Pledge of Allegiance
MOMENT OF SILENCE
rian Glenn Brewer, HAMC Dago. Died June 19th at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego.
He died alone.
Announcements and Events
Nov 23: MMA Toy Run Pre
Nov 24: MMA Toy Run
Dec 8: Swap Meet
Next Confederation of Clubs Meeting
Sunday, July 21
Calls to Action
(carried over from June)
USD, H.R. 1861 Entitled Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act.
Introduced on May 7th.
As you know, Californians recently pa
ssed AB1047 that expressly prohibits a local or state law
enforcement agency receiving grant money for a motorcyclist program from using that money
for the implementation of motorcycles
The passage of this bill was greatly due to the ou
tpouring of support from the US
Defenders/COIR and MROs throughout the state.
Now, on a federal level Congressman James Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin) filed a bill to prohibit
the federal funding of motorcycles
only roadside checkpoints.
Checkpoint Funding Act
What is the bill about?
The US Defenders/C.O.I.R. reports that Congressman James Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin) filed a bill on
Tuesday, May 7th to prohibit the federal funding of motorcycle only roadside checkpoints.
The bill, H.R. 1861
, has nine original co
sponsors however; we need many more to pass this landmark
Sensenbrenner had this to say in a
'Dear Colleague letter'
that is circulating in the House of Representatives:
'In the 112th Congress, I introduced H.R. 904, a
bill to prohibit the Department of Transportation (DOT) from
providing funds to state and local authorities for the purpose of creating motorcycle only checkpoints. Section one of the
Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act contains the same language as H.R
. 904. However, this bill also contains
language to force the DOT to focus motorcycle safety efforts on crash prevention programs, not national helmet mandates.'
It's important to contact your sitting member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
and ask them to be
sponsor of this Bill. Ask them to contact Congressman James Sensenbrenner and lend their
support as a co
sponsor of H.R. 1861.
How do I do it?
can contact the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at
following is a
sample conversation with your Representative:
"Hello my name is
I am calling you to a
sk that you co
sponsor and support Jim Sensenbrenner's Bill H.R. 1861 Entitled Stop Motorcycle
Checkpoint Funding Act introduced on May 7th. As a concerned taxpaying citizen I would
appreciate your support on this meaningful piece of legislation."
You can also go to:
, enter your zip code to
Representative and email them directly.
Simply copy and paste the sample conversat
the body of your email and you’re done.
Be certain to add your name and address.
Confederation of Clubs
Topics of discussion
The "Profiling of Motorcycle Riders" bill
civil rights movement?
Testing the waters: Exhaust Pipes (sb435) and Motorcycle Only Checkpoints (ab1047)
FEDERAL RULE WILL REQUIRE A “BLACK BOX” IN NEW VEHICLES
Congress failed to pass legislation that would have required manufacturers to install event data
ers (EDRs) in all new vehicles, so a federal safety agency is using its rulemaking authority to
mandate that all new cars sold in the United States be equipped with so
capable of capturing what happened in the moments before and durin
g a crash.
Citing privacy concerns,
House Republicans had succeeded in removing a Senate provision
requiring EDRs from the final transportation bill last year, so the Obama administration is
bypassing the legislative process in favor of the administrati
Insisting the devices are meant for crash investigation purposes, and not for invading privacy, the
U.S. DOT National Traffic Safety Administration mandate will require all automobiles and light
trucks manufactured after
September 1, 2014
ve an EDR device that stores driving
information for federal investigators.
Automotive EDRs are similar to
though not nearly as sophisticated as
the black boxes used in
commercial airliners, and they are already installed in nearly 92% of today's
vehicles, according to
industry officials, and provide important information for industry engineers and, in some
circumstances, law enforcement authorities.
But Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Analysis called the move “an
ented breach of privacy for Americans.” Cooper said that contrary to what is being
claimed, EDRs “can and will track the comings and goings of car owners and even their
and what they can record is virtually unlimited.
In the meantime,
. Representatives Mike Capuano (D
MA) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R
have announced their intentions to introduce the “Black Box Privacy Protection Act” that will protect
drivers’ and riders’ rights by requiring dealers to disclose to consumers if a vehicle
is equipped with
an EDR, would require manufacturers to allow consumers to deactivate the device, and clarifies
that the owner of the vehicle owns the data and it cannot be accessed without permission.
"Consumers should have control over the information
collected by event data recorders in vehicles
that they own and they should have the option of disabling the device if they choose to do so. This
is a basic issue of privacy," said Rep. Capuano.
DESPITE MEDIA HYPE, MOTORCYCLING IS SAFER
Record numbers of
motorcycles over the past few years have resulted in an increased number of
annual motorcyclist fatalities, and in light of overall motor vehicle fatalities steadily decreasing gives
the impression that motorcycling is becoming more dangerous, but just th
e opposite is true.
called safety experts point to more and more states relaxing their helmet laws as the root
of all this evil, it’s in fact a numbers game that motorcycle enthusiasts are winning.
Over the past five years, since 2007 when t
here were just over seven million motorcycles in the
U.S., motorcycle registrations nationwide have ballooned to eight and a half million; an increase of
15% more motorcycles on the road today, while at the same time fatalities per 100,000 registered
cycles has actually decreased by nearly a quarter!
Moreover, over the past decade
motorcycle registrations have risen 40.7% (from 5,004,156 in 2002 to 8,437,502 in 2011), but the
fatality rate dropped 17.3% (from 65.35 per 100K to 54.66).
Check out the
most current statistics acquired by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (
from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System
(FARS), compared to motorcycle registration numbers found on the U.S. DOT Federa
Registered Motorcycles / Rider Fatalities = Fatality Rate per 100,000 Motorcycles
7,138,476 / 5,174 = 72.48
7,752,926 / 5,312 = 68.52
7,929,724 / 4,469 = 56.35
8,009,503 / 4,518 = 56.4
8,437,502 / 4,612 = 54.66
**NOTE: According to these data analyzed by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, motorcycle
registrations have increased 15.4% over the past five years, while fatalities decreased by 10.9%
and the fatality rate declin
ed 24.6%...why isn’t the news media reporting THESE facts?
HONDA & BMW EXPERIMENT WITH “AUTONOMOUS MOTORCYCLE”
Most connected vehicle technologies have focused squarely on the car, but BMW and Honda are
working to develop autonomous driving technologies
that work on two wheels. Both BMW and
Honda have already added plenty of connectivity to their cars, but now the two automotive giants
are working with the University of Michigan and Australian startup Cohda Wireless to put
networking smarts into their mot
based Cohda designs radio systems and software that will not only link nearby vehicles
on the road to each other, but also to the road itself. The idea behind its autonomous car
technology is to create an ever
of vehicles communicating their
intentions and interacting with the infrastructure of the road.
Known as vehicle
vehicle (V2V) and vehicle
infrastructure (V2I), these technologies could
help power self
driving cars of the future. The University of
Michigan Transportation Institute
(UMTRI) runs one of the key test
beds for that technology, and its lab is running an ongoing trial of
3,000 connected vehicles in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is where Honda and BMW will put their
connected motorcycles through
the paces, according to a report on GigaOM.com.
Motorcycles may not have much room on their instrument panels for the connected infotainment
systems going into today’s cars, but they could definitely benefit from any technology that makes
mounting a mo
torcycle safer, and one of the major goals of V2I and V2V efforts is to reduce
accidents and improve safety on the road. Vehicles could make quicker and better driving
decisions than drivers because they would be able to access more info from the networks
them and react to it nearly instantaneously (they’re also less easily distracted than human drivers).
As for motorcycle applications, Cohda and UMTRI plan to test technologies that let bikes talk to
traffic lights, roadside beacons and other cars
, warning them of green lights about to turn red and
dangerous curves ahead requiring them to slow down.
By using a long
range secure form of Wi
a motorcycle could communicate with a car long before the drivers can see one another as they
a blind intersection.
Previously, a riderless motorcycle was developed in 2005 by graduate students from UC Berkeley
to compete in a 150
road race for autonomous vehicles to further develop self
vehicles for the Department of Defens
POPE BLESSES HARLEYS& RIDERS
Thousands of Harley riders from around the world were blessed by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s
Square on Sunday, June 16 as one of the stops in a worldwide celebration of the famous
motorcycle maker's 110th anniversary, whic
h will roar across 11 countries before concluding in
Milwaukee over Labor Day Weekend.
Choral music mixed with revving engines as the Holy Father blessed a sea of Harley
motorcycles and riders from all parts of the planet flocking to Italy over
the weekend of June 13
to celebrate Harley
Davidson’s milestone, and earlier
in the weekend festivities, the leader of the
Roman Catholic Church was presented with two white classic Harley
Davidson motorcycles for use
by Papal police and his own black
Black Box Privacy Protection Act
On June 18, U.S. Reps.
, the Black Box Privacy Protection Act.
he bill will protect motorcyclists’ rights by requiring manufacturers to prominently disclose
to consumers if an event data recorder (commonly known as a black box) is installed on their
motorcycle, the data collection capabilities of such a device, and ho
w such data may be used.
The bill clarifies that the owner of the motorcycle owns the data and it may not be accessed
without the permission of the owner. Furthermore, this bill requires that manufacturers
provide consumers with the option of controlling t
he recording function in automobiles or
motorcycles manufactured in the future that are equipped with black boxes.
In other words, consumers would have the ability to turn the black box on or off.
