Hacktivist group members of the Anonymous collective are calling for a global protest against Trapwire, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security deployed electronic surveillance system uncovered in WikiLeaks latest Global Intelligence Files (GIF) series documents.
Information about the protest is being shared by Operation INDECT (OpINDECT International) and there is an #OpINDECT/#TrapWire Facebook Event Page.
It is not the first INDECT protest, but recent news about TrapWire from the Wikileaks leak of private intelligence firm Stratfor's documents has added new fuel to the fire.
According to Trapwire's website, the surveillance system uses data from a network of CCTV systems and numberplate readers to figure out the threat level in huge numbers of locations:
"Trapwire detects, analyzes and alerts on suspicious events as they are collected over periods of time and across multiple locations. Through the systematic capture of these pre-attack indicators, terrorist or criminal surveillance and pre-attack planning operations can be identified"
An in-depth report published by RT.com, states that TrapWire has been deployed "in most major American cities at selected high value targets (HVTs)," as well as in multiple Las Vegas casinos, for the state of Texas, as well as for the Pentagon and other military agencies. It said TrapWire was created by a company called Abraxas, which features a management team largely drawn from the intelligence services and military branches. An Abraxas spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the company's relationship with TrapWire.
A federal judge has refused to throw out a request from James O’Keefe, who infamously and secretly filmed an ACORN worker while supposedly pretending to be a pimp. The selectively-edited video, typical of O’Keefe’s punk hackery, ultimately led to the defunding of ACORN by Congress and its subsequent bankruptcy.
The video above, from The Rachel Maddow Show that originally aired on April 6, 2010, is part one of that show that details the unedited version of O'Keefe's video which was initially used to depict the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) as assisting a pimp and his accompanying prostitute in human trafficking to show that... wasn't... quite... how it happened.
This portion of the video details everything, including how the defunding of ACORN by Congress was later ruled unconstitutional, and the GAO's 38-page report that surveyed over 31 federal agencies, probing how ACORN used federal funds and whether adequate controls on spending existed. The report found no evidence of fraud, lax oversight or misuse of federal funds. All this came too late for the not-for-profit group, unfortunately. Part two of the show can be viewed here.
Yet even with the release of the original videos before they were edited, and being completely cleared of any wrongdoing by Congress, disparaging reports continue to pop up in the conservative media. Conveniently, they "forget" to mention that fake scandalmonger O'Keefe is a convicted criminal, or that ACORN was cleared by Congress.
Juan Carlos Vera sued O’Keefe, and his associate Hanna Giles in Federal Court on privacy claims, related to O’Keefe secretly filming Vera at an ACORN office in National City in 2009.
"ACORN is in the business of providing counseling and support for the community on various matters," Lorenz wrote. "By its very nature, the organization handles personal matters with individual clients. Defendants walked into ACORN and asked for plaintiff's help with tax forms. ... Specifically, they solicited his help with setting up an illegal prostitution business with underaged girls. ... Plaintiff, as a worker for an organization like ACORN, reasonably believed that the content of the conversation was sensitive enough that it would remain private."
O'Keefe duped Vera by asking if the conversation would remain confidential, before he launched into details of the nonexistent scheme, Lorenz wrote.
Over the course of a 40-minute conversation, Lorenz noted, the three "abruptly paused their conversation" after Vera's supervisor, David Lagstein, entered the office, and continued talking after the supervisor left.
"Based on the surrounding circumstances, plaintiff reasonably believed that the conversation was private because it was held in his office with no one else present, and he believed that no one else was listening in on his conversation," Lorenz wrote.
Because of this "genuine dispute," Lorenz denied O'Keefe's motion for summary judgment.
Pretrial hearings are set for October 15, 2012.
I happen to know a few former ACORNS, all wonderful, kind-hearted people who -- not surprisingly -- again work helping those in need. (Yes, Fox News, former ACORNS have new jobs...is that okay with you?)
