Topic: Human rights

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๐Ÿ”— Project MKUltra

๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. Government ๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/North American military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/United States military history ๐Ÿ”— Medicine ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Psychology ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Intelligence ๐Ÿ”— Alternative Views ๐Ÿ”— Psychoactive and Recreational Drugs ๐Ÿ”— Drug Policy ๐Ÿ”— Science Policy

Project MKUltra (or MK-Ultra), also called the CIA mind control program, is the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects that were designed and undertaken by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, some of which were illegal. Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations in order to weaken the individual and force confessions through mind control. The project was organized through the Office of Scientific Intelligence of the CIA and coordinated with the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories. Code names for drug-related experiments were Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke.

The operation was officially sanctioned in 1953, reduced in scope in 1964 and further curtailed in 1967. It was officially halted in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities, including the use of U.S. and Canadian citizens as its unwitting test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra used numerous methods to manipulate its subjects' mental states and brain functions. Techniques included the covert administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of torture.

The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at more than 80 institutions, including colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement.

Project MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975 by the Church Committee of the United States Congress and Gerald Ford's United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States (also known as the Rockefeller Commission).

Investigative efforts were hampered by CIA Director Richard Helms' order that all MKUltra files be destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms's destruction order. In 1977, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to project MKUltra which led to Senate hearings later that year. Some surviving information regarding MKUltra was declassified in July 2001. In December 2018, declassified documents included a letter to an unidentified doctor discussing work on six dogs made to run, turn and stop via remote control and brain implants.

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๐Ÿ”— Main Core โ€“ database of US citizens believed to be threats to national security

๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. Government ๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Mass surveillance ๐Ÿ”— Espionage ๐Ÿ”— United States/FBI

Main Core is the code name of an American governmental database that is believed to have been in existence since the 1980s. It is believed that Main Core is a federal database containing personal and financial data of millions of United States citizens believed to be threats to national security.

๐Ÿ”— British Post Office Scandal

๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Computing ๐Ÿ”— Finance & Investment ๐Ÿ”— Law ๐Ÿ”— Computing/Software ๐Ÿ”— Software ๐Ÿ”— Software/Computing ๐Ÿ”— United Kingdom

The British Post Office scandal is a widespread and long-lasting series of individual miscarriages of justice which, between 1999 and 2015, involved over 700 subpostmasters being wrongly convicted of theft, false accounting and fraud when shortfalls at their branches were in fact due to errors of the Post Office's Horizon accounting software. In 2019, the High Court ruled that the Horizon system was faulty and in 2020 the government established a public inquiry. Courts began to quash convictions from 2010. As of January 2024, some victims are still fighting to have their convictions overturned and receive compensation, the public inquiry is ongoing, and the Metropolitan Police is investigating the Post Office for potential fraud offences.

The Horizon accounting system was developed by ICL Pathway, owned by the Japanese company Fujitsu. In 1999, the Post Office started to roll out the new software to its branch and sub-offices, the latter managed by subpostmasters on a self-employed basis under contracts with the Post Office. Almost immediately, some subpostmasters noticed the new system reporting false shortfalls, sometimes for thousands of pounds. The Post Office insisted that the system was robust and, when shortfalls occurred, prosecuted the subpostmasters or forced them to make up the amount. The impact of court cases, criminal convictions, imprisonment, loss of livelihood and homes, debt and bankruptcy took a heavy toll on victims and their families, leading to stress, illness, divorce and, in at least four cases, suicide. In May 2009, Computer Weekly broke the story about problems with Horizon software and in September 2009 subpostmaster Alan Bates set up the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance (JFSA). In 2012, as a result of pressure from campaigners and Members of Parliament, the Post Office appointed forensic accountants Second Sight to conduct an investigation into Horizon. The investigators concluded that Horizon contained faults that could result in accounting discrepancies, but the Post Office insisted that there were no system-wide problems with the software.

In 2019 a group of 555 subpostmasters led by Bates won a group action brought in court against the Post Office, with the judge ruling that Horizon contained bugs, errors and defects. The Post Office agreed to settle out of court for ยฃ58 million. The subpostmasters' legal costs amounted to ยฃ47 million of, leaving them with only about ยฃ20,000 each. The government later agreed to supplement the settlement, as they were excluded from the compensation scheme set up by the Post Office for other victims of the scandal. The first convictions to be quashed were those of six subpostmasters who had been convicted in magistrates' courts and whose appeals were heard at Southwark Crown Court in December 2020. In allowing the appeal by 39 subpostmasters in April 2021, the Court of Appeal judges ruled that in cases that relied on Horizon data a fair trial was not possible. Further appeal cases followed.

