TSA: “Nationwide Security Network”

June 15, 2011

DHS Witch and Former Failed Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, pictured left during a recent zombie media non-event.

Janet’s TSA admits its role as an internal, nationwide “security” and “intelligence” network.

“It is critical that TSA retains its ability to operate as a flexible nationwide security network,” a TSA spokesperson wrote. “TSA’s capacity to push out intelligence information to our frontline workforce and quickly change procedures based on threat and intelligence is paramount to effective security.

From: http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/14/tsa-blocks-private-airport-screeners/#ixzz1PJh0XW3i

Feeling safer, yet?


Janet Napolitano Launches New Wave of Paranoia

April 21, 2011

Has anyone noticed that Ol’ Nappy (Janet Napolitano) has become even less coherent as Secretary of Homeland Security than she was as our spy-camera and Redflex Lobbyist loving governor?

The latest round of non-sense coming out of her mouth has to do with a new system for terror alerts. Does anyone have a use for these scare tactics?

When the old color coded system was in place, could you remember those days when you were asked to be extra vigilant? How did you behave? Were bridges and large stadiums on your list of things to avoid? It seems that those in charge of “security” at the Federal level are really just in the business of cooking up new ways to make us all fear everyone and everything around us.

<read more>


Houston Texas, The Surveillance Zone

December 11, 2010

The epicenter of spy camera funny business in the United States is officially Houston, TX. Even if you never get behind the wheel, you are being watched in the down town area by a newly installed network of over 250 cameras. Guess who picked up the tab? If you said Big Sis Napolitano and The Dept of Homeland Security, you’d be right!

DHS and the city of Houston must have never investigated the CCTV (closed circuit television) system in London which has been nothing but a huge money pit and an absolute failure to stop crime. Then again, who cares about safety records when there’s money to be made from selling and buying expensive equipment? Just ask Michael Chertoff how that little scheme works.

It’s hard to ignore the fact that Houston has been fighting tooth and nail to keep their red light cameras in place at the very same time. (Un) American Traffic Solutions has their dog and pony lawyer show out in full force, suing the city of Houston for allowing the citizens to vote on a citizens initiative. Their arguments, as usual, are so repugnant that they’re not even worth mentioning here.

The problem is that the city clearly wants to lose to ATS so that the cameras stay up and the money keeps flowing in. To make matters worse, the federal judge hearing the case, Lynn Hughes, is not allowing anyone to represent the people of Houston. In effect he is an unelected judge attempting to legislate from the bench. In the end ATS and the city of Houston will fail in their attempt to work over the people, but in the process will waste a lot of money and time.

There will be much more to come next week when the court proceedings begin.


Then and Now: The Surveillance Playbook

November 15, 2010

Recent implementations of surveillance systems have followed a predictable playbook.

Politicians, government agencies, and corporations are pitting their collective agendas against us, and the rights of the individual are suffering.

Before heading up the Department of Homeland Security, then-Governor Janet Napolitano spearheaded the creation of a widespread surveillance system in Arizona. This article aims to show that while the names of the players change (Then DPS, now TSA; Then Redflex, Now RapiScan; etc), the game stays the same.

Creating the Problem

Then: As Governor, Napolitano urgently forces into place a statewide “photo enforcement” scheme on Arizona highways. A private contractor (Redflex) benefits and provides the surveillance equipment.

Now: As DHS Director, Napolitano rolls out “advanced imaging” scanners at airports nationwide while urging (threatening) other countries to follow suit. A private contractor (RapiScan) benefits and provides the surveillance equipment.

Mission Creep

Then: Redflex’s roadside ticketing cameras are found to record and transmit video 24 hours a day, despite denials by company lobbyists. Politicians feign outrage.

Now: RapiScan’s virtual strip machines are discovered to be capable of storing and transmitting images of travelers. Politicians feign outrage.

Alphabet Soup Agencies and Technological Snake Oil

Then: The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is charged with running the statewide surveillance network and vehemently defends its use. Phony statistics are used by the department to “prove” effectiveness, causing even supporting organizations such as AAA to question the official stats.

Now: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents utilize body scanners across the United States and agency officials vehemently defend their use, despite a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which stated that such measures would not have stopped the so-called (attempted) “underwear bomber,” the exact incident which prompted the accelerated rollout of such scanners.

Unequal Protection Under the Law and Lacking Common Sense

Then: Under RedflexDPS’ automated ticketing and surveillance scheme, no two drivers are protected equally under the law. A driver with his true home address on file is much more likely to be served in-person with a ticket, while a ticket may not even be mailed if the vehicle is registered to a corporation.

Now: For the most part,  TSA randomly selects who is to submit to a naked body scan, creating a clear standard of unequal protection. One can only hope that a true terrorist doesn’t slip through security because agents are too busy subjecting Grandma to “additional screening” for her carry-on pies.

Make it Clear Who’s Boss

Then: After outsourcing their responsibilities to Redflex, DPS created a unit to target and harass those who openly taunted their surveillance network. Detectives in the so-called “frequent flyer” division addressed the pressing threat of masked drivers and possible political opponents. When a horrible act of violence claimed the life of a photo radar company employee, DPS seized the opportunity to blame their opponents for being too “vocal.”

Now: TSA agents use the threat of “enhanced patdowns” —up and to the point of physical agent contact with travelers’ genitals (groping)— to prompt “compliance” with naked body scans. Those who “opt out” of naked body scans are publicly singled out, with widespread reports of TSA agents screaming “We have an Opt Out!” when confronted with a dissenter.

Conclusion

These parallel stories (ticketing cameras vs. naked body scanners) follow the same plot: The false promise of increased transportation safety via intrusive government surveillance.

Meanwhile, the inherent human right of freedom of movement is so severely crippled that obedient “compliance” is not only expected, but required.

Government regulations create a de facto monopoly over both roadways and airways regarding what hoops you will be required to jump through in order to proceed to your destination. Have the wrong papers or cross the wrong government agent, and you may find yourself detained, arrested, or even killed.

Welcome to the new United States: Land of the Fees, and Home of the Slaves


Security officials to scan D.C. area license plates

August 19, 2008

From the AP / WTOP:

Homeland security officials in the Washington area plan to dramatically expand the use of automated license plate readers to prevent possible terrorist attacks.

Officials from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia have agreed to install 200 license plate readers on police vehicles, at airports and along roads. The plan announced Friday will be funded by federal homeland security grants for the area.

[…]

The readers will scan every license plate that passes by and will run the numbers through federal criminal and terrorist databases.

New York officials recently said they plan to scan license plates of all cars entering Manhattan.

If cameras prevented crime, we wouldn’t see all the footage on the nightly news of the armed gunman robbing the local convenient store. In the best of scenarios, camera footage can be used to investigate crimes that have already occurred. A terrible example of such is the well-known footage of the 9/11 hijackers walking through airport security.

Lets analyze the flawed logic behind DHS’ license plate scanners:

  1. Terrorists do bad things.
  2. Cameras can scan license plates and compare the data to terrorist databases.
  3. Law enforcement can catch terrorists.

Did you catch it? The break in logic happens somewhere between items 1 and 2; if there’s a “terrorist database,” and we know who the terrorists are (and, apparently have their license plate number already), why are we waiting for the plate scanners to pick them up? Why aren’t warrants being issued for the arrest of these suspected terrorists?

Instead of being tough on terrorism, DHS is acting like a kid in a candy store: the gobstoppers and gumballs of technology are sweet and taste really good, but are actually nothing but a bunch of empty calories. And the taxpayers are getting stuck with the cavities.


%d bloggers like this: