AP-Reviews

youtube

(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx9J4diol8s)

FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) – The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology - all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Keep reading

The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services. Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department’s inspector general.

FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities   

By JACK GILLUM, EILEEN SULLIVAN and ERIC TUCKER        
Associated Press Jun 2, 10:18 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) – The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology - all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned.

The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. The FBI said it uses front companies to protect the safety of the pilots and aircraft. It also shields the identity of the aircraft so that suspects on the ground don’t know they’re being watched by the FBI.

In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found.

Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed for the first time the wide-scale use of the aircraft, which the AP traced to at least 13 fake companies, such as FVX Research, KQM Aviation, NBR Aviation and PXW Services.

Even basic aspects of the program are withheld from the public in censored versions of official reports from the Justice Department’s inspector general.

The FBI also has been careful not to reveal its surveillance flights in court documents.

“The FBI’s aviation program is not secret,” spokesman Christopher Allen said in a statement. “Specific aircraft and their capabilities are protected for operational security purposes.” Allen added that the FBI’s planes “are not equipped, designed or used for bulk collection activities or mass surveillance.”

But the planes can capture video of unrelated criminal activity on the ground that could be handed over for prosecutions.

Some of the aircraft can also be equipped with technology that can identify thousands of people below through the cellphones they carry, even if they’re not making a call or in public. Officials said that practice, which mimics cell towers and gets phones to reveal basic subscriber information, is rare.

Details confirmed by the FBI track closely with published reports since at least 2003 that a government surveillance program might be behind suspicious-looking planes slowly circling neighborhoods. The AP traced at least 50 aircraft back to the FBI, and identified more than 100 flights since late April orbiting both major cities and rural areas.

One of the planes, photographed in flight last week by the AP in northern Virginia, bristled with unusual antennas under its fuselage and a camera on its left side. A federal budget document from 2010 mentioned at least 115 planes, including 90 Cessna aircraft, in the FBI’s surveillance fleet.

The FBI also occasionally helps local police with aerial support, such as during the recent disturbance in Baltimore that followed the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained grievous injuries while in police custody. Those types of requests are reviewed by senior FBI officials.

The surveillance flights comply with agency rules, an FBI spokesman said. Those rules, which are heavily redacted in publicly available documents, limit the types of equipment the agency can use, as well as the justifications and duration of the surveillance.

Details about the flights come as the Justice Department seeks to navigate privacy concerns arising from aerial surveillance by unmanned aircrafts, or drones. President Barack Obama has said he welcomes a debate on government surveillance, and has called for more transparency about spying in the wake of disclosures about classified programs.

“These are not your grandparents’ surveillance aircraft,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union, calling the flights significant “if the federal government is maintaining a fleet of aircraft whose purpose is to circle over American cities, especially with the technology we know can be attached to those aircraft.”

During the past few weeks, the AP tracked planes from the FBI’s fleet on more than 100 flights over at least 11 states plus the District of Columbia, most with Cessna 182T Skylane aircraft. These included parts of Houston, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis and Southern California.

Evolving technology can record higher-quality video from long distances, even at night, and can capture certain identifying information from cellphones using a device known as a “cell-site simulator” - or Stingray, to use one of the product’s brand names. These can trick pinpointed cellphones into revealing identification numbers of subscribers, including those not suspected of a crime.

Officials say cellphone surveillance is rare, although the AP found in recent weeks FBI flights orbiting large, enclosed buildings for extended periods where aerial photography would be less effective than electronic signals collection. Those included above Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

After The Washington Post revealed flights by two planes circling over Baltimore in early May, the AP began analyzing detailed flight data and aircraft-ownership registrations that shared similar addresses and flight patterns. That review found some FBI missions circled above at least 40,000 residents during a single flight over Anaheim, California, in late May, according to Census data and records provided by the website FlightRadar24.com.

Most flight patterns occurred in counter-clockwise orbits up to several miles wide and roughly one mile above the ground at slow speeds. A 2003 newsletter from the company FLIR Systems Inc., which makes camera technology such as seen on the planes, described flying slowly in left-handed patterns.

“Aircraft surveillance has become an indispensable intelligence collection and investigative technique which serves as a force multiplier to the ground teams,” the FBI said in 2009 when it asked Congress for $5.1 million for the program.