In September 2020, the government established the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Wyn Williams, to look into the implementation and failings of the Horizon system that led to the prosecution of subpostmasters and termination of their contracts. Evidence was due to be heard from subpostmasters, the Post Office, UK Government Investment, the Department for Business and Trade, and others.

A four-part television drama, Mr Bates vs the Post Office, was broadcast on ITV in January 2024, after which the scandal became a major news story and political issue.

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๐Ÿ”— Today is Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Internet ๐Ÿ”— Religion ๐Ÿ”— Comedy ๐Ÿ”— Freedom of speech ๐Ÿ”— Islam ๐Ÿ”— Journalism ๐Ÿ”— Animation ๐Ÿ”— Comics ๐Ÿ”— South Park

Everybody Draw Mohammed Day (or Draw Mohammed Day) was a 2010 event in support of artists threatened with violence for drawing representations of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It stemmed from a protest against censorship of the American television show South Park episode "201", led by the show's distributor Comedy Central, in response to death threats that had been made against some of those responsible for two segments broadcast in April 2010. A drawing representing Mohammed was posted on the Internet on April 20, 2010, with a message suggesting that "everybody" create a drawing depicting Mohammad on May 20 in support of free speech.

U.S. cartoonist Molly Norris of Seattle, Washington created the artwork in reaction to Internet death threats that had been made against animators Trey Parker and Matt Stone for depicting Muhammad in an episode of South Park. Postings on RevolutionMuslim.com (under the pen name Abu Talha al-Amrikee; later identified as Zachary Adam Chesser) had said that Parker and Stone could wind up like Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who was stabbed and shot to death.

Norris claimed that, if people draw pictures of Muhammad, radical Islamist terrorists would not be able to murder them all, and threats to do so would become unrealistic. Within a week, Norris' idea became popular on Facebook, was supported by numerous bloggers, and generated coverage on the blog websites of major U.S. newspapers. As the publicity mounted, Norris and the man who created the first Facebook page promoting the May 20 event disassociated themselves from it. Nonetheless, planning for the protest continued with others "taking up the cause". Facebook had an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" page, which grew to over 100,000 participants (101,870 members by May 20). A protest page on Facebook against the initiative named "Against โ€˜Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'" attracted slightly more supporters (106,000 by May 20). Subsequently, Facebook was temporarily blocked by Pakistan; the ban was lifted after Facebook agreed to block the page for users in India and Pakistan.

In the media, Everybody Draw Mohammed Day attracted support from commentators who felt that the campaign represented important issues of freedom of speech, and the need to stand up for this freedom.

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๐Ÿ”— 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests

๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— History ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Crime ๐Ÿ”— China ๐Ÿ”— Politics ๐Ÿ”— Socialism ๐Ÿ”— Law Enforcement ๐Ÿ”— Sociology ๐Ÿ”— Sociology/social movements ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Cold War ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Asian military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Chinese military history

The Tiananmen Square protests or Tiananmen Square Incident, commonly known in mainland China as the June Fourth Incident (Chinese: ๅ…ญๅ››ไบ‹ไปถ; pinyin: liรนsรฌ shรฌjiร n, literally six-four incident), were student-led demonstrations held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing during 1989. The popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests is sometimes called the '89 Democracy Movement (Chinese: ๅ…ซไนๆฐ‘้‹; pinyin: bฤjiว” mรญnyรนn). The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing. In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre (Chinese: ๅคฉๅฎ‰้–€ๅคงๅฑ ๆฎบ; pinyin: tiฤn'ฤnmรฉn dร  tรบshฤ), troops with assault rifles and tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military's advance into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded.

Set off by the death of pro-reform Communist general secretary Hu Yaobang in April 1989, amid the backdrop of rapid economic development and social changes in post-Mao China, the protests reflected anxieties about the country's future in the popular consciousness and among the political elite. The reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy which benefited some people but seriously disaffected others, and the one-party political system also faced a challenge of legitimacy. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy, and restrictions on political participation. The students called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, although they were highly disorganized and their goals varied. At the height of the protests, about 1ย million people assembled in the Square.

