What Should Human Rights In The Future Look Like?

What Should Human Rights In The Future Look Like?Since the mid-20th century many have grown used to the idea of having human rights and how these can be used when those people feel they are being threatened. 

How The Government Can Steal Your Stuff

How The Government Can Steal Your StuffShould someone wearing a badge have the power to relieve a suspected drug dealer of his Maserati on the spot without giving him an opportunity to flee or liquidate and launder his assets? Known as civil asset forfeiture, this practice might sound like a wise policy.

How DACA Affected The Mental Health Of Undocumented Young Adults

How DACA Affected The Mental Health Of Undocumented Young AdultsWith President Donald Trump’s reversal of an Obama-era executive order known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Leticia’s worst fears seem to be coming true. 

Body Cameras Show Police Are Politer To White Drivers

Body Cameras Show Police Are Politer To White DriversPolice officers consistently use less respectful language with black community members than with white community members, the first systematic analysis of body camera footage shows.

It's Time To Shine A Light On The Algorithms That Power Big Brother

Sorting by algorithms puts us in boxes. How do we know they’re the correct ones? generated, CC BYSociety seems set on a course to a point where our lives are subject to the scrutiny of computer algorithms. The data we generate is pored over and analysed, whether by governments for national security or companies for profit, and this is unlikely to change – the power and appeal of data analysis, once found, will not be given up easily.

Prisoner Run Coop Slashes Recidivism Rate By Over 80% In Puerto Rico

Prisoner Run Coop Slashes Recidivism Rate By Over 80% In Puerto RicoIt's no secret that the United States prison system is a failure. Dismal statistics abound about the growing prison population. Despite having only 5 percent of the world's population, the United States incarcerates a quarter of the world's prisoners, according to the Economist.

Why Do American Cops Kill So Many Compared To European Cops?

Why Do American Cops Kill So Many Compared To European Cops?Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder November 24 in the death of Laquan McDonald. A video released by police shows Van Dyke shooting the teenager 16 times.

It's Traditional Detective Work That Will Keep Us Safe, Not Mass Surveillance

It's Traditional Detective Work That Will Keep Us Safe, Not Mass SurveillanceBefore the dust has even settled from the attacks on Paris, familiar calls for greater surveillance powers are surfacing. The desire for greater security is understandable, but that doesn’t mean we should suspend our judgement on the measures proposed to bring it about.

Why Are So Many People In U.S. Prisons?

Why Are So Many People In U.S. Prisons?In recent years, an increasingly bipartisan consensus around prison reform has begun to take shape, uniting policymakers in Congress who are typically on opposite sides of law-and-order issues

How Much Government Surveillance Will Americans Accept?

spy camerasThe expiration of key provisions of the US Patriot Act – and the passage of the USA Freedom Act – has renewed interest in the trade-offs between civil liberties and security. To what extent are American citizens willing to concede their civil liberties to the government in order to feel safe and secure from terrorism?

Why Black America Fears the Police

Yes, Black America Fears the Police. Here's WhyLast July 4, my family and I went to Long Island to celebrate the holiday with a friend and her family. After eating some barbecue, a group of us decided to take a walk along the ocean. The mood on the beach that day was festive. Giggling children chased each other along the boardwalk...

Should We Expect Intelligence Services To Prevent Everything?

Should We Expect Intelligence Services To Prevent Everything?The apparent recurrence of intelligence failures in France and elsewhere has long been debated by security experts, and ultimately begs the question: what can be expected from intelligence services?

8 Ways To Defend Against Terror Nonviolently

8 Ways To Defend Against Terror NonviolentlyOne of my most popular courses at Swarthmore College focused on the challenge of how to defend against terrorism, nonviolently. Events now unfolding in France make our course more relevant than ever. In fact, the international post-9/11 “war against terror” has been accompanied by increased actual threats of terror almost everywhere.

Online Anonymity Isn’t As Easy As The Firms Offering Privacy Want You To Think

Online Anonymity Isn’t As Easy As The Firms Offering Privacy Want You To Think

In a post-Snowden world, anonymity is what people want online. Smartphone apps offering anonymous messaging are popping up everywhere – Secret, Whisper, and now Yik Yak. The latest additions to privacy-protecting technology, they claim to provide anonymous, location-based confession, expression, and discussion platforms.

A Victory On The Front Lines Of The War Against Surveillance

A Victory On The Front Lines Of The War Against Surveillance

Municipal struggles over mass surveillance take on increased significance. As it becomes more and more clear that these agencies are wastefully overfunded, as a bipartisan 2012 report on fusion centers found, communities must decide whether to stand up for their civil liberties when elected officials are no longer able to advocate for them.

