Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

Arlington police chief admits memos do suggest a ticket, arrest quota system

washingtonpost.com | Apr 9, 2012

By Allison Kleinand Josh White

Arlington County’s police chief has acknowledged a pattern of internal memos dating back years that direct officers to make a minimum number of arrests and issue a certain number of traffic citations each month.

Chief M. Douglas Scott said that the memos did not amount to a quota system but that they could be interpreted that way. He has called quotas “professionally unsound” and has since directed his staff not to issue quotas or anything resembling them.

Scott was prompted to look at past memos to patrol staff after he rescinded a similar memo last month that threatened discipline for those who didn’t make enough arrests or write enough tickets. When he read older memos, he said, he learned that the practice was years old.

Scott is dealing with an issue that police chiefs across the nation grapple with as they work to give officers guidance without pushing them into arrests and ticket-writing.

“There’s a very fine line between holding officers accountable and setting quotas,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. “You want to stop short of setting quotas. You never want to put that kind of pressure of officers.”

Scott said he first saw the March 1 memo, written by two patrol commanders, when news media reported it. But his deputy chief of the Operations Division, Michael Dunne, was included in late February e-mail discussions about the productivity memo before it was issued, according to internal documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Another document shows that officers in an off-duty radar enforcement program were required to write five speeding tickets per hour.

Scott said that once he saw the March 1 memo, he “was surprised it was as specific as it was.”

He said that when he looked back, he found similar memos that squad captains had sent to their officers going back several years and that he thinks the practice predates his nine years as chief.

The earlier memos did not mention disciplinary action.

One internal document, dated Oct. 10, 2010, said a “recommended level” of monthly production included one DUI arrest, seven arrests, five field observation reports, five parking tickets and 11 / 2 traffic tickets for each day worked — with no more than 25 percent of them warnings.

“If I had seen this in October 2010, I would have said this is close to a quota system,” Scott said in a recent interview.

He said he had not seen the memos before because he generally does not review memos that squad captains write to their officers. Had he seen them, he said, he would have stopped them.

“I was told we’ve always done it like this,” he said. “The commanders saw it as guidance.”

He has since directed his staff not to write such specific memos and instead to offer a general range for guidance. For example, he said that instead of directing officers to write 15 traffic tickets a month, he would recommend writing between 10 and 30.

“People understand ranges better,” he said. “Police officers are used to having some expectations of what their productivity should be.”

He added that he has never disciplined an officer for not meeting an expected number of arrests or tickets.

Scott said the numbers detailed in the March memo are “not difficult” to hit.

“The high majority of officers make those numbers easily,” he said.

Russian Police Complain of ‘Detention Quotas’

Russian Police Complain of ‘Detention Quotas’ – RIA Novosti. Aleksei Filipov

Apr 9, 2012 | RIA Novosti

MOSCOW – Police officers in the Moscow region have filed a formal complaint about the ‘detention quotas’ set by their chief, a law enforcement source said on Monday.

Officers at a police department in the town of Pushkino asserted that their boss, Valery Popov had ordered each of the six mobile patrol groups to “write up” one hooliganism case and five detentions every day.

Failure to fill the quota led to “debt” piling, which would have to be “paid” off anyway, the officers said.

“Furthermore, each crew had to haul in at least two individuals who violated residence registration rules to the department for cleanup work and other chores,” they said.

Otherwise police officers had to do the work themselves.

Valery Popov denied the allegations in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“Naturally, we clean up the premises with our own resources,” he said, adding that those who do not want to do anything “start inventing things, start complaining.”

SPYING ON AMERICANS: Obama’s Backdoor “Cybersecurity” Wiretap Bill Threatens Political and Private Rights

Global Research | Apr 10, 2012

by Tom Burghardt

Under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the new all-purpose bogeyman to increase the secret state’s already-formidable reach, the Obama administration and their congressional allies are crafting legislation that will open new backdoors for even more intrusive government surveillance: portals into our lives that will never be shut.

As Antifascist Calling has frequently warned, with the endless “War on Terror” as a backdrop the federal government, most notably the 16 agencies that comprise the so-called “Intelligence Community” (IC), have been constructing vast centralized databases that scoop-up and store all things digital–from financial and medical records to the totality of our electronic communications online–and do so without benefit of a warrant or probable cause.

The shredding of constitutional protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment, granted to the Executive Branch by congressional passage of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) after the 9/11 attacks, followed shortly thereafter by the oxymoronic USA Patriot Act set the stage for today’s depredations.

Under provisions of multiple bills under consideration by the House and Senate, federal officials will be given broad authority over private networks that will almost certainly hand security officials wide latitude over what is euphemistically called “information-sharing” amongst corporate and government securocrats.

