A sandwich shop owner endured eight hours of questioning by police and had his computer seized for three weeks – after making tasteless Nelson Mandela jokes on the internet. Neil Phillips, who runs Crumbs in Rugeley, Staffordshire, says he was also finger-printed and DNA-swabbed after officers received complaints about what he insists were harmless gags. In one online post, the 44-year-old wrote: 'My PC takes so long to shut down I’ve decided to call it Nelson Mandela.'
First grader, Hunter Yelton, told us he loves science and phys-ed. Also...that he has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back. It may sound innocent enough...but at six years old Hunter now has 'sexual harassment' on his school record. "It was during class yeah. We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That's what happened," said Hunter Yelton.
Autism advocates are set to protest tomorrow against a quiet effort by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to require annual flu vaccinations for all New York City schoolchildren. On Wednesday, with just three weeks to go until he leaves office, Mr. Bloomberg’s controversial Board of Health is set to vote on new rules that would force children as young as six months old to be immunized each year before December 31 if they attend licensed day care or pre-school programs.
ALL AMERICANS STAND UP – Policeman Slams Woman into Concrete bench | This is just about the end of the line for me. If the American people do not stand up NOW, before the Police and this Gestapo Government takes all our freedoms away for good. A 47-year-old woman suffered serious injuries after an officer pushed her, face first, into a holding cell. The woman had no police record and only wanted to call her children to let them know she was in jail and couldn’t make it home so they wouldn’t worry. The Woman has been permanently damaged in her face and has had to receive reconstructive plastic surgery to her face.
12-year-old boy who died when no one could get his inhaler in time because it was locked in the principal's office.
Boy with asthma dies at school because he wasn't allowed to keep his inhaler with him. Instead it was locked up in the principal's office where no one could get it while he lay dying. ● Ryan Gibbons died Oct. 9, 2012 when he suffered a severe asthma attack during recess at school in the village of Straffordville, in southwestern Ontario. Sandra Gibbons says her son told his friends he wasn't feeling well and probably started panicking when they had to carry him to the office where the inhaler was kept. "So as he was going to the office to get his inhaler, he kind of was having a hard time and had to be carried into the office, and by the time he got there he had blacked out," she said. "To this day I really don't know how exactly the whole day unfolded for him."
More than 500 renowned authors – including five Nobel laureates - from across the globe have signed a petition demanding an end to ‘mass surveillance’. It follows the revelations over the last few months of the US and other countries spying. Their open appeal is called ‘A Stand for Democracy in the Digital Age’. Among the signatories are Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk, JM Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer. Others who signed the letter include Björk, Umberto Eco, Yann Martel, Ian McEwan and many others. “WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people, as democratic citizens, to determine to what extent their personal data may be collected, stored and processed, and by whom; to obtain information on where their data is stored and how it is being used; to obtain the deletion of their data if it has been illegally collected and stored. WE CALL ON ALL STATES AND CORPORATIONS to respect these rights,” the open appeal read. It adds that “a person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy. To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.” The letter also calls for the creation by the UN an International Bill of Digital Rights. Everyone is invited to sign the open appeal at change.org
UK students are rallying together against a ‘police crackdown’ after a week of protests led to violence and a ban on demonstrations at a London university. Activists claim the police and universities are using intimidation tactics to gag protesters. The student protest movement in the UK has taken social media by storm under the hashtag #copsoffcampus to call for an end to student repression. Students have organized a ‘Day of Action’ for Wednesday and asked students around Britain to join together in mass protest.
A special unit operating under cover and protected by diplomatic immunity, assigned to a very sensitive mission: to spy on the communication of the Italian leadership. That is what top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published in Italy exclusively by l'Espresso in collaboration with "la Repubblica" reveal. A file mentions the "Special Collection Service " (SCS) sites in Rome and in Milan, the very same service which, according to the German weekly "Der Spiegel ", spied on the mobile phone of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. "Special Collection Sites", reads the file published today by l'Espresso, "provide considerable perishable intelligence on leadership communications largely facilitated by site presence within a national capital". These documents are very important because they contradict recent statements by the Italian Prime Minister reassuring the Italian Parliament. Speaking to the Chamber of Deputies four weeks ago, Enrico Letta said: "Based on the analysis conducted by our intelligence services and our international contacts, we are not aware that the security of the communications of the Italian government and embassies has been compromised, nor are we aware that the privacy of Italian citizens has been compromised". These top secret documents tell a different story, however.
