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Judges challenge Internet wiretap rules: 'Your argument makes no sense,' appeals judge tells FCC lawyer A U.S. appeals panel sharply challenged the Bush administration Friday over new rules making it easier for police and the FBI to wiretap Internet phone calls. A judge said the government’s courtroom arguments were “gobbledygook.”
The skepticism expressed so openly toward the administration’s case encouraged civil liberties and education groups that argued that the U.S. is improperly applying telephone-era rules to a new generation of Internet services.
“Your argument makes no sense,” U.S. Circuit Judge Harry T. Edwards told the lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission, Jacob Lewis. “When you go back to the office, have a big chuckle. I’m not missing this. This is ridiculous. Counsel!” (Associated Press)
Congress may consider mandatory ISP snooping: It didn't take long for the idea of forcing Internet providers to retain records of their users' activities to gain traction in the U.S. Congress Last week, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, a Republican, gave a speech saying that data retention by Internet service providers is an "issue that must be addressed." Child pornography investigations have been "hampered" because data may be routinely deleted, Gonzales warned.
Now, in a demonstration of bipartisan unity, a Democratic member of the Congressional Internet Caucus is preparing to introduce an amendment--perhaps during a U.S. House of Representatives floor vote next week--that would make such data deletion illegal.
Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal (click for PDF) says that any Internet service that "enables users to access content" must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed. (CNet News)
Operation Northwoods Author James Bamford, "A Pretext For War", discusses the recently declassified "Operation Northwoods" documents revealing that in 1962 the CIA was planning to stage phony terrorist attacks on the US and blame it on Cuba to start a war (INN)
CIA mines 'rich' content from blogs "We're certainly scoring a number of wins with our ultimate customer," said Mr. Jardines, who became the first high-level official in charge of the government's nonsecret intelligence in December. "I can't get into detail of what, but I'll just say the amount of open source reporting that goes into the president's daily brief has gone up rather significantly," Mr. Jardines said. "There has been a real interest at the highest levels of our government, and we've been able to consistently deliver products that are on par with the rest of the intelligence community." (Washington Times)
Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi Jordanian Painted As Foreign Threat To Iraq's Stability - The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (Washington Post)
Technology promises to improve airport screening process The technology has been available for many months, but privacy concerns have held up its deployment. Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems Inc, and American Science & Engineering Inc, have worked to develop proxy images that mask private parts. Pilot testing on these machines, which cost $70,000 to $100,000, should begin in early spring. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Whistleblower outs NSA's secret spy room at AT&T Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, said the company shunted all Internet traffic--including traffic from peering links connecting to other Internet backbone providers-- to semantic traffic analyzers, installed in a secret room inside the AT&T central office on Folsom Street in San Francisco. Similar rooms were built in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.
"Based on my understanding of the connections and equipment at issue, it appears the NSA (National Security Agency) is capable of conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet," Klein said. "This potential spying appears to be applied wholesale to all sorts of Internet communications of countless citizens." (Spam Daily News)
Does Fluoridation Up Bone Cancer Risk? Study Examines Boyhood Drinking of Fluoridated Water and Possible Links to Osteosarcoma Boys who drink fluoridated water have an increased risk of a deadly bone cancer, a new study suggests.
Elise Bassin, DDS, completed the study in 2001 for her doctoral dissertation at Harvard, where she now is clinical instructor in oral health policy and epidemiology. The study finally was published in the May issue of Cancer Causes and Control.
Bassin and colleagues' major finding: Boys who grew up in communities that added at least moderate levels of fluoride to their water got bone cancer -- osteosarcoma -- more often than boys who drank water with little or no fluoride.
The risk peaked for boys who drank more highly fluoridated water between the ages of 6 and 8 years -- a time at which children undergo a major growth spurt. By the time they were 20, these boys got bone cancer 5.46 times more often than boys with the lowest consumption. No effect was seen for girls. (WebMD)
9/11 Panel Heads Say Rudy Got Off Easy "There were no questions posed to him about communication problems between police and firefighters in the towers, or why New York City had its emergency response command center in World Trade Center 7 after the complex had been the target of the 1993 terrorist attack," (New York Daily News)
Drone aircraft may prowl U.S. skies Unmanned aerial vehicles have soared the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq for years, spotting enemy encampments, protecting military bases, and even launching missile attacks against suspected terrorists. - Now UAVs may be landing in the United States.
A House of Representatives panel on Wednesday heard testimony from police agencies that envision using UAVs for everything from border security to domestic surveillance high above American cities. Private companies also hope to use UAVs for tasks such as aerial photography and pipeline monitoring.
"We need additional technology to supplement manned aircraft surveillance and current ground assets to ensure more effective monitoring of United States territory," Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner at Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection Bureau, told the House Transportation subcommittee. (CNet News)
WHY THE INQUIRY INTO AIR INDIA MUST CLARIFY THE ROLE OF CSIS INFORMER SURJAN SINGH GILL Alexandre Popovic
Open letter to the federal minister of public safety regarding the necessity to examine the role of a CSIS informer in the bombing against the Air India Flight 182 in which 329 peoples died more than twenty years ago.
Rest of the text:
To the Honorable Stockwell Day,
Minister of Public Safety
House of Commons
- Subject: public inquiry on Air India
Attention Mr. Minister :
Your party decided to honor the electoral promise engagement of holding a public inquiry into the Air India case. Your colleague, Justice Minister Vic Toews, gave you the task of fixing the framework and timeline of the public inquiry into this dramatic event that is now nearly twenty-one years old.
Despite the un-precedent scope of this tragedy, I can unfortunately testify, to the fact that today in Montreal, many fellow citizens are still very much unaware of this horrible event. People seem to have forgotten that the Air India Flight 182 took off from the Mirabel airport (in the Montreal area) before exploding over the Atlantic Ocean off the shores of Ireland. There were 329 people on board. This includes 84 children younger than twelve years old. No one survived. All of this took place on June 23, 1985.
Fifth defeat for ID card scheme The Lords voted 219 to 191 - a majority of 28 - for a compromise motion watering down the controversial bill, despite a warning from the government that continuing to oppose the bill could have serious consequences for the future of the Lords (London Guardian)
FBI agent 'warned of hijack risk' An FBI agent has told the sentencing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui that his attempts to warn of a possible hijack plan were obstructed by his superiors. - But despite his entreaties, FBI headquarters refused to open a criminal investigation and obtain a search warrant for Moussaoui's possessions, Mr Samit said. (BBC)
Terrorism stop and search 'valid' Police patrolling in London Police used the powers at a demonstration in London The use by police of anti-terror laws to stop and search demonstrators at an east London arms fair was valid, the House of Lords has ruled (BBC)
The Most Powerful Bank You've Never Heard Of Chances are, though, that you've never even heard of what is arguably the most powerful financial institution on earth, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). - A banker's bank, the BIS does no direct business with individuals, governments, or corporate entities. Instead, it deals solely with member nations' central banks (most of which are privately owned). There are 55 of them at present, and the list includes every central bank of consequence in the world. (Investors Insight)
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