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Current Topic: Civil Liberties Nation -- 9/11 Lawsuits for the Justice Department?
Topic: Civil Liberties 7:55 am EDT, Jun  1, 2003

] Certain employees of the Justice Department have been
] advised to hire lawyers to defend them in a spate of
] lawsuits that could be filed shortly by people who were
] detained in the wake of 9/11.
] On Monday, the department's Inspector General is expected
] to release a report that will be critical of the
] government's roundup of nearly 800 individuals on
] immigration charges after the terrorist attacks in New
] York and Washington. The report, according to someone who
] is familiar with it, will criticize officials for holding
] detainees for lengthy periods even when it was
] increasingly clear they had nothing to do with terrorism,
] and for blocking many detainees from normal immigration
] hearing procedures. Another portion of the document will
] say that some detainees were not able to get access to
] lawyers. Nation -- 9/11 Lawsuits for the Justice Department?

Reporters sans frontières - Six French journalists detained on arrival at Los Angeles, sent back to France
Topic: Civil Liberties 5:44 am EDT, May 22, 2003

] Reporters Without Borders today protested against the
] detention of six French journalists on arrival a week ago
] at Los Angeles international airport to cover a video
] games trade show and their forcible repatriation after
] being held at the airport for more than 24 hours.
] "These journalists were treated like criminals -
] subjected to several body searches, handcuffed, locked up
] and fingerprinted," Reporters Without Borders
] secretary-general Robert Ménard complained in a letter to
] the US ambassador to Paris, Howard Leach.

Reporters sans frontières - Six French journalists detained on arrival at Los Angeles, sent back to France - Our own personal wind chill
Topic: Civil Liberties 1:20 am EDT, May  2, 2003

] Well, folks - it's been a blast and it's been fun.
] Apparently, our domain registrar ( -
] subsidiary of have caved to the pressures of
] the William Morris Agency giant. On April 29, 2003,
] received a letter from the William Morris
] Agency in regards to this website. Their complaint
] accused us of liable and potentially other civil and
] criminal offenses.
] This is another fine example of how Hollywood feels that
] their opinion and view is the only one that matters.
] Average citizens are disallowed the free expression of
] our point of view because they don't like being
] challenged for their views. I stand firm on the belief
] that we have done nothing wrong at this website - - The
] celebrities have expressed their views, and we have
] responded in kind by expressing our views regarding the
] thoughts and ideas that they have, publicly, expressed.
] has suspended our update information at this
] domain and have informed us that the DNS information of
] this domain has been changed and the website will be down
] within the next 24 hours and our contract with them is
] now null and void. They are doing this because we did not
] provide accurate contact information in their public
] database.
] When I explained that the reason we did not provide
] accurate contact information is because we have received
] multiple death threats and I did not wish for just anyone
] to have my personal information - and asked them for
] suggestions on what to do - Dotster was unmoved. They did
] not give me the chance to update the information with
] accurate information and keep the domain. That's not an
] option - - they are just simply going to shut down our
] domain - no explanation needed.
] Further questioning of Dotster brought me a copy of the
] letter sent to them by the William Morris Agency and
] reads as follows:

I stuck a mirror of the site's main page (that has the pics) at:

] We, in fact, recieved no such email from the William
] Morris Agency.
] I can say only this - - the fact that we're being shut
] down because of the William Morris Agency tells me that
] we truly touched a raw nerve in someone, somewhere. At
] the very least, it tells me that our message was recieved
] by the people that it was intended for. The very fact
] that we cannot express our opinions regarding the views
] of these stars/celebs shows me, yet again, the double
] standard that exists in Follywood.
] Thank you all for your support at this website - it
] appears my hands are tied in keeping it open. Dotster
] will be closing down our site within the next 24-48
] hours. I appreciate the hard work that Chris and Reilly
] have done at this site and appreciate the ongoing and
] intelligent, provoking discussions held here.
] Warm Regards.

The site is very right wing, not my cup of tea.. I got different reasons behind my anti-Hollywood attitude. I still get _very_ pissed off then I see the law being used to silence speech. is registered using Dotster.. This same type of thing could be done to take us out. Time to get that contact info up to date.. The barrier for getting a domain taken away appears to be pretty low these days.. - Our own personal wind chill

AlterNet: Patriot Raid
Topic: Civil Liberties 8:50 pm EDT, May  1, 2003

] Two weeks ago I experienced a very small taste of what
] hundreds of South Asian immigrants and U.S. citizens of
] South Asian descent have gone through since 9/11, and
] what thousands of others have come to fear. I was held,
] against my will and without warrant or cause, under the
] USA PATRIOT Act. While I understand the need for some
] measure of security and precaution in times such as
] these, the manner in which this detention and
] interrogation took place raises serious questions about
] police tactics and the safeguarding of civil liberties in
] times of war.

