Posts Tagged ‘electronic surveillance’

FBI & NSA spying revealed: Uncle Sam is watching you, and both Congress and the courts are complicit

Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 10:41 am by

The (UK) Guardian published a previously secret court order authorizing dragnet surveillance of millions of Americans without any pretense of justification, confirming concerns raised by civil libertarians (including me) for years.

Since first taking office in 2009, the Obama administration has repeatedly extended the USA PATRIOT Act, including the overbroad section 215 cited as the basis for the FBI surveillance approved by the secret order disclosed by the Guardian. In light of Congress’ recent decision to extend the law permitting even worse abuses by the NSA for another five years, and the Supreme Court’s outrageous decision in Clapper v. Amnesty Int’l turning a blind eye to dragnet domestic surveillance, the document is also a clarion call for both mass outrage and immediate congressional action for long overdue sunlight at the National Security Agency.

obamaphone1

The document is disturbing because, in a single swoop, it authorizes not just the wiretapping of a single individual, or a single organization, but all of the customers of a single telecommunications company. The order reinforces its own secrecy, immune from public or congressional oversight, violating core tenets of both Due Process and the Fourth Amendment at once.

Surveillance run amok

The first thing to take away from this disclosure is this sheer scale and scope of FBI and NSA spying on Americans. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY), like the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and various allied organizations, have been raising alarm since even before the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”).

Along with Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), Sen.  Wyden has suggested in his capacity as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Americans would be outraged if we knew about secret government interpretations of the PATRIOT Act’s controversial Section 215 authority. The law is bad enough without being contorted to allow surveillance even beyond its meager limits, but that’s exactly what the document leaked to the Guardian demonstrates: a single wiretap order allowing the FBI to spy on millions of law-abiding Americans at once, without even a pretense of the individualized suspicion long required by the Constitution.

Wyden has also sought information about how many Americans have been impacted by NSA spying overseen by the same FISA court that approved the FBI surveillance revealed by the Guardian. The answers would be laughable if they weren’t so disturbing: the NSA claimed it couldn’t answer a quantitative question because it would somehow violate the privacy of individuals under surveillance, and also that figuring out the answer to Wyden’s inquiries would simply be impracticable.

The NSA’s spin moves before Sen. Wyden’s attempts at oversight insinuated what the Guardian’s disclosure confirms: that our government’s most secret agency is run amok, squandering billions of dollars while assaulting America from our own shores, using our own money.

While outrage is appropriately escalating at the scale of FBI and NSA abuses, three angles to this controversy have remained muted in most of today’s commentary.

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President foreshadows new internet surveillance proposal during national security speech

Friday, May 31, 2013 at 10:40 am by
The following post by Trevor Timm was originally published on Electronic Frontier Foundation’s  blog Deeplinks, on May 30, 2013.

President Obama gave an influential speech on counter terrorism and national security policy last week, and while much of the media coverage discussed the President remarks on Guantanamo prison and drone strikes, buried in the speech was a line just as critical to civil liberties online.

Half way through the speech, Obama said he wanted to “review[] the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, and build in privacy protections to prevent abuse.”

We certainly agree with the president we need new privacy protections for our digital communications, and it’s encouraging to hear him suggest support for such proposals. After all, we know the vast surveillance authorities given to law enforcement over the last decade’—like the Patriot ActFISA Amendments Act, and National Security Letters—have been serially abused. Unfortunately, President Obama has actively defended these laws and policies in Congress and the courts, despite promising to reform them as a candidate.

There are still many measures his administration could support in the coming months to protect Americans communications. The White House could formally support reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which still says law enforcement agencies do not need warrants to obtain emails over 180 days old. The White House could come out in favor of warrant protection for cell-phone location information since it’s requested by authoritiesliterally millions of times a year without a warrant. In the wake of the Associated Press scandal, Obama could also support a bill to require a court order for call records of all Americans.

But the first half of Obama’s statement—about “review[] the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication”—is quite troubling. The line is likely an allusion to CALEA II, a dangerous proposal the New York Times has reported the administration “is on the verge of backing.” The measure would force companies like Google and Facebook to install backdoors in all of their products to facilitate law-enforcement access, putting both our privacy and security at risk.

Law enforcement certainly doesn’t need more legal authorities to conduct digital surveillance. As mentioned above, Congress has already been provided a huge amount of new surveillance authority that has been abused. As former White House Chief Counselor for Privacy Peter Swiresaid in 2011, “today [is] a golden age for surveillance.”

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ECPA reform aims to limit electronic searches

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 9:07 am by

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents recently released to the ACLU indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) exploits legal loopholes to unlawfully search electronic communications. Clandestine activity under these policies contravenes the Constitution as well as the rights of we the people.