Recently, independent journalists and websites have cited companies traced to post office boxes in Virginia, including one shared with the Justice Department. The AP analyzed similar data since early May, while also drawing upon aircraft registration documents, business records and interviews with U.S. officials to understand the scope of the operations.

The FBI asked the AP not to disclose the names of the fake companies it uncovered, saying that would saddle taxpayers with the expense of creating new cover companies to shield the government’s involvement, and could endanger the planes and integrity of the surveillance missions. The AP declined the FBI’s request because the companies’ names - as well as common addresses linked to the Justice Department - are listed on public documents and in government databases.

At least 13 front companies that AP identified being actively used by the FBI are registered to post office boxes in Bristow, Virginia, which is near a regional airport used for private and charter flights. Only one of them appears in state business records.

Included on most aircraft registrations is a mysterious name, Robert Lindley. He is listed as chief executive and has at least three distinct signatures among the companies. Two documents include a signature for Robert Taylor, which is strikingly similar to one of Lindley’s three handwriting patterns.

The FBI would not say whether Lindley is a U.S. government employee. The AP unsuccessfully tried to reach Lindley at phone numbers registered to people of the same name in the Washington area since Monday.

Law enforcement officials said Justice Department lawyers approved the decision to create fictitious companies to protect the flights’ operational security and that the Federal Aviation Administration was aware of the practice. One of the Lindley-headed companies shares a post office box openly used by the Justice Department.

Such elusive practices have endured for decades. A 1990 report by the then-General Accounting Office noted that, in July 1988, the FBI had moved its “headquarters-operated” aircraft into a company that wasn’t publicly linked to the bureau.

The FBI does not generally obtain warrants to record video from its planes of people moving outside in the open, but it also said that under a new policy it has recently begun obtaining court orders to use cell-site simulators. The Obama administration had until recently been directing local authorities through secret agreements not to reveal their own use of the devices, even encouraging prosecutors to drop cases rather than disclose the technology’s use in open court.

A Justice Department memo last month also expressly barred its component law enforcement agencies from using unmanned drones “solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment” and said they are to be used only in connection with authorized investigations and activities. A department spokeswoman said the policy applied only to unmanned aircraft systems rather than piloted airplanes.

 — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, The Associated Press has learned. 

 The planes’ surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge’s approval, and the FBI said the flights are used for specific, ongoing investigations. In a recent 30-day period, the agency flew above more than 30 cities in 11 states across the country, an AP review found. 

 Aerial surveillance represents a changing frontier for law enforcement, providing what the government maintains is an important tool in criminal, terrorism or intelligence probes. But the program raises questions about whether there should be updated policies protecting civil liberties as new technologies pose intrusive opportunities for government spying.

Today, I fucked up... my shoulder

In my chemistry class, one of my feet got caught between my other foot and my backpack (it rolls), and I tripped and hit the chemistry door dead on with my shoulder. All of a sudden, I can’t move my shoulder, and it clicks and grinds every time I try to. But it didn’t hurt that badly, so I went to my last hour class. We were reviewing for AP testing, and my friends thought my shoulder being unable to move was more important, and they wanted me to go call my mom. I didn’t, because I’m stubborn. 

So, when I get picked up, my mom tells me she’s going to take me to the chiropractor (stuff like this happens a lot), and lo and behold: the chiropractor tells me I dislocated my shoulder on the door. So I have to walk into AP testing the next day and tell my friends and 144 other students the story and publicly admit my friends were correct and I’m an idiot. 

A massive edifice, then, a monument to hubris, envisioned and built as if its salient characteristic is its spectacular hugeness rather than the fact that people have to live inside it. Nearly from the moment of its completion, a litany of human-sized foibles diminished it both physically and symbolically. With litter, neglect, malfunctioning utilities, broken windows, accumulated tales of crime and danger, and vulnerability to the capriciousness of the market, the building’s physical and mythological grandeur wanes with every year. The stubborn, intrepid people therein take on some of that grandeur, living where it is said to be unlivable, flaunting their humanity in dehumanizing conditions. This is perhaps the great strength of the project: In their books, zines, photographs, and installation, Subotzky and Waterhouse show both the epic and human scale straining against and blending into each other. It is simultaneously an allegory of both the limitations of human endeavor and the hardiness of human nature.

Larissa Archer reviews Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s project featured in Public Intimacy at YBCA, on view through June 29 –> http://bit.ly/1mj21VS

Image: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, Ponte City, 2008-ongoing; installation view, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. Courtesy of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Ian Reeves. 

