Tag Archives: FBI

Corporate Landlords’ Profits Soar as Tenants Drown in Rent Hikes and Fees

“Through-the-roof rent hikes based on greed—not need—have kept many Americans from getting ahead,” said one advocate at Accountable.US.

By Julia Conley. Published 6-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Yn 2002, the Roosevelt began operating as a luxury apartment building (Camden Roosevelt), owned by Camden Property Trust. Photo: NCinDC/flickr.CC

With monthly inflation down to its lowest point in more than two years and heading toward the Federal Reserve’s target, the Biden administration on Wednesday celebrated “welcome progress.”

But an analysis from Accountable.US showed how more than 100 million people who rent their homes in the U.S. are not seeing the benefits of what one Biden spokesperson called “the great American comeback” in their housing costs, particularly millions of people whose homes are owned by corporate landlords.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Disturbing’: Intel Chair Used Schumer Protests to Push Warrantless Spying

“If any lawmakers were still on the fence and waiting for a smoking gun, THIS IS IT,” said one advocate of reforming Section 702.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 3-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Jewish opponents of Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip protested outside the Brooklyn residence of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on October 13, 2023. (Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace NYC/X)

Privacy advocates issued fresh calls for changes to a historically abused U.S. spying program on Tuesday after Wired reported that a top Republican congressman privately tried using peaceful protests as proof of the need to block long-demanded reforms.

“If you care about the First Amendment, please stop everything and read this Wired article,” Elizabeth Goitein, senior director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty & National Security Program, said on social media, sharing the piece.

Continue reading
Share Button

Tracking of Planned Parenthood Visits ‘Should Terrify Every Single American’

Sen. Ron Wyden warns that “if a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists” send ads to clinic visitors, “a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Planned Parenthood- Manitowoc, WI. Photo: Michael Steeber/flickr/CC

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and privacy rights advocates this week are sounding the alarm about an anti-abortion group using cellphone location data to send misinformation to people who visited hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“If a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists target misinformation to people at hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations across the United States, a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail,” Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday.

Continue reading
Share Button

Privacy Advocates Alarmed as House Resumes Spying Powers Fight

Rights groups are particularly concerned about reporting that parts of the debate could be held in “secret session.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Privacy rights advocates and experts are sounding the alarm this week as members of the U.S. House of Representatives dive back into a contentious battle over reforming warrantless government surveillance powers that historically have been abused and consider closed-door debate.

House Republicans on Monday unveiled the Reforming Intelligence and Securing America Act and announced that the Committee on Rules will meet Wednesday to discuss the bill, which combines two previously competing proposals focused on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Continue reading
Share Button

Feds ‘All F—king Tied Up in Knots’ Over How to Handle Election Threats

Top CIA, DHS, DOJ, and FBI officials recently gathered to discuss simulations on deepfakes and violence at the polls—and, as one journalist put it, “the results weren’t encouraging.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Public Policy Institute of California/Facebook

Just nine months away from the U.S. general election, reporting published Friday by CNN suggests the federal government is poorly prepared to respond to “nightmare scenarios,” from violence at the polls to disinformation created with artificial intelligence.

One U.S. official familiar with a previously unreported meeting at the White House Situation Room in December told CNN‘s Sean Lyngaas that in terms of a coordinated federal response to an election-related threat, “we’re all f—king tied up in knots.”

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Dangerous’: Pelosi Calls for FBI to Investigate Cease-Fire Supporters

“She is calling for effectively more surveillance and potential criminalization of protestors by suggesting (falsely) that they have foreign links,” said one critic.

By Julia Conley Published 128-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

As The New York Times reported Sunday that more than 1,000 Black American pastors have joined the widespread call for a cease-fire in Gaza, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi suggested the demand was “Putin’s message” and said the FBI should investigate groups that are speaking out about Biden’s pro-Israel policies.

On CNN, the former House speaker, a California Democrat, told Dana Bash that the “call for a cease-fire is [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s message” and said she thinks some of the protests that have erupted across the U.S. since October to demand the U.S. push for an end to Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza “are connected to Russia.”

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Don’t Just Quote Him’: US Agencies, Politicians Under Fire on MLK Day

“It’s that day of the year where people who don’t know anything about MLK, and would hate him if he were alive today, post the one or two MLK quotes they know.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking against the Vietnam War, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota on April 27 1967 Photo: Minnesota Historical Society/CC

U.S. politicians, agencies, and departments provoked intense criticism on Monday—Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States—for sharing select quotes from the civil rights icon while ignoring his messages about important issues including militarism, poverty, and racism.

King—who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee—would have celebrated his 95th birthday on Monday.

Continue reading
Share Button

More Proof of FBI Abuse Sparks Calls for Congress to Stop Warrantless Spying

“Government self-policing will never be an adequate substitute for the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement,” said one expert as U.S. lawmakers consider whether to reauthorize or reform Section 702.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 7-22-2023 by Common Dreams

FBI Director Christopher Wray discusses the importance of lawful access during an October 4, 2019 summit on the issue at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Photo: FBI

Privacy advocates renewed calls for swift congressional action to rein in warrantless spying on Americans following the Friday release of documents showing U.S. law enforcement’s further misuse of a powerful surveillance tool.

“These disturbing new revelations show how Section 702 surveillance, a spy program the government claims is focused on foreign adversaries, is routinely used against Americans, immigrants, and people who are not accused of any wrongdoing,” said Patrick Toomey, deputy director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, in a statement.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Chilling’: Rights Advocates Blast FBI for Abusing Surveillance Tool 278,000+ Times

“The FBI’s systematic misuse of these resources proves that it (and the rest of the federal government) simply can’t be trusted to wield this sort of power,” said one campaigner. “Let 702 die.”

By Jessica Corbett Published 5-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Image: Data Foundry

Friday’s “alarming” revelations about U.S. law enforcement’s abuse of a powerful surveillance tool “confirmed the worst fears of advocates” and likely further complicated a brewing battle in Congress over reauthorizing a constitutionally dubious spying law.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—which is set to expire at the end of this year unless reauthorized by federal lawmakers—empowers the U.S. government to engage in warrantless surveillance of electronic communications. Although the law only authorizes targeting foreigners located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information, a massive amount of Americans’ data is also collected.

Continue reading
Share Button

Trump Rally in Waco Called Not a Dog Whistle, But a ‘Blaring Air Horn’ to Far-Right

“There’s not really another place in the U.S. that you could pick that would tap into these deep veins of anti-government hatred—Christian nationalist skepticism of the government,” said one extremism expert.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 3-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Former President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a “Save America” rally at Country Thunder Arizona. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

While former U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign insists it is purely coincidental that his planned Saturday rally in Waco, Texas falls during the 30th anniversary of a deadly 51-day siege targeting a religious cult, some Texans and extremism experts aren’t buying it.

Since law enforcement—including Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents—carried out the botched operation at a Branch Davidian compound near Waco from February 28 to April 19 in 1993, the event has been a source of anti-government sentiment for the likes of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh and U.S. militia movement members. Continue reading

Share Button