This afternoon, NZST, Occupy New Zealand posted THIS update, threatening a corporate media boycott due to the mainstream media blackout of #TrapWire – the private for-profit global surveillance & analysis network exposed by Wikileaks in the continuing Stratfor “GI Files” data dump.
Pointing out that it had been 5 days since #Trapwire broke, and that Google searches on “TrapWire” had returned 34,400 results yesterday, and over 240,000 results today, we asked how many million results must be returned before corporate media would address it.
Shortly thereafter (by sheer coincidence no doubt) the New York Times have posted THIS scrub article – denouncing the email evidence as “stolen”, the TrapWire program as “Counter-Terrorism Software” and then quoting a New York Police Department source as assuring the NYT that they do not in fact use TrapWire.
Unfortunately the article raises more questions than it answers. Most notably:
- If everything is fine and we should trust our governments, which is the general feel of the article, why did it take 5 days & a quarter million Google results for the New York Times to acknowledge the concerns of the public & assuage them?
- The NYT quote “Paul J. Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman” as saying “We don’t use TrapWire.” Which immediately begs the apparently unasked question; then what DO they use?
- If, like the NYT says, TrapWire is “Counter-Terrorism” software, how do we explain THIS 2nd August 2010 internal Stratfor email, which states, “they (San Francisco) need something like TrapWire more for threats from activists than from terror threats. Both are useful, but activists are ever-present around here.”
- The NYT claims “TrapWire was originally developed in 2004 by the Abraxas Corporation, which was founded by several former C.I.A. employees. It later spun off TrapWire, but the C.I.A. connection, along with the company’s vague but impressive descriptions of the program’s capabilities, appears to have fueled the furor on the Web that it was a sort of automated Big Brother.” This makes it sound as if the CIA connection belonged only to Abraxas and is some kind of archaic stigma carried over to TrapWire. Yet THIS dox of TrapWire management shows clearly that there are pervasive connections between TrapWire (NOT just Abraxas) management and the CIA. Similarly, THIS second dox of TrapWire distributors/partners with global reach, exposes a management hierarchy steeped in intelligence agency service/connections?
- The NYT carries on to say “TrapWire’s marketing materials say it uses video cameras and observations by security guards to develop a 10-point description of people near a potential terrorist target and an eight-point description of vehicles.” Actually, TrapWire’s marketing materials said a whole lot more than that, before they scrubbed their website (five days prior to NYT even uttering the word “TrapWire) clean of any incriminating or traceable information, however if you visit the websites of their distributors/on-selling agents such as New Zealand’s Cubic Defense Systems (an apparent subsidiary of Cubic International) you will discover not only the same executive connections to intelligence agencies, but clearly advertised services such as “Competitive Market Intelligence” and “Asset Tracking”. Which we take to mean that there are plenty of other uses beyond counter-terrorism, for this kind of software?
- While the NYT is convinced one statement from an NYPD official is enough to go on, THIS leaked email confirms that the City of Los Angeles, at least, is a client of TrapWire. It also discusses a meeting with a “Senator Williams” & says it passed on recommendations for “TRAPWIRE and 100% digital CCTV upgrades for the entire Capitol”. So surely this issue goes a lot deeper than the NYT’s extremely shallow article?
As if all the above weren’t enough, the major question that WE have, is how can private companies access, commodify and on-sell data from publicly-funded surveillance systems? If this is what has been occurring, then taxpayers are unwittingly funding a structure in which they themselves, unknowingly become the product? A product which they then receive no profit from?
The icing on the cake has to be the final line of the NYT article, which quotes a “Jay Stanley” who “studies threats to privacy at the American Civil Liberties Union.”
“We live in a democracy,” he said, “and that’s what security agencies are here to protect.”
Well according to the corporate management profiles of TrapWire Inc., Abraxas and Cubic Defense, that’s what security agents are here to profit off.
OCCUPY NEW ZEALAND MEDIA TEAM.
CALL TO ACTION: Please download everything linked to here & store multiple copies wherever you can (lest it mysteriously disappear). Please reblog this post anywhere you are able, you have our full permission to do so. Please, most importantly, start filing Freedom of Information Act requests to all relevant local/national/civil authorities and let’s get to the bottom of what they’ve been doing, once and for all.