Monday, August 9, 2010

Judge OK with government prying into personal information

Government officials who rifle through your personal details held in government databases apparently should have little to fear in the way of punishment, according to a federal judge in Ohio.

U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley has dismissed a complaint brought against Ohio state officials who hunted for details about "Joe the Plumber" when the working man confronted then-candidate Barack Obama during his campaign for the presidency in 2008.

The civil-rights lawsuit was filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of Joe Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," against state officials who, reportedly in their pursuit of support for Obama, had state databases searched for information about Wurzelbacher.

However, Marbley dismissed the action, ruling there was no real damage to Wurzelbacher when officials searched police, social services and other databases for his details.

"The implications of this court decision are frightening," said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. "Essentially the court has said that government officials can feel free to rifle through the private files of citizens without fear of being held accountable in court."

He continued, "How can the American people feel comfortable exercising their First Amendment rights when they may be subject to secret searches by politicized bureaucrats in return? It is unconscionable that high-ranking state officials pried into confidential government files to punish Joe Wurzelbacher for asking a simple question.

"Justice was not served with this decision. Judicial Watch will most certainly file an appeal on behalf of Mr. Wurzelbacher," Fitton said.

The case alleged Ohio officials violated Wurzelbacher's constitutional rights by accessing – illegally – confidential information from the state's official archives of information.

~ more... ~

Man found in WI basement covered in BBQ sauce

As reported by NEWSCHANNEL 3:

A couple in Wisconsin telephoned police in the middle of the night after finding a man in their basement covered head to toe in barbecue sauce. 

"He told the officers that it was urban camouflage," said the homeowner.

The homeowners say they woke up to whistling sounds. The husband grabbed his shotgun and headed toward the basement where he found the sauced-up intruder. He held him at gunpoint until police arrived.

The guy told officers he had covered himself in barbecue sauce because he wanted to hide from the government.

He now faces burglary charges.

U.S. authorities able to tap BlackBerry messaging

The BlackBerry -- renown for the security of its messaging -- doesn't offer 100 percent protection from eavesdropping. At least not in the United States.

U.S. law enforcement officials said they can tap into emails and other conversations made using the device, made by Research in Motion, as long as they have proper court orders.

RIM's willingness to grant authorities access to the messages of its clients is a hot-button issue. The United Arab Emirates claims it does not have the same kind of surveillance rights to BlackBerry messages as officials in the United States. It has threatened to clamp down on some services unless they get more access.

The exact details of the dispute remain unclear, but security experts say that many governments around the world enjoy the ability to monitor BlackBerry conversations as they do communications involving most types of mobile devices.

"The ability to tap communications is a part of surveillance and intelligence and law enforcement all over the world," said Mark Rasch, former head of the computer crimes unit at the U.S. Department of Justice.

~ more... ~

Germany: Radioactive Wild boars increase in number

Radioactive wild boars are on the rise in Germany, where they have attacked and frightened residents, even snarling traffic when they gang up on roadways, according to Spiegel International Online and numerous other media reports over the past couple of weeks.

Their radioactivity stems from Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, which happened way back in 1986, but contaminated much of Europe. Apparently the nuclear contamination is still detectable in some animals, including Germany's wild boars.

The Spiegel report mentions that German government payments compensating hunters for lost income due to radioactive wild boar meat have quadrupled since 2007. Last year alone, $555,000 was paid to hunters who found themselves with inedible boar meat, due to its radioactivity. The hunters would have otherwise sold the meat, but it was deemed unfit for human consumption.

But the problem isn't just radioactivity. Despite the contamination, wild boars are multiplying in record numbers.

"In the last couple of years, wild boar have rapidly multiplied," a spokesman from the Environment Ministry told Spiegel Online. "Not only is there more corn being farmed, but warmer winters have also contributed to a boar boom."

The German Hunting Federation supports this claim. During the 2008/2009 hunting season, approximately 650,000 wild boar were shot, breaking previous records for such kills. Only 287,000 were shot the prior season, suggesting that fewer of these animals were around for the competitive hunters to target.

~ more... ~

CIA flight carried secret from Gitmo

Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman report in an AP exclusive:

A white, unmarked Boeing 737 landed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before dawn on a CIA mission so secretive, many in the nation's war on terrorism were kept in the dark.

