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From "Not The Onion"

NSA Tried To Delete Court Transcript In Lawsuit Over Deleting Evidence On three separate occasions in the Jewel V. NSA case, the NSA sought to delete evidence. Then it sought to redact the transcript.
posted by Sleeper on Aug 9, 2014 - 41 comments

The *first* revelation this week, at least

This week's Glenn Greenwald revelation is that Britain's GCHQ JTRIG intelligence organization offers its agents and planners tools with abilities to increase the search ranking of chosen web sites, “change outcome of online polls”, “masquerade Facebook Wall Posts for individuals or entire countries”, and accomplish “amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube).” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jul 16, 2014 - 54 comments

Surveillance state reverse

Reuters: EU court rules against requirement to keep data of telecom users [different news sources: BBC, The Register] Considerably more detail is available in the ECJ press release (pdf) and the full judgement but the Court has invalidated Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC and struck a very clear blow against metadata storage in national law as the authority of the directive will soon cease to exist. This has a particular impact for UK MeFites, as UK law was based on the Directive and crucially passed through Parliament via the European Communities Act and thus skipped some review steps but is founded on the validity of the directive being implemented. Remaining national law would of course also be open to challenge on the same grounds. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Apr 8, 2014 - 5 comments

Outsourcing the surveillance state

A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry
posted by shothotbot on Mar 5, 2014 - 46 comments

Pussy Riot

What Does Pussy Riot Mean Now? "With all eyes on Russia, two members of the country’s most notorious band of shit-stirrers are free after nearly two years of political imprisonment and enjoying the rock-star treatment during their first trip to the U.S. But the group’s unlikely journey from art-school project to international icons shows just how rotten Russia has become and how much the mission has changed."
posted by homunculus on Feb 7, 2014 - 57 comments

Chilling Effects: NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor

“I have dropped stories in the past and avoided research on the company telephone due to concerns over wiretapping or eavesdropping.”
“I have made a conscious, deliberate choice to avoid certain conversation topics in electronic emails out of concern that those communications may be surveilled.”
[PDF]
A survey by the literary organization PEN America shows the chilling effects NSA surveillance has had on writers in the United States.
posted by anemone of the state on Nov 12, 2013 - 39 comments

"He did away with the propaganda machine and did it for all of us"

(MeFi's own) Jacob Appelbaum receives Transparency International's (DE) 2013 Whistleblower Prize on behalf of Edward Snowden (statement from Snowden starts here) joined remotely by Glenn Greenwald.
posted by anemone of the state on Aug 31, 2013 - 24 comments

Laura Poitras

How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets. "It all started with her own fight against surveillance." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 13, 2013 - 94 comments

The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture

Taken: The Use and Abuse of Civil Forfeiture. "Under civil forfeiture, Americans who haven’t been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all we’re losing?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 5, 2013 - 89 comments

Immigration services actually acting reasonably shocker

"For the last two years, the agency has kept a list of same-sex couples whose green card petitions were denied, the officials said, anticipating that the Supreme Court would eventually weigh in on DOMA. Those denials will now be reversed without couples having to present new applications, if no other issues have arisen." -- The US Immigration and Citizenship Services agency has issued the first green card to a partner in a gay marriage.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 2, 2013 - 58 comments

Ag Gag

Gagged by Big Ag. "Horrific abuse. Rampant contamination. And the crime is…exposing it?"
posted by homunculus on Jun 19, 2013 - 58 comments

Corporations hijacked the First Amendment

The Right to Evade Regulation: How corporations hijacked the First Amendment.
posted by homunculus on Jun 4, 2013 - 12 comments

Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform

A picture of you plus name, age, SS# in a National Database ACLU of Northern CA call to action. via [more inside]
posted by snaparapans on May 15, 2013 - 83 comments

Free Speech on the Internet

The Delete Squad: Google, Twitter, Facebook and the new global battle over the future of free speech.
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2013 - 27 comments

All your devices belong to US

Wired: DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border [Source policy document]. Americans may find it useful to note that the definition of 'border' includes up to 100 miles from the nearest actual international border line.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 10, 2013 - 83 comments

On the importance of learning from past movements

Gideon Oliver spoke to me of the devastating effect this kind of surveillance has had on activists. “People fear that detectives are following them around. They panic. It’s a movement-dismantling tactic.” Most Occupy protesters are new to activism and are emotionally unprepared to deal with this kind of intimidation. Nor, so far as I have seen, are they inclined to seek the advice of older activists who were under surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s, before the protections of the original Handschu Decree, which prohibited political spying, were put in place. Those activists nevertheless found ways to continue their political work.
From an article on the NYPD's Intel Division. [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Oct 23, 2012 - 34 comments

"We need to get this SNAFU under control rapidly".

My fellow Oceanians, you know we've always been at war with Eurasia
(Or is it Eastasia?) Either way it's war and we need division to wage it
But now the proles are connecting online bypassing these illusory divisions
Of race, religion and nationality (Sounds grand to me?!) It's a catastrophe!

