United States civil rights activist Julian Bond dies

This video from the USA says about itself:

Angela Davis interviewed by Julian Bond: Explorations in Black Leadership Series

21 July 2009

Julian Bond interviews Angela Davis, civil rights activist and university professor. Dr. Davis is professor emeritus at the University of California-Santa Cruz. Their shared conversation explores her personal history and her continuing roles in human rights causes and campaigns. The series is presented by the Institute for Public History at the University of Virginia.

From Associated Press in the USA:

US civil rights activist Julian Bond dies aged 75

Longtime NAACP chair described as a visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights

Sunday 16 August 2015 13.03 BST

Julian Bond, a US civil rights activist and longtime chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, has died aged 75.

Bond died on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness, the Southern Poverty Law Center said.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, he was considered a symbol and icon of the 1960s civil rights movement in the US. As a Morehouse College student, Bond helped found the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, and as its communications director he was on the frontline of protests that led to landmark civil rights laws.

He later served as chair of the 500,000-member NAACP for a decade, but declined to run again for the post in 2010. He also served in the Georgia state legislature and was a professor at American University in Washington DC and the University of Virginia.

The Southern Poverty Law Center called Bond a visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights. “With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” the centre’s co-founder, Morris Dees, said.

“He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognised the common humanity in us all,” Dees said.

Bond is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, a former staff lawyer for the law centre, his five children, a brother and a sister.

SPLC statement on Julian Bond’s death: here.

Mr Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 but was barred from taking his seat because of his anti-Vietnam war stance. The Supreme Court ruled in his favour and he took office in ’67: here.

Black Students In The U.S. Get Criminalized While White Students Get Treatment: here.

New fish species discovery in Gulf of Mexico

This video from California in the USA says about itself:

The anglerfish: The original approach to deep-sea fishing

21 November 2014

Deep-sea anglerfish are strange and elusive creatures that are very rarely observed in their natural habitat. Fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video by deep diving research vehicles. This little angler, about 9 cm long, is named Melanocetus. It is also known as the Black Seadevil and it lives in the deep dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. MBARI‘s ROV Doc Ricketts observed this anglerfish for the first time at 600 m on a midwater research expedition in November 2014. We believe that this is the first video footage ever made of this species alive and at depth.

This video says about itself:

Fishing in the deep: observations of a deep-sea anglerfish

22 August 2012

This video shows never-before seen footage of a deep-sea angler fish, Chaunacops coloratus. In it, we summarize recent work by scientists at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The video seen here was recorded by MBARI’s ROV Doc Ricketts at depths of 7,800 – 10,800 feet below the ocean’s surface. For more information please see MBARI’s news release.

From CBS Miami in the USA:

NSU Researcher Discovers New Species Of Fish

August 5, 2015 10:44 AM

FT LAUDERDALE – As the saying goes “There’s plenty of fish in the sea,” well a Nova Southeastern University researcher recently discovered one that has never been seen before.

Tracey Sutton, Ph.D., who is part of team at NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, discovered the new species of Ceratioid anglerfish in the northern Gulf of Mexico at a depth between 1,000-1,500 meters.

Sutton was able to identify the fish with assistance of Dr. Theodore Pietsch from the University of Washington.

At the ocean depths this fish lives in, there is no sunlight. The only light is that from creatures that produce bioluminescence, which means they generate their own light source.

The three female specimens found ranged in size from 30-95 mm in length. Looking at the fish, one quickly understands how anglerfishes get their common name.

They have an appendage at the top of their head, which resembles a fishing pole of sorts. And, like its human counterparts, this fish dangles the appendage until an unsuspecting fish swims up thinking they found a meal, only to quickly learn that they are, in fact, a meal themselves.

“Every time we go out on a deep-sea research excursion there’s a good chance we’ll see something we’ve never seen before – the life at these depths is really amazing,” Dr. Sutton said.

