Posse Comitatus and the Fourth Amendment

By: Tuesday September 30, 2014 7:35 am

Back in pre-Constitution America, the British army would burst into the homes and businesses of American colonists.
The searches would often be destructive, and intended so. Some of the time the point was to seize incriminating “revolutionary” materials, many times the point was simply to harass and threaten people the Crown feared and wanted to send a message to. It was in direct response to such invasions of freedom that the Founders wrote in the Fourth Amendment “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”


A Government Turning the Tools of War on Its Citizens

By: Thursday January 23, 2014 11:15 am

While poets and psychologists talk about soldiers bringing the battlefield home with them, in fact, the U.S. is doing just that. More and more, weapons, tactics, techniques and procedures that have been used abroad in war are coming home, this time employed against American Citizens.

Today’s front-page article in the Washington Post confirms that wartime surveillance blimps– aerostats– used in Iraq and Afghanistan will now monitor most of the Northeast United States.

Homeland Security’s Failed Attempt to Pervert the Freedom of Information Act Process

By: Saturday January 19, 2013 11:30 am

Over a week ago, a federal judge ruled documents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was ordered to produce in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit could not be subjected to a protective order.

The development has received minimal attention, but the case seems important, as the government sought to use an innovative tactic to provide documents it owed an organization while at the same time preventing the public from reading the documents. Had the judge allowed the protective order or “clawback,” it would have been a complete perversion of FOIA.

The Idea That DoS Attacks Against WikiLeaks are War Crimes

By: Saturday September 10, 2011 6:51 pm

The notion that the attacks on WikiLeaks are war crimes is something the organization has been promoting. On August 23, when it was hit with a DoS attack as it released 130,000 cables, the organization tweeted, “Are state directed Denial of Service attacks, legally, a war crime against civilian infrastructure?” and “Should we, legally, declare war on state agressors that commit infrastructure war crimes against us?”

Gaddafi Hired International Firms to Spy on Libya Uprising

By: Tuesday August 30, 2011 11:25 am

Unnamed sources and materials discovered in Tripoli, where the regime’s spies monitored telecommunications, show Amesys, a unit of the French company Bull SA, assisted in the spying. Sources and materials also indicate Chinese company ZTE Corp provided equipment to Gaddafi.

Liveblogging the #OpBART Protest: Anonymous, Civil Rights Activists Respond to BART Censorship

By: Monday August 15, 2011 4:45 pm

The shutting down of services has sparked a legal debate that is definitely worth having. An action like this had never been taken by a government agency. On one hand, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) contend it violated citizens’ First Amendment rights. EFF Austin (not affiliated with EFF) thinks BART likely violated section 333 of the Communications Act posted a statement showing. (Users have been using Twitter to urge people to file complaints with the FCC.)

On the other hand, there are those who do not think this could be challenged in court. The ACLU condemned BART’s move but a staff attorney with the ACLU now tells Wired that there could be times when a government agency would be justified in shutting down mobile services.

Child Porn Ring Busted: Guess US Law Enforcement Doesn’t Need Data Retention Bill after All

By: Thursday August 4, 2011 4:48 pm

Noticeably absent from the news coverage of this crackdown. At no point in the coverage is there mention of law enforcement having difficulty doing their job. None of the stories from major news organizations include anything about a bill called the “Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act,” which just passed through the House Judiciary Committee.

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