Posts Tagged fourth amendment

Data Should Be Covered By Fourth Amendment Says Silicon Valley

From Ars Technica:

A group of prominent tech companies and lawyers has come together in new friend-of-the-court filings submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The group is arguing in favor of stronger legal protections for data generated by apps and digital devices in an important privacy case pending before the court.

The companies, which include Apple, Google, and Microsoft among many others, argue that the current state of the law, which distinguishes between “content” (which requires a warrant) and “non-content” (which does not) “make[s] little sense in the context of digital technologies.”

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Court Rules Gun Owners Are Dangerous and Forfeit Other Rights

From National Review:

So, if concealed-carry permit holders are presumptively dangerous, does this mean that they forfeit other constitutional rights? Wynn explained (approvingly) that under the majority’s reasoning they certainly do:

I see no basis — nor does the majority opinion provide any — for limiting our conclusion that individuals who choose to carry firearms are categorically dangerous to the Terry frisk inquiry. Accordingly, the majority decision today necessarily leads to the conclusion that individuals who elect to carry firearms forego other constitutional rights, like the Fourth Amendment right to have law enforcement officers “knock-and-announce” before forcibly entering homes. . . . Likewise, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that individuals who choose to carry firearms necessarily face greater restriction on their concurrent exercise of other constitutional rights, like those protected by the First Amendment.

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Feds Collecting License Plate Information From Gun Shows

From the NRA:

The article states that ICE had hatched a plan to use license plate readers (LPRs) at Southern California gun shows to compare information on vehicles parked at the shows with information on vehicles later crossing the border into Mexico.

Of course, there’s nothing inherently suspicious about attending a gun show or traveling to a neighboring country, even if one event precedes another. 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

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Cops Recorded Making Up Charges Against Protestor

From Guns.com:

On Sept. 11, 2015, Michael Picard, known locally as an open carry advocate, was protesting at a Connecticut State Police checkpoint in West Hartford, which he feels are contrary to the Fourth Amendment, and a waste of public money. Standing several hundred feet from the checkpoint, Picard held a three-foot by two-foot yellow sign reading, “Cops Ahead: Keep Calm and Remain Silent.”

At the event, he had his camera, phone, legally carried pistol and pistol permit confiscated by troopers. He was subsequently cited by the troopers with use of a highway by a pedestrian and creating a public disturbance, then released.

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Homeland Security Stops Reporter, Asks To Search Phone

From Motherboard:

On Thursday, a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter claimed that the Department of Homeland Security demanded access to her mobile phones when she was crossing the border at the Los Angeles airport.

“I wanted to share a troubling experience I had with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in the hopes it may help you protect your private information,” Maria Abi-Habib, a WSJ journalist focused on ISIS and Al Qaeda wrote in a post on Facebook. (Abi-Habib confirmed to Motherboard that the Facebook account was hers, but declined to comment further.)

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Supreme Court Chips Away At Fourth Amendment

From Rare.us:

On Monday, SCOTUS continued this assault on the Fourth Amendment. It concluded that even when the government admits a stop was illegal, it can still use that evidence to prosecute you.

Under Heien, the cops only had to prove reasonable ignorance of the law: “I didn’t realize stopping this person was illegal, but I found this evidence, so we should use it.”

Now, under Monday’s Utah v. Strieff, even that charade is no longer necessary. Police can simply say: “Yeah, that stop was illegal, but I found this evidence, so we should use it.”

This is all the more reason for citizens to familiarize themselves with jury nullification. You can learn more about it from the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA).

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The Apple Case Could Violate The Thirteenth Amendment

If Apple is compelled to create a program that doesn’t exist for the government, that would be a type of slavery.

From Reason.com:

Instead, the DOJ has obtained the most unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DOJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.

There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty’s will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DOJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.

If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.

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Apple, Privacy and the FBI

It’s way more complicated than the pundits are saying. To be fully informed read these articles.

From the EFF:

…the FBI’s demands reflect a familiar pattern of security agencies leveraging the most seemingly compelling situations—usually the aftermath of terror attacks—to create powers that are later used more widely and eventually abused. The government programs monitoring the telephone system and Internet, for example, were created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Those programs came to undermine the rights of billions of people, doing more damage to our security than the tragic events that prompted their creation.

