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Fourth Amendment

Maryland v. King and the Total Loss of Our Bodily Integrity

John W. Whitehead | Posted 08.04.2013 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

Now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court's devastating decision in Maryland v. King, you can add invasive DNA sampling to the list of abuses being "legally" meted out on the long-suffering American populace.

The Business Implications of DNA Databases

Brad Reid | Posted 08.03.2013 | Business
Brad Reid

In this age of electronic databases and mandatory information reporting by businesses, as well as individuals, the use of database warrentless searches is likely to increase and may well meet judicial approval in the absence of limiting legislation.

When Congress Voted Down The Fourth Amendment

Radley Balko | Posted 05.24.2013 | Politics

Earlier this month, President Obama nominated North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt to head up the Federal Housing Finance Authority. Here's a fun little nugge...

'Flash-Bang' Searches

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 07.22.2013 | Crime
Bennett L. Gershman

Should courts allow police departments in executing search warrants to enter a person's home using military-style tactics, throw exploding flash-bang grenades in rooms near occupants, blindly fire rubber bullets through windows, and kick down every door of every room of a house?

Real Outrage Is That Surveillance of AP Reporters' Calls Was Probably Legal

Peter Scheer | Posted 07.20.2013 | Media
Peter Scheer

The government's actions likely have already succeeded in deterring government officials from confiding in journalists about national security matters. And that, of course, is the administration's real objective.

The AP 'Scandal': The Straight Scoop

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 07.16.2013 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU, a strong proponent of press freedom and a staunch believer in both a robust First Amendment and a vibrant Fourth Amendment. But I also care about rational public discourse, and the furious condemnation of the Department of Justice in this situation is way over the top.

'Round the Clock Surveillance: Is This the Price of Living in a 'Free, Safe' Society?

John W. Whitehead | Posted 07.14.2013 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

The emergence of tracking technology fits with Google chairman Eric Schmidt's view on privacy: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Unfortunately, this is not just the attitude of corporate benefactors, but government officials as well.

Five Factors in Balancing Privacy and Protection

Rick Collins | Posted 07.09.2013 | Crime
Rick Collins

Even those of us concerned about the escalating level of public electronic surveillance must be thankful for the video surveillance cameras that captured the suspects and helped crack the case. But how far is too far?

Matt Sledge

Judge Rules Government Can Keep Cellphone Tracking Secret

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 05.09.2013 | Politics

NEW YORK -- A federal district judge ruled on Wednesday that the government obtained a warrant to locate a suspected tax fraud properly, despite omitt...

The Boston Bombing, The Right of Privacy and Surveillance Cameras

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 07.06.2013 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

The practice of using surveillance cameras to record our comings and goings is ever-expanding, and will certainly expand still further after the Boston bombings. A central question is whether we do -- or should -- care about our privacy.

Boston Manhunt Challenges Constitutional Principles

Renee Parsons | Posted 06.28.2013 | Politics
Renee Parsons

Did law enforcement believe that a wounded 19-year-old was sufficiently dangerous and that a reasonable threat existed to demand entry in what can only be considered a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment?

Friday Talking Points -- Don Young Shows GOP How Not To Reach Out To Minorities

Chris Weigant | Posted 05.29.2013 | Politics
Chris Weigant

While it certainly was (quoting the Flintstones theme) a "gay old time" in Washington this week, I have already spent the whole week on the subject, so I'm really only going to mention it in passing.

Matt Sledge

Government Has Been Less Than 'Explicit' About Secret Cell Phone Trackers

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 03.28.2013 | Politics

When the 74-count indictment of Daniel David Rigmaiden on tax, mail and wire fraud charges was revealed in 2010, a local Arizona newspaper said Rigmai...

Attorney General Eric Holder: If the President Does It, It's Legal

John W. Whitehead | Posted 05.18.2013 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

It may be that the time has come to create a "non-political" and "independent" attorney general, one who would serve the interests of the public by upholding the rule of law rather than justifying the whims of the president.

Florida v. Harris: Turning Police Dogs Into Search Warrants on a Leash

John W. Whitehead | Posted 04.27.2013 | Crime
John W. Whitehead

"The unspoken power dynamics in a police/civilian encounter will generally favor the police, unless the civilian is a local sports hero, the mayor, or...

Matt Sledge

Lawmakers Introduce New Online Privacy Bill

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 03.07.2013 | Politics

NEW YORK -- A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced a bill on Wednesday to force the FBI to get a warrant before it...

Matt Sledge

Federal Judge Puts A Price On Privacy

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 03.04.2013 | Politics

NEW HAVEN -- Privacy has a price. For Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, it comes out to $2,400 a year. Kozinski, who...

SCOTUS Goes To The Dogs

Radley Balko | Posted 04.22.2013 | Politics

I don't know that you could overstate the awfulness of yesterday's unanimous (!) Supreme Court decision in Florida v. Harris. Over at Reason, my f...

Majoring in Minors: Turning Our Schools Into Totalitarian Enclaves

John W. Whitehead | Posted 04.07.2013 | Crime
John W. Whitehead

School officials are also exhibiting zero tolerance for the age-old game of cops and robbers, a playground game I played as a child. In a new wrinkle on this old game, however, it's not the cop who gets the bad guy.

The Internet Association Celebrates 2013 Data Privacy Day, Urges 113th Congress to Pass Electronic Privacy Reform

Michael Beckerman | Posted 03.30.2013 | Technology
Michael Beckerman

Did you know that a law written before email was commercially available governs the way the government can access your data online?

Missouri v. McNeely: The Loss of Bodily Integrity in an Emerging Police State

John W. Whitehead | Posted 01.15.2013 | Crime
John W. Whitehead

While the literal purpose of the amendment is to protect our property and our bodies from unwarranted government intrusion, the moral intention behind it is to protect our human dignity.

The Magician's Con: Renewing FISA and the NDAA Under Cover of the Fiscal Cliff Debates

John W. Whitehead | Posted 03.10.2013 | Politics
John W. Whitehead

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater.

The Founding Prophets

Emmett Rensin | Posted 03.04.2013 | Politics
Emmett Rensin

When we allow quoting the Constitution to stand in for a legitimate rebuttal, we diminish our ability to think critically about our nation and its laws.

Matt Sledge

Senate Votes Down Attempts To Reform Bush-Era Warrantless Wiretapping Program

HuffingtonPost.com | Matt Sledge | Posted 12.28.2012 | Politics

The Senate rejected three attempts Thursday to add oversight and privacy safeguards to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) amendments tha...

Is High-tech Surveillance in Schools a Security Need or a Money Scam?

John W. Whitehead | Posted 02.03.2013 | Education
John W. Whitehead

Without strong safeguards for privacy now, it will not be long before these technologies -- sold to us as being for our good and aimed at making our lives safer, easier and more efficient -- will come to dominate every aspect of our lives.