Gee whiz, mama, you mean there are hypocrites in America?

29 Apr

Updated below.

Didn’t Mr. Oblahblah just, all by hisownself, without any hearing, vote, or approval from Congress, impose – via an executive order – further sanctions on Iran and Syria for using social media to conduct surveillance and crack down on dissenting protesters in their countries?  Why, yes, yes, he did.

[See: ]

And yet, right here in the USofA, police are working with the big banks to spy on and gather intelligence about protesters in advance of the Occupy’s May Day protests.  I really love how the Pinkerton guy portrays the poor big banks as elks defending themselves against wolves.  I think he has the metaphor exactly backasswards.  We are the big herd of grass-eaters surrounded by a few, but ruthless and deadly, carnivores – and they are picking us off quickly.

The fact that these guys are using social media to “identify, map and track protesters” is the same tactic used by Iran and Syria, and the reason that Obama gave for imposing these new sanctions against them.  I’m sure that here in the US, however, proving that the information so gathered has been used to directly squash free speech rights and silence dissent will be a burden for the protesters to prove.  And given the mood of the courts in these times, no protesters will ever win any cases.  Too bad there is no-one to sanction the US on behalf of our protesters.

The world’s biggest banks are working with one another and police to gather intelligence as protesters try to rejuvenate the Occupy Wall Street movement with May demonstrations, industry security consultants said.

Among 99 protest targets in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday are JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America offices, said Marisa Holmes, a member of Occupy’s May Day planning committee.  Events are scheduled in more than 115 cities, including an effort to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, where Wells Fargo investors relied on police to get past protests at their annual meeting this week.  “Our goal is to kick off the spring offensive and go directly to where the financial elite play and plan,” she said.

After evictions and arrests from Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park to London that began last year, the movement against income inequality and corporate abuse will regain strength, said Brian McNary, director of global risk at Pinkerton Consulting & Investigations.  He works with international financial firms to “identify, map and track” protesters across social media and at their assemblies, he said. The companies gather data “carefully and methodically” to prevent business disruptions.

Banks are preparing for Occupy demonstrations at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Chicago summit on May 20 and 21 by sharing information from video surveillance, robots and officers in buildings, giving “a real-time, 360-degree” view, said McNary, who works on the project.

Banks cooperating on surveillance are like elk fending off wolves in Yellowstone National Park, he said. While other animals try in vain to sprint away alone, elk survive attacks by forming a ring together, he said… 

Banks are bracing. Deutsche Bank AG is closing the public atrium of its U.S. headquarters at 60 Wall St., which protesters have used for meetings, Holmes said. Duncan King, a bank spokesman, declined to comment.

New York police can handle picketers, said Paul Browne, a spokesman. “We’re experienced at accommodating lawful protests and responding appropriately to anyone who engages in unlawful activity,” he said. “We’re prepared to do both next month.”

Banks have a history of coordinating security with city authorities. At a 2009 U.S. Senate hearing, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described a partnership with financial-district firms that gives his department “access to hundreds of private security cameras.”  Footage is monitored in a downtown Manhattan center, he said. A 2005 letter Kelly wrote to Edward Forst, then chief administrative officer at Goldman Sachs, shows it was among firms getting space in the facility.

Max Abelson is a Bloomberg writer.
Copyright 2012 SF Chronicle



By the way, Obama is proving himself to be the original three-card monte man.  (“Find the lady in red, cherchez la femme rouge, that’s all you have to do. Up and down, all around, in and out, all about, to and fro, watch ’em go, now they’re back, they’re side by side, so tell me, dollface, where’s she hide?” – from dialogue in “Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King.)

As everyone watches for the fate of the cybersecurity bill called CISPA, which has passed the House under threat of Obama veto, there are three other cybersecurity bills quickly lining up behind it.  Obama said he would veto CISPA because it invades our privacy.  The bill that he prefers and is pushing hard for is the Senate version, the Leiberman-Collins bill called The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105).  Yet, while CISPA suggests cyber data and social network companies should share information with the government, the Leiberman-Collins bill requires that cyber data and social network companies share information with the government under the aegis of Homeland Security (i.e.; all meta-data in the country would be required to go to Homeland Security).  Obama likes this one so much, he had Janet Nepolitano stage a special mock cyber attack to scare the shit out of invited senators.  (No) Surprise!  It worked.  But then, these guys have been perpetually cowering and wetting themselves since 9/11.

About Obama’s preferred plan, the Lieberman-Collins bill (The Cybersecurity Act of 2012) and John McCain’s bill (the SECURE IT Act; and wait until you see what those letters stand for.  He wanted to call it the SECURITIZE THE INTERNET ACT, but couldn’t think of enough words and didn’t know hardly any z-words at all):

…In February, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John D. Rockefeller IV, (D-W.Va.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced a measure that gives Department of Homeland Security new powers to require companies that operate critical infrastructure to meet baseline security standards.

That bill has the support of the White House, which proposed its own cyber legislation in May.

But many Republicans and business lobbyists, including the chamber of commerce, oppose legislation that imposes regulations, claiming they would harm companies, which own and operate 85 percent of critical infrastructure.

In response, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced a bill that contrasts with legislation introduced by Lieberman, a longtime friend. McCain’s bill, backed by several Republican senators, does not focus on regulation, but instead on increased information-sharing between the government and private sector.


The director of the National Security Agency (NSA) endorsed Senate legislation that would place the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in charge of setting cybersecurity standards for private industry during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday.

Army Gen. Keith Alexander, NSA director, told the panel that it was appropriate that his agency and US Cyber Command, the organization at the Department of Defense (DoD) in charge of organizing cyberdefenses, maintain an outward-facing stance for combating foreign threats while DHS works internally to collaborate with private companies to set cybersecurity objectives….

Alexander further called for liability protections for companies to share information with NSA and DHS, providing them with the intelligence they require to fight cyberattacks…
NSA can best assist the private sector by providing its capabilities and technical expertise to DHS, Alexander said.

He stated, “I think the lead for working with critical infrastructure and helping them defend and prepare their networks should lie with DHS.”

As such, Alexander embraced the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105), introduced by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). That legislation would empower DHS to produce a regulation that requires private companies owning designated critical infrastructure to certify their cybersecurity capabilities rise to an appropriate level.

The general’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who has introduced competing legislation known as the Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information and Technology (SECURE IT) Act of 2012 (S. 2151). The SECURE IT Act would not provide any additional authorities to DHS or NSA but it would provide liability protections for the private sector to share cyberthreat information through established channels and the Department of Commerce…

Alexander disagreed, noting that DHS should take the lead domestically on building national resilience and working with civilian agencies while DoD takes on foreign cyberthreats. Along with the FBI, the agencies would then work in concert, as “cyber is a team sport,” Alexander said…


….A CDT analysis found both bills have broadly written provisions that would:
• Share private communications with the National Security Agency and other federal entities, or with any other federal agency designated by the Department of Homeland Security.
• Monitor private communications passing over the networks of companies and Internet service providers.
• Employ countermeasures against Internet traffic.

In an effort to smooth passage, one provision has already been removed from the Lieberman-Collins bill that critics claimed would have given the president a “kill switch” to essentially turn off the Internet.
Meanwhile, Senator McCain’s competing bill would not offer new regulations, but instead promote information sharing with the government by providing immunity protection from lawsuits, among other things.




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