A$AP Rocky - At.Long.Last.A$AP (Album Review)

Lemme get right into this and ignore the fact that I haven’t done reviews in a really long time. You guys have requested this one nonstop so I figured I’d get back into this by reviewing A.L.L.A , Rocky’s second studio LP.

Features on this album include Kanye West, Yasiin Bey, Juicy J, UGK, Lil Wayne, and more. At first glance, this album was real promising..I mean, the feature list has a nice variety but doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still Rocky’s album (you know how some rappers overdo their shit with too many features).

The first thing I noticed from listening through the first couple of tracks on this LP is that you get a sense of his growth & consciousness which was unexpected on my end. With singles like M’$ & LPFJ2, I was expecting something similar to his debut LP but it quickly switched up when listening through the album.

Content of this project varies and he keeps it fairly refreshing in that aspect while still allowing himself to keep that core sound that he’s known for. Production on this album really took a step up compared to his previous LP and as he mentioned in a past interview, you hear that psychedelic influence that he got from taking LSD and all that jazz. I personally heard the LSD influence along with a rock influence that probably stemmed from the drug or listening to a band like Tame Impala

I could see why some people would dislike the production on this album since it don’t sound 100% like its former projects but at the same time I think an open mind can appreciate how the album turned out when you understand the circumstances in which it was created.

Every feature on this thing holds its own and further adds on to the completeness of the album and if you know me, you know I’m pretty big on being able to listen to a project without feeling like it’s all over the place in sound & quality.

The tributes to A$AP Yams throughout the album blend in very naturally and were good touches and didn’t take away from the message on the LP, I think if anything it pushed Rocky’s need to make the album sound even more perfect in his mind.

2015 has continued to surprise me and albums like these only further my excitement for the rest of the year, it really seems like everyone is doing their best to push out solid projects for their respective audiences.

I’d throw out a 7.5/10 for this and can see myself enjoying it for a couple more months as the year continues.

Favorite Tracks: Canal St, Excuse Me, Electric Body, M’$, LPFJ2

Listen: Electric Body (feat. ScHoolboy Q)

Watch: L$D (Music Video)

for all of the APHUG test takers tomorrow 

https://prezi.com/vovgvwo56u22/ap-human-geography-review/

this prezi is super super helpful! also check the comments and there’s a link to a practice exam with answers and frqs

remember: drink water, have a good breakfast and sleep a sufficient amount (not more than 10 hours though)

good luck xx

…Wojnarowicz seems to stare through the camera. His gaze is simultaneously focused, as if intended for Hujar alone, and yet still inviting, as if anticipating other admirers.

Danica Willard Sachs reviews Peter Hujar: Love and Lust at Fraenkel Gallery through 3/8 –> http://bit.ly/1eGvHp0

Image: Peter Hujar. David Wojnarowicz Reclining (III), 1981; gelatin silver print. © The Estate of Peter Hujar. Courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.

WE HAD TEENS REVIEW A$AP ROCKY’S NEW ALBUM

A$AP Rocky’s new album At.Long.Last.A$AP is an experimentally dark project leaked from the inside of Rocky’s drug-fueled mind. This release sees the Harlem rapper in a more confident light, seemingly unconcerned with proving himself anymore. Gone are the rap posse cuts and Skrillex cameos from his debut album, replaced instead by Rod Stewart collaborations, as well as guidance from a London busker named Joe Fox and one half of Gnarls Barkley. The result is an album highlighted by leftfield samples and collaborations, Rocky successfully harmonizing over slippery guitar, and raps that are fully self-realized, if not exactly well thought out. For someone who has a history of paying a lot of attention to his image, this purposefully insular direction may leave many of Rocky’s fans confused. To find out how confused, we spoke to two 18-year-olds.

READ MORE ON NOISEY

There’s something else going on in Maisel’s images. When perceived as abstract, they evoke beauty; when perceived as documentary, they elicit another aesthetic response—a sense of the sublime rooted in the overwhelming incomprehensibility of this landscape.

Rob Marks on David Maisel at Haines Gallery –> http://bit.ly/16RXi4r

Image: David Maisel. American Mine (Carlin, Nevada 18), 2007; Archival pigment print, 2013, edition of 5; 48 x 48 in. Courtesy of the Artist and Haines Gallery.