Posts tagged “drones

The President’s Ignoble Lie

BWS_bestofspingola_300dpi

Only a politician who knows that the mainstream media is in the tank for him would appear on national television and—with a straight face—tell such a whopper.

In early August, President Obama appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and told the host, “We [the United States government] don’t have a domestic spying program,” even though media reports abound that contradict this statement.

“Everybody knows I love this president, but this is ridiculous,” said Van Jones, a far-left former Obama administration advisor, while appearing on CNN. “First of all, we do have a domestic spying program, and what we need to be able to do is figure out how to balance these things, not pretend like there’s no balancing to be done.”

Splitting hairs like virtually every politician does, President Obama’s answer is, of course, predicated on what is considered “a domestic spying program.”  The reality is that the federal government, as well as state and local law enforcement (funded, in part, by the federal government), is up to their ears in  spying on Americans.

The most visible sign of domestic spying initiatives are the millions of cameras posted along interstate highways, mounted on poles at key intersections, or those little white boxes containing cameras found, in some instances, every mile on stretches of southeastern Wisconsin freeways.  This data is recorded and archived by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s State Traffic Operations Center in Milwaukee—an Orwellian facility funded, in part, with federal grant money.

At the national level, the National Security Administration (NSA) operates programs, described in detail by fugitive Edward Snowden, which can watch Americans type instant messages and e-mails in real time.  The NSA is set to open its Utah Data Center this month.  This 1,000,000 square foot facility will house trillions of Americans’ telephone conversations and e-mails. Once a user of telephone and/or an electronic device utters or types one of over 1,000 keywords, every conversation or message to-and-from that device is recorded and stored by the NSA.  Under the auspices of the USA Patriot Act, this type of wiretapping is no longer concerned eavesdropping, unless the government chooses to open an individual’s electronic dossier and listen to the recordings.

“A requirement of the 2008 law is that the NSA “may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.” A possible interpretation of that language, some legal experts said, is that the agency may vacuum up everything it can domestically — on the theory that indiscriminate data acquisition was not intended to “target” a specific American citizen,” wrote CNet’s Declan McCullagh.

And that is precisely what the NSA does and what the Utah Data Center was built to store.

If the NSA and Wisconsin’s DOT’s spy center still doesn’t have one convinced that President Obama was either lying to Jay Leno or is simply inept, consider the 77 intelligence fusion centers spread across the United States.  Wisconsin has two such centers: one operated by the Milwaukee Police Department and the other housed in a benign office park on Madison’s north side.  The equipment used by these centers was purchased with Department of Homeland Security grant money.  Moreover, federal funds underwrite about 20 percent of the Milwaukee fusion center’s budget.

These high-tech fusion centers can access one’s personal information from private sector data mining companies, such as ChoicePoint, in order to ascertain an individual’s financial transactions, book purchases, vehicles and properties owned, credit information, as well as names and addresses of relatives and neighbors.  Fusion centers also use software to track cellular telephones absent judicial oversight.  This technology enables an agent of the government to follow a cell phone from room-to-room within a particular building or structure.

If recording electronic communications, obtaining personal data from private sector companies, and following cellular telephone users in real time, still doesn’t have one convinced the government is spying on virtually all of us on a daily basis, automated license plate readers—considered by some the crown jewel of state and local government surveillance—should.

In Wisconsin, over 37 law enforcement agencies use automated license plate readers (ALPR), which are generally mounted on patrol vehicles, although some are placed at fixed locations.  These devices scan hundreds of license plates of passing vehicles each minute to check on the driver’s license status, possible warrants, or other fugitive data.  These devices also record the date, time, and location that the vehicle was scanned.  This information is then stored in various databases.  Most of these automated license plate readers are purchased, in part, with federal grant money.

