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Author Topic: Law Enforcement issues and LE in action  (Read 116610 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2008, 09:06:49 PM »

Second post of the day:



YIN / yang

--- On Sat, 7/19/08, Force Science Research Center <Info@forcesciencenews.com> wrote:

From: Force Science Research Center <Info@forcesciencenews.com>
Subject: FORCE SCIENCE NEWS: Transmission #102
To: stickwacker1@yahoo.com
Date: Saturday, July 19, 2008, 12:07 PM
July 18, 2008
www.ForceScienceNews.com
Force Science News #102


In this issue:
New study ranks risks of injury from 5 major force options

How would you rank the relative risk for officers and suspects suffering injury from
these 5 force options:

• Empty-hand control techniques
• Baton
• OC spray
• Conducted energy weapons (Tasers)
• Lateral vascular neck restraint.

If you judged OC to be the ³safest² and baton to be ³most injurious² to both
officers and offenders, you¹re in agreement with the findings of a new study of
force encounters involving officers on a major municipal department.
The study, the first of its kind in Canada, was conducted by S/Sgt. Chris Butler of
the Calgary (Alberta) Police Service and Dr. Christine Hall of the Canadian Police
Research Center.
They analyzed 562 use-of-force events that occurred across a recent 2-year period as
officers effected the arrests of resistant subjects in Calgary, a city of more than
1 million population. The threatened or actual use of firearms were omitted from the
review, as were handcuffing, low-level pain compliance techniques like joint locks
and pressure points, K-9s, and tactical responses such as chemical agents,
flashbangs and less-lethal projectiles.
Here¹s what they discovered:
• OC, used in roughly 5% of force-involved arrests, produced the lowest rate of
injury. More than 80% of sprayed subjects sustained no injury whatever. About 15%
had only minor injuries (³visible injuries of a trifling nature which did not
require medical treatment²) and some 4% had what the researchers termed ³minor
outpatient² injuries (some medical treatment required but not hospitalization). No
cases resulted in hospitalization or were fatal.
Officers involved in OC use fared even better. They suffered no injury in nearly 89%
of cases and only minor damage the rest of the time.
The pepper spray involved was Sabre Red, with 10% oleoresin capsicum.
• Batons, deployed in 5.5% of force-involved arrests, caused the greatest rate of
higher-level injury. Fewer than 39% of subjects receiving baton contact remained
uninjured. More than 3% were hospitalized and nearly 26% required outpatient
treatment, combining to be ³most injurious,² according to the researchers. About 32%
of batoned subjects sustained minor injuries requiring no treatment.
Of officers involved in baton incidents, nearly 13% required outpatient treatment.
Some 16% sustained minor injury and the rest were uninjured.
In Calgary, the baton used is the Monadnock Autolock expandable with power safety tip.
• Empty-hand controls, applied in 38.5% of the force events, also ranked high for
more serious injuries. For purposes of the study, physical controls included ³nerve
motor point striking and stunning techniques, grounding techniques such as arm-bar
takedowns, and other balance displacement methods.²
Nearly 14% of these subjects required outpatient medical care and about 4% had to be
hospitalized. Almost 50% had minor injuries and about 33% remained uninjured.
Among officers, 1% required hospitalization and 4.5% needed outpatient aid. The vast
majority (77.8%) were uninjured and nearly 17% had minor injuries.
Judging from these findings, the researchers conclude, agencies need ³to seek out
alternatives to hands-on physical control tactics and the baton if they wish to
reduce the frequency and seriousness of citizen and police officer injuries.²
• The second safest force mode for suspects proved to be the lateral vascular neck
restraint. Used in 3% of force-related arrests, the LVNR left more than half (52.9%)
of offenders uninjured. About 41% sustained minor injuries and less than 6% required
minor outpatient treatment. There were no hospitalizations and no fatalities.
Officers applying a LVNR remained uninjured more than 76% of the time and those who
were hurt suffered only minor injuries.
• Conducted energy weapons also scored high in safety for both suspects and
officers. The Taser X26, the CEW issued to Calgary officers, was the most frequently
deployed of the 5 force options studied, being used against nearly half (48.2%) of
resistant arrestees. About 1% ended up hospitalized, about 12% needed minor
outpatient treatment and more than 42% had only minor injuries. Nearly 45% sustained
no injuries and there were 0 fatalities.
Of officers using Tasers, about 83% were uninjured and about 13% sustained minor
injuries. Only about 2% and 1% required outpatient medical attention or
hospitalization respectively.
³The commonly held belief² that CEWs carry ³a significant risk of injury or deathŠis
not supported by the data.² Indeed, they are ³less injurious than either the baton
or empty-hand physical control,² which often would be alternative options where
electronic weapons were not available.
In a 14-page report of their study, Butler and Hall point out that ³[N]o use of
force technique available to police officers can be considered Œsafe¹ ² in the
dictionary sense that it is free from harm or secure from threat of danger. ³[E]very
use of force encounter between the police and a citizen carries with it the
possibility for injury for one or all of the participants, however unexpected that
injury might be.²
The best that can be hoped for is an appropriate, proportional balance between ³the
degree of risk of harm² and the ³resistance faced by police² that requires the use
of force.
The public has been fed ³a large amount ofŠincomplete or incorrect information and
even intentional artifice² about some force options, the researchers charge. Their
study, they say, may help eliminate the resulting confusion. Plus, knowing the level
of injury likely to result from a given force method can aid trainers and
administrators in developing ³sound policies and practices.²
³This study is a great snapshot about force and its associated injuries and is a
valuable addition to the discussion of force issues in Canada and elsewhere,² says
Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive director of the Force Science Research Center at
Minnesota State University-Mankato.
³Hopefully, the researchers will now be encouraged to probe further into some of the
issues they touched on, exploring in greater depth the decision-making that led
officers to apply various types of force, the level of emotional and physical
intensity generated by subjects receiving the force, the causes of injuries to both
officers and subjects, and so on. There is still much to be learned in these areas.²

As part of their study, Hall and Butler compiled statistics on the broad overview of
force encounters among Calgary officers, which closely mirror findings regarding
U.S. law enforcement.
For instance:
• Out of more than 827,000 police-public interactions, the 562 instances which ended
up involving use of force represented less than 1% (.07%) of the total. (Other
studies have pegged that figure in the U.S. at 1.5%.)
• Arrests occurred in only 4.6% of police-public interactions, and 98.5% of the time
the arrests were finessed without force.
• Roughly 88% of all subjects requiring force were under the influence of drugs
and/or alcohol or ³some degree of emotional illness.² Almost 94% of resistant
offenders requiring force were male.
• The researchers found ³a notable pattern of relationshipŠbetween the number of
officers present and the frequency and nature of injuries sustained by both citizens
and officers.² Namely: ³[M]ore injuries occurred in circumstances where only one
officer was present.²
The researchers state bluntly that ³biased reporting of events has led the
lay-public to have the impression that the police use of force is frequent when
compared to the overall number of police and public interactions.²
They mentioned also a bias that results in ³extensive media coverage of events where
subjects have died² after use of a CEW and a ³lack of publication of CEW uses
without an adverse outcome.²
Such skewed reporting ³prevents the publicŠfrom forming an informed opinion about
the actual risk presented² by various force modalities, they stated.
The study¹s official jaw-breaking title is: ³Public-Police Interaction and Its
Relation to Arrest and Use of Force by Police and Resulting Injuries to Subjects and
Officers; a Description of Risk in One Major Canadian Urban City.² It is expected to
be posted online in mid- to late-August by the Canadian Police Research Center at
www.cprc.org
S/Sgt. Butler can be reached at chris.butler@calgarypolice.ca.
 







