Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

News Digest for 12/16/13

Monday, December 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

12/15, Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, NSA officials consider Edward Snowden amnesty in return for documents

12/15, Editorial Board, New York Times, The Black Hole of Terrorism Watch lists

12/15, Rachel Martin, NPR, No sign of closing up shop at Guantanamo

12/14, Chris Strohm and Mike Dorning, Bloomberg Businessweek, AT&T to T-Mobile Keeping U.S. Spy Records Seen as Costly, Risky

12/13, McClatchy DC, Feinstein: Vote soon on releasing parts of secret CIA detention report

12/11, Quinnipac, 69% Support Drone Attacks “Against Suspected Terrorists in Foreign Countries”

Then, it was Communist. Now, it is Terrorist.

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm by

the-new-mccarthyism-movie-poster-2007-1020516813A lot has changed since this summer.

We’ve finally been able to confirm—and force media and government institutions to address—longstanding concerns that Washington has discarded the Constitution and is indiscriminately capturing our internet searches, social media posts, text messages, emails, IP addresses, electronic banking information, and phone calls (content and meta data) without any evidence of wrongdoing. The data from whistleblowers essentially confirmed suspicions that the NSA, for years, has been collecting and archiving records of what every American reads, writes, hears, and says.

Such warrantless bulk data collection sows the seeds for political repression. We should know this. We’ve seen it before. Help stop the cycle today.

The former East Germany and the Soviet Union were historical paragons of authoritarianism. But neither of those regimes had technological capabilities even comparable to the National Security Agency (NSA). With arbitrary detention without trial added to unapologetic profiling according to race, religion, and ideology, there is little to prevent a future American official—at nearly any point in the chain of command—from taking advantage of the profound secrecy and unaccountability across the national security establishment to misuse its powers for dangerous ends.


NSA surveillance’s cost-benefit ratio

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:22 am by

Commentary was written by Mortiz Laurer and originally published by Foreign Policy In Focus on November 18, 2013.


Senator Church Frank, spied on by the NSA

Polls show that a majority of Americans rhetorically oppose the extensive domestic surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). But the outrage is far less than one might expect, considering the agency’s profound intrusion into people’s private spheres.

One explanation for this might be that, in the age of Facebook and Google, people are simply used to the massive sharing of information as a condition for using social media services. The currency is information, not money—a price many citizens seem to be very willing to pay.


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.


09/18/13 News Digest

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm by

Current News

9/17, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Extended Ruling by Secret Court Backs Collection of Phone Data

9/17, Editorial, New York Times, Steps Toward a Less Secret Court

9/17, NPR, Is The U.S. Drone Program Fatally Flawed?

9/17, Mike Masnick, TechDirt, FISA Court Pretends Every Member Of Congress Was Told Details Of Bulk Surveillance, Even Though They Weren’t

9/17, Josh Gerstein, Politico, Judge orders Guantanamo procedures unsealed

9/17, Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, Audit: Justice Department office overstated terrorism conviction statistics

8/15, Shahid Buttar, TruthOut, USA vs. NSA: Legislative Efforts to Curtail Spying

News Digest 08/06/13

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 05/28/13

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 05/24/13

Friday, May 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

News Digest 05/17/13

Friday, May 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

5/16, Daniel Halper, Weekly Standard, Congressman: Justice Dept. Wiretapped the House of Representative’s Cloak Room

5/16, Josh Peterson, The Daily Caller, DOJ sought to surveil several thousand U.S. citizens in 2012

5/16, Alina Selyukh and Deborah Charles, NBC News, CISPA cybersecurity bill backers hope second time’s a charm

5/16, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Debating the Legal Basis for the War on Terror

5/16, Somini Sengupta, New York Times, Concerns Arise on U.S. Effort to Allow Internet ‘Wiretaps’

5/16, Brad Knickerbocker, Christian Science Monitor, US loses track of terrorists in witness protection: Poor data sharing blamed

5/15, Matthew Alexander, MSNBC, New WikiLeaks film discusses government secrecy

Coming together as a city and nation after the Boston bomings

Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10:34 am by

Boston Marathon MemorialThe ramifications of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, will be felt in our city and throughout the country for years to come as seen with past acts of terror in the US. BORDC aims to educate people about the significance of our rights and to convert concern, outrage, and fear into debate and action, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a commitment to civil liberties in the wake of  tragedy.

The  events of the Boston Bombing have the potential to make all of us less secure in our rights. The called-for increases in police profiling, the police’s expanding powers, and their further militarization all have ramifications that reach much further than securing a marathon or a plane. Boston—and the rest of the country—is confronted with one question to answer: what will the impact of the envisioned police powers be on members of all communities that call this city home?

At BORDC, we work with community organizations to identify and reach out to local allies in ways that build cross-issue, cross-community, and even cross-city movements to restore our civil rights. As part of this strategy, we aid groups in developing their organizing plan and offer model ordinances as a starting point, which groups can then adapt to local circumstances. This approach has seen remarkable success in over a dozen cities/counties including Alameda County, CA.

Last month, BORDC released ground-breaking model legislation  prohibiting or curtailing the use of drones. In one of its versions, the ordinance would declare the local airspace above a town or city to be a drone-free zone in which drone use is completely illegal. In its other incarnation, it would provide for the organizers’ choice of a non-police use exception, a warrant exception, and a private use exception. As calls for increased aerial surveillance mount, such an ordinance will be critical in ensuring that we don’t cede our privacy to the skies.