All posts by Midnightschildren

Deporting ICE

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On July 18, Oakland’s City Council voted unanimously to terminate the Oakland Police Department’s federal law enforcement agreement with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), formerly known as ICE. The unanimous vote on CM Rebecca Kaplan’s resolution followed previous unanimous votes at the City’s Privacy Advisory Commission (OPAC) and the Council’s Public Safety Committee.

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Section 702

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Although writing to the Trumpian Congress is a pyrrhic pursuit at best,  22 civil rights groups wrote to the House Judiciary Committee in pursuit of reforms to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The groups wrote: “Section 702 is a warrantless surveillance authority that allows monitoring of non-US persons abroad for broad foreign intelligence purposes, including these individuals’ communications with individuals in the United
States. This powerful tool—subject to far fewer checks than domestic surveillance—was passed to combat threats from hostile foreign powers and international terrorism, and was not intended for domestic law enforcement investigation of U.S. persons for matters unrelated to foreign intelligence.” Continue reading Section 702

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Private Prison Information Act of 2017

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(From Human Rights Defense Center)

45 civil rights and criminal justice groups joined together to demand greater transparency from private prisons that contract with the federal government. H.R. 1980, the Private Prison Information Act, reintroduced by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) earlier this year  would require private prisons to comply with the same FOIA requirements as their government-operated counterparts.

Almost one out of every five prisoners held by the federal government, and two out of every three immigrant detainees, are housed in for-profit prisons that contract with federal agencies. Unlike government-operated facilities that are required to comply with federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, private prisons operate under a veil of secrecy.

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Oakland Police – It Isn’t Getting Better

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13 years into a federal consent decree after the Oakland Police Department’s “Riders Divison” planted drugs on scores of West Oakland residents, nothing has gotten better.

Court-appointed independent investigators Edward Swanson and Audrey Barron issued a scathing report on the OPD sex scandal involving a dispatcher’s daughter doing sex work as a minor and getting entangled with multiple Oakland officers.  Continue reading Oakland Police – It Isn’t Getting Better

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DC Court of Appeals Kills Prison Phone Justice

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On June 13, 2017, the DC Court of Appeals dealt a big blow to years of organizing to wipe predatory commissions and reduce prices on phone calls in and out jails, prisons and detention centers.

The services are riven with monstrous commissions that raise prices sky-high and force inmate families to choose between food, rent and staying in touch with loved ones who are incarcerated.  Continue reading DC Court of Appeals Kills Prison Phone Justice

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