As for this new anglerfish, the three female specimens are considered “type specimens” (i.e. they define the species,) and as such, will reside in the Ichthyology Collection at the University of Washington, which is home to the world’s largest deep-sea anglerfish collection.

Dr. Sutton studies the ecology of marine systems, particularly those of the open ocean. As part of those efforts, Dr. Sutton is leading a team of scientists and researchers studying the effects of oil spills on deep-sea marine life. That project recently received a boost, thanks to a financial award from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI.) NSU was awarded $8.5 million and is one of 12 organizations selected to receive part of $140 million for continued research in the area of oil spills and how we respond to them.

Beach visitors save injured hammerhead shark

This video from the USA says about itself:

Brothers Save Hammerhead Shark. Destin, Florida 2015

21 July 2015

Me and my brother fight to save an injured hammerhead shark on the Destin, FL shoreline and bravely took it to safety away from the public. My brother, once realizing it was injured, swam out to bring it to shore away from people still in the water. I filmed this heroic display as he dragged the injured 10 ft. hammerhead to shore. The shark was pulled to shore and we realized it had several deep sea fishing hooks in its mouth as well as steel fishing line tangled in and around its head. My brother, along with help from bystanders worked to get the hooks out and save the dying shark. My brother was able to pull the shark into deeper water until it was able to swim away safely in an attempt to avoid further injuring itself or the public.

All of the distress and yelling heard in the background were caused by a natural fear from certain individuals and lack of understanding the situation as well as the behaviors of hammerhead sharks. Once bystanders realized we were trying to help the shark they quickly did what they could to help

Shot on a GoPro Hero 3+ and iPhone 5

From WJHG.com in Florida in the USA:

Visitors Help Hammerhead Shark

Tue 9:51 PM, July 21, 2015

By: Zak Dahlheimer

DESTIN– UPDATE: 7/21/15 6:24 P.M.

Marcus and Logan Lakos try to make it down to the Panhandle for the summer every year.

But this year’s visit they say came with a catch.

Marcus captured his younger brother Logan pulling an injured hammerhead shark to shore at Henderson Beach State Park Monday, where they eventually removed two hooks and a lure from its mouth.

And now with battle scars after pulling the shark to shore, Logan says it was a wave of adrenaline that came over him, looking out for his mother also in the water.

“I started pulling it in and it was kind of scary, but hammerhead sharks aren’t really that dangerous to humans,” said Logan. “Knowing that, I pulled it in. Everyone else was freaking out so it was hard to bring him in. But once people started realizing we were trying to help it, some of the other guys around were all crowding around it and trying to help it.”

When he saw his brother going to save the shark, Marcus says his first instinct was to get this on video.

“I’m just like, ‘I’m going to grab my camera,'” said Marcus. “Because Logan, he’s the brave one. He’s swimming out trying to help grab it, so I wanted to grab whatever I can on film since I’m the film person. I’m sitting there, and out of nowhere, he’s dragging this thing onto shore.”

After originally pulling it onshore, both brothers say the shark ended up swimming back out into the water. After that they say they went about 50 to 100 feet down the beach, where they ended up pulling the two hooks and lure out of the shark’s mouth.

Both brothers say they’ve received praise from people who witnessed the event.

But Logan says it was really about grabbing life by the tail.

“If you see a shark out in the water, it’s not always a bad thing to grab your camera and enjoy one of nature’s greatest creatures,” said Logan.

Logan says the shark did not appear to have any other injuries after the hooks are lure were removed.

Marcus Lakos and his brother, Logan, were visiting Destin from Texas when they saw a hammerhead shark swimming near the beach.

They say Logan noticed something hanging out from the shark’s mouth and pulled it by its tail to the shore.

With the help of a few bystanders, Logan took out what appears to be a steel hook from a deep sea fishing line that was caught in the shark’s mouth.

Both brothers say they know something about sharks, Logan is an avid fisherman, and say they had an idea the shark would not hurt them.

