Privacy Matters

Private prisons immune from transparency laws? Not so fast

The government transparency and journalism outfit MuckRock is launching a project to free information from the grasp of the private prison industry. While they act in place of the state and incarcerate over one hundred thousand inmates—plus nearly half of all people in US immigration detention—private prisons are immune from the Freedom of Information Act.

The new COINTELPRO targets Muslims

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News roundup: Flying while Muslim, technologies to block associational spying, and racism in policing

Some items of interest on a busy news day:

Ed Snowden and Dan Ellsberg at HOPE X

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Whistleblowers Dan Ellsberg and Edward Snowden spoke together at the HOPE X conference in New York City. Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm moderated.

US military quintuples assistance to Mexico for bloody drug war

The US Department of Defense is stepping up its aid to the Mexican military for drug war training and joint operations. Funds for the training of Mexican military drug units has increased to $15 million this year, up from just $3 million in 2009.

USA Today:

Thousands of Massachusetts residents call on legislature to tell cops: Get a warrant!

This week, the ACLU of Massachusetts delivered over 3,000 petition signatures to the President of the State Senate, Therese Murray, calling on her to move privacy legislation currently before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

"If a house is burning, people will jump out the window": The war on drugs and the border crisis

Murrieta, California

A spectacle at the border drew the world’s attention: dozens of far-right protesters in the southern California desert held signs and chanted while attempting to block busloads of children from entering their town. Murrieta, California was suddenly on the map.

Racist incitement outside government bolsters racist policies within it, and vise versa

The Intercept's interview with CAIR founder and executive director Nihad Awad, a target of discriminatory FBI/NSA surveillance.

Two items in the news this week draw out the relationship between racism outside government and official government policy that effectively institutionalizes it.

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