November 18, 2022
Scientist Sherry Chen reaches a settlement with the government this week.

Ten Years After a Discriminatory and Illegal Investigation Was Launched Against Her, Sherry Chen Reaches Settlement With Dept. of Commerce

Sherry Chen, a scientist at the National Weather Service was arrested in October 2014 after an illegal and discriminatory internal investigation (read more here). She was wrongly charged with espionage and faced 25 years in prison and a fine of
November 4, 2022
Cover and photo of redacted sections of Chelsea Manning's memoir about radical transparency.

Chelsea Manning’s Long Fight for Radical Transparency

In 2010, as an Army private serving in Iraq, Chelsea Manning released hundreds of thousands of classified records shining light on the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These files included the “Collateral Murder” video (which showed American soldiers gunning
November 2, 2022
Senator Durbin Tweeted misinformation about the First Amendment

Senator Durbin needs Con Law 101

For someone heading up the Judiciary Committee, it appears Senator Dick Durbin missed out on a few key days of Constitutional Law. In his tweet, “Free speech does not include spreading misinformation to downplay political violence,” Senator Durbin strays far
October 31, 2022
Box around Portland protester linking to DHS dossier

DHS’ Secret Dossiers on Portland Protesters

Yet again, intelligence agencies have stepped outside of the law to conduct politically-motivated surveillance of protesters. This time, DHS was the culprit. According to an internal DHS report, agents assigned to Portland during 2020 Black Lives Matter protests drew up
October 14, 2022
Protest at the DOJ

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and the value of truth in the shadow of empire

If extradited, Julian Assange faces up to 175 years in prison under the Espionage Act – a draconian sentence intended to deter other journalists and truthtellers from revealing the long shadow of the American empire. On Saturday, October 8, DRAD
October 11, 2022
Alex Odeh with his family. DRAD joins ADC's call for justice for Alex Odeh.

Justice for Alex Odeh: 37 years later, the activist’s assassination remains unsolved

37 years ago today, Alex Odeh was assassinated at the offices of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) as part of a coordinated bombing campaign to silence activists. For decades, Defending Rights & Dissent has stood in solidarity with ADC in
October 7, 2022
FBI files overlaying an image of AIM protesters on the National Mall

The FBI is an enemy of indigenous liberation

On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we remember how the FBI surveilled and repressed AIM and other indigenous liberation movements. In 1969, American Indian Movement (AIM) activists occupied Alcatraz Island, invoking the Sioux Treaty of 1868, which grants unused federal lands to
September 30, 2022
Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy. Evidence has surfaced of CIA spying on Assange in the embassy.

How Far Did the CIA Go in Its War on WikiLeaks?

Did the CIA use a Spanish security firm known as UC Global to spy on WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange while toying with plans to assassinate or kidnap the Australian national? In spying on Assange, did the CIA and UC Global
September 30, 2022
Drone over world map with the Middle East, Africa, and the United States in scope sights, symbolizing the need to abolish the War on Terror at home and abroad

Abolitionist Policy Tool Dreams of a Post-War on Terror World

Two decades of the War on Terror make it clear that incremental reforms are insufficient to ameliorate the harms of a global system predicated upon Islamophobia and violence. Tendrils of the War on Terror encircle the globe and extend deep
September 19, 2022
Person with tape over their mouth. A controversial definition of anti-Semitism censors protected criticism of Israel.

Defending Rights & Dissent, National Coalition Against Censorship Oppose Speech-Chilling Resolution that Conflates Criticism of Israel with Anti-Semitism

The proposed resolution intends to adopt the working definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) along with its 11 contemporary examples.  Anti-Semitism is a reprehensible form of bigotry, however, several of the examples attached to the IHRA definition incorrectly equate constitutionally-protected criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism, effectively chilling free speech. 
September 15, 2022
The Constitution of the United States of America

The United States of Surveillance: A Constitution Day Story

This coming Saturday will mark the 235th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by 39 of the 41 delegates to the convention that crafted America’s current form of government. The document they circulated to their respective states for ratification
September 14, 2022

Ahead of United We Stand Summit, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Organizations War Against Relying on CVE Programs to Fight Hate Violence

Defending Rights & Dissent helped organize a letter from nearly 50 civil rights, human rights, and civil liberties groups who are united in opposing the Countering Violent Extremism framework to address hate violence in the United States. We sent the
August 31, 2022

The Espionage Act: Setting the Record Straight

Since the Department of Justice unsealed a warrant showing the Espionage Act was one of the reasons for a search of Donald Trump’s home, the media has been awash with misinformation about the Espionage Act. Confounding matters further has been
August 25, 2022
FBI HQ entrance

Of Bombs and Intelligence Collection: The FBI and the Cub Scouts

Americans are, once again, debating what is “age appropriate” sex education in light of the rise of the prominence of issues around gender, identity, and sexuality. And while much of the “groomer” rhetorical fire has been aimed at entertainment giant
August 16, 2022

Who knows the Espionage Act better than Donald Trump? 

Even before the FBI carried out its search warrant of his Florida home for “national defense information or classified material” taken from the White House, the former president frequently boasted how his administration prosecuted national security leaks more aggressively than