Good Florida sea turtle news

This video from the USA says about itself:

Baby Turtles Being Born on the Beach

13 September 2013

Leatherback turtles hatching and marching towards the ocean in Vero Beach, Florida.

From NPR in the USA:

Florida Sea Turtles Stage Amazing Comeback

July 13, 2015 4:42 PM ET

When scientists first started counting the nests of green sea turtles in one area in the 1980s, they found fewer than 40 nests. In their last check, they counted almost 12,000.


In Florida, sea turtles are making a comeback. The green turtle is leading the way. It’s a species that a few decades ago was close to disappearing from the state, and the scope of its recovery is virtually unprecedented for an endangered species in the United States. As Amy Green of member station WMFE reports, the gains are most apparent at a refuge on Florida’s east coast. It’s the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Melbourne Beach, and it’s one of the most significant sea turtle nesting sites in the world.

AMY GREEN, BYLINE: A sea turtle emerges from the waves alone, in darkness. At 3 feet long and 300 pounds, her barnacle-encrusted body is cumbersome on land, accustomed to weightlessness.

HEATHER STAPLETON: They look like an ancient dark behemoth.

GREEN: That’s Heather Stapleton of the Sea Turtle Conservancy, a research and conservation organization for the reptiles that are as old as dinosaurs.

STAPLETON: She comes up out of the surf, and she’s there. She lifts her head up a couple of times, usually, in the air to take breaths and kind of feel her way around.

GREEN: She finds a nesting site well above the tide. Her breathing is labored as her flippers fling sand over her eggs, concealing them from predators during their two-month incubation. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1991 to preserve this 20-mile beach on Florida’s east coast for nesting sea turtles like this one. It’s working.

LOU EHRHART: As a scientist, I have to be a little bit careful about how I throw the word miracle around, but yes, I agree that, in this case, it is really quite extraordinary.

GREEN: Lou Ehrhart is a University of Central Florida researcher who has counted sea turtle nests in this refuge since the mid-’80s. He says the green turtle‘s recovery is especially astounding.

EHRHART: In those first three years, we had 30 or 40 green turtle nests, and the summer before last, we had 11,840. That’s just unheard of.

GREEN: Statewide, sea turtles are thriving. Nearly all of the nation’s sea turtle nests are here in Florida. Most credit the Endangered Species Act, which brought sea turtles under protection in 1978. Sea turtles don’t begin reproducing until their early 20s. That’s why researchers thinks their populations multiply every couple of decades and why we’re seeing a boom now.

Ehrhart also points to state protections of Florida beaches aimed at discouraging development and preserving them for nesting. This is important because while sea turtles can migrate thousands of miles, they almost always return to the same beach to nest.

Sea turtles still face many hurdles. In the United States, all sea turtles remain threatened or endangered. In the Pacific Ocean, leatherback populations are plunging. Back at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, this nesting sea turtle is disappearing into the waves.

STAPLETON: Yeah, now she’s going faster.

GREEN: Oh, such relief for her to be floating and weightless again.

She might nest five more times during the summer, laying nearly a thousand eggs. But most baby sea turtles never reach adulthood because of predators and other dangers like dehydration under the sun. She never will know what becomes of them because sea turtles never come back to their nests.

More than half the world’s sea turtles have ingested plastic or other human rubbish, a new study has found: here.

Theatened Florida bats, new research

This video from the USA says about itself:

13 February 2014

Rehabilitating a Florida Bonneted Bat and getting it to temporarily adjust to new food. Apparently, rehab is boring… Florida Bonneted bats are a federally endangered species that only exist in Southern Florida and known population estmates only in the hundreds. Personnel in the video are rabies vaccinated. Never attempt to handle a bat or other wildlife. Video shot by Dustin Smith.

From Associated Press:

Singing bats; scientists lift veil on endangered FL species

By JENNY STALETOVICH, Miami Herald | June 20, 2015 | Updated: June 20, 2015 12:19am

MIAMI (AP) — The mysterious Florida bonneted bat, a creature so elusive that biologists know of only one roost in the wild, is actually a chatterbox, far easier to hear than see.

