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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Amnesty International Annual Report 2014-2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. By Salil Shetty, Secretary General at Amnesty International

“Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world’s politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change. International humanitarian law – the law that governs the conduct of armed conflict – could not be clearer. Attacks must never be directed against civilians. The principle of distinguishing between civilians and combatants is a fundamental safeguard for people caught up in the horrors of war. And yet, time and again, civilians bore the brunt in conflict. In the year marking the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, politicians repeatedly trampled on the rules protecting civilians – or looked away from the deadly violations of these rules committed by others.

Pew – Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

Overall Decline in Social Hostilities in 2013, Though Harassment of Jews Worldwide Reached a Seven-Year High: “Worldwide, social hostilities involving religion declined somewhat in 2013 after reaching a six-year peak the previous year, but roughly a quarter of the world’s countries are still grappling with high levels of religious hostilities within their borders, according toContinue Reading

First in Freedom Index

John Locke Foundation Report – “Overall, North Carolina ranks 23rd in the nation and 5th among the 12 states of the Southeast. Florida holds the #1 slot on the FFI, followed by Arizona, Indiana, South Dakota, and Georgia. The least-free state is New York, which is joined in the bottom five by New Jersey, California,Continue Reading

Violence and harassment in European workplaces: Extent, impacts and policies

Eurofound (2015), Violence and harassment in European workplaces: Extent, impacts and policies. Dublin. “This report presents the extent of workplace violence and harassment in the EU28 and Norway. It is based on national – level surveys conducted between 2009 and 2013, as well as on results from Eurofound’s fifth European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS). ItContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Results-Oriented Management, Whistleblower Protection

Results-Oriented Management: OPM Needs to Do More to Ensure Meaningful Distinctions Are Made in SES Ratings and Performance Awards, GAO-15-189: Published: Jan 22, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 2015: “GAO recommends that the Director of OPM consider various refinements to better ensure the SES performance appraisal system certification guidelines promote making meaningful distinctions in performance.Continue Reading

Report – Largest global manufacturer of SIM cards hacked

The Intercept – Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley – “American and British spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security AgencyContinue Reading

EPIC Prevails in “Stingray” Case Against FBI

“EPIC has obtained nearly $30,000 in litigation fees as a result of a Freedom of Information Act case against the FBI concerning a new surveillance technology. EPIC’s lawsuit produced the release of more than 4,000 pages of documents about a phony cell tower technique called “Stingray.” The documents obtained by EPIC revealed that the FBIContinue Reading

Small Rule Change That Could Give the U.S. Government Sweeping New Warrant Power

Posted by Richard Salgado, Legal Director, Law Enforcement and Information Security: “At the request of the Department of Justice, a little-known body — the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure — is proposing a significant change to procedural rules that could have profound implications for the privacy rights and security interests of everyoneContinue Reading

UN – Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rise by 22 per cent in 2014

“Increased ground engagements between parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan are behind a 22 per cent rise in conflict-related deaths and injuries of Afghan civilians in 2014, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today on the release of its 2014 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, prepared inContinue Reading

Persons Sentenced: Where Does Your Judge Rank?

“The number of persons sentenced by individual federal judges varies widely, with the top ranking judge in the nation — Robert C. Brack of New Mexico — having sentenced 6,708 defendants in just the last five years. This total is nearly 2,000 more than the next judge on the list. “It tears at my heart,”Continue Reading

Human Rights World Report 2015

“World Report 2015 is Human Rights Watch’s 25th annual review of human rights practices around the globe. It summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide. In his keynote, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth reflects on a year so tumultuous, “it can seem as if the world isContinue Reading

Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index 2015

“The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate. Top of the list, as so often, are threeContinue Reading