FBI: National Facial Recognition System Now Fully Operational

By: Tuesday September 16, 2014 10:07 am

Forget fingerprints, now your face is on file and captured every where you go. The FBI has announced that its facial recognition system – launched three years ago – is now “fully operational.” The facial recognition program is part of the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System which is set to replace the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). Though it is not really an either or with fingerprints and face recognition as the new system seeks to collect many forms of biometric data.

 

American Held in Incommunicado Detention in Yemen Calls Family, Says He’s Being Beaten & Gassed

By: Friday September 12, 2014 4:35 pm

An American citizen in Yemeni custody who his lawyers say has been disappeared for over 180 days has surfaced. One of his lawyers reports he was apparently allowed to make two calls to his wife and mother last night and a guard said he is being held in the Central Security Forces base in central Sanaa.

Sharif Mobley, a 30-year-old man from New Jersey who was living with his family in Yemen, was essentially kidnapped by Yemeni officials and shot in January 2010. He was taken to a police hospital then a general hospital. FBI agents interrogated him numerous times between January and April. Allegedly, he tried to escape from the general hospital and shot a guard, who later died. He was charged with murder and has been in custody of Yemen authorities awaiting trial.

Terrorism, COINTELPRO, and the Black Panther Party

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 5:40 pm

This past July, students from Northwestern University’s Medill Justice Project visited the infamous Louisiana State Prison known as Angola. While there, students landed an impromptu interview with Warden Burl Cain, where they asked him about an inmate at Angola named Kenny ‘Zulu’ Whitmore, who has now been in solitary confinement for 28 consecutive years. This important interview was cited afterwards by Time Magazine in an article examining the impact of solitary confinement on prisoners’ health.

Zulu Whitmore is a member of the Angola Prison chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) that was first started in the early 1970s by Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3.

Mysterious Phony Cell Towers: Who Is Spying on You Now?

By: Thursday September 4, 2014 1:10 pm

A security researcher identified multiple “fake” cell phone towers around the United States, many near military bases, designed to intercept calls and texts without your knowledge, and to potentially inject spyware into your phone by defeating built-in encryption.

The researcher has located a number of towers; what he can’t figure out is who built them and who controls them.

Defense Argues Palestinian Organizer’s Indictment Was Product of Illegal FBI Investigation

By: Friday August 29, 2014 6:46 am

A motion to dismiss an indictment against Palestinian American Rasmea Odeh for allegedly committing immigration fraud argues Odeh’s indictment was the “product of an illegal investigation into the First Amendment activities of the Arab-American Action Network (AAAN),” a community group based in Chicago.

Rasmea Odeh is an organizer in Chicago. She has been a naturalized citizen in the US since 1995. But, on October 22, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security suddenly had her arrested.

Even More Military Equipment Being Sent To Local Police Forces

By: Tuesday August 5, 2014 12:10 pm

Despite crime being on a steady decline for the past decade and the threat of international terrorism being wildly overstated, local police departments are stockpiling military grade weaponry. The militarization of police forces has become such a prominent phenomenon that the ACLU now dedicates a portion of its resources to studying the trend. Community policing – particularly in poor areas where people of color live – has been replaced with military style raids by heavily armed SWAT Teams.

In No-Fly List Lawsuit by American Muslims, DOJ Argues ‘No Constitutional Right Not to Become an Informant’

By: Tuesday July 29, 2014 3:30 pm

The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly List after they refused to become government informants in their community.

Parallel Construction: Unconstitutional NSA Searches Deny Due Process

By: Wednesday July 23, 2014 2:18 pm

The NSA sits at the nexus of violations of both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments with a legal dodge called Parallel Construction.

Parallel Construction is a technique used by law enforcement to hide the fact that evidence in a criminal case originated with the NSA. In its simplest form, the NSA collects information showing say a Mr. Anderson committed a crime. This happens most commonly in drug cases.

Preemptive Prosecutions: Report Spotlights How the US Government Manufactures ‘Terrorism’ Cases

By: Monday July 21, 2014 6:30 pm

Human Rights Watch and the Columbia Law School have released a comprehensive report challenging the government’s use of sting operations and other tactics in terrorism prosecutions. It particularly highlighted twenty-seven cases from when the cases were initiated to sentencing and post-conviction, including confinement conditions.

HBO Doc “The Newburgh Sting” Asks Terrorism or FBI Entrapment?

By: Monday July 21, 2014 4:09 pm

In 2009, with television cameras rolling, the FBI triumphantly busted a domestic terrorist ring from Newburgh, NY. The men, known as the Newburgh Four, are each serving a 25-year sentence for plotting to blow up two synagogues and shoot down military supply planes. FDL reported on the story and case; read Kevin’s take on it for more background information.

What happened in Newburgh continues to attract attention although perhaps not in the way the FBI intended. Instead, it serves as a cautionary tale in post-9/11 America. An uneasy story about what happened when the FBI went into an impoverished community and offered a large sum of money to people in exchange for their agreement to participate in a fake bombing plot. This case inevitably raises questions about our rights as Americans, what constitutes terrorism, and the definition of entrapment.

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