As the protests developed, the authorities responded with both conciliatory and hardline tactics, exposing deep divisions within the party leadership. By May, a student-led hunger strike galvanized support for the demonstrators around the country, and the protests spread to some 400 cities. Ultimately, China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and other Communist Party elders believed the protests to be a political threat and resolved to use force. The State Council declared martial law on May 20 and mobilized as many as 300,000 troops to Beijing. The troops advanced into central parts of Beijing on the city's major thoroughfares in the early morning hours of June 4, killing both demonstrators and bystanders in the process.

The international community, human rights organizations, and political analysts condemned the Chinese government for the massacre. Western countries imposed arms embargoes on China. The Chinese government made widespread arrests of protesters and their supporters, suppressed other protests around China, expelled foreign journalists, strictly controlled coverage of the events in the domestic press, strengthened the police and internal security forces, and demoted or purged officials it deemed sympathetic to the protests. More broadly, the suppression halted the policies of liberalization in the 1980s. Considered a watershed event, the protests set the limits on political expression in China up to the present day. Its memory is widely associated with questioning the legitimacy of Communist Party rule and remains one of the most sensitive and most widely censored topics in China.

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๐Ÿ”— Holodomor

๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Soviet Union ๐Ÿ”— Crime ๐Ÿ”— Death ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Discrimination ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy/Ethics ๐Ÿ”— Soviet Union/history of Russia ๐Ÿ”— Soviet Union/Russia ๐Ÿ”— Ukraine ๐Ÿ”— Ethnic groups

The Holodomor (Ukrainian: ะ“ะพะปะพะดะพะผะพฬั€, romanized:ย Holodomรณr; derived from ะผะพั€ะธั‚ะธ ะณะพะปะพะดะพะผ, moryty holodom, 'to kill by starvation'), also known as the Terror-Famine and sometimes referred to as the Great Famine was a famine in Soviet Ukraine from 1932 to 1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians. The term Holodomor emphasises the famine's man-made and intentional aspects such as rejection of outside aid, confiscation of all household foodstuffs and restriction of population movement. As part of the wider Soviet famine of 1932โ€“33 which affected the major grain-producing areas of the country, millions of inhabitants of Ukraine, the majority of whom were ethnic Ukrainians, died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of Ukraine. Since 2006, the Holodomor has been recognized by Ukraine and 15 other countries as a genocide of the Ukrainian people carried out by the Soviet government.

Early estimates of the death toll by scholars and government officials varied greatly. According to higher estimates, up to 12 million ethnic Ukrainians were said to have perished as a result of the famine. A United Nations joint statement signed by 25 countries in 2003 declared that 7โ€“10 million perished. Research has since narrowed the estimates to between 3.3 and 7.5 million. According to the findings of the Court of Appeal of Kyiv in 2010, the demographic losses due to the famine amounted to 10 million, with 3.9 million direct famine deaths, and a further 6.1 million birth deficits.

Whether the Holodomor was genocide is still the subject of academic debate, as are the causes of the famine and intentionality of the deaths. Some scholars believe that the famine was planned by Joseph Stalin to eliminate a Ukrainian independence movement.

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๐Ÿ”— COINTELPRO

๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— African diaspora ๐Ÿ”— United States History ๐Ÿ”— United States/FBI ๐Ÿ”— Civil Rights Movement

COINTELPRO (syllabic abbreviation derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) (1956โ€“1971) was a series of covert and, at times, illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations. FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive, including feminist organizations, the Communist Party USA, antiโ€“Vietnam War organizers, activists of the civil rights movement or Black Power movement (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr., the Nation of Islam, and the Black Panther Party), environmentalist and animal rights organizations, the American Indian Movement (AIM), independence movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups like the Young Lords), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left. The program also targeted the Ku Klux Klan in 1964.

In another instance in San Diego, the FBI financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former members of the Minutemen anti-communist para-military organization, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization that targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement, using both intimidation and violent acts.

The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971. COINTELPRO tactics are still used to this day and have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI's stated motivation was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order".

