Corporate Corruption Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Corporate Corruption Media Articles from Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important corporate corruption articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up.
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For an index to revealing excerpts of media articles on several dozen engaging topics, click here
Tech titans lobby Congress for giant tax break
2011-11-25, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Silicon Valley's tech titans are in full holiday mode - tax holiday that is. Google, Apple, Oracle, Cisco and other multinationals have fielded more than 160 lobbyists and consultants - including, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, 60 insiders such as Karen Olick, former chief of staff for Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. - to get Congress to give them a giant tax break on their overseas profits. U.S. multinationals currently have $1.4 trillion parked offshore. Banded together with pharmaceutical companies and other multinationals in a group called the Win America coalition, Bay Area technology giants say that slashing their tax rate from 35 percent to 5.25 percent on foreign profits they return or "repatriate" to the United States will create millions of jobs. Both parties in Congress, desperate to find something they can agree on to goose the economy, are warming to the idea. But the last time a holiday was tried in 2004, under a law Boxer sponsored, billions of dollars in tax breaks went to a tiny swath of multinationals concentrated in the technology and pharmaceutical industries, many studies found. Most of the money went to dividends, stock buybacks and executive pay, despite express prohibitions. Some companies, such as Hewlett Packard, cut jobs after repatriating earnings, while boosting executive pay.
Note: A Forbes magazine article states "most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do," yet now they want even more tax breaks. And did you know that before 1913, except for a period during the Civil War, there was no personal income tax on the general public in the U.S.?
Retired Supreme Court Judge shoved up against a wall and threatened by NYPD at Occupy Wall Street clashes
2011-11-20, Daily Mail (One of the UK's largest-circulation newspapers)
A retired New York Supreme Court judge has claimed she was manhandled by a policeman after watching him beat a woman at the Zuccotti Park raids. Karen Smith was working as a legal observer when she saw a distressed woman pushed to the ground and beaten by an officer, she said. When she demanded he [stop], the unidentified cop pushed her against a wall and threatened her with arrest. Ms Smith had attended the raids ... to note down the names of people arrested as the Occupy Wall Street camp was cleared. She was wearing a fluorescent green baseball cap bearing the words 'National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer' to show she was not taking part in the protests. Ms Smith, who was also carrying a pad and pen, said the incident happened at around 1.30am on Tuesday at Dey Street and Broadway Street in New York City.
Speaking to Democracy Now, she described the scene as ‘a paramilitary operation if there ever was one’. It was ‘what we call a stealth eviction’, she added. Ms Smith explained her son had participated in Occupy Wall Street and she had been ‘very concerned’ about his safety.
Note: We don't normally use the UK's Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as no other major media are reporting this story, we felt it warranted inclusion. The judge gives her own testimony in a video near the bottom of the article.
Passive Occupy protesters take pepper spray blast
2011-11-20, Boston Globe/Associated Press
As video spread of an officer in riot gear blasting pepper spray into the faces of seated protesters at a northern California university, outrage came quickly -- followed almost as quickly by defense from police and calls for the chancellor's resignation. In the video, an officer dispassionately pepper-sprays a line of several sitting protesters who flinch and cover their faces but remain passive with their arms interlocked as onlookers shriek and scream out for the officer to stop. As the images were circulated widely on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter on Saturday, the university's faculty association called on [UC Davis Chancellor Linda] Katehi to resign, saying in a letter there had been a "gross failure of leadership." The protest was held in support of the overall Occupy Wall Street movement and in solidarity with protesters at the University of California, Berkeley. Images of police actions have served to galvanize support during the Occupy Wall Street movement, from the clash between protesters and police in Oakland last month that left an Iraq War veteran with serious injuries to more recent skirmishes in New York City, San Diego, Denver and Portland, Ore. Some of the most notorious instances went viral online, including the use of pepper spray on an 84-year-old activist in Seattle and a group of women in New York.
