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Category Archives: Free Speech

DHS Privacy Complaints Increase in 2013, Many Databases Kept Secret

EPIC – “The Department of Homeland Security Quarterly Report to Congress details programs and databases affecting privacy. According to the agency, DHS received 964 privacy complaints between September 1, 2013 and November 30, 2013. By contrast, DHS received 295 privacy complaints during the same period in 2011. According to the report, most DHS systems complies with Privacy Act noticeContinue Reading

Economic View of Internet Freedom Issue

Rasim Alguliev, Farhad Yusifov - ICDS 2014, The Eighth International Conference on Digital Society, March 2014 “In the present research, we examine the relationship between the Internet freedom and various social, political and especially economic factors, as they affect the Internet growth. The results show a strong relationship between a country’s GDP and Internet penetration. In general,Continue Reading

EFF – Reforming Terms of Service: Microsoft Changes Its Policy on Access to User Data

News release: “Last week we wrote about initial news reports that Microsoft had searched and disclosed the contents of a blogger’s Hotmail account as part of an internal investigation into the alleged theft of Microsoft source code and other trade secrets. Since then, EFF has been in touch with Microsoft to discuss our objections to the company’sContinue Reading

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013

John F. Kerry – Secretary of State: “As we mark the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices highlight the continued pursuit of “free and equal dignity in human rights” in every corner of the world. Based on factual reporting from our embassies andContinue Reading

Who’s Overseeing Whom? The CIA, SSCI, and the Speech or Debate Clause

CRS – Who’s Overseeing Whom? The CIA, SSCI, and the Speech or Debate Clause “In a Tuesday floor speech, Senator Dianne Feinstein accused the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of monitoring a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) computer network that was used by Committee staff while conducting an investigation into CIA interrogation techniques.  Many facts remain in dispute, and indeed,Continue Reading

Pew – Emerging and Developing Nations Want Freedom on the Internet

“There is widespread opposition to internet censorship in emerging and developing nations. Majorities in 22 of 24 countries surveyed say it is important that people have access to the internet without government censorship. In 12 nations, at least seven-in-ten hold this view. Support for internet freedom is especially strong in countries where a large percentage ofContinue Reading

New Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Hearing

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board – “Committed to the protection of civil liberties and privacy in the nation’s efforts against terrorism” 19 March Hearing – Agenda, Witness Testimony Now Available See also ComputerWorld: “A U.S. National Security Agency surveillance program focused on overseas telephone and email communications is targeted and narrow, and not the bulk collectionContinue Reading

GAO Report – Whistleblower Protection Program

WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION PROGRAM: Opportunities Exist for OSHA and DOT to Strengthen Collaborative Mechanisms, GAO-14-286: Published: Mar 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 2014: ” The number of transportation-related whistleblower claims filed with OSHA has increased in the last 6 years—from 508 in fiscal year 2008 to 821 in fiscal year 2013—and GAO’s interviews with transportation industry stakeholders identifiedContinue Reading

Google’s Top Exec – data now safe from government spying

2014 SXSW conference in Austin, Texas via the Guardian: Eric Schmidt to dictators: ‘You don’t turn off the internet: you infiltrate it’: “Google’s executive chairman concerned by manipulative new approach of governments spooked by popular uprisings…Schmidt was pressed on the last year’s revelations of surveillance by agencies including the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US,Continue Reading

Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests

CRS - Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests. Jim Nichol, Coordinator, Specialist in Russian and Eurasian Affairs. March 5, 2014. “Russia made uneven progress in democratization during the 1990s, but this limited progress was reversed after Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999-2000, according to many observers. During this period, the State Duma (lower legislative chamber) became dominated byContinue Reading

Paper – Is Data Speech?

Is Data Speech? January 2014 66 Stan. L. Rev. 57. Jane Bambauer, Associate Professor of Law, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law; J.D., Yale Law School; B.S., Yale College. “Privacy laws rely on the unexamined assumption that the collection of data is not speech. That assumption is incorrect. Privacy scholars, recognizing an imminent clash betweenContinue Reading

The Economist, Essay – What’s gone wrong with democracy

[snipped - article includes charts and graphics] – “Democracy is going through a difficult time. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Even in established democracies, flaws in the system have become worryingly visible and disillusion with politics is rife. Yet just a fewContinue Reading