The severely outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), enacted in 1986 to restrict government access to then-limited digital data, allows warrantless access to messages stored for over 180 days. In a new era of cloud computing, however, this obsolete provision fails to uphold modern expectations of privacy.

In United States v. Warshak, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit required the government to obtain a warrant in order to compel disclosure of electronic communications, regardless of how long they were stored. This more protective ruling, however, binds only states in the Sixth Circuit’s jurisdiction. FOIA documents from the US Attorney’s offices in California, Illinois, Florida, New York, and Michigan illustrate a collage of inconsistent investigation standards.

On the one hand, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York authored an unidentified document claiming authority to search “opened electronic communications or extremely old unopened email” without a warrant. Absent context to frame the authority, this approach essentially eliminates any expectation of privacy to electronic communication.

Conversely, federal prosecutors in the Northern District of Illinois have disclosed a document conceding that they must obtain a warrant to access information such as private tweets and messages stored in Facebook. While this reflects a favorable policy, its legal application to actual investigations remains unclear.

These varying protections for electronic privacy confound observers, but an initiative to restrict government surveillance sees some daylight in Congress. Last month, the US Senate voted unanimously to advance a bill that upgrades ECPA’s backward provisions. According to the overview of Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) ECPA amendment:

[D]isclosure of the content of email and other electronic communications by an electronic communication or remote computing service provider to the Government is subject to one clear legal standard —  a search warrant issued based on a showing of probable cause.

Senator Leahy’s amendment also eliminates the 180-day threshold to preserve privacy interests in ‘older’ data.

Constitution in Crisis::BORDC’s May Newsletter

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm by

Constitution in Crisis

May 2013, Vol. 12 No. 05

View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2012/05/


Department of Justice seizes phone records of journalists

BORDC News

Grassroots News

Law and Policy

New Resources and Opportunities

 

Constitution in Crisis::BORDC’s April Newsletter

Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm by

Constitution in Crisis

April 2013, Vol. 12 No. 04

View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/04


In this issue:

BORDC releases model legislation to address domestic surveillance drones

BORDC News

Highlights from the past month include:

Grassroots News

Law and Policy

New Resources and Opportunities

 


 

 

CISPA goes to the floor for a vote, privacy amendments blocked

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:15 am by

The following post by Mark M. Jaycox,  Kurt OpsahlRainey Reitman was originally published on Electronic Frontier Foundation’s  blog Deeplinks, on April 17, 2013.

Yesterday [April 16, 2012], the US House prepared for the debate on the privacy-invading “cybersecurity” bill called CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The rules committee hearing was the last stop before the bill is voted on by the full House.

In the hearing, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) was questioned about the core problems in the bill, like the broad immunity and new corporate spying powers. In response, he characterized users who oppose CISPA as “14 year olds” tweeting in a basement.

The bill may be voted on as early as Wednesday. This means there’s little time left to speak out. Please tell your Representative to vote no on the bill:

Call your Representative

Tweet at your Representative

Here are some of the takeaways from the hearing.

Rep. Rogers Dismisses CISPA Opponents as Teenage Basement Tweeters

After a heated exchange about the overly broad legal immunity, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) noted the widespread opposition to CISPA by Internet users. In response, Rep. Rogers characterized opponents to CISPA as “14 year olds” tweeting in a basement. See the video here.

Of course, many people oppose CISPA — several thousand of whom tweeted at Rogers after his remark.

Internet companies like Mozilla, Reddit, NameCheap, Gandi.net, and other have also come out strong against the bill. And over 70 cybersecurity experts and academics sent a joint letter opposing CISPA last year, expressing their firm opposition to the dangers of Roger’s approach to computer security:

We have devoted our careers to building security technologies, and to protecting networks, computers, and critical infrastructure against attacks of many stripes. We take security very seriously, but we fervently believe that strong computer and network security does not require Internet users to sacrifice their privacy and civil liberties.

Earlier this week, 34 civil liberties groups sent a letter opposing CISPA in its current form.

And the newest addition to CISPA opposition? The White House, which issued a veto threat(PDF) yesterday.

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CIA and NSA data collection programs

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 9:45 am by

Social Media Mareting  ¿Qué es Social Media Marketing ?Speaking at a recent data conference in New York, chief technology officer Ira Hunt of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) commented on the increasing quantities of available information – including emails, videos, and tweets – in the current digital age. Regarding the prevalence and applications of such digital information, Hunt states that:

The value of any piece of information is only known when you can connect it with something else that arrives at a future point in time. Since you can’t connect dots you don’t have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever.

