Monthly Archives: June 2013

Guilty For Not Conforming To …

I was doing a search this morning and came across this site which feeds the police stereotype about motorcycle clubs as “gang members. For those of us who have been to hundreds of motorcycle clubs events and have never witnessed any gang activity other than clubs selling t-shirts to raise money for their expenses and some great food, I am not sure what constitutes gang activity.

As long as site like this and others promote this type of profiling against motorcycle clubs law enforcement will use this excuse to go after motorcycle clubs and their members. So, here is what this site has posted about motorcycle clubs, sounds like they have been talking to gang task force which I personally feel are a bunch of morons and have no clue what or they are after.

Buzzle.com

Most Notorious Biker Gangs in the World
There are a number of motorcycle clubs in the world, which are known for their enthusiasm for motorcycling. However, there is a miniscule number of clubs, which is known for something more than just motorcycling. These gangs have gained notoriety for their antics, making law enforcement agencies view them with scorn and suspicion. In this Buzzle article, we will take a look at some of these notorious biker gangs.

Rock ‘n’ Murder
In 1969, a free rock concert was held at Altamont Speedway, California. Hells Angels, one of the most notorious biker gangs in the world, was managing the security of the event, for which they were paid $500 worth of beer. As both the crowd and Hells Angels members were high on drugs and alcohol, altercations ensued, resulting in a Hells Angels member fatally stabbing a 18-year-old guy, who had reportedly drawn a gun.

Motorcyclists around the world are met with awe and skepticism. While some appreciate the freedom and the adrenaline rush that one experiences on a motorcycle ride, others are of the opinion that bikers engage in rabble-rousing, and promote an alternate lifestyle, devious to the norms of the society. Most of the motorcycle clubs are located, or have originated in the United States of America. Majority of these biker clubs are law-abiding and are registered with the biggest motorcycling organization — American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). It has a total membership of 300,000 and is actively involved in promoting motorcycling in the US.

There is a minuscule percentage of bikers, who don’t conform to the rules and regulations of AMA and have their own code of conduct. These bikers are affiliated to numerous clubs, and are collectively known as Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (OMC). These clubs are in a state of constant war with each other, and many of their members have been arrested over serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, extortion, prostitution, and murder. These gangs have gained notoriety all around the world for their antics, but due to the constant media attention, they have also managed to achieve a cult status among some bike aficionados. Before we go ahead and introduce you to some of the most dreaded biker gangs around the world, we would like to revisit history to understand their origin.

Biker Clubs: The Origin
After the end of World War II, a lot of war veterans returned home and tried to settle into their new civilian lives. As they had been at war for such a long time, the chores of daily life seemed monotonous to them. They wanted to experience the thrill and excitement, which had become a part of their lives during the period of war. They were in search of the same level of camaraderie and togetherness, which war soldiers have for each other. The way they looked at it, civilian life was staid and unexciting. While looking for a substitute to fill their lives, motorcycling emerged as one of the brightest options, and soon, numerous war vets were on the streets with their cruiser bikes and choppers. This led to the creation of numerous biking clubs, with members donning similar outfits to show loyalty to their respective clubs. These clubs were known for their nomadic and rebellious lifestyle, but there was rarely any news of their engagement in any form of illegal activity. However, the benign nature of motorcycling took a beating in the Hollister riot of 1947.

Hollister Riot
Hollister, an agricultural town in California, hosted an annual bike rally, sanctioned by the AMA. The rally had become a spectacle and a source of revenue for many locals. Due to the increase in the number of motorcycle clubs after the World War II, Hollister witnessed the arrival of a large number of motorcyclists, which it could not accommodate. The sheer number of motorcyclists made it seem as if the whole town of Hollister was ‘overtaken’. After the bikers got high on alcohol, they stormed right into the city, doing wheelies, riding through restaurants, and littering the streets with broken beer bottles. The police arrested several of these drunk bikers for misdemeanor, but even the police noted that these men had done more harm to themselves than they did to the town. However, the story was blown out of proportion by the media, notably by Life magazine, which carried out a photograph of a wasted man sitting on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, while holding a beer in each hand. Below the motorcycle lay innumerable empty beer bottles. This photograph and the overall media reports created a perception among the people of America that motorcyclists were troublemakers and sociopaths. The Wild One (1953) starring Marlon Brando, which was based on the Hollister riot, further polarized the public opinion against the bikers. The negative publicity surrounding the motorcyclists and the misconception about them, appealed to criminal-minded individuals. They had been living their lives on the sidelines, but now they saw an opportunity of hogging the public limelight by becoming a biker.

