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Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan Tell Alaskans One Thing, Do Another

In Short: Mead Treadwell and Dan Sullivan tell you they will fight federal overreach and protect your privacy. But they both boast about their role in creating the “surveillance state”. Mead Treadwell made millions through companies that developed technologies that could be used to spy on Americans and lobbied for a national ID program. Dan Sullivan touts his years at the White House when warrantless wiretapping of American citizens began and was at the National Security Council when it championed expanded NSA spying.

Treadwell & Spying: The Facts

Treadwell & Immersive Media

Treadwell Listed Himself As Chair Of Board Of Directors Of Immersive Media In 2009 & 2010. According to his 2009 and 2010 personal official financial disclosure, Treadwell listed himself as the chair of the board of directors of Immersive Media in 2009. He reported earning $6,977.64 from Immersive Media in 2009 and $1,500 in 2010. [Personal Official Financial Disclosure, filed, 5/20/10; Personal Official Financial Disclosure, filed 3/15/11]

  • 2013: Treadwell Held Up To $65,000 In Stock In Renamed Emberclear. According to Treadwell’s 2013 financial disclosure, he held two stock assets in Emberclear – one valued between $1,001 and $15,000 and the other between $15,001 and $50,000. Immersive Media changed its name to Emberclear in 2010. [Senate Personal Financial Disclosure – Mead Treadwell, filed 10/9/13; Emberclear press release, 3/9/10]
  • 2014: Treadwell Holds Up To $1000 In Emberclear Stock. According to Treadwell’s Senate financial disclosure filed in May 2014, he currently holds up to $1,000 in Emberclear stock. He reported receiving less than $201 in income from the stock. [Senate Personal Financial Disclosure – Mead Treadwell, filed 5/16/14]

Treadwell Was Chairman Of Company That Developed Invasive Street View Technology

HEADLINE – Google Is Watching You (But So Is Everyone Else). [Salon, 6/1/07]

Immersive Media “Drove Camera-Equipped Cars All Around Town, Capturing Not Only Streets But Also Everything That Happens On and Around Streets.” As reported by Salon, “Earlier this week, Google Maps debuted a system that offers 360-degree snapshots of thousands of addresses in five cities across the country (San Francisco, New York, Denver, Las Vegas and Miami). The service might come in handy next time you wonder if a certain new restaurant in an out-of-the-way part of town is a hole in a wall, but so far Street View seems to have raised more alarm than acclaim. Google acquired the pictures by contracting with a firm called Immersive Media, which drove camera-equipped cars all around town, capturing not only streets but also everything that happens on and around streets — people walking (and jaywalking), people loitering, people shopping, people picking their noses, people jogging, people driving cars, and even people hanging around porn stores and strip clubs. Now the Web’s atwitter with recriminations.” [Salon, 6/1/07]

Government Officials, Citizens Protested Invasion Of Privacy Posed By Street View Technology

Headline: Calgary Herald: Detailed Google Maps Called Privacy Threat. [Calgary Herald, 9/13/07]

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Voiced Concern Of Potential Privacy Violations By Immersive Media, Google. “Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is sounding the alarm over a new Google program that lets users view and zoom in on street-level photographs that are so clear and precise, they can pinpoint an unknowing bystander and their exact location with the click of a mouse button. Google’s new Street View application uses photographs captured at an earlier date to let computer users navigate through city streets and neighbourhoods in major cities quickly and easily. But the program, which relies on pictures taken without the knowledge or consent of people in them, seems to violate many basic rights of citizens and poses a serious threat to personal privacy, according to the federal privacy commissioner… The commissioner is also taking aim at Calgary-based Immersive Media Corp., a digital video imaging company that is responsible for taking many of the photographs that appear on the Google street view application. Despite the fact the Google application isn’t available in Canadian cities yet, the commissioner’s office is particularly concerned with the fact Immersive Media’s website boasts that it has already collected digital images of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City. The company also appears to have already made the images from those cities commercially available on their website, which raises serious concerns about the inability of individuals to maintain their privacy.” [Calgary Herald, 9/12/07]

