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[Release] [Security] [Civil Liberties] [Santa Clara County Main Jail North] [California] [ULK Issue 80]
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Keep Families Connected, Unless They're in County

text behind pig eats mail
Profiteers like Text-Behind hinder prisoners’ connection
with the outside world with their communication technology services

This report is to inform other comrades of the new law that was passed called the Keep Families Connected Act in California and to expose the sneaky tactics the state is using to bastardize it. The Keep Families Connected Act states that as of 1 January 2023 all calls between Us (the prisoner class) and our families and friends will be provided at no cost to Us or our people outside.

Here in the South Bay there was no fanfare for the Act’s passing, no bulletin from jail administration stating this, or message on our tablets, which have the phone app most use to call home. After further research, i was informed by a Lieutenant pig that Keep Families Connected Act only gives free calls in CDCr facilities, and county jails like Main Jail North are not included. Seems California doesn’t actually give two shits about keeping families connected.

The tablets we have in California are already used to record your voiceprint (individually distinctive pattern of certain voice characteristics, spectographically produced) and facial biometrics (measurement and analysis of unique facial features, especially for verifying personal identity) which to even use the tablets you must agree to as part of the Terms of Use.

As is so common the case, anytime the oppressive elite pigs give us something, it’s usually poisoned, warped, and deformed to suit their means. To utilize these free calls your people must download an app first (for iPhone it’s GTLConnect, for Android it’s GTL Phone App). As a former hacktivist in the early days of the Anonymous Collective, i believe these apps could be infected with many different types of viruses, keyloggers and spyware included. This is true for the iPhone, despite many peoples’ false notions that Apple products cannot be hacked into.

It also should come as no secret that the Amerikan government does in fact spy on its people, as was exemplified by the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, and the revelations of the FBI’s COINTELPRO of the 1960s and 1970s.

But downloading an app is not all your family and friends must do. Once downloaded they must make an account, which if they use their real information, now puts a name, date of birth (and with this DMV records can be looked up, background checks administered) and thus every recorded conversation now has a face they can put it to. This is my speculation and by no means proven fact, yet we should always be wary and skeptical of anything handed to Us from the bloody paws of the capitalist-imperialist fucks whom oppress us.

We should learn from our past experiences through study to better identify such reforms for what they really are: Band-Aids for bullet wounds.


MIM(Prisons) adds: This week President Biden signed an Act to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure reasonable rates for any kind of voice or video calls made from jails and prisons in the country. To date, families and friends of prisoners have paid ridiculous prices for phone calls to their imprisoned loved ones. This profiteering discourages the maintenance and development of positive relationships in the community that are important for re-integration upon release. As such, we welcome these reforms, though they are a small drop in the bucket of the extreme forms of social isolation and torture imposed on hundreds of thousands of people in U.$. prisons.

We also share the concerns of our comrade above. Though communications into and out of prisons have always been assumed to be monitored, the technology to do so is at another level now. And instead of extorting families for phone fees, they are now strong-arming their persynal and biometric information out of them, extending the arms of the surveillance state into not just those convicted of a crime, but all who wish to relate to them. It is hard enough to get people to avoid such surveillance technology on the streets where people have choices.

In the early days of Corrlinks, we could use email to communicate with some of our subscribers. While we recognized the potential downside of surveillance, all mail is potentially surveilled as well. However, now that the model has developed they seem to uniformly charge money for electronic mail to prisoners and require the installation of spyware and giving persynally identifying information to the company and the prison. So if you’ve tried to email us through these services and we don’t respond, that is why.

We have been covering the topics of the distribution of computer tablets among prisoners in this country along with the digitization of mail that they enable. These developments strengthen the totalitarian control of the state, and often further limit communications with the outside despite the political messaging. Following in the footsteps of the phone companies, the new brand of prison profiteers are these mail processing companies like TextBehind and the old-timer JPay. As depicted in the artwork above, TextBehind has created a barrier for letters from organizations like ours from reaching people imprisoned in North Carolina.

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