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Congressman: Benghazi Survivors Forced to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements

“”On Tuesday I raised the question of why none of the Benghazi survivors, whether State Department, CIA, or private security contract employees have testified publicly before Congress,” said Wolf.

“According to trusted sources that have contacted my office, many if not all of the survivors of the Benghazi attacks along with others at the Department of Defense, the CIA have been asked or directed to sign additional non-disclosure agreements about their involvement in the Benghazi attacks. Some of these new NDAs, as they call them, I have been told were signed as recently as this summer.”

Wolf continued: “It is worth nothing that the Marine Corps Times yesterday reported that the Marine colonel whose task force was responsible for special operations in northern and western Africa at the time of the attack is still on active duty despite claims that he retired. And therefore could not be forced to testify before Congress.”

Via The Weekly Standard

U.S. Postal Service Logging All Mail for Law Enforcement

“Leslie James Pickering noticed something odd in his mail last September: A handwritten card, apparently delivered by mistake, with instructions for postal workers to pay special attention to the letters and packages sent to his home.

“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card. It included Mr. Pickering’s name, address and the type of mail that needed to be monitored. The word “confidential” was highlighted in green.

“It was a bit of a shock to see it,” said Mr. Pickering, who owns a small bookstore in Buffalo. More than a decade ago, he was a spokesman for the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group labeled eco-terrorists by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Postal officials subsequently confirmed they were indeed tracking Mr. Pickering’s mail but told him nothing else. “

Via NY Times

The US Wants To ‘Destroy Privacy Around The World’

“The journalist who took part in breaking two attention-grabbing stories on government surveillance charged that the United States is interested in destroying privacy all over the world.

“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal,” Greenwald said on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live” on Thursday.

“And that is to destroy privacy and anonymity not just in the United States but around the world.”

Greenwald’s subsequent comments came just hours after The Guardian and The Washington Post both broke another bombshell report detailing a program dubbed as “PRISM.” According to the reports, the program involves the National Security Agency and FBI tapping into the servers of nine leading Internet companies to extract information. “

Via Business Insider

Lindsey Graham Isn’t Sure If Bloggers Deserve ‘First Amendment Protection’

“Whether bloggers count as journalists has mostly been a matter of esoterics for reporter types. But as Congress weighs a media shield law in response to the Associated Press/Justice Department subpoena scandal, the question is gaining an urgency that lawmakers are finding hard to ignore as they turn to writing the bill.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took on the issue—and stumbled.

“Who is a journalist is a question we need to ask ourselves,” he said. “Is any blogger out there saying anything—do they deserve First Amendment protection? These are the issues of our times.”

The verbal slipup aside (of course bloggers are covered under the Bill of Rights!), Graham’s riffing on constitutional law exposes one of the age-old tensions between journalism as a product and journalism as an activity. What Graham really meant to ask was whether bloggers deserve the specific protections of the First Amendment that are granted to the press. And in fact, along with his colleague Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Graham has been an ardent proponent of a media shield law in recent weeks. But as the line between blogger and journalist has blurred, a far more relevant challenge is figuring out whether those protections apply to the behavior of finding and passing on (sometimes secret) information, or if they apply only to people with little plastic ID badges to prove their affiliation.”

Via National Journal

FBI pushes for wiretap-friendly Internet

“A new wiretap bill backed by the FBI has many Internet companies concerned that this new proposed legislation will open the floodgates to all Internet communication. The new motion will expand wiretapping designs significantly and includes the ability for law enforcement to gain access to emails and features like video chats.”

Via Activist Post

SHERIFF: ‘We want people to call us if guy down street hates government’…

Palm Beach County sheriff gets $1 million for violence prevention unit amid questions about civil liberties, care for mentally ill

“The goal will be avoiding crime — and making sure law enforcement knows about potential powder kegs before tragedies occur, Bradshaw said. But the earmark, which is a one-time-only funding provision, provoked a debate Monday among mental health advocates and providers about the balance between civil liberties, privacy and protecting the public.

Bradshaw said his proposal is a first-of-its-kind in the nation, and he hopes it will become a model for the rest of the state like his gang prevention and pill-mill units.

“Every single incident, whether it’s Newtown, that movie theater, or the guy who spouts off at work and then goes home and kills his wife and two kids — in every single case, there were people who said they knew ahead of time that there was a problem,” Bradshaw said. “If the neighbor of the mom in Newtown had called somebody, this might have saved 25 kids’ lives.”

Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.”

“Mental health advocates, however, worry about a potential new source of stigma, and the potential for erosion of the civil rights of people with mental illnesses.

““We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ ”

That’s enough for Senate budget chief Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who helped push through the funding last weekend.”

“How are they possibly going to watch everybody who makes a comment like that? It’s subjective,” said Liz Downey, executive director of the Palm Beach County branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “We don’t want to take away people’s civil liberties just because people aren’t behaving the way we think they should be.””

Via The Palm Beach Post

“Pre-crime” comes to FL…..everyone think and act like the government demands or else they will label you as having a “mental illness”

Another loss for freedom at the hands of the Republicans, CISPA passed the House

“Congratulations America, the Republican controlled House of Representatives just passed CISPA, which will allow private companies to share your personal online information with government with no worry of legal liability. If AT&T shares your medical records with Uncle Sam, well that’s too bad. There’s nothing you can do about it.

Now it goes to the Senate, where McCain, and Schumer are waiting to send it to the president for signature. Obama has indicated that he might veto, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Soon the government (in theory) will be able to follow your web browsing (with help from private industry) without so much as a warrant.

Land of the free and home of the brave.”

Via Against Crony Capitalism

Zero Privacy? FBI to spy in real-time on web chats and e-mail

“Web users’ online communications may be about to get a wider and possibly unwanted audience. The FBI is seeking more powers to spy on people’s emails and internet chats in real time. The proposals have already been met with criticism, that they are a complete breach of privacy. “

Via Activist Post

Under CISPA, Who Can Get Your Data?

“Under CISPA, companies can collect your information in order to “protect the rights and property” of the company, and then share that information with third parties, including the government, so long as it is for “cybersecurity purposes.” Companies aren’t required to strip out personally identifiable information from the data they give to the government, and the government can then use the information for purposes wholly unrelated to cybersecurity – such as “national security,” a term the bill leaves undefined.

One question we sometimes get is: Under CISPA, which government agencies can receive this data? For example, could the FBI, NSA, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement receive data if CISPA were to pass?”

Via Activist Post

SOPA and 3 Ways to think about Intellectual Property

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