And for that information we can thank citizen scientists. Over the past year, they recorded thousands of calls, erected bat boxes and scoured the county to paint a new picture of the under-appreciated bats and lift the veil on one of the state’s most critically endangered species.

Props also go to chance, for putting the bats within earshot of a cutting-edge bat researcher having a glass of wine in her backyard.

“Who would have thought?” said volunteer Alfonso Perez, an attorney helping create a nonprofit to support more research. “If we just sit back and smell the roses, there’s a lot of things going on.”

All the attention has generated some star treatment for the bats: their own Facebook page, parties and a corporate sponsor. Much of that can be credited to biologist Kirsten Bohn, an expert in bat songs, who began organizing outings — part party and part expedition — to collect data on the enigmatic bat, which has dwindled to a South Florida population numbering in the hundreds.

With their iPads and smart phones programmed to pick up high-frequency chirps, volunteers trained by Bohn located the first roost ever documented in Southeast Florida near the Gables Granada Golf Course in September. Her team also recorded more than 20,000 calls, providing a trove of new data that shows the pug-nosed bats feed and sing like no other bat in the United States, in a range much larger than previously suspected.

Earlier this month, Zoo Miami wildlife veterinarian Frank Ridgely released the first bat raised from infancy. If all goes well, a tracker attached to the bat could let Ridgely observe its behavior in the wild.

All this new research could ultimately help federal wildlife managers now considering conservation plans for the bat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which added the bat to the endangered species list in 2013 — the first bat in 25 years — is expected to propose a critical habitat by the end of the year and ask for input from the public and experts.

Habitat protocols could help avoid potential problems like the scene now playing out at the Granada course, where Coral Gables launched extensive restoration work last month that includes trimming trees and removing grass without contacting federal officials. The city’s chief of landscaping, Brook Dannemiller, said the project manager checked with state officials, who signed off on the project, leading the city to believe the work would cause no harm.

But Bohn, who alerted federal agents, worries that bats with pups could roost in the trees. Stripping the grass could also affect the bugs they eat. On Friday, Service spokesman Ken Warren said the agency is looking into the matter.

If the bats are to survive, Ridgely said more aggressive steps must be taken to protect them, including surveying parks throughout the county that could take the place of lost habitat.

“The forest is never coming back in most of Miami-Dade County,” he said.

Conservation of bats has become more urgent in recent years with the spread of White Nose Syndrome, a fatal fungus, and a rise in wind turbines. Up to two million bats die each year, threatening a critical link in America’s food production. Some bats pollinate plants — imagine a world without mangoes, avocados and guava. Others, including the bonneted bat, consume massive amounts of insects that farmers, and mosquito control districts, would otherwise battle.

Florida’s bonneted bats, which are not known to contract White Nose and risk little injury from turbines, face bigger risks from pesticides and habitat loss. Because they are large and fly high, the bats need plenty of room to maneuver. Their perilously low numbers could indicate just how little open space remains in South Florida.

“Bonneted bats are like a bullet or a jet airplane,” Ridgely said. “They are built for speed and go in a straight line.”

That behavior also makes them hard to study. Try spotting a bullet 30 to 40 feet high in the air. In the dark.

Bohn knew little about Florida’s bonneted bats, officially Eumops floridanus, when she arrived in Florida after studying in Texas and traveling largely in South America to record free-tailed bats for her research on communication. In 2014, she helped author a pioneering study that used mathematical equations to first document bat singing.

In the study, scientists used the calls of several species, including free-tailed bats, Carolina chickadees, orangutans and pilot whales. For a human sample, they recorded a reading of Hamlet. It turns out the clicks and chirps that can sound like change jingling in your pocket are more like a chorus of songbirds.

Bats, the study found, don’t just chirp to get their bearings or find food, they also sing to flirt, fend off other males and call to their young. They sing from their nests and they sing when they fly. Like humans, they may have a language.

