Category: On the Homefront – the HSDL Blog

Taking a Hard Look from Above: Task Force Issues New Recommendations for U.S. Drone Policy

For a one-year period, a task force of three expert working groups (the “Task Force”) met under the roof of the Stimson Center to focus on different aspects of current Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) policy. The Task Force, composed of 10 senior-level military, intelligence, legal, and academic scholars, focused on...

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Requires Search Warrant for Cell Phones

What constitutes an individual’s “right to privacy” in the digital realm has become a topic of heated debate across the U.S. Following the reveal of government programs that monitor, record, and store Americans’ digital communications, there has been a widespread demand to strengthen laws that protect rights to privacy, both online and...

FBI’s Operation Cross Country Wrap-up: “These Are America’s Children”

Since 2003, the Innocence Lost National Initiative, or “Operation Cross Country” has resulted in the identification and recovery of over 3600 children from sexual exploitation and trafficking. This is the eighth year of the initiative. In a press release on Monday June 23rd, the Director of the Federal Bureau of...

Federal Court Releases DOJ Memo Justifying Targeted Killing of Anwar al-Aulaqi

This Monday a federal court released a July 2010 Justice Department memo that justified a DoD or CIA drone strike against senior al-Qaeda member Anwar al-Aulaqi. The 41-page memo, penned by then-Assistant Attorney General David Barron, sheds new light on the controversial “targeted-killing-of-American-citizens” debate in the United States. It explores the legal aspects...

Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States

The United States is economically at risk by the climate change happening today. A report done by The Risky Business Project shows that the human-induced climate threats-“rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts of extreme heat”- are starting to hurt our American economy and will continue to...

Government Officials Find “Continued Deficiencies” in VA Healthcare &Facilities

U.S. government officials have been sounding off this week on the state of VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) health facilities and healthcare management in the United States. Yesterday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) issued a letter to the president titled, “Continued Deficiencies at Department of Veterans Affairs’ Facilities,”...

Organized Environmental Crime: The Urgent Need for a Global Response

The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime has published a report depicting “a baseline assessment of organized environmental crime.” The report, titled “The Global Response to Transnational Organized Environmental Crime“, serves to uncover the threats organized crime pose against the environment and the lack of preparation that currently stands to...

War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has recently released a report on a dangerous new trend in law enforcement: the unnecessary militarization of American policing. According to the ACLU, this militarization is due in large part to “federal programs that have armed state and local law enforcement agencies with the...

Progress Report: Rebuilding After Sandy

On June 18th, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sandy Program Management Office issued its first report tracking progress of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s (“Task Force”) Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy of August, 2013. The Rebuilding Strategy includes a long-term plan that delegates spending and oversight...

White House Releases U.S. Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan

The United States has long been a leader in international maritime security, particularly in countering the threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in waters worldwide. To inform and support these counter-piracy efforts and other maritime goals, the White House released last Friday its 2014 United States Counter Piracy...