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.
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday November 12, 2014 2:52 pm|
In yet another example of how police officers act today if they don’t know there’s a camera on, a New York sheriff’s deputy was suspended without pay after a video that appears to show him slapping a young man went online. The cop is seen quickly losing patience with a man who did not want his car searched, as is his right under the Fourth Amendment.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday October 30, 2014 8:45 am|
he United States Postal Service disclosed it approved nearly 50,000 requests, called “mail covers,” last year alone from law enforcement to secretly monitor the snail mail of Americans.
An audit shows the surveillance program is more extensive than widely known and that oversight protecting Americans is lax: 21 percent of the covers examined were approved without even the minimal required written authorization and 13 percent that did have authorization “were not adequately justified.” The Post Office has no standing review procedures.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday October 23, 2014 11:30 am|
The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the People from their government. That’s quite literally becoming history today as new challenges, now from local law enforcement, chip away at the Fourth Amendment’s protections of privacy. New laws and devices spread spying on Americans to the local level.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday October 2, 2014 3:15 pm|
A federal appeals court ruled that law enforcement does not need to get a warrant in order to legally use evidence obtained from surveillance in a criminal case. The court also effectively endorsed consultation among officials in the executive branch instead of going to a judge for a warrant as “good faith” conduct.
In 2010, FBI agents attached a GPS tracking device to the car of Harry Katzin in order to track his movements because they suspected he was involved in the robberies of multiple Rite-Aid pharmacies.
|By: Peter Van Buren Friday September 26, 2014 6:50 am|
Ray McGovern was put on the State Department’s Diplomatic Security BOLO list– Be On the Look Out– one of a series of proliferating government watch lists.[/caption]If you don’t know Ray McGovern yet, you probably should.
You see, Ray just beat down, in court, Hillary Clinton, the State Department, and a small part of Post-Constitutional America.
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday September 22, 2014 10:14 am|
The most egregious example of word-twisting and sleazy legal manipulations to morph illegal government spying under the Fourth Amendment into topsy-turvy quasi-legal spying is the use of Executive Order 12333, E.O. 12333, what the spooks call “twelve triple three.” The Order dates from 1981, signed by Ronald Reagan to buff up what his predecessors limited in response to overzealous law enforcement activities. The Gipper would be mighty proud that his perhaps most lasting accomplishment was legalizing surveillance of every American citizen.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday September 17, 2014 10:11 am|
The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the manufacturer of StingRay surveillance products of providing inaccurate information and possibly even lying to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the agency that is supposed to regulate communications over cable, radio, satellite, television and wire.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Saturday September 6, 2014 2:10 pm|
The Justice Department released two memos on the authorization of warrantless wiretapping, as part of the top secret program, Stellar Wind. The memos were created during President George W. Bush’s administration and contain the “legal justification” for electronic surveillance without a warrant. However, one of the me was previously provided with significant redactions to the ACLU in March 2011. It remains heavily censored.
The memo was written by former Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head and lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, and is dated May 6, 2004.
As ACLU staff attorney Patrick Toomey told The Washington Post, “What these memos show is that nearly three years after President Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ emails and phone calls, government lawyers were still struggling to put the program on sound legal footing.”