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Author Topic: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments  (Read 80977 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #350 on: May 24, 2011, 01:44:08 PM »

When it wasn't reasonable to wait for a warrant grin

And if I remember correctly the suspect did not know the police were after him.  He simply went home.   The risk of destruction of evidence was triggered by the knock.
The police could have waited while sending for a warrant.  Oh wait!  Maybe they couldn't have gotten one (on the dealing charge) because they had only a 50% (or less if there were more than two apartments) chance of giving the judge the right address , , ,  rolleyes  Is a 50% chance of getting the right place a sufficient % for you?
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G M
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« Reply #351 on: May 24, 2011, 02:02:43 PM »

When you run after a suspect that just sold a U/C oficer drugs, and when faced w/ two apartment doors, knock at one and detect the odor of an illegal drug and after announcing "Police" hear sounds which are consistent with the destruction of evidence that might be reasonably expected for those involved in the illegal drug trade to do, would tend to indicate that the officer had selected the correct door and that exigent circumstances exist to prevent the destruction of evidence, even with federally mandated low flow toilets.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #352 on: May 24, 2011, 05:37:11 PM »

The wittiness of the lo-flo toilets is noted, as is the failure to note that in point of fact , , , they got the wrong apartment.
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G M
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« Reply #353 on: May 24, 2011, 05:40:14 PM »

Yes, but it was reasonable to believe it was the right apartment, and upon making entry there was evidence of criminal acts in plain view of the officers.
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G M
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« Reply #354 on: May 24, 2011, 06:58:00 PM »

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=490&invol=386


The "reasonableness" of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. See Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 20-22. The Fourth Amendment is not violated by an arrest based on probable cause, even though the wrong person is arrested, Hill v. California, 401 U.S. 797 (1971), nor by the mistaken execution of a valid search warrant on the wrong premises, Maryland v. Garrison, 480 U.S. 79 (1987). With respect to a claim of excessive force, the same standard of reasonableness at the moment applies: "Not every push or shove, even if it may later seem unnecessary in the peace of a judge's chambers," Johnson v. Glick, 481 F.2d, at 1033, violates the Fourth Amendment. The calculus of reasonableness must embody [490 U.S. 386, 397]   allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving - about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.
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bigdog
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« Reply #355 on: May 24, 2011, 11:12:52 PM »

Those cases, if memory serves, all deal with persons not homes, except for the one with the search warrant at the wrong address.  I believe Guro's point is that there is no search warrant.  Also, there is an assumption of heighten protection in the home. 
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G M
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« Reply #356 on: May 25, 2011, 07:45:57 AM »

"Those cases, if memory serves, all deal with persons not homes, except for the one with the search warrant at the wrong address."

The Fourth Amendment "objective reasonableness" standard is used to judge both the search of places and the seizure of persons equally.

"Also, there is an assumption of heighten protection in the home." 

Yes there is, there is also a court recognized warrantless exemption regarding exigent circumstances, including the prevention of the immediate destruction of evidence.

http://www.bluesheepdog.com/2011/05/19/kentucky-v-king-supreme-court-on-exigent-circumstances/

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to overturn the Kentucky suppression.  Justice Ginsburg was the sole dissenting opinion.  In the Opinion of the Court, written by Justice Alito, it affirmed three areas of exigency that permit a warrantless entry into a home.  While the Court only touched on “emergency aid” and “hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect,” at issue in Kentucky v. King is the exception “to prevent the imminent destruction of evidence.”
 


Justice Alito wrote that lower courts have imposed further requirements to the exigent circumstances rule.  The U. S. Supreme Court rejects those restrictions.  Simply listed, they are:  “bad” faith, reasonable foreseeability, probable cause and time to secure a warrant, and standard or good investigative tactics.  In each of these requirements, lower courts have added upon law enforcement additional legal burdens that are not recognized by the Supreme Court with regard to exigent circumstances.
 
Quoting Graham v. Conner, the Court cited “the calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments—in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.”
 
Ultimately, the Supreme Court articulated that in Kentucky v. King, the exigency of the possible destruction of evidence did exist and that it was not created by the officers’ knock and announce at the door.  The ruling was reversed and remanded for further proceeding in Kentucky.
 
It is interesting that this type of Fourth Amendment judgment was so overwhelmingly supported by seven of the Justices.  I find it refreshing that it seems to hold accountable the actions of the suspects, in refusing to answer the door, for directly contributing to the circumstances that brought about a lawful warrantless entry.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #357 on: May 25, 2011, 08:25:53 AM »

Refusing to answer the door is a grounds for kicking it in?

==================================

What’s wrong with the police kicking in the door of an apartment after they smell marijuana drifting from it, if they knock hard, announce who they are and then hear what sounds like evidence being destroyed?

Related in News
Search Allowed if Police Hear Evidence Being Destroyed (May 17, 2011) Some lower courts have said the answer is pretty much everything, because the police themselves created the pretext for barging in. But the Supreme Court ruled last week that such a warrantless search does not necessarily violate the Fourth Amendment, according to a vague new standard for determining whether the police violated the protection against unreasonable search, or threatened to do so.

