Danish government let America's Snowden-kidnapping jet camp out in Copenhagen

Edward_Snowden_Conference_2015 (1)

The Gulfstream, tail number N977GA, was given permission to land in and fly over Denmark, and spent some time parked in Copenhagen, waiting to snatch Edward Snowden and kidnap him to America. Read the rest

Anaheim: the happiest surveillance state on earth

1280px-6505-Disneyland&Hotel

Orange County has many claims to fame: Richard Nixon, the S&L scandal, subprime boiler-rooms, Disneyland, an airport honoring a cowboy named Marion, and now, the revelation that its police force secretly uses low-flying surveillance aircraft to break the encryption of thousands of cellphone users, track their movements, and intercept their communications. Read the rest

The Police Use of Force project: a scorecard for America's police-department policies

policepic

A group of activists, data scientists and policy analysts have conducted a survey of the use of force policies in place in America's cities, ranking them by whether they meet four common-sense criteria: whether the priority of force is "preserving life"; whether officers are required to de-escalate situations; whether officers are allowed to choke civilians; and whether officers are required to intervene to prevent their colleagues from using excessive force. Read the rest

That time the DoD paid Duke U $335K to investigate ESP in dogs. Yes, dogs.

Grant

Michael from Muckrock writes, "Government research often pushes the boundaries between science and science fiction. Today, the proud bearer of that mantle is often DARPA, experimenting with robots, cybernetics, and more. But in the sixties, during the height of the Cold War, this research often went into more fantastical realms, even exploring whether ExtraSensory Perception (ESP) was possible. Thanks to FOIA, MuckRock looks back on the paranormal history of American surveillance." Read the rest

How the National Reconnaissance Office came to choose a sinister, planet-devouring octopus for a logo

Patch

Michael from Muckrock writes, "When the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) announced the upcoming launch of their NROL-39 mission back in December 2013, they didn't get quite the response they hoped. That might have had something to do with the mission logo being a gigantic octopus devouring the Earth. Researcher Runa Sandvik wanted to know who approved this and why, so she filed a Freedom of Information Act with the NRO for the development materials that went into the logo. A few months later, the NRO delivered." Read the rest

Worried about Chinese spies, the FBI freaked out about Epcot Center

EPCOT Center Preview Scenes Postcards 13 (1981)

Muckrock has secured the FBI's files on Epcot Center, revealing the panicked thrash that the prospect of a semi-circle of international pavilions around a toy artificial lake set off in Cold War atmosphere of 1981. Read the rest

NSA says it will take four years to answer questions about its kids' coloring book

1452485013441491 (1)

The NSA's Crypto Cat and her friends are a set of trademark-registered kids' characters who have appeared for more than a decade in promotional materials like coloring books that the NSA uses it to encourage kids to grow up to be spies. Read the rest

UK government spent a fortune fighting to keep the number 13 a secret

Plat_13

The BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, wanted to know how often the UK government's new "red tape-busting cabinet panel, the Reducing Regulation Committee" was meeting, because he thought that it was probably "all froth and no action." Read the rest

Recreating the CIA's "top secret" abstract painting collection

Artist Johanna Barron shows portions of her 2015 work of the Melzac Collection held by the CIA

In the 1980s, "controversial Republican art collector" Vincent Melzac donated 29 abstract paintings from the Washington Color School to the CIA, which now hang on the Agency's walls, but when asked for details about them, the CIA goes mum, claiming that the paintings are top secret. Read the rest

UK Home Secretary rejects request for her browsing history as "vexatious"

056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x909

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has introduced the Snoopers Charter, through which your ISP will be required to retain a record of everything you do on the Internet and make it available to government and police without meaningful checks and balances or privacy protection. Read the rest

UK police rely heavily on cyberweapons but won't answer any questions about them

1024px-New_Scotland_Yard_sign_3

The UK police and security services have frequently touted the necessity of "equipment interference" techniques -- cyberweapons used to infect suspects' computers -- in their investigations, but they have refused to release any information about their use in response to 40 Freedom of Information requests from Motherboard. Read the rest

LAPD investigated 1356 complaints of racial profiling, decided they were all without merit

animation (2)

The LAPD received 1,356 complaints of "biased policing" (AKA racial profiling) from 2012-2014, but after investigating them, the investigating officials decided that their co-workers had done nothing wrong -- ever. Read the rest

In the data, Chicago's crooked cops are so obvious they practically glow

9ac0b4f7ab5e565415ccd80b6250538a

As Chicago's mayor/kingmaker/kingpin Rahm Emanuel grins at the chorus demanding his resignation for his role in covering up video showing that Chicago PD officers shot a man 16 times, lied about it, and confiscated and destroyed all the evidence they could find, the Five Thirty-Eight blog looks at the data on Chicago's dirtiest cops. Read the rest

When the INS tried to deport John Lennon, the FBI pitched in to help

thepopesmokesdope

Michael from Muckrock writes, "While patiently noting that their anonymous tipsters thought Lennon was not a 'true revolutionist' because he used drugs, the FBI worked with INS over several years to bolster a case to deport the Beatles' musical genius." Read the rest

How the DHS is stalling the release of the Aaron Swartz files

Kevin-2

Lisa Rein writes, "When Jacob Appelbaum called for transparency in Aaron Swartz's FOIA case, he was talking about Kevin Poulsen's ongoing case against the Department of Homeland Security, a case that MIT managed to intervene in." Read the rest

J Edgar Hoover was angry that the Boy Scouts didn't thank him effusively enough

hoovercov.jpg.1200x400_q85_crop

Michael from Muckrock writes, "From Boy Scouts to movie stars, no one was safe from J. Edgar Hoover's all-watching surveillance apparatus at the FBI -- or his sharp tongue. MuckRock has put together a collection of his most biting insults to serve up at Thanksgiving, in case you need to put any of the in-laws on notice." Read the rest

J Edgar Hoover loved Efrem Zimbalist's "FBI"

ZimbalistCov.jpg.1200x400_q85_crop

Michael from Muckrock writes, "While J. Edgar Hoover wasn't a big fan of much media in the 60s -- he worked to rewrite one of Hitchcock's scripts and made Walt Disney re-work Tomorrowland -- there was one show that struck a chord: ABC's The FBI." Read the rest

More posts