The world turned its eye to Ferguson Missouri in August after police shot an unarmed black teenager in front of witnesses. The protests that followed were met with a militarized response, including Pentagon surplus mine-resistant vehicles topped with snipers, tear-gas, assault rifles and policemen in camouflage body armor. There were conflicting claims of force being used by the protestors which proved difficult to verify. During the nine days of turmoil 24 journalists became casualties.



On September 11, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a major beltway advocacy group, filed suit against the Department of Defense (DoD) for withholding records on security testing of electronic voting systems for use by overseas service members. EPIC has requested the security reports in July under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).



Neighborhoods are small communities. Communities have bonds. They also have rivalries. They also have gossip and intrigue, albeit on a petty scale. Through the efforts of Mayor Jean Quan and, the intelligence community and the Oakland Police Department (OPD) are now privy to these tiny pieces of personal information and the larger patters they reveal. Under the auspices of community building and public safety, the public's participation is can now be freely enlisted in the creation of a database of that information.

On March 17, 2012 Occupy Wall Street veterans gathered in Zuccotti Park to commemorate the six month anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy movement. What followed was a mass of New York police in riot gear with batons marching in to crush the protest. Some protestors left, others sat down or linked arms. The results were extreme even for the New York Police Department (NYPD), which has acquired a reputation for brutality.

The mainstream media was quick to observe how the New York Police Department (NYPD) fell flat in its latest social media campaign. Many media outlets, pretending that they are internet savvy, or at least remove the ball-gags from their intern’s mouths, called it “Epic Fail.” Was the #myNYPD twitter gaff a failure of a large institution to understand the dynamics of social media, or a failure of the institutions of the press to live up to the responsibility of media as society's watchdogs?

March 29 was just another working day for two working journalists from the Toledo Blade. They began by attending a press conference at a Ford factory in Lima, Ohio. On the way back to the office, the pair, Jetta Fraiser and Tyrel Linkhorn, were assigned to update their publication's stock photo library by taking exterior shots of industrial facilities in the area. Their trip to a Heinz ketchup plant was followed by a stop at the General Dynamics tank plant. That is where the camouflage painted face of post constitutional America raised its ugly head and the day turned sour.

On April Fool’s Day, Wired magazine reported that long imprisoned journalist Barrett Brown had accepted a plea agreement. Brown's pending case on hacking charges that many called flimsy at best. The best-selling author of Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, Brown was facing over 100 years for posting a link in a chat room. The link was to a list of clients of the defense and intelligence firm Stratfor that included some credit card information.

Recently Facebook has been on a media offensive. They have been touting their March 28 purchase of experimental Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, called drones) manufacturer Ascenta. Ascenta has built a solar-powered extreme endurance drone that can remain aloft at high altitude for years. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sees this as the key to his dream of expanding internet access in the developing world.

The FBI may have you on a terrorist list. Have you been to see “Gasland” or attended a zoning meeting on fracking?

On February 5, NBC published new documents leaked by Edward Snowden that reveal direct cyber attacks on the infrastructure of the hacktivist group Anonymous. The heavily redacted documents also gave insight to research already underway by the Free Press into a campaign of disinformation and harassment of the same group by private intelligence companies that received start up capital from the CIA. Both campaigns seemed to indiscriminately target members of the group engaged in lawful dissent and social welfare activities.


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