ArsTechnica discusses Fifth Amendment issues:

But the Fifth Amendment goes beyond the well-known right against compelled self-incrimination. The relevant part for the Apple analysis is: “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The idea here is that the government is conscripting Apple to build something that it doesn’t want to do. That allegedly is a breach of its “substantive due process.” The government is “conscripting a company’s employees to become agents for the government,” as one source familiar with Apple’s legal strategy told Ars. The doctrine of substantive due process, according to Cornell University School of Law, holds “that the 5th and 14th Amendments require all governmental intrusions into fundamental rights and liberties be fair and reasonable and in furtherance of a legitimate governmental interest.”

Reason discusses the political battle over encryption:

This incident is only the latest conflict in a years-long encryption and security war waging between privacy- and security-minded groups and the law enforcement community. As more communications are digitized, authorities have been calling for industry assistance to build so-called government “backdoors” into secure technologies by hook or by crook.

Those in law enforcement fear a scenario where critical evidence in a terrorism or criminal case is beyond the reach of law enforcement because it is protected by strong encryption techniques that conceal data from anyone but the intended recipient. Hence, leaders at agencies like the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Agency, along with President Obama, have weighed in against strong encryption.

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Fourth Amendment Should Cover Your Digital Life

From Fox News:

In an era of constant political gamesmanship and gridlock, getting things done in Congress is never easy. That was never clearer than the last Congress’ failure to pass long overdue reforms to an antiquated that today threatens the very thing it was intended to protect – the privacy of Americans’ digital communications and records.

A bipartisan group of more than 270 members of the House of Representatives co-sponsored legislation with the same underlying objective — to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). And yet, these bills were left to die without a vote.

 

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Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government

From EFF:

Washington, D.C. ­– Academy and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. transportation security agencies today demanding they release records documenting a six-year period in which she was searched, questioned, and often subjected to hours-long security screenings at U.S. and overseas airports on more than 50 occasions. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing Poitras in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, DOJ, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

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Tell Congress Not To Authorize Section 215 of PATRIOT Act

From the EFF:

Tell Congress: Stop S. 1357. No reauthorization of Section 215 of the Patriot Act—no matter how short.

Congress has a chance to vote no on the NSA’s mass phone record surveillance under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. But NSA apologists are trying to broker a deal to extend Section 215 for another two months. That’s two more months of the NSA sweeping up millions of people’s phone records unconstitutionally. With your help, we can stop Congress from simply rubber-stamping this reauthorization. Tell Congress: no reauthorization of Section 215, no matter how short.

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Tell This Guy “No One Wants To Take Your Guns”

Brian Aitken was arrested, is now a felon and hasn’t seen his son in 5 years.

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Surveillance State Repeal Act Introduced In House

From FreedomWorks:

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a bill like the Surveillance State Repeal Act. It’s bold and effective. Specifically, here is what the bill would do:

  1. Repeals the Patriot Act (which contains the provision that allows for the bulk collection of metadata from U.S. citizens).
  2. Repeals the FISA Amendments Act (which contains provisions allowing for the government to monitor emails).
  3. It would extend judges’ terms on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and technical and legal experts to advise on technical issues raised during proceedings.
  4. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law and issue an annual report.
  5. Ban the federal government from mandating that the manufacturer of an electronic device must install spy software.
  6. Gives people a proper channel to report illegal activity in their department.
  7. Says that no information related to a U.S. person may be acquired without a valid warrant based on probable cause—including under Executive Order 12333.
  8. Retains tools that are useful to law enforcement such as not requiring a new warrant if the suspect switches devices in an attempt to break surveillance.
  9. Protects intelligence collection practices involving foreign targets for the purpose of investigating weapons of mass destruction.

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How To Prevent The Government From Spying On Your Cellphone

From Democracy Now:

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Sharyl Attkisson Sues DOJ For $35 Million

From Fox News:

In a series of legal filings that seek $35 million in damages, Attkisson alleges that three separate computer forensic exams showed that hackers used sophisticated methods to surreptitiously monitor her work between 2011 and 2013.

“I just think it’s important to send a message that people shouldn’t be victimized and throw up their hands and think there’s nothing they can do and they’re powerless,” Attkisson said in an interview.

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