They sent the case back to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which is going to have a hard time understanding the new standard — and in any case never resolved whether any evidence was, in fact, destroyed.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the lone dissenter in this strange decision, wisely warned that the new rule gave the police “a way routinely to dishonor” the constitutional requirement that they obtain a warrant, by manufacturing an exception to it. There are already exceptions for “exigent circumstances,” emergencies like an imminent risk of death or a danger evidence will be destroyed. But the urgency usually exists when the police arrive at the scene. In this case, the police caused the exigent circumstances themselves.

The new rule undermines the rule of law by shifting the power to approve a forced entry from a magistrate to the police. It empowers the police to decide whether circumstances allow them to kick in the door.

The majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito Jr. says that the “exigent circumstances” rule applies even though the police triggered the danger that evidence would be destroyed. Apartment-dwellers with nothing to hide, the justice said, are at fault if they don’t take advantage of their right to refuse entry when the police knock. (As if this would be realistic even in Justice Alito’s neighborhood.)

Justice Ginsburg asks, “How ‘secure’ do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?”

Her dissent is a reminder of the enduring value of privacy, as well as of her value to American law. It is unsettling that she is the only justice to insist that the law hold the line on its definition of exigent circumstances so that our “officers are under the law,” as Justice Robert Jackson once put it. But it is reassuring to have her stand up for the Fourth Amendment and to police power that is literally and constitutionally unwarranted.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 08:34:42 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #358 on: May 25, 2011, 08:47:07 AM »

This Court is too liberal, and the King decision proves that.  It must be that there are liberal activist justices like Alito. 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #359 on: May 25, 2011, 08:56:27 AM »

And abominable, counterproductive drug laws that produce the appearance of probable cause every time an herb is ignited.
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G M
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« Reply #360 on: May 25, 2011, 09:38:31 AM »

"Refusing to answer the door is a grounds for kicking it in?"

 That alone? NO. With the totality of the circumstances in the above case? YES.
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G M
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« Reply #361 on: May 25, 2011, 09:43:04 AM »

"This Court is too liberal, and the King decision proves that.  It must be that there are liberal activist justices like Alito. "

Don't forget those ultraliberals, Scalia and Thomas!   wink
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G M
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« Reply #362 on: May 25, 2011, 09:46:57 AM »

"And abominable, counterproductive drug laws that produce the appearance of probable cause every time an herb is ignited."

Don't forget all those horrific counter-terrorism efforts intended to prevent religious activists from using plutonium as an aspect of their belief system. Plutonium is NATURAL, and thus incapible of doing anything bad.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #363 on: May 25, 2011, 11:19:19 AM »

"Justice Kennedy's opinion included an array of anecdotes regarding prison conditions in California, where "as many as 54 prisoners may share a single toilet" "

  - I don't have time to study a case now, but that sounds like the foundation of a solid argument ...  to fund an additional toilet.  How does a factual statement have the words "as many as"..."may" in it?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #364 on: May 25, 2011, 11:24:18 AM »

Somehow, I'm not worried about Iran getting its hands on a bunch of pot , , , Indeed, it might mellow them out a bit.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 12:17:39 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #365 on: May 25, 2011, 12:15:15 PM »

Quote
Don't forget all those horrific counter-terrorism efforts intended to prevent religious activists from using plutonium as an aspect of their belief system. Plutonium is NATURAL, and thus incapible of doing anything bad.

Apples, meet oranges. Or kumquats. Or something.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #366 on: May 27, 2011, 07:50:00 PM »

http://www.kgun9.com/story/14621212/marine-killed-by-swat-was-acting-in-defense-says-family?redirected=true&config=H264

 cry cry cry
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 08:44:15 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #367 on: May 28, 2011, 06:07:42 AM »

A lot of inferences and suppositions here, but I think they are on to something. My guess is that, among other things, domestic spooks are tracking terror suspects via cell phone locational data, noting what other cells are proximate to suspects as they go about their day, then looking for patterns within that locational data post facto. This leads to a couple scary conclusions: first, if you find yourself stopped at a light next to a suspect of some sort, your locational data likely now has someone's interest piqued. Say you work at a college with several active Muslim organizations on it; there is likely no way not to end up next to someone who's phone is being tracked.

Secondly, there is no way these sorts of associational searches are being run in real time. That strongly implies that all "business record" (see below) locational data for all cell phones are being obtained and archived somewhere, with the situational searches run after the fact. If true that means ever citizen owning something with locational tracking ability has all their movements stored somewhere by who knows who, with who knows what kind of shelf life, accessible for who knows what reason, to who knows what end. Oversight would appear negligible in the vacuum within which all this is occurring. A massive infringement on constitutional protections as I understand them, in other words, one sure to be answered to some day.

Atlas Bugged: Why the “Secret Law” of the Patriot Act Is Probably About Location Tracking

Posted by Julian Sanchez

Barack Obama’s AutoPen has signed another four-year extension of three Patriot Act powers, but one silver lining of this week’s lopsided battle over the law is that mainstream papers like The New York Times have finally started to take note of the growing number of senators who have raised an alarm over a “secret interpretation” of Patriot’s “business records” authority (aka Section 215). It would appear to be linked to a “sensitive collection program” referenced by a Justice Department official at hearings during the previous reauthorization debate—one that would be disrupted if 215 orders were restricted to the records of suspected terrorists, their associates, or their “activities” (e.g., large purchases of chemicals used to make bombs). Naturally, lots of people are starting to wonder just what this program, and the secret interpretation of the law that may be associated with it, are all about.

