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 […]

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 […]

FBI-Borg Informs US Private Sector of its Impending Assimilation, Generously Limits Fines for Resistance to $25,000 Per Day Per Violation

by Alex Marthews on May 8, 2013

The FBI has a new proposal afoot to require communications companies doing business in the US to make their communications technologies “wiretap-ready”, to avoid the “going-dark problem”. From Charlie Savage at the New York Times, six hours ago: The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of […]

Drowning in Data, Starved for Wisdom: The surveillance state cannot meaningfully assess terrorism risks

by Alex Marthews on April 26, 2013

The NSA has just vigorously denied that their new Utah Data Center, intended for storing and processing intelligence data, will be used to spy on US citizens. The center will have a capacity of at least one yottabyte, and will provide employment for 100-200 people. With the most generous assumptions [200 employees, all employed only […]

The Boston Marathon: Generalized Surveillance Fails To Thwart Attack

by Alex Marthews on April 15, 2013

Headline updated [x2]. Today, by the finish line of the Boston Marathon, on the same city block as the church I go to, two bombs went off. I feel shocked and sad beyond belief.   My thoughts and prayers are with those who died or were hurt, with their families, and with all the people stranded […]

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 […]

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 […]