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 Title   Date   Author   Host 

aclj.org

by Jay Sekulow

July 18, 2013

Everything we have heard from the IRS and the Obama Admin about the targeting of the Tea Party seems to end up being proven false, one by one, as the congressional investigation and our lawsuit on behalf of 41 targeted conservative groups continues.

The latest bombshell revelation comes from congressional testimony of senior IRS attorneys directly involved in the targeting of the Tea Party that IRS Chief Counsel's office was directly involved in targeting the Tea Party, delaying their applications, and developing the unconstitutional and intrusive inquire process. IRS Chief Counsel William Wilkins is a direct political appointee of President Obama in 2009 and significantly calls into question the Obama Administration's ever evolving timeline of who knew what when, but even more importation who directed and orchestrated the targeting of the Tea Party.

aclj.org

by Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (aclj)

June 27, 2013

Less than 24 hours after being socked on the chin by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Hobby Lobby case, the Obama Administration showed that it is still incapable of understanding reality when it comes to religious liberty.

In the latest version of the "Final Rules" - known better as the "HHS Mandate" - the Administration offers religious groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor and Louisiana Baptist College the same carrot they've been dangling before them for over a year - "you provide your employees a health insurance plan that excludes drugs you have religious objections to, including abortion-inducing drugs, and we'll magically make sure they get them anyway." How this is to happen technically is spelled out in 110 pages of bureaucratic gobbledygook that has as a goal (so the government assures us) "respecting the concerns of nonprofit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage." The Founders didn't need 110 pages - or even one page -- to protect religious liberty. They needed only one sentence, the sentence that stands at the top of our Bill of Rights...

aclu.org

July 28, 2014

Because freedom can't protect itself Government Spying Undermines Media Freedom and Right to Counsel, ACLU- Human Rights Watch Shows

Large-scale U.S. surveillance is seriously hampering U.S.-based journalists and lawyers in their work, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch said in a joint report released today. Surveillance is undermining media freedom and the right to counsel, and ultimately obstructing the American people's ability to hold their government to account, the groups said. The 120-page report, "With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale U.S. Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy," is based on extensive interviews with dozens of journalists, lawyers, and senior U.S. government officials. It documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented U.S. government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public's right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.

aclu.org

by Brett Max Kaufman

August 10, 2013

Charlie Savage of The New York Times confirmed this week what we have been warning about for years, including to the Supreme Court last fall: The National Security Agency (NSA) is "searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance . . . ." The rub: If you've sent an international email or text since 2008, chances are the government has looked inside of it. In other words, the same NSA surveillance dragnet that government officials have consistently dismissed as speculative and far-fetched is very, very real. The Times's front-page story raises questions akin to those advanced by a report in The Guardian last week revealing that under a program codenamed "XKeyScore," NSA analysts use dropdown menus and filters - just like the ones we all use every single day on the web - to gain instant access to "nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet." Essentially, XKeyScore is the NSA's very own, very powerful surveillance search engine.

aclu.org

by Alex Abdo

August 2, 2013

In the wake of recent news that the NSA is spying on Americans, I have been particularly struck by the argument that "if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear."

At first blush, this argument might seem sound - after all, if the government is merely conducting anti-terrorism surveillance, non-terrorists shouldn't be affected, right? But if you look more closely, you'll see this idea is full of holes. The "nothing to hide" argument mistakenly suggests that privacy is something only criminals desire. In fact, we choose to do many things in private - sing in the shower, make love, confide in family and friends - even though they are not wrong or illegal. Who would not be embarrassed if all of their most intimate details were exposed?

aclu.org

by Allie Bohm

June 20, 2013

Montana just made history.

It recently enacted the first state law in the nation (sponsored by Rep. Daniel Zolnikov (R-Billings)) requiring law enforcement to obtain a probable-cause warrant before tracking an individual based on his or her cell phone location information, social networking check-ins, or via a GPS tracking device in a criminal investigation. (A few states do have laws pertaining only to GPS tracking.) The ACLU of Montana's public policy director, Niki Zupanic, confessed her surprise that Montana was the first state in the nation to pass broad location-tracking protections. Perhaps Montanans, known for their love of freedom and privacy, intuitively understand how sensitive location information can be and how much where you go can reveal about who you are.

aclu.org

by Patrick C. Toomey

May 30, 2013

Court rulings unsealed last week in Washington show for the first time a behind-the-scenes legal battle over when the government should have to tell you that it's tracking your location and reading your email.

These documents-which came to light only as the public learned more about the government's controversial investigation of Fox News journalist James Rosen-reveal significant new details about the government's obligation to provide notice, after the fact, when it obtains geolocation data or obtains stored email messages. Indeed, the court orders bring to light a striking contrast: federal prosecutors in Washington routinely provide notice to individuals they track using cell-phone geolocation data, even if that notice is delayed, yet the government strenuously resists giving any notice to individuals when searching and reading their emails.

aclu.org

May 9, 2013

American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war.

Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters - and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It's time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods. Since March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 25 states filed over 260 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments.

act.thenhf.com

March 13, 2012

In an end-run worthy of an NFL halfback, the National Health Federation is spearheading the introduction of legislation to counter the FDA's infamous new Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients (NDIs).

Since the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, the United States has enjoyed excellent access to essential nutrients, but more recently we have watched as the FDA increasingly squeezes the life out of that law with new and onerous rules and regulations. Now, the FDA wants to enforce even more rigorous "safety" standards on products that have never caused harm, but which entered the marketplace after the year DSHEA became law, 1994.

action.fooddemocracynow.org

June 29, 2012

This week the House of Representatives will consider a provision to House Agricultural Appropriations Bill that will fundamentally undermine the concept of judicial review.

Hidden under the guise of a "Farmer Assurance Provision" (Section 733), the provision strips the rights of federal courts to halt the sale and planting of genetically engineered crops during the legal appeals process. In the past, legal advocates have successfully won in court the right to halt the sale and planting of unapproved GMO crops while the approval of those crops is under review by a federal judge. This dangerous new House provision, which were calling the Monsanto Protection Act, would strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up a floodgate of planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, consumers and the environment.

      
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