To hear most bats, calls need to be amplified using a microphone. But the bigger, lower frequency bonneted bat can usually be heard by most people, though not all. “Too many Mötley Crüe concerts,” said Ridgely, who can’t hear the calls without a microphone.

To study the bonneted bats, Bohn, who recently left Florida International University for Johns Hopkins University, first erected recorders on the Granada golf course. Amazed at the volume of calls, she began installing song meters around the county in large open areas where bats might forage — at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Deering Estate and along the Ludlam Trail. The bats historically lived in pine rockland, where the sparse pine canopy let them cruise unimpeded. But with most rockland now gone — less than 2 percent of the historic range outside Everglades National Park remains — the bats adapted to become urban bats foraging in whatever open space they could find, like the parking lot around Zoo Miami.

Among Florida researchers, the Granada Golf Course was a well-known feeding ground. For Bohn, a move to the neighborhood in 2012 was serendipitous.

Within weeks, Bohn heard their songs, began recording them and recruited grad student Giselle Hosein. When neighbors read about their work in the Miami Herald, they contacted Bohn, who formed the Bat Squad to help collect data. At their first bat night at the golf course, Bacardi — the brand’s logo includes a bat — provided free rum as hundreds wandered around the darkened course or sat in lawn chairs gazing into the night sky.

“This is so up my alley,” said Ken Willis, who attended another bat night in May. “We know so little about them and they’re here. The bats. The foxes. They were here before us and they’re here amongst us.”

In the past year, Bohn and volunteer grad students analyzed about 25,000 calls and logged the comings and goings of bats from the roost — first reported in the 1980s but not confirmed until Bohn and Ridgely studied it — in the eaves of a house a block away on Alhambra Circle.

The data helped paint a new picture of the urban bats. Bohn found the bats call at a much lower frequency and over bigger distances than Brazilian free-tailed bats, another species plentiful in South Florida. That discovery alone, Bohn wrote in a memo to federal officials, could make a critical difference in how bats are surveyed, because it makes them far easier to identify if microphones are set at the right frequency and correctly placed.

“Basically using acoustic monitoring is the best way to go,” Bohn said. “You can have a Eumops flying by and I’ll pick that bugger up.”

Bohn picked up their calls “all over (southern) Miami-Dade County, but in very low numbers,” she said, suggesting the long-lived bats travel farther to forage than previously suspected.

Bohn also found the bats roosting and feeding in Coral Gables were sensitive to temperature, emerging from their roosts only on warm nights. Surveying during colder months, she said, could give inaccurate information.

Without funding, Bohn was unable to complete more thorough research. “I could write a 20-page paper, but I’m doing this on a volunteer basis,” she said.

In an email from Honduras Saturday, she was optimistic that volunteers would carry on, organizing bat watches and installing boxes to provide more data so she could continue her research.

So far, Bohn’s acoustic findings could help define hotspots like the Granada Golf Course, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Paula Halupa. But Halupa said findings on roosting patterns would need more research.

“If we can focus on areas where we know they’re at and the surrounding areas, we can minimize the risks to the species,” she said. “So it’s all good stuff.”

Halupa said she was not surprised by the extent of the bat’s range: “A lot of times people don’t find bats because they don’t take the time to look. It’s not easy work.”

The intense public interest came as a pleasant surprise.

“It’s awesome that people in their own backyards … can see this and have enough interest to collect data,” she said. “Our agencies are too small and too overwhelmed with day-to-day crises and we need to rely more on citizen scientists.”




Save Florida corals

This video from the USA says about itself:

Coral Restoration Foundation, Planting staghorn corals

5 October 2013

Ken Nedimyer talks about the Coral Restoration Foundation’s coral nursery and how they plant staghorn corals on the reefs of Key Largo, Florida.

