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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

J.D. Crowe | BushObama / media.cagle.com

You don’t “have nothing to hide”: How privacy breaches are quietly controlling you.

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  • Government data collection is scary for many reasons. But least understood: what it does to our personal creativity.
  • The Senate is about to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act?

Falguni A. Smith, Salon

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surveillance_worries.jpg(Credit: Denys Prykhodov, Twin Design via Shutter-stock//magnez2 via iStock/Salon)

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 | Edward Snowden’s leaks reminded us about the extent to which the notion of privacy is no longer our own. The last few years have brought home the fact that between the telecommunication companies, street surveillance cameras, tollbooth cameras and EZ-pass, and corporations such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, virtually no aspect of our lives is immune from the intrusive watch of some agency of the state.

The usual response to this information is: “I have nothing to hide. It doesn’t matter if the state has my information.” Critics like Glenn Greenwald point out one response, along the lines of “OK, hand over your passwords to your email and bank accounts and credit card information.” This is certainly right. This kind of information is crucial to the protection of your money, your private messages to others. Yet, it doesn’t exhaust the other reasons why data collection and invasion of privacy is a problem about which many of us should be disturbed.

Falguni A. Smith, a professor of philosophy and political theory at Hampshire College, writes about politics, race, and feminism at translationexercises.wordpress.com.

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The Senate is about to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act? Becky Bond, CREDO Action

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Take%20Action%20Today%20button.jpgThe petition to the Senate reads: "The current Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act effectively reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act for an additional 2.5 years, legalizes currently illegal surveillance activities, and grants immunity to corporations that collaborate to violate privacy rights. Oppose the USA FREEDOM Act in its current form."

 

The Senate is about to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act?

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The petition to the Senate reads: "The current Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act effectively reauthorizes the PATRIOT Act for an additional 2.5 years, legalizes currently illegal surveillance activities, and grants immunity to corporations that collaborate to violate privacy rights. Oppose the USA FREEDOM Act in its current form."

Becky Bond, CREDO Action

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nsa_spying_180.gifSeptember 19, 2014 | It’s been over a year since Edward Snowden brought public attention to the breathtaking scope of President Obama’s indiscriminate spying on American citizens who aren't suspected of any wrongdoing. And now there’s a bill in the Senate that could effectively reauthorize the PATRIOT Act without fixing the worst constitutional abuses by the NSA.

We can’t let Congress effectively reauthorize the PATRIOT Act for an additional 2.5 years, legalize currently illegal surveillance activities, and grant immunity to corporations that collaborate to violate privacy rights.

But that’s exactly what a bill now being considered in the Senate, Sen. Patrick Leahy’s USA FREEDOM Act, would do.

sign-btn.pngTell the Senate: Oppose the USA Freedom Act in its current form. Click here to sign the petition. 

CREDO Action, powered by CREDO Mobile phone customers, is a social change organization that supports activism and funds progressive nonprofits.

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Special Project | The Fight for American Rights and Liberties: Week Ending September 14, 2014

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  • Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
  • 8 New items including:
    • A Defiant Ecuador Seeks Solutions in Assange Case
    • Aviva Chomsky | What's at Stake in the Border Debate
    • CIA shouldn’t get away with redacting torture report
    • The Snowden Effect: This Is Still Not America,
    • The 25th Hour
    • Cecily McMillan didn't get off easy. Her case is a threat to the future of protest
    • The Post-Constitutional Era
    • The Latest Affirmative Action Decision Isn't Just About Race

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

http://media.cagle.com/89/2014/09/08/153350_600.jpg David FitzsimmonsDavid Fitzsimmons

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A Defiant Ecuador Seeks Solutions in Assange Case, Eva Golinger, CounterPunch

The Assange case goes beyond just simple political asylum and issues of sovereignty. It is matter of principle in a time in which information and secrecy have become ever more the tools of the most powerful. Justice must be done for those who have sacrificed their liberties to warn us of these dangers.

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Aviva Chomsky | What's at Stake in the Border Debate, Aviva Chomsky, Tom Dispatch

  • America’s Continuing Border Crisis
  • The Real Story Behind the “Invasion” of the Children
  • Washington’s persecution of immigrant children

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CIA shouldn’t get away with redacting torture report, Dana Milbank, Washington (DC) Post

Obama’s overall failure to deliver on his promise to create a more transparent government has been one of the greatest disappointments of his leadership. 

