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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Economist and Time Websites blocked in China

New York Times: “The Economist and Time have joined the list of foreign news websites currently blocked in mainland China. The sites appear to have been censored as a result of recently published cover articles in the magazines critical of the growing power of China’s president, Xi Jinping. According to, a website that tracksContinue Reading

The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross – Cutting Issues

Via FAS – CRS report – The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross – Cutting Issues, Anne Daugherty Miles, Analyst in Intelligence and National Security Policy. April 12, 2016. “This report focuses on cross-cutting management issues that affect the Intelligence Community’s (IC’s) ability to counter “pervasive and emerging threats” to the United States and balance resourcesContinue Reading

SCOTUS upholds $2B judgment in favor of terror victims against Iran

Via Findlaw: “The United States Supreme Court ruled that almost $2 billion in assets seized from Bank Markazi, Iran’s central bank, can be used to pay victims of terror attacks and their families who won default judgments against the country in civil.. – Bank Markazi v. Peterson, et al.

EFF Sues for Secret Court Orders Requiring Tech Companies to Decrypt Users’ Communications

Via EFF: “The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit today against the Justice Department to shed light on whether the government has ever used secret court orders to force technology companies to decrypt their customers’ private communications, a practice that could undermine the safety and security of devices used byContinue Reading

Report – In Six States, Immigration Relief Takes Over 1,000 Days on Average

“Despite the recent appointment of new immigration judges, the Immigration Court’s backlog continues to rise each month. The latest figures show that at the end of March the number of pending cases had reached 486,206. The ballooning backlog has many implications; this month TRAC is spotlighting what our overloaded court system means for individuals seekingContinue Reading

EU Parliament and EU Council proposal for use of passenger name record data for law enforcement purposes

DIRECTIVE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime, April 15, 2016.

ProPublica Wins Third Pulitzer Prize for ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’

Via ProPublica: “Christian Miller, a senior reporter for ProPublica, and Ken Armstrong, a writer for The Marshall Project, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for “An Unbelievable Story of Rape,” their harrowing account of the hunt for a serial rapist. The award is the third Pulitzer Prize for ProPublica, and the first forContinue Reading

WSJ – Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda

“A middle-aged book collector in Mali helped keep the fabled city’s libraries, books and manuscripts safe from occupying jihadists…”

Electionline – election reform news and information

“ is the nation’s only nonpartisan, non-advocacy clearinghouse for election reform news and information. It was founded in 2001 by Doug Chapin and supported by a grant to the University of Richmond from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 2007 the electionline team formally joined The Pew Charitable Trusts as part of Pew’s transition from privateContinue Reading

Counting Casualties in Syria and Iraq: Process and Challenges

Via FAS – CRS INSIGHT – Counting Casualties in Syria and Iraq: Process and Challenges. April 12, 2016 (IN10474) “Casualty estimates for the conflicts in Iraq and Syria are inconsistent and unreliable because of a range of methodological challenges in conducting and reporting counts. Estimates of the number of people who have died during Syria’sContinue Reading

Microsoft sues DOJ – demands right to disclose when law enforcement seeks customer data

Microsoft v. The United States Department of Justice, USDC Western District of Washington at Seattle – April 14, 2016: “Microsoft brings this case because its customers have a right to know when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails, and because Microsoft has a right to tell them. Yet the Electronic Communications PrivacyContinue Reading

Maryland Court ends Baltimore police use cellphone tracking devices

Via TechDirt: “The Baltimore Police Department’s warrantless deployment of Stingray devices has come to an end. It may have gotten away with more than 4,300 times so far, but the Maryland Special Appeals Court has declared these devices operate as searches under the Fourth Amendment.  The 74-page opinion — which belatedly follows its two-page orderContinue Reading