Visit www.forcescience.org for more information
Advertise



 
================
The Force Science News is provided by The Force Science Research Center, a
non-profit institution based at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Subscriptions
are free and sent via e-mail. To register for your free, direct-delivery
subscription, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the registration
button.

(c) 2008: Force Science Research Center, www.forcescience.org. Reprints allowed by
request. For reprint clearance, please e-mail: info@forcesciencenews.com. FORCE
SCIENCE is a registered trademark of The Force Science Research Center, a non-profit
organization based at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
To unsubscribe from these mailings, please send your request to
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2008, 09:13:04 AM »

You may think of a hospital as a place of refuge and healing, but so do wounded gang members. And wounded predators can be dangerous.
July 23, 2008  http://www.policemag.com/Channels/Gangs/2008/07/23/Gang-Members-in-the-Emergency-Room.aspx

Have you ever thought about this one?


One night you are one of the police units in your city responding to a gang fight call. The first units arriving broadcast that a gang shooting has just occurred with several wounded gunshot victims. But you are diverted to respond to the local hospital because an anonymous source called claiming that gang members are rushing their critically wounded to the emergency room.


On your way to the hospital, you see several vehicles ahead of you speeding through the streets, running stop signs, and finally pulling into the hospital emergency room parking lot. Your one-man-unit approaches the vehicle closest to the emergency room doors as several very emotional gang members are dragging an obviously dead homeboy out of the car.


Suddenly you hear shouting from another car behind you. These gangsters are also getting out of their cars, and they also have a wounded homeboy. The air is charged with tension and taunts, threats, and challenges are exchanged.


You are now in the middle of a kill zone between two rival and highly agitated gangs. You watch in slow motion as they drop their wounded and draw their guns. It is as though they cannot even see you or recognize your uniform or police vehicle. You are not the intended target, but you could easily be collateral damage.


This scenario is taken from an incident that actually occurred at the Los Angeles County General Hospital and resulted in an officer-involved shooting in the emergency parking lot. The officer was a member of the Los Angeles County Police Department, the agency that works the county hospitals.


As a gang detective, I once responded to another local hospital trauma center to get a statement from a gunshot victim. He had just barely survived a gunshot wound and an emergency room procedure and was in the Intensive Care Unit.


The hospital security guard led me to ICU, and we both were startled to see my “victim” rolling around on his hospital bed dragging his I.V. bottle and electronic monitoring wires, jousting with another patient in a similar bed with similar lines trying to pull the tubes and wires from each other.


When we separated them, we learned that they were suspect/victim and members of rival gangs. This problem continued to grow for the hospital over the next few days because both patients’ homeboys and homegirls began coming to the hospital to visit their own wounded, and would run into members of the other gang. Eventually hospital security had to be assigned and stationed in front of each of their rooms.


On another occasion, a gang member was brought to the Martin Luther King emergency room under the influence of phencyclidine (PCP) by his homeboys. Officers of the Los Angeles County Police searched the gang member and then strapped him to a gurney in the very busy emergency room. There were, in fact, several PCP overdoses and wounded gang members in the emergency room and hall ways on this night.


This particular gang member was not my charge; I was there with a different gang member who was being cleared for booking by hospital staff. Another Deputy from the Special Enforcement Unit, Steve Nelson, was having another arrested gang member checked out when we both heard screams coming from the emergency room.


The gang member who was under the influence of PCP and strapped to the gurney by the County Police had a pocket knife and had somehow cut himself free from his leather restraints. He had already stabbed the attending emergency room physician and jumped off the gurney to slash a second staff member.


Dep. Nelson and I gave chase in the crowded emergency room. The suspect swung the knife at anyone he passed near enough to reach. We drew our pistols but had no chance of a clear shot in the emergency room and hallway. We ran through the corridors and hallways out to the very crowded lobby.


As the suspect ran outside to the parking lot, we split up, chasing him around several large metal CONEX-style boxes. The suspect charged Nelson with the knife, and Nelson put a very quick but controlled three rounds into his center mass just below the ribs and right of center line.


To Nelson’s and my amazement, the very same emergency room staff that this violent gang member had attacked came out to the parking lot to his life.


Despite the friendly staff with good attitudes, hospitals are not usually happy places. Domestic violence, child abuse, rape, attempted suicides, gang assaults, and drug overdoses are just a few of the problems encountered in the average day in a busy hospital. If you expect to frequent such a place, do not let your guard down.


Find out if the hospital has a police force or private security officers. Introduce yourself to them and learn their hospital procedures before an emergency occurs. Don’t disrespect them, even if you think that they are only private security guards. Remember you are in their house. If you get into trouble, it will most likely be them coming to your aid as first responders.


Many modern hospitals are equipped with metal detectors and X-ray systems to scan bags and purses. In addition some hospitals require everyone to be stopped, searched, and wanded with a handheld metal detector before entering the building. This is accomplished under implied consent laws and hospital regulations.


However, some hospitals exclude doctors and staff from this requirement. Make yourself aware of the procedures at this checkpoint because it will be one of the possible points where trouble will occur.


When you get to the emergency room, study how it is laid out. Where is the trouble likely to come from? Where are the phones? What code system is the staff using? For example, Code Blue = cardiac arrest.


Talk to the regular emergency room staff on all shifts, especially the Doctors and the floor nurse. Ask them to clue you in when they sense possible trouble. Offer to let them ride along with you one day if they will run you through their emergency room procedures.


Talk to the hospital security personnel about the local gangs. If you have any in your town, I will bet you can find gang graffiti on the hospital grounds. Photograph and identify the gang graffiti for the security people. Point out gang tattoos. Make it a kind of game with the security staff to identify possible gang affiliations and separate them on intake.


Suggest they establish an isolation room for possible problem patients. Talk to them about the use of handcuffs and restraints. Note: some inexperienced doctors and staff members will object to any use of restraints on a person being examined and treated in the emergency room, even a potentially dangerous gang member. Try to convince them that such a precaution is best for everyone. 


When you are in the field and responding to a gang fight or shooting, try to roll the wounded to separate hospitals if possible. Talk to the paramedics about this because sometimes the victim’s wounds will determine the trauma center he should be sent to.


Have the desk notify the hospital security that victims associated with this gang are on their way or roll the assisting unit with the victims to prevent clashes with the rival victims or suspects. Have the assisting unit drive through the hospital parking lot looking for the rival gang members who might be spying to find out if they made a kill or just wounded the victim.


The California Penal Code covers the crime of “Resisting public peace officers or medical technicians in the discharge of their duties,” under 148 P.C. The law was designed to protect policemen and paramedics in the field, but it could be applied to emergency room situations too. Look up your state’s codes on interfering, resisting, or obstructing police and medical technicians in emergency situations and see if you can use them against gangs in the emergency room.

author: Richard Valdemar | posted @ Wednesday, July 23, 2008 8:57 AM

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2008, 12:35:44 AM »

Do you look like a cop off-duty? How to tell...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have never thought I look like a cop when I am off-duty. Cop haircut? Nope. "Copstache?" Negative. Wearing clothes emblazoned with police-related labels, phrases, or insignia? Almost never. While most situations are not nearly as dramatic as the San Francisco experience, there have been many times people I very recently met will either ask me if I work in law enforcement, or tell me upon learning what I do for a living that they "just knew it." Often, they come from a police family themselves but cannot put their finger on how they "just knew it." There have also been many instances when I am out and off-duty, and on-duty officers I have never before seen or met will single me out in a crowd for a nod, or a "hey, how you doin'?" I have even gotten this, while on vacation, from other people I learn are off-duty and vacationing cops.
So what is this all about? Am I crazy or does anyone else experience this? Do we give off some police-pheromone? Is it some unconscious way we walk, talk, observe our surroundings, or otherwise behave that we carry with us away from the job? Or is it, as Althea swears, as simple as the way we stand that comes from years of wearing boots, vest, and a loaded duty belt? We are not sure ourselves but we put our heads together, as well as polled some folks who know and love cops, to come up with a simple quiz of "off-duty stereotypes." So (for a bit of light fun only) take the quiz below and give yourself a point for each statement that applies to you. To add to the fun, share your score in the comments section below (with an anonymous name of course!)

