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Posts Tagged ‘DHS’

ICE arrests 90 more foreign students at fake university created by DHS in Michigan

Posted by M. C. on November 29, 2019

Fake criminals, fake crimes all to make fake law enforcement look like they are doing something. And making a few bucks off the victims.

Gives them something to do when they are not trying to depose a sitting US president.

https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/4317788002

Niraj Warikoo

DETROIT – About 90 additional foreign students at a fake university in metro Detroit created by the Department of Homeland Security have been arrested in recent months.

A total of about 250 students have now been arrested since January on immigration violations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of a sting operation by federal agents who enticed foreign-born students, mostly from India, to attend the school that marketed itself as offering graduate programs in technology and computer studies, according to ICE officials.

Many of those arrested have been deported, while others are contesting their removals. One has been allowed to stay after being granted lawful permanent resident status by an immigration judge.

The students had arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the University of Farmington was later revealed to be a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January. The school was staffed with undercover agents posing as university officials. 

Out of the approximately 250 students arrested on administrative charges, “nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States,” the Detroit office of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations told the Free Press in a statement Tuesday.

Of the remaining 20%, about half have received a final order of removal; some were ordered removed by an immigration judge, and others “were given an expedited removal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” HSI Detroit said.

The remaining 10% “have either filed for some sort of relief or are contesting their removals with Executive Office for Immigration Review,” HSI Detroit said.

ICE said in March that 161 students had been arrested, a number that has now grown to about 250.

Meanwhile, seven of the eight recruiters who were criminally charged with trying to recruit students have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in Detroit. The remaining defendant  will be sentenced in January.

Attorneys for the students arrested said that they were unfairly trapped by the U.S. government since the Department of Homeland Security had said on its website that the university was legitimate. An accreditation agency that was working with the U.S. on its sting operation also listed the university as legitimate.

More: Emails show how fake university in metro Detroit lured students

More: Attorney: Fake Farmington university sting by ICE was entrapment

Fake university believed to have collected millions of dollars

There were more than 600 students enrolled at the university, which was created a few years ago by federal law enforcement officials with ICE. Records filed with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs show that the University of Farmington was incorporated in January 2016.

Many of the students had enrolled with the university through a program known as Curricular Practical Training, which allows students to work in the U.S through a F-1 visa program for foreign students. Some had transferred to the University of Farmington from other schools that had lost accreditation, which means they would no longer be allowed to remain in the U.S….

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Surprise! FBI Says Criminals With 'Russian Links' Tried to ...

 

 

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DHS’s Terrifying New Database, HART – The Organic Prepper

Posted by M. C. on October 7, 2019

Incidentally, the cloud hosting for HART is being done by none other than Amazon – you know, the ones with surveillance devices like the Ring doorbell and the Alexa home assistant and the Nest home security system. Does anyone see a pattern here?

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/database-dhs-hart/

by Daisy Luther

These days, you can’t really go anywhere without encountering cameras.  Going into a store? Chances are there are security cameras. Getting money at an ATM? More cameras. Driving through the streets of a city? More cameras still. Your neighbors may have those doorbells from Amazon that are surveilling the entire neighborhood.

And many of these cameras are tied into facial recognition databases, or the footage can be quite easily compared there if “authorities” are looking for somebody.

But as it turns out, it isn’t just facial recognition we have to worry about.

DHS has a new recognition system called HART.

Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology system is the alarming new identity system being put in place by the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS is retiring its old system that was based on facial recognition. It’s being replaced with HART, a cloud-based system that holds information about the identities of hundreds of millions of people.

The new cloud-based platform, called the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology System, or HART, is expected to bring more processing power, new analytics capabilities and increased accuracy to the department’s biometrics operations. It will also allow the agency to look beyond the three types of biometric data it uses today—face, iris and fingerprint—to identify people through a variety of other characteristics, like palm prints, scars, tattoos, physical markings and even their voices. (source)

Incidentally, the cloud hosting for HART is being done by none other than Amazon – you know, the ones with surveillance devices like the Ring doorbell and the Alexa home assistant and the Nest home security system. Does anyone see a pattern here?

