Civil Liberties Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Civil Liberties Media Articles from Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important civil liberties articles reported in the mainstream media suggesting a cover-up. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These civil liberties articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Civil Liberties Media Articles


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.

Congress approves federal whistleblower protections
2012-11-14, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/congress-approves-federal-whistleblower-p...

Congress has finally approved legislation to strengthen protections for federal whistleblowers. The legislation is designed to protect employees who expose government wrongdoing against retaliation by supervisors. The Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which will enforce the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), praised the Senate’s action. In a statement, OSC said the legislation will: *Overturn court decisions that narrowed protections for government whistleblowers. *Give whistleblower protections to employees who are not currently covered, including Transportation Security Administration officers. *Restore the Office of Special Counsel’s ability to seek disciplinary actions against supervisors who retaliate. *Hold agencies accountable for retaliatory investigations. Whistleblower advocates hailed congressional approval of the legislation. “The WPEA closes many loopholes and upgrades protections for federal workers who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, abuse and illegality,” said Angela Canterbury, director of public policy for the Project On Government Oversight. With the Senate’s action, “free speech rights for government employees never have been stronger,” said Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project. But Devine added that the legislation is not all that advocates wanted. “It would be dishonest to say our work is done, however, or to deny that government whistleblower rights are still second class compared to those in the private sector,” he said.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.




Feigning Free Speech on Campus
2012-10-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/opinion/feigning-free-speech-on-campus.html

Colleges and universities are supposed to be bastions of unbridled inquiry and expression, but they probably do as much to repress free speech as any other institution in young people’s lives. Since the 1980s ... colleges have enacted stringent speech codes. From protests and rallies to displays of posters and flags, students have been severely constrained in their ability to demonstrate their beliefs. The speech codes are at times intended to enforce civility, but they often backfire, suppressing free expression instead of allowing for open debate of controversial issues. In a study of 392 campus speech codes last year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ... found that 65 percent of the colleges had policies that in [their] view violated the Constitution’s guarantee of the right to free speech. Some elite colleges in particular have Orwellian speech codes that are so vague and broad that they would never pass constitutional muster at state-financed universities. A 2010 study by the American Association of Colleges and Universities of 24,000 college students and 9,000 faculty and staff members found that only 35.6 percent of the students — and only 18.5 percent of the faculty and staff — strongly agreed that it was “safe to hold unpopular positions on campus.” Colleges have promulgated speech codes that are not only absurd in their results but also detrimental to the ideals of free inquiry. Students can’t learn how to navigate democracy and engage with their fellow citizens if they are forced to think twice before they speak their mind.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




ACLU fights the good fight to stop government surveillance of our citizens
2012-10-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/19/aclu-fisa-government-spyi...

In 2008, the US Senate voted to let the NSA [National Security Agency] wiretap any US citizen's emails and phone calls internationally in the interest of national security so long as the government's purpose was to collect "foreign intelligence information". The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought a constitutional challenge to the Fisa Amendments Act. As the Director of the ACLU's Center for Democracy, Jameel Jaffer, pointed out, the amendments "gave the NSA unprecedented power to monitor the international communications of people living in the United States — to listen to their phone calls, and to read their emails. 'We are targeting our own country', one NSA whistleblower observed." Dragnet surveillance of people with nothing at all to do with terrorism began at once. These Fisa amendments lose their authority in December, and the reauthorization battle will unfold in the context of a new high profile lawsuit's activities. The ACLU group's lawsuit includes several journalists and organizations including Naomi Klein, Chris Hedges, Human Rights Watch, the Global Fund for Women, the Pen American Center and the Nation Magazine. The ACLU group argues fear of NSA surveillance is hampering the abilities of these people to report the news, gain testimony from witnesses and represent victims of human rights abuses.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Stopped-and-Frisked: 'For Being a F**king Mutt' [VIDEO]
2012-10-08, The Nation
http://www.thenation.com/article/170413/stopped-and-frisked-being-fking-mutt-...

Exclusive audio obtained by The Nation of a stop-and-frisk carried out by the New York Police Department freshly reveals the discriminatory and unprofessional way in which this controversial policy is being implemented on the city’s streets. On June 3, 2011, three plainclothes New York City Police officers stopped a Harlem teenager named Alvin. Two of the officers questioned and frisked him while the third remained in their unmarked car. Alvin secretly captured the interaction on his cell phone, and the resulting audio is one of the only known recordings of stop-and-frisk in action. In the course of the two-minute recording, the officers give no legally valid reason for the stop, use racially charged language and threaten Alvin with violence. Early in the stop, one of the officers asks, “You want me to smack you?” When Alvin asks why he is being threatened with arrest, the other officer responds, “For being a fucking mutt.” Later in the stop, while holding Alvin’s arm behind his back, the first officer says, “Dude, I’m gonna break your fuckin’ arm, then I’m gonna punch you in the fuckin’ face.” Alvin’s treatment at the hands of the officers may be disturbing but it is not uncommon. According to their own stop-and-frisk data, the NYPD stops more than 1,800 New Yorkers a day. A New York Times analysis recently determined that more than 20 percent of those stops involve the use of force. And these are only the numbers that the Department records. Anecdotal evidence suggests both figures are much higher.

