Posts Tagged ‘NDAA’

President’s review group puzzler: why is massively overbroad surveillance wrong under 215 but OK under section 702?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:09 am by

Original commentary provided by Cindy Cohn and April Glaser and published to EFF’s Deeplinks Blog on January 10, 2014.

obamawinkThe report from the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies on the U.S. government’s mass spying—domestically and around the globe—has much that’s good in it. As the folks handling the only ongoing case where National Security Letters have been declared unconstitutional, we also especially appreciate the recommendation that NSLs may only be issued after judicial review and subject to significant additional limitations. We appreciate their strong endorsement of strong, non-backdoored encryption. And we never thought we’d see a presidential panel explain the risks posed by the government’s stockpiling of Zero Days rather than making sure that they are fixed.

News Digest 12/12/13

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

12/11, Kevin Johnson, USA TodayNSA director defends surveillance programs as necessary

12/11, Allya Sternstein, Nextgov, NSA Spends $1 Billion on Crypto – A Fraction of Total Spy Budget, Researchers Say

12/11, Libby Nelson, Politico, Education in the budget deal — NDAA — A 44-year lobbyist’s parting thoughts

12/11, Mark Gordon, Aleteia, The militarization of American policing

12/11, Adnan Falak, The Nation, Why we can’t stop drones

12/10, Chelynne Renouard, Desert News, Pew: Public divided on whether drones, surveillance, conflict in Afghanistan keep Americans safe

News Digest 11/22/13

Friday, November 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

11/21, Mark Joseph Stern, Slate, Hayden Sees No End In Sight for the NSA

11/21,The Guardian, UN draft resolution: the right to privacy in the digital age – full document

11/20, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Warrantless Surveillance Continues to Cause Fallout

11/19, John T. Bennett, Defense News, Senate NDAA Amendments Piling Up, Many More Expected

11/18, Adam Liptak, New York Times, Justices Reject Challenge to N.S.A. Program

News Digest for 11/14/13

Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

11/13, Scot Neuman, NPR, Obama’s Surveillance Review Panel Issues Initial Findings

11/13, Paul McLeary, Defense News, DHS Nominee Backs Controversial Interrogation Methods

11/13, Ari Shapiro, NPR, How Obama’s Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

11/13, Tom Gjelten, NPR, Who Gets The Blame For NSA Spying? NSA Says Not Us

11/12, J. Taylor Rushing, Stripes, Reid’s office: 2014 NDAA headed for Senate floor this week

11/10, Tom Burghardt, Global Research, The U.S. Secret State and the Internet: “Dirty Secrets” and “Crypto Wars” from “Clipper Chip” and ECHELON to PRISM

11/7, Fran Berkman, Mashable, Report: CIA Pays $10 Million Yearly for AT&T Call Data

Momentum builds to limit the detention powers of the NDAA

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm by

indefinite-2013-ndaa-warOn October 9, the town of Oxford, MA passed a resolution limiting the detention powers of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). The resolution also made the provision that the Massachusetts legislature must “recognize the duty of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to interpose itself between unconstitutional usurpations by the federal government or its agents and the people of this state.”

The city council of Worcester, MA, the state’s largest city after Boston, considered such a resolution on Tuesday, October 15. While it was referred to the council’s Rules Committee, Benjamin Selecky, the Massachusetts representative for People Against the NDAA (PANDA), said the council was strongly supportive. Selecky added that the council stated their wish to educate the public about indefinite detention by putting the draft resolution through the standard approval process, including a public hearing.


Albany’s on its way to becoming the next city to challenge federal indefinite detention

Friday, October 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm by

obama indefinite detention hypocriteOn October 2, 2013, Anton Konev, City of Albany Common Council member, introduced Resolution #80.92.13, adding his voice to mounting dissent in the Albany City Council towards the detention provisions within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The resolution aims to repeal Sections 1021 and 1022 in the NDAA, which could allow anyone, including US citizens, anywhere in the world to be indefinitely detained without trial.

The resolution points out that:

[T]he U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that neither Congress nor the President can constitutionally authorize the detention and/or disposition of any person in the United States, or citizen of the United States “under the law of war” who is not serving “in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;” or in subsequent cases as “part of or supporting forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners” and who have “engaged in an armed conflict against the United States” while “in a foreign combat zone;”


California outlaws indefinite detention

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 10:13 am by

ndaaOn Tuesday, October 1, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Liberty Preservation Act, also known as AB 351, into law. California is among several states state to legally prohibit state law enforcement agencies from sharing information or assisting federal agencies that could arrest and indefinitely detain people without trial.

This bill was created in an effort to safeguard the public’s Sixth Amendment rights by nullifying Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012, signed into law by President Obama. The Bill of Rights Committee played a critical role in mobilizing broad grassroots coalitions in both northern and southern California that jointly mobilized to raise concerns about indefinite detention under the NDAA and ultimately helped prompt this resolution.


AB 351 Passes The California Senate, Strikes A Blow Against Indefinite Detentions

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm by

A major victory for civil liberties was won in the California senate recently with the near unanimous passage of AB 351, a law that would ban state participation in federal programs that involve indefinite detention.

If you haven’t noticed, efforts to advance public policy have come to be defined by partisanship, bickering and endless stall tactics. Despite this adversarial climate, when it came to acknowledging the terrible policy of holding people indefinitely with no trial and no recourse, representatives from all sides of the political spectrum crossed party boundaries to cast their vote in opposition to this horrific practice.