Fox News 6 in Milwaukee ran an excellent segment on ALPRs last November (see the below link):

http://fox6now.com/2012/11/04/fox6-investigators-new-device-helps-cops-track-criminals-as-well-as-the-innocent/

But what about surveillance from the air?  By 2017, some experts believe law enforcement agencies will have access to over 33,000 Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAVs), also known as drones.  The Department of Homeland Security’s Customs Enforcement Division currently uses Predator drones with very intrusive surveillance equipment, including infrared that can see through the walls of homes.

A little over a week ago, I communicated with a former secret squirrel (law enforcement terminology for an agent or an officer who worked in the area of intelligence gathering), who, having observed my name on the dedication page of Mitchell Nevin’s new novel, “Psychic Reprieve,” seemed perturbed by the book’s detailed descriptions of the drone surveillance of a terror suspect and a sneak-and-peek search of the target’s home near San Diego.  He was not complaining about the novel’s factual description of the events, but that the author provided too vivid of a portrait of government operations.

So, President Obama, don’t lie to the American people. The government is spying on Americans 24 x 7 and federal money is paying for most of the gadgets as well as some of the manpower. Granted, the President knew Jay Leno wouldn’t call him out on domestic spying, which is precisely why he uttered his ignoble lie on The Tonight Show and not in front of knowledgeable journalists.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Book Review: A Government of Wolves

Is America slouching towards a police state or is our nation already an “electronic concentration camp?”

In his recently released book, A Government of Wolves: the Emerging American Police State, John W. Whitehead, the president of the Rutherford Institute, makes a strong case that our out-of-control federal government has already crossed the Orwellian line of no return.

To make his point, the author quotes Milton Mayer, who made the following observation:

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.”

Mayer, however, was not pontificating about post-9/11 America.  Instead, his observations concerned the rise of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

In A Government of Wolves, Whitehead details the methods and technologies that the federal government, as well as its co-opted local law enforcement ‘partners,’ uses to keep tabs on all Americans.  The debate, as he sees it, is weather the new “electronic concentration camp” is more in line with George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, since both novels offer slightly different versions of how the government seized the freedoms and privacy of the populace.

Personally, I think the Huxley scenario—that the culture is so consumed by entertainment and technology “that the citizenry does not realize they occupy a prison until it is too late’—is spot on.  A thriving democracy depends on a high percentage of knowledgeable voters, and, quite frankly, the knowledge most voters possess is the equivalent of sixth grade reading level.

Earlier this month, noted conspiracy theorist Mark Dice released a ‘man on the street video,’ showing what occurred when some college-educated people where asked to sign a petition asking President Obama to ban the Bill of Rights.  Proof that Low Information Voters (LIVs) abound, many signed without hesitation.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/09/watch-and-weep-heres-a-video-of-people-signing-a-petition-to-repeal-the-bill-of-rights/

These are the sheep, too caught-up in the latest episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, to realize that they are being led to the political slaughter.  As long as the politician that they support gives his blessing, LIVs apparently are too busy to even care that their government is lying about the IRS scandal, NSA spying, or the establishment of a police state in the name of security.

Another assertion Whitehead makes is that the local police are being turned into a federally subsidized army; whereby, the federal government continues to borrow and print money while offering ‘grants’ that equip police departments with drones, cellular telephone tracking equipment, armored personnel carriers, and other high-tech gadgets, such as LED lights that cause nausea.

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal echoed this concern in an article entitled, Rise of the Warrior Cop.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323848804578608040780519904.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Whitehead also makes a case that, in the near future, society will be divided into two broad categories of classes: the watchers and the watched.  In the United States, over 850,000 people—either contractors or government employees—are involved in the implementation of the Patriot Act-based surveillance state—the one that was supposed to keep tabs on terrorists. Of course, the term “terrorist” is rather subjective, which is why A Government of Wolves notes that intelligence fusion centers have monitored libertarian groups and other organizations that believe the federal government is too large, too intrusive, or no longer abides by the Constitution.

