School’s back in session, so we start this week’s roundup with Papers, Please!’s report that the San Antonio Public Schools Plan to Make Students Wear Radio Tracking Beacons. The school district interested in using these ID chips is calling them Smart Student ID Cards. If you’re wondering what to think about this, here is EPIC’s Position Paper on the Use of RFID in Schools.
We’re also in Convention season – the Republicans are in Tampa this week, and next week the Democrats are in Charlotte. DHS and the FBI issued (and Cryptome uploaded) a Joint Intelligence Bulletin on August 21 about anarchists. The bulletin warns police that anarchists may use “Molotov cocktails…or acid-filled eggs,” something protestor management specialist Sam Rosenfeld points out is an FBI/DHS Inaccuracy [That] Could Lead to Police Over-reaction. Rosenfeld had pointed out a week earlier some Worrying Signs from Tampa – Protest Management at the RNC. Unrelated, the Phoenix NewTimes reports that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Republican National Convention Role Doesn’t Exist, So He’ll Be at a Nearby Zoo.
It was a flash of brilliance when the NYTimes’ assignment desk asked documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras to do a short video piece featuring William Binney. William Binney, after 30+ years as a high ranking official in the NSA, has become one of the loudest and most damning critics of the NSA’s domestic spying. Laura Poitras has been repeatedly detained at the border, after being put on a watch list for her films critical of U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The result is The Program. Over on the Opinion page, there’s Giving In to the Surveillance State by Shane Harris, author of “The Watchers: The Rise of America’s Surveillance State.”
Seems Naomi “The Beauty Myth” Wolf has more to say about the world of police surveillance than her controversial claim in the Guardian last year that the police attack was a coordinated effort by members of Congress to protect their own wealth. In The New Totalitarianism of Surveillance Technology, Wolf reports on face-recognition cameras being used in Disneyland and, she implies, throughout lower Manhattan.
Ninety miles to the north of Disneyland, in Lancaster, CA, Infowars.com warns of a Cessna plane fitted with sophisticated video surveillance technology will fly loops around the city and send footage” to the Sheriff’s office, making it the first City To Be Watched By Permanent Eye In The Sky.
Arizona State University has a State of the Border Report in the works, released a teaser this week in the form of a working paper by Eric L. Olson and Erik Lee on The State of Security in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region. The authors suggest that “the more the two governments can push key security processes away from the border, the better,” and give a framework for developing a way to measure border security in some way that’s more sophisticated that looking only at the amount being spent.
The Sixth Circuit decided U.S .v. Amawi this past week, affirming convictions of three men in Ohio of conspiracy to kill/maim Americans overseas and conspiracy to provide material support. The Harvard Law/Brookings Institute’s Lawfare blog posted commentary by Amawi’s former public defender Jonathan Witmer-Rich on the Amawi Case about the breadth of federal conspiracy law and how the FBI’s informants are actively creating the cases for prosecution.
The first Unmanned Systems Convention drew 8,000 drone-sters to Las Vegas this month, all wanting a piece of the emerging industry where big Satellite Companies Look to Drones for Growth while mom & pop company Drone U. Rides Flight Boom.
If there’s just one thing you click to read this week, make it this “line by line analysis of the second verse of 99 ‘Problems,’ by Jay-Z, from the perspective of a criminal procedure professor.” Caleb Mason’s Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading with Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops and Perps is a bright little gem of genius.