Tag Archive: American Civil Liberties Union


Cops Seize Car When Told To Get A Warrant, Tell Owner That’s What He Gets For ‘Exercising His Rights’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Yeah, so you’ve read the headline. No criminal activity. No charges brought. And a cheap shot fired across the bow of the Fourth Amendment, not to mention Vermont’s own Constitution.

  But let’s travel back further to set this up. Twenty-one-year-old Gregory Zullo was supposedly pulled over for having his license plate registration sticker (incidentally) covered by a small amount of snow.

Not a crime. From the ACLU filing [pdf link]:

  At all times relevant to this action, it was not a violation of Vermont law to drive a car on which the validation sticker on the rear license plate – but not the numbers and letters of the license plate itself – was touched by snow, leaves, or any other material.

  The lawsuit notes that the officer who stated this was the reason he initiated the event spent no further time on that subject. He didn’t bother to brush the snow away from the registration sticker or have Zullo do it, despite the fact that both spent over 30 minutes no more than a few inches away from the offending plate.

  Officer Hatch spent most of his time trying to talk Zullo into allowing him to search the vehicle without a warrant. Hatch seemed to be convinced that Zullo was involved with the heroin traffickers he was searching for. Hatch tried everything, including lying.

  More than once, the defendant’s employee told Mr. Zullo that Mr. Zullo should consent to a search because the police dog in the back of his truck smelled something. “

Read more here and here

About these ads

Contempt Of Cop, America’s Defiance Revolution

 

“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

Thomas Jefferson

” Increasingly, and openly, ordinary Americans are committing a legal act that some police nonetheless regard as among the most heinous of all offenses: it’s called contempt of cop.

  It’s otherwise known as asserting your constitutional rights.

  Citizens, feeling empowered, are pointing smartphones, rather than just an accusing finger, at abusive authorities.

  Civil libertarians with hidden cameras are challenging the so-called “suspicion-less” roadblocks that police set up to catch lawbreakers. Motorists and others are fighting back in the courts and online against police shakedown rackets on U.S. highways and elsewhere. 

  Everywhere, it seems, Americans are openly challenging arbitrary behaviour by those in authority.

  Furthermore, they are winning. Not since the late 1960s have those in authority, from heavy-handed cops to the federal operatives sifting metadata in super-secret intelligence installations, been exposed to so much disinfecting sunlight. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Court Upholds Willy-Nilly Gadget Searches Along U.S. Border

 

 

 

 

” A federal judge today upheld a President Barack Obama administration policy allowing authorities along the U.S. border to seize and search laptops, smartphones and other electronic devices for any reason.

  The decision (.pdf) by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in New York comes as laptops, and now smartphones, have become virtual extensions of ourselves, housing everything from email to instant-message chats to our papers and effects.

  The American Civil Liberties Union brought the challenge nearly three years ago, claiming U.S. border officials should have reasonable suspicion to search gadgets along the border because of the data they store. But Judge Korman said the so-called “border exemption,” in which people can be searched for no reason at all along the border, continues to apply in the digital age.

  Alarmingly, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.”

 

 

   This is insanity . This ruling doesn’t just impact travelers . Millions of people live within a hundred miles of the border and now we are supposed to believe that in the name of “national security” their constitutional right to be secure in their papers and effects is forfeit ? The judge should disbarred immediately as he quite obviously is in violation of his oath to “uphold the Constitution” .

 

” 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. “

 

” The decision supports a conclusion 10 months ago from the Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog that said that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.”

 

 

 

The Founders are hanging their heads in shame .

 

 

    Benjamin Franklin was right :

 

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

 

 

 

Debtors’ Prisons Make A Comeback In America

 

 

” The Colorado chapter of the ACLU recently accused three Front Range cities of jailing people for failing to pay court-ordered fines that they could not afford. According to the organization, municipal courts in Westminster, Wheat Ridge and Northglenn, routinely issue“pay-or-serve” warrants without consideration for a debtor’s ability to pay.

“ These ‘pay-or-serve’ warrants return Colorado to the days of debtors’ prisons, which were abolished long ago,” said Mark Silverstein, ACLU legal director. “Jailing poor people for fines they cannot pay violates the Constitution and punishes poor people just for being poor. It also wastes taxpayer resources, crowds the jails, and doesn’t get the fines paid.”

