Tag Archive: USA PATRIOT Act


Don’t Buy The Lies

 

 

 

 

 

” A recent Chicago Tribune editorial targets a new fully informed jury bill introduced by the New Hampshire House of Representatives. The bill would strengthen the current state law passed in 2012 that allows lawyers “to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.” The editorial is noteworthy, because it deploys the most common legal establishment objections to jury nullification.

 

Objection #1: Jury nullification was a tool of the Jim Crow South

 

It begins by reminding readers of one of the most horrific examples of racial injustice in the Jim Crow South.

  In 1955, two white men went on trial in Mississippi for the murder of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old from Chicago who supposedly had been too friendly to a white woman. In the Jim Crow South, there was never much chance of conviction, and they were acquitted by a jury that deliberated for barely an hour. The two men, free of the danger of prosecution, later acknowledged their guilt. That case and many like it are worth keeping in mind in any consideration of the place of jury nullification in the criminal justice system.

  Let there be no mistake about it, racist juries routinely failed to deliver justice in the Jim Crow South. And jury injustice sometimes happens today when, for example, juries acquit police caught on video brutalizing defenseless citizens. So how can advocates reconcile the abuse of jury nullification with its noble history of delivering justice in the face of unjust laws?

  As Paul Butler, a Georgetown University law professor and former federal prosecutor suggests, “nullification is like any other democratic power; some people may try to misuse it, but that does not mean it should be taken away from everyone else.”

  Moreover, according to legal scholar Clay Conrad, the jury is a convenient scapegoat for institutional injustices. After the trial is over, the jury doesn’t exist. Jurors return home and go back to work. So when police, prosecutors, judges, and even lawmakers are incompetent or malicious, they can blame the jury to divert attention from their failures.”

 

The other seven bogus objections are refuted here at the Free Thought Project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join EFF & The Stopwatching.us Coalition In DC On October 26th

 

 

 

 

” This summer, some of our worst fears and suspicions about the NSA have been confirmed. We now have evidence that the NSA is actively undermining the basic security of the Internet. It iscollecting millions and millions of phone records of individuals not suspected of any crime. It issurveilling journalists.

The NSA’s overreaching surveillance is creating a climate of fear and chilling free speech. Its addiction to secrecy makes real accountability impossible

But there’s a movement forming to change all of this. And we’re about to take the next step.

On the weekend of October 26 — the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act — thousands of people from across the political spectrum will unite in Washington, D.C. to take a stand against unconstitutional surveillance. Please join EFF in D.C. for a day of grassroots training and citizen lobbying on October 25th and a historic rally and petition delivery on October 26th.”

 

Join us in Washington.

— RSVP on the event page (privacy policy here): https://rally.stopwatching.us
— RSVP for the lobby day here: https://rally.stopwatching.us/lobbyday.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senators Ask If NSA Collected Gun Data

 

 

 

” A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letter released Friday.

The senators noted that the federal government’s authority under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is broad and rife with potential for abuse. Among the senators’ concerns was whether the NSA’s bulk data harvesting program could be used to construct a gun registry or violate other privacy laws.

“It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects,” the senators wrote. “And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPLE CO-FOUNDER STEVE WOZNIAK – “WE ARE GETTING MORE LIKE COMMUNIST RUSSIA” (VIDEO)

 

 

“All these things I talk about, the constitution, that made us so good as people, are all kinda… nothing. They all dissolved with the Patriot Act.” … “It’s what a king does.”

HT/The News Commenter

Phones Leave A Telltale Trail

 

” The NSA, through secret court orders served to U.S. telecommunications firms, scoops up metadata relating to almost all calls made into and within the U.S., which it can later query as part of a terror investigation. U.S. officials say that kind of work, in concert with other techniques, has helped thwart “dozens” of terrorist plots in the U.S. and overseas. Critics charge it represents an invasion of privacy.

The typical smartphone user can give off a total of nearly 100 pieces of highly technical data through calls, texts and other activities, according to research by Tracy Ann Kosa, a digital-privacy expert at the University of Ontario. This information includes the time that phones make contact with cellphone towers, the direction of the tower with respect to the phone and the signal strength at the time.

Ms. Kosa said much of the data is “insignificant on its own.” But “every little piece counts,” she said. “Think of it like footsteps—or calories.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden Flashback: Don’t Trust A Spying President

” In today’s episode of “What’s good for me is not good for thee” we find then-Senator Joe Biden in 2006 pontificating on the evils of spying presidents. Funny how Joe’s position has “evolved” in seven years, huh?”

What a difference an administration makes .