The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases involving the use of drug dogs that could be very important in restoring some minimal safeguards from the 4th Amendment — or could further entrench the abuse of power routinely engaged in by law enforcement around the country. Orin Kerr previews the two cases, Florida v. Jardines …
Category Archive: Privacy
Nov 01 2012
Aug 31 2012
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) has submitted a bill that would place a tiny little safeguard on the government’s use of warrantless surveillance. David Kravitz of Wired’s Threat Level blog explains the details of that proposal, the full text of which can be found here.
Aug 27 2012
For many years, the NYPC denied the existence of an investigative unit that tracked nearly every Muslim in the city. Then they admitted that they had such a unit but insisted that it was absolutely crucial to stopping terrorism. But now a high ranking official in the department has admitted under oath that it did …
Aug 13 2012
In the continuing story of our incredible shrinking 4th Amendment, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — you know, that allegedly liberal court — has ruled that the government can have access to your utility bills without bothering with all that pesky warrant stuff the Bill of Rights so clearly requires.
Jul 09 2012
The Supreme Court will hear a case this fall from Florida that challenges the use of drug-sniffing dogs to perform warrantless searches outside someone’s home to establish probable cause to enter the home and executive a full search of the premises. The case is Florida v Jardines.
Jun 21 2012
My former colleague Spencer Ackerman got his hands on a deeply ironic letter written by the NSA to two senators, in which the agency claims that they can’t tell them how many people have been targeted for surveillance because that would violate the privacy of those who were targeted. I wish I was kidding.
Apr 30 2012
Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s obsession with drug testing everyone under the sun has run into another judicial snag. A federal judge struck down a law requiring drug testing for all state employees, concluding — quite rightly — that such testing can only be done based on individualized suspicion:
Apr 27 2012
If you aren’t cynical enough about politics, this will make it worse. President Obama, who has maintained and even expanded the federal government’s illegal surveillance program and steadfastly refused to hold anyone accountable for torture, actually issued an executive order allowing the U.S. to sanction “foreign nationals” who do the same thing he is guilty …
Apr 24 2012
Glenn Greenwald reacts to the recent episode of Democracy Now that featured an NSA whistleblower (William Binney) and two people who have been the victims of serious harassment from the government over their activism against the unconstitutional anti-terror measures from both the Bush and Obama administrations. And he recalls this quote from Sen. Frank Church, …
Apr 23 2012
William Binney, who worked at the highest levels of the NSA for thirty years, has blown the whistle on that agency and revealed that the federal government has copies of virtually every email you and I and everyone else has sent for the last few years. Here’s video of him talking about it on Democracy …
Apr 06 2012
I wrote recently about the ACLU document dump that shows how local police departments are using illegal cellphone tracking searches routinely. Turns out the telecom companies are making a pretty penny by charging those agencies for the data:
Apr 04 2012
The ACLU has released thousands of pages of documents to the New York Times that show that local police departments are routinely using cellphone tracking with almost no judicial oversight — and cell phone companies are making a lot of money as a result.
Mar 22 2012
Civil libertarians have blasted the Obama administration for a long time for refusing to release publicly their legal interpretation of the Patriot Act. The ACLU has sued to get the document but the DOJ has argued in court that doing so would cause terrible harm to national security. Now two of the more civil libertarian …
Mar 14 2012
Though many legal scholars argued that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that attaching GPS units to a vehicle requires a warrant was a very narrow one that would not reign in the government’s surveillance power much, ABC News reports that the FBI has responded by turning off about 3,000 such units already.
Mar 01 2012
Glenn Greenwald did an interview with former Sen. Russ Feingold, one of the few consistent civil libertarians in Congress (and I mean really few, less than a handful) for the last couple decades. You can listen to it here and read the transcript here. They both point out, as I have, how bad Obama has …