Privacy

Not many people write letters anymore. Many may have thought of returning to the old-school communication tactic when they learned of the NSA’s program that pulls private information from email and other online sources. But as we are learning, “snail mail” may not be any safer from the eyes of Big Brother. Charged with a [...]

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Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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The Supreme Court ruled last week that police can swab arrestees for a DNA sample as a booking procedure. This means, you don’t have to be guilty of a crime in order for your genetic material to be taken and owned by the government. The (somewhat) good news is that not all states follow the [...]

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Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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The FBI May Be Reading Your Emails

by Elizabeth on May 22, 2013

in Privacy

If the police want to go through your home, they need your consent or a warrant. The same is true if they want to sift through your mailbox. These are places where you have a certain expectation of privacy, where you do or have personal things that you may not want shared with everyone. The [...]

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Elizabeth Renter is a freelance writer and editor who writes about criminal justice issues.

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Google surprised some folks this week when they announced their policy requires law enforcement to provide a probable cause warrant when seeking information contained in emails and documents on their cloud-storage system. Surprised because the law doesn’t require it and surprised because they simultaneously admitted that about 2/3 of the information they hand over is [...]

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The Justice Department, which oversees the FBI and all other federal law enforcement arms, has memos that detail just how and when they can track citizens via GPS. But, they want to keep these memos to themselves. They have refused to release their views on GPS tracking to the public through requests by the ACLU. [...]

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The U.S. Supreme Court sent a message this week when they declined to hear an appeal overturning  an Illinois law that made it a felony to record police officers. The appeals  court decision against the law will stand, therefore your right to record police officers in Illinois is safe, for now. Prosecutors in the state were hoping [...]

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There are many consequences to an arrest. In some towns, you get your mugshot in the paper or on a local news site. But a growing business is ensuring that your mugshot is permanently online in a searchable database—only to be removed after you pay a hefty fee. About Connect with me on Google+More Posts [...]

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Have you ever heard of a “stingray”? No, not the kind that swims around in the ocean, but the kind that can be used by the government to track your every move, down to a few meters. If not, you aren’t alone. And the ACLU alleges there is a very good reason for this—that the [...]

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There is a very good chance that at least one photograph of your license plate exists in a database somewhere. Whether it was taken by your local police department or a growing number of private agencies, it’s estimated that every vehicle own in this country has been hit by an automatic license plate recognition scanner, [...]

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Intelligence-gathering “fusion-centers” operated across the country and funded by the Department of Homeland Security are in for a rude awakening when a Congressional report is officially released next week. According to early reports, Congress says the centers often toe the line of citizen’s civil liberties and provide intelligence rarely related to terrorism. About Connect with [...]

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