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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Dachau: 90 years on, the warning remains

Christoph Strack In 1933, the Nazis set up one of the first concentration camps in Dachau, near Munich — it was the start of a system of terror. What is now a memorial site still serves as a warning today. The establishment of theNazi concentration camp in Dachau, northwest of Munich, 90 years ago was the prelude to the regime’s systematic destruction of human beings. The first prisoners arrived at the camp, which is not even 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Bavarian capital, on March 22, 1933 — less than two months after the Nazis seized power on January 30. “Dachau — the significance of this name cannot be exorcized from German history,”  the Holocaust survivor Eugen Kogon (1903-1987), a respected political scientist and journalist, was later to say. “It stands for all the concentration camps that the Nazis put up in the territory they ruled.” Dachau was, indeed, something of a model for further camps of this type. The historian Wolfgang Benz said once that Dachau was where “the structure for all later concentration camps was invented.” In Dachau, for example, the inmates already encountered the motto “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) on the entrance gate, as was to be the case with later camps. This phrase was a concrete expression of the mockery, the repression and the dehumanization to which the prisoners were subjected…” Never Forget, Always Remember.

TSA confirms plans to mandate mug shots for domestic air travel

Papers Please: “In an on-stage interview [March 14, 2023] at South By Southwest by a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, the head of the US Transportation Security Administration made explicit that the TSA plans to make collection of biometric data mandatory for airline travel: According to a report in [March 15, 2023] of the… Continue Reading

Understanding Antisemitism on Twitter After Musk

“New research from CASM Technology and ISD has found a major and sustained spike in antisemitic posts on Twitter since the company’s takeover by Elon Musk on October 27, 2022. Powered by the award-winning digital analysis technology Beam – and based on a powerful hate speech detection methodology combining over twenty leading machine-learning models –… Continue Reading

Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine to the Human Rights Council

President of Human Rights Council appoints members of investigative body in Ukraine English | 30 March 2022 Infographic – Main Findings – Report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, March 2023 War crimes, indiscriminate attacks on infrastructure, systematic and widespread torture show disregard for civilians, says UN Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine… Continue Reading

The Atlantic: “The Librarians Are Not Okay”

The Librarians Are Not Okay – “…The graduate degree for librarians is not, typically, a master of arts, but a master of science—in library and information sciences. Librarians may adore books, but they are trained in the technical and data-driven work of running libraries. Unlike a privately owned bookstore, where the stock might reflect the… Continue Reading

Hate crimes in U.S. rose to highest level in 2021, FBI says

Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Data Explorer: “Hate Crime data for the nation are derived from National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and Summary Reporting System (SRS) reports voluntarily submitted to the FBI. The 2021 FBI Hate Crime statistics for the nation are based on data received from 11,883 of 18,812 law enforcement agencies in the… Continue Reading

Only 14 countries have full equal rights for women

World Economic Forum: “There are only 14 countries in the world which offer full legal protections to women, according to the report Women, Business and the Law 2023, recently published by the World Bank. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Sweden as well as Germany and the Netherlands were… Continue Reading

Freedom in the World 2023

Freedom House – Marking 50 Years in the Struggle for Democracy – Key Findings Global freedom declined for the 17th consecutive year.  Moscow’s war of aggression led to devastating human rights atrocities in Ukraine. New coups and other attempts to undermine representative government destabilized Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Peru, and Brazil. Previous years’ coups and ongoing… Continue Reading

Inside the Suspicion Machine

Wired: “Obscure government algorithms are making life-changing decisions about millions of people around the world. Here, for the first time, we reveal how one of these systems works…Machine learning algorithms like Rotterdam’s are being used to make more and more decisions about people’s lives, including what schools their children attend, who gets interviewed for jobs,… Continue Reading

The privacy loophole in your doorbell

Politico: “…As networked home surveillance cameras become more popular, Larkin’s case, which has not previously been reported, illustrates a growing collision between the law and people’s own expectation of privacy for the devices they own — a loophole that concerns privacy advocates and Democratic lawmakers, but which the legal system hasn’t fully grappled with. Questions… Continue Reading

Democracy Report 2023

DEMOCRACY REPORT 2023 #Defiance in the Face of #Autocratization. “Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) produces the largest global dataset on #democracy with over 31 million data points for 202 countries from 1789 to 2022. Involving almost 4,000 scholars and other country experts, V-Dem measures hundreds of different attributes of democracy. V-Dem enables new ways to study… Continue Reading

State Child Privacy Law Update, February 28, 2023

WilmerHale: State Child Privacy Law Update, February 28, 2023: “In addition to the numerous comprehensive privacy laws that have been proposed in at least 20 states thus far in 2023, legislative trends demonstrate an emerging focus on regulations that address specific types of information, including the personal information of children. To date, 19 such proposals… Continue Reading