Also note that Amazon Web Services also hosts data for the CIA, the DoD, and NASA.

More about HART

As HART becomes more established, that old saying “you can run but you can’t hide” is going to seem ever more true. The DHS is delighted at how much further the new system can take them into surveilling Americans.

And by freeing the agency from the limitations of its legacy system, HART could also let officials grow the network of external partners with whom they share biometric data and analytics capabilities, according to Patrick Nemeth, director of identity operations within Homeland Security’s Office of Biometric Identity Management.

“When we get to HART, we will be better, faster, stronger,” Nemeth said in an interview with Nextgov. “We’ll be relieved of a lot of the capacity issues that we have now … and then going forward from there we’ll be able to add [capabilities].” (source)

The DHS wants to break free of the limitations of the old system with their new and “improved” system. HART will use multiple pieces of biometric data to increase identification accuracy.

Today, when an official runs a person’s face, fingerprint or iris scans through IDENT’s massive database, the system doesn’t return a single result. Rather, it assembles a list of dozens of potential candidates with different levels of confidence, which a human analyst must then look through to make a final match. The system can only handle one modality at a time, so if agent is hypothetically trying to identify someone using two different datapoints, they need to assess two lists of candidates to find a single match. This isn’t a problem if the system identifies the same person as the most likely match for both fingerprint and face, for example, but because biometric identification is still an imperfect science, the results are rarely so clear cut.

However, the HART platform can include multiple datapoints in a single query, meaning it will rank potential matches based on all the information that’s available. That will not only make it easier for agents to analyze potential matches, but it will also help the agency overcome data quality issues that often plague biometric scans, Nemeth said. If the face image is pristine but the fingerprint is fuzzy, for example, the system will give the higher-quality datapoint more weight.

“We’re very hopeful that it will provide better identification surety than we can provide with any single modality today,” Nemeth said. And palm prints, scars, tattoos and other modalities are added in the years ahead, the system will be able to integrate those into its matching process. (source)

HART will also use DNA.

Remember a while back when we reported that DNA sites were teaming up with facial recognition software? Well, HART will take that unholy alliance even further.

The phase-two solicitation also lists DNA-matching as a potential application of the HART system. While the department doesn’t currently analyze DNA, officials on Wednesday announced they would start adding DNA collected from hundreds of thousands of detained migrants to the FBI’s criminal database. During the interview, Nemeth said the agency is still working through the legal implications of storing and sharing such sensitive data. It’s also unclear whether DNA information would be housed in the HART system or a separate database, he said. (source)

Nifty.

The DHS is operating without any type of regulation.

Currently, there’s no regulation or oversight of government agencies collecting and using this kind of data. Civil liberty activists and some lawmakers are alarmed by this, citing concerns about privacy and discrimination. This hasn’t slowed down the DHS one iota, however.

Critics have taken particular issue with the government’s tangled web of information sharing agreements, which allow data to spread far beyond the borders of the agency that collected it. The Homeland Security Department currently shares its biometric data and capabilities with numerous groups, including but not limited to the Justice, Defense and State departments.

In the years ahead, HART promises to strengthen those partnerships and allow others to flourish, according to Nemeth. While today the department limits other agencies’ access to IDENT to ensure they don’t consume too much of its limited computing power, HART will do away with those constraints. (source)

Mana Azarmi, the policy counsel for the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology is one of those people voicing concern.

A person might give information to a single agency thinking it would be used for one specific purpose, but depending on how that information is shared, they could potentially find themselves subjected to unforeseen negative consequences, Azarmi said in a conversation with Nextgov.

“The government gets a lot of leeway to share information,” she said. “In this age of incredible data collection, I think we need to rethink some of the rules that are in place and some of the practices that we’ve allowed to flourish post-9/11. We may have overcorrected.” (source)

You think?

