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Fourth Amendment

Remembering 'The Rosa Parks of the Fourth Amendment'

The Marshall Project | Ken Armstrong | Posted 12.10.2014 | Politics

By Ken Armstrong for The Marshall Project, a non-profit news organization that covers the U.S. criminal justice system. For more information --- and a...

How We Are Clicking Away Our Constitutional Rights

Burke E. Strunsky | Posted 12.02.2014 | Politics
Burke E. Strunsky

You may assume that some evidence of lawlessness is a prerequisite for a government official getting ahold of a gift-wrapped package containing the digital "you," but the reality is that the law is not there yet.

Voiceprints: Time to Be Afraid Again

Peter Van Buren | Posted 11.18.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

What can be accessed can be collected. What can be collected can be stored. What can be stored can be leaked, hacked, shared and used. What can be used, well, can be used. Now, next Sunday, be a nice son or daughter and call your mom to say hello. Just be sure to speak slowly and clearly.

Google's Eric Schmidt: Robin Hood or the Big Bad Wolf?

Mark Weinstein | Posted 11.12.2014 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

Google has it all, which is way too much. Actually, it's downright frightening just how much. Do we want to live in a society where everything we do, 24/7, is monitored by corporations like Google?

Citizenfour and the Need for Judicial Engagement in Protecting Our Privacy

Evan Bernick | Posted 10.30.2014 | Politics
Evan Bernick

There is a remarkable moment in the new Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour that shows why we need judges to take their duty to uphold the Constitution seriously.

Apple and Google Are Right. The FBI Is Wrong.

Chris Weigant | Posted 10.27.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Does this mean some criminals will be able to hide from the cops? Yes. Yes, it will. But it will also mean that cops can't just root around in your data and trample any citizen's rights for no reason -- which is precisely what the Constitution intended.

Local Law Enforcement Chipping Away at the Fourth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 12.24.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

The Bill of Rights was designed to protect the People from their government. That's quite literally becoming history today as new challenges, now from local law enforcement, chip away at the Fourth Amendment's protections of privacy.

Posse Comitatus and the Fourth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 11.26.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

In perhaps a tiny but significant decision, an appeals court ruled federal authorities had shown "a profound lack of regard for the important limitations on the role of the military in our civilian society" when they allowed the U.S. Navy to scan the computers of every citizen in the state of Washington fishing for evidence.

Watch Lists and the First and Fourth Amendments

Peter Van Buren | Posted 11.25.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Ray McGovern was put on the State Department's Diplomatic Security Be On the Look Out list-- one of a series of proliferating government watch lists. What he did to end up on Diplomatic Security's dangerous persons list and how he got off the list are a tale of our era, Post-Constitutional America.

E.O. 12333: End-Running the Fourth Amendment

Peter Van Buren | Posted 11.23.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

In Post-Constitutional America (2001-Present), the government has taken a bloody box cutter to the original copy of the Constitution and thrown the Fourth Amendment in the garbage.

David Lohr

Cops Deliberately Shot Woman's Dog 15 Times: Lawsuit

HuffingtonPost.com | David Lohr | Posted 07.23.2014 | Crime

The Michigan attorney representing a woman whose dog was fatally shot by police officers late last year said he believes the shooting was premeditated...

Constitutional Rights in the Digital Age

Nancy Leong | Posted 09.18.2014 | Technology
Nancy Leong

Just as cell phones are different from ordinary physical objects, the Internet is dramatically different from earlier speech mediums. And the Court should acknowledge those differences in determining the scope of First Amendment protection for speech.

Big Data Policing in the Big Apple

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson | Posted 09.14.2014 | Technology
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

What is predictive policing and how does it work? Predictive policing works by taking regularly recorded crime data -- location, time, and crime -- and inputting it all into sophisticated computer models that predict places of expected criminal activity.

Will Supremes Apply Cell Phone Privacy to Metadata Collection?

Marjorie Cohn | Posted 08.30.2014 | Politics
Marjorie Cohn

This decision may well presage how the Court will rule on the constitutionality of the NSA metadata collection program when that issue inevitably comes before it.

Friday Talking Points -- Courtin' Season

Chris Weigant | Posted 08.27.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

The end of June is an important time on the political calendar, but it is one which most Americans don't really think about all that much. It's hard to fault this, so let's take a quick run through the important decisions handed down in the past week.

The Supreme Court Rules With a Caveat in the Wings: Is Your Smartphone Public or Private?

Mark Weinstein | Posted 08.27.2014 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

It appears that Chief Justice Roberts feels that if a social media company states that they have access to view and analyze your posts, content, and relationships, then that ought to be fair game for the government (and law enforcement), too.

Shredding the Fourth Amendment in Post-Constitutional America

Peter Van Buren | Posted 08.26.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

Previously unreasonable searches become reasonable ones under new government interpretations of the Fourth Amendment. Traditional tools of law, like subpoenas and warrants, continue to exist even as they morph into monstrous new forms.

One Court, Indivisible, Votes Liberty and Justice For All

Robert Scheer | Posted 08.25.2014 | Politics
Robert Scheer

This week's unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming a robust Fourth Amendment protection for cellphone data is an enormously important victory for privacy rights in the digital age.

Digital Privacy Rights Upheld in Landmark Cell Phone Case

Brian Levin, J.D. | Posted 08.25.2014 | Crime
Brian Levin, J.D.

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today that police may not search information on an arrested suspect's cell phone without an additional search warrant. In two cases from both coasts, consolidated into a single opinion the Court held that the privacy interests in protecting the tremendous amount of personal information stored on cell phones outweighs the government's interest to its immediate access by police, even after a suspect is lawfully arrested. The cases decided today forced the Court to analyze a centuries-old constitutional amendment in light of modern technological advances.

Stung: Government Disappears Stingray Spying Records

Peter Van Buren | Posted 08.19.2014 | Politics
Peter Van Buren

We've heard variations on the phrase "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" from the government for quite some time. It appears this may be true, at least if you are the government.

Rebooting Electronic Privacy Rights

Rep. John Conyers | Posted 08.13.2014 | Politics
Rep. John Conyers

The Email Privacy Act would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act for the digital age by requiring the government to get a warrant in order to access private online communications. This is practical reform every American can stand behind.

Court Revives Case Against SFO Police for Terrorizing Driver

Larry Bodine | Posted 07.29.2014 | Crime
Larry Bodine

Denise Green, a 47-year-old African-American woman with no criminal record, was driving her Lexus on Mission Street in San Francisco at 11:15 p.m. one night, when she passed a police "camera car" with an automatic license-plate reader.

TV News & Upworthy Are Transforming Us All Into Dumb, Ill-Informed, Simple-Minded Sheep

Michael Shammas | Posted 07.29.2014 | Media
Michael Shammas

For the first time in my life, I can confidently say that most news is not making us smarter -- it is making us dumber.

Democrats Need to Stop Dragging Feet On Email Privacy Reform

Sam Tracy | Posted 07.13.2014 | Politics
Sam Tracy

President Obama has still not responded to the 100,000+ Americans who signed the We the People petition demanding ECPA reform (it's been 152 days -- for comparison, a petition to build a Death Star got a response within 29 days.).

Snapchat's Big Lie to Americans

Mark Weinstein | Posted 07.12.2014 | Technology
Mark Weinstein

Which is worse: pursuing a scorched earth policy towards online privacy while claiming to "do no evil" or blatantly lying about yourself as an important online privacy application? I would vote for the latter.