DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

March 7, 2013 in "Bill of Rights", Abuse of Power, Constitutional, Homeland Security, Liberty in Jeopardy, Political Deception, President Obama, Senate

Senator Rand Paul has good reason to be concerned about Barack Hussein Obama and his CIA Nominee John Brennan’s potential use of drones to kill American Citizens on American Soil.


predator1_610x346You see, the DHS developed standards and built in domestic surveillance technology into the Predator drones! Since John Brennan  w
ould not unequivocally state, during his Senate nomination hearings,  that killing American citizens on Americans soil who are not imminent threats, with drones is unconstitutional. WE cannot allow the Senate consent to his nomination as CIA chief .  You need to call your Senators and tell them to Vote NO!

 

cnet by Declan McCullagh  

DHS built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones

Homeland Security’s specifications say drones must be able to detect whether a civilian is armed. Also specified: “signals interception” and “direction finding” for electronic surveillance
Homeland Security required that this Predator drone, built by General Atomics, be capable of detecting whether a standing human at night is “armed or not.”

(Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones, originally built for overseas military operations, to carry out at-home surveillance tasks that have civil libertarians worried: identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones, government documents show.

The documents provide more details about the surveillance capabilities of the department’s unmanned Predator B drones, which are primarily used to patrol the United States’ northern and southern borders but have been pressed into service on behalf of a growing number of law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the Secret Service, the Texas Rangers, and local police.

Homeland Security’s specifications for its drones, built by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, say they “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not,” meaning carrying a shotgun or rifle. They also specify “signals interception” technology that can capture communications in the frequency ranges used by mobile phones, and “direction finding” technology that can identify the locations of mobile devices or two-way radios.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained a partially redacted copy of Homeland Security’s requirements for its drone fleet through the Freedom of Information Act and published it this week. CNET unearthed an unredacted copy of the requirements that provides additional information about the aircraft’s surveillance capabilities.

Homeland Security’s Predator B drone can stay aloft conducting surveillance for 20 hours.

Drone 2

Concern about domestic use of drones is growing, with federal legislation introduced last month that would establish legal safeguards, in addition to parallel efforts underway from state and local lawmakers. The Federal Aviation Administration recently said that it will “address privacy-related data collection” by drones.

The prospect of identifying armed Americans concerns Second Amendment advocates, who say that technology billed as securing the United States’ land and maritime borders should not be used domestically. Michael Kostelnik, the Homeland Security official who created the program, told Congress that the drone fleet would be available to “respond to emergency missions across the country,” and a Predator drone was dispatched to the tiny

(Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

town of Lakota, N.D., to aid local police in a dispute that began with reimbursement for feeding six cows. The defendant, arrested with the help of Predator surveillance, lost a preliminary bid to dismiss the charges.

“I am very concerned that this technology will be used against law-abiding American firearms owners,” says Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation. “This could violate Fourth Amendment rights as well as Second Amendment rights.”

Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection agency declined to answer questions about whether direction-finding technology is currently in use on its drone fleet. A representative provided CNET with a statement about the agency’s unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) that said signals interception capability is not currently used:

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not deploying signals interception capabilities on its UAS fleet. Any potential deployment of such technology in the future would be implemented in full consideration of civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy interests and in a manner consistent with the law and long-standing law enforcement practices.

 

CBP’s UAS program is a vital border security asset. Equipped with state-of-the-art sensors and day-and-night cameras, the UAS provides real-time images to frontline agents to more effectively and efficiently secure the nation’s borders. As a force multiplier, the UAS operates for extended periods of time and allows CBP to safely conduct missions over tough-to-reach terrain. The UAS also provides agents on the ground with added situational awareness to more safely resolve dangerous situations.

 

During his appearance before the House Homeland Security committee, Kostelnik, a retired Air Force major general who recently left the agency, testified that the drones’ direction-finding ability is part of a set of “DOD capabilities that are being tested or adopted by CBP to enhance UAS performance for homeland security.” CBP currently has 10 Predator drones and is considering buying up to 14 more.

If the Predator drones were used only to identify smugglers or illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican and Canadian borders, or for disaster relief, they might not be especially controversial. But their use domestically by other government agencies has become routine enough — and expensive enough — that Homeland Security’s inspector general said (PDF) last year that CBP needs to sign agreements “for reimbursement of expenses incurred fulfilling mission requests.”

