Politics

domestic USA politics, not international

Libertarian Party candidate for MN Governor arrested, injured at Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun collecting signatures for ballot access; Parks apologizes

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Today's local moment of maniacal fascism comes from the Minneapolis Park Police who arrested a candidate for governor from the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, Chris Holbrook. Minneapolis Park Police & regular city police arrested the candidate for noncommercial political activity. Basic facts are still unknown but emerging right now…

UPDATE 6PM Saturday: Wider coverage from major media on story: City Pages cites this post for a relevant city ordinance; FOX9 interviewed people at Lake Calhoun about MPD officer's demand for ID in detail: Libertarian candidate for Minnesota governor arrested - KMSP-TV // AP story carried as far as Texas: Police sorry for detaining Libertarian candidate. KARE11 also did video report: Mpls. Park Police apologize to libertarian candidate. Well done everyone who contacted the media about this story - it's precisely stories like this about democratic processes getting chomped by the state which need to reach a wider audience. Hopefully this won't happen any more!

UPDATE 1PM Friday: I heard about another incident of harassment towards ballot signature gathering -- NOT from the Libertarian Party crew. If anyone has more of this, try to get video & tweet @hongpong or email hongpong @ hongpong.com . Remember signatures are due Tuesday 5PM!!

UPDATE 2AM Friday: It seems from the next two videos (they are pretty short) that the Holbrook campaign posted on FB tonight, that it was what looked like an MPD officer who really instigated the situation, after the Park Police had essentially called upon the MPD 'district' officer to figure it out.

Park police earlier, waiting on MPD: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1379526958988516

Then the MPD officer got ticked off at Holbrook and arrested him, & the officer clearly understands it's a political, not commercial activity. Video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1379527655655113 -

Video mirrored at http://youtu.be/dnz3TQ8SfIk:

Video Still here:

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UPDATE 9:30PM: The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board says they've apologized, while Holbrooks is seeking medical attention according to the LP Facebook page. Parks statement via Chris Steller:

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Verified by same email sent & posted by @Sen_B_Petersen as well (scribd).

VIDEO posted by Libertarian Party of Minnesota at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=654897927893344 copied to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve2sP2a94xs

I sent this to my city council member:

I was rather shocked to see a video of the Minneapolis Park Police arresting a candidate for governor, Chris Holbrook of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, on Lake Calhoun, posted a couple hours ago. URL here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=654897927893344

The Park Police state he "can't advertise in the park… you need a permit for it" but this is wrong. Minneapolis Ordinances Chapter 332.20: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@clerk/documents/webconte...

(1) Non-commercial door-to-door advocates. Nothing within this chapter shall be interpreted to prohibit or restrict non-commercial door-to-door advocates. Person engaging in non-commercial door-to-door advocacy shall not be required to register as a solicitor under this chapter.

This is a really major affront to the processes of democracy, specifically the onerous ballot signature access collection process which has to be performed in public places. I would hope that the City Council can make clear to the Park Police that petition signatures do not require permits, and indicate to Minneapolis' members of the Legislature and the Secretary of State's office that a candidate was unlawfully impeded from their Constitutional, statutory & ordinance recognized right to do noncommercial activity in public parks in Minneapolis. The independent candidates only have until next Tuesday to collect signatures and this is really just terrible.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

..Dan Feidt, .. resident .

Thanks to "Iam B" on the thread for the cite on city ordinances.

I don't support various elements of the LP-MN platform but I strongly support them getting on the November ballot statewide, especially because they are adamantly fighting against drug war policies and cannabis prohibition. I definitely think Minnesota voters need options like Libertarians (and Independence and Greens etc) in order to pressure the prohibitionist corrupt Boomer Democrat level to drop their ever-profitable prohibition schemes. [I've also been working with MN NORML lately because dang it, it's time!]

Totally unacceptable. I have put a pretty good chunk of time in dealing with trying to get people on the ballot and stuff working for change in this system, and right in the home stretch of ballot signature collection the Minneapolis cops thrash Libertarians right here in the area. Not OK in any way.

Also the 2014 All-Star Game and 2018 Super Bowl are coming to Minneapolis as Rich Neumeister notes, could political speech be advertising without a permit? e will certainly see with all the dodgy deals cut (including with secret, undisclosed money flows) whether any freedom of speech will be able to withstand the silencing power of cold hard cash + police weapons. (Also: AP: more tax breaks!?)

@chris_steller sagely points out right away something I missed: in 2005 suppression against Jason Stone, a candidate for Minneapolis Park Board, see: Star Tribune: Minneapolis parks chief reverses flier ban (June 2005)

Star Tribune Letters: Stifling Free Speech

listserv items: [Mpls] Re: Jason Stone && [Mpls] An Ode to Jason Stone and Free Speech

Southside Pride background profile by Ed Felien

Minneapolis Park Board has pattern of problems with free speech | Twin Cities Daily Planet article by Chris Steller from 2009 Minnesota Independent helpful previous context.

VIDEO STILLS:

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STILLS VIDEO SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=654897927893344

Fortunately there's a classic Atmosphere song "Between the Lines" (2001) relates well to overheated Minneapolis police on summer days & goes pretty damn well w. clips above::

New Docs: For MN cellphone location data, police & attorneys submit administrative subpoenas; law enforcement spins vs warrant bill

Bonus data drops for Minneapolis video surveillance tech, the MN Violent Crimes Coordinating Council's strategic plans & so much moar!

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Such subpoenas... does this count as "using" administrative subpoenas? Stay Tuned...

Most everyone has a pretty good idea of search warrants, those nastygrams which arrive borne by law enforcement & signed by a judge, authorizing very well-armed reductions in personal privacy within America's legal system. Less well-known are administrative subpoenas, which don't involve judges at all. In Minnesota, law enforcement agencies demand cell phone location data, including cell tower records and GPS data, from cell phone providers via administrative subpoenas, and virtually no one has any idea how large the scope of this shadowy scene really gets.

[A number of items surfaced from different data requests as email attachments, some new major items attached below. Including video intelligence system in downtown Minneapolis :]

A small but mostly positive reform to this nasty administrative subpoena situation comes from SF2466, requiring full search warrants with probably cause standards (more strict than 'reasonable suspicion') and notification for all cell phone location inquiries. Unfortunately, its House counterpart does NOT require warrants, but mere court orders. For background see RichNeumeister.com: Search warrants? We don't need no stinkin' search warrants. [More on Harris Kingfish/Stingray cell interceptors. Previously: Local cell phone spying KingFish stonewall: Minnesota law enforcement at BCA & Hennepin County refuse to disclose SIGINT cell phone snooping capabilities from NSA contractor Harris]

In an interesting development, assistant superintendent Drew Evans at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension claimed at the Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee hearing late Thursday night, around 11:30PM or so, that I was wrong about administrative subpoenas used to try to get cell phone records, during the hearing for SF 2466 Status in the Senate for the 88th Legislature (2013 - 2014), "law enforcement cell phone tracking data search warrant requirement" - they would have to notify anyone they get location data on cell phones from, via warrants only, rather than the situation detailed below... (HF2288 only requires court orders, a lower standard...) Time to lay the JPEG down...

It's around the 3 to 4:30 mark in this video: Talking about "historical records" aka stale phone records: 4:00. Much of this is cryptic references to Harris Kingfish and possibly other cell interceptor tech. Also at one point Sen. Warren Limmer discusses how the legislators never find out about the tech upon which the laws are executed in a timely way.

If you listen from the start of the clip it seems like he is speaking on behalf of Minnesota law enforcement in general (not just the BCA). To try to be precise about electronic intelligence testimony split hairs, the accuracy of what he says depends on whether he is stating this for the BCA vs law enforcement:

"currently we get those records through a search warrant and so that is the mechanism that we get historical information. It's been referred to by one of the previous testifiers that we are using administrative subpoenas. We are not using administrative subpoenas to gather location information. The companies do not provide that information with an administrative subpoena, there is certain information that we get related to that, but we do not get location information right now from administrative subpoenas. ... we are always evaluating new technologies with regards to the Fourth Amendment. we only have interest in gathering information in a criminal investigation that will be used in a court of law, that will be admissible in a court of law. So every time we get a new piece of technology we are constantly doing an evaluation as to how to implement that technology in the confines of our current statute and our current criminal procedure and case law at that time.."

Perhaps, as these guys so frequently do in legislative & Capitol Hill hearings nationally, he was telling a decidedly 'oblique truth', that he only speaks for his own agency and DPS within BCA never sends these subpoenas, but it's not as if any county attorneys or county sheriffs association people corrected him (like James Franklin who was in the room but declined to add anything). The other agencies send administrative subpoenas all the time. And whether they actually obtain data, they are certainly "using" the strong threatening language on the subpoenas to try to get the records.

So basically... the claim that they will punish people for failing to provide cell location records is a 'color of law' bluff, a conceit or whatever verbiage encompasses "something the government claims to demand of you but actually doesn't have standing to." It is really hard to tell what statutes, state and federal, actually would make failing to turn over the location data enforceable, so I have to call this situation a fog. Still, it's a fog they stated doesn't exist...

Plz forgive the blurry quality here, these were quick late snapshots courtesy of Rich Neumeister's doc collection. Attached to this post is a sample of recent subpoenas from various law enforcement agencies including those freewheeling Department of Public Safety alcohol & gaming division cats, which I have heard has its own special subpoena power in statute.

Ramsey County: 10/11/2012 demanding "including ... locations":

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This is the Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement - sorry it's blurry. They apparently have special dispensation in statute. Two of these are almost the same:

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Dated 1.31.2014 this is really recent use of the legal tactic. You can deliver data to the non-BCA section of DPS:

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Dakota County: Let's take a close look at what James Backstrom's underling, (he's key player in MN county attorney world) has been signing off on:

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Plus Ramsey County: Derek Fitch signed off for John Choi at Ramsey County Attorney:

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And a bonus since you read this far: prices for cellphone tower dumps!!

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Here is the quadrilateral of Fourth Amendment champs from last Thurs: myself, @Sen_B_Petersen @CaptainKurtis @richneumeister working on this circa 10:30PM.

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Fortunately the bill got through mostly unscathed, which will help protect the warrant standard in what is sure to be a sketchy conference committee situation. Unfortunately it will be routed also to Finance because of the possible financial implications of having to track how frequently these searches are done -- even though the House said it had no fiscal impact the Senate can 'think differently'.

Here is Part 1, where the bill advocates take care of biz late at nite: I start at 38min. Kurtis Hanna around 35min. Rich Neumeister & Chuck Samuelson from the ACLU-MN start around 20min. I was able to at least discuss a number of related issues including responsible disclosure of cell phone interceptors like Harris Kingfish, as well as compare law enforcement cell interception to the ol high school Etherpeek wifi packet sniffing situation... aww yeah.

