Illegal Spying

It is OK to criticize the Obama administration

And that is especially true when it involves the real big issues of our times... As long as that criticism is, ya know, based in the reality of the policies and not some insane rantings and ravings of fringe and conspiracy theory lunacies. Via Glenn Greenwald, Jon Stewart hit on some really big issues, last night and immediately after the somnambulic presidential address, and pulled no punches from the not so sleepy world of reality:

When ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero last week addressed the progressive conference America's Future Now, he began by saying:  "I'm going to start provocatively . . . I'm disgusted with this president."  Last night, after Obama's Oval Office speech, Jon Stewart began his show with an 8-minute monologue on Obama's executive power and civil liberties record which, in essence, provided just some of the reasons why Romero's strong condemnation is so justified.  None of this will be remotely new to any readers here, but it's still nice to see its being distilled so clearly by a voice which even the most hardened Obama loyalists have decided is a credible and trustworthy one (at least when he's mocking Sarah Palin and exposing Fox News; we'll see what reaction this provokes from them, if any).

There is no denying the truth in the accusations, nor IMHO the real importance of this issue that has been obscured with huge celebrations by Obama's most ardent supporters for tiny and relatively meaningless wins on comparatively less important issues, that Stewart makes in the video below the fold.

Open Camera Thread

This open thread will open your eyes, may make them pop a bit as your head explodes... But this thread will NOT turn on your Webcam without your knowledge or permission, nor will it be spying on your kids:

Mike Perbix. Write that name
down, because it's sounding more and more like he might have to legally
change his name after this mess, no matter what the outcome.

Four days after the story first broke, all hell has broken loose.

County prosecutors are investigating wiretap/privacy laws. Federal prosecutors are issuing subpoenas and the FBI is involved. The school district, meanwhile, has now admitted using the remote webcam spying system 42 times to locate lost or stolen laptops, has suspended the program and has retained outside counsel.

Oh, yeah, and the story now apparently involves Mike & Ike candy.

All of this you probably already knew if you've been following the story so far. However, there's more, so much more...

This guy is a computer security consultant
who's done an excellent, in-depth investigation of his own into the
technical side of just what exactly the IT people at Lower Merion
actually did.

Nothing like the thought of your kids being spied on by school administrators everywhere they leave their laptops lying around (like, maybe, in their bedrooms) to put a parent's mind at ease. No doubt that pedophiles are excited to learn about this great feature.

Via techdirt, we have a PBS video on this subject below the fold:

This may be more common than I thought. Julian Sanchez points us to a recent PBS Frontline episode
about technology in schools that shows a school official proudly
showing off the ability to spy on kids this way (well, using remote
desktop emulation, rather than turning on webcams, but many of the kids
seem to use webcams a lot). That part of the video starts at 4:37 and
even shows him taking a photo of a girl as she does her hair via the

Unplug your webcam and Open Thread it....

Sen. Chris Dodd on CBO Scoring of Healthcare, Credit Card Bill and FISA

I have a tonne of video to sift through. This is the very first one that I am done editing, most of them are pretty long and there will be more from Dodd as well as some from Ned Lamont and Rosa Delauro.

Stay tuned... These events all took place on Saturday, September 26, '09.

Some Sen Russ Feingold Legislation Worth Watching

So sayeth Senator Sanders and I think most of you will agree:

Bernie cosponsored
Russ Feingold’s bill to rescind the immunity given to
telecommunications firms that took part in a Bush-era spying program.
"We have got to do everything we can to protect the American people
from terrorist attacks, but we can do that and uphold the rule of law,"
Bernie said. To read more, click

U.S.  Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have combined efforts to introduce the legislation.

Harman: "Help Build My Defense Against Prosecution!"

What do you really think she really meant when Jane Harman was demanding all of the tapes be released to her?

Harman: "Bring It On"

In a MSNBC appearance moments ago, Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) gave a strong denial that she in any way intervened in the AIPAC case or sought to make a deal to intervene in return for support for her becoming chair of the intel committee.

--David Kurtz

Trying to turn yourself into a victim of illegal spying is not going to change the fact that you are busted.

Also, AIPAC is not an advocacy group. They are a faux political arm spying on our country and helping American neoconservative traitors in a coordinated effort to spread propaganda for a foreign countries' interests.

Thank you Senator Dodd!

Promoted - standingup

Via Missy's Brother at My Left Nutmeg, Americans thank Senator Chris Dodd for working to protect The Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the FISA battle:

The rest of Congress could learn a thing or two about leadership from Senator Dodd, and we thank him for his efforts in protecting our freedoms. Keep up the good work! FISA facts below the fold!