Dissent NewsWire

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
August 15, 2022

Chip Gibbons and Kevin Gosztola Discuss the “Pretty Bad Takes” on Trump and the Espionage Act

No one is above the law. Not a sitting president. Not a former president. And certainly not Donald Trump. We know too often the powerful are treated to a different set of rules. Presidents and other high level officials lie
August 1, 2022
sign on the Dept. of Justice Building

FBI Raids Homes and Offices of Activist Groups, Claiming Russian Influence

On Friday July 29, 2002 the FBI raided homes and offices associated with the African People’s Socialist Party and Uhuru Solidarity Movement in St. Petersburg, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri. These related groups describe their political views as socialism and
July 30, 2022
The story of the original whistleblowers reminds us of the need to protect whistleblowers from excesses of the Espionage Act.

National Whistleblower Day in the Shadow of the Espionage Act

The US observes National Whistleblower Day today, but despite this nominal recognition, whistleblower protections in many ways remain threadbare, and the most chilling threat to truth-tellers looms larger as ever in the continuing and expanding use of the Espionage Act.
July 29, 2022
Cop cars near school buses. Profiling through threat assessment feeds the school-to-prison pipeline

Threat Assessment: Where Difficulties, Dissent, and Disability Become Harbingers of Violence

In the aftermath of Uvalde and other school shootings, the knee-jerk reaction has been to expand threat assessment. CP3’s TVTP grant program has recently allocated more funding for threat assessment conducted by universities and nonprofits in conjunction with law enforcement.
July 20, 2022
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are selling out the Fourth Amendment by buying from data brokers

Guess Who’s Buying Their Way Around the Fourth Amendment? (If You Guessed ICE, FBI, IRS, DOD, DEA and CBP…You Are Right)

This week, FOIA documents revealed that Customs and Border Protection and ICE are dodging the Fourth Amendment by buying our private data from third-party data brokers, instead of bothering with a warrant. Add these agencies to a list that already
July 13, 2022
Capitol building, where the Rules Committee considered the inclusion of an Espionage Act reform amendment

House Rules Committee Blocks Vote on Historic Protections for Journalists and Whistleblowers

Last night, the House Rules Committee blocked an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Action that would have amended the draconian Espionage Act to prevent its continued abuse against journalists, their sources, and whistleblowers. Had the Rules Committee approved the
July 8, 2022
Espionage Act political cartoon

Tlaib Espionage Act Reform Would be Major Breakthrough for Press Freedom and Transparency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would amend the Espionage Act of 1917 to increase civil rights, civil liberties, and due process protections in the
July 8, 2022
abortion protesters in front of the Supreme Court with a runner along the bottom reading "terrorism?"

Here’s a Bad Idea: Some Members of Congress wants to classify abortion protesters as terrorists.

In the aftermath of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, thousands of people across the country have turned out on the streets to protest the rollback of reproductive rights. Some, like the group Jane’s Revenge, have pursued more confrontational
July 1, 2022

Grassroots Organizations and Civil Liberties Groups Applaud Reporting Requirements for CP3 in House Report as First Step Toward Ending CVE

A House committee will require the Dept. of Homeland Security’s Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) to report annually on its grant program, which has historically targeted Muslims. The Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee released report language mandating that CP3: 
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