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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

How China Made Its Own Internet

The New York Times – Today, China has the world’s only internet companies that can match America’s in ambition and reach.

It is years ahead of the United States in replacing paper money with smartphone payments, turning tech giants into vital gatekeepers of the consumer economy. And it is host to a supernova of creative expression — in short videos, podcasts, blogs and streaming TV — that ought to dispel any notions of Chinese culture as drearily conformist. All this, on a patch of cyberspace that is walled off from Facebook and Google, policed by tens of thousands of censors and subject to strict controls on how data is collected, stored and shared. China’s leaders like the internet they have created. And now, they want to direct the nation’s talent and tech acumen toward an even loftier end: building an innovation-driven economy, one that produces world-leading companies…”

Rape suspects walk free. Victims don’t get justice. And police get to count it as a success

ProPublica: “…Across [Baltimore] country, dozens of law enforcement agencies are making it appear as though they have solved a significant share of their rape cases when they simply have closed them, according to an investigation by Newsy, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica based on data from more than 60 police agencies… Continue Reading

International law regarding use of force

Oxford University Press Blog: “Through the power of precedent, international incidents involving the use of force help to clarify the meaning and interpretation of jus ad bellum, the corpus of rules arising from international custom and the United Nations Charter that govern the use of force. UN Charter Article 2(4) forbids states from using force… Continue Reading

Harvard 50-State Criminal Justice Debt Reform Builder

Criminal Justice Policy Program at Harvard Law School, 50-State Criminal Justice Debt Reform Builder – “Criminal justice debt – the system of fees and fines in the criminal justice system – has serious consequences. The Criminal Justice Debt Reform Builder brings transparency to this area of significant legal complexity: it gives easier access to state… Continue Reading

‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America

The Washington Post – “Nothing on this page is real,” read one of the 14 disclaimers on Christopher Blair’s site, and yet in the America of 2018 his stories had become real, reinforcing people’s biases, spreading onto Macedonian and Russian fake news sites, amassing an audience of as many 6 million visitors each month who… Continue Reading

Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis

The New York Times: “…When Facebook users learned last spring that the company had compromised their privacy in its rush to expand, allowing access to the personal information of tens of millions of people to a political data firm linked to President Trump, Facebook sought to deflect blame and mask the extent of the problem.And… Continue Reading

Under pressure, Pa. prisons repeal restrictive book policy

The Inquirer/Philly.com: “The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections — which in September announced it would put a halt to book donation programs and mail-order books and publications — has revised its policy, allowing book orders to resume through a new centralized processing center. “Everyone who got involved called Gov. Wolf, wrote letters, shared the story on… Continue Reading

Where ICE Secure Communities Removals Now Occur

“Nine out of ten counties in the United States with the most Secure Communities removals are in Texas and California. Fingerprints submitted to the FBI by law enforcement agencies from just these two states also gave rise to almost half (47%) of all recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removals under its Secure Communities program… Continue Reading

A mission for journalism in a time of crisis

In a turbulent era, the media must define its values and principles, writes Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner “Now we are living through another extraordinary period in history: one defined by dazzling political shocks and the disruptive impact of new technologies in every part of our lives. The public sphere has changed more radically in the… Continue Reading

2017 Hate Crime Statistics Released by FBI

“The number of hate crime incidents reported to the FBI increased about 17 percent in 2017 compared with the previous year, according to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s annual Hate Crime Statistics report, released today. Law enforcement reported 7,175 hate crimes to UCR in 2017, up from 6,121 in 2016. Although the numbers increased… Continue Reading

Doctors express outrage after NRA tells them ‘to stay in their lane’

Washington Post: “At first, Judy Melinek didn’t know how to respond when she learned about a National Rifle Association tweet last week telling doctors who dared enter the gun debate “to stay in their lane.” But two days later, when the West Coast forensic pathologist was on her way to the morgue to examine the… Continue Reading

This Appalachian Nonprofit Puts Books In The Hands Of Inmates Who Need Them

Buzzfeed News – Since 2004, the Appalachian Prison Book Project has distributed approximately 25,000 books to inmates in the region. “Today, prison libraries are hit-or-miss, more often falling on the “miss” side: frequently barebones, stacked with outdated textbooks, or littered with battered romance novels. Some prisons are even attempting to do away with libraries entirely,… Continue Reading