Permalink Mein Datenschatten als Grafik: So durchschaubar sind wir

Diese Infografik hat es in sich: Der Politiker Malte Spitz hat bei Firmen und Behörden nach seinen Daten gefragt. Das Ergebnis ist erschreckend. Der Grünen-Politiker Malte Spitz hat sich auf die Suche nach seinen Daten gemacht. Er hat bei Unternehmen und Behörden nachgefragt, was über ihn alles gespeichert ist. Manchmal hat er Auskunft bekommen, so wie es das Gesetz auch vorsieht. Seine Recherche ist gerade als Buch erschienen. "Was macht ihr mit meinen Daten" heißt es. Aus den Antworten ergibt sich ein riesiger Datenschatten, eine Sammlung von Einträgen in elektronischen Verzeichnissen, die zum Teil mehr als ein Jahrzehnt in die Vergangenheit reicht. Wohin Malte Spitz geflogen ist, wann er sich bei der Bahn beschwert hat, wer seine Klicks im Internet speichert, all das findet sich in seinem Datenschatten. Den zeigt diese Abbildung - mit dem Mauszeiger lassen sich über die Buttons oben bestimmte Datenquellen hervorheben. Allerdings ist das Daten-Abbild unvollständig: "Ich hätte vermutlich eine Handvoll Anwälte, ein paar Tausend Euro und drei Jahre Zeit für etliche Klagen haben müssen", schreibt Spitz. Denn nicht alle von ihm angeschriebenen Datenerfasser wollten herausrücken, was sie alles über Spitz speichern. Außerdem fehlt ein wichtiger, dicker Brocken: All das nämlich, was Internet- und Mobilfunkbetreiber anhand von gespeicherten Verbindungsdaten über Spitz wissen könnten. Das hat der Politiker vor einigen Jahren schon einmal gesondert auswerten lassen. Doch auch der unvollständige Datensatz zeigt eindrucksvoll, dass wir längst die Kontrolle verloren haben. [Ein Dankeschön an Steigan Blogger]


Permalink 100,000+ rally in Hungary over internet tax despite govt concessions - PHOTO, VIDEO

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Hungary despite the government's amendment of a controversial internet tax bill. The demonstrators say the country is turning anti-democratic and drifting away from the EU. The protest against the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban reignited on Tuesday night, as an estimated 100,000 people took to the streets, reports Reuters. The demonstration follows similar action on the weekend, at which protesters demanded that legislation imposing a tax on internet traffic be withdrawn within 48 hours. Instead, the government introduced an amendment on Monday that caps the proposed tax at 700 forints ($3) per month for individuals and 5,000 forints ($21) for companies. This wasn’t enough for the protesters, who accuse the government of authoritarian trends. Since taking power in 2010, Orban's center-right government has imposed taxes on the banking, retail, energy and telecommunications sector. The measures are designed to keep the budget deficit in check, but have hurt some foreign investors' profits.

Permalink UK forced to admit GCHQ can access foreign-gathered data without warrant

The UK government has admitted for the first time that its spy agency, GCHQ, can access raw data mined by America’s NSA and others without a warrant. It was made to comply following post-Snowden legal action from rights organizations. The secrets leaked by the iconic former NSA contractor led Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International to compel the UK government to submit documents to government surveillance watchdogs revealing secret “arrangements” between GCHQ and foreign spy agencies, The Guardian reported. The documents reveal that such access to foreign partners’ bulk data is acceptable when it’s not “technically feasible” to acquire a warrant, and if the good that comes out of it is “necessary and proportionate” to the cause. British citizens are safeguarded from warrantless spying by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), but the document itself states there are exceptions.

Permalink State Orders Man to Pay $30k in Child Support or Face Jail, Despite Proof He Is Not Father

The State of Michigan is ordering that Detroit man Carnell Alexander pay approximately $30,000 in back child support or go to jail, despite the fact that a DNA test proved that he is not the father of the child in question. In child support cases, courts sometimes force people to pay back the government’s welfare contributions to a child, even in scenarios when the person being ordered to pay support is not actually the child’s parent. According to WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit, Detroit man Carnell Alexander is facing that exact situation after an ex-girlfriend of his listed him as the father of her child on an application for welfare benefits. Despite the facts that a DNA test proved that he is not the father and his ex-girlfriend agrees that he should not have to pay support, the State of Michigan is ordering him to either pay back the nearly $30,000 worth of welfare contributions it paid to the child’s mother or go to jail.


