Caitlin Bassett

Caitlin Bassett is the Assistant to the Managing and Associate Directors at the Center for Science & Culture. Her interests are in political philosophy and current events, and she enjoys attempting to understand physics and cosmology. She graduated from Liberty University in 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Politics and Policy.

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Face recognition: Is the U.S. Copying China’s Surveillance State?

Although facial recognition (and the resulting “social credit score”) prevail in China, the technology is getting pushback in America
In a recent article, I recounted the story of Dana Kurtbek, who has faced harassment from the DHS and the FBI after facial recognition technology and anonymous reports placed her inside the Capitol Building during the riot on January 6th. By her own account, she never came closer than a mile from the Capitol. She expressed concern to Mind Matters News that the continuing harassment may have resulted from neighbors who disagree with her pro-Trump views reporting her to the federal government. Facial recognition technology and neighbors as informants may sound strange to American ears, but in China, both are essential elements of the Chinese Communist Party’s technocratic regime. In 2014, China unveiled a social credit system that Human Rights…

False Identification: One Woman’s Facial Recognition Nightmare

Government security officials and the ACLU stay mum, despite repeated requests for information, involvement in the Pennsylvania woman’s case
After attending a pro-Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6, a Pennsylvania woman has told media, she has been interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and visited by the FBI. She and her daughter have both been subjected to repeated security screenings before boarding flights. Federal security officials have reportedly claimed that facial recognition technology and anonymous reports place the woman inside the Capitol Building, among those who entered illegally on January 6. She insists she never went near the Capitol, let alone engaged in any illegal activity. Repeated inquiries from Mind Matters News to the DHS and FBI about their targeting of the woman and her daughter have been ignored. So have inquiries to the American…

Poland’s Free Speech Champion Speaks Out!

Poland has been drafting laws that would hold Big Social Media accountable
A month after Poland announced drafted legislation that would hold social media companies accountable for their censorship activities, the author of the widely discussed law has spoken out on why he felt the need to get the state involved. In an article published to Newsweek on January 21, Sebastian Kaleta (pictured) called on “democratic governments all over the globe” to defend the free speech rights of their citizens against the censorship efforts of social media companies. “Two thousand years ago, the Roman comedian Juvenal asked, ‘Who will watch the watchers?’” Kaleta wrote. “In the case of Big Tech, I believe that the answer lies with the people – not nameless moderators operating with no transparency and no ability for recourse.”…

Mexican President Wants Free Speech Coalition Re Social Media

“How can a company act as if it was all powerful, omnipotent, as a sort of Spanish Inquisition on what is expressed?” he asked.
In response to the recent banning of former United States President Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter, Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced last week that he is organizing a coalition of global leaders to seek solutions to the power currently wielded by social media giants. “I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue,” he said on Thursday. “Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression.” According to the Washington Post, one of his proposed solutions is a “state-run social network” that would exist “without censorship” as…

Finally, Someone Is Seriously Suing Twitter

Twitter is now being sued in Canada because Canada does not offer the protections accorded to the social medium that it has enjoyed in the United States
Last week, a Canadian judge ruled that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has the right to hear the claims of Canadian billionaire philanthropist Frank Giustra against Twitter about the defamation he says he was subjected to on its platform. Giustra filed a lawsuit against Twitter in April 2019 in the Canadian province of British Columbia, claiming that he was the target of defamatory posts that harmed his reputation and community standing. According to his claim, people began making politically-motivated, false accusations against him via Twitter in 2015, ahead of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The posts allege that Giustra was involved in “Pizzagate,” a conspiracy theory according to which the Democrats were operating a child sex trafficking ring out…

Poland Strikes a Blow for Free Speech Against Big Tech

The new law would limit the authority of social media platforms to censor posts or suspend accounts
In December, Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro announced that the nation would pursue legislation to hold social media companies accountable for violating free speech rights. The new law would limit the authority of social media platforms to censor posts or suspend accounts, allowing them to take such measures only when Polish law has been broken. The law would also provide citizens a legal remedy when they feel they have been censored without just cause by appealing to a special court. The announcement was made in response to growing concerns that technological giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter are squashing free speech rights. Ziobro called the blocking and removal of online content an act of “ideological censorship,” whereby people are silenced…