Not-So-Happy Constitution Day

Posted by Guest on September 14, 2017 in Blog

by Hanna Saba

On the 230th anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution, two of the document’s fundamental values, privacy and political expression, are under assault across the nation. The Constitution establishes the foundation of our government and outlines our fundamental rights. It also limits the power of the government by establishing a system of checks and balances. 

Constitution Day isn’t the sort of occasion that gets attention like Independence Day or Thanksgiving, but it’s critical to understanding the importance of the Constitution. The document has survived international and civil wars, protests, and legal battles, but the last few decades have...

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Trump Administration continues to exacerbate the terrorism trope

Posted by Ryan Suto on August 08, 2017 in Blog

The late Jack Shaheen observed in 1984 that U.S. media and culture portray Arabs as only “billionaires, bombers, and belly dancers,” creating flat Arab characters which form the popular tropes that inhabit the mind of millions of Americans and others around the world. Since 9/11, however, many U.S. government officials and politicians have become disinterested in discussing billionaires or belly dancers, leaving only one lens to frame Arab American and American Muslim communities. Despite the broad political trend to frame these communities as only having use as counter-terrorism pawns, the Trump campaign and now the Trump Administration have taken this political trope...

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Bipartisan Agreement from Senators Paul & Wyden on Dangers of Section 702 Surveillance

Posted by Guest on August 07, 2017 in Blog

By Annie Riley Despite a deep partisan divide in Congress over many issues, two senators, from the opposite sides of the spectrum, have joined forces to fight for civil liberties. On Thursday, July 27, the CATO Institute hosted a policy forum moderated by Patrick Eddington, a CATO policy analyst in homeland security and civil liberties, with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to discuss the future of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which expires at the end of this year. The

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American Attitudes Toward Arabs, Muslims, Immigration, Civil Rights, and Surveillance (July 2017)

Posted by Arab American Institute on July 31, 2017 in Blog

The Arab American Institute (AAI) released a new Zogby Analytics poll in July, 2017, tracking American Attitudes towards Arabs, Muslims, immigration, civil rights, surveillance, and hate crimes. AAI President James Zogby breaks down the headlines: To download the full poll results click here.    To read "Negative Campaign Against Arabs and Muslims Has Consequences" by James Zogby, click here.  Key Findings: American attitudes toward Arabs and Muslims are sharply divided along partisan lines, with Democrats holding a favorable view of...

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The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of American Immigrants

Posted by Guest on July 05, 2017 in Blog

By Haley Arata & Annie Riley

In our post 9/11 society, “Fear mongering makes it incredibly easy for people to support bad policy,” Vanita Gupta, former head of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, said during the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology hosted The Color of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of American Immigrantsconference on June 22. She added, the “bedrock American principle that everyone has equal protection under the law is really under threat.” Civil rights activists, policy analysts, university and law professors addressed the nature of government tracking in the United States. Panelists discussed the intersection of surveillance and...

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What’s next for global internet freedom under the Trump administration?

Posted by Guest on June 14, 2017 in Blog

By Annie Riley

While Americans are accustomed to free speech and internet freedom, so much so that fake news and alternative facts has become widespread, it is important to remember that 2/3 of all internet users live under some form of government censorship. In the U.S., conspiracy theorists spread rumors that the Sandy Hook Massacre was an inside job and the Denver airport was built to house the world’s leaders after the apocalypse, but in countries like China, internet users are blocked from using the most popular search engine, Google.

On Wednesday, June 14, the Brookings Institute hosted a panel...

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CATO's Adam Bates Reviews Surveillance Challenges at #ArabAmericansLead Briefing

Posted by Guest on May 08, 2017 in Blog

By Baseem Maleki During an Expert Briefing that was part of AAI’s “Arab American Leadership Days” programming, Adam Bates—a policy analyst with Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice—explained the ways in which the unwarranted surveillance of Arab Americans and American Muslims is ineffective and unconstitutional. Bates argued that programs like the NYPD Demographics Unit, which was designed with the specific intent to surveil Arab Americans and American Muslims, violate the due process clause in both the 5th and 14th Amendments of the United...

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