The story of the SSA club at Pigsah High School in North Carolina just gets worse by the day. First they refused to let the club form, then they approved it, then the young lady who was trying to get it started withdrew due to death threats and intimidation. Hemant reports on what else the …
Category Archive: Civil Liberties
Mar 06 2014
Mar 04 2014
The revelations continue to come out from the documents Edward Snowden leaked to the Guardian. My former AINN colleague Spencer Ackerman, now the national security editor for that paper, told NPR about documents that show the NSA and the British intelligence agencies have eavesdropped on millions of webcam chats:
Mar 04 2014
Radley Balko reports on a terrible ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that just glosses over major problems with forensic science in the state of Mississippi that may well have resulted in many innocent people being convicted. The case involves Steven Hayne, the coroner that Balko exposed years ago and got fired.
Mar 03 2014
The city of Indianapolis has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a man who was abused and arrested for videotaping police officers making an arrest on false charges. They agreed to pay the man $200,000 and to instruct officers that they can’t arrest someone for videotaping them.
Mar 03 2014
Here’s yet another case where a man is videotaping the police making an arrest and they tell them that he has no freedom of speech and threaten to arrest him for having committed no crime whatsoever. It’s all caught on video. Every single officer involved should be facing punishment for this.
Mar 03 2014
The Supreme Court on Thursday handed down an absolutely appalling, though not surprising, decision that makes it even easier for the government to seize your assets on the grounds that they were gained through the commission of a crime before ever convicting you of that alleged crime. The case is Kaley v United States.
Feb 20 2014
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has now given us a second lie about why he lied to the Senate and the American public about not collecting data on millions of Americans. The first dishonest excuse was that he gave the “least untruthful” answer to the question. Now he says he misunderstood the question.
Jan 29 2014
The Republican National Committee last week made the blatantly hypocritical move of adopting a resolution condemning what they called unconstitutional NSA surveillance programs. This from the same party that defended illegal surveillance under Bush (though to be fair, Bush isn’t black). Rep. Peter King is hopping mad about it because he may be wrong, but …
Jan 24 2014
Lots of people know about the existence of private prisons but private probation is an equally terrible idea with equally unjust results. The Economist’s Democracy in America blog takes a look at how private probation companies pile fees and penalties on those on probation and pass the cost on to taxpayers.
Jan 23 2014
As the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Danielle Cadet gave an important reminder of the dangers of illegal surveillance by the government and the nefarious uses it can be put to, recalling how the FBI bugged King’s home and office and used information it gained to try to make him commit suicide.
Jan 22 2014
Geoffrey Stone, the University of Chicago law school professor who served on President Obama’s review group on the NSA and privacy, thinks that the president’s recent speech and immediate reforms are important steps in reining in illegal surveillance. In particular, he praises him for the decision to require the NSA to get warrants from the …
Jan 20 2014
President Obama gave what was billed as a very important speech on Friday that included a new presidential directive to rein in the NSA’s data mining programs and provide more safeguards for privacy. It was, predictably, a mostly meaningless collection of surface reforms that change very little.
Jan 16 2014
A new study from the New America Foundation of 225 terrorism cases concludes that the NSA’s cell phone metadata mining program has done nothing to prevent terrorism. In fact, only 4 times in all of those cases did the NSA use any authority under Section 215 of the Patriot Act at all.
Jan 16 2014
A New Mexico state judge has ruled in a case brought by the ACLU that the state cannot prosecute doctors who aid their patients in ending their lives peacefully and painlessly. Judge Nan Nash ruled that a mentally competent person has a right to do that and to be helped in doing so:
Jan 03 2014
In the last couple weeks, two separate judges have ruled on the NSA’s cell phone data mining operation. One of them, a Bush appointee, said the program is clearly unconstitutional; the other, a Clinton nominee, said the program is clearly constitutional. Andrew Cohen notes that the two rulings are almost completely opposite one another in …