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Tag: ACLU

Lawsuit Challenging Conditions at Border Patrol Detention Centers Goes to Trial

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A trial is set to begin today over conditions at detention centers at several of Border Patrol’s stations in Arizona.

The case involves a lawsuit filed in 2015 that challenges what attorneys say are unsafe and deplorable conditions at eight Border Patrol facilities in Arizona, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit was filed four years before the surge in immigrants last year caused even bigger problems at the facilities, which activists say are inhume.

Photos used as evidence in the case show men packed under an aluminum blanket, rusty toilets, soiled toiled paper, and women changing a baby’s diaper on a concrete floor littered with trash.

“We’re talking about ensuring that the government is meeting constitutional standards when it comes to the detention of people in these facilities,” said Victoria López, advocacy and legal director for the ACLU of Arizona, one of the organizations involved in the suit.

Border Patrol didn’t respond to questions from The New York Times.

Homeland Security Wants to Photograph Americans at Airports for Expanded Facial Recognition System

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are mulling a plan to expand the U.S. government’s facial recognition system by requiring all travelers, including Americans, to be photographed as they are departing or entering the country.

Homeland Security is expected to officially propose the new requirements in July, the Associated Press reports.

The proposal comes as several airlines are testing facial recognition technology at U.S. airports.

The plan has already come under criticism by federal lawmakers, including Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who pledged to introduce legislation to stop the proposal.

Facial recognition technology has come under intense criticism from local, state and federal lawmakers because of its lack of accuracy, especially when applied to people of color.

“This new notice suggests that the government is reneging on what was already an insufficient promise,” Jay Stanley, a policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement. “Travelers, including U.S. citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel.”

DOJ Trying to Force Facebook to Reveal Names Associated with Anti-Trump Event

computer-photo1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is trying to force Facebook to disclose the names of everyone who interacted with an event page about an anti-Donald Trump rally during the presidential inauguration.

If the social media giant complies with warrants issued by the DOJ, the federal government would receive the Facebook accounts of everyone who “liked” the disruptj20 page and signed up to attend the protest, Gizmodo reports

The ACLU says the Justice Department’s warrants are a violation of the First and Fourth amendments.

“What is particularly chilling about these warrants is that anti-administration political activists are going to have their political associations and views scrutinized by the very administration they are protesting,” ACLU attorney Scott Michelman told CNN.

Facebook said it plans to fight the warrant.

Affidavit: FBI Took Over 23 Child Porn Sites As Part of International Sting

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI ran 23 child pornography websites as part of an investigation to catch pedophiles, according to newly unsealed documents.

It was revealed last year that the FBI took over a child pornography site called Playpen for 13 days to track users internationally. But an affidavit obtained by the ACLU shows that the FBI oversaw nearly two dozen child pornography sites as part of its “network investigate technique,” which is a form of dark web hacking, the New York Daily News reports. 

“While Websites 1-23 operate at a government facility, such request data associated with a user’s actions on Websites 1-23 will be collected,” a passage from the documents said.

“Such request data can be paired with data collected by the NIT, however, in order to attempt to identify a particular user and to determine that particular user’s actions on Websites 1-23.”

What’s unclear is whether the sites went live.

ACLU Urges Justice Department to Investigate Use of Facial Recognition Technology

FBI-facial-recognitionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ACLU is urging the Justice Department to investigate the use of facial recognition technology to determine whether it violates the rights of millions of Americans and disproportionately affects people of color.

The ACLU cited a recently released report by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology that concluded the controversial technology is used to identify and track people who are doing nothing wrong, like cross the street, WBALTV reports. 

In Maryland, for example, police have the ability to use facial recognition technology to search for more than 7 million state driver’s license and ID photos, more than 3 million arrest booking photos and 24.9 mugshots from the FBI’s Next Generation Identification database.

“The database is populated, I think may people with be surprised to hear, by over 7 million driver’s license photos, so every time you go to get a driver’s license you are now submitting to being a participant in a virtual lineup,” ACLU attorney David Rocah said.

The ACLU is concerned that the technology may unfairly target people of color.

“Not only do we not know how frequently it is helpful in finding an offender, how often they get a match and then identify the correct person who committed an offense, we also don’t know the error rate. We don’t know how many false matches, and how many people are falsely accused or wrongly investigated because of incorrect matches,” Rocah said.

FBI Released Aerial Video Footage of Baltimore Protests

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

FBI surveillance video from the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI captured more than 18 hours of aerial surveillance video from the Baltimore protests following the death of Freddie Gray in 2015.

The video was shot from traditional piloted aircraft, not drones.

The videos were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by the ACLU.

The raw video is available at the FBI’s website.

The FBI has been using surveillance planes since the 1970s.

Other Stories of Interest

ACLU: Tucson Police, Border Patrol Violating Constitutional Rights During Immigration Checks

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Tucson police and Border Patrol agents are violating the Fourth Amendment rights of Southern Arizonans by immigration checks that often take more than an hour, the ACLU of Arizona wrote in a pair of letters to the two agencies Monday.

Of the 110 traffic stops reviewed by the ACLU by Tucson police between June 2014 and December 2015, a majority lasted longer than one hour, Tucson.com reports. 

More than three-quarters of the cases involved “clear or potential constitutional problems,” the ACLU said.

ACLU: Border Patrol Agents Looting Immigrants Before Deporting Them

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Undocumented immigrant are being stripped of their possessions by Border Patrol agents before being deported back to Mexico with ID or money, advocacy groups allege.

In a complaint with Homeland Security, the ACLU of New Mexico and a coalition of organizations allege that undocumented immigrants were deported with no belongings in 26 cases, CBS News reports. 

“DHS will review the complaint once we receive it,” DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said. “DHS has strict standards in place to ensure that detainees’ personal property – including funds, baggage and other effects – is safeguarded and controlled while they are in detention and returned to them when they are released from CBP/ICE custody or removed from the United States. Any allegation of missing property will be thoroughly investigated.”

The groups say immigrants are sometimes sent without their belongings to cities in Mexico where they have no acquaintances.