Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • Report: Facebook, Google helped group run anti-Islam ads

    Source: The Hill. A group called Secure America Now spent millions of dollars on ads during the election cycle that linked Democratic candidates to terrorism or warned about the spread of Islamic Sharia law, according to Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s sources said that Google representatives met with the group on June 16, 2016, to discuss ways to improve the ad campaign. And Facebook used the group’s video ads to test out new video formats.

  • Why we ended long-term solitary confinement in Colorado

    Source: The New York Times. These reforms are unique to Colorado. It’s estimated that, around the country, more than 80,000 prisoners at any given time are held in isolated confinement. Long-term solitary was supposed to be rehabilitative, but it did not have that effect. Studies have found that inmates who have spent time in solitary confinement are more likely to reoffend than those who have not. Data shows that prisoners in solitary account for about half of all prison suicides; self-harm is also more common in solitary units than in less-restrictive ones. In addition, solitary confinement was intended to be a last resort for those who were too violent to be in a prison’s general population. But then we gradually included inmates who disrupted the efficient running of an institution. In other words, inmates could be placed in solitary for almost any reason, and they were.

  • Homeland Security want to collect immigrants’ social media information, but privacy groups are fighting back

    Civil Freedoms Under Threat September 27, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Newsweek. Privacy and freedom of expression groups have slammed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to monitor and collect social media information on all immigrants to the United States. The new requirement is due to take effect on October 18—the same day that immigration restrictions pronounced on Sunday by President Donald Trump on citizens of eight countries come into force. As well as immigrants to the United States, the new requirement would also affect permanent residents and naturalized citizens. By extension, it would also impact anyone who communicates with immigrants via social media, as their conversations could be reviewed by immigration officials.

  • Issue No. 549 – September 8, 2017

    IN THIS ISSUE-The Unlikely Jihadi-Man arrested in Villa Park, charged with fundraising for ISIS fighters-Woman who sought to join Islamic State group gets 8 years-The Trials of a Muslim Cop-ACLU Says South Florida Private Prison Giant Is Torturing Immigration Detainees-How Muslim Americans are fighting Islamophobia and securing their civil rights-A Secret Weapon In The Fight Against Islamophobia-Ann Arbor could join Supreme Court fight against Trump’s travel ban-The End of DACA Is the Latest Nightmare for Undocumented Muslims

  • Backed by police unions, legislators stand by laws to protect drivers who kill protesters

    Source: The Intercept. In the aftermath of the murder of activist Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, state legislators who had previously pushed to shield drivers who killed protesters with a moving vehicle are largely standing by their various efforts, arguing that their legislation would not have applied in this weekend’s attack. None of the proposed motorist immunity bills — debated in half a dozen states and backed by far-right personalities and law enforcement interests — have been made into law. Rather than backing away from the policy in light of the events in Charlottesville, legislators are doubling down.

  • Judge rejects Hawaii bid to exempt grandparents from Trump’s travel ban

    Source: The Washington Post (7/6): Judge rejects Hawaii bid to exempt grandparents from Trump’s travel ban
    U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson wrote that he would not “usurp the prerogative of the Supreme Court,” and if those suing over the ban wanted relief, they should take their claims there. That means the government, at least for now, can use the travel ban to block citizens of the affected countries if they are the grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law or sisters-in-law of people in the United States. Officials can also block refugees with a formal assurance from a resettlement agency.

  • Flimsy evidence and fringe sources land people on secretive banking watchlist

    Source: The Intercept. A corporate database used by banks and other institutions to screen clients for crimes such as money laundering and terror financing has labeled dozens of U.S. citizens as connected to terrorism on the basis of outdated or unsubstantiated allegations. An analysis of a 2014 copy of the database, which is known as World-Check, also indicates that many thousands of people, including children, were listed on the basis of tenuous links to crime or to politically prominent persons. The database relied on allegations stemming from right-wing Islamophobic websites to categorize under “terrorism” people and groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, several mosques, and national and regional Islamic organizations.

  • An indigenous woman is facing federal charges for protesting the Dakota access pipeline

    Source: Alternet. In an escalation of the criminalization of protesters, an indigenous woman is facing several federal charges for her involvement in the Standing Rock protests last fall. Red Fawn Fallis, 38, a member of the Oglala Sioux tribe, has been indicted on three federal charges, including federal civil disorder—a charge that is rarely pursued. “Nobody I’ve worked with previously has ever seen that charge,” Attorney Sandra Freeman said. “It comes from a law that is usually only invoked with the federal government decides to prosecute people involved in resistance.”

  • Yates: No advance notice travel ban would be enacted

    Source: The Hill. Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates says she wasn’t given advance notice that President Trump’s first travel ban would be enacted. Justice Department and Office of Legal Counsel lawyers who examined the order were told not to discuss it with Yates. Trump fired Yates after she refused to enforce his first travel ban, which was ultimately halted by a federal court and replaced with a revised order.

  • Ikraan Abdurahman, speaking in Rochester, MN

    Ikraan Abdurahman, speaking in Rochester, MN [Video: 18 min. 53 sec.]

    Ikraan Abdurahman, speaking about her brother Zacharia Abdurahman who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a what could bes be called a “thought crime”. The event, “Islamophobia and the War on Terror”, was held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester, MN on May 5, 2017. The event was co-sponsored by NCPCF.