The Freedom Watch

“David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist who broke stories of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency, has accused Britain of a ‘total abuse of power’ for interrogating him for almost nine hours at Heathrow under the Terrorism Act. In his first interview since returning to his home in Rio de Janeiro early on Monday, Miranda said the authorities in the UK had pandered to the US in trying to intimidate him and force him to reveal the passwords to his computer and mobile phone. During that time, he said, he was not allowed to call his partner, who is a qualified lawyer in the US, nor was he given an interpreter.” Continue reading

“U.S. District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson, responding to a request by state authorities, ruled that California prison doctors may force-feed select inmates who are near death, even if they had signed orders asking not to be resuscitated. Some 136 inmates are currently taking part in a hunger strike that begun July 8 in prisons statewide to demand an end to a policy of housing inmates believed to be associated with gangs in near-isolation for years. Some 69 of the striking inmates have refused food continuously since the strike began.” Continue reading

“A TIME magazine reporter caused ire on Twitter Saturday night when he said that he ‘can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out’ Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Michael Grunwald’s tweet, since deleted, was quickly met with outrage and bewilderment. Glenn Greenwald, who recently broke several revelations about NSA surveillance programs based on documents provided to him by leaker Edward Snowden, was particularly vocal in expressing his disgust with Grunwald’s statement. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.” Continue reading

“It seems that there is little understanding that it was banking secrecy that helped to resist twentieth-century dictatorships and that high tax rates — not money havens — are responsible for tax evasion, as Prince Hans-Adam of Lichtenstein has pinpointed. Clearly the amount of information collected for the purpose of future tax investigation is enormous, leaving little place for human privacy and dignity.” Continue reading

“When Ars Technica editor Nate Anderson sat down to write The Internet Police, Edward Snowden hadn’t yet decided to add some excitement to the National Security Agency’s summer by leaking a trove of surveillance secrets to The Guardian. As a result, Anderson’s book doesn’t mention Snowden’s escapade, which will likely become the security-and-paranoia story of the year, if not the decade. However, The Internet Police is a handy guide to the slow and unstoppable rise of the online security state, as well as the libertarian and criminal elements that have done their level best to counter that surveillance.” Continue reading

“California’s second highest court on Thursday made it easier for police to forcibly draw blood from motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In coming to this conclusion, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision in seven Alameda County cases brought before the Superior Court’s Appellate Division where drivers had their blood taken at a jail facility. The Court of Appeal stepped in to set a precedent restoring the state’s ability to perform warrantless blood draws in a wider variety of circumstances.” Continue reading

“The White House spokesman confirmed that Britain alerted the US authorities after Miranda’s name appeared on a passenger manifest of a flight from Berlin to Heathrow on Sunday morning. ‘I think that is an accurate interpretation of what a heads up is,’ Earnest said. He would not rule out whether the US authorities had been passed any information from Miranda’s electronic equipment seized at Heathrow, which included his phone, laptop, memory sticks, DVDs and games consoles. ‘I’m not in a position to do that right now,’ Earnest replied.” Continue reading