One a scale of one to ten, with one being the worst, the Spingola Files gives A Government of Wolves a nine.  For those who cherish freedom, for the government lap dogs in the mainstream media, and for students of criminal justice, this book is one that you should make a point to read.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Privacy Advocate: “Drones are the Ultimate Totalitarian Technology”

Last week, during a return trip from the Twin Cities, the Spingola Files stopped over in Hudson, Wisconsin, to interview privacy advocate Miles Kinard, the author of the e-magazine exposé, American Stasi: Fusion Centers and Domestic Spying.  Kinard has spent considerable time researching the intrusive capabilities of government operated drones and other government surveillance initiatives.

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SF:   By 2017, some privacy experts believe law enforcement will likely control over 30,000 drones that the government will use to monitor Americans from the skies. Why do you see drones as an issue that affects the public?

MK:   There are two reasons: total 24 x 7 surveillance that is cataloged and stored, and extensive electronic tracking and monitoring, all done without even a simple reasonable suspicion of any wrong doing. In other words, surveillance for surveillance sake.

SF:    How could drones keeps tabs on us 24 x7?

MK:   DARPA, one of the companies that makes-up the security-industrial complex, has developed a 1.8 billion pixel wide-ranging surveillance camera the company has dubbed ARGUS. The definition is so solid that, from just under 17,000 feet, ARGUS can record all things publicly visible within a 15-mile radius of the drone. I’m talking objects as small as six inches.

                [SF has asserted this link to allow readers to view the capabilities of ARGUS] https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QGxNyaXfJsA

SF:   What other things can drones do to track and monitor those of us who are simply going about our daily lives?

MK:   The Department of Homeland Security is requiring manufactures of the drones that the DHS intends to purchase to be equipped with IMSI-catchers. These devices act as a vertical base transceiver station that mimics the cellular telephone towers within a 15-miles radius. From just under 17,000 feet in the air, one individual DHS drone could obtain all the numbers of every cellular telephone user in contact with each tower within its reach.

SF:  So these cellular telephone “catchers,” as you described them, could record and keep tabs of cell phone users as these signals bounce-off individual towers without the users’ consent and/or without the consent of the cell tower owners?

MK:    Yes, IMSI devices mimic towers—then record and download the data intended for the towers without the consent of any of the parties involved. In past the government has argued that these towers are owned by private companies and simply leased by users. Hence, the government argued, the users do not have a Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy.

SF:   Well, then, what would prohibit drones, especially those deployed by DHS, from intercepting telephone calls?

MK:  IMSI software currently available can compel a cellular telephone to link up with what is referred to as “no call encryption”; whereby, the digital signal is then converted to recordable audio.  One of the key provisions of the USA Patriot Act revised the definition of electronic eavesdropping. No longer does intercepting and storing a telephone conversation require judicial oversight.  A court order is not mandated unless an agent of the government accesses the stored file to listen to or see the data [i.e. the telephone conversation].

SF:   So, from the air, the government would be able to see what we do on the ground and hear what they couldn’t see?

MK:   Drones are the ultimate totalitarian technology.  Judicial precedent handed down by the courts gives Americans virtually no privacy protections from surveillance conducted from the sky.  When a homeowner erects a stockade fence as a barrier for privacy, if a police officer on the ground were to stand on an object to peer over the fence that would likely be considered a curtilage violation. Yet when a drone records the same data from the air, the courts deem that perfectly lawful, even without a court order. Some of the drones local law enforcement is actively seeking are called nano-drones, which are disguised as hummingbirds or insects; therefore, most people would have no idea when they are being watched or what the government is collecting.

                [Video link to the Rutherford Institute] https://www.rutherford.org/multimedia/on_target/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones/

SF:  In regards to relatively large cities, what are the ramifications of drone deployment?

MK:   Well, for example, when coupled with the ARGUS surveillance camera, four DHS drones could record every public movement and document all cellular telephone activity in the city the size of Milwaukee. This data is recorded and stored. So, if a government agent wanted to know what had transpired at a particular location five days, four hours and ten minutes in the past, they could easily do so.

SF:   What can the public do to protect their privacy from this Orwellian technology?

