Currently viewing the tag: "surveillance"

A libertarian podcast hosted by Lucy Steigerwald: where ranting is optional, and smashing the state is mandatory.

Out panel discussed Hillary Clinton and her emails, or lack thereof (in the FOIA-able sort of way). We also noted the slap on the wrist that Gen. Petraeus received for leaking information, as contrasted with the brutal punishment doled out to to heroic folks like Chelsea Manning. Politicians are the worst, we realized (we realize that every other day, as well). We talked about a new, but very tired argument against libertarianism which was published on Alternet and Salon.com. There was a brief segue about Latin America and liberty, thanks to Gomez, and we definitely wished we knew more about that. We talked about the nature of authority, and we don’t need none of that. And we ended with a prayer to the gods that national treasure Harrison Ford was okay after flying into a golf course.

Host: Lucy Steigerwald, writer for VICE, Antiwar.com, etc.; @lucystag
Panel: Joe Steigerwald, technical website wizard, guitarist for Act of Pardon; @steigerwaldino
Michelle Montalvo; not an intern, sci-fi enthusiast; @michellemntlv
Camilo Gomez: Philosophy student, contributor to Counterpunch and other outlets; @camilomgn
Zachary Yost: Political science student, Young Voices Advocate with Students for Liberty; @ZacharyYost

Behold the third column under “The War at Home” banner. It is about how drones are very scary, but also maybe we shouldn’t just flail and ban them as fast as possible.

As the weekly – sometimes daily – news stories never tire of telling us, domestic drones are coming. And as ABC News reported on March 17, they are arriving faster than the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can suss out the rules over their use. Though it’s technically illegal, and the FAA may issue fines if they catch you, ABC reports that commercial use of drones is starting to happen whether or not the government approves – as long as it doesn’t notice.

In February, the FAA sent a cease and desist letter to the Lakemaid Brewing Company – the beer makers may not use drones to send ice fishermen a six-pack of cold ones. Even for such a charming purpose, their commercial use is banned at least until 2015, when the FAA will issue rules on drone integration into U.S. airspace. The FAA is also currently appealing a judge’s decision rejecting the $10,000 fine it tried to levy against a Virginia filmmaker for unauthorized drone flights. At this point, the US is actually trailing far behind the rest of the world in terms of domestic drones – we’re skittish about their dystopian potential, and our privacy laws are (relatively) strong compared to some.

The rest here

policeLast year, Alex Saleh, a convenience store owner in Miami Gardens, Florida, installed 15 security cameras in and around his shop—but not to protect his business, which is in a rough neighborhood of a rough city, against shoplifting or any other crime. The 36-year-old put in the cameras because his employees and customers were getting bothered so often by the police. Thanks to Saleh, countless incidents of the cops harassing and arresting the neighborhood’s mostly poor, mostly black residents were caught on tape. A Miami Herald story about the cops’ habitual and casual mistreatment of Miami Gardens residents has gone viral (it has 21,000 Facebook likes at the moment), mostly because of the incontrovertible evidence of the cameras and the outrageous details of the harassment.

One of Saleh’s employees, a 28-year-old named Earl Sampson, has been stopped by police 258 times in four years and searched 100 times. He’s been arrested 62 times for just “trespassing,” and most of those incidents happened at the convenience store itself. One arrest, in June 2012, happened while Sampson was stocking shelves. Exactly how many scores of trespassing arrests does it take for Miami Gardens police to remember where someone works?

According to the Herald piece, Saleh initially consented to participate in a “zero-tolerance” program, which meant cops could come into his business and stop or arrest anyone who was loitering or trespassing. But the shopkeeper claims he tried to get out of the program after becoming concerned about how aggressive the police were being, and the cops responded by continuing to harass his customers and workers. Saleh also says that when he first tried to bring evidence of this behavior to internal affairs, several officers came into his store and stood silent for several minutes in what seemed to him to be an attempt at intimidation.

The rest here