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.
Lockheed Martin is given a $72 million contract to upgrade airport security equipment for the TSA. This virtually guarantees the violations of privacy and Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights will continue.
POGO’s National Security fellow Ben Freeman blogs on a letter signed by 62 House Democrats urging President Obama to issue an Executive Order that would require contractors to disclose campaign contributions. Freeman writes, “The draft EO now has clear congressional support and backing by more than 30 pro-transparency groups.”
New government transparency board will hold its first meeting behind closed doors. TechPresident blogs on the Government Accountability and Transparency Board, which is to help reduce government waste and increase transparency.
In case you missed it: Cleveland may ban flash mobs through a social media ordinance. Of course, the ACLU plans to sue if the mayor signs this ordinance.
Federal judge has found US prosecutors’ treatment of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake “unconscionable.” Judge Richard D. Bennett said at a sentencing hearing earlier this month, according to a transcript obtained by the Secrecy News blog, that the judge compared his treatment to British tyranny in the colonial era.
Atlanta faces another civil rights lawsuit after a police raid on a bar. The lawsuit alleges patrons inside the bar were detained and had all their IDs checked even though no one was suspected of committing any crime.
TSA is getting ready to employ the “Israeli model” in US airports. What this means is TSA agents may try to talk to you when you are in the airport (and there will probably be more reports of racial profiling). It also has plans to adjust how children screened. But, TSA’s chief John Pistole reminds Americans suicide bombers have used children before in other contexts and could do so in airports so there has to be some kind of screening of kids.
ACLU calls on Virginia to ensure Muslims in prison are able to stick to Ramadan diets. In the past, there have been complaints and not always have those locked up had their religious beliefs respected.
Truthout reports the Air Force has pulled Christian-themed ethics training for missile officers after it published a report that showed the Air Force was using a quote from an ex-Nazi officer and numerous passages from the New and Old Testament to teach missile officers about morals & ethics of launching nuclear weapons. [The Dissenter’s Jeff Kaye covered this here and here.]
Anonymous breaches defense contractor ManTech. ManTech works with the FBI. Anonymous pledged to get the FBI for targeting and arresting its members. And, Andy Greenberg of Forbes.com reports on the data spill.
After he gets his term extended as FBI director, Robert Mueller appoints a new chief of staff. Aaron Zebley, who has spent seven years in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, gets the promotion. [For more on Mueller’s term extension, go here.]
EFF’s Jillian York outlines the importance of pseudonyms and anonymity on the Internet. As a result of Google+ requiring users to use the “name your friends, family or co-workers call you,” a policy similar to Facebook’s, there is a much-needed discussion on the importance of anonymity happening. York concludes there may be upsides to “real name” policies but entities that require users to use real names must show that the benefits of such policies “outweigh some very serious drawbacks.”
And the video for today —
From The Real News Network, Paul Jay interviews Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who recently published a book, Hell No! Your Right to Dissent in 21st Century America.