Many people voluntarily provide biometric data.

Many folks provide biometric data without giving it a second thought. They cheerfully swab a cheek and send it into sites like Ancestry.com, providing not only their DNA, but matches to many relatives who never gave permission for their DNA to be in a database.

Then there are cell phones. If you have a newer phone, it’s entirely possible that it has asked you to set up fingerprint login, facial recognition, and even voice recognition. It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to believe that those samples are shared with folks beyond the device in your hand. Add to this that your device is tracking you every place you go through a wide variety of seemingly innocuous apps, and you start to get the picture.

You can’t opt-out.

Back in 2013, I wrote an article called The Great American Dragnet.  At that time, facial recognition was something that sounded like science fiction or some kind of joke. Our drivers’ licenses were the first foray into creating a database but even in 2013, it far exceeded that.

Another, even larger, database exists. The US State Department has a database with 230 million searchable images.  Anyone with a passport or an immigration visa may find themselves an unwilling participant in this database.   Here’s the breakdown of who has a photo database:

  • The State Department has about 15 million photos of passport or visa holders
  • The FBI has about15 million photos of people who have been arrested or convicted of crimes
  • The Department of Defense has about 6 million photos, mainly of Iraqis and Afghans
  • Various police agencies and states have at least 210 million driver’s license photos

This invasion of privacy is just another facet of the surveillance state, and should be no surprise considering the information Edward Snowden just shared about the over-reaching tentacles of the NSA into all of our communications. We are filing our identities with the government and they can identify us at will, without any requirement for probable cause. (source)

Some people don’t even seem to mind that their identities have been tagged and filed by the US government. And even those of us who do mind have no option. If you wish to drive a car or travel outside of the country or have any kind of government ID, like it or not, you’re in the database. Six years ago, I wrote:

The authorities that use this technology claim that the purpose of it is to make us safer, by helping to prevent identity fraud and to identify criminals.  However, what freedom are we giving up for this “safety” cloaked in benevolence? We are giving up the freedom of having the most elemental form of privacy – that of being able to go about our daily business without being watched and identified.  And once you’re identified, this connects to all sorts of other personal information that has been compiled: your address, your driving and criminal records, and potentially, whatever else that has been neatly filed away at your friendly neighborhood fusion center.

Think about it:  You’re walking the dog and you fail to scoop the poop – if there’s a surveillance camera in the area, it would be a simple matter, given the technology, for you to be identified. If you are attending a protest that might be considered “anti-government”, don’t expect to be anonymous.  A photo of the crowd could easily result in the identification of most of the participants.

Are you purchasing ammo, preparedness items, or books about a controversial topic?  Paying cash won’t buy you much in the way of privacy – your purchase will most likely be captured on the CCTV camera at the checkout stand, making you easily identifiable to anyone who might wish to track these kinds of things.  What if a person with access to this technology uses it for personal, less than ethical reasons, like stalking an attractive women he saw on the street?  The potential for abuse is mind-boggling.

If you can’t leave your house without being identified, do you have any real freedom left, or are you just a resident in a very large cage? (source)

When I wrote that, it still seemed far-fetched but remotely possible, even to me. This was before we were really aware of anything like the social credit program in China or how crazy the censorship was going to become or how social media would change the very fabric of our society.

Now, it’s here and it looks like there’s no stopping it.

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DHS Issues RFI for Cloud-Based Biometric Processing System ...

 

 

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9/11 Senate Hearing: No Mention of Radical Islam, Climate Change Is Major Threat

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2019

The PC UK ignored things also…and for a long time.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/09/9-11-senate-hearing-no-radical-islam-threat-is-climate-change/#

by Robert Kraychik

No mention of radical Islam was made by any senators during Monday’s Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing — uniquely held at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, NY — days before the 18th anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Post-9/11 domestic instances of Islamic terrorism were also ignored, including but not limited to the attacks in Chattanooga, Fort Hood, Orlando, and San Bernardino. The only references to ideological dimensions of Islamic terrorism were made by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, who referred to “jihadi terrorists” in three instances.