Currently, no federal law exists that clarifies the rights
of vehicle owners to ownership of the
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking requiring black boxes in all cars manufactured after
Sept. 1, 2014
. The NHTSA
already has disclosure requirem
ents, but the Black Box Privacy Protection Act would make
the disclosure more prominent and give consumers even greater choice and privacy
The American Motorcyclist Association protects motorcyclists’ freedom to ride and we
support this bipart
isan bill. If you are concerned that your insurer will selectively use data
from a black box recorder to increase your rates, or that recorded data may be used to target
you in a civil or criminal proceeding, then you
should urge your
esentative to support the Black Box Privacy Protection Act.
Be sure to follow the "Take Action" option to send a pre
written email directly to your
Governor Rick Perry Signs a Pair of Bills Upholding Fourth
Texas Governor Rick Pe
rry signed a bill into law June 14 that curtails the power of law
enforcement and government to use drones to conduct surveillance on the citizens of the
Lone Star State.
the Texas Privacy Act
charges with a Class C misdemeanor any private or
public entity that “uses an unmanned aircraft to capture an image of an individual or privately
owned real property in this state with the intent to condu
surveillance on the individual or
property captured in the image.”
The bill was passed by an impressive majority of state legislators. On
, the state
House of Representatives approved the measure 119
11. The state Senate followed suit a
, passing the bill by a vote of 29
While the bill is a laudable attempt to shore up the “right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” as protected
Fourth Amendment to the Constitution
, there are numerous exceptions to the drone
Law enforcement, for example, may deploy drones in the “immediate pursuit of a person”
have “reasonable suspicion or probable cause to suspect has committed an offense.”
Other exceptions protect images captured by drone “by or for an electric or natural gas
utility”; “for purposes of professional or scholarly research”; and as permitted by t
owner of the property under surveillance.
While those exceptions are arguably reasonable, there are others that seem to leave a very
large loophole in the law that military and spy drones can fly through to the detriment of
on 423.002 exempts from the law all drone flights and surveillance conducted by the
Federal Aviation Administration “for the purpose of integrating unmanned aircraft systems
into the national airspace”; as well, any drone deployment that is “part of an ope
exercise, or mission of any branch of the United States military.”
Given the federal government’s rapid acceleration of the growth of the surveillance state and
the transformation of citizens into suspects, it seems that the Texas bill, while comme
fails to sufficiently nullify the frequent unconstitutional federal assaults on the fundamental
liberties protected by the Constitution.
With Governor Perry’s signature on HB 912, Texas now joins Idaho, Virginia, Florida,
Montana, and Tennessee on
the list of states that have enacted laws regulating the use of
drones in their sovereign skies.
The New American
has reported, the Idaho law reinforces "the right of the people to be
secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreaso
nable searches and
seizures” by amending the Idaho code. Specifically, the law imposes new restrictions on the
use of drones by government or law enforcement, particularly when it comes to the gathering
of evidence and surveillance of private property.
uld police in Idaho try to submit in court evidence illegally obtained by drone, they would
find themselves running headlong into Section 5, which directs that “no information obtained
or collected in violation of the provisions of this act may be admissib
le as evidence in a
criminal proceeding in any court of law in the state or in an administrative hearing.”
In April, Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed into law the Freedom From Unwarranted
Surveillance Act. The law in the Sunshine State forbids federal
agents “from using a drone to
gather evidence or other information” on citizens of Florida. Should a state citizen be the
target of an unlawful search and seizure in violation of this bill, he or she would be
authorized “to initiate a civil action in orde
r to prevent or remedy” that violation.
FBI sharply increases use of Patriot Act provision to collect
US citizens' records
OFF THE WIRE
By Michael Isi
National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
The FBI has dramatically increased its use of a controversial provision of the Patriot Act to
secretly obtain a vast store of business records of U.S. citizens under President Barack
Obama, according to r
ecent Justice Department reports to Congress. The bureau filed 212
requests for such data to a national security court last year
percent increase from
the number of such requests four years earlier, the reports show.
The FBI’s increased use of th
e Patriot Act’s “business records” provision
and the wide
ranging scope of its requests
is getting new scrutiny in light of last week’s disclosure that
that the provision was used to obtain a top
secret national security order requiring
ions companies to turn
over records of millions of telephone calls.Taken
together, experts say, those revelations show the government has broadly interpreted the
Patriot Act provision as enabling it to collect data not just on specific individuals, but on
millions of Americans with no suspected terrorist connections. And it shows that the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court
accepted that broad interpretation of the law.
“That they were using this (provision) to do mass collection of data is definitel
y the biggest
surprise,” said Robert Chesney, a top national security lawyer at the University of Texas Law
School. “Most people who followed this closely were not aware they were doing this.
gone from producing records for a particular investigatio
n to the production of all records for
a massive pre
collection database. It’s incredibly sweeping.”
The Justice Department and FBI did not respond to requests for comment. But in a recent
interview with NBC News, Director of National Intelligence James
Clapper dismissed the
idea that the records were being used to spy on innocent Americans. “The notion that we’re
trolling through everyone’s emails and voyeuristically reading them, or listening to
everyone’s phone calls is, on its face, absurd,” he said.
“We couldn’t do that even if we
noticed statements by FBI Director Robert Mueller in recent years
as well as
interviews with former senior law enforcement officials
hint at what Chesney calls a largely
unnoticed “sea change” in t
he way the U.S. government collects data for terrorism and other
national security investigations.
The Patriot Act provision, known as Section 215, allows the FBI to require the production of
business records and any other “tangible things”
ooks, records, papers,
documents and other items,” for an authorized terrorism or foreign intelligence investigation.
The Patriot Act was a broad expansion of law enforcement powers enacted by Congress with
overwhelming bipartisan support in the aftermath
of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In
addition to Section 215, other provisions expanded the FBI’s power to issue so
“national security letters,” requiring individuals and business to turn over a more limited set
of records without any court
order at all.
In contrast to standard grand jury subpoenas, material obtained under both Section 215 orders
and national security letters must be turned over under so
called “gag orders” that forbid the
business or institution that receives the order from
notifying its customers or publicly
referring to the matter.
From the earliest days of the Patriot Act, Section 215 was among the most hotly disputed of
its provisions. Critics charged the language
was so broad that it would
ermit the FBI to obtain library and bookstore records to inspect what citizens were
Ashcroft confronted criticism
Largely to tamp down those concerns, then
Attorney General John Ashcroft declassified
information about the FBI’s use of the provisio
n in September 2003, saying in a statement
that “the number of times Section 215 has been used to date is zero.” Ashcroft added that he
was releasing the information “to counter the troubling amount of public distortion and
misinformation” about Section 21
But in the years since, the FBI’s use of Section 215 quietly exploded, with virtually no public
notice or debate. In 2009, as part of an annual report to Congress, the Justice Department
reported there had been 21 applications for business records to th
e Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court (FISC) under Section 215
all of which were granted, though nine were
modified by the court. (The reports do not explain how or why the orders were modified.)
In 2010, the number of requests jumped to 205 (all aga
in granted, with 176 modified.) In the
latest report filed on April 30, the department reported there had been 212 such requests in
all approved by the court, but 200 of them modified.
These sharp increase in the use of Section 215 has drawn little
attention until now because the
number of national security letters (NSLs) issued by the bureau has been so much greater
15,229 in 2012. But FBI Director Mueller, in little
noticed written responses to Congress two
years ago, explained that the bureau w
as encountering resistance from telecommunications
companies in turning over “electronic communication transaction” records in response to
national security letters.
“Beginning in late 2009, certain electronic communications service providers no longer
ored NSLs to obtain” records because of what their lawyers cited as “an ambiguity” in the
law. (What Mueller didn’t say was this came at a time when all the major
telecommunications companies were still facing lawsuits over their cooperation with the
nment on surveillance programs.) As a result, Mueller said, the FBI had switched over
to demanding the same data under Section 215. “This change accounts for a significant
increase in the volume of business records requests,” Mueller wrote.
What was not e
xplained at the time, Chesney notes, is that the FBI was using the Section 215
requests to obtain a broad array of records. For example, a top
last week by the Guardian
showed that the FBI had
used a single Section 215 request to
to turn over “all call detail records or telephony metadata’’ of its customers
for a three month period, literally millions of records.
ing they wanted to put an end to “secret law,
eight U.S. senators
led by Sens. Jeff
Ore., and Mike Lee, R
on Tuesday introduced a bill to require the
Justice Department to declassify national security court decisions that have permitte
d the use
of the “business records” provision for such purposes.
That followed a court filing Monday by
the American Civil Liberties Union and allied groups
asking the surveillance court to release its classified legal opinions question that have allowed
he expanded use of Section 215.
The motion, filed “pursuant to the First Amendment,” the ACLU states, and under rules that,
in some circumstances, permit petitions to the FISC, also cites statements by two
U.S. senators, Ron Wyden of Oregon and
Mark Udall of Colorado, and Obama to justify
NTSB RECOMMENDS LOWERING DRUNK
DRIVING LIMIT TO .05
The National Transportation Safety Board has issued a recommendation that states lower
driving thresholds from a 0.08 blood
cohol content to 0.05 BAC. The
recommendation is one of several the NTSB made to curtail drunk driving, which the federal
investigative agency claims is involved in a third of America’s 34,000 traffic deaths each
year. The agency acknowledged in its report
there is no one "silver bullet," but estimated that
500 to 800 lives per year could be saved with the proposed lower limit.
