Tag: Rights

Governments are using the pandemic to crack down on digital rights, report finds

By iwano@_84

The Freedom on the Net 2020 report, an assessment of 65 countries released Wednesday, found that the pandemic has accelerated a decline in free speech and privacy on the internet for the tenth consecutive year, and accused some governments of using the virus as a pretext to crack down on critical speech.

“The pandemic is accelerating society’s reliance on digital technologies at a time when the internet is becoming less and less free,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House, which is funded by the US government. “Without adequate safeguards for privacy and the rule of law, these technologies can be easily repurposed for political repression.”

Amid the pandemic, internet connectivity has become a lifeline to essential information and services — from education platforms, to health care portals, employment opportunities and social interactions. But state and nonstate actors are also exploiting the crisis to erode freedoms online.
Nowhere has
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Argentina is using facial recognition system that tracks child suspects, Human Rights Watch says

By iwano@_84

Publishing such information violates the Convention of the Rights of the Child, a U.N. agreement to which Argentina is a signatory, that says a child’s privacy should be respected at all stages of legal proceedings, said Hye Jung Han, a researcher and advocate in the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, who was the lead researcher on the report.

Argentina’s embassy in Washington did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

On a visit to Argentina in May 2019, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy warned the Argentine government that CONARC’s database contained 61 children. By that October Argentina’s justice ministry said there was no children’s data in CONARC. But the report contends the practice continued after the U.N. visit, with 25 additional children added to the database.

An HRW review of CONARC also saw that the public information about the children was peppered

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Labor Board Accuses Google Contractor of Violating Union Rights

By iwano@_84

A federal agency issued a complaint this week against a contractor hired by Google and accused it of violating its employees’ labor rights, marking the latest flash point in a long-running struggle between workers and technology companies.

In the complaint, the National Labor Relations Board asserts that HCL America, a subsidiary of an Indian contracting giant, illegally discouraged workers from belonging to a union, and of failing to bargain with the union in good faith.

HCL and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The case does not accuse Google of wrongdoing.

A group of about 90 HCL employees in Pittsburgh who do work such as data analysis under a contract the company has with Google voted to unionize last fall. They affiliated with the United Steelworkers union.

According to the complaint, managers at the company interrogated workers about the organizing activities of their colleagues, told them that

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Voting rights groups urge Florida to extend voter registration deadline after website issues

By iwano@_84

A number of voting rights groups are calling for Florida’s voter registration cutoff to be extended after the state’s registration portal experienced outages in the hours before the deadline.



graphical user interface: Some users encountered error messages when trying to access Florida's voter registration website, RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, in the hours before the 2020 general election deadline.


© [Allison Ross | Times]/Tampa Bay Times/TNS
Some users encountered error messages when trying to access Florida’s voter registration website, RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, in the hours before the 2020 general election deadline.

Some Floridians attempting to access RegistertovoteFlorida.gov found slow responses or error messages on Monday evening, with some reports on social media of people attempting for hours to register to vote.

Florida’s deadline to register in order to be eligible to vote in the 2020 general election was midnight Monday. Paper applications that were mailed in had to be postmarked by Monday.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU of Florida and the Campaign Legal Center sent a letter on Monday night to Brad McVay, the Florida Department

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Palantir’s ICE Contracts ‘Raise Human Rights Concerns’, Report Warns As Firm Prepares To Go Public

By iwano@_84

With Palantir Technologies Inc. prepared to go public this week through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Amnesty International has released a report condemning the data-mining firm over “human rights concerns” raised by its contracts with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Titled Failing to Do Right: The Urgent Need for Palantir to Respect Human Rights, the report, which was released on Monday, concludes that Palantir is “failing to conduct human rights due diligence around its contracts with ICE,” a press release from Amnesty states.

As a result, the organization states, the company, which was co-founded by Peter Thiel, runs a “high risk” of “contributing to human rights violations of asylum-seekers and migrants through the ways

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