In a recent report by The Washington Post, it was revealed that the FBI has been able to secretly activate a target’s laptop camera “without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording” for several years. While this may be surprising to some, it really shouldn’t be. Previous reports revealed that the FBI employs hackers to create software to remotely activate the microphones on laptops and cell phones as well as cameras. The U.S. government has also become the world’s largest buyer of malware. The NSA also recommended physically removing the webcam from Apple laptops for security reasons. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI has developed hacking tools like this for over a decade, though they rarely are discussed publicly.
Sweden's intelligence agency has not only spied on Russian leadership, sharing intelligence with the NSA, but also apparently engaged in industrial espionage against business targets such as Russia’s energy companies, Sveriges Television reports. | According to a wire, obtained by Swedish TV program ‘Mission: Investigate’, Sweden's National Defense Radio Establishment (FRA) shared intelligence on Russia with Washington. “Thank Sweden for its continued work on the Russian target, and underscore the primary role that FRA plays as a leading partner to work the Russian Target, including Russian leadership, ENERGY, … and … counterintelligence,” NSA wire said, as cited by SVT. The earlier omitted part of the quote reveals that Sweden was tapping on civilian targets as well. One source told the documentary there was “a very obvious interest in looking at the Russian companies” confirming it was “a part of the mission.” Commenting for the documentary on the intelligence gathering cooperation between the US and Sweden, Greenwald said they “work together when they perceive that their interests are mutually aligned and share information readily about a whole variety of topics, again having nothing to do with national security, including the energy sector in Russia.” The latest leak has nothing to do with national security and is “very conclusive about the fact that part of what they are doing is spying on energy companies, obviously for economic advantage,” Greenwald added.
Sveriges Radio: Sweden helps the US spy on the Baltics: report
Wayne Madsen: NSA Partnerships Invalidate Nordic Nation's Neutrality
‘Nothing is beyond our reach’: Evil octopus strangling the world becomes latest US intelligence seal
Billions of dollars annually are being used to fund operations conducted by the United States intelligence community, the likes of which allow the government to eavesdrop on emails, listen to world leaders’ phone calls and about everything in-between. One thing that budget hasn’t bought, however, is subtlety. ● The US National Reconnaissance Office launched a top-secret surveillance satellite into space Thursday evening, and the official emblem for the spy agency’s latest mission is, well, certainly accurate, to say the least. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence live-tweeted Thursday’s launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and throughout the course of the ordeal made no effort to ignore the logo for the NROL-39 mission. ● The latest spy satellite to be sent into orbit by the NRO can be recognized by its seal: a malevolent octopus with furrowed brows that also happens to be wrapping its tentacles around all corners of the Earth. “Nothing is beyond our reach,” the NRO boasts on the bottom half of the emblem just below the most sinister-looking cephalopod likely ever to be sent into space.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is sending out letters telling gun owners to turn over their rifles and shotguns — or else face the consequences. | New York City’s ban on rifles and shotguns that hold more than five rounds is now being enforced, according to a letter the NYPD is sending out to targeted city gun owners. “It appears you are in possession of a rifle and/or Shotgun (listed below) that has an ammunition feeding device capable of holding more than five (5) rounds of ammunition. Rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than five (5) rounds of ammunition are unlawful to possess in New York City, as per NYC Administrative Code 10-306 (b).”
Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama. | The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April. The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis" to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries. The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
The US National Security Agency has considered spying on Australian citizens without the knowledge or consent of the Australian intelligence organisations it partners with, according to a draft 2005 NSA directive kept secret from other countries. The draft directive leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals how the NSA considered the possibility of "unilaterally" targeting citizens and communication systems of Australia, New Zealand and Canada – all "5-Eyes" partners which it refers to as “second party” countries.
