Posts Tagged 4th amendement

Keeping The NSA Out of Your Life

The Washington Post has a list of some things you can do to increase your security and make it harder for the government to keep tabs on you.

If recentreports are to be believed, the National Security Agency has broad powers to capture private information about Americans. They know who we’re calling, they have access to our Gmail messages and AOL Instant Messenger chats, and it’s a safe bet that they have other interception capabilities that haven’t been publicly disclosed. Indeed, most mainstream communications technologies are vulnerable to government eavesdropping.

Here is an explanation of TOR, software that allows anonymous browsing on the internet:

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

President Obama says he’s not Big Brother, NPR responds.

George Orwell

George Orwell

NPR is, in my opinion, the undisputed master of ultra-subtle propaganda. The publicly funded “News” organization is actually a chillingly effective tool of Collectivism and Big (Brother) Government.  Effective because most of my right-leaning moderate friends can see no manipulation at all. After reading this piece on what NPR calls “Our Surveillance Society” you most likely will consider it balanced and objective.  And yet I feel like a hound that can’t get the blaring tea kettle sound from two blocks away out of his head, while no one around him can hear it at all. Well at least they bothered to write something instead of ignoring it. That in and of itself, plus the exquisite subtlety of the propaganda, is an indication of just how onerous these unconstitutional actions are.

From: NPR

President Obama says he’s not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, “In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we’ve struck the right balance.”


, , , , , ,

No Comments

The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena

From: Threat Level

We Don’t Need No Stinking Warrant: The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena

Meet the administrative subpoena (.pdf): With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation. Via a wide range of laws, Congress has authorized the government to bypass the Fourth Amendment — the constitutional guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that requires a probable-cause warrant signed by a judge.

In fact, there are roughly 335 federal statutes on the books (.pdf) passed by Congress giving dozens upon dozens of federal agencies the power of the administrative subpoena, according to interviews and government reports. (.pdf)


, , , , , ,

No Comments

SWAT Team Raids Stockton Man’s Home For Not Paying His Student Loan

, , , , ,

No Comments

EFF Demands Answers About Secret Surveillance Law Memo

From: EFF

EFF Demands Answers About Secret Surveillance Law Memo

EFF has filed a Freedom of Information Act suit against the Department of Justice (DOJ), demanding the release of a secret legal memo used to justify FBI access to Americans’ telephone records without any legal process or oversight. This suit stems from a report released last year by the DOJ’s own Inspector General that revealed how the FBI had come up with a new legal argument to justify secret, unchecked access to private telephone records. According to the report, the DOJ’s Office of the Legal Counsel had issued a legal opinion agreeing with the FBI’s theory. EFF’s lawsuit is seeking that legal opinion, which is a crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding the government’s efforts to expand and overreach their surveillance powers.

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Tucson SWAT Team Defends Shooting Iraq Vet 60 Times


“A Tucson, Ariz., SWAT team defends shooting an Iraq War veteran 60 times during a drug raid, although it declines to say whether it found any drugs in the house and has had to retract its claim that the veteran shot first.

Vanessa Guerena thought the gunman might be part of a home invasion — especially because two members of her sister-in-law’s family, Cynthia and Manny Orozco, were killed last year in their Tucson home … She shouted for her husband in the next room, and he woke up and told his wife to hide in the closet with the child, Joel, 4.

Guerena grabbed his assault rifle and was pointing it at the SWAT team, which was trying to serve a narcotics search warrant as part of a multi-house drug crackdown, when the team broke down the door.

At first the Pima County Sheriff’s Office said that Guerena fired first, but on Wednesday officials backtracked and said he had not. “The safety was on and he could not fire,” according to the sheriff’s statement.

SWAT team members fired 71 times and hit Guerena 60 times, police said.

A report by ABC News affiliate KGUN found that more than an hour had passed before the SWAT team let the paramedics work on Guerena. By then he was dead.”

“I’m a former Marine absolutely outraged by this story. The question I have asked and continue to ask is this- why are American citizens being treated this way?

When I was deployed to Afghanistan, we hardly ever did no-knock raids into homes. We get intel on a subject and cordon off the building and knock on the door. Greet the homeowner, and search the home. No one gets shot, no one gets killed, if we find something, we detain the guy.

Here we have police that get questionable intel, kick in the door and just start shooting. It’s absolutely absurd.”

– strikefo

, , ,

No Comments

Overuse of SWAT Teams

Recent incidents in Oregon and Missouri should give many people pause. In Columbia Missouri a SWAT team raided the house of a suspected marijuana dealer killing one of his dogs and injuring another. They found only a few ounces of the drug. In Oregon a man was taken into custody for what appears to be crimes the police thought he would commit:

This supposedly voluntary exchange involved two SWAT teams, officers from Medford and nearby Roseburg, sheriff’s deputies from Jackson and Douglas counties, and the Oregon State Police. Pyles hadn’t committed any crime; nor was he suspected of having committed one. The police never obtained a warrant for either search or arrest. They never consulted with a judge or a mental health professional before sending military-style tactical teams to take Pyles in.

“They woke me up with a phone call at about 5:50 in the morning,” Pyles says. “I looked out the window and saw the SWAT team pointing their guns at my house. The officer on the phone told me to turn myself in. I told them I would, on three conditions. I would not be handcuffed. I would not be taken off my property. And I would not be forced to get a mental health evaluation. He agreed. The second I stepped outside, they jumped me. Then they handcuffed me, took me off my property, and took me to get a mental health evaluation.”

One story involves a nonviolent crime and the other there was no crime committed at all. Neither situation called for the use of SWAT teams. The problem is that cities are incentivized to create SWAT teams when they have no use for them. Once the teams are in place the cities force the teams in to situations where they are not needed.

, , , ,

No Comments