Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December 4th, 2009

Police Tapped Sprint Customer GPS Data 8 Million Times In A Year

TPM Muckraker

Justin Elliott | December 4, 2009, 6:03PM

Under a new system set up by Sprint, law enforcement agencies have gotten GPS data from the company about its wireless customers 8 million times in about a year, raising a host of questions about consumer privacy, transparency, and oversight of how police obtain location data.

What this means — and what many wireless customers no doubt do not realize — is that with a few keystrokes, police can determine in real time the location of a cell phone user through automated systems set up by the phone companies.

And while a Sprint spokesman told us customers can shield themselves from surveillance by simply switching off the GPS function of their phones, one expert told TPM that the company and other carriers almost certainly have the power to remotely switch the function back on.

To be clear, you can think of there being two types of GPS (global positioning system). One is the handy software on your mobile device that tells you where you are and helps give driving directions. But there’s also GPS capability in all cell phones sold today, required by a federal regulation so if you dial 911 from an unknown location, authorities can find you.

Sprint says the 8 million requests represent “thousands” of individual customers — it won’t say how many exactly — and that the company follows the law. It’s not clear, however, if warrants are always needed, or whether they have been obtained by police for all the cases.

We know the 8 million number thanks to an Indiana University graduate student named Christopher Soghoian, who has made headlines before for investigations of privacy and tech issues.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Tony Blair

by Matthew Carr, Dissident Voice,  December 3, 2009

At some point in the New Year Tony Blair will appear before the Chilcot Inquiry established by the British government to assess the historical ‘lessons’ of the Iraq war. Few individuals bear more responsibility for the invasion and its calamitous aftermath than Blair. Not only was his single-minded determination crucial in bringing his own country into the war, but his close political relationship with the Bush administration, also helped US hawks present the case for war to a sceptical American public.

The consequences of this intervention are well-known; hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths and four million refugees and internally displaced persons; thousands of British and American soldiers killed or wounded; an Iraqi society devastated by war and counterinsurgency, by criminal and terrorist violence, ethnic cleansing and death squads; a neo-colonial occupation marked by torture and brutality and barely-credible levels of financial corruption and incompetence.

Continues >>


Read Full Post »

Morning Star Online,  December 3, 2009
By John Pilger

I remember the boys dressed in army surplus, the girls in hessian, silhouettes framed in beach shanties, staring across an abyss. You were not meant to talk about them. They were not counted in the census, unlike the sheep, and anyway were dirty and feckless and dying off.

You were not meant to disturb the surface of our great southern idyll, sun-kissed and God-blessed, in circumstances that might raise questions of race.

Continues >>


Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

Read Full Post »

Obama In Allentown, Pa. To Discuss Jobs, Economy

AP/Huffington Post
First Posted: 12- 4-09 10:46 AM   |   Updated: 12- 4-09 12:00 PM

President Obama travels to Allentown, Pennsylvania on Friday to discuss jobs and the economy, one day after his jobs summit in Washington, D.C. and in the wake of news that unemployment decreased slightly last month. He is speaking at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

“This is good news, just in time for the season of hope,” Obama said. “But I want to keep this in perspective. We’ve still got a long way to go. I consider one job lost one job too many.”

The full remarks as prepared for delivery:

It is good to be back in the Lehigh Valley. It’s been about a year and a half since I last visited Allentown and Bethlehem when I was running for this office. And while it was a pleasure to be here as a candidate, it is an honor to be here as your President.

Pennsylvania, you helped put me in office. But even on the most trying days, I want you to know that I’m grateful – grateful for the opportunity to serve you in these challenging times for America; and grateful for this chance to get out of Washington and spend the day in the Lehigh Valley, talking with folks about this very tough economy.

I’ve just come from Allentown Metal Works, where I had a chance to visit with workers there. They were working hard – and not just to forge the heavy machinery that makes this country run. Like so many others across America, they’ve been doing the best they can to stay afloat in a brutal recession that has hit folks like them hardest of all.

In the two years since this recession began, too many members of our American family have felt the gut punch of a pink slip. Eight million Americans have lost their jobs. Every one of us knows someone who has been swept up by this storm: neighbors who have lost their homes or their health care; friends who have used up their savings and put off their retirement; relatives who have downscaled their dreams – or dropped them entirely.

I’ve heard these stories in every corner of America, and I see them in the letters I read each night.

So as we come to the end of this very tough year, I want to do something I haven’t had a chance to do often during my first year in office; and that is to share some encouraging news on our economy.

MORE HERE

Read Full Post »


Beyonce- Ave Maria (Live 2008!)

Read Full Post »

Beck’s ‘Christmas Sweater’ flops in major cities, just 17 tickets sold in New York and Boston.

Think Progress- By Alex Seitz-Wald at 12:08 pm

Last night, Fox News host Glenn Beck premiered his new live show based on his book The Christmas Sweater, which was simulcast to hundreds of movie theaters across the country. Sponsor Fathom Events called it a “once in a lifetime event,” during which “Glenn will tell you about the real life events that inspired him to write” the book, play clips from his 2008 national tour, and “share stories of the overwhelming response he received.” Despite heavy promotion on Beck’s radio and TV shows, and in-theater trailers, ticket sales were weak in major cities: Beck sold only 17 tickets in Boston, another 17 in New York, and just 30 in Washington, DC. Raw Story reports that, while sales were better in more conservative areas, even Seattle — which is near Beck’s hometown — couldn’t muster a strong crowd:

While it performed better in the south and in rural, more conservative areas, his ability to draw viewers in major US markets was a bust.

“The theater’s almost empty,” a representative at Regal Cinemas in Manhattan told Raw Story moments before it began.

The viewing in Lynnwood, WA — the closest one to Beck’s Mount Vernon hometown — sold out several hours before the show began. Ten miles south, 70 out of 415 seats had been snagged in Seattle, a better turnout than other cities.

Despite purporting to be a champion of the “little guy,” Beck set tickets prices at $20 — more than double the average ticket price. Blogger Joseph Childers reports that the production value looked “cheap,” and “the bulk of the evening consists solely of Glenn Beck acting out every role in his hokey story, with only his limited repertoire of accents and pantomime filling out the ‘cast’.”

HERE

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: