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The DEA and ICE Are Hiding Cameras in The Darnedest Places

Even when you think that you aren’t being watched, these DEA vendors say that you are.

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Big Brother

As our world becomes for more digitally savvy, concerns over the use of such technology to invade our privacy are common.

From the annals of George Orwell’s timeless novel 1984 comes the idea of “Big Brother” – the all seeing, all knowing network at the center of the story.  Big Brother’s colloquial impact cannot be understated as we move forward into this world of tiny camera, neural networks, and predictive algorithms, not to mention the bold and possibly reckless work being done with artificial intelligence.

As with Orwell’s tome, the real life Big Brother raises righteous concerns over our right to privacy, and our right to live life “innocent until proven guilty”.  With cameras everywhere, there is no longer a presumption of innocence, however, and the latest maneuver from DEA and ICE are a step in this tyrannical direction. 

The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have hidden an undisclosed number of covert surveillance cameras inside streetlights around the country, federal contracting documents reveal.

According to government procurement data, the DEA has paid a Houston, Texas company called Cowboy Streetlight Concealments LLC roughly $22,000 since June 2018 for “video recording and reproducing equipment.” ICE paid out about $28,000 to Cowboy Streetlight Concealments over the same period of time.

It’s unclear where the DEA and ICE streetlight cameras have been installed, or where the next deployments will take place. ICE offices in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio have provided funding for recent acquisitions from Cowboy Streetlight Concealments; the DEA’s most recent purchases were funded by the agency’s Office of Investigative Technology, which is located in Lorton, Virginia.

Trending: Another Local Reporter Stops Mid-Broadcast to Inform Station She Is Taking Them Down

Even the manufacturer had an ominous warning for US citizens:

Christie Crawford, who owns Cowboy Streetlight Concealments with her husband, a Houston police officer, said she was not at liberty to discuss the company’s federal contracts in detail.

“We do streetlight concealments and camera enclosures,” Crawford told Quartz. “Basically, there’s businesses out there that will build concealments for the government and that’s what we do. They specify what’s best for them, and we make it. And that’s about all I can probably say.”

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However, she added: “I can tell you this—things are always being watched. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving down the street or visiting a friend, if government or law enforcement has a reason to set up surveillance, there’s great technology out there to do it.”

Streetlights aren’t the only place in which the DEA is concealing cameras, either.

According to other concealment manufacturers, a number of cameras have been installed within traffic barrels as well.

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Enormous Confederate Carving Subject of Renewed Debate

Will Stone Mountain be vanquished by an army of virtue signalers?

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Over the course of the last several years, and with a vast acceleration in 2020, municipalities around the nation have been removing, renaming, and re-dedicating a number of Confederate monuments now deemed offensive in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Not everyone is a fan of the move, however, with opponents often suggesting that this is a revision of history, and that these men were also American soldiers, in a way. Now, one of the largest Confederate monuments in the world, the carving on the side of Stone Mountain in Georgia, is facing renewed calls for removal. Crowds are growing larger at the monthly meetings of the Georgia board considering what to do about the giant carving of Confederacy leaders in Stone Mountain. But officials seem no closer to an answer. The Stone Mountain Memorial Association decided to make a few changes last month, but they weren’t enough to placate people who want the monument removed. A museum exhibit will tell the story of the carving, as well as the site’s ties to the Ku Klux Klan. But having to make those decisions could increase the volume and the pressure on the board, NPR reports. Critics have pointed out that the carving is a modern piece, and not a relic of a bygone era. “Where we go from there?” asked the board’s chairman, the Rev. Abraham Mosley. “I don’t know.” Putting the site in a Georgia context seems like a challenge. None of the three men—Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, and Confederacy President Jefferson Davis—was from the area, and no battles were fought there. As a piece of history, it’s not that historic, having been completed in 1972. The monument sits within Stone Mountain Park, an amusement park of sorts, that has lost a number…

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Russia Continues Harassment of American Military Just 35 Miles Off US Coast

That’s a little too close for comfort.

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When it comes to dealing with Russia, much of the US policy is straightforward, and likely on account of the fact that the Kremlin has been pulling the same, silly stunts for decades now. In fact, it’s getting a little stale. Russia loves to use her military as a nuisance to the United States, posing danger at times, certainly, but most often just being undeniably annoying. This week was no exception. Russia’s defense ministry has announced it sunk an aircraft carrier just 35 miles off the coast of Hawaii in a huge war games exercise that has alarmed the US. At least 20 Russian warships, submarines, and support vessels, flanked by 20 fighter jets, are taking part in the exercises – the biggest since the Cold War. Russia says that they are 300 miles off the coast of Hawaii, yet unconfirmed satellite images from June 19 appear to show them much closer – within 35 miles of the U.S. state. The moves have forced the US military into action. Twice this month – on June 14 and 18 – the U.S. scrambled F-22s from Hawaii in response to Russian bomber flights. Neither time did the bombers enter the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) perimeter, and so they were not intercepted. On June 17 the Navy admitted that the USS Carl Vinson and her strike group were operating near Hawaii, without revealing when they had arrived, or why. It has been only a few days since Russian President Vladimir Putin met with US President Joe Biden in Geneva, in a meeting that both men seemed to suggest was a success. This latest Kremlin aggression begs to differ.

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