Justice Articles from 2018

Responsibility Deflected, the CLOUD Act Passes. Will Erode Privacy Protections Worldwide

[Media]
Responsibility Deflected, the CLOUD Act Passes. Will Erode Privacy Protections Worldwide
By David Ruiz
Posted March 26, 2018

governments no longer need warrants to access your dataMake no mistake—you spoke up. You emailed your representatives. You told them to protect privacy and to reject the CLOUD Act, including any efforts to attach it to must-pass spending bills. You did your part. It is Congressional leadership—negotiating behind closed doors—who failed.

UPDATE, March 23, 2018: President Donald Trump signed the $1.3 trillion government spending bill—which includes the CLOUD Act—into law Friday morning.

n the final pages of the bill—meant only to appropriate future government spending—lawmakers snuck in a separate piece of legislation that made no mention of funds, salaries, or budget cuts. Instead, this final, tacked-on piece of legislation will erode privacy protections around the globe. More…

Palestinian Teenager Ahed Tamimi Gets 8 Months in Prison for Slapping Israeli Soldier

[Justice]
Palestinian Teenager Ahed Tamimi Gets 8 Months in Prison for Slapping Israeli Soldier
by Jessica Corbett
Posted March 23, 2018

17  yearold Palestinain gets 8 mpnths prison for slapping soldier who shot her brotherar17-year-old Ahed Tamimi will serve 8 months in jail for slapping a soldier who invaded her home. Meanwhile, IDF soldier Elor Azaria will serve 9 months for executing in cold-blood a wounded Palestinian.

Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was arrested in January for slapping an Israeli soldier, was sentenced Wednesday to eight months behind bars, enraging activists across the world who have advocated for her release.

Tamimi confronted a pair of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers outside her family home in the occupied West Bank last December just moments after learning a solider had shot her 15-year-old cousin in the face. More…

A 14-Year-Old Girl Forced Alone and at Night Into the Gaza Cage

[Justice]
A 14-Year-Old Girl Forced Alone and at Night Into the Gaza Cage
by Jonathan Cook
Posted March 22, 2018

the once oppressed people have become the oppressorsHow did a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who has never set foot in the open-air prison of Gaza find herself being dumped there by Israeli officials – alone, at night and without her parents being informed?

The terrifying ordeal – a child realising she had not been taken home but discarded in a place where she knew no one – is hard to contemplate for any parent.

And yet for Israel’s gargantuan bureaucratic structure that has ruled over Palestinians for five decades, this was just another routine error. One mishap among many that day. More…

Ohio and Iowa Are the Latest of Eight States to Consider Anti-Protest Bills Aimed at Pipeline Opponents

[Justice]
Ohio and Iowa Are the Latest of Eight States to Consider Anti-Protest Bills Aimed at Pipeline Opponents
by Alleen Brown
Posted March 20, 2018

freedom to protest may soon be illegalLawmakers in Ohio and Iowa are considering bills that would create new penalties for people who attempt to disrupt the operations of “critical infrastructure” such as pipelines. The bills make the states the latest of at least eight to propose legislation aimed at oil and gas industry protesters since Donald Trump’s election.

The bills were proposed less than a week after the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, which has close ties to the fossil fuel industry, finalized a model policy titled the “Critical Infrastructure Protection Act,” which calls for more severe punishment for those who trespass on facilities including oil pipelines, petroleum refineries, liquid natural gas terminals, and railroads used to transport oil and gas.

Iowa is one of four states through which the Dakota Access pipeline passes, and it was a center of anti-pipeline protests in 2016 and 2017. The state saw several incidents of property destruction carried out by pipeline opponents, but more common were trespassing arrests during demonstrations meant to halt construction. More…

Happy Aniversary, James Clapper

[Justice]
Happy Aniversary, James Clapper
by Jonathan Turley
Posted March 14, 2018

James Clapper, commits perjury and never prosecuted-- above the lawToday is an important anniversary for former intelligence chief James Clapper. No it is not his marriage anniversary or conventional milestone. Clapper can celebrate the running out of the statute of limitations on his alleged perjury before Congress — five years and Clapper is now beyond the reach of the law.