Chairman Deborah Hersman admitted the NTSB is aiming even higher; "Reaching zero
deaths from alcohol
one agrees. "This recommendation is ludicrous," said Sarah Longwell, managing
director of the American Beverage Institute. "Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize
perfectly responsible behavior.
Currently, all 50 states have set a BAC level of .08, th
ough most countries in Europe
including Russia, most of South America and Australia, have set BAC levels at .05 to
constitute drunken driving.
The NTSB only makes recommendations on transportation safety issues, and has little actual
regulatory power. It
will be up to federal agencies, Congress and state lawmakers to take
action. The last move from .10 to .08 BAC
OHIO LAWMAKERS CALL FOR BAN ON TRAFFIC CAMERAS
Following a biting ruling by a judge who called traffic cameras a scam, legislation was
on February 20th in Columbus, Ohio by Representative Ron Maag (R
to eliminate the use of photo monitoring devices to detect speed and traffic signal violations.
He and Rep. Dale Mallory (D
Cincinnati), one of many bipartisan co
removal of “speed
trap” cameras is necessary and must be addressed immediately since there
is no existing state law regulating traffic enforcement cameras, so communities operate their
programs under local ordinances.
line stance against th
e cameras comes on the heels of Hamilton County Common
Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman’s permanent injunction, which prohibits the further use
of speed cameras in Elmwood Place, a Cincinnati suburb. Ruehlman granted the injunction
citing there was a lack
of due process for alleged violators.
Judge Ruehlman's decision was unequivocal. He made national news headlines when he
called the speed camera system in Elmwood Place "a high
tech game of Three
It is a scam the motorist cannot win." Betw
een the camera enforcement, the lack of proper
signage, and the fees for administrative hearings, Ruehlman declared that the town of
Elmwood Place had violated drivers' due
process rights, and may be the first case in the U.S.
that specifically addresses t
he constitutionality of traffic cams.
In Ohio, there are at least 16 municipalities that use some kind of red light or speed camera,
according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In the United States, there are more
than 650 municipalities oper
ating either red
light or speed cameras.
Nine states have passed laws prohibiting the use of red
light cameras, and 12 outlaw speed
cameras, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, while 29 states have no
law on the books. Some Ohio legisla
tors hope to make the Buckeye State the Lucky 13th
state, and House Bill 69 has been assigned to the House's Transportation, Public Safety and
Homeland Security Committee for further discussion and vote.
POKER RUN LEGALIZATION BILL IN ILLINOIS
bills SB 1960 and HB 2520; the “Poker Run Act,” have been introduced in
Illinois to legalize poker runs for the charities that bikers do and for Not For Profit
“No segment in our society raises more money for charities and local citizens th
at are down
and out on their luck than bikers,” said Bob Myers, State Legislative Coordinator for ABATE
of Illinois, who went on to explain; “Since ‘Land Based Gaming’ has become law, the Illinois
liquor and Gaming agents have been tearing down our fliers
in restaurants and bars claiming
they are illegal as they use poker cards, spinners, dice, and marble spinners to complete the
ABATE intends to use the legislation to correct problems with "poker" runs and other events
that the Gaming commission and
Liquor Control Board are treating as gambling. Poker runs
shall include "dice runs", "marble runs" or other events where the object is to build or obtain
some matter of a score with which the participants use in a competition. Poker runs shall not
ute a game of chance under the Illinois Gaming Act or Liquor controls Act and shall
not be regulated under those Acts.
New York bill would make it a crim
e to ‘annoy’ police
Those elected to allegedly serve the interests of “the people” in the State of New York, as
usual are working on a bill to protect some of their own: the police.
According to WIVB, legislators in the Empire State (fitting nickname)
make a crime
to “annoy” a cop
. The imaginative title of the bill: “An act to amend the penal law, in relation
to aggravated harassment of peace
officers or police officers.”
The bill states:
A PERSON IS GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED HARASSMENT OF A POLICE OFFICER
OR PEACE OFFICER WHEN, WITH THE INTENT TO HARASS, ANNOY, THREATEN
OR ALARM A PERSON WHOM HE OR SHE KNOWS OR REASONABLY SHOULD
KNOW TO BE A POLIC
E OFFICER OR PEACE OFFICER ENGAGED IN THE COURSE
OF PERFORMING HIS OR HER OFFICIAL DUTIES, HE OR SHE STRIKES, SHOVES,
KICKS OR OTHERWISE SUBJECTS SUCH PERSON TO PHYSICAL CONTACT.
If the bill is passed, it would go into effect in November and “violators” wi
ll face a felony
charge and up to four years in a cage.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Joe Griffo, had this to say in support for the words on paper:
Police officers who risk their lives every day in our cities and on our highways deserve every
protection, and those who treat them with disrespect, harass them and create
situations that can lead to injuries deserve to pay a price for their actions.
The station didn’t talk to anyone opposed to the bill, but did state in the first paragraph that it
is “a move that could have far reaching consequences.”
While being annoying can be, well, annoying, it doesn’t cause harm to anyone or their
property and therefore should not be a crime.
Legislation like this could lead to even more prison overcrowding of
peaceful people and
more police brutality. There are already people being arrested for “annoying” cops without
there even being a law against it.
Antonio Buehler, co
founder of the
Peaceful Streets Pro
, is currently on trial in Gonzales,
Texas for annoying a cop. Back in March, Buehler yelled to an officer, “Go fuck yourself”
after being made to leave a courtroom.
It would also be an excuse to arrest every
and Cop Watch member who record all
encounters in an effort to achieve accountability. “Oh…you’re annoying me. You’re under
A bill with vague language leaving it up to the interpretation of the officer, is the worse kind
Cops Cancel Ride To Mayhem
A summer long series of 26 heavy metal concerts called the Mayhem Festival kicks off this
weekend at the S
an Manuel Amphitheater in Devore, California. The concerts are sponsored
by Rockstar Energy Drink which has sponsored Mayhem Fest since 2008. One of the acts this
Saturday will be Attika 7 which features a guitarist named Rusty Coones
a guy who also
ds bikes, dabbles in television and may be best known as the former president of the
Orange County charter of the Hells Angels.
So it made sense when the Riverside, California charter of Coones’ club decided to sponsor a
ride to the concert. For fifty buck
s metal fans could check in at Pomona Valley Harley
Davidson in Montclair, California, get a tee
shirt and lunch, ride in a pack to the event and
enjoy priority parking. The Riverside Angels also promised to donate some of the money to a
called “Metal of Honor.”
Two weeks ago a member of the charter said, “We are having an event that’s just a day filled
with great heavy metal music, and a short ride. It kind of puts us back in the mainstream
concert scene, like back in the day with Gratefu
l Dead, Janis Joplin, Altamont and concerts
Apparently, Altamont is exactly what the police were thinking and, also apparently, the
Angels will never ever be allowed to live down what most people think one of their prospects
which was stab a very large guy who was waving a loaded gun at Mick Jagger.
Late last week various police agencies including the Montclair Police Department, the San
Bernardino County Sheriff
Coroner Department and the California Highway Patrol
the Harley dealer, the venue and the concert promoters that police would be sending them a
bill if the Angels and their guests peacefully assembled, travelled the public roads in a pack
and parked their motorcycles near the music. An informed source has
said the concert
promoters alone were told they would be billed “more than $100,000.”
The money was to pay the exorbitant salaries of police while they attended the concert for
free, wrote down everybody’s license plate numbers and photographed concert go
near known Angels so their faces could be entered into the big mother
all data bases and
cross checked using facial recognition software against the photos stored in the Department
of Motor Vehicles database. Obviously, a fully automated pol
ice state does not come cheap.
Last Friday the Riverside Angels finally threw in the towel. The charter issued a brief
statement that read: “Due to law enforcement’s continued harassment of the Hells Angels
Motorcycle Club and bullying tactics to
local businesses participating in the event, the Ride
to Mayhem event this year (June 29th) has been cancelled. All ticket sales will be refunded.”
Over the weekend a member of the charter said, “We are trying to resolve the situation. It
was a basic shak
edown.” As of late Monday afternoon the ride was still off.
The concert is still on. Lawn tickets are $35.50 each plus handling. Admission to the
orchestra sections or the mosh pit cost $75. No free lunch and no souvenir tee
Americans ballistic over NSA 'dragnet'
OFF THE WIRE
Dozens of organizations tell Congress those responsible need to
Dozens of American organizations from left to right on the political spectrum are demanding
a halt to the National Security Agency’s vast “dragnet” of snooping on Americans and
accountability for those who launched the program.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
, in an announcement on its website, said the groups
signed a letter to Congress demanding a full
scale investigation into the NSA’s surveillance
programs, “an end to illegal spying” and transpar
“It’s been less than two weeks since the first NSA revelations were published in the
Guardian, and it’s clear the American people want Congress to act,” EFF said.
The organization said the first step to publicly account for all of the NSA’s surveilla
capabilities is to organize an independent investigation, similar to the Church Committee in
“This type of public process will ensure the American people are informed, once and for all,
about government surveillance conducted in their name,”
The NSA has been under fire since a whistleblower, Edward Snowden, released documents
showing that it was collecting data on cell phone records and other details on millions of
The controversy erupted just as the Internal Revenue Serv
ice was under fire for a program
that targeted conservative organizations with probably illegal treatment and the FBI was
found to be accessing the telephone records of journalists.
All that was on top of the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals that rem
ain unexplained by
the Obama administration.
The groups, with a wide range of priorities and interests, also have created a website called
“Stop Watching Us”
to collect signatures for the letter.
site has gathered nearly a quarter of a million signatures in a week.