What is an administrative subpoena? An administrative subpoena comes from an executive branch agency like the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department, and it gets signed off by the county attorney as well. There is no judicial branch check. Part of the key here is that administrative subpoenas frequently apply to 'business records' which can easily encompass all your 'cloud files', 'emails older than 180 days'...

See: We Don’t Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena | Threat Level | WIRED (8/2012) && the MN House overview info: www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/adminsup.pdf, MN Statute: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=388.23&format=pdf, and IPAD guidance policy: Responding to Subpoenas and Court Orders. Also: Inside Orders: Administrative Subpoenas and the Surveillance State | Privacy SOS

Basically the laws never got updated as technology advanced, which made it far easier for law enforcement to get into the kinds of 'papers', now known as 'cloud files', for example, that used to be pretty safe in your house, unless two branches of government got involved. Now it is just the one branch, they are at times concealing the general game from the other branches, as we participated in first-hand on Thursday.

Here is the index of Hennepin County administrative subpoenas for 2010, courtesy Rich Neumeister. Mirrored at http://www.scribd.com/doc/215425554/Hennepin-County-Attorneys-Office-Adm...

Hennepin County Attorneys Office Admininistrative Subpoenas 2010 - skim over this for an amazing view of flow of 1 year of operations. Hotels, video game providers, many cell phone providers on investigation list.

File: http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/Hennepin.CountyAO.Admin.Subpoenas.2010.pdf

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While indeed it is a frustrating thing to parlay with our formal state government, the good news is that one can have an impact with relatively short time investment, and it is possible to work in tactical alliance across various lines to hew in the schemes of intelligence-inspired law enforcement's top echelon in MN to attempt to dominate the rest of society unchecked. Lurking at the Legislature is not something I have the leisure to do very often, but it is rewarding to work efficiently on small chunks when it really counts.

With luck the bill won't get chopped to bits!! Contact your legislators to help protect the bill (SF2466 / HF 2288) from further watering-downs - get search warrants added back into it! :-/ ...

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Bonus data drops: New material on top echelon police strategy via data requests & research. These files have been sitting around too long & each deserve a separate post...

vccc-tactical.pngVCCC strategy plan for MN law enforcement in politics: The Violent Crimes Coordinating Council was created to oversee gang task forces but also played a role early in pressuring the legislature against medical marijuana, as I found while working on building an informative website for MnNORML over the winter. This stuff needs close attention. Among other things the "tactical plan" shows that the police organizations don't really know what their goals should be... but they should lobby anyway (and indeed try to build alliances among people like realtors??).

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/VCCC-Tactical-Action-Plan--10-15-2013.doc - probably the most interesting

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/6-12-13--VCCC-Minutes-DRAFT.docx

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/10-14-13-VCCC-Minutes.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/VCCC-Strategic-Framework.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/VCCC-Strategic-Update-Notes--10-15-2013...

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc-synthetics-notes-7-17-13.docx

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc-TaskForce_3-bg-.pptx - overview

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.2-8-12minutesFINAL.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.2-12-14VCCCAgenda-DRAFT.doc

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.2013-TF-Manual.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.ForfeitureLetter.doc

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.MedicalMarijuanaLetter.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.NaloxoneLetter.doc

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.SyntheticsAgenda9-12.docx

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.SyntheticsLetter.doc

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/vccc.SyntheticsSign-In9-12.xlsx

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/mn.ca.atty.2014ForfeitureTalkingPoints.doc - county attorney talking points

Weird intel and police funding grant stuff:

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/Illinois-TF-Study-2012.pdf - Illinois structure of task forces study

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/doj.RSAT2013GrantProgramGuidelines.doc - grant guidelines

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/dps.BTTF_Part%201_ExecutiveSummary.pdf - MN DPS juvenile sentencing study

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/dps.map.2013.Drug.VCET.pdf - MN drug task force map

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/ecops-socialpolicing-nps62-082713-05.pdf - DOJ ECOPS social media / police theory

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/CICC-executive-summary_compliant.pdf - national council stuff

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Minneapolis video intel system: PIPS and BOSS surveillance tech. A powerpoint presentation on Police Executive Research Forum, a key central node of shutting down the network of Occupy camps in 2011, from Minneapolis Police Chief Harteau including Agent Vi, an Israeli video intelligence system running via the Downtown Improvement District. [video intel to socially control urban spaces from the West Bank to downtown Mpls - such globalization. wow.] Referencing the screenshots in Harteau's presentation, I found a bunch of marketing spam & user manuals for the tech. (also the 'secret' Broadway bridge location is on here!)

On Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/214972518/Minneapolis-Chief-Harteau-tracking-tech-Presentation-MPD-DID

File: http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/Harteau-policeforum-MinneapolisPresenta...

PIPS BOSS3: Yr video surveillance Backend:

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Another local connection: This place called Milestone Systems does certifications for Agent Vi, "securing your lifeblood". See Agent Vi Products Achieve Milestone Solution Certification - Security Sales and Integration - at 12400 Whitewater Dr #100, Hopkins, MN 55343

The related files including user & admin manuals for PIPS/BOSS:

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/Maplewood-PD-ALPR-Report-Batch1.pdf - the partially redacted ALPR records for Maplewood PD scanners. Crazy!

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/pips-20120914_alpr_lapd_pips_user-guide...

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/pips-3823219745PL_PIPS.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/pips-federalsignal_capabilities_0808.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/pips-MotorolaALPRSpecSheet.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/pips-SWC302PIPSTechnologyPricingsheet.pdf

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/BOSS-18555-18584-Vineland-OPRA-Response...

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/BOSS-18592-18621-Vineland-OPRA-Response...

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/fs.WhitePaper-InteroperableCommunicatio... - federal signal

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/fs.WhitePaper-InteroperableCommunicatio... - federal signal

http://hongpong.com/files/mn-gps/ATT.radio.pdf AT&T PIPS radio system

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Thanks for sticking through this big ol post. Get involved, take a little time & get reading, take action! Working on the monitoring of cell phones by law enforcement has huge implications & is definitely a good spot to start checking into these sorts of political tech/social control issues. For Twin Cities police brutality & related issues see also http://cuapb.org .

Disclosure: Some of these files came from material related to a project for the MN affiliate of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, resulting in a nice new website ( mnnorml.org ) with its own special data stash for revealing many lesser known details of the law enforcement state to a skeptical member base & public! Thanks to resourceful collaborator @CaptainKurtis Hanna for data requests. This post is not in any way an official view of MN Norml.

This post is dedicated to Darryl Robinson, an inexhaustible champion for the public in all these state police situations.

Scott Hargarten Pirate Party City Council candidate for Ward 10 in LWV debate tonight

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A friend of mine, Scott Hargarten, (@scotthargarten) is running for Minneapolis City Council with the new Pirate Party of Minnesota and participated in the Ward 10 debate today. While of course the Pirate Party is a small new political venture we are getting somewhere with advancing ideas of direct democracy. The debate was pretty interesting and shows how wide open the general political situation in the city right now really is.

Also with the Pirate Party, Kurt Hanna is running for mayor, Michael Katch and Vince Coffeen are also running for City Council and Doug Sembla is running for Board of Estimate and Taxation. Get out of the Two Party Box and vote Pirate Party! :D

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Local cell phone spying KingFish stonewall: Minnesota law enforcement at BCA & Hennepin County refuse to disclose SIGINT cell phone snooping capabilities from NSA contractor Harris

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It's been dawning on Americans this year that their everyday electronic devices are used by law enforcement for investigations. However the lawmen and the county attorneys are withholding the policy information about the Harris Corporation Kingfish system which is a device that can alter the electronic behavior in a cell phone, also known as a CDMA Interrogator or cell phone interceptor.

The MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has declined to share any policy information about Kingfish. I have also heard that Hennepin County Sheriffs Office and their legal counsel are putting up rather high barriers to disclosing anything at all about Kingfish. The whole case is weirdly parallel to the 1978 Rockford Files episode House on Willis Avenue, which ended with this unprecedented title card:

rockford-files-willis-ave.pngWe still have "no legal right" to know about who in Minnesota is building dossiers and how. The main question: what is Hennepin County and the BCA hiding in their versions of the House on Willis Avenue?

At the Hennepin County level in the 2010 they earlier promised to come up with sensible and clear policies about if and when law enforcement uses these devices to interfere with cell phones. Now they are claiming that stuff is non-public data - which of course precludes informed public debate at the Legislature in 2014 about electronic law enforcement interference in technical devices.

Several people including Rich Neumeister are looking into this nasty Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) mess. Follow @RichNeumeister - he is helpful answering about the details on this via Twitter.

In a shocking surprise Harris Corporation is a major contractor with the National Security Agency and KingFish is part of the domestic-grade apparatus for local but still unchecked NSA-style electronic snooping. The NSA didn't seem like a big deal when KingFish was approved, but now everyone has finally started noticing the tremendous power of unchecked electronic data collection. It's a much Hotter Potato than in 2012!

See: Sept 2009: Harris Corporation and National Security Agency Announce Certification of First Tactical Radio with Type-1 Suite B Information Security

July 2012: Harris Corporation Receives National Security Agency Certification for Soldier Radio Waveform in Falcon III AN/PRC-117G Multiband Manpack Radio

April 2007: National Security Agency Certifies Harris Corporation's SecNet 54 Top-Secret Capable Secure Wireless LAN Product

September 2004: Harris Corporation Receives NSA Certification for Programmable Cryptographic Module

Wikispaces notes: PIRT - Harris Corporation etc. More Harris links at end.

rockford3.pngAnother angle here: Hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone into KingFish in Minnesota and they are not willing to share the expense information. Ars Technica reports the boxes cost $25K so where the hell is the rest of the money? Meet the machines that steal your phone’s data | Ars Technica:

The Kingfish is a surveillance transceiver that allows authorities to track and mine information from mobile phones over a targeted area. The device does not appear to enable interception of communications; instead, it can covertly gather unique identity codes and show connections between phones and numbers being dialed. It is smaller than the Stingray, black and gray in color, and can be controlled wirelessly by a conventional notebook PC using Bluetooth. You can even conceal it in a discreet-looking briefcase, according to marketing brochures.

First used: Trademark records show that a registration for the Kingfish was filed in August 2001. Its “first use anywhere” is listed in records as December 2003.

Cost: $25,349.

Agencies: Government agencies have spent about $13 million on Kingfish technology since 2006, sometimes as part of what is described in procurement documents as a “vehicular package” deal that includes a Stingray. The US Marshals Service; Secret Service; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Army; Air Force; state cops in Florida; county cops in Maricopa, Arizona; and Special Operations Command have all purchased a Kingfish in recent years.

