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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

2015 Wiretap Report: Intercept Orders Rise 17 Percent

United States Courts, June 30, 2016: “The number of federal and state wiretaps terminated in 2015 increased nearly 17 percent over 2014, according to an annual report submitted to Congress by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. As in previous years, drug investigations and telephone wiretaps accounted for the large majority of cases. The 2015 Wiretap Report covers intercepts—of wire, oral or electronic communications—that  were concluded between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. The report does not include data on interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.  A total of 4,148 wiretaps were reported in 2015, compared with 3,554 the previous year. Of those, 1,403 were authorized by federal judges, 10 percent more than in 2014, and 2,745 were authorized by state judges, an increase of 21 percent. No wiretap applications were reported as denied in 2015.”

Refugee Law and Policy In Selected Countries

Refugee Law and Policy In Selected Countries, The Library of Congress Global Legal Research Center. March 2016. “This report describes the law and policy on refugees and other asylum seekers in twenty-two geographically dispersed countries and, at the supranational level, in the European Union (EU). The individual surveys cover such topics as participation in relevant… Continue Reading

EFF – With Canada’s Entry, Treaty for the Blind Will Come Into Force

Via EFF – “A groundbreaking international agreement to address the “book famine” for blind and print-disabled people is now set to go into force after passing another key milestone today. The agreement requires countries to allow the reproduction and distribution of accessible ebooks by limiting the scope of copyright restrictions. The Marrakesh agreement takes aim… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – 2020 Census, Defense Headquarters, Registering Voters, FOIA, ID Fraud

2020 Census: Census Bureau Needs to Improve Its Life-Cycle Cost Estimating Process, GAO-16-628: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016. Defense Headquarters: Geographic Combatant Commands Rely on Subordinate Commands for Mission Management and Execution, GAO-16-652R: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016. Defense Headquarters: Improved Data Needed to Better Identify Streamlining… Continue Reading

Motherboard – Terrorism Database Used by Governments and Banks Leaked Online

“…Thomson Reuters’ database, called World-Check, is used by over 300 government and intelligence agencies, as well as 49 of the world’s top 50 banks, according to a company fact sheet. World-Check is designed to give insight into financial crime and the people potentially behind it “We monitor over 530 sanction, watch, and regulatory law and… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Casualty Assistance, Defense Civil Support, Human Trafficking

Casualty Assistance: DOD and the Coast Guard Need to Develop Policies and Outreach Goals and Metrics for Program Supporting Servicemembers’ Survivors, GAO-16-569 Published: Jun 28, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 2016. Defense Civil Support: DOD Has Made Progress Incorporating the Homeland Response Force into the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Response Enterprise, GAO-16-599: Published: Jun… Continue Reading

Subsidiarity in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security

Kanetake, Machiko, Subsidiarity in the Maintenance of International Peace and Security (2016). Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 79, No. 2, 2016. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2800809 “This article analyzes the question of subsidiarity in the sphere of the maintenance of international peace and security. This area of law is increasingly torn between normative claims… Continue Reading

Ruth Bader Ginsberg – “It is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women”

Laura Bassett: “In a 5-3 ruling on Monday, the United States Supreme Court struck down a pair of Texas abortion restrictions that would have shut down dozens of clinics across the state. While Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Justice Stephen Breyer in his majority opinion, she penned  her own scathing concurring opinion that, in one… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – About Microaggressions

Via LLRX.com – About Microaggressions – Professor Ronald E. Wheeler Jr. discusses the concepts of microaggressions (including microassaults, microinsults and microinvalidations) specifically against LGBT individuals, and proposes some solutions to preventing microaggressions from occurring within one’s organization. Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Highway Trust Fund, Army Working Capital Fund, Defense Facility Condition, Defense Health Care, Federal Prison System, Commercial Space

Highway Trust Fund Administrative Expenses of the Federal Highway Administration, GAO-16-631R :Published: Jun 24, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2016 Army Working Capital Fund: Army Industrial Operations Could Improve Budgeting and Management of Carryover, GAO-16-543: Published: Jun 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2016 Defense Facility Condition: Revised Guidance Needed to Improve Oversight of Assessments… 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

Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer

Via EFF, Mark Rumold: “In a dangerously flawed decision unsealed today, a federal district court in Virginia ruled that a criminal defendant has no “reasonable expectation of privacy” in his personal computer, located inside his home. According to the court, the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual’s computer. This… Continue Reading