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civil liberties | Activist News | Page 2
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The Road to World War 3

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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Category Archives: civil liberties

Canada gets human rights failing grade from Amnesty International

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The Star
Dec. 19, 2012
By Olivia Ward

For Canada’s international human rights standing, 2012 was an annus horribilis.

This year three UN expert committees rated the country’s performance on meeting rights commitments — and returned a failing grade.

“These mandatory reviews are carried out every four or five years, and it just happened that this year Canada was the focus of three,” said Alex Neve, who heads Amnesty International Canada. “It’s a wake-up call that although we have things to be proud of, there are many fronts where we have long-standing issues that need to be addressed.”

An Amnesty report released Wednesday says that committees on racial discrimination, prevention of torture and children’s rights found “a range” of “ongoing and serious human rights challenges,” especially for indigenous peoples.

Everyone is fair game: Spy agency conducts surveillance on all US citizens

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RT
Dec. 13, 2012

The Obama administration overruled recommendations from within the US Department of Homeland Security and implemented new guidelines earlier this year that allow the government to gather and analyze intelligence on every single US citizen.

Since the spring, a little-know intelligence agency outside of Washington, DC has been able to circumvent the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and conduct dragnet surveillance of the entire country, combing massive datasets using advanced algorithms to search and seize personal info on anyone this wish, reports the Wall Street Journal this week.

There’s no safeguard that says only Americans with criminal records are the ones included, and it’s not just suspected terrorists that are considered in the searches either. The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) has been provided with entire government databases and given nearly endless access to intelligence on everyone in the country, regardless of whether or not they’ve done anything that would have made them a person of interest. As long as data is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information,” the agency can do as they wish.

Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans’ text messages

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CNET
Dec. 3, 2012
By

AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and other wireless providers would be required to record and store information about Americans’ private text messages for at least two years, according to a proposal that police have submitted to the U.S. Congress.

CNET has learned a constellation of law enforcement groups has asked the U.S. Senate to require that wireless companies retain that information, warning that the lack of a current federal requirement “can hinder law enforcement investigations.”

They want an SMS retention requirement to be “considered” during congressional discussions over updating a 1986 privacy law for the cloud computing era — a move that could complicate debate over the measure and erode support for it among civil libertarians.

Australian surveillance ‘out of control’: 20% increase in 1 year

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RT
Dec. 3, 2012

Access to private data has increased by 20 per cent by Australia’s law enforcement and government agencies – and with no warrant. Australians are 26 times more prone to be placed under surveillance than people in other countries, local media report.

­In such a way, state structures accessed private information over 300,000 times last year – or 5,800 times every week, figures from the federal Attorney General’s Department showcase.

The data includes phone and internet account information, the details of out and inbound calls, telephone and internet access location data, as well as everything related to the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses visited, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports.

Internet Hangs in Balance as World Governments Meet in Secret

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Wired
Dec. 3, 2012
By David Kravets

There’s a lot of sky-is-falling doomsday predictions about the World Conference on International Telecommunications, which opens Monday in Dubai with some 190-plus nations discussing the global internet’s future.

That’s because much of the accompanying proposals from the global community have been kept under lock and key, although some of the positions of nations have been leaked and published online.

The idea behind the meetings is to update the International Telecommunications Regulations governed by the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency known as the ITU, that is responsible for global communication technologies.

Bradley Manning lawyer argues soldier’s confinement was too harsh

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NBC News
Nov. 28, 2012
By John Bailey

FORT MEADE, Md. — During a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, the defense for Army Private First Class Bradley Manning — accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to the website Wikileaks – began making the case that Manning’s charges should be dismissed, saying the Army private’s confinement conditions constitute illegal punishment.

Pfc. Manning’s defense team alleges he was improperly classified as a high security risk and as a risk to himself while confined at Quantico, which resulted in Manning being kept on 23-hour lockdown in a small cell. At one point, his clothes were taken from him at night.

David Coombs, Manning’s lead attorney, spent more than six hours questioning retired Marine Corps Col. Daniel Choike (pronounced CHOY-kee), who was commander of the Quantico brig at the time. Coombs asked Choike about a number of emails sent among the brig staff indicating that some at the facility believed that Manning did not require such harsh confinement.

Shock Video: Cop Protects First Amendment

Airport Security

Infowars
Nov. 27, 2012
By Paul Joseph Watson

A shocking video has emerged of a police officer who abides by the oath he swore to uphold the constitution by defending the free speech rights of activists who were targeted by airport officials during the opt out and film campaign.

The clip shows activists Ashley Jessica and Jason Bermas handing out flyers warning travelers about the dangers of x-ray body scanners at Albany International Airport in New York.

Almost as soon as the activists begin to hand out the flyers, they are confronted by an aggressive airport official later named as Douglas I. Myers, the airport’s Director of Public Affairs.

Bradley Manning offers partial guilty plea in WikiLeaks case

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Guardian
Nov. 8, 2012
By

Bradley Manning, the US soldier who is facing life in prison for allegedly having leaked hundreds of thousands of state secrets to WikiLeaks, has indicated publicly for the first time that he accepts responsibility for handing some information to the whistleblower website.

Manning’s defence lawyer, David Coombs, told a pre-trial hearing ahead of his court martial that the soldier wanted to offer a guilty plea for some offences contained within the US government’s case against him. This is the first time the intelligence analyst has given any public indication that he accepts that he played a part in the breach of confidential US material.

The statement is technically known as “pleading by exceptions and substitutions”. By taking this legal route, Manning is not pleading guilty to any of the 22 charges brought against him, and nor is he making a plea bargain. He is asking the court to rule on whether his plea accepting limited responsibility is admissible in the case. Coombs set out the details in a statement that was posted on his website after the hearing.

Julian Assange says victorious Obama ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

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AFP
Nov. 7, 2012

LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday described re-elected President Barack Obama was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and said he expected the US government to keep attacking the anti-secrecy website.

Speaking to AFP by telephone from Ecuador’s London embassy, where he sought asylum in June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, Assange said Obama’s victory was no cause for celebration.

“Obama seems to be a nice man, and that is precisely the problem,” the 41-year-old Australian told AFP, after the president defeated Republican Mitt Romney on Tuesday night to sweep back into the White House. “It’s better to have a sheep in wolf’s clothing than a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Assange complained of the “persecution” of WikiLeaks by Obama’s government. He added: “All of the activities against WikiLeaks by the United States have occurred under an Obama administration.

Anonymous Claims To Have Hacked 28,000 PayPal Passwords For Guy Fawkes Day

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Huffington Post
Nov. 5, 2012
By

Anonymous, which adopted the Guy Fawkes mask, designed by “V for Vendetta” illustrator David Llyod, as a symbol for its social crusade, has decided to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with some good, old-fashioned hacking.

Guy Fawkes Day is observed annually on Nov. 5 in commemoration of the rebel Englishman’s demise.

Marking Nov. 5 as a day of global protest, hacker group Anonymous began its tribute on Sunday night by allegedly hacking a PayPal server and stealing 28,000 customer passwords, The Next Web reports. Anonymous announced the hack on Twitter, “linking to a set of Private Paste documents containing emails, names, and what appear to be possibly passwords from the payment service’s database,” according to TNW.

The head of public relations for PayPal, however, denied the Anonymous attack, tweeting, “We’re investigating this but to date we have been unable to find any evidence that validates this claim.”