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Surveillance

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NEWS
November 20, 2009
RE MICHAEL Smerconish's op-ed "Again, Eavesdropping Makes Sense": There is real "debate" over electronic surveillance, FISA or NSA, because virtually everyone supports spying in some instances, with safeguards. What sparked a debate over surveillance was when the Bush administration authorized warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens without any FISA oversight or accountability. The idea that the government should never, in any circumstance, be allowed to track communications is insane.
NEWS
September 16, 1987 | By Fredric N. Tulsky and Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., Inquirer Staff Writers
Mayor Goode yesterday announced new guidelines requiring police for the first time to get permission from a civilian authority before conducting surveillance to gather intelligence on political organizations. Stefan Presser, legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said no other city in the country required civilian review of police surveillance. The new policy was outlined by Goode in a letter to a coalition of protest groups that have sued the city over police surveillance during the Constitution bicentennial celebration.
NEWS
March 22, 2012 | By Jeff Bliss, Bloomberg News
Iranian diplomats may have carried out "hostile reconnaissance" of sites in New York as many as six times, a warning sign that the city might be targeted for terrorist attack, according to a police official. The incidents took place between 2002 and 2010 and involved videotaping or photographing landmarks, rail service and bridges, said Mitchell Silber, director of the city police department's intelligence analysis unit, in testimony before a U.S. House panel Wednesday. Hezbollah, a militant group allied with Iran that has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, also has ties to the New York region, he said.
NEWS
February 10, 2006
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales had a hard time peddling what he was selling to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Maybe he had better luck at the closed Senate Intelligence Committee hearing yesterday. Then again, the Bush administration's approach to defending its warrantless eavesdropping has been to declare that it's legal because the President says it's legal, period. On Monday, Gonzales offered the judiciary panel chaired by Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) another unsatisfying explanation of why the administration did an end run around the law, the courts and Congress to initiate new forms of surveillance of overseas calls and e-mail involving American citizens.
NEWS
June 7, 2012 | By Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A Muslim civil rights group that has worked closely with the Obama administration to build better relationships with American Muslims is suing the New York Police Department over its surveillance programs. Eight Muslims filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday in New Jersey to force the NYPD to end its surveillance and other intelligence-gathering practices that have targeted Muslims since the 9/11 attacks. The lawsuit alleged that the NYPD's activities were unconstitutional because they focused on people's religion, national origin and race.
NEWS
October 15, 1987 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
Government prosecutors yesterday defended hiding microphones in Common Pleas Court Judge Kenneth S. Harris' chambers and robing room and on his telephone, saying the surveillance was vital to the investigation that led to his indictment. "The government cautiously used a valid investigative tool . . . to investigate serious crimes involving a member of the state judiciary," prosecutors Gary S. Glazer and Pamela L. Donleavy said in court documents. "The essence of the government's case is that the defendant conducted his judicial office through a pattern of bribery and extortion.
SPORTS
December 28, 2005 | Daily News Wire Services
Fearing possible terrorism at the Turin Olympics, Italian authorities are conducting surveillance on "numerous" people through telephone wiretaps and other intelligence operations, an Italian security official said yesterday. Luigi Rinella, the Italian police's liaison with the U.S. government, said those under surveillance included suspected Islamic militants, but he stressed that anti-globalization protesters and anarchists could also make trouble during the Feb. 10-26 Games.
NEWS
March 1, 2004 | By RICHARD C. GILLIAM
LIKE thousands of Philadelphians, I mourn the death of Faheem Thomas-Childs. I too am the father of a 10-year old-son, and Faheem's horrific death is every parent's worst nightmare. As someone who thinks seriously about public policy, I've asked myself one question: What can we do to better protect our children going to and from school? My solution is simple. It's time for Philadelphia to look seriously at video surveillance of safe corridors for our children. No one is more sensitive to the civil-liberties implications of this suggestion than I. But the state of domestic terrorism that some communities face is considerable; I believe a critical mass exists to examine new solutions to protect our children.
NEWS
January 6, 2011 | By WILL BUNCH, bunchw@phillynews.com 215-854-2957
The balding, 60-something man shown in a Christmas week security camera video is well-dressed in a dark suit and an open-collared shirt - but he appears to be lost or confused. The video - which Newark, Del., police say captures prominent defense expert John "Jack" Wheeler III two days before he was murdered and thrown into a trash dumpster - shows him wandering a couple of times up and down the office corridor of a downtown Wilmington parking garage. It shows Wheeler stopping at one point to speak with the office attendant; later he is seen in a second hallway, walking past a bank of ATM machines and onto a parking level.