  In reporting on the Colorado towns, ACLU noted that the Jefferson County Jail imprisoned at least 154 people on pay-or-serve warrants between February and June 2013. The organization deducts that 973 days were served at a cost to taxpayers of more than $70 per day, for a total cost of more than $70,000.

“ These 973 fine days cancelled out $40,000 of fines, making the total loss to the taxpayer $110,000,” the ACLU reports.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Judge: Mt. Soledad Cross Must Come Down

 

 

 

” U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross, which honors veterans, must be removed within 90 days — a decision that could result in the case being sent back to the U.S. Supreme Court. Burns immediately stayed his order pending an expected appeal.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense Department Gives War Vehicles To Local Sheriffs

 

 

 

Coming soon to your local sheriff: 18-ton, armor-protected military fighting vehicles with gun turrets and bulletproof glass that were once the U.S. answer to roadside bombs during the Iraq war.
    
  The hulking vehicles, built for about $500,000 each at the height of the war, are among the biggest pieces of equipment that the Defense Department is giving to law enforcement agencies under a national military surplus program.”

 

NY Counties copy

 
    
”  For police and sheriff’s departments, which have scooped up 165 of the mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPS, since they became available this summer, the price and the ability to deliver shock and awe while serving warrants or dealing with hostage standoffs was just too good to pass up.

    
  “It’s armored. It’s heavy. It’s intimidating. And it’s free,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, among five county sheriff’s departments and three other police agencies in New York that have taken delivery of an MRAP.”

 

 

    
”  But the trucks have limits. They are too big to travel on some bridges and roads and have a tendency to be tippy on uneven ground. And then there’s some cost of retrofitting them for civilian use and fueling the 36,000-pound behemoths that get about 5 miles to the gallon.
    
  The American Civil Liberties Union is criticizing what it sees as the increasing militarization of the nation’s police. ACLU affiliates have been collecting 2012 records to determine the extent of military hardware and tactics acquired by police, planning to issue a report early next year.”

 

 

    The Federal government is broke , yet it has money to burn when it comes to “giving away” billions of dollars worth of military equipment to local police departments . Remember that nothing is free and all “gifts” , especially those from the State , come with a hefty price tag buried in the fine print .

 

 

” An Associated Press investigation of the Defense Department military surplus program this year found that a disproportionate share of the $4.2 billion worth of property distributed since 1990 – everything from blankets to bayonets and Humvees – has been obtained by police and sheriff’s departments in rural areas with few officers and little crime.”

 

 

 
    
” After the initial 165 of the MRAP trucks were distributed this year, military officials say police have requests in for 731 more, but none are available.

  Others in New York that got big armored trucks included sheriff’s departments in Jefferson County, Steuben County and Sullivan County, and police in Nassau County, Plattsburgh and Hamburg Village. Police departments statewide have also acquired almost 150 other trucks and Humvees, a dozen of them armored, over the past two years.”

 

 

    The militarization of our local police departments though the “benevolent” machinations of the Federal government is something that should be a unifying factor amidst all the partisan rancor that is the politics of America today . This is all battlespace preparation on the Fed’s part and should be recognized as such by all , whether Democrat or Republican

Below are a few basic facts regarding the latest New York counties that feel the need to possess mine-resistant , ambush-protected armored vehicles in order to protect their citizens from … ? Iraqi IED’s? , Taliban RPG’s ? The local meth dealer’s 9mm ? From  Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 State map highlighting Albany CountyAlbany County 001 Albany 1683 One of 12 original counties created in the New York colonyJames II of England (James VII of Scotland) (1633–1701), who was Duke of York (English title) and Duke of Albany (Scottish title) before becoming King of EnglandIreland, and Scotland. Population 304,204 , 533 sq mi
State map highlighting Herkimer CountyJefferson County 045 Watertown 1805 Oneida County Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), the early American statesman, author of the Declaration of Independence, and third President of the United StatesPopulation 116,2291, 857 sq mi

State map highlighting Seneca CountySteuben County 101 Bath 1796 Ontario County Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730–1794), the Prussian general who assisted the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary WarPopulation 98,9901, 404 sq mi

State map highlighting Suffolk CountySullivan County 105 Monticello 1809 Ulster County John Sullivan (1740–1795), an American Revolutionary War general. Population 77,547 , 997 sq mi
State map highlighting Ulster CountyWarren County 113 Queensbury 1813 Washington County Joseph Warren (1741–1775), the early American patriot and American Revolutionary War general. Population 65,707 , 870 sq mi