All we can do is speculate, of course: only a handful of legislators and people with top-secret clearances know for sure. But a few of us who closely monitor national security and surveillance issues have come to the same conclusion: it probably involves some form of cellular phone geolocation tracking, potentially on a large scale. The evidence for this is necessarily circumstantial, but I think it’s fairly persuasive when you add it all up.

First, a bit of background. The recent fiery floor speeches from Sens. Wyden and Udall are the first time widespread attention has been drawn to this issue—but it was actually first broached over a year ago, by Sen. Richard Durbin and then-Sen. Russ Feingold, as I point out in my new paper on Patriot surveillance. Back in 2005, language that would have required Section 215 business record orders to pertain to terror suspects, or their associates, or the “activities” of a terror group won the unanimous support of the Senate Judiciary Committee, though was not ultimately included in the final reauthorization bill. Four years later, however, the Justice Department was warning that such a requirement would interfere with that “sensitive collection program.” As Durbin complained at the time:

The real reason for resisting this obvious, common-sense modification of Section 215 is unfortunately cloaked in secrecy. Some day that cloak will be lifted, and future generations will ask whether our actions today meet the test of a democratic society: transparency, accountability, and fidelity to the rule of law and our Constitution.

Those are three pretty broad categories of information—and it should raise a few eyebrows to learn that the Justice Department believes it routinely needs to get information outside its scope for counterterror investigations. Currently, any record asserted to be “relevant” to an investigation (a standard so low it’s barely a standard) is subject to Section 215, and records falling within those three categories enjoy a “presumption of relevance.” That means the judges on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court lack discretion to evaluate for themselves whether such records are really relevant to an investigation; they must presume their relevance. With that in mind, consider that the most recent report to Congress on the use of these powers shows a record 96 uses of Section 215 in 2010, up from 22 the previous year. Perhaps most surprisingly though, the FISC saw fit to “modify” (which almost certainly means “narrow the scope of”) 42 of those orders. Since the court’s discretion is limited with respect to records of suspected terrorists and their associates, it seems probable that those “modifications” involved applications for orders that sweep more broadly. But why would such records be needed? Hold that thought.

Fast forward to this week. We hear Sen. Wyden warning that “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry,” a warning echoed by Sen. Udall. We know that this surprising and disturbing interpretation concerns one of the three provisions that had been slated for sunset. Lone Wolf remains unused, so that’s out, leaving roving wiretaps and Section 215. In the context of remarks by Sens. Feingold and Durbin, and the emphasis recently placed on concerns about Section 215 by Sen. Udall, the business records provision seems like a safe bet. By its explicit terms, that authority is already quite broad: What strained secret interpretation of it could be surprising to both legislators and the general public, but also meet with the approval of the FISC and the Office of Legal Counsel?

For one possible answer, look to the criminal context, where the Department of Justice has developed a novel legal theory, known as the “hybrid theory,” according to which law enforcement may do some types of geolocation tracking of suspects’ cellular phones without obtaining a full-blown probable cause warrant. The “hybrid theory” involves fusing two very different types of surveillance authority. “Pen registers” allow the monitoring, in real time, of the communications “metadata” from phones or other communications devices (phone numbers dialed, IP addresses connected to). For cellular phones, that “metadata” would often make it possible to pinpoint at least approximately—and, increasingly, with a good deal of precision, especially in urban areas—the location of the user. Federal law, however, prohibits carriers from disclosing location information “solely” pursuant to a pen register order. Another type of authority, known as a 2703(d) order, is a bit like Patriot’s business records authority (though only for telecommunications providers), and is used to compel the production of historical (as opposed to real-time/prospective) records, without any exclusion on location information. The Justice Department’s novel theory—which I discussed at a recent Cato event with Sen. Wyden on geolocation tracking—is that by bundling these two authorities in a new kind of combination order, they can do real-time geolocation tracking without the need to obtain a full Fourth Amendment warrant based on probable cause. Many courts have been skeptical of this theory and rejected it—but at least some have gone along with this clever bit of legal origami. Using the broad business records power of Patriot’s Section 215 in a similar way, to enable physical tracking of anyone with a cellphone, would seem to fit the bill, then: certainly surprising and counterintuitive, not what most people think of when we talk about “obtaining business records,” but nevertheless a maneuver with a legal track record of convincing some courts.

Now, consider that Sen. Wyden has also recently developed a concern with the practice of mobile location tracking, which has become so popular that the U.S. Marshall Service, now the federal government’s most prolific (known) user of pen register orders, of which it issued over 6,000 last year, employs the “hybrid theory” to obtain location information by default with each such order. Wyden has introduced legislation that would establish standards for mobile location tracking, which has two surprising and notable feature. First, while the location tracking known to the public all involves criminal investigations subject to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), that’s not where Wyden’s bill makes its primary modifications. Instead, the key amendments are made directly to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—which language is then incorporated by reference into ECPA. Second, even though one section establishes the “exclusive means” for geolocation tracking, the proposal goes out of its way to additionally modify the FISA pen register provision and the Section 215 business records provision to explicitly prohibit their use to obtain geolocation information—as though there is some special reason to worry about those provisions being used that way, requiring any possible ambiguity to be removed.

