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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

President Obama Announces New Policy on Cuba

Fact Sheet – Charting a New Course on Cuba – see also NYT Graphic – How America’s Relationship With Cuba Will Change

“Re-establish diplomatic relations
Our diplomatic relations with Cuba were severed in January of 1961. The President is immediately reopening discussions with Cuba and working to re-establish an embassy in Havana in the next coming months. The U.S. will work with Cuba on matters of mutual concern that advance U.S. national interests, such as migration, counternarcotics, environmental protection, and trafficking in persons, among other issues.

More effectively empower the Cuban people by adjusting regulations
The President is taking steps to improve travel and remittance policies that will further increase people-to-people contact, support civil society in Cuba, and enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people.

Facilitate an expansion of travel to Cuba
With expanded travel, Americans will be able to help support the growth of civil society in Cuba more easily, and provide business training for private Cuban businesses and small farmers. Americans will also be able to provide other support for the growth of Cuba’s nascent private sector.

General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in 12 existing categories:

  1. Family visits
  2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
  3. Journalistic activity
  4. Professional research and professional meetings
  5. Educational activities
  6. Religious activities
  7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibition
  8. Support for the Cuban people
  9. Humanitarian projects
  10. Activities of private foundations, research, or educational institutions
  11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
  12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines”

GPO Releases Official Digital and Print Version of Senate CIA Report

“The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) makes available the official and authentic digital and print versions of the Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, together with a forward by Chairman Feinstein and Additional and Minority Views (Senate Report 113-288). This document comprises the declassified Executive SummaryContinue Reading

Web Index Annual Report 2014

WebIndexReport 2014-15 “Growing inequality is one of the defining challenges of our time. What role can the World Wide Web play in tackling it? Seven out of 10 people live in countries where the gap between rich and poor is greater than it was 30 years ago, according to Oxfam research. In some countries these disparitiesContinue Reading

Rape and Sexual Assault Victimization Among College-Age Females, 1995–2013

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics, Special Report, December 2014 “Among college-age females (ages 18 to 24), the rate of rape and sexual assault was 1.2 times higher for nonstudents than students for the period 1995–2013, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. Nonstudents (65,700) accounted for more than doubleContinue Reading

FBI 2013 Hate Crime Statistics

“Today, the FBI released its annual Hate Crime Statistics report, which revealed that 5,928 hate crime incidents involving 6,933 offenses were reported by our law enforcement partners to the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in 2013. These hate crime incidents impacted a total of 7,242 victims—which are defined as individuals, businesses, institutions, or societyContinue Reading

Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program – Unclassified

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program. Foreword by Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein. Findings and Conclusions – Executive Summary Approved December 13,2012. Updated for Release April 3, 2014. Declassifications Revisions December 3, 2014. “On April 3, 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted to send the Findings and Conclusions andContinue Reading

Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

Report by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS Office), October 2014. “The recent emergence of body-worn cameras has already had an impact on policing, and this impact will only increase as more agencies adopt this technology. The decision to implement body-worn cameras shouldContinue Reading

Investigative Report Claims NSA Hacking of Cellphone Networks Is Global

Ryan Gallagher – The Intercept: “The AURORAGOLD operation is carried out by specialist NSA surveillance units whose existence has not been publicly disclosed: the Wireless Portfolio Management Office, which defines and carries out the NSA’s strategy for exploiting wireless communications, and the Target Technology Trends Center, which monitors the development of new communication technology to ensureContinue Reading

Raising the Voices of Gun Violence

Sam Bieler, Urban Institute: “In some communities, gun violence is a rare and alarming occurrence. In others, it’s just a fact of life. The latter is the sad reality faced by some American communities and neighborhoods. A study in Boston found that half of all gun violence was clustered in less than 3 percent of intersectionsContinue Reading

2014 Corruption Perceptions Index

The 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index Measures the Perceived Levels of Public Sector Corruption in 175 Countries and Territories “Corruption is a problem for all economies, requiring leading financial centres in the EU and US to act together with fast-growing economies to stop the corrupt from getting away with it, anti-corruption group Transparency International said today. In theContinue Reading

The Second Amendment in the Twenty-First Century: What Hath Heller Wrought?

Charles, Patrick J., The Second Amendment in the Twenty-First Century: What Hath Heller Wrought? (December 1, 2014). William & Mary Bill of Rights, Vol. 23, 2015 Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2532722 “This article explores the impact District of Columbia v. Heller has had on the public discourse. It is a discourse that will beContinue Reading

EPIC Uncovers DOD Student Data Collection Procedures

“The Department of Defense has released to EPIC documents on the “Joint Advertising and Market Research Studies” Recruiting Database. The database includes sensitive student information, including home address and grade point average. DOD obtains this information from high schools offering military aptitude tests, state DMVs, and commercial data brokers. The documents sought by EPIC shedContinue Reading