Electronic Frontier Foundation Attorney Kevin Bankston: “Irresponsible” Of Google To Roll Out Street View Technology Without Including Privacy Protections. Reported Salon in June 2007, “On Wednesday, Kevin Bankston, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told CNET that it’s “irresponsible for Google to debut a product like this without also debuting technological measures that would obscure the identities of people photographed by this product.’” [Salon, 6/1/07]

Bankston: Street View Program “Exercises No Human Judgment Over What Should And Shouldn’t Be Put Online.” Reported Salon in June 2007, “Bankston thinks the project is unethical. Unlike people who post pictures of street scenes to Flickr, Google’s plan operates on an enormous scale, and it’s completely automated, meaning that it exercises no human judgment over what should and shouldn’t be put online. When Google indexes the Web, it follows every Web site’s Robot Exclusion Protocol, a machine-readable file that webmasters draw up to tell search engines what should and shouldn’t be included in search. There is no Robot Exclusion Protocol for the real world. Google allows people to report pictures that should be taken down from Street View, but by the time you learn that there’s a shot of you going into an A.A. meeting, an abortion clinic or attending a political protest — well, by then the damage may already have been done.” [Salon, 6/1/07]

Google Ended Treadwell Company’s Contract & Scrambled To Address Privacy Concerns

Google Terminated Contract With Immersive Media At End Of 2007. “All the speculation that Google Inc. is moving in-house to produce video for its Google Maps Street Images feature may be true after all, following the announcement yesterday that Immersive Media Corp. will terminate its contract with Google effective Dec. 27, 2007. According to Immersive — which, to date has provided the majority of Google’s Street Images video — Google will retain exclusive rights to existing content provided by Immersive for an undisclosed period of time. Immersive, meanwhile, can now license all of its other imagery to markets it was previously unable to service.” [National Post’s Financial Post & FB Investing, 10/2/07]

Headline: PC World: “Google Working To Make Street View Anonymous.” [PC World, 11/30/07]

Faced With “Ethical Concerns,” Google Privacy Attorney Confirmed Company Was Considering Altering Data Gathering Techniques For Street View. Reported PC World in November 2007, “In the face of ethical concerns, Google is considering changes to its Street View Google Maps feature that would protect the privacy of those it photographs. When Street View is rolled out in Europe, Google will alter Street View photos to make sure that faces and license plate numbers are no longer visible, and the company is also thinking about doing the same with the U.S. version of the product, said Jane Horvath, senior privacy counsel with Google.” [PC World, 11/30/07]

Google Privacy Attorney Admitted Street View Concerns Prompted “Sort Of That ‘Ick’ Feeling.” Reported PC World in November 2007, “And even if it’s legal, some may still be uncomfortable with the photographs, Horvath admitted. ‘It’s sort of that ‘ick’ feeling that something makes you feel uncomfortable,’ she said. ‘Our products are not static and we’re always open to changing them to make sure our users feel comfortable and trust us with their information. I think this calls into question the whole idea of whether privacy is something that needs to be regulated by law or if there’s this other concept of privacy that we need to look at, which is the right to autonomy.’” [PC World, 11/30/07]

Treadwell Company Digimarc Spent More than $1M Lobbying on REAL ID & Related Legislation

Treadwell Founded Digimarc In 1995. “From 1995 until 2010, Treadwell occupied several chairmanships of corporations, starting in 1995 as a founder and officer of Digimark [sic], based out of Portland.” [Homer Tribune, 11/10/10]

Treadwell Currently Holds Up To $250,000 In Stock In Digimarc. According to Treadwell’s financial disclosure filed in May 2014, he currently holds between $100,001-$250,000 in Digimarc stock assets. [Senate Personal Financial Disclosure – Mead Treadwell, filed 5/16/14]

2005: Digimarc Hired Lobbyists to Lobby on REAL ID Act. According to lobbyist database filings, Digimarc hired lobbying firm Thelen Reid & Preist in 2005 to lobby on the REAL ID Act. [Lobbying Disclosure Database, 2005]

2005-2007: Digimarc Spent $1.2 Million Lobbying On Issues Including REAL ID & “ID Security.” According to the lobbyist database, between 2005 and 2008, Digimarc spent $1.2 million lobbying on issues including REAL ID and “ID Security.”