Note: For more on civil liberties issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.




Intelligence Effort Named Citizens, Not Terrorists
2012-10-03, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/intelligence-effort-named-citizens...

A multibillion-dollar information-sharing program created in the aftermath of 9/11 has improperly collected information about innocent Americans and produced little valuable intelligence on terrorism, a Senate report concludes. It portrays an effort that ballooned far beyond anyone's ability to control. What began as an attempt to put local, state and federal officials in the same room analyzing the same intelligence has instead cost huge amounts of money for data-mining software, flat screen televisions and, in Arizona, two fully equipped Chevrolet Tahoes that are used for commuting, investigators found. The report underscores a reality of post-9/11 Washington: National security programs tend to grow, never shrink, even when their money and manpower far surpass the actual subject of terrorism. When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties. The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights. One fusion center cited in the Senate investigation wrote a report about a Muslim community group's list of book recommendations. Others discussed American citizens speaking at mosques or talking to Muslim groups about parenting. No evidence of criminal activity was contained in those reports. The government did not circulate them, but it kept them on government computers. The federal government is prohibited from storing information about First Amendment activities not related to crimes.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




US calls Assange 'enemy of state'
2012-09-27, Sydney Morning Herald (One of Australia's leading newspapers)
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/us-calls-assange-enemy-of-state-...

The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death. The documents, some originally classified "Secret/NoForn" - not releasable to non-US nationals - record a probe by the air force's Office of Special Investigations into a cyber systems analyst based in Britain who allegedly expressed support for WikiLeaks and attended pro-Assange demonstrations in London. The suspected offence was "communicating with the enemy, 104-D", an article in the US Uniform Code of Military Justice that prohibits military personnel from "communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy". US Vice-President Joe Biden labelled Mr Assange a "high-tech terrorist" in December 2010 and US congressional leaders have called for him to be charged with espionage. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee - both once involved in presidential campaigns - have both urged that Mr Assange be "hunted down". Mr Assange's US attorney, Michael Ratner, said the designation of WikiLeaks as an "enemy" had serious implications for the WikiLeaks publisher if he were to be extradited to the US, including possible military detention.

Note: So revealing top secrets can cause you to be labelled an enemy of the state. Write you political and media representatives to protest this stance. For analysis of this story, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on military corruption, click here.




UC to pay nearly $1 million in UC Davis pepper-spray settlement
2012-09-26, Chicago Tribune/Los Angeles Times
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-la-uc-to-pay-nearly-1-mill...

The University of California will pay damages of $30,000 to each of the 21 UC Davis students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed by campus police during an otherwise peaceful protest 10 months ago, the university system announced. The agreement ... also calls for UC to pay a total of $250,000 to the plaintiffs' attorneys and set aside a maximum of $100,000 to pay up to $20,000 to any other individuals who join the class-action lawsuit by proving they were either arrested or directly pepper-sprayed, a university statement said. A video released online, showing an officer spraying seated students directly in their faces at close range during an Occupy rally, had triggered outrage. And UC's own investigations and a shake-up at the UC Davis police force put the university in a weak position to argue against the students' lawsuit. The settlement also calls for UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi to write a formal apology to each of the students and alumni who were pepper-sprayed or arrested. In April, a UC task force headed by former state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso found that UC Davis police had violated policy and that campus administrators mishandled the November 2011 campus protest. In May, a separate draft report about campus responses to civil disobedience across UC urged administrators to use mediation instead of confrontation in most cases, although it said pepper spray might remain a necessary tool of last resort. A final version was released this month with no major policy changes.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Researcher to discuss military testing in St. Louis in the 1950s
2012-09-23, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis' leading newspaper)
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/researcher-to-discuss-military-testi...

