And this is a fact, as of March 13, 2013 these are just the Obamacare regulations, over 20,000 pages (photo below). The tax code is over 60,000 pages.
Apple founder Steve Jobs, according to his book, told Obama that government has rendered it almost impossible for him to build a factory here in the United States, which is why he builds them in China. This very writer has a dear friend who runs a small business with less than ten employees. He tells me of the constant efforts by state and federal bureaucrats to put him out of business.
If signed into law, cops would finally need a warrant to get location data.
This is an example of good government. A government that understands that it is not the duty of the state to micromanage and nose in on the people it serves.
Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.
If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable-cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That’s not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement “if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.”
Further, the bills would require an annual transparency report from mobile carriers to the public and to the state government.
Under current federal case law and statute, law enforcement generally has broad warrantless powers to not only track suspects in real-time based on their phone data, but also to access records of where and when calls were made or text messages were sent or received—and all of this is provided by the carriers.
“Location information can reveal a great deal about an individual’s professional and personal life—her friends and associates, her participation in political or religious activities, her regular visits to a health clinic or support group, and more,” said Chris Conley, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.
“That’s why we think it is essential that the government get a search warrant, approved by a judge, before demanding this kind of information from cell phone providers. The Texas bill would require just that. In addition, the Texas bill would also require companies to report how often they receive such demands from law enforcement and how much information they disclose. This kind of transparency is essential to carry on an informed dialog about appropriate law enforcement powers in the modern world.”
The unanimous 2012 Supreme Court decision on United States v. Jones ruled that law enforcement did not have the authority to track a suspect using a GPS tracking device put on a car without a warrant. But cops frequently use similar tactics with lower legal standards, including using the suspect’s own phone against her. Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the Department of Justice to release GPS tracking-related memos.
The bills, which were introduced in the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate last month, are endorsed by the Texas Electronic Privacy Coalition. That’s an umbrella group that includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation-Austin, Grits for Breakfast, Texans for Accountable Government, and the ACLU of Texas. They will need to pass both houses and be signed by the state governor, Rick Perry, before becoming law.
A good reason to have a Reagan.com email address and to use encryption.
William Binney, whistleblower and former NSA crypto-mathematician who served in the agency for decades. Virtual privacy in US, Petraeus affair and whistleblowers’ odds in fight against the authorities are among key topics of this exclusive interview.
The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
For the NSA, overflowing with tens of billions of dollars in post-9/11 budget awards, the cryptanalysis breakthrough came at a time of explosive growth, in size as well as in power. Established as an arm of the Department of Defense following Pearl Harbor, with the primary purpose of preventing another surprise assault, the NSA suffered a series of humiliations in the post-Cold War years. Caught offguard by an escalating series of terrorist attacks—the first World Trade Center bombing, the blowing up of US embassies in East Africa, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, and finally the devastation of 9/11—some began questioning the agency’s very reason for being. In response, the NSA has quietly been reborn. And while there is little indication that its actual effectiveness has improved—after all, despite numerous pieces of evidence and intelligence-gathering opportunities, it missed the near-disastrous attempted attacks by the underwear bomber on a flight to Detroit in 2009 and by the car bomber in Times Square in 2010—there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created.
In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.
Keep reading HERE….it gets scarier.
So we have the biggest storms to hit New York and New Jersey in decades, there are mass power outages and granny is going to whip out her Samsung Galaxy and pull up FEMA.gov to find out what to do?
Local TV stations didn’t even broadcast emergency phone numbers before the storm hit. So what is the FCC/FEMA emergency broadcast system good for again?
UPDATE – Hey buddy you ain’t in da union! I don’t care if those people are stranded and starving YOU ain’t helpin’!
There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.
Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.
It said Spanish regulators asked Google to remove 270 links to blogs and newspaper articles critical of public figures. It did not comply. In Poland, it was asked to remove an article critical of the Polish agency for enterprise development and eight other results that linked to the article. Again, the company did not comply.
Google was asked by Canadian officials to remove a YouTube video of a citizen urinating on his passport and flushing it down the toilet. It refused.
Thai authorities asked Google to remove 149 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the monarchy, a violation of Thailand’s lèse-majesté law. The company complied with 70% of the requests.
Pakistan asked Google to remove six YouTube videos that satirised its army and senior politicians. Google refused.
UK police asked the company to remove five YouTube accounts for allegedly promoting terrorism. Google agreed. In the US most requests related to alleged harassment of people on YouTube. The authorities asked for 187 pieces to be removed. Google complied with 42% of them.
In a blog post, Dorothy Chou, Google’s senior policy analyst, wrote: “Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data, in 2010, we noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not.
“This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. Just like every other time, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect – western democracies not typically associated with censorship.”
Over the six months covered by the latest report, Google complied with an average of 65% of court orders, as opposed to 47% of more informal requests.