Notes on Civil Liberties for August 2
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 email@example.com.
The Pentagon’s $42 million plan to conduct surveillance on social media: Techland reports—
The program’s plan is fourfold:
1. Detect, classify, measure and track the (a) formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes), and (b) purposeful or deceptive messaging and misinformation.
2. Recognize persuasion campaign structures and influence operations across social mediasites and communities.
3. Identify participants and intent, and measure effects of persuasion campaigns.
4. Counter messaging of detected adversary influence operations.
A response to Peter King’s third “Muslim radicalization” hearing, which put the focus on Somali Americans. Abdinasir Egal concludes the hearing encourages law enforcement to target/marginalize Somali youth. Egal notes how Somalis have complained of being profiled at airports and how US ICE subjects Somalis to long interrogation sessions when returning to America from abroad
Israeli protesters put together a list of demands. Protests have been taking place in Tel Aviv at the government offices.
Massimo Calabresi reacts to the panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum that addressed whether the US crossed the line of torture and if it was worth it. Calabresi confronted Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo, who were on the panel, after the session.
Grand jury has been convened to investigate the death of teenager Eric Perez in West Palm Beach juvenile detention center. Investigators also pledge to prevent the release of video showing Perez’s final hours in lockup.
Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society finds Middle East bloggers lack grasp of how to protect themselves online. One third of bloggers reported being personally threatened in past year, and many of the bloggers thought they knew more about security than they actually did.
From Ronald Kessler’s The Secrets of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover maintained a special Official and Confidential File in office. Secret files helped to ensure he stayed FBI director for as long as he wanted.
In 2010, China installed over ten million surveillance cameras. Cafes, hotels and businesses are being threatened with fines and closure if they do not install surveillance technology, according to reporting from The Guardian.
Final chapter of case against New Orleans police officers accused of shooting unarmed civilians on Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina goes to jury. Assistant US Attorney Theodore Carter says in closing argument they thought “two good families” were “criminals” and they want to teach the people on the bridge a lesson.
Law enforcement to now perform mobile iris scans and fingerprinting. Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System (MORIS) to be rolled out in autumn will, of course, violate Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights. But, that has clearly been eviscerated and lost.
Former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks in a Sydney court. Prosecutors are trying to seize profits from his autobiography (plus his tens of thousands of copies of his book have gone missing—likely pulped).
Hundreds of Egyptian security police and troops shred tents and arrest protesters. Egyptians get “thwacked” by truncheons, tanks are deployed and hundreds are sent fleeing as Ramadan begins.
A Code of Ethics for Citizen Journalists—the code comes from a group of journalists from the Middle East and North Africa & Iran.
And today’s video comes from Funny or Die — Jason Alexander presents the Netflix Relief Fund: