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Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center, Run for the 1% by NYPD

Wall Street’s Secret Spy Center, Run for the 1% by NYPD

    by PAM MARTENS

    On September 25, 2011, just eight days after the Occupy Wall Street protests began in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, the much acclaimed CBS News program, 60 Minutes, aired a fawning look at the thousands of surveillance cameras affixed to buildings and lampposts throughout New York City. The cameras feed live images of people going about their everyday lives to a $150 million computer center equipped with artificial intelligence to integrate and analyze the daily habits of what are, for the most part, law-abiding Americans.

New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction

Government could strip citizenship from Americans under Enemy Expatriation Act

    When Barack Obama inked the National Defense Authorization Act on New Year’s Eve, the president insisted that he wouldn’t use the terrifying legislation against American citizens. Another new law, however, could easily change all of that.

    If the Enemy Expatriation Act passes in its current form, the legislation will let the government strike away citizenship for anyone engaged in hostilities, or supporting hostilities, against the United States. The law itself is rather brief, but in just a few words it warrants the US government to strip nationality status from anyone they identify as a threat.

    What’s more, the government can decide to do so without bringing the suspected troublemaker before a court of law.

Steven Colbert: Catch 2012

President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law

Posted by Amanda Simon, ACLU Blog of Rights

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, allowing indefinite detention to be codified into law. As you know, the White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use it and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations.

The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

Know Your Rights - Free Speech, Protests, and Demonstrations in California

Know Your Rights - Free Speech, Protests, and Demonstrations in California


    You have the right to speak out. Both the California Constitution and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protect your right to free expression. But there are many questions you face when you decide to organize and speak out. When do you need a police permit? Are there things you cannot say or do? Are there any limitations on when or where you can demonstrate? What about civil disobedience? This guide will help answer these questions

Op-Ed: Wake Up! The case for abolishing the death penalty

Op-Ed: Wake Up! The case for abolishing the death penalty

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
By Op Ed

    It is rare these days to find advanced first-world nations that still employ the death penalty. In fact, other countries that appear on the list of “Death Penalty Permitted” besides the United States are countries that have developed negative reputations over recent years. One of the requirements for entry into the European Union is the outlaw of capital punishment. Here at home, 34 states still practice the death penalty — California being one of them. We, and the Stanford chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, hope to take the next few minutes of your time to illustrate for you how capital punishment is in fact too costly, discriminatory and inhumane to remain in operation in California or in the rest of the United States.

England Gave Us Habeas Corpus Once Before…

England Gave Us Habeas Corpus Once Before…

    Can they do it again?

    The British human rights organization today won a habeas corpus petition for their client, Yunus Rahmatullah, who has been detained at Bagram for 7 years, in the English Court of Appeal.

      The Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, Lord Justice Maurice Kay, and Lord Justice Sullivan, said the case raised important principles of law. Their court ruling is the latest in a series relating to the treatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan that have been highly critical of the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence.

ACLU's Federal Challenge to WI GOP's Photo ID Restrictions Could Reverse Similar Laws Nationwide

ACLU video on Frank v. Walker...

by Ernest A. Canning - BradBlog.com

Election laws in Wisconsin are not covered by Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, which would otherwise require the Dept. of Justice or a federal panel of judges to "preclear" such laws to assure they are not discriminatory. Thus, it falls to non-governmental organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to take legal action in hopes of protecting Constitutional voting rights for citizens of the Badger State.

That's exactly what the organization did this week, in filing a 54-page federal complaint on behalf of some 17 named plaintiffs --- including elderly, student, minority and even veteran voters --- who may well be unable to cast their once-legal vote under the state's new voter suppression bill passed earlier this year by its GOP legislature and signed into law by its Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Irony Alert: UK Parliament Attempts to Ban Political Materials from ... Parliament

Related: If you'll remember, Sacramento Cnty attempted something similar three years ago

UK Houses of Parliament police: no political material allowed in Parliament

    Police officers told a member of the public they were prohibited from bringing “political materials” into the Houses of Parliament, the Commons heard yesterday. In a great spot from Matthew Barrett at Conservative Home, a woman attending a lobby on Palestine was told by two police officers that this bizarre ban was on the order of parliamentary staff.

    In a point of order to deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle, MP David Burrowes told the chamber:

      “As she arrived at security, a police officer confiscated her lobby briefing material and told her that she was not allowed to have anything of a political nature. In fact, she was told that this was a direction from the House authorities. The officer then spoke to a senior officer, who gave the same response.”

SCOTUS and GPS Tracking: US v. Jones and Secret PATRIOT

Related: New Fed warrantless GPS trackers discovered in the wild (with pictures)

SCOTUS and GPS Tracking: US v. Jones and Secret PATRIOT

Posted on November 9, 2011 by emptywheel

    As I read the transcript of the SCOTUS hearing in the US v. Jones yesterday, I was most interested in what the comments suggest about the government’s secret use of the PATRIOT Act to–presumably–use phone geolocation to track people. (Here’s Dahlia Lithwick, Orrin Kerr, Julian Sanchez, Lyle Denniston, and Kashmir Hill on the hearing itself.)

    Mind you, the facts in Jones are totally different from what we think may be happening with Secret PATRIOT (I’ll borrow Julian Sanchez’ speculation on what Secret PATRIOT does for this post). In Jones, a suspected drug dealer had a GPS device placed on his car after the 10-day warrant authorizing the cops to do so had already expired. As such, Jones tests generally whether the government needs an active warrant to track a suspect using GPS.

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