Posts Tagged search warrants

FBI Won’t Acknowledge Stingray Surveillance Tech

From MSN:

Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union are fighting to uncover more about the FBI’s role in helping local police acquire powerful cellphone surveillance devices known widely as “stingrays.” The true scope of their use against Americans has, by design, remained a closely guarded secret for more than a decade. This is thanks to secrecy requirements devised by the federal government, which police departments and prosecutors have followed to an extreme.

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Texas Grand Jury Declines To Indict Homeowner For Murder of Police Officer

From The Daily Mail:

Sowders and other officers entered the home about 90 miles northwest of Houston without knocking just before 6 a.m. Authorities were looking for guns and marijuana.

‘This was a terrible tragedy that a deputy sheriff was killed, but Hank Magee believed that he and his pregnant girlfriend were being robbed,’ DeGuerin said in an interview Thursday.

The longtime defense attorney said he could not immediately remember another example of a Texas grand jury declining to indict a defendant in the death of a law enforcement officer.


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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)


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4th Amendment Under Attack Yet Again

This stuff is serious. Maybe most of the “People” protected by the Constitution do not have enough imagination to see how terribly wrong this is going to go for all of us, and I mean ALL of us. Well, I can imagine it because I’ve worked for governments, I know what they are capable of, and I promise you it will not be good. To quote Bogey, “maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life”,  if you can call existence in a police state a life. Think this is hyperbole? We’ll see.

I know first hand that getting warrants can be a pain in the ass, but too bad, its our job to defend and protect the constitution, not whine about how hard it is to do our jobs and still abide by the “current” law, or to look for shortcuts and ways to get around the only document that stands between freedom and totalitarianism.

But don’t worry, I’m clearly over reacting because if I wasn’t, those vigilant watchdogs of the Fourth Estate would surely mention the trampling of our fundamental freedoms in their newspapers, websites and TV news shows, wouldn’t they?

Here is the latest assault on our freedoms from the EFF

DOJ Official: Any Privacy Protection is Too Much Privacy Protection for Cell Phone Tracking

Jason Weinstein, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s criminal division, told a panel at the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee’s “State of the Mobile Net” conference yesterday that requiring a search warrant to obtain location tracking information from cell phones  would “cripple” prosecutors and law enforcement officials. We couldn’t disagree more.

For years, we’ve been arguing that cell phone location data should only be accessible to law enforcement with a search warrant. After all, as web enabled smart phones become more prevalent, this location data reveals an incredibly revealing portrait of your every move. As we’ve waged this legal battle, the government has naturally disagreed with us, claiming that the Stored Communications Act authorizes the disclosure of cell phone location data with a lesser showing than the probable cause requirement demanded by a search warrant.  Read the rest of this entry »

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