Tag Archives: technology

Study Reveals Sweeping Extent of ICE’s Secret Surveillance Dragnet

“In its efforts to arrest and deport, ICE has—without any judicial, legislative or public oversight—reached into datasets containing personal information about the vast majority of people living in the U.S.”

By Brett Wilkins   Published 5-10-2022 by Common Dreams

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is operating a digital surveillance dragnet through which the agency is able to access information about nearly every person in the United States, a two-year investigation by researchers from the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law revealed Tuesday.

The study—entitled American Dragnet: Data-Driven Deportation in the 21st Century—found that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “has built its dragnet surveillance system by crossing legal and ethical lines, leveraging the trust that people place in state agencies and essential service providers, and exploiting the vulnerability of people who volunteer their information to reunite with their families.” Continue reading

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Privacy Advocates Celebrate ‘Big Win’ Against Facial Recognition Giant

“This settlement demonstrates that strong privacy laws can provide real protections against abuse,” an ACLU attorney said of a deal with Clearview AI.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 5-9-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Pixabay

A historic settlement filed in court on Monday highlighted the power of Illinois’ strong privacy law and will result in new nationwide restrictions on a controversial technology company infamous for selling access to the largest known database of facial images.

The deal permanently banning Clearview AI from providing most private entities with free or paid access to its database stems from a lawsuit that the ACLU and partners f in 2020, arguing that the company violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). Continue reading

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With Roe Under Threat, Sale of Location Data on Abortion Clinic Patients Raises Alarm

“Companies that traffic in personal, geolocation, advertising, or other data could become digital crime scenes for eager prosecutors armed with subpoenas,” said one expert on technology and gender.

By Julia Conley   Published 5-4-2022 by Common Dreams

A buffer zone around Planned Parenthood in Burlington, VT Photo: Adam Fagan/flickr/CC

A location data firm said Wednesday that it would no longer sell information about people who visit abortion clinics after reporting on the company’s sales raised alarm, but privacy advocates warned that strict regulation is needed to protect patients from such sales—particularly in light of news that abortion rights are likely to be rolled back by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Vice reported Tuesday that data firm SafeGraph has sold sets of aggregated location data regarding people who have visited abortion clinics including Planned Parenthood, showing where patients travel from, how much time they spend at the healthcare centers, and where they go afterwards. Continue reading

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Global Military Spending Tops $2 Trillion for First Time in History

“If global leaders actually care about charting a more secure future, then we need a massive realignment in spending priorities,” said one prominent peace group.

By Brett Wilkins  Published 4-25-2022 by Common Dreams

U.S. warplanes and the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan are seen during a deployment in the Indian Ocean on June 32, 2021. (Photo: U.S. Pacific Fleet/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0)

Global military expenditures surpassed $2 trillion for the first time ever last year, with the United States spending more on its war-making capacity than the next nine nations combined, according to new data published Monday.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported an all-time high of $2.1 trillion in worldwide military spending for 2021, a 0.7% increase from 2020 levels and the seventh straight year of increased expenditures. Continue reading

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EU Enacts Landmark Social Media Law to End Self-Regulation by Big Tech

“As the U.S. agonizes over misinformation and hate speech on social media and the harm it does to democracy,” said one journalist, the European Union passed the Digital Services Act “to tackle the problem.”

By Kenny Stancil  Published 4-23-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Jason Howie/flickr/CC

The European Union on Saturday passed a landmark law that seeks to reduce social media’s harmful effects by requiring Big Tech corporations to quash disinformation and illicit content on their platforms or else face multibillion-dollar fines.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) would compel Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, and other platforms “to set up new policies and procedures to remove flagged hate speech, terrorist propaganda, and other material defined as illegal by countries within the European Union,” the New York Times reported. Continue reading

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‘A Win in Our Fight for Net Neutrality’: Industry Loses Another Attempt to Block California Law

“This is big,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, “because when the FCC rolled back its open internet policies, states stepped in.”

By Andrea Germanos  Published 4-22-2022 by Common Dreams

Net Neutrality protest at Google HQ in 2010. Photo: Steve Rhodes/flickr/CC

Open internet defenders cheered this week after a federal appeals court rejected an industry-backed petition to block enforcement of California’s net neutrality law.