Permalink US Postal Service allowed "agencies" to monitor mail 50,000 times: Report

The United States Postal Service allowed "law enforcement agencies" to secretly monitor the mail of Americans about 50,000 times last year, a new report has revealed. According to the report published by The New York Times on Monday, “in many cases the Postal Service approved requests to monitor an individual’s mail without adequately describing the reason or having proper written authorization.” The newspaper says the number of requests indicates that the surveillance on Americans communications is more widespread than previously revealed. The documents for the report were obtained by the Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

New York Times: Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S.
ABA Journal: Snail-mail monitoring expands; lawyers complain of privilege violations, lack of oversight


Permalink Hungarians revolt against internet tax - PHOTOS, VIDEO

Furious with the government plan to impose tax on Internet data traffic, thousands of Hungarians rallied in front of the Economy Ministry in Budapest to protect the freedom of the internet from the 'anti-democratic' measure. Tens of thousands gathered in front of the Economy Ministry building on Sunday, urging the politicians to scrap the plan that will see internet service providers (ISPs) pay 150 forints ($0.62) for every gigabyte of data traffic transferred over their networks. Although the draft suggests that ISPs would be able to offset corporate income tax against the new levy, the protesters believe that eventually the new tax burden will end up pinned on common users. The Association of IT, Telecommunications and Electronics Companies has already said the tax would force them to raise prices, Reuters reports. The rally organized via Facebook group with over 210,000 followers said that the move “follows a wave of alarming anti-democratic measures by [Prime Minister Viktor] Orban that is pushing Hungary even further adrift from Europe.”

Permalink Met police to pay more than £400,000 to victim of undercover officer

Female activist who was traumatised after discovering that the father of her son was a spy is to receive compensation. The Metropolitan police are to pay more than £400,000 to a woman who has been profoundly traumatised after discovering by chance that the father of her son was an undercover police officer. It is the first time the police have made a payment to settle any of the legal claims brought by women who were deceived by undercover officers sent to spy on political and activist groups. The woman has been receiving psychiatric treatment and has contemplated suicide since she read a newspaper in 2012 and found out the true identity of the man who had fathered her son before abandoning her and the child 24 years previously. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous and is known by the name Jacqui, said the out-of-court settlement in which the Met would pay her £425,000 would not bring closure for her as the force had not admitted wrongdoing. She also criticised the police for dragging out the legal action by refusing to concede for two years that the father, Bob Lambert, was one of their undercover officers, even though he himself had already publicly admitted his covert role.

The Guardian: Britain: Undercover police had children with activists [20 January 2012]


Permalink Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000. The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report. “How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?” The federal government does.

Permalink New, disturbing video of attack by Honolulu Police Officer inside a game room

It's jaw dropping video. A 54-second clip from inside a game room near Ala Moana on September 5 clearly shows a Honolulu Police officer assaulting two people. Officer Vince Morre walks in and within seconds, kicks a 25-year old man in the face. Morre and Officer Nelson Tamayori then walk to the back of the game room. They are looking for someone who is not there. When they return from the back, Officer Tamayori heads to the door, but Officer Morre stops and begins assaulting the two men sitting next to him. Neither is resisting or engaging Morre but he begins to slap, punch, then kick one of them. He then turns his attention to the 25-year old man again, kicking him in the head a second time. The blow is so hard, the man flies off of his chair. As he is trying to sit back down, Officer Morre picks up a stool and throws it. It hits the man in the head. The FBI is investigating for possible civil rights violations. Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha had not seen the new video and reacted strongly when I showed it to him."That's totally unacceptable," says Kealoha, "Unauthorized use of force, excessive use of force and then you have two officers who just, apparently, stood by." Officer Morre is on unpaid leave. Officer Tamayori is too, for not stopping the attack, and a reserve police officer, Joe Becera, was forced to retire. Defense attorney Myles Breiner is representing the 25-year old victim, but also hadn't seen the new video. "It's outrageous, I've never seen anything like that before," says Breiner. "(An) unprovoked attack on two innocent people, they're not suspects, they're sitting passively down." The victim went to the hospital right after the beating. He had to have staples in his head and has a broken bone in his hand.


Permalink Autopsy shows St. Louis teenager Vonderrit Myers was gunned down by police while fleeing

Thomas Gaist The results of a private autopsy indicate that St. Louis teenager Vonderrit D. Myers, who was gunned down earlier this month by an off-duty cop, was running away when he was shot, then subsequently killed execution-style with a bullet to the head, attorneys for his family said Friday. Myers was killed on October 8, two months after the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which sparked mass protests that were met by a militarized police crackdown. Jerryl Christmas, an attorney for Myers’s family, said the findings contradicted claims by police that Myers had engaged in a shootout with the officer. “The evidence shows that the story we’ve been given by the Police Department does not match up. There’s no evidence that there was a gun battle going on,” Christmas said. [...] Defending the use of an entire clip of ammunition against Myers, a lawyer for the St Louis Police Officers’ Association stated that whenever an officer uses deadly force, “he uses deadly force until the threat is gone.”