What Your Smartphone Might Be Telling the NSA About You

What Your Smartphone Might Be Telling the NSA About You

Recently, documents unveiled by ProPublica, the New York Times and the Guardian showed that the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, are not only capable of accessing your metadata but also capturing information sent by applications on your smartphone.

Four Questionable Claims President Obama Has Made on NSA Surveillance

Four Questionable Claims Obama Has Made on NSA Surveillance

Since the first disclosures based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Obama has offered his own defenses of the programs. But not all of the president's claims have stood up to scrutiny. Here are some of the misleading assertions he has made.

A Republic If You Can Keep It

A Republic If You Can Keep It

The curious thing about a democratic system is that it contains the seeds of its own demise. Freedom is not something guaranteed by any parchment or promise. It is earned by each generation which must jealously protect it from threats, not only from outside, but from within a nation.

NSA Has Built Its Own, Secret, Warrantless, Shadow Social Network, And You've Already Joined It

NSA Has Built Its Own, Secret, Warrantless, Shadow Social Network, And You've Already Joined It

Soon after the very earliest reporting on Ed Snowden's leaked documents about PRISM, the folks from Datacoup put together the very amusing GETPRSM website, which looks very much like the announcement of a new social network, but (the joke is) it's really the NSA scooping up all our data and making the connections. It's pretty funny. Except, of course, when you find out that it's real.

Just How Successful Is The NSA At Spying On You

Jus How Successful Is The NSA At Breaking Encryption

A new exposé based on the leaks of Edward Snowden has revealed the National Security Agency has developed methods to crack online encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records. "Encryption is really the system that lets the Internet function as an important commercial instrument all around the world.

Why NSA Snooping Is A Bigger Deal in Germany

Why NSA Snooping Is Bigger Deal in Germany

Germans like posting baby pictures, party snapshots and witty comments on Facebook just like anyone else. They just do not want to get caught doing it. Many of us use fake names for their profiles 2013 silly puns, movie characters or anagrams and "remixes" of their real names. (Yes, I have one. No I'm not telling you the name.)

Black And White Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Merge

 Ok, Who's Behind The Hijacking Of The Purina Delivery Truck?

The outrage over the NSA's massive, sprawling data collection is different in the white community than in the black community, but why? Chris Hayes discusses with MSNBC contributor James Peterson and David Sirota, a columnist for Salon.com

Maddow And Rather Discuss How NSA Bungling Has Implications Beyond Just Security

Maddow And Rather Discuss How NSA Bungling Has Implications Beyond Just Security

Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor for "Dan Rather Reports" on AXS-TV, talks with Rachel Maddow about how abuse of power and general bungling by the NSA undermines the credibility of the United States and calls into question how the "war on terror" is being conducted almost 12 years after 9/11.

Is US Government Spying Worse Than A Conspiracy Nut's Imagination?

NSA Spying Worse Than A Conspiracy Nut's Imagination

It seems that every day brings a new revelation about the scope of the NSA’s heretofore secret warrantless mass surveillance programs. And as we learn more, the picture becomes increasingly alarming. The chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules.

President Obama Lacks Credibility As He Offers Potential NSA Reforms

President Obama Displays "Bush Like" Lack Of Credibility As He Offers Potential NSA Reforms

The President seemed unaware of the article that was published by The Guardian just 3 hours prior to the press conference as his handlers allowed the President to appear either untruthful or out of touch. In this article the Guardian disclosed that the NSA had at least a virtual "backdoor" if not an actual into their own systems that allowed them to skirt even the "rubber stamped" FISA Court spirit and restraints.

Stop Thinking That Tech Hacks Are the Solution to Our Surveillance Woes

Stop Thinking That Tech Hacks Are the Solution to Our Surveillance Woes

It will require “coordinated dissent” from individuals, advocacy groups, and, yes, technology companies. Smart people like Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) warn that our inaction opens the door for such surveillance to become an irreversible and regrettable part of our society, but the hard truth is that citizens need to muster incredible will to demand or enact sorely needed privacy protections.

Slippery Slope Really Slippery: DEA And Other Agencies Fed From NSA Spying?

Reuters Exclusive: DEA Up To The Same NSA Spying

The real problem with the NSA spying program is not that objectionable when used to catch "real" terrorism suspects or prevent actual attacks, a knack these programs have not yet accomplished that warrant the spending and effort put forth so far. Now the real problem is the slippery slope the NSA program provides. And it is slippery as other agencies are following NSA's lead and their own agendas.

