Is there a drone in your neighbourhood?

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Rise of spy planes exposed after FAA is forced to reveal 63 launch sites across U.S.

Exposed: Location of sites where licences have been granted for the use of drones within the U.S. There are 63 active sites based in 20 states. Red flags show active sites and blue show those locations where licences have expired since 2006. click on the image to enlarge

Unmanned spy planes are being launched from locations in 20 states and owners include the military and universities

Julian Gavaghan
The Daily Mail [UK]
24 April 2012
There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.The unmanned planes – some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects – are being launched from locations in 20 states.Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.

But, astonishingly, 19 universities and colleges are also registered as owners of what are officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles.

It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology…

Unusual: The University of Connecticut – one of 19 educational institutions to own spy planes – is the drone site closest to New York City. The North East is the region with the highest concentration. click on the image to enlarge

The article continues, with additional maps and the list of registered owners of drones, at The Daily Mail.

Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

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Folks, this bill is worse if you can believe it can get worse, than SOPA.  Oh, and one more thing…the White House threatens veto of CIPSA cybersecurity bill  is what your hearing as well…..don’t pay any attention to that, Obama said he’s veto the NDAA too, but he didn’t and signed it into law. What is the NDAA? It is indefinite detention of US citizens…..no judge, no jury, no due process….just the word of the President and your gone.

Update: Several people have asserted that Quayle’s amendment actually made CISPA better, not worse. I’ve now posted my thoughts on that.

Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part.

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.

There were some good amendments adopted too—clarifying some definitions, including the fact that merely violating a TOS does not constitute unauthorized network access—but frankly none of them matter in the light of this change. CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.

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To see how your representative voted ….click here

Russian Troops To Train On U.S. Soil to target terrorists on Americans soil

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You just can’t make this stuff up…..

The Department of Defense has confirmed foreign media reports that Russian troops are set to target terrorists on Americans soil as part of an unprecedented joint drill with the United States which will take place in Colorado next month.

As we reported yesterday, Airborne troops from Russia are set to take part in drills focused around targeting terrorists at Fort Carson between May 24 and May 31. The soldiers will also be mingling with the local community, attending a baseball game in Colorado Springs during their stay.

Although it marks the first time Russian troops will train on U.S. soil, soldiers from a plethora of different nations have been involved in similar drills for well over a decade.

“The Russian soldiers are here as invited guests of the U.S. government; this is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, told The New American in an e-mail. “This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have participated in a bilateral exercise.”

“According to Snyder, the exercises — which she said would last about three weeks in all — will serve to train and improve skills related to terror-war fighting. About 20 Russian soldiers will be participating, with most of the training to take place on the Fort Carson, Colorado, Army base and a mountain training area several hours away.”

The presence of foreign troops on U.S. soil has long caused consternation with many on the American right for a number of reasons, both historical and contemporary, stretching right back to when the British called upon German Hessian soldiers during the Revolutionary War.

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