MK:    Pick-up the telephone and call your state and federal representatives. Understand that you will likely run into some resistance.  Members of state legislatures and congress of both political parties have a lust for two things: campaign cash and political power. They need the former to obtain the latter. Drone makers and outfitters—Boeing, BAE, DARPA, General Dynamics, to name a few—understand that money talks. So, unless our political leaders hear a hue and cry from the public, they’ll carry water for those with deep enough pockets to contribute to their campaigns. Unfortunately, many of our state and federal lawmakers are all too willing to take the campaign cash and then pass laws that require taxpayers to fund the technology used to chronicle their movements.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


What DHS Deployed Drones Can Do to You–and, Yes, it is Scary

dronemap

In a previous post, I asked readers of SF to sign a petition asking Gov. Walker to regulate the use of drones over the skies of Wisconsin.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/restrict-wisconsin-drone-surveillance.html

Now, a report has surfaced that the Department of Homeland Security will ask drone manufacturers to equip these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with systems that will ascertain whether American civilians are armed. DHS has also mandated that drones deployed within the US have the capability to locate, track, and follow cellular telephone users.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57572207-38/dhs-built-domestic-surveillance-tech-into-predator-drones/

I encourage the readers of this blog to scroll down and read the previous posts concerning a new UAV video surveillance system called ARGUS.  After viewing this video, plese consider signing the petition calling on Wisconsin’s governor to take executive action on restricting the use of drones and their totalitarian surveillance systems.

UPDATE: Everyday, it seems new information surfaces regarding the use of drones. No doubt, UAVs, if used properly, will protect public safety and law enforcement officers in the field. That being said high-ranking law enforcement officials have bigger, bolder ideas—those that will directly impact your privacy and liberty—as the article at this link explains:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100515357

ANOTHER UPDATE: In a letter to Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force [via a drone strike] within the territory of the United States.”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/eric-holder-drone-strikes-against-americans-on-u.s.-soil-are-legal/article/2523319

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com and CreateSpace.com,

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

Copyright (c) Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Wisc. State Representative: No Need to Address Drones Right Now

Late last week, SF encouraged its readers to contact their state representatives in an effort to regulate the use of drones in Wisconsin.

One such reader recently received a reply from state Rep. Chris Kapenga, an assemblyman from the 99th District in Waukesha County’s lake country area, concerning drone deployment.

“I will continue to monitor this situation at a state level,” Kapenga replied, “but do not currently feel the need to address this issue in Wisconsin,” even though the reader forwarded this video of ARGIS—a new camera that provides totalitarian surviellance over a 15-mile radius—to Rep. Kapenga.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QGxNyaXfJsA

This is the kind of technology the KGB and the East German Stasi could only dream of.  Unfortunately, unless our state and federal lawmakers have the willingness to stand-up and say ‘No’ to the drone lobby’s special interest donations and/or to the overzealous, big brother-wing of law enforcement,  our freedoms, as we know them now, will soon vanish.

Please feel free to forward any correspondence received from elected officials concerning Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs, a.k.a. drones) to me.  SF will note the responses herein and maintain a tally sheet to determine which politicians support freedom or a Soviet-style surveillance state.

The Dorner Deal

Yesterday, I appeared on Today’s TMJ4 news to discuss the demise of Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer gone rogue.  To watch the video, please visit:

http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/191143631.html

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Just Say ‘No’ to High-Tech Drone Surveillance

This comes to us courtesy of a friend of SF, liberty activist Kaye Beach. Please take a few minutes to watch his video about ARGIS—a drone surveillance system that enables 24/7 surveillance of 15 square miles of any city with the data retained and stored for up to 10 years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QGxNyaXfJsA

This technology is scary. If our state legislatures do not get onboard and prohibit drone surveillance absent a court order, freedom, as we know it in America, will die on the vine.

When speaking about the intrusive nature of high-technology, I have noticed that some of those present seem to shrug their heads as if to say, ‘It is here and there is nothing we can do about it.’

Americans should never concede their liberties to the world depicted in Orwell’s novel 1984.