· 2005: $350,000 – “ID Security, Homeland Security, Copyright, Appropriations”

· 2006: $350,000 – “REAL ID grants, intellectual property, telecom policy”

· 2007: $500,000 – “Homeland security, REAL ID grants + policy, DOD Appropriations”, IP Policy” [Lobbying Disclosure Database, 2005-2007]

Treadwell & Venture Ad Astra

Treadwell Served As CEO Of Venture Ad Astra As Recently As 2009. “[Treadwell’s] day job last year was as an $8,000-a-month chief executive of Venture Ad Astra, a company that invests in or develops new technologies, including the 360-degree camera technology initially used by Google in Street View and that is now used by MapQuest. He has stepped down from the top job because of the campaign, but remains involved, he said.” [Anchorage Daily News, 10/16/10]

  • 2014: Treadwell Remained Involved As A Shareholder, Director & Partner In Venture Ad Astra. According to Treadwell’s Senate financial disclosure filed in May 2014, Treadwell listed his position with Venture Ad Astra, LLC as “shareholder & director in LLC, partner in business” from February 2003 to present. [Senate Personal Financial Disclosure – Mead Treadwell, filed 5/16/14]

May 2013: Treadwell Owned 15% Of Venture Ad Astra, LLC. According to the Alaska Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations, Treadwell owned 15% of Venture Ad Astra, LLC as of May 20, 2013. [Alaska Division of Banking, Securities and Corporations, “Venture Ad Astra, LLC,” Accessed 4/10/14]

Venture Ad Astra Developed Technology For Satellite Surveillance & Boasted About Its Ability To Track People Inside Buildings

Treadwell’s Company Venture Ad Astra Developed Telescope “To Be Used In Space To Gather Reconnaissance And Surveillance Information From Around the World.” As reported by the Alaska Journal of Commerce, “One of the two technologies Venture is currently developing at its office in Portland, Ore., is the ring telescope, chief executive officer Mead Treadwell said July 19 at a presentation in Anchorage. Treadwell was joined by Wanamaker, chief operating officer of Venture. The ring telescope is designed to be used in space to gather reconnaissance and surveillance information from around the world, at lower launch and operational costs than traditional spy satellites, Treadwell said. ‘The best way I think of it is that it is the Hubble telescope pointing in.’” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 7/31/05]

  • Treadwell Described His Company’s New Technology as “The Hubble Telescope Pointing In.” As reported by the Alaska Journal of Commerce, “The ring telescope is designed to be used in space to gather reconnaissance and surveillance information from around the world, at lower launch and operational costs than traditional spy satellites, Treadwell said. ‘The best way I think of it is that it is the Hubble telescope pointing in.’” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 7/31/05]

Treadwell Said Venture Ad Astra Developed Technology To Enhance Pictures Of Spy Satellites. “Venture Ad Astra has also done a lot in geospatial imagine. We have a technology that Jeff Rhodes invented that ultimately will help our spy satellites take much, much better pictures.” [Youtube video, “Entrepreneurial Edge: Boot Camp for Start Ups – Session 7 & 8 – Mead Treadwell video 1/5, posted 10/26/12] (Video)

