A federal air marshal whistleblower won an important Supreme Court victory on January 21 when justices voted 7-2 that his disclosures were covered by the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) and had not been “specifically prohibited by the law,” as the government claimed.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday January 22, 2015 2:00 pm|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday December 6, 2014 11:05 am|
Key security agencies in the United States are expected to be exempted from new Justice Department rules announced by President Barack Obama’s administration to reduce racial profiling by federal law enforcement. The exemptions will permit Homeland Security agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday November 5, 2014 1:59 pm|
The investigator who led the Department of Homeland Security’s internal review of the Secret Service’s 2012 prostitution scandal, David Nieland, claimed hotel records showed a member of the White House advance team signed a prostitute into his room the same night. The White House denied one of its people was involved and a formal report of the scandal by Nieland did not mention the White House staffer.
The staffer alleged to have been involved is now a policy adviser at the State Department. His father also works in the Obama administration. After the report became public, Nieland said he was asked to delete information about the White House staffer because it was potentially damaging to the administration during an election year.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday October 25, 2014 8:32 am|
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained a copy of guidelines for Amtrak customer service employees in Texas. The organization received it as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which it filed because individuals have been submitted reports indicating they were “wrongfully searched and arrested on Amtrak trains.” The company may also be using suspicious activity guidelines to target individuals in a civil asset forfeiture program.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday October 20, 2014 11:16 am|
The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday September 9, 2014 4:05 pm|
A United States Senate committee held a hearing in the aftermath of what happened with militarized policing in Ferguson, Missouri, in order to examine federal grant programs for state and local law enforcement. At the hearing, two of the heads of three major grant programs admitted they do not examine whether a law enforcement organization is under investigation for depriving citizens of their constitutional rights before awarding grants, which may include military-grade equipment.
The Pentagon has a 1033 program, which gives away surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement for free.
|By: Steve Horn Wednesday August 20, 2014 2:30 pm|
While many states around the U.S. have released information to the public about the frequency and routes of trains carrying oil obtained from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin, holdouts still remain.
Why the delay? Homeland security concerns, claim some companies.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday August 14, 2014 9:05 am|
Is ISIS a Direct Threat to the U.S.? Doubtful.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday July 10, 2014 6:00 pm|
he American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of five United States citizens challenging a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.
The federal government has a National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) that, according to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], “encourages state and local law enforcement agencies as well as private actors to collect and report information that has a potential nexus to terrorism in the form of so-called ‘suspicious activity reports [SARs].’”
Any individual who is flagged as having a “potential nexus to terrorism” will automatically be subject to “law enforcement scrutiny.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday June 24, 2014 8:55 am|
The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report on the militarization of local law enforcement in the United States, which shows how the vast majority of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team deployments are for executing search warrants for drugs and the federal government is incentivizing the use of military-grade weaponry.