Be Worried: Privacy, the LSAT & The Patriot Act

Students writing LSAT warned about privacy threat CBC News The University of Ottawa is warning aspiring lawyers that they may be giving up their privacy when they hand over thumbprints while taking an admission test administered by a U.S. company. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which is used by universities around the world, requires prospective students to provide an imprint of their thumb and other personal information, a move to prevent students from hiring smart imposters to write the test on their behalf. A private company in the United States, the Law School Admission Council, administers the test. Privacy experts and students are worried about how the Patriot Act, which allows U.S. agencies to secretly collect personal information in the name of national security, might affect information handed over to the company. Read Full Story

U.S. War Resisters In Canadian Court

LAWYER WANTS CANADA TO LET US IRAQ DESERTERS STAY By Amran Abocar Reuters Thursday, February 09, 2006

TORONTO (Reuters) – Two U.S. army deserters were unfairly denied asylum in Canada partly because the refugee board would not consider the legality of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, their lawyer said on Wednesday. The soldiers want the Federal Court of Canada to overturn an immigration board decision last March that denied them refugee status in Canada. A decision on this round of the judicial process is not expected for several months, and it could take years to exhaust all legal appeals. Army privates Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey sought asylum in Canada in 2004, saying the war in Iraq was illegal and they feared committing atrocities if sent there. They also said they may be persecuted if returned to the United States. But the board refused to consider the legality of the invasion, dealing a blow to their case. “It’s just very convenient that of all the things in the world, the one thing the (refugee board) can’t decide upon is whether the U.S. invaded Iraq illegally,” lawyer Jeffry House said outside the courtroom. “We’re asking that this court state that we would have a right to litigate that question and provide evidence on that question.” If the Federal Court agrees to overturn the ruling, the case will go back before the refugee tribunal. If the court declines, it must decide whether to let the cases proceed to the Federal Court of Appeal. The soldiers, who face court martial and up to five years in prison in the United States, may remain in Canada while their case is under appeal. Full Story

Sharing Info on an Infiltrator: Solidarity with Arrested Enviros

Three enviros doing actions associated with Earth Liberation Front (ELF) in the U.S. were nabbed by cops thanks to two years of work by Anna, the infiltrating snitch. Now the word’s out and folks are tracing her movements – courting activist trust, all her emails signed off with “solidarity” or “resist”. For the full expose of a lying, snitch infiltrator, click here. Forgive a wee rant here – the lesson is NOT that we should respond by treating each other with suspicion. The lesson is that there is RISK associated with planning SOME actions – autonomy is good. So, is legal support. “We” are prone to internalize the criminalization of dissent by becoming our own police, dividing ourselves into “cool” and “not cool” when, in reality, it is RARE that we need to actually plan in private and, as “Anna” proves, we will NOT know who the undercover is! I was part of an action that included an anarchist block – one of the key organizers turned out later to be a cop (arrived at a demo in uniform!). He was involved in the organizing of the action as long as any of us and was as involved in the (stupid corporate security culture) discussions about who was cool and not cool as anyone. He seemed more cagey and suspicious than average, less open and outreach-y than average and totally a part of planning/proposing edgy actions (face piercings, native, had all the lingo, I could go on). WE WILL NOT KNOW THE UNDERCOVER (tho we successfully picked off a few fifty-buck-a-day informants). We need to stop “blaming the victim”, stop spreading corporate security toxins within our community, and get on with the business of building for better days.

ACTION ALERT: Free Leonard Peltier!

Political Prisoner held for 30 years by U.S. government A Hearing has been scheduled for February 13, 2006 to correct the illegal sentencing that occurred in Leonard Peltier’s case. The basis for this motion is that the United States District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the statutes upon which Mr. Peltier was convicted and sentenced. Leonard Peltier is a citizen of the Anishinabe and Dakota/Lakota Nations who has been unjustly imprisoned since 1976, even though government attorneys and courts acknowledge that the government withheld evidence, fabricated evidence, and coerced witnesses to fraudulently convict him. Leonard is recognized worldwide as a political prisoner and a symbol of resistance against the abuse and repression of indigenous people. To many Indigenous Peoples, Leonard Peltier is a symbol of the long history of abuse and repression they have endured. This year marks the 30th year of Leonard’s imprisonment. Despite the fact that the government has admitted that the trial was a fraud, Leonard is still behind bars because the U.S. doesn’t want this vocal defender of indigenous rights to be free. Call or Fax the Federal Court in St. Louis: Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse 111 South 10th Street St. Louis, MO 63102 Phone (314) 244-2600 FAX (314) 244-2605 for more information about Leonard Peltier’s case click here.