Note: For a one-minute video of this disturbing action, click here. For an eight-minute video showing how students eventually drive the police out after this, click here.
Lobbying firm's memo spells out plan to undermine Occupy Wall Street
A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by [MSNBC]. The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association. CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. Two of the memo’s authors, partners Sam Geduldig and Jay Cranford, previously worked for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. The memo outlines a 60-day plan to conduct surveys and research on OWS and its supporters so that Wall Street companies will be prepared to conduct a media campaign in response to OWS. Wall Street companies “likely will not be the best spokespeople for their own cause,” according to the memo. “A big challenge is to demonstrate that these companies still have political strength and that making them a political target will carry a severe political cost.”
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on the reasons why people nationwide are occupying their city centers in protest against the collusion between powerful corporate and government elites, click here.
Activists Call for End to 'Cruel' Battery Cages for Chickens
2011-11-19, ABC News
In the wake of an ABC News investigation into alleged unsanitary and inhumane practices at one of the nation's largest egg farms, animal rights activists are calling for an end to the egg industry's widespread use of so-called "battery cages," in which birds live six to a cage in long stacks of wire cages. "The battery cage system is inherently cruel," said Nathan Runkle of Mercy for Animals, who estimated that 95 percent of the hens used in egg production are kept in battery cages. He urged the industry to adopt more humane methods of egg production, and urged McDonald's, the nation's largest egg buyer, to stop buying eggs from battery cage farms. Undercover video shot by a Mercy for Animals activist who worked at one of the nation's largest egg producers, Sparboe Farms, shows the battery cages in use. "Scott," the activist who made the tape, said that the five to seven birds were kept in each cage, with their beaks cut at an early cage so they wouldn't peck each other, and that each bird lived its life in an area smaller than a standard sheet of paper. He said the birds "can't fully spread their wings, they can't walk around. There were [dead] birds that were left in the cages that were decomposing for weeks or months at a time," claimed Scott. Until the ABC News investigation and the FDA's warning, McDonald's drew all its eggs for restaurants west of the Mississippi River from Sparboe. Just before the ABC News report aired, McDonald's announced that it would no longer get its eggs from Sparboe Farms. Activists, however, are now asking why McDonald's won't stop buying eggs from any producer that uses battery cages.
Note: To watch a video of this sad scene, click here. To learn how this report resulted in both McDonald's and Target canceling their contracts with Sparboe Farms, click here.
What price the new democracy? Goldman Sachs conquers Europe
2011-11-18, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The ascension of Mario Monti to the Italian prime ministership is remarkable for more reasons than it is possible to count. By imposing rule by unelected technocrats, [Italy] has suspended the normal rules of democracy, and maybe democracy itself. And by putting a senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic. The European Central Bank ... is under ex-Goldman management, and the investment bank's alumni hold sway in the corridors of power in almost every European nation, as they have done in the US throughout the financial crisis. Even before the upheaval in Italy, there was no sign of Goldman Sachs living down its nickname as "the Vampire Squid", and now that its tentacles reach to the top of the eurozone, sceptical voices are raising questions over its influence. Simon Johnson, the former International Monetary Fund economist, in his book 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, argued that Goldman Sachs and the other large banks had become so close to government in the run-up to the financial crisis that the US was effectively an oligarchy. At least European politicians aren't "bought and paid for" by corporations, as in the US, he says. "Instead what you have in Europe is a shared world-view among the policy elite and the bankers, a shared set of goals and mutual reinforcement of illusions." This is The Goldman Sachs Project. Put simply, it is to hug governments close.
Note: For revealing major media articles on key secret societies which manipulate global politics, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corruption, click here.