[…]The code of silence shrouding the above tools, however, is highly contentious. Their use by law enforcement agencies is in a legal gray zone, particularly because interference with communications signals is supposed to be prohibited under the federal Communications Act. In May, an Arizona court ruled that the FBI's use of a Stingray was lawful in a case involving conspiracy, wire fraud, and identity theft. But according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), when seeking authorization for the use of the Stingray tool, the feds have sometimes unlawfully withheld information from judges about the full scope of its capabilities. This means that judges across the country are potentially authorizing the use of the technology without even knowing what it actually does. [But in MN who needs judges?? LOL]

That's not all. There is another significant issue raised by the Harris spy devices: security. According to Christopher Soghoian, chief technologist at the ACLU, similar covert surveillance technology is being manufactured by a host of companies in other countries like China and Russia. He believes the US government’s “state secrecy” on the subject is putting Americans at risk.

"Our government is sitting on a security flaw that impacts every phone in the country," Soghoian says. "If we don't talk about Stingray-style tools and the flaws that they exploit, we can't defend ourselves against foreign governments and criminals using this equipment, too."

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Soghoian makes an excellent point - the vulnerabilities exploited by KingFish are in some ways a major public safety threat, and the security establishment is accruing power by hiding the flaws as usual instead of forcing society to deal with the overall crappiness of today's telecom technology.

"Security by obscurity" is the dominant principle of political accountability here, and of course it is doomed to fail. Responsible disclosure of the flaws exploited by KingFish and their granular legal circumstances are what we need, not moar domestic SIGINT fog and mystification.

All of these cell phone attack avenues should be known because similar tech to KingFish would be more widely available soon. The disruption under the federal Communications Act is also relevant.

Some time back I pointed out the problems with MN statutes about these kind of cell interceptor technology at a Senate committee and former Sen. Mee Moua suggested that if I wanted to go fishing for KingFish I might need to find some alternate way. At least these days more people care about this stuff!! [It should be recalled Moua - a Hmong war refugee - was hounded by law enforcement at the tail end of her service. See MPR clip below]

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Earlier: March 3 2010: Sheriff Stanek landing Fed cash for KingFish military cellphone tracker in Hennepin County; National Guard intelligence analysts fuse to metro police departments; Lobby for warrantless wiretaps in St. Paul | Twin Cities Indymedia -- March 15 2010: Surprise bill for interstate fusion center data sharing pops up Tuesday; Specs found for Harris StingRay & KingFish cellphone tracking devices | Twin Cities Indymedia

via Rich Neumeister: Open Secrets: An indefensible and odious practice with (Foia-Data Practice) data requests (Oct 15th)

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Office of the Commissioner

445 Minnesota Street - Suite 1000 - Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101

Phone: 651.201.7160 - Fax: 651.297.5728 - TTY: 651.282.6555

Website: dps.mn.gov

October 3, 2013

Rich Neumeister VIA Electronic Mail

Re: Cell Phone Tracking Data Request

Dear Mr. Neumeister:

Thank you for your data request. You ask "to inspect and review all government data about the cell phone location tool known as the (Kingfish) including, but not limited to, such items as protocols, procedures, legal thresholds, Attorney opinions, evaluations, correspondence, and results of use."

The BCA does possess cellular exploitation equipment; however, we cannot provide details about the equipment because it would compromise ongoing and future criminal investigations including AMBER Alerts, kidnapping cases, fugitive searches and homicides.

In addition, any disclosure regarding the manufacturer, model, capabilities, functionality or other specifics about the equipment could be used by criminals and fugitives to defeat the technology and render the system useless.

As a result, any data regarding this equipment is confidential or protected non-public under Statutes 13.82 Subd. 25 and 13.37 Subd. l (a).

Portions of the data are also trade secret data not subject to dissemination. The contracting company has taken efforts to protect the data from disclosure. As you are aware, a corporation supplying trade secret data to a government entity may claim portions are trade secret. The contractor in this case has appropriately made such a claim as it relates to portions of the data, pursuant to Minn. Statute 13.37 Subd. 1(b).

Again, thank you for your data request. Should you care to discuss it further please contact me.

Sincerely,

E. Joseph Newton

General Counsel

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Lol "any disclosure regarding the manufacturer, model, capabilities, functionality or other specifics about the equipment could be used by criminals and fugitives to defeat the technology" - so they are counting on ignorance to succeed in controlling society. A perfectly sound way to invest public Debt-Dollars, counting on perpetual confusion over some metal box's legal & technical specifications. Perhaps this kind of clever spending theory contributed to the federal government shut down - it's not like millions haven't vanished on deficient & wasteful Homeland Security gear :-/

Well then let us take a look at MN Statutes 13.82 Subdivision 25. 13.82, 2013 Minnesota Statutes

"Subd. 25.Deliberative processes. Data that reflect deliberative processes or investigative techniques of law enforcement agencies are confidential data on individuals or protected nonpublic data; provided that information, reports, or memoranda that have been adopted as the final opinion or justification for a decision of a law enforcement agency are public data."

Justification for a decision of a law enforcement agency are public data and that would really seem to include the legal memos about the process for when to fire up Kingfish to poke at cell phones.

here is the 13.37 Subdivision 1 a: 13.37, 2013 Minnesota Statutes

Subdivision 1.Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.

(a) "Security information" means government data the disclosure of which the responsible authority determines would be likely to substantially jeopardize the security of information, possessions, individuals or property against theft, tampering, improper use, attempted escape, illegal disclosure, trespass, or physical injury. "Security information" includes crime prevention block maps and lists of volunteers who participate in community crime prevention programs and their home and mailing addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail or other digital addresses, Internet communication services accounts information or similar accounts information, and global positioning system locations.

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It seems like this is worded to mean that the "information" would be subjected to "theft, tampering, improper use, attempted escape, illegal disclosure, trespass, or physical injury". "Defeat the technology" is not on that list, and indeed the question of who the technology has been used on remains decidedly open.

Here is Rich's list of questions which is a good starting point: What's behind the secrecy wall of Hennepin Co Sheriff and BCA?

Some of the few questions I am trying to get answered are as follows: In what situations are the cellular exploitation devices used?

Are the BCA/Hennepin Co Sheriff invading people's privacy and liberty at a low legal threshold or no threshold rather than get a search warrant?

Who oversees and approves the use of the equipment? Where is the accountability?

How many innocent people have been within sights of the Kingfish or similar device, the data collected and those subjects of the surveillance who may not even know about it,? How many arrests have happened with the use of this device?

Kip Carver, an official in the Hennepin County Sheriff's office stated to the county's commissioners three years ago that the cellular exploitation device may be used hundreds of times a year.

How frequently are the cellular exploitation devices used and the number of subjects?

Depending if the cops are using a low threshold or none at all in using this device are they doing so to avoid an appearance before a judge where a search warrant (top standard to protect our privacy & liberty) needs to be issued and where questions can be asked?

What is the role of the prosecutors in situations when this equipment is used?

In my data request I asked for the legal thresholds that the agencies must go by in order to use the Kingfish? What is so secret about that?

At this time, the attitude that both agencies have taken with my data requests give the Minnesota Legislature and most important the public no idea how this tool has been used, is being used, how an individual or individuals get chosen to be pursued, and who is accountable.

As some people may currently know I have been working to possibly update our state laws so that the rule of law applies to whats happening now in 2013 not in 1988-1989 when 626A had its last major update.

Even though the Department of Public Safety and the Hennepin County Sheriff do not want to tell me or the public their protocols, policies, procedures of accountability, legal thresholds, and other appropriate public data I will still push on and I hope others will. I am not interested to live in a state where law enforcement rules and not the people.

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Story from Feb 9 2010 Star Tribune. You Can LOL about how Kip Carver claims that the device would only track cell phone numbers obtained through a search warrant: via Sheriff Stanek landing Fed cash for KingFish military cellphone tracker in Hennepin County; National Guard intelligence analysts fuse to metro police departments; Lobby for warrantless wiretaps in St. Paul | Twin Cities Indymedia | Movement Media for Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul has a KingFish device and makes it available to local agencies, said Jill Oliveira, a BCA spokeswoman. Only a few people know how to use it because the training is expensive, she said.

Stanek couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday. Kip Carver, a Sheriff's Office inspector who heads the investigations bureau, told commissioners that the device would track only cell phone numbers obtained through a search warrant, and couldn't be used without a court order.

The KingFish can't eavesdrop on phone conversations, Carver said. Instead, it locates cell phones that might be in the possession of an abduction victim, he said, or a robber making a getaway.

"I truly believe [we] would be very busy using that," Carver said. Asked how many times a year the device might be used, he said it could be in the hundreds.

Commissioner Jan Callison agreed to table the request to get more information, but added she was not as troubled by the device as some of her colleagues. "It seems to me that there are certainly ways to make sure this technology is deployed legally. ... It's really the sort of law enforcement that we want," she said.

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rockford-files2.pngHere is something handy, a contract surely similar to the ones being currently hoarded by BCA and Hennepin County Sheriffs Office, a 2012 Harris Government Communications Systems Division June 25 2012 from the city of Tempe Arizona: Harris Corporation Wireless Surveillance Products Standard Terms and Conditions of Sale | Public Intelligence - 11 pages.

Harris Corporation’s “StingRay” Used by FBI for Warrantless Mobile Phone Tracking

Harris Corporation AmberJack, StingRay, StingRay II, KingFish Wireless Surveillance Products Price List. Thanks to PublicIntelligence.net as always for stacking the key infos nicely!

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December 2008: Harris Corporation Receives National Security Agency Certification for Type 1 Ethernet Module for SecNet 54

June 2013: Harris Corporation Receives NSA Type 1 Certification for Cryptographic Component of Anti-Scintillation/Anti-Jam Modem

July 2011: Harris Corporation's Small Secure Data Link Receives National Security Agency Certification - aka drone radios

January 2008: Harris Corporation Receives National Security Agency Certification for Falcon III Multiband Manpack Radio

Photo source: Ars Technica: Meet the machines that steal your phone’s data | Ars Technica

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Sen Mee Moua hounded by law enforcement: Mee Moua leaves state Senate, legacy | Minnesota Public Radio News - Laura Yuen June 29 2010

Yet Moua made waves with some law-enforcement officials this year when she proposed legislation that would ban police departments from sharing secret files on gang members and activities. Moua said she had concerns about racial profiling, especially of young African-Americans who she says could be entered into the database simply for being photographed with a known gang member. The proposal came after a series of scandals involving the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force.

"So she saw abuse in law enforcement, and I think that's why she wrote the bills she did," Limmer said. "Was it an overreach? Hmm. Some people might say so, but you could understand where she was coming from."

Some law-enforcement officials, though, painted Moua as a gang sympathizer. And Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at the time that Moua was overreacting to isolated problems with the strike force.

"I think that overreaction has caused her to introduce reckless legislation that will jeopardize the safety of citizens, officers and case prosecutions," Fletcher said.

Moua said she was taken aback by the reaction from law enforcement.

"They wanted to make this about cops vs. dangerous criminals," she said. "But the actuality is it's about cops vs. people in the community who haven't done anything [wrong] and who were being profiled in these databases."

Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight said Moua has been known to question police practices -- which may have irked some law enforcement officials.