Four of the nation's most highly valued terrorist prisoners were aboard.

They arrived at Guantanamo on Sept. 24, 2003, years earlier than the U.S. has ever disclosed. Then, months later, they were just as quietly whisked away before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers.

The transfer allowed the U.S. to interrogate the detainees in CIA "black sites" for two more years without allowing them to speak with attorneys or human rights observers or challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Had they remained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for just three more months, they would have been afforded those rights.

"This was all just a shell game to hide detainees from the courts," said Jonathan Hafetz, a Seton Hall University law professor who has represented several detainees.

Removing them from Guantanamo Bay underscores how worried President George W. Bush's administration was that the Supreme Court might lift the veil of secrecy on the detention program. It also shows how insistent the Bush administration was that terrorists must be held outside the U.S. court system.

Years later, the program's legacy continues to complicate President Barack Obama's efforts to prosecute the terrorists behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The arrival and speedy departure from Guantanamo were pieced together by The Associated Press using flight records and interviews with current and former U.S. officials and others familiar with the CIA's detention program. All spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the program.

Top officials at the White House, Justice Department, Pentagon and CIA consulted on the prisoner transfer, officials said.

"The so-called black sites and enhanced interrogation methods, which were administered on the basis of guidance from the Department of Justice, are a thing of the past," CIA spokesman George Little said.

The American Civil Liberties Union renewed its call for a broad criminal investigation into the detention program Friday.

~ more... ~

Al Franken: Net neutrality is foremost free speech issue of our time

If we learned that the government was planning to limit our First Amendment rights, we'd be outraged. After all, our right to be heard is fundamental to our democracy.

Well, our free speech rights are under assault -- not from the government but from corporations seeking to control the flow of information in America.

If that scares you as much as it scares me, then you need to care about net neutrality.

"Net neutrality" sounds arcane, but it's fundamental to free speech. The internet today is an open marketplace. If you have a product, you can sell it. If you have an opinion, you can blog about it. If you have an idea, you can share it with the world.

And no matter who you are -- a corporation selling a new widget, a senator making a political argument or just a Minnesotan sharing a funny cat video -- you have equal access to that marketplace.

An e-mail from your mom comes in just as fast as a bill notification from your bank. You're reading this op-ed online; it'll load just as fast as a blog post criticizing it. That's what we mean by net neutrality.

But telecommunications companies want to be able to set up a special high-speed lane just for the corporations that can pay for it. You won't know why the internet retail behemoth loads faster than the mom-and-pop shop, but after a while you may get frustrated and do all of your shopping at the faster site. Maybe the gatekeepers will discriminate based on who pays them more. Maybe they will discriminate based on whose political point of view conforms to their bottom line.