With the enhanced abilities of computers to compute massive quantities of information, Hunt’s statements depict the CIA’s aspirations in accumulating and mapping large sets of data, a sentiment reflected in the agency’s recent contracts with industry giants such as Amazon.com. In this instance, this contract specifically focuses on cloud computing software, in that Amazon will aid the CIA in constructing a private cloud system, potentially for hosting sensitive and classified information that would otherwise be susceptible to security concerns in the public technological domain.

The CIA’s efforts are reminiscent of certain programs undertaken by the National Security Agency (NSA), which has conducted such investigations despite public worries over privacy and related Fourth Amendment concerns.  One such critic of the NSA is whistle-blower William Binney, whose was recently interviewed by filmmaker Laura Poitras for her documentary short regarding post-September 11th America. Having publicly admonished the NSA, Binney (who resigned from the agency in 2001) described a foreign intelligence program conducted by the NSA that focused upon classified domestic spying, which he believes to have been initiated shortly after September 11th. As reported by the New Yorker:

“Binney and a team of some twenty others believed that they had pinpointed the N.S.A.’s biggest problem—data overload. ThinThread, the “little program” that he invented to track enemies outside the U.S., “got twisted,” and was used for both foreign and domestic spying: “I should apologize to the American people. It’s violated everyone’s rights. It can be used to eavesdrop on the whole world.”

Such data programs espouse distinct similarities with a former Department of Defense (DOD) project known as the “total information awareness” program, which was “based on a vision of pulling together as much information as possible about as many people as possible into an ‘ultra-large-scale’ database.” However, in 2003, Congress de-funded the Defense Advanced Research Projects Area’s (DARPA) total information awareness program, which the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had often likened to the “Big Brother” project of the current era. In essence, the aforesaid CIA and NSA programs represent instances in which the executive has significantly expanded its power though its replication of policies that Congress has expressly rejected.

Constitution in Crisis :: BORDC’s March Newsletter

Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 9:27 am by

Constitution in Crisis

March 2013, Vol. 12 No. 03

View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/03/


March 2013, Vol. 12 No. 03

View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/03/


Paul leads filibuster of Brennan nomination to lead CIA

On March 6, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) forced a long overdue conversation in Washington about checks and balances on executive power by leading a bipartisan filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination to lead the CIA.

BORDC News

BORDC in the news

In the last month, BORDC and coalitions we support across the nation have appeared in various press outlets to promote concerns about constitutional rights and the powers of police and intelligence agencies that abuse them.

Read the latest news & analysis from the People’s Blog for the Constitution

Have you read BORDC’s blog lately? The People’s Blog for the Constitution has attracted a growing audience that has tripled over the past year. Featuring news & analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, it offers a great way to stay up-to-date and informed.

Highlights from the past month include:

BORDC’s Shahid Buttar speaks in Austin, TX

On Tuesday, March 5, BORDC’s Shahid Buttar spoke at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin. Hosted by the American Constitution Society, his talk, which was videotaped and is available online, addressed “Power and Accountability in the Post-9/11 era: torture, targeted killing, and domestic drone surveillance.”

BORDC hosts reception to celebrate recent Bay Area organizing victories

On Sunday, May 5, BORDC will host a reception in San Francisco celebrating the organization’s first decade of grassroots organizing to restore civil liberties, and several recent policy victories across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Grassroots News

March 2013 Patriot Award: Mary Madden

Every month, BORDC honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in his or her community to the movement to restore civil liberties and the rule of law. This month, the Patriot Award goes to Mary Madden for her extraordinary and committed activism and organizing.

Grassroots updates

To view campaigns supported by BORDC at a glance, visit our interactive campaign maps for local coalitions addressing surveillance and profiling by local law enforcement, or military detention under the NDAA. To get involved in any of these efforts, please email the BORDC Organizing Team at organizing (at) bordc (dot) org. We’re eager to hear from you and help support your activism!

