The Dissent Newswire

March 21, 2022

America’s War Machine Comes Home

Using armaments and tactics straight from the battlefield against Americans protesting, police officers in city after city often look and behave more like soldiers than public servants. But after hearing President Biden’s State of the Union speech calling for “funding
March 18, 2022

We’re Fighting to Bring Sunshine to Government Surveillance of Dissent

It’s Sunshine Week, which highlights the importance of government transparency. While there are a lot of important steps our government could take to be more transparent (and an urgent need for Congress to take the matter seriously), we at Defending
March 16, 2022

The FBI & the Father of FOIA

I suppose it’s only appropriate that as we celebrate another Sunshine Week that I take a moment to talk about the originator of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the late Representative John Moss (D-CA). It’s particularly apropos in this
March 15, 2022

Last year, we called on the Biden administration to protect journalist. We haven’t heard anything since.

Editor’s Note: The following column was written by Kathryn Foxhall, Society of Professional Journalists Freedom of Information Committee vice chair, for Sunshine Week. Last year, 25 groups (Including DRAD) wrote to President Joe Biden’s administration saying journalists’ jobs are intentionally hindered by the
March 14, 2022

Defending Rights & Dissent Statement on UK Supreme Court’s Refusal to Hear Assange’s Appeal

On March 14, 2022, the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court denied Julian Assange permission to appeal his extradition.  “This is an appalling decision. Assange faces grave human rights abuses in the US,” said Defending Rights & Dissent policy director Chip Gibbons.
March 9, 2022

ICE illegally obtains customer data from money order companies like Western Union

ICE has reportedly issued unlawful summon orders to gain access to personal data from money order companies since 2019, according to Senator Wyden’s (D-OR) office. A recent inquiry made by Sen. Wyden’s office learned that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), part
March 2, 2022

This Louisiana Legislator Wants To Make Killing Protesters Legal

On February 21, a little-known Louisiana state legislator introduced a bill that would add at least two new legal justifications for murder. The first, if someone – anyone, presumably – suspects a protester might be damaging property (or “imminently” about
February 23, 2022

Why Defending Rights & Dissent Is Joining the Belmarsh Tribunal

UPDATE: You may watch a recording of the Belmarsh Tribunal here. When war crimes are exposed, the government puts the truth teller in jail. The Belmarsh Tribunal, named for the notorious British prison where Julian Assange is being held, puts
February 22, 2022

Black History Month: National Security Whistleblower Edition

There have been and will be lots of op-eds this month on major historical figures from America’s Black community–civil rights icons like Dr. King, Ella Baker, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and many others. They challenged a society-wide system
February 17, 2022

Thirty Wisconsin Organizations Call on Gov. Evers to Veto Anti-Protest Bill

Thirty Wisconsin organizations sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers today, asking that he veto Senate Bill 296, a bill that passed in the Senate on January 25 and aims to deter people from participating in the constitutionally protected right
February 15, 2022

DRAD joins amicus brief in Xi v. Haugen; calls on US government to stop discriminating against Asian Americans & immigrants

Amid increased concerns over the FBI’s and Justice Department’s targeting of scientists based on their Chinese descent, Defending Rights & Dissent joined with over 70 Asian American organizations, civil rights groups, science associations, and academic groups to file an amicus
February 11, 2022

Mystery CIA Program Highlights Surveillance State Run Amok, Failure of Oversight

The Central Intelligence Agency, a foreign intelligence agency that should not operate within the domestic US, has been collecting in bulk US citizens’ data. This collection has taken place without a warrant and outside any statutory regime, such as the
February 9, 2022
US Capitol Dome. Blue night sky behind.

Senators Markey & Merkley and Reps. Jayapal & Pressley Urge Federal Agencies to End Use of Clearview AI Facial Recognition Technology

Given the recent debacle over the use of face recognition technology at the IRS, now is the time to aggressively advocate for an absolute moratorium on the use of this invasive tech at all federal agencies. It’s time for Congress
February 7, 2022

Our Government Has a History of Lying Us Into War. It’s the Media’s Job to Challenge That.

Weapons of mass destruction. Bombing a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant. The Gulf of Tonkin incident. There’s plenty of good reasons for journalists to question US military claims. Most importantly, because that’s their job. In the span of a few hours one day
February 7, 2022

Police Voyeurism: Law Enforcement Can’t Stop Surveilling Protesters, Activists, and Journalists

Police and federal agents, including FBI and Customs and Border Patrol officers, are increasingly subjecting activists, protesters, and journalists to improper and sometimes illegal surveillance.  With an array of clandestine tactics and powerful technology available to law enforcement to monitor