'Plainly unconstitutional': New Orleans jail records inmates' calls to lawyers

Prosecutors in the city can and do listen in to conversations that elsewhere are seen as subject to attorney-client privilege

When Gerard Howard was arrested on suspicion of heroin possession, in 2015, the New Orleans district attorney’s office had a problem. The syringe he was found with came back from the lab with no illegal substances detected.

Prosecutors wanted to convict Howard on paraphernalia charges but there was no proof the needle was intended to be used for anything illicit. So they started listening to phone calls between Howard and his then public defender, Thomas Frampton. They found one throwaway but interesting line.

Related: Why are for-profit US prisons subjecting detainees to forced labor? | Azadeh Shahshahani

Related: Trump promises to sign prison reform bill that could free thousands

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MPs push for Myanmar regime to face international criminal court

International development select committee also supports review of UK aid and application of financial sanctions

The UK must support efforts to refer Myanmar’s regime to the international criminal court over evidence of state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people and human rights abuses, according to MPs on the international development select committee.

They also called for a complete review of UK aid to Myanmar, which was worth £100m in 2018, saying the sums were agreed at the time it appeared the country was on a transition to democracy.

Related: ‘Hallmarks of genocide’: ICC prosecutor seeks justice for Rohingya

Related: ‘Lives will be lost’: 700,000 Rohingya face cyclone season under tarpaulin

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Right to see Parole Board decisions comes into force

Law change in England and Wales prompted by row over proposed release of serial sex attacker John Worboys

Members of the public will be able to request summaries of Parole Board decisions on whether prisoners are safe to release under a law change prompted by the handling of the case of serial sex attacker John Worboys.

The Parole Board was previously unable to tell victims or the public the reasons why it had decided whether or not to release a prisoner.

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Data protection and the NHS | Letters

Jon Baines says NHS trusts and others misunderstand the General Data Protection Regulation, Richard Stallman says personal data is only harmless when not collected, and John Chen of BlackBerry says individuals should own their own data

The General Data Protection Regulation does not require organisations to contact consumers to obtain approval for further communications (however the contact details were originally collected). And it certainly doesn’t require NHS trusts to “get explicit permissions from patients” to send appointment reminders (New data law raises fears for NHS messages to patients, 19 May). That some NHS trusts are apparently under this misapprehension (which is as a result of confusion regarding GDPR and the 2003 regulations relating to the sending of electronic direct marketing) is concerning. A reminder message is both a very useful service for a patient, and a sensible way of avoiding the cost to the NHS of missed appointments. What it is definitely not, however, is a direct marketing message.

Indeed, if NHS trusts are using patient data in this way, and if the result is some patients wrongly not getting reminders, those trusts are arguably breaching the existing data protection law that requires data to be “adequate” for the purposes for which it is held.
Jon Baines
Data protection adviser, Mishcon de Reya LLP

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Further arrests of Saudi women's rights activists in escalating crackdown

Ten leading campaigners reportedly held as media denounce women as ‘traitors’ for supporting end to ban on female drivers

At least 10 prominent Saudi activists, mostly women’s rights campaigners, have now been reported to have been arrested in what appears to be an escalating clampdown ahead of the much-vaunted lifting of the prohibition on women driving in the kingdom on 24 June.

The arrests, with more feared by human rights campaigners, come amid a high-profile campaign in Saudi media outlets and on social media denouncing the women as “traitors”.

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