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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Brookings Project Paper – The ISIS Twitter Census

The Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World – An Analysis Paper | No. 20, March 2015. The ISIS Twitter Census – Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter. J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan.

“The Islamic State, known as ISIS or ISIL, has exploited social media, most notoriously Twitter, to send its propaganda and messaging out to the world and to draw in people vulnerable to radicalization. By virtue of its large number of supporters and highly organized tactics, ISIS has been able to exert an outsized impact on how the world perceives it, by disseminating images of graphic violence (including the beheading of Western journalists and aid workers and more recently, the immolation of a Jordanian air force pilot), while using social media to attract new recruits and inspire lone actor attacks. Although much ink has been spilled on the topic of ISIS activity on Twitter, very basic questions remain unanswered, including such fundamental issues as how many Twitter users support ISIS, who they are, and how many of those supporters take part in its highly organized online activities…We set out to answer some of these important questions using innovative techniques to create a large, representative sample of accounts that can be clearly defined as ISIS supporters, and to attempt to define the boundaries of ISIS’s online social network…”

GAO Reports – Electronic Monitoring, DHS Biosurveillance

Electronic Monitoring: Draft National Standard for Offender Tracking Systems Addresses Common Stakeholder Needs, GAO-16-10: Published: Oct 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 2015: “OTS is an electronic monitoring technology consisting of hardware, such as an ankle bracelet, used for collecting Global Positioning System (GPS) signals to determine an individual’s location, and software for analyzing dataContinue Reading

Google – European privacy requests for search removals

Google Transparency Report [snipped] – “In a May 2014 ruling, Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja González, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that individuals have the right to ask search engines like Google to remove certain results about them. The court decided that search engines must assess each individual’s requestContinue Reading

Prison Time Surges for Federal Inmates

Pew Charitable Trusts – “The average length of time served by federal inmates more than doubled from 1988 to 2012, rising from 17.9 to 37.5 months. Across all six major categories of federal crime—violent, property, drug, public order, weapon, and immigration offenses—imprisonment periods increased significantly. For drug offenders, who make up roughly half of theContinue Reading

Report – Nestlé takes action to tackle seafood supply chain abuses

NYT: “The seafood industry in Thailand suffers from widespread labor and human rights abuses, exposing virtually all American and European companies that buy seafood from there to the “endemic risk” of having these problems as part of their supply chain, according to a report released on Monday by the food giant Nestlé. The report catalogedContinue Reading

Chicago Citizens Police Data Project

“The information contained on this website comes primarily from three datasets provided by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), spanning approximately 2002 to 2008 and 2011 to 2015. The CPD has released these lists in response to litigation and to FOIA Requests. The City of Chicago’s release of this information was accompanied by a disclaimer thatContinue Reading

Global Support for Principle of Free Expression, but Opposition to Some Forms of Speech

Pew – “Although many observers have documented a global decline in democratic rights in recent years, people around the world nonetheless embrace fundamental democratic values, including free expression. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that majorities in nearly all 38 nations polled say it is at least somewhat important to live in a countryContinue Reading

23andMe Transparency Report

Along with other companies that provide paid services to customers that comprise the collection and identification of sensitive PII specific to health and genealogy issues, such as, there is increasing focus on how this information can impact individuals at work, for security reasons, and when attempting to qualify for various types of insurance. 23andMeContinue Reading Tracks Content Takedowns by Social Media Sites

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Visualizing Impact launched today, a new platform to document the who, what, and why of content takedowns on social media sites. The project, made possible by a 2014 Knight News Challenge award, will address how social media sites moderate user-generated content and how free expression is affected acrossContinue Reading

World Migration Report 2015: Migrants and Cities

World Migration Report 2015: Migrants and Cities: “We live in a world which is becoming increasingly urban. Over 54 per cent of people across the globe were living in urban areas in 2014. The current urban population of 3.9 billion is expected to grow to some 6.4 billion by 2050. Migration is driving much ofContinue Reading

A Tale of Two States: Rule of Law in the Age of Terrorism

De Minico, Giovanna, A Tale of Two States: Rule of Law in the Age of Terrorism (November 2, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: “The European counter terrorism laws offer to the author the chance to deal with on one side the appropriate balance between the threat of terrorism and constitutional values; on theContinue Reading

Police Use of Nonfatal Force, 2002–11

“In a study released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), an annual average of 44 million U.S. residents age 16 or older had one or more face-to-face contacts with police from 2002 to 2011, and an estimated 1.6 percent experienced the threat or use of nonfatal force during the most recent contact. AboutContinue Reading