In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Western European security forces unleashed a dizzying storm of arrests and prosecutions and announced "exceptional" new measures to combat terrorism.
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Passenger Name Records (or PNR) are the data collected by an airline at the time of a passenger's reservation. The data in a PNR is often very detailed and robust. It may, for example, include a cell phone number for text updates or an email address. It will typically also include an address, a credit card number, the name of the traveler, seat selection and flight data, and a link to other travelers who are in the same group or made reservations at the same time. Beyond these basics the PNR can also include a host of other miscellaneous data, like frequent flyer numbers and such.
Under the shadow of Mexico’s twin volcanoes in the tiny mountainous village of San Mateo Ozolco, Erasmo Aparicio stands outside his house, arms crossed, black hood pulled down over his hair. “Fucking Mexico, no fucking money,” he spits out in defiant English.
Now a campesino by his own description making 100 pesos---or just under $7---a day, he’s a long way from the $9 an hour he was making preparing fish in one of Philadelphia’s Italian restaurants.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department issued revised Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies on the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity. The prior version---issued in June 2003---didn’t cover profiling on the basis of religion or national origin, and exempted national security and border investigations altogether.
Over at the Intercept, Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux have this piece on the NCTC's guidelines for adding citizens and foreigners to terrorism watchlists. Their article opens:
As Wells noted a few days ago, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued an opinion this week in Latif v. Holder, which held unconstitutional certain redress procedures for individuals on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s No-Fly List. This post overviews the opinion.
In his response to my earlier Lawfare post on the FBI's investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and a later review of that investigation by various Inspectors General, Michael German misconceives my argument. Put as concisely and clearly as possible, my argument has four points:
I was troubled by Philip Heymann’s Lawfare critique of the joint Inspectors General review of the government’s pre-Boston Marathon bombing investigation of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. There is much to commend in Heymann’s thinking, as I note below. But, like the review itself, Heymann’s analysis nevertheless is flawed by his unexplained omission of crucial facts---not least Tsarnaev’s alleged participation in a triple murder in 2011.
Released today: this quite significant order, containing the district court's findings of fact and conclusions of law in Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security---or the "No-Fly List Case" [h/t Wired].
The most important judicial opinion to date concerning the U.S. Government’s terrorist watchlisting programs was issued on Tuesday, in the case of Ibrahim v. Department of Homeland Security, by Judge William Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. But he handed down the ruling in a highly unusual fashion, one that makes its full implications difficult to discern---at least for now.