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Gates orders ‘study’ of private contractors’ spy operations

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a study of US “information operations” after a Pentagon official allegedly set up a spy network with private contractors, a spokesman said on Tuesday. A small team of senior military and defense officials will “conduct a quick look assessment” and report their findings within…

Hawaii considering law to ignore Obama ‘birthers’

Birthers beware: Hawaii may start ignoring your repeated requests for proof that President Barack Obama was born here. As the state continues to receive e-mails seeking Obama’s birth certificate, the state House Judiciary Committee heard a bill Tuesday permitting government officials to ignore people who won’t give up. “Sometimes we…

ACLU sues to obtain basic data, legal justification for Predator drone program

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit after federal agencies neglected to answer a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents pertaining to the legal basis for the military’s Predator drone program. The request specifically seeks information as to how the program is governed, who can be targeted,…

Obama agencies invoking secrecy provision more often than under Bush

One day after being sworn into office, President Barack Obama instructed federal agencies to ensure government transparency by complying with the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act law. “All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in…

US military spied on Planned Parenthood, civilian phone calls

United States military intelligence spied on Planned Parenthood and other domestic groups as part of US security preparations for the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, according to a recently declassified military document obtained by a civil liberties group Thursday. The document (PDF – page 98), drafted by a…

Raw Story’s privacy policy

The Raw Story and its parent company Raw Story Media, as well as its advertisers, are deeply committed to protecting Internet users’ privacy. Below is information outlining our continued support for the responsible management of consumer information. This policy governs all Raw Story properties, including but not limited to Raw…

Kucinich challenges Gates on civilians killed in Afghanistan

The buck doesn’t appear to be stopping anywhere in Afghanistan. “Two days after Afghanistan’s deadliest attack on civilians in six months, many questions remain unanswered,” The Canadian Press reports. “Perhaps the two most pressing are: Who called in the air strike? And on what grounds?” The article continues, “Dual investigations…

US authorities knew Toyota had ‘unintended acceleration’ problems since 2003

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday his department was aware some Toyota vehicles had “unintended acceleration” issues in late 2003, three years before it launched a preliminary probe into sticky Toyota floor mats. LaHood’s remarks on his blogsite followed a disclosure by America’s top automobile insurer, State Farm, that it…

Lawsuit: School gave kids laptops to spy on them at home

Students in a Philadelphia-area school district have launched a lawsuit accusing their schools of spying on them at home through webcams installed in laptop computers the district gave them. The parents of Blake Robbins, a student at Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, have launched a class-action lawsuit on behalf…

ACLU sues over religiously-based abstinence-only programs

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to compel the release of documents relating to its overseas abstinence-only programs, which are funded through HIV/AIDS grants. An Inspector General’s report (pdf) issued last July indicated that USAID had a history of incorporating…

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