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VIDEO: Cutting off H2O to the NSA

5:27 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

According to OffNow.org, there are THREE steps that can be taken on a state level to make life difficult for the NSA.

  1. 4th Amendment Protection Act. Our signature model legislation, the 4th Amendment Protection Act, would ban a state from taking actions which provide “material support” or assistance to warrantless federal spying programs. This includes provisioning of resources, and banning the state from using data obtained without warrant in state court.
States should pass this legislation whether they have a physical NSA facility or not, banning the warrantless data in court will have an immediate effect. And, since the NSA rarely publicizes its plans in advance, it’s essential to ensure that their ability to expand with more data center facilities around the country is restricted before they get off the ground. (learn more here
  2. Electronic Data Privacy Act. For those states where legislators are not yet willing or able to get the full 4th Amendment Protection Act passed, the Electronic Data Privacy Act is a powerful first step. By banning the use of warrantless data in court, this state legislation can thwart some of the practical effects of federal spying programs. (learn more here)
  3. Freedom From Location Surveillance Act. A narrow, but important first step against the growing surveillance state, the Freedom From Location Surveillance Act bans state and local law enforcement from obtaining the location information of a person’s electronic device without a warrant.

The NSA is tracking the physical location of people through their cellphones. In late 2013, the Washington Post reported that NSA is “gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” This includes location data on “tens of millions” of Americans each year — without a warrant.

turn it off

VIDEO: Reset The Net

4:26 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Fight for our Future has launched a “Reset The Net Campaign” for June 5th, 2014.

The problem, as outlined at Reset the Net, is:

“The NSA is exploiting weak links in Internet security to spy on the entire world, twisting the Internet we love into something it was never meant to be: a panopticon.” It defines a solution as “We can’t stop targeted hacking, but we *can* stop mass surveillance, by building proven security into the everyday Internet.” 

Finally, the plan is to “First, get hundreds of sites & apps to add proven security (like SSL). Then on June 5, we’ll run a splash screen *everywhere* to spread NSA-resistant privacy tools.”

Shahid Buttar and Kevin Zeese examine the plan is this clip from Acronym TV (full episode here).

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a 2003 graduate of Stanford Law School, and has appeared in media outlets including the Intercept, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Al-Jazeera and the Baltimore Sun. He spoke about NSA spying at Johns Hopkins recently to a packed audience organized by the Hopkins human rights working group and the New Political Society.

Kevin Zeese is an attorney and political activist who works on peace, economic justice, criminal law reform and reviving American democracy. He co-directs It’s Our Economy, serves on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network, and is an organizer at PopularResistance.org.

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VIDEO: The Illegitimacy of the U.S. Government

3:58 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

In this episode clip (watch the full show here) Shahid Buttar outlines why he thinks the biggest enemy to the U.S. Constitution is a domestic enemy. Also, Kevin Zeese makes the point that the U.S. government is illegitimate.

Every member of congress swears an oath of office to protect the constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic,” explains Buttar “and the principle enemy to the U.S. Constitution is a domestic one with three letters. The only debate in my mind is whether it is the NSA or the FBI.

Kevin Zeese adds:

It’s a harsh reality for the country to face. The corporate main stream media’s job is not to give us the truth but to give us the myth that we are the greatest democracy on earth, when in fact I think the democratic legitimacy of this country is disappearing. We just had Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer make that point in his dissent to the (Supreme Court) McCutcheon decision.

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a 2003 graduate of Stanford Law School, and has appeared in media outlets including the Intercept, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Al-Jazeera and the Baltimore Sun. He spoke about NSA spying at Johns Hopkins recently to a packed audience organized by the Hopkins human rights working group and the New Political Society.

Kevin Zeese is an attorney and political activist who works on peace, economic justice, criminal law reform and reviving American democracy. He co-directs It’s Our Economy, serves on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network, and is an organizer at PopularResistance.org.

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Dropping Knowledge Like a Clumsy Librarian, #NSA edition

1:21 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at PopularReistance.org

Shahid Buttar, the Executive Director of The Bill of Rights Defense Committee drops knowledge on the NSA in his new House track The NSA vs. the USA while appearing on a recent episode of Acronym TV.