“The StopWatching.us campaign has called for a number of specific legal reforms in addition
to calling for an investigation, including reform to the controversial Section 215 of the USA
Patriot Act, which was cited in the shockingly broad FISA order that demanded Verizon hand
the NSA phone records data on millions of its U.S. customers,” said EFF.
“The groups also call on Congress to reform the FISA Amendments Act, the unconstitutional
w that allows, nearly without restriction, the government to conduct mass surveillance on
communications going into and out of the United States.”
From the letter to Congress:
As reported, the U.S. government is extracting audio, video, photographs, emails
and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over
time. As a result, the contents of communications of people both abroad and in the U.S. can
be swept in without any suspicion of crime or association with
a terrorist organization.
Leaked reports also published by the Guardian and confirmed by the administration reveal
that the NSA is also abusing a controversial section of the PATRIOT Act to collect the call
records of millions of Verizon customers. The da
ta collected by the NSA includes every call
made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other ‘identifying information’ for
millions of Verizon customers, including entirely domestic calls, regardless of whether those
customers have ever been
suspected of a crime. The Wall Street Journal has reported that
other major carriers, including AT&T and Sprint, are subject to similar secret orders.
This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of
privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of
the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously,
guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, and protect their right to privacy.
he letter asks Congress for reform of the Patriot Act “to make clear that blanket surveillance
… of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law.”
Also sought is a committee to investigate and tell the public the extent of the Obama spying
and accountability for those who are responsible.
Among the signatories are American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association,
Americans for Limited Government, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, BoingBoing, Center
for Democracy and Technology, C
ompetitive Enterprise Institute, Constitutional Alliance, the
EFF, Firedoglake, FreedomWorks, Government Accountability Project, Green Party of the
United States, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, People for the American
Way, Taxpayers Prot
ection Alliance and Tenth Amendment Center.
No Colors Events in California in 2013
The LA Calendar Motorcycle Show, Queen Mary, Long Beach, July 14
NCOM's End Motorcycle Profiling Act of 2013
Could NOT find an author willing to carry it this year
"Equal Access for Motorcycles in Parking Garages
ithdrawn due to financial opposition by the insurance
"Required Helmets for Off
AB48: Firearms: ammunition: sales;[ large capacity magazine conversion kit; create the California
Except as specified, existing law makes it a crime to manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer or expose for
sale, or give or l
end any large
capacity magazine, and makes a large
capacity magazine a nuisance. Existing
law defines “large
capacity magazine” to mean any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept
more than 10 rounds but excludes, in pertinent part, a feeding
device that has been permanently altered so
that the magazine cannot accommodate more than 10 rounds.
This bill would make it a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment in a
county jail not to exceed 6 months, or by bo
th that fine and imprisonment, to
buy or receive a
large capacity magazine or to
knowingly manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer or expose for
sale, or give
, buy, or
magazine conversion kit
that is capable of converting an ammunition feeding device into a large
June 24 : From committee chair,
with author's amendments: Amend, and re
to committee. Read second time, amended, and re
referred to Com. on
HEARING DATE :
AB 169: Unsafe handguns
Existing law provides for the testing of handguns and requires the Department of Justi
ce to maintain a
roster listing all handguns that are determined not to be unsafe handguns. Existing law makes it a crime,
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, to manufacture, import into the state for
sale, keep for sale, of
fer or expose for sale, give, or lend an unsafe handgun. Existing law provides that the
provisions defining and governing unsafe handguns do not apply to the sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm
in a transaction that requires the use of a licensed dealer
or to the delivery of a firearm to a licensed dealer for
purposes of a consignment sale or as collateral for a pawnbroker loan.
This bill would
to a maximum of 2 fir
person, per calendar year,
and would make the provisions defining and governing unsafe
handguns inapplicable to the sale, loan, or transfer of any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being
concealed upon the person, conducted
through a licensed dealer, that was listed on the roster of not unsafe
handguns but was subsequently removed because of the failure to pay the fee necessary to keep the firearm
listed on the roster. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would i
mpose a state
Existing law makes the provisions defining and governing unsafe handguns inapplicable to a single
pistol, as specified.
June 24: From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re
committee. Read second time, amended, and re
referred to Com. on
HEARING DATE :
AB 231: Firearms: criminal storage.
Existing law establishes the offenses of criminal storage of a
firearm in the first degree when a child obtains access t
o a person's
loaded firearm resulting in death or great bodily injury, as
specified, and criminal storage of a firearm in the 2nd degree, where
the child obtains access to the firearm resulting in injury other
than great bodily injury or the firearm is car
ried off premises, as
specified. Existing law provides several exceptions to these
offenses, including, among others, when a child obtains the firearm
as a result of illegal entry to the premises, when the firearm is
locked with a locking device, or when a
child obtains, or obtains and
discharges, the firearm in a lawful act of self
defense or defense
of another person. Existing law makes the first degree offense
punishable as a felony or misdemeanor with specified penalties and
makes the 2nd degree offense
punishable as a misdemeanor with
This bill would establish the offense of criminal storage of a
firearm in the 3rd degree when a person keeps a loaded firearm within
any premises under his or her custody or control and negligently
stores or leaves a loaded firearm in a location where the person
knows, or reasonably should know, that a child is likely to gain
access to the firearm, unless reasonable action is taken by the
person to secure the firearm against access by the child. The
would make the offense punishable as a misdemeanor.
June 24: In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request
AB 280: Firearms
Existing law requires the parties to a firearms transaction to complete the sale, loan, or tr
ansfer through a
licensed firearms dealer if neither party to a firearms transaction holds a firearms dealer’s license.
end insertbegin insert
This bill would prohibit a person, corporation, or dealer from transporting or bringing a firearm into the
state for the purpose of selling, transferring, or loaning the firearm with the intent to avoid the above
e bill would make a violation of this prohibition punishable by imprisonment in a county jail
not exceeding one year, or in a county jail for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years, or by a fine not to exceed $1,000,
or by both that fine and imprisonment. The bill wou
ld also make a violation of this prohibition subject to the
year prohibition on owning, purchasing, receiving, possessing, or having a firearm. The bill would also
make a person who violates this prohibition ineligible for probation, except in an unusua
l case where the
interests of justice would best be served if the person is granted probation. By creating a new crime, this bill
would impose a state
mandated local program.
end insertbegin insert
Existing law prohibits a licensed firearms dealer from sel
ling, supplying, delivering, or giving possession
or control of a handgun to any person under 21 years of age, or any other firearm to a person under 18
years of age. Existing law prohibits a licensed firearms dealer from delivering a firearm to a person w
10 days of the application to purchase or if the Department of Justice has notified the dealer that the person
is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Existing law prohibits a dealer from delivering a handgun if the
dealer is notified by the Departm
ent of Justice that the purchaser has made another application to purchase
a handgun within the preceding 30
day period. Existing law also requires the firearm to be unloaded and
securely wrapped or in a locked container, and requires that the purchaser pr
esent clear evidence of identity
and age and a handgun safety certificate before delivery.
end insertbegin insert
This bill would prohibit a firearms dealer from transporting or bringing into the state a firearm for the
purpose of selling, transferring
, or loaning the firearm with the intent to violate the above provisions. The
bill would make a violation of this prohibition punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one
year, or in a county jail for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years, or by a fi
ne not to exceed $1,000, or by both that fine
and imprisonment. The bill would also make a violation of this prohibition subject to the 10
on owning, purchasing, receiving, possessing, or having a firearm. The bill would also make a person
violates this prohibition ineligible for probation, except in an unusual case where the interests of justice
would best be served if the person is granted probation. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a
mandated local program.
June 25: Set, first hearing. Hearing cancelled at request of author.
AB538: Firearms. [changes to firearm purchase and transfer processes, as specified.]
June 25 Read second time. Ordered to third reading.
June 24 From commit
tee: Do pass. (Ayes 5. Noes 2.) (June 24).
Senate Floor Analyses:
Senate Committee Analyses:
Senate committee vote:
AB539: Firearm possession: prohibitions: transfer to licensed dealer.
June 25: From committee: Do pass and re
refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 7.
Noes 0.) (June 25). Re
referred to Com. on APPR.
Senate Committee Analyses:
Senate Committee Vote:
AB1131: Firearms; [was Energy: renewable ener
gy and energy efficiency projects: financial assistance.]
June 24 Withdrawn from committee. Re
referred to Com. on RLS.
June 24 From committee chair, with author's amendments: Amend, and re
to committee. Read second time, amended, and re
erred to Com. on
E., U., & C.
HEARING DATE :
Existing law prohibits a person from possessing a firearm or deadly weapon for a period of 6 months
whenever he or she communicates to a licensed psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violenc
a reasonably identifiable victim or victims. Under existing law, a violation of this provision is a crime.
Existing law allows a person subject to these provisions to petition the superior court of his or her county for
an order that he or she ma
y possess a firearm, as provided.
This bill would increase the prohibitory period from 6 months to 5 years. By increasing the scope of an
existing crime, this bill would impose a state
mandated local program. This bill would revise the provisions
wing a person to petition the court for an order that would allow him or her to possess a firearm to
conform with other provisions of existing law.
Existing law requires that if a person who has been detained or apprehended for examination of his or her
ental condition, or who is a mentally ill individual prohibited from possessing firearms, is found to own or
possess a firearm, a law enforcement agency or peace officer is required to confiscate the firearm. Existing
law requires the peace officer or law
enforcement agency, upon confiscation of that firearm from a person
who has been detained or apprehended for examination of his or her mental condition, to notify the person of
the procedure for the return of the firearm.