~ more... ~

Google
 

image from http://www.spitting-image.net

Favorite Links

~325~ ~9-11...Who Really Did It~ ~10:10~ ~10 Zen Monkeys~ ~911 Truth~ ~13 Indigenous Grandmothers~ ~15O~ ~15th October~ ~Activist Post~ ~ACT UP~ ~Adbusters~ ~Aerogaz (greek)~ ~Afinity Project~ ~Aging Hipsters~ ~Alecto's Ophelia~ ~Al-Jazeera~ ~Alex Constantine's Blacklist~ ~Alliance for Human Research Protection~ ~All Things Cynthia McKinney~ ~All Things Pakistan~ ~Alternative Insight~ ~Alternative Press Review~ ~Alternet~ ~American Friends Service Committee~ ~American Street~ ~Anarkismo~ ~Andy Worthington~ ~Anglican Pacifist Fellowship~ ~Anomaly News Syndicate~ ~Another Day In The Empire~ ~AntiWar~ ~Antiwar League~ ~Anxiety Culture~ ~Appeal For Redress From The War In Iraq~ ~A Poetic Justice~ ~Artists Without Frontiers~ ~Art of Europe~ ~Arts And Letters Daily~ ~Attack the System~ ~Athens IMC~ ~Ballardian~ ~Bilderberg.org~ ~Black Box Voting~ ~BlackListed News~ ~Black Vault~ ~Blog Bioethics net~ ~Blog of the Unknown Writer~ ~Blondsense~ ~Boiling Frog~ ~Boiling Frogs Post~ ~BoingBoing~ ~Book Ninja~ ~Bookslut~ ~Bradley Manning Support Network~ ~Brand New Law~ ~Brainsturbator~ ~Bring Them Home Now~ ~Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing~ ~Buckminster Fuller Institute~ ~Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists~ ~Bureau of Public Secrets~ ~Business & Human Rights Resource Centre~ ~Buzzflash~ ~Campaign For Real Farming~ ~Catapult the Propaganda~ ~Campus Antiwar Network~ ~Cargo Culte~ ~Castan Centre for Human Rights Law~ ~Catch of the Day~ ~Censorship Paradise~ ~Center for Media and Democracy~ ~Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan~ ~Centre for Research and Action for Peace~ ~Center on Law and Security~ ~Chapati Mystery~ ~Choike~ ~Chomsky.info~ ~Chronicle of Higher Education~ ~Church of the FSM~ ~CIA & Drugs~ ~Citizens for Legitimate Government~ ~Citizens for Tax Justice~ ~Clandestina~ ~CODEPINK~ ~Coilhouse mag~ ~Collateral Murder~ ~Common Dreams~ ~Complete 9/11 Timeline~ ~Concerned Africa Scholars~ ~Connexions~ ~Conspiracy Archive~ ~Contra Info~ ~Corrente~ ~COTO Report~ ~Coup d'Etat in America~ ~Countercurrents~ ~Crapaganda~ ~Create Real Democracy~ ~Creative-i~ ~Crimes of the State~ ~CrimethInc~ ~Crisis Group~ ~Critical Legal Thinking~ ~Cronache da Mileto (Italian)~ ~Crooks and Liars~ ~Crowd Modelling~ ~Cryptoforestry~ ~Cryptome~ ~Cyclos~ ~Culture Change~ ~Cutting Through The Matrix~ ~Cyrano's Journal~ ~Daily What~ ~Damn Interesting~ ~Dangerous Minds~ ~Deliberative Democracy Consortium~ ~Democracy Center~ ~Democracy Journal~ ~Democracy Now~ ~Democratic Underground~ ~Detournement~ ~Digital Rights [greek lang.]~ ~Diplomacy Lessons~ ~Direct Power!~ ~Discoveries-Researchings-Visions-Understandings-Enlightenments~ ~Disinformation~ ~DistributorCap NY~ ~Dr Hugo Heyrman-Motions of the Mind~ ~Dylanology~ ~EAGAINST~ ~Earthnocentric~ ~Eco Tort~ ~Ectoplasmosis!~ ~Educate Yourself~ ~E-Flux~ ~Electronic Frontier Foundation~ ~Electronic Intifada~ ~Eliminate War Forever~ ~End Evil~ ~Energy Bulletin~ ~Eradicating Ecocide~ ~EROCx1 Blog~