Andre Damon Amnesty International: Ferguson police crackdown violated US and international law || The Amnesty International report, together with the nationwide militarization of the police and the ongoing wave of police killings, exposes the claims of the US government that Washington's endless wars and international provocations are motivated by a desire to defend “human rights.”


Permalink British Spy Chief Calls For Crackdown On Internet Freedom

The outgoing head of the GCHQ, the NSA’s UK equivalent, has slammed proponents of a free internet as ‘dreamers’, and defended those who spy on the communications of everyday people, saying they do “an extraordinary job.” In a farewell speech at the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, Sir Iain Lobban demanded that GCHQ needs the power to “access the Internet at scale” and “dissect it with surgical precision”. He said that the internet has become home to the “worst aspects of human nature,” and that spies need to be given unfettered power to govern the internet, to weed out “plotters, proliferators and paedophiles.”

Itar-Tass: Russian speaker against tighter rules on Internet access || The speaker of the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said on Wednesday she was against tighter rules on Internet access and government control over the Internet. “We are against restrictions on access to the Internet or a total control over it, against restrictions on legitimate interests and possibilities of the citizens,” Matviyenko said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily on Wednesday.


Permalink Turkey assassinated Press TV reporter

A political analyst has termed the suspicious death of Press TV’s correspondent in Turkey, Serena Shim, as an act of “assassination” by the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The reality is that our sister Serena was assassinated by Erdogan’s regime,” Shabir Hassan Ali, a political analyst from London, said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday night, adding, “Serena was hounded in a fashion by Turkish intelligence.” The analyst further said that she was “assassinated” because “she gave the truth about what this regime in Turkey, that has been oppressing its people, that has been oppressing the Kurdish population and that is actively working to support…this terrorist organization known as the ISIL” is doing.

PressTV: We do not believe Serena died in car accident: Family

Permalink Ukrainian-Style Democracy

Stephen Lendman It's pure fantasy. None whatever exists. US-installed coup d'etat putschists run things. Neo-Nazis have power. Ordinary Ukrainians have no say. Elections when held are farcical. Expect scheduled October 26 parliamentary ones to reflect business as usual. Excluding democratic choices. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Washington spent around $5 billion sabotaging Ukrainian democracy over the past 20 years. She lied calling it "democracy promotion…We stand with the people of Ukraine," she hyperventilated. USAID spent about $1.8 billion assuring ordinary Ukrainians had no say. Calling it "critical development assistance in support of the Ukrainian people." Nuland was caught red-handed urging regime change on tape. Her conversation with US Ukraine ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt was recorded. It circulated on You Tube earlier. It remains damning. More evidence of Washington's dark side.


Permalink Watch This Chilling Neo-Nazi Torch-lit March through Kiev on Wednesday

The neo-nazi movement in Ukraine is far more mainstream than the western media realizes. After violent riots in Kiev that involved throwing smoke grenades and violence against riot police, a massive neo-Nazi march was held in honor of Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and the establishment of his Ukrainian Insurgent Army. During this torch-lit march through the streets of Kiev, extremists from Azov and Right Sector brandished neo-Nazi flags and chanted nationalist slogans. The neo-Nazi Right Sector and Azov battalion have been empowered recently by the Kiev regime; they have been formally incorporated as military units of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior. However, the Ukrainian pro-Western regime has fallen out of favor since a fragile cease fire was signed in Eastern Ukraine between government and Donbas resistance forces.Does this haunting torch-lit march remind you of something that once happened in Nuremberg?


Permalink UN report: Mass internet surveillance is ‘corrosive of online privacy’

Mass surveillance carried by intelligence agencies is “indiscriminately corrosive of online privacy” and poses a “direct and ongoing challenge” to international law, says a new report from the UN Special Rapporteur. Bulk access technology is indiscriminately corrosive of online privacy and impinges on the very essence of the right guaranteed by [the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights],” UN Special Rapporteur on Counter Terrorism and Human Rights Ben Emmerson wrote in a special report to the UN General Assembly, released on Wednesday. Emmerson’s report, published in the Guardian, was a response to revelations from the world’s famous whistleblower Edward Snowden on mass surveillance of users’ data by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in the UK.


