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Notes on Civil Liberties for July 25

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

Friend of The Dissenter, Truthout’s Jason Leopold, writes on the Australia government going after David Hicks’ royalty payments from his memoir. The former Guantanamo detainee, according to Leopold, may get to show how “the Bush administration and the government of former Prime Minister John Howard politicized his case.”

A site for taking leaks from News Corp appears on the Internet: MurdochLeaks. It is not known exactly who set MurdochLeaks up, but it appears to want those with leaks to submit leaks in the same way sources have submitted leaks to WikiLeaks.

CAIR asks for stepped up security at US mosques in the aftermath of the Norwegian terror attack. In a statement released, CAIR says, added security measures will help “American Muslims be safe during the upcoming religious observances associated with the fast of Ramadan.”

A Roman Catholic cardinal’s testimony on his handling of priest sex abuse complaints has been blocked from release. Judge Lillian Ransom put a hold on releasing around 1,200 pages of grand jury testimony from Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Jean Casella and James Ridgeway of Solitary Watch recap the Pelican Bay prisoner hunger strike. They suggest the hunger strike, while it didn’t achieve tangible results, enjoyed surprising widespread media coverage. They note the growing movement against solitary confinement in the US.

Amnesty International has access to its website cut off in in Saudi Arabia. The group posted a draft copy of an anti-terrorism law being reviewed by a government committee that would allow the government to prosecute peaceful dissent as a crime of terrorism. [Here’s a copy of the law posted on the Amnesty website.]

Juan Cole at his blog Informed Comment writes about Norwegian right wing Christian terrorist Anders Breivik and the horrifying possibility that there is an organization behind Breivik’s act.

Religious leaders file a lawsuit against New York’s new same-sex marriage law that gives people a reason to be happy about being alive.

Jack Hunter of the American Conservative revisits WikiLeaks: Hunter thinks back to seeing WikiLeaks used as a source by media and asks if MSNBC and CNN became “terrorist” outfits or did Wikileaks become a credible news source?

A UK music copyright royalty collection organization is proposing that search engines attach “red light” symbols to sites that facilitate copyright theft. They suggest that sites that do not have green lights next to their name. Is this worse or better than the recently proposed copyright alert system here in the United States?

The inclusion of a cross at the 9/11 memorial has moved atheists to file a lawsuit. The organization American Atheist argues “placing a symbol of Christianity on government-owned property is a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of New York.”

Italian cyber police website believed to have been hacked by Anonymous. The hacktivist group says it got into the website and unearthed information that shows “some of the most important and most secret reports” on the cyber police’s “illegal and immoral practices.”

AT&T customers are being enlisted by Bursor & Fisher, P.A., a New York-based law firm to fight the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. The firm has a history of fighting telecoms and notes on its “Fight the Merger” website “80 percent of the market” would be controlled by AT&T and Verizon if the merger goes through.

And, today’s video (four parts) —

Roseanne Barr‘s interview with Amy Goodman, which aired on Democracy Now! this morning.




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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."

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