The 1%er Tag
Heckled by the media over the issue of motorcyclists engaging in hooliganism and criminal activities, AMA allegedly said that 99% of the bikers were law-abiding citizens, and it was the remaining 1%, which was bringing a bad name to motorcycling. The outlaws accepted the “1%” tag, and used it proudly with their club patches to associate themselves with everything that the society considered devious. These 1%er clubs spread to numerous states in America and around the world. Today, law enforcement agencies in every country consider these outlaw gangs to be actively involved in numerous illegal activities.

The Most Infamous Motorcycle Clubs

Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

Established: 1948
Chapters: Around 230 in 27 countries
Membership: 2000 – 3000
Motto: WHEN WE DO RIGHT NOBODY REMEMBERS, WHEN WE DO WRONG NOBODY FORGETS

The Hells Angels is arguably the most well-known motorcycle club in the world. According to the official website of Hells Angels, the club was formed on March 17, 1948 in Fontana/San Bernardino area of California, US. During its inception, it was made up of war veterans who were earlier associated with the club, Pissed Off Bastards of Bloomington (one of the clubs present at the Hollister riot). Although a lot of people believe that Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels is the club’s mother chapter, the official website denies the claim and states that after forming the club in Fontana, a lot of club members moved to Oakland. According to estimates, currently, the club has more than 100 chapters worldwide, with an estimated 2000 to 3000 members. The club has been accused of numerous serious crimes, such as drug trafficking, extortion, and prostitution.

Notorious Acts
In 2006, a series of raids in Ontario, Canada led to the arrest of 15 Hells Angels members. During the raids, the police seized drugs valued at $3 million in the international market.
In 2007, a full-time member of Hells Angels MC shot three people, including his girlfriend, in Melbourne. One person died, and the other two were seriously injured in the incident. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
The sergeant at arms of the San Diego chapter of Hells Angels was sentenced to serve 21 years and 10 months in prison for drug trafficking charges in 2012.

They go on to name other clubs in this write-up, the only thing they get right is there are some clubs, people, bikers riders or whatever you what to be considered that don’t care for joining some bullshit rider/biker association and “who don’t conform to the rules and regulations” of anyone but their club. Last time I check that is not against law. You can read the full story by clicking the link below.
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/most-notorious-biker-gangs-in-the-world.html

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

Exclusive: Top secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over all call data shows scale of domestic surveillance under Obama

• Read the Verizon court order in full here
• Obama administration justifies surveillance

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largesttelecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered. Read more> 

What you should know about NSA phone data program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government knows who you’re calling.

Every day. Every call.

Here’s what you need to know about the secret program and how it works:

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Q: What happened and why is it a big deal?

A: The Guardian newspaper published a highly classified April U.S. court order that allows the government access to all of Verizon’sphone records on a daily basis, for both domestic and international calls. That doesn’t mean the government is listening in, and the National Security Agency did not receive the names and addresses of customers. But it did receive all phone numbers with outgoing or incoming calls, as well as the unique electronic numbers that identify cellphones. That means the government knows which phones are being used, even if customers change their numbers.

This is the first tangible evidence of the scope of a domestic surveillance program that has existed for years but has been discussed only in generalities. It proves that, in the name of national security, the government sweeps up the call records of Americans who have no known ties to terrorists or criminals.

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Q: How is this different from the NSA wiretapping that was going on under President George W. Bush?

