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SEARCH AND SEIZURE
Whether it's snooping or tapping your online activity, searching your car at a traffic stop or your garbage pail or seizing your property to sell to private developers, you'll find it here.




Clock ticking for ISP VoIP-tapping
"The FCC admits it's on shaky legal ground, but is pressing ahead with a plan to force all providers of Internet access to allow monitoring of Internet telephony."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 08:35:46 EDT 2005



Number of authorized telephone taps on the rise
"Last year a total of 4,712 proceedings involving telephone tapping were authorized, either by authorities in the respective states of the Federal Republic or the Federal Public Prosecutor. Thus a year-on-year 10.1 percent increase emerges..."
Full story - Heise
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 08:26:59 EDT 2005



FCC Extends Wiretapping Rules to Broadband Internet Services
"From www.cdt.org: Late on Friday, September 23, the Federal Communications Commission issued a lengthy order explaining and attempting to justify its August 5 decision to force broadband Internet access and "interconnected VoIP" services to be designed to make government wiretapping easier, under the terms of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)."
Full story - FCC CALEA Order (PDF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 15:23:24 EDT 2005



Ninth Circuit extends Fourth Amendment rights to criminals awaiting trial
"The 2-1 decision held that police may not conduct a search based on less than probable cause of a defendant released and awaiting trial, even if that defendant has signed a waiver authorizing the government to do so. The case involved the common practice of defendants "signing away" their Fourth Amendment rights in order to secure bail."
Full story - jurist.law.pitt.edu
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 12 19:30:41 EDT 2005



EPIC Urges Senate to Question Judge Roberts on the Future of Privacy
"From www.epic.org: In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, EPIC has asked Senators to explore the views of John Roberts on privacy, "particularly as they may relate to the future of the Fourth Amendment and the role of the Congress in establishing statutory safeguards.""
Full story - EPIC letter (PDF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 12 03:03:22 EDT 2005



Private Lies, Public Figures
"... A report called "No Secret," issued in August by the research firm Eurispes, estimates that the Italian government has paid 1.3 billion Euros over the past five years to the nation's phone companies, directing them to listen in on their most select clientele."
Full story - Newsweek
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 11 12:28:59 EDT 2005



Police misled official to get wiretap
"Ontario: The Crown's drug, weapons, and gangsterism case against a man police allege is a leader of the Ledbury Banff Crips street gang is hanging in the balance. That's because a judge yesterday ruled that Ottawa police misled a justice of the peace about Nnanyere Obiorah's involvement in a murder in order to get permission two years ago to wiretap his phone to collect evidence in an investigation targeting the gang"
Full story - Ottawa Citizen
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 10 17:40:26 EDT 2005



Chief justice nominee carries slim record on tech
"... Roberts also participated on a three-judge panel in 2003 that ultimately decided a noteworthy spat between Verizon Internet Services and the Recording Industry Association of America. The court ruled that the recording industry couldn't continue its practice of subpoenaing Internet service providers like Verizon for the names of alleged illegal file swappers without first obtaining a judge's consent. But it "sidestepped crucial speech and privacy questions," the EFF said."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 10:59:26 EDT 2005



Docked boats randomly inspected
"The Coast Guard boarded and inspected close to 30 vessels, many of them docked, in Monterey Bay over the Labor Day weekend in a operation that raised the eyebrows of some local boaters and the ire of one. In all, 28 boats, many of them live-aboard vessels moored in the harbors, were boarded and 31 citations were issued. One angry boater said Coast Guard officers came aboard his boat in Moss Landing Harbor late Friday citing authority under the Patriot Act."
Full story - Monterey Herald
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 10:24:03 EDT 2005



Rap case tests privacy of text messages
"If you think your pager and cell phone text messages are secret, think again. The seizure by federal investigators of copies of thousands of pager text messages involving rap impresarios Irving and Chris Lorenzo has sparked a battle over whether the government acted illegally."
Full story - NY Newsday
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 01:26:19 EDT 2005



'Creepy' law clears way to track you via laptop, cellphone
"Police and security agencies would be able to surreptitiously track unwitting Canadians via their cellphones, BlackBerries and laptop computers, even when the devices are turned off or their location features are disabled, under a "creepy" measure contemplated as part of the federal government's planned electronic surveillance bill."
Full story - Canada.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 09:27:23 EDT 2005



Dutch ISPs sue government for wiretapping costs
"A large group of ISPs and telecom operators in the Netherlands is to sue the Dutch Government for the cost of installing wiretaps. Wiretapping is required by the Dutch Telecommunication Act of 1998. The Dutch Government insists that it is normal for ISPs and telecom operators to pay the costs for general law enforcement."
Full story - The Register
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 6 09:08:28 EDT 2005



