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Category Archives: Censorship

Testimony of Scott Amey about Burdens of Overclassification and Government Secrecy

Testimony of Scott Amey, General Counsel Project On Government Oversight (POGO) before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform “Examining the Costs of Overclassification on Transparency and Security” December 7, 2016.
“…Thank you for inviting me to testify today about the state of the federal government’s classification system. I am Scott Amey, General Counsel with the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), a nonpartisan public interest group. Founded in 1981, POGO investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government. I am pleased to testify before you on how best to reduce overclassification and to improve openness…The government’s total security classification cost for fiscal year 2015 was $16.2 billion, and contractors and other nongovernmental entities spent an additional $1.3 billion according to ISOO’s report. Overclassification adds to those costs and no doubt adds to other budget line items that cost agencies additional time and resources. If the 50 percent of overturned classifications statistics provides a rough estimate of the level of the problem throughout the process, then there are potentially billions to be saved by solving our overclassification problem…”

New on LLRX – Legal Tech Evangelist Calls for Engagement on Civil Liberties Post Election

Via LLRX.com – Legal Tech Evangelist Calls for Engagement on Civil Liberties Post Election. Nicole Black, a Rochester, New York attorney and Legal Technology Evangelist delivers a clarion call for colleagues to expand their engagement with groups that work for civil liberties in the United States. Continue Reading

Internet Archive requests donations for a backup to be housed in Canada

This posting today by the Internet Archive’s Brewster Kahle – Help Us Keep the Archive Free, Accessible, and Private, is significant for all of us who use this resource, be it as as educators, librarians, attorneys, advocates for civil liberties, students, or as citizens or residents of the United States.  Brewster states: “We are building… Continue Reading

Should the U.S. Relinquish Its Authority Over the Internet Domain Name System?

Should the U.S. Relinquish Its Authority Over the Internet Domain Name System?, CRS Insight via FAS, October 5, 2016. “On March 14, 2014, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce announced the intention to transition its stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multistakeholder… Continue Reading

Which countries still outlaw apostasy and blasphemy?

Pew Research Center – “Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are enforced…We counted and categorized these laws in 2014 as part of our research for a major report on restrictions on… Continue Reading

MSU McLellan Free Expression Online Library

“MSU Law’s First Amendment Law Clinic is the only clinical program in the country solely dedicated to the protection of student speech and press rights. Now, a $500,000 donation from leading Michigan attorney and MSU Law Trustee Richard D. McLellan will expand the clinic’s impact nationwide by creating a Free Expression Online Library and Resource… Continue Reading

USNews article – Google as global censor across all its brands

Robert Epstein, June 22, 2016: Google, Inc., isn’t just the world’s biggest purveyor of information; it is also the world’s biggest censor. “…But as the golden gateway to all knowledge, Google has rapidly become an essential in people’s lives – nearly as essential as air or water. We don’t let public utilities make arbitrary and… Continue Reading

Facebook Response to Chairman John Thune’s letter on Trending Topics

Colin Stretch, Facebook General Counsel – News Release: “Last week we met with Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee John Thune to describe our investigation in response to anonymous allegations of political bias in our Trending Topics feature and to discuss the preliminary results of our work. Today, we sent Chairman Thune a follow… Continue Reading

The Guardian – How the Pentagon punished NSA whistleblowers

Mark Hertsgaard – The Guardian – “By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet.… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Medicare, Military Readiness, Nuclear Security, DC, DOD Advertising, Human Rights in Egypt

Medicare: Claim Review Programs Could Be Improved with Additional Prepayment Reviews and Better Data, GAO-16-394: Published: Apr 13, 2016. Publicly Released: May 13, 2016. Military Readiness: DOD Needs to Incorporate Elements of a Strategic Management Planning Framework into Retrograde and Reset Guidance, GAO-16-414: Published: May 13, 2016. Publicly Released: May 13, 2016. Nuclear Security: Status… Continue Reading

California’s Legislature Wants to Copyright All Government Works

Via Ernesto Falcon – EFF: “AB 2880 will give state and local governments dramatic powers to chill speech, stifle open government, and harm the public domain. The California Assembly Committee on Judiciary recently approved a bill (AB 2880) to grant local and state governments’ copyright authority along with other intellectual property rights. At its core,… Continue Reading

Public Opinion toward Internet Freedom in Asia: A Survey of Internet Users from 11 Jurisdictions

Public Opinion toward Internet Freedom in Asia: A Survey of Internet Users from 11 Jurisdictions, May 4, 2016. Fei Shen, Lokman Tsui “This paper, which is being released as part of the Berkman publications series in conjunction with the Digital Asia Hub, summarizes the findings from a survey of Asian Internet users. The purpose of… Continue Reading