I recently wrote a column on the approaching anniversary and how it reaffirms the widely held view that powerful people in Washington are immune from laws used against the rest of society.

Clapper appeared before the Senate to discuss surveillance programs in the midst of a controversy over warrantless surveillance of the American public. He was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?” There was no ambiguity or confusion and Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” That was a lie and Clapper knew it when he said it. More…

On Criminalizing Homelessness and Feeding the Hungry, the State Is Indeed the Bad Guy

[Social]
On Criminalizing Homelessness and Feeding the Hungry, the State Is Indeed the Bad Guy
by Claire S Bernish
Posted March 13, 2018

police acting as enablers for the stateAtlanta and other cities have added to obstacles between houseless people and those who would provide them nourishment, predicating any immediate assistance on their entrée into the impoverishment assistance complex — while simultaneously frustrating activists and advocates with a deluge of impossible red tape making the act of sharing food a laborious chore for those attempting to work within its confines.

The Nation painted a more appropriately dismal if albeit embarrassing picture on the status of feeding houseless people — nearly three years ago, in February 2015 — reporting,

“According to a survey of more than 180 cities by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, anti-homeless laws pervade urban spaces nationwide. Roughly a third of cities barred public ‘camping,’ for example, up 60 percent since 2011. Restrictions range from prohibiting sitting on sidewalks to imposing steep fees or regulations that effectively criminalize actions of charity groups, often using antiseptic ‘quality of life’ terms (a tent pitched under a bridge becomes an unauthorized ‘camp’). Palo Alto has banned sleeping in parked cars. Mobile has imposed zero-tolerance on ‘aggressive panhandling,’ which could involve just ‘request[ing] a donation from a person standing in line…no matter how mildly the request was made.’ Last year, ThinkProgress reported, Fort Lauderdale authorized police to bust people who ‘store possessions’ on public property — suggesting that homeless people don’t deserve to have what little they carry with them, let alone ‘quality of life.’” More…

There are more vacant foreclosed  homes than there are homeless. Evidence of the abject failure of capitalism.

New documents reveal FBI paid Geek Squad repair staff as informants

[Justice]
New documents reveal FBI paid Geek Squad repair staff as informants
By Zack Whittaker
Posted March 9, 2018

Geek squad spying on customers for FBIThe relationship between the FBI and employees of Best Buy’s computer and device repair unit Geek Squad is more complex than first thought, according to newly released documents.

Records posted Tuesday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation following a freedom of information lawsuit filed last year reveal that federal agents would pay Geek Squad managers who pass on information about illegal materials on devices sent in by customers for repairs.

The relationship goes back at least ten years, according to documents released as a result of the lawsuit.

The aim of the FBI’s Louisville division was to maintain a “close liaison” with Geek Squad management to “glean case initiations and to support the division’s Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs,” the documents say. More…

How Uncle Sam Launders Marijuana Money

[Justice]
How Uncle Sam Launders Marijuana Money
By Ellen Brown
Posted March 8, 2018

Uncle Sam launders drig moneyIn a blatant example of “do as I say, not as I do,” the US government is profiting handsomely by accepting marijuana cash in the payment of taxes while imposing huge penalties on banks for accepting it as deposits. Onerous reporting requirements are driving small local banks to sell out to Wall Street. Congress needs to harmonize federal with state law.

One small banker complained that banks have been turned into spies secretly reporting to the federal government. If they fail to comply, they can face stiff enforcement actions, whether or not actual money-laundering crimes are alleged. In 2010, one small New Jersey bank pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Bank Secrecy Act and was fined $5 million for failure to file suspicious-activity and cash-transaction reports. Another small New Jersey bank closed its doors after it was hit with $8 million in fines over its inadequate monitoring policies. The cost of compliance and threat of massive fines for not complying have been major factors in the collapse of the community banking sector. The number of community banks has fallen by 40 percent since 1994 and their share of U.S. banking assets has fallen by more than half, from 41 percent to 18 percent. More…

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