"While sometimes some of my peers had some frustrations, I thought she was very healthy for the global approach to law enforcement, and the balance with community and citizens' rights and fairness," Knight said.

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To paraphrase Rockford Files Jim says: "You can stomp someone into the ground using computer technology as a club"… Evil CEO guy: "To my knowledge none of this is illegal." Jim: "It should be!" The House on Willis Avenue is easily the most applicable episode to this scenario, with its combination of unregulated electronic spying and shady local government operations:

See also: Rockford files data surveillance didactic ending — Critical Commons

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Finally I would add there are several candidates for Pirate Party in Minneapolis in November - if you want to send the signal that these issues matter, consider voting for them. The two parties are almost certainly not going to help you and the other minor parties are all over the map.

Terrible proposed shield law spells doom for journalists, in particular me :[

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Here is some horrible news. I am inquiring further since of course it's people like me that this is intended to chill and/or enable grand juries to throw in prison without charges…. I have put in inquiries with MN Sens. Klobuchar and Franken offices to determine if they believe reporters should be divided into classes, and what is the deal with grand juries here and etc.

Full report by Kevin Gosztola, another non-journalist: Media Shield Law, Which Aims to Protect Only ‘Real Reporters,’ Moves Onward to the Senate | The Dissenter

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed legislation that would establish a federal shield law for reporters or journalists in the United States. The legislation was amended, before passing out of committee, to define who would be a “covered journalist” under the proposed shield legislation.

The proposed shield legislation, the Free of Flow of Information Act of 2013, was introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer as news of the Justice Department seizing an overly broad set of the Associated Press’ phone records for a leak investigation and of an FBI agent labeling Fox News reporter James Rosen an “aider, abettor and co-conspirator” in a leak investigation were making headlines. However, there is nothing immediately obvious in the proposed media shield that would protect the press from an agency in government committing those kind of abuses. It would not protect someone like New York Times reporter James Risen, who the administration of President Barack Obama has tried to force to testify against his source in a leak case despite protest from media organizations.[….]

MOAR: Why Sen. Feinstein Is Wrong About Who’s a “Real Reporter” | Electronic Frontier Foundation && Why “Members of the News Media” Should Welcome a Shield for the Act of Journalism | emptywheel

PASSED SENATE JUDICIARY: Text of S. 987: Free Flow of Information Act of 2013 (Introduced version) - GovTrack.us

S 987 IS

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 987

To maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 16, 2013

Mr. SCHUMER (for himself and Mr. GRAHAM) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news media.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Free Flow of Information Act of 2013’.

SEC. 2. COMPELLED DISCLOSURE FROM COVERED PERSONS.

(a) Conditions for Compelled Disclosure- In any proceeding or in connection with any issue arising under Federal law, a Federal entity may not compel a covered person to comply with a subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process seeking to compel the disclosure of protected information, unless a Federal court in the jurisdiction where the subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process has been or would be issued determines, after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard to such covered person--

(1) that the party seeking to compel disclosure of the protected information has exhausted all reasonable alternative sources (other than a covered person) of the protected information; and

(2) that--

(A) in a criminal investigation or prosecution--

(i) if the party seeking to compel disclosure is the Federal Government, based on public information or information obtained from a source other than the covered person, there are reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has occurred;

(ii) based on public information or information obtained from a source other than the covered person, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the protected information sought is essential to the investigation or prosecution or to the defense against the prosecution;

(iii) the Attorney General certifies that the decision to request compelled disclosure was made in a manner consistent with section 50.10 of title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, if compelled disclosure is sought by a member of the Department of Justice in circumstances governed by section 50.10 of title 28, Code of Federal Regulations; and

(iv) the covered person has not established by clear and convincing evidence that disclosure of the protected information would be contrary to the public interest, taking into account both the public interest in gathering and disseminating the information or news at issue and maintaining the free flow of information and the public interest in compelling disclosure (including the extent of any harm to national security); or

(B) in a matter other than a criminal investigation or prosecution, based on public information or information obtained from a source other than the covered person--

(i) the protected information sought is essential to the resolution of the matter; and

(ii) the party seeking to compel disclosure of the protected information has established that the interest in compelling disclosure clearly outweighs the public interest in gathering and disseminating the information or news at issue and maintaining the free flow of information.

(b) Limitations on Content of Information- A subpoena, court order, or other compulsory legal process seeking to compel the disclosure of protected information under subsection (a) shall, to the extent possible, be narrowly tailored in purpose, subject matter, and period of time covered so as to avoid compelling disclosure of peripheral, nonessential, or speculative information.

SEC. 3. EXCEPTION RELATING TO CRIMINAL CONDUCT.

(a) In General- Section 2 shall not apply to any information, record, document, or item obtained as the result of the eyewitness observations of, or obtained during the course of, alleged criminal conduct by the covered person, including any physical evidence or visual or audio recording of the conduct.

(b) Exception- This section shall not apply, and, subject to sections 4 and 5, section 2 shall apply, if the alleged criminal conduct is the act of communicating the documents or information at issue.

SEC. 4. EXCEPTION TO PREVENT DEATH, KIDNAPPING, SUBSTANTIAL BODILY INJURY, SEX OFFENSES AGAINST MINORS, OR INCAPACITATION OR DESTRUCTION OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE.

Section 2 shall not apply to any protected information that is reasonably necessary to stop, prevent, or mitigate a specific case of--

(1) death;

(2) kidnapping;

(3) substantial bodily harm;

(4) conduct that constitutes a criminal offense that is a specified offense against a minor (as those terms are defined in section 111 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. 16911)), or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a criminal offense; or

(5) incapacitation or destruction of critical infrastructure (as defined in section 1016(e) of the USA PATRIOT Act (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e))).

SEC. 5. EXCEPTION TO PREVENT TERRORIST ACTIVITY OR HARM TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY.

(a) In General- Section 2 shall not apply to any protected information if--

(1) the party seeking to compel disclosure is the Federal Government; and

(2)(A) in a criminal investigation or prosecution of the allegedly unlawful disclosure of properly classified information, the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected information for which compelled disclosure is sought would materially assist the Federal Government in preventing or mitigating--

(i) an act of terrorism; or

(ii) other acts that are reasonably likely to cause significant and articulable harm to national security; or

(B) in any other criminal investigation or prosecution, the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the protected information for which compelled disclosure is sought would materially assist the Federal Government in preventing, mitigating, or identifying the perpetrator of--

(i) an act of terrorism; or

(ii) other acts that have caused or are reasonably likely to cause significant and articulable harm to national security.

(b) Deference- In assessing the existence or extent of the harm described in subsection (a), a Federal court shall give appropriate deference to a specific factual showing submitted to the court by the head of any executive branch agency or department concerned.

(c) Relationship to Section 2- Subsection (a) shall not apply, and, subject to sections 3 and 4, section 2 shall apply, to any criminal investigation or prosecution of the allegedly unlawful disclosure of properly classified information other than one in which the protected information is sought by the Federal Government to prevent or mitigate the harm specified in subsection (a)(2)(A). In considering the extent of any harm to national security when applying section 2 to such cases, a Federal court shall give appropriate deference to any specific factual showing submitted to the court by the head of any executive branch agency or department concerned.

(d) Subsequent Unlawful Disclosure- The potential for a subsequent unlawful disclosure of information by the source sought to be identified shall not, by itself and without any showing of additional facts beyond such potential disclosure, be sufficient to establish that compelled disclosure of the protected information would materially assist the Federal Government in preventing or mitigating--

(1) an act of terrorism; or

(2) other acts that are reasonably likely to cause significant and articulable harm to national security.

SEC. 6. COMPELLED DISCLOSURE FROM COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS.

(a) Conditions for Compelled Disclosure-

(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), if any document or other information from the account of a person who is known to be, or reasonably likely to be, a covered person is sought from a communications service provider, sections 2 through 5 shall apply in the same manner that such sections apply to any document or other information sought from a covered person.

(2) EXCEPTION- If any document or other information from the account of a person who is known to be, or reasonably likely to be, a covered person is sought from a communications service provider under section 2709 of title 18, United States Code, the provisions of sections 2 through 5 governing criminal investigations and prosecutions shall apply in the same manner that such sections apply to any document or other information sought from a covered person in the course of a criminal investigation or prosecution, except that clauses (i) and (iii) of section 2(a)(2)(A) and the phrase ‘particularly with reference to directly establishing guilt or innocence’ in section 2(a)(2)(A)(ii) shall not apply.

(b) Notice and Opportunity Provided to Covered Persons- A Federal court may compel the disclosure of a document or other information described in this section only after the covered person from whose account the document or other information is sought has been given--

(1) notice from the party seeking the document or other information through a subpoena or other compulsory request, not later than the time at which such subpoena or request is issued to the communications service provider; and

(2) an opportunity to be heard before the court before compelling testimony or the disclosure of a document.

(c) Exception to Notice Requirement- Notice under subsection (b)(1) may be delayed for not more than 45 days if the Federal court involved determines by clear and convincing evidence that such notice would pose a substantial threat to the integrity of a criminal investigation, a national security investigation, or intelligence gathering, or that exigent circumstances exist. This period may be extended by the court for an additional period of not more than 45 days each time the court makes such a determination.

(d) Notice to Communications Service Provider- In all cases in which notice is required to be provided to the covered person under this section, a copy of such notice shall be provided simultaneously to the communications service provider from whom disclosure is sought. Once it has received such notice, the communications service provider shall not comply with the request for disclosure unless and until disclosure is either ordered by the court or authorized in writing by the covered person.

SEC. 7. SOURCES AND WORK PRODUCT PRODUCED WITHOUT PROMISE OR AGREEMENT OF CONFIDENTIALITY.

Nothing in this Act shall supersede, dilute, or preclude any law or court decision compelling or not compelling disclosure by a covered person or communications service provider of--

(1) information identifying a source who provided information without a promise or agreement of confidentiality made by the covered person as part of engaging in journalism; or

(2) records, other information, or contents of a communication obtained without a promise or agreement that such records, other information, or contents of a communication would be confidential.

SEC. 8. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW AND APPEAL.

(a) Conditions for Ex Parte Review or Submissions Under Seal- With regard to any determination made by a Federal court under this Act, upon a showing of good cause, that Federal court may receive and consider submissions from the parties in camera or under seal, and if the court determines it is necessary, ex parte.

(b) Contempt of Court- With regard to any determination made by a Federal court under this Act, a Federal court may find a covered person to be in civil or criminal contempt if the covered person fails to comply with an order of a Federal court compelling disclosure of protected information.

(c) To Provide for Timely Determination- With regard to any determination to be made by a Federal court under this Act, that Federal court, to the extent practicable, shall make that determination not later than 30 days after the date of receiving a motion requesting the court make that determination.

