Chelsea Manning on the short list for commutation: call the White House at 202-456-1111 to help her!

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Whoah. This is huge news. NBC is reporting that Chelsea Manning is on President Obama's "short-list" for commutation. It even appears that the DOJ has recommended that she be released. Chelsea has suffered immensely at the hands of the U.S. government, all for doing what she thought was right and trying to help people. I hope everyone will drop what they are doing today to call the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama go do the right thing and reduce Chelsea's sentence to time served. Read a statement from Chelsea's attorney and Fight for the Future here." Read the rest

Germany, France and the UK are moving the EU to continuous, unaccountable, warrantless mass surveillance

Recent surveillance laws in Germany, France and the UK require online service providers to store (undoubtedly leaky and infinitely toxic) databases of everything you do online, and allow government agencies to raid these databases without accountability or meaningful oversight). Read the rest

Small, sharp knife disguised as a housekey

SOG make excellent knives: I know because I had many of them confiscated by the nascent TSA in the early days of the Global War on Terror, that liminal moment when I was still kidding myself that I would remember to empty my pockets of useful tools before boarding a flight. Read the rest

Why the FBI would be nuts to try to use chatbots to flush out terrorists online

Social scientist/cybersecurity expert Susan Landau (previously) and Cathy "Weapons of Math Destruction" O'Neil take to Lawfare to explain why it would be a dangerous mistake for the FBI to use machine learning-based chatbots to flush out potential terrorists online. Read the rest

UK's new surveillance law creates a national browser history with a search engine to match

The Snoopers Charter, an extreme surveillance bill that passed last week, and it's the most extensive domestic spying regime that any "democratic" country has passed, and is a potential blueprint for Orwellian surveillance elsewhere in the years to come. Read the rest

Islamophobic terrorist cell planned a "bloodbath" in Kansas, wanted to kill Muslim babies

The Department of Justice has announced that it has arrested three Kansas men who called themselves "Crusaders" and planned "a bloodbath" in an apartment complex where many Somali people lived, which was to including bombings followed by house-to-house shootings sparing no one, "not even babies." Read the rest

Scotland Yard charge: teaching people to use crypto is an act of terrorism

Samata Ullah from Cardiff faces six terrorism charges, including "preparation of terrorism..."by researching an encryption programme, developing an encrypted version of his blog site, and publishing the instructions around the use of [the] programme on his blog site." Read the rest

Canadian government has turned "consultation" on warrantless mass surveillance into a sales-job

The old Canadian Conservative government of Stephen Harper had many controversial policies (cough climate denial cough), with mass surveillance powers very near the top of the charts. Read the rest

Sen Mitch McConnell blames Obama for bill that Obama vetoed and McConnell repeatedly voted for

Congress has overridden Obama's repeated veto for the "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act," which allows US citizens to sue the Saudi government over its alleged complicity in the 9/11 attacks -- and which may allow people in other countries hamed by actions sponsored by the US government sue the US in those countries' courts. Read the rest

Survivors of CIA torture describe homebrew electric chair used at Afghan black site

Lufti al-Arabi, a Tunisian man who was arrested in Pakistan while studying at university, spent 13 years in the CIA's notorious "Salt Pit" prison (AKA "Detention Site COBALT") in Afghanistan, enduring incredible, crippling torture, before finally being released without charge, comment, or compensation in 2015; in his first interview since his release, he tells Human Rights Watch about the inhumane tortures of the Salt Pit, including some tortures that were apparently omitted from the CIA's suppressed torture report to the US Senate. Read the rest

The dubious upsides of having a Syrian passport

Marcell Shehwaro's magnificent, sarcastic, angry essay in Global Voices expresses her gratitude for her Syrian passport, because it has allowed her to see how states are willing to punish the already brutalized out of rage and fear. Read the rest

Chelsea bomber's other bombs were discovered by thieves who liked the bags they were hidden in

The Chelsea bomber (Ahmad Khan Rahami is accused of being this person) set more bombs around New York and New Jersey, but two of them were discovered and defused before they could go off because they were hidden in bags that thieves and homeless people took an interest in. Read the rest

Done in your name: Survivors of CIA's torture-decade describe their ordeals

For nearly a decade, the CIA kidnapped people from over 20 countries, held them without trial or counsel, and viciously tortured them, sometimes to death -- but the only person to serve jail time for the program is the man who blew the whistle on it, and that's thanks in part to Obama's insistence that "Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past." Read the rest

Washington Post: first newspaper ever to call for prosecution of its own source

The Washington Post was one of the newspapers that participated in the initial Snowden disclosures; Barton Gellman won a well-deserved Pulitzer for his work on them -- but now the paper's editorial board have called on the US government to imprison Edward Snowden, making it the first paper in US history to demand the prosecution of its own source, specifically to punish him for bringing them the story they published. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning on hunger strike, demanding treatment for gender dysphoria

Today, days before she is to face an administrative board who will punish her for her recent suicide attempt, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has announced that she will go on hunger strike until she receives treatment for her gender dysphoria. Read the rest

ISIS left behind at least 14,000 landmines when it retreated from Manbij

Once it became clear that a US-backed militia coalition was going to chase Isis out of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, Isis planted at least 14,000 mines, boobytrapping refrigerators, onion-baskets, rocks, appliances, tea-kettles, "everything." Read the rest

Brigadier General: TPP is a threat to America's national security

Retired Brigadier General John Adams served for 30 years, including a stint as a military intelligence officer: in an op-ed in The Hill, he says that while he supports trade deals, the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade, and will hasten America's de-industrialization, making it harder for the US military to source the materiel it needs, and making it vulnerable to price gouging by foreign powers, who might even go so far as to block America's ability to source certain vital items altogether. Read the rest

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