Treadwell’s Company Developed PhaseNet Project Enhances Geographical Positioning Systems, Data Collection for More Accurate Intelligence-Gathering Operations. As reported by the Alaska Journal of Commerce, “The company also is working on the PhaseNet project, designed to enhance the geographical positioning system. The project’s technology could be used to synchronize clocks across the country for improved television broadcasting and to collect data in different countries at exactly the same time for more accurate intelligence-gathering operations. Venture is working to commercialize the projects by providing capital, management oversight and support in navigating the government contracting arena. The technologies have the potential to be very lucrative. ‘These are multi-million dollar deals or billion dollar deals when they come together,’ Wanamaker said in an interview.” [Alaska Journal of Commerce, 7/31/05]

Venture Ad Astra Marketed PhaseNet’s Ability To “[Track] Entities In Dense Urban Areas And Indoors.” According to an August 2011 Venture Ad Astra presentation, PhaseNet technology could be applied to “Reliably and precisely tracks entities in dense urban areas and indoors.” [Venture Ad Astra presentation, 8/2/11]

Sullivan & Spying: The Facts

What His Opponents Are Saying

Miller Criticized Sullivan For “[Working] For One Of The Agencies That Actually Helped Bring Back [The Surveillance State.]” During a July 2014 debate in Homer, Joe Miller said, “I think it’s also atrocious that we have people standing on this stage that were actually part of the surveillance state. The Bush administration initiated much of what we see in the surveillance state today. And in fact Mr. Sullivan worked for one of the agencies that actually helped bring back to the floor.” [Miller at GOP debate, Homer, 07/15/14]

Miller Criticized Dan Sullivan’s Prior Work “For The Very Agencies That Have Given Birth To This Surveillance State.” During a February 2014 meeting with the Conservative Patriots Group, Joe Miller said, “I was pretty humored even before we learned of this from the FEC report. I was humored in hearing one of the first commercials that came out about how he was going to fight the Feds. The reality is is he going to fight the very agencies he worked for? I mean, he worked for Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s National Security Advisor. He was working for the very agencies that have given birth to this surveillance state. You’ve heard my criticism of both my opponents in this race.” [Miller at Conservative Patriots Group Meeting, 02/27/14]

Miller Attacked Sullivan For Working “For The Surveillance State.” During an April 2014 interview on the Tom Anderson Show, Joe Miller said, “You need to look at the donors. When you’re hearing these statements against the surveillance state and find out he actually worked for the surveillance state or he has donors from the surveillance state who were actually architects of it, then you can’t really have the two things be consistent. And that’s the point.” [Miller on Tom Anderson Show, 04/18/14]

Miller Criticized Sullivan’s Donors As “Architects Of Surveillance State.” During an April 2014 forum on KTUU, Joe Miller said, “It’s also important that we not have a Senator whose campaign is being funded by the architects of the surveillance state, which is John Negroponte, who is a donor to Mr. Sullivan’s campaign; former head of the Director of National Intelligence. When we’re talking about getting care of this problem, we need to have people with backbone.” [Miller on KTUU, 04/25/14]

Sullivan At National Security Council

August 2002 - December 2004: Sullivan Worked For Condoleezza Rice At National Security Council

Sullivan Was Director And Acting Senior Director Of The International Economics Directorate At National Security Council. “Mr. Sullivan came to the State Department from the National Security Council/National Economic Council Staff at the White House where he served as a Director and Acting Senior Director in the International Economics Directorate.” [Dan Sullivan Biography, U.S. State Department, 6/6/06]

2002: Sullivan Joined National Security Council As Fellow, Stayed On After Fellowship With Then-NSA Condoleezza Rice’s Staff. Reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer in September 2007,“Two years later, Sullivan was among 12 of 1,000 applicants to receive a White House Fellowship. […] He joined the staff of the National Security Council. The fellowship experience included weekly off-the-record luncheons with the president, vice president, secretary of state and other Washington elites. When the fellowship ended, then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice kept him on.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/17/07]

Sullivan Touted His Experience At The National Security Council With Condoleezza Rice As Qualification To Be Senator

ABC News: Sullivan Was A Protégé Of Condoleezza Rice. “He once worked for Sarah Palin and has been dubbed a ‘protégé’ of Condoleezza Rice. Now Dan Sullivan is fighting to become a high-profile conservative brand name of his own, trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska in one of the most closely watched political races of the year.” [ABC News, 6/10/14]

