Notes on Civil Liberties for August 8
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.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals Justice Department made special “emergency” claim to get ISPs to turn over info without a warrant “400% more times in 2009 than in 2008.” Techdirt concludes this information possibly indicates the Obama administration has redefined what constitutes an emergency so that it would be easier to spy on internet communications without a warrant.
The late author Kurt Vonnegut’s memorial library is given 150 copies of his Slaughterhouse-Five to students at a school in Missouri. The school banned his book last month. Like he once said: “To hell with the censors!”
Muslims being spied on at their mosques cannot sue, Obama administration claims as it invokes “state secrets” privilege. Civil liberties groups contend this is different because it does not involve foreign-born terror suspects or government operations abroad.
Author Alan Moore, who wrote V for Vendetta, issues statement of support for Pfc. Bradley Manning. “With any legitimate trial of whistle-blower Bradley Manning still being at an unspecified date in the future, it would seem that what is presently on trial here is Western culture itself.”
Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner says Twitter users that posted “inflammatory messages encouraging others to engage in violence” may be arrested. The crackdown would be part of the police response to riots in London.
New York Times editorial on Ohio and the death penalty: Gov. John Kasich has postponed the next execution for one month, leaving the NYT to conclude this is “further proof that the machinery of death cannot be operated responsibly anywhere.”
It’s no use to debate on a philosophical level whether the PROTECT IP Act will prevent copyright infringement. So, ZeroPaid.com doesn’t bother to prove it and skips right to showing how one can get around DNS censorship.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) urges the US to shut down Guantanamo. It also calls for the disclosure of the names of the men detained in the prison, who have been cleared for release, along with independent review of transfer decisions.
A federal judge rules that domain names seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) do not have to be returned because the seizure did not create “substantial hardship.” EFF and others say, huh? “Really?”
Pirate Party of the UK urges authorities to not use the riots as a pretext to further crackdown on civil liberties or the right to protest.
Video of the day, interview by TheHotButton with Larysa Kondracki, director of the recently released film The Whistleblower—