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Tag: civil rights

Civil Rights Group Gets Access to Phone Secret Surveillance Unit Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New documents reveal more about the FBI’s cell phone surveillance group, which has the technology to listen to anyone’s calls, Slate reports.

The surveillance method was revealed in new documents received by the civil rights group, Electronic Privacy Information Center, using the Freedom of Information Act.

The technology, most commonly referred to as “Stingrays” are portable surveillance transceivers that trick phones into transferring onto a fake network, Slate wrote.

The FBI maintains it uses the phones to track information of individual suspects, but the group believes the surveillance may violate the federal Communications Act because it interferes with the cellphone signals.

Coalition of Civil Rights Groups Calls for Congressional Hearings on DEA Surveillance

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Revelations that the DEA uses NSA data to investigate non-terrorism cases against Americans has prompted a coalition of two dozen civil rights groups to call for congressional hearings, Reuters reports.

The call for hearings comes after Reuters revealed that the DEA uses telephone surveillance from the NSA to build criminal cases against Americans.

“The implications of the Reuters revelations are serious and far-reaching,” the groups wrote Thursday to Congressional leaders on judiciary, homeland security and oversight committees, the wire service reported.

“For too long Congress has given the DEA a free pass,” said Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Our hope is that Congress does its job and provides oversight of an agency that has a long track record of deeply troubling behavior.”

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Dream’ Speech Prompted FBI to Launch Spying Campaign

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech inspired African Americans in 1963, the FBI was worrying aloud whether the civil rights leader was gaining too much influence and popularity, Bloomberg reports.

Two months after the speech, then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy approved a campaign to spy on King in an attempt to smear his reputation.

“The FBI’s program to destroy Dr. King as the leader of the civil rights movement entailed efforts to discredit him with churches, universities and the press,” read a 1976 U.S. Senate report nicknamed, “Church Committee.”

The urgency was clear, Bloomberg reported.

“Personally, I believe in the light of King’s powerful, demagogic speech” that “he stands head and shoulders over all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses,” said William Sullivan, head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division during the King surveillance program. “We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security.”

The campaign also included an investigation into “community influence on the Negro,” an Oct. 1, 1963 memo read.

“FBI officials viewed the speech as significantly increasing King’s national stature,” Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Garrow told Bloomberg. King was viewed as “measurably more ‘dangerous’ in the FBI’s view.

Father Launches Independent Investigation of Ibragim Todashev’s Death During FBI Probe

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Abdulbaki Todashev raised a photo of his dead son during a news conference Tuesday and pledged to uncover the truth behind Ibragim Todashev’s death during an FBI interrogation, The Guardian reports.

Todashev hired two prominent civil rights attorneys in Florida to determine what prompted the death of his 27-year-old son, who was being questioned in May about his relationship with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

The Muslim advocacy group, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said it hired experts to investigate the case.

“This case is about police accountability and justice,” Hassan Shibly, the group’s executive director, said. “I don’t think we want to live in a country where people get shot by federal agents in their own homes.”

The FBI continues to declined to comment on Ibragim Todashev’s death, saying it’s still the subject of an investigation.

Muslims Oppose Appointment of Raymond Kelly As New Homeland Security Chief

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The potential nomination of New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly to the top position at Homeland Security has enraged Muslim-American groups, the Huffington Post reports.

Islamic groups said Kelly, as the head of the nation’s largest police force, oversaw the targeting of innocent Muslim based solely on their religion. Kelly also played a role in an anti-Islamic film, they said.

Kelly is believed to be a top choice of Obama to replace Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.

“Ray Kelly has a proven record of violating Americans’ basic civil rights,” said Glenn Katon, legal director of Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group based in San Francisco. “His willingness to use discriminatory policing methods against innocent citizens should concern Americans of every faith, ethnic and racial background.”

FBI Advises Local Police to Keep George Zimmerman’s Gun, Evidence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Sanford Police won’t return to George Zimmerman his gun and other evidence used at his murder trial after the FBI urged against giving back the weapon, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

It’s a sign that the Justice Department is moving forward with an investigation into whether Zimmerman violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin, a black, unarmed 17-year-old who was shot dead, The Orlando Sentinel wrote.

The request comes less than a week after a six-member jury acquitted Zimmerman following 16 hours of deliberations.

“The evidence is just in a hold status, pending their DOJ investigation,”  Sanford police spokesman Capt. Jim McAuliffe told the Sentinel.

Did FBI Send Racist Coloring Books to White Families in 1960s?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Several websites are reporting that the FBI mailed racist coloring books to white families in the 1960s in an effort to discredit the Black Panthers.

The drawings depict black people hitting and shooting police, who are depicted as pigs.

Websites such as infoWars.com and AshtarCommandCrew.net claim the coloring book was created by the FBI’s COINTELPRO, or Counter Intelligence Program.

COINTELPRO existed from 1956 to 1971 to discredit any organization considered subversive.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Feds Want Jesse Jackson to Serve 4 Years in Prison

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr./campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
CHICAGO — Jesse Jackson Jr., who was a fixture of the political landscape here, and carried the mantal of an iconic name in the civil rights movement, may be going away to prison for a fair amount of time if federal prosecutors have their way.

NPR reports that federal prosecutors in D.C. filed a presentence memorandum Friday recommending four years in prison following his guilty plea this year on criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items.

NPR reported that the feds also suggested an 18-month sentence for Jackson’s wife, Sandra, who pleaded guilty to filing false joint federal income tax returns that understated the couple’s income.

On top of that, the government wants Jackson to pay $750,000 in restitution to the campaign and that Sandra Jackson make a restitution payment of $168,000.

To read more click here.