Hillary Clinton Seizes On Environmental Justice

Hillary Clinton Seizes On Environmental JusticeHillary Clinton has won the California primary, in part by appealing to environmentalists in a state with a long tradition in conservation and aggressive climate change policies. The victory follows the release earlier this spring of her strategy to address environmental and climate justice – a topic that’s risen to national prominence following the Flint water crisis.

Why Should Prostitution Be Decriminalized?

Why Should Prostitution Be Decriminalized?It seems that almost everyone has an opinion about prostitution and sex work. But with Amnesty International’s recent unflinching policy recommendation to decriminalize all adult consensual sex work

Securing Web Browsing: Protecting The Tor Network

Securing Web Browsing: Protecting The Tor NetworkThere are more than 865 encryption tools in use worldwide, all addressing different aspects of a common problem. People want to protect information: hard drives from oppressive governments, physical location from stalkers, browsing history from overly curious corporations or phone conversations from nosy neighbors.

Here Is Where Bernie's Justice Ideas Already Work

college in denmark 4 9In an election year, we hear endless promises of what our politicians will do to help the people. But are the ideas we’re hearing from Bernie Sanders and others—like Medicare for all, free college tuition, paid family leave—just slogans to pander to voters suffering under stagnating wages and burdensome debt? Could those ideas ever actually take hold?

These 3 Laws Might Reduce U.S. Gun Deaths By 80%

"Very few of the existing state gun-control laws actually reduce gun deaths, highlighting the importance of focusing on relevant and effective gun legislation," says Bindu Kaesan. "Background checks for all people buying guns and ammunition, including private sales, are the most effective laws we have to reduce the number of gun deaths in the United States." (Credit: K.G.23/Flickr)More than 90 people are killed by guns every day in the United States. In 2013, there were 33,636 gun deaths in the US. Civilians own approximately 270 million guns, roughly one “for every man, woman, and child,” as President Obama noted in an address to the nation in the wake of the shooting rampage at an Oregon community college last October that left 10 dead.

Why Apple Is Making A Stand Against The FBI

Why Apple Is Making A Stand Against The FBIApple has been ordered to help FBI investigators access data on the phone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook. The technical solution proposed by the FBI appears to undermine Apple’s earlier claim that they would be unable to help.

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.

Hello Barbie, Hello Hackers: Accessing Personal Data Will Be Child's Play

Hello Barbie, Hello Hackers: Accessing Personal Data Will Be Child's PlayAt the top of some children’s Christmas present wish list this year will be the new Hello Barbie doll. Mattel’s latest doll connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and uses interactive voice response (IVR) to effectively converse with children. When the doll’s belt button is pushed, conversations are recorded and uploaded to servers operated by Mattel’s partner, ToyTalk.

How Much Does Your Smart Home Know About You?

How Much Does Your Smart Home Know About You?How much does your smart home know about you? That was the question that Charles Givre, a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, set out to answer in a recent experiment. Givre has an account on Wink, a platform designed to control, from a single screen, his Internet-connected home devices, such as door locks, window shades and LED lights.

Why Do We Assume That Life Is Fair?

Why Do We Assume That Life Is Fair?Income inequality in America has been growing rapidly, and is expected to increase. While the widening wealth gap is a hot topic in the media and on the campaign trail, there’s quite a disconnect between the perceptions of economists and those of the general public.

The Rest of the Story About Greece

greece debtEU’s economic demands seek to derail small business and local communities, paving the way for multinational corporate giants. One demand is that Greece abolish any laws restricting the days or hours a business can operate despite the fact that several European countries including have enacted such policies to protect workers and small business, including Germany.

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?

Cracking Down On The New Teflon Dons And Their Crime Families

Cracking Down On The New Teflon Dons And Their Crime FamiliesLike green-shaded teflon dons – mobster John Gotti’s nickname for managing to stay out of jail – the largest banks have been repeatedly prosecuted over the past decade and yet have so far avoided any harsher consequences. Instead they’ve received “deferred prosecutions” or non-prosecutions that trade criminal charges for promised reforms and criminal fines.

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...

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.

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.

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.)

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.

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."

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.

Who Is Tracking You?

Who's Tracking You

It is a wonder if the general population is quite certain they are comfortable with being tracked. Some folks are horrified by what tracking technology is capable while other just shrug their shoulders and say "I don't have anything to hide".

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.

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