Beginning in 1969, leaders of the Black Panther Party were targeted by the COINTELPRO and "neutralized" by being assassinated, imprisoned, publicly humiliated or falsely charged with crimes. Some of the Black Panthers affected included Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Zayd Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Marshall Conway. Common tactics used by COINTELPRO were perjury, witness harassment, witness intimidation, and withholding of evidence.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of these movements and especially their leaders. Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of the programs. Although Kennedy only gave written approval for limited wiretapping of Martin Luther King's phones "on a trial basis, for a month or so", Hoover extended the clearance so his men were "unshackled" to look for evidence in any areas of King's life they deemed worthy.

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๐Ÿ”— MKUltra

๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. Government ๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/North American military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/United States military history ๐Ÿ”— Medicine ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Politics ๐Ÿ”— Psychology ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Intelligence ๐Ÿ”— Alternative Views ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Cold War ๐Ÿ”— Politics/American politics ๐Ÿ”— U.S. Congress ๐Ÿ”— Psychoactive and Recreational Drugs ๐Ÿ”— Drug Policy ๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. history ๐Ÿ”— Science Policy

Project MKUltra was an illegal human experiments program designed and undertaken by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to develop procedures and identify drugs that could be used during interrogations to weaken people and force confessions through brainwashing and psychological torture. It began in 1953 and was halted in 1973. MKUltra used numerous methods to manipulate its subjects' mental states and brain functions, such as the covert administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals without the subjects' consent, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, and other forms of torture.

MKUltra was preceded by Project Artichoke. It was organized through the CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence and coordinated with the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories. The program engaged in illegal activities, including the use of U.S. and Canadian citizens as unwitting test subjects.:โ€Š74โ€Š MKUltra's scope was broad, with activities carried out under the guise of research at more than 80 institutions aside from the military, including colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated using front organizations, although some top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement.

MKUltra was revealed to the public in 1975 by the Church Committee of the United States Congress and Gerald Ford's United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States (the Rockefeller Commission). Investigative efforts were hampered by CIA Director Richard Helms's order that all MKUltra files be destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the small number of documents that survived Helms's order. In 1977, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to MKUltra, which led to Senate hearings. Some surviving information about MKUltra was declassified in 2001.

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๐Ÿ”— Senate IP linked to edits in Snowden's wikipedia page

๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. Government ๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Biography ๐Ÿ”— International relations ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Mass surveillance ๐Ÿ”— Espionage ๐Ÿ”— United States/North Carolina

Edward Joseph Snowden (born June 21, 1983) is an American whistleblower who copied and leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 when he was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee and subcontractor. His disclosures revealed numerous global surveillance programs, many run by the NSA and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance with the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, and prompted a cultural discussion about national security and individual privacy.

In 2013, Snowden was hired by an NSA contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, after previous employment with Dell and the CIA. Snowden says he gradually became disillusioned with the programs with which he was involved and that he tried to raise his ethical concerns through internal channels but was ignored. On May 20, 2013, Snowden flew to Hong Kong after leaving his job at an NSA facility in Hawaii, and in early June he revealed thousands of classified NSA documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill. Snowden came to international attention after stories based on the material appeared in The Guardian and The Washington Post. Further disclosures were made by other publications including Der Spiegel and The New York Times.

On June 21, 2013, the United States Department of Justice unsealed charges against Snowden of two counts of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, following which the Department of State revoked his passport. Two days later, he flew into Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where Russian authorities noted that his U.S. passport had been cancelled, and he was restricted to the airport terminal for over one month. Russia later granted Snowden the right of asylum with an initial visa for residence for one year, and repeated extensions have permitted him to stay at least until 2020. In early 2016, he became the president of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization that states its purpose is to protect journalists from hacking and government surveillance.

On September 17, 2019, his memoir Permanent Record was published. On the first day of publication, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against Snowden over publication of his memoir, alleging he had breached nondisclosure agreements signed with the U.S. federal government. Former The Guardian national security reporter Ewen MacAskill called the civil lawsuit a "huge mistake", noting that the "UK ban of Spycatcher 30 years ago created huge demand". The memoir was listed as no. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list that same day. In an interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! on September 26, 2019, Snowden clarified he considers himself a "whistleblower" as opposed to a "leaker" as he considers "a leaker only distributes information for personal gain".