My work shoes are good all around shoes. I wear them when I am not at work. They especially go well with suits.
My other favorite pair of footwear is white athletic trainers and/or flip-flops.
I always carry a backup gun. Even off-duty. Even at the beach.
(For men only) I own one suit. I bought it sometime in the late 90s and figure I can get another ten or fifteen years out of it. Besides, it goes really well with my boots.
(For women only) I own one dress or skirt. I wore it once to a department function and no one recognized me! I only got it because it was on clearance.
I cut my hair at home with clippers I bought at a store. Stylists are for metrosexuals. (Add 1 bonus point if you use the same clippers on the dog)
Maximum hair length allowed is ¾ inch. Anything longer is for hippies and Democrats!
Looking in my closet, my clothes are polo shirts, oversize sweatshirts, jeans, t-shirts, workout clothes and nothing else. Shirts are never worn tucked in, in order to hide my gun. (Add 2 points if you own one or more Hawaiian shirts, just because it is such a cliché!)
The colors of my wardrobe are blue, grey, brown and black. Once in awhile I go big and wear red.
Facial hair is for undercover officers and people who are lazy (except for mustaches... mustaches are OK).
Sunglasses of choice? Oakley, of course.
I listen to the scanner at home.
When eating in a restaurant, I must sit where I can watch the door.
I consider beer an essential food group.
I go to Hooters for the food.
My car is All-American, such as Ford, GM, or Dodge. Even though some "American" cars are made in Mexico, and some Hondas in Ohio, it's still USA All The Way!
Gum chewing is an essential job function.
I never smile when my picture is taken, but put on my "cop face." Even at weddings.
I talk to everyone in an interview stance, because you never know who you will have to fight.
My favorite show as a rookie was Cops. My favorite show as a veteran is Reno 911. I swear they stole those characters from my department.
One of the characters was based on me!
"Hey, be safe" is how I end every encounter and conversation with other cops.
I call everyone I don't know "ma'am" or "sir" out of habit.
Whenever a police drama like Law & Order or CSI does not follow procedure, I yell at the TV. (Add 1 bonus point if you have ever gotten so upset you wrote the show's producer a scathing E-mail)
I refuse to watch a movie unless there is a car chase, someone bleeds, guns are fired, or someone is taken hostage.
I cannot understand how some people miss the obvious humor in stories involving the unique ways humans manage to meet their maker and advanced decomposition.
Scoring
0 - 7 points Congratulations! You are most likely laid back, able to leave work at the end of your shift, and able to relate to the non-cop world very well. Just be sure to not be too laid back at work.
8 - 12 points You are probably still able to relate to the non-cop world, but be careful not to slip too far into stereotypical behavior. Maybe you should go out and get a new suit. Or a Subaru.
13 - 20 points You need to work on getting back some balance. May we suggest taking the spouse out to see a (brace yourself) romantic comedy or musical. Desperate measures for desperate times, you know.
21 or more points Whoa, easy there Tackleberry! Actually, it is probably too late for you to dial it back. Just embrace your total immersion into "copness" and use it for the common good. Just always be on guard against burnout, as you may have fewer resources or outlets to combat it.
And be safe.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2008, 10:04:25 AM »

Police turn to secret weapon: GPS device

Privacy advocates say electronic tracking violates Fourth Amendment rights

By Ben Hubbard

updated 11:40 p.m. ET Aug. 12, 2008

Someone was attacking women in Fairfax County and Alexandria, grabbing them from behind and sometimes punching and molesting them before running away. After logging 11 cases in six months, police finally identified a suspect.

David Lee Foltz Jr., who had served 17 years in prison for rape, lived near the crime scenes. To figure out if Foltz was the assailant, police pulled out their secret weapon: They put a Global Positioning System device on Foltz's van, which allowed them to track his movements.

Police said they soon caught Foltz dragging a woman into a wooded area in Falls Church. After his arrest on Feb. 6, the string of assaults suddenly stopped. The break in the case relied largely on a crime-fighting tool they would rather not discuss.

"We don't really want to give any info on how we use it as an investigative tool to help the bad guys," said Officer Shelley Broderick, a Fairfax police spokeswoman. "It is an investigative tool for us, and it is a very new investigative tool."

Across the country, police are using GPS devices to snare thieves, drug dealers, sexual predators and killers, often without a warrant or court order. Privacy advocates said tracking suspects electronically constitutes illegal search and seizure, violating Fourth Amendment rights of protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and is another step toward George Orwell's Big Brother society. Law enforcement officials, when they discuss the issue at all, said GPS is essentially the same as having an officer trail someone, just cheaper and more accurate. Most of the time, as was done in the Foltz case, judges have sided with police.

With the courts' blessing, and the ever-declining cost of the technology, many analysts believe that police will increasingly rely on GPS as an effective tool in investigations and that the public will hear little about it.

Last year, FBI agents used a GPS device while investigating an embezzlement scheme to steal from District taxpayers, attaching one to a suspect's Jaguar.
"I've seen them in cases from New York City to small towns -- whoever can afford to get the equipment and plant it on a car," said John Wesley Hall, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "And of course, it's easy to do. You can sneak up on a car and plant it at any time."

Most police departments in the Washington region resist disclosing whether they use GPS to track suspects. D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes said D.C. police do not use the technique. Police departments in Arlington, Fairfax and Montgomery counties and Alexandria declined to discuss the issue.

Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a Prince George's County police spokesman, said his department does use the technique. "But I don't think that's something [detectives] would be too happy to put out there like that," Copeland said. "They do have different techniques they like to use on suspects, but they don't really want people to know."

Details on how police use GPS usually become public when the use of the device is challenged in court. Such cases have revealed how police in Washington state arrested a man for killing his 9-year-old daughter: the GPS device attached to his truck led them to where he had buried her.

Cases have shown how detectives in New York caught a drug-runner after monitoring his car as he bought and sold methamphetamine. In Wisconsin, police tracked two suspected burglars by attaching a GPS device to their car and apprehending them after burglarizing a house.

The Foltz case offers a rare glimpse into how a Washington area police department uses GPS. Foltz's attorney, Chris Leibig, challenged police in court last week and tried to have the GPS evidence thrown out. He argued at a hearing at Arlington County General District Court that police needed a warrant since the device tracked Foltz's vehicle on private and public land. The judge disagreed, and the evidence will be used at Foltz's trial, which will begin Oct. 6. Foltz was charged in the Feb. 6 attack, but not in the others.

Without obtaining a warrant, Jack Kirk, a detective from the Fairfax police department's electronic-surveillance section, placed a GPS device on Foltz's van while it was parked in front of his house, Kirk testified. He said it took three seconds. Another vehicle was not targeted because it was on private property, he said.

