COVID-19 Has Impacted Everything

Posted by Ryan J. Suto on March 23, 2020 in Blog

COVID-19 has impacted everyone, as we have all been inundated with tragedies, statistics, advisories, updates, and new government measures to fight the virus. Congress has moved at lightning speed to address the epidemic. In total, since Feb. 28, 40 pieces of legislation focusing on COVID-19 have been introduced. And while more relief is in negotiation, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act have already been passed, the latter of which is a 43-page law that was introduced in the House on March 11 and signed into law...

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Watching What Is Watching Us: The Dangers of Digital Surveillance Technologies

Posted by Guest on February 25, 2019 in Blog
We should not tolerate the implementation of invasive and biased surveillance technology. These technologies not only threaten the human rights of targeted populations, but also the very foundations of our democracy.
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AAI’s Maya Berry speaks at Color of Surveillance conference

Posted by Guest on July 20, 2018 in Blog

By Allison Ulven

AAI’s Maya Berry spoke at Georgetown Law School’s Center on Privacy and Technology event, the Color of Surveillance on July 19. The conference discussed America’s history of surveilling U.S. religious minorities, the impact it’s had on civil rights, as well as modern methods of surveillance.

Berry spoke alongside Michelle Miller, co-founder of, on organizing in Silicon Valley. Miller’s work at focuses on driving the growth of independent employee networks. Over the years, has assisted in advancing paid parental leave...

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AAI Works With Local Partners to Combat Surveillance in Orlando

Posted by Guest on June 28, 2018 in Blog

By Blaise Malley

On May 24th, 2018, Orlando police Chief John Mina confirmed that the Orlando Police Department had installed three cameras equipped with Amazon’s facial recognition software known as Rekognition in downtown Orlando, in addition to five cameras that were already in place at the OPD headquarters. The technology claims to provide “detection and recognition of text in images, real-time face recognition across tens of millions of faces, and detection of up to 100 faces in challenging crowded photos.” Despite the advantages that Amazon claims Rekognition could give to law enforcement agencies when it comes to...

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Arab American Institute, Orlando Groups Call On Chief Mina To End Use of Facial Recognition

Posted by Jennifer Salan on June 22, 2018 in Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 22, 2018  CONTACT: / (202) 429-9210  Arab American Institute, Orlando Groups Call On Chief Mina To End Use of Public Surveillance/Facial Recognition  Washington, DC - The Arab American Institute, along with 10 Orlando based community groups, wrote to Orlando Police Chief John Mina on Thursday urging him to “commit to forgo the use of public surveillance and facial recognition technology as a tool of law enforcement” following reports of the Amazon Rekognition software pilot program. Signatories include:...

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Countdown Vol. 17 No. 23: The Worst is Yet to Come

Posted on May 11, 2018 in Countdown

DREAMers Countdown: It’s been 247 days since President Trump moved to end DACA. The courts did step in to block the move, but Congress has yet to provide a permanent fix.

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Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Reauthorized in Congress

Posted by Guest on January 19, 2018 in Blog

By Mollie Todd

Last week, President Trump took to Twitter to provide his opinions on the reauthorization of Title VII- Section 702 of the FISA act. It seemed that the President was originally unaware of what the act was, or that only Section 702 of the bill was being reauthorized. His first tweet claimed that, “This is the act that may have been used…to so badly surveil and abuse the Trump Campaign by the previous administration and others?” Immediately following this statement, President Trump was informed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on the differences between foreign and...

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A New Era of Surveillance under the DHS

Posted by Guest on October 24, 2017 in Blog

by Sarah Seniuk Without much fanfare, the Department of Homeland Security codified and escalated an unofficial policy they had been pursuing for years - the surveillance of the social media accounts of would-be US immigrants and naturalized citizens. DHS will specifically include “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results” and “ expand the data elements used to retrieve records.” While the policy is designed to target US immigrants, the actual reach of the program is significantly broader and includes, but is not limited to: Lawful permanent residents;

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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 J. 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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