This Tuesday, April 21, BORDC's Shahid Buttar joined Thom Hartmann on The Big Picture to discuss Stingray technology. Developed by the CIA and now used around the country by local police under FBI supervision, Stingrays mimic cell phone towers and conduct surveillance untethered by judicial warrants.
Explaining why the local use of Stingray surveillance is constitutionally problematic, Buttar said (at 3:16):
On April 10, 2015, BORDC’s own Shahid Buttar spoke at an event aimed to discuss the role of whistleblowers in our present “security state." Accompanied by a documentary viewing of War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State, the discussion was held at Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Newbury Park, CA and was in reaction to the relatively recent whistleblower activity ie. Edward Snowden and many others.
It is with bittersweet emotions that BORDC wishes a fond farewell to to its communications specialist, Becca Bodner. After nearly a decade of advocating for people's rights as a public defender, Becca joined our team last July. Her legal acumen, combined with her earlier career in journalism and the media, made Becca uniquely qualified to take on the issues we all care about.
On April 14, 2015 the Washington state legislature passed a bill that requires a warrant before using a stingray device. A stingray device is a device that collects cellphone data by stimulating a transmitter tower. This bill was approved by both legislatures without opposition. This is a huge step for Washington.
The Montana Senate rcently passed a bill that will effectively limit federal militarization of the state police force. Passed in a landslide win of 46-1, the bill will “heavily diminish the effect of federal surplus equipment programs that militarize local police”. Introduced by Rep. Nicolas Schwaderer, a Republican, the House Bill 330 sets heavily requirements and the banishing of local law enforcement agents from using excessive force on community members.
Cleveland police departments are rolling out new security protocols, giving their officers cameras in the hopes of reducing police violence. They decided that almost all of their officers will be wearing them by June, and they decided this without telling any members of the public— who are the ones most affected by police brutality—their plan.
This piece was written by Thomas Hedges of Diffending Dissent Foundation and was originally published on April 13, 2015.
A black man, Walter Scott, was shot eight times in North Charleston, South Carolina. Officer Michael Slager, a Caucasian male, stopped Scott for a broken brake light. And according to Scott’s brother, at the time of the incident, he had been making his way to the auto shop to have the light fixed. The interaction between the two went from a routine stop to a murder.