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The Snowden Effect: This Is Still Not America, Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

Uncertainty is born of everything we don't know, and the people who don't want us to know what they're doing in our name are its midwives. They know what they're doing. They are cultivating it quite deliberately, and for their own purposes. Very little of what they do is accidental. An uncertain people is a people easily led. That's the way it works now. That's the way it has always worked.

http://media.cagle.com/118/2014/08/18/152436_600.jpg Bill DayBill Day

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The 25th Hour, Rebecca Gordon, Tom Dispatch 

  • Still Living With Jack Bauer in a Terrified New American World 
  • A nation of cowards
  • Chomsky: Obama ‘Determined To Demolish The Foundations Of Our Civil Liberties

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Cecily McMillan didn't get off easy. Her case is a threat to the future of protest. Allison Kilkenny, The Guardian (UK)

  • Three months in jail might seem like a light sentence. But the Occupy movement was suppressed by the heavy hand of police brutality – and a legal system that discouraged and ultimately dissolved dissent.
  • The U.K. 'Can't Tell Its Terrorists from Its Journalists'

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The Post-Constitutional Era, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear our challenge to the law that lets the military indefinitely imprison U.S. citizens is another example of the transformation of the judiciary into an enemy of the Constitution. 

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The Latest Affirmative Action Decision Isn't Just About Race, Patricia J. Williams, The Nation

The Supreme Court's decision sweeps away decades of equal protection precedent.

Remembering: UN International Day,Victims of Enforced Disappearances

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  • Let us not forget the United States, through the School of the Americas the US played a leading role in forced disappearances, Thousands upon thousands of disappearances occurred across the American continent as a whole, and in Guatemala alone there were over 45,000 disappearances, 5,000 of which were of children. Disappearances have been part of Latin American security doctrine since the 60s.
  • Victory: First Amendment Rights Triumph Over Columbus Police and Fort Benning Officials! 

Maria Luisa Rosal, Popular Resistance

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2014/08/Disappeared-in-Chile-Demonstration-organized-by-the-Association-of-Relatives-of-Detenidos-Desaparecidos-Disappeared-Detainees.-2009-Santiago-Chile.-Photo-courtesy-of-antitezo-on-Flickr.-e1409418562694.jpgDisappeared in Chile Demonstration organized by the Association of Relatives of Detenidos-Desaparecidos (Disappeared Detainees). 2009, Santiago, Chile. Photo courtesy of antitezo on Flickr.

August 30th, 2014 | August 30 marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, and I couldn’t let this day go by without sharing some brief reflections on the subject. My father – Jorge Alberto Rosal Paz y Paz – was disappeared by the Guatemalan state on August 12, 1983, when I was barely eight months old. This year is the 31st anniversary of his disappearance – that same number was my mother’s age at the moment of my father’s kidnapping and disappearance, and it is my age today.

As you can see, August is a month full of emotions and every year, dates and anniversaries take on different meanings. The truth is that each year comes and goes, but not without leaving it’s lasting mark.

/images/522.jpg Maria Luisa Rosal: Field Organizer, SOA Watch. Born in Guatemala during the worst intensification of the internal armed conflict, she and her family fled into exile to the United States, where they received political asylum. Her father was disappeared by the Guatemalan state on August 12, 1983.

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Victory: First Amendment Rights Triumph Over Columbus Police and Fort Benning Officials! Arturo, Brigitte, Hendrik, Karolina, Kat, María Luisa, Pablo, and Roy, SOA Watch

We have collectively secured not only our historical and sacred space of convergence to remember the martyrs, but have successfully defended and protected our First Amendment rights!

 

A Defiant Ecuador Seeks Solutions in Assange Case

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The Assange case goes beyond just simple political asylum and issues of sovereignty. It is matter of principle in a time in which information and secrecy have become ever more the tools of the most powerful. Justice must be done for those who have sacrificed their liberties to warn us of these dangers.

Eva Golinger, CounterPunch

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

9781566566476_p0_v1_s260x420.jpgAugust 25, 2014 | Two years ago, one of the most controversial figures of the age of cyberspace appeared on the doorstep of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. On the verge of losing an appeal in the British courts that could open the door to his extradition to Sweden and then later, the United States, where a secret Grand Jury had convened to indict him, Julian Assange sought refuge in Ecuador’s modest Embassy flat. During the following two months, the Ecuadorian government studiously reviewed his case, calling in experts to discuss and debate the duties and risks Ecuador faced in granting the asylum petition.