 

 

    As the reader can plainly see from the above map and county statistics none of the counties , with the possible exception of Albany , would reasonably be considered prime terrorist targets yet the local constabulary are arming hemselves for war .   For further background on the MRAP and it’s war making/surviving capabilities , the reader is encouraged to click here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How License-Plate Scanners Are Eroding Our Privacy

 

 

 

 

” Here’s a thought experiment: imagine that activists, concerned with official misconduct, install license-plate readers on private property to track the location of every car belonging to the police department or a politician and upload the locations to a public database. The result: a map of where the police go, and where they don’t—along, perhaps, with politicians’ visits to motels or strip clubs. 

  Given that police often respond with hostility to simply being videotaped, I expect that a venture like this would prompt an outcry, and probably some efforts to shut it down. But this is precisely what officialdom is doing to citizens. 

  We now know that federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies are using automated license-plate scanners, mounted on everything from telephone poles to police cars, to build a huge database of where people are driving. This might seem like a small intrusion compared with the electronic spying carried out by the NSA. But not all threats to privacy involve the tracking of emails and other communications. 

  Right now, the law suggests that license-plate scanners don’t invade your privacy because they record only events that occur in public. After all, anyone could see you driving down the road or parked in front of a motel. But if officials add up enough bits of information like that, they gradually can construct what the ACLU has termed a “single, high-resolution image of our lives.” “

 

Read this related article from the ACLU . As it notes plainly , it’s not the reading of the plate that is inherently troubling , it’s the storage of the data that is cause for concern . 

 

 

” It is important to note that the most effective uses of ALPR technology (and the ones most frequently touted by law enforcement proponents of the technology) – finding missing children, recovering stolen vehicles, locating fleeing assailants – require virtually no retention of the data. License plates are scanned, instantly run through an array of law enforcement databases, and the officer or monitor is notified of any matches. 

  The privacy issues arise with the retention of the information. A police officer will not forever remember the exact location and time of an innocent motorist’s travels. With ALPR technology, those details can be stored indefinitely, creating an ever-growing historical record of the daily comings and goings of every Marylander. As ALPRs become more ubiquitous and that record becomes longer and more detailed, it will become possible for the government to determine a person’s exact movements during any given time period. “

 

 

    We have the fight of our lives on our hands as the State is intent on taking over our lives in every way , shape and form . The time has come to get involved . Get off your couch , write , call , start a blog , photograph , videotape … do something or we shall soon see the truth in Edmund Burke’s famous admonition  “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Thousands Of Nonviolent Americans Sentenced To Life In Prison Due To War On Drugs And Mandatory Minimums

 

 

” The ACLU released a new report this week examining the growing trend of judges sentencing nonviolent offenders to life in prison without parole. The ACLU found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that the War on Drugs, mandatory minimums, and “tough-on-crime” policies are to blame.

The report, A Living Death: A Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenders, profiles 110 of the 3,278 inmates currently serving their life sentences for nonviolent crimes. Most of the offenders were charged with crimes like possession of small amounts of drugs or petty theft.

For instance, one inmate, Timothy Jackson, stole a $159 jacket, which, combined with three other minor shoplifting charges, met the threshold for Louisiana’s Four-Strikes law. Jackson received a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Inmate Fate Vincent Winslow is serving his life sentence for selling $10 worth of marijuana to an undercover cop. Like Jackson, Winslow’s crime was his fourth offense in Louisiana. “

 

 

   Unfortunately our judicial system has become every bit as corrupted as our legislative and our executive branches of government and with a Statist gatekeeper media shilling for the Leviathan monster there seems to be no avenue available for the average citizen to seek justice .

   The “war on drugs” has had the most corrosive effect on our legal system on every level , from the beat cop to prison guards , judges and lawyers right on up to the federal law enforcement agencies . Between the RICO laws and asset forfeiture laws the “war on drugs” has become a free-for-all of confiscatory , unconstitutional , government-sponsored money laundering

    Is it any wonder that the US leads the WORLD in the incarceration rate of it’s citizens ? That is a record that the “land of the free” should rightly be ashamed of . The “war on drugs” is the major contributing factor in America’s achievement of that dubious honor and as long as petty criminals are sentenced to life in prison over the sale of a dime bag of weed we will remain on the top of the prison planet list . 

