Tag Archive: Law

Mar 08 2017

Azerbaijan, Iranian Guard and Trump

“Azerbaijan, Iranian Guard and Trump.” What, you say. yes, that combo sounds a little strange but it’s not. The Trump organization built a hotel in the Azerbaijan capitol of Baku that appears to have been financed by a corrupt Azerbaijani oligarchs with connections to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a known terrorist group. Monday night MSNBC’s Rachel …

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Feb 22 2017

How To Remove A Problem Like Trump

When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, the was some confusion on succession. The Constitution was not clear on whether the vice president would be president or acting president in the event of the death, resignation, removal or incapacity due to disability. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 …

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Feb 17 2017

Lies and the Lying Liars

Over the years, I have learned a couple of things, some of them very important, some not so much. I’ve learned from both experience and observation. One of the more important things I learned that prosecutors very rarely ask a witness a question they don’t already have the answer. It’s pretty much the same with …

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Feb 09 2017

Thank You, Ninth Circuit

The three judge panel of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously declined to lift the stay of Donald Trump’s executive order banning the entry of Muslims from seven mostly Muslim countries. The Trump Administration’s controversial executive order to limit travel from seven Muslim majority countries suffered a major setback on Thursday after a panel of …

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Jan 31 2017

The Resistance: Monday Night Massacre

Monday night, three hours after acting Attorney General Sally Yates issued a letter instructing US Attorneys not to defend Donald Trump’s Muslim ban, Trump fired her. The last time that happened was in 1973, when Richard Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox at the height of the Watergate scandal. It precipitated the resignation of Attorney …

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Nov 01 2016

An Obvious Abuse Of Power Is A Crime (Up Date)

Up Date: 11/1/2016, 16:30 According to Pro Puclica, an ethics complaint has been filed against Rep. Jason Chafetz (R-UT) for releasing information provided to him by FBI Director Comey. Representative Chaffetz, in an ill-planned partisan attempt, released information that compromised the integrity of the FBI, when he irresponsibly tweeted out that the case investigating Secretary …

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Aug 17 2016

Prison Reform: The Aging Population Problem

One of the many problems faced by the federal and state prison system is a fast growing elderly population that is ill requiring special medical attention and facilities. Some of these people, men and women, are serving sentences for violent crimes, others for low level drug possessions and have been sentenced due to mandatory minimums, …

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Jun 28 2016

The US Supreme Court Decides and Goes on Vacation

There was a of of speculation that the US Supreme Court would hand down numerous split decisions since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia this year and the refusal of the Republicans in the Senate to even give President Barak Obama’s candidate to replace him a hearing. There were some but not as many as …

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Sep 22 2015

The Greatest Threat to World Peace: The USA

Noam Chomsky: The United States, Not Iran, Poses Greatest Threat to World Peace

In a speech Saturday at The New School in New York, Noam Chomsky explained why he believes the U.S. poses the greatest threat to world peace. “[The United States] is a rogue state, indifferent to international law and conventions, entitled to resort to violence at will. … Take, for example, the Clinton doctrine-namely, the United States is free to resort to unilateral use of military power, even for such purposes as to ensure uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources-let alone security or alleged humanitarian concerns. And adherence to this doctrine is very well confirmed and practiced, as need hardly be discussed among people willing to look at the facts of current history.” Chomsky also explained why he believes the U.S. and its closest allies, namely Saudi Arabia and Israel, are undermining prospects for peace in the Middle East. “When we say the international community opposes Iran’s policies or the international community does some other thing, that means the United States and anybody else who happens to be going along with it.”

Transcript can be read here

Sep 21 2015

Everthing New Is Old A Moment After It Happens

As you read this , you are reading history. Not in the sense that it is something memorable but in the sense that it has happened. So everything that we do or say, once said or done, is in the past one nanosecond later. Think about that and now apply it to the the Fourth Amendment and warantless searches by law enforcement.   The North Carolina Court of Appeals has now applied that logic to a ruling involving the search of a defendant’s  cell phone records without a warrant (pdf) through the backdoor of warrant that was tangential to the case.

Superior Court Judge Lucy N. Inman signed the order and Detective Mitchell submitted it to AT&T, the cellular phone service provider and holder of the account associated with the phone number. AT&T provided the records of the location of the cell phone tower “hits” or “pings” whenever a call was made to or from the cell phone. AT&T sent emails of the longitude and latitude coordinates of these historical cell tower “hits” to Detective Mitchell every fifteen minutes. Detective Mitchell testified an approximately five- to seven-minute delay occurred between the time the phone “pinged” a cell phone tower and the time AT&T received and calculated the location and sent the latitude and longitude coordinates to him.

Tim Cushing at Techdirt explains how the definition of “historical” has now been twisted to violate a defendant’s civil rights:

The defendant argued that the “real time” tracking of his location violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights (as well as analogous parts of North Carolina’s constitution). The court doesn’t buy these arguments, citing the Stored Communications Act, which allows government entities to obtain certain third party records without a warrant. It says the difference between what’s been considered unconstitutional by several courts — obtaining real-time location information with a tracking device — isn’t what’s happening here.

It argues that because the police didn’t intercept these “records,” everything is above-board, even if the sought “historical” data included two days of “records” that were created after the court order was approved.

Several courts have held the SCA permits a government entity to obtain cell tower site location information from a third-party service provider in situations where the cell tower site location information sought pre-dates the court order and where the cell tower site location information is collected after the date the court order issues. Although the former may technically be considered “historical” while the latter is “prospective” in relation to the date of the court order, both are considered “records” under the SCA. The government entity only receives this information after it has been collected and stored by the third-party service provider.

In plainer English, this means law enforcement entities can seek “historical” records from the “future,” with the mitigating factor being that the records are collected by third parties first. A short delay of a few minutes is enough to call these records “historical” under this interpretation.  [..]

While the majority’s interpretation dilutes the meaning of “historical” by including location data yet to be generated under its warrantless wing, it does point out to possible future problems with the use of Stingray devices. These have often been deployed with the same sort of court orders, but contain the ability to track individual phones in real time. Once more details on these deployments come to light, the courts will be forced to confront a plethora of Fourth Amendment violations — at least if they’re going to remain consistent with this interpretation of “historical.”

Can you hear the sound of the shredder?

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