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  • Charity & Security Network
    Announces Reorganization Changes Horn of Africa Crisis One Year Later Date July 22 2012 One year after the declaration of famine in Somalia a quarter of the country s population are still surviving on humanitarian aid In addition to the food crises the ongoing conflict has complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people who need it most Read more about Horn of Africa Crisis One Year Later Horn of Africa Crisis One Year Later Date July 22 2012 One year after the declaration of famine in Somalia a quarter of the country s population are still surviving on humanitarian aid In addition to the food crises the ongoing conflict has complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people who need it most Read more about Horn of Africa Crisis One Year Later Harmon The Might of American Generosity Date July 16 2012 One of the most powerful ways to project American values and define our interests is to display generosity and compassion in the wake of natural disasters says Jane Harman a former nine term Congresswoman and member of the House Intelligence Committee and now president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Our national standing and overall safety improve when our generosity is on display Nowhere was this more evident than after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia According to the Pew Research Center the favorability rating of the U S more than doubled after food clean water and other vital relief services began reaching those in need Building trust both with citizens and governments after natural disasters can help increase future collaboration on other key issues with counterterrorism topping the list Harman added Read more about Harmon The Might of American Generosity Harmon The Might of American Generosity Date July 16 2012 One of the most powerful ways to project American values and define our interests is to display generosity and compassion in the wake of natural disasters says Jane Harman a former nine term Congresswoman and member of the House Intelligence Committee and now president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Our national standing and overall safety improve when our generosity is on display Nowhere was this more evident than after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia According to the Pew Research Center the favorability rating of the U S more than doubled after food clean water and other vital relief services began reaching those in need Building trust both with citizens and governments after natural disasters can help increase future collaboration on other key issues with counterterrorism topping the list Harman added Read more about Harmon The Might of American Generosity April 1 Special Annoucement Date April 1 2012 CLICK HERE for the Potential Indicators of Violating the U S Material Support statute as it is related to First Amendment Rights On April 1 2012 the Department of Treasury s Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC announced the winners of its inaugural Money Laundering for Good award praising a core group of

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Miscellaneous?type=All&page=6 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    U S based humanitarian and international development non governmental organizations NGOs The group which includes International Rescue Committee Mercy Corps and Relief International said The CIA led immunization campaign compromises the perception of U S NGOs as independent actors focused on a common good and jeopardizes the lives of humanitarian aid workers Read more about Letter to CIA Protests Use of Vaccination Plot for Intelligence Collection A Shift in Focus Put the Needs of Somali People First Date February 27 2012 Earlier this month the UN announced that the famine in Somalia had ended but danger for over four million Somalis remains On Feb 22 CSN hosted a telebriefing about the ongoing efforts of aid groups in the region featuring Allan Jury Director of the U S Relations Office for the World Food Programme and Vincent Cochetel Regional Representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees An audio file and transcript are available One day later over 40 world leaders met in London to discuss how to respond to the crisis in Somalia In a report released in time for the conference Oxfam said the current approach has not worked and called for a new strategy emphasizing humanitarian aid instead of counter terrorism and military intervention Read more about A Shift in Focus Put the Needs of Somali People First A Shift in Focus Put the Needs of Somali People First Date February 27 2012 Earlier this month the UN announced that the famine in Somalia had ended but danger for over four million Somalis remains On Feb 22 CSN hosted a telebriefing about the ongoing efforts of aid groups in the region featuring Allan Jury Director of the U S Relations Office for the World Food Programme and Vincent Cochetel Regional Representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees An audio file and transcript are available One day later over 40 world leaders met in London to discuss how to respond to the crisis in Somalia In a report released in time for the conference Oxfam said the current approach has not worked and called for a new strategy emphasizing humanitarian aid instead of counter terrorism and military intervention Read more about A Shift in Focus Put the Needs of Somali People First Sample Comments for Feb 17 2012 PVS Comments Date February 14 2012 Sample Comments to the Office of Management and Budget on the Risk Management Analysis Partner Vetting System Information Collection Requirements for Grant Applicants Read more about Sample Comments for Feb 17 2012 PVS Comments U S Charity Shut Down by Treasury Benevolence International Foundation BIF Date January 26 2012 On Dec 14 2001 the FBI raided the offices of the Benevolence International Foundation BIF in New Jersey and Illinois and froze its funds pending investigation into whether it should be listed as a SDGT On the same day they also searched the home of its CEO Enaam Arnaout In January 2002 BIF filed suit to contest the asset freeze However this civil case was