Committee to debate bills over wiretap recordings
"Korea - The National Assembly's legislative committee will today deliberate bills to open special investigations into the national intelligence agency's illegal eavesdropping operations and the leak of recordings of private conversations made during the Kim Young-sam administration... If passed, the bill would mandate investigations into cases for which the five-year statute of limitations have already expired, and make public the results of the investigations."
Full story - Joong Ang Daily
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 5 17:27:09 EDT 2005



Handphone move a violation of people's privacy
"Kuala Lumpur: The checking of headphones by the police for obscene or pornographic images is a violation of an individual's privacy, the Bar Council said. The police should only check people suspected of downloading smut to their handphones, said Bar Council President Yeoh Yong Poh."
Full story - Information Week
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 2 15:02:56 EDT 2005



Required DNA paternity tests ruled OK
"Requiring a DNA test to establish paternity in child support cases doesn't violate constitutional protections against unreasonable searches, the Oregon Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday. The decision was the first one on the issue by an Oregon appellate court, said Kevin Neely, spokesman for Attorney General Hardy Myers."
Full story - WorldLink.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 1 17:26:35 EDT 2005



CHP does about-face on pot-seizure policy
"Medical marijuana advocates declared victory Monday after the California Highway Patrol abandoned its policy of seizing marijuana from documented patients during traffic stops."
Full story - Inside Bay Area
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 1 09:02:41 EDT 2005



'Crown' rules (eminent) domain (Opinion)
""The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake, the wind may blow through it. The storms may enter. The rain may enter. But the king of England may not enter. All his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement." Those famous words, from a speech in 1760 by William Pitt the Elder, are one of the world's great quotes."
Full story - PalmBeachPost
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 13:53:10 EDT 2005



Court cites privacy violations, tosses DUI-manslaughter verdict
"An appeals court on Friday threw out the DUI-manslaughter conviction of a Sanford man, saying police took medical records -- including his blood-alcohol reading -- from a hospital without authorization."
Full story - Orlando Sentinel
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 27 08:26:22 EDT 2005



Door-to-door searches in Antwerp 'violate privacy'
"The privacy commission has ruled that Antwerp's door-to-door inspections in troublesome city districts are illegal. The commission has advised the Antwerp City Council to thoroughly re-examine the project 'X-Stra', which is designed to cut crime and improve city living conditions."
Full story - Expatica
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 24 07:58:50 EDT 2005



2nd Circuit Splits Over Use of 'Candyman' Warrants
"What one lawyer described as a "stark" division has emerged among judges in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the constitutionality of search warrants used in the roundup of dozens of men nationwide in an anti-child pornography sweep."
Full story - Law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 16:07:46 EDT 2005



Hitler's Germany Revisited in Canada?
"Canadian Action Party Takes Stand Against Proposed New Police Powers. Connie Fogal, Leader of CAP, says "'NO' to an impending federal law to give police and national security agencies new powers to eavesdrop on cellphone calls and monitor the Internet activities of Canadians.""
Full story - Canadian Democratic Party
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 16:06:25 EDT 2005



Who's Watching? (opinion)
"Data retention used to be about fighting organised crime, cybercrime, and tax evasion. But since the 9/11 attacks it become a focus of the War on Terror. Sweden, together with France, the UK and Ireland, submitted a far-reaching and costly proposal regarding the mandatory retention of communication data for 3 years. The proposal will reveal who has been calling, faxing, SMS-ing and e-mailing whom, what websites people have visited and even where they were with their mobile phones (although the contents would not be retained)."
Full story - TechCentralStation
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 15:50:39 EDT 2005



Supreme Court Won't Reconsider Property Case
"The Supreme Court, given a chance to revisit a heavily criticized ruling, refused Monday to reconsider its decision giving local governments more power to seize people's homes for economic development."
Full story - TBO
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 15:47:42 EDT 2005



Wireless Wiretapping
"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced earlier this month that it intends to expand a mid-1990s ruling that allows law enforcement officers to wiretap conventional phone lines. Now it wants to apply the ruling to certain broadband and voice-over-Internet (VOIP) providers as well."
Full story - Technology Review
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 15:41:44 EDT 2005



New Yorkers support random bag searches -- poll
"New Yorkers support random searches of their bags while riding public transportation by a margin of three to one despite objections from civil liberties groups to such measures, a poll released on Friday showed."
Full story - Reuters
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 19 18:55:03 EDT 2005



Ca: Security law would unlock Net
"The federal cabinet will review new legislation this fall that would give police and security agencies vast powers to begin surveillance of the Internet without court authority."
Full story - Canada.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 19 12:14:30 EDT 2005