~Europeanrevolution~ ~European Revolution~ ~Eurozine~ ~Exposing the Truth~ ~Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond~ ~Families of the Fallen for Change~ ~Fellowship of Reconciliation~ ~Financial Armageddon~ ~FKN Newz~ ~Food For Your Eyes~ ~Forward the Revolution~ ~Franchot's Band~ ~Free Bloggers in Greece~ ~Free Expression Network~ ~Free Press International~ ~Freethinking for Dummies~ ~Free Thought Manifesto~ ~From the Wilderness~ ~F-t-W's Peak Oil Blog~ ~G1000~ ~Ghostdancing in Venice~ ~GIMP~ ~Gilles Duley~ ~Global Guerillas~ ~Global Integrity~ ~Global Policy Forum~ ~Global Revolution~ ~Global Security Institute~ ~Global Voices Online~ ~Gold Star Families for Peace~ ~Government Dirt~ ~Greek Alert [greek lang.]~ ~Greek Assembly in London~ ~Green Left Weekly~ ~Groklaw~ ~Hack Democracy~ ~Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy~ ~Hiroshima Peace Institute~ ~History Is A Weapon Blog~ ~How Appealing~ ~How To Vanish~ ~Human Rights Law Review~ ~I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy!~ ~Idler~ ~Impropaganda~ ~Independent Media Center~ ~INIREF~ ~Institute for Media Peace and Security~ ~International Action Center~ ~International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)~ ~In These Times~ ~Information Clearing House~ ~Information Liberation~ ~Infoshop~ ~Institute for Policy Studies~ ~Institute for War and Peace Reporting~ ~Insurgent American~ ~Intel Hub~ ~International Labor Rights Forum~ ~Intrinsic Impact~ ~Invisible History~ ~Iraq Citizens Against the War~ ~Iraq Freedom Congress~ ~Iraq Veterans Against the War~ ~Irish Peace Institute~ ~Issues and Alibis~ ~James Howard Kunstler~ ~Jesus Radicals~ ~John Zerzan~ ~Jorgen Schäfer's Homepage~ ~JUST~ ~Just For The Love Of It~ ~Justice Not Vengeance~ ~Kasama Project~ ~Keep Talking Greece~ ~Kia Mistilis~ ~Kill Me If You Can by Bob Miller~ ~Killer Coke~ ~Labor Rights~ ~Labor Rights Now~ ~Labour Start~ ~Lava Cocktail~ ~Lemon Gloria~ ~Lemony Snicket~ ~L'ennui mélodieux~ ~Lessig~ ~Liberation Theology~ ~Libertarians for Peace~ ~Life After the Oil Crash~ ~Life & Peace Institute~ ~Lunch Street Party~ ~Lycaeum~ ~Links by George~ ~Literary Kicks~ ~Lubinproductions~ ~MacNN~ ~Mad Cow Morning News~ ~Manageable Ants~ ~Mario Profaca's Cyberspace Station~ ~Maro Kouri~ ~Maud Newton~ ~May it Please the Court~ ~McSpotlight~ ~Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture~ ~Metta Center for Nonviolence~ ~Metanoia~ ~Michael Moore - Must Read~ ~Mind Control~ ~Military Families Speak Out~ ~Mind in Peace (greek)~ ~Miss Welby~ ~MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence~ ~Molly's Blog~ ~Mother Jones~ ~MungBeing Magazine~ ~MyAntiwar.org~ ~n +1 mag~ ~National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee~ ~Natural Farming~ ~Neatorama~ ~Neuromarketing~ ~Neurosecurity~ ~New Internationalist~ ~News Dissector~ ~News Frames~ ~News Making News~ ~News Now~ ~New Tactics in Human Rights~ ~New World Dawning~ ~NEXUS~ ~NFAK~ ~Nomadic Academy Of Fools~ ~Non Fides~ ~Noor Images~ ~Not In Our Name~ ~Not Stupid~ ~Nuclear Resister~ ~NUTOPIA2~ ~[Occupy] 2012 Scenario~ ~Occupy America Social Network~ ~OCCUPY Cafe~ ~Occupy Istanbul~ ~Occupy Together~ ~Occupy Together Field Manual~ ~OWS~ ~Occupy Writers~ ~October 2011~ ~Odious Debts~ ~ODYS~ ~Olmaz~ ~On the Path to 2012~ ~Op Ed News~ ~Open Letters to George W. Bush from his ardent admirer,Belacqua Jones~ ~Open Revolt!~ ~Open Source Ecology~ ~Orthodox Peace Fellowship~ ~Orwell Today~ ~Outlaw Journalism~ ~OWNI~ ~Patriots Question 9/11~ ~Peace in Mind (greek)~ ~PeaceJam~ ~Peace Now~ ~Peaceful Tomorrows~ ~Peak Moment~ ~People's Assemblies Network~ ~Peter Frase~ ~Photography is Not a Crime~ ~Picture the Homeless~ ~Pieman~ ~Places the U.S. has bombed~ ~Pogo Was Right - privacy news~ ~Political Reform.ie~ ~Post Carbon Institute~ ~Praxis Peace Institute~ ~Primate Poetics~ ~Prisoner Solidarity~ ~Professors question 9/11~ ~Project Camelot~ ~Project Censored~ ~Project for the Old American Century~ ~Project on Corporations, Law and