NEWS
February 28, 2012 | By Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration said Monday that it has no control over how the New York Police Department spends millions of dollars in White House grants that helped pay for NYPD programs that put entire American Muslim neighborhoods under surveillance. In New York, the police commissioner said he wouldn't apologize. The White House has no opinion about how the grant money was spent, spokesman Jay Carney said. The Associated Press reported Monday that the White House money has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers used to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods and paid for computers that stored even innocuous information about Muslim college students, mosque sermons, and social events.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 10, 2015 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
What started as a push to have Philadelphia bars install exterior surveillance cameras on Monday became a broader debate about mandating cameras elsewhere, including all parking garages. The suggestion that garages be required to have cameras was made to City Council by the lawyer for a woman who was beaten and raped in a Center City garage on New Year's Day. "Regrettably, common sense has not been sufficient to convince the parking garages - some of them at least - to go forward and have video surveillance in all areas of public access," Shanin Specter told Council.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
PHILADELPHIA'S 250 police surveillance cameras in recent years have documented shocking crimes and helped convict the evildoers responsible for them. But just how many of those cameras are operational? City officials say 93 percent are working and recording at any given time. But City Controller Alan Butkovitz told City Council yesterday that one-third of the cameras are broken, and some that work aren't even being monitored by human beings. Butkovitz said two reviews of the cameras by his office - in June 2012 and May 2013 - turned up the same results.
NEWS
January 15, 2015 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
Federal judges in Philadelphia raised questions Tuesday about a New York Police Department surveillance program that critics say unfairly targeted Muslim communities after 9/11. The 11 plaintiffs in the case - including an Army sergeant, a former schoolteacher, and an imam - have argued that the surveillance intimidated people from attending Muslim businesses and places of worship. Julio Fuentes, one of three appeals court judges hearing the appeal, said he would not want to attend a mosque if it was being watched, and compared the effect to a business losing money.
NEWS
December 15, 2014 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
High-tech surveillance cameras are going up on street poles in suburban South Jersey communities where they are being used as virtual patrols to stretch police departments. Many have been installed quietly, netting a rash of drug dealers as well as petty criminals. In Riverside, a blue-collar town of 9,000, the equipment was used in recent years to disband a burglary ring and a Bloods Gang affiliate known as Sex Money Murder. Nearby, in Burlington City, the equipment captured an encounter with a vandal who had a ladder, a hammer, and a scheme to stop the incessant recording on a street corner known as a drug market.
NEWS
June 21, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
Following months of investigation and weeks of sleuthing, South Jersey law enforcement officials announced Thursday that they had arrested a suspect in a string of armed robberies at area 7-Eleven stores dating back to the start of the year. The Camden County Prosecutor's Office and the police departments of Evesham, Gloucester Township, and Cherry Hill reported the arrest of Charles Walls, 31, of Collingswood. Though he was immediately charged in connection with two robberies, officials say Walls is a suspect in at least six more, including the Jan. 10 repeated shooting of a store clerk who is struggling to regain the use of his legs.
NEWS
March 7, 2014
M AX PERELMAN, 37, of East Falls, is co-founder and head of business development for Philly start-up Biomeme. Backed by DreamIt Ventures, Biomeme has a device that will turn your smartphone into a mobile DNA-replicating machine to help point-of-care clinicians quickly diagnose and track infectious diseases. Other co-founders are Jesse vanWestrienen, 30, of Old City, and Marc DeJohn, 44, of East Falls. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Biomeme? A: Marc and Jesse have backgrounds in bioscience and engineering and had been working on a mobile-diagnostics device.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA To illustrate his point, Spencer Ackerman ordered the panel moderator to hand over her wallet, from which he then withdrew a credit card. "I'm going to make a little indentation copy of it," Ackerman, the national security editor for the Guardian newspaper, told about a hundred in the audience at the American Library Association's annual meeting at the Convention Center in Philadelphia on Saturday. "Now, I have an impression of her credit card. Have I taken something from her when I took the card or only when I use the impression to make a purchase?"
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Third in a series of profiles of New Jersey's U.S. Senate candidates. Flanked by three scientists and joined by a former Energy Department secretary via webcam at a town-hall meeting Tuesday in West Windsor, N.J., called "Geek Out Live," the campaign message was clear: Rush Holt is an unabashed geek. The signs are everywhere: from the campaign bumper stickers proclaiming "My Congressman IS a Rocket Scientist" to his frequent reminder to voters that he beat the IBM computer Watson on Jeopardy!
BUSINESS
July 12, 2013 | By Anne Flaherty, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - How much are your private conversations worth to the government? Turns out that it can be a lot, depending on the technology. In the era of intense government surveillance and secret court orders, a murky multimillion-dollar market has emerged. Paid for by U.S. tax dollars but with little public scrutiny, surveillance fees charged in secret by technology and phone companies can vary wildly. AT&T, for example, imposes a $325 "activation fee" for each wiretap and $10 a day to maintain it. Smaller carriers Cricket and U.S. Cellular charge only about $250 per wiretap.
NEWS
July 6, 2013 | By Curtis Skinner, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 120 people marched from Washington Square to the Thomas Paine Plaza at the Municipal Services Building on Thursday afternoon as part of a national day of protest against widespread government surveillance. The group Restore the Fourth planned rallies across the country for the holiday, aiming to spread awareness about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Organizers said they hoped their movement will spark changes in the Patriot Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and subsequent amendments; create an oversight committee; and hold officials involved in the surveillance accountable, according to the group's website.
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