LISBON, Feb. 11 â€” Portugal voted decisively in a referendum on Sunday to liberalize its restrictive abortion law, but the result was not considered valid because of low voter turnout.
Still, Prime Minister JosÃ© SÃ³crates, a Socialist who supported the liberalization, declared victory and said he would ask Parliament, where his party enjoys a comfortable majority, to change the law.
CHICAGO – In some cities in Europe and the United States, a person can be videotaped by surveillance cameras hundreds of times a day, and it’s safe to say that most of the time no one is actually watching.
But the advent of “intelligent video” — software that raises the alarm if something on camera appears amiss — means Big Brother will soon be able to keep a more constant watch, a prospect that is sure to heighten privacy concerns.
Combining motion detection technology with the learning capabilities of video game software, these new systems can detect people loitering, walking in circles or leaving a package.
New microphone technology can isolate the sound of a gunshot and direct the attached camera to swivel and zoom in on the source. Sensitivity may reach the point where microphones could pick out the word “explosives” spoken in a crowd.
OLYMPIA, Wash. – An initiative filed by proponents of same-sex marriage would require heterosexual couples to have kids within three years or else have their marriage annulled.
Initiative 957 was filed by the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance. That group was formed last summer after the state Supreme Court upheld Washington’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Under the initiative, marriage would be limited to men and women who are able to have children. Couples would be required to prove they can have children in order to get a marriage license, and if they did not have children within three years, their marriage would be subject to annulment.
The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities, a vast expansion of DNA gathering that will include hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, by far the largest group affected.
The new forensic DNA sampling was authorized by Congress in a little-noticed amendment to a January 2006 renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, which provides protections and assistance for victims of sexual crimes. The amendment permits DNA collecting from anyone under criminal arrest by federal authorities, and also from illegal immigrants detained by federal agents.
The goal, justice officials said, is to make the practice of DNA sampling as routine as fingerprinting for anyone detained by federal agents, including illegal immigrants. Until now, federal authorities have taken DNA samples only from convicted felons.
The FBI appears to have adopted an invasive Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed.
Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.
Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI’s Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000. It raises concerns similar to those stirred by widespread Internet monitoring that the National Security Agency is said to have done, according to documents that have surfaced in one federal lawsuit, and may stretch the bounds of what’s legally permissible.
OFFICIALS are bracing themselves for a storm of public outrage over their controversial X-ray cameras scheme.
As part of the most shocking extension of Big Brother powers ever planned here, lenses in lampposts would snap â€œnakedâ€ pictures of passers-by to trap terror suspects.
The proposal is contained in leaked documents drawn up by the Home Office and presented to PM Tony Blairâ€™s working group on Security, Crime and Justice.
[The Sun (UK)]
A Defense Department database devoted to gathering information on potential threats to military facilities and personnel, known as Talon, had 13,000 entries as of a year ago — including 2,821 reports involving American citizens, according to an internal Pentagon memo to be released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Pentagon memo says an examination of the system led to the deletion of 1,131 reports involving Americans, 186 of which dealt with “anti-military protests or demonstrations in the U.S.”
Titled “Review of the TALON Reporting System,” the four-page memo produced in February 2006 summarizes some interim results from an inquiry ordered by then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld after disclosure in December 2005 that the system had collected and circulated data on anti-military protests and other peaceful demonstrations.
Pentagon admits errors in spying on protesters (NBC)
The Other Big Brother: The Pentagon’s Domestic Spying Program (Newsweek/MSNBC)
FBI Monitored Web Sites for 2004 Protests
Keeping an Eye on Protesters (Salon.com)
Anti-War Protesters Under Pentagon Surveillance Speak Out
WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 â€” The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering.
The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.
The military and the C.I.A. have long been restricted in their domestic intelligence operations, and both are barred from conducting traditional domestic law enforcement work. The C.I.A.â€™s role within the United States has been largely limited to recruiting people to spy on foreign countries.