U.S. Government

Department of Homeland Security Keeps on Creepin' On...

Recently, we expressed concern about the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) testing iris-scanning technology on immigrants detained at the border. Since posting that entry, the Center for Media and Democracy has obtained a copy of the DHS “Privacy Impact Assessment” for the technology’s test run, and we are now even more concerned that DHS has not adequately considered this technology's serious implications for privacy and civil liberties.

The Alliance Defense Fund's National Campaign to Bait the IRS

One hundred church pastors across the U.S. participated in the Alliance Defense Fund's third annual "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," an overt campaign in which pastors deliberately break the law by endorsing candidates for public office from the pulpit. Federal tax law prohibits tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, including churches, from endorsing candidates for political office.

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Minority Report Becomes a Reality For Immigrants

Last week, USA Today reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was to begin testing new iris-scanning technology that stores digital images of people's eyes in a database. The two-week test of the new technology is to be conducted on immigrants that officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency encounter at the border. Iris-scanning technology conjures fears of Big Brother totalitarianism, brings to mind science-fiction films like Minority Report, and has drawn the ire of civil liberties groups. American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Christopher Calabrese tells USA Today that many fear that the iris-scanning cameras could be used covertly. "If you can identify any individual at a distance and without their knowledge, you literally allow the physical tracking of a person anywhere there's a camera and access to the Internet."

Iraq Troop "Withdrawal" Propaganda

Iraq American flagThe reported drawdown in American troops from Iraq has been portrayed as a "withdrawal of the U.S." from Iraq, but it is really just a pretend end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The removal of combat forces still leaves 50,000 so-called "military trainers" in the country, a huge number of American troops compared to eight years ago, when there weren't any in Iraq at all.

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Will the NAIC Be a Hero for Consumers, or Insurers?

Health insurance costWendell Potter is a former health insurance company executive, and he knows exactly how health insurance companies maximize profits at the expense of policyholders. Now Wendell is putting his inside knowledge of the industry to work -- for policyholders.

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Former U.S. Soldiers Describe Indiscriminate Military Violence in Iraq

Three former American soldiers who served in Iraq are going public about the realities of the U.S. military occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they claim routine acts of excessive violence upon local citizens stem from the U.S. chain of command. Former Army Specialists Josh Stieber, Ray Corcoles and Ethan McCord say that they thought they were going to Iraq to help the Iraqi people and advance freedom and democracy.

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Here's Your Change, Have a Nice BPA Day

Chemicals R Us receipt The Environmental Working Group (EWG) performed laboratory tests on cash register receipts from major U.S. businesses and found bisphenol A (BPA) present on 40% of them, some at levels higher than those found in canned foods, baby bottles and infant formula.

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