Free Speech T-shirt Maker Threatened By NSA,
DHS Fights Back With Lawsuit
Oct 30, 2013
Suing agencies for violation of First Amendment rights
Back in August Infowars and Ben Swann broke the story of the NSA threatening online t-shirt makers
because users of their sites were creating parody shirts denouncing the agency and selling them on the
internet. Now one t-shirt designer, who was specifically targeted is suing both the NSA and The
Department of Homeland Security, for violating his First Amendment rights.
Dan McCall, who created several t-shirts on the website Zazzle that featured parodies of the NSA’s
logo, has filed for declaratory relief, following the NSA’s admission that it sent cease and desist letters
on the grounds that “misusing” the logo constituted copyright infringement. McCall, with the help of
the Public Citizen Litigation Group, is also suing the DHS for sending similar letters claiming it is
against the law to modify any seal of the US government.
McCall created the following designs, among others, mocking the government agencies:
“In response to the threatening communications from NSA and DHS raising intellectual property
claims, Zazzle removed the NSA Spying Parody, the NSA Listens Parody, and the Homeland Stupidity
Parody from McCall’s Zazzle store,” McCall says in the complaint.
His lawsuit further states:
Defendants violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by threatening
to enforce 50 U.S.C. § 3613 and 18 U.S.C. §§ 506, 701, and 1017 to forbid McCall from
displaying his NSA Listens Parody, his NSA Spying Parody, and his DHS Stupidity Parody,
from placing the Parodies on products to identify the targets of his criticism, or from selling
mugs, T-shirts or other items bearing those designs to customers who want to display the
items to express their own criticisms of NSA and DHS.
The lawsuit also argues that the law
regarding modifying US seals is
unconstitutional, because it is too broad and
infringes on freedom of speech.
The lawsuit states that it is obvious that the
products in question are not created by the
government agencies and are in no way
affiliated with them. The NSA even admitted
this recently, reversing its stance and saying
that that it no longer had a problem with the
“[The] use of images of the NSA and DHS
seals, whether unaltered but in combination
with critical text, or altered in parodic form,
did not create any likelihood of confusion
about the source or sponsorship of the
materials on which they were available to be
printed.” the complaint notes. “No
reasonable viewer is likely to believe that
any of the materials is affiliated with or sponsored by defendants. Nor were the seals affixed to the
items to be sold with any fraudulent intent.”
“The agencies’ attempts to forbid McCall from displaying and selling his merchandise are inconsistent
with the First Amendment,” said Paul Alan Levy, the attorney handling the case. “It’s bad enough that
these agencies have us under constant surveillance, (but) forbidding citizens from criticizing them is
beyond the pale.”
In a blog post yesterday, Levy also criticized Zazzle for capitulating to the NSA, accepting overly
broad claims from the government, and setting a precedent for taking down products in the future.
“Consumers have a right to expect companies like Zazzle to have a thicker skin when faced with
preposterous demands, and to wait for specific trademark challenges, rather than policing its service…”
“Happily, Zazzle faces commercial competition from others that do get tough on frivolous threats.”
Levy adds, referring to CafePress.com, which still carries the designs.
“Until Zazzle shows itself to be more energetic in responding to threats against political humor,
parodists speaking about controversial subjects should consider voting with their feet by using other
vendors.” Levy concludes.
McCall is also still selling the items on his own website, with the slogan: “Get the T-shirts the NSA &
DHS Don’t Want You to Wear!”
The Obama administration is increasingly characterizing copyright infringement as terrorism, with
SWAT teams now being sent out to deal with alleged copyright infringers. Critics have noted that the
process is about creating a history of case law to establish the precedent of stamping out free speech via
Riot Control: Department Of Homeland
Insecurity Spends $500,000 On Fully Automatic
Pepper Spray Launchers
Paul Joseph Watson
October 30, 2013
Homeland Security to purchase “riot expansion kits” & 240,000 pepper spray projectiles as
agency prepares for domestic unrest
The Department of Homeland Security is increasing its preparations for domestic unrest by spending
half a million dollars on fully automatic pepper spray launchers and projectiles that are designed to be
used during riot control situations.
In an announcement of a no bid contract posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website,
the federal agency signals its intention to purchase nearly 240,000 pepper spray projectiles, 100
pepper spray launchers, as well as 36 “riot expansion kits”.
The PepperBall TAC-700 pepper spray launcher “features full auto, semi-auto, or 3 round burst
providing up to 700 rounds per minute,”according to the company which will provide the DHS with the
weapons. It is also “accurate to 60 feet with area saturation up to 150 feet.” The weapon is routinely
used in riot control situations around the world.
According to a video demonstration, the TAC-700 has a “strong psychological influence” on the people
it is being used against because it is so loud and sounds like an automatic machine gun.
Although the weapons are being purchased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the document
makes it clear that they will be used to train Federal Protective Service (FPS) agents.
The total cost of the contract
amounts to $498,970 dollars
and mandates that delivery of
the weapons will be made
within 60 days of the award.
Although the contract states
that the pepper spray
projectiles will be used for
“training purposes,” 117,000
of them are inert compared to
120,000 “Live X Projectiles,”
which are the most powerful
projectiles available on
PepperBall’s website, and are
designed to be used during riot
The “riot expansion kits”
being purchased by the DHS
are holsters that accompany
the PepperBall products and
can be used to store projectiles. According to one website, they represent, “the perfect non-lethal crowd
management tool for gaining compliance over rioters, organized protesters, and unlawful assemblies,”
and can be used to, “Gain psychological advantage over unruly crowds.” The purchase of these items
sends another clear signal that the DHS is preparing for some form of civil disorder. In June it
emerged that the DHS was purchasing top of the range body armor and helmets for FPS guards as part
of preparations for “riot control situations.” This followed a controversial drill last year
dubbed “Operation Shield,” during which FPS agents armed with semiautomatic guns were posted
outside a Social Security office in Florida. The unannounced exercise centered around “detecting the
presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.” Residents were
forced to show identification papers to the guards during the drill. Back in May, FPS guards
were stationed outside an IRS building in St. Louis during a Tea Party demonstration, and the DHS has
also used its sub-branch to spy on protesters. As we reported last week, Homeland Security is spending
$80 million dollars on hiring armed guards in New York to be used during “public demonstration(s),”
as well as “civil disturbances, or other unanticipated events on an as-needed basis.” Fox News host Neil
Cavuto speculated that the guards could be linked to cuts in food stamp benefits set to take effect on
Watch another video of the Pepperball TAC-700 in action below.
PEPPERBALL, TAC 700 Full VIDEO BELOW
TAC-700 Demo.mpg VIDEO BELOW
BECAUSE THERE'S A WAR ON FOR YOUR MIND