A historic level of activism and protest has come to define this era. A recent survey found one in five Americans either protested in the streets or attended a political rally since early 2016, with 19 percent having never done so before. It is proving to be the ultimate disrupter in an age of disruption.
Americans turn to protest because it works. Whether fighting for civil rights, women’s suffrage, or to improve workplace conditions, America’s robust tradition of free speech and dissent offers a powerful retort to the forces trying to preserve the status quo.
Both major parties are supporting legislation that breathes life into the misguided belief that police are under attack, and that protesters or criticism of aggressive policing put police officers’ lives in danger.
Rekognition promises to “perform real-time recognition of persons of interest from camera livestreams against your private database of face metadata.” In plain English, that means it can identify people in real time.
Orwell’s dystopic vision of a society where cameras and computers spy on every person’s movements may be upon us, but even his prescient imagination did not envision the rise of non-disclosure agreements.
Russia is part of a dangerous global trend of countries rolling back basic freedoms for opposition voices… but so is the United States.
Officials from the Department of Justice and the FBI, with the blessing of the White House, have been holding meetings with security experts to develop backdoors that would give law enforcement uninterrupted access to encrypted data.
Is the Fourth Amendment, drafted in the 18th century, able to deal effectively with digital age technologies? That is the question being asked in a number of a number of legal cases, in a number of different contexts, and with surprising results.
Providing law enforcement with military-grade equipment produces a dangerous, warrior mentality that could encourage more aggressive policing. Military equipment is designed to be used against an enemy, so if local police are given access to weapons being used by soldiers fighting ISIS in Afghanistan, it’s not that far a of logical jump to see an environment where unarmed public demonstrators are perceived as a threat.
The benefits of protest are not always obvious. Demonstrations are not persuasive in and of themselves, but they encourage discussion and introspection. In the market place of ideas, they open the door for change and help define and protect civic space.