At 11:05 on a February night in 1953, a worker employed by the U.S. Army opened a valve on a motorized blower and for five minutes dispersed a mysterious fluffy powder into downtown St. Louis. So began military-sponsored tests in St. Louis that remained secret for four decades and, to this day, raise questions about what the government was up to in the Cold War operation. St. Louis was among several cities where the aerosol testing took place in the 1950s and 1960s with zinc cadmium sulfide, a chemical powder mixed with fluorescent particles so that dispersal patterns could be traced. In 1953 alone, the military conducted 16 tests involving 35 separate releases of zinc cadmium sulfide in St. Louis, many in an area described at the time as "a densely populated slum district." The Army conceded later that the tests were part of a biological weapons program and that St. Louis was chosen because it roughly matched the population and terrain of Russian cities that the United States might attack. Relying heavily on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, [Prof. Lisa] Martino-Taylor identifies connections between participants in the St. Louis testing and scientists who took part in wartime efforts to build the atomic bomb. Noting postwar efforts to test radioactive materials on Americans, she raises suspicions that the St. Louis testing involved not just materials called harmless by the Army but possibly radioactive isotopes. Martino-Taylor found in her research that the aerosol particles were milled so as to be easily absorbed into lungs.

Note: For a follow-up news video on this, click here. Many other examples of secret spraying and other tests using unknowing humans as guinea pigs with links for verification are listed at this link. For reliable evidence of chemtrails endangering public health, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on secret military and intelligence agency experimentation on unwitting civilians, click here.




The Face of Indefinite Detention
2012-09-14, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/14/opinion/life-and-death-at-guantanamo-bay.html

Before he died on Sept. 8, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif had spent close to 4,000 days and nights in the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He was found unconscious, alone in his cell, thousands of miles from home and family in Yemen. Like so many men still imprisoned at Guantánamo, Mr. Latif was fleeing American bombing - not fighting - when he was apprehended by the Pakistani police near the Afghan border and turned over to the United States military. He was never charged with a crime. The United States government claims the legal authority to hold men like Mr. Latif until the "war on terror" ends, which is to say, forever. Setting aside this troubling legal proposition, his death and the despair he endured in the years preceding it remind us of the toll Guantánamo takes on human beings. Adnan Latif is the human face of indefinite detention. [In 2010] a United States District Court judge hearing Mr. Latif’s habeas corpus petition ordered him released, ruling that the accusations against him were "unconvincing" and that his detention was "not lawful." By that time, Mr. Latif had been cleared for release from Guantánamo on three separate occasions, including in 2009 by the Obama administration’s multiagency Guantánamo Review Task Force. Nevertheless, the Department of Justice appealed the district court’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit - which has ruled in the government’s favor in nearly every habeas corpus appeal it has heard.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Former marine held involuntarily over Facebook posts now plans to sue FBI
2012-08-29, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/29/former-marine-facebook-sue-fbi

A former US marine who was taken from his home and involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting controversial song lyrics and conspiracy theories on Facebook is to file a civil lawsuit against the FBI and police. Speaking for the first time since his release, after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to detain him, Brandon Raub said his experience was frightening and that it sent a "extremely alarming" message to Americans. Raub, 26, a former combat engineer who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was taken forcibly from his home in Chesterfield County, Virginia, by two FBI agents and police on 16 August. He was not charged with any crime. He was handcuffed and detained in a psychiatric hospital for seven days before a judge ruled on 23 August that there was not sufficient evidence to keep him there. In an interview ... Raub said: "It made me scared for my country. The idea that a man can be snatched off his property without being read his rights I think should be extremely alarming to all Americans." He said that Americans needed to educate themselves about government intrusions into the lives of citizens, and he urged people to do so. Raub's mother, Cathleen Thomas, told reporters that her son ... is "concerned about all the wars we've experienced" and believes the US government was complicit in the September 11 terrorist attacks. One of his Facebook posts, she said, pictured the gaping hole in the Pentagon and asked "where's the plane?

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Former Marine Detained After Alleged Facebook Threats
2012-08-21, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/former-marine-detained-after-all...

A 26 year old former Marine has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after being detained for alleged threats he made on Facebook. Brandon Raub, who lives in Chesterfield, Virginia, was detained [on August 16] after being questioned by law enforcement about his postings. “Sharpen up my axe; I’m here to sever heads,” Raub posted to Facebook on August 13, 2012. The post appears to be a lyric from the band Swollen Members and its song “Bring Me Down.” The case has pitted First Amendment freedoms against potential security concerns. Raub, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was questioned by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service and Chesterfield County Police ... and was then taken into custody by the Chesterfield County Police Department. At a court hearing on [August 20] Raub was ordered to be detained for mental evaluation for 30 days. Court records on Raub only showed traffic violations. A Facebook group supporting Raub already has over 5,800 supporters. “For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here,” said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, which is serving as counsel for Raub.

