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  • NGOs Raise Concerns about USAID's Proposed Vetting Policy for Contractors | Charity & Security Network
    source of potential problems that outweigh any benefits gained The comments focused on the following points 1 USAID has not adequately defined key terms in the rule The proposed rule fails to clearly describe the outcome it is trying to avoid It refers to but does not explain what is meant by diversion of funds an inadvertent benefit to terrorists or who is otherwise associated with them 2 PVS would inappropriately use private contractors and NGOs as government investigators endangering the safety of their employees PVS would require contractors and NGOs to collect and submit highly personal information to be checked against secret intelligence databases The practical effect will be to use contractors and NGOs as government intelligence gathering tools 3 Due diligence conducted by NGOs would be a superior approach to vetting than list checking PVS exacerbates problems with list checking by including people or organizations that are not specifically designated by the U S Government but who may nevertheless be linked to terrorist activities This means that secret lists with different standards for why people are listed and how the information is intended to be used will be used 4 The contractor rule provides benefits not available in the NGO rule The proposed rule for contractors limits application of PVS to situations where USAID has conducted a risk assessment and determined there is a need for enhanced vetting In contrast PVS is imposed on all NGOs regardless of risk In the proposed contractor rule USAID appropriately states that its goal is a rule that minimizes the impact on our programs and contractors while still protecting against the possibility that USAID funds could benefit terrorist groups USAID has not stated this as a goal for its rule for NGOs The proposed appeal reconsideration process for contractors is more specific

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/NGOs_Concerns_USAID_Proposed_Vetting_Contractors (2016-02-16)
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  • Critics Object to Proposed “Watch List” Secrecy | Charity & Security Network
    still be distributed to national law enforcement agencies and fusion centers by the Terrorist Screening Center FOIA requests have played a significant role in uncovering illegal government surveillance programs as well as spotlighting use of fusion centers to monitor citizen free speech For example uncovering covert surveillance by Maryland state police officers on peaceful protestors and identifying the name of a military official who spied on Washington state anti war activists Transparency rights advocates say this measure is a step in the wrong direction Steven Aftergood a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists said Instead of enhancing accountability this would remove accountability Other critics believe it would make the process of removing an improperly named person from the list nearly impossible On Sept 8 2009 several privacy and transparency groups sent a letter to chief members of the Senate and House intelligence committees that sought the removal of the measure Led by OpenTheGovernment org the groups letter called the provision unnecessary overbroad and unwise and outlined how increased secrecy will not improve security and could lead to incorrect information being used in an investigation The letter said W atchlists are an area of particular concern justifying greater openness not less It is well documented that the watchlists are replete with errors It is also well documented that the current redress process is cumbersome and slow The FOIA and Privacy Act processes may provide a crucial opportunity for persons mistakenly listed to clear their names Any further barriers to redress should be narrowly drawn Both the Senate and House bills are still in their respective committees and no date has been set for future action Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Critics_Object_Proposed_Watch_List_Secrecy (2016-02-16)
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  • President's Statement at End of Ramadan Recognizes Importance of Charities | Charity & Security Network
    throughout the year The full statement said As Muslims in the United States and around the world complete the month of Ramadan and celebrate Eid ul Fitr Michelle and I would like to extend our personal greetings on this joyous occasion Eid is a time to celebrate the completion of 30 days and nights of devotion But even on this festive occasion Muslims remember those less fortunate including those impacted by poverty hunger conflict and disease Throughout the month Muslim communities collect and distribute zakat ul fitr so that all Muslims are able to participate in this day of celebration As I said in Cairo my Administration is working to ensure that Muslims are able to fulfill their charitable obligations not just during Ramadan but throughout the year On behalf of the American people we congratulate Muslims in the United States and around the world on this blessed day Eid Mubarak 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 headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Obama_statement_end_Ramadan_2009 (2016-02-16)
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  • Fusion Centers' New Access to Military Intelligence Raises Concerns | Charity & Security Network
    date indicates such concerns are justified According to DHS certain fusion center personnel with a security clearance will be able to access information stored in the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network SIPRNet This classified database houses sensitive information collected by DoD and Department of State officials The DHS believes the sharing of classified military intelligence will enable state and local law enforcement agencies to better prevent detect deter and respond to terrorist attacks There are over 70 fusion centers currently operating across the United States making them an increasingly important national security program However there are serious questions about their authority funding and data storage practices These concerns combined with the release of several unclassified fusion center reports have drawn widespread criticism from lawmakers and civil liberty advocates Referring to the report issued from a Dallas area fusion center that warned of tolerance Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson D MS said in April 2009 If we don t get the privacy and civil liberties piece at fusion centers right we ll see more abuses like those revealed last summer in Texas Agreeing with that sentiment Michael Macleod Ball Acting Director of the ACLU said As fusion centers gain more and more access to Americans private information the information about them being made available to the American public remains woefully inadequate Additionally the mission and effectiveness of fusion centers have also been questioned In 2007 a Congressional Research Services report found that fusion centers are struggling to produce useful information as a result of tangled technology and unclear missions Macleod Ball is calling for further Congressional oversight on fusion centers operations He said Congress must take the necessary steps to ensure that a thorough and rigorous oversight mechanism is in place to ensure that Americans most sensitive information is protected