Sen. Udall, meanwhile, always uses the same two examples when he talks about his concerns regarding Section 215: he warns about “unfettered” government access to “business records ranging from a cell phone company’s phone records to an individual’s library history,” even when the records relate to people with no connection to terrorism.  The reference to libraries is no surprise, because the specter of Section 215 being used to probe people’s reading habits was raised so insistently by librarians that it became common to see it referenced as the “library provision.” The other example is awfully specific though: he singles out cell phone records, even though many types of sensitive phone records can already be obtained without judicial oversight using National Security Letters. But he doesn’t just say “phone records”—it’s cell phone records he’s especially concerned about. And where he talks about “an individual’s” library records, he doesn’t warn about access to “an individual’s” cell phone records, but rather the company’s records.  As in, the lot of them.

Tracking the location of suspected terrorists, and perhaps their known associates, might not seem so objectionable—though one could argue whether Section 215′s “relevance” standard was sufficient, or whether a full FISA electronic surveillance warrant (requiring a showing of probable cause) would be a more appropriate tool. But that kind of targeted tracking would not require broad access to records of people unconnected to terror suspects and their known associates, which is hinted at by both Sen. Udall’s remarks and the high rate of modifications imposed on Section 215 orders by the FISA court. Why might that be needed in the course of a geolocation tracking program?

For a possible answer, turn to the “LocInt” or “Location Intelligence” services marketed to U.S. law enforcement and national security clients by the firm TruePosition. Among the capabilities the company boasts for its software (drawn from both its site and a 2008 white paper the company sponsored) are:

● the ability to analyze location intelligence to detect suspicious behavioral patterns,
● the ability to mine historical mobile phone data to detect relationships between people, locations, and events,
● TruePosition LOCINT can mine location data to find out if the geoprofile of a prepaid phone matches the geoprofile of a potential threat and identify it as such, and
● leveraging location intelligence, officials can identify mobile phones of interest that frequently communicate with each other, or are within close proximity, making it easier to identify criminals and their associates. [Emphasis added.]

Certainly one can see how these functions might be useful: terrorists trained in counterintelligence tactics might seek to avoid surveillance, or identification of co-conspirators, by communicating only in person. Calling records would be useless for revealing physical meetings—but location records are another story. What these functions have in common, however, is that like any kind of data mining, they require access to a large pool of data, not just the records of a known suspect. You can find out who your suspect is phoning by looking at his phone records. But if you want to know who he’s in close physical proximity to—with unusual frequency, and most likely alone—you need to sift through everyone’s phone location records, or at any rate a whole lot of them.  The interesting thing is, it’s not obvious there’s any legal way to actually do all that: full-fledged electronic surveillance warrants would be a non-starter, since they require probable cause for each target. But clearly the company expects to be able to sell these capabilities to some government entity. The obvious candidate is the FBI, availing itself of the broad authority of Section 215—perhaps in combination with FISA pen registers when the tracking needs to happen in real time.

As a final note of interest, the Office of the Inspector Generals’ reports on National Security Letter contain numerous oblique references to “community of interest [REDACTED]” requests. Traditional “community of interest” analysis means looking at the pattern of communications of not just the primary suspect of an investigation, but their whole social circle—the people the suspect communicates with, and perhaps the people they in turn communicate with, and so on. Apparently the fact that the FBI does this sort of traditional CoI analysis is not considered secret, because that phrase remains unredacted. What, then, could that single omitted word be? One candidate that would fit in the available space is “location” or “geolocation”—meaning either location tracking of people called by the suspect or perhaps the use of location records to build a suspect’s “community of interest” by “identify[ing] mobile phones…within close proximity” to the suspects. The Inspector General reports cover the first few years following passage of the Patriot Act, before an opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel held that NSLs could not properly be used to obtain the full range of communications metadata the FBI had been getting under them. If NSLs had been used for location-tracking information prior to that 2008 opinion, it would likely have been necessary to rely on Section 215 past that point, which would fit the timeline.

Is all of that conclusive? Of course not; again, this is speculation. But a lot of data points fit, and it would be quite surprising if the geolocation capabilities increasingly being called upon for criminal investigations were not being used for intelligence purposes. If they are, Section 215 is the natural mechanism.

Even if I’m completely wrong, however, the larger point remains: while intelligence operations must remain secret, a free and democratic society is not supposed to be governed by secret laws—and substantive judicial interpretations are no less a part of “the law” than the text of statutes. Whatever power the government has arrogated to itself by an “innovative” interpretation of the Patriot Act, it should be up to a free citizenry to consider the case for it, determine whether it is so vital to security to justify the intrusion on privacy, and hold their representatives accountable accordingly. Instead, Congress has essential voted blind—reauthorizing powers that even legislators, let alone the public, do not truly understand. Whether it’s location tracking or something else, this is fundamentally incompatible with the preconditions of both democracy and a free society.
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G M
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« Reply #368 on: May 28, 2011, 11:10:28 AM »

A lot of inferences and suppositions here, but I think they are on to something. My guess is that, among other things, domestic spooks are tracking terror suspects via cell phone locational data, noting what other cells are proximate to suspects as they go about their day, then looking for patterns within that locational data post facto. This leads to a couple scary conclusions: first, if you find yourself stopped at a light next to a suspect of some sort, your locational data likely now has someone's interest piqued. Say you work at a college with several active Muslim organizations on it; there is likely no way not to end up next to someone who's phone is being tracked.

