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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

A journalist’s guide to using RCFP’s legal hotline

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: “As reporters across the country covered the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests this past summer, the free legal hotline for journalists operated by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press saw a huge spike in usage, reflecting journalists’ demand for legal guidance during one… Continue Reading

What Writing a Pandemic Newsletter Showed Me About America

Wired – Patrice Peck: “In April, I started Coronavirus News for Black Folks. It gave me a kind of second sight. I could see where the country is headed—and how blind it’s been….I shut myself in my Brooklyn apartment, binge-reading about virology and venturing out only for groceries and a brisk walk now and then.… Continue Reading

U.S. Schools Are Buying Phone-Hacking Tech That the FBI Uses to Investigate Terrorists

Gizmodo: “In May 2016, a student enrolled in a high-school in Shelbyville, Texas, consented to having his phone searched by one of the district’s school resource officers. Looking for evidence of a romantic relationship between the student and a teacher, the officer plugged the phone into a Cellebrite UFED to recover deleted messages from the… Continue Reading

A Political Obituary for Donald Trump

The Atlantic –  The effects of his reign will linger. But democracy survived. “To assess the legacy of Donald Trump’s presidency, start by quantifying it. Since last February, more than a quarter of a million Americans have died from COVID-19—a fifth of the world’s deaths from the disease, the highest number of any country. In… Continue Reading

EEOC Explore Tool 2/2

EEOC Explore Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  – “What is EEOC Explore? – EEOC Explore is an interactive data query and mappingtoolthatgives users access to the mostcurrent, granular, and privacy protected aggregate EEO-1 data publiclyavailable.EEOC Exploreallows users to analyzeaggregatedata associated with more than 56 million employees and73,000 employers nationwide. The user-friendly tool enables stakeholders to explore… Continue Reading

Face Recognition Software Shows Improvement in Recognizing Masked Faces

Technology.org: “The findings, produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), are detailed in a new report called Ongoing Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) Part 6B: Face Recognition Accuracy with Face Masks Using Post-COVID-19 Algorithms (NISTIR 8331). It is the agency’s first study that measures the performance of face recognition algorithms developed following… Continue Reading

Doctors Release Their ‘Most Worrying Outlook’ on How Climate Change Is Ruining Our Health

Gizmodo – “The doctors are here to give the Earth its annual checkup, and they say it’s running a fever which is making people sick. They issued their findings showing all the ways climate change is affecting our health in the annual Lancet Countdown, published on Wednesday. “The indicators included in the 2020 global report… Continue Reading

Police Will Pilot a Program to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras

EFF: “This is not a drill. Red alert: The police surveillance center in Jackson, Mississippi, will be conducting a 45-day pilot program to live stream the security cameras, including Amazon Ring cameras, of participating residents.  Since Ring first made a splash in the private security camera market, we’ve been warning of its potential to undermine the… Continue Reading

The algorithms are watching us, but who is watching the algorithms?

ZDNet – “A two-year investigation into the private and public use of AI systems shows that more oversight is needed, particularly in government services like policing. Empowering algorithms to make potentially life-changing decisions about citizens still comes with significant risk of unfair discrimination, according to a new report published by the UK’s Center for Data… Continue Reading

‘Extremely aggressive’ internet censorship spreads in the world’s democracies

“The largest collection of public internet censorship data ever compiled shows that even citizens of what are considered the world’s freest countries aren’t safe from internet censorship. The University of Michigan team used its own Censored Planet tool, an automated censorship tracking system launched in 2018, to collect more than 21 billion measurements over 20… Continue Reading

Cheating-detection companies made millions during the pandemic. Now students are fighting back.

Washington Post -“With remote proctors watching them take tests, some worry that even leaving for the bathroom will brand them as cheats…“Online proctoring” companies saw in coronavirus shutdowns a chance to capitalize on a major reshaping of education, selling schools a high-tech blend of webcam-watching workers and eye-tracking software designed to catch students cheating on… Continue Reading