Sullivan Worked Within President Bush’s Inner Circle As Senior Adviser To Condoleezza Rice. “Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appointed Sullivan attorney general in 2009. Before that he worked within President George W. Bush’s inner circle as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Now, Sullivan has the task of convincing GOP primary voters that he is Alaskan enough, among other things, to win a spot on the ballot in November.” [ABC News, 6/10/14]

Sullivan: Experience At National Security Council Would “Make For A Better” United States Senator. During a March 2014 interview in Kenai, Dan Sullivan said, “As a matter of fact I’m a Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserves; I’m a Commander in a Marine ANGLICO unit, which is a marine recon battalion that specializes in supporting arms’ fire. I’ve served as the National Security Council staff at the White House. And I’ve been a US Assistant Secretary of State. Those are the kind of experiences that will make for a better United States Senator because the United States Senate has to deal with some of the most important- not only domestic- but foreign policy and national security issues that the country faces.” [Audio, Sullivan on KSRM, 03/19/14]

Sullivan Touted His Experience At The National Security Council Under Condoleezza Rice. During a March 2014 speech to the Anchorage South Rotary Club, Dan Sullivan said, “Like thousands of Alaskans and Americans I changed the trajectory of my life; I was very motivated to serve my country. We thought my Marine unit, cold-weather reconnaissance, was going to go to Afghanistan; everybody wanted that unit to go to Afghanistan. We didn’t get called up. So I looked for other ways to serve. I ended up serving ten months later as a director on the National Security Council staff at the White House under Condoleezza Rice when she was a national security advisor.” [Audio, Sullivan at Anchorage South Rotary Club, 03/20/14]

Sullivan: Working In The Bush Administration Is “Part Of My Record That I’m Quite Proud Of.” During a June 2014 interview on Fox News, Dan Sullivan said, “No, it makes me kind of a little… to be honest one of the areas I was most surprised about, in terms of their areas of attack, was this. Because I moved to Alaska, like Joe Miller, right around the same time. When I got out of the Marine Corps, off active duty actually, started my family there. The only time I’ve left Alaska was to serve my country after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. By the way, hundreds if not thousands of my fellow Alaskans did what I did, stopped what they were doing. I was recalled to active duty by the Marine Corps for a year-and-a-half. I also served as an Assistant Secretary of State under Condoleezza Rice. So I was doing what is a proud Alaska tradition, defending your country in time of need. If the Democrats or Mead Treadwell want to make hay about that, I’m fine with that because that’s part of my record that I’m quite proud of; still serving my fellow Alaskans during that time, just doing it from places like Baghdad or Kabul or DC.” [Video, Sullivan on Fox News Power Play, 06/06/14]

Sullivan Called Rice A “Great Boss” And Said He “Learned A Lot From Her.” “While Sullivan describes both Palin and Rice as ‘great bosses,’ he insists that he stands on his own. ‘You know protégé, look I learned a lot from her [Condoleezza Rice], I learned a lot from Sarah Palin,’ he said.” [ABC News, 6/10/14]

2002: Bush Administration Secretly Authorized Warrantless Wiretaps

Headline: New York Times: “Bush Lets U.S. Spy On Callers Without Courts.” [New York Times, 12/16/05]

2002: President Bush Secretly Authorized NSA To Eavesdrop On Americans Without Court-Approved Warrants. “Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials. Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible ‘dirty numbers’ linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.” [New York Times, 12/16/05]

Condoleezza Rice & Warrantless Wiretapping

October 2004: Rice Urged Congress To Expand Authority Of NSA To Conduct Surveillance

