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  • How to Defend the Second Amendment

    04/15/2018 7:36:18 AM PDT · by rktman · 10 replies ^ | 4/15/2018 | Robert Curry
    The First Amendment follows the logic of the Constitution as a whole; it restricts what the federal government – in this case, Congress – can do. So does the Second: "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." That "shall not be infringed" is strong language and perfectly clear. To infringe is to trespass, to intrude, to encroach. "Shall not be infringed" in plain language means "No Trespassing." And it is the government that is warned to keep out. George Washington wrote that the American Founding occurred during a time "when the rights of...
  • 2nd Amendment defenders warn of 'star chamber' gun control

    04/15/2018 6:42:42 AM PDT · by rktman · 22 replies ^ | 4/14/2018 | Bob Unruh
    One of the nation’s best-known advocates for the Second Amendment is warning of a new push for “star chamber” courtroom proceedings in which a prosecutor and a judge could decide to withdraw constitutional rights from individuals merely because someone claims they are a danger. Moves toward gun control have come up after almost every major mass shooting in recent years. But such “star chamber” plans have not been widespread. Yet. One reason is that there already are procedures to take guns away from someone who, given due process, is determined to be a danger to others. But the advocacy group...
  • A federal appeals court cleared the way for a lawsuit against NSA's surveillance practices

    05/24/2017 7:57:02 AM PDT · by mac_truck · 16 replies
    Circa ^ | 5/24/2017 | John Solomon
    A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging the National Security Agency's collection of emails, texts and other online communications that privacy experts have long argued violates constitutional protections of Americans' privacy. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Tuesday reversed a lower court decision and declared that Wikimedia Foundation has the legal standing to pursue the case against the NSA, America's primary foreign spy surveillance agency. Wikimedia alleges in its suit, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, that the NSA's upstream collection practices violate the 4th Amendment because they gather...
  • Supreme Court Weakens Protections Against Unconstitutional Police Stops

    06/20/2016 12:21:30 PM PDT · by MarchonDC09122009 · 56 replies
    Buzzfeed ^ | 06/20/2016 | Chris Geidner Supreme Court Weakens Protections Against Unconstitutional Police Stops The 5-3 decision prompts a sharp rebuke from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who writes that those targeted by police “warn us that no one can breathe in this atmosphere.” Originally posted on Jun. 20, 2016, at 12:16 p.m. Updated on Jun. 20, 2016, at 1:07 p.m. BuzzFeed News Reporter Chris Geidner/BuzzFeed WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday made it easier for police to get evidence admitted in a prosecution even if that evidence was obtained after an unconstitutional stop. In a 5-3 decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court that...
  • Supreme Court says no to John Doe prosecutors; Abrahamson lashes out

    01/13/2016 8:03:10 AM PST · by Sopater · 9 replies ^ | 1/12/16 | M.D. Kittle
    MADISON, Wis. – Prosecutors of the political John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative groups and Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign will not be able to hold on to the mountains of documents they illegally seized, according to an order issued Tuesday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court filing also includes a vitriolic dissenting opinion from Justice Shirley Abrahamson that may set a new standard of bitterness for the liberal former chief justice.Four conservatives on the seven-member court denied a motion for limited intervention in the Supreme Court cases related to Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe probe.Justices Anne Walsh Bradley and...
  • AP-NORC Poll: Online surveillance is OK for most (barf alert)

    12/31/2015 12:51:58 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 4 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 31, 2015 3:37 AM EST | Emily Swanson
    A majority of Americans say they support warrantless government surveillance of the Internet communications of U.S. citizens, according to a new poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. It's at least somewhat important for the government to sacrifice freedoms to ensure safety, most say in the survey. ...
  • Rand Champions the Constitution at Utah Campaign Event

    08/29/2015 10:45:28 PM PDT · by z taxman · 24 replies
    The Salt Lake Tribune ^ | Aug. 29, 2015 | Brian Maffly
    Orem • Rand Paul brought his message of limited government and strict observance of the U.S. Constitution to Utah Saturday. A crowd of several hundred applauded his call to stand up for all 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights — not just the one protecting gun rights. "You can't support the Second Amendment unless you protect the Fourth," the GOP presidential candidate said, referring to the constitutional prohibition against unlawful search and seizure. That applause line was the Kentucky senator's segue into his intense opposition to blanket data-gathering on U.S. citizens — a key pillar of his long-shot campaign....
  • Judge sides with government in lawsuit over surveillance