Girls taped undressing, police say
"POTTSVILLE - A longtime coach and teacher was charged with secretly videotaping girl athletes as they undressed in a locker room at Nativity B.V.M. High School... Police said they obtained the videotape, which they learned was stolen from Shields' home this summer and determined it was made surreptitiously by Shields and labeled with the girls' names and the date 5/25/05 in Shields' handwriting. "We had to make a judgment call there, and take the tape as we got it [stolen] ... because without that tape we might not have been able to obtain a search warrant, and our judgment was that we had to act to protect the children involved," county District Attorney Frank Cori said."
Full story - The Patriot News
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 18 10:45:21 EDT 2005



Suit charges illegal search, seizure
"Eight federal jurors heard testimony Monday from a Fort Wayne man who is suing the city and several police officers alleging they violated his constitutional rights when they entered his home in July 2000 and seized his personal belongings... The lawsuit alleged the city officers used an ordinance to condemn his house and then take his personal belongings against his right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure."
Full story - FortWayne.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 13:24:05 EDT 2005



E-mail case sent for fall jury trial
"... Previously, Dorsey ruled that police violated the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act by faxing an unsigned search warrant to America Online to determine who sent anonymous e-mails to supporters of town Police Commissioner Mary Carroll-Mirylees, who was running for first selectman at the time. Dorsey this week agreed with the town's position that Freedman did not have an "objectively reasonable expectation of privacy" in his AOL subscriber information and that the town therefore could not have violated Freedman's Fourth Amendment rights."
Full story - Connecticut Post
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 10:11:27 EDT 2005



Random Searches vs Profiling (opinion)
"The NYCLU (New York's ACLU) is actually right about something. Random searches of subway riders DO present a problem. Such searches may well fit a legal definition of unreasonable search & seizure. Unfortunately, that's where we part company... because it's what MAKES it a problem that separates us."
Full story - Conservative Voice
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 02:46:07 EDT 2005



'Sneak-and-Peak' Law Helps More Than War on Terror
"Hidden cameras and microphones placed by federal agents in a house in Lynden, Wash., paid off recently when officials uncovered a plot to dig a drug tunnel from Canada to the United States. But because federal officials used a provision in the U.S. Patriot Act to bug their suspects for weeks, some groups are calling the search warrants an abuse of power."
Full story - Fox News
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 01:09:31 EDT 2005



Service Technicians Can't Snoop on Your Hard Drive for the Government
"Imagine if the law permitted the people who service your computer to share all the personal information on your hard drive with the police, without your consent and without a search warrant... Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the respondent, Robert Westbrook, arguing that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of their computers, and that their Fourth Amendment rights don't disappear when a computer is delivered to a technician for servicing."
Full story - EFF
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 20:16:38 EDT 2005



Hong Kong: Covert surveillance order addresses public concern
"Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee says the covert surveillance order aims to address public concern on the issue, adding the move is legal and constitutional and can improve privacy protection."
Full story - news.gov.hk
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 10:31:23 EDT 2005



Eminent domain's reach must be limited (editorial)
"Rulings on such volatile issues as school integration, abortion and deciding who was elected president displeased as many as the court pleased. But there may have been no ruling in recent court history that upset and perplexed as many citizens as the 5-4 decision saying a local government can take someone's property through eminent domain and make it available to private developers for business purposes."
Full story - The Mountain Press
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 14 16:08:59 EDT 2005



MACTAN AIRPORT SECURITY UPGRADE: "Peeping Tom" scanners eyed
"From bombs and bladed weapons to nipples to pubic hair, nothing will escape the new "Peeping Tom" scanners that the Mactan Cebu International Airport may install in the near future."
Full story - The Freeman
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 14 15:10:56 EDT 2005



Underage residents, police at odds over breath-test law
"... She's one of four college students asking a federal judge to nullify a state law that penalizes pedestrians under age 21 for refusing to take a preliminary breath test. Michigan is the only state in the country with such a law, according to the American Civil Liberties Union."
Full story - Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 14 11:06:43 EDT 2005



DNA for the taking
"Richard Frank had never watched the television drama "CSI," where perps and cons and innocents all accept DNA swabs of the mouth as if they're receiving puffs of cotton candy... But Frank didn't submit willingly, and as a result, there's one unique feature that won't show up in his deoxyribonucleic acid profile: the state says it believes the 33-year-old Dorchester truck driver has become the first person in Massachusetts to go to trial for refusing to willingly give up his DNA."
Full story - Boston.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 14 10:35:04 EDT 2005



Is VOIP Wiretapping a Privacy Threat?
"Has the Federal Communications Commission radically enhanced the powers of law enforcement with its new regulation to allow for Internet wiretapping, as some civil libertarians have been suggesting? Maybe. The reaction in the legal community - and technology world - is decidedly mixed."
Fulls story - eWeek
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 12 16:57:16 EDT 2005