A: In 2005, The New York Times revealed that Bush had signed a secret order allowing the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans without court approval, a seismic shift in policy for an agency that had previously been prohibited from spying domestically. The exact scope of that program has never been known, but it allowed the NSA to monitor phone calls and emails. After it became public, the Bush administration dubbed it the “Terrorist Surveillance Program” and said it was a critical tool in protecting the United States from attack.

“The NSA program is narrowly focused, aimed only at international calls and targeted at al-Qaida and related groups,” the Justice Department said at the time.

But while wiretapping got all the attention, the government was also collecting call logs from American phone companies as part of that program, a U.S. official said Thursday. After the wiretapping controversy, the collection of call records continued, albeit with court approval. That’s what we’re seeing in the newly released court document: a judge’s authorization for something that began years ago with no court oversight.

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Q: Why does the government even want my phone records?

A: They’re not interested in your records, in all likelihood, but your calls make up the background noise of the global phone system.

Look at your monthly phone bill, and you’ll see patterns: calls home as you leave work, food delivery orders on Friday nights, that once-a-week call to mom and dad.

It’s like that, except on a monumentally bigger scale.

The classified court ruling doesn’t say what the NSA intends to do with your records. But armed with the nation’s phone logs, the agency’s computers have the ability to identify what normal call behavior looks like. And, with powerful computers, it would be possible to compare the entire database against computer models the government believes show what terrorist calling patterns look like.

Further analysis could identify what are known in intelligence circles as “communities of interest” — the networks of people who are in contact with targets or suspicious phone numbers.

Over time, the records also become a valuable archive. When officials discover a new phone numberlinked to a suspected terrorist, they can consult the records to see who called that number in the preceding months or years.

Once the government has narrowed its focus on phone numbers it believes are tied to terrorism or foreign governments, it can go back to the court with a wiretap request. That allows the government to monitor the calls in real time, record them and store them indefinitely.

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Q: Why just Verizon?

A: It’s probably not. A former U.S. intelligence official familiar with the NSA program says that records from all U.S. phone companies would be seized, and that they would include business and residential numbers. Only the court order involving Verizon has been made public.

In 2006, USA Today reported that the NSA was secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans. The newspaper identified phone companies that cooperated in that effort. The newspaper ultimately distanced itself from that report after some phone companies denied being part of such a government program.

The court document published by The Guardian, however, offers credence to the original USA Today story, which declared: “The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime.”

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Q: But in this case, a judge approved it. Does that mean someone had to show probable cause that a crime was being committed?

A: No. The seizure was authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which operates under very different rules from a typical court. Probable cause is not required.

The court was created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 and is known in intelligence circles as the FISA court. Judges appointed by the president hear secret evidence and authorize wiretapping, search warrants and other clandestine efforts to monitor suspected or known spies and terrorists.

For decades, the court was located in a secure area at Justice Department headquarters. While prosecutors in criminal cases must come to court seeking subpoenas, the FISA judges came to the Justice Department. That changed in 2008 with the construction of a new FISA court inside the U.S. District Court in Washington. The courtroom is essentially a vault, designed to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on what goes on inside.

In this instance, Judge Roger Vinson authorized the NSA to seize the phone records under a provision in the USA Patriot Act, which passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and vastly expanded the government’s ability to collect information on Americans.

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Q: If not probable cause, what standard did the government use in this case?

A: The judge relied on one of the most controversial aspects of the Patriot Act: Section 215, which became known colloquially as the “library records provision” because it allowed the government to seize a wide range of documents, including library records. Under that provision, the government must show that there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that the records are relevant to an investigation intended to “protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”

Exactly what “relevant” meant has been unclear. With the release of the classified court order, the public can see for the first time that everyone’s phone records are relevant.

The Justice Department has staunchly defended Section 215, saying it was narrowly written and has safeguarded liberties.

Some in Congress, however, have been sounding alarms about it for years. Though they are prohibited from revealing what they know about the surveillance programs, Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall or Colorado have said the government’s interpretation of the law has gone far beyond what the public believes.

