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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Secret court authorizes continued telephone metadata collection

The Guardian UK: “After a decade in the shadows, a secretive surveillance court that authorises the bulk collection of American telephone records seized on its last chance to show off a little personality on Tuesday [June 30, 2015]. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, well, at least for 180 days,” wrote judge Michael Mosman in an unusually colourful, and public, ruling that granted an extension to the programme one last time. Congress banned the bulk collection of telephone metadata – first revealed by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in the Guardian in 2013 – by passing sweeping NSA reforms in the USA Freedom Act earlier this month. But the legislation also proposed a six-month transition period while the NSA moves to a new system that relies on asking telephone companies for specific records rather than maintaining a central government database.”

National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice

“The National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice is designed to improve relationships and increase trust between communities and the criminal justice system. It also aims to advance the public and scholarly understandings of the issues contributing to those relationships. In September 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice has awarded the NationalContinue Reading

National Journal – Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996

From No States to All of Them: Mapping Gay Marriage Since 1996 How same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, by National Journal Graphics Staff: “A day ago, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Now, it’s legal in all 50. The Supreme Court said in a 5-4 rulingContinue Reading

2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

“On June 25, 2015, Secretary Kerry submitted the 2014 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (commonly known as the Human Rights Reports) to the U.S. Congress.  The reports, now in their 39th year, are available at State.gov/humanrightsreports and HumanRights.gov/reports.  Mandated by Congress, the Human Rights Reports help inform U.S. government policy and foreign assistance.  TheyContinue Reading

Pew Report – America’s Global Image

Global Publics Back U.S. on Fighting ISIS, but Are Critical of Post-9/11 Torture –  June 23, 2015: “The rise of ISIS has generated strong concerns in nations around the world, and a new Pew Research Center survey finds broad global support for American military efforts against the terrorist group. And unlike the Iraq War aContinue Reading

Only 29 Convictions in Federal Hate Crime Cases Since FY 2010

“During the first eight months of fiscal year 2015, the federal government reported the convictions of eight individuals who had been charged with federal hate crimes under Title 8 Section 249 of the U.S. Code, according to the latest available data from the Justice Department. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annualContinue Reading

Post 9/11 attacks predominantly by American extremists

Follow up to previous posting – Updated Guide to Mass Shootings in America – via the New York Times, Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11: “In the 14 years since Al Qaeda carried out attacks on New York and the Pentagon, extremists have regularly executed smaller lethal assaults inContinue Reading

Intelligence Cmte’s investigation of interrogation techniques

The New Yorker – To expose torture, Dianne Feinstein fought the C.I.A. -and the White House, June 22, 2015. “Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California, is making a late career of not quite pleasing anyone. After five decades in politics, Feinstein, at eighty-one, is the oldest sitting member of the Senate, where a lateContinue Reading

Country Reports on Terrorism 2014

“Country Reports on Terrorism 2014 is submitted in compliance with Title 22 of the United States Code, Section 2656f (the “Act”), which requires the Department of State to provide to Congress a full and complete annual report on terrorism for those countries and groups meeting the criteria of the Act. The report was published AprilContinue Reading

DOJ Prevailed Over Google on Email Privacy Case

Ryan Gallagher – The Intercept: “The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks. Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the GmailContinue Reading

Bing to implement HTTPS summer 2015

Bing Moving to Encrypt Search Traffic by Default: “At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping users keep their data safe and secure. That’s why we support the industry’s move to use of TLS protocols as part of our effort to expand encryption across our networks and services. Bing has already been offering users the option toContinue Reading

Updated Guide to Mass Shootings in America

This guide by Mother Jones has been updated numerous times to include information on recurring mass shooting that involved the murder of Americans in houses of worship, schools, work places, and public places.  Please note, the majority of weapons used in these murders were purchased legally and ..”More than half of the cases involved schoolContinue Reading