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Homeland Security

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Reuters

The Senate approved a wide-ranging $42.9 billion measure to pay for improving U.S. border security, clamp down on illegal immigration and beef up cyber security in fiscal 2010.

The Senate voted 84-6 for the annual spending bill funding the Department of Homeland Security for the year starting October 1, and now lawmakers must work out differences with a $42.6 billion version of the bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last month.

 

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youtube-entertainment for the whole family! ;)

"We have no rights under the Patriot Act to even defend them, because the Patriot Act basically supersedes the Constitution," she told WRAL-TV. "It wasn't intended to drag your barely 16-year-old, 120-pound son out in the middle of the night on a charge that we can't even defend."

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Telegraph.co.uk

CCTV, RFID tags and GPS-enabled phones are among the technologies that can be used to keep track of your movements. The furore around the Chinese government’s Green Dam software has raised the issue of the way modern technology is used to monitor our daily lives. Here, we list seven of the technologies that can be used to keep track of your movements. Closed-circuit television cameras were first used in Germany in 1942 to remotely monitor the launch of V2 rockets. Since then, CCTVs have become one of the most contentious pieces of technology in public use.

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LiveScience

Radar technology could help U.S. border patrol agents spot underground tunnels dug by human smugglers and drug traffickers along the border, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Tunnel diggers have been hard at work along the U.S. border in recent days and months, the agency knows. Of every tunnel ever found by a patrol agent, 60 percent were discovered in the last three years, and patrollers spot a new one every month.

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Papers Please

Until recently, the TSA has been a domestic legal Guantanamo, and the TSA has treated their domain of “checkpoints” and travel control and surveillance as a law-free zone where their powers of search, seizure, detention, and denial of passage were unconstrained by the Constitution, human rights treaties, judicial review, or stautory or regulatory standards.  As indeed it has been: Congress has enacted no law specifically defining any limits on the authority of TSA agents at checkpoints (or elsewhere), and the TSA itself has never conducted any rulemaking or issued any publicly-disclosed regulations defining its authority, its limits, what orders travellers do or don’t have to comply with, and which forms of “noncooperation” are considered grounds for which sanctions

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SFScope

"The minute I saw the faces of the agents, I knew I was in trouble. The first page of the Unthinkable script mentioned 9/11, terror plots, and the fact that the (fictional) world had become a police state. The TSA agents then proceeded to interrogate me, having a hard time understanding that a comic book could be about anything other than superheroes, let alone that anyone actually wrote scripts for comics.

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MSNBC

A government official says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano plans to kill a controversial program begun by the former Bush administration to use U.S. spy satellites for domestic security and law enforcement missions.The program was announced in 2007 and was to have been run by Homeland Security. It has been delayed because of privacy and civil liberty problems.

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Tucson Weekly

Call it déjà vu all over again.

It was Dec. 20, 2008, and Terry Bressi found himself idling through a remote Border Patrol checkpoint on State 86. He was simply returning from his job at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation west of Tucson. But minutes later, he possessed a newly minted citation for impeding traffic. One might be forgiven for assuming that traffic impediment is the actual purpose of these checkpoints, which are popping up with increasing regularity across the Southwest. But when it comes to Terry Bressi, the Border Patrol and the Tohono O'odham Police Department have a little score to settle.
 

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Freedom Fighter Radio

The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will exercise prevention and information sharing functions that are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. 

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Papers Please

We had a chance to ask some questions of the TSA’s Chief Privacy Officer, Peter Pietra, when he showed up at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference to talk about the SPOT program, under which roving teams of TSA agents watch people in airports for a (secret, of course) checklist of “suspicious” behavior, question some of those people, and finger some of them for more intrusive search or further questioning when they reach the “screening” checkpoints.

Petra claimed that, “There isn’t any search or seizure … until the checkpoint”, even if you decline to respond to questions from the SPOT teams or other TSA agents.  But, “At the checkpoint, it’s a different story … There’s a ’special circumstances’ exception that would

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By DEVLIN BARRETT & EILEEN SULLIVAN, AP Yahoo News

WASHINGTON – An elderly man enters a crowded museum carrying a rifle and begins shooting. A young man in Arkansas pulls the trigger outside a military recruiting office. Another man opens fire in a Kansas church. Three chilling, unconnected slayings in less than two weeks. One gunman was a white supremacist, one a militant Muslim, one a fervent foe of abortion.

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