Retired Police Captain Arrested At OWS
2011-11-17, Fox News (Philadelphia Fox affiliate)
A retired Philadelphia police captain has been arrested in New York at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration. Ray Lewis retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 2004. It was Philadelphia police who confirmed Lewis' arrest in New York on Thursday morning. Any additional details, they said, would have to come from NYPD. First news of the arrest was broadcast over Twitter around 9:15 a.m. by the protest group ... stating, "Philly Police Captain (Retired) has just been ARRESTED!" The group then tweeted, "The arrested retired police captain's name is Captain Ray Lewis. Immense cheers and music as he is taken away." Video posted to YouTube by RT America and linked to by Occupy Wall Street appears to show Lewis' arrest. There were messages online stating that Lewis had joined the protesters, including a photo of him holding a sign that read "NYPD Don't Be Wall Street Mercenaries," and talking with a helmeted New York police officer at Zuccotti Park.
Note: For a four-minute video interview with Officer Lewis, click here. For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on the reasons why protestors worldwide are occupying their city centers to protest against the "1 percent", click here.
Europe Bans Airport X-Ray Scanners that U.S. Still Uses
2011-11-17, Time Magazine
The European Commission adopted new rules Nov. 14 regarding X-ray, or backscatter, body scanners at all airports in Europe. A press release ordered members of the European Union to remove X-ray scanners from its airports to avoid risking “citizens’ health and safety.” The news [brings] into question the continued use of the very same X-ray scanners in U.S. airports. While the Transportation Security Administration also employs millimeter-wave scanners in U.S. airports, X-ray scanners are the ones that have received more criticism from public-safety advocates. While ... the amount of radiation exposure from X-ray machines is very low, several studies have shown that a small number of cancer cases could result from scanning millions of passengers every year. Some critics of the scanners say that any small amount of cancer is too much to tolerate. Although the TSA doesn’t show signs of budging on the use of X-ray scanners, Europe will instead use machines that rely on radio frequency waves, which have not been linked to cancer.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on government and corporate threats to privacy, click here.
OTC derivatives market activity in the first half of 2011
2011-11-16, Bank for International Settlements (Intergovernmental organization of central banks)
After an increase of only 3% in the second half of 2010, total notional amounts outstanding of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives rose by 18% in the first half of 2011, reaching $708 trillion by the end of June 2011.
Note: The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an intergovernmental organization of central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks." It is not accountable to any national government. Their accounting shows a total global derivatives market controlled by the banks of over $700 trillion. That's $100,000 for every man, woman, and child on the planet. As reported in Reuters, the derivatives market is largely unregulated. Do you think there is any manipulation going on here? BIS helps the bankers to work together to keep their hidden power.
JPMorgan Joins Goldman Keeping Italy Derivatives Risk in Dark
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., among the world's biggest traders of credit derivatives, disclosed to shareholders that they have sold protection on more than $5 trillion of debt globally. Just don't ask them how much of that was issued by Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, known as the GIIPS. As concerns mount that those countries may not be creditworthy, investors are being kept in the dark about how much risk U.S. banks face from a default. Firms including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan don't provide a full picture of potential losses and gains in such a scenario, giving only net numbers or excluding some derivatives altogether. Goldman Sachs discloses only what it calls “funded” exposure to GIIPS debt -- $4.16 billion before hedges and $2.46 billion after, as of Sept. 30. Those amounts exclude commitments or contingent payments, such as credit-default swaps. JPMorgan said ... its net exposure was no more than $1.5 billion, with a portion coming from debt and equity securities. The company didn't disclose gross numbers or how much of the $1.5 billion came from swaps, leaving investors wondering whether the notional value of CDS sold could be as high as $150 billion.
Note: For a treasure trove of reports from reliable sources on the reasons why protestors worldwide are occupying their city centers to protest against the "1 percent", click here.