(d) Expedited Appeal Process-

(1) IN GENERAL- The courts of appeal shall have jurisdiction--

(A) of appeals by a Federal entity or covered person of an interlocutory order of a Federal court under this Act; and

(B) in an appeal of a final decision of a Federal court by a Federal entity or covered person, to review any determination of a Federal court under this Act.

(2) EXPEDITION OF APPEALS- It shall be the duty of a Federal court to which an appeal is made under this subsection to advance on the docket and to expedite to the greatest possible extent the disposition of that appeal.

SEC. 9. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this Act may be construed to--

(1) preempt any law or claim relating to defamation, slander, or libel;

(2) modify the requirements of section 552a of title 5, United States Code, or Federal laws or rules relating to grand jury secrecy (except that this Act shall apply in any proceeding and in connection with any issue arising under that section or the Federal laws or rules relating to grand jury secrecy);

(3) create new obligations, or affect or modify the authorities or obligations of a Federal entity with respect to the acquisition or dissemination of information pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.); or

(4) preclude voluntary disclosure of information to a Federal entity in a situation that is not governed by this Act.

SEC. 10. AUDIT.

(a) In General- The Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall perform a comprehensive audit of the use of this Act during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2016. The audit shall include an examination of each instance in which a court failed to compel the disclosure of protected information under this Act, and whether this Act has created any procedural impediments that have had a detrimental operational impact on the activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b) Report- Not later than June 30, 2017, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall submit to the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives a report containing the results of the audit conducted under subsection (a).

(c) Review- Not later than 30 days before the submission of the report under subsection (b), the Inspector General of the Department of Justice shall provide the report to the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. The Attorney General or the Director of National Intelligence may provide such comments to be included in the report submitted under subsection (b) as the Attorney General or the Director of National Intelligence may consider necessary.

(d) Form- The report submitted under subsection (b) and any comments included under subsection (c) shall be in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex.

SEC. 11. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDER- The term ‘communications service provider’--

(A) means any person that transmits information of the customer’s choosing by electronic means; and

(B) includes a telecommunications carrier, an information service provider, an interactive computer service provider, and an information content provider (as such terms are defined in section 3 or 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153 and 230)).

(2) COVERED PERSON- The term ‘covered person’--

(A) means a person who--

(i) with the primary intent to investigate events and procure material in order to disseminate to the public news or information concerning local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest, regularly gathers, prepares, collects, photographs, records, writes, edits, reports or publishes on such matters by--

(I) conducting interviews;

(II) making direct observation of events; or

(III) collecting, reviewing, or analyzing original writings, statements, communications, reports, memoranda, records, transcripts, documents, photographs, recordings, tapes, materials, data, or other information whether in paper, electronic, or other form;

(ii) has such intent at the inception of the process of gathering the news or information sought; and

(iii) obtains the news or information sought in order to disseminate the news or information by means of print (including newspapers, books, wire services, news agencies, or magazines), broadcasting (including dissemination through networks, cable, satellite carriers, broadcast stations, or a channel or programming service for any such media), mechanical, photographic, electronic, or other means;

(B) includes a supervisor, employer, parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate of a person described in subparagraph (A); and

(C) does not include any person who is or is reasonably likely to be--

(i) a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, as those terms are defined in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801);

(ii) a member or affiliate of a foreign terrorist organization designated under section 219(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189(a));

(iii) designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the Department of the Treasury under Executive Order No. 13224 (50 U.S.C. 1701);

(iv) a specially designated terrorist, as that term is defined in section 595.311 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor thereto);

(v) a terrorist organization, as that term is defined in section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)(B)(vi)(II));

(vi) committing or attempting to commit the crime of terrorism, as that offense is defined in section 2331(5) or 2332b(g)(5) of title 18, United States Code;

(vii) committing or attempting the crime of providing material support, as that term is defined in section 2339A(b)(1) of title 18, United States Code, to a terrorist organization; or

(viii) aiding, abetting, or conspiring in illegal activity with a person or organization defined in clauses (i) through (vii).

(3) DOCUMENT- The term ‘document’ means writings, recordings, and photographs, as those terms are defined by rule 1001 of the Federal Rules of Evidence (28 U.S.C. App.).

(4) FEDERAL ENTITY- The term ‘Federal entity’ means an entity or employee of the judicial or executive branch or an administrative agency of the Federal Government with the power to issue a subpoena or issue other compulsory process.

(5) PROPERLY CLASSIFIED INFORMATION- The term ‘properly classified information’ means information that is classified in accordance with any applicable Executive orders, statutes, or regulations regarding classification of information.

(6) PROTECTED INFORMATION- The term ‘protected information’ means--

(A) information identifying a source who provided information under a promise or agreement of confidentiality made by a covered person as part of engaging in journalism; or

(B) any records, contents of a communication, documents, or information that a covered person obtained or created--

(i) as part of engaging in journalism; and

(ii) upon a promise or agreement that such records, contents of a communication, documents, or information would be confidential.

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This is Washington-Speak for "SILENCE PEONS - CHILLING EFFECTS ARE THE NEW FREEDOM". Ughhhh terrible. More to follow.

Comrades from Cairo speak out: Fight the System

It's moving full speed in Egypt right now. Difficult but Inspiring as always! Jadaliyya Coverage of Egypt on 30 June 2013 // Millions of Egyptians turn out nationwide for anti-Morsi rallies; 7 dead in violence - Politics - Egypt - Ahram Online. Incredible pics: These Pictures Show Just How Massive The Protests In Egypt Have Become - Business Insider. BBC News - Egypt crisis: Mass protests over Morsi grip cities

//// NSA Bonus: chaser story about Wayne Madsen NSA material briefly published then yanked by Guardian! The Guardian Revealed Wayne Madsen NSA Scoop - Business Insider. Anger! LOL: June 30-July 1, 2013 -- NSA's joint operations with European nations. - Wayne Madsen Report. PDFs at link. Madsen ain't always right but I'm pretty sure he published the NSA code names STELLAR WIND and PINWALE first… BTW finally getting Pinwale flowcharts: Washington Post Publishes 4 New NSA PRISM Slides. FBI Data Intercept Technology Unit… ////

Via RoarMag: From Taksim and Rio to Tahrir, we can smell the tear gas | ROAR Magazine

Photo credit unclear...

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From Taksim to Tahrir, from Bulgaria to Brazil, we fight the same struggle against oppressive state structures that benefit only a tiny wealthy elite.

Open letter by the Egyptian activist collective ‘Comrades from Cairo’.

To you at whose side we struggle,

June 30 will mark a new stage of rebellion for us, building on what started on January 25 and 28, 2011. This time we rebel against the reign of the Muslim Brotherhood that has brought only more of the same forms of economic exploitation, police violence, torture and killings.

References to the coming of “democracy” have no relevance when there is no possibility of living a decent life with any signs of dignity and decent livelihood. Claims of legitimacy through an electoral process distract from the reality that in Egypt our struggle continues because we face the perpetuation of an oppressive regime that has changed its face but maintains the same logic of repression, austerity and police brutality. The authorities maintain the same lack of any accountability towards the public, and positions of power translate into opportunities to increase personal power and wealth.

June 30 renews the Revolution’s scream: “The People Want the Fall of the System”. We seek a future governed neither by the petty authoritarianism and crony capitalism of the Brotherhood nor a military apparatus which maintains a stranglehold over political and economic life nor a return to the old structures of the Mubarak era. Though the ranks of protesters that will take to the streets on June 30 are not united around this call, it must be ours — it must be our stance because we will not accept a return to the bloody periods of the past.

Though our networks are still weak we draw hope and inspiration from recent uprisings especially across Turkey and Brazil. Each is born out of different political and economic realities, but we have all been ruled by tight circles whose desire for more has perpetuated a lack of vision of any good for people. We are inspired by the horizontal organization of the Free Fare Movement founded in Bahía, Brazil in 2003 and the public assemblies spreading throughout Turkey.

In Egypt, the Brotherhood only adds a religious veneer to the process, while the logic of a localized neo-liberalism crushes the people. In Turkey a strategy of aggressive private-sector growth, likewise translates into authoritarian rule, the same logic of police brutality as the primary weapon to oppress opposition and any attempts to envision alternatives. In Brazil a government rooted in a revolutionary legitimacy has proven that its past is only a mask it wears while it partners with the same capitalist order in exploiting people and nature alike.

These recent struggles share in the fight of much older constant battles of the Kurds and the indigenous peoples of Latin America. For decades, the Turkish and Brazilian governments have tried but failed to wipe out these movements’ struggle for life. Their resistance to state repression was the precursor to the new wave of protests that have spread across Turkey and Brazil. We see an urgency in recognizing the depth in each other’s struggles and seek out forms of rebellion to spread into new spaces, neighborhoods and communities.

Our struggles share a potential to oppose the global regime of nation states. In crisis as in prosperity, the state — in Egypt under the rule of Mubarak, the Military Junta or the Muslim Brotherhood — continues to dispossess and disenfranchise in order to preserve and expand the wealth and privilege of those in power.

None of us are fighting in isolation. We face common enemies from Bahrain, Brazil and Bosnia, Chile, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Tunisia, Sudan, the Western Sahara and Egypt. And the list goes on. Everywhere they call us thugs, vandals, looters and terrorists. We are fighting more than economic exploitation, naked police violence or an illegitimate legal system. It is not rights or reformed citizenship that we fight for.

We oppose the nation-state as a centralized tool of repression, that enables a local elite to suck the life out of us and global powers to retain their dominion over our everyday lives. The two work in unison with bullets and broadcasts and everything in between. We are not advocating to unify or equate our various battles, but it is the same structure of authority and power that we have to fight, dismantle, and bring down. Together, our struggle is stronger.

We want the downfall of the System.

Comrades from Cairo

End of the Tar Sands? Under media near-blackout, new Indigenous "mutual defense" Treaty signals formalized opposition to Tar Sands projects & pipelines

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VIA: Protect the Sacred  Timeline Photos: Here is a picture of Faith Spotted Eagle signing the International Treaty to Protect the Sacred. This is the first time a woman has signed such a treaty and she did so on behalf of the Brave Heart Society. Let the healing continue in the name of unprecedented unified action! — at Yankton Sioux: Lake Andes, South Dakota.

A strongly worded Treaty has been signed by representatives of some North American tribal nations and has now been taken far and wide to many reservations & villages across the continent. Some of our independent media colleagues were on hand and videos are expected soon. Here is a link to the raw live video from OccupyMusician: http://bit.ly/VeFvNo .

Anyway the text below of the includes formal opposition to projects in Minnesota. Another important development seems to be the circumvention of the proxy/quisling/Vichy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it tribal council structures - instead "treaty councils", a kind of alternate avenue more consonant with direct democracy, appears to be emerging as a tactic for formally dealing with/turning back internal corruption & hierarchy.

Additionally it now public that the Red Lake Ojibwe are asserting their rights against a pipeline in northern Minnesota. For related info see the Indigenous Environmental Network.

