Facebook Censorship Remains Problematic Despite Response to Coalition Concerns

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on January 19, 2017 in Blog
Last Fall, the Arab American Institute joined more than 70 civil rights organizations in pushing Facebook to explain and improve its censorship of content. Many activists from social justice movements like the Black Lives Matter movement, the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors, and the Palestinian solidarity movement have complained about content being removed from Facebook without cause. When challenged about the troubling censorship Facebook cited Community Standards, but we wrote to demand more information and improved practices.
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SCOTUS Should Affirm Constitutional Rights Are For All

Posted by Nadia Aziz on January 18, 2017 in Blog

The Obama Justice Department will spend its final 48 hours fighting against the rights of post-9/11 detainees at the Supreme Court later today in the case of Ziglar v Abbasi. At stake is the ability of the detainees to challenge unconstitutional policies by seeking damages from federal officials. The case itself stems from the post 9/11 roundup of hundreds, often based on nothing more than unfounded reports, discrimination, or outright bias. In fact, a Justice Department IG later rebuked officials for the “indiscriminate and haphazard” way in which they erroneously classified many of these individuals as terror suspects....

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AAI's Questions for Rep. Mike Pompeo at Senate Confirmation Hearing

Posted by Arab American Institute on January 09, 2017 in Blog

Rep. Mike Pompeo will will appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday, January 11th at 10:00am. Watch online here Mike Pompeo is a Congressman of Kansas’ 4th district since 2011. He graduated first in his class from West Point in 1986 and then served as a cavalry officer patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall. After leaving active duty, he graduated from Harvard Law School where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Pompeo serves on two major committees: Energy and...

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Tech Entrepreneurs Affirm Commitment to Civil Liberties & Community Partnership Ahead of Trump Meeting

Posted by Kristin McCarthy on December 14, 2016 in Blog

The Trump transition team held a much anticipated discussion on Wednesday with technology leaders regarding a litany of issues at the intersection of technology, national security, and the economy. Ahead of the meeting, 50 tech entrepreneurs signed an open letter stating their commitment to civil liberties and a "categorical refusal" to build tools that could threaten them. The letter is a not so subtle condemnation of some of Trump’s national security plans that were laid out on the campaign trail – including reinstating NSEERS...

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Arab Americans Ask Obama for Action on Surveillance

Posted on November 21, 2016 in Press Releases

For immediate release: November 21, 2016 Arab Americans Ask Obama for Action on Surveillance Groups Lay Out 11 Achievable Steps

The Arab American Institute joined a coalition of diverse groups in calling on President Obama to strengthen democracy by acting on key surveillance issues. Full text of the letter follows: Dear President Obama, On your first day in office, you embraced the goals of ensuring the public’s trust and strengthening our democracy in a memorandum on transparency and open government. As your administration winds down and our democracy faces strong...

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Facebook’s Censorship of Activists: How Responsible Are They?

Posted by Guest on November 02, 2016 in Blog

By Manel Zitoun With the world becoming increasingly interconnected via social media, the censorship of social content is coming under scrutiny, particularly on Facebook.  According to Facebook’s community standards, “People use Facebook to share their experiences and to raise awareness about issues that are important to them. This means that you may encounter opinions that are different from yours, which we believe can lead to important conversations about difficult topics.” This is why Facebook is now under fire for their apparent censorship of grassroots social movements like Black Lives Matter and the Dakota Access Pipeline...

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The Deeply Flawed Watch Listing Process and "No Fly, No Buy" Debate

Posted by Leila Elaqad on August 31, 2016 in Blog

Following the June 2016 shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, a new debate over gun control measures was sparked in Congress. The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had previously been under FBI investigation on two separate occasions, and at one point had been placed on a government terrorist watch list. In light of this, many Democrats called for what they nicknamed, a “No Fly, No Buy” gun control bill, suggesting this measure would have prevented Mateen from purchasing the weapon he used to kill 49 innocent people in Orlando. “No Fly, No Buy” proponents advocated...

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RNC 2016: Right to Privacy

Posted on August 04, 2016 in Platforms

"In recent years, technology companies have responded to market demand for products and services that protect the privacy of customers through increasingly sophisticated encryption technology. These increased privacy protections have become crucial to the digital economy. At the same time, however, such innovations have brought new dangers, especially from criminals and terrorists who seek to use encryption technology to harm us. No matter the medium, citizens must retain the right to communicate with one another free from unlawful government intrusion. It will not be easy to balance privacy rights with the government’s legitimate need to access encrypted information. This issue...

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AAIF Hosts "Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Climate of Suspicion" at the 2016 DNC Convention

Posted by Eddie Bejarano on July 28, 2016 in Blog

As Susan Herman, President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) explained, "what you hear from a lot of Americans ever since 9/11 is, 'Don't we have to give up a little liberty in order to be safe?'... as if giving up liberty is going to make us safe." This fundamental question set the tone for the Arab American Institute Foundation's panel,  "Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Time of Suspicion" at the Democratic National Convention. As part of an effort to bring civil rights and civil liberties issues to the...

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Arab Americans Raise Civil Liberties Concerns at DNC Convention

Posted on July 12, 2016 in Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        July 12, 2016            Contact: jsalan@aaiusa.org/202-429-9210 Media Advisory   Arab Americans Raise Civil Liberties Concerns at DNC Convention Panel to Address Profiling, Surveillance and Due Process Washington, DC – On Wednesday, July 27 at 1PM, the Arab American Institute Foundation will host a panel discussion, “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in a Climate of Suspicion.” The session, held at the National Constitution Center at Independence Mall, will outline current policy concerns and offer meaningful solutions for delegates and the Philly community. Panelists...

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