Mass Surveillance, Leak Investigations & the Chilling Effect Against Journalism

By: Tuesday July 29, 2014 7:50 am

A number of American journalists, who work for small and large media organizations, contend that the spike in leak investigations is tied to government mass surveillance. They report experiences with sources, who are no longer willing to speak to them. They have found it increasingly difficult to build new relationships with sources. A chilling effect has made it exceptionally difficult to determine what to do to maintain confidentiality.

 

FDL Exclusive: DOJ Says Smarter Sentencing Act Would Save Taxpayers $24 Billion

By: Friday July 25, 2014 8:49 am

The Department of Justice has responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from FDL News for documents estimating the costs that the federal government will not have to incur if the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 is passed.

US Citizens Sue Government Over ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

By: Thursday July 10, 2014 6:00 pm

he American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of five United States citizens challenging a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.

The federal government has a National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative (NSI) that, according to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], “encourages state and local law enforcement agencies as well as private actors to collect and report information that has a potential nexus to terrorism in the form of so-called ‘suspicious activity reports [SARs].’”

Any individual who is flagged as having a “potential nexus to terrorism” will automatically be subject to “law enforcement scrutiny.

Hobby Lobby Aftermath: Employment Non-discrimination Act Losing Major Support Due To Religious Exemption

By: Wednesday July 9, 2014 11:05 am

The Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) has been losing major supporters who are concerned that the law contains an overly broad exemption for religious discrimination against the LGBT community. The ACLU, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, and other civil rights organizations have already withdrawn support for the current version of ENDA. The controversy over ENDA stems from an exemption for religious discrimination, something recently in the news due to the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Hobby Lobby case.

Stop Corrections Corporation of America From Profiting Off Ohio Private Immigrant Prison

By: Monday July 7, 2014 3:16 pm

Corrections Corporations of America — the nation’s largest private prison company — is bidding to renew its contract for a troubled immigrant detention center in Youngstown, OH.

But a new study uncovered insect-infested and overcrowded cells, understaffed medical personnel, and a ‘warehouse and forget’ attitude at for-profit prisons.

No-Fly List Appeals System Declared Unconstitutional; No-Fly is No Fair

By: Tuesday July 1, 2014 10:02 am

People on the government’s no-fly list are denied their constitutional right to due process, because the government’s procedures to challenge inclusion on the secretive roster are “wholly ineffective,” U.S. District Judge Anna Brown declared in a case brought by thirteen American citizens and supported by the ACLU.

These Are the Americans on the No-Fly List Who Argued in Court Their Rights Had Been Violated and Won

By: Wednesday June 25, 2014 9:40 am

Thirteen United States citizens represented by the American Civil Liberties Union sued the US government after they were prevented from flying over US airspace after January 1, 2009. They believed that they were on the No-Fly List because airline representatives, FBI agents and other government officials had informed them of this fact. But the government had provided them no notice or information on why they were placed on the watch list so they could challenge their inclusion.

Federal Judge Rules US Citizens Placed on No-Fly List Had Their Due Process Rights Violated

By: Tuesday June 24, 2014 3:19 pm

A federal district court in Oregon has ruled that United States citizens who were placed on the No-Fly List had their rights to “procedural due process” violated. The current process is unconstitutional and the government must “provide a new process” that satisfies the “constitutional requirements for due process.”

The ACLU brought a case on behalf of: Ayman Latif, a US citizen and disabled Marine veteran who was prohibited from flying to the US; Samir Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, a US citizen who was not allowed to fly home to the US after he visited family in Yemen; Ibrahim Mashal, a US citizen and US Marine Corps veteran who is a dog trainer and was prohibited from flying; as well as ten others. Neither of the plaintiffs were given notice or details as to why they were placed on the No-Fly List.

ACLU Report on Militarized Policing: SWAT Team Deployments, Federal Programs Foster Warrior Mentality

By: Tuesday June 24, 2014 8:55 am

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report on the militarization of local law enforcement in the United States, which shows how the vast majority of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team deployments are for executing search warrants for drugs and the federal government is incentivizing the use of military-grade weaponry.

Release of Legal Memo Justifying Anwar Al-Awlaki’s Killing Paves Way for Disclosure of More Records

By: Monday June 23, 2014 4:10 pm

A redacted legal memo produced to justify the “targeted killing” of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by the CIA in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011, was finally released after a federal appeals court ordered its disclosure.

The memo had been the subject of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and two New York Times reporters, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane. Requests had been filed in 2011 and 2012, and President Barack Obama’s administration had spent the last three years arguing in courts that the government did not have to disclose the legal analysis for whether the United States government has the authority to target and kill an American abroad.

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