Note: Thanks to public outcry, this man was later released. For more on this, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




WikiLeaks and Free Speech
2012-08-21, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/opinion/wikileaks-and-the-global-future-of-...

[In its] decision to grant diplomatic asylum to [WikiLeaks'] founder, Julian Assange, ... Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador's action more than the British government's threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange. Predictably, the response from those who would prefer that Americans remain in the dark has been ferocious. Top elected leaders from both parties have called Mr. Assange a "high-tech terrorist." And Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has demanded that he be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Most Americans, Britons and Swedes are unaware that Sweden has not formally charged Mr. Assange with any crime. Rather, it has issued a warrant for his arrest to question him about allegations of sexual assault in 2010. If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.




The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology
2012-08-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/15/new-totalitarianism-surve...

Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to unveil a major new police surveillance infrastructure, developed by Microsoft. The Domain Awareness System links existing police databases with live video feeds, including cameras using vehicle license plate recognition software. No mention was made of whether the system plans to use – or already uses – facial recognition software. But, at present, there is no law to prevent US government and law enforcement agencies from building facial recognition databases. And we know from industry newsletters that the US military, law enforcement, and the department of homeland security are betting heavily on facial recognition technology. As PC World notes, Facebook itself is a market leader in the technology – but military and security agencies are close behind. According to Homeland Security Newswire, billions of dollars are being invested in the development and manufacture of various biometric technologies capable of detecting and identifying anyone, anywhere in the world – via iris-scanning systems, already in use; foot-scanning technology (really); voice pattern ID software, and so on. What is very obvious is that this technology will not be applied merely to people under arrest, or to people under surveillance in accordance with the fourth amendment. No, the "targets" here [include] everyone. In the name of "national security", the capacity is being built to identify, track and document any citizen constantly and continuously.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak
2012-08-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/13/trapwire-surveillance-system-expo...

[Trapwire is] a CCTV surveillance system that recognises people from their face or walk and analyses whether they might be about to commit a terrorist or criminal act. According to documents released online by WikiLeaks [it] is being used in a number of countries to try to monitor people and threats. Founded by former CIA agents, Trapwire uses data from a network of CCTV systems and numberplate readers to figure out the threat level in huge numbers of locations. The documents outlining Trapwire's existence and its deployment in the US were apparently obtained in a hack of computer systems belonging to the intelligence company Stratfor at the end of last year. Documents from the US department of homeland security show that it paid $832,000 to deploy Trapwire in Washington DC and Seattle. Stratfor describes Trapwire as "a unique, predictive software system designed to detect patterns of pre-attack surveillance and logistical planning". It serves "a wide range of law enforcement personnel and public and private security officials domestically and internationally", Stratfor says. Some have expressed doubts that Trapwire could really forecast [future] acts based on data from cameras. The claims might seem overblown, but then the idea that the US could have an international monitoring system seemed absurd until the discovery of the Echelon system, used by the US to eavesdrop on electronic communications internationally.

Note: For more on the growing use of this secret technology, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on privacy, click here.




What makes our NDAA lawsuit a struggle to save the US constitution
2012-08-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/10/ndaa-lawsuit-struggle-us-...

I [Tangerine Bolen] am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama's lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported. In the earlier March hearing, US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA. In this hearing ... Obama's attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA's section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest's injunction. In other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama's government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them. I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




Activists subpoenaed to grand jury meeting in Seattle
2012-08-01, Seattle Times blog
http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/08/activists-subpoened-to-thursday-g...

Two Portland residents say they will appear before a federal grand jury in Seattle Thursday in an investigation of anarchist activity, according to a statement they released on [August 1]. Grand jury subpoenas have also been served to activists in Olympia and Seattle ... according to the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which identifies itself as an association of progressive lawyers. The guild urged the U.S. Attorney’s Office to drop the subpoenas [because] they were being used “as a pretext for harassing political activists.” “It concerns us any time there are law-enforcement raids that target political literature, first amendment-protected materials,” [guild spokesman Neil] Fox said. Two weeks before a heavily armed, July 25 FBI raid that Dennison Williams and Leah-Lynn Plante said took place at their Portland home, the Seattle Police Department SWAT team seized evidence connected to the May Day investigation from a Judkins Park apartment of Occupy Seattle members. In both cases, those searched told media that law-enforcement charged into their homes [with a battering-ram] early in the morning and used a stun grenade, a non-lethal object that creates a disorienting loud bang and bright light. Williams told The Oregonian that the FBI took his laptop computer, cell phone, two thumb drives, multiple pieces of black clothing, and a T-shirt that read on the front “Multi Death Corporations.”