     This is not a legacy our Founding fathers would be proud of , nor for that matter , is much that finds it’s origination in those august halls of power in our nation’s capitol . We don’t pretend to have the answers . The current State Of The Union looks so exceedingly dismal to us when we look at the overall picture that the only solution that regularly springs to mind involves rope and lampposts and is liable to earn us a spot on the NSA’s public enemies list .

Note : We regret the fact that the tables we’ve provided are not the most current as we were unsuccessful in our attempts to find data from the past year or two . Regardless , one can be assured that nothing has changed in the prison industrial complex in the past few years other than the population .

 

 

 

 

 

 

More New Mexico Body Cavity Search Horrors

 

New Mexico Woman Illegal Search

 

   By now we’ve all heard of the horrendous treatment and illegal body-cavity searches that new Mexico men David Eckert and Timothy Young were recently subjected to for minor traffic offenses ; well now we can add women to the list of potential sexual assault victims by New Mexico authorities …

 

” Now a third victim, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, has come forward to report her sexual assault by members of the Customs and Border Patrol as she crossed the New Mexico border into El Paso, Texas. Once again, a drug dog (not the same one this time) alerted to the presence of narcotics. The woman was strip searched and asked to spread her genitalia and cough. Female agents performed manual probes of her anus and vagina.

When no drugs were found, she was taken to the El Paso University Medical Center, and she was forced to defecate in front of medical staff. Then came the x-ray, another cavity search of vagina and anus (noted as “bi-manual,” or “two-handed” in the medical report), topped off with a CAT scan. And still, no drugs were found.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From The Land Of The Liberty Bell: Investigate The NSA

 

 

” Here in Pennsylvania, we have a full-time legislature, so as the lobbyist for the Pennsylvania affiliate of the ACLU, I have plenty of opportunities for face time with state legislators and staff. Since June, I’ve been hearing a similar refrain repeatedly: NSA surveillance is a major problem. We deal with a lot of state-level surveillance legislation, and I’ve joked with legislators and staff that Edward Snowden has made my job a lot easier.

Last week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives formalized that concern by passing a resolution to protest the NSA’s sweeping surveillance activities and to call on Congress to create a special committee to investigate and to recommend revisions to the USA PATRIOT Act and for reforms at the NSA and the FBI. The vote on House Resolution 456 wasn’t even close.

The final tally: 194 to 2.” 

 

Good for Pennsylvania … Good for US . Here’s to the other states following the Keystone state’s example .

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DEA THINKS MEDICAL RECORDS DON’T COUNT AS “PRIVATE”

 

 

 

 

” If last month’s revelation that the the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been keeping a database of phone logs since 1986 wasn’t bad enough, here’s further proof of the intrusiveness of the agency’s tactics: a lawsuit being fought between the DEA, Oregon, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) hinges on the fact that the drug warriors believe they should have easy access to the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) database and have been acting on that belief, even though it contradicts state law. In plain English, the DEA says that if your medical records are shared with a pharmacy—something that happens routinely thanks to the PDMP—you lose the right to assume that that information is private, even if lawmakers in your state disagree with law enforcement.

The basis for the DEA’s legal argument is the third-party doctrine, the precedent the government leans on if it wants to look into your credit card charges, your utilities bills, your emails, or anything else that you have shared with someone else. The Fourth Amendment protects you against “unreasonable search and seizure,” but increasingly, in an era where the vast majority of our private communications go through a third party, law enforcement is expanding the definition of what a “reasonable” search is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Criminal N.S.A.

 

 

 

” THE twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy”were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrik Hertzberg and David Ignatius.

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics. The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.

The administration has defended each of the two secret programs. Let’s examine them in turn.”

Read The Whole Thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACLU Sues Over NSA Phone Surveillance

 

 

” The #ACLU filed suit Tuesday against the National Security Agency, over revelations about an apparently extensive telephone surveillance program.

The 11-page suit filed in the Southern District of New York asks a federal judge to declare the so-called ‘mass call tracking” program a violation of the First and Fourth Amendments; the civil liberties group wants the program stopped, and its records destroyed.

The lawsuit states:

The practice is akin to snatching every American’s address book—with annotations detailing whom we spoke to, when we talked, for how long, and from where. It gives the government a comprehensive record of our associations and public movements, revealing a wealth of detail about our familial, political, professional, religious, and intimate associations.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S., British Intelligence Mining Data From Nine U.S. Internet Companies In Broad Secret Program

 

 

 

 

” The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

London’s Guardian newspaper reported Friday that GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the NSA, also has been secretly gathering intelligence from the same internet companies through an operation set up by the NSA.