A sample verse:

Some people think Edward Snowden is a Traitor /
They forget everything that happened later /
Congress LIED TO by EXECUTIVE OFFICIALS /
We’re talking about CORRUPTION in the Capitol FO SHIZZLE /
Democracies FIZZLE when their people are watched /
That’s why the NSA’s got to be STOPPED

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a 2003 graduate of Stanford Law School, and has appeared in media outlets including the Intercept, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Al-Jazeera and the Baltimore Sun. He spoke about NSA spying at Johns Hopkins recently to a packed audience organized by the Hopkins human rights working group and the New Political Society.

atv Shahid Buttar2

note This clip is an excerpt. Watch the full show here.

VIDEO: Disband The NSA (AcronymTV #2)

7:01 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Shahid Buttar, the Executive Director of The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, and Kevin Zeese of Popular Resistance sit down with host Dennis Trainor, Jr. in this episode of Acronym TV to discuss, among other things:

  • The Utility of the NSA
  • The 4th Amendment
  • Edward Snowden
  • The Espionage Act
  • Why the MSM treats Glenn Greenwald as a criminal
  • An update on Chelsea Manning
  • The Reset the Net Campaign
  • The Criminalization of Dissent
  • The Campaign to cut off Water to the NSA
  •  and we ask the question: In what significant ways is President Obama different than the Straussian, noble liars that preceded him?

Also, you will want to stick around for part two of the show to see Shahid perform the lyrics for his new house track called The NSA Vs. The USA. 

Episode introduction:
The Pulitzer Prize for public service, among the most prestigious awards in journalism, was awarded to The Washington Post and Guardian U.S. for their articles based on National Security Agency documents leaked by the former government contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden released a statement, which read in part:

[The Pulitzer decision] is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

In stark contrast to the work of vital public important is the overwhelming majority of content produced by the main stream media; one that demonizes anyone who questions the right and might of the American Empire to do whatever it deems necessary to expand its imperial reach by any means necessary.

Guests on this episode of Acronym TV with Dennis Trainor, Jr.:

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a 2003 graduate of Stanford Law School, and has appeared in media outlets including the Intercept, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Al-Jazeera and the Baltimore Sun. He spoke about NSA spying at Johns Hopkins recently to a packed audience organized by the Hopkins human rights working group and the New Political Society.

Kevin Zeese is an attorney and political activist who works on peace, economic justice, criminal law reform and reviving American democracy. He co-directs It’s Our Economy, serves on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network, and is an organizer at PopularResistance.org. (Disclosure – Acronym TV receives partial financial support from Popular Resistance.)

Dennis Trainor, Jris a writer, filmmaker, producer, and activist. His documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn: an Occudoc, garnered critical praise from The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and more.  He also wrote and directed Legalize Democracy, a documentary short about the Movement To Amend the Constitution. Trainor was an embedded YouTube personality/media advisor on the staff of Dennis Kucinich’s 2008 presidential campaign and his work is regularly published on The Huffington PostTruth Out, The Real New NetworkPopular Resistance and several others.

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VIDEO: The Time For Obama To Pardon Snowden Is Now

6:51 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Now that President Obama is proposing that the NSA end its bulk collection of data, it is time that Obama take this narrative to the next logical conclusion and offer a full and unconditional pardon to Edward Snowden.

President Obama’s war on whistleblowers (he has charged eight individuals with Espionage, compared to only three under all previous presidents) needs to end.  His recent proposal, even though it was forced by the courts, and even though Mark Zuckerberg and the other titans of the tech world warned the U.S. government that spying programs would hurt business, is still an admission that Edward Snowden’s actions were justified.

As Michael Maiello, writing in Esquire puts it:

This is the very essence of whistleblowing. Snowden brought information to   the public so that the public could reasonably demand changes from its leaders. Obama was seemingly happy to ignore the surveillance issue until forced, much as he was seemingly happy to hold an ambiguous view on same sex marriage until public opinion made vagaries impossible.