    02/10/2015 7:19:14 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 10, 2015 9:29 PM EST
    A federal judge on Tuesday sided with the government in a lawsuit alleging the National Security Agency is illegally engaging in the bulk collection of Internet and telephone records in the hunt for potential terrorists. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Oakland said the plaintiffs in the case—AT&T customers—had not shown that all AT&T customers’ Internet communications were currently the subject of a “dragnet seizure and search program, controlled by or at the direction of the Government,” and they therefore did not have standing to file a lawsuit under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against warrantless searches and seizures. White...
  • Justices split on whether police can search cellphones during arrests

    04/30/2014 8:10:20 AM PDT · by BuckeyeTexan · 32 replies
    LAT ^ | 04/29/2014 | David Savage
    WASHINGTON — Confronting a right-to-privacy question in the new world of smartphones, the Supreme Court justices sounded closely split Tuesday on whether police officers should be free to search through the phone of any person who is arrested. Justice Elena Kagan, the newest and youngest member of the high court, urged her colleagues to insist on protecting privacy. “People carry their entire lives on their cellphone,” she said during the argument involving a San Diego case. If there are no limits, a police officer could stop a motorist for not having seat belt buckled and download a huge amount of...
  • U.S. Supreme Court to weigh cell phone searches by police

    01/18/2014 2:36:24 AM PST · by BuckeyeTexan · 35 replies
    Yahoo! News Canada ^ | 01/17/2014 | Lawrence Hurley
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether police can search an arrested criminal suspect's cell phone without a warrant in two cases that showcase how the courts are wrestling to keep up with rapid technological advances. Taking up cases from California and Massachusetts arising from criminal prosecutions that used evidence obtained without a warrant, the high court will wade into how to apply older court precedent, which allows police to search items carried by a defendant at the time of arrest, to cell phones.
  • FSF responds to Microsoft's privacy and encryption announcement

    12/08/2013 2:21:00 PM PST · by Utilizer · 6 replies
    Free Software Foundation ^ | Published on Dec 05, 2013 03:30 PM | by John Sullivan
    Microsoft announced a new effort to "[protect] customer data from government snooping." FSF executive director John Sullivan issued the following statement on Thursday, December 5th: "Microsoft has made renewed security promises before. In the end, these promises are meaningless. Proprietary software like Windows is fundamentally insecure not because of Microsoft's privacy policies but because its code is hidden from the very users whose interests it is supposed to secure. A lock on your own house to which you do not have the master key is not a security system, it is a jail. Even on proprietary operating systems like Windows,...
  • Dick Cheney: Rand Paul is wrong on government surveillance

    07/19/2013 11:10:19 PM PDT · by WilliamIII · 239 replies
    Washington Post ^ | June 16 2013 | Sean Sullivan
    Former vice president Dick Cheney said Sunday that Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was wrong to suggest that the government’s recently revealed sweeping surveillance techniques are an invasion of Americans’ privacy. “Two-thirds of the Congress wasn’t here on 9/11, or for that period immediately after when we got into this program,” Cheney said on “Fox News Sunday.” He later added: “When you consider the possibility of somebody smuggling something like a nuclear device into the United States, it becomes very, very important to gather intelligence on your enemies and stop that attack before it ever gets launched.” Cheney defended a National...
  • Don’t let the FBI make its own rules on drones

    06/20/2013 2:37:18 PM PDT · by The Old Hoosier · 1 replies
    Conservative Intel ^ | 6/20/13 | David Freddoso
    FBI director Robert Mueller acknowledged in a hearing yesterday that the FBI uses drones at times for domestic surveillance. Nothing yet to freak anyone out, right? Well, it might be worth freaking out a bit in advance, then. If the recent NSA revelations teach us anything, it’s that this will become a problem in the future. Mueller says in the above clip that the feds are still devising rules about drone use. Instead of leaving this to the executive, Congress can step in now and set limits before it ever becomes a problem...
  • Supreme Court upholds DNA swabbing of people under arrest