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Miscellaneous?type=All&page=7 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    nonprofits have stepped up to the plate to meet these challenges and have evolved to continue providing humanitarian aid in the U S and abroad while working to prevent violent extremism Read more Read more about U S Muslim Charities and The War on Terror A Decade in Review Animal Rights Activists Challenge Law Threatening Free Speech Date December 19 2011 JURIST is reporting that a group of animal rights activists filed a lawsuit on Dec 15 2011 to challenge the constitutionality of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act AETA saying the law has the potential to criminalize many forms of protest that are protected by the First Amendment The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights CCR on behalf of five animal rights activists who argue that they can no longer engage in lawful advocacy out of fear of prosecution under AETA Read more about Animal Rights Activists Challenge Law Threatening Free Speech Lawsuit Alleges Security Clearance Revoked Due to Bias Against Muslim Charity Date November 14 2011 A budget analyst is suing the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency NGA claiming his security clearance was revoked because of his wife s employment at an Islamic charity His wife is a program associate with Islamic Relief USA a global nonprofit involved in international humanitarian relief efforts Mahmoud M Hegab filed the suit in early October 2011 seeking the restoration of his security clearance and for damages lost while being unable to work due to its revocation It is widely believed to be the first case where a security clearance was revoked because of a spouse s ties to Islamic organizations The Justice Department is expected to respond to the suit in early December Read more about Lawsuit Alleges Security Clearance Revoked Due to Bias Against Muslim Charity TV Show Examines Restrictions on Lawyers Representing Groups on Terrorist List Date November 11 2011 A recent episode of the The Good Wife explored some of the problems created by the U S government s harsh restrictions on lawyers representing groups and individuals designated a terrorist under Executive Order 13224 These restrictions deny basic due process and are a means of discouraging lawyers from representing those who have been put on the terrorist list making defense of their claims in court more difficult Morton Sklar the legal consultant to The Good Wife tv series wrote a blog about the damaging impact of these restrictions and offers a better way forward Read more Read more about TV Show Examines Restrictions on Lawyers Representing Groups on Terrorist List TV Show Examines Restrictions on Lawyers Representing Groups on Terrorist List Date November 11 2011 A recent episode of the The Good Wife explored some of the problems created by the U S government s harsh restrictions on lawyers representing groups and individuals designated a terrorist under Executive Order 13224 These restrictions deny basic due process and are a means of discouraging lawyers from representing those who have been put on the terrorist list making defense of

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Miscellaneous?type=All&page=8 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    surveillance powers and growing government secrecy have all been the subject of protest and advocacy for reform Read more about On Constitution Day Don t Mourn Organize Clinton Speech A Strong and Free Civil Society is Essential Date July 15 2010 Read more about Clinton Speech A Strong and Free Civil Society is Essential Anniversary of Cairo Speech Passes Without Reforms on Rules for Charities Date June 16 2010 Despite requests from charities and grantmakers around the country the anniversary of President Barack Obama s June 2009 speech in Cairo passed by without concrete steps by the administration to address the chilling impact current security rules have on charitable giving and operations The only action taken was the Department of Treasury s Treasury release of a Read more about Anniversary of Cairo Speech Passes Without Reforms on Rules for Charities Looking Ahead to 2010 Date December 31 2009 Author Kay Guinane and Suraj K Sazawal The Charity and Security Network was launched in November 2008 by charities faith based organizations grantmakers and advocacy groups to eliminate unnecessary and counterproductive barriers to legitimate charitable work found in current counterterrorism measures After our first year of operation we are encouraged by signs that the new administration Congress and the courts recognize the need for fair and reasonable long term rules in this area Our 2009 highlights are below Read more about Looking Ahead to 2010 Welcome Date May 20 2009 Author Kay Guinane Welcome to the Charity and Security Network CSN website This project was created by U S nonprofits to shed light on an often overlooked problem the negative impact the Patriot Act and related measures have had on the legitimate work of U S charities and foundations Read more about Welcome Pages first previous 3 4 5 6 7 8

