Submitted by Mike Krieger of Libertyblitzkrieg
The Obama Administration is Forcing Local Cops to Stay Silent on Surveillance
The criminality of the Obama Administration is at this point almost beyond description. Earlier this week I highlighted a shocking discovery in my post titled: The Obama Administration is Trying to Cover up the VA Scandal by Issuing Subpoenas to Whistle-Blower Sites. In that piece, it was noted that:
Instead, it’s lawyers from the President Barack Obama administration employing the power of the administrative subpoena in a bid to siphon data from POGO’s encrypted submission portal. POGO’s site encourages whistleblowers to use Tor as the gateway and has garnered more than 700 tips about abuse and mismanagement at the US Veterans Administration after less than a month of operation.
The administrative subpoena, which does not require the Fourth Amendment standard of probable cause, comes as the number of so-called drop boxes from media organizations and other whistleblower groups is on the rise in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. The Washington Post and the Guardian were among the latest to deploy drop boxes on June 5. But no matter how securely encrypted the boxes might be, the subpoena is an old-school cracking tool that doesn’t require any electronic decryption methods.
Basically, the feds are so concerned that more truth about the VA scandal will get out there they have resorted to subpoenas to cover up as much as possible. Of course, considering that the entire Administration, and indeed the entire status quo in America, appears to be essentially a criminal syndicate, there is a naturally an endless stream of abuses that must be concealed from the plebs.
One thing that has become entirely clear since the Snowden revelations is the fact that the status quo in both political parties has absolutely zero intent on rolling back unconstitutional surveillance whatsoever. This became completely obvious recently when: Congress Gutted Anti-NSA Spying Bill Beyond Recognition; Original Cosponsor Justin Amash Voted No. Fortunately for those of us interested in transparency, some additional information is starting to come out regarding just how far these crooks are willing to go in order to spy on your every move and conversation.
From the AP, via Yahoo:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned.
Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment.
Yep, there’s that catch-all term again to justify anything, “security.”
Federal involvement in local open records proceedings is unusual. It comes at a time when President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance and called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified federal surveillance programs.
I’ve never, ever, in my life encountered a person who enjoys lying as much as Barack Obama.
One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray, an innovative way for law enforcement to track cellphones used by suspects and gather evidence. The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners’ account information, like a unique subscriber number, and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company’s tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service providers, such as Verizon or AT&T, and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message.
This is how they will bypass the telecom companies. Pure criminality.
Interviews, court records and public-records requests show the Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on. That pushback has come in the form of FBI affidavits and consultation in local criminal cases.
“These extreme secrecy efforts are in relation to very controversial, local government surveillance practices using highly invasive technology,” said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has fought for the release of these types of records. “If public participation means anything, people should have the facts about what the government is doing to them.”
“It’s troubling to think the FBI can just trump the state’s open records law,” said Ginger McCall, director of the open government project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. McCall suspects the surveillance would not pass constitutional muster.
In Sarasota, Florida, the U.S. Marshals Service confiscated local records on the use of the surveillance equipment, removing the documents from the reach of Florida’s expansive open-records law after the ACLU asked under Florida law to see the documents. The ACLU has asked a judge to intervene. The Marshals Service said it deputized the officer as a federal agent and therefore the records weren’t accessible under Florida law.
Most. Transparent. Ever.
Full article here.