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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Restricting Books behind Bars Books-to-prisoners groups face roadblocks

American Libraries: “Backlash was swift when it was publicized in January that the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) had begun requiring that packages to prisoners come from a handful of state-approved vendors only.  While the package contents were not limited to books, the proposed change hampered books-to-prisoners organizations in their… Continue Reading

Criminal Prosecutions Jump 60% for Illegal Border Crossers

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “Federal criminal prosecutions of individuals apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the southwest border with Mexico jumped 30 percent in April 2018 over March figures. Since January, criminal prosecutions were up 60 percent, rising from 5,191 in January to 8,298 in April. This increase followed rising border apprehensions and… Continue Reading

AP – US expects fallout from Snowden leaks for years to come

AP: “National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the lid off U.S. government surveillance methods five years ago, but intelligence chiefs complain that revelations from the trove of classified documents he disclosed are still trickling out. That includes recent reporting on a mass surveillance program run by close U.S. ally Japan and on how the… Continue Reading

Removal of 26 Documents for Asylum Officer Training from the USCIS Website

Sunlight Foundation: “The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) removed a cache of materials on its asylum process shortly after President Donald Trump took office, a reduction in access detailed in our latest Web Integrity Project report. The 26 removed documents, which collectively run to several hundred pages, constitute training materials for USCIS asylum officers,… Continue Reading

Largest federal employee union sues Trump over rollback of union protections

Washington Post – Largest federal employee union sues Trump over rollback of union protections – “The American Federation of Government Employees claims that Trump’s executive order violates the First Amendment guarantee of the right to freedom of association and oversteps the president’s constitutional authority.” …On Friday [May 25, 2018  President Trump]…used his ultimate weapon, his power… Continue Reading

Why ABC reacted so swiftly to Roseanne’s racist tweet

The Conversation – Anjana Susarla Associate Professor of Information Systems, Michigan State University: “ABC Entertainment, which produced the revamped version of “Roseanne,” is the latest company to learn the challenge of doing business in an age when citizen activism is amplified by social media. The network canceled the hit show after its star, Roseanne Barr,… Continue Reading

The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States

National Academies Press: “Abortion is a legal medical procedure that has been provided to millions of American women. Since the Institute of Medicine first reviewed the health implications of national legalized abortion in 1975, there has been a plethora of related scientific research, including well-designed randomized clinical trials, systematic reviews, and epidemiological studies examining abortion… Continue Reading

The irony of #MeToo – change is not evident for so many – on the job

Axios: “It’s not just politics. Tech companies are trying to improve their perpetual gender imbalance, the Financial Times reports, by “training staff in unconscious bias, … insisting that shortlists include women, improving referral incentives, … enhancing maternity rights and showcasing female role models on social media.” BUT BUT– HuffPo: “Everyone Is Missing A Key Reason… Continue Reading

The Wayback Machine is Deleting Evidence of Malware Sold to Stalkers

Motherboard: This story is part of When Spies Come Home, a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their loved ones. “The Internet Archive’s goal, according to its website, is “universal access to all knowledge.” As part of that mission, the non-profit runs the Wayback Machine, an online tool that… Continue Reading

Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Computing History

David Brock, Computer History Museum: “The experience of women, and the issues of gender and sexuality, are vitally important to our understanding of the story of computing, and hence our contemporary world, for many reasons. Perhaps most straightforwardly, women have been ubiquitous throughout the history of computing as makers and users of it. As Eileen… Continue Reading

Amazon is selling police departments a real-time facial recognition system

The Verge: “Documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California have shed new light on Rekognition, Amazon’s little-known facial recognition project. Rekognition is currently used by police in Orlando and Oregon’s Washington County, often using nondisclosure agreements to avoid public disclosure. The result is a powerful real-time facial recognition system that can tap into police… Continue Reading

Supreme Court decision – companies can use arbitration clauses to block employees class action suits

The New York Times: “The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues. The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority. The court’s decision could affect some 25 million… Continue Reading