AlterNet: Patriot Raid | U.S. says Canada cares too much about liberties
Topic: Civil Liberties 6:40 pm EDT, May  1, 2003

] The State Department report on global terrorism for 2002
] suggests that while Canada has been helpful in the fight
] against terrorism, it doesn't spend enough on policing
] and places too much emphasis on civil liberties.
] It says "some U.S. law enforcement officers have
] expressed concern" about Canadian privacy laws.
] The U.S. officers feel those laws, as well as funding
] levels for law enforcement, "inhibit a fuller and more
] timely exchange of information and response to requests
] for assistance," the report says.
] "Also, Canadian laws and regulations intended to protect
] Canadian citizens and landed immigrants from government
] intrusion sometimes limit the depth of investigations."

Umm.. Aren't civil liberties the foundation of freedom? I remember being taught something like that in school. Oh yeah.. Thats right, "September the 11th" changed everything. Sorry I forgot. I'm susposto give up some of my freedom in exchange for security now, as after "Septermber the 11th" that's no longer a flawed approach, because everything changed.. Ok, I got it now.. Sure.. | U.S. says Canada cares too much about liberties

BlackBoard Inc.
Topic: Civil Liberties 5:31 pm EDT, Apr 21, 2003

The statement put up by blackboard about Interz0ne

There is one key point they are missing.. Using the law to silence someone is a very dangerous game. You don't casually sue someone in a mannor that attacks their free speech rights and go on to frame yourself as a good American company looking after your customers.. It doesn't work that way. Once you pull out the legal guns, and use them to attack free speech in any form, our core American values kick in immediately and become focused 100% on taking your ass out. Its the point where you have proven yourself a danger.. Not just to some hacker con, not just to the security community, but to our country and its values as a whole. Really! It is that _big_ if an issue. There is no excuse or way to rationalize attacking free speech that you are going to be able to convince me, or most of this community, is just.

The hacking community (security, open source, etc) is under attack on all fronts right now by the abuse of IP law. As the situation continues to get worse, its safe to assume we will start to respond to attacks such as this much like wounded animals protecting their young.. Unrestrained and vicious. People are starting to lose faith in the legal system's ability to protect our rights from the big pockets who would rather have more control.. This is a bad situation getting worse.

Criminals can work outside the system.. Thats an option for them.. So the people they are truly afraid of will barely be effected. However, the rest of us do not have that option. Destroying the openness of the hacking community will destroy the ability for the hacking community to exist at all.. The basis of the hacking community is the open share of ideas and knowledge.. Thats whats being attacked.. The heart of our community. It will not be allowed to happen.

BlackBoard Inc.

Salon | The secret society
Topic: Civil Liberties 2:12 pm EDT, Apr 18, 2003

[The Justice Department won't say what Hawash is a witness to or how long they intend to keep him.]

These aren't the only things the Bush administration won't say. It won't say why it's holding individual detainees at Guantánamo Bay; it won't disclose the factual basis for its prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui; and it won't say how many immigrants it has detained or deported in INS proceedings. It won't say how many of us are having our telephones tapped, our e-mail messages monitored or our library checkout records examined by federal agents. The administration's defenders say such secrecy is an unavoidable cost of the war on terror, but it's an orientation that predated Sept. 11 and that extends beyond the terror threat. The White House won't reveal who Vice President Dick Cheney consulted in concocting the administration's energy policy; it won't disclose what Miguel Estrada wrote while working for the solicitor general; it won't even release documents related to the pardons that former President Bill Clinton granted during his last days in office.


Steven Aftergood, a researcher who monitors government secrecy issues for the Federation of American Scientists, calls Hatch's proposal a "direct assault" on Congress' ability to monitor the Justice Department. "If it goes through, we might as well go home," he told Salon. "The administration will have whatever authority it wants, and there won't be any separation of powers at all."


With the Domestic Security Act of 2003 -- the draft legislation dubbed "PATRIOT Act II" -- the administration is apparently contemplating other ways in which it might avoid the inconvenience of operating in the public eye or answering to the federal courts.

The draft legislation, prepared by the Justice Department but not yet proposed to Congress, includes provisions that would allow federal agents to keep secret the names of individuals arrested in investigations related to "international terrorism"; expand the circumstances under which agents could conduct searches and wiretaps without warrants; and allow the attorney general to deport resident aliens in certain circumstances without any possibility of judicial review.