In Olmsted et al vs. the United States (1928), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that wiretapping, absent a court order, was perfectly legal. Why? Because the court determined that telephone companies actually owned the lines, which meant that the renters of the lines—those who used the telephone—did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5577544660194763070&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

Since conversations of a very personal nature occur over telephone lines, Americans demanded that Congress act to protect their privacy from unwarranted government intrusion. In response, the Communications Act of 1934—landmark legislation that prohibited wiretapping of any kind absent a court order—became the law of the land.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Act_of_1934

Now is the time to get on the horn and call your state and federal representatives to demand that legislation restricting the use of drones be propose and passed.

So far, only one American city, Charlottesville, Virginia, has prohibited the use of Unmanned Ariel Aircraft absent a court order or exigent circumstances.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/relying_on_rutherford_institute_model_resolution_charlottesville_becomes_fi

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Would ‘Drone Control’ Prevent More Innocent Deaths than an American Rifle Ban?

Drone Deaths

 Young children allegedly killed in a U.S. drone attack

 

The day after President Obama held a press conference to announce 23 new executive orders pertaining to gun violence, some statistics reveal that ‘drone control’ might result in more innocent lives being saved than a U.S. ban on high-powered rifles of all types.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, a total of 358 Americans were killed by rifles in 2010.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10shrtbl08.xls

In the same year, it is estimated, on the high end, that 1,028 individuals were killed by U.S. drone attacks. While U.S. government data on the use of both foreign and domestically deployed drones remains classified, the New American Foundation estimates that 61 of those killed were civilians or “unknowns,” while 960 of the deceased were “militants.” Other sources claim that the Obama administration classifies “militants” as any adult male eligible for military service and/or any non-government representative in possession of a firearm.

http://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones

Other organizations, such as The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, claim the Obama administration has used drone strikes to target those attending funerals and rescuers seeking to assist those injured in drone attacks.

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/obama-terror-drones-cia-tactics-in-pakistan-include-targeting-rescuers-and-funerals/

A report from the left-wing magazine Mother Jones—typically an advocate for Obama administration policies—claims that only two percent of those targeted in drone attacks were hardened terrorists, which means, if just half of those who died in drone attacks in 2010 were soft targets or collateral deaths, then more civilians died as a result of U.S. drone attacks than were killed by rifles in the United States.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/01/military-drone-afghan-success-rate-uav

A hunch says Rachel Maddow will conveniently ignore these statistics when discussing the tragic deaths of young children.

SPEAKING OF DRONES…

Oklahoma is attempting to make the state a ‘drone free enterprise zone.’ A friend of SF, liberty activist Kaye Beach, appears in this television segment and makes a great point: before deploying drones domestically–equipped with infrared cameras than can see inside our homes–state legislatures should pass laws that criminalize the misuse of drones when used to violate our privacy absent exigent circumstances or a court order.

http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/kokh_vid_9235.shtml

The Rutherford Institute produced this video highlighting the threat non-regulated drones pose to individual liberty and personal privacy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KNlHLKCJB0

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


Source: Milwaukee Police in the Midst of Procuring and Using Drones

In several earlier posts, the Spingola Files (SF) reported that local police departments in southeastern Wisconsin might soon be using drones to conduct surveillance.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2012/06/08/the-judge-and-drones/

Last week, SF learned, through a good source, that the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is seriously considering procuring at least four drones at a cost of $15,000 each.  While the MPD is carefully researching and considering its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) options, a likely candidate is the Draganfly X-6 drone, which weighs less than five pounds.  These hover craft are equipped with high definition cameras and also have infrared capabilities. 

Federal law currently permits law enforcement agencies to operate drones weighing less than 30 pounds without authorization from the FAA.  The UAV operator, however, is required to maintain a line-of-sight visual of the flying object.

The Draganflyer X-6 is electric and makes little noise while hovering.  The X-6 ‘s power source is an easy to install battery pack.  When the battery runs low, a computer directs the drone to return to the operator, who then installs a fresh battery.  This particular UAV does have the capability to see through the walls of buildings with the use of infrared heat sensors.  The X-6 can also follow vehicles and zoom-in to capture its license plate, as well as images of the vehicle’s occupants.  