Democracy~ ~Psyche, Science and Society~ ~Psychogeography~ ~Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility~ ~Radical Anthropology~ ~Rainbow Family~ ~RawStory~ ~Reality Sandwich~ ~Real Democacy GR~ ~Real Democracy Now.net~ ~Rebel Dog~ ~Reflections on a Revolution~ ~Reporters Without Borders~ ~Re-public~ ~Resistance Studies Magazine~ ~Resource Based Economy Foundation~ ~Re-volt Radio~ ~Richard Heinberg's Museletter~ ~Rockefeller's War on Drugs~ ~Ruckus Society~ ~Sacred Texts~ ~Salon~ ~Save Orphan Works~ ~Scholars and Rogues~ ~Scoop~ ~SCOTUS Blog~ ~Secrecy News~ ~Service Academy Graduates Against the War~ ~Shadow Government Statistics~ ~Signs of the Times News~ ~Slovenia Peace Institute~ ~Smirking Chimp~ ~smygo~ ~SNU Project~ ~Soil And Health Library~ ~SourceWatch~ ~Speaking Truth to Power~ ~Spirit Horse Foundation~ ~Spunk~ ~Squattastic~ ~Starhawk~ ~Stockholm International Peace Research Institute~ ~StopCartel TV-GR~ ~Stop The Arms Fair~ ~Stop the Spying.org~ ~Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness~ ~Students Against War~ ~Survival Acres~ ~Survival International~ ~Swan's Commentary~ ~Take The Square~ ~Tangible Information~ ~Tax Justice Network~ ~Tax Research UK~ ~Theatre of the Oppressed~ ~The Black Commentator~ ~The Black Vault~ ~The Borowitz Report~ ~The Carpetbagger Report~ ~The Center for Public Integrity~ ~The Daily Reckoning~ ~The Dark Age Blog~ ~The Digger Archives~ ~The End of Being~ ~The Guardian~ ~The Hidden Evil~ ~The Huffington Post~ ~The Intelligence Daily~ ~The Lazy Man's Guide To Enlightenment~ ~The Mountain Sentinel~ ~The Nation~ ~The National Security Archive~ ~The New Z-Land Project~ ~The Other Israel~ ~The Pathology Guy~ ~The Progress Report~ ~The Progressive Magazine~ ~The Real News~ ~The Situation Room~ ~The Truth Seeker~ ~ The Watcher Files~ ~Think Progress~ ~Third World Traveller~ ~This Land Is Ours~ ~This Modern World~ ~TomDispatch~ ~Total Collapse~ ~Total Dick-Head~ ~Transform!~ ~Transnational Institute~ ~Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research~ ~True Democracy~ ~Troops Out Now~ ~True Democracy Party~ ~Truthdig~ ~Truth News~ ~Truthout~ ~TW3 and fotografia la dolce vita~ ~Uncommon Thought~ ~United for Peace & Justice~ ~United States Institute of Peace~ ~Unknown News~ ~UNPA Campaign~ ~Urbanibalism~ ~US Labor Against the War~ ~VBS TV~ ~Veterans Against the Iraq War~ ~Veterans for Peace and Justice~ ~Video Rebel's Blog~ ~Vietnam Veterans Against the War~ ~Virusmyth - Rethinking AIDS~ ~visionOntv~ ~Voices for Creative Non-Violence~ ~Void Network~ ~Voice Memo~ ~Voters for Peace~ ~Waging Nonviolence~ ~Waking the Midnight Sun~ ~Want To Know~ ~War Costs~ ~War Crimes and Military Improprieties~ ~War Criminals Watch~ ~War on Society~ ~War is Illegal~ ~War Resisters International~ ~War Resisters League~ ~Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi?~ ~Watergate Exposed~ ~West Point Graduates Against The War~ ~What Really Happened~ ~What’s On My Food?~ ~Why Work? Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery~ ~Wikileaks~ ~WikiLeaks Central~ ~Wild Wild Left~ ~willyloman~ ~Winning Cancer~ ~Win Without War~ ~Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)~ ~Wonkette~ ~World Prout Assembly~ ~Worldwide Hippies~ ~Yes Lab~ ~Yippie Museum~ ~Young Protester~ ~Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR)~ ~Zapatistas~ ~Zine Library~ ~Zippy Elder-at-Large~ ~ZMag~
~ Thank you for visiting Circle of 13 ~

FAIR USE NOTICE

This blog may contain videos with copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.