Tag Archive: Obama

The US government doesn’t want you to know how the cops are tracking you

stopitFrom The Guardian

All across America, from Florida to Colorado and back again, the country’s increasingly militarized local police forces are using a secretive technology to vacuum up cellphone data from entire neighborhoods – including from people inside their own homes – almost always without a warrant. This week, numerous investigations by major news agencies revealed the US government is now taking unbelievable measures to make sure you never find out about it. But a landmark court ruling for privacy could soon force the cops to stop, even as the Obama administration fights to keep its latest tool for mass surveillance a secret.

So-called International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers – more often called their popular brand name, “Stingray” – have long been the talk of the civil liberties crowd, for the indiscriminate and invasive way these roving devices conduct surveillance. Essentially, Stingrays act as fake cellphone towers (usually mounted in a mobile police truck) that police can point toward any given area and force every phone in the area to connect to it. So even if you’re not making a call, police can find out who you’ve been calling, and for how long, as well as your precise location. As Nathan Freed Wessler of the ACLU explained on Thursday, “In one Florida case, a police officer explained in court that he ‘quite literally stood in front of every door and window’ with his stingray to track the phones inside a large apartment complex.”

Yet these mass surveillance devices have largely stayed out of the public eye, thanks to the federal government and local police refusing to disclose they’re using them in the first place – sometimes, shockingly, even to judges. As the Associated Press reported this week, the Obama administration has been telling local cops to keep information on Stingrays secret from members of the news media, even when it seems like local public records laws would mandate their disclosure. The AP noted: (more…)

ICE Raids Durham Home: Free Hugo Now!

From Dream Activisthugo2

On December 23, 2013, ICE agents raided the home of Hugo Leonel. Despite pleas from his children to ICE agents, Hugo Leonel was taken into custody and is currently being held at Stewart Detention Center.

In early 2013, Hugo Leonel was charged with a DWI. Being his first offense, Hugo Leonel was released under bond. In compliance with his sentence, he completed community service hours and an alcohol treatment program. So why is he detained?

HUGO LEONEL IS SET TO BE DEPORTED ON TUESDAY NIGHT!

Help get Hugo Leonel released and his deportation stopped by making a phone call and signing the petition!

TAKE ACTION – MAKE A CALL:

Call Atlanta ICE @ (404) 893-1210
Call DC ICE @ (202) 732-3000 or (202) 732-3100

Sample Script
: “Hi, I am calling to ask for the release of Hugo Leonel Perez (A# 077-665-965) from Stewart Detention Center. Hugo Leonel has been living in the U.S. for 8 years. He came from Guatemala to reunite with his family. His U.S. citizen son, Rhodinson, needs him home. Please don’t separate Rhodinson from his dad! Release Hugo Leonel now!”

Obama Visits Mandela’s Old Cell, But Won’t Free His Own Political Prisoners

From Black Agenda Report/ By Glen Ford

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Obama sees no irony in making a pilgrimage to Nelson Mandela’s place of political imprisonment, while holding 80,000 human beings in solitary confinement. “Racist South Africa’s treatment of Mandela and his co-revolutionists was downright benign and enlightened, compared to fate of U.S. prisoners who are deemed a threat to the prevailing order.”

“Obama has no sympathy, however, for political prisoners of any race in his own country.”

President Barack Obama, a man of infinite cynicism, made a great show of going on pilgrimage to Nelson Mandela’s old prison cell on Robben Island, where the future first Black president of South Africa spent 18 of his 27 years of incarceration. With his wife and daughters in tow, Obama said he was “humbled to stand where men of such courage faced down injustice and refused to yield…. No shackles or cells can match the strength of the human spirit,” said the chief executive of the unchallenged superpower of mass incarceration, a nation whose population comprises only 5 percent of humanity, but is home to fully one-quarter of the Earth’s prison inmates. (more…)

Obama’s 2014 Budget Confirms Plans for “ADX Thomson,” New Federal Supermax Prison

Thomson-CC-1From Solitary Watch

The Obama Administration’s 2014 budget request for the Department of Justice, released this week, confirms that the federal government will open a second ultra-secure supermax prison within the next two years. The new prison will be an “Administrative Maximum U.S. Penitentiary.” Administrative Maximum is a security classification currently held only by the notorious ADX Florence in Colorado, where some 400 individuals are held in isolation and sensory deprivation so extreme that it has been challenged in a series of lawsuits and widely denounced as torture.

The new supermax will be created by renovating Thomson Correctional Center, an unused maximum security prison in Illinois, which was purchased by the federal government last year. Originally, the Obama Administration envisioned Thomson as a future home for Guantanamo detainees–a move that was blocked by Republicans in Congress. Instead, while Guantanamo remains open, the Bureau of Prisons is moving ahead with plans to open hundreds, and perhaps thousands of new isolation cells at Thomson to “reduce crowding in high security facilities.” (more…)