Secondly, there is no way these sorts of associational searches are being run in real time. That strongly implies that all "business record" (see below) locational data for all cell phones are being obtained and archived somewhere, with the situational searches run after the fact. If true that means ever citizen owning something with locational tracking ability has all their movements stored somewhere by who knows who, with who knows what kind of shelf life, accessible for who knows what reason, to who knows what end. Oversight would appear negligible in the vacuum within which all this is occurring. A massive infringement on constitutional protections as I understand them, in other words, one sure to be answered to some day.



If these methods are being used for counterterrorism investigations, do you think it would make sense to have an organizational chart of suspects that sprawls into the millions? If you have identified a "person of interest", you'd be looking to connect him/her to others in a cell, which would involve specifically sorting out all the chaff of normal interactions in the day to day life of the suspect.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #369 on: May 29, 2011, 09:42:09 AM »

In Florida, Criminals Pose as Police More Frequently and for More Violent Ends
By DON VAN NATTA Jr.
 
MIAMI — A black BMW flashing red and blue lights suddenly filled Alexandria Armeley’s rearview mirror one evening last month. At a stoplight, the BMW’s driver pulled up next to her, waved a gold badge and told her “I’m a cop.”

 
But Ms. Armeley was suspicious. Before she pulled over, she called her stepfather, Alex Hernandez, a police detective in Biscayne Park, Fla., who warned her that the man was probably not a police officer. Speed away, he told her.

A terrified Ms. Armeley took off and was chased by the BMW for several miles through southern Miami-Dade County. Detective Hernandez had jumped in his car to help and eventually caught up to them.

So the real officer arrested the fake officer, whose name is Daniel A. Barros. Asked why he had tried to pull over Ms. Armeley, a 23-year-old college student, Mr. Barros, 22, told officers, “She was speeding.”

The BMW 7 Series car, outfitted with police lights and a siren, was “lit up like a Christmas tree,” Detective Hernandez recalled about the midnight encounter. “There are a lot of guys walking around with phony badges, but this guy had the whole works. Who knows what he would have done if he had gotten my stepdaughter to stop?”

Mr. Barros is facing several charges in the case, including impersonating an officer.

As long as police officers have worn uniforms and carried badges, criminals have dressed like them to try to win the trust of potential victims. Now the impersonators are far more sophisticated, according to nearly a dozen city police chiefs and detectives across the country.

In South Florida, seemingly an incubator of law-breaking innovation, police impersonators have become better organized and, most troubling to law enforcement officials, more violent. The practice is so common that the Miami-Dade Police Department has a Police Impersonator Unit.

Since the unit was established in 2007, it has arrested or had encounters with more than 80 phony officers in Miami-Dade County, and the frequency has increased in recent months, said Lt. Daniel Villanueva, who heads the unit.

“It’s definitely a trend,” Lieutenant Villanueva said. “They use the guise of being a police officer to knock on a door, and the victim lowers their guard for just a second. At that point, it’s too late.”

He added that part of the problem was that it was easy for civilians to buy “police products,” like fake badges, handcuffs and uniforms. “The states need to lock this down and make impersonating a police officer a more serious crime because we’re seeing more people using these types of these things to commit more serious crimes,” he said.

Detective Javier J. Baez of the Miami-Dade Police Department said, “These types of crimes here in Miami typically have a nexus to drugs.”

Increasingly, fake police officers are pulling off crimes together, the authorities say.

One evening three weeks ago, three men in police uniforms knocked on the door of a home in southwest Miami-Dade County.

When the home’s owner, Jose Montoya, opened the door, the men barged in and yelled, “Police, police! Get down, get down!” The men tied up Mr. Montoya, his wife and their toddler and then spent hours ransacking the house, the authorities said. They beat up Mr. Montoya, who was treated at a nearby hospital, and stole cash, jewelry and several weapons, the police said.

Before leaving, the robbers warned Mr. Montoya and his family not to call the police, the authorities said, or they would return and kill them.

Some police impersonators commit violent crimes like home invasions, car-jackings, rapes and, rarely, murders.

Last summer, a Tampa man impersonating an undercover officer used a badge and a siren to pull over a 28-year-old woman and rape her. In January, the man, Luis Harris, 31, was convicted of sexual battery, grand theft, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer, among other charges. A judge sentenced Mr. Harris to life in prison

==============

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Other police impersonators, police chiefs and detectives say, masquerade as officers for more benign reasons, like trying to scare or impress someone. “Usually,” Detective Baez said, “the wannabe cop outfits their vehicles with police lights and fake insignias to fulfill some psychological need.”

This happened in Chicago when a 14-year-old boy named Vincent Richardson donned police garb and walked into the Third District precinct during morning roll call in January 2009. Officers handed him a radio and told him to ride along with a female officer. The teenager even helped make an arrest.

“After four or five hours, she asks, ‘Who is this guy?’ ” recalled Jody P. Weis, who was the Chicago police superintendent at the time. “He’s in a uniform, he has a goofy badge, he doesn’t have a weapon and he’s a high school kid. It was so embarrassing.” (The embarrassment did not end there for Mr. Weis, who said he had recommended against punishing the teenager in juvenile court because no harm had been done. Three months later, the boy was arrested and charged with stealing a car. Last week, he was arrested on several weapons charges.)

Impersonating an officer is a misdemeanor in some states, though it is a felony in Florida. The charge’s severity, and punishment, increases if a criminal charged with posing as a police officer commits a felony. Several chiefs and detectives say the crime is not taken seriously enough by the justice system and the public. Often, the crime goes unreported, the police say.