As The Washington Post reported in February, the National Security Agency “has pushed repeatedly over the past year to expand its role in protecting private-sector computer networks from cyberattacks” but has allegedly “been rebuffed by the White House, largely because of privacy concerns.”

“The most contentious issue,” Post reporter Ellen Nakashima wrote, “was a legislative proposal last year that would have required hundreds of companies that provide such critical services as electricity generation to allow their Internet traffic to be continuously scanned using computer threat data provided by the spy agency. The companies would have been expected to turn over evidence of potential cyberattacks to the government.”

Both the White House and Justice Department have argued, according to the Post, that the “proposal would permit unprecedented government monitoring of routine civilian Internet activity.”

National Security Agency chief General Keith Alexander, the dual-hatted commander of NSA and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM), the Pentagon satrapy that wages offensive cyberwar, was warned to “restrain his public comments after speeches in which he argued that more expansive legal authority was necessary to defend the nation against cyberattacks.”

While we can take White House “objections” with a proverbial grain of salt, they do reveal however that NSA, the largest and most well-funded of the secret state’s intel shops will use their formidable surveillance assets to increase their power while undermining civilian control over the military in cahoots with shadowy security corporations who do their bidding. (Readers are well-advised to peruse The Surveillance Catalog posted by The Wall Street Journal as part of their excellent What They Know series for insight into the burgeoning Surveillance-Industrial Complex).

As investigative journalist James Bamford pointed out recently in Wired Magazine, “the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies” is “truly staggering.”

In a follow-up piece for Wired, Bamford informed us that when questioned by Congress, Alexander stonewalled a congressional subcommittee when asked whether NSA “has the capability of monitoring the communications of Americans, he never denies it–he simply says, time and again, that NSA can’t do it ‘in the United States.’ In other words it can monitor those communications from satellites in space, undersea cables, or from one of its partner countries, such as Canada or Britain, all of which it has done in the past.”

Call it Echelon on steroids, the massive, secret surveillance program first exposed by journalists Duncan Campbell and Nicky Hager.

And with the eavesdropping agency angling for increased authority to monitor the electronic communications of Americans, the latest front in the secret state’s ongoing war against privacy is “cybersecurity” and “infrastructure protection.”

‘Information Sharing’ or Blanket Surveillance?

Among the four bills currently competing for attention, the most egregious threat to civil liberties is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA, H.R. 3523).

Introduced by Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), the bill amends the National Security Act of 1947, adding language concerning so-called “cyber threat intelligence and information sharing.”

“Cyber threat intelligence” is described as “information in the possession of an element of the intelligence community directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from: (1) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or (2) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.”

In keeping with other “openness” mandates of our Transparency Administration™ the Rogers bill will require the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to establish procedures that permit IC elements to “share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities, and (2) encourage the sharing of such intelligence.”

These measures however, will not protect the public at large from attacks by groups of organized cyber criminals since such intelligence is only “shared with certified entities or a person with an appropriate security clearance,” gatekeepers empowered by the state who ensure that access to information is “consistent with the need to protect U.S. national security, and used in a manner that protects such intelligence from unauthorized disclosure.”

In other words, should “cleared” cyber spooks be directed by their corporate or government masters to install state-approved malware on private networks as we discovered last year as a result of the HBGary hack by Anonymous, it would be a crime punishable by years in a federal gulag if official lawbreaking were disclosed.

The bill authorizes “a cybersecurity provider (a non-governmental entity that provides goods or services intended to be used for cybersecurity purposes),” i.e., an outsourced contractor from any one of thousands of spooky “cybersecurity” firms, to use “cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information in order to protect the rights and property of the protected entity; and share cyber threat information with any other entity designated by the protected entity, including the federal government.”

Furthermore, the legislation aims to regulate “the use and protection of shared information, including prohibiting the use of such information to gain a competitive advantage and, if shared with the federal government, exempts such information from public disclosure.”

And should the public object to the government or private entities trolling through their personal data in the interest of “keeping us safe” well, there’s an app for that too! The bill “prohibits a civil or criminal cause of action against a protected entity, a self-protected entity (an entity that provides goods or services for cybersecurity purposes to itself), or a cybersecurity provider acting in good faith under the above circumstances.”

One no longer need wait until constitutional violations are uncovered, the Rogers bill comes with a get-out-of-jail-free card already in place for state-approved scofflaws.

Additionally, the bill also “preempts any state statute that restricts or otherwise regulates an activity authorized by the Act.” In other words, in states like California where residents have “an inalienable right to privacy” under Article 1, Section 1 of the State Constitution, the Rogers bill would be abolish that right and effectively “legalize” unaccountable snooping by the federal government or other “self-protected,” i.e., private entities deputized to do so by the secret state.

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