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Tag: Police

Hackers Reveal Illegal Spying Software Used By World Governments To Silence Dissent

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last weekend, news broke on social media of a massive hack against a major, controversial security software company that sold surveillance software to government agencies. A hacker who attacked another security firm last year is taking credit for the audacious break in that saw hundreds of gigabytes of stolen data leaked onto bittorrent.

Hacking Team, the Italian software company that fell victim to the unknown hackers, proudly billed itself as a vendor of surveillance software to police forces, with the motto, “Rely on us.” Reporters Without Borders had already cited Hacking Team as one of their “enemies of the Internet.” But, as the hack revealed, the corporation’s clients also included governments from countries to which sales are banned by the United Nations as a result of their repressive regimes’ repeated human rights’ violations.

News of the hack reached Twitter on Sunday night, while many were asleep or distracted by the women’s world cup, briefly spawning the humorous, trending hashtag #IsHackingTeamAwakeYet:

From NYC, Ferguson To Baltimore, American Police Are Trained In Apartheid Israel

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The Black Lives Matter movement became a fixture in American cities after the 2014 death of Michael Brown, and grows with each new police killing. As activists realize that the same systems of oppression killing them in the United States are active worldwide, the movement spreads beyond American borders and forges links as far away as Palestine.

Activists from Ferguson, Missouri, traveled to Palestine in January to cement a growing sense of solidarity and connection with the shared struggles of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation. That connection is more than just a philosophical one: Although it’s been largely ignored by the mainstream media, research by independent journalists reveals that American police leadership routinely travel to Israel on mysterious training missions.

Journalist Rania Khalek is a contributor to the Electronic Intifada, an independent news and education organization focused on Palestine, and a key expert on the subject. For years she primarily covered police brutality in the U.S., but, “I started covering Palestine/Israel related stories because I kept finding connections,” she told MintPress by phone on Wednesday.

Protests In Baltimore Joined In Solidarity in Chicago, Oakland, Elsewhere

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

While the recent protests in Baltimore began soon after the death of Freddie Gray on April 19, the mainstream media has only recently arrived on the streets. Similar to their coverage of Ferguson and other protests in the wake of recent police slayings of black Americans, the focus remains on violent clashes between militarized police and angry citizens.

On Tuesday, after the first night of a citywide curfew was met with arrests and tear gas, two tweets were being widely shared which seemed to ironically highlight the ways police routinely lie about the situation on the ground:

Freddie Gray Was The Last Straw: Baltimore’s History Of Police Brutality

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The mainstream media is consumed by Baltimore’s reaction to the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of severe spinal injuries after a violent arrest. While the TV networks highlight images of a burning CVS, less attention is being paid to a lengthy history of police corruption and brutality that led to this outburst of outrage in the city’s streets.

Gray’s death itself highlights multiple issues with the Baltimore Police Department. As with many other departments, officers with a history of violence are allowed to remain on the force with little to no accountability.

Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice, one of six officers suspended after the incident, initiated a bicycle chase after Gray made eye contact with him, which eventually led to the violent arrest that was caught on video. According to a report released by The Guardian on Thursday, Rice has a history of violence while on duty. A man, who the Guardian said its reporters had identified but kept anonymous for his protection, received a restraining order against Rice after a series of violent threats and incidents. During the duration of the order, Rice’s weapons, which included “a personal Glock handgun, long guns and a cross-bow,” were confiscated.

Police Brutality Activists #ShutdownA14 Nationwide To Oppose Killer Cops

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

As highly publicized killings of unarmed Americans continue to make headlines, activists once again took to the streets nationwide to demand a halt to police murders and oppression. Tuesday’s day of action, centered around the hashtag #ShutDownA14, saw protests in 30 U.S. cities in 18 states.

The protest was organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network in response to the recent killing of Walter Scott — a tragedy in which an eyewitness recorded not just the slaying, but also police attempting to plant evidence near his body.

Exposing ALEC’s “Corporate Sausage Factory” In Dallas

Posted in Journalism, MintPress News, and Occupy Wall Street

We’d gathered at Eddie Deen’s Ranch to interrupt the American Legislative Exchange Council at dinner. I was wearing a pink cowboy hat, temporarily inducted into the CODEPINK Posse, an effort organized by the local branch of the well-known national rabble rousers for peace. About 30 of us stood along the sidewalk outside the Ranch, watched by a half-dozen police officers looking bored, a chatty police detective and a pair of startled horses held by two men dressed as cowboys. Overhead, an airplane circled, towing a warning about corporate corruption.

Powerful people in suits laughed at us and snapped smartphone photos as they disembarked from the chartered buses they rode to the Western-themed restaurant. It was July 31 and ALEC was in town for its 41st meeting. After the first of several days of corporate backroom deals at the Hilton Anatole, ALEC’s members wanted to pretend they were cowboys while they ate.

The buses kept coming and out poured some of the world’s most powerful: corporate executives, rich investors, state legislators and their families. Though they’d normally disdain public transportation — when they aren’t orchestrating cuts against it in the name of austerity — I imagined the atmosphere on the bus was jovial, as if the “1%” was on a field trip.

CODEPINK are no strangers to using humor to fight evil. Duded up in pink Western-wear, with faux handcuffs and a “RUN ALEC OUT OF TEXAS” banner, they were aiming for laughter. As the suits’ humor peaked, CODEPINK Dallas — mostly older women — began chanting, “WE MAY BE FUNNY, BUT YOU ARE CORRUPT!”

Speaking out is thirsty, thankless work in the Texas heat. After two hours, a Ranch worker dressed as a cowboy brought us all bottled water.