Rap News (previously) analyzes the ongoing struggle of civil liberties in the Internet Age.
Will it remain the one open frequency where humanity can bypass filters and barriers, or become the greatest spying machine ever imagined?

posted by dunkadunc on Sep 10, 2012 - 30 comments

"There's nothing more aggravating in the world than the midnight sniffling of the person you've decided to hate." ― Shannon Hale, Book of a Thousand Days

The DoJ drops all remaining investigation and prosecution of US War on Terror deaths/murders through harsh tactics/torture: "No Charges Filed on Harsh Tactics Used by the C.I.A." [NYT] Glenn Greenwald reacts and describes the cases that just got dropped. [Guardian] Second link is arguably a violence trigger, but is better and bothers to do things like talk to the ALCU.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 2, 2012 - 209 comments

The War on Whistleblowers

The year 2009 began a disturbing new trend: the criminalization of whistleblowing. The Obama administration has pursued a quiet but relentless campaign against the news media and their sources. This Article focuses on the sources who, more often than not, are whistleblowers. A spate of “leak” prosecutions brought under the Espionage Act has shaken the world of whistleblower attorneys, goodgovernment groups, transparency organizations, and civil liberties advocates. The Obama administration has prosecuted five criminal cases under the Espionage Act, which is more than all other presidential administrations combined. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Aug 15, 2012 - 32 comments

Challenging the Surveillance State

"If the government is able to learn what we speak about, and know who we're talking to, and know what it is that we're planning, it makes any kind of activism extremely difficult, because secrecy and privacy are prerequisites to effective activism. "
Glenn Greenwald on challenging the surveillance state: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4).
posted by dunkadunc on Jul 1, 2012 - 48 comments

Profiled By The TSA? There's An App For That.

FlyRights is a smartphone app designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling. By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition, the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
posted by mattdidthat on May 2, 2012 - 38 comments

'Nobody wants to be on the list of the FBI or the NYPD or whatever.'

NYPD monitored Muslim students all over the Northeast, reading their blogs, even sending an agent on a City College rafting trip. A 'secret' police report is here.
posted by xowie on Feb 19, 2012 - 61 comments

Occupied America?

For the past 48 years the U.S. Congress has passed a version of The National Defense Authorization Act. The purpose of the act is to set the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense. This year's act has some controversial provisions. President Obama has threatened a veto. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Dec 6, 2011 - 127 comments

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

A series of emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request shine light on collusion between the United States government and TransCanada, a corporation building a controversial pipeline from the Canadian Athabasca oil sands into its southern neighbor. The controversy extends beyond the currently poor safety record for delivering oil between the two countries, and beyond the environmental and health consequences of the oil extraction process for locals and the cost of climate changes it will contribute to, all the way to legal wrangling between Canadian media and Saudi Arabia over the "death panels"-like term "ethical oil", based upon a conservative group's advertising that argues that the purchase of Canadian-sourced oil is a morally superior act, because of oppression of women and human rights violations by the Saudi kingdom.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 3, 2011 - 73 comments

Terrorists for the FBI

Terrorists for the FBI: Inside the Bureau's secret network that surveils and entraps Americans.
posted by homunculus on Aug 22, 2011 - 36 comments

UK London Met police proposed undemocratic refusal of bail to all arrested in London riots.

London Metropolitan Police formulated policy of refusing bail to all arrested in London riots which might have influenced high remand in custody rate.
posted by maiamaia on Aug 22, 2011 - 30 comments

GPS Tracking

Battle Brews Over FBI’s Warrantless GPS Tracking. How to Check Your Car for a GPS Tracker. FBI Vehicle-Tracking Device: The Teardown. Video: The Dissection of an FBI Bumper-Beeper. Previously.
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2011 - 81 comments

"The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy"

On January 13, 2011 Freedom House released ts findings from the latest edition of Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties. According to the survey’s findings, 2010 was the fifth consecutive year in which global freedom suffered a decline—the longest period of setbacks for freedom in the nearly 40-year history of the report. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jan 27, 2011 - 8 comments

"I wanna hold her hand and show her some beauty before this damage is done"

Arcade Fire: The Suburbs. Youtube. A video by Spike Jonze. Background: 1, 2, 3. Previously
posted by zarq on Nov 24, 2010 - 29 comments

Twitter Joke Trial

Back in May this year, British Twitter user Paul Chambers was found guilty of sending a 'menacing electronic communication'. The communication in question? A Twitter update written when stuck at an airport, saying the following: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Nov 12, 2010 - 73 comments

Oil Change & GPS Tracker Removal, Only $19.99!

A mechanic noticed a strange device under the hood of a customer's car and offered to remove it for him. The customer, an Egyptian-American student named Yasir Afifi, shows his roommate, who posts pictures of it on Reddit to find out what the heck it is. Turns out it's an FBI GPS tracking device, and the agency turned up quickly demanding he give it back. The ACLU is reportedly getting involved. [more inside]
posted by richyoung on Oct 8, 2010 - 121 comments

No right to lawyer during interrogation in Canada

Canadians do not have the right to a lawyer when being interrogated by the police. [more inside]
posted by twirlip on Oct 8, 2010 - 79 comments

Canadian bill to permit detention without trial passes second reading

The Combating Terrorism Act (C-17) has passed second reading in Canada's House of Commons with the support of both Liberals and Conservatives. The bill would allow terrorism suspects to be jailed without trial for up to 12 months. So far it has been completely ignored by Canada's mainstream media. [more inside]
posted by twirlip on Sep 30, 2010 - 30 comments

"We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals."