Permalink Secret US space plane lands after spending two years in orbit

A mysterious US Air Force unmanned aircraft is landing after 22 months of orbiting the Earth amid speculations that it is sent for spying or military mission. The X-37B, which looks like a small space shuttle, took off to a clandestine mission over undisclosed nations, from Cape Canaveral in Florida on December 11, 2012. It is believed that the X-37B operates like a spying satellite but with a large fuel tank for maneuvering that lets it switch orbits and escape detection from ground. The Vandenberg Air Force Base in California released a notice to aviators on the Federal Aviation Administration's website and announced that airspace around the Southern California base would remain closed from morning to afternoon on Tuesday. "Team Vandenberg stands ready to implement safe landing operations for the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, the third time for this unique mission," Col. Keith Baits, commander of the 30th Space Wing, said in a statement last week. "I think it is primarily an ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) platform for testing new sensor technologies or validating new technologies," Brian Weeden, a retired US Air Force Space Command officer.

The Daily Beast: The Pentagon’s Secret Space Drone Is Finally Coming Home.


Permalink 17 arrested in St. Louis as sit-in against police brutality proclaimed ‘unlawful’

St. Louis police have arrested at least 17 people for an “unlawful assembly” as activists staged a spontaneous sit-in outside a convenience store following a mass march, part of a four-day “Ferguson October” public event to protest police brutality. Early on Sunday morning between 100 and 200 people marched on a QT (QuikTrip) convenience store at Vandeventer and Chouteau. Protesters sat down, surrounding the convenience store. They staged a brief a sit-in at around 1 am local time, which local police spokeswoman Schron Jackson has called an “unlawful assembly”.

PressTV: Videos of NYPD police brutality go viral

Permalink “Terrorist” sword seized in Australian police raids is plastic

The Fairfax press revealed last week that the inscribed Arabic sword seized during unprecedented police raids on September 18—and portrayed by the media as the weapon that would be used in an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired plot to kidnap a random person and behead them in the street—was actually a plastic ornament. Moreover, it is a plastic Shiite ornament. Its inscription pays homage to the first Imam, Ali, who is considered by the Sunni Wahhabist extremists who make up ISIS as an apostate to Islam. The revelation adds to the numerous, disturbing questions about the raids on 15 homes in five Sydney suburbs, which was the largest anti-terrorism operation ever carried out in Australia and involved some 800 state police, federal police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) agents. Police armed with military assault rifles and supported by armoured vehicles cordoned off entire neighbourhoods. People were ordered to lie on the ground as their homes were ransacked. Fifteen people were arrested and hauled off to police stations for interrogation. Video footage and photographs of some of the detainees were published by the police on Twitter and the official police media site and then re-published by every television and print outlet. The media went into a frenzy, recounting sensational information they received from “unnamed” sources. However, it was the photo of the sword, being carried by police officers in a transparent evidence bag, which provoked some of the most lurid assertions. The Daily Mail breathlessly headlined its report: “Was this the lethal sword terror cell planned to use to behead an innocent victim on a Sydney street?”


Permalink Texas Ebola Outbreak Results in Forced Quarantine, Blood Draws Or Arrest

Christina Sarich The United States has taken action in light of the recent Ebola outbreak in Dallas, appearing to want to keep the issue isolated. The U.S. government has forced quarantine and blood draws from the family in Dallas where a member was found to have the virus. They face arrest if they don’t comply. My question is – if the government was so keen on keeping this ‘virus’ (biowarfare) in control, why didn’t they restrict travel from countries where it is running rampant? Why have they not informed hospitals of the possible dangers? Why was this man, who sought medical attention, turned loose to possibly contaminate hundreds more people before the government then decided to use militia tactics for lock down? Government-mandated medical procedures of any kind is a very slippery slope to go sliding down. If they will do this to a family in Dallas, they will do it to anyone ‘suspected’ of having Ebola.

Permalink UK police, spy agencies have automatic access to call records

Britain’s mobile phone companies have made customers’ call records available to the country’s police and spy agencies through automated systems, media reports say. A Guardian investigation revealed on Friday that phone companies EE, Vodafone, and Three delivered customer’s data to intelligence agencies and security forces at the click of a mouse and without the involvement of any phone company staff. The British law requires mobile operators to store a year of call records of all customers. Security forces and intelligence agencies can then access this data without any warrant, using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). RIPA is the same interception law that provides the authority for much of mass spying activities by Britain’s eavesdropping agency, the GCHQ. Britain’s Home Office has repeatedly claimed that its use of RIPA was “necessary and proportionate.”