“Unfortunately, there is not a lot of downside for a criminal to impersonate a police officer,” said Commissioner Edward Davis of the Boston Police Department. “You can charge them with impersonating a police officer, but that’s not a very serious crime. The way the law views this crime, it’s as an innocent or silly prank. But it has become a much more serious crime than it is perceived by the public.”

Detective Hernandez, of Biscayne Park, Fla., said: “People minimize it. They just let it go. They won’t think about how dangerous this potentially can be. They just don’t see it.”

Some law enforcement officials said the public did not take these types of episodes seriously because of the types of cases often highlighted by the news media. People charged with impersonating police officers are often portrayed as befuddled, hapless and harmless.

In March, a motocross champion was arrested in Orlando, Fla., and charged with impersonating a police officer. The man, James Stewart Jr., 25, tried to stop another car using red and blue lights, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The car that he tried to stop contained two off-duty troopers.

Last October in Boca Raton, Fla., Andrew Novotak, in his white Crown Victoria with flashing green lights, pulled over motorists and quizzed them about whether they had been drinking alcohol, the police said.

When the police questioned him, Mr. Novotak was wearing a police badge and carrying a loaded gun. He also had a German shepherd in his back seat, which he insisted was a police-trained dog. After arresting him, officers said they smelled alcohol on his breath. He was charged with impersonating an officer and driving under the influence.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #370 on: May 29, 2011, 03:13:44 PM »


http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/05/16/
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« Reply #371 on: June 01, 2011, 09:58:23 AM »



Haven't read this yet, but it seems likely to be quite relevant to our discussion here:

1. Supreme Court decides Kentucky v. King -- warrantless entry case.
 
AELE, joined by the IACP and NSA, urged the Court to adopt an objective reasonableness standard for warrantless entries into premises predicated on exigent circumstances. The brief stressed that officers need clear guidance and a uniform rule for training and operational purposes -- and for their safety when confronting dangerous offenders. Read the AELE brief at http://www.aele.org/ky-king.pdf
 
The Court, in an 8-1 holding, overturned the Kentucky Supreme Court. See http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-1272.pdf

Note: This case is a huge win for police officers.
 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #372 on: June 02, 2011, 12:09:42 PM »

Quote
If these methods are being used for counterterrorism investigations, do you think it would make sense to have an organizational chart of suspects that sprawls into the millions? If you have identified a "person of interest", you'd be looking to connect him/her to others in a cell, which would involve specifically sorting out all the chaff of normal interactions in the day to day life of the suspect.

Sure, which would by necessity require whomever to have recorded the locational data of every trackable device for a number of years as the only way to correlate that stuff would be to have all available location data stored somewhere. Once you find an association you wouldn't only want to project it forward, but mine it backwards too, yes? Guess we know what the NSA needs all those yottabytes of storage for. It'll be interesting to see what happens when American citizens discover that they all are being tracked all the time.
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G M
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« Reply #373 on: June 02, 2011, 03:36:19 PM »

Quote
If these methods are being used for counterterrorism investigations, do you think it would make sense to have an organizational chart of suspects that sprawls into the millions? If you have identified a "person of interest", you'd be looking to connect him/her to others in a cell, which would involve specifically sorting out all the chaff of normal interactions in the day to day life of the suspect.

Sure, which would by necessity require whomever to have recorded the locational data of every trackable device for a number of years as the only way to correlate that stuff would be to have all available location data stored somewhere. Once you find an association you wouldn't only want to project it forward, but mine it backwards too, yes? Guess we know what the NSA needs all those yottabytes of storage for. It'll be interesting to see what happens when American citizens discover that they all are being tracked all the time.

Imaginitive but very unlikely. The costs involved would be massive and the usefullness very limited. Cell phone location data isn't very exact. Pinging someone from a cell tower can give you a general location in a given area of a cell phone in relation to a cell tower, but it's very difficult to run down an exact address under most circumstances.
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« Reply #374 on: June 03, 2011, 08:48:40 AM »

And so all those yottabytes or storage are for. . . ? And the two pieces I've posted that are starting to unravel this mystery should be dismissed for what reason?

Just so you can get an idea of the scale of the storage that I guess is being used to catalog chicken salad sandwich recipes or something:

How Big is a Yottabyte? [Infographic]

By Alex Williams / May 17, 2011 9:30 AM / 0 Comments
Hacker News Share & Save

This post is part of our ReadWriteWeb Solution Series, which explores specific technologies and industries that use virtualization for critical operations. We hope this expert analysis and discussion will inspire you in use new ways to use virtualization technology within your organization. This post is sponsored by VMware & IBM. For more, see: IBM Tivoli Manager: Overcoming the Challenges of Backing Up and Restoring Virtual Machines

This year it's become clear that data is scaling to such an degree that you have to change how you manage your desktop and your entire information architecture in order to not just manage your daily work but to succeed.

It's the core issue of our day, one that's that's a top priority when planning to adopt a virtualized infrastructure that allows for people to access apps from tablets and smartphones.

The first step is to get a perspective on the size of the data. This infographic shows what a yottabyte represents in comparison to other terms for units of measurement. It may seem far out to think in such terms but considering projected storage requirements, the concept doesn't seem so far fetched.



