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Recent articles in United States

The other 20-year anniversary: Freedom and surveillance post-9/11

The twentieth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 are a good time to reflect on the world we’ve built since then. By now it is clear that far too many things that were put into place in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, especially in the areas of surveillance and government secrecy, are deeply problematic for our democracy, privacy and fairness. It’s time to set things right.

An instructor leads a classroom discussion, in Houston, Texas, 23 August 2021, Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A Texas book ban is an attack on the freedom to learn

Months after the Leander Independent School District in Texas made headlines for banning a slate of books and graphic novels from its secondary school curriculum, the Austin-area district released its decisions on an additional set of titles. Thirteen books are to be removed from schools, with an additional six titles suspended until further notice.

A map with the location of two incidents where shots were detected by a ShotSpotter sensor, during a demonstration at the Incident Review Center, in Newark, California, 6 November 2013, Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Chicago Inspector General: Police use ShotSpotter to justify illegal stop-and-frisks

The Chicago Office of the Inspector General has released a highly critical report on the Police’s use of ShotSpotter, a surveillance technology that relies on a combination of artificial intelligence and human “acoustic experts” to purportedly identify and locate gunshots based on a network of high-powered microphones located on some of the city’s streets.