The Dissent Newswire

June 4, 2021

Snowden, Surveillance and Whistleblowing: Unlearned Lessons and Unfinished Business

By Patrick G. Eddington It’s been the better part of a decade since NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden first revealed massive U.S. government surveillance of our phone communications. The additional disclosures that followed led to no meaningful public Congressional hearings into
May 24, 2021

Ellsberg Blows the Whistle Again. Will DOJ Attempt to Prosecute Again?

May 24, 2021 Unbeknownst to most of us, Dan Ellsberg secretly copied another exposive report when he copied the Pentagon Papers fifty years ago. The second classified study documented how close the U.S. came to starting a nuclear war with
May 14, 2021

We Should Never Forget the Lessons of the Jackson State Massacre

By Cody Bloomfield May 14, 2021 On May 15, 1970, police fired over 400 bullets and pieces of deershot into a student dorm at the predominantly Black Jackson State University. Police originally mobilized on campus in response to student protests;
May 12, 2021

Is ‘Student Activism’ a Four-Letter Word? Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. and Student Speech

Last week, the Supreme Court heard an important case about student free speech rights. The case, Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. concerns a cheerleader who was suspended from her junior varsity cheerleading team following a Snapchat post where she
May 1, 2021

Commemorating May Day 2021

May 1, 2021 By Chip Gibbons Today is May Day, commemorated throughout the world as International Workers’ Day. Although May Day is celebrated by the vast majority of countries, it is not an official holiday in the United States. Yet,
April 29, 2021

Jordan Cove Pipeline Protests: Is the FBI Still Spying on Activists?

By Patrick G. Eddington April 29, 2021 It’s been over three months since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission threw a regulatory wrench into Canada-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation’s proposed Jordan Cove liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal project, and the legal battle
April 28, 2021
Simulation of a screen of cctv cameras with facial recognition

DRAD and Others Urge End to Previously Secret Facial Recognition Program Operating in the National Capitol Region (Maryland, DC, and Virginia)

April 28, 2021 Today, Defending Rights & Dissent joined two dozen other organizations to urge an end to the funding for the National Capital Region Facial Recognition Investigative Leads System (“NCR-FRILS”) pilot project, halt the use of the system, and
April 26, 2021

Defending Rights and Dissent Statement on DC Police Settlement With Trump Inauguration Protesters

April 26, 2021 The Metropolitan Police Department has settled two separate civil suits stemming from their arrest of Trump Inauguration (“J20”) protesters. The police have agreed to pay out $1.6 million to the plaintiffs, not challenge their requests to expunge
April 22, 2021

The FBI, Judas, and the Black Messiah

  While the assassination of Fred Hampton took place five decades ago, new revelations about the FBI’s role in Hampton’s death are still emerging. Researchers Aaron Leonard and Conor Gallagher have been key to these developments. In their quest to
April 22, 2021

Journalists on Trial

By R.A. Bloomfield April 22, 2021 In May 2020, police pepper sprayed and detained Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri while she was covering a Black Lives Matter protest. Body cam footage of the incident shows Sahouri blinded by pepper
April 20, 2021

DRAD Calls on Feds to End Use of Clearview AI Facial Recognition Tech

In a new letter co-signed by dozens of civil rights and civil liberties organizations across the country, Defending Rights & Dissent is calling on the federal government to end its use of facial recognition technology provided by the private company
April 19, 2021

Fusion centers treat protest as a threat

By Suraj K Sazawal In the days leading to Trump’s January 6 rally, neither DHS or the FBI prepared an “intelligence bulletin”, a commonly used alert to notify law enforcement about upcoming events of interest in their area.  After the
April 16, 2021

DRAD Joins Black and Brown Activists for “Safety , Not Surveillance” Congressional Advocacy Day

By Cody Bloomfield In the wake of the January 6 white supremacist attack on the Capitol, Congress has considered expanding surveillance and instituting harsher penalties for domestic terrorism. Ending white supremacist violence is essential, but these proposed solutions only propagate
April 14, 2021
police fire projectiles at protesters

The People Have a Right to Demand Justice for Daunte Wright

April 14, 2021 Last night, for the third night in a row, people in Brooklyn Center, MN took to the streets to protest the police killing of Daunte Wright. And for a third night, police in riot gear responded with
April 6, 2021

Standing With Daniel Hale, Standing With Whistleblowers

Last week, Daniel Hale, a drone whistleblower, pled guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act. Hale admitted in court that he gave to an investigative reporter documents detailing human rights abuses pertaining to the US’s troubling assassination program.
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