“The documents clearly evidence that the Department of Homeland Security is developing drones with signals interception technology and the capability to identify people on the ground,” says Ginger McCall, director of the Open Government Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “This allows for invasive surveillance, including potential communications surveillance, that could run afoul of federal privacy laws.”

A Homeland Security official, who did not want to be identified by name, said the drones are able to identify whether movement on the ground comes from a human or an animal, but that they do not perform facial recognition. The official also said that because the unarmed drones have a long anticipated life span, the department tries to plan ahead for future uses to support its border security mission, and that aerial surveillance would comply with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and other applicable federal laws.

The documents show that CBP specified that the “tracking accuracy should be sufficient to allow target designation,” and the agency notes on its Web site that its Predator B series is capable of “targeting and weapons delivery” (the military version carries multiple 100-pound Hellfire missiles). CBP says, however, that its Predator aircraft are unarmed.

Gene Hoffman, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’s the chairman of the Calguns Foundation, said CBP “needs to be very careful with attempts to identify armed individuals in the border area” when aerial surveillance touches on a constitutional right.

“In the border area of California and Arizona, it may be actively dangerous for the law-abiding to not carry firearms precisely due to the illegal flow of drugs and immigrants across the border in those areas,” Hoffman says.

CBP’s specifications say that signals interception and direction-finding technology must work from 30MHz to 3GHz in the radio spectrum. That sweeps in the GSM and CDMA frequencies used by mobile phones, which are in the 300MHz to 2.7GHz range, as well as many two-way radios.

The specifications say: “The system shall provide automatic and manual DF of multiple signals simultaneously. Automatic DF should be able to separate out individual communication links.” Automated direction-finding for cell phones has become an off-the-shelf technology: one company sells a unit that its literature says is “capable of taking the bearing of every mobile phone active in a channel.”

Although CBP’s unmanned Predator aircraft are commonly called drones, they’re remotely piloted by FAA-licensed operators on the ground. They can fly for up to 20 hours and carry a payload of about 500 lbs.

 
Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People’s Money column for CBS News’ Web site.
see more at:   http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57572207-38/dhs-built-domestic-surveillance-tech-into-predator-drones/
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“Leave It Blank” and all other resistance to Senator Brown, regarding U.N. Treaties, is formally and indefinitely suspended!

October 18, 2012 in Politics, Senate, Senator Scott Brown, United Nations, United States Constitution, US Sovereignty

For Immediate Release:

“Leave It Blank” and all other resistance to Senator Brown, regarding U.N. Treaties, is formally and indefinitely suspended!

This comes after an official statement from Senator Brown’s office that; “Due to the economic disaster of the “fiscal cliff” and other extremely urgent budget issues facing the Congress, Senator Brown will not allow any cloture votes on any U.N. Treaties or social issues during the “lame duck session”. Further comments from his legislative staff detailed the Senator’s commitment to focusing his full attention to working on the budget, taxes, and spending controls to assure, to the best of his ability, that these issues are resolved above all others.

As strong fiscal and social conservatives, in a very liberal state, we will not always agree 100% with Senator Brown, as he tries to represent all the people of Massachusetts, but we should all be able to agree with this official statement and place our 100% support behind Scott Brown in this very difficult race.

Law Prof Claims Elizabeth Warren Practiced Law In Mass Without A License – Kelly’s Court

September 25, 2012 in Elizabeth Warren, Senate, Senator Scott Brown

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren lists the address for her legal  practice as Massachusetts but no records show her having a license to practice  law in the state, according to an Ivy League law professor.

Cornell law professor William Jacobsen says he found no law license under  Warren’s last name or her maiden name, Herring, during an exhaustive search of  state records. Jacobsen said he also confirmed with a clerk at the Massachusetts  Board of Bar Overseers that Warren has never even applied for a license.

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In addition, Jacobsen said he could find no record of Warren getting a permit  to practice law at the address – her law professor office at Harvard in  Cambridge, Mass., he wrote Monday in his blog legalinsurrection.com. Jacobson  also posted several legal documents that included the Harvard address.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/25/warren-now-faces-questions-about-her-law-licenses-legal-defense-big-biz/#ixzz27VoRPOK2

 

Senate Majority Leader Attacks Romney’s Faith Says Gov “Is Not Face Of Mormonism”

September 25, 2012 in Election, Mitt Romney, Obama's America 2016, Politics, President Obama, Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lashed out at Mitt Romney’s faith during a conference call with reporters, saying he is “not the face of Mormonism” and suggesting he has tarnished the religion.

