Many of these efforts – like the border wall, the travel ban, family separations, DACA termination and detention centers – have received wide media attention. In addition, the White House slashed refugee admissions, ended a number of special programs and changed rules used to adjudicate visa applications. Continue reading →
Thousands of pro-democracy protesters effectively shut down Hong Kong International Airport on Monday, the fourth day they have occupied one of the world’s busiest airports as part of the mass demonstrations—against police brutality and a controversial extradition bill—that have rattled Hong Kong since June.
The protests were initially spurred by a bill that, NPRexplained, “would have allowed people in radHong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trials in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparking fears of politically motivated prosecutions targeting outspoken critics of China.” Although Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam quickly suspended the measure and later declared it “dead,” demonstrators continue to demand its full withdrawal and Lam’s resignation. Continue reading →
“It’s hard to put into words how mind bogglingly absurd this executive order is,” said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, following a leaked White House draft of what her group has dubbed the ‘Censor the Internet’ order. Image: Public domain
Civil liberties groups are warning of a major threat to online freedoms and First Amendment rights if a leaked draft of a Trump administration edict—dubbed by critics as a “Censor the Internet” executive order that would give powerful federal agencies far-reaching powers to pick and choose which kind of Internet material is and is not acceptable—is allowed to go into effect.
According to CNN, which obtained a copy of the draft, the new rule “calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. Although still in its early stages and subject to change, the Trump administration’s draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies.” Continue reading →
A federal court ruled Thursday that a class-action suit targeting Facebook’s use of facial recognition technology can continue. (Photo: Legal Loop)
Civil liberties advocates celebrated after a federal court in San Francisco ruled Thursday that Facebook users in Illinois can sue the social media giant on the grounds that its facial recognition technology violates a strict state privacy law.
“This decision is a strong recognition of the dangers of unfettered use of face surveillance technology,” Nathan Freed Wessler, staff attorney with the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said in a statement after the ruling. Continue reading →
The Pentagon is experimenting with the use of radars attached to high-altitude balloons this summer, sending up to 25 balloons across six Midwestern states to conduct surveillance on vehicles over a 25-mile swath under each balloon. (Photo: Tony Webster/Flickr/cc)
Millions of Americans across the Midwest this summer are being subjected to surveillance from above as the Pentagon experiments with the use of surveillance radars attached to high-altitude balloons.
As The Guardianreported Friday, the defense and aerospace contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation was authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to send up to 25 balloons across six states to track vehicles. Continue reading →
On Wednesday, death threats were found spray-painted outside the offices of Amnesty International in Tel Aviv and ASSAF, an organization which advocates for refugees and asylum seekers in Israel. (Photo: @AmnestyIsrael/Twitter)
Human rights defenders in Israel on Wednesday linked recent threats at three civil society organizations to the rhetoric and policies of the country’s government, which has worked to intimidate and suppress groups critical of its treatment of Palestinians and other marginalized people.
Staff members at Amnesty Israel in Tel Aviv and the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel (ASSAF) on Wednesday found death threats written in spray paint on walls outside the organizations’ offices. A box containing death threats and a dead mouse was found around the same time at the Elifelet Children’s Activity Center, which cares for refugee children. Continue reading →
An asylum seeker arrives in Tijuana, 2018. Photo: Daniel Arauz/flickr
The Trump administration has long said that there’s a right way to seek asylum in the United States: Come to an official port of entry at the border, then invoke the right under U.S. law to humanitarian protection.
But now, thousands of people are being barred from the U.S. precisely because they followed those rules.
Two congresswomen are expected to introduce legislation banning the use of facial recognition surveillance in public housing this week. Photo: Change.org
Privacy and civil liberties advocates applauded a pair of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday as they prepared to introduce legislation to protect public housing residents from the rise of facial recognition surveillance.
In a letter sent to their fellow members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) invited co-sponsors for the No Biometric Barriers to Housing Act, which would stop public housing complexes which accept funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from installing facial recognition tools. Continue reading →
Unfortunately, this has been going on for years. This 2006 photo is of IDF forces demolishing a house in Nablus. Photo: Michael Loadenthal/flickr
Global outcry erupted on Monday—with one critic condemning the move as “ethnic cleansing with impunity”—after Israeli forces demolished dozens of homes in Sur Baher, a Palestinian village that straddles East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
“These demolitions are a flagrant violation of international law and part of a systematic pattern by the Israeli authorities to forcibly displace Palestinians in the occupied territories; such actions amount to war crimes,” Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director for Amnesty International, said in a statement Monday. Continue reading →