website – I was told that it was “under review” and that the new policy will be posted when it’s ready – so it’s lucky for all of us that the ACLU of Massachusetts has a copy of the […]

Commonwealth Fusion Center Violates Constitution, New Report Says

by Alex Marthews on April 10, 2014

Massachusetts has two “fusion centers”, mostly state-funded, which aggregate enormous amounts of data on innocent Massachusetts residents, with the notion of preventing terrorist attacks. When you call the “See Something, Say Something” line, the information goes into “Suspicious Activity Reports.” The ACLU of Massachusetts documented that the Boston fusion center (“BRIC”) had actually spent its […]

One Ring To Rule Them All: Surveillance and the Massachusetts Governor’s Race

by Alex Marthews on February 5, 2014

While most Massachusetts voters are digging out from a ferocious winter storm, state politics goes on. In particular, ten brave souls are running for this November’s election for Massachusetts governor – five Democrats, two Republicans and three Independents. It seems recently that candidates campaigning against the surveillance state have been getting some traction, probably because […]

Smart Meters On Your Home: Where Does The Data Go?

by Alex Marthews on January 21, 2014

Patricia Burke of local activist group Halt MA Smart Meters brings to our attention an effort by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities to study how to achieve universal adoption of smart meters on residential homes in Massachusetts. This implicates the Fourth Amendment because electricity usage within a home, if gathered many times over a […]

Be Afraid: The Surveillance State Is Powered By…Bing?

by Alex Marthews on January 13, 2014

Ever feel that the surveillance state can’t be beaten? Have no fear. The cure is here, in the form of this case study. Authored by our friends at the world’s most popular, innovative and dynamic tech company, it shows that well before the XBox Kinect “let’s deploy real-time surveillance technology in every American home” debacle, […]

Thou Shalt Not Connect The Dots: FBI Flat-Out Refusing All FOIA Requests From MIT PhD Candidate, Because He Might Learn Too Much

by Alex Marthews on November 20, 2013

Item #2 on the NSA’s Official Talking Points to Justify Mass Surveillance (see p. 3) is “The NSA And Its Partners Must Make Sure We Connect The Dots So That The Nation Is Never Attacked Again Like On 9/11.” The government is fighting furiously against any attempt to restrict, say, its collection of metadata on […]

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 […]

MA-5: Addivinola and Clark tussle over surveillance, differ only on wiretapping bill *UPDATED*

by Alex Marthews on October 23, 2013

UPDATE: To reflect substantive changes in information received from the Addivinola campaign, the title of this article and portions of the analysis have been changed to more accurately reflect Councillor Addivinola’s positions. The primaries are over, and two very different candidates are facing off in the December 10 general election: State Senator Katherine Clark (D) […]