    06/03/2013 7:41:56 AM PDT · by BuckeyeTexan · 46 replies
    NBC News ^ | 06/03/2013 | Pete Williams, Erin McClam
    The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the police practice of taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested for a serious offense but not convicted of a crime, ruling that it amounts to the 21st century version of fingerprinting. The ruling was 5-4. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, joined three of the court’s more liberal members — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — in dissenting. The five justices in the majority ruled that DNA sampling, after an arrest “for a serious offense” and when officers “bring the suspect to the station to be detained in...
  • Can you hear me now? Feds admit FBI warrantless cellphone tracking ‘very common’

    03/29/2013 2:38:53 PM PDT · by Nachum · 17 replies
    Washington Times ^ | 3/29/13 | Shaun Waterman
    FBI investigators for at least five years have routinely used a sophisticated cellphone tracking tool that can pinpoint callers’ locations and listen to their conversations — all without getting a warrant for it, a federal court was told this week. The use of the “Stingray,” as the tool is called, “is a very common practice” by federal investigators, Justice Department attorneys told the U.S. District Court for Arizona Thursday, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Installed in an unmarked van, Stingray mimics a cellphone tower, so it can pinpoint the precise location of any mobile device in range and...
  • SCOTUS Approves Search Warrants Issued by Dogs

    02/21/2013 9:01:01 PM PST · by Altariel · 20 replies
    Reason ^ | February 19, 2013 | Jacob Sullum
    Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that "a court can presume" an alert by a drug-sniffing dog provides probable cause for a search "if a bona fide organization has certified a dog after testing his reliability in a controlled setting" or "if the dog has recently and successfully completed a training program that evaluated his proficiency in locating drugs." The justices overturned a 2011 decision in which the Florida Supreme Court said police must do more than assert that a dog has been properly trained. They deemed that court's evidentiary requirements too "rigid" for the "totality of the circumstances"...
  • Why It Doesn’t Pay To Cooperate With Police

    05/28/2012 7:23:51 AM PDT · by Daffynition · 147 replies ^ | May 21 2012 | Bob Livingston
    Police officers are trained manipulators. They take classes to learn how to read people’s body language and how to ask open-ended and innocent-sounding questions in order to surreptitiously obtain information they can use against you. They also have a knowledge of the laws that you don’t possess — and laws differ from State to State, and even from one jurisdiction in a State to another. Police have also been known to invent “laws,” place “evidence” that can be linked to you and twist your words into meaning something you did not intend.
  • Florida Police Roll Out Video Survelliance Truck Called the Peace Maker

    01/29/2012 7:58:55 PM PST · by dixiedarlindownsouth · 33 replies · 1+ views
    Sun Sentinel ^ | 01/27/2012 | Ihosvani Rodriguez
    FORT LAUDERDALE— Tania Ouaknine is convinced the police are watching her. She's not paranoid — it says as much on the red sign painted along the side on the hulking armored truck that's been parked in front of her eight-room Parisian Motel for several days. "Warning: You are under video surveillance," reads the bold message on the side of the truck. From the front bumper of the menacing vehicle, another sign taunts: "Whatcha gonna do when we come for you?"
  • Police Officers Committing Perjury in Testimony About Consent Searches?

    01/17/2011 12:53:42 PM PST · by BuckeyeTexan · 11 replies
    The Volokh Conspiracy ^ | 01/17/2001 | Orin Kerr
    Last week, a Florida appellate court handed down a fascinating decision affirming the denial of a suppression motion while making perfecting clear the court’s strong suspicion that the officers’ testimony was false. The case is Ruiz v. State. Ruiz is a drug case involving an alleged consent search at the suspect’s home. The officers testified one way; the defendant testified very differently. The officers testified that they approach Ruiz on the street and politely asked him for ID. Ruiz invited the officers to his home, where his ID was located, and asked the officers to come with him. When the...
  • W.House proposal would grant FBI access to Internet activity records without court order

    07/29/2010 6:47:57 AM PDT · by combat_boots · 13 replies · 1+ views
    Citizens for Legitimate Government & WaPo ^ | July 29, 2010 | by legitgov
    Per Beck: This change of 4 words is to be voted on TODAY. W.House proposal would grant FBI access to Internet activity records without court order 29 Jul 2010 The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual's Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation. The administration wants to add four words -- "electronic communication transactional records" -- to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge's approval. Government...