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Tag Archive: Illegal Search And Seizure


Tea Party, Taxes And Why The Original Patriots Would’ve Revolted Against The Surveillance State

 

We Rebelled Against Much Less

 

 

” Let’s just imagine we could transport an Internet-connected laptop back to the 1790s, when the United States was in its infancy. The technology would no doubt knock the founders out of their buckle-top boots, but once the original patriots got over the initial shock and novelty (and clearing up Wikipedia controversies, hosting an AMA and boggling over Dogecoin), the sense of marvel would give way to alarm as they realized how electronic communications could be exploited by a tyrant, such as the one from which they just freed themselves.

 As America’s first unofficial chief technologist, Benjamin Franklin would be the first to recognize the danger and take to trolling the message boards with his famous sentiment: Those who would trade liberty for safety deserve neither. (And he’d probably troll under a fake handle, using Tor, since the patriots understood that some truths are best told with anonymity.)

  Mass surveillance was not part of the original social contract—the terms of service, if you will—between Americans and their government. Untargeted surveillance is one reason we have an independent country today.

  Under the Crown’s rule, English officials used writs of assistance to indiscriminately “enter and go into any house, shop cellar, warehouse, or room or other place and, in case of resistance, to break open doors, chests, trunks, and other package there” in order to find tax evaders. Early patriot writers, such as James Otis Jr. and John Dickinson, railed against these general warrants, and it was this issue, among other oppressive conditions, that inspired the Declaration of Independence and the Fourth Amendment.

James Madison drafted clear language guaranteeing the rights of Americans, and it bears reading again in full:

 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.”

EFF has the story

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Feds Indict SF Police Officers Accused Of Stealing From Suspects, Denying Civil Rights

 

 

 

” Five San Francisco police officers and one former officer have been indicted on charges of civil rights violations related to alleged illegal searches and theft of property seized from people arrested, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

  In one indictment, three officers formerly assigned to the Police Department’s Southern Station are accused of conspiracy against civil rights and deprivation of rights in connection with unauthorized searches of single-room-occupancy residential hotel rooms in 2010 and 2011.

  Those officers are Arshad Razzak, 41, and Richard Yick, 37, of San Francisco, and Raul Eric Elias, 44, of San Mateo.

  The indictment alleges they conspired to “injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate” residential hotel occupants by entering and searching their rooms without legal justification. The officers are accused of additional counts of illegally searching two rooms in December 2010 and January 2011.”

 

 

    Below the reader can watch a collection of surveillance videos that capture the accused officers in the midst of their illegal searches at the Jefferson Hotel …

 

 

and the Henry Hotel …

 

 

 

     Read more on the indictments here and then check out the police union’s efforts at fundraising in support of these corrupt “public servants” .

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “Real News” Video From The Blaze

 

 

Published on Jan 21, 2014

” See more: http://theblaze.com/tv

  Will Cain tackles the subject of the polices’s right to search cell phones taken during an arrest. We discuss the relationship between the 4th Amendment and emergent technology.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

 

Armed Agents Seize Records Of Reporter, Washington Times Prepares Legal Action

 

 

” Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.

Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland’s Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.

The documents, some which chronicled her sources and her work at the Times about problems inside the Homeland Security Department, were seized under a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun” suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul Flanagan, a Coast Guard employee. Mr. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing since the raid.

The warrant, obtained by the Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.

The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.”

    We posted about this blatant , illegal fishing expedition yesterday . This piece offers considerably more detail than was available yesterday , including the fact the Mr Flanagan has been arrested on “gun charges” more than once  , but more importantly , that Ms Hudson has been the cause of numerous governmental investigations and much embarrassment over the course of her career in DC . She is certainly an enemy of the State .

 

 

” Mrs. Hudson has been a reporter in Washington, D.C. for nearly 15 years, and covered Homeland Security for the Times after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks through December 2009.

Her investigations have sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She has won numerous journalism awards for her investigations, including the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi bronze medal for public service, the Society of Professional Journalists Dateline Award in Investigative Reporting, and was nominated twice by The Times for the Pulitzer Prize.”

 

 

Another battle in the war on whistleblowers/journalists is enjoined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rand Paul Sues Government Over NSA Spying On Americans

 

randpaul4

 

” The NSA is violating the Constitution by compiling the private phone records of Americans not accused of a crime. Rand Paul is standing up and saying that’s unacceptable.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul held a press conference today to announce his intent to pursue legal action against the National Security Agency’s vast overreach of power as it relates to telecommunication privacy and government surveillance. Various legal options are currently being explored and legal action will be announced in the next few weeks.”

 

 

At least we have a few friends of the Constitution left in Washington . Very few , admittedly , but a few nevertheless .

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCOTUS Approves Search Warrants Issued By Dogs

 

 

 

 

 

” Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that “a court can presume” an alert by a drug-sniffing dog provides probable cause for a search “if a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting” or “if the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs.” The justices overturned a 2011 decision in which the Florida Supreme Court said police must do more than assert that a dog has been properly trained.”

 

 

   This is bad … a statist tool driving another nail through the heart of liberty , due process and the rule of law . Since dogs can’t testify under oath , we are taking the officer’s word that the ” trained” dog’s reactions were reason enough to do a physical search on the spot . That is nothing less than a carte blanche invitation for the police to search at will as long as they have a dog along to issue the warrant . Christ almighty where are we going ? A unanimous decision ? Unanimous ?

 

And make no mistake , the issue here is not the reliability of the dogs .