Detectives began actively monitoring the van four days later, when it appeared to be moving slowly through neighborhoods, Kirk said. Foltz was caught the next day.

In preparing to defend Foltz, Leibig filed Freedom of Information Act requests with every police department in Virginia, asking about their use of unwarranted GPS tracking. Most departments said they had never used the device. About two dozen refused to respond, including Loudoun and Prince William counties, Alexandria and the Virginia State Police.

Arlington police said they have used GPS devices 70 times in the last three years, mostly to catch car thieves, but also in homicide, robbery and narcotics investigations.

Fairfax police used the technology as early as 2003 and have used it many times since, according to year-end reports Leibig received. Police used GPS devices 61 times in 2005, 52 times in 2006 and 46 times in 2007.
Five other Virginia departments reported using GPS once for specific investigations.

GPS advocates said police do not need a warrant to track suspects electronically on public streets because the device provides the same information as physical tracking.

"A police officer could do the same thing with his or her own eyes," said Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Richard E. Trodden. "It helps to cut down on the number of police officers who would have to be out tracking particular cars."

Leibig said GPS should be held to a different standard because it provides greater detail. "While it may be true that police can conduct surveillance of people on a public street without violating their rights, tracking a person everywhere they go and keeping a computer record of it for days and days without that person knowing is a completely different type of intrusion," he said.

GPS devices receive signals from a network of satellites, then use the information to calculate their precise location. By taking readings at different times, they can also calculate speed and direction.

The Defense Department operates the system, which was made available for civilian use in 1996. The technology's price has dropped since then, with new dashboard models available for less than $200. Some cellphone models are equipped with GPS, and many companies and local governments rely on GPS to track vehicle fleets.

Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's technology and liberty program, considers GPS monitoring, along with license plate readers, toll transponders and video cameras with face-recognition technology, part of the same trend toward "an always-on, surveillance society."

"Things that would have seemed fantastic 15 years ago are now routine," he said. "We have to rethink what is a reasonable expectation of privacy."
So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has not weighed in on unwarranted GPS tracking, but supporters point to a 1983 case that said police do not need a warrant to track a car on a public street with a beeper, which relays the car's location to police.

Lower courts that have addressed the issue have not all agreed. The Washington state Supreme Court has ruled that police must obtain a warrant to use the device in that manner, but courts in New York, Wisconsin and Maryland, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago, have held that a warrant is not necessary.

Craig Fraser, director of management services for the Police Executive Research Forum, said tracking technology's new capabilities might eventually require legal adjustments.
"The issue is whether the more sophisticated tools are doing the same things we used to do or are creating a different set of legal circumstances," he said.

Paul Marcus, a law professor at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, said the debate will only grow stronger as more departments substitute old-fashioned manpower for better and cheaper electronics.
"It is going to happen more and more," he said. "No question about it."
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G M
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« Reply #54 on: August 13, 2008, 10:10:46 AM »

No. Reasonable. Expectation. of. Privacy.
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JDN
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« Reply #55 on: August 13, 2008, 12:26:35 PM »

No. Reasonable. Expectation. of. Privacy.

And do you think that is good or bad?
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G M
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« Reply #56 on: August 13, 2008, 03:25:32 PM »

Good.

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JDN
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« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2008, 04:33:19 PM »

Good.



To paraphrase, I think you are saying it is, "good to have no reasonable expectation of privacy"?
Where do you draw the line? Or don't you?
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G M
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« Reply #58 on: August 13, 2008, 04:37:41 PM »

The lines for the most part have been drawn by legislation and caselaw. The technology changes, but the lines haven't, for the most part.
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JDN
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« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2008, 04:59:21 PM »

Now I understand; I had misinterpreted your "Good".  I had thought you were in favor of less expectation
of privacy.  I agree in most instances legislation and case law is quite clear, and overall, I think probably fair.
As noted above, I suppose GPS and new technology needs further case law, coming in on one side or another,
to bring closure to this specific debate.
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G M
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« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2008, 05:20:41 PM »

Every state requires that you display a state issued identifier on your vehicle for the use of government, including law enforcement purposes. You do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy for that vehicle information including registered owner/s, payment of fees/taxes and insurance status. This identifier can and has been used for surveillance purposes since cops have been chasing bad guys in cars.
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JDN
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« Reply #61 on: August 13, 2008, 10:52:54 PM »

I understand; the expectation of "privacy" of or in a car is minimal.  But personal searches are different.
And if you have a GPS, leading the Police to you, yet you are on private property,
additional legal/warrant questions remain unanswered.  And is that right?
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« Reply #62 on: August 13, 2008, 11:15:23 PM »

As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?
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« Reply #63 on: August 13, 2008, 11:34:30 PM »

Ahhhh that is my concern; protection/erosion of Civil Liberties.
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« Reply #64 on: August 15, 2008, 03:49:23 PM »

**It's easy to get excited about technology, but as cited below it's not the technology that matters. It's about what the courts see as the "reasonable expectation of privacy".**

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

KYLLO v. UNITED STATES

CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT

No. 99—8508. Argued February 20, 2001–Decided June 11, 2001
Suspicious that marijuana was being grown in petitioner Kyllo’s home in a triplex, agents used a thermal imaging device to scan the triplex to determine if the amount of heat emanating from it was consistent with the high-intensity lamps typically used for indoor marijuana growth. The scan showed that Kyllo’s garage roof and a side wall were relatively hot compared to the rest of his home and substantially warmer than the neighboring units. Based in part on the thermal imaging, a Federal Magistrate Judge issued a warrant to search Kyllo’s home, where the agents found marijuana growing. After Kyllo was indicted on a federal drug charge, he unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence seized from his home and then entered a conditional guilty plea. The Ninth Circuit ultimately affirmed, upholding the thermal imaging on the ground that Kyllo had shown no subjective expectation of privacy because he had made no attempt to conceal the heat escaping from his home. Even if he had, ruled the court, there was no objectively reasonable expectation of privacy because the thermal imager did not expose any intimate details of Kyllo’s life, only amorphous hot spots on his home’s exterior.

Held: Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment “search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. Pp. 3—13.

    (a) The question whether a warrantless search of a home is reasonable and hence constitutional must be answered no in most instances, but the antecedent question whether a Fourth Amendment “search” has occurred is not so simple. This Court has approved warrantless visual surveillance of a home, see California v. Ciraolo, 476 U.S. 207, 213, ruling that visual observation is no “search” at all, see Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, 476 U.S. 227, 234—235, 239. In assessing when a search is not a search, the Court has adapted a principle first enunciated in Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 361: A “search” does not occur–even when its object is a house explicitly protected by the Fourth Amendment–unless the individual manifested a subjective expectation of privacy in the searched object, and society is willing to recognize that expectation as reasonable, see, e.g., California v. Ciraolo, supra, at 211. Pp. 3—5.

    (b) While it may be difficult to refine the Katz test in some instances, in the case of the search of a home’s interior–the prototypical and hence most commonly litigated area of protected privacy–there is a ready criterion, with roots deep in the common law, of the minimal expectation of privacy that exists, and that is acknowledged to be reasonable. To withdraw protection of this minimum expectation would be to permit police technology to erode the privacy guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. Thus, obtaining by sense-enhancing technology any information regarding the home’s interior that could not otherwise have been obtained without physical “intrusion into a constitutionally protected area,” Silverman v. United States, 365 U.S. 505, 512, constitutes a search–at least where (as here) the technology in question is not in general public use. This assures preservation of that degree of privacy against government that existed when the Fourth Amendment was adopted. Pp. 6—7.