This is a major subject which has been almost totally blacked out in the media. There may be avenues of redress at the UN as this is an international-system-level statement.

My understanding, though I was not there, that there were very non-native few people on hand at the remote conference site in South Dakota which produced this document, although there were a few Earth First! and Tar Sands Blockade people as well as our media colleagues.

There is an #IdleNoMore march tomorrow, January 28th starting at Gold Medal Park which is related and also later a gathering in the Twin Cities for Indians in Minnesota to look at this treaty and consider joining.

Also unfortunately there was some kind of "fold" which occurred in Texas re the Tar Sands Blockade and Rising Tide: Deal in Texas court could end pipeline protests - Brownsville Herald (TX). // Deal may end area oil pipeline protests - Longview News-Journal. The backstory here is unclear but it highlights the perils of NGO-involved projects & the importance of anonymity once the specialized corporate field goons start operating in full force, like they were in Texas. (I heard that the only NGO person at this Treaty conference was allegedly with World Wildlife Fund - though this person probably didn't have nefarious intentions, it's definitely worth checking out the WWF 1001 Club for a true Rabbit Hole of schemes: 1001 Club - Institute for the Study of Globalization and Covert Politics // ISGP - 2010 confidential list of the WWF's 1001 Club including geopolitik hardballers Robert Vesco, Agha Abedi, Salem Bin Laden, Mortimer Bloomfield, Mobutu Sese Seko, and above it all the Bilderberg/Knights of Malta Prince Bernhard.)

While the NGO people have perhaps folded up and gone away (though it's hardly clear right now), the natives don't really have anywhere else to go, and have a different kind of sovereignty yet to be fully asserted in a manner more like what this new treaty expresses.

///////

SOURCE International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects - Protect the Sacred

Signed on January 25th 2013

International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects

The representatives from sovereign Indigenous Nations, tribes, and governments, participating in the Gathering to Protect the Sacred on January 23 – 25, 2013, on the 150 year anniversary of the Treaty Between the Pawnee and Yankton Sioux, have gathered on the Ihanktonwan homelands, and have resolved by our free, prior, and informed consent to enter into a treaty to be forever respected and protected. We agreed upon the following articles:

Article I

The undersigned Indigenous Peoples have inhabited and governed our respective territories according to our laws and traditions since time immemorial.

Article II

As sovereign nations, we have entered into bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements with other nations including the Treaty Between the Pawnee and Yankton Sioux, Mother Earth Accord, the Spiritual Leaders Declaration, the Agreement to Unite to use 16 Guiding Principles, and the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council Declaration, and all the inter-tribal treaties in the Western hemisphere, among others, which promise peace, friendship, and mutual opposition to tar sands projects and energy development that threaten the lands, the waters, the air, our sacred sites, and our ways of life, and acknowledge other Indigenous Peoples such as the Yinka Dene, the People of the Earth’ who have exercised their lawful authority to ban tar sands projects from their territories through Indigenous legal instruments such as the Save the Fraser Declaration and the Coastal First Nations Declaration.

Article III

We act with inherent, lawful, and sovereign authority over our lands, waters, and air, as recognized by Article 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which provides:

States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.

Article IV

We mutually agree that tar sands projects present unacceptable risks to the soil, the waters, the air, sacred sites, and our ways of life including:

- The destruction of rivers, lakes, boreal forests, homelands and health of the Cree, Dene, and Métis peoples in the Northern Alberta tar sands region and downstream Dene communities of Northwest Territories

- The threat of pipeline and tanker oil spills into major river systems, aquifers and water bodies such as the Salish Sea, the North Pacific coast, and the Ogallala Aquifer.

- The negative cumulative health and ecological impacts of tar sands projects on Indigenous Communities.

- The irreparable harm to irreplaceable cultural resources, burial grounds, sacred and historic places, natural resources, and environmental resources of the central plains region which is the aboriginal homelands of many Indigenous Nations.

- Greenhouse gas pollution that could lock the planet onto a path of catastrophic climate change.

Article V

We affirm that our laws define our solemn duty and responsibility to our ancestors, to ourselves, and to future generations, to protect the lands and waters of our homelands and we agree to mutually and collectively oppose tar sands projects which would impact our territories, including but not limited to the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, the Enbridge Northern Gateway, Enbridge lines nine (9) and sixty-seven (67), or the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker projects.

Article VI

We agree to mutually and collectively, as sovereign nations, call upon the Canadian and United States governments to respect our decision to reject tar sands projects that impact our sacred sites and homelands; to call upon the Canadian and United States governments to immediately halt and deny approval for pending tar sands projects because they threaten the soil, water, air, sacred sites, and our ways of life; and, confirm that any such approval would violate our ancestral laws, rights and responsibilities.

Article VII

We agree to the mutual, collective, and lawful enforcement of our responsibilities to protect our lands, waters, and air by all means necessary, and if called on to do so, we will exercise our peace and friendship by lawfully defending one another’s lands, waters, air, and sacred sites from the threat of tar sands projects, provided that each signatory Indigenous Nation reserves and does not cede their rights to act independently as the tribal governments see fit to protect their respective tribal interests, further provided that each signatory Indigenous Nation reserves its inherent sovereign right to take whatever governmental action and strategy that its governing body sees fit to best protect and advance tribal interests affected by the pipeline project consistent with the agreements made herein and subject to the laws and available resources of each respective nation.

This Treaty of mutual defense and support is made on the occasion of the 150 year anniversary of the Treaty Between the Pawnee and Yankton Sioux concluded between the Pawnee Nation and the Ihanktonwan Oyate/Yankton Sioux Tribe on January 23rd, 1863, and the parties thereto hereby commemorate the signing of that historic treaty that has endured without violation for 150 years.

This Treaty goes into effect once ratified by the governing bodies of the signatory nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned dually authorized representatives, after having deposited their full powers found to be in due and proper form, sign this treaty on behalf of their respective governments, on the date appearing opposite their signatures.

PLEDGE OF SUPPORT to the
INTERNATIONAL TREATY TO PROTECT THE SACRED
FROM TAR SANDS PROJECTS

January 2013

We the undersigned citizens, levels of government, businesses, unions and non-governmental organizations hereby recognize and commit ourselves to upholding the January 2013 International Treaty to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands Projects:

Idle No More in Minneapolis: First indigenous protest vs new Canadian repression in the United States - The Seventh Fire isn't just an Anishinaabe thing!

On Wednesday, Dec 19th, indigenous and allies launched the first protest in the United States in solidarity with their kin further north in what is known today as Canada. Prime Minister Harper basically decreed a bunch of lakes critical to indigenous survival are no longer environmentally protected, which clears the way to their destruction at the hands of the tar sands-oriented petrochemical industry.

According to Robert DesJarlait (talking in the first video) the US/Canadian border is becoming more restricted for natives/shut down right now & border protests have been called as well.

Unedited / Creative Commons with attribution to HongPong or Dan Feidt. Unfortunately was not able to livestream it - either maple syrup-powered EMP cannons or the relatively mild cold interfered with power levels. Technology not cooperating with me lately - not easy to edit FlipCam clips either :-/ I have not videotaped any protests in quite a while & this one was really inspiring, I was lucky to be involved in any way.

Later in the day at the American Indian Center I also saw representatives from Red Lake reservation leaving for the site of the school shooting in Connecticut in solidarity with those victims, since Red Lake had its own disastrous school shooting in 2005.

I wish our indigenous brothers and sisters the best of luck struggling against the power structures in both these nationstates which are determined to strip them of dignity and the means to survive autonomously in harmony with nature.

Also our colleague Will already posted three videos as well - this one has the most views - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06xImpIKyDc - get the rest on his channel. Here's the original event post on Facebizzle with a bunch of comments and links.

On Friday the Day of Action for Idle No More will be starting - where else? in Egypt! Idle No More day of action Friday will begin in Egypt | APTN National News. Drum circles for noon Mountain time zone have been called so I believe there will be a protest at 1PM around Minnehaha Park/Coldwater Springs though I am not sure of where exactly.

I like this one - it's 18 minutes totally unedited, the last song and going up in the elevator to the Consulate & most of that time in there. Watch Harper's Canadian consular staff lurk behind their thick walls & bulletproof glass, taking cell pics and dipping!

MORE LINX:

http://idlenomore1.blogspot.com/

http://idlenomore.tumblr.com/post/38329891610/idle-no-more-support-rally...

http://thelapine.ca/obama-calls-harper-large-lump

https://www.facebook.com/events/205119732946505/?ref=3

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/12/19/idle-no-more-day-of-action-friday-w...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06xImpIKyDc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsSUkwZ1VZg

http://idlenomore.makook.ca/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More - PARLIAMENT HILL- OTTAWA

http://www.facebook.com/events/437759016287760/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More, Solidarity Action -LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM

http://www.facebook.com/events/458961510829311/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE: Peace River Region -BRITISH COLUMBIA

http://www.facebook.com/events/492285850793858/

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Idle No More -VANCOUVER

http://www.facebook.com/events/539740012721038/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Idle No More -HAMILTON, ONTARIO

http://www.facebook.com/events/448076668589295/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More rally- PRINCE ALBERT- SASKATCHEWAN

https://www.facebook.com/events/127655597393724/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE - WINNIPEG NATIONAL EVENT

https://www.facebook.com/events/551422504885143/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE -SASKATOON

http://www.facebook.com/events/123368197825076/

Friday, December 21, 2012

"IDLE NO MORE" PROTEST - MONTREAL

http://www.facebook.com/events/430768096977486/

Friday, December 21, 2012

Idle No More Rally - OWEN SOUND

http://www.facebook.com/events/307840622669177/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE - SAN FRANCISCO

RALLY SOLIDARITY WITH CANADIAN FIRST NATIONS

https://www.facebook.com/events/374271672664448/

Friday, December 21, 2012

IDLE NO MORE - LOS ANGELES -

RALLY IN SOLIDARITY WITH CANADIAN FIRST NATIONS

http://www.facebook.com/events/349497715147942/

///////

Here are a few pics, one I found and the two from Weds. posted by Robert DesJarlait. They overflow my blog border but you can right-click to save them!

380027_525743317444256_1775335406_n.jpg 281202_10200139707277329_1344415347_n.jpg

37108_10200140052845968_5920830_n.jpg

A few more elements on the semi-suspended MN Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) program

Previously on hongpong.com: MK Occupy Minnesota: The Drug Recognition Evaluator BCA Investigation files (Nov 12 2012) -- MK Occupy Minnesota (May 3 2012)

The training section of Minnesota's Drug Recognition Evaluator program continues to be suspended, after a 513-page Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigation raised more questions and stonewalling from officials. Whether or not anyone will 'get real' about intrinsically corrupt war on drugs and protected misconduct is another question. Whether or not anyone will admit the war on drugs funnels profits into Wall Street is yet another.

