Civil Freedoms Under Threat

  • DHS says Terror Watchlist is exempt from Privacy Act

    Source: The Informant. DHS says Terror Watchlist is exempt from Privacy Act by Ali Winston.
    The federal government’s new anti-terror database, the Terror Screening Watchlist Service, went live. The database is loaded with an unknown amount of personal information, including names, photographs and biometric data. In a new turn that has civil liberties advocates crying foul, the Department of Homeland Security is claiming all information contained in the watchlist is confidential.

     
  • Want to Sue the FBI for Spying on Your Mosque? Sorry, That’s Secret.

    Source: Mother Jones. Want to Sue the FBI for Spying on Your Mosque? Sorry, That’s Secret. by Hamed Aleaziz.
    The state secrets privilege—perhaps the most powerful weapon in the government’s legal arsenal—has a complicated history. For years, Democrats, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, accused the Bush administration of overusing of the privilege, which allows the government to quash cases that involve national security before a court even hears evidence. Then, after Obama took office, his Justice Department used this get-out-of-court-free card repeatedly.

     
  • ACLU responds to government’s request for secrecy in mosque spying case

    Source: Associated Press  ACLU responds to government’s request for secrecy in mosque spying case August 5, 2011 LOS ANGELES — The ACLU of Southern California is protesting the U.S. government’s attempt to block information from being released in a lawsuit over the FBI’s monitoring of Orange County mosques. U.S. Attorney […]

     
  • Your face — and the Web — can tell everything about you

    Source: MSNBC. Your face — and the Web — can tell everything about you by Bob Sullivan.
    Imagine being able to sit down in a bar, snap a few photos of people and quickly learn who they are, who their friends are, where they live, what kind of music they like … even predict their Social Security number. Such technology is so creepy that it was developed, and withheld, by Google — the one initiative that Google deemed too dangerous to release to the world, according to former CEO Eric Schmidt. Too late, says Carnegie Mellon University researcher Alessandro Acquisti.

     
  • An Opinion by Judge on Spy Law Creates a Stir

    Source: New York Times. An Opinion by Judge on Spy Law Creates a Stir by CHARLIE SAVAGE.
    Proponents of press freedom have praised a ruling last week by a federal judge who protected a writer from being forced to testify in court about his sources for a book on the Central Intelligence Agency. But her opinion included a little-noticed passage: a suggestion that many journalists could be charged with a felony.

     
  • Judge OKs suit against Donald Rumsfeld over alleged torture

    Source: Politico. Judge OKs suit against Donald Rumsfeld over alleged torture by REID J. EPSTEIN.
    n American contractor who claims he was imprisoned and tortured by the U.S. military in Iraq can sue former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally for damages, The Associated Press reported. The man, whose name is withheld from court records, is a U.S. Army veteran who worked as a translator in Anbar province. The U.S. suspected him of helping Iraqi enemies acquire classified information and helping anti-coalition forces enter Iraq, the AP says, though he was never charged with a crime and says he never broke the law.

     
  • Revamped Detroit Metro Airport body scanners do away with explicit body images

    Source: Detroit Free Press Revamped Detroit Metro Airport body scanners do away with explicit body images BY ELLEN CREAGER  Aug. 4, 2011   Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus is in the process of installing and updating software in their new Advance Imaging Machines which does a full body scan of passengers […]

     
  • Boston TSA Agents Have Their Eyes on You

    Source: AOL Travel. Boston TSA Agents Have Their Eyes on You by AOL Travel Staff.

    Under a new pilot program kicking off in a little more than a week at Boston Logan International Airport, TSA employees will pose a variety of questions to passengers and determine whether or not they pose a threat based on their verbal and physical reactions to the queries. Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques is a method commonly used in Israel, where it has been fairly successful, but some doubt TSA agents, not exactly renowned for their sensitivity, are the keenest observers of subtlety.

     
  • Security Firm Sees Global Cyberspying

    Source: New York Times. Security Firm Sees Global Cyberspying by DAVID BARBOZA and KEVIN DREW.
    Cybersecurity is now a major international concern, with hackers gaining access to sensitive corporate and military secrets, including intellectual property. The report comes after high-profile computer network attacks aimed at the International Monetary Fund, Sony and the Lockheed Martin Corporation, America’s largest military contractor.

     
  • ACLU seeks info on how police use cellphone data

    Source: Associated Press  ACLU seeks info on how police use cellphone data By CRISTIAN SALAZAR August 3, 2011 The use of cellphone location data by law enforcement agencies is “shrouded in secrecy” even though it has become widespread throughout the country, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday in demanding […]