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The Public - April 26, 2017   Former NSA executive turned whistleblower, Thomas Drake, will speak at Burning Books on Thursday, April 27. In 2005, Drake leaked classified information to a Baltimore Sun reporter about fraud and abuses of power at the NSA. Much of the information regarded the Trailblazer Project, which was a mass data analyzation program that was eventually linked to controversies over the NSA’s warrantless surveillance practices. In 2010 Drake was indicted for “willful retention of national defense information” under the Espionage act of 1917, among other charges. The charges were eventually dismissed. Meanwhile, Edward Snowden, perhaps...

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The Public, February 22, 2017, by Cory Perla [DISCUSSION] Want to learn more about the internet’s most mysterious and mischievous factions, Anonymous? Well writer Douglas Lucas is a journalist who has dedicated himself to covering the workings of the secretive hacktavist group for several years and he comes to Buffalo’s Burning Books to do a presentation on the subject on Thursday, February 23.  Lucas has reported on the group’s activities for websites like Vice, Salon, Daily Dot, Nerve, and more. In 2014, he wrote an article for The Daily Dot titled “Barrett Brown Pleads Guilty: What it Means for Hacker Journalism,”...

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by Phil Fairbanks, The Buffalo News   Armed with a videotape and a strongly worded court decision, anti-war protester Nate Buckley thought he had a good case against the NFTA. A federal judge disagreed and dismissed Buckley's civil lawsuit claiming he was falsely arrested and assaulted during a 2011 anti-war protest outside one of M&T Bank’s downtown offices. Buckley plans to appeal. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Michael A. Telesca said there was probable cause to arrest Buckley that day and claimed there was no evidence of excessive force by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority police officers. The officers, according to Telesca,...

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by Greg Bennick, 10/29/2016, http://wordsasweapons.com/interview-with-leslie-james-pickering/ Since the time he served as spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front Press Office between the late 90’s to the early 2000’s Leslie James Pickering has been continually active as an advocate for the earth and the autonomy of its creatures. He has recently been under government surveillance along with his family and business, being branded as a domestic terrorist threat by the FBI.  Here, in his own words, he describes his ideas, the background of his case, and discusses his upcoming speaking tour on which he will explore the nature of the claims against him and the implications they have for...

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The District Sentinel, September 27, 2016, by Sam Sacks Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to the US Postmaster General on Wednesday requesting information about a domestic surveillance operation that logs information about letters in transit. The spy program, known as “mail covers,” allows postal workers to record the metadata on a letter–including “to” and “from” addresses–without a warrant, and turn the information over to state and federal agencies. A recent investigation by a Portland, Ore. news outlet, KGW, discovered that the government had submitted nearly 90,000 requests over the last decade to the US Postal Service to collect...

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