The moral courage of Edward Snowden’s act of whistleblowing and Glenn Greenwald’s unimpeachable reporting have revealed what Chris Hedges has labeled a government drunk with power:

drunk with the power to sweep up all your email correspondence, your tweets, your Web searches, your phone records, your file transfers, your live chats, your financial data, your medical data, your criminal and civil court records and your movements, those who are awash in billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars, those who have banks of sophisticated computer systems, along with biosensors, scanners, face recognition technologies and miniature drones, those who have obliterated your anonymity, your privacy and, yes, your liberty.

That the White House and Congressional leaders have recently unveiled similar proposals to end the NSA bulk collection of phone records has less to do with a come to Jesus sober up moment and more to do with the fact that they were given an ultimatum by a court (and a 6 month deadline) to defend the constitutionality of collecting the data related to every phone call made by every US citizen.

Our constitutional scholar of a president could, of course, make no such case to continuing the phone collection program, and now seeks, he says, to win back the public’s trust.

One step towards winning back the public’s trust would be by granting Edward Snowden a full pardon. In addition to being a tactical move to counter the growing understanding that Big Brother is watching, it has the added advantage of being the right thing to do.

snowden pardon

VIDEO: Obama’s Drones Made Simple

5:30 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Before the 2012 election, Obama told John Stewart of The Daily Show:

one of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.

In a development that will shock nobody, no such legal architecture has been put in place to “reign in” Obama or any future POTUS.

Obama’s drone wars have killed more than 2400 civilians in countries that pose no threat to us and with whom we are not at war, and continue to mock international law and the U.S. constitution.

Among those targeted and killed have been United States citizens.

So what version of legal twister could the White House staff come up with to justify the President to be judge, jury, and executioner of people- including American Citizens- all over the world? For those of you (including Obama, apparently) who justify our drone wars as self defense, then let me ask you this:

How do you define self-defense? Think about it for a second.

Perhaps we should frame the question differently: Under what conditions can we justify the use of violence in our personal lives? I’m certainly no legal expert, but say a person breaks into your house looking to do you harm. Before you know what has happened, they have killed your brother. Sequences of nerve cells fire off shooting adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. Somehow your mind remembers, and your body approximates, some middle school karate kata and you render the intruder defenseless. Scrubbing the blood drippings from your carpet, you call the police, and some form of justice is administered.

We would all agree that is self-defense, yes? A justified (in the moral and legal sense term) use of force.

Now imagine it is years later that it is you breaking into someone’s house. It is not the home of the person who broke into your house, but it is in the same zip code.

Well it might be.

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VIDEO: The Day We Fight Back Against The NSA

2:04 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Activists in New York City commandeered the Verizon Building to promote the February 11th day of action to stop the NSA.

Members of the New York City Light BrigadeThe Illuminator Art Collective and other allies turned the Verizon building in downtown New York into a large billboard to project the all seeing “NSA eye” along with text stating “you will never be alone,” “our eye is on you,” and “Wherever you go, whatever you do, you are under surveillance.”

The use of the Verizon building is significant because Verizon has been complicit with the NSA in spying on U.S citizens.

February 11th has been dubbed “The Day We Fight Back Against The NSA” by a broad coalition of activist groups, companies, and online platforms who will hold a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA’s mass spying regime.

According to a press release:

The day of activism was announced on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic passing of activist and technologist Aaron Swartz. The protest is both in his honor and in celebration of the victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago this month, which he helped spur.

VIDEO: Corporate Spying on The Resistance

5:49 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Originally Posted at AcronymTV

We hear the haunting yet absurd steps taken by the NSA to monitor citizens. Unfortunately for activists, revolutionaries, and other agents of social change, that’s only the “state” prong of surveillance. The corporate arm is much more damning. Joel Northam reports.

Presidential Pardon for Bradley Manning

4:55 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

cross posted from Acronym TV

An interview with Jill Stein, President of the Green Shadow Cabinet.

The Green Shadow Cabinet calls on President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning for his courageous work exposing U.S. war crimes and State Department deception. Thanks to Manning’s revelations of Iraqi deaths and human rights abuses by the American military, Iraq refused to renew immunity for U.S. soldiers, forcing President Obama to pull out at the end of 2011. Thus, Manning deserves much of the credit for ending the immoral, devastating, multi-trillion dollar U.S. occupation of Iraq.