Military, Security & Surveillance
On Tuesday, 22 top-level arms industry executives, including a senior sales executive at Smith & Wesson, were arrested in what Justice Department officials called the first undercover sting ever aimed at violations of the federal ban on corporate bribes paid to get foreign business. The individuals are being prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Police departments across the U.S. pay AT&T, the telecommunications giant, over one hundred thousand dollars a year for special access to telephone records of clients without first obtaining a warrant. The program is called 'Hemisphere' and the company required buyers to keep its existence secret.
For more than 12 years, Falls Church-based USIS quietly scrutinized the backgrounds of individuals who needed security clearance to work in the U.S. government or in the private sector. Now re-named Altegrity, the company has ambitions of securing government contracts for much more than investigation and data-collection.
Local government officials have the ability to track individual drivers in the U.S. in real time and take pictures of the occupants of their vehicles, with new "truly Orwellian" technology purchased from companies like Vigilant Solutions, according to new documents uncovered by the American Civil Liberties Union.
When U.S. troops or embassy officials want to investigate Iraqis - such as interrogating prisoners, the principal intermediary is a Manhattan based-company named L-3. The company has just lost its biggest contract for failing to recruit qualified translators, and is also being investigated for human rights abuses.
Government auditors are questioning whether several multimillion-dollar Katrina contracts" including one involving a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton Co." invite abuse because they are open-ended and not clearly defined.
A priest who provides support for Peruvian farmers in their conflict with a transnational gold mining corporation complained to a United Nations mission that he was under surveillance by a private security company.