“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted section 215 of the Patriot Act,” the senators wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder last year.

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Q: Why don’t others in Congress seem that upset about all this?

A: Many members of Congress have known this was going on for years. While Americans might be surprised to see, in writing, an authorization to sweep up their phone records, that’s old news to many in Congress.

“Everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn’t anything that’s brand new,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday. “It’s been going on for some seven years.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss issued a similar statement:

“The executive branch’s use of this authority has been briefed extensively to the Senate and House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, and detailed information has been made available to all members of Congress.”

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Q: What does the Obama administration have to say about this?

A: So far, very little. Despite campaigning against Bush’s counterterrorism efforts, President Barack Obama has continued many of the most controversial ones including, it is now clear, widespread monitoring of American phone records.

The NSA is particularly reluctant to discuss its programs. Even as it has secretly collected millions of phone records, it has tried to cultivate an image that it was not in the domestic surveillance business.

In March, for instance, NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines, emailed an Associated Press reporter about a story that described the NSA as a monitor of worldwide internet data and phone calls.

“NSA collects, monitors, and analyzes a variety of (asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)FOREIGN(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) signals and communications for indications of threats to the United States and for information of value to the U.S. government,” she wrote. ” (asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)FOREIGN(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) is the operative word. NSA is not an indiscriminate vacuum, collecting anything and everything.”

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Q: Why hasn’t anyone sued over this? Can I?

A: People have sued. But challenging the legality of secret wiretaps is difficult because, in order to sue, you have to know you’ve been wiretapped. In 2006, for instance, a federal judge in Detroit declared the NSA warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional. But the ruling was overturned when an appeals court that said the plaintiffs — civil rights groups, lawyers and scholars — didn’t have the authority to sue because they couldn’t prove they were wiretapped.

Court challenges have also run up against the government’s ability to torpedo lawsuits that could jeopardize state secrets.

The recent release of the classified court document is sure to trigger a new lawsuit in the name of Verizon customers whose records were seized. But now that the surveillance program is under the supervision of the FISA court and a warrant was issued, a court challenge is more difficult.

Suing Verizon would also be difficult. A lawsuit against AT&T failed because Congress granted telecommunications companies retroactive immunity for cooperating with warrantless surveillance. In this instance, Verizon was under a court order to provide the records to the government, making a lawsuit against the company challenging.

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Q: Can the government read my emails?

A: Not under this court order, but it’s not clear whether the NSA is monitoring email content as part of this program.

In 2006, former AT&T technician Mark Klein described in federal court papers how a “splitter” device in San Francisco siphoned millions of Americans’ Internet traffic to the NSA. That probably included data sent to or from AT&T Internet subscribers, such as emails and the websites they visited.

Most email messages are sent through the Internet in “plain-text” form, meaning they aren’t encrypted and anyone with the right tools can view their contents. Similar to an old-fashioned envelope and letter, every email contains details about whom it’s from and where it’s supposed to go.

Unlike postal letters, those details can include information that can be linked to a subscriber’s billing account, even if he or she wants to remain anonymous.

In May 2012, Wyden and Udall asked the NSA how many people inside the United States had their communications “collected or reviewed.”

The intelligence community’s inspector general, I. Charles McCullough III, told the senators that providing such an estimate “would likely impede the NSA’s mission” and “violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”

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Credit/Source
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Associated Press writers Jack Gillum and Lara Jakes contributed to this report

America’s surveillance state: anger swells after data revelations

The government is over stepping our rights and you can beat motorcycle clubs are on their list…..

Senior politicians reveal that US counter-terrorism efforts have swept up personal data from American citizens for years

• Revealed: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

The scale of America’s surveillance state was laid bare on Wednesday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years.

After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued.

A White House spokesman said that laws governing such orders “are something that have been in place for a number of years now” and were vital for protecting national security. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the Verizon court order had been in place for seven years. “People want the homeland kept safe,” Feinstein said.

What do you think?