Posts Tagged With ‘law&8217


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Suggests Journalists Reporting on Snowden Disclosures are “Accomplices” to a Crime

Boing Boing on Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper’s assertion that journalists are considered accomplices to a crime:

If this is the official stance of the US government, it is downright chilling.

Clapper is engaged in the same treatment of journalists that the Justice Department allegedly repudiated just months ago.

During his opening statement to the committee, Clapper said, “Snowden claims that he’s won and that his mission has accomplished. If that is so, I call on him and his accomplices to facilitate the return of the remaining stolen documents.” Mashable then reported a DNI spokesman said Clapper meant “anyone who is assisting Edward Snowden further harm our nation through the unauthorized disclosure of stolen documents.” The spokesman would not elaborate further.

“Assisting…through unauthorized disclosure” sounds an awful lot like publishing, which is what not only Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman have done, but dozens of reporters and editors at the Washington Post, Guardian, New York Times, Pro Publica, and NBC News.

The intelligence community, embarrassed and unprepared for the unprecedented trove of disclosures provided by Edward Snowden, is treading dangerous territory if they are truly suggesting journalists can be considered accomplices for merely reporting newsworthy information. In their eyes, every bit of information should remain classified under the guise of “national security” so they can continue to develop suspicious programs capable of further intrusions on Americans privacy, all without our knowledge because, well, terrorists.

Americans need to get off their collective apathetic asses and start taking action against these obvious civil liberties intrusions before it’s too late. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when you wake up and realize you’re in that dystopian world you’ve seen in so many movies, and thought to yourself, “this will never happen in America.”


Apple’s Bid to Stay Monitorship Denied

Reuters on Apple losing its bid to stay the request of the monitorship due to his interest in accessing documents and personnel outside the scope of their e-book business practices:

At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan denied Apple’s request to stay an order requiring an external compliance monitor pending the company’s appeal.

“I want the monitorship to succeed for Apple,” she said.

The judge also said there was “nothing improper” about a declaration filed by a lawyer chosen to serve as monitor, Michael Bromwich, that became the basis of Apple seeking his disqualification.

Expect Apple to appeal this ruling, as this fight is far from over. What the government is trying to do here makes absolutely no sense in the context of Apple’s e-book business, which was the focus of the trial and the reason for the monitorship in the first place.


BlackBerry Goes Patent Troll, Sues Typo for Infringement Against Their “Iconic Keyboard”

Stephen Shankland from CNET reporting on BlackBerry suing Typo for daring to make a hardware keyboard for the iPhone because, well, they cannot seem to make hardware people are interested in anymore so why not become a patent troll instead:

BlackBerry, which has steadily lost relevance and revenue with the rise of Android phones and iPhones, decided it was time to sue. Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry’s general counsel, had this statement in a Friday announcement:

“This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design. From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations.”

You can’t make this stuff up.


Perplexing Indeed

From a New York Times editorial on Judge William Pauley’s decision to dismiss an ACLU lawsuit challenging the NSA bulk collection of metadata:

Judge Pauley’s opinion is perplexing in its near-total acceptance of the claim by the government that it almost always acts in accordance with the law and quickly self-corrects when it does not. For example, Judge Pauley said the N.S.A.’s director, Gen. Keith Alexander, was being “crystal clear” when he responded to charges that the agency was mining data from phone calls by saying: “We’re not authorized to do it. We aren’t doing it.”

That shows an alarming lack of skepticism, particularly in light of the testimony of James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, who falsely told the Senate Intelligence Committee in March that the N.S.A. was not collecting any type of data at all on hundreds of millions of Americans.

It is also incorrect to say, as Judge Pauley does, that there is “no evidence” that the government has used the phone data for anything other than terrorism investigations. An inspector general’s report in September revealed at least a dozen instances in which government employees used the databases for personal purposes.