Fox 9 reporter Tom Lyden covered the DRE story (VIDEO), talking to one of the test subjects as well as my friend, attorney Nathan Hansen, who is planning to file a lawsuit. (I have done a little design work for Hansen in years past)

The role of the Minneapolis Police Department in DRE remains untouched by local officials. 3 months ago I interviewed the chair of the city public safety committee, council member Don Samuels (VIDEO) about the shutdown of civilian oversight in the city, and he said that there was no expected report from MPD about the DRE.

Other typical recent misconduct: MPD Officer Blayne Lehner named in misconduct lawsuit; Mpls settles for $85k - City Pages Blotter

CityPages has covered DRE from the beginning and has posted a series on it: DRE 'victims' to file civil lawsuit against alleged pot-distributing officers [SECOND IN SERIES] - Minneapolis - News - The Blotter

Here are a few more new DRE documents a research colleague found from elsewhere on the interwebs:

http://www.decp.org/documents/pdfs/WhatNew/Labor%20Day%20Period%20Totals%2020102.pdf - typical touting of arrests. Crossposted to Scribd: DRE Labor Day Period Totals 20102

Via Washington state, the 2010 version of the official DRE manual (it has the same distinct typeface as the DRE IACP certification form in the BCA document) : http://www.wsp.wa.gov/breathtest/docs/webdms/DRE_Forms/Manuals/dre7/Student%20Manual%20-%20January%202010%20-%20Part%201.pdf - rejected by Scribd because of password protection. Mirrored at http://hongpong.com/files/dre/DREStudentManual-January2010-Part1.pdf  - 4MB - 212 pgs. Again it is important to note this material emerges from a committee of the decidedly sketchy International Association of Chiefs of Police, not a scientific body with open peer review. Good stuff about licking toads on page 187 etc etc.

Minnesota - the 1997 DRE plan: http://archive.leg.state.mn.us/docs/pre2003/mandated/970234.pdf - crossposted to Scribd: DRE-MN-POST-1997-970234

Another DRE document from Littleton CO indicates state & federal funding: http://townoflittleton.org/images/TOLimgs/files/septpdactivities2012.pdf -

A password-protected Powerpoint. Anyone care to take a look? http://hongpong.com/files/dre/DRE_STL06.ppt . via http://entrapped.com/Media/DRE_STL06.ppt .

*****

Out in the wider world the drumbeat of drug war corruption continues. A popular cartoon from Politico / M.Wuerker:

drugwar-politico-cartoon.jpg

In both Mexico and Afghanistan, absurd formations are emerging. (via here) Pentagon Wants to Keep Running Its Afghan Drug War From Blackwater's HQ | Danger Room | Wired.com, related to 2009 - cryptogon.com » Blackwater Worldwide Changes Its Name to Xe; Same Mercenaries, but Now with More “Aviation Support”. Also the latest from NarcoNews: Mexico’s New President Set to Empower a “Devil’s Cartel” | the narcosphere.

Also via DaveyD, thorough documentation of this racist project: US Marshal Told By Supervisors Not to Bring the ‘War on Drugs’ to White Communities | Davey D's Hip Hop Corner

We'll leave it there for now...

Security culture danger as closed Occupy Homes sessions proceed without 2/3rds internal support in MN; two networks for price of one?

Troublesome assumptions about security culture arrangements for closed Occupy Homes national gathering sessions starting tomorrow at the Neighborhoods Organizing for Change MN (NOC Office) around noon put participants at risk. I feel everyone involved means well, but a bunch of particularly 'toxic' situations have materialized. Since these developments reflect larger trends, they need to be fixed if possible, and certainly discussed. [See August 4th story on conflict around meeting closure at NOC Office 911 Broadway Ave on Tuesday] At issue: the desire of the organizers of the Occupy Homes national convening to close the gathering.

The Occupy Homes MN last Saturday, which ran around four hours, reached a vote of 22 in favor of the closure of sessions at the national Occupy Homes convening, 18 against, and 8 standasides. 22/18/8 fails to reach a 2/3rds level of consensus (even ignoring standasides, only 55%). Unfortunately a kind of reverse fait accompli has evidently been imposed on the consensus-based group -- the inability to prevent the meeting closure decision from having been taken earlier by the two delegates means that now the group is [purportedly] imposed upon with a 55% decision. [I have not been able to get comment about when this closure happened exactly]

//// UPDATE Aug 7th: Getting complaints not for attribution from one of the people that arranged the lockout. They say they had a vote of 23, not 22, to proceed with the session lockout. Two initial reports said 22, but even if it is 23, that fails to meet 2/3rds consensus. Let's show exactly how this works, using 23 as the affirmative number lacking 66% consensus. The third chart & data set shows the consensus actually required.

occupy homes vote chartoccupy homes pie chart

If this doesn't make it obvious there's no 66% support, I don't know what will - no matter whether you factor in the stand-asides.END UPDATE ////

For coverage on what happens [if/when] the gesture of locking out the conference is made by its supporters Tuesday, I will try to post summaries on twitter at http://twitter.com/hongpong and possibly live video will be available at http://bambuser.com/channel/hongpong .

@TshirtToby sent along the following writeup of the Saturday meeting. Thanks Toby - follow him!

/// This is a report about the Occupy Homes MN meeting held on Saturday April 4th.

Once other business was able to be taken care of, the meeting moved on to the contentious issue over the openness of the upcoming conference. The people involved with organizing the conference admitted that they made mistakes and move forward from here.

It was proposed that the conference should be open to everyone. Arguments for and against were made. For openness arguments were made for transparency, spirit of the Occupy movement, worries over the groups involved and their influence. Against, it was brought up with the people outside of Minnesota organizing it on a conference call and it didn't pass a vote among them; didn't want media/informants/undercover government agents at meeting; Talking about sensitive tactics and people personal homes and financials. A vote was taken and it didn't pass.

It had been agreed that it 6 "Participants" and 5 "Observers" to the various panels. This was decided fairly quickly and somewhat sloppily due to time crunch and tensions. This meeting had the second highest tensions I have ever felt during an Occupy meeting.

In my opinion the meeting went as well as it could considering the lack of time to solve an emotional debate. The problem I see is that some of the people invited to this meeting are not from Occupy affiliated groups. These groups don't abide by Occupy traditions of openness and transparency. This could hurt Occupy Homes reputation.

It is my hope that this group will be able to recover from this incident and continue to do its good work. ///

Veteran activists in Minneapolis know full well after many incidents in recent years (see 2008 Republican National Convention, 2009 Grand Jury & beyond), any large gathering can easily be surveilled, yet security culture assertions by those who have promulgated the plan to lock the sessions are simply faulty. It is totally implausible that closing the meeting sessions will spare it the effects of informants or government operatives. This is extremely dangerous -- the faith that security culture can 'work' with this many people around -- and needs to be set aside immediately.

[Protip: In the future, the dangerous power of delegation has to be carefully bounded for nonhierarchical groups, such as instructing delegates under no circumstances may they agree to close meetings to their members. You'd think it was an assumption of everyone, but unfortunately it's not.]

The Movement Resource Group, (Movementresourcegroup.org started by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerrys, and others) provided a large grant to support this Occupy Homes gathering, grant info attached below. Simply put, if MRG provides more grants sponsoring closed "Occupy" meetings, the critical network topology of openness upon which the entire idea depends will be killed off, sprayed into oblivion by the Roundup of good intentions expressed through grants.

Additionally, as Anthony Newby discussed on the video taken last Wednesday, members from several of the groups flying in to Minneapolis have had their airfare paid by Service Employees International Union (SEIU), although Newby said he wasn't sure if it was the local or national organization.

Alongside the partially closed Occupy Homes series of events, a second specific effort is taking place, and one source said that this affair is at least partially put on by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE), an organization set up for electoral purposes by the Fight for a Fair Economy network.

According to: http://occupybernal.org/wordpress/?p=1976 : [bold added]

/// Occupy Bernal Participates in National Home Defenders LeaguePosted on July 30, 2012 by

At our Saturday, July 28, 2012 joint general assembly, Occupy Bernal/SF ACCE/Occupy Noe agreed to generate support for Wells Fargo Bank (WFB) foreclosure fighter Steve Boudreaux of Atlanta, GA.

He is in foreclosure, and fighting, with the support of his community, to keep his home.

Two of us are attending the first convening of the new National Home Defenders League in Minneapolis, MN on August 7-8, 2012. Our fellow organizations from around the country are all fighting foreclosures. Let’s show them that our organizations believe in solidarity. Hopefully, after that national meeting, we will have a nationwide organization capable or fighting the banks county-wide.

Here’s where to sign the petition, and Steve’s story, Steve’s story continued and more info on Steve’s campaign. ///

One source stated that members of at least five of the groups involved in the Occupy Homes summit are also attending the MFE-supported event. It seems likely, though unconfirmed, that the MFE-supported event is the National Home Defenders League convening.

Several of the staffers involved with Home Defenders League [HDL] (also those in MN involved with MFE & SEIU in recent years) share a pretty common background: they were ACORN network staffers & relatively tight-knit. More recently, within the last few weeks, HDL has been staffing up, and HDL opened at the same address as ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), which itself opened less than two weeks after California's ACORN chapter dissolved, at that same address, with much of the same ACORN staff.

HDL was announced as early as 2010 as a descendant org of ACCE:

/// October 8, 2010 Friday - Home Edition - HOUSING; Freeze sought on U.S. home seizures;

As questions mount about how banks have handled foreclosures, consumer and civil rights groups call for a national moratorium. By Alejandro Lazo and E. Scott Reckard

SECTION: BUSINESS; Business Desk; Part B; Pg. 1

Two advocacy groups -- the Los Angeles-based Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and the Greenlining Institute of Berkeley -- this week called for a foreclosure moratorium. The L.A. group said it was forming a separate organization, the Home Defenders League, to help homeowners fight foreclosures. Both groups called on Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown to support a moratorium. ///

This summer has seen an expanded relaunch of HDL in different states. June 6 2012 NY Daily News:

/// About a dozen New York Communities for Change volunteers canvassed Jamaica recently, talking to homeowners facing foreclosure and looking for abandoned homes that have become neighborhood eyesores. Members of the Queens chapter of the grassroots advocacy group knocked on about 300 doors on Saturday to mark the launch of the Home Defenders League. ///

It's really no problem for representatives of HDL-friendly & ACORN network related chapter organizations to join an Occupy Homes meeting like they will tomorrow. With large parts of the gathering put off limits to general participation (there aren't open 'political' events, only socially-oriented gatherings), that presents a major issue with power flows and openness in an ostensibly "Occupy" related gathering.

When many of those orgs are also apparently having a parallel unadvertised gathering supported by an electoral organization [though I do not have further evidence on paper of the arrangement], that looks like two networks tangled in one situation. It's much better in the long run for all of us to openly work on untangling this issue.