As I'm sure you know, when evaluating an opponent you have to assess his capabilities rather than his intentions. The capabilities of US intelligence collection agencies is truly jaw dropping; you think we should dismiss those capabilities as we attempt to provide oversight for them?
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« Reply #375 on: June 03, 2011, 09:08:04 AM »

And so all those yottabytes or storage are for. . . ? And the two pieces I've posted that are starting to unravel this mystery should be dismissed for what reason?

Just so you can get an idea of the scale of the storage that I guess is being used to catalog chicken salad sandwich recipes or something:


As I'm sure you know, when evaluating an opponent you have to assess his capabilities rather than his intentions. The capabilities of US intelligence collection agencies is truly jaw dropping; you think we should dismiss those capabilities as we attempt to provide oversight for them?

As more and more people on the planet use some type of communication technology, the NSA needs a place to put everything it hoovers up.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #376 on: June 03, 2011, 11:22:13 AM »

Yup. Unconstitutionally, but my bet is it is vacuuming it all up nonetheless and likely using the rationale that they only look at the archived files if they have good reason to so American citizens should not be concerned if there every phone call, every identifiable location, every internet activity, every purchase, and so on is being collected, collated, and cross referenced by organs of the federal government.

George Orwell, Big Brother is holding your calls.
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G M
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« Reply #377 on: June 03, 2011, 02:10:52 PM »

Yup. Unconstitutionally, but my bet is it is vacuuming it all up nonetheless and likely using the rationale that they only look at the archived files if they have good reason to so American citizens should not be concerned if there every phone call, every identifiable location, every internet activity, every purchase, and so on is being collected, collated, and cross referenced by organs of the federal government.

George Orwell, Big Brother is holding your calls.

Oh brother. Does everyone on the planet enjoy constitutional protections?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #378 on: June 03, 2011, 07:35:36 PM »

Uh , , , no.  Duh.  The concern here IS American citizens.
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G M
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« Reply #379 on: June 03, 2011, 08:01:01 PM »

Uh , , , no.  Duh.  The concern here IS American citizens.

Then why the hysteria that the NSA is listening in on foreign phone calls/texts/emails? That's their job.
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« Reply #380 on: June 04, 2011, 10:58:50 PM »

Is that what we have been discussing?  I seem to have missed that , , ,
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« Reply #381 on: June 05, 2011, 10:32:10 AM »

No, we're discussing the theoretical horrors of what if the gov't knew where your cell was at all times.  rolleyes
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« Reply #382 on: June 05, 2011, 10:44:49 AM »

So why the nonsense about non-Americans having Constitutional rights?
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G M
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« Reply #383 on: June 05, 2011, 10:48:42 AM »

"As more and more people on the planet use some type of communication technology, the NSA needs a place to put everything it hoovers up."

"Yup. Unconstitutionally, but my bet is it is vacuuming it all up nonetheless and likely using the rationale that they only look at the archived files if they have good reason to so American citizens should not be concerned if there every phone call, every identifiable location, every internet activity, every purchase, and so on is being collected, collated, and cross referenced by organs of the federal government."

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« Reply #384 on: June 05, 2011, 11:10:54 AM »

C'mon GM, you are too bright for this.  Our concern has been expressed in terms of American Constitutional rights.  Posting as if we are trying to extend American C'l rights to the whole planet is , , , tedious.
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G M
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« Reply #385 on: June 05, 2011, 11:18:20 AM »

I pointed out the NSA global role. BBG spun into a constitutional complaint. Our intel agencies work on SIGINT and other forms of intel gathering outside the US.
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« Reply #386 on: June 05, 2011, 02:30:06 PM »

But our complaint concerns tracking us here in the US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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G M
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« Reply #387 on: June 05, 2011, 02:34:11 PM »

Who is tracking you here in the US?
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« Reply #388 on: June 05, 2011, 06:35:22 PM »

BBG as quoted by you on May 28:

 lot of inferences and suppositions here, but I think they are on to something. My guess is that, among other things, domestic spooks are tracking terror suspects via cell phone locational data, noting what other cells are proximate to suspects as they go about their day, then looking for patterns within that locational data post facto. This leads to a couple scary conclusions: first, if you find yourself stopped at a light next to a suspect of some sort, your locational data likely now has someone's interest piqued. Say you work at a college with several active Muslim organizations on it; there is likely no way not to end up next to someone who's phone is being tracked.

Secondly, there is no way these sorts of associational searches are being run in real time. That strongly implies that all "business record" (see below) locational data for all cell phones are being obtained and archived somewhere, with the situational searches run after the fact. If true that means ever citizen owning something with locational tracking ability has all their movements stored somewhere by who knows who, with who knows what kind of shelf life, accessible for who knows what reason, to who knows what end. Oversight would appear negligible in the vacuum within which all this is occurring. A massive infringement on constitutional protections as I understand them, in other words, one sure to be answered to some day.


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G M
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« Reply #389 on: June 05, 2011, 06:45:03 PM »

Yes, and as I pointed out, his theory on the needed yottabites of storage for everyone's (domestic) cell phone locational data doesn't hold up. It would be immensely expensive and not very useful.
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« Reply #390 on: June 05, 2011, 09:19:47 PM »

That can be debated, but the point remains that your commentary about extending American C'l rights to outside the US was non-responsive.
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« Reply #391 on: June 08, 2011, 11:48:04 AM »

http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/06/swat-team-busts-into-house-over-student-loan-default/
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 02:32:51 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #392 on: June 08, 2011, 08:20:06 PM »

UPDATE: The Department of Education emailed Raw Story with a comment from spokesman Justin Hamilton to say the search warrant and raid were related to a criminal investigation, not a student loan default. The ABC affiliate has yanked its story that made the now seemingly false claim.
 
