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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Representation Makes Fourteen-Fold Difference in Outcome

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “Results in “women with children” cases before the Immigration Court continue to show that the single most important factor determining outcome is whether or not these individuals are represented in their court proceedings.  For the 14,269 cases concluded as of the end of June 2015, the odds of being allowed toContinue Reading

New EFF Tool Makes Emailing Congress Just a Few Clicks Away

“The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created a new tool that makes emailing your congressional lawmakers a quick and easy process. Democracy.io simplifies and streamlines the current fractured system for contacting lawmakers, allowing you to message your two senators and your representative from a single website. “Democracy thrives when the voices of Internet users areContinue Reading

DuckDuckGo Founder Highlights Privacy and No Tracking Policy

Andy Meek talked to Gabriel Weinberg, founder of the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo: “Not only is it now a built-in search engine option in browsers like Safari and Firefox, but the company says the trove of news stories about data breaches and revelations of government snooping have helped keep the search engine’s numbers climbing upContinue Reading

Community poetry site honors police officers killed and citizens killed by police

“Lament for the Dead is an online community poetry project which will mark the death of every person killed by police this summer, and every police officer who loses life in the line of duty, with a poem.” “The first lie that hate tells us is that any other person is not as human asContinue Reading

New Rosenberg Grand Jury Testimony Released

“Washington, D.C., July 15, 2015 – “The newly released grand jury testimony by Ethel Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass suggests he committed perjury on the witness stand in the Rosenberg spy trial, according to experts who analyzed the documents released today and posted by the National Security Archive. The grand jury testimony from August 1950 showsContinue Reading

Filmmaker Laura Poitras suing to shine light on travel detainment

Via The Intercept: “Over six years, filmmaker Laura Poitras was searched, interrogated and detained more than 50 times at U.S. and foreign airports. When she asked why, U.S. agencies wouldn’t say. Now, after receiving no response to her Freedom of Information Act requests for documents pertaining to her systemic targeting, Poitras is suing the U.S.Continue Reading

NSA collected and stored social media, email, chats of non targeted Americans

Via The Atlantic – “The Washington Post’s latest article drawing on Snowden’s leaked cache of documents includes files “described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained” that “tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000Continue Reading

EPIC Urges Investigation of “Always On” Consumer Devices

“EPIC has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to conduct a workshop on ‘Always-On’ Consumer Devices. EPIC described the increasing presence of internet-connected devices in consumer’s homes, such as TVs, toys, and thermostats, that routinely record and store private communications. EPIC urged the agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation to determineContinue Reading

Much needed funding increase for New York City libraries

“The Center for an Urban Future is proud to report that our research helped lay the groundwork for an enormous win for the libraries and the millions of New Yorkers who use them. Late last month, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito agreed on a city budget for fiscal year 2016 that increases funding forContinue Reading

History of the internet – 40 maps and key resources

For all those who do not recollect or may not know how the internet evolved from ARPANET in 1969 to the web of 2015 with its data analytics, e-commerce profiling and of course, global surveillance, I recommend 40 maps that explain the internet by Timothy B. Lee via Vox, posted on June 2, 2014: “TheContinue Reading

Federal agencies test new “release for one, release to all” FOIA policy

Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press – Adam Marshall, July 9, 2015: “With little public fanfare, seven federal agencies have announced a controversial trial program of publishing documents responsive to most Freedom of Information Act requests online. Under the program, known as a “Release-to-One is Release-to-All” policy, any member of the public will presumablyContinue Reading

Commentary – The Logic of Effective Altruism

Peter Singer – The Boston Review:  “A minimally acceptable ethical life involves using a substantial part of one’s spare resources to make the world a better place, July 6, 2015: “Effective altruism is based on a very simple idea: we should do the most good we can. Obeying the usual rules about not stealing, cheating,Continue Reading