Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • So You Think You’ve Arrested A Terrorist: TPM’s Incomplete Guide To Detainee Custody Under The NDAA

    Source: TPM. So You Think You’ve Arrested A Terrorist: TPM’s Incomplete Guide To Detainee Custody Under The NDAA By Ryan J. Reilly.
    President Barack Obama’s decision not to veto the National Defense Authorization Act over controversial and unclear provisions regarding the handling of certain kinds of terror suspects will leave law enforcement officials scrambling to rewrite the rules for how they respond to suspected terrorist incidents.

     
  • FBI Says Activists Who Investigate Factory Farms Can Be Prosecuted as Terrorists

    Source: Green Is The New Red. FBI Says Activists Who Investigate Factory Farms Can Be Prosecuted as Terrorists By Will Potter.
    The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has kept files on activists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and recommended prosecuting them as terrorists, according to a new document uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act.

     
  • Yes, Virginia, even the LED lights might be ‘listening’

    Source: Computer World. Yes, Virginia, even the LED lights might be ‘listening’ By Darlene Storm.
    In countries where there is no meaningful public debate on privacy, there is no reason to expect governments not to fully exploit the ability to build databases containing every phone conversation, location data for almost every person and vehicle, and video from every public space in an entire country

     
  • Civil liberties group calls for privacy protections involving domestic drones

    Source: CNN. Civil liberties group calls for privacy protections involving domestic drones By Jim Barnett.
    A leading organization advocating individual rights is recommending new rules and limits to protect the privacy of Americans in advance of expected expanded use of domestic drones by police and other law enforcement agencies. In a report released Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union recommends drones not be deployed indiscriminately unless there are grounds to believe the unmanned aerial planes will collect evidence about a specific crime, adding government power “needs to be subject to checks and balances.”

     
  • Domestic drones: Coming soon over a home near you?

    Source: MSNBC. Domestic drones: Coming soon over a home near you? By Sylvia Wood.
    The Federal Aviation Administration is preparing new rules that could make it easier for law enforcement agencies to use drone aircraft in the U.S., raising concerns about privacy at a time when the aircraft are already conducting surveillance missions in some parts of the country. The American Civil Liberties Union released a report Thursday demanding better protections against a surveillance society, “in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities.”

     
  • Hearing on Terror Suspect Explores Miranda Warning

    Source: New York Times. Hearing on Terror Suspect Explores Miranda Warning By Benjamin Weiser.
    Almost two years ago, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent was in Nigeria to question an Eritrean man who was in custody on suspicion of supporting terrorism. The suspect, Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, had already been interrogated by other American officials for intelligence-gathering purposes, without having been read his rights. The F.B.I. agent was there for a different purpose: a “clean” interrogation. He would apprise Mr. Ahmed of his Miranda rights — including the right to remain silent and to have counsel — and then interview him, in hopes of winning a confession that could be used in a prosecution in civilian court. But suppose the suspect, who was also known as Talha, refused to waive his rights and answer questions? The agent proposed an idea in an e-mail to his colleagues and to prosecutors.

     
  • Congress: Stop Targeting American Muslims and Protect Muslim Service Members

    Source: ACLU. Congress: Stop Targeting American Muslims and Protect Muslim Service Members By Devon Chaffee & Dena Sher.
    Today the Senate and House Homeland Security Committees will hold a hearing on “Homegrown Terrorism: The Threat to Military Communities Inside the United States.” In theirannouncement of the hearing, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) once again singled out Islam and American Muslim communities as the focus of their terrorism inquiry to the detriment of U.S. counterterrorism efforts and of American Muslims serving their country.

     
  • Cellphone companies accused of violating wiretap law

    Source: The Hill. Cellphone companies accused of violating wiretap law By Brendan Sasso.
    A group of consumers sued major cellphone manufacturers and wireless carriers on Friday, accusing the companies of violating federal wiretap and privacy laws by using the Carrier IQ tracking software. Trevor Eckhart, a systems administrator in Connecticut, posted a video last week claiming to show that Carrier IQ, which is embedded in millions of Android, BlackBerry and Nokia phones, tracks users’ every key stroke. He said the software could collect the phone numbers consumers dial, the contents of their text messages, the websites they visit, their search queries and even their location. Lawmakers including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) have demanded more information about the tracking software.

     
  • Immigration, Racial Profiling, Patriot Act Divide Republicans At GOP Debate

    Source: ABC News. Immigration, Racial Profiling, Patriot Act Divide Republicans At GOP Debate By Michael Falcone, Shushannah Walshe and Z. Byron Wolf.
    Ron Paul (R-TX): “Our early founders were very clear,” the Texas congressman said. “They said, ‘Don’t be willing to sacrifice liberty for security.’ Today it seems too easy that our government and our Congress is so willing to give up our liberties for our security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.”

     
  • At GOP debate, candidates spar over Patriot Act

    Source: Los Angeles Times. At GOP debate, candidates spar over Patriot Act By Kim Geiger.
    Asked whether the Patriot Act should be strengthened, Gingrich launched into a lecture about “the difference between national security requirements and criminal law requirements.” The government should be allowed to pursue suspected terrorists differently than the way domestic criminals are sought, he said. “I’d look at strengthening [the Patriot Act] because I think the dangers are literally that great,” Gingrich said.