From Wildlife Extra:

1,600 Corals planted at Florida Keys Plantapalooza

To celebrate World Oceans Day divers from the Florida Keys-based Coral Restoration Foundation has planted 1,600 corals in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Some 70 divers sowed corals at six Upper Keys sites including Molasses Reef, Carysfort Reef, Grecian Rocks, Little Conch Reef, Snapper Ledge and Pickles Reef.

“It’s really important to get the corals out there in large amounts, but it’s also important because we’re involving a lot of the community,” said Kayla Ripple, the Coral Restoration Foundation’s coral nursery programme manager.

Staghorn corals are threatened, but Coral Restoration Foundation has had good success in cultivating and planting new staghorns where the species has died.

The small coral fragments were grown in a designated nursery about three miles from the Keys. The infant corals, about three inches long, are hung on a framework of PVC pipe resembling a tree to develop. After nine months, the staghorns typically reach the size of a dinner plate and are transported to offshore reefs where they are affixed to the sea floor with epoxy.

Since Coral Reef Foundation’s launch in 2000 the organisation has planted some 31,500 corals on upper and middle Keys reefs, however this is the organisation’s most prolific output in a single day.

British fake mobile phone towers to spy on the people

This 10 June 2015 Sky News TV video from Britain is about fake mobile phone towers for spying.

It looks like the British government is following the ‘good’ examples of the Rupert Murdoch empire and the United States FBI ..

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Fake mobile phone towers found to be ‘actively listening in’ on calls in UK

The London Metropolitan Police have refused to say who is controlling them or what is being done with the information they are gathering

Paul Gallagher

Wednesday 10 June 2015

More than 20 “intrusive” fake mobile phone towers that eavesdrop on public conversations have been found active in the UK, the first time the technology has been detected in the country.

The IMSI catchers, also known as Stingrays,

What a shame that such criminal devices are named after such beautiful fish

have been found to be operating in London, but the Metropolitan Police have refused to say who is controlling them or what is being done with the information they are gathering.

IMSI stands for International Mobile Subscriber Identity – a unique number that identifies users on their phone network.

The controversial surveillance technology, used by police forces around the world, is supposedly for catching criminals’ communicating by intercepting information on its way to the network.

It tricks mobile phones into thinking the Stingrays are phone masts, so that handsets connect to the tower and all the data flowing through them is collected – but the masts are unable to distinguish between criminals and everyone else.

A Sky News investigation located the masts using technology made by GSMK Cryptophone, a German security company, and found more than 20 of the rogue towers in three weeks.

Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe would not confirm or deny that his force was using the technology, telling the channel that “the only people who benefit are the other side, and I see no reason in giving away that sort of thing”.

He said: “If people imagine that we’ve got the resources to do as much intrusion as they worry about, I would reassure them that it’s impossible.”

Stingrays are frequently used in the US by police to monitor suspects, though the use of them is inevitably subject to heated debate as they can eavesdrop on anyone’s calls, even without a warrant. The American Civil Liberties Union has called the towers “incredibly invasive”.

Scotland Yard was said to have bought some of the IMSI towers in 2009 and began using them last November, according to reports, although it is the first time evidence has been found that they are operational. Keith Bristow, the director-general of the National Crime Agency, said: “Some of what we would like to talk about to get the debate informed and logical, we can’t, because it would defeat the purpose of having the tactics in the first place. Frankly, some of what we need to do is intrusive, it is uncomfortable, and the important thing is we set that out openly and recognise there are difficult choices to be made.”

Read more: Snowden: Britain spied on Argentina over Falklands

Secret court: GCHQ spying on UK citizens unlawful

GCHQ’s launches ‘spook first’ training programme

Privacy group launches ‘Did GCHQ spy on you?’ campaign

Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, said it was time police forces stopped pretending the IMSI towers didn’t exist, so the public could understand the legal framework behind them. He said: “This spying tool has featured in everything from The Wire to Zero Dark Thirty. Companies are selling them on the grey market to anyone who can pay. The only thing we don’t know is what the police are doing to protect people from their use by criminals, and when they use them, what legal frameworks ensures they’re properly used?

