Thursday, January 05, 2012

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.


"Protect Your Cell Phone from Prying Eyes in 2012. Cell phone monitoring is a big issue, and scandals like News of the World and CarrierIQ reveal how pervasive the issue is, and how easily it is for people and companies to monitor cell phones.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange warned cell phone users of this problem earlier this month when he released details of companies that are selling information they obtain through cell phone monitoring. According to Assange, more than 150 companies around the world have the ability to use cell phones as tracking devices to intercept messages and to listen to calls.

Don’t think it’s true and that Assange is just a nutcase? Then consider that Verizon Wireless, the largest cellular carrier in the U.S., is already monitoring cell phones and selling the information. In October, Verizon enrolled its entire customer base into its program to track customer usage and location, as well as browsing data, demographic info, and app usage. Customers can get out of all this by opting out through their account online. Although Verizon says that it’s only collecting and selling the information for marketing purposes, many people just don’t want their information to be tracked on their cell phones at all."

-->The NY Times recently published an article about digital privacy, but strangely didn't mention any of the big telecom companies. Apparently, the huge corporations mining personal data aren't of much concern to our newspaper of record.


LA Times:
"FBI Tracking Videotapers as Terrorists? The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has recommended for many years that animal activists who carry out undercover investigations on farms could be prosecuted as domestic terrorists.

New documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by activist Ryan Shapiro show the FBI advising that activists – including Shapiro – who walked onto a farm, videotaped animals there and 'rescued' an animal had violated terrorism statutes.

The documents, which were first published on Will Potter’s website, Green Is the New Red, were issued by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in 2003 in response to an article in an animal rights publication in which Shapiro and two other activists...openly claimed responsibility for shooting video and taking animals from a farm.

The FBI notes discuss the videotaping, illegal entry and the removal of animals, then concludes with 'there is a reasonable indication that [Subject 1] and other members of the [redacted] have violated the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, 18 USC Section 43 (a).' "

-->This story didn't make it into The NY Times. The widespread description of political activists as "terrorist" by the FBI reveals too much about the fascist state the American Empire is becoming.


Inter Press Service:
"Civil liberties groups and many citizen activists are outraged over language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 (NDAA) that appears to lay the legal groundwork for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial.

David Gespass, president of the National Lawyers Guild, called it an 'enormous attack on the U.S. and our heritage' and a 'significant step' towards fascism, in an interview with IPS.

'For a very long time the U.S. has been moving towards what I personally think of as fascist - the integration of monopoly capital with state power, that's combined with an increased repression at home and greater aggression around the world. I don't think we're there yet, but I do see that we're going in that direction,' Gespass said. 'I think the... act is a significant step in that direction.'

'It's quite severe. If this continues, people will not be able to count on constitutional protections at all,' Debra Sweet, national director of the group World Can't Wait, told IPS."

-->The NY Times coverage of this story falls into the usual pro and con statements of those in power. There is a White House assurance that the bill will "protect the American people," and very little is made of the government's vast assault on citizens' rights. Where is the alarm? It is as if nothing significant had really happened despite the revocation of citizen's rights - established as far back as 1215 with the Magna Carta.

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