If having a day in court with James O'Keefe brings them any solace or would bring some sense of justice, after all the years of great service they provided while with ACORN, and enduring this right-wing witch-hunt, let the ACORN lawsuits commence.
In the age of Facebook and Twitter, a new crime has hit America: "Sharpie parties," gatherings of revelers armed with "Sharpie" magic markers and lured by social media invitations to wreak havoc on foreclosed homes.
Five years into the U.S. foreclosure crisis, Sharpie parties are a new form of blight on the landscape of boarded-up homes, brown lawns and abandoned streets. They are also the latest iteration of collective home-trashing spurred by social media.
At least six Sharpie parties were reported in one California county in recent months, where invitations posted online drew scores to foreclosed homes.
The partygoers are handed Sharpie pens on arrival by their hosts and urged to graffiti the walls - a destructive binge that often prompts other acts of vandalism, including smashing holes in walls and doors, flooding bathrooms and ripping up floors.
If revenge on the banks is the motive, does anyone think the banks really care? They make their money no matter what, that's how they stay rich and powerful, they designed the system to work that way.
Those of us fighting to change the system, and hoping to see crooked bankers punished for things like mortgage fraud will have a more difficult time doing that if we're all looked upon as criminals or potential criminals. Please, think beyond yourself, and remember that there are families still fighting to keep their homes.
We are the Invisible Army of Defaulters. We are your neighbors. We are your family, your friends. We are millions. We are everywhere. We are going to bring the system to its knees. We can, because we wield the one power that all the armies of the world can never defeat: The power of refusal. This power has destroyed the mightest empires. The same fate awaits the current system of mafia capitalism in America, an economic system driven by Wall Street CEOs who produce nothing, contribute nothing, who have bought our government and reduced it into a criminal enterprise whose main purpose is to support loan-sharking, gambling, extortion, and the slow reduction of American citizens into debt peons. Every dollar we take from a subprime mortgage speculator, every dollar we save from a collection agency is a tiny piece of our own lives and freedom that we can give back to our communities. To be able to take care of our children, our friends, our families is a value that no accountant can ever measure, that no government, loan administrator, or hedge fund manager can ever have the right to take away from us. We are an army of lovers who cannot be defeated. We are laying the groundwork for another world. Strike debt.
Resist. Insist. Stand together. Build. Never give up. #S17.
Now that makes a statement! A governor who has a criminal defense fund, destroys workers' rights, slashes 800 million from public education in favor of tax breaks for the rich, and divides a state more than deserves the title of "Governor Crappy".
A decade ago gambling magnate and leading Republican donor Sheldon Adelson looked at a desolate spit of land in Macau and imagined a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls.
Where competitors saw obstacles, including Macau's hostility to outsiders and historic links to Chinese organized crime, Adelson envisaged a chance to make billions.
Adelson pushed his chips to the center of the table, keeping his nerve even as his company teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in late 2008.
The Macau bet paid off, propelling Adelson into the ranks of the mega-rich and underwriting his role as the largest Republican donor in the 2012 campaign, providing tens of millions of dollars to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other GOP causes.
Now, some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion have come under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators, according to people familiar with both inquiries.
Internal email and company documents, disclosed here for the first time, show that Adelson instructed a top executive to pay about $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator whose firm was serving as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands.
The company's general counsel and an outside law firm warned that the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is unknown whether Adelson was aware of these warnings. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bars American companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for business gain.
Federal investigators are looking at whether the payments violate the statute because of Alves' government and political roles in Macau, people familiar with the inquiry said. Investigators were also said to be separately examining whether the company made any other payments to officials. An email by Alves to a senior company official, disclosed by the Wall Street Journal, quotes him as saying "someone high ranking in Beijing" had offered to resolve two vexing issues 2014 a lawsuit by a Taiwanese businessman and Las Vegas Sands' request for permission to sell luxury apartments in Macau. Another email from Alves said the problems could be solved for a payment of $300 million. There is no evidence the offer was accepted. Both issues remain unresolved.