Poland Investigating Claims of CIA Secret Prison

A spokesman for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced Friday that the Polish government is investigating claims that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operated a secret prison in Poland. The prison was reportedly part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program, under which terrorism suspects were seized and flown to secret locations outside the U.S. for interrogation and imprisonment. Prosecutors have reportedly obtained a memo written by Polish intelligence officials in either 2005 or 2006 that confirms the prison's existence. Reuters has more.

Poland and Romania have been accused of hosting secret prisons for the extraordinary rendition program. Allegations against the two countries came in a June 2007 report to the Council of Europe by Swiss Senator Dick Marty. The report concluded that numerous European governments had cooperated with the CIA program. In February 2007, the European Parliament condemned more than a dozen European states for their roles in the program. Several nations have been accused of obstructing European probes into the secret prison allegations, including Poland, which allegedly housed the largest CIA detention facility in Europe. President Bush acknowledged the existence of the secret facilities in September 2006 but provided no details on their location or operation.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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