Privacy Matters

No reckoning with torture as Convention Against Torture marks its 25th year

Illustration from Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (1890—1907)

Terror Tuesday: Jimmy Carter’s lament

Three and a half years ago former president Jimmy Carter was upbeat about the country and prospects for human rights after the years in which the Bush Administration viewed the Geneva Conventions as a “quaint anachronism” and moved with impunity beyond the rule of law.

DEA administrator can't say whether heroin or marijuana is worse for health

In June 2012, Democratic Congressman from Colorado Jared Polis questioned DEA administrator and law enforcement officer Michelle Leonhart about the differences between various illegal drugs. Polis represents Colorado, where marijuana has been decriminalized and medical marijuana legalized. He asked Leonhart directly about whether the DEA supports the latter. Watch the video to get a glimpse of what the agency's top administrator thinks about the war on drugs.

Extremely detailed images and no-touch fingerprint readers

Consider these two bits of technology news in light of one another:

Occupy Boston activists denied entry to Canada for political reasons?

On June 21, 2012, a number of Occupy Boston activists were denied entry to Canada. One of the activists wrote the following tweets after being turned away from the border:

As Obama stonewalls on drone strikes, critics warn of war crimes

There they go again. 

Rather than simply allowing the US government to get on with the business of targeting “suspected terrorists” for death no matter where they are found, the ACLU is insisting that the American public has a right to know the legal grounds for putting Americans on the hit list. 

More life breathed into warrantless wiretapping act

Now that President Obama has fully bought into the broad surveillance powers that Senator Obama had first vowed to filibuster and then supported, Congress seems bent on doing its bipartisan best to trash the Fourth Amendment. 

The spy stakes: showdown on domestic turf

“Although the CIA is best known for its spy work overseas, the agency has stations in most major U.S. cities.”

Terror Tuesday: Accelerating the use of drones at home

That’s what the Senate Armed Services Committee wants to do. In a June 4, 2012 report on the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill, it is pulling out the stops. 

FBI, DHS under fire from environmentalists over stewardship of protected lands

Cleveland National Forest (source)

Conservation and wildlife activists are concerned that FBI stewardship of 900 acres of federal land connecting Laguna Wilderness Park to the Cleveland National Forest will destroy habitats and wreak biological havoc. 

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