          • Nationwide: Campaigns emerge to address domestic surveillance drones
          • Boston and Cambridge, MA: Diverse coalition takes action in several ways
          • Hartford, CT: Public education on how immigration enforcement could undermine civil liberties
          • New York City, NY: Residents gather to challenge drones and detention, while lawsuit proceeds vs. NYPD stop-and-frisk profiling
          • Annapolis, MD: Statewide coalition challenges NDAA, plans upcoming discussion event
          • Asheville, NC: Coalition mobilizes to support proposed Civil Liberties Ordinance
          • Cleveland, OH: Coalition launches monthly vigils, bus tour, and petitions
          • Chicago, IL: Coalition mobilizes to challenge suppression of dissent, anti-immigrant profiling
          • Madison, WI: New coalition initiates public education campaign
          • Helena, MT: House votes unanimously to approve bill vs. NDAA
          • Los Angeles, CA: Coalition plans community mobilization for upcoming Police Commission meeting
          • San Francisco, CA: The 18th city to say “No!” to indefinite detention under the NDAA
          • Seattle, WA: Community considers racial profiling and drones
          • Friday Harbor, WA: Coalition organizes educational forum

Law and Policy

Bipartisan legislation introduced to curtail domestic surveillance drones

Earlier this month, Representatives Ted Poe (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013 (HR 637), a bipartisan bill that would establish basic legal ground rules for the domestic use of unmanned drone aircraft. The principles now governing searches by this new technology are vague, and the clarity of this bill would greatly benefit both police and the public.

CISPA threatens military control of domestic cybersecurity

The Cyber Information and Sharing Act (CISPA) was first introduced last year by Representatives Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). It prompted widespread opposition, including a veto threat from President Obama, in addition to a petition with over 800,000 signatures, and a widespread online campaign dubbed “Stop Cyber Spying Week.” Nonetheless, CISPA is back.

Immigration enforcement: a Trojan horse?

Calls for comprehensive reform of federal immigration law have prompted a bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill. Most observers, however, have overlooked how stronger immigration enforcement could undermine the rights of not only immigrants, but also US citizens.

DC Circuit Court forces CIA to at least acknowledge documents about drones

On March 15, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the CIA must respond to a FOIA request by the ACLU seeking information about the targeted killing program using drone aircraft. While the decision does not require the actual disclosure of the documents, which the lawsuit will now move on to address, it does represent a rare example of the federal judiciary standing up to government secrecy and asserting an independent check and balance.

National Security Letters held unconstitutional

On March 15, a federal judge in California struck down National Security Letters (NSLs) as unconstitutional violations of free speech. US District Judge Susan Illston ordered the Justice Department and FBI to stop issuing NSLs, which are unilateral demands for private information unsupported by a judicial warrant, and also ordered them to stop enforcing gag orders attached to NSLs in other cases.

US Supreme Court places NSA above the law in Clapper v. Amnesty

On February 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to allow warrantless wiretapping to continue. The controversial decision places the National Security Agency (NSA) above the law and insulates it from judicial review.

New Resources and Opportunities

Join the struggle for Due Process vs. domestic military detention under NDAA

The transpartisan grassroots movement against the domestic detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is growing. Nearly 20 cities have passed resolutions supporting Due Process, and organizers are using Facebook to help build statewide campaigns in several states.

BORDC to host spring convenings in the Northeast and Bay Area

BORDC supports grassroots organizers as they build diverse coalitions seeking local protections and civil rights and civil liberties. A pair of upcoming convenings offer opportunities for organizers to travel to the Northeast in April, or Bay Area in May, to share skills and case studies with allies from other cities.

Micro-grants offer opportunities for grassroots action

To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC has provided micro-grants to coalitions that have participated in one of BORDC’s anchor convenings, such as the May 2012 convening in Chicago. Grants of $300 to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility, host events, or build capacity.


Clapper v Amnesty: Courts and Congress v Our Constitution

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:18 am by

Tuesday’s decision by the Supreme Court in Clapper vs Amnesty Int’l reflects judicial formalism at its worst. The decision abandons fundamental rights and the courts’ constitutional mandate, while placing government agencies above the law, so long as they commit their abuses in secret.

Clapper is a constitutional travesty of the highest order, reflecting the erosion of privacy, judicial independence, and constitutional government all at once. By allowing executive secrecy to insulate violations from review, five Justices of the Supreme Court have effectively killed what shreds once remained of the Fourth Amendment.

Every American should be gravely concerned, and anyone who still considers America “the land of the free” should carefully reconsider their assumptions. Several elements of the decision are disturbing, especially when viewed in a broader context beyond the case itself.

Most obviously disappointing is the result of the ruling, not only for the plaintiffs, but also anyone who uses the phone system or Internet.

A scandal in plain sight

The Clapper saga started with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was first passed in the 1970s to restrict domestic spying by government agencies. It was prompted by decades of abuses by the FBI, CIA, and other agencies that Congress investigated and found conducting “a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at suppressing the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association,” including a documented government campaign to “neutralize” Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders.

In 2002, the Bush administration authorized the National Security Agency (the NSA) to begin a secret warrantless wiretapping program in clear violation of the FISA law. It remained secret, at one point prompting a dramatic intra-executive showdown and threats of a mass resignation by Justice Department officials under the Bush administration, until the New York Times exposed the program in late 2005.