Economies in peril
Lazy people on social services, a spree of borrowed money. That's how the Greek people are being portrayed. But like Wall Street, the streets of Athens are like a crime scene. The Greek people [are] victims of a fraud and cover-up. Greg Palast is a renowned investigative reporter and author of the new book Vultures' Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores. Greg, how is it that a bank can lend money to a country that has an economy smaller than Dallas, at a level that is this big? Palast: Greece is a crime scene. Goldman Sachs, beginning in 2001 [or] 2002 ... cut a deal to secretly take euros out of the Greek treasury, convert them to yen, convert them back to euros. This is through some fancy derivative action. Goldman takes a multi-billion dollar loss. The Greek government gets a gain. There's no deficit in the Greek treasury. It's only 3%. The Greek economy looks good. Goldman doesn't take billions of dollars in losses. It's a fraud. They've cut a secret deal to get that money back and then some. Goldman charged about $300, $400 million to pull off this scam.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the chicaneries of central banks and financial corporations, click here. For other powerful reporting by journalist Greg Palast, click here.
Congress: Trading stock on inside information?
2011-11-13, CBS News 60 Minutes
Washington, D.C. is a town that runs on inside information - but should our elected officials be able to use that information to pad their own pockets? Members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate. For now, the practice is perfectly legal, but some say it's time for the law to change. Few of them are doing it for the salary and all of them will say they are doing it to serve the public. But there are other benefits: Power, prestige, and the opportunity to become a Washington insider with access to information and connections that no one else has, in an environment of privilege where rules that govern the rest of the country, don't always apply to them. Most former congressmen and senators manage to leave Washington - if they ever leave Washington - with more money in their pockets than they had when they arrived. Congressional lawmakers have no corporate responsibilities and have long been considered exempt from insider trading laws, even though they have daily access to non-public information and plenty of opportunities to trade on it.
Note: According to a New York Times article, U.S. "Senators' stocks beat the market by 12 percent," while "the average household's portfolio underperformed the market by 1.44 per cent a year." To watch this revealing 15-minute piece on CBS 60 Minutes, click here. For key reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here.
Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal
2011-11-13, Los Angeles Times
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work. Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men. Siga ... was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable. Once feared for its grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of 1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox. If there were an attack, the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus. The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death when given within four days of exposure.
Note: This is pure and blatant corruption to pad the pockers of Siga and those involved. For key reports from reliable sources on government corruption, click here. For more on corrupt drug companies, click here.
MF Global customers who pulled funds before bankruptcy might face clawback attempt
2011-11-11, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Former MF Global customers like Koch Industries, which pulled billions of dollars out of the stricken broker's accounts weeks or months before its collapse, have counted their blessings in recent days. But their relief may prove premature depending on the outcome of a separate, 4-year-old bankruptcy case involving Sentinel Management Group Inc. The lawyer overseeing that case has gone to court to try to force some of Sentinel's former clients to take a share of the losses. Many customers pulled out a large sum of cash before the company declared bankruptcy Oct. 31, regulatory data and exchange estimates show. At issue is MF Global's "segregated accounts," client money meant to be kept strictly separate from the broker's own funds, but which regulators say is $600 million short. That pot of money shrank by $1.5 billion in August alone, government data showed. Another $1.8 billion fled during the following two months, according to preliminary estimates. In total, customers pulled out more than a third of their accounts in the three months leading up to MF Global's downfall, much of that in the frenzied final days, traders reckon. For instance, privately held Koch Industries, whose businesses make it a leading commodities trader, sent a letter to trading partners Oct. 3 saying it was switching eight accounts from MF Global to Mizuho Securities USA. Koch Industries did not comment on the reason for its move.
Note: For evidence that the Koch brothers and others were warned to move their money before the bankruptcy, click here.
Abramoff: Lobbying reforms haven't fixed 'flawed' system
Ethics reforms put in place since the influence-peddling scandal surrounding high-rolling lobbyist Jack Abramoff haven't cleaned up the system "at all," a now-free Abramoff says.