Rice Wrote Letter Endorsing Legislation That Would Expand Authority Of Intelligence Agencies, Including NSA, To Conduct Surveillance. “The letter endorsed provisions of a bipartisan Senate bill passed this month and endorsed by the leaders of the Sept. 11 commission. The bill would provide broad powers to a national intelligence director who would oversee the operations of most of the government’s 15 intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. […] The White House letter, which was dated Monday and signed by Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, was made public on the eve of the first meeting of House and Senate negotiators who have been asked to work out a final bill to enact the major recommendations of the commission before the Nov. 2 election. […] The letter also asked the House and Senate negotiators to reject provisions of the House bill that would make it easier to deport foreigners. The provisions, which have been criticized by many lawmakers and civil liberties groups, were not among the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission. At the same time, the White House endorsed other provisions of the House bill that would expand law enforcement powers, including new authority to conduct surveillance on terrorism suspects.” [New York Times, 10/20/04]

Rice Letter Urged Congress To Transfer “Billions Of Dollars Among Spy Agencies,” Including The NSA. “The White House is calling on Congress to follow the recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission in creating the job of national intelligence director. In a letter made public on Tuesday, the White House urged lawmakers to move quickly to pass a bill that provides the intelligence director with ‘full budget authority’ and ‘explicit authority’ to transfer billions of dollars among spy agencies. The letter endorsed provisions of a bipartisan Senate bill passed this month and endorsed by the leaders of the Sept. 11 commission. The bill would provide broad powers to a national intelligence director who would oversee the operations of most of the government’s 15 intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. […] The White House letter, which was dated Monday and signed by Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, was made public on the eve of the first meeting of House and Senate negotiators who have been asked to work out a final bill to enact the major recommendations of the commission before the Nov. 2 election.” [New York Times, 10/20/04]

December 2005: Rice Defended NSA Spying On U.S. Citizens

Rice Defended President Bush’s Authorization Of Warrantless Wiretaps On U.S. Citizens. “Democratic House leaders called Sunday for an independent panel to investigate the legality of a program President Bush authorized that allows warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens, according to a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert. […] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended Bush’s actions, telling ‘Fox News Sunday’ the president had authorized the National Security Agency ‘to collect information on a limited number of people with connections to al Qaeda.’” [CNN, 12/19/05]

Rice Argued President Bush Needed Warrantless Wiretaps To Fight Terrorism. “While the NSA is barred from domestic spying, it can get warrants issued with the permission of a special judicial body called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court. Bush’s action eliminated the need to get a warrant from the court. Asked why the president authorized skipping the FISA court, Rice said the war on terrorism was a ‘different type of war’ that gives the commander in chief ‘additional authorities.’ ‘I’m not a lawyer, but the president has gone to great lengths to make certain that he is both living under his obligations to protect Americans from another attack but also to protect their civil liberties,’ Rice said on ‘Meet The Press.’ ‘And that’s why this program is very carefully controlled. It has to be reauthorized every 45 days. People are specially trained to participate in it. And it has been briefed to leadership of the Congress, including the leadership of the intelligence committees.’” [CNN, 12/19/05]

Karl Rove & Warrantless Wiretapping

Rove Staunchly Defended Warrantless Wiretapping Of Americans As “In Our National Security Interest.” Reported NPR in February 2006, “Speaking at a National Republican Committee meeting in Washington, the president’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, signaled that the NSA wiretapping program would be at the heart of the GOP strategy in the upcoming midterm elections. “President Bush believes if al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they’re calling and why,” Rove said. “Some important Democrats clearly disagree.’” [NPR, 2/3/06]

Karl Rove Slammed Court Order Striking Down Government’s Warrantless Surveillance Program, Suggested They Could Have Prevented 9/11. Reported the Associated Press in August 2006, “Presidential adviser Karl Rove criticized a federal judge’s order for an immediate end to the government’s warrantless surveillance program, saying Wednesday such a program might have prevented the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Headlining a fundraiser for Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who is running for governor, Rove said the government should be free to listen if al-Qaida is calling someone within the U.S. ‘Imagine if we could have done that before 9-11. It might have been a different outcome,’ he said.” [Associated Press, 8/24/06]