Another Shoe Drops: NSA Loophole Allows Warrantless Search For US Citizens' Emails And Phone Calls

NSA Loophole Allows Warrantless Search For US Citizens' Emails And Phone Calls

Guardian Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications. The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens' email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian.

The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President

The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President

When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA's bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance programs. Here are some of the proposals the president co-sponsored as a senator.

Four Ways to Escape the NSA Dragnet

Four Ways to Escape the NSA Dragnet

The PRISM scandal confirmed our worst fears when it comes to state-level surveillance of the Internet, with the revelation that the NSA has created "backdoors" into major online services such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. These backdoors allegedly give intelligence agencies around the world access to user emails, Facebook posts, search queries, web history, and more, with little or no judicial oversight.

Law to Clean Up Nuisances Costs Innocent People Their Homes

Law to Clean Up ‘Nuisances' Costs Innocent People Their Homes

When Rochelle Bing bought her modest row home on a tattered block in North Philadelphia 10 years ago, she saw it as an investment in the future for her extended family — especially for her 18 grandchildren. Bing, 42, works full-time as a home health assistant for the elderly and disabled. In summer when school is out, her house is awash with grandkids whom Bing tends to while their parents work. And the home has been a haven in troubled times when her children needed help or a father went to jail. One of Bing's grandchildren lives there now.

NSA Tool Collects Nearly Everything A User Does On The Internet

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping

Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping

Although the House defeated a measure that would have defunded the bulk phone metadata collection program, the narrow 205-217 vote showed that there is significant support in Congress to reform NSA surveillance programs. Here are six other legislative proposals on the table.

Reign In Spying Or Live To Regret It

Reign In Spying Or Live To Regret It

On July 23, 2013, Senator Wyden's gave remarks on NSA domestic surveillance and the PATRIOT Act at the Center for American Progress. In his speech Wyden warns that "if we don't seize this unique moment in history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we will all live to regret it."

European Parliament Wants Snowden, NSA Chief to Testify on Spying

European Parliament Wants Snowden, NSA Chief to Testify on Spying

The European Parliament is gearing up to launch an investigation into the recently revealed NSA surveillance programs—and lawmakers are drawing up an interesting list of witnesses who they want to invite to interview about the snooping.

Corporatizing National Security: What It Means

Corporatizing National Security: What It Means

Privacy is a sacred word to many Americans, as demonstrated by the recent uproar over the brazen invasion of it by the Patriot Act-enabled National Security Agency

Congress Digs Into the Colossal Mistake It Made That Enabled NSA Fiasco

Congress Digs Into the colossal Mistake It Made That Enabled NSA Fiasco

As Congress holds its second major public hearing on the National Security Agency’s bulk spying, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who first published whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations. The NSA admitted their analysis of phone records and online behavior far exceeded what it had previously disclosed.

Metadata Is More Intrusive Than Eavesdropping

Metadata Is More Intrusive Than Eavesdropping

While President Obama insists that nobody is listening to your telephone calls, cybersecurity expert Susan Landau says the metadata being collected by the government may be far more revealing than the content of the actual phone calls.

Is Edward Snowden a Hero?

Is Edward Snowden a Hero?

A debate: Chris Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for The New York Times, and Geoffrey Stone, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Is Edward Snowden a Hero?

Who's The Target In A Surveillance State

Who's The Target In A Surveillance State

Chris Hayes talks about the recent history of government surveillance in America with famed civil rights activist Julian Bond, Maya Wiley of the Center for Social Inclusion, and former deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton.

MSNBC's Reaction To The Report Of The Extent Of The US Surveillance State

MSNBC's Reaction To The Report Of The Extent Of The US Surveillance State 

Anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention was aware that the government  was extending their reach into the ordinary citizen privacy drip by drip. However, yesterday's revelation by The Washington Post and The Guardian. What's unclear is what other data mining is being accomplished by whom and for what purpose.

Right Wing Crazies Aren’t Crazy Anymore

It turns out those far-right tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists aren't that crazy after all. But how did crazy conspiracy theories become unfortunate realities in America today? Ask Attornery General Eric Holder.

Is This The Slippery Slope To A Police State?

It seems that everywhere you look or is it "don't look" these days, the State is continuing to tighten its grip on personal freedoms once held dear by the general population.

But times change.  Some of the developments are downright shocking and some are just under most people's radar.

The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State

Capitol

On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan where many huddled in the cold...

10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

land of the free

The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.

Are Civil Liberties Now At the Discretion Of A President

obama-signs-bill460

Many on the right and on the left are arguing that the signing of National Defense Authorization Act, which provides funding for 2012, contains provisions that put the civil liberties of Americans at the discretion of the Presidency.

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