Existing law prescribes speci
fied requirements that govern the return of confiscated firearms in the custody
or control of a court or law enforcement agency. Under these provisions of law, a person who wishes to have
the firearm returned is required to submit a specified application a
nd fee to the Department of Justice, and to
meet specified criteria.
This bill would apply these requirements to persons who have been detained or apprehended for examination
and mentally ill individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms who hav
e had their firearms
confiscated. By creating new notification duties for peace officers and law enforcement agencies, this bill
would impose a state
mandated local program.
Existing law requires reports to be submitted immediately to the Department of Ju
stice in connection with
mentally ill individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms and dangerous weapons.
This bill would specify that, for these purposes, “immediately” means a period of time not exceeding 24
hours. The bill would require notices and reports submitted to the Department of Justice in connection with
these provisions to be submitted in an
electronic format, in a manner prescribed by the Department of Justice.
Existing law prohibits a person from possessing a firearm or deadly weapon for a period of 6 months when
the person has communicated a serious threat of physical violence against a r
easonably identifiable victim or
victims to a licensed psychotherapist. Existing law requires the licensed psychotherapist to immediately
report the identity of the person to a local law enforcement agency, and requires the local law enforcement
immediately notify the Department of Justice.
This bill would instead require the licensed psychotherapist to make the report to local law enforcement
within 24 hours, in a manner prescribed by the department. The bill would require the local law enfo
agency receiving the report to notify the department electronically within 24 hours, in a manner prescribed
by the department.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs
ed by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates
determines that the bi
ll contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made
pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Criminal and Civil
HAMCO vs OHS, Hillary Clinton, Janet Napolitano and Immigratio
n Services Dir.
Police Harassment and Rights Violations
Monterey Bay COC
Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force
Henchmen MC San Jose Chapter
San Jose Police Department
Santa Cruz County
C Sacramento Chapter
Sacramento Police Department
Discuss active member
and or club traffic stop cases and civil lawsuit cases
numbers for all
Law Enforcement Tools, Misconduct
Ten Rules for Recording Cops and other Authority Figures (Citizen Journalism
This is the first draft of the cover of my upcoming book, which is scheduled to be published next summer.
For the first time in
history, we, the people, have true freedom of the press where it is no longer restricted to
those who own the press.
And that’s not a bad thing considering the majority of news companies in this country are owned by a
handful of corporations that have bee
n consistently downsizing newsrooms, if not entirely slashing news
departments as was the case with the Chicago Sun
Times last month when it fired its entire photography
department, leaving the nation’s ninth largest newspaper dependent on reporters with i
Phones to fill the void.
Thankfully, the First Amendment guarantees us all Freedom of the Press, meaning we have as much as right
to to report on and disseminate the news as professional journalists, even if we’ve never set foot in a
In fact, it’
absolutely crucial that we step up to fill the void left by the mainstream media.
And we can begin doing that by recording police when they interact with the public,
including our very own
interactions such as traffic stops. The goal is to not just reco
rd possible instances of police abuse, but to
remind these officers that we are well aware of our rights to record them in public where they have no
expectation of privacy (as they do to us).
After all, it is very clear that many of them don’t know we have
that right or most likely would like to
convince us we don’t have that right, even though numerous court decisions state otherwise, including the
Glik vs Boston
decision that specifically stated that Freedom of the Press was guaranteed to all
The First Amendment right to gather news is, as the Court has often noted, not one that inures solely to the
benefit of the news media
; rather, the public’s right of access to information is coextensive with that of the
press. Houchins, 438 U.S. at 16 (Stewart, J., concurring) (noting that the Constitution “assure[s] the public
and the press equal access once government has opened its do
ors”); Branzburg, 408 U.S. at 684 (“[T]he First
Amendment does not guarantee the press a constitutional right of special access to information not available
to the public generally.”).
The proliferation of electronic devices with video
means that many of our images of
current events come from bystanders with a ready cell phone or digital camera rather than a traditional film
crew, and news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a
newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news
gathering protections of the First
Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.
Beau McCarthy of Cop Block exercising his First Amendment right to record police (Photo by Ademo
The following are ten basic rules I’ve co
mpiled to help citizens better understand their rights and to become
better citizen journalists. These are just general guidelines and should not be considered legal advice as I am
not a lawyer.
I am, however, a veteran journalist who spent almost ten year
s covering the cop beat for newspapers before
launching this blog six years ago. And I have been arrested three times for photographing cops on a
multitude of charges without a single conviction, except for one I had
reversed on appeal
where I represented
I also have a book coming out next year on citizen journalism as you can see in the image above, which I will
be writing over the summer.
So this is a to
pic I hope to frequent more often on my blog in the hopes of educating, encouraging and
inspiring citizens to become part of the Fifth Estate, which is journalism of the people, by the people and for
1. Learn to hold the camera:
If you’re seri
ous about citizen journalism, I recommend investing in a camera
other than what you have on your Smartphone. You want something that produces high
quality video and
records clear audio but that is small enough to carry with you wherever you go.
hat not only is
able to record in low
light but also able to zoom in when cops force you to back up. A camera that records
quality video as well as quality audio. Probably something with an external microphone jack even if you
don’t believe you’ll ever use
Technology is advancing so fast that it would be pointless to make any recommendations, but it’s easy to
conduct research on the internet to find a camera within your budget.
There is a right way and a wrong way to record on your smartphone and both ways are demonstrated here as
citizens in Boulder, Colorado att
empt to record President Barack Obama (Photo by Chris Carruth)
If you absolutely must shoot video with your smartphone, then please, for the love of God, hold the phone
horizontally so your videos come out horizontally. While it may be easier to hold the
camera in the vertical
position, you end up with a video that uses only a third of the available screen sandwiched by two black
Holding the phone horizontally usually requires the use of two hands, which usually guarantees a more stable
if you’re not using a smartphone, it is recommended to hold the camera with both hands to
prevent camera shake as much as possible.
The best thing to do is practice shooting video whenever you can, including of your friends, families and
pets, even if you
just end up deleting the video, because you want to be prepared when it is absolutely
necessary to record.
You don’t want to mistakenly have your fingers over the microphone or think you’re recording when you’ve
actually stopped recording.
The one advantag
e smartphones have over other cameras is that you can use livestreaming apps like
Bambuser, Qik and Ustream to protect your footage in case your camera gets confiscated.
The disadvantages is that if police do confiscate your phone, then you’re not only out
of a camera but a
phone, which in many cases, is our lifeline to the world.
Legally, police can only confiscate your camera under exigent circumstances, which I will explain further
2. Keep your mouth shut
We’ve all seen the videos of cops violently
arresting somebody, only for the person holding the camera to be
shrieking hysterically that they’re pigs or that they’re going to end up on Youtube or that the person they’re
arresting didn’t do anything illegal.
Keep in mind that your mouth is closer to
the microphone than anybody else’s mouth, so your voice is going
to be magnified as it drowns out the relevant audio that needs to be captured.
However, don’t be afraid to inform viewers of what exactly is taking place on camera. Speak clearly and
o the facts because you want the viewer to form their own opinion of what is taking place. But it’s
more important to capture what is taking place so make that your priority.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Many cop watching activists will tell you not
to talk to police when they confront you but if you want to be a
journalist, you’re going to have to learn to ask the right questions. But do so after they make their arrest so
they won’t accuse you of interfering. And be professional about it. If they de
cide to be unprofessional, just
keep the camera turned on them to expose them.
You’ll want to stick to the
, the who, what, when, where and why, which are the basic elements of
alism interviewing. This also helps in you controlling the dialogue rather than the cop controlling the
dialogue. Don’t let the badge intimidate you.
Most of the time, they will refer you to a public information officer who may or may not show up on the
ene, so ask for that officer’s name and phone number, even if you don’t plan to call it because it’s good to
get into the habit of talking professionally with cops.
Although you are not required to hand over your identification if asked, unless you are sus
committing a crime (more on this later), it doesn’t hurt to tell them your name and where you plan to post the
Remember, you need to think of yourself as a journalist, not an activist. Journalists should have no problem
4. Learn the laws about public property
Nobody has an expectation of privacy in public, which is why you’re allowed to record
suspects and victims as long as they are in full view of the public. If you can see them, you can record th
But you don’t want to end up arrested for some unrelated matter just because the cop is looking for an excuse
to keep you from recording. This can easily happen if you are standing on the street as opposed to the
sidewalk or getting too close to police
where you end up physically interfering with their investigation.
Sometimes police will threaten to arrest you for blocking pedestrian traffic if you are standing on the
sidewalk, but I have yet to read an actual statute that describes this offense. Not s
aying it doesn’t exist but I
didn’t see it in the
Or sometimes they will threaten to arrest you for
, which is also reaching because these laws usually
pertain to private property or when a person is idling about on public prop
erty for an apparent reason except
no good such as in areas with heavy prostitution or drug use.
But if you are recording police, then you have a very justifiable reason to stand on the sidewalk. So
justifiable that it is protected by the First Amendment.
Sometimes, the best way to handle these cops is to ask them where exactly would they like you to stand to
gauge just how reasonable a cop you are dealing with.
There is never a guarantee that you won’t be arrested, but you can minimize those chances by inf
officer you know your rights while continuing to record.
5. Learn the laws about private property
Nobody has an expectation of privacy when they are on private property that is open to the general public
like a shopping mall, office building, lo
cal bar or a storefront parking lot.
