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Category Archive: Civil Liberties

Apr 15 2014

The IRS May Be a Bit Out of Control

No one likes the IRS, but this appalling and infuriating story is likely to make you like that agency even less. They’re now withholding tax refund checks from people whose long-dead parents had federal debts from decades ago, and we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Apr 15 2014

Indiana Court: Police Testimony Trumps Video

In an age where it has become absolutely routine to have video evidence that shows police officers to be lying in their reports and testimony, the Indiana Supreme Court is coming down firmly on the side of “who are you gonna believe, the cop or your lying eyes?”

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Apr 09 2014

The TSA’s Penchant for Theft

A TSA agent named Pythias Brown was convicted of stealing $800,000 from passengers at Newark International Airport over the course of many years and he says this sort of thing is quite routine from TSA agents around the country. In fact, look at this staggering statistic:

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Apr 04 2014

How to Put a Stop to Stop and Frisk

Christopher Smith is a white law professor with a black son who goes to Harvard. When his son was doing an internship on Wall Street for a summer he was stopped repeatedly by the police as part of their Stop and Frisk program. His father writes a powerful essay about it.

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Apr 04 2014

Major Win for Atheist in Religious Drug Treatment Case

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an atheist man from Missouri who was denied parole on a drug charge because he refused to submit to a religious rehab program and the state refused to send him to a secular one. The denial of his original grievance and his loss at …

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Apr 03 2014

VA Sheriff Wants to Set Up Innocence Commission

Sheriff Chip Harding of Albemarle County, Virginia wants the state to set up an innocence commission to help prevent wrongful convictions. If established, it would be the second one that I’m aware of, the first being in Dallas, Texas, where District Attorney Craig Watkins set it up. And what Harding wrote to his fellow law …

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Mar 30 2014

Former CIA Agent Hammers Feinstein

Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi has some choice words for Dianne Feinstein and other leaders in the legislative and executive branches who tut tut about the Bush torture regime while doing absolutely nothing to bring about justice or to reveal their own role in making it happen.

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Mar 30 2014

Bin Laden Son-in-Law Convicted

Hey, remember all that Republican fury over the idea that terrorists could be tried in civilian courts and convicted without the world coming to an end and dogs and cats living together? Turns out, not so much. Osama Bin Laden’s son-in-law was convicted in civilian court in New York, just like hundreds of others have …

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Mar 27 2014

Obama to Rein In Telephone Metadata Collection?

The New York Times reports that President Obama is preparing to submit legislation that would rein in the NSA’s metadata collection activities. This is a follow up to his statement in January that he wants those records stored elsewhere and to require FISA warrants before being accessed.

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Mar 26 2014

The Broken Criminal Justice System

Glenn Reynolds, law professor and the infamous Instapundit, has a good op-ed in USA Today wherein he declares, correctly, that our criminal justice system is a crime in and of itself. He points out how prosecutors vastly overcharge to force plea bargains:

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Mar 25 2014

Docs Confirm Metadata Snooping Started Under Bush

Newly released documents that were apparently submitted by the federal government in several legal challenges to the NSA’s illegal surveillance programs confirm that the mining of metadata from emails began under direct order from President Bush.

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Mar 24 2014

House Republicans Discover Limits of Executive Power

Last week the House of Representatives passed the Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law Act, of ENFORCE the Law Act (seriously, do they have someone whose job it is to come up with painfully ridiculous acronyms in Congress?). Jacob Sullum notes the hypocrisy:

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Mar 20 2014

Welfare Drug Testing Still a Terrible Idea

Mississippi is about to become the 9th state to institute a program of mandatory drug testing for those who receive public assistance, which at least one federal court has already declared unconstitutional (in Florida; the case is under appeal). The New Republic interviews a health policy expert on it:

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Mar 17 2014

It Gets Worse: NSA Hacking Operations Revealed

As if the revelations of NSA data mining released by Edward Snowden weren’t already disturbing enough, now Glenn Greenwald reports on new information from the documents he turned over that show the NSA is potentially hacked into millions of computers.

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Mar 14 2014

Inventer of WWW Wants Online Bill of Rights

As battles continue over net neutrality in the United States, the man who invented the world wide web is using the 25th anniversary of its debut to argue for an international online bill of rights to guarantee access to the internet without interference.

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