This post is part of the thread: Security – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


Proposed New Mexico Law Sends Rape Victims to Prison for Having Abortions

The Washington Post on a proposed New Mexico law that would send rape victims to prison for having abortions, in the name of evidence preservation:

New Mexico House Bill 206 states: “Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”

According to the proposed law, even the physician who performs the abortion could be charged with a crime.

You can’t make this stuff up.


Man Arrested for Flipping Off Cop Wins Day in Court

In the written opinion from a three-judge panel hearing an appeal on a case previously tossed by a short-sighted federal judge:

Perhaps there is a police officer somewhere who would interpret an automobile passenger’s giving him the finger as a signal of distress, creating a suspicion that something occurring in the automobile warranted investigation. And perhaps that interpretation is what prompted Insogna to act, as he claims. But the nearly universal recognition that this gesture is an insult deprives such an interpretation of reasonableness. This ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity. Surely no passenger planning some wrongful conduct toward another occupant of an automobile would call attention to himself by giving the finger to a police officer.

What kind of retarded nonsense is this police officer trying to pass off as probable cause? Is there a single person on the planet who would interpret flipping the bird as a sign of distress – that something sinister is taking place and in need of investigation, and potential life-saving assistance?

This police officer should be ashamed and justly reprimanded for such blatant abuse of power.


In What Universe Does That Make Sense?

Colon Moynihan for The New York Times on new Tampa, Florida ordinances in preparation for the upcoming Republican Convention:

During public debates, some Tampa residents and City Council members opposed the rules, calling them excessive. Others complained that while the ordinance outlawed water pistols, actual pistols were allowed for those with permits to carry a concealed weapon. Although Tampa’s mayor, Bob Buckhorn, had asked the state’s governor, Rick Scott, to ban firearms during the convention, the governor has refused.

In what universe does that make sense?

To ensure we are on the same page, here is the situation: water pistols are banned, but real pistols – the ones capable of physically harming and potentially killing human beings – are authorized for those with a concealed weapons permit.

Seems legit.


Has Sheriff Joe Arpaio Cleaned Arizona Streets of Real Crime?

Michael Muskal of The Los Angeles Times on Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his ostensible volunteer investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate:

Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio says that volunteer investigators working for him have concluded that President Obama’s birth certificate is not legitimate.

The Maricopa County sheriff made his remarks Tuesday at a news conference, saying: “At the very least, I can tell you this, based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic.”

Does Sheriff Joe Arpaio have no real crimes with real victims to investigate? Apparently Arizona streets are the safest in the United States so he is capable of devoting time to investigating nonsensical conspiracy theories. What’s next, will he launch an investigation into the Clinton Body Count?

The birther movement is a complete and utter joke. Anyone who honestly believes this nonsense should be ashamed of themselves.


Former MPAA Tech Policy Chief Becomes SOPA Critic

Declan McCullagh of CNET on the former Chief of Technology Policy for the MPAA changing his tune on products like SOPA and PIPA:

“Did my position on this issue evolve over the last 12 months? I am not ashamed to admit that it certainly did,” Brigner writes. “The more I became educated on the realities of these issues, the more I came to the realization that a mandated technical solution just isn’t mutually compatible with the health of the Internet.”

This feels a little too convenient. Now that Brigner no longer works for the MPAA he finally realizes the error of his ways? Was he unable to see this previously, or did he not want to see things from a more realistic perspective?


Don’t Be Surprised The Supreme Court is Highly Political

Maureen Down of The New York Times on the Supreme Court being very political these days:

Still, it was stunning to hear Antonin Scalia talking like a Senate whip during oral arguments last week on the constitutionality of the health care law. He mused on how hard it would be to get 60 votes to repeal parts of the act, explaining why the court may just throw out the whole thing. And, sounding like a campaign’s oppo-research guy, he batted around politically charged terms like “Cornhusker Kickback,” referring to a sweetheart deal that isn’t even in the law.

Nobody should be surprised that the Supreme Court has a political opinion. Each members ideology aligns with one of the political parties, so is it any surprise Scalia – and the other members – continues to openly talk the way he does?