Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sexism leads to broken bones, what's wrong with data fusion centers

Women's Rights
Discrimination against female football player? Check out this story about a student crying foul about treatment by her football coach. What would you do if your kid wanted to play but was locked out of her locker room where her safety equipment was stored, only to break her clavicle during the practice? Seems like at Evansville High, the only thing behind the athletic glass ceiling are shoulder pads and a fair chance to play. And much like this recent editorial in the Cap Times on updates to federal Fair Pay rules, the best evidence of the state of sexism in America is not in the news but in the forum postings. If we ever needed fair pay or Title IX, it apparently is now.

ACLU reports: Fusion Centers Part of Incipient Domestic Intelligence System

Read the report here!

The nation’s growing network of “fusion centers” is part of an incipient domestic intelligence system, according to the ACLU. The ACLU released a report detailing spying on Maryland peace demonstrators, a mysterious domestic-spying scandal at a California military base and other recent incidents, confirming that its warnings about fusion centers were coming true.

In November 2007, the ACLU released a report, “What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers,” warning about the potential dangers of these new institutions, including ambiguous lines of authority, excessive secrecy, troubling private-sector and military roles, and an apparent bend toward collection of information about innocent activities and data mining. Our recent addendum to the report explains how new developments have only confirmed the urgency of these warnings.

“Congress and state officials need to learn more about fusion centers, engage in some very pointed inquiry about the effectiveness and the precise role of these centers, and at a minimum put in place strong checks and balances,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Too often, we’ve given our government new powers to fight terrorists, only to have them used against peace activists and other innocent Americans. This can’t be the future of law enforcement. Congress needs to end private-sector participation and military involvement in law enforcement. We need to learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.”