******

Having known quite a few staff working in the milieu of paid political organizations including ACORN, MFE & SEIU, by and large these are good people who have good intentions. Occupy has always supported unions, but is wary of co-option by managerial union leadership.

Many of the homeowners involved in these campaigns are gritty, very well-intentioned union members. This doesn't mean they necessarily support this kind of organizing - with quite a few I've talked to, this sort of thing strikes them as a bad move.

The troubling thing is that quite frequently, people in the paid milieu don't realize their tactical approaches are harmful to the very forces they're trying to bolster. The gradients of structural politics, grants, co-option, working in cooperation and trying to build bridges to turn large projects into movements are certainly not pretty, and makes people uneasy.

This is why the open nature of Occupy as a network has been such a sturdy foundation - it works not as a closed door cabal but rather an open network. Security culture, properly applied, involved small temporary affinity groups working on individual projects, far away from any venues with dozens of people. No more ambitious OPSEC (operational security) approach is really plausible. The closing of information and lines of contact damages the ability of the networks to maintain a 'common operating picture' and the broad, heterogeneous 'weak tie networks' needed to keep projects thriving over the long run.

Occupy Homes MN has most effectively functioned not as one organization, but as another network performing direct actions, in which activists who primarily identify with other organizations kept the projects alive.

The overall principle of openness, not informationally constricted, leaky boxes of withheld information & pseudo 'security culture', is essentially what brings these types of movements oxygen, preventing rot, political ossification, and hierarchical decision-making.

******

One individual reported to be an attendee at this week's meeting, Jonathan Matthew Smucker, advocated Occupy embracing "Co-Optation". I think this line of analysis runs pretty deeply with the people pushing in this direction.

It's worthy of debate, but debate in open meetings, whether this approach sacrifices goals of more radical, deeper social change for much smaller tactical victories, working with electorally oriented organizations. Without open meetings, the pros & cons of this approach will never get worked out properly.

Memorably describing OWS as a "harvest moment": Occupy The Progressive Movement: Why Occupy Should Embrace "Co-Optation" | Alternet (April 26 2012)

/// ..... But angst about an over-generalized sense of co-option may be an even bigger problem. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing broad-based institutions. OWS should actively and strategically forge relationships with many of these institutions, while preserving the role of OWS as an "outsider" force.

.........The worst thing we could do right now is make Occupy Wall Street into a small "radicals only" space. We cannot build a large-scale social movement capable of achieving big changes without the involvement of long-standing large membership institutions, including labor unions, national advocacy organizations, community organizations, and faith communities. Radicals never have and never will have sufficient numbers to go it alone. We have to muster the courage and smarts to be able to help forge and maintain alliances that we can influence but cannot fully control. That's the nature of a broad populist alignment.

Social movement theorists have a term for the sort of co-option that Occupy Wall Street should prize: infrastructure co-option. Nascent movements become mass movements not by building their own infrastructure entirely from scratch or recruiting new volunteers one at a time, but by "co-opting" existing institutions and social infrastructure into the service of the movement and its goals. The Civil Rights movement went big when existing institutions—especially black churches and schools—came to identify strongly as part of the movement. Organizers provided opportunities for members of those pre-existing institutions to make this new identification actionable and visible. This was cultivated to such an extent that, eventually, to be a member of certain institutions implied active involvement in the Civil Rights movement. When this happens with enough institutions, the movement gets a huge boost in capacity. And capacity means power.

Over the past few months many organizations and constituencies have been watching Occupy Wall Street, trying to figure out whether and how to relate to it. These organizations—including faith communities, the NAACP, MoveOn.org, labor unions, community organizations, and many other groups—understand how they and their members are affected by the crises that Occupy Wall Street has named and confronted. Some of them are already engaging in important ways, explicitly as part of—or in support of—Occupy Wall Street. And many more have long been engaged in work that clearly aligns with the movement's core values—and probably even deserve some credit for helping to lay the long-term organizing groundwork that helped create OWS.

But there are still significant barriers standing in the way of broader constituencies conceptualizing themselves as part of a 99% movement and getting actively involved. The first and most obvious barrier is that many groups haven't really been asked to get involved. During the first couple months of OWS, if a group wanted to get involved, it was typically a matter of them taking the initiative to approach us and ask what kind of support they might provide. Usually the answer was some variety of "Come down to Zuccotti Park" or "Stand up against Bloomberg for our right to occupy the park." Often the groups that wanted to support OWS simply showed up. While this kind of involvement made perfect sense when we held the park, it's clear that we now have to come up with other ways for more people and groups to take action as part of the 99% movement.

This is a critical transition for Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement. Remember that Occupy Wall Street kicked off with a well timed call-to-action, a ripe target, some planning, and a lot of crazy luck. As a result, OWS has understandably had more of a culture of mobilizing than of organizing. It's been a little like a group of folks who don't know anything about farming who arrive at a farm at harvest time. There's delicious food everywhere, and all they have to do is pick, pluck, and gather it. And eat it! "Wow," one of them exclaims, "farming is awesome! Why would we waste our time cultivating the soil? This food is delicious! I want to eat it all the time! This is working very well. We should just keep doing this — all the time!"

Occupy Wall Street has been something of a harvest moment. It pulled thousands of people out of the woodwork who'd been waiting for something just like this to come along, and who were in a place where we could carve out time from our lives to engage it. But movements need hundreds of thousands if not millions of active participants to become mass movements. It's difficult if not impossible to activate those kinds of numbers by just taking public action with the hope that other like-minded individuals will decide to join you. We need more on-ramps and more ways to be involved — for folks who might not yet feel comfortable camping out at a public park.

.....And this is why it is now critical that we meet with folks who are movers and shakers in other social networks and institutions. That's how the 99% movement can grow at the rate we all know it needs to; byactivating whole swaths of society at a time.....

.....All of the above gets so much more complicated in an election year. Occupy Wall Street is an outsider force. It should remain an outsider force this year. If it were to endorse candidates or a particular political party, it would immediately lose all of its value and leverage. Our job is to push from the outside.

But that's not at all to say that we shouldn't have a strategy for engaging with the energy and media attention of the election season. We should. And how we do it will seriously affect our ability to continue to grow this movement, to be seen as relevant, to cultivate alliances, and to leverage power to effect real change......

.......Once someone starts running on your rhetoric, you then have more leverage over them. You are better positioned to expose them if they're just giving lip service to your ideas without any intention of delivering. And for all the horrendous limits of the two-party system, still a slate of candidates who get elected pledging to take on the big banks gives us a lot more to work with—as an outsider social movement—than a slate of candidates elected on a pledge to cut social spending. And more importantly, it keeps the momentum on our side.

Another important question has to do with how we engage allies who do endorse candidates. Many labor unions, for example, are likely at some point to endorse President Obama's reelection bid. Some already have. And some will surely endorse specific state and local candidates. We're an outsider force. We should never endorse candidates. But is it possible to ally around specific actions with organizations that also endorse candidates?

It has to be. We join up with others where we can, and we depart where we depart. If we call for an end to corporate personhood, for example, we should welcome as many co-endorsers as possible, including organizations that endorse politicians — and even politicians themselves. Welcoming politicians' endorsements of our goals doesn't mean endorsing those politicians. This is an important detail, and it requires a precise threading of the needle. As an outside force, we have to take all politicians to task, regardless of party. But the details of how we do this matter. We need to pressure politicians and candidates, and the best way to do this is to ask them hard questions and provide pressure that pulls them in our direction (or put them on the defensive). If we ask good questions that resonate with the people who hear them, then we're doing our job well. If, on the other hand, we make general statements like, "It doesn't matter who you vote for, they're all the same," then we're being needlessly belligerent to our allies and potential allies (without even putting politicians on the defensive). An organization focused primarily on reproductive rights, for example, will understandably be very concerned about whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney occupies the White House. We can take candidates from both parties to task on an array of other issues without spurning their reasons for deciding to endorse a candidate. ........

........Someone who had felt constrained within her institution before the shake-up may now see and seize openings to move the institution in a bolder direction. And this is more likely to happen if organizers from Occupy Wall Street—the visible catalyst of the earthquake—approach longstanding institutions to strategize together about how they might engage with this moment.

An earthquake moment is a time to invite people to engage. It's not a moment to keep people in boxes, or to draw rigid lines. It's a moment to hammer Wall Street, the big banks, and the political system that has been fixed to serve only the very wealthy and powerful. Our task now is to activate as many people as possible into action. And this has to include people we wouldn't necessarily choose to have as our best friends. ///

Unfortunately at the sessions Smucker is participating in in Minneapolis this week, such an open debate is not an option because of restricted access. The big question: Does that mean that the position and debate frames adopted as "Occupy approved" will shift in a less radical, more institutionalized direction?

Located from deeper areas of the internet, Home Defenders League PR structure in a press release:

/// EVENT: CONFERENCE CALL BRIEFING - THE HOME DEFENDERS LEAGUE;

LOCATION: None given -- May 31, 2012 As seen in text

SECTION: GENERAL NEWS EVENTS - LENGTH: 98 words

SUBJECT: The Home Defenders League holds a conference call briefing, beginning at noon, with an overview of the Home Defenders League campaign, a "new alliance of homeowners and renters across the country who are joining together to make their voices heard in the 2012 election and beyond."

CONTACT: Moria Herbst, 646-452-5637, 917-743-6350, moira@berlinrosen.com [Note: Media should RSVP to Moira Herbst at moira@berlinrosen.com or 646-452-5637. Call-in, 800-434-1335; password, 995583#. A Q&A follows the news conference. Information on the launch of the alliance is embargoed until 9 a.m. May 31.] ///

Located near Wall Street at 15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1600, New York, NY, Berlin Rosen is interesting, reminiscent of other liberal communications consultancies. See http://www.berlinrosen.com/section/our-team/ for some familiar names.

In conclusion, I hope that broad networks can evolve, especially on all housing issues including fraud, homelessness, financialization, fractional reserve, and foreclosures, but that will not work out when narrow networks with bowtie chokepoints, rather than broad, open and loose networks evolve.

DISCLAIMER: I have performed videography services for MFE in the last year, contributed to videos & trained supporters in mobile video software (ustream/bambuser). Also, Movement Resource Group or one of its founders, Ben Cohen, (not sure which) provided funding for GlobalRevolution.tv (which I am a member) to supply Occupy and related movements with media gear, via GlobalRev's fiscal sponsor . We need to have good spirited disclosure of paid political organizing, in the long run this is essential. As so many people are well-intentioned, to avoid conflicts and jumbles, clear, plain information is the best goal we should share.

Previous stories on mainstream politics & the Occupy movement on HongPong.com : Feb 19 2012: BuStEd: I sense Astroturfing in the Occupy! UAW social media plan posted for "99% Spring" electioneering schema // Aug 4 2012: Plans for closed door Occupy Homes national meeting spurs opposition [VIDEO]

CREATIVE COMMONS WITH ATTRIBUTION - hongpong.com - hongpong@hongpong.com

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