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Fusion_Centers_New_Access_Military_Intelligence_Raises_Concerns (2016-02-16)
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  • News | Charity & Security Network
    Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson D MS the letter said As new privacy and civil liberties issues emerge such as the use of new screening technologies and watchlisting procedures it is imperative Read more about President Asked to Nominate Appointees to Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board UN Will Evaluate Human Rights Record of U S Rights of Civil Society an Issue Date March 12 2010 For the first time the United States will have its human rights record evaluated by the United Nations Human Rights Council The UN s Universal Periodic Review UPR will assess if the U S Read more about UN Will Evaluate Human Rights Record of U S Rights of Civil Society an Issue Authors Highlight the Securitization of Aid and Restrictions on Nonprofits Date March 15 2010 On March 1 2010 the Charity and Security Network held a reception and discussion based on a new book Civil Society Under Strain Counter Terrorism Policy Civil Society and Aid Post 9 11 Kumarian Press The books editors Jeremy Lind and Jude Howell of the London School of Economics Civil Society Centre provided insight from their research about the changing landscape of humanitarian work in a political environment dominated by security concerns Read more about Authors Highlight the Securitization of Aid and Restrictions on Nonprofits Presidential Advisory Council Recommends Against Implementing USAID s Partner Vetting System Date March 15 2010 Calling for new principles of partnerships between the Government and community serving organizations a March 2010 report calls on the President to reject the proposed Partner Vetting System PVS The President s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships report discussed on pages 111 112 instead recommends holding more detailed discussions with U S Read more about Presidential Advisory Council Recommends Against Implementing USAID s Partner Vetting System UN s Improved Listing Process Receives Praise from State Department s Top Counterterrorism Official Date March 18 2010 A UN resolution that addresses human rights violations caused by the terrorist listing process drew praise from the State Department s chief counterterrorism official Speaking to the International Peace Institute on March 1 2010 Ambassado r Daniel Benjamin called Resolution 1904 an important milestone that improves the fairness and transparency of the counterterrorism regime He also called on governments to build partnerships with the UN and nonprofits who address political and social grievances Read more about UN s Improved Listing Process Receives Praise from State Department s Top Counterterrorism Official Letter Urges Reforms on Charitable Giving Rules Date March 25 2010 Read more about Letter Urges Reforms on Charitable Giving Rules House Hearing Examines Government Community Engagement Efforts To Disrupt Terror Plots Date March 31 2010 Disrupting terror plots Mohamed Elibiary told a House Homeland Security Subcommittee is the mutual goal of both Muslim Americans and law enforcement Read more about House Hearing Examines Government Community Engagement Efforts To Disrupt Terror Plots State and Defense Officials To Senate Military Alone Cannot Counter Violent Extremism Date March 31 2010 U S

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/content_type/news?tid=All&page=11 (2016-02-16)
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  • Expiring Provisions of Patriot Act under Review by Congressional Committees | Charity & Security Network
    attacks After hearing from the Obama administration that it would consider ideas for modifications to protect privacy the committee passed a proposal sponsored by chairman Patrick Leahy D VT and began considering a series of amendments A statement from Leahy summarizes progress to date and said he hopes the committee can complete its work by Oct 15 At that time the committee may consider an amendment in Sen Russell Feingold s proposed JUSTICE Act S 1686 which includes a provision that would change the definition of prohibited material support of terrorism to require intent to support violent activities For a detailed report on Congressional action on the Patriot Act reauthorization see OMB Watcher Congress Braces for Patriot Act Battle 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 headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than 50 Orgs in Raising Concerns About UN s Work on Preventing Violent Extremism February 8

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Expiring_Provisions_Patriot_Act_Review_Committees (2016-02-16)
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  • Bitter Memories of 2001 Committee Work on PATRIOT Act Linger for Some in House | Charity & Security Network
    Feingold D WI described as disappointing and many civil liberty advocates are calling watered down critics of the PATRIOT Act provision are looking to the House for reigning in the surveillance tools Now is the time to consider improving the Patriot Act not just extending the provisions Conyers said However House members remember debating these provisions before and without the outcome they had wanted Conyers remarks were referring to the testimony given by prior administration s officials who defended the PATRIOT Act provisions but did little to address the privacy concerns many lawmakers had raised during the bill s original drafting process According to the Washington Independent in 2001 Republicans had pushed aside a bipartisan version of the bill produced by the Judiciary Committee in favor of a version substantially revised and altered by the Rules Committee led by then chairman David Dreier R CA Conyers has not forgotten about that either Then Chairman Dreier under Lord knows whose instructions substituted that bill for another bill that we at judiciary had never seen So we come here today now to consider what we do with those parts that are expiring he said Conyers was not alone in remembering the replacement of the bipartisan bill At the same House Judiciary Constitution Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing Jerrold Nadler D NY another House Judiciary Committee member shared his memories from 2001 We held in this committee five days of markup and achieved unanimity on the Patriot Act he said Then the bill just disappeared And we had a new several hundred page bill revealed from the Rules Committee he added With the Dec 31 2009 deadline for the sun setting PATRIOT Act provision more hearings in the House are expected Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Bitter_Memories_2001_PATRIOT_Linger_House%20 (2016-02-16)
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  • OMB Watch: Controversial Patriot Act Reauthorization Ready for Senate Floor | Charity & Security Network
    and privacy advocates A week earlier the committee voted down another reauthorization bill the JUSTICE Act S 1686 introduced by Sens Russ Feingold D WI and Richard Durbin D IL that would have greatly reduced surveillance powers and strengthened civil liberties protections Critics of the Leahy bill assert that the legislation does little to address the well known civil liberties concerns and extends sweeping law enforcement surveillance powers with little to no safeguards For instance as passed out of committee the bill renews the roving John Doe wiretap authority that allows the federal government to obtain a wiretap order without the requirement to name the target or specify the phone lines and e mail accounts to be monitored Further it offers little or no reform of other controversial Patriot Act provisions The entire article that is available at OMB Watch 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 headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest

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