Aside from generating an earthquake across Washington, the first results of the Times‘ expose included government threats to prosecute the journalists. Their only “crime” was exposing the public to an issue that should never have been secret in the first place.  While prosecutors thankfully opted not to prosecute Lichtblau & Risen, others continued to face prosecution for pursuing transparency in the public interest.

In the middle of the 2008 presidential election race, Congress amended FISA to permit what the original statute had been passed to prohibit. Rather than require the agency to comply with the long-standing law, however, Congress instead watered down the law to allow the agency’s abuses to continue.

Congress’ 2008 amendments to FISA doomed oversight. As the dissenting Justices in Clapper observed, the 2008 amendments allow NSA monitoring not only of agents of a foreign power, but also law-abiding Americans. Congress in 2008 also removed FISA’s original requirement for the NSA to identify specific targets and locations for surveillance, enabling the agency to conduct bulk collection, or dragnet surveillance. Finally, the 2008 amendments subsidized corporate crime, extending a corporate subsidy in the form of immunity from lawsuits alleging privacy violations, ensuring that telecommunications companies could continue facilitating unconstitutional surveillance without fearing lawsuits from a justifiably hostile public.

That was the context in which a group of activists, journalists, and lawyers among the most likely suspects for NSA surveillance filed suit.

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Constitution in Crisis :: BORDC’s February Newsletter

Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 4:19 pm by

Constitution in Crisis

February 2013, Vol. 12 No. 02

View this newsletter as a webpage: http://www.bordc.org/newsletter/2013/02/


CIA nominee Brennan ducks Senate question on torture, assassination without trial

On Thursday, February 7, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) held a hearing on the nomination of John Brennan to lead the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). BORDC live tweeted the hearing, and Executive Director Shahid Buttar attended the first five minutes of the hearing, before Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) removed the public after repeated criticism of Brennan’s record on torture, human rights, and arbitrary assassination.

BORDC News

BORDC in the news

In the last month, BORDC and coalitions we support across the nation have appeared in various press outlets to promote concerns about constitutional rights and the powers of police and intelligence agencies that abuse them.

Read the latest news & analysis from the People’s Blog for the Constitution

Have you read BORDC’s blog lately? The People’s Blog for the Constitution has attracted a growing audience that has tripled over the past year. Featuring news & analysis beyond the headlines on a daily basis, it offers a great way to stay up to date and informed.

Highlights from the past month include:

CIA nominee Brennan latest official asked to declassify Senate report condemning torture

The first task of the incoming CIA Director will be to declassify a 6,000 page report on torture compiled by the SSCI based on a three year investigation. BORDC’s online petition calls on the President to declassify the report and enable its release to the public and the press, as required by his repeated pledges to promote transparency.

BORDC expands capacity in 2012

Thanks in part to record contributions from individual supporters like you, BORDC’s budget grew an astounding 60% in 2012! We expanded our vital work, but were able to do so only because our donors made the important choice to get involved.

Grassroots News

February 2013 Patriot Award: Peggy Littleton

Every month, BORDC honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in his or her community to the movement to restore civil liberties and the rule of law. This month, the Patriot Award goes to Peggy Littleton, from El Paso County, CO, for her longstanding commitment to civil liberties.

Grassroots updates

To view campaigns supported by BORDC at a glance, visit our interactive campaign maps for local coalitions addressing surveillance and profiling by local law enforcement, or military detention under the NDAA. To get involved in any of these efforts, please email the BORDC Organizing Team at organizing@bordc.org. We’re eager to hear from you and help support your activism!

 

Law and Policy

Appeals court hears arguments on indefinite military detention under NDAA

On Wednesday, February 6, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Hedges v. Obama, a lawsuit challenging domestic military detention authority under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012.

BORDC joins in asking Supreme Court to protect email privacy

BORDC has joined an amicus brief, filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) calling for the Supreme Court to hear a case that could strengthen privacy protections for anyone who uses e-mail.

FAA expands drone authorizations, while some cities fight back

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently released an updated list of jurisdictions in which drone use is now authorized across the country.

New Resources and Opportunities

BORDC to host spring convenings for organizers in the Northeast and Northwest

BORDC supports grassroots organizers as they build coalitions seeking to advance Local Civil Rights Restoration (LCRR) and to challenge the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Micro-grants offer opportunities for grassroots action

To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC has provided micro-grants to coalitions that have participated in one of BORDC’s anchor convenings, such as the May 2012 convening in Chicago. Grants of $300 to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility, host events, or build capacity.