Monday, August 25, 2008

Madison's police cameras, terror watch list failures, DNC/RNC protests and more

News roundup!

Domestic Spying
More evidence that casting a wider net to spy on or track Americans doesn’t work – the terror watch list has become so big and poorly maintained that it is rife with search problems. Check out this editorial from the NYT on why the watch list is failing both our privacy and our security. Whether the databases work or not, the watch list frenzy will snag all kinds of people, even would-be gun owners.

In related news, here’s a good story about evolving technology use and ethics with police work. It looks at Madison/Dane County cameras and microphones in squad cars and how they can be both a benefit to protecting both officers and civilians from abuse (when they are actually turned on) and also underscores the need for everyone to know that you don’t have to be read your Miranda rights for anything you say to be possibly used against you in court.

Protest Rights
An article in The Nation illustrates the motivations behind many of the protesters who are demonstrating at the DNC and at the RNC. Check back with CapCityLiberty for updates on our legal observation support at the RNC next week.

Reproductive Rights
A St. Petersburg Times opinion writer who was also a former head of two ACLU affiliates wrote a good editorial about what is at stake for Roe v. Wade in the next election.

Voting Rights
A recent New York Times article details the slowdown on federal certification for electronic voting machines and includes information on how the national trend impacts Wisconsin.

If you haven’t heard the news already, Air America radio talk show host Rachel Maddow will make a big move to MSNBC. She’s slated to be the featured guest at the ACLU of Wisconsin’s annual Bill of Rights dinner event in February 2009.p