    (c) Based on this criterion, the information obtained by the thermal imager in this case was the product of a search. The Court rejects the Government’s argument that the thermal imaging must be upheld because it detected only heat radiating from the home’s external surface. Such a mechanical interpretation of the Fourth Amendment was rejected in Katz, where the eavesdropping device in question picked up only sound waves that reached the exterior of the phone booth to which it was attached. Reversing that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details. See e.g., United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705; Dow Chemical, supra, at 238, distinguished. It would also be impractical in application, failing to provide a workable accommodation between law enforcement needs and Fourth Amendment interests. See Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170, 181. Pp. 7—12.

    (d) Since the imaging in this case was an unlawful search, it will remain for the District Court to determine whether, without the evidence it provided, the search warrant was supported by probable cause–and if not, whether there is any other basis for supporting admission of that evidence. Pp. 12—13.

190 F.3d 1041, reversed and remanded.

    Scalia, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and O’Connor and Kennedy, JJ., joined.



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« Reply #65 on: August 15, 2008, 03:54:38 PM »

As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?

**The technology already exists to theoretically monitor everyone to a degree all the time. China tries. The US is nowhere near that.**
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« Reply #66 on: August 15, 2008, 04:04:14 PM »

Ahhhh that is my concern; protection/erosion of Civil Liberties.

**It's easy to proclaim noble sounding statements about civil liberties while having only a superficial grasp of the complexities of the issues. Worrying about gov't oppression in the US is like worrying about Ebola while you smoke and are 100 pounds overweight. Is it theoretically a threat? Sure. What do the statistics say?**
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« Reply #67 on: August 15, 2008, 04:18:47 PM »

As usual, GM is logical.

Where I still am left with doubt is that the reasonableness of the existing standard was developed in the context AND LIMITATIONS of the then existant technology.  As technological capabilities evolve ever more rapidly, are we headed towards a situation where everyone can be monitored all the time?

**The technology already exists to theoretically monitor everyone to a degree all the time. China tries. The US is nowhere near that.**

How do you know?
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« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2008, 04:29:16 PM »

GM:

As always a pleasure conversing with you in the light you bring to heated subjects.


You ask "Is it theoretically a threat? Sure. What do the statistics say?"

Here's what the Court said: "that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details."

Is this not dicta for the principal that standards the meaning of which are eviscerated by technological progress are unsatisfactory?


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« Reply #69 on: August 15, 2008, 04:42:10 PM »

http://www.ichrdd.ca/english/commdoc/publications/globalization/goldenShieldEng.html



Crafty Dog here, using the Moderator's Perogative:

GM, would you please be so kind as to summarize the rather lengthy contents of your URL?  smiley


Executive Summary

China today faces a very modern paradox. On one side, the government understands that information technologies are the engine driving the global economy, and that Chinese economic growth will depend in large measure on the extent to which the country is integrated with the global information infrastructure. At the same time, however, China is an authoritarian, single-party state. Continued social stability relies on the suppression of anti-government activities. To state the problem simply, political control is dependent on economic growth and economic growth requires the modernization of information technologies, which in turn, have the potential to undermine political control.

The "Great Firewall of China" is failing, largely due to the increased volume of Internet traffic in China. The government knows that it can no longer hope to filter out all "objectionable" material before it enters China’s networks; and so, faced with these contradictory forces of openness and control, China is seeking to strike a balance between the information-related needs of economic modernization and the security requirements of internal stability. In seeking to reach this balance, the Chinese state has found an extraordinary ally in private telecommunications firms located primarily in Western countries. Many companies, including notably Nortel Networks, until recently Canada’s largest firm, are playing key roles in meeting the security needs of the Chinese government. Nortel Networks and other international firms are in effect helping China to displace the firewall it constructed at the international gateway with a more sophisticated system of content filtration at the individual level.

Old style censorship is being replaced with a massive, ubiquitous architecture of surveillance: the Golden Shield. Ultimately the aim is to integrate a gigantic online database with an all-encompassing surveillance network – incorporating speech and face recognition, closed-circuit television, smart cards, credit records, and Internet surveillance technologies. This has been facilitated by the standardization of telecommunications equipment to facilitate electronic surveillance, an ambitious project led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US, and now adopted as an international standard.

Many people in China have been arrested for Internet-related "crimes," ranging from supplying e-mail addresses to Internet publications to circulating pro-democratic information or articles that are critical of the Chinese government, in blatant contradiction of international human rights law guaranteeing freedom of speech. Charges are typically "subversion" or "threatening to overthrow the government" as the line between criminal activity and the exercise of freedom of speech is non-existent in China. The development of this new all-encompassing architecture of electronic surveillance will make the lives of such courageous activists even more difficult.

In November 2000, 300 companies from over 16 countries attended a trade show in Beijing called Security China 2000. Among the organizers was the "Chinese Communist Party Central Committee Commission for the Comprehensive Management of Social Security." A central feature of the show was the Golden Shield project, launched to promote "the adoption of advanced information and communication technology to strengthen central police control, responsiveness, and crime combating capacity, so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of police work." China’s security apparatus announced an ambitious plan: to build a nationwide digital surveillance network, linking national, regional and local security agencies with a panoptic web of surveillance. Beijing envisions the Golden Shield as a database-driven remote surveillance system – offering immediate access to records on every citizen in China, while linking to vast networks of cameras designed to increase police efficiency.

In order to make the Golden Shield a reality, the Chinese government is dependent upon the technological expertise and investment of Western companies. Canada’s Nortel Networks is playing a key role in these developments as witnessed by:

-- its joint research with Tsinghua University on specific forms of speech recognition technology, for the purpose of automated surveillance of telephone conversations;

-- its strong and early support for FBI plans to develop a common standard to intercept telephone communications, known as CALEA, in conjunction with technology transfer through its joint venture, Guangdong Nortel (GDNT);

-- its close relationship with Datang Telecom, a Chinese firm with substantial interests in the state security market in China;

-- the promotion of JungleMUX which allows video surveillance data to be transported from remote cameras back to a centralized surveillance point to the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS);

-- the deployment of its "Personal Internet" suite in Shanghai, greatly enhancing the ability of Internet service providers to track the communications of individual users;

-- a US$10 million project to build a citywide fibre-optic broadband network in Shanghai (OPTera) enabling central authorities to monitor the interests of subscribers at the "edge" of the network, principally through the Shasta 5000 firewall, in direct conflict with the right to privacy. This technology will also make it more difficult for dissidents to have clandestine communications and facilitate police monitoring of Internet users attempting to access URLs not judged appropriate by the Chinese government;

-- the integration of face recognition and voice recognition technology in collaboration with AcSys Biometrics, a subsidiary of Burlington, Ontario-based NEXUS. (2)

Many other Western firms have been involved in the development of a repressive state security apparatus through the following developments:

-- a nationwide database containing information on all adult Chinese citizens;

-- smart cards for all citizens which can be scanned without the owner’s knowledge at a distance of a few metres;

-- closed-circuit television to monitor public spaces;

-- technology which allows the Public Security Bureau to make instant comparisons of fingerprints;

-- development of firewalls in China.

The self-interested high-tech discourse promises that new information and telecommunication technologies are inherently democratic and will foster openness wherever they are used. China’s Golden Shield: Corporations and the Development of Surveillance Technology in the People’s Republic of China debunks this myth. Technology is embedded in a social context and, in this report, it has been shown to bolster repression in a one-party state in the name of expanding markets and exponential profits.