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Miscellaneous?type=All&page=10 (2016-02-16)
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  • Aid Workers, Nonprofits Tell State Dept. Why PVS is Wrong Approach | Charity & Security Network
    motivated violence is more commonplace The groups who remain often require the services of costly private security companies leaving fewer resources for aid programs and their beneficiaries With little sign of this trend reversing anytime soon safety has become a serious concern for all aid workers operating humanitarian programs in dangerous places That is why most NGOs working in these places are steadfast in their efforts to retain their independence If the greater portion of international humanitarian aid organizations were able to achieve independence and project an image of neutrality ODI says this would surely enhance operational security and benefit humanitarian action as a whole That is why many American aid workers and nonprofit groups are voicing opposition to PVS Nora Lester Murad an American activist living in the Middle East said in her comments to State polices like PVS Dramatically undermine legitimate and peace loving civil society in several ways First these procedures make it hard for good NGOs to get funds Second good groups that do get funds have their credibility undermined by their participation with such USAID requirements which are widely seen as illegitimate and insulting Third they make it very expensive slow and inefficient to work thus undermining impact Groups such as The Constitution Project and International Center for Not for Profit Law raised other serious concerns with the proposed PVS plan These include a lack of specifics about the processes and controls to safeguard constitutional rights and values including due process and privacy Excerpts from comments filed with State on Feb 17 2012 by American aid workers and nonprofits opposing PVS click on name to view entire comments International Center for Not for Profit Law ICNL The purpose of PVS appears in fact to employ US nonprofits as quasi intelligence sources to validate USG intelligence derived lists and databases This is on its face an inappropriate role for nonprofits which are working abroad to enhance the political economic and social environment and strengthen the rule of law in countries emerging from volatile and even hostile circumstances InsideNGO InsideNGO and its members have no interest in seeing U S Government resources purposefully or inadvertently provide support to entities or individuals that conduct or support terrorism We also understand the harm that would be done to the U S Government s foreign assistance program and to affected non governmental organizations if that were to happen However as we have stated here and elsewhere we believe that PVS is not well conceived The Constitution Project Given the lack of specifics in the Department s filings it is unclear whether an applicant will receive adequate due process if his or her application is denied To satisfy constitutional due process an applicant who is denied access to the Department s funds because of a match to a U S government database should 1 receive an explanation stating the reason for denial and 2 have a meaningful opportunity to challenge the findings of his or her presence in the database For

