• Family separationWhat's happening at the border? Here's what we know about immigrant children being separated from their families

    By Marilyn Haigh

    The attention of the nation has turned to Texas and its border with Mexico after the Trump administration enacted the “zero tolerance” policy, resulting, so far, in about 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the border. Here’s what we know.

  • Family separationTrump and Sessions can end immigrant family separations without Congress’ help

    By Kevin Johnson

    Only Congress can provide the comprehensive immigration reform that would address the fundamental problems plaguing the American immigration system, including the statuses of undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. However, current immigration laws give the executive branch considerable discretion in deciding which immigrants to detain and release from custody. President Donald Trump has at his disposal a variety of alternatives – other than separating families – that would promote his stated goal of deterring migration from Central America. Those alternatives could avoid violating international human rights norms.

  • GunsBank withheld $1.6 million from top bump stock maker after Las Vegas shooting

    By Ann Givens

    In a lawsuit, Slide Fire Solutions, the inventor and manufacturer of the bump stock, accuses Merrick Bank of holding more than $1.6 million of the company’s money “hostage.” The financial institution says it had to hedge its risk in light of threats to Slide Fire’s business arising from the Las Vegas shooting.

  • Food securityTensions among fishing countries rise as climate change drives fish to new habitats

    Out-of-date fisheries regulatory system has not kept up with the realities of global warming and shifting fish populations. New fisheries are likely to appear in more than seventy countries all over the world as a result of climate change. History has shown that newly shared fisheries often spark conflict among nations. Conflict leads to overfishing, which reduces the food, profit and employment fisheries can provide, and can also fracture international relations in other areas beyond fisheries.

  • DronesDoes the government really need this much power to deal with an attack of the drones?

    By India McKinney and Andrew Crocker

    Last week, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018 (S. 2836), which would give DOJ and DHS sweeping new authority to counter malicious drones. Among other things, the bill would authorize DOJ and DHS to “track,” “disrupt,” “control,” “seize or otherwise confiscate,” or even “destroy” unmanned aircraft that pose a “threat” to certain facilities or areas in the U.S. Given the breadth of these proposed new powers, you would expect officials to have a strong case for passing the bill. But even after the hearing, it’s not clear why DHS and DOJ need any expanded authority to go after “malicious” drones.

  • Conspiracy theoriesWho is likely to believe in conspiracy theories?

    Conspiracy theories about government officials and the institutions they represent are widespread and rooted in U.S. history, but they are particularly prevalent in times of rapid social and cultural change, increased cultural and ethnic diversity, and widespread collective action among members of previously marginalized groups. “For many members of the public, particularly individuals who have benefited from existing social and political arrangements, these developments and changes are quite threatening and can motivate compensatory endorsement of conspiracy beliefs or theories.”

  • ImmigrationStates’ work laws affect U.S.-Mexico migration

    The current political environment has led to an increased focus on the issue of unauthorized migration from Mexico and Central America, with proposals ranging from reforming the U.S. immigration system to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. A new study used data from a Mexican identification-card program to find that a relatively low-cost employment-focused system can reduce unauthorized migration.

  • Considered opinion: Data & national securityCorporate data collection and U.S. national security: Expanding the conversation in an era of nation state cyber aggression

    By Carrie Cordero

    What has the Russia investigation revealed about risks inherent in mass private data collection? Carrie Cordero writes that one thing we learned from the Russia investigation is that we may be framing the conversation about corporate data collection too narrowly. “Based on what we have learned publicly so far about the Russian election interference, it is worth pausing to reflect on the national security implications of corporate data collection and aggregation as it relates to the collection of individual, private citizens’ data,” she says. “Although the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and special counsel investigations are not yet complete, we know enough already about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election to understand that data collected from private companies and organizations can be accessed, exposed and potentially misused in a way that is harmful to the country’s institutional stability. At the very least, its misuse sows distrust and confusion. At worst, it shreds the institutional and societal fabric that holds the country together.”

  • GunsHandgun purchaser licensing laws linked to fewer firearms homicides

    State laws that require gun purchasers to obtain a license contingent on passing a background check performed by state or local law enforcement are associated with a 14 percent reduction in firearm homicides in large, urban counties, a new study finds.

  • Muslims in EuropeDenmark bans burqas, niqabs in public

    Denmark has become the latest European country to ban people from wearing clothes that cover the face in public. The Danish parliament in Copenhagen voted 75-30 on 31 May in favor of the ban, which effectively restricts people from wearing the burqas and niqabs worn by some Muslim women.

  • Cyberspace & the lawCyber and international law in the 21st century

    “Cyber space is not – and must never be – a lawless world. It is the U.K.’s view that when states and individuals engage in hostile cyber operations, they are governed by law just like activities in any other domain,” said the U.K. Attorney General Jeremy Wright, QC MP, on 23 May 2018, setting out, for the first time, the U.K.’s position on applying international law to cyberspace. “What this means is that hostile actors cannot take action by cyber means without consequence, both in peacetime and in times of conflict. States that are targeted by hostile cyber operations have the right to respond to those operations in accordance with the options lawfully available to them and that in this as in all things, all states are equal before the law.”

  • Cyberspace & the lawFailing to keep pace: The cyber threat and its implications for our privacy laws

    “The time has come — indeed, if it has not already passed — to think seriously about some fundamental questions with respect to our reliance on cyber technologies: How much connected technology do we really want in our daily lives? Do we want the adoption of new connected technologies to be driven purely by innovation and market forces, or should we impose some regulatory constraints?” asked NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell in a Wednesday presentation at Georgetown University. “Although we continue to forge ahead in the development of new connected technologies, it is clear that the legal framework underpinning those technologies has not kept pace. Despite our reliance on the internet and connected technologies, we simply haven’t confronted, as a U.S. society, what it means to have privacy in a digital age.”

  • Hate speechAn estimated 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets shared on Twitter in one-year period: Study

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has just issued a new report analyzing anti-Semitic speech on Twitter, providing a snapshot of the trends and themes of anti-Semitism on the social media platform over the course of a one-year period. Using proprietary research strategies to evaluate Twitter for thousands of possible anti-Semitic expressions, the researchers have identified at least 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets which were shared or re-shared in English on Twitter over the 12-month period ending 28 January 2018.

  • Truth decayFake news, the First Amendment, and failure in the marketplace of ideas

    The rise of social media and fake news challenge long-held assumptions about the First Amendment and are undermining the functioning of the “the marketplace of ideas,” a Duke professor argues. “There are a number of very specific ways in which the structure and operation of today’s digital media ecosystem favors falsity over truth; and this shifting balance raises some troubling implications for how we think about the First Amendment,” he says.

  • Hate on the leftAt anti-Semitism debate, MP Mann says that “Zionist” is an “insult” in Corbyn’s party

    In a powerful speech during a debate about anti-Semitism in the British parliament on Tuesday, Labor MP John Mann said “Any Jewish person has the right to say…’I am a Zionist’ and I have no right to deny them that and those that do are racists.” Mann observed that the word “Zionist” has become “a pejorative insult by the Labor Party” under leader Jeremey Corbyn, effectively denying Jews the right to their own homeland.