“In an urban space, thousands of people’s mobile phones would be swept up in that dragnet. What they do with that data, we don’t know. We know police have been using them for years, but this is the first time that it’s been shown that they’re being deployed in the UK.”

Tim Johnston, a barrister who specialises in surveillance law, told Sky News: “Because it’s neither confirmed nor denied, we simply don’t know on what basis they [IMSI catchers] are being used – if they are being used. We don’t know how they’re being overseen. We don’t know the statutory basis that’s being relied on, as a consequence we don’t know who – if anyone – is overseeing that use.”

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 11 June 2015


THE revelation by Sky News of the ‘Stingray’ programme, where fake mobile phone towers are set up to capture people’s mobile calls without their knowledge, and that the same process can be used to plant material on their phones without their permission, is yet another confirmation that the UK is an out-of-control police state.

Here the ruling class feels so insecure that there are no limits on its spying and repressive actions against ordinary people, carried out under the guise of combatting the ‘toleration’ of terrorism, extremism and crime that Cameron and May are alleging.

In fact, this secret police state spying is a criminal activity that is being carried out by the capitalist state on behalf of a frightened ruling class against the working class and the middle class, the majority of the people.

Asked directly about the use of Stingrays, Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met Police Commissioner, said: ‘We’re not going to talk about it, because the only people who benefit are the other side, and I see no reason in giving away that sort of thing.’ The ‘other side’ are the millions who are being spied on. Workers will reject his arrogant, outside the law, rationalisations.

Keith Bristow, the director-general of the National Crime Agency, said: ‘Frankly, some of what we need to do is intrusive, it is uncomfortable, and the important thing is we set that out openly and recognise there are difficult choices to be made.’ He wants the state to have the right to spy on who it likes, as it likes, when it likes, without being brought to account.

The fake mobile phone towers, IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) catchers (Stingrays), mimic mobile phone masts with the aim of tricking phones into logging on so that they can be used in any way that the state wishes. ‘With IMSI catchers, it’s very difficult for them to be used in a targeted manner,’ Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, commented. ‘In an urban space, thousands of people’s mobile phones would be swept up in the dragnet. What they do with that data, we don’t know.’

In November, The Times reported that the Metropolitan Police Service, the UK’s largest police force, was using Stingray technology, citing anonymous sources. According to The Guardian, the Metropolitan Police paid £143,455 for the surveillance equipment in 2009. Despite repeated Freedom of Information requests, the Met police will neither confirm nor deny that the force uses IMSI catchers.

The capitalist state is now able to remove an individual’s passport, to keep them out of the country, on the basis of ‘suspicion’. It is also able to relocate suspects to different parts of the country, a form of internment, on the basis of ‘suspicion’.

The same state is now putting questionnaires in front of Muslim schoolchildren, full of trick questions, to see if they qualify as ‘potential terrorists’ and, under the slogan that the UK is ‘too tolerant’, developing the capacity to spy on everybody, and jail people, after secret trials based on the state’s suspicions and ‘secret’ evidence that will never be made public.

With anti-union laws and strike bans ahead, along with an endless list of austerity measures, those who need watching as potential enemies of the state will number many millions. This will include a government, if Osborne has his way, and brings in new legislation, that makes deficit budgeting illegal.

However, the more that the state’s open dictatorship is built up, the greater will be the explosion of popular anger.

UK intelligence agencies should keep mass surveillance powers, report says: here.

About the USA, from daily The Guardian in Britain, 10 April 2015:

Stingray spying: FBI’s secret deal with police hides phone dragnet from courts

Non-disclosure agreement in Florida reveals chain of secrecy across US

Federal authorities maintain ‘totalitarian’ control over local law enforcement

Read the document: seeking case dismissals at the request of the FBI

ACLU challenges ‘stingray surveillance’ that allows police to track cellphones. Civil liberties activists asking federal court to disallow evidence obtained by technology that mimics a genuine cellphone tower: here.