People generally have an expectation of privacy when they are inside their homes, unless they happen to be
standing by an open door or clear window where anybody walking by can see them.
For journalistic purposes, we wi
ll stick to the former in this section because it’s probably not the wisest
decision to begin recording cops through their windows while they are home and off
duty (unless you have a
very good reason to do so).
Business owners or private security guards ha
ve every right to forbid you from recording on their premises,
even if they are recording you with security cameras as is usually the case.
But they have no right to force you to delete your footage or confiscate your camera. The worst they can do
you to leave the premises. And if you refuse, they can have you arrested for trespassing.
6. Learn the laws about government
Generally speaking, this is considered the same as public property because these are tax
funded facilities, bu
many of these facilities can have their own policies that you need to research beforehand just to be sure.
One of the biggest problems has been government
owned train stations where police are under the
impression that they are protecting the country fro
m terrorism by forbidding citizens from recording, but
most of these train stations allow photography as long as you are not shooting for commercial purposes,
which generally means advertising.
Journalism is considered editorial photography and protected u
The New York subway system allows photography but forbids the use of light, tripods and reflectors because
it could impede foot traffic and I imagine other train stations have similar policies, but do your own research
just to be
Photography is also allowed on public universities, Transportation Security Administration checkpoints and
inside municipal buildings if you are recording your personal business.
And yes, even in the lobbies of police departments, but you need to thr
ead carefully here because they may
arrest you nonetheless or they may have their own policies in place that are not part of the state law.
The best way to avoid getting arrested is to remain professional and to state an actual purpose to record
inside a p
olice department other than just doing because you can, such as making public records requests or
filing a complaint against an officer. Just tell them you are conducting official business with a government
agency and you insist on getting it on the record
However, rules and laws vary inside courthouses with
not allowing you to even walk
inside with a camera, let alone use one inside, and state and local courts havi
ng rules that apply mainly to
actual courtrooms, not necessarily the corridors or offices inside the courthouse.
Again, this is something you would have to research depending on what state or county you live in, but it’s
something that can usually be done
with a few key strokes on Google.
The truth is, the laws haven’t caught up with technology yet so it’s up to us to set the standard before they
start trying to set the standard, so we can ensure the government remains as transparent as possible.
7. Learn y
our state’s wiretapping laws
It wasn’t too long ago that police throughout the United States were routinely using state wiretapping laws to
arrest people for recording them in public, which is not what those laws were intended for when they were
The cops had realized that citizens were catching on to the fact that photography is not a crime, so they
started arresting people based on the audio recordings the citizens captured. The issue came to a boiling point
in Illinois that had a Draconian eaves
dropping law in the books that had several citizens facing lengthly
prison sentences because they had recorded cops in public who were on duty.
The Illinois law has been ruled
unconstitutional, so police are not allowed to arrest anybody for it.
So right n
ow, it is legal to audio record cops in public in all 50 states because they do not have an expectation
Massachusetts has a slight exception where citizens are not allowed to secretly record cops in public, but
even that law has been questioned
by a prosecutor in that state and it is probably ripe for a challenge (just in
case you’re up for it).
As a citizen journalist, you should always strive to make it obvious you are recording anyway because
point is to send a message to cops you know y
if you find yourself becoming the victim of police abuse and know that it would probably be
dangerous to pull out your camera and start record, don’t hesitate to start secretly recording, even if you live
to read up on your state’s wiretapping or eavesdropping laws.
8. Learn how to handle police intimidation
No matter how much you think you have p
repared yourself, it can get downright nerve
racking when a
hulking cop stands over you with a badge, gun, handcuffs, taser gun and pepper spray, ordering you to hand
over your identification and/or your camera.
But you need to think of yourself as a journ
alist not an activist. You are there to do a job, even if you are not
getting paid for it. And once you build a Youtube following, you could easily start collecting regular checks
from Google Adsense, so it’s important to think of yourself as a professiona
They will usually demand your identification, but
federal case law
states that they must have reasonable
suspicion that you have committed a crime
(or are about to) in order to require you to hand over your
However, different states have varying
laws that make it a crime to not ide
if you are being detained for some perceived crime. Usually, it is permissible to verbally identify yourself
instead of pulling out your identification, so I recommend just stating your name and handing them your
business card if you have on
e, just out of professional courtesy, not because you are required by law.
If they insist on seeing your identification, ask them what crime do they suspect you of committing.
Recording police is not a crime, so they need to be more specific about an actua
l being broken.
Sometimes cops will order you to delete your footage because they believe you have violated their privacy or
the privacy of a suspect or a victim, but you are under no legal obligation to delete your footage. As stated
before, nobody has an
expectation of privacy in public. Not even the president.
Sometimes they try to confiscate your camera as “evidence” of a crime, but in most circumstances, the
camera would had to have been used in the commission of a crime such as child pornography or up
If the camera was not used in the commission of a crime but they believe it contains evidence to a crime, then
police would need to obtain a subpoena or warrant in order to obtain it. The only exception would be what
the law refers to as “exigent
circumstances,” which would be if they have a strong suspicion that you are
going to delete the footage or disappear to the point where they won’t be able to deliver you a subpoena.
If you have recorded footage that you believe will help police solve the
camera, perhaps you might not have
a problem sharing your footage, but please do not give up the original footage. And post online anything you
have shared with them in order to remain transparent.
Even the mainstream media will not share their footage wit
hout first going through their lawyers and even
then, they would probably air it before giving police the same footage they have already shared with their
So I would recommend doing the same, but only if you feel inclined to because you are under
to assist them with their investigation.
New York City police clash with photographers during a protest (Photo by Paul Weisk
If you are jailed, you must remain calm. Do not get into arguments with the cops because at that point, you’re
already lost the battle, so you need to be thinking ahead at how you’re going to win the war.
Pay attention to all the cops dealing with you
r arrest, handling your camera. Read their name tags and
memorize their names, faces and ranks. Figure out who is the commanding officer. Listen to their
conversation, read their body language, pick up on cues that they are trying to figure out what to cha
with because there is no law in the books that forbids you from recording in public.
You might want to remind them that deleting footage is a crime, spoliation of evidence, if you want to be
legal about it. Destruction of evidence if you want to ke
ep it in layman’s terms. Or you just may want to
If they delete your footage, keep in mind that you can eventually recover it as long as you don’t override the
deleted footage by recording over it.The program I recommend is
, which is free, but a little
complex. There are other programs out there as well that are more simple to use but do not do such a great
job in recovering entire video clips.
9. Remain ethical and
Our mission is to hold police accountable, so we must hold ourselves accountable to the fundamental ethics
of journalism. It doesn’t mean we have to be like the mainstream media and remain blindly “objective” to the
point where we can’t just c
ome out and say the cops were being abusive.
We are allowed to give our opinion. In fact, we are encouraged to give our opinion but we must not let this
get in the way of presenting the facts and allowing our followers to form their own opinions.
And we sh
ould allow these followers to state their opinions through comments without blocking, banning or
deleting their comments as long as they keep their comments civil. It’s up to you to set the standards on your
own blog or Youtube account, but it’s not journa
lism if you insist on preaching to the choir.
10. Learn to edit video
If you want your video to go viral, you need to keep it short and concise.
People on the internet don’t have time to sit through a ten minute video. In fact, most people will probably
ot make it this far down in this article, so imagine them trying to sit through a video where nothing is
happening waiting for something exciting to happen.
Writers use the phrase, “kill your babies,” when they edit their stories, which means to delete the
that they find interesting but in reality, do nothing to move the story forward. Apply the same logic to video
A general rule would be to keep it under three minutes. If you have an exceptionally interesting video, then
extend it to five
If you absolutely are compelled to make the video longer because you believe it is necessary to tell the entire
story, then try to produce a shorter version but don’t be surprised if the shorter version ends up with more
Also, try to inclu
de the basic information in the headline and description of the video. The five W’s as
described above. Or at least a link to an article that provides more background.
It also helps if you include captions during certain scenes to provide more information,
but try to keep them
at the bottom of the screen and keep them up long enough so viewers can read them.
And please, no matter how cool you think it may sound, do not add music to the video.
Just because you are a huge heavy metal or hip hop fan doesn’t me
an the people viewing the video will be.
External music can be very distracting. Especially when it’s something people are not familiar with.
Remember, you are producing journalism, not music videos.
Here are some links that can further help you und
erstand your rights as a citizen journalist.
The U.S. Department of Justice last year drafted
a set of guidelines
that police depart
expected to abide by when dealing with citizens who record them in public. It would be worth
printing out and carrying in your camera bag in case you come across police officers who are
unaware of the law.
National Press Photographers Association
regularly comes to the defense of citizens arrested for
recording in public, even if they are not members. At $110 a year for membership ($65 for students),
they have a lot to offer.
Digital Media Law Project
, founded by Harvard University, also provides legal guidance and
education to citizen journalists.
The Photographer’s Right
is a set of
legal guidelines compiled by Oregon attorney Bert Krages, who
also wrote a book called the
Legal Handbook for Photographers.
The ACLU published
Know Your Rights: Photographers
, which is also a good guide.
“Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” A.J. Liebling
I would add only one item. Federal law (43 US
C 2000aa) protects your work product from seizure either on
the scene or by warrant if you intend to distribute it to the public. They can only obtain it with a subpoena,
which means in those cases it makes sense to provide them with identifying informatio
Privacy visor glasses jam facial recognition systems to protect your privacy
Japan Today ^
| Jun. 24, 2013
06/23/2013 6:53:04 PM PDT
The world’s first pair of glasses which prevent facial recognition by cameras are currently
under development by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics.