Introduction

China has long suffered from inadequate telecommunications. Economic growth has demanded modernization of an infrastructure characterized by outdated technology and limited access to the resources necessary to develop it. To overcome these deficits, the government has embarked on a well-financed effort to modernize its information infrastructure. China has therefore quickly become one of the world’s largest consumers of telecommunications equipment.

An important goal of this modernization has been the acquisition of advanced telecommunications equipment from industrialized nations, on the premise that the technologies of the information revolution provide China with the opportunity to "leapfrog" and vastly improve capabilities in areas related to telecommunications. The transfer of these technologies to China has been facilitated by two mutually supporting trends.

First, there is enormous competition among telecommunications firms to get a share of the relatively undeveloped but rapidly expanding Chinese telecommunications market – the largest market in the world. Naturally, the lure of potential billions has attracted every major telecommunications corporation, including US-based Lucent and Cisco, European wireless giants Nokia and Ericsson, and Canada’s Nortel Networks – not to mention countless others. From these companies, China is buying more than US$20 billion worth of telecom equipment a year.

China is reported to account for about 25% of the world’s market for telecommunications equipment and is expanding exponentially. Much of this growth is achieved through sales by foreign telecommunications companies and by joint ventures with Chinese partners, which brings us to the second important trend.

The installation of an advanced telecommunications infrastructure to facilitate economic reform greatly complicates the state’s internal security goals. As the amount of information traveling over China’s networks increases exponentially, the government’s ability to control that information declines.

The exponential growth of the Internet in China has led some to argue that as new technologies are adopted they will inevitably create a more open, democratic society. The premise of much research is that the Internet is an inherently democratizing medium, promoting pluralism, strengthening civil society, and pressuring governments to become more accountable to their people. In the post-Cold War world, the power of information and communication technology to transform repressive societies is often held to be self-evident.

Recent events in China present a rather different story. It is well documented that the Chinese government is committed to controlling online content and to restricting the access citizens have to information published outside the country. (3) They also aim to prevent the emergence of "virtual organizing" that has become an important feature of the Internet in other countries. In this regard, the Internet presents a number of unique challenges to the regime. Recent data from a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) survey shows that 10% of users admit to regularly using proxy servers to defeat censorship, that most users trust foreign news sources almost as much as government sources, and that the majority believe that the Internet will have significant social and political effects. (4)

In light of this rapid transformation, Chinese authorities are keen to acquire new technologies that will serve to increase their surveillance capabilities. While the Internet may empower ordinary people, it may also provide the government with a new range of repressive tools to monitor private speech and censor public opinion.

From the first linking of China to the global Internet in 1994, central authorities have consistently sought to control China’s Internet connections. Heavily restricting international connectivity was a key principle in China’s nascent Internet security strategy. Now, seven years later, international connections for all five of China’s major networks (5) still pass through proxy servers at official international "gateways." (6) Filtering and monitoring of network traffic is still focused at this level. Derisively termed "The Great Firewall" (7) by hackers and journalists worldwide, this strategy has enjoyed varying degrees of success. Continued economic modernization, however, has led to exponential growth in the demand for international bandwidth, and the sheer volume of Internet traffic today poses a serious challenge to the strategy of State control at the gateway level.

Originally, there were many reasons for constructing the Chinese network along the lines of this "Great Firewall" model. The gateways would modulate the pace of China’s opening up to the world through electronic interaction. The government would decide at what rate to expand the connections and could theoretically shut them down in a social emergency.

The gateways were to serve as the first line of defence against anti-government network intrusions. They would serve as a firewall, restricting the amount of information about internal networks available to foreign intruders. The gateways were designed to prevent Chinese citizens from using the Internet to access forbidden sites and anti-government information from abroad. In theory, State control of the routing tables at the gateway level offered authorities the hope that they could prevent their own people from accessing foreign sites like the Cable News Network (CNN), the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the Tibet Information Network or Human Rights Watch/Asia.

China’s Internet regulations and legislation are guided by the principle of "guarded openness" – seeking to preserve the economic benefits of openness to global information, while guarding against foreign economic domination and the use of the Internet by domestic or foreign groups to coordinate anti-regime activity.

The stakes are high – for the government, as China integrates into the global economy, and for the would-be "cyber-dissident," who ultimately faces the death penalty for illegal use of the Internet.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 07:13:44 PM by G M » Logged
G M
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« Reply #70 on: August 15, 2008, 04:53:05 PM »

Crafty,

I think it's pretty clear that the courts have established that no matter what technology brings forth, it cannot be used by law enforcement without due regard for constitutional protections. If I had "x-ray goggles" and was using them to view inside your house, this has to meet the same standards as an old fashioned physical entry/search of your home. Better have a warrant or fall under the warrantless exemptions before doing so.
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« Reply #71 on: August 15, 2008, 06:31:35 PM »

GM, I get all that.

What does leave me uneasy though is the idea that under the standards you describe, the government will be able to monitor all our movements and more without tripping over the standard you enunciate. 
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« Reply #72 on: August 15, 2008, 07:43:24 PM »

As it stands, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for a police state. A rough estimate is that there are about 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide. The vast majority of those are uniformed officers engaged in general law enforcement duties, and employed by small towns with less than 10 officers.

We don't have a "national police force". The US is the only nation in the world (to my knowledge) that has elected law enforcement officials. The vast majority of officers work at the local level under the direction of locally elected officials that shape the policy and character of the agencies.

Of those officers tasked to investigations, the vast majority work crimes with direct impact on their communities. Most work under immense caseloads trying to "clear" cases with very limited resources. I am not aware of any law enforcement agencies with too many officers and not enough crime.
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LtMedTB
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« Reply #73 on: August 15, 2008, 11:40:54 PM »

As it stands, the US doesn't have the infrastructure for a police state. A rough estimate is that there are about 800,000 law enforcement officers nationwide. The vast majority of those are uniformed officers engaged in general law enforcement duties, and employed by small towns with less than 10 officers.

We don't have a "national police force". The US is the only nation in the world (to my knowledge) that has elected law enforcement officials. The vast majority of officers work at the local level under the direction of locally elected officials that shape the policy and character of the agencies.

Of those officers tasked to investigations, the vast majority work crimes with direct impact on their communities. Most work under immense caseloads trying to "clear" cases with very limited resources. I am not aware of any law enforcement agencies with too many officers and not enough crime.

And the NSA?
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« Reply #74 on: August 16, 2008, 08:42:22 AM »

What about it?
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« Reply #75 on: August 16, 2008, 08:46:13 AM »

I too am curious about where the NSA fits in your analysis, but right now I flesh out my question by adding that the point of my concern is not only that of "Big Brother is Watching all the time", but that even before we get to that level (agreed we are not there now, but once we do it will be too late) but that well before that Big Brother elements will tap into the capabilities of this burgeoning system of surviellance to look up what any politically unfriendly persons have been up to.  Wasn't Gov. Eliot Spitzer in trouble for using the police for privately motivated political purposes at the time he got caught with the hooker? (and just how did he get caught with the hooker?)  Haven't the Hillbillary Clintons misuse of the FBI shown us the risks here?  What happens when a Federal police starts putting tracking devices on the cars of all its opponents?  Are the private lives of all of the political opposition so perfect that they are willing to have their comings and goings gone over with a fine tooth comb before they challenge the powers that be?
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G M
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« Reply #76 on: August 16, 2008, 08:54:06 AM »

To paraphrase an infamous leader of a real police state, "How many divisions does the NSA have?"
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« Reply #77 on: August 16, 2008, 09:05:54 AM »

More than the political opposition.
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LtMedTB
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« Reply #78 on: August 16, 2008, 10:06:54 AM »

I won't speak for Crafty Dog, but my point is that liberties are lost slowly and by degrees. There's no way our freedoms could be taken away all at once. Walter E. Williams uses the analogy of throwing a frog into boiling water. The frog will leap out immediately. But if you put the frog into lukewarm water and turn up the heat slowly you can kill the frog. Now that I think about it, this analogy also appears in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, but Walter E. Williams beat him to it! Smiley One of the original understandings of liberty was to define liberty in the negative sense, in other words "freedom from" as opposed to "freedom for". Basically this meant "freedom from interference" as long as you did not infringe on the equal right of others. Simply put, this is the "freedom to be left alone" by the government.