In late July the American Civil Liberties Union released "Establishing a New Normal" (pdf), an 18 month review of national security, civil liberties and human rights under the Obama Administration.
posted by IvoShandor on Aug 9, 2010 - 30 comments

It's 2027. Welcome to Britain.

The Curfew "is an adventure web-game created by Littleloud, published by Channel 4 and written by acclaimed comic book author, Kieron Gillen. Set in 2027 in the heart of an authoritarian security state, The Curfew could be described as a miniature Canterbury Tales set in a not-so-distant future, where citizens must abide by government security measures and 'sub citizens' are placed under curfew at night. The player must navigate this complex political world and engage with the characters they meet along the way to work out who they should trust in order to gain freedom. Choose wisely and you could change the course of history. Choose poorly, and it'll be changed for you."
posted by catchingsignals on Aug 6, 2010 - 55 comments

Spy Files: Illegal Domestic Spying

ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance. "The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report (PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying."
posted by homunculus on Jun 29, 2010 - 12 comments

I think it's time for debate.

Going To Pot: Could Legalizing Marijuana Solve California’s Deficit? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 21, 2010 - 136 comments

"You Can't Patent Nature"

Followup to this post: A US District Court has ruled that Myriad Genetic's patents on breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which allow them to hold exclusive rights to a widely used genetic test for inherited breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, are invalid. Genomics Law Report analyzes the ruling in two posts. The decision is likely to be challenged in a legal appeal — but if upheld, it could have huge implications for the biotechnology industry. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2010 - 51 comments

"Women hold up half the sky"

The Women’s Crusade: Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of Our Time.
posted by homunculus on Aug 19, 2009 - 39 comments

Do they preserve scientific transparency, protect profits or both?

On behalf of medical organizations, universities, & individual patients, pathologists and genetics researchers, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Utah-based Myriad Genetics and the US Patent and Trademark Office. Myriad holds the US patents to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, associated with hereditary causes of breast and ovarian cancers. Their patents guarantee the company the right to prevent anyone else from testing or studying those genes, which the ACLU says is unconstitutional and inhibits researchers from finding treatments and cures. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 13, 2009 - 64 comments

Stellar Wind

The Fed Who Blew the Whistle: Is he a hero or a criminal? Three years after the New York Times first revealed the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program, whistleblower Thomas Tamm has acknowledged his role in making it public. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 16, 2008 - 51 comments

No 'Unlawful Killing' allowed.

Further to the cover up and the initial claims the jury has reached a verdict in the De Menezes inquest. [more inside]
posted by fistynuts on Dec 12, 2008 - 22 comments

Pleasant Grove City v. Summum

The previously-mentioned Summums want to place their own monument in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk." [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur on Nov 13, 2008 - 116 comments

NSA Has ‘Routinely’ Listened In On Americans’ Phone Calls, Passed Around ‘Salacious’ Bits

"Ever since President Bush confirmed the existence of a National Security Administration wiretapping program in late 2005, he has insisted it is aimed only at terrorists’ calls and protects Americans’ civil liberties ("This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America — and I repeat: limited.")....However, ABC News reports [text with embedded video] that the NSA frequently listened to and transcribed the private phone calls of Americans abroad....These conversations included those of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and American aid workers abroad, such as Doctors Without Borders."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Oct 9, 2008 - 75 comments

Roger Williams

The First Founder: The American Revolution of Roger Williams. [Via 3quarksdaily]
posted by homunculus on Aug 31, 2008 - 8 comments

"Are we in the midst of a coup?"

2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2008 - 74 comments

China's Olympian Human Rights Challenges

Beijing 2008: China's Olympian Human Rights Challenges. This website was set up by Human Rights Watch to monitor human rights issues in China during the run-up to the Olympics. "This is a historic opportunity for China to show it has the confidence to make tangible and sustainable progress in ensuring basic human rights for its 1.3 billion citizens." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 11, 2008 - 34 comments

Woeser

A Lone Tibetan Voice, Intent on Speaking Out. Woeser (previously mentioned here) is a Tibetan writer and poet living under house arrest in Beijing, from where she blogs about the recent unrest in Tibet (there are English translations of her posts at China Digital Times). Last year she was awarded the Norwegian Authors Union Freedom of Expression Prize, but she was not allowed to travel to Oslo to collect the prize.
posted by homunculus on May 6, 2008 - 15 comments

Shred the banana peel

State Secrets: A government misstep in a wiretapping case. A New Yorker article on the Kafkaesque case of Al Haramain v. Bush. [Via Threat Level.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2008 - 20 comments

Charges against artist Steve Kurtz thrown out

Biomaterial charges against N.Y. art professor dismissed. A judge has thrown out the charges against Steve Kurtz. Finally. Kurtz's case was previously discussed here and here. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 21, 2008 - 29 comments

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