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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

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

Report – Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program

New York Times, James Risen – The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a sweeping new report. The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largestContinue Reading

Armed police in England, Wales only fired weapons twice during 14,864 operations in 2013-14

Police use of firearms statistics, England and Wales: financial year ending 31 March 2014:  “This release contains statistics on police use of firearms across England and Wales in the year ending March 2014. It details the total number of: police firearms’ operations (operations in which firearms were authorised) police firearms’ operations involving Armed Response VehiclesContinue Reading

DOJ Reports New Data Shows High Police Use of Tasers

U.S. Department of Justice – Bureau of Justice Statistics – Local Police Departments, 2013: Equipment and Technology, July 2015: “The overall percentage of the more than 12,000 local police departments in the United States authorizing the use of conducted energy weapons (CEWs) increased from 7% in 2000 to 81% in 2013. CEWs include Tasers andContinue Reading

Consumer Watchdog files FTC complaint on Right to be Forgotten

Consumer Watchdog news release: “Google’s failure to offer U.S. users the ability to request the removal of search engine links from their name to information that is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive is an “unfair and deceptive” practice, Consumer Watchdog said in a complaint today to the Federal Trade Commission. In Europe whereContinue Reading

Report – Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals

National Institute of Justice – From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals, by Sue Rahr, Stephen K. Rice. NCJ Number: 248654, April 2015 “In this paper, the authors advocate for a recommitment to democratic ideals within law enforcement to combat the culture and mindset that officers are warriors at war withContinue Reading

The USA Freedom Act: A Partial Response to European Concerns about NSA Surveillance

Swire, Peter. The USA Freedom Act: A Partial Response to European Concerns about NSA Surveillance. Working Paper GTJMCE 2015-1. Sam Nunn School of International Affairs  – Georgia Institute of Technology. “In June 2015, the Congress adopted and President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, the biggest pro-privacy change to U.S. intelligence law in nearly 40Continue Reading

EU Proposed Reg on Protection of Personal Data

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, July 2, 2015.

NSA global surveillance network knows all?

Two Part Series from The Intercept [Part 1 – XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications] and Part 2 – Behind the Curtain A Look at the Inner Workings of NSA’s XKEYSCORE “The sheer quantity of communications that XKEYSCORE [global Internet surveillance network run by NSA] processes, filters and queries is stunning. Around theContinue Reading

Report – Who Has Your Digital Back?

Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests. July 2, 2015 | By Parker Higgins: “We live digital lives—from the videos shared on social networks, to location-aware apps on mobile phones, to log-in data for connecting to our email, to our stored documents, to our search history. The personal, the profound, andContinue Reading

Washington Post database collecting data on citizen killings by police

“The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015. The Post is tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, and whether the person wasContinue Reading