Photos taken without people’s knowledge can violate privacy. For examp
le, photos may be
posted online, along with metadata including the time and location. But by wearing this
device, you can stop your privacy from being infringed in such ways.
“You can try wearing sunglasses. But sunglasses alone can’t prevent face detecti
face detection uses features like the eyes and nose, it’s hard to prevent just by concealing
your eyes. This is the privacy visor I have developed, which uses 11 near
infrared LEDs. I’m
switching it on now. It prevents face detection, like this
,” said an institute spokesperson.
“Light from these near
infrared LEDs can’t be seen by the human eye, but when it passes
through a camera’s imaging device, it appears bright. The LEDs are installed in these
locations because, a feature of face detection
is, the eyes and part of the nose appear dark,
while another part of the nose appears bright. So, by placing light sources mostly near dark
parts of the face, we’ve succeeded in canceling face detection characteristics, making face
detection fail,” said t
Compared with previous ways of physically hiding the face, this technology can protect
privacy without obstructing communication, as all users need to do is wear a pair of glasses.
However, because this system utilizes the difference in
spectral sensitivity between human
vision and imaging devices, another method is needed for cameras that aren’t affected by
“In that regard, what we’re thinking of is a visor that doesn’t use electricity, but uses
reflective material. For
example, one like this. This makes light from outside look white, or
absorbs it. That pattern breaks up the features used in face detection. So you can prevent face
detection even without using electricity, by wearing this visor. It is also very cheap to m
said the institute spokesperson.
How to keep your info private (even from the NSA)
OFF THE WIRE
Thwarting the efforts of a billion
secret government spy agency
or anyone else
who wants access to your personal information
is not that difficult.
MSN Money Partner
t comes from Dan Schointuch from partner site Money Talks News.
With the recent revelations
that the NSA and other agencies have been tapping into corporate
streams of data that can provide them with massive amounts of private information about
ens, now is a good time to start thinking about how best to keep your private
Not a big deal, you say? Well, whether you're concerned about the government digging
through your personal data or not, you should be concerned about protec
According to the Department of Justice's most recent
National Crime Victimization
, "In 2010, 7% of households
in the United States, or about 8.6 million households,
had at least one
age 12 or older who experienced one or more types of identity theft
victimization." That's almost
one in 10, with 76% of them experiencing direct financial loss
as a result.
magine that statistic was for bank robberies or home break
one in 10 Americans had
their bank accounts emptied
or their home broken into, we'd all be living in fear. And yet,
that's happening every year to our personal information.
Making that info
rmation harder for
someone else to obtain is Step One
in preventing identity theft.
And not all identity theft is of the "crime" variety. There's a famous quote that I'm
paraphrasing: "If you're using a website and you can't figure out what they're sellin
what they're selling
make a living off of selling or processing your personal habits and
preferences for marketers, retailers and government agencies, practically without your
knowledge. Since you're not being paid for this i
nformation, and (unless you speak legalese
and love spending your afternoons reading "Terms
and Conditions") you're not aware that it's
being taken and used in this fashion, I'd consider it "theft." But since the government has yet
to agree with me, the be
st way to prevent yourself being used in this fashion is to get a little
more serious about your privacy.
In this article, we'll focus on the things the NSA has reportedly been looking at.
reasonable to assume that if you can stop them from taking a
peek at your private
information, you'll have stopped hackers and others, too.
Fortunately, thwarting the efforts of
secret government spy agency is not that difficult. You just need to
know which services to turn to.
to note that everything in this article is public knowledge. If you're worried
about terrorists reading it and figuring out how to thwart our government's best efforts at
finding them, don't be. The terrorists already know this stuff. You, however, might
1. Your phone
If you're looking to keep SMS messages secure and you have an iPhone,
there's a free app called
that can help. The app uses end
end encryption without
ng the keys for decryption on its servers. What that means is that when you send a
message to someone else using Wickr, nothing you say can be read by anyone at Wickr.
Because of that, there's no stream of plain text messages going back and forth that the
or anyone else can siphon.
To make voice calls, the easiest option is
, but you're going to have to pay for the
to $29 per month to call other Silen
t Circle users, with an optional add
safeguard calls to everyone else. Joining Silent Circle also gets you secure chat, email and
If you're an Android user, you have a few more options than iPhone users do. For text
. Like Wickr, Gibberbot is free and promises more secure
And for calls, check out
. When calling someone who also has RedPhone,
verything you say is encrypted, making it much more difficult for someone to listen in. Plus,
it's free and uses your data connection, not your cellular voice. So not only will your calls be
secure, you won't have to pay for the minutes either.
id apps to check out:
in beta, but looks pr
2. Your Dropbox
According to documents released by The Guardian and The Washington Post, Dropbox is
"coming soon" to the NSA's
spy program. If that were to happen, documents, tax records or
other private information in your Dropbox folder
be subject to government monitoring.
Add to that Dropbox suffering security breaches in the past, and they're just not safe enough
SpiderOak is just like Dropbox
there's a folder, you put stuff in it, that folder syncs
between computers and devices
but with one important difference: goo
Everything you put in your SpiderOak Hive (that's what they call their syncing folder) is first
encrypted on your computer using your password, then sent to the SpiderOak servers.
This means that even SpiderOak can't read your data without y
our password; it looks like
gibberish. So if someone (the NSA, a foreign government, or a hacker in Latvia) manages to
get into SpiderOak's servers, they won't be able to see what you've stored there without
breaking one of the world's most advanced encryp
tion algorithms (one the NSA trusts to
secure its own data).
But SpiderOak can also back up any file or folder on your computer, sync any file or folder
on your computer, and share any file or folder on your computer. This makes it a great one
or all your syncing, sharing and backup needs.
There's a free plan that offers 2 GB of data, plenty for storing tax returns, scans of important
documents, photos, small videos, and other data that you would prefer was stored securely. If
you need more spa
ce, they offer it for a fee. Prices are almost identical to Dropbox, starting at
$10 for 100 GB.
3. Your social network
Unfortunately, there's no good option here. You join social networks because you want to
share things with others, or connect with peop
le you know and see what they're sharing.
Typically, this includes things that you might use as password reset reminders on other sites:
a pet's name, your mother's name, high school you attended, favorite sports team, etc. That
means that if a hacker or t
he NSA can gain access to your social media profile (either directly
with your password, or indirectly by pretending to be someone you know and friending you),
they can probably find enough information to gain access to your accounts on other sites, as
While there are a few start
up social networks that offer more advanced encryption of your
data, they're complicated to install, and even more difficult to get everyone you know using
For now, the best option is to assume that anything you p
ost on Facebook,
Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., will eventually be read by everyone in the world. That way,
it won't matter much if someone gets access to your data, be that
a government agency, a
girlfriend, or simply a prospective or curren
To share more securely, use something like SpiderOak or a secure messaging program to
share directly with those you trust.
Who's Gathering Data on Your Child?
CNBC's Julia Boorstin reports some software companies that create smartphone apps might
have violated the privacy of children.
4. Your credit cards
Yes, the NSA is probably looking at credit c
ard transactions, too. So how do you get around
exposing your purchase history? "I already know this; the answer is to use cash," you're
probably thinking. But how do you shop online without using a credit card?
The answer, sort of, is Bitcoin. It's a vir
tual currency (you give or receive Bitcoins,
worth something in dollars), but if used correctly,
it can provide almost complete anonymity
when shopping online. And since you're not typing your credit card information into a site
that may or may n
ot keep that data secure, there’s no risk that your account will be stolen by
someone hacking the site.
The only catch is that there aren't a lot of places that accept Bitcoins. In fact, you'd be hard
pressed to find ones that do. But if the currency take
s off, it could become the "cash" of the
A more doable option? Buy prepaid gift cards from Visa, MasterCard or American Express
with cash. Then use those to shop online. You'll probably have to pay a few dollars extra
when buying the card, but a
fterward you’ll be able to shop anywhere those cards are accepted
without having the purchase data and your identification forwarded to a government agency.
If the site where you used the card is ever hacked, you've got nothing to worry; by that time
l probably have already used the balance on the card and moved on to one with a
5. Your Web history
Everything you search for on Google, and a good deal of your browsing activity, can also be
on by the NSA, according to news repo
rts. The problem is your IP address. It's the
sequence of numbers that identifies your computer on the Internet, and can be traced back to
you through your ISP (Internet service provider).
The answer? A virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN will sit betw
een you and the
websites you visit, encrypting and relaying information back and forth. So when you do a
search on Google, the IP address Google records as having performed the search is that of the
VPN, not you. Find a good VPN, one that's easy to use, wi
th a good price, limited or no
logging of your activity and fast speed, and you'll be much harder to track online. Just make
sure you sign out of your Google, Facebook, and Twitter accounts before connecting to the
VPN, or use your Web browser's private mo
list of VPNs
to consider. If you ju
st want me to pick one for you, check out
. They have software that makes them especially easy to use, can be set up on
your computer, tablet or smartphone, have servers all
over the world that you can connect to,
and cost $10 for unlimited use (and it's even cheaper if you pay for a year in advance).
Bonus: Some VPNs accept Bitcoin as payment, making for the ultimate in anonymous Web
browsing. Not even the VPN has to know w
ho you are.
