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Freedom is irrelevant, you will be a PATRIOT

(I’ve been in bed Friday with a severe headache, the kind which prevents coherent thought, or even standing up, but I’m back! No promises on coherent thoughts, though.) On Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives voted 257-171 to reauthorize the USA PATRIOT Act, making permament 14 of 16 of its provisions, and extending for another


FBI monitored free speech in counterterrorism investigation

A Washington Post report today details how the FBI’s counterterrorism unit monitored several Web sites calling for protests on the 2004 Republican and Democratic national conventions. “It’s increasingly clear that the government is involved in political surveillance of organizations that are involved in nothing more than lawful First Amendment activities,’ said Anthony Romero, executive director


Disney requires finger scan to enter park

If you were planning a trip to any of the Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando, Fla., you will now have to scan your fingers at the front gates before you’ll be admitted to the park. Previously only season ticket holders’ fingers were scanned, but now everyone has to have their fingers scanned. Disney


IRS loses control of taxpayer and banking data

The Internal Revenue Service has launched an internal investigation into whether taxpayer and financial data it stores may have been compromised, according to a Reuters report. [The] Government Accountability Office said in April that the IRS “routinely permitted excessive access’ to the computer files. The GAO team was able to tap into the data without


Homeland Security wants more surveillance cameras

Bruce Schneier points to an article from EPIC titled “Spotlight on Surveillance’ which analyzes the growing use of surveillance cameras in the U.S. (Some PDF links follow.) Later on I’ll show you a few of these cameras. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has requested more than $2 billion to finance grants to state and

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