Abramoff served three and a half years in prison for conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion before his release last December. In an interview ... on CBS News' "60 Minutes," he said the reforms imposed after his guilty plea have little effect while campaign finance remains untouched. "You can't take a congressman to lunch for $25 and buy him a hamburger or a steak or something like that," he said. "But you can take him to a fund-raising lunch and not only buy him that steak, but give him $25,000 extra and call it a fund-raiser -- and have all the same access and all the same interactions with that congressman." Abramoff's interview with "60 Minutes" aired the night before a memoir, Capitol Punishment, is scheduled to hit shelves. Abramoff describes some of the techniques he employed as a lobbyist as "evil," "terrible" and, at the same time, "effective" for his firm, his clients and Republican politicians he usually worked with. Abramoff said the best way to get what he wanted to was to offer high-ranking congressional aides a job when they left public office. Once that was done, he told CBS, "We owned them." "Everything that we want, they're going to do. Not only that, they're going to think of things we can't think of to do," Abramoff said, estimating his office had "very strong influence" on 100 of the 535 congressional offices.
Note: For a powerful, six-minute analysis of legalized corruption based on Abramoff's comments on CBS 60 Minutes, click here. A petty thief steals three times for a total value of a few thousand dollars and by the "three strikes" law ends up in jail for life. Abramoff, along with his assistants, successfully corrupt U.S. Senators and Congress members and serve less than four years in jail. Some of his assistants got off with no jail time. Is the US justice system biased towards the rich?
Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist's playbook
2011-11-06, CBS News 60 Minutes
Jack Abramoff may be the most notorious and crooked lobbyist of our time. He became a master at showering gifts on lawmakers in return for their votes on legislation. Five years ago ... Jack Abramoff pled guilty ... and served three and a half years in prison. Abramoff: I think most congressmen don't feel they're being bought. [They] can in their own mind justify the system. The "best way" to get a congressional office ... was to offer a staffer a job that could triple his salary. The moment I [offered] that to them ... we owned them. Most of the people ... on Capitol Hill wanted ... to be lobbyists. Republican Congressman Bob Ney was ambitious and looked at Abramoff as a way to build alliances with the White House and the majority leader. Neil Volz, his former chief of staff, by then a lobbyist for Abramoff .. asked Ney to insert some language into a reform bill that would give a backdoor license to an Indian casino. Abramoff: We crafted language that was so obscure ... but so precise to change the U.S. code. "Public law 100-89 is amended by striking section 207 101 stat. 668, 672." Members don't read the bills. Ney: It was a great big shell game. Ney would eventually serve 17 months in federal prison, the only congressman who was ever charged. But Abramoff says that there were many other members that did his bidding that could have been charged. Abramoff: I'm talking about giving a gift to somebody who makes a decision on behalf of the public. That's really what bribery is. But it is done everyday. There were very few members who ... didn't at some level participate in that. Our system is flawed and has to be fixed. He says the most important thing that needs to be done is to prohibit members of Congress and their staff from ever becoming lobbyists in Washington.
Note: To watch this incredibly revealing interview, click here. For a powerful, six-minute analysis of legalized corruption based on Abramoff's comments, click here. A petty thief steals three times for a total value of a few thousand dollars and by the "three strikes" law ends up in jail for life. Abramoff, along with his assistants, successfully corrupt U.S. Senators and Congress members and serve less than four years in jail. Many get off with no jail time. Is the US justice system biased towards the rich?
$3 billion settlement expected in GlaxoSmithKline drug-marketing probe
2011-11-03, Washington Post
The British drugmaker Glaxo-SmithKline has tentatively agreed to pay the U.S. government $3 billion to settle multiple civil and criminal investigations, the largest settlement in the federal government’s recent crackdown on the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing practices. If the deal is finalized, it will mark the latest success in the federal government’s push to rein in drug companies’ promotional efforts. Of the 165 settlements reached between pharmaceutical companies and federal and state governments in the past two decades, about three-quarters took place between 2006 and 2010, according to a report by Public Citizen. Before the Glaxo agreement, the largest federal settlements took place in 2009: Pfizer paid $2.3 billion to settle federal investigations tied to the promotion of the anti-inflammatory drug Bextra and other drugs, and Eli Lilly & Co. paid $1.4 billion related to the marketing of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. Still, consumer advocates said the penalties are not enough. “The size of the penalties, although large, are not as large as the money [the drug companies] make and so they keep doing it over again,” said Sidney M. Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s health research group. “The only way this is going to stop, or get reversed, is to greatly increase the size of the penalties or to start sending some of the executives to jail.”
