Catfish for Lunch

Rights Working Group is pleased to launch the Catfish for Lunch blog, which it is currently sponsoring and co-hosting. The blog, written by researcher and consultant Kung Li, is a continuation of the final workshop at the Securing Our Rights in the Information-Sharing Era: A Convening on National Security, Surveillance and Immigration Enforcement conference in December 2011. The Catfish blog focuses attention on ways the United States’ is consolidating its national security, immigration enforcement, border enforcement and criminal justice systems. In addition, blogs will explain and analyze how information is being gathered by private firms and law enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local level and being shared allowing for new forms of surveillance and domestic spying threatening the constitutional rights to privacy and equal protection of the laws.

Two Catfish posts will appear weekly, a news roundup on Monday and an analysis/opinion blog on Thursday. Opinions are those of the blog’s author Kung Li. (Blogs can be read on this page but you can also follow the blogs by clicking here and entering your email address at the bottom of the page to receive email notifications when new blogs are posted.)

Kung Li’s most recent post discusses The New York Police Department’s Domain Awareness System, which instantaneously aggregates information and images captured on video cameras, license plates and databases. The system was designed by Microsoft and through an odd public-private partnership profits from future sales of the system will be shared with New York City. A post from earlier this month talks of the bold work of Viridiana Martinez, who lacks citizenship or official residency status, yet purposely went through a Florida border checkpoint to get detained so that she could interview other detainees and show that the Obama administration’s prosecutorial discretion policy, which was intended to keep all but the most serious criminals from facing deportation, is being very poorly implemented.

Kung Li is a researcher and consultant based in East Point, Ga. In a previous life, Kung Li was an attorney and then the executive director at the Southern Center for Human Rights, specializing in criminal justice systems reform litigation.

The posts, which began in July are linked below. Click here to read future blogs as they are updated on an ongoing basis.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Doggettx