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Category Archive: Civil Liberties

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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Mar 14 2014

Will Obama Rein in the CIA?

In the wake of allegations that the CIA spied on the Senate committee that oversees it and hid evidence from them, along with revelations about the NSA’s data mining activities, there is at least some pressure on President Obama to rein in the power of America’s intelligence community. Will he? I think that’s unlikely. Eli …

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Mar 13 2014

Feinstein’s Hypocrtical Outrage

Remember that report about the CIA spying on staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week? Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs that committee and might as well be a Republican when it comes to government surveillance, is suddenly very outraged by this invasion of privacy.

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Mar 13 2014

Cruz’ Convenient Ignorance of History

Ted Cruz spoke at CPAC last week and delivered the standard line we hear from the right these days, who have suddenly discovered the limits on executive power after cheering on George W. Bush for 8 years while shredded the separation of powers and vastly expanded his own power.

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Mar 09 2014

CIA May Have Illegally Spied on Congress

When the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating the CIA torture program (the report of which the Obama administration still refuses to release), they made a deal with the CIA that they could use computers at the agency without being monitored. It looks like the CIA violated that agreement and spied on legislators and staffers anyway.

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Mar 06 2014

School Blackmails Parent Over SSA Club

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 …

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Mar 04 2014

New Revelation: NSA Spying on Webcam Chats

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:

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Mar 04 2014

Appeals Court Doesn’t Care About Fraudulent Forensics

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.

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Mar 03 2014

Indy Settles Suit Over Recording the Police

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.

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Mar 03 2014

Baltimore Police Threaten Man Who Filmed Them

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.

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Mar 03 2014

SCOTUS Issues Appalling Decision on Asset Forfeiture

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.

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Feb 20 2014

Clapper Lies About His Lie. Again.

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.

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Jan 29 2014

RNC vs Peter King on the NSA

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 …

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