While using a VPN at home is something you might consider to protect your privacy from the
NSA, using a VPN at a public Wi
Fi hot spot or hotel network should be mandatory. Often,
those networks are unsecured and almost everything you do can b
e "sniffed" out of the air by
someone else connected to the same network. A VPN would protect you.
6. Your everything else
While I've tried to hit all the major areas you might want to protect, this is by no means a
comprehensive list of everything you ca
n do to keep your private information safe and
secure. Entire websites could be devoted to the topic.
. They'll teach you everything fr
om creating good passwords
and protecting your computer from hackers to remaining anonymous online and bypassing
censorship. And it's free. If you're interested in protecting your data in this brave new world, I
encourage you to check it out.
The Dark Future Of America’s Surveillance Culture
OFF THE WIRE
Surveillance is the act of removing transparency from one person while operating under a veil
of secrecy yourself. Surveillance is a one
sided exploitation of cultural violence, like a street
mugging backed by ideological rationalizations. To
be able to invade the life of another
human being at will; to catalog his hopes, dreams and weaknesses; to put yourself in a
position to judge him from a discreet distance or undermine his future entirely: This is what
surveillance is truly about. Make no
mistake, mass surveillance is
about safety; it’s about
power. It is a means of enslavement.
When a government chooses to assume the role of watcher and godlike arbiter in the affairs
of the citizenry, there is always a specific motivation; and that mo
tivation is usually self
preservation. Government elites spy on the public because they have done or are about to do
things that will trigger resentment and rebellion within the population. They keep tabs on us
because they fear what we will eventually do
to them. They watch us because they plan to
hurt us, and they want to be sure they get away with it.
There are no other reasons for random sweeping infringements of the public’s right to
privacy. There is no other rationale for treating every person as a t
hreat without warrant,
without legitimate judicial oversight and without probable cause. Only criminal governments
desire the legal authority to remove the barriers of personal privacy, because only they have
something to gain through the action.
s a society is at perhaps the most dangerous crossroads faced by any nation in
history. We must decide
right here, right now
if we are going to embrace absolute
government intrusion on a technological level never before seen by man or if we are going t
fully revolt against it. Now, some people might suggest that there is a line that will not be
crossed, that the establishment will respect certain boundaries and that the surveillance
apparatus we have now will be the apparatus that stands forever. I’m h
ere to tell those people
that they have no idea what they are talking about.
Take a good look at
government in modern history that has been allowed the kind of
surveillance powers our government is currently demanding. Did Soviet Russia respect any
ticular boundaries dealing with individual liberty? Did the East German Stasi ever draw a
moral line in the sand when it came to their suffocating network of informants and
eavesdroppers? Did Mao Zedong’s China choose to simply “observe” political dissiden
without using those observations to destroy them? The surveillance machine only moves
forward. It never stands still
not for anyone or anything.
The recent exposure to the general public of National Security Agency mass phone tracking
(and tapping) pr
ograms have caused a groundswell awakening. What we in the liberty
movement already knew years ago has finally struck the lackadaisical senses of the
mainstream like a bucket of ice water. However, as terrible and bewildering as the
surveillance grid is to
day, it is nothing compared to what lies ahead if we allow the
establishment even one foothold tomorrow.
The Nightmare Has Just Begun
Without transparency or oversight by the citizenry, the technology in existence today and
being perfected over the coming
years will lead to nothing short of the total subjugation of
humanity. Forget the NSA’s wiretapping random phone lines or all phone lines; imagine
every waking moment of your life recorded and filed. Imagine every thought you ever uttered
or typed scrutini
zed for “keywords” and analyzed to discern whether you might dissent.
Imagine an invasive machine engineered not just to place you under a microscope, but also to
mold your very behavior with the constant threat of bureaucratic retaliation.
Perhaps this so
unds like science fiction, but for many people, the NSA’s sifting through the
phone and email records of more than 300 million people daily used to be science fiction.
Here are some of the surveillance advancements I believe the establishment will use next
for our own safety, of course.
The perpetual tap:
If this doesn’t exist already, it will soon. The NSA’s process of
“interception” (the monitoring of Internet and phone traffic for keywords and key phrases)
might seem like an impractical
strategy, given the incredible amounts of data they are
required to sift through. That said, many corporations and clandestine services already have
powerful software that is able to filter through mass communications and discover patterns in
real time. W
ith computing power reaching levels never before dreamed of, the possibility of
time monitoring of hundreds of millions of individuals with the intent to record
everything they say and do electronically is fast arriving. Website habits, spee
purchasing habits, mood swings, relationship issues, psychological attachments and
detachments would all be noted and stored. Keywords and pattern recognition would allow
spies to build elaborate profiles on every American
updated daily, if
not hourly. One could
not even be privately discontent in such a world.
A surveillance device in every home:
It’s sad when Yakov Smirnoff
becomes a prophet of
your era, but the old joke applies today: In soviet America, TV watches you!
The next stage in c
onsumer technology is often called the “Internet of Things.” This refers to
the new lines of Web
connected appliances being progressively introduced onto the market.
These include everything from televisions that record program
watching habits and video
me consoles equipped with camera technology, all the way down to alarm clocks that
record sleeping habits and doorbells that monitor how many visits you receive per day. The
argument for such tech presented by corporations is that the Internet of Things wi
ll help them
to better service the public by identifying and catering to more specific consumption habits.
However, former CIA Director David Petraus reveled in the idea of the Internet of Things
and its usefulness to the CIA,
stating in 2012
: “Items of interest will be located, identified,
monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio
ntification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters
to the next
generation Internet using abundant, low cost, and high
latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomp
ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”
I believe that, one day, such smart appliances with surveillance capabilities will be mandated,
either at the manufacturing level or at the home level, by the Environmental Protection
Agency, using “en
vironmental concerns” as an excuse.
Most people have at least heard of radio
frequency identification chips.
Many people, though, do not seem to understand the malicious nature of such technology.
RFID chips, the size of a grain of rice, wi
ll soon be embedded in every conceivable consumer
item, allowing each purchase to be cataloged and even tracked. Buy a pair of shoes with
RFID and forget to remove the chip, and every time you walk by a scanner in the mall or on
the street your presence co
uld be noted and filed. But this is just the beginning of RFID.
Initiatives have been suggested multiple times by various government agencies and
politicians to include RFID technology in ID cards, Social Security cards and even
citizenship cards (an idea
meant to use citizen concerns over illegal immigration as a way to
lure us into accepting RFID). RFID has also been suggested for use in the medical field on
many levels, which brings us to our next surveillance abuse.
Surveillance by doctor:
There are lit
erally hundreds of problems with Obamacare, and
universal healthcare in general; but a primary threat that is just beginning to surface is the use
of medical surveillance as a political weapon. Already, the Federal government has tried to
establish rules f
or physicians requiring them to note patients who, in their opinion, might be
psychologically unstable and should be
denied the ri
ght to firearms ownership
I believe the Obamacare structure is ultimately not meant to build even a poorly run socialist
health system. Rather, it is meant to build a highly effective surveillance system using
healthcare professionals as informants and o
pening private medical records to incessant
bureaucratic overwatch. Today, it’s mental stability and gun rights. Maybe tomorrow it will
be any loose
lipped expression of dissent or distaste for authority. The obvious next step,
following the surveillance c
ultures of the past, would be for government to draft the
professional class into the fold by using them as eyes and ears.
We are all aware of the exponential use of drones around the world, and many
people are even educated on the U.S. gover
nment’s intentions to launch at least 30,000
drones into America’s skies for domestic surveillance in the near term. The problem is not
existing drone technology, though; it is the drone technology about to be released.
drones are already being field
ed by the U.S. military for use in operations, and small
drones are being issued to law enforcement departments for riot control. Micro
though still dependent on line of sight, are cheaper and easier to produce than larger varieties.
A swarm of suc
h drones could be unleashed for the cost of a single predator model, and
would have the capability to provide clandestine monitoring of hard to
reach areas. All I can
say is, for those who plan any practical activism or revolution, study in electromagnetics will
Naked body scanners, which were used by the Transportation
Security Administration until May 16,
stored biometric data
on all passengers foolish enough
to not opt out, as was proven time after time. Many people in the liberty movement have long
suspected that the cattle
er in which the TSA collected this private information was
only a warm
up to a much wider net to be cast over the streets of America. The Supreme
Court’s recent decision in
Maryland v. King
to uphold police ability to take DNA samples
during an arrest (even if charges are never filed) supports this suspicion.
The next step is random DNA recording at
and then on sidewalks in your
town. This process will be implemented in tandem with new ID laws, which will give a more
substantial legal rationalization for random seizures of gene
tic property. Biometric
surveillance will be the ultimate destruction of the 4th Amendment. It removes all anonymity,
until every person becomes nothing more than a data set and a file; and unless a person finds
a way to change his own genetic characterist
ics, that file will follow him forever.
These are only a handful of examples on how our current surveillance grid will become far
worse than most Americans expect. The point is clear: there is
end to this game. It never
stops. It never gives a moment’s
The arguments in support of the surveillance state always assume that there will be no
consequences for those who do nothing wrong. How many times have we heard this
dismissal: “The government can watch me all they want. They’ll just get bored becau
have nothing to hide.”
What these apologists do not seem to grasp is that government surveillance is not a passive
tool, but a vicious weapon. Surveillance maims and kills free society
then physically. It forces acceptance of
prior restraint, making thought crimes punishable and
concrete activism impossible. If we do not stop the institutionalization of surveillance here
and now, every single citizen, whether he believes himself innocent or not, will find himself a
/ Special Topic / Exercise
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