Chertoff was joined by Janet Napolitano and Jeh Johnson, two former directors of the Department of Homeland Security in testifying before the committee, professedly on matters of national security.

“Climate change poses an existential threat” to America and Earth, declared Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. He linked “climate change” to 9/11 in his opening remarks, calling on DHS to prioritize halting the ostensible phenomenon:…

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Now It’s Official: US Visa Can Be Denied If You (Or Even Your Friends) Are Critical of American Policies — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on September 6, 2019

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/09/05/now-official-us-visa-denied-if-you-or-your-friends-critical-american-policies/

Philip Giraldi

 

There have been several interesting developments in the United States government’s war on free speech and privacy. First of all, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which is responsible for actual entry of travelers into the country, has now declared that it can legally access phones and computers at ports of entry to determine if there is any subversive content which might impact on national security. “Subversive content” is, of course, subjective, but those seeking entry can be turned back based on how a border control agent perceives what he is perusing on electronic media.

Unfortunately, the intrusive nature of the procedure is completely legal, particularly as it applies to foreign visitors, and is not likely to be overturned in court in spite of the Fourth Amendment’s constitutional guarantee that individuals should “…be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” Someone at a port of entry is not legally inside the United States until he or she has been officially admitted. And if that someone is a foreigner, he or she has no right by virtue of citizenship even to enter the country until entry has been permitted by an authorized US Customs and Border Protection official. And that official can demand to see anything that might contribute to the decision whether or not to let the person enter.

And there’s more to it than just that. Following the Israeli model for blocking entry of anyone who can even be broadly construed as supporting a boycott, the United States now also believes it should deny admittance to anyone who is critical of US government policy, which is a reversal of previous policy that considered political opinions to be off-limits for visa denial. DHS, acting in response to pressure from the White House, now believes it can adequately determine hostile intent from the totality of what appears on one’s phone or laptop, even if the material in question was clearly not put on the device by the owner. In other words, if a traveler has an email sent to him or her by someone else that complains about behavior by the United States government, he or she is responsible for that content.

One interesting aspect of the new policy is that it undercuts the traditional authority of US Embassies and Consulates overseas to issue visas to foreigners. The State Department visa process is rigorous and can include employment and real property verification, criminal record checks, social media reviews and Google-type searches. If there is any doubt about the visa applicant, entry into the US is denied. With the new DHS measures in place, this thoroughly vetted system is now sometimes being overruled by a subjective judgment made by someone who is not necessarily familiar with the traveler’s country or even regarding the threat level that being a citizen of that country actually represents…

Ajjawi was questioned by one immigration officer who asked him repeatedly about his religion before requiring him to turn over his laptop and cell phone. Some hours later, the questioning continued about Ajjawi’s friends and associates, particularly those on social media. At no point was Ajjawi accused of having himself written anything that was critical of the United States and the interrogation rather centered on the views expressed by his friends.

The decision to ban Ajjawi produced such an uproar worldwide that it was reversed a week later, apparently as a result of extreme pressure exerted by Harvard University. Nevertheless, the decisions to deny entry are often arbitrary or even based on bad information, but the traveler normally has no practical recourse to reverse the process….

It is believed that many of the arbitrary “enforcements” by the CBP are carried out by the little-known Tactical Response Team (TRT) that targets certain travelers that fit a profile. DHS officials confirmed in September 2017 that 1,400 visa holders had been denied entry due to TRT follow-up inspections. And there are also reports of harassment of American citizens by possible TRT officials. A friend of mine was returning from Portugal to a New York Area airport when he was literally pulled from the queue as he was departing the plane. A Customs agent at the jetway was repeatedly calling out his birth date and then also added his name. He was removed from the line and taken to an interrogation room where he was asked to identify himself and then queried regarding his pilot’s license. He was then allowed to proceed with no other questions, suggesting that it was all harassment of a citizen base on profiling pure and simple…

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What DHS does during Steady State | Homeland Security

DHS – A typical government cluster

 

 

 

 

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DHS plan for face scanning at airports sparks alarm

Posted by M. C. on April 24, 2019

Like telecommunication, the plan is to have a dossier on everyone.