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Aid%20Workers_Tell_PVS_Wrong_Approach (2016-02-16)
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  • USAID Announces Pilot Partner Vetting System in Five Countries | Charity & Security Network
    for submission to the U S government which in turn enters it into unspecified intelligence databases The PVS program has been widely criticized by NGOs USAID plans to conduct the pilot five countries Kenya Guatemala Lebanon Philippines and Ukraine The presentation implied that before the pilot begins USAID will have a rulemaking which will provide an opportunity for public comment An information sheet showing data to be collected was also passed out The USAID handout says PVS screens key contract and grant personnel and organizations against national security databases From the answers to questions from NGOs present the fundamental flaws with PVS remain it violates the neutrality of NGOs by using them to collect information making USAID grantees into investigative arms of U S intelligence agencies it violates anti discrimination provisions of international human rights agreements by looking for undefined associations with terrorism with potentially punitive results based on political opinion family relationships and geographical location For more info on PVS see our issue brief Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/USAID_Pilot_Partner_Vetting_System_Five_Countries (2016-02-16)
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  • USAID Partner Vetting Criticized: Nonprofits Fear Violation of Privacy, Independence and Neutrality | Charity & Security Network
    civilians most in need There are also many situations in which conflicts of a political nature such as an oppressive regime or transitioning democracy necessitate a high degree of discretion for aid workers involved The PVS proposed rule however does not currently include any provisions that would allow for vetting to be suspended in the case of a humanitarian crisis or in cases where the identity of workers on the ground must be protected In a humanitarian emergency when rapid and mass mobilizations are essential to providing lifesaving support to large populations vetting determination or the determination of whether vetting should apply in the first instance will significantly delay the delivery of lifesaving support said InterAction s comments Their comments went on to urge that a formal process be developed to support this rather than an ad hoc process such as that used in Somalia during the 2011 famine Those working in democracy and human rights fields also require additional consideration The staff of NGOs who engage in efforts to develop civil society democratic norms or who work In human rights are at particular risk and their programs are at particular risk of being eviscerated if they are perceived as having ties to foreign governments and intelligence efforts Lack of Due Process Serious due process concerns have also arisen for those who do not pass vetting under PVS According to comments from the Constitution Project the proposed rule fails to require the vetting official to provide a detailed statement of reasons that an applicant has not passed vetting sufficient for the applicant to understand what written explanation legal documentation or other written material may be relevant to provide for his or her reconsideration Furthermore as the ACLU s comments point out there is no definition in the proposed rule for what is considered an affiliation or linkage to terrorism or who is considered a supporter This leaves the door open for the government to reject an individual based on secret information while having no obligation to give reasoning and offering little opportunity for the individual to contest the determination Beyond being a violation of fundamental rights and having the potential to delay humanitarian programs the lack of due process can also harm the associational rights of those who do not pass vetting Being denied a USAID award on the basis of alleged association with terrorism no matter how attenuated or unsupported can seriously damage applicants standing with the public and associations in their community said the ACLU comments It can also have a secondary effect of discouraging private donors depriving the organization of the resources it needs to carry out non USAID activities Deterring Engagement Many of the concerns listed above would have the compounded effect of creating a climate in which humanitarian groups are viewed with suspicion abroad This suspicion will not only impact groups receiving USAID funds but all civil society organizations working in complex conflict zones Both MCC and Oxfam America organizations that do not receive USAID

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/USAID_Partner_Vetting_Criticized_2013 (2016-02-16)
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  • USAID Issues Final Partner Vetting System Rule | Charity & Security Network
    personnel must submit the Partner Information Form USAID Form 500 13 If a match is found between information provided by an applicant and information contained in non public databases or other sources USAID will determine whether the match is valid or is a false positive If the match is found to be a link to terrorism the applicant is ineligible If any key individual is found ineligible the organization may submit a reconsideration request within 7 days to USAID Organizations will be given a reason for denial of an award with a reasonable amount of detail given the nature source and sensitivity of the information according to the final rule Within 7 days of receiving a request for reconsideration USAID will determine whether the applicant s additional information merits a revised decision the rule states Significant Comments Dismissive Response Comments to the proposed rule were extensive and identified numerous problems with USAID s proposal Several commenters noted for example that lower tier partners and vendors may be unwilling or unable to provide their personal information and that the program will disproportionately affect smaller local organizations that cannot understand and comply with vetting requirements Other commenters stated that there may be issues with storing sharing and using personal data in terms of foreign privacy and data collection laws USAID s response to these comments was largely dismissive For example in response to comments that there is no evidence that USAID funds are flowing to terrorist and that NGOs already conduct due diligence the agency responded that vetting is a higher level safeguard that USAID can conduct and its implementing partners cannot because they do not have access to these non public databases While the Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC list of Specially Designated Nationals SDN is publicly available it is not fully inclusive of terrorist information included in federal databases it said Intelligence Gathering and Aid Worker Safety Perhaps the biggest concern of commenters was that NGOs will be perceived as intelligence arms of the U S government increasing the security risk for partner employees They added that PVS will discourage international and local partners from working with U S NGOs and will deter U S citizens and foreign nationals form working for U S funded programs In response USAID simply stated that PVS is not a U S intelligence collection program without addressing the perception At the same time however in its response to comments USAID also states that it must share information it collects with other security and intelligence branches of the U S government When asked how data on key individuals will be used and shared among different actors and how long such information will be stored USAID responded that an applicant s information will not be used to create a blacklist of organizations and or individuals who will be barred from seeking US government contracts and grants The agency added Findings based on vetting results do not preclude an organization s eligibility to bid on subsequent

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/News_Final_PVS_Rule (2016-02-16)
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