Create an Account
username: password:
  MemeStreams Logo

It's always easy to manipulate people's feelings. - Laura Bush


Picture of Decius
Decius's Pics
My Blog
My Profile
My Audience
My Sources
Send Me a Message

sponsored links

Decius's topics
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Literature
   Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films
   Electronic Music
  Finance & Accounting
  Tech Industry
  Telecom Industry
  Markets & Investing
Health and Wellness
Home and Garden
Current Events
  War on Terrorism
  Cars and Trucks
Local Information
  United States
   SF Bay Area
    SF Bay Area News
  Nano Tech
  Politics and Law
   (Civil Liberties)
    Internet Civil Liberties
   Intellectual Property
  Computer Security
  High Tech Developments

support us

Get MemeStreams Stuff!

Current Topic: Civil Liberties

Balkinization: The new FISA law and rise of the Surveillance State
Topic: Civil Liberties 2:33 pm EDT, Jul 11, 2008

Much of this commentary is spot on.

Sandy Levinson and I have noted previously that we are in the midst of the creation of a National Surveillance State, which is the logical successor to the National Security State. And we have noted that, like the National Security State before it, the construction of this new form of governance will be a joint effort by the two major parties...

The lesson is that there are at least two different ways for the executive to increase his power. One is when the President seizes power through unilateral action. The second is when Congress gives it to him...

The larger point is that two parties are not in fact dividing over the issue of Executive power. Both parties seem to like more and more executive power just fine. They just have adopted different ways of achieving it. One can expect far more Congressional cooperation if a Democratic Congress is teamed with a Democratic President. The effective result may not be less Presidential power to run the National Surveillance State. It may be in fact be more.

I repeat. If you are worried about the future of civil liberties in the emerging National Surveillance State, you should not try to console yourself with the fact that the next President will be a Democrat and not George W. Bush. It's worth remembering that the last Democratic President we had, Bill Clinton, was not a great supporter of civil liberties. (I was therefore amused to see that his wife, Hillary Clinton decided at the last minute to vote against the bill. Good for her, but I have difficulty believing that the choice was a purely principled one).

Balkinization: The new FISA law and rise of the Surveillance State

Editorial - The Government and Your Laptop - Editorial -
Topic: Civil Liberties 6:30 pm EDT, Jul 10, 2008

The Department of Homeland Security is routinely searching laptops at airports when Americans re-enter the United States from abroad. The government then pores over or copies the laptop’s contents — including financial records, medical data and e-mail messages. These out-of-control searches trample the privacy rights of Americans, and Congress should rein them in.

I'm speaking on this subject at Hope in NYC next Sunday. If you are planning to be at Hope, drop by!

Editorial - The Government and Your Laptop - Editorial -

Road to Freedom | High Museum of Art Atlanta
Topic: Civil Liberties 10:17 am EDT, Jul  7, 2008

If you live in or around Atlanta and you don't see this photo exhibit while its open (till October) you have made poor use of your time, as I can think of few things you could do with a Saturday afternoon here that are more important. The American Civil Rights movement is, I think, the last time people gave their lives for political establishment in this country. When I was young I used to think that these things had happened a long time ago... that this was ancient history and that ancient people did abhorrent things. Age changes your perception of time. The sixties weren't very long ago. These people... who were murdered by klansmen in the woods, who were shot at by snipers while marching in the streets, whose churches were bombed, who were infiltrated and spied upon by the government, federal, state, and local, who were brutally attacked, harassed, and arrested primarily because they demanded the right of poor people to register to vote... they were hardly older than my parents.

The threats that exist today to our civil liberties absolutely pale in comparison to what was going on here, in our hometown, just a few short years ago. If you want to know what a real fight looks like, and what real sacrifices are, you need look no further.

The exhibition features work by more than twenty... press photographers and amateurs who made stirring visual documents of marches, demonstrations and public gatherings out of a conviction for the social changes that the movement represented. Key photographs include Bob Adelman's Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, 1963; Morton Broffman's Dr. King and Coretta Scott King Leading Marchers, Montgomery, Alabama, 1965; Bill Eppridge's Chaney Family as they depart for the Funeral of James Chaney, Philadelphia, Mississippi, 1964; and Builder Levy's I Am a Man/Union Justice Now, Memphis, Tennessee, 1968.

Supplementing the photographs are archival documents, newspapers, magazines and posters from the period. These complementary materials demonstrate how, in the hands of community organizers and newspaper and magazine editors, photographs played a pivotal role in shaping public opinion. Documents such as Rosa Parks' fingerprint paperwork and the blueprint of the bus on which she protested are shown alongside related photographs for the very first time. Also included will be several contemporary portraits, by photographer Eric Etheridge, of the young men and women who challenged segregation as Freedom Riders in 1961 and who are now senior citizens. All the photographs and documents in this exhibition will be accompanied by descriptive captions and an audio-visual component to provide deeper historical context.