L'Espresso: Revealed: How the Nsa Targets Italy
UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world's biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme. | The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. The documents show that GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year. The US-run programme, called Prism, would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside the UK. The use of Prism raises ethical and legal issues about such direct access to potentially millions of internet users, as well as questions about which British ministers knew of the programme.
A curious crowd grew. Police officers arrived and tried to corral Mr. Broadnax, a 250-pound man. When he reached into his pants pocket, two officers, who, the police said, thought he was pulling a gun, opened fire, missing Mr. Broadnax, but hitting two nearby women. Finally, a police sergeant knocked Mr. Broadnax down with a Taser. The shootings once again raised questions about the police use of firearms in crowded areas and drew comparisons to a shooting a year ago, when officers struck nine bystanders in front of the Empire State Building when they killed an armed murder suspect. Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan district attorney’s office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr. Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax “recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death.”
The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with US intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable. The records feed a vast database that stores information about the locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices, according to the officials and the documents, which were provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. New projects created to analyze that data have provided the intelligence community with what amounts to a mass surveillance tool. The NSA does not target Americans’ location data by design, but the agency acquires a substantial amount of information on the whereabouts of domestic cellphones "incidentally," a legal term that connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result.
Washington Post: NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show
Eric London: US tracks billions of cell phone location records daily ■ New revelations published yesterday in the Washington Post by whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the United States government has been tracking and storing the live movements of hundreds of millions of people from around the world. The data not only helps the government track the personal lives of innocent people on a minute-by-minute basis, it is also used to monitor, record, and analyze the relationships between individuals. The revelations show that the National Security Agency (NSA) collects roughly 5 billion records each day regarding the exact location of cellphone users. The government collects and stores each piece of information in a massive database that is currently comprised of 27 terabytes of data. [...] The Obama administration has responded to the leaks by flatly lying about the extent of the phone-tracking program. Robert Litt, head attorney for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that “there is no element of the intelligence community that under any authority is intentionally collecting bulk cellphone location information about cellphones in the United States.” Litt has carefully chosen his words. He claims that because the government focuses on information gathering abroad, any data collected from a US citizen is merely “incidental,” and therefore constitutional. Such a claim is little more than a pseudo-legal justification for a program that is unconstitutional on its face.
It's no secret that, increasingly, Big Pharma, in cahoots with traditional medicinal practitioners, have created a society of near-zombies with all of the mood altering medications they push on the public. But even these figures are shocking. According to recently published information from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an astounding 20-plus percent of all 14-year-old boys in the United States have been diagnosed, at one time or another over the course of their lives, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - a condition that is, of course, treated with dangerous medications.
Is Japan Sliding Back Into Fascism? ● As we’ve previously reported, the Japanese government is reacting to Fukushima by introducing a bill which would ban journalism. The bill has passed the lower house, and is expected to pass the upper house this week. A Japanese Senator notes:
The path that Japan is taking is the recreation of a fascist state. I strongly believe that this secrecy bill represents a planned coup d’état by a group of politicians and bureaucrats ….
The Guardian has come under concerted pressure and intimidation designed to stop it from publishing stories of huge public interest that have revealed the "staggering" scale of Britain's and America's secret surveillance programmes, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper has said. Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee about stories based on the National Security Agency leaks from the whistleblower Edward Snowden, Alan Rusbridger said the Guardian "would not be put off by intimidation, but nor are we going to behave recklessly". He told MPs that disclosures from the files had generated a global debate about the powers of state agencies, and the weaknesses of the laws and oversight regimes they worked within. [...] Watergate journalist and author, Carl Bernstein, wrote an open letter in which he said Rusbridger's appearance at the committee was "dangerously pernicious". Bernstein said it was an attempt by the "highest UK authorities to shift the issue from government policies and excessive government secrecy in the United States and Great Britain to the conduct of the press".
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