Note: For insight into corruption in the pharmaceutical industry, click here.
Banking on the people
2011-11-02, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Why give our money to Bank of America, only to have it lend us our own money at high interest rates or with ridiculous fees? We could hold onto our money, save quite a bit in fees, and lend it back to ourselves and to the businesses and people ... at more affordable rates. In 2008, Ellen Brown authored The Web of Debt, an analysis of the U.S. banking system that now is even more pertinent in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The thesis is that the power to create money has been usurped by a private international banking cartel [the Federal Reserve], which issues our money as debt and lends it back to us at interest. The cartel makes it appear that governments are creating our money, and governments get blamed when things go wrong; but they are just pawns of the cartel. We ... can regain our government and our republic only by reclaiming the power to create our own money. We can use the same credit system that private banks use, but administer it as a public utility - that is, monitored and overseen by public servants on the model of libraries and courts. To be a sustainable system, profits need to be returned to the community rather than siphoned off into private coffers.
Note: Few people realize that money in the U.S. is created by an entity privately owned by the largest banks – the Federal Reserve. For lots more important information on this, click here. For lots more from major media sources on the collusion between financial interests and government, click here.
Japan: signs of possible nuclear fission at Fukushima plant
2011-11-02, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The radioactive gas xenon, which is often the byproduct of unexpected nuclear fission, was detected at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during tests. Officials were today injecting boric acid as an emergency precautionary measure to stem any accidental chain reactions which could result in further radiation leakages. The discovery of such a gas is likely to be regarded as an unwelcome setback among operators who are keen to achieve cold shutdown by the end of the year. Officials both from Tokyo Electric Power Co, which operates the plant, and from Japan Atomic Energy Agency, were today (WED) reexamining the gases to double check their identity. The discovery of the gases coincided with the controversial reopening of a nuclear reactor in southern Japan – the first to be put back online since the March 11 Fukushima disaster. The Genkai plant in Kyushu was restarted despite strong public opposition, after officials confirmed it had passed safety tests following its closure over technical problems last month. Anti-nuclear public sentiment has been growing across Japan since the nation was caught up in the on-going atomic crisis, the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Around 40 of Japan's 54 reactors currently remain offline for testing, with the Genkai plant widely regarded as a symbolic first step in restarting dozens more across the country.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on corporate and government corruption, click here and here.
Governments turn to hacking techniques for surveillance of citizens
2011-11-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In a luxury Washington, DC, hotel last month, governments from around the world gathered to discuss surveillance technology they would rather you did not know about. The annual Intelligence Support Systems (ISS) World Americas conference is a mecca for representatives from intelligence agencies and law enforcement. But to the media or members of the public, it is strictly off limits. Behind the cloak of secrecy at the ISS World conference, tips are shared about the latest advanced ... methods used to spy on citizens – computer hacking, covert bugging and GPS tracking. The use of such methods is more commonly associated with criminal hacking groups, who have used spyware and trojan viruses to infect computers and steal bank details or passwords. But as the internet has grown, intelligence agencies and law enforcement have adopted similar techniques. "The current method of choice would seem to be spyware, or trojan horses," said Chris Soghoian, a Washington-based surveillance and privacy expert. "When there are five or six conferences held in closed locations every year, where telecommunications companies, surveillance companies and government ministers meet in secret to cut deals, buy equipment, and discuss the latest methods to intercept their citizens' communications – that I think meets the level of concern," he said. "Decades of history show that surveillance powers are abused – usually for political purposes."
Note: For more on corporate and government threats to privacy and civil liberties, click here and here.