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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

How Vladimir Putin Has Cracked Down on Russia’s Internet

Newsweek: “Russia President Vladimir Putin has signed a law that blocks websites and internet services offering Russians a loophole into viewing content banned in their country. The law, signed by Putin Saturday and published by the government Sunday, claims to combat the spread of extremism but once again shuts down an avenue used by many Russians to circumvent their increasingly regulated internet. Last year, Russia flagged more Google content as “inappropriate” than all other governments combined. This law is the latest of several moves in which Putin, who recently rekindled a Soviet conspiracy theory about the internet being a “CIA project,” has handed internet censors sweeping powers. Newsweek takes a closer look at the Kremlin’s crackdown on the internet…”

Under digital surveillance: how American schools spy on millions of kids

UK Guardian: “Bark and similar tech companies are now monitoring the emails and documents of millions of American students, across thousands of school districts, looking for signs of suicidal thoughts, bullying or plans for a school shooting. The new school surveillance technology doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in… Continue Reading

NYT Opinion – The Chinese Threat to American Speech

American companies have an obligation to defend the freedom of expression, even at the risk of angering China. “China’s assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation’s… Continue Reading

It’s Not Just the Glass Ceiling — Career Barriers for Women Start at the Management Level

New York Public Radio – “For women climbing the corporate ladder, the “glass ceiling” may not be the primary barrier keeping women out of top spots in leadership.  A new report from LeanIn.org and McKinsey and Company says women actually run into the most significant barrier to their success early in their careers: the first step up… Continue Reading

Census Bureau asks states for driver’s license records to produce citizenship data

WHYY – “The Census Bureau is asking states to voluntarily share driver’s license records as part of the Trump administration’s efforts to produce detailed data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country. According to a statement the bureau released Tuesday, the requests are in response to an executive order President… Continue Reading

AI: Algorithms and Justice

Berkman Kein Center – “Government institutions around the globe are beginning to explore decision automation in a variety of contexts, from determining eligibility for services; to evaluating where to deploy health inspectors and law enforcement personnel; to defining boundaries around voting districts. Use cases for technologies that incorporate AI or machine learning will expand as… Continue Reading

Oxford – A Report of Disinformation Initiatives

“This is the first report of the Oxford Technology and Elections Commission (OxTEC).  Written and researched by BBC Monitoring’s specialist Disinformation Team, the report investigates fake news landscapes around the world and analyses a range of measures adopted by governments to combat disinformation. The analysis provides geopolitical context with timely, relevant examples from 19 countries… Continue Reading

SCOTUS ruling could completely alter lives of LGBTQ Americans

USA Today: “Four years ago, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, and many Americans believed the fight for LGBTQ equality was finally won. But that ruling did not address all the ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in their everyday lives. Same-sex partners can now legally marry, but in a majority of states you can still be… Continue Reading

Court rules FBI surveillance violated Americans’ rights

The Hill – “The secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ruled last year that some FBI surveillance violated the targets’ constitutional rights, the intelligence community revealed Tuesday. The ruling, a rare loss for the government on surveillance matters, found that the FBI may have violated the law, as well as constitutional protections against unreasonable searches, as it searched… Continue Reading

Legal Authority to Repurpose Funds for Border Barrier Construction

CRS report via FAS – Legal Authority to Repurpose Funds for Border Barrier Construction. Updated October 2, 2019: “President Trump has prioritized the construction of border barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Over the course of negotiations for FY2019 appropriations, the Administration asked Congress to appropriate $5.7 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for… Continue Reading

Martha Minow On Forgiveness In The Criminal Justice System

Berkman Klein Center – Harvard University – ““When Brandt Jean hugged the white police officer who had just been convicted of murdering his unarmed brother while he was in his own home, the act sparked a wider conversation about forgiveness, the law, and race in America. And while some saw officer Amber Guyger’s 10-year prison… Continue Reading

The Authoritarian’s Worst Fear? A Book

The New York Times – “Governments are spending a remarkable amount of resources attacking books — because their supposed limitations are beginning to look like ageless strengths. Around the world, many authoritarian regimes — having largely corralled the internet — now have declared war on the written word, their oldest enemy. The received wisdom after… Continue Reading