In response to the Governor’s recent proposal to amp up the failed War on Drugs by adding 14 new law enforcement positions, 4 new assistant attorney positions dedicated specifically to drug crimes, and four new district court judges that would exclusively hear and decide drug-related cases - there has been some discussion about also expanding the availability of drug courts here in Maine.
Good criminal justice reform news today to brighten this otherwise snowy morning! The New York Times reported that U.S Attorney General Eric Holder has endorsed a proposal by the Sentencing Commission that would change federal guidelines to reduce prison sentences for drugs crimes specifically related to sale of drugs. The average federal sentence for dealing drugs is 62 months – this proposal would shorten that by about one year, to 51 months.
Just a few hours ago the ACLU was honored to host the first live interview with whistleblower Edward Snowden since his bombshell revelations about government spying last year. The “virtual conversation” took place at the SXSW Initiative, a massive technology festival held every year in Texas, and featured a highly-secure live video feed of Snowden.
The Guardian recently revealed that Britain's version of our NSA, the GCHQ, has been intercepting, storing and processing webcam images of millions of Internet users from 2008 through 2012. The program, called Optic Nerve, was an attempt to apply facial recognition technology to web images in order to identify intelligence targets. However, the information was gathered in bulk at staggering levels, reportedly 1.8 million people in a six month period alone. It has also reportedly been fed int