If made law, AB 351 would prohibit state law enforcement agencies from sharing information, collaborating in any way or otherwise assisting in federal agencies that could arrest and hold people in a facility like Guantanamo Bay. This would mean extricating state participation in fusion centers and eliminating personnel and resource commitments in partnership with the armed forces when arrest and prosecution resulting in indefinite detention could occur.


Constitution in Crisis: BORDC’s August 2013 Newsletter

Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm by

Constitution in Crisis

August 2013, Vol. 12 No. 08

View this newsletter as a webpage:

Controversy continues to mount over NSA dragnet domestic spying

As the country continues to focus on the National Security Agency (NSA) spying scandal, a rising tide of criticism has confronted the surveillance state.


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:

Grassroots News

August 2013 Patriot Award: Janet Weil from San Francisco, CA

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 Janet Weil for her extraordinary and committed activism and organizing over the last three decades.

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!

Law and Policy

War on the whistleblowers continues in Bradley Manning trial

At the end of July, a military court acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of “aiding the enemy,” a charge with dangerous implications for journalists. Manning supporters, however, should not be too quick to celebrate; the court convicted him of twenty other crimes and Manning faces nearly 100 years in prison.

New York City: Floyd and Communities United for Police Reform challenge profiling

On Monday, August 12, New Yorkers won a historic victory with a federal court ruling that the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) use of stop and frisk policing violated the constitution. Judge Shira Scheindlin found that the tactic violated both the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The plaintiffs and their attorneys, the Center for Constitutional Rights, brought the case to challenge blatant racial profiling by the NYPD.

Momentum builds to hold senior officials accountable

Calls for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to face prosecution for lying to Congress continues to escalate. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been one of the strongest voices for transparency around NSA surveillance.

Federal appellate court dismisses Hedges lawsuit challenging NDAA detention powers

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected a challenge to the sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could allow for indefinite military detention of those who are suspected of substantially supporting terrorism.

President considers Ray Kelly to lead DHS despite dismal civil liberties record at NYPD

As Janet Napolitano steps down as Secretary of Homeland Security, President Obama has looked for a new candidate to fill the position. Raymond Kelly, Police Commissioner of New York, has been cited as a possible successor to Napolitano, but his appointment would likely exacerbate the profiling and surveillance of Muslims throughout the country.

New Resources & Opportunities

August Recess 2013

BORDC recently developed a grassroots action toolkit, a resource to provide guidance to grassroots constitutionalists engaging federal policymakers while in their home districts on recess.

National march on Washington on August 24

August 28, 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Groups and individuals will recreate the event on August 24 by traveling to Washington and gathering at the Lincoln Memorial, the setting where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

Constitution Day

September brings more than the end of summer and the start of the academic season. September 17 marks Constitution Day, commemorating the day, September 17, 1787, when our Constitution was signed.

How to organize a protest in your community

On July 4, there were protests in dozens of cities standing in support of the Fourth Amendment and against unconstitutional NSA spying. The Bill of Rights Defense Committee is proud to support the Restore the Fourth movement, and played an especially active role in building a coalition to support the rally in McPherson Square in Washington, DC. This is a guide we put together about planning and executing successful protests. Please feel free to cross-post this anywhere you’d like.

Microgrants offer opportunities for grassroots action

To help encourage outreach, public education, and grassroots mobilization, BORDC has provided microgrants to coalitions that have participated in one of BORDC’s anchor convenings, such as the May 2013 convening in the Bay Area, CA. Grants of $300 to $500 are available to help active coalitions expand their local visibility, host events, and/or build capacity.

Hold your elected officials and candidates for office accountable: pledge to support only those who defend your civil liberties

Here’s an online opportunity to connect the dots and encourage greater respect for constitutional values by your state and federal representatives.

Help BORDC restore the rule of law

  • Get involved! Volunteer, organize, raise your voice—we have an opportunity that’s right for everyone.
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8 Bridge Street, Suite A
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Appeals court rejects indefinite detention challenge

Monday, July 29, 2013 at 9:47 am by

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected a challenge to the sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that could allow for indefinite military detention of those who are suspected of substantially supporting terrorism.

As we have previously covered (here, here, here and elsewhere), the suit was brought by journalists and activists concerned about being subjected to indefinite military detention if they interviewed or interacted with groups deemed hostile to the US. At the trial stage, a federal district court recognized the statute’s constitutional faults.

In her 2012 rulings, Judge Katherine Forrest prohibited military detention based on allegations of ‘substantially supporting’ or ‘directly supporting’ unspecified ‘associated forces’ of our nation’s enemies, finding that the plaintiffs could likely show that the NDAA violated the First Amendment, that it was overly vague, and that it violated the Fifth Amendment. The government appealed the ruling, prompting BORDC and other groups to file briefs with the appeals court highlighting the grave historical and present concerns with unchecked indefinite detention.

Earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the lower court’s ruling. The appeals court held that Section 1021 of the NDAA does not control the government’s ability to detain American citizens and thus the citizen plaintiffs had no standing to have their challenge heard. Further the court ruled that the non-citizen plaintiffs could not demonstrate a “sufficient basis to fear detention under the statute” and as such, they also had no standing.