According to documents obtained by The Guardian, PRISM would appear to allow GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required in Britain to seek personal material such as emails, photos and videos from an internet company based outside of the country.”

 

 

Despite the spate of corporate denials it would appear that they are all willing participants … shame .

 

 

In exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies such as Yahoo and AOL are obliged to accept a “directive” from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel a reluctant company “to comply.”

In practice, there is room for a company to maneuver, delay or resist. When a clandestine intelligence program meets a highly regulated industry, said a lawyer with experience in bridging the gaps, neither side wants to risk a public fight. The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.

 

The money quote …

 

As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans,” Udall said.

 

 

 

Related:

Google CEO Larry Page On PRISM: ‘What The…?’

Apple: ‘We Have Never Heard Of PRISM’

Dissecting Big Tech’s Denial of Involvement in NSA’s PRISM …

Google and Facebook Double Down on Prism Denials

PRISM’s NSA fallout: Apple, Google, Facebook issue denials …

Evolution Of The PRISM Denials: This May Be Why They Seem …

Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Paltalk, AOL issue …

Liberal England: PRISM: Should we believe the internet companies …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

—-

 

The PRISM Spin War Has Begun

 

 

 

” On the heels of media reports that the NSA has gained access to the servers of nine leading tech companies — enabling the spy agency to examine emails, video, photographs, and other digital communications — Google has issued a strongly worded statement denying that the company granted the government “direct access” to its servers. That statement goes so far as to say that the company hasn’t even heard of “a program called PRISM until yesterday.” 

At first glance, Google’s statement is difficult to believe. Senior intelligence officials have confirmed the program’s existence, and Google’s logo is prominently listed on internal NSA documents describing participating companies. But Google may be engaging in a far more subtle public relations strategy than outright denial.

Google’s statement hinges on three key points: that it did not provide the government with “direct access” to its servers, that it did not set up a “back door” for the NSA, and that it provides “user data to governments only in accordance with the law.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOJ: We Don’t Need Warrants For E-Mail, Facebook Chats

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don’t need a search warrant to review Americans’ e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal.

Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they’re not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail. The IRS, on the other hand, publicly said last month that it would abandon a controversial policy that claimed it could get warrantless access to e-mail correspondence.”

 

 

 

 

 

Biometric Database Of All Adult Americans Hidden In Immigration Reform

 

 

” The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf)  is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ohio Town Wants To Implement Massive Aerial Surveillance Program

 

 

 

” Officials with the Dayton City Commission recently announced that they hope to sign a $120,000 contract with a local security company in order to give law enforcement agencies an eye-in-the-sky ability unheard of elsewhere in America. While the Federal Aviation Administration continues to ponder just exactly how unmanned aerial vehicles or drones will be able to conduct surveillance in the sky, sending manned aircraft through the clouds isn’t something that involves as many hurdles. That will make it all the easier if Dayton gets the go-ahead to sign-on to a pricey program being touted by Persistent Surveillance Systems.

To the Dayton Daily News, PSS’s Ross McNutt said the city would be allowed to access a video camera feed from a piloted aircraft that could be deployed to around 10,000 feet off the ground. PSS would provide the city with the plane and the pilot, and with the right know-how the police would be able to extensively monitor an area as large as the city’s entire downtown.

According to a slideshow presented before the City Commission earlier this year and since obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, Dayton officials are looking at more than just a dinky plane outfitted with a couple of Kodaks. The city is apparently pursuing a program called “Trusted Situational Awareness,” which PSS says can collect real-time data and imagery to law enforcement so the police can identify and interrupt illegal activity while at the same time collecting “valuable forensic intelligence.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRS: We Can Read Emails Without Warrant

 

 

 

” The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need warrants to read people’s emails, text messages and other private electronic communications, according to internal agency documents.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, released the information on Wednesday.

In a 2009 handbook, the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” A 2010 presentation by the IRS Office of General Counsel reiterated the policy. 

Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986, government officials only need a subpoena, issued without a judge’s approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.”

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberty Preservation: The States Say ‘NO’ To NDAA

 

 

 

“Just days ago, an anniversary passed which should never be forgotten. On April 1, 1942, an order was issued by Lt. General J.L. DeWitt which began the forced evacuation and “internment” of people of Japanese descent.

