War & Disaster Profiteering
The Internet is no longer just an essential channel for commerce, entertainment and information. It has also become a stage for state control - and rebellion against it. Computers are becoming more crucial in global conflicts, not only in spying and military action, but also in determining what information reaches people around the globe.
The Bush administration's wiretapping program has come under new scrutiny. Two influential congressional committees have opened probes into allegations US intelligence spied on the phone calls of U.S. military personnel, journalists and aid workers in Iraq. James Bamford discusses the NSA's domestic sprying, the agency's failings pre-9/11 and the ties between NSA and the nation's telecommunications companies.
The Bush administration is waging a high-profile campaign to persuade Congress to pass legislation protecting companies from lawsuits for aiding the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program. At stake is the federal government's partnership with industry to conduct a wide range of secret surveillance operations in fighting terrorism and crime.
China Security and Surveillance Technology, a fast-growing company that installs and sometimes operates surveillance systems for Chinese police agencies, jails and banks, has just been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's listing is just a sign of ever-closer ties among Wall Street, surveillance companies and the Chinese government's security apparatus.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission decided Monday to begin contempt proceedings against Verizon Communications for failing to affirm the truthfulness of statements the company made about its possible role in the government's warrantless surveillance program.
The General Accounting Office (GAO) dismissed protests by two competitors to WorldCom Corp.'s $450 million Defense Department contract, despite acknowledging that the agency "relied on grossly inaccurate financial information" in making the award.
The companies making new homeland security devices, such as bomb detectors and biological weapon alarms, want the government to pick up the tab if their products fail and they are sued.
Firestone, a U.S. tire company, paid out millions of dollars to Charles Taylor, a Liberian warlord in the 1990s, despite knowing about his brutal human rights record, according to documents uncovered by ProPublica, an investigative journalism website. Taylor is now serving a 50 year prison sentence for war crimes.