police state usa: terror drills, curfews, gps & ip snooping

terror drill finds culprit with dirty bomb
terror drill finds culprit with dirty bombfrom ny daily news: It was only a drill, but the scenario was still terrifying. A boat loaded with radioactive materials sailed through New York Harbor Friday. A multiagency task force – led by state-of-the-art NYPD boats – was assigned to stop the interloper. “We’re trying to further…protect the waterways and ports of New York City from any acts of terrorism or any incidents that may occur,” said Deputy Chief Joseph McKeever of the NYPD counterterrorism division.

canadian military exercise ‘nanook 2008’ travels through uncharted waters
from wikinews: Operation NANOOK 2008 was held from August 11 to August 25 by the Canadian Forces for the purpose of conducting mock emergency rescue operations for potential maritime disasters in the northeastern Canadian article waters. Two Canadian navy ships and two airforce planes, a CC-138 Twin Otter and a CP-140 Aurora, took part in the exercises in the Canada’s arctic. The HMCS Toronto and the Canadian Coast Guard ship Pierre Radisson travelled along the Hudson Strait. The Operation extended to Davis Strait, and Frobisher Bay during the annual NANOOK Operation.

michigan holds mock disease outbreak drill
from wlns: State officials had a chance to learn what it would be like to respond to a disease outbreak. Wayne Wood, Michigan Farm Bureau: “The main thing is to get the comfort level of whether we’ve got the capacity to handle a contagious disease like that and contain it before it spreads.” The event was sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. It was part of an emergency training exercise on how to handle a major outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Those who took park suited up in disposable biosecurity suits and entered what’s called the hot zone. They also learned how to gather samples and diagnose the disease using live sheep.

US central command conducts training
from centcom: The United States Central Command has deployed approximately 200 personnel from Tampa to Central Command Forward Headquarters in the Middle East to conduct training on the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). The training includes the emergency deployment of the USCENTCOM headquarters in Tampa to an alternate location forward in the CENTCOM area of responsibility (AOR). The alternate command post will provide the Commander of US Central Command the ability to maintain situational awareness and command and control of contingency operations throughout the USCENTCOM AOR as well as Headquarters, USCENTCOM during a natural disaster. The COOP was last exercised during November 2006, and is a long-planned, routine training event. There are no media opportunities scheduled during this training.

unmanned drone on long island sparks terror investigation
from wnbc: An unmanned drone being built by an engineer on Long Island sparked a large counter-terrorism investigation across the New York area, officials tell WNBC.com. Police said they had stumbled upon overnight testing of the drone at a little-used airstrip in Calverton, Long Island. The investigation began in February of last year, when investigators first learned testing of the drone was underway. Officials said the drone was being designed to carry more than 600 pounds of explosives. “It could be in the air for 8-10 hours and there’s potential harm if it is carrying a large amount of toxic material,” NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in explaining why his department’s counterterrorism officials were concerned.

watchlist ‘problems’ will legitimize traveler registry database
from infowars: The terrorist watch list is a complete joke– that will only lead to legitimizing the ‘trusted traveler’ programs and other means of biometric registration.

new guidelines would give fbi broader powers
from new york times: A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion, Democratic lawmakers briefed on the details said Wednesday. The plan, which could be made public next month, has already generated intense interest and speculation. Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.

curfew america hits hartford, connecticut
curfew america hits hartford, connecticutfrom the independent: The police state has not arrived quite yet but it may feel like it to the residents of some American cities, where a handful of embattled mayors and police chiefs are imposing strict and sometimes sweeping curfews as a last resort to quell new waves of gun violence this summer. “We must do this because we cannot and will not tolerate innocent people, especially children, to be victims,” insists Eddie Perez, the Mayor of Hartford, the capital of Connecticut, where a night-time curfew was introduced last week and will remain in effect for a month for those under 18 years old. Nor are there any apologies from the authorities in Helena-West Helena on the banks of the Mississippi in Arkansas, small pockets of which are under a 24-hour curfew that all ages must respect. Police are enforcing it, moreover, with night-vision goggles and M16 military rifles.

google privacy practices worse than isp snooping, at&t charges
google privacy practices worse than isp snooping, at&t chargesfrom threat level: Online advertising networks – particularly Google’s – are more dangerous than the fledgling plans and dreams of ISPs to install eavesdropping equipment inside their internet pipes to serve tailored ads to their customers, AT&T says. At least that’s what the company told Congress in a letter early this week, responding to four prominent House lawmakers who are bird-dogging ISPs about their online profiling practices. Those lawmakers asked 33 internet companies on Aug. 1 to explain some of their monitoring practices, Most have replied. In its letter (pdf), AT&T denies that it currently digs deep into the net habits of its users “for the purpose [of] developing a profile of a particular consumer’s online behavior.”* (AT&T is currently facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly helping the NSA spy on Americans’ internet usage, but that’s a different issue since the NSA does not run ads.)

bush protesters get $50k state settlement
bush protesters get $50k state settlementfrom raw story: State records show that a $50,000 judgment has been awarded to two retired school teachers who were strip-searched during a 2004 campaign stop by President Bush. The State Appeal Board recently approved the out-of-court settlement for Alice McCabe and Christine Nelson. They brought a claim against the Iowa Department of Public Safety after two state troopers arrested them at a rally in Cedar Rapids in September 2004. The charges were later dropped.

police using ‘warrantless gps tracking’
from raw replay: CNN’s Kate Bolduan reported that police are using GPS devices to track suspects without their knowing it. Some states like Washington and Oregon require that police obtain a warrant before using a GPS device to track suspects. Most states do not require a warrant. This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast August 18, 2008.

bbc: some residents ‘furious’ over nyc terror checks
from raw story: Operation Sentinel,’ a project of the New York Police Department which would have every vehicle in Manhattan tracked by a series of license plate scanners, is cause for fury among some New York City residents. Details of the program were reported by RAW STORY on August 12. A similar security grid is being developed for Washington, DC. In an August 19 report, BBC’s Wendy Urquhart found that while some are accepting of the plan’s invasive measures, others are not taking the news so lightly.

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