Don't miss the worksheet near the end of the exhibit listing security procedures for civil rights workers operating in the rural south.

Road to Freedom | High Museum of Art Atlanta

Supreme Court upholds 2nd Amendment [PDF]
Topic: Civil Liberties 11:18 am EDT, Jun 26, 2008

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

Unfortunately its a narrow margin.

Supreme Court upholds 2nd Amendment [PDF]

United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Topic: Civil Liberties 10:42 am EDT, Jun 25, 2008


TIME CHANGE TO 9:00 a.m.

The hearing on “Laptop Searches and Other Violations of Privacy Faced by Americans Returning from Overseas Travel” scheduled by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution for Wednesday, June 25, 2008 in the Senate Dirksen Office Building, Room 226 will begin at 9:00 a.m. rather than the previously scheduled time of 9:30 a.m.

Chairman Feingold will preside.

United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary

MOVE - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Topic: Civil Liberties 2:54 pm EDT, Jun 18, 2008

The police raid in Philly caused commentators at BoingBoing to reference this incident, which I hadn't heard about before:

The police tried to remove two wood-and-steel tactical bunkers constructed by MOVE on the roof by dropping a bomb made of C-4 and Tovex. The resulting explosion caused the house to catch fire, igniting a massive blaze which eventually consumed almost an entire city block. Eleven people, including John Africa, six other adults and four children, died in the resulting fire. Mayor Wilson Goode soon appointed an investigative commission, the PSIC or MOVE commission, which issued its report on March 6, 1986. The report denounced the actions of the city government, stating that "Dropping a bomb on an occupied row house was unconscionable."

And people talk about Waco... Does bombing Philly count as the most overzealous police action in U.S. history or are there others I'm not aware?

MOVE - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner | Philadelphia Daily News | 06/17/2008
Topic: Civil Liberties 9:34 am EDT, Jun 18, 2008

Four young residents of a North Philadelphia house who circulated petitions questioning police-surveillance cameras were rousted from their home Friday and detained 12 hours without charges while police searched their house.

The raid on the property on Ridge Avenue near Parrish Street was led by 9th District Police Capt. Dennis Wilson, who was quoted in an online story by the City Paper as saying of the residents: "They're a hate group. We're trying to drum up charges against them, but unfortunately we'll probably have to let them go."

He said he asked Wilson if he had a warrant, and none was produced.

Vanore said police will conduct a forensic examination of the items taken from the property to see if any charges are warranted.


The cops came, searched and left a mess for puzzled homeowner | Philadelphia Daily News | 06/17/2008

SSRN-The Fictional Character of Law-and-Order Originalism: A Case Study of the Distortions and Evasions of Framing-Era Arrest Doctrine in Atwater V. Lago Vista by Thomas Davies
Topic: Civil Liberties 11:59 am EDT, Jun 12, 2008

Justice Scalia made two originalist claims about the application of the Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause to hearsay evidence in his opinion for the Court in Crawford v. Washington... This article argues that neither of these claims was historically sound.

The salient feature of Justice Scalia's originalist claim... is that he offered no actual historical evidence of any such distinction.

The article concludes by sketching out the salient differences between the accusatory criminal procedure that the Framers thought they had preserved in the Bill of Rights from the investigatory criminal procedure that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and argues that the discontinuity of constitutional doctrine is so pronounced that originalism cannot provide a valid approach for deciding contemporary constitutional criminal procedure issues.

See also this:

The distance between framing-era and contemporary doctrine and institutions is so great that originalism is not a feasible approach to constitutional interpretation.

And particularly this:

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there."

SSRN-The Fictional Character of Law-and-Order Originalism: A Case Study of the Distortions and Evasions of Framing-Era Arrest Doctrine in Atwater V. Lago Vista by Thomas Davies

Congress Must Investigate Electronic Searches at U.S. Borders | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Topic: Civil Liberties 11:42 am EDT, May  1, 2008

"In a free country, the government cannot have unlimited power to read, seize, and store this information without any oversight."

Congress Must Investigate Electronic Searches at U.S. Borders | Electronic Frontier Foundation

On the Border
Topic: Civil Liberties 8:24 am EDT, Apr 24, 2008

The government's position is as frightening as it is naíve. A computer is not the same thing as a briefcase. Nor, for that matter, is an iPod, a thumb drive, or a cell phone. It is both quantitatively and qualitatively different, and that makes all of the difference in this case. It seems that the government and the lower court are speaking past, and not at, each other. The government says, "We can do anything for any reason," and the court says, "No, you need reasonable suspicion to search a laptop."

A former federal prosecutor weighs in on the border search decision. (Thanks Dc0de!)

On the Border

(Last) Newer << 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 ++ 17 >> Older (First)
Powered By Industrial Memetics