Tag Archives: 4th Amendment

Amici Brief to Judge in WikiLeaks-Twitter Case: Protect Users' Fourth Amendment Privacy Interests

In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed Twitter for information on several people associated with WikiLeaks, seeking the users’ full contact details (phone numbers and addresses), account payment method if any (credit card and bank account number), IP addresses used to access the account, connection records (“records of session times and durations”) and […]

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Volokh Conspiracy: Data-Mining and the Fourth Amendment

The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a Sixth Circuit decision in a Fourth Amendment case that addresses whether querying a database triggers Fourth Amendment protection. The majority concludedthat it does not: If the government collected the data in the database in compliance with the Fourth Amendment, analyzing that data does not implicate the Fourth Amendment. I […]

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Federal Judge Orders End to Warrantless Wiretapping

A federal judge in Detroit ruled today that the Bush administration’s eavesdropping program is illegal and unconstitutional. I’ll leave analysis of Judge Taylor’s reasoning to the experts (Jack Balkin, Orin Kerr, Dan Solove, Eugene Volokh, for starters). But I certainly agree with her quoting of Justice Warren at the conclusion of the opinion: Implicit in […]

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NJ Librarian ensnared in privacy conflict

NorthJersey.com reports of a local librarian who told police they would need a subpoena before she would turn over the circulation records of a man who had allegedly made sexually threatening comments to a 12-year-old girl outside the library. The police secured subpoenas and eventually received the information they requested, but the librarian is now […]

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AP: Police Bypassed Subpoenas, Got Phone Data From Brokers

Why should you be concerned about the aggregation and commercial availability of your personal information? Because you have little Constitutional protection from the state accessing such “third party” data, as this AP report makes all to clear: Numerous federal and local law enforcement agencies have bypassed subpoenas and warrants designed to protect civil liberties and […]

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Balkin: The Public Private "Handshake" and the National Surveillance State

My greatest concern about the collection of personal information by search engines, web 2.0 services, transportation systems and the like isn’t that certain individual companies happen to own a slice of my data, nor that these slices are increasingly being aggregated by information brokers like Choicepoint. Rather, my greatest concern is the increasing ease and […]

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Does Using Skype Authorizing NSA Spying?

A Skype user over at Grain of Salt has discovered an interesting caveat in the “To whom does Skype transfer Your personal information?” section of their privacy policy: Except as provided below, Skype shall not sell, rent, trade or otherwise transfer any Personal and/or Traffic Data or Communications Content to any third party without Your […]

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The Twin Dangers of the National Surveillance State

Please read Jack Balkin’s excellent post on the The Twin Dangers of the National Surveillance State: The twin dangers of national security displacing the criminal justice system and the criminal justice becoming increasingly like the national security system are consequences of technological change. Although the National Surveillance State arises from the changing nature of war, […]

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NSA Collecting Data on All Our Phone Calls

USA Today reports that the NSA has been secretly collecting the phone call records of virtually all American citizens who have recently used a phone, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth: The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most […]

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Google Wi-Fi as State Agent?

Following up on these privacy concerns with municipal wi-fi programs, I am beginning to wonder to what extent the providers of muni-wi-fi (such as Google) might be considered “state agents” when it comes to the collecting of personal information via these technologies. Does the fact that Google is providing this wi-fi as a public service […]

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