AKMA's Random Thoughts: So Weirdly Wrong

system, blogging, wtf?, secrecy, chilling effects

Link: http://akma.disseminary.org/archives/001518.html

A must-read post from an opressed wifi user... the officer's rationale makes no sense whatsoever.

"It's a law, sir; if someone comes along and downloads child photography (that wasn't the exact word the officer used) and it goes through their [sc., the access point owner's] connection, that's a violation and we've had cases of that. That's a felony."

(I skip the question of whether it's less a problem if someone downloads such photos while sitting in the library. Since I've already been categorized, however politely, with felons, I thought discretion should prevail at this point.) "Is this a state law?" I asked.

"It's a federal law, sir; a Secret Service agent came and explained it to us."

"Look, I don't want to give you a hard time, and I'm very thankful that you alerted me to this, and I've done what you asked, but I'd be very surprised if there turned out to be a federal law forbidding my using an open wireless signal in a public place."

"Well, you can look it up, sir, and explain it to the chief..."

At this point, it became clear that my uniformed interlocutor had to head in a different direction from me, so we shook hands and parted. And I walked back to the studio, dumbfounded that someone just rousted me for picking an open wireless signal in public - indeed (as it turns out) for using a laptop within a wireless signal's range of the library. Weird.

posted from a secure hiding place near an open access point...

RNC Activists: Know Your Rights!

chilling effects

Link: http://cryptome.org/rnc-rights.zip

Cryptome has just posted a PDF entitled, "KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Legal Information for Activists at the Republican National Convention" from the Center for Constitutional Rights.

http://cryptome.org/rnc-rights.zip

It's a great illustration of just how far you don't have to go to peacefully protest! Great tips: Never consent to a search! Keep quiet when arrested and say, "I choose to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer."

Electionline.org (Electionline Today) RSS feed

elections, reform, feeds, news

Link: http://electionline.org/index.jsp?page=ElectionLineToday

Electionline.org's "Electionline Today" news page is indispensible if you're as crazy as I am about keeping tabs on the preparations for this November's vote and the prevalence of electronic voting machines.

I had my man Carlo to scrape the page to RSS so you don't have to remember to go back there all the time to get the goods... here's the RSS URL, put it into your favorite aggregator (mine is Bloglines), and start reading.

Electionline.org's "Electionline Today" RSS Feed

Dugger: How They Could Steal the Election This Time

elections, reform, news

Link: http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20040816&s=dugger

This is a must-read article: "How They Could Steal the Election This Time" by Ronnie Dugger in the 16 Aug. issue of The Nation.

It might seem a little depressing, but wait until you get to the end and see what exactly all the voter protection groups are up to. Hopefully, we'll have enough of a presence to make sure things are counted as the voter intended to cast.

A few quotes and a correction follow:

Full story »

Police to Use Military Crowd-Control Equipment for GOP Convention

elections, accessibility, news, wtf?, chilling effects

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&u=/ap/20040819/ap_on_el_pr/gop_convention_protest_12&printer=1

NEW YORK - Forget the megaphones. Police will have a much more high-tech -- and louder -- option to make themselves heard over the din of Manhattan traffic and noisy protesters outside the Republican National Convention.

It's called the Long Range Acoustic Device, developed for the military and capable of blasting warnings, orders or anything else at an ear-splitting 150 decibels.

Authorities on Thursday unveiled a mini-arsenal of devices and counterterrorism equipment they're getting ready for the convention, which opens a week from Monday.

Pretty freakin' ridiculous, huh? Here's a more information (and the source of the picture above) from the Portland Independent Media Center's article "The Pentagon's Secret Scream" by William Arkin:

Marines arriving in Iraq this month as part of a massive troop rotation will bring with them a high-tech weapon never before used in combat - or in peacekeeping. The device is a powerful megaphone the size of a satellite dish that can deliver recorded warnings in Arabic and, on command, emit a piercing tone so excruciating to humans, its boosters say, that it causes crowds to disperse, clears buildings and repels intruders.

"[For] most people, even if they plug their ears, [the device] will produce the equivalent of an instant migraine," says Woody Norris, chairman of American Technology Corp., the San Diego firm that produces the weapon. "It will knock [some people] on their knees."

The new megaphone being deployed to Iraq can operate at 145 decibels at 300 yards, according to American Technology, well above the normal threshold for pain. The company posits a scenario in which Al Qaeda terrorists would run screaming from caves after being subjected to a blast of high-decibel sound from the devices, their hands covering their ears. But in Baghdad or other Iraqi towns, where there are crowds and buildings, the sick and elderly, as well as children, are likely to be in the weapon's range.

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