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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 14, 2012 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Worried the "Camden Camera" surveillance system might violate the rights of innocent visitors to the city's drug-plagued neighborhoods? Talk to Laura Sánchez. "Twenty years ago, I would have been on the civil liberties side, but now I think the [surveillance] is absolutely wonderful," says Sánchez, the special-projects coordinator for Camden's Area Health Education Center. Beginning this week, notices will be mailed to owners of vehicles caught by the city's Eye in the Sky network.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
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.
NEWS
July 3, 2013 | By Colum Lynch and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Monday moved to contain a diplomatic flare-up with Europe over reports that the United States has spied on some of its closest allies, assuring them that it would respond to concerns while also insisting that American surveillance is a natural part of modern statecraft. More than two years after a massive breach of State Department cables revealed the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, reports that the National Security Agency had undertaken a wide-ranging effort to monitor European diplomatic offices seemed - at the very least - to once again force American officials into an embarrassing position.
NEWS
June 19, 2013 | By Dana Milbank
Where have all the liberals gone? President Obama, who as a senator accused the Bush administration of violating civil liberties in the name of security, now vigorously defends his own administration's collection of Americans' phone records and Internet activities. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said he thinks Congress has done sufficient intelligence oversight. His evidence? Polls. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi defended the programs' legality and said she wants Edward Snowden prosecuted for leaking details of the operations.
NEWS
June 14, 2013 | By Ellen Nakashima and Jerry Markon, Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The head of the National Security Agency defended its broad electronic surveillance programs Wednesday, saying that they had helped thwart dozens of terrorist attacks and that their recent public disclosure had done "great harm" to the nation's security. Facing his first public grilling since it was revealed the NSA has collected millions of telephone records and e-mails in secret, Gen. Keith Alexander sought to aggressively rebut congressional and other criticism of the Obama administration's antiterrorism tactics.
NEWS
June 14, 2013
EDWARD SNOWDEN, the 29-year-old who has revealed himself as the source of last week's leaks about the National Security Agency's surveillance methods, is fascinating. He's a movie character come to life, and we'll be following along as his story develops. But in the speculation over Snowden's personality and motivations, we shouldn't lose sight of the important policy questions his actions have prompted. Regardless of what we learn next about the instigator, the country will have to grapple with these: Should the government be collecting the kind of data revealed in these leaks?
NEWS
May 31, 2013 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
WHEN Philadelphia put up its first surveillance cameras in 2008 to help police fight crime, a few civil libertarians squawked that the system smacked of Big Brother-like spying. But now it seems that being Big Brother has been a big bother for the city, because roughly two-thirds of the 202 cameras have fallen into disrepair, and the city weaseled out of its promise to repair them by early last fall, according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz. Mayor Nutter said that Butkovitz's findings, released in an audit yesterday, were wrong.
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