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    Wall Street Journal: Satellite-Surveillance Program to Begin Despite Privacy Concerns

    The Wall Street Journal reports on a spy-satellite program from the Department of Homeland Security: (here’s an alternate link in case you can’t get to the full story on the Journal’s site)

    The Department of Homeland Security will proceed with the first phase of a controversial satellite-surveillance program, even though an independent review found the department hasn’t yet ensured the program will comply with privacy laws.

    Congress provided partial funding for the program in a little-debated $634 billion spending measure that will fund the government until early March. For the past year, the Bush administration had been fighting Democratic lawmakers over the spy program, known as the National Applications Office.

    In June, 33 groups sent a letter (pdf) to Congress urging members not to fund the National Applications Office. “Satellite imagery and the other vast capacities at issue are powerful weapons that have been used against our nation’s enemies and that are now poised to be used against our nation’s citizens. Congress must ensure that neither DHS nor any other agency is entrusted with such vast and unsupervised powers,” the groups said.

    Members of Congress have also questioned the privacy and civil liberty implications of this program. (In September, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing: “Turning Spy Satellites on the Homeland: the Privacy and Civil Liberties Implications of the National Applications Office.”)

    The Wall Street Journal’s story shows the Members and public have reasons to be concerned:

    A new 60-page Government Accountability Office report said the department “lacks assurance that NAO operations will comply with applicable laws and privacy and civil liberties standards,” according to a person familiar with the document. The report, which is unclassified but considered sensitive, hasn’t been publicly released, but was described and quoted by several people who have read it.

    The report cites gaps in privacy safeguards. The department, it found, lacks controls to prevent improper use of domestic-intelligence data by other agencies and provided insufficient assurance that requests for classified information will be fully reviewed to ensure it can be legally provided.

    You can read DHS’s side of the issue at the agency’s Leadership Journal blog. The Department of Homeland Security wrote a post in July about why the NAO is necessary for security. I spoke about this issue with Law and Disorder Radio in April, and you can listen to the archived show here.

    One Response to “Wall Street Journal: Satellite-Surveillance Program to Begin Despite Privacy Concerns”

    1. DEWtarget05 Says:

      My name is Darren M. and I’m being targeted with satellite D.E.W.’s (directed energy weapons). I believe I’m being targeted for experimentation purposes. This satellite D.E.W. targeting is most probably being performed by an entity within the Pentagon and U.S. defense corporations.

      I am being targeted with concentrated directed energy, possibly microwave, in the form of a narrow beam and/or laser. Multiple times throughout the day, I will experience either a painful burning sensation on the top of my head, or the painful sensation of a pin/nail entering the top of my head, both of which are followed by pain within my head, and a feeling of sickness and weakness throughout my body. The pain and sickness I experience following each D.E.W. hit to the top of my head varies directly with the intensity of the hit. This satellite D.E.W. targeting of me has been physical and mental torture. It causes me pain and sickness many times throughout my day and depresses my mood. It has isolated me from my friends and family. I do not like to go out in public places such as restaurants, stores, etc. because I never know when I will be hit by the

      I believe the purpose of this satellite D.E.W. experimentation is to see what short-term and long-term negative health effects can be produced by targeting humans. From my personal observations of the pain and sickness I experience following each hit to the top of my head, I believe it is possible for these satellite D.E.W.’s to cause strokes and cancers in humans. I believe this experimentation is also being performed in order to refine the use of these satellite anti-personnel weapons to the point where future targeted individuals will not be able to detect what is causing their pain and sickness. If this goal is achieved, these D.E.W.’s will likely be used on targets such as activists, journalists, and other people deemed as threats. I believe these weapons have the capability to slowly kill individuals with little to no trace of evidence.

      These satellite directed energy weapons are a serious threat to our democracy and human rights on our planet. They are silent and invisible, and therefore not easily detectable. They employ laser technology which allow their operators to target specific individuals, without detection by others, even when in close proximity to the targeted individual.

      Darren M.
      dewtarget05 AT
      yahoo DOT com

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