Corp Watch – by Pratap Chatterjee

Glimmerglass, a northern California company that sells optical fiber technology, offers government agencies a software product called “CyberSweep” to intercept signals on undersea cables. The company says their technology can analyze Gmail and Yahoo! Mail as well as social media like Facebook and Twitter to discover “actionable intelligence.”

Could this be the technology that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is using to tap global communications? The company says it counts several intelligence agencies among its customers but refuses to divulge details. One thing is certain – it is not the only company to offer such capabilities – so if such data mining is not already taking place, that day is not far off.   Continue reading “Glimmerglass Intercepts Undersea Cable Traffic for Spy Agencies”


For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans’ phone calls — parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency’s hotly disputed collection of phone call logs.    Continue reading “DEA circumvents the Fourth Amendment by spying on Americans phone calls without a warrant”


Facebook is considering incorporating most of its 1 billion-plus members’ profile photos into its growing facial recognition database, expanding the scope of the social network’s controversial technology.

The possible move, which Facebook revealed in an update to its data use policy on Thursday, is intended to improve the performance of its “Tag Suggest” feature. The feature uses facial recognition technology to speed up the process of labeling or “tagging” friends and acquaintances who appear in photos posted on the network.   Continue reading “Big Brother’s reach extends far beyond Facebook’s facial recognition announcement”


International growth trends in prison privatization study: 

As the growth of the U.S. prison population has stalled, American private prison companies have expanded their reach across the globe, operating prisons and detention centers in at least 11 countries, according to a new report by The Sentencing Project, a non-profit advocacy group.    Continue reading “America’s private prison companies have expanded across the globe”


Florida – The man suspected of shooting and killing a Manchester man at a downtown nightclub this month was arrested while on a Disney vacation in Florida, police said. 

Mike Cruz, 23, whose last known address was in East Hartford, was seen poolside in Orlando, Fla. Friday and later taken into custody by U.S. federal marshals and members of a fugitive task force. The task force works with the Hartford police Major Crimes Division.   Continue reading “Did Disney World’s biometrics program identify a suspected murderer in its park?”


California – A week after Oakland police held a news conference to draw attention to Mayor Jean Quan’s primary crime-fighting strategy, authorities refused to identify eight men they arrested as part of the program or say what crimes the suspects are accused of committing.

Police said that identifying the eight, arrested Aug. 14 and 15 as part of the Operation Ceasefire initiative to fight violence in Oakland, would harm their investigation and could put the suspects at risk of retaliation from rival groups. Operation Ceasefire seeks to curb violence by offering social services and support to members of gangs or cliques.   Continue reading “NDAA warnings coming true: Police arrest 8 citizens refuse to identify the men they arrested or say what crimes the suspects are accused of committing”


London, Ohio – Without informing the public and without first reviewing security rules for the system, Ohio law enforcement officers started using facial recognition technology more than two months ago, scanning databases of driver’s license photos and police mug shots to identify crime suspects, The Enquirer has learned.   Continue reading “What you’re not being told: 1/2 of the states have entered your DMV photo into a facial technology database”

Papers Please

California’s legislature is considering a bill to authorize adding radio tracking beacons to drivers licenses and state non-driver ID cards.

Each such card would broadcast a unique tracking number which could legally be intercepted by anyone with a suitable radio transceiver within range, and which would be linked to a national DHS database of drivers license, state ID card, and citizenship information.   Continue reading “California considers “enhancing” drivers licenses with radio tracking beacons”

ICIJ's offshore tax havens investigationICIJ – by Gerard Ryle, Marina Walker Guevara, Michael Hudson, Nicky Hager, Duncan Campbell and Stefan Candea

Dozens of journalists sifted through millions of leaked records and thousands of names to produce ICIJ’s investigation into offshore secrecy ­

A cache of 2.5 million files has cracked open the secrets of more than 120,000 offshore companies and trusts, exposing hidden dealings of politicians, con men and the mega-rich the world over.   Continue reading “Secret Files Expose Offshore’s Global Impact”

NDAA warnings coming true: Police arrest 8 citizens, refuse to identify the men they arrested, or say what crimes the suspects are accused of committing.

San Francisco Chronicle – by Will Kane

A week after Oakland police held a news conference to draw attention to Mayor Jean Quan‘s primary crime-fighting strategy, authorities refused to identify eight men they arrested as part of the program or say what crimes the suspects are accused of committing.   Continue reading “Secrecy in Oakland on crime-fighting strategy”

800px Harvesting soybeans U.S. Government Agencies and Politicians Lobby for the Use of Genetically Modified Seeds in RomaniaNew England Center for Investigative Reporting – by Vlad Odobescu

In March of this year, the lower Chamber of the Romanian Parliament hosted a crucial vote that would impact the future of local biotech agriculture in the Eastern European country. A draft law calling for a ban on growing, importing and marketing of products containing genetically modified organisms was soundly rejected – 218 opposed, 72 in favor.

Most of the politicians who proposed the law in 2010 were now against it. Four days before the vote, the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Embassy in Bucharest expressed its concern about the pending decision in a report to the US Department of Agriculture: “If approved, the new draft law would clearly place at risk biotech seeds producers (…).”   Continue reading “U.S. Government Agencies and Politicians Lobby for the Use of Genetically-Modified Seeds in Romania”