On August 16, 2012, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patiño, announced that his country would grant Assange diplomatic asylum, a concept enshrined in the Convention on Diplomatic Asylum of 1954, also known as the Convention of Caracas.  The British government refused to recognize this status and initially threatened to violate Ecuador’s sovereignty by entering into the Embassy and arresting Assange. After strong protest from the Ecuadorian government and outcry from Latin American nations, England refrained from causing an international uproar by forcing entry into the Embassy, and instead chose to maintain a prominent police presence surrounding the building, impeding Assange’s escape.

Eva Golinger is the author of The Chavez Code. She can be reached through her blog.

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Pete Seegar vs. The Un-Americans: A Tale of the Blacklist ~ Edward Renehan, Reviewed in NationofChange.org

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“Subtleties don’t travel well in a ‘sound bite’ culture”—this book will bring this and many other of Seeger’s lyrics to a new level leaving you educated on this dark and tangled era in our nation’s history.

Aviva Chomsky | What's at Stake in the Border Debate

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  • America’s Continuing Border Crisis
  • The Real Story Behind the “Invasion” of the Children
  • Washington’s persecution of immigrant children

Aviva Chomsky, Tom Dispatch

/I%20Want%20You%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

1379330375l/18339763.jpgAugust 24, 2014 | The militarization of the police has been underway since 9/11, but only in the aftermath of the six-shot killing of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, with photos of streets in a St. Louis suburb that looked like occupied Iraq or Afghanistan, has the fact of it, the shock of it, seemed to hit home widely.  Congressional representatives are now proposing bills to stop the Pentagon from giving the latest in war equipment to local police forces.  The president even interrupted his golfing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to return to Washington, in part for “briefings” on the ongoing crisis in Ferguson.  So militarization is finally a major story.

And that’s no small thing.  On the other hand, the news from Ferguson can’t begin to catch the full process of militarization this society has been undergoing or the way America’s distant wars are coming home. We have, at least, a fine book by Radley Balko on how the police have been militarized.  Unfortunately, on the subject of the militarization of the country, there is none.  And yet from armed soldiers in railway stations to the mass surveillance of Americans, from the endless celebration of our “warriors” to the domestic use of drones, this country has been undergoing a significant process of militarization (and, if there were such a word, national securitization).

Aviva Chomsky’s most recent book is Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal (Beacon Press, 2014). She is professor of history and coordinator of Latin American studies at Salem State University in Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Noam and Carol Chomsky.

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Washington’s persecution of immigrant children, Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site

  • The defense of the rights of immigrant workers to live and work in whatever country they choose, without discrimination or persecution, is an inseparable component of the struggle to defend the living standards, jobs and basic rights of the working class as a whole. 
  • Americans Need to Face the Horror That Undocumented Children Have Experienced

 

Pete Seegar vs. The Un-Americans: A Tale of the Blacklist ~ Edward Renehan

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“Subtleties don’t travel well in a ‘sound bite’ culture”—this book will bring this and many other of Seeger’s lyrics to a new level leaving you educated on this dark and tangled era in our nation’s history.

Reviewed in NationofChange.org

seeger_0.jpgAugust 22, 2014 | Shining a light on the McCarthy era, “Pete Seeger vs. The Un-Americans: A Tale of the Blacklist” is an inspiring, yet surprising story of how this brave man’s commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of association was put before the risk of imprisonment and professional ruin. During an “ugly chapter” in U.S. history, this book is a well-researched and well-written story that shows the real importance of the First Amendment.

“Pete Seeger vs. The Un-Americans: A Tale of the Blacklist” sets the record straight as the author, Ed Renehan, reveals some secrets about Seeger’s struggle for social justice through the late 1950s and early 1960s. After he was subpoenaed in 1955 to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee yet refused to comply, Seeger was convicted of contempt of Congress and sentence to jail, which was later overturned. Renehan not only tells the story of Seeger’s struggle to preserve freedom and integrity, it is a look at how the American government has victimized artists, “shutting down dialogue on important social issues.”

Nation of Change: Progressive Journalism for Positive Action

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