In the following three years, over 100,000 people, including US citizens, were “indefinitely detained” based solely on their racial (Japanese) background. This supposedly made them a threat to national security. Thousands of people of German and Italian descent got the same treatment.

Many lost everything. A few years later, when the federal government offered to pay claims for lost property, the average payout was a paltry $1392.

Much has been written about the horrors of internment during those years, so let’s not belabor the point. But today, when the federal government assumes some new power, those who point out how that power could very-well be abused in fantastic ways are often told, “That won’t happen here!”

April 1st should be a reminder to all of us. It already did happen here.

Unfortunately, the federal government has granted itself similar “indefinite detention” powers today. But the People have an opportunity to learn from history, and do something about it.

In states around the country, legislation is being considered which would severely hamper or even fully block any attempt to arrest and detain people without due process. In Michigan, Montana, Texas and California, votes are coming up soon to move such bills forward.  

In December 2011, President Obama signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which gave the federal government the power to “indefinitely detain” people, including US citizens. No due process. No access to lawyers. And those who are detained have no idea if they’ll ever be set free.

This is the same kind of power which resulted in mass internment 71 years ago. In 1942, FDR exercised the power via executive order. The ACLU notes that the NDAA codified indefinite military detention into law for the first time in American history.  “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington State Mulls Allowing Employers To Grab Facebook Passwords

 

” Bosses investigating allegations of workplace misconduct in the State of Washington could soon legally obtain passwords and full access to individual employees’ social media accounts.

CBS Seattle reports a bill before the Washington Legislature could be amended to create the exemption, which would permit employers to “require or demand access to a personal account if an employee or prospective employee has allegations of workplace misconduct or giving away an employer’s proprietary information.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

For The Record Exposes The Terrifying Surveillance State

 

 

Surveillance State

 

Video at the link

 

” Who is listening? Who is reading your emails? Who is watching you?

We all have a basic idea of how much access the government has to our personal information. But what are they using it for and, more importantly, what are they capable of? Since September 11, 2001, the National Security Agency (NSA) has turned America into a surveillance state, and tonight’s premiere of For The Record, TheBlaze’s new news magazine series, takes a deeper look into just what the government is doing with all that information.

“There is little information today the NSA cannot acquire if it wants to,” said American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Alexander Abdo. Using the firsthand accounts of four NSA whistleblowers, For The Record exposes the truth behind the government agency that is invading American’s privacy under the guise of national security.”

 

 

 

 

Rise Of The Police State? Judge Says School Can Force Students To Wear RFID Locator Chips

 

 

 

” A federal judge made a ruling this week that has a decidedly Orwellian touch to it.

US District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled on Tuesday that the San Antonio Northside School District can require that its students wear devices with RFID locator chips embedded in them while on school premises. The decision has raised privacy concerns among conservative and liberal privacy-rights groups.

The saga began when 15-year-old magnet school student Andrea Hernandez refused to wear the device while attending Jay High School. School officials expelled the sophomore for not complying with the rule that is required of all students on campus. The case ended up before Garcia who also refused to block the student’s expulsion pending review by the courts.

The Rutherford Institute of Virginia represented the student in federal court. The institute said that the ruling was clearly in violation of the student’s privacy rights and it would appeal the decision.

“We don’t want to see this kind of intrusive surveillance infrastructure gain inroads into our culture,” ACLU senior policy analyst Jay Stanley said. “We should not be teaching our children to accept such an intrusive surveillance technology,” said Stanley, according to Reuters. “

 

 

 

When it comes to national security, the frightening truth is that we have to trust our public officials.

 

 

  Which is exactly the crisis we the people face today . At exactly the period when we most need to be able to have faith in the authorities we find ourselves at a place that precludes granting the government that needed  trust . 

 

 

 

 

” Right now, the United States and the larger international community is caught in a difficult debate over the use of drones against enemy combatants. Domestically, there is an odd confluence of views. The Obama administration’s policy on drones has been congenial to the conservatives, who oppose him on domestic issues; but his liberal allies, like the American Civil Liberties Union, are dismayed by what they perceive as his administration’s overuse of drones in Pakistan from 2004 to 2012. Has the United States pushed its drone attacks too far or not far enough? Have too many potential targets escaped attack because of an undue fear of excessive “incidental” or collateral damage to the lives and property of innocent non-combatants? “

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,739 other followers