Posts tagged ‘Freedom’

NSA Report Means More Trouble For 60 Minutes

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On the same day reports circulated that the reporters behind a fatally flawed, retracted 60 Minutes story may return to CBS News’ airwaves as soon as early January, the program again faced criticism for a report that critics are calling a “puff piece” and an “infomercial.”

On December 15, 60 Minutes aired a report on the National Security Agency based on unprecedented access to its headquarters and interviews with Agency staff, including its chief, Keith Alexander, who discussed the concerns many Americans have about its operations since the disclosures by Edward Snowden.

The segment opened with reporter John Miller’s acknowledgement that he had once worked at another federal intelligence agency. It featured no critics of the NSA. Miller explained his thoughts on the story in an interview with CBS News, saying that the NSA’s view is “really the side of the story that has been mined only in the most superficial ways. We’ve heard plenty from the critics. We’ve heard a lot from Edward Snowden. Where there’s been a distinctive shortage is, putting the NSA to the test and saying not just ‘We called for comment today’ but to get into the conversation and say that sounds a lot like spying on Americans, and then say, ‘Well, explain that.'”

Miller’s report was immediately ripped apart by NSA critics and veteran journalists. Some have called the veracity of CBS News’ reporting into question. Others termed the segment a “puff piece” and an “embarrassing” “infomercial,” saying that it filmed was under guidelines that overwhelmingly favored the agency and proved the effectiveness of the NSA’s communications staff.

The NSA report is only the latest of several heavily criticized 60 Minutes stories. Most notably, the network wasforced to retract and remove from the airwaves the reporters responsible for a segment based on a supposed eyewitness to the 2012 Benghazi attacks who apparently fabricated his story. The day after the NSA story ran and less than three weeks after the leaves of absence were announced, Politico reported that those journalists, Lara Logan and Max McClellan, have “started booking camera crews for news packages” and could return to 60 Minutes as early as January. In recent weeks the program has also been criticized for reports onSocial Security disability benefits and CEO Jeff Bezos.

This series of debacles was noted by former CBS News correspondent Marvin Kalb, who was at one time the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, who wrote that a program that “used to be the gold standard of network magazine programs” is increasingly “under fire.” He concluded:

What’s clear from this episode is that 60 Minutes is not facing another Lara Logan embarrassment. Miller did not get his facts wrong; he just did a story on 60 Minutes that should never have been on 60 Minutes. It was a promotional piece, almost by his own admission. In addition, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley did a story on the 60 Minutes Miller piece to help promote it, as though it were an exceptional exclusive, which it was not.

In a funny way, all of this fresh criticism can be seen as a compliment. People expect 60 Minutes to be a place on the dial for tough questioning and rigorous reporting. When it does anything less than that, it opens itself to snap judgments that may be unfair but should not be surprising. It should, though, suggest strongly that CBS has further need for continuing self-examination.

Politico‘s Dylan Byers similarly opined that 60 Minutes has had “a terrible year” and that the program “is desperately in need of a news package that earns it praise rather than criticism.It needs to put up a hard-hitting investigation, fact-checked to the teeth, that doesn’t come off as a promotional puff-piece. Because its reputation as the gold standard of television journalism has taken some serious hits of late.”

Miller referred questions from Media Matters about the segment to a CBS News spokesperson who declined to comment on the record.


NYC, Microsoft Team On Huge Surveillance System – Government – State & Local – Informationweek

NYC, Microsoft Team On Huge Surveillance System – Government – State & Local – Informationweek.

«««With an eye to fighting crime and terrorism, Domain Awareness System will cull data from closed-circuit TV cameras, radiation detectors, and license plate readers around the city.

By Dan Taylor
August 09, 2012 09:29 AM

Mission Intelligence: NRO’s Newest Spy Satellites
Mission Intelligence: NRO’s Newest Spy Satellites
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled Wednesday a new surveillance system, developed in partnership with Microsoft, that incorporates information from license plate readers, street cameras, and other sensors distributed around the city.

The new Domain Awareness System will pull in data from some 3,000 closed-circuit television cameras in lower and midtown Manhattan, 2,600 radiation detectors distributed to New York Police Department (NYPD) officers on patrol, and 100 license plate readers on bridges, tunnels, streets, and city police cars.

The system, which will support crime prevention and counterterrorism, will relay information “so it can be analyzed and acted upon” by the NYPD, Bloomberg said. The technology has a role “in fighting everyday crime,” he said.

According to a joint statement by city officials and Microsoft, the system was developed “by police officers for police officers.” Its capabilities include real-time alerts and the ability to display data on maps of the city. Cameras can be programmed to sound an alarm if they spot suspicious activity, such as an unattended package or vehicle parked in front of a building.

New York police commissioner Ray Kelly said the system “allows us to connect the dots” by providing access to crime records, 911 calls, license-plate registration, video, and other data sources.

