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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

ABA House approves measures at Midyear Meeting to expand access to justice, voting rights

ABA news release: “The American Bar Association House of Delegates approved a resolution today that would encourage states and other jurisdictions to consider innovative approaches to expanding access to justice with the goal of improving affordability and quality of civil legal services. By voice vote, the 596-member House, which is the association’s policy-making body, overwhelmingly… Continue Reading

Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?

Slate – I’ve fought for a free internet for 30 years. Here’s where I think we went wrong, and right. By Mike Godwin – “…I’ve come to believe our society should take reasonable steps to limit intentionally harmful speech, but I also find myself increasingly embracing a broader, more instrumentalist vision of freedom of speech than… Continue Reading

Activate This ‘Bracelet of Silence,’ and Alexa Can’t Eavesdrop

The New York Times – “…Mr. Zhao and Ms. Zheng are computer science professors at the University of Chicago, and …with the help of an assistant professor, Pedro Lopes, they designed a piece of digital armor: a “bracelet of silence” that will jam the Echo or any other microphones in the vicinity from listening in… Continue Reading

Statement of ABA President Re Judicial Independence Updated

Statement of ABA President Judy Perry Martinez Re: Judicial Independence and Sound Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion – WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2020 – “The American Bar Association steadfastly supports judicial independence and the sound exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Public officials who personally attack judges or prosecutors can create a perception that the system is serving a… Continue Reading

DOJ files new lawsuits in renewed push to pressure ‘sanctuary cities’

WSJ.com [paywall]: “The U.S. Justice Department filed three lawsuits against California, New Jersey and a Washington county late Monday over their laws and policies limiting local cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, escalating a Trump administration battle against liberal states and localities that adopt so-called sanctuary cities…” See also: DOJ Sues NJ and officials over… Continue Reading

DOJ Sues NJ and officials over ICE access to immigration docs

Justice Department Sues State of New Jersey, New Jersey Governor, and New Jersey Attorney General for Prohibiting State Officials From Sharing Information With U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: “Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against the State of New Jersey, New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy, and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The… Continue Reading

Draft DHS memo highlights retaliation against states not releasing driver records

A memo obtained by BuzzFeed News outlines options to put leverage on states that, like New York, deny federal immigration officials access to state driver records: “The Trump administration drafted a slew of plans to consider not only circumventing state laws limiting the Department of Homeland Security’s access to driver records, but to retaliate against… Continue Reading

Smarter government or data-driven disaster

“The algorithms helping control local communities – MuckRock’s releasing a new database of algorithms in government – but we’ll need your input – What is the chance you, or your neighbor, will commit a crime? Should the government change a child’s bus route? Add more police to a neighborhood or take some away? Every day… Continue Reading

An Algorithm That Grants Freedom, or Takes It Away

The New York Times – Across the United States and Europe, software is making probation decisions and predicting whether teens will commit crime. Opponents want more human oversight. “.. In Philadelphia, an algorithm created by a professor at the University of Pennsylvania has helped dictate the experience of probationers for at least five years. The… Continue Reading

In first – flagship law journals at top U.S. law schools are all led by women

Washington Post – “Only one woman worked on the staff of the Harvard Law Review when Ruth Bader Ginsburg arrived on campus in 1956. It would be another two decades before a woman was elected to lead the school’s prestigious legal journal. The Supreme Court justice this week addressed the current slate of editors in… Continue Reading

Tool to Help Journalists Spot Doctored Images Is Unveiled by Jigsaw

The New York Times – The company, owned by Google’s parent, introduced a free tool it calls Assembler to sort out real images from fake ones. “On February 4, 2020, Jigsaw, a company that develops cutting-edge tech and is owned by Google’s parent, unveiled a free tool that researchers said could help journalists spot doctored… Continue Reading