Another good update on the scary legislation that is both in effect and being proposed in the future. Keep getting the information out there so that more people will raise their voice - while they still can.


Salon | The secret society

Freedom to Tinker: Security Research Muzzled in Georgia
Topic: Civil Liberties 12:55 pm EDT, Apr 16, 2003

] The complaint is constructed, as the lawyers say,
] "artfully". They vilify one of the defendants, without
] saying much about the other defendant; but they ask for
] an injunction against both. They gleefully quote one
] defendant calling himself a "hacker", apparently unaware
] that "hacker" is still a legitimate term of respect in
] some circles. They quote a law against distributing
] "access codes" and then trumpet a defendant's
] distribution of "code". And so on.
] There is no mention in these documents of the enormous
] free speech issue here. The injunction is a prior
] restraint on speech, which prevented the defendants from
] speaking to an specific audience that had gathered to
] hear them. Yet somehow neither Blackboard nor the court
] indicates that any consideration of the First Amendment
] was even necessary.

Felten takes notice..

Freedom to Tinker: Security Research Muzzled in Georgia

Your glow stick could land you in jail
Topic: Civil Liberties 9:26 am EDT, Apr 16, 2003

Last Thursday, the House and Senate almost unanimously passed the National AMBER Alert Network Act of 2003, a popular bill that will soon create a nationwide kidnapping alert system. Coming in the wake of a year of high-profile child abductions -- from Elizabeth Smart (whose parents supported the bill) to Samantha Runnion -- the bill was a no-brainer, destined to pass quickly and smoothly through Congress.

Surely Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) knew this, which explains why he cannily sneaked his own, completely unrelated legislation into the AMBER Act just two days before the vote. Piggybacked onto the act was the Anti-Drug Proliferation Act, a thinly veiled rewrite of legislation that had proved so controversial in 2002 that it failed to pass a single congressional committee. Now, club owners and partyers alike are being subjected to a loosely worded and heavy-handed law that authorities will be able to indiscriminately use to shut down music events at any time they please, assuming they find evidence of drug use. Thanks to Biden's surreptitious efforts, a few glow sticks and a customer or two on Ecstasy could be all it takes to throw a party promoter in jail for 20 years.


In English, this meant that anyone who intentionally let people do drugs at their events could be held liable. It also expanded the crack-house statute in two significant ways: Now the law could be applied to one-night events -- concerts, raves, parties, festivals -- as well as permanent locales like nightclubs, and it added civil penalties for violations, lowering the burden of proof from "beyond reasonable doubt" to a "preponderance of evidence."

And the trampling of Civil Liberties just goes on and on! What would constitute knowledge that people are going to do drugs at your party or festival? The article lists the presence of overpriced bottles of water, glow sticks and pacifiers. Imagine this being applied broadly to shut down hacker conventions because there might be underage drinking or other illegal drug use. Time to cancel the masquerade party where someone would undoubtedly show up as a baby? Then apply it further and you could end up with college fraternities being shut down for throwing a costume party. This law could bring back the days of River City, IA, in The Music Man.


Your glow stick could land you in jail Blackboard responds to criticism of Interz0ne lawsuit
Topic: Civil Liberties 7:58 am EDT, Apr 16, 2003

] From: David Yaskin [dyaskin@BLACKBOARD.COM]
] Subject: Re: very troubling behavior by Blackboard Inc.

] At issue were the actions of a person working for a
] competitor who committed a physical crime and put
] many nonprofit academic institutions in potential
] jeopardy. Without going into too much detail,
] working for a competitor, an individual
] physically broke into hardware components belonging
] to a university solely to publicly distribute
] information that could enable a select group to
] falsify security events and financial transactions,
] putting the general public and approximately 275
] academic institutions in potential jeopardy.

Who? What is the string you are holding on to in order to keep calling this commercial speech..

] It is this harm, coupled with the safety of these
] academic institutions and their constituents (primarily,
] students and faculty) that mandated Blackboard take a
] very careful and measured stance. Recognizing that
] this is a crime with potentially very harmful results,
] we took a position to protect our clients.

Careful and measured, eh?

] Blackboard recognizes that the Hacker Community plays
] an integral role in assisting technology companies in
] improving their offerings, most notably around security.
] I thought the user community might find this
] clarification of value.

Hmm.. Would you care to extend that "clarification of value" to sections 5, 7, 9, 10, and 16 of the legal complaint? If you do infact believe the Hacker Community (thanks for the caps Dave) plays an integral role in assisting technology companies in improving their offerings, you may not want to play a role in forcing it underground. Blackboard responds to criticism of Interz0ne lawsuit

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