Of course it will be always accurate, always private, never any mistakes. You can bet your life on that.

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/440323-dhs-plan-for-face-scanning-at-airports-sparks-alarm

Lawmakers and civil liberties advocates are calling on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt plans to begin using facial recognition technology on nearly all departing air passengers within the next four years.

The agency’s plan has reignited the fight over the sensitive technology. Critics say facial recognition technology is not ready for large-scale deployment and that DHS has failed to establish specific rules to prevent abuses and policies for handling the collected data.

“The Department of Homeland Security is plowing ahead with its program to scan travelers’ faces, and it’s doing so in absence of adequate safeguards against privacy invasions, data breaches, and racial bias,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement to The Hill. “Homeland Security should change course and stop its deployment of facial recognition technology until it meets that standard.”

Markey and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) have raised these concerns with DHS over the past year, releasing statements and sending letters to the agency urging it to halt the program until it puts specific safeguards in place. So far, according to Markey’s office, the department has ignored their warnings.

DHS has been implementing its “biometric exit” program, which photographs some visitors when they are departing the U.S., for years, expanding to 15 major airports with plans to reach five more. President Trump in 2017 signed an executive order speeding up the rollout of the face-scanning technology, and Congress in 2016 authorized up to $1 billion over the next 10 years to implement the program.

The stated purpose of the program is to identify non-U.S. citizens who have overstayed their visas, but it captures the faces of U.S. citizens as well. The agency says it has successfully identified 7,000 people at major U.S. airports who have overstayed their visas.

The DHS report published last week, which was provided to the House and Senate judiciary committees, is the latest sign that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — DHS’s largest federal law enforcement agency — is fast-tracking the implementation of the program at the country’s largest airports.

That has privacy advocates in an uproar…

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DHS wants to ramp up use of facial recognition at airports from just 15 to almost all in 4 years | Daily Mail Online

Posted by M. C. on April 20, 2019

According to the DHS, the technology is not only scalable, but also extremely accurate.

That makes me feel better. From ACLU about Amazon’s scanning technology misidentifying members of congress.From ACLU about Amazon’s scanning technology misidentifying members of congress.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6937737/DHS-wants-ramp-use-facial-recognition-airports-just-15-4-years.html

By James Pero For Dailymail.com

 

  • Facial recognition software could soon be standard in airports across the U.S.
  • The tool would be used to track people coming in and out of the country
  • Photos of passengers would be run against a database of visas and passports 
  • DHS’ interest in facial recognition comes amidst rising human rights concern

Despite concerns over facial recognition’s impact on civil liberties, public agencies have continued to apply the tool liberally across the U.S. with one of the biggest deployments coming to an airport near you.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that it plans to expand its application of facial recognition to 97 percent of all passengers departing the U.S. by 2023, according to the Verge.

By comparison, facial recognition technology is deployed in just 15 airports, according to figures recorded at the end of 2018.

In what is being referred to as ‘biometric exit,’ the agency plans to use facial recognition to more thoroughly track passengers entering and leaving the country.

The system functions by taking a picture of passengers before they depart and then cross-referencing the image with a database containing photos of passports and visas.

According to the DHS, the technology is not only scalable, but also extremely accurate.

In its current iteration, a summary states that the technology has scanned more than 2 million passengers with a near-perfect match rate of 98 percent.

In its limited deployment, the DHS says that it has helped to identify 7,000 passenger overstays since being introduced in 2017 as well as six passengers attempting to use identification not belonging to them…

Among the most unlikely voices of caution against the widespread deployment of facial recognition has been Microsoft — one of the biggest and most sophisticated purveyors of facial recognition software.

