CBP Requests Federal Court Keep Identity of Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teen Secret

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 7:50 am

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has asked a federal court in Arizona to keep the name of a Border Patrol agent, who killed a 16-year-old, secret.

 

Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 2:10 pm

The Justice Department released two memos on the authorization of warrantless wiretapping, as part of the top secret program, Stellar Wind. The memos were created during President George W. Bush’s administration and contain the “legal justification” for electronic surveillance without a warrant. However, one of the me was previously provided with significant redactions to the ACLU in March 2011. It remains heavily censored.

The memo was written by former Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head and lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, and is dated May 6, 2004.

As ACLU staff attorney Patrick Toomey told The Washington Post, “What these memos show is that nearly three years after President Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ emails and phone calls, government lawyers were still struggling to put the program on sound legal footing.”

Judge: Government’s Justification for Keeping Detainee Abuse Photos Secret Is ‘Not Sufficient’

By: Thursday August 28, 2014 7:35 am

A federal district court judge has ruled that the government’s certification to prevent the disclosure of thousands of photos of detainee abuse and torture in Afghanistan and Iraq—including inhumane treatment at Abu Ghraib prison—is “not sufficient to prevent publication.”

The federal judge ordered the government to appear in court on September 8 and produce the photographs or submit additional evidence to support keeping the photos secret.

DoJ Memo Justifies Killing Anwar al-Awlaki by Citing US Law Enforcement’s Right to Use Deadly Force

By: Saturday August 16, 2014 7:51 am

As a result of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times, President Barack Obama’s administration has released the first memo authored by federal appeals court judge and former Office of Legal Counsel lawyer David Barron to justify the killing of US citizen and terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki.

Four Reasons the D.C. Marijuana Legalization Initiative Will Be the Most Interesting to Watch

By: Wednesday August 13, 2014 2:52 pm

Marijuana legalization is going to be on the ballot in three big jurisdictions this November: Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C.. Of the three D.C.’s Initiative 71 should be the one most interesting to watch unfold.

Here are 4 reasons why:

Even More Military Equipment Being Sent To Local Police Forces

By: Tuesday August 5, 2014 12:10 pm

Despite crime being on a steady decline for the past decade and the threat of international terrorism being wildly overstated, local police departments are stockpiling military grade weaponry. The militarization of police forces has become such a prominent phenomenon that the ACLU now dedicates a portion of its resources to studying the trend. Community policing – particularly in poor areas where people of color live – has been replaced with military style raids by heavily armed SWAT Teams.

Lawsuit Challenges Secretive Policy Allegedly Used Against Muslim Immigrants to Deny Citizenship

By: Friday August 1, 2014 9:35 am

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of five Muslims allegedly denied American citizenship because of a secretive policy a Homeland Security Department’s immigration agency operates. The program grants the government broad discretion to designate those applying for citizenship as “national security concerns.”

According to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has engaged in the “unlawful delay and denial of plaintiffs’ applications for citizenship and lawful permanent residence [LPR] under a secretive policy” known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CAARP).

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.

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