Two recent cases show the contempt with which our government, at the federal and state levels, views the First Amendment. First Amendment Semi-Win After Military Police Harass, Sexually Threaten Journalist A very basic tenet of our democracy is that a free press exists to report to The People on the actions of their government, and [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday February 5, 2015 9:00 am|
As regular readers of this blog know, a central theme of mine is Post-Constitutional America, the third great era of our history. The Way It Was In the first era, the colonial years, a unitary executive, the King of England, ruled without checks and balances, allowing no freedom of speech, due process, or privacy when [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday January 28, 2015 9:00 am|
The Dearborn, Michigan area is home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States, so this can’t be blamed on some small-town cops ignorant of the law. Of course, since that “law” is actually the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantee of freedom of religion, even that is not much of [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday January 26, 2015 11:00 am|
Here’s another reason to be even more skeptical when you see those statistics about how the United States has arrested or detained 1,200,761,324 terrorists or whatever. A former college student, Nicholas George, was detained in 2009 for hours at Philadelphia International Airport because he was carrying Arabic flashcards and thus suspected by the TSA of [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday January 19, 2015 9:00 am|
There will be many, many articles today speculating what Dr. Martin Luther King would say about this event or that. There is much to talk about — the police killings of young black men, crippling economic inequality (today the 85 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion combined), [...]
|By: Crane-Station Wednesday December 17, 2014 5:02 am|
On December 15, SCOTUS issued a ruling that says, “A police officer’s reasonable mistake of law gives rise to reasonable suspicion that justifies a traffic stop under the Fourth Amendment.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday December 3, 2014 11:00 am|
Attorneys defending eight men charged with being involved in illegal gambling are seeking to prevent the government from using evidence FBI agents allegedly obtained through three warrantless searches and argue the government’s position in the case “presents a grave threat to privacy.” Agents are accused of cutting off DSL internet service to private hotel rooms [...]
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday November 24, 2014 8:00 am|
It is with some Quixotic pleasure that a Utah state legislative committee will vote on a bill that could deprive a National Security Agency facility just outside Salt Lake City of its water, all in protest of the government agency’s collection of civilian data.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday November 18, 2014 10:25 am|
The end of privacy in the United States was brought about as much by technology as intention. Those who claim there is little new here — the government read the mail of and wiretapped the calls and conversations of Americans under COINTELPRO from 1956 to at least 1971, for example – do not fully understand the impact of technology.
|By: DSWright Friday November 14, 2014 7:01 am|
Here we go again. The Department of Justice has been using a legally questionable program to target criminal suspect’s cell phone data. The program involves flying small Cessna planes equipped with a device known as a “dirtbox” which mimics cell towers in order to trick cellphones into giving out their registration information. Like the now notorious NSA programs exposed by Edward Snowden, the dirtbox program scoops up large amounts of data from entirely innocent people in order to look for those suspected of wrongdoing.