Reid, a Democrat and the highest-ranking Mormon in U.S. elected office, also said he agrees with claims that Romney has “sullied” the Latter-day Saints faith.

The Nevada senator made the comments during a call Friday, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

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“He’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church,” Reid also said ahead of Romney’s arrival Friday. “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”

The Romney campaign and Latter-day Saints officials declined Tuesday to comment. However, Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, also a Mormon, called Reid’s comments inappropriate.

“What (Harry Reid) said was way, way out of bounds,” Chaffetz told FoxNews.com. “Sen. Reid is inappropriately using the church for his own personal political gain. That is a shameful act by any measure.”

Reid’s comments Friday repeat those of Gregory A. Prince, who wrote in a recent Huffington Post opinion piece: “Judge Mitt Romney as you will, and vote for or against him as you will; but do not judge Mormonism on the basis of the Mitt Romney that was unveiled to the public … . He is not the face of Mormonism.”

Prince withdrew his support for Romney after a tape surfaced of the Republican presidential nominee saying 47 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes and are dependent on government handouts.

Reid said he agreed with Prince, co-author of “David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism,” and said that Prince’s argument is that Romney has “sullied the religion” that the three of them share.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/25/reid-romney-not-face-mormonism/#ixzz27VZheBaD

Where Are All The Washington Law Makers – Herman Cain

August 3, 2012 in Congress, Senate

As Our Unemployment Rate Rises,  Where Are All Our Washington Law Makers – Herman Cain

 We had an increase in the “real” unemployment rate from 14.19% to 15%.
The real unemployment rate is also known as U6.
852,000 Americans have given up looking for work because of the week job market.
5.2 million Americans have been out of work for 27 weeks along or longer.
In the month of July 155,000 Americans stopped looking for work and
fewer people are working today than in 2000.

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Senate race in Massachusetts A Toss-Up – Larry Sabato

July 26, 2012 in Elizabeth Warren, Senate, Senator Scott Brown Versus The Tea Party

The Seat in 6 States Could hold the Key.

Senate race in Mass. costliest in the US this year

In Nevada, Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his challengers — one Republican and several Democrats — have pulled in close to $16.4 million, while in Montana, Democratic Sen. John Tester and the GOP candidates hoping to unseat him have raised nearly $14.8 million.

The totals collected in other closely watched Senate contests including Nebraska (nearly $9.7 million) and North Dakota (about $7.1 million) also fall far short of Massachusetts, according to FEC records.
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The Massachusetts totals are even more impressive given that neither Brown nor Warren have loaned their campaigns any money.

The $46.7 million raised in the Massachusetts Senate race also tops the nearly $40.8 million collected by candidates running for Massachusetts governor in 2006 election cycle, when Democrat Deval Patrick was elected, as well as other high-profile U.S. Senate elections in the state.

By comparison, as of the end of June, Brown reported total donations of more than $19.9 million, while Warren has pulled in more than $24.5 million, in what could end up being the most expensive Senate race in the country, not counting money raised and spent by outside groups.

The totals include nearly $2.5 million Brown collected from political action committees and the more than $440,000 Warren accepted from PACs.

Both campaigns have criticized their opponents’ fundraising.

The Brown campaign has tried to portray Warren, who has received donations from Barbra Streisand and Danny DeVito, as part of a Hollywood and liberal elite, and someone who doesn’t represent most Massachusetts residents.

During the most recent quarter, Warren raised about 60 percent of her larger donations from outside Massachusetts, while Brown received about 40 percent of his larger donations from outside the state.

The Warren campaign in turn has highlighted contributions Brown has collected from Wall Street, saying he’s beholden to big banks.

The contributions come in donations as small as $10 or $20 up to the maximum allowed under federal campaign finance law. Donors are allowed to give up to $2,500 for primary and another $2,500 during the general election.

Both campaigns say they’ll have enough money to get their message out before Election Day.

One reason why both candidates are stockpiling such huge stockpiles of cash is an agreement they signed earlier this year designed to discourage outside groups from running attack ads on television, radio and the Internet.

Still, the mind-boggling sums raised by both candidates have left some voters scratching their heads.

“Is it necessary to raise that amount?” said Herb Lozano, a 23-year-old youth coordinator from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. “I don’t know anyone who would give $2,500 to a Senate candidate.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/24/senate-race-in-mass-costliest-in-us-this-year/#ixzz21ke36IBm