This month the company announced that it denied lending its software to an unnamed California law enforcement agency who planned to use the tool to scan the faces of people the agency pulled over, so that it could be checked against a database.

The reason behind the decision, according to Microsoft President, Brad Smith, is that the company felt the software — artificial intelligence systems that use machine learning to improve its capabilities — would disproportionately affect people of color and women…

One of the most vocal critics, the ACLU, has argued that scanning someone’s face skirts laws involving probable cause and could be used for mass government surveillance…

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TSA

Your Alternative to Facial Recognition

 

 

 

 

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More Ammo for the Department of Homeland Security

Posted by M. C. on February 16, 2019

If private clubs of American weekend target shooters were doing this, there would be prime time TV news stories for a week. There would be Congressional hearings. But when the DHS does it, no one notices, except for right-wing blog editors.

If the DHS is wise in laying up weapons, then who else is laying up weapons? Why?

https://www.garynorth.com/public/19173.cfm

Gary North

The DHS is at it again. It is stockpiling more ammunition. A lot of ammunition. This is from Infowars:

On July 5, the Department of Homeland Security announced on the FedBizOpps.gov website that it plans to buy thirty-six Colt LE901 rifle systems. The latest DHS purchase follows a solicitation issued on July 13 for the purchase of .223 Caliber Remington Enhanced Performance Ammunition in excess of $500,000. The Colt assault weapons are designed to accept the .223 ammunition. . . .In April, we reported on the DHS awarding contracts to a munitions company for 450 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammunition. Prior to this, the feds awarded Winchester a five-year contract for 200 million rounds .40 caliber ammunition.

The question comes to mind: who are the prospective targets? Terrorists? Armed bands of terrorists? From where?

The DHS is also buying bullet-proof guard booths. Lots and lots of guard booths. At last count, 9,300 of them. It plans to buy more.

Who will be shooting at them? Why?…

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Are You a Woman Traveling Alone? Marriott Might Be Watching You.

Posted by M. C. on February 5, 2019

Under pressure from the federal government and driven by persistent myths about the nature and prevalence of sex trafficking, hotel chains like Marriott have become the new frontiers of the surveillance state. Like the indiscriminate spying campaigns that grew out of the 9/11 attacks, it’s an effort based on panic, profiling, and stereotypes, and it is nearly certain to ensnare more innocents than it helps…

https://reason.com/archives/2019/02/05/hotel-surveillance-state-sex-trafficking

When a tweet accused Marriott Hotels of “working with the feds and keeping [an] eye on any women who are traveling alone,” training staff to “spot an escort,” and “not allowing some women [to] drink at the bar alone,” Marriott’s official account proudly confirmed the observation: “You are correct. Marriott employees all over the world are being trained to help spot sex trafficking at our hotels.”…

But the deserved dustup points to a much bigger issue than unusually watchful hotel staff. It’s part of a Homeland Security-backed coalition using human-trafficking myths and War on Terror tactics to encourage citizen spying and the development of new digital surveillance tools.

However well-intentioned, the surveillance tactics that have been adopted by hotel chains are part of a disturbing partnership between hospitality businesses, federal law enforcement, and rent-seeking nonprofits that increasingly seeks to track the movements and whereabouts of people, especially women, all over the country. Under pressure from the federal government and driven by persistent myths about the nature and prevalence of sex trafficking, hotel chains like Marriott have become the new frontiers of the surveillance state. Like the indiscriminate spying campaigns that grew out of the 9/11 attacks, it’s an effort based on panic, profiling, and stereotypes, and it is nearly certain to ensnare more innocents than it helps… Read the rest of this entry »

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On Board the USS Detention – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2018

Approximately 400-foot vessels, they are known as National Security Cutters and have been refashioned not as hospital ships but as prison ships.

https://original.antiwar.com/karen_greenberg/2018/12/20/on-board-the-uss-detention/

Originally posted at TomDispatch.