What I see happening, and what many others see happening, is that slowly but surely, we are changing from a people with a government to a government with a people. It doesn't happen all at once, but when faced with the prospect of our phone calls being monitored, video cameras on every street corner, facial recognition software, the monitoring of banking transactions, taxes on every level, the digitalization of health care records, national ID cards, dogs sniffing our cars, and police watching our houses with thermal imaging cameras (often under the guise of the "war" on terrorism or the "war" on drugs), you can understand how a libertarian-minded person would be a bit concerned.

It's not just that the government oversteps its boundaries on occasion. It's the appalling herd-like mentality of democratic mass man, who seems all too ready to exchange fundamental freedoms for "safety" in the face of perceived exigencies. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that no one is watching. You can claim that it's easy to make noble-sounding statements about liberty when you lack a sophisticated view of the totality of circumstances, but you don't have to be a simpleton to be concerned about fundamental civil liberties. There have been many inspiring dissenting opinions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court over the years that demonstrate the concerns are not limited to a tiny minority of ring-wing psychopaths.

I personally am most concerned about the fact that it's stigmatizing to openly discuss your fear of government power, as if you're a nut job huddled in a corner watching out for black helicopters. A review of American pre-Revolutionary literature shows that our forefathers were much more cognizant of the fact that liberty and the power of government exist in separate spheres, and that the former is the necessary victim of the latter, because the government has a rational desire to extend the scope of its own power. Unfortunately, it cannot do so without taking power away from the people. In the end it boils down to that most insidious of statements. "If you're innocent you have nothing to worry about." That may be. For now. This line of reasoning assumes that the U.S. is indestructible, and that a tyrant could never be in charge of this powerful and invasive state apparatus.

The only thing that has prevented the government from taking away our freedom is the genius of our forefathers in drafting the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Supreme Court. There have been some erosions of our liberties, but there have been some inspiring victories, too. The biggest threat comes from the apathy and ignorance of the people.
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« Reply #79 on: August 16, 2008, 11:55:16 AM »

Fear is the easiest form of control (The evil doers are out there waiting to hurt you unless we.....). Those in positions of power have used it to force compliance for millenia.
How do you fix that ?
If laws are necessary for a society to survive, as are those elected to enforce them because of the baser qualities of human beings, what is the balance between personal responsibility and societal responsibility to check the predators, but also to check those supposed to protect us?
.....'the only thing to fear is fear itself'.....?
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« Reply #80 on: August 16, 2008, 12:03:16 PM »

The short answer is, a constitution, a bill of rights, a separation of powers so that the people who pass the laws aren't the people enforcing the laws, an independent court system, and an educated citizenry. Liberty depends upon power for its maintenance, because there is no liberty within anarchy, but when government becomes too powerful, there is no liberty. So like pharmacology, there is a therapeutic dose of government that is optimal toward the end of human freedom. It's hard to say the exact moment a drug becomes toxic to the human body. You look for side effects and you sample lab values. You don't wait until the patient is critically ill to attempt a resuscitation, because the odds are against you.
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« Reply #81 on: August 16, 2008, 12:22:26 PM »

I agree, but I would more emphasis on the "educated citizenry" aspect. A free thinking, educated people with the capacity for critical thinking and an experience of REALITY that can sense manipulation, especially when fear is used to veil intent, is key to all the rest.
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« Reply #82 on: August 16, 2008, 12:58:36 PM »

For example?
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« Reply #83 on: August 16, 2008, 06:04:54 PM »


"Walter E. Williams uses the analogy of throwing a frog into boiling water. The frog will leap out immediately. But if you put the frog into lukewarm water and turn up the heat slowly you can kill the frog. Now that I think about it, this analogy also appears in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, but Walter E. Williams beat him to it! Smiley"


I actually agree with your point but someone has to stand up for frogs everywhere and frogs will jump.
http://www.snopes.com/critters/wild/frogboil.asp
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G M
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« Reply #84 on: August 17, 2008, 06:02:11 AM »

I think we can all agree the frog metaphor has been beaten, or maybe boiled to death. evil

All I know about the NSA is what is open source information. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA has an army of mathematicians and linguists only, aside from their "NSA police" and other support personnel. It's all about SigInt collection and analysis OCONUS. To my knowledge, they do not have any direct action capabilities.

I'm unsure why the NSA's existence would be objected to.
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« Reply #85 on: August 17, 2008, 06:09:31 AM »

A line from an instructor in my police academy class years ago went something like "The public gets the law enforcement it deserves" obviously referencing Jefferson's statement on gov't.

The public elects the officials, that pass the laws, that law enforcement enforces. If you don't like the "war on drugs" as an example, then get the laws changed.
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« Reply #86 on: August 17, 2008, 11:38:41 AM »

Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?
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« Reply #87 on: August 17, 2008, 11:40:39 AM »

Dang it GM, will you stop interrupting the flow with the facts?  cheesy

OK OK the NSA does not have any "divisions", but certainly other parts of the federal govt, of which they are a part, do.

Concerning changing the laws of the War on Drugs, several states have tried quite vigorously to do exactly that with regard to Mairjuana.  Initiatives have been passed in Alaska, Oregon, and California (and maybe others?) yet the Feds have continued on their merry way.  Yes I know federal law supersedes, but , , ,

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« Reply #88 on: August 17, 2008, 01:12:53 PM »

I think we can all agree the frog metaphor has been beaten, or maybe boiled to death. evil

All I know about the NSA is what is open source information. To the best of my knowledge, the NSA has an army of mathematicians and linguists only, aside from their "NSA police" and other support personnel. It's all about SigInt collection and analysis OCONUS. To my knowledge, they do not have any direct action capabilities.

I'm unsure why the NSA's existence would be objected to.

It's a privacy concern, GM. I'm not comfortable with the idea that the government may be monitoring my web surfing activities, phone calls, faxes, and banking transactions. Further, I shouldn't have to explain why that bothers me. It should be understood that the default position is that the people are left alone by the government. This subtle shifting of the burden to the people to explain why they object is exactly what concerns me. I don't care how many divisions the NSA has. I agree with Crafty Dog that it's not relevant to the question. All that matters is who is privy to the information the NSA develops and what they might do with it, either now or in the future. I don't like being watched. That's why I don't hang out in casinos.

Tom
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« Reply #89 on: August 17, 2008, 02:10:36 PM »

LtMedTB,

You are active duty .mil, right?
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« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2008, 03:46:05 PM »

Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?


So, are there threats to the US, or is it just fearmongering?
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LtMedTB
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« Reply #91 on: August 17, 2008, 06:23:08 PM »

LtMedTB,

You are active duty .mil, right?

Nope. Civilian Fire Lieutenant / Paramedic.

