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Articles on Civil liberties

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The Richardson Independent School District in Texas is among the many districts across the state defying the governor’s mask mandate ban to require masks for students. AP Photo/LM Otero

Who has the power to say kids do or don’t have to wear masks in school – the governor or the school district? It’s not clear

If it sounds like the law is all over the place on school mask mandates, that’s because it is. The nation’s schools are subject to a complex web of local, state and federal laws.
Close to 3,000 Quebecers gathered at the Paul-Sauvé arena hours before the invocation of the War Measures Act would send Canadian troops onto the streets of the province and many people – some of them at the arena rally – were arrested in subsequent raids. Éditions du Septentrion, CC BY-NC-ND

October Crisis, 1970: Crackdown ignited by authorities’ fear of young people

A new book argues that the War Measures Act was a response to the threat young people posed to authorities.
Police forces have a wide range of options for monitoring individuals and crowds. Nicholas Kaeser/Flickr

High-tech surveillance amplifies police bias and overreach

Police forces across the country now have access to surveillance technologies that were recently available only to national intelligence services. The digitization of bias and abuse of power followed.
An elderly woman looks out from Maison Herron, a long-term care home in the Montréal suburb of Dorval on April 12, 2020. Isolating people in facilities where they are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 is a violation of their rights. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

The coronavirus is costing us more than just our health and economy

Civil liberties violations look very different in pandemics. That’s why the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is looking into who has been detained and fined, and why, during the pandemic.
Hungarian police officers check cars at the closed Austria-Hungary border, March 18, 2020. Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Coronavirus versus democracy: 5 countries where emergency powers risk abuse

National emergencies allow for the purest expressions of sovereign power, testing the government’s commitment to human rights. Some leaders are failing the coronavirus test, experts say.
What if even you didn’t know your own password? Password via shutterstock.com

Why we should not know our own passwords

As searches of smartphones and other digital devices at US borders become more common, can research and computer science help protect travelers’ privacy?

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