Canada: Trump shows us what happens when "good" politicians demand surveillance powers

The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They've assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was "We stand on guard for thee." Read the rest

Germany mulls sweeping surveillance bill, crypto backdoors and fingerprinting kids

Germany's interior ministry has announced sweeping new surveillance powers ahead of the coming national election, which would include the right to infect residents' computers with malware in order to spy on their encrypted communications (shades of the illegal Bundestrojaner program), ordering tech companies to deliberately introduce defects into their cryptography, and fingerprinting children as young as 6. Read the rest

Theresa May wants to ban crypto: here's what that would cost, and here's why it won't work anyway

Aaron Swartz once said, "It's no longer OK not to understand how the Internet works."

With Briggs Land, Brian Wood gets inside the scariest terror threat in America: white nationalists

Stories matter: the recurring narrative of radical Islamic terror in America (a statistical outlier) makes it nearly impossible to avoid equating "terrorist" with "jihadi suicide bomber" -- but the real domestic terror threat is white people, the Dominionists, ethno-nationalists, white separatists, white supremacists and sovereign citizens who target (or infiltrate) cops and blow up buildings. That's what makes Brian Wood's first Briggs Land collection so timely: a gripping story of far-right terror that is empathic but never sympathetic.

Theresa May will send up to 5,000 soldiers to police UK public spaces

In the wake of the Manchester bombing, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has become the first Prime Minister to activate "Operation Temperer," a previously leaked, secret plan to put up to 5,000 armed soldiers into the streets of Britain, taking over daily security roles from police "such as concerts and sports matches." Read the rest

America's top cop-killing domestic terror threat is far-right "sovereign citizens" and militias

A 2014 survey of 175 US law enforcement agencies found that they ranked "sovereign citizens" as the top domestic terror threat, and with good reason: members of the heavily armed, white-supremacist-adjacent movement regularly kill cops during routine traffic stops and other interactions. Read the rest

Inert Products: simulated suicide bombs and body parts for training exercises

If four years of life with your circumcision simulator has taken some of the bloom off the rose, you can refresh your collection of odd simulators with Inert's line of training gadgets for people combating suicide bombers, which include suicide vests, IEDs (including "person borne" IEDs), and complete training kits for gaming out guerrilla battles and/or multiple shooter responses, with fake guns, rocket launchers, balaclavas, grenades, etc. Read the rest

For sale, one of the CIA's extraordinary rendition torture-jets

For four years, N313P, a modified Boeing 737 bizjet, flew people who'd been kidnapped by the CIA to secret torture-camps; it's only got 5,942 hours on it, and sports a customized seven-tank fuel reserve for long-haul flights. It's yours for a mere $27.5M. Read the rest

Vast majority of Americans reject mass surveillance to thwart terrorist attacks

75% surveyed by Ipsos/Reuters said, "they would not let investigators tap into their Internet activity to help the U.S. combat domestic terrorism"(up from 67% in 2013). Read the rest

Trump administration wants to force visitors to US to reveal social media passwords and answer questions about political beliefs

The latest crayon-scrawled, unconstitutional, sure-to-be-challenged plan from the Trump White House for America's borders would require visitors to the US to reveal their social media passwords so CBP officers could read their private messages and look at their friends lists; they will also have to answer questions about their political beliefs -- the plan would cover visitors from all over, including countries in the US Visa Waiver program. Read the rest

Understanding ISIS's media strategy

Lawfare's Charlie Winter got ahold of a copy of Media Operative, ISIS's long-rumored, three-party guide to media strategy for jihadis; his fascinating account of the organization's media strategy is important reading, if only to see how ISIS views its own operations. Read the rest

Anarchist bitcoin hacker flies to Syria to join a 4-million person anarchist collective the size of Massachusetts

Amir Taaki is a well-known anarchist bitcoin hacker whose project, Dark Wallet, is meant to create strong anonymity for cryptocurrency transactions; when he discovered that anarchists around the world had gone to Rojava, a district in Kurdish Syria on the Turkish border, to found an anarchist collective with 4,000,000 members "based on principles of local direct democracy, collectivist anarchy, and equality for women," he left his home in the UK to defend it. Read the rest

Internal Islamophobia and racism are costing the FBI its vital, tiny cohort of Muslim and Arab agents

FBI agents have described the 83% white Bureau as "Trumpland," where conspiracy theories about Sharia law takeovers of America are taken seriously; the far-right, racist nature of so many agents has resulted in the loss, firing, and purging of many of the Bureau's tiny, dwindling minority of Arab and Muslim agents, who have been identified as crucial to the Bureau's counterterrorism mission. Read the rest

DHS bans laptops in the cabins of flights from 10 airports

The DHS has advised some airlines that flights originating from some overseas airports will only be allowed to land in the USA if passengers are required to check any electronic device bigger than a phone (excepting medical devices) in the hold. Read the rest

"Do you go camping or play paintball?" and 47 other questions from the FBI's secret terrorist-detection questionnaire

The Intercept "obtained a copy" of the FBI's 48-question, 2015 "Indicators of Mobilization to Violence" protocol, a list of 48 questions that FBI investigators can use to determine if a subject is at risk for committing terrorist acts. Read the rest

Leak: Trump will allow US companies to buy "conflict minerals" that fund terrorist warlords in the DRC

A leaked draft presidential memo from the Trump administration would suspend the provisions in Dodd-Frank that limit US firms in sourcing their "conflict minerals" from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the trade in these minerals provides funding to warlords who target civilian populations for campaigns of terror. Read the rest

Not just Kellyanne: Sean Spicer also repeatedly references nonexistent terrorist attack

On at least three occasions this week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referenced a nonexistent Islamic terrorist attack on Atlanta. Read the rest

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