Note: Amazingly, the FBI raids on political activists in Seattle and Portland have gone completely unreported by the mass media. For analysis of the FBI's attacks on dissenters, click here, here and here. For a Democracy Now! video report, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.




NYPD 'consistently violated basic rights' during Occupy protests – study
2012-07-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/25/nypd-occupy-protests-report

The first systematic look at the New York police department's response to Occupy Wall Street protests paints a damning picture of an out-of-control and aggressive organization that routinely acted beyond its powers. In a report that followed an eight-month study, researchers at the law schools of NYU and Fordham accuse the NYPD of deploying unnecessarily aggressive force, obstructing press freedoms and making arbitrary and baseless arrests. The study ... found evidence that police made violent late-night raids on peaceful encampments, obstructed independent legal monitors and was opaque about its policies. The NYPD report is the first of a series to look at how police authorities in five US cities, including Oakland and Boston, have treated the Occupy movement since it began in September 2011. The research concludes that there now is a systematic effort by authorities to suppress protests, even when these are lawful and pose no threat to the public. Sarah Knuckey, a professor of law at NYU, said: "All the case studies we collected show the police are violating basic rights consistently, and the level of impunity is shocking". To be launched over the coming months, the reports are being done under the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, a national consortium of law school clinics addressing America's response to Occupy Wall Street.

Note: For lots more from reliable major media sources on government threats to civil liberties and other types of government corruption, click here and here.




New Homeland Security Laser Scanner Reads People At Molecular Level
2012-07-11, CBS-DC (Washington DC CBS affiliate)
http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/07/11/new-homeland-security-laser-scanner...

The Department of Homeland Security will soon be using a laser at airports that can detect everything about you from over 160 feet away. This laser-based scanner ... could read everything from a person’s adrenaline levels, to traces of gun powder on a person’s clothes, to illegal substances — and it can all be done without a physical search. It also could be used on multiple people at a time, eliminating random searches at airports. The scanner is called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. The inventor of this invasive technology is Genia Photonics. Active since 2009, they hold 30 patents on laser technology designed for scanning. In 2011, they formed a partnership with In-Q-Tel, a company chartered by the CIA and Congress to build “a bridge between the Agency and a new set of technology innovators.” Although the technology could be used by “Big Brother,” Genia Photonics states that the device could be far more beneficial being used for medical purposes to check for cancer in real time, lipids detection, and patient monitoring.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government threats to privacy, click here.




New Jersey ACLU app gives new meaning to 'police tape'
2012-07-06, Los Angeles Times
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/06/business/la-fi-tn-aclu-nj-record-poli...

If you've ever been in a did-that-really-just-happen scenario, you might have wished you had a recorder running -- particularly when it comes to run-ins with the law. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey just released an app that allows Android phone users to record and store their interactions with police to "hold police accountable." The app, cleverly called "Police Tape," also includes legal information about citizens' rights during encounters with law enforcement. What sets this apart from being just a video camera with a send button is that you can also record in "stealth mode." The app disappears from the screen once the recording starts, "to prevent any attempt by police to squelch the recording," according to the ACLU of New Jersey site. Users can send the recording to the organization through the app for backup storage and analysis. Though there is no federal law preventing recording police in public, some states have different statutes covering such activity. Earlier, the New York American Civil Liberties Union released its Stop and Frisk Watch application. The New York ACLU promotes that app as a way for bystanders and designated event observers to record incidents. That's probably a better idea than whipping out your phone when a cop asks for your license, particularly if you are in an emotionally charged or intense setting. That's probably not going to be received well.

Note: Other states now have this app, which you can read about at this link and this one.




A Cruel and Unusual Record
2012-06-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/opinion/americas-shameful-human-rights-reco...

Revelations that top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad, including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proof of how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended. This development began after [9/11] and has been sanctioned and escalated by bipartisan executive and legislative actions. While the country has made mistakes in the past, the widespread abuse of human rights over the last decade has been a dramatic change from the past. With leadership from the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in 1948 as “the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” This was a bold and clear commitment that power would no longer serve as a cover to oppress or injure people, and it established equal rights of all people to life, liberty, security of person, equal protection of the law and freedom from torture, arbitrary detention or forced exile. It is disturbing that, instead of strengthening these principles, our government’s counterterrorism policies are now clearly violating at least 10 of the declaration’s 30 articles, including the prohibition against “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Recent legislation has made legal the president’s right to detain a person indefinitely on suspicion of affiliation with terrorist organizations or “associated forces,” a broad, vague power that can be abused without meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress. This law violates the right to freedom of expression and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty, two other rights enshrined in the declaration.

Note: For revealing reports from major media sources on war crimes committed by US forces in the "global war on terror," click here.





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