Tom
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« Reply #92 on: August 17, 2008, 06:29:29 PM »

Lt MedTB:
The "Founding Fathers" seemed to have an appreciation of the weaknesses inherent in systems of power, building in the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances.
All words are open to interpretation, so it seems that it is the constant responsibility of any citizenry to stay engaged in this process of critical thinking; observing, evaluating, voting, dissenting - whatever is necessary.
Fear is a tried and true tactic to erode this independent thinking process, and I think it is worth stepping back and evaluating any large policy changes based on fear to see if they are rational or not, and to see if they are worth the cost.
e.g. "The bad people are a out there and a threat to you and your family. Unless we get the power to "X", we cannot guarantee your safety". True? Not true?


So, are there threats to the US, or is it just fearmongering?

This is where I see both sides of it. There are certainly real threats to US security. No question about that. I also think hindsight is 20/20. I can't get on board with the idea that the Bush Administration misled the American people into a "war for oil" by fabricating evidence of weapons of mass destruction. Whether it was right or wrong to invade Iraq a second time, I believe the President meant well, and believed Saddam was a real threat. On the other hand, I despise Orwellian euphemisms like the "Patriot Act".

Tom
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« Reply #93 on: August 17, 2008, 06:42:00 PM »

Tom,

I think the reforms in the PATRIOT act were needed and neccesary. There is a lot of hype surrounding it by people who really can't define why it's bad or can suggest better options.

G M (civ. police Lt.)
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« Reply #94 on: August 17, 2008, 07:18:18 PM »

I can think of at least 343 reasons that a firefighter would want the NSA to employ their capabilities to intercept and analyze communications in al qaeda infested areas.
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LtMedTB
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« Reply #95 on: August 17, 2008, 07:54:58 PM »

I can think of at least 343 reasons that a firefighter would want the NSA to employ their capabilities to intercept and analyze communications in al qaeda infested areas.

Even if it's the best legislation ever drafted (I can't help but think of the movie The Departed), I find euphemisms insulting.

Consider the dissenting opinion by Justices Marshall and Brennan in Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives (1989) -- the U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld random drug testing of public employees in "safety sensitive" positions in the absence of any evidence of wrong doing:

"The issue in this case is not whether declaring a war on illegal drugs is good public policy. The importance of ridding our society of such drugs is, by now, apparent to all. Rather, the issue here is whether the Government's deployment in that war of a particularly Draconian weapon — the compulsory collection and chemical testing of railroad workers' blood and urine — comports with the Fourth Amendment. Precisely because the need for action against the drug scourge is manifest, the need for vigilance against unconstitutional excess is great. History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure. The World War II relocation-camp cases, Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943); Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944), and the Red scare and McCarthy-era internal subversion cases, Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919); Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494 (1951), are only the most extreme reminders that when we allow fundamental freedoms to be sacrificed in the name of real or perceived exigency, we invariably come to regret it."

Tom
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« Reply #96 on: August 17, 2008, 08:17:10 PM »

I think it's entirely reasonable to UA people in "safety sensitive" positions. An impaired person shows up for work at a fast food joint, maybe you get the wrong order at the drive thru. A railroad employee goes to work impaired and as a result a chlorine tanker breaches in the midst of a densely populated urban area at o'dark 30 in the A.M. and you know better than I how nightmarish that would be.

My jurisdiction borders a rail line and I see all sorts of interesting placards on the tank cars passing by at all hours. My PPE consists of a dark blue polyester uniform and reminds me of the old hazmat joke:

"How do firefighters know there is a hazmat spill?"

"All the dead cops laying around"
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LtMedTB
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« Reply #97 on: August 17, 2008, 08:43:28 PM »

I think it's entirely reasonable to UA people in "safety sensitive" positions. An impaired person shows up for work at a fast food joint, maybe you get the wrong order at the drive thru. A railroad employee goes to work impaired and as a result a chlorine tanker breaches in the midst of a densely populated urban area at o'dark 30 in the A.M. and you know better than I how nightmarish that would be.

My jurisdiction borders a rail line and I see all sorts of interesting placards on the tank cars passing by at all hours. My PPE consists of a dark blue polyester uniform and reminds me of the old hazmat joke:

"How do firefighters know there is a hazmat spill?"

"All the dead cops laying around"

You guys do make great canaries! LOL! Smiley
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« Reply #98 on: August 19, 2008, 06:56:49 AM »

As logical as GM is, I still think there is a legitimate issue of deep importance here.

The natural slack of Life that has protected us from the State achieving Orwellian capabilities is being tightened-- at an accelerating pace.  The plethora of laws and petty regulations that are not fully enforced because of lack of Orwellian "Big Brother is Watching" capabilities WILL become ever more rigorously and vigorously enforced. 

Changing subjects (for a moment?) here's this:

You are welcome to forward this e-mail; please encourage your colleagues to sign up for periodic mailings at http://www.aele.org/e-signup.html
 
1. The September 2008 issue of the AELE Monthly Law Journal is online, with three new articles:

* Police Civil Liability
Police Interaction with Homeless Persons 
Part Two - Panhandling and Use of Force
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-9MLJ101.html

* Discipline and Employment Law
Disciplinary Consequences of Peace Officer Untruthfulness
Part One - Job Applications
http://www.aele.org/law/2008-9MLJ201.html

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Staff Use of Force Against Prisoners
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*** Law Enforcement Liability Reporter ***

* Extricating a motorist
Officers acted reasonably in pulling driver from his car when he refused to get out as directed and placing him on the ground to handcuff him. The motorist had allegedly driven in a manner that caused his car to hit curbs and other objects. The court found that the force used was not excessive under these circumstances. Wisler v. City of Fresno, #CV 06-1694, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 50843 (E.D. Cal.).
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* Lethal Force
Officer who shot a suspect acted reasonably because he kept his left hand concealed during a standoff, and he told officers that he "had something" to make the officers do what he "could not," as well as having previously told a 911 operator that he could easily provoke an officer to shoot him. The officer who shot the plaintiff believed that he had made a threatening movement with his concealed hand. Dague v. Dumesic, #07-15317, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 15511 (Unpub. 9th Cir.).
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*** Fire and Police Personnel Reporter ***

* Critical Incident Reviews - Right to Legal Counsel
Although mandatory participation in a critical incident review is subject to collective bargaining, troopers were not entitled to the presence of legal counsel, because the review is non-disciplinary and is not an administrative interrogation that may lead to discipline or removal. P.B.A. State Troopers v. N.Y. State Police, #118, 2008 NY Slip Op 05957, 2008 N.Y. Lexis 1930, 2008 NY Int. 113.
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* Prisoner Assault: By Officers

Federal appeals court upholds jury verdict for defendant corrections officers in lawsuit brought by prisoner allegedly injured by them when they used force to extract him from his cell. The plaintiff prisoner admitted that he had a weapon in his pocket at the time of the incident, and the evidence showed that he had been belligerent and uncooperative, and created a disturbance. Pepper spray and a 15 OC Stinger grenade used against the prisoner had little effect and failed to subdue him. The officers then shot a 37MM Ferret OC powder round and a 28b Stinger 37 MM 60 Cal. rubber-ball round, and again failed to subdue the prisoner. Another Ferret OC powder round fired into the cell then went through a mattress that the prisoner used to barricade his cell door, and hit him in the groin area, finally subduing him. Muhammad v. McCarrell, #07-2235, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 16682 (8th Cir.).
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #99 on: August 19, 2008, 11:19:09 AM »

GM,

I'd be interested on your LEO take on this exchange:

A lecture on NOT talking to the police:

Part One - Law professor

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865

Part Two - Detective

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6014022229458915912&hl=en

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