Notes on Civil Liberties for July 22
Here’s today’s blog for the latest news and updates on civil liberties and digital freedom issues. If you have any news tips and would like to contact me, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama Justice Department continues to rack up victories that come down against Guantanamo detainees’ efforts to be released. DC Circuit Court of Appeals rejects the appeal of Moath Hamza Ahmed Al Alwi, a Yemeni citizen accused of being a Taliban fighter. Also, in another ruling, two freed detainees that wanted to clear their name were denied right to press cases in US courts to challenge their confinements or get “enemy combatant” designation removed.
- Former Assange lawyer Mark Stephens one of possible four thousand who had his phone hacked. His name appears in Glenn Mulcaire’s notebooks. He isn’t all that concerned about himself but says what is important is to find out which client was targeted so he can advise them.
- Record number of immigrant deportations under President Obama. Most of the immigrants deported last year were deported for “drug-related offenses” raising doubts about whether Obama’s immigration policy does in fact focus on “worst of the worst.”
- At town hall meeting, Obama says he will not be ending the War on Drugs. He flat-out says he is not willing to pursue a decriminalization strategy on drugs. Also, at the same town hall, an atheist asks him when he is going to rescind an executive order that allows organizations receiving taxpayer funds to discriminate in hiring or firing based on a person’s religion.
- Jury file sharing verdict lowered from $1.5 million to $54,000 for 24 stolen songs. The Recording Industry Association of America contends that copyright infringement fines cannot be lowered once a jury issues a verdict, but a judge found the verdict to be “so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportionate to the offense and obviously unreasonable.”
- More on the Justice Department and Cisco’s effort to destroy the life of a former executive:Techdirt posts Canadian judge’s ruling, which bashes the DOJ and Cisco. They explain who this executive is and why the government in collusion with a corporation is out to get the former executive.
- Stanford University study finds that even if users opt out of tracking there’s still a good chance online advertising companies are tracking those users. Industry trade group immediately reacts in fear saying there should be no regulation or law, self-regulation is better. House Representative says “self-regulation is a joke.”
- How binational gay couples can be deported from the US: Since federal law doesn’t recognize gay marriage, up to 36,000 binational gay couples face deportation and a ten year ban from returning to America if they cannot find another legal way to remain in the country.
- The Oslo attacks are being framed as some kind of attack on a peaceful country. Glenn Greenwald scrutinizes media coverage and argues why it is wrong to cast Norway as a “peaceful” country. And, Hyphenated-Republic compares a photo from the attacks to an image from the US war in Afghanistan, suggesting if Afghan lives were as important as Norwegians, would we talk about war differently?
- In Washington Post op-ed, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) moan and groan about Obama not sending Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame to Guantanamo. The Center for American Progress calls out the senators for their scaremongering editorial.
- Justice Department prepares to issue subpoenas in investigation into News Corp phone hacking scandal.
- The right wing media’s war on contraception: Media Matters for America documents instances of right wing pundits and hacks condemning use of birth control, etc. Good bat-shit quote on contraception being part of “forging a pagan society based on consequence-free sex.”
And, two videos:
The first comes from the hacktivist group Anonymous, which has gained a reputation for posting video messages on YouTube. Here’s the group’s latest, a declaration of war against The System.
The second is a pretty disturbing “dashcam” video of a cop threatening to execute someone over weapons permit.