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๐Ÿ”— Mass Surveillance in the United States

๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. Government ๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Mass surveillance ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/North American military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/United States military history ๐Ÿ”— Freedom of speech ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Intelligence ๐Ÿ”— Law Enforcement

The practice of mass surveillance in the United States dates back to World War I wartime monitoring and censorship of international communications from, to, or which passed through the United States. After the First World War and the Second World War, the surveillance continued, via programs such as the Black Chamber and Project SHAMROCK. The formation and growth of federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies such as the FBI, CIA, and NSA institutionalized surveillance used to also silence political dissent, as evidenced by COINTELPRO projects which targeted various organizations and individuals. During the Civil Rights Movement era, many individuals put under surveillance orders were first labelled as integrationists then deemed subversive. Other targeted individuals and groups included Native American activists, African American and Chicano liberation movement activists, and anti-war protesters.

The formation of the international UKUSA surveillance agreement of 1946 evolved into the ECHELON collaboration by 1955 of five English-speaking nations, also known as the Five Eyes, and focused on interception of electronic communications, with substantial increases in domestic surveillance capabilities.

Following the September 11th attacks of 2001, domestic and international mass surveillance capabilities grew immensely. Contemporary mass surveillance relies upon annual presidential executive orders declaring a continued State of National Emergency, first signed by George W. Bush on September 14, 2001 and then continued on an annual basis by President Barack Obama, and upon several subsequent national security Acts including the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendment Act's PRISM surveillance program. Critics and political dissenters currently describe the effects of these acts, orders, and resulting database network of Fusion centers as forming a veritable American police state that simply institutionalized the illegal COINTELPRO tactics used to assassinate dissenters and leaders from the 1950s onwards.

Additional surveillance agencies, such as the DHS and the position of Director of National Intelligence have exponentially escalated mass surveillance since 2001. A series of media reports in 2013 revealed more recent programs and techniques employed by the US intelligence community. Advances in computer and information technology allow the creation of huge national databases that facilitate mass surveillance in the United States by DHS managed Fusion centers, the CIA's Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) program, and the FBI's TSDB.

Mass surveillance databases are also cited as responsible for profiling Latino Americans and contributing to "self-deportation" techniques, or physical deportations by way of the DHS's ICEGang national database.

After World War I, the US Army and State Department established the Black Chamber, also known as the Cipher Bureau, which began operations in 1919. The Black Chamber was headed by Herbert O. Yardley, who had been a leader in the Army's Military Intelligence program. Regarded as a precursor to the National Security Agency, it conducted peacetime decryption of material including diplomatic communications until 1929.

In the advent of World War II, the Office of Censorship was established. The wartime agency monitored "communications by mail, cable, radio, or other means of transmission passing between the United States and any foreign country". This included the 350,000 overseas cables and telegrams and 25,000 international telephone calls made each week. "Every letter that crossed international or U.S. territorial borders from December 1941 to August 1945 was subject to being opened and scoured for details."

With the end of World War II, Project SHAMROCK was established in 1945. The organization was created to accumulate telegraphic data entering and exiting from the United States. Major communication companies such as Western Union, RCA Global and ITT World Communications actively aided the project, allowing American intelligence officials to gain access to international message traffic. Under the project, and many subsequent programs, no precedent had been established for judicial authorisation, and no warrants were issued for surveillance activities. The project was terminated in 1975.

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman established the National Security Agency (NSA) in 1952 for the purposes of collecting, processing, and monitoring intelligence data. The existence of NSA was not known to people as the memorandum by President Truman was classified.

When the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI published stolen FBI documents revealing abuse of intelligence programs in 1971, Senator Frank Church began an investigation into the programs that become known as the Church Committee. The committee sought to investigate intelligence abuses throughout the 1970s. Following a report provided by the committee outlining egregious abuse, in 1976 Congress established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. It would later be joined by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 1978. The institutions worked to limit the power of the agencies, ensuring that surveillance activities remained within the rule of law.

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress passed The Patriot Act to strengthen security and intelligence efforts. The act granted the President broad powers on the war against terror, including the power to bypass the FISA Court for surveillance orders in cases of national security. Additionally, mass surveillance activities were conducted alongside various other surveillance programs under the head of President's Surveillance Program. Under pressure from the public, the warrantless wiretapping program was allegedly ended in January 2007.

Many details about the surveillance activities conducted in the United States were revealed in the disclosure by Edward Snowden in June 2013. Regarded as one of the biggest media leaks in the United States, it presented extensive details about the surveillance programs of the NSA, that involved interception of internet data and telephonic calls from over a billion users, across various countries.

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