Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in Civil Rights

John Oliver makes many points that individuals have been making for the past 5-10 years.

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, John Oliver explores the racial inequality in treatment by police as well as the increasing militarization of America’s local police forces.

Source.

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NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas released a video containing audio from “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” a training hosted by anti-abortion groups at the State Capitol on August 4, 2014. The video reveals the methods anti-abortion activists currently employ to physically intimidate women from accessing safe and legal abortion care in Texas.

The disturbing tactics outlined by the four speakers in the video include: identifying and monitoring patients, providers and clinic staff, lining sidewalks outside clinics to dissuade patients from entering clinics, tracking and cataloguing the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers.

From the Austin Chronicle:

The audio, from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Progress Texas, was recorded during a training session at the Capitol hosted by several anti-abortion groups. Entitled, “Keeping Abortion Facilities Closed,” the recording reveals the disturbing lengths anti-abortion advocates take to track, monitor and intimidate abortion providers, clinic staff, and patients.

For instance, Karen Garnett of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas instructs the audience on how to track license plates as well as car make, model, and description of the patients visiting abortion clinics and lauds causing cancelled abortion procedures by “lining the sidewalks” of abortion clinics. “You track license plates […] coming into any abortion facility. We have a very sophisticated spreadsheet. This way you can track whether or not a client comes back.”

Another speaker refers to monitoring the percentage of abortion clinic closures as “keeping score” and cites the number of clinic staffers who quit, to applause. The “poorer ones,” she said, heard the abortion clinic in their area was going to close and visited an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center instead. “God is good,” she said.

If you want to know how vile their tactics are, read some of the comments here.

Video.

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From the ACLU:

Download (PDF, 4.61MB)

Discussion at reddit.

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More.

The sheriff actually tried to fire this guy in 2007 for filing false reports. Are they going to wait until he kills someone before they get rid of him?

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Washington County public school officials announced they will be using new software to monitor students’ social media posts.

The county will be one of only four school districts in the nation to enlist a new software program called Social Sentinel that tracks social media accounts for certain keywords.

To those that question the legality of such monitoring in the face of privacy rights, school officials said the software uses “geofencing” protocol to only track posts that are made while the student is on school property.

School officials said the goal is to protect student safety. Examples of such posts that will be tracked include those that feature keywords like “kill,” “bomb” and others.

Some student will kill it on that Science test while others bomb it. This system will be completely useless as soon as everyone figures out euphemisms for search words.

School officials said they will also be consulting with parents and members of student government for feedback on what additional keywords should be added to the watch-list.

Threats will be flushed out, officials added – if a keyword is caught, the post will be read to check for threats of violence, bullying or harassment, reference to using drugs or alcohol, references to weapons, and the like.

One of two things is going to happen. The school is going to quickly be overloaded and realize what a waste of money this systems is. The students will not communicate on any system that’s monitored by the school and will have a “school” social media account and their real account.

Neither of these situations should be happening. The first forces students to protest a system that is hindering their free speech. The second forces them to either self-censor or be deceitful.

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