Feds fund VoIP tapping research
"The federal government is funding the development of a prototype surveillance tool by George Mason University researchers who have discovered a novel way to trace Internet phone conversations."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 10 10:06:54 EDT 2005



[EDITORIALS] Legalizing surveillance
"[South Korea]: Amid the uproar over the illegal taping by the national intelligence agency, the government is now considering introducing legislation to legalize the recording of cellular phone conversations. According to the government, the purpose of this legislation, which would require telecommunication companies to install recording devices on their switching systems, is to deal effectively with the threat of terrorism."
Full story - Joong Ang Daily
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 7 10:00:48 EDT 2005



FCC Issues Rule Allowing FBI to Dictate Wiretap-Friendly Design for Internet Services
"From EFF: Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a release announcing its new rule expanding the reach of the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The ruling is a reinterpretation of the scope of CALEA and will force Internet broadband providers and certain voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers to build backdoors into their networks that make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has argued against this expansion of CALEA in several rounds of comments to the FCC on its proposed rule."
Full story - FCC Release (PDF) on EFF Site
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 6 18:53:59 EDT 2005



Coalition Urges Court to Strike Down National Security Letter Authority
"From www.epic.org: EPIC and a coalition of open government organizations have filed a "friend of the court" brief (pdf) in Gonzales v. Doe, a lawsuit concerning the FBI's authority to issue national security letters without judicial approval and under a permanent gag order that bans the recipient from telling anyone about the demand. An anonymous Internet Service Provider and the ACLU argue that this broad authority violates the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. A federal court found the power unconstitutional last year; the government is challenging the ruling. The coalition's amicus brief argues that the courts must provide meaningful oversight of the government's investigative activity, and that national security letters undermine government accountability."
Full story - "Friend of the Court" Brief (PDF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 5 10:58:09 EDT 2005



ACLU Challenges Law Allowing Pedestrian Alcohol Tests
"LANSING, Mich. -- The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of four teens who were required to blow into a Breathalyzer at parties, challenging a state law that allows the test without a search warrant. Saginaw Valley State University honors student Katie Platte was 19 last year when Thomas Township police asked her and some friends to take the test. She faced a $100 fine if she refused."
Full story - ClickOnDetroit
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 5 10:54:49 EDT 2005



NYCLU sues city over subway searches
"The New York Civil Liberties Union will file suit against the city Thursday to keep police from searching the bags of passengers entering the subway, organization lawyers said. The suit, which will be filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, will claim that the two-week old policy violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and prohibitions against unlawful searches and seizures, while doing almost nothing to shield the city from terrorism."
Full story - Newsday
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 4 11:48:37 EDT 2005



CDT and EFF Oppose Unprecedented Wiretapping Scheme for In-Flight Communications
"From www.cdt.org: CDT and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are opposing a new Justice Department scheme to require that information about aircraft passengers' cell phone and Internet communications be constantly recorded. CDT and EFF, which filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission, don't oppose law enforcers' ability to intercept such communications, but are deeply concerned that the proposal raises constitutional concerns and could impose burdensome design mandates on emerging technology."
Full story - CDT-EFF Comments filed with the FCC [PDF]
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 4 09:30:09 EDT 2005



EU reveals phone, e-mail snooping plans
"A draft of the European Directive on data retention has been leaked, revealing that Brussels will be asking for all communications records to be held for a minimum of six months. The latest version of the directive, made public by the European Digital Rights organization, aims to standardize the amount, type and length of time communications services providers will have to store details about their customers' phone calls, emails, faxes, SMSes, IMs and other electronic communications, including location details of mobile phone calls."
Full story - NY Times (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 3 13:28:46 EDT 2005



Secret Documents About Indymedia Server Disappearance Unsealed
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) last week won a motion allowing it to access sealed court documents about the mysterious disappearance of two web servers used to host news websites for Indymedia, a global collective of Independent Media Centers (IMCs) and thousands of journalists. After six months of secret litigation, EFF obtained a copy of the federal court order that resulted in the October 2004 handover of copies of Indymedia servers to the government by Indymedia's web host. That handover resulted in the silencing of more than 20 news websites and radio feeds for nearly a week."
Full story - EFF
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 3 01:47:54 EDT 2005








Other resources on SEARCH AND SEIZURE:
  • 2005 Supreme Court Decision: KELO et al. v. CITY OF NEW LONDON et al.
  • Privacy International: Phone Tapping and Encryption
  • FourthAmendment.com
  • The Fourth Amendment (FindLaw)
  • ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT




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    FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
    From cdt.org: The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...
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    FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
    FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...
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    Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
    ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...
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    Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
    A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...
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    Court strikes down bank privacy law
    Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...
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    FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
    Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...
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    Another data security bill in the works
    Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...
    Read more

    Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
    Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...
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    Touch-screen voters feel exposed
    ... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...
    Read more

    Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
    I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...
    Read more


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