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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Amnesty International launches video tool and website to learn its use

Via Poynter - The YouTube Data Viewer enables you to enter in the URL of a YouTube video and automatically extract the correct upload time and all thumbnails associated with the video. These two elements are essential when verifying a YouTube video, and it’s information that’s difficult to gather from YouTube. The upload time is critical in helping determineContinue Reading

Verizon’s Transparency Report for the First Half of 2014

“In the first half of 2014, Verizon received approximately 150,000 requests for customer information from federal, state or local law enforcement in the United States. We do not release customer information unless authorized by law, such as a valid law enforcement demand or an appropriate request in an emergency involving the danger of death or seriousContinue Reading

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – Film now free online

The Internet Archive has posted for free viewing the movie – The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, “an investigative documentary from director Brian Knappenberger about the life of the internet pioneer and activist Aaron Swartz.” See also related postings on Aaron Swartz.  

Files provided by Snowden show extent to which ordinary Web users are caught in the net – WaPo

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are, by Barton Gellman, Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani “Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post. Nine of 10 account holders foundContinue Reading

Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later

Fencing Out Knowledge - Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later, American Library Association, Policy Brief No. 5, June 2014. “What do Hotmail, YouTube, Google Docs, Facebook, and National Geographic have in common? They offer content and services that millions of Americans use every day to communicate, share content, and seek information. They alsoContinue Reading

EPIC Challenges Facebook’s Manipulation of Users, Files FTC Complaint

“EPIC has filed a formal complaint to the Federal Trade Commission concerning Facebook’s manipulation of users’ News Feeds for psychological research. “The company purposefully messed with people’s minds,” states the EPIC complaint. EPIC has charged that the study violates a privacy consent order and is a deceptive trade practice. In 2012, Facebook subjected 700,000 users to an “emotional”Continue Reading

The Double Edged Sword of Prison Video Visitation

Fulcher, Patrice A., The Double Edged Sword of Prison Video Visitation: Claiming to Keep Families Together While Furthering the Aims of the Prison Industrial Complex (April 30, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2461815 “Each year, the United States (“U.S.”) spends billions to house the country’s massive prison population. The need to board over 2.3 million incarcerated humanContinue Reading

Government Surveillance and Internet Search Behavior

Marthews, Alex and Tucker, Catherine, Government Surveillance and Internet Search Behavior (March 24, 2014). Available or download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2412564 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2412564 “This paper uses data from Google Trends on search terms from before and after the surveillance revelations of June 2013 to analyze whether Google users’ search behavior shifted as a result of an exogenous shock inContinue Reading

NSA tracking users of privacy applications and monitoring services

NSA targets the privacy-conscious - von J. Appelbaum, A. Gibson, J. Goetz, V. Kabisch, L. Kampf, L. Ryge. “The investigation discloses the following: Two servers in Germany – in Berlin and Nuremberg – are under surveillance by the NSA. Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA toContinue Reading

The NSA Revelations All in One Chart

By Julia Angwin and Jeff Larson, ProPublica, illustrations by Alberto Cairo: “This is a plot of the NSA programs revealed in the past year according to whether they are bulk or targeted, and whether the targets of surveillance are foreign or domestic. Most of the programs fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, but some –Continue Reading

Children and armed conflict – UN Report

“In 2013, children were recruited and used, killed and maimed, victims of sexual violence and other grave violations in 23 conflict situations around the world. These are some of the findings unveiled today in the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict. “We have documented the cases of children recruited and usedContinue Reading

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Report on NSA Surveillance

Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Sec7on 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Pre-Release July 2, 2014. “During the course of this study, it became clear to the Board that each program required a level of review that was best undertaken and presented to the public in a  separate report. As such, theContinue Reading