Internet service providers (ISPs) wanted a hearing before all the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit after a three-judge panel of that court in January upheld that the law could go into effect. Continue reading

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Rebellious Climate Scientists Have Message for Humanity: ‘Mobilize, Mobilize, Mobilize’

In face of the “escalating climate emergency,” the advocacy group Scientist Rebellion warns that IPCC summary to global policymakers remains “alarmingly reserved, docile, and conservative.”

By Kenny Stancil  Published 4-6-2022 by Common Dreams

Scientists in the Netherlands blocked an entrance to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in The Hague on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Photo: Scientist Rebellion / @ScientistRebel1)

Amid a weeklong global civil disobedience campaign to demand climate action commensurate with mounting evidence about the need for swift decarbonization, Scientist Rebellion is highlighting specific gaps between what experts say is necessary and what governments allowed to be published in a summary of the United Nations’ latest climate assessment.

The landmark report on mitigation by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—part of the U.N.’s sixth comprehensive climate assessment since 1992 and possibly the last to be published with enough time to avert the most catastrophic consequences of the planetary crisis—was compiled by 278 researchers from 65 countries. Continue reading

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‘Climate Revolution’: Scientists Launch Global Civil Disobedience Campaign

“Scientist Rebellion will be on the streets between April 4th and 9th, acting like our house is on fire,” said organizers. “Because it is.”

By Julia Conley  Pubished 4-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Scientists hold a sign reading, “Climate Revolution Or We Will Lose Everything” at a rally. This week, scientists around the world will occupy universities to demand a “Climate Revolution” following the release of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (Photo: Twitter/@ScientistRebel1)

Scientists from around the world on Monday mobilized to demand a “Climate Revolution,” holding rallies and staging acts of civil disobedience with the goal of making the planetary emergency “impossible to ignore.”

With a kick-off timed to coincide with Monday’s release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), researchers across the globe this week will participate in the Scientist Rebellion, staging strikes and occupations at universities, research institutes, and scientific journals to demand that the community speak out forcefully against continued fossil fuel emissions to highlight “the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis.” Continue reading

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‘Utter Travesty’: Uninsured Americans Will Now Be Charged $125 for a Single PCR Covid-19 Test

Government funding cuts to key pandemic programs forced by GOP opposition arrive as progressives in Congress renew their push for Medicare for All.

By Jon Queally.  Pubihed 3-26-2022 by Common Dreams

Employees operating a testing center at the Walmart Supercenter in Elizabethville, PA. Photo: Governor Tom Wolf/flickr/CC

A major testing company in the United States announced this week that it will now charge people without Medicare, private coverage, or other insurance a $125 out-of-pocket charge to receive a Covid-19 PCR test—a fresh example of how the U.S. remains an outlier among wealthy nations for refusing to provide universal healthcare for its people.

According to ABC News, Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest testing companies in the country, has decided that those “who are not on Medicare, Medicaid or a private health plan will now be charged $125 dollars ($119 and a $6 physician fee) when using one of its QuestDirect PCR tests either by ordering a kit online or visiting one of the 1,500 Quest or major retail locations that administer the tests, such as Walmart or Giant Eagle.” Continue reading

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Biggest Oil Giants Made ‘Eye-Popping’ $205 Billion in Profits in 2021: Report

Now, fossil fuel giants are trying to “cash in on inflation and the crisis in Ukraine,” said one critic.

By Kenny Stancil.  Published 3-15-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Thomas | Mutch Games/Twitter

While millions of working people have been hurt by surging gas prices, a new analysis out Tuesday shows that 25 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel corporations collectively pulled in an “eye-popping” $205 billion in profits last year—and Big Oil is exploiting Russia’s war on Ukraine to charge even more at the pump in 2022 and advance its financial interests.

According to a new report from government watchdog Accountable.US, top oil and gas companies took “full advantage” of last year’s sky-high prices and record profits. Fourteen firms rewarded shareholders with more than $35 billion in stock buybacks and dividend bumps. Continue reading

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