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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

4th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Freeze of Trump Travel Plan

Washington Post: “A federal appeals court on Thursday left in place the freeze on President Trump’s revised entry ban, handing the administration another legal setback in its efforts to block the issuance of new visas to citizens of six Muslim-majority countries. The broad, decisive ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit means the Trump administration still cannot enforce its travel order that the government says is urgently needed for national security. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court. In a 10-to-3 decision, the Richmond-based court said the president’s power to deny entry into the United States is not absolute and sided with challengers, finding that the travel ban “in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

Marshall Project – New Tool That Could Revolutionize How We Measure Justice

Beth Schwartzapfel – The Marshall Project: “The enormity of the country’s criminal justice system — 15,000 state and local courts, 18,000 local law enforcement agencies, more than two million prisoners — looks even more daunting when you consider how little we know about what is actually going on in there. Want to know who we… Continue Reading

Apple – Report on Government and Private Party Requests for Customer Information

“Apple is very seriously committed to protecting your data and we work hard to deliver the most secure hardware, software and services available. We believe our customers have a right to understand how their personal data is managed and protected. This report provides information regarding requests Apple received from government agencies and private parties from… Continue Reading

How to Opt Out of Twitter’s New Privacy Settings

Follow up to previous posting – Twitter drops ‘Do Not Track’ privacy protection – via EFF, guidance on how to restore your privacy when using Twitter – “concerned users have to click “Review settings” to opt out of Twitter’s new mechanisms for user tracking. That will bring you to the “Personalization and Data” section of… Continue Reading

CIA releases Officially Released Information System database with 50 yrs of FOIA request documents

Via Muckrock’s work and posting as follows: “The results of the Agency’s ambitious project to track all the information its made public will soon become a valuable tool for government transparency. In 1985, citing concerns regarding “difficulty determining what has been publicly disclosed,” the CIA had a truly great idea that would serve both the… Continue Reading

CRS – Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy

Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, updated May 19, 2017. [Via FAS] “The United States, partner countries, and the Afghan government are attempting to reverse recent gains made by the resilient Taliban-led insurgency since the December 2014transition to a smaller international mission consisting primarily of training and advising the Afghanistan National Defense and Security… Continue Reading

The State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report

Institute for Research on Race & Public Policy (MC 347) University of Illinois at Chicago: “The State of Racial Justice in Chicago Report provides a comprehensive picture of the changing conditions of racial and ethnic groups in Chicago during the last half century. The report provides accessible data and analysis on how racial and ethnic groups… Continue Reading

Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Investigations of the Executive Branch by the Executive Branch

Special Counsels, Independent Counsels, and Special Prosecutors: Investigations of the Executive Branch by the Executive Branch, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 11, 2017. “Under constitutional principles and authorities, Congress has no direct role in federal law enforcement and is limited in its ability to initiate appointments of any prosecutor for any particular matter in which there… Continue Reading

Syria executing up to 50 “prisoners” each day using crematorium

The Washington Post – “At least 50 prisoners a day are being executed at the notorious Sednaya military prison outside Damascus, State Department officials said. Russia and Iran were accused of complicity in “atrocities.” The United States released aerial photos of the facility and said the information came from “intelligence assessments” and human rights groups.”… Continue Reading

Despite Hiring, Immigration Court Backlog and Wait Times Climb

“During the past 18 months, a total of 79 new judges have been appointed to the Immigration Court. Despite this spurt in hiring, it has not made a dent in the court’s mountainous backlog. Instead, the backlog along with wait times have steadily increased. As of the end of April 2017, the number of cases… Continue Reading

Freedom of the Press 2017 – Press Freedom’s Dark Horizon

Key Global Findings 2017 “Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 13 years in 2016 amid unprecedented threats to journalists and media outlets in major democracies and new moves by authoritarian states to control the media, including beyond their borders. Only 13 percent of the world’s population enjoys a Free press—that is, a… Continue Reading