I grew up in New London, Connecticut, watching many a military ship float by my window. New London was home to the Coast Guard Academy and sat across the river from a U.S. Navy submarine base. Uniformed guardsmen, sailors in training, and sub crews leaving port would regularly wave to my friends and me from the decks of their ships. It never occurred to me that, 50 years later, such ships would come to my attention again, this time because of the confusing messages they’re sending overseas, a reflection of the conflicting images embedded in Washington’s latest version of diplomacy and foreign policy.

We still want populations around the world to admire, appreciate, and respect this country as a democracy and a powerful protector. Some ships are used to make exactly that point. And yet, in the twenty-first-century version of war American-style, other ships have become the very image and essence of hardship and harm in ways that violate the most basic tenets of democracy and justice.

This mixed message is anything but new to American foreign policy. In 2003, seven months after the invasion of Iraq, Margaret Tutwiler, incoming undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, was assigned to deal with the sort of worries then being raised by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN). He chaired the Foreign Relations Committee and so oversaw Tutwiler’s confirmation hearing, describing himself as “deeply concerned” and “anxious” about the country’s deteriorating image abroad.

“Americans are troubled,” he explained, “by examples of virulent anti-American hatred in the Islamic world and are frustrated by public opinion in allied countries that seems increasingly ready to question American motives or blame American actions for a host of problems.” Tutwiler responded with intrepid optimism. She understood the uphill battle she faced, she assured him, one that required “maintaining and in some respects regaining respect and understanding” for the U.S. around the globe. And she promised to do what she could “to contribute to the overall effort of trying to prevent any further deterioration in our nation’s image.”

Five months later, Congressman José Serrano (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, would suggest just how implausible was Tutwiler’s task of convincing allies and enemies alike of the good intentions of the United States, in Iraq in particular. Though respectful of the idea of public diplomacy, he expressed extreme doubt about the possibility of applying it successfully in that war-torn land then occupied by the U.S. military. As he put it, he was cognizant of just “how difficult it has become for us on the one hand to try to change the image of who we are; and, on the other hand, you know, invade and occupy an Arab country.” Then he added, in a bow of empathy for Tutwiler, “I just wonder how my job would be if I had to tell people that I am a good guy, while, on the other hand, I hit them over the head with a hammer.”…

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How the government uses its giant facial recognition database | Sovereign Man

Posted by M. C. on November 2, 2018

Delta Airlines has even started testing a new program that scans your face prior to boarding your flight and matches it against this government database.

JetBlue has a similar program, and claims that “The customers are really delighted by it. . . they think it’s cool and they’re having fun.”

https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/how-the-government-uses-its-giant-facial-recognition-database-24263/

Simon Black

In July 1996, flight TWA 800 exploded in mid-air, 12 minutes after taking off from JFK International Airport in New York. All 230 passengers on board were killed.

It would be four years before an investigation concluded the likely cause of the explosion was a short circuit in the plane’s fuel tank.

But at the time, President Clinton felt the overwhelming need to do something.

People suspected terrorism. So Clinton issued new airport security rules.

From then on, identification was required to board an airplane.

Before that, you just needed a ticket.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, airport security escalated.

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) were born.

Screening procedures intensified. Agents could now feel you up and down. Then came naked body scanners and the Real ID requirement.

Real ID standards were part of the post-9/11 security hysteria. But they are just now coming into full effect.

The federal guidelines require states to issue IDs that meet certain federal standards, or else the ID cannot be used for flying.

One of these standards is that the photo on the ID has to work with facial recognition systems.

CBP (Customs and Border Protection) has now completed a pilot program for using biometric data for boarding flights exiting the country. Biometric data includes unique identity markers like fingerprints, iris scans, and facial recognition.

The DHS audited the pilot program, and found that it was a success. They caught 1,300 people who had overstayed their visas.

Wait, what? I thought this was supposed to be about national security?

But that’s not what you get from the propaganda piece on the CBP’s websiteRead the rest of this entry »

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