Category Archives: Surveillance

Zeitgeist: Tactical Myths That Control the World

A compilation of the most prominent myths that have misled our culture for centuries. An in-depth look at the world, exposing the abuse of power from the time of the Egyptians to the war in Iraq.

For more information visit www.zeitgeistmovie.com

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Filed under Civil Liberties, Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Mental Environment, Politics, Social Justice, Surveillance

This is what democracy looks like

It’s hard to keep faith in representative democracy after days like today.

This afternoon, the United States Senate voted to preserve retroactive legal immunity for telecom companies who cooperated with intelligence agencies in the wake of September 11, 2001.

What’s more, the Senate also permitted the government to conduct wiretaps without a warrant by reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without any additional protection for the privacy of Americans.

Here’s Senator Russ Feingold setting forth the implications of this bill in layman’s terms.

You can prove the United States conducts torture, but you still can’t hold anyone accountable. The same goes for tearing asunder U.S. domestic laws regarding privacy and protections against self-incrimination. The same goes for the 24/7 surveillance society that has sprung up over the past seven years.

There was a lot of empty talk about “change” during the ’06 elections. In the ’08 Presidential campaign, that catchphrase has been substituted for genuine discussion of the disaster that is the Global War on Terror, record inequality, the creeping re-segregation (class or racial, take your pick) of American society, and the decrepitude of a bicameral political system beholden to banking and military-industrial institutions that have driven the United States into needless wars and a looming economic catastrophe.

To quote a certain Washington native, “regime change starts at home.”

written by Ali Winston

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Filed under Censorship, Civil Liberties, Economics, Politics, Surveillance

NYC public schools, video surveillance, and the criminalization of a generation

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[Stuyvesant students walking to class under video monitoring. Photo by Ali Winston for City Limits]

What do cameras cure? System gets own scrutiny. 

Now in the fourth year of citywide operation, the New York City public school video surveillance program continues full steam ahead even as many parents, advocates, elected officials and students raise serious questions about the system’s effectiveness and transparency.

By the end of 2008, more than 300 middle and high schools in 130 buildings will be equipped with some 6,000 cameras belonging to the Department of Education’s $120 million Internet Protocol Digital Video Surveillance (IPDVS) system, intended to help reduce violence in public schools. Although school officials consider IPDVS a success, problems have cropped up with both its technical workings and people’s ability to gain access to the footage. Read on at City Limits.

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Metal detectors and math classes.

The Internet Protocol Digital Video System is only one aspect of New York City’s school safety program, a joint Department of Education – New York Police Department effort that some student advocates consider so aggressive, they’ve dubbed it the “school to prison pipeline.” In addition to security cameras, the public school atmosphere today includes more than 4,500 uniformed officers patrolling the halls, enforcement of zero-tolerance behavior policies, and thousands of predominantly minority students attending “Impact” schools – a designation given to the most crime-ridden – who must walk through metal detectors and past armed police officers just to get to class. Read on at City Limits.

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Filed under Censorship, Education, Mental Environment, Social Justice, Surveillance

Panopticon U.S.A.

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A just-released report by Privacy International and the Electronic Privacy Information Center has classified the United States as one of the worst “Endemic Surveillance Societies” in the developed world, on par with Russia, China, and the United Kingdom.

Among other factors, the report highlights the rising use of CCTV and a highly profitable surveillance industry, presidentially-approved wiretapping of international communications, the absence of constitutional protections for privacy, and the FBI’s impending plan to develop the largest biometric database known to man as root causes of surveillance creep in the “Land of the Free.”

[Source: Privacy International & the Electronic Privacy Information Center]

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Filed under Censorship, Civil Liberties, Mental Environment, Surveillance