A New Broadband Network Is Pitching Surveillance Enhancements to Cops Across the Country
by Simon Davis-Cohen
Posted September 19, 2018
The latest technologies promise cops the ability to whip out a smartphone, take a snapshot of a passerby, and instantly learn if that person is in an immigration or gang database.
A federal broadband program, designed after 9/11 to improve first responder communication during emergencies, will enhance this sort of capability and integrate it into an internet “super highway” built specifically for police and public safety. The program, called FirstNet, is already expanding the surveillance options available to law enforcement agencies across the country.
According to publicly available documents, as well as interviews with program participants, stakeholders, and government researchers, FirstNet will help agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection communicate with local police, deliver more information to officers’ hands, accelerate the nascent law enforcement app industry, and provide public safety agencies with new privileges and powers over AT&T’s commercial broadband network. More…
Central Banks Have Gone Rogue, Putting Us All at Risk
by Ellen Brown
Posted September 17, 2018
Excluding institutions such as Blackrock and Vanguard, which are composed of multiple investors, the largest single players in global equity markets are now thought to be central banks themselves. An estimated 30 to 40 central banks are invested in the stock market, either directly or through their investment vehicles (sovereign wealth funds).
The result, as noted in a January 2017 article at Zero Hedge, is that central bankers, “who create fiat money out of thin air and for whom ‘acquisition cost’ is a meaningless term, are increasingly nationalizing the equity capital markets.” Or at least they would be nationalizing equities, if they were actually “national” central banks. But the Swiss National Bank, the biggest single player in this game, is 48 percent privately owned, and most central banks have declared their independence from their governments. They march to the drums not of government but of private industry. More…
Captive Audience: How Companies Make Millions Charging Prisoners to Send An Email
by Victoria Law
Posted September 18, 2018
Inside prisons, e-messaging companies are quietly building a money-making machine virtually unhindered by competition—a monopoly that would be intolerable in the outside world. It’s based in a simple formula: Whatever it costs to send a message, prisoners and their loved ones will find a way to pay it.
And, the more ways prisoners are cut off from communicating with their families, the better it is for business. Which means that stamp by stamp, companies like JPay—and the prisons that accept a commission with each message— are profiting from isolation of one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. And, with prisoners typically earning 20 cents to 95 cents an hour in jobs behind bars, the cost of keeping in touch most likely falls to family members and friends. More…
Two Knockout Blows to US Imperialism: De-Dollarization and Hypersonic Weapons
by Federico Pieraccini
Posted September 17, 2018
In the current multipolar world in which we live, economic and military factors are decisive in guaranteeing countries their sovereignty. Russia and China seem to be taking this very seriously, committed to the de-dollarization of their economies and the accelerated development of hypersonic weapons.
The transition phase we are going through, passing from a unipolar global order to a multipolar one, calls for careful observation. It is important to analyze the actions taken by two world powers, China and Russia, in defending and consolidating their sovereignty over the long term. Observing decisions taken by these two countries in recent years, we can discern a twofold strategy. One is economic, the other purely military. In both cases we observe strong cooperation between Moscow and Beijing. The merit of this alliance is paradoxically attributed to the attitude of various US administrations, from George Bush Senior through to Obama. The special relationship between Moscow and Beijing has been forged by a shared experience of Washington’s pressure over the last 25 years. More…
Trump Takes on the Fed
by Ellen Brown
Posted September 17, 2018
Ever since the 1970s, the Fed and other central banks have insisted on their independence from political control. But according to Timothy Canova, Professor of Law and Public Finance at Nova Southeastern University, independence has really come to mean a central bank that has been captured by very large banking interests. It might be independent of oversight by politicians, but it is not a neutral arbiter. This has not always been the case. During the period coming out of the Great Depression, says Canova, the Fed as a practical matter was not independent but took its marching orders from the White House and the Treasury; and that period was the most successful in American economic history.
According to Bernard Lietaer, a former Belgian central banker who has written extensively on monetary innovation, the real job of central bankers today is to serve the banking system by keeping the debt machine going. More…
Who Does America Belong to? Not to Americans
by Paul Craig Roberts
Posted September 16, 2018
High productivity, high value-added manufacturing jobs shrink in the US as they are offshored to Asia. High productivity, high value-added professional service jobs, such as research, design, software engineering, accounting, legal research, are being filled by offshoring or by foreigners brought into the US on work visas with the fabricated and false excuse that there are no Americans qualified for the jobs.
America is a country hollowed out by the short-term greed of the ruling class and its shills in the economics profession and in Congress. Capitalism only works for the few. It no longer works for the many.
America is ruled by a tiny percentage of people who constitute a treasonous class. These people have the money to purchase the government, the media, and the economics profession that shills for them. This greedy traitorous interest group must be dealt with or the United States of America and the entirety of its peoples are lost. More…
Explaining Secret Surveillance
by Jake Laperruque
Posted September 15, 2018
Last week the government released a redacted copy of the application for a warrant to surveil Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide who was monitored pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) starting in October 2016, after his tenure with the campaign ended. This surveillance has garnered significant political controversy, notably in a memo written by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
The memo alleged that the Department of Justice misled the court by hiding politically motivated funding of the so-called Steele dossier, which alleges coordination between Trump campaign officials and Russia, and was cited in the Page application. The Constitution Project at POGO criticized the Nunes memo when it came out for misrepresenting FISA and privacy risks related to the law. Now that we can directly read the warrant application at issue, we want to dive into more detail about how FISA works, whether any accusations about impropriety hold up, and what the biggest problems with FISA surveillance truly are. More…
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