41-year old Illinois mechanic Michael Allison faces life in jail for recording police officers after authorities hit him with eavesdropping charges based on the hoax that it is illegal to film cops, a misnomer that has been disproved by every other case against people filming police officers being thrown out of court.
The state of Illinois is trying to charge Allison with five counts of wiretapping, each punishable by four to 15 years in prison.
Allison refused a plea deal which would have seen him serve no jail time but would reinforce the hoax that it is illegal to film police officers, as well as acting as a chilling effect to prevent other Americans from filming cases of police brutality.
Allison has chosen to reject the plea bargain and fight to clear his name via a jury trial, arguing, “If we don’t fight for our freedoms here at home we’re all going to lose them.”
Standing before an easel on a Van Nuys sidewalk, Alex Schaefer dabbed paint onto a canvas.
"There you have it," he said. "Inflammatory art."
The 22-by-28-inch en plein air oil painting is certainly hot enough to inflame Los Angeles police.
Twice they've come to investigate why the 41-year-old Eagle Rock artist is painting an image of a bank building going up in flames.
Schaefer had barely added the orange-and-yellow depiction of fire shooting from the roof of a Chase Bank branch when police rolled up to the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street on July 30.
"They told me that somebody had called and said they felt threatened by my painting," Schaefer said.
"They said they had to find out my intention. They asked if I was a terrorist and was I going to follow through and do what I was painting..."
The Internet Blacklist Bill -- S.968, formally called the PROTECT IP Act -- would allow the Department of Justice to force search engines, browsers, and service providers to block users' access to websites that have been accused of facilitating intellectual property infringement -- without even giving them a day in court. It would also give IP rights holders a private right of action, allowing them to sue to have sites prevented from operating...
Late last month, while Washington, D.C., was focused on the debt ceiling, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that could have long-term consequences on Internet privacy.
The bill requires all Internet service providers to save their customers' IP addresses — or online identity numbers — for a year. The bill's stated purpose is to help police find child pornographers, but critics say that's just an excuse for another step toward Big Brother.
"It's the China-style approach to law enforcement," says Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. He points out that police already have the power to tell an ISP to save its records for 90 days, which can be renewed — but just the records for a particular suspect.
"What this is about is saving the data about everyone's use, just in case someone might become a suspect," he says.
A report has unveiled that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is giving assistance to the New York Police Department (NYPD) to spy on American citizens, especially Muslims.
Since the September 11 attacks, with “unprecedented” help from the CIA, the NYPD “dispatched undercover officers, known as 'rakers,' into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program,” an investigation by AP found.
This is while the CIA is banned from spying on US citizens.
The investigation showed that the “rakers” have gathered information on the citizens' “daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs.”
The report added that the NYPD has employed intelligent agents, known as "mosque crawlers," to spy on Muslims and “monitor sermons, even when there's no evidence of wrongdoing...”
As rapidly evolving technological advances allow people to be tracked by global positioning devices found in most new cellphones, Congress and courthouses nationwide are trying to balance privacy rights with the law enforcement’s need to locate criminals.
U.S. District Judge Susan K. Gauvey in Maryland recently refused to issue a warrant sought by federal authorities to find a suspect through his cellphone’s GPS data, saying the government was trying to use technology in a new way – “not to collect evidence of a crime, but solely to locate a charged defendant.”
The American Civil Liberties Union questions how the GPS data is being used by police. The group said this month that police in Michigan sought information for every mobile phone near a planned labor protest, and that Sprint, in just over a year, received 8 million requests from police for global positioning data...
Biometrics... Create a system that no one needs and make money off the migrants, the workers, the illegals and anyone else looking to use cheap labour.
After all, what is RM300 per illegal? Cheap what. Multiply with the 2 million illegals and plus re-registering those who are legal? Money in the bag lah.
Who’s in on it? The question to ask is, who isn’t in on it? It’s the biggest racket that involves Umno’s senior politicians who want to take over from Najib...
Seemingly Orwellian moves by Western governments to crack down on the use of technology by citizens are being compared to repressive policies of regimes such as China.
After British Prime Minister David Cameron floated the idea of restricting the use of services such as Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger to prevent riots, transit authorities in San Francisco late last week shut down mobile phone reception in several underground stations to block would-be demonstrators.
Politicians in Norway have discussed methods to limit online anonymity and combat web extremism in the wake of the recent massacre....
Ever since Google announced that its Android phones would be equipped with a "digital wallet" that allows users to pay for things simply by touching their phone to a pad, interest in our wallet-free future has taken off. Long in use in Asia and especially Japan, the enabling technology, Near Field Communication, has allowed users to more or less completely replace credit cards with phones—yet the technology has languished in the U.S.
That delay has dragged on so long that at least one competing, not to mention superior, technology has reached maturity. Manufactured by Fujitsu under the trade name PalmSecure, it's a system that requires no hardware on the user side. If you've got hands and you can wave them in front of a detector, you can use it to make purchases....
(related: kids provide thumb scan to get lunch at U.S. elementary school)
About 600 biometric equipment used to record the data of foreign workers in the ongoing amnesty programme have been tampered with, said the Home Ministry.
The tampering had caused damage to the biometric system and as a result, the data of the foreigners could not be uploaded to the Immigration Department’s main server.
Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Alwi Ibrahim said the equipment were those handled by agents appointed for the registration.
“Several agents have been found to use the services of unauthorised IT consultants to modify the equipment.
“The ministry has so far discovered about 600 such equipment that had been modified,” he said, adding that due to the tampering, the machines no longer met the ministry’s specifications.
“The irresponsible act prevented data taken from the foreigners from being uploaded to the department’s main server,” he said yesterday.
Alwi said the tampering of the system was a serious matter as it falls under the Official Secrets Act.
A hair-thin electronic patch that adheres to the skin like a temporary tattoo could transform medical sensing, computer gaming and even spy operations, according to a US study published Thursday.
The micro-electronics technology, called an epidermal electronic system (EES), was developed by an international team of researchers from the United States, China and Singapore, and is described in the journal Science.
"It's a technology that blurs the distinction between electronics and biology," said co-author John Rogers, a professor in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"Our goal was to develop an electronic technology that could integrate with the skin in a way that is mechanically and physiologically invisible to the user..."
FaceCash works on the unique principle of "Pay with your phone, sign with your face". It leverages the user's face as a security token, unlike plastic cards which typically need receipt signatures. FaceCash allows users to pay for items at the point of sale with a smartphone or paper instead of using a plastic card. Therefore FaceCash can be used as a digital wallet on iPhone or iPod Touch, thereby eliminating the need to carry cash or cards for shopping...