[ Learn about proposed legislation to bring privacy laws up to speed with law enforcement requests in the age of mobile and cloud. Cloud Privacy Update Tackled By Lawmakers. ]

Microsoft worked with the NYPD’s Intelligence Division and Counter-Terrorism Bureau over several years to develop the Domain Awareness System. Depending on how it performs, the system may be offered to other municipalities.

In a unique business relationship, Microsoft will pay New York 30% of revenue on sales of the system to other cities. That could potentially let New York recoup its expenses and “maybe even make a few bucks,” Bloomberg said.

Contributing writer Dan Taylor is managing editor of Inside the Navy.

The Office of Management and Budget demands that federal agencies tap into a more efficient IT delivery model. The new Shared Services Mandate issue of InformationWeek Government explains how they’re doing it. Also in this issue: Uncle Sam should develop an IT savings dashboard that shows the returns on its multibillion-dollar IT investment. (Free registration required.)

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BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING! George Orwell’s novel “1984” has finally come to pass albeit a few years late. Why don’t we have massive demonstrations or at the least some expression of concern? Do we no longer live in America?

Every day our privacy is eroded as companies and well-meaning politicians take our private information and our daily commute and use it for their own purposes, generally “for OUR protection!’ And we allow it! All of us!

We have become a nation of zombies, unless something directly affects something we have undertaken we ACCEPT whatever we are told that we MUST do to access some website or travel to some place we have gone for generations without our presence being detected and tracked.

Children can be forgiven such oversights due to their lack of knowledge and experience on what this means but for the rest of the adult population has it become the norm to turn a blind, foolish eye to these things? What kind of a country are we allowing to exist for future generations?
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4 days ago

Too true. Next generation of car diagnostics will track you. Drones will track you. So many more examples.

And as far as future generations go, keep in mind most of them go to schools where they have to pass through metal detectors every day, have no expectation of privacy, can be searched anytime for no reason, and are around armed guards in the halls at all times.

A whole generation is being trained and conditioned to accept these conditions as normal, and, indeed, ‘safe.’ When large numbers of this generation start to vote I worry deeply about what they will see as ‘not a problem,’ and what type of society we’ll have then. We might long for the days we have now, which is pretty depressing.
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4 days ago

I don’t know what Bloomberg is thinking. I would assume that this will end up costing New Yorkers millions in legal fees. This is just another of his wild ideas. I am so glad I do not live in NY. Mistaken identities can destroy your life.
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3 days ago
1 Like
Andrew Hornback

Have to wonder how long it’ll be before NYPD enters into a deal with Simon Cowell to produce a TV series based on the crazy stuff that happens in this city on a daily basis. I can see it now… coming soon on (insert basc cable channel here) “New York’s Got Crazy”

Joking aside – I’ve seen systems like this before, getting installed to protect businesses (casinos) or government institutions. I know that London has a system with a similar theory in place. However, I’d have to wonder if there is any kind of disclaimer or waiver that people would have to sign in order to show that they’re under surveillence when they come into Manhattan?

And speaking of signs… how long before you see “Welcome to Manhattan – Smile, you’re being watched” or “Welcome to Brooklyn – Cameras? We don’t need no stinkin’ cameras!”

Andrew Hornback
InformationWeek Contributor
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Video Shows No Blood, Bruises on Zimmerman – No apparent physical signs to back up his beating story

(Newser) – Despite reporting that he was viciously attacked by Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman showed no apparent signs of abrasions, bleeding, or bruising when he was brought in for questioning by police the night he shot the teen. The handcuffed shooter appears untouched on a surveillance video—… More »

No blood, abrasions or bruises are apparent as George Zimmerman is led into the police station the night he killed Trayvon Martin.
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Showing 3 of 237 comments
Mar 31, 2012 2:11 AM CDT
my neighbor’s step-mother brought home $14618 a week ago. she is making cash on the laptop and bought a $447900 house. All she did was get fortunate and make use of the advice reported on this link ………
Mar 29, 2012 9:56 PM CDT
Doesn’t matter if they fought or not,Zimmerman was the murdering aggressor and pursuer of an innocent young male.
Mar 29, 2012 7:36 PM CDT
“The Ed Show” is offering a timeline of the evening of the shooting, starting with Trayvon being on the phone with his girlfriend at 7:12 and the police arriving on the scene of the shooting  FIVE MINUTES LATER.  This video of Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford police station is from 7:51. This is the man who says he was in a fight in the rain, on his  back in the grass, who supposedly suffered bleeding wounds to the back of his head and a broken nose, whom the police said they had found bleeding from the head and nose THIRTY FOUR MINUTES earlier.

Video Shows No Blood, Bruises on Zimmerman – No apparent physical signs to back up his beating story.