Last month, the Seattle Police Department announced that it is set to deploy the Draganflyer X-6. To get closer look this particular UAV, view the below link. 

http://www.infowars.com/seattle-police-to-roll-out-surveillance-drones-with-infrared-cameras/

“The drawback to this type of drone [the X-6],” said a source “is that it can’t be operated from a remote location. Ultimately, law enforcement will want this type of capability—rendering expensive helicopters obsolete.”

Make no mistake about it, though, the smaller Draganflyer X-6 UAV is a valuable tool.  During protests or civil disturbances, the MPD could conduct surveillance of crowds, stream live video to a command center, and then store photographs and video of participants.  Operatives at the MPD’s Intelligence Fusion center, using facial recognition software, could then, in less than an hour, identify those involved by comparing photographs from Wisconsin’s Real ID biometric database—obtained from drivers’ licenses, ID cards, and/or booking photos.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I, is available at Amazon.com

Spingola’s soon-to-be-released book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is set for release in December 2012.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Drones, Investments, and the Fiscal Cliff

With the re-election of President Obama and Republicans picking-up seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, one thing is certain: the federal government will continue barrowing money at record levels to underwrite the ever growing American surveillance state.

Some sources claim the Obama administration spent nearly $80 billion in the last fiscal year building and maintaining a domestic spy apparatus.

One of most significant threats to privacy are nano-drones—small, insect like robots that can fly into homes, take DNA samples, and, with the use of small cameras, peer into the windows of dwellings.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-future-of-micro-drones-is-getting-pretty-scary-according-to-alan-lovejoy-2012-6

One would think that his type of surveillance should be illegal, but is it?

Our nation’s highest courts have consistently ruled that privacy as it relates to a homeowner’s curtilage is not applicable from the air.  In other words, since drones have the ability to fly above a property line, advocates believe the surveillance they conduct—no matter how intrusive—would be lawful absent a court order.

On the Economic Front

With the election over and the accomplice media satisfied with the result, pundits and reporters are now, finally, deciding to focus on America’s looming debt crisis.

As things currently stand, the country is quickly approaching the so-called “fiscal cliff”—a term referring to deep cuts in military spending and staggering tax increases.

Some argue that it is better to go off the cliff now than kick-the-can down the road further, forcing our children to deal with trillions of dollars more in new Obama debt.

One such person is libertarian investor Peter Schiff, who addresses some of the challenges facing the country and individual investors in this Schiff Report video blog:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLXPmi6W9bc

A few years prior to the meltdown of housing prices, Schiff accurately predicted the bubble’s burst. Several economists, at the time, called his prediction ‘crazy.’

In this video, Schiff predicts that a severe economic crash is coming to American financial markets thanks to the big government, anti-free market economic policies emanating from Washington.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I, is available at Amazon.com

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


Drones and the Judge

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volume I, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit: 

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012


The Debate Over American Airspace

Last December, SF discussed the introduction of unmanned drones over American airspace. 

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2011/12/11/predator-spy-drones-hoovering-above-your-town-soon/

Now, John Whitehead, the leader of the Rutherford Institute—one of this nation’s prominent watchdog organizations for religious rights and civil liberties—details the intrusive nature of drones in his commentary, The Empire Strikes Back: the Attack of the Drones.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones

 SF encourages its readers to write their congressional representatives and request that federal lawmakers pass strict regulations concerning the use of drones over American airspace.

Drones make use of infrared technology—intrusive heat sensors than can monitor the movements of Americans inside of their homes.  Drones can also hit on Wi-Fi connections and intercept Internet data.

Americans who appreicate the small tad of privacy we have left need to get involved and try to put this genie back in the bottle before it is too late.

UPDATE:  On May 7, the Rutherford Institute released this video regarding the use of drones in the United States.

https://www.rutherford.org/multimedia/on_target/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones/

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012