“While it was reported in local media that the search was related to a defaulted student loan, that is incorrect. This is related to a criminal investigation. The Inspector General’s Office does not execute search warrants for late loan payments,” Hamilton said. “Because this is an ongoing criminal investigation, we can’t comment on the specifics of the case.”
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bigdog
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« Reply #393 on: June 08, 2011, 08:26:23 PM »

Well, that is good news.  Thanks GM.
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« Reply #394 on: June 08, 2011, 08:32:17 PM »

I would hate to see search warrants being served over a simple failure to pay. That would not make sense.
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« Reply #395 on: June 09, 2011, 10:30:34 AM »

Thank you for the correction to the false original report.  I am relieved to hear it.
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« Reply #396 on: June 12, 2011, 03:56:23 PM »

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2011/06/12/nr.holmes.armstrong.facebook.cnn?hpt=hp_t2
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« Reply #397 on: June 14, 2011, 10:46:05 AM »

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-cellphone-20110614,0,336967.story
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« Reply #398 on: June 15, 2011, 01:47:37 PM »

FBI’s New Guidelines Further Loosen Constraints on Monitoring

Posted by Julian Sanchez

The New York Times‘s Charlie Savage reports that the FBI is preparing to release a new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), further relaxing the rules governing the Bureau’s investigation of Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

This comes just three years after the last major revision of FBI manual, which empowered agents to employ a broad range of investigative techniques in exploratory “assessments” of citizens or domestic groups, even in the absence of allegations or evidence of wrongdoing, which are needed to open an “investigation.” The FBI assured Congress that it would conduct intensive training, and test agents to ensure that they understood the limits of the new authority—but the Inspector General found irregularities suggestive of widespread cheating on those tests.

Agents can already do quite a bit even without opening an “assessment”: They can consult the government’s own massive (and ever-growing) databases, or search the public Internet for “open source” intelligence. If, however, they want to start digging through state and local law enforcement records, or plumb the vast quantities of information held by commercial data aggregators like LexisNexis or Acxiom, they currently do have to open an assessment. Again, that doesn’t mean they’ve got to have evidence—or even an allegation—that their target is doing anything illegal, but it does mean they’ve got to create a paper trail and identify a legitimate purpose for their inquiries. That’s not much of a limitation, to be sure, but it does provide a strong deterrent to casual misuse of those databases for personal reasons. That paper trail means an agent who might be tempted to use government resources for personal ends—to check up on an ex or a new neighbor—has good reason to think twice.

Removing that check means there will be a lot more digging around in databases without any formal record of why. Even though most of those searches will be legitimate, that makes the abuses more likely to get lost in the crowd. Indeed, a series of reports by the Inspector General’s Office finding “widespread and serious misuse” of National Security Letters, noted that lax recordkeeping made it extremely difficult to accurately gauge the seriousness of the abuses or their true extent—and, of course, to hold the responsible parties accountable. Moreover, the most recent of those reports strongly suggests that agents engaged in illegal use of so-called “exigent letters” resisted the introduction of new records systems precisely because they knew (or at least suspected) their methods weren’t quite kosher.

The new rules will also permit agents to rifle through a person’s garbage when conducting an “assessment” of someone they’d like to recruit as an informant or mole. The reason, according to the Times, is that “they want the ability to use information found in a subject’s trash to put pressure on that person to assist the government in the investigation of others.” Not keen into being dragooned into FBI service? Hope you don’t have anything embarrassing in your dumpster! Physical surveillance squads can only be assigned to a target once, for a limited time, in the course of an assessment under the current rules—that limit, too, falls by the wayside in the revised DIOG.

The Bureau characterizes the latest round of changes as “tweaks” to the most recent revisions. That probably understates the significance of some of the changes, but one reason it’s worrying to see another bundle of revisions so soon after the last overhaul is precisely that it’s awfully easy to slip a big aggregate change under the radar by breaking it up into a series of “tweaks.”

We’ve seen such a move already with respect to National Security Letters, which enable access to a wide array of sensitive financial, phone, and Internet records without a court order—as long as the information is deemed relevant to an “authorized investigation.” When Congress massively expanded the scope of these tools under the USA Patriot Act, legislators understood that to mean full investigations, which must be based on “specific facts” suggesting that a crime is being committed or that a threat to national security exists. Just two years later, the Attorney General’s guidelines were quietly changed to permit the use of NSLs during “preliminary” investigations, which need not meet that standard. Soon, more than half of the NSLs issued each year were used for such preliminary inquiries (though they aren’t available for mere “assessments”… yet).

The FBI, of course, prefers to emphasize all the restrictions that remain in place. We’ll probably have to wait a year or two to see which of those get “tweaked” away next.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/fbi’s-new-guidelines-further-loosen-constraints-on-monitoring/
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G M
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« Reply #399 on: June 15, 2011, 01:52:05 PM »

Oh no, the FBI can use investigative techniques to investigate!  rolleyes
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