Posted on October 24, 2008 by Michael Thomas, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions
From Wired magazine’s Threat Level:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief Thursday claiming that the government’s attempt to give retroactive immunity to the companies that helped the Bush administration’s warrantless spying program violates the Constitution by ripping from the courts the power to hear citizens’ grievances against the government.
The EFF’s brief, filed in response to a September decision in the EFF’s case against AT&T, argues that Congress had no right to pass legislation granting immunity, since the courts have a fundamental duty and right to hear citizens’ complaints that the government violated their Constitutional rights.
Filed under: Arguments, Congress, Judiciary, Legislation | Tagged: eavesdropping, EFF, immunity, telecom | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 18, 2008 by Michael Thomas
An interesting piece from From Family Security Matters about how the Supreme Court may be overstepping its legal authority and overturning historical and international precedents in favor of terror detainees.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article are the author’s own, and I neither endorse nor disavow them (my personal political views are not what this blog is about). The site this article comes from has a decidedly conservative emphasis, and the opinions expressed in the article tilt that direction. However, whether or not you agree with the opinion, the facts presented are worth reading.
Our national security is in the hands of the United States Supreme Court. This is incongruous, since the Constitution expressly instructs that foreign policy should be conducted by the executive and legislative branches, through such provisions as the Treaty Clause, the Declare War Clause, the Foreign Commerce Clause and the Commander-in-Chief Clause. Nonetheless, the current Supreme Court has inserted itself into the middle of anti-terrorism policies. In doing so, it has undermined the decisions of our elected branches and thus has undermined the will of the American people. With our national security at stake, now, more than ever, all Americans should have their eyes on the high Court.
Filed under: Judiciary, Rulings | Tagged: Constitution, national security, Supreme Court, terrorism | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 2, 2008 by Michael Thomas
The Homeland Security Department has declared its right to seize laptops at the U.S. border indefinitely, and the 9th Circuit court upheld their right to do so, but the Travelers Privacy Protection Act introduced Thursday is intended to curb that power.
The legislation would require DHS to form reasonable suspicion of illegal activity before searching electronic devices carried by U.S. residents. The DHS would also be required to provide probable cause and a warrant or court order to hold such a device for more than 24 hours. The bill also limits what information acquired through electronic searches the DHS can disclose, and it requires the department to report on its border searches to Congress.
- Although I’ve heard several arguments that the laptop policy only extends the powers CBP agents have to search all items and documents brought into the U.S., others argue that the extent of searches currently allowed by DHS exceeds traditional protections in all areas (not just laptops).
- The newly introduced bill offers protection only for information on electronic media – physical documents and other belongings are not protected.
- The newly introduced bill only offers protection for citizens and legal residents of the U.S. – foreign visitors are not protected.
Filed under: DHS, Judiciary, Legislation, Rulings, Senate | Tagged: border, CBP, court order, laptop, privacy, warrant | Leave a Comment »