Category: Amendment 3

Where Is The Outrage Over the Domestic Use of Drones?

The photos that the drones will take may be retained and used or even distributed to others in the government so long as the “recipient is reasonably perceived to have a specific, lawful governmental function” in requiring them. And for the first time since the Civil War, the federal government will deploy military personnel inside the United States and publicly acknowledge that it is deploying them “to collect information about U.S. persons.”

It gets worse. If the military personnel see something of interest from a drone, they may apply to a military judge or “military commander” for permission to conduct a physical search of the private property that intrigues them. And, any “incidentally acquired information” can be retained or turned over to local law enforcement. What’s next? Prosecutions before military tribunals in the U.S.? The quoted phrases above are extracted from a now-public 30-page memorandum issued by President Obama’s Secretary of the Air Force on April 23, 2012. The purpose of the memorandum is stated as “balancing…obtaining intelligence information…and protecting individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution…” Note the primacy of intelligence gathering over freedom protection, and note the peculiar use of the word “balancing.” When liberty and safety clash, do we really expect the government to balance those values? Of course not. The government cannot be trusted to restrain itself in the face of individual choices to pursue happiness. That’s why we have a Constitution and a life-tenured judiciary: to protect the minority from the liberty-stealing impulses of the majority. And that’s why the Air Force memo has its priorities reversed — intelligence gathering first, protecting freedom second — and the mechanism of reconciling the two — balancing them — constitutionally incorrect.

Uhmmm this can’t possibly go wrong. Can it? Read the whole thing at Reason.com

Cars and their right to privacy. Or lack their of.

When I first read this article “Black Boxes Will Likely Be Required in New Cars by 2015” on Mashable.com I thought that was one of those bills that makes it way through one house but has no chance of making through both houses, let alone to the desk of the president.

Now I am not so sure…

This article “Privacy experts warn that new car black box bill doesn’t go far enough” from Ars Technica provides some follow up on the whole thing.

Your car has no right to privacy

Judge: No Warrant Needed for GPS Tracking on Vehicles

A federal judge in Missouri has ruled that the FBI was in its legal right to use GPS tracking on a man’s car without a warrant.

On one hand I am glad they caught the fraudster. On the other I think it should require a warrant to spy on people that police suspect are breaking the law. See video at the link for the details.