The Guardian: EE, Vodafone and Three give police mobile call records at click of a mouse

Permalink Amnesty slams US execution of mentally-ill prisoners

Amnesty International has criticized the United States for permitting execution of mentally-impaired prisoners. The human rights organization issued a report on Friday saying the US actions run contrary to international laws. Amnesty said there is so much ambiguity in US law on the right of these people to avoid “cruel and unusual punishments” despite protections for the criminally insane. According to the UK-based rights group, disabilities remain unidentified during criminal processes in numerous cases. The document provided information on several mentally-disabled inmates in the US who either have been or are scheduled to be executed in 2014. Among them are prisoners for whom there is strong evidence that they are suffering mental impairment or have a long history of intellectual disabilities. So far this year, a number of 30 inmates have been executed, while 18 more will receive capital punishment. In 2013 alone, 39 people were executed in the United States. In September, a mentally-ill inmate in the US state of North Carolina, who was held in solitary confinement for 35 days, died of dehydration. Michael Anthony Kerr, who suffered from schizophrenia, died of thirst in the back of a van on March 12 while being transported from his prison to a mental hospital. The prison population of the United States is by far the largest in the world. Just under one-quarter of the world's prisoners are held in American prisons, according to a report published in May by the National Research Council.

AI: Death Penalty: Countries continue to execute people with mental and intellectual disabilities


Permalink NYPD officer renders teen unconscious for smoking cigarette - Video

A video was released Tuesday of a New York City teen who was rendered unconscious after an NYPD officer restrained him.A screenshot from the video taken of a NYPD officer restraining Marcel Hamer, and eventually knocking him out. According to New York Magazine, the family of Marcel Hamer, 17, posted a video to YouTube showing a plainclothes officer using force on the teen. Lawyers representing Hamer say the boy was suspected of smoking marijuana, but was charged for disorderly conduct, New York Magazine adds. In the video, you can hear Hamer say, "Mister, it was just a cigarette, sir," before the officer strikes the restrained teen.


Permalink “Common People Do Not Carry This Much U.S. Currency…” – This is How Police Justify Stealing American Citizens’ Money

Police confiscating Americans’ hard earned cash, as well as a wide variety of other valuables, without an arrest or conviction is a disturbing and growing practice throughput these United States. Since cops get to keep the seized funds and use the money on pretty much anything they want, the practice is becoming endemic in certain parts of the nation. The theft is often referred to simply as civil forfeiture, or civil asset forfeiture. Incredibly, under civil forfeiture laws your property is “guilty until you prove it innocent.” The extent of the problem came to my attention last summer after reading an excellent article by Sarah Stillman in the New Yorker. The article struck such a chord with me, I penned a post highlighting it and addressing the issue, titled: Why You Should Never, Ever Drive Through Tenaha, Texas. That article ended up being one of my most popular posts of 2013. Fast forward a year, and many mainstream publications have also jumped on the topic. Most notably, the Washington Post published an excellent article last month titled, Stop and Seize, which I strongly suggest reading if you haven’t already. Fortunately for us all, the issue has also caught the eye of the always hilarious, John Oliver of Last Week Tonight. The following clip from his show is brilliant. Not only is it hilarious, but it will hopefully educate a wider audience about this insidious practice so that it can be stopped once and for all. As one officer admitted in an affidavit justifying his confiscation of an innocent driver’s cash: “Common people do not carry this much U.S. currency.”


Permalink Doctor Calls Guantanamo Force-Feeding Video ‘Disturbing’

Attorneys for a longtime hunger-striker at Guantanamo Bay said today that refusing food is his only means of peaceful protest and asked a federal judge to stop his jailers from punishing him by being cruel in their application of force-feeding techniques. Abu Wa’el Dhiab’s court case is being carefully watched because U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ruled on Friday that videos of Dhiab’s force-feeding – which involves the repeated insertion and removal of a rubber tube up his nose – should be publicly released. But the only showing of the videos today was behind closed doors, as the Justice Department continues to wrangle over how and when to release them. In a short closed session, Sondra Crosby, a Boston University medical professor who examined Dhiab on behalf of his legal team, was shown a few minutes of footage and asked her medical opinion. Afterwards, all she would say was that the footage was “disturbing.”

Cora Currier Judge Rebukes Government, Keeps Gitmo Force-Feeding Hearing Open || A federal judge has knocked down the government’s attempt to hold a secret hearing in a case challenging the military’s practice of force-feeding Guantanamo detainees who are on hunger strike. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler called the government’s desire to close the proceedings “deeply troubling,” and chastised the Department of Justice for appearing to “deliberately” make the request “on short notice.”

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