The Fifth Amendment Eminent Domain
For Mr. Carter's Government class Idaho.
By: Justin Myler
Read more here:
The Fifth Amendment Eminent Domain – Video
The Fifth Amendment Eminent Domain
For Mr. Carter's Government class Idaho.
By: Justin Myler
Read more here:
The Fifth Amendment Eminent Domain – Video
Privacy and the Fourth Amendment were the main topics of Simpsons annual Constitution Day lecture tonight by Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Unions Speech, Privacy & Technology Project.
Wizner, who also legally represents whistleblower Edward Snowden, discussed our privacy laws and their failure in keeping up with the rapid development in surveillance technologies.
It used to be possible to live lives of practical obscurity, Wizner said, What I mean by that is most of our activities were unobserved an unrecorded, except by most of the people immediately around us.
Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore. With the fast-paced advancements it is now technologically and financially possible for the government to track everything we do. Every call, every transaction, every email we make is now recorded in metadata that government officials as well as companies can access at any time.
A company can take your information and conclude things about you in order to market to you.
Does it make anybody here uncomfortable that companies know and are selling to other companies that you might be overweight or depressed or gay? Wizner said.
Technology is beneficial, Wizner urged, if used in the right way and under the right protections.
If we want to prevent the benefits of these technologies to become the devils bargain, were going to actually need the right laws and rules to protect us from the worst applications to protect our values.
The NSA is collecting information about us through a Supreme Court ruling called the Third Party Doctrine from the 1970s that renders our Fourth Amendment rights obsolete when dealing with a third party.
Think about how much of our lives we share with third parties, Wizner said.
Read more here:
Lawyer Ben Wizner speaks at annual Constitution Day Lecture
WE ARE, as it always seems, “at a pivotal moment in American history.” At least that’s what Sens. Tom Udall and Bernie Sanders maintained in a melodramatic Politico op-ed last week as they explained their efforts to repeal the First Amendment.
Let me retort in their language:
It’s true that building the United States has been long, arduous and rife with setbacks. But throughout the years, the American people have repelled efforts to weaken or dismantle the First Amendment. We have weathered the Sedition Act of 1918, a law that led to the imprisonment of innocent Americans who opposed the war or the draft. Since then, we have withstood numerous efforts to hamper, chill and undermine basic free expression in the name of “patriotism.” We have, however, allowed elected officials to treat citizens as if they were children by arbitrarily imposing strict limits on their free speech in the name of “fairness.”
But nowadays, after five members of the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment and treated all political speech equally, liberal activists and Democrats in the Senate would have us return to a time when government dispensed speech to favored institutions–as if it were the government’s to give.
In 2010, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion striking down major parts of a 2002 campaign-finance reform law in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This case and subsequent rulings, including McCutcheon v. FEC, have led to more political activism and more grass-roots engagement than ever before. In the 2012 presidential election, we quickly saw the results. More Americans voted than in any election; more minorities voted; more Americans engaged in more debate and had more information in their hands than ever before. More than 60 percent of all those super PAC funds came from just 159 donors, each of whom gave more than $1 million. And still, every vote held the same sway. You may be persuaded by someone, but no one can buy your vote. I wish the same could be said for your senators.
The Constitution protects the rich, too
Members of Congress are set to leave Washington for an extended fall recess in a few days
The U.S. Congress is unlikely to pass legislation to end the National Security Agency’s widespread collection of U.S. telephone records before leaving Washington, D.C., on a two-month break.
Congress is scheduled to leave town for its fall recess by the end of this week, with the USA Freedom Act still awaiting action in the Senate. Members of Congress will head back to their home districts to campaign for November’s elections, with all members of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate on the ballot.
The USA Freedom Act, with significant support in the House and the Senate, still has some lawmakers questioning whether reining in the NSA’s phone records collection program would hurt the U.S. government’s war on terrorism.
Absent congressional action, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced late Friday that they have asked for, and received, court authorization to continue the telephone records collection program. The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court reauthorized the program to continue until Dec. 5, with some limits proposed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
It’s important to “maintain the capabilities” of the telephone records program, “given that legislation has not yet been enacted,” the two agencies said in a joint statement.
The House passed a watered-down version of the USA Freedom Act in May, but several senators have pushed for a pumped up version that they say would end the NSA’s bulk collection of U.S. phone records.
The Senate version of the bill has even won the support of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. But Congress has several other issues to deal with in coming days, including a continuing resolution to continue funding the government and a request from President Barack Obama to assist a fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham [ISIS] in the Middle East.
Earlier this month, just after Congress returned from its summer recess, four tech trade groups urged the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act.
Supporters of the bill said they’re disappointed Congress hasn’t passed the bill, but suggested it may still have life in a so-called lame duck session following November’s election. Congress could also start over with a new bill after new members are seated in January.
Read the original here:
NSA reform bill stalled with Congress headed toward fall recess
NEARLY everyone lives by their smartphone these days, including U.S. Supreme Court justices. In Riley v. California, the nations highest court recently acknowledged this, finding all citizens have a Fourth Amendment right of privacy in their cellphones. The often-divided court was unanimous.
Before the Riley decision, lower courts were split on whether it was necessary to obtain a warrant before searching a suspects cellphone. Justice John Roberts definitively settled the dispute: Get a warrant.
The federal and Washington state constitutions are often tested in the context of criminal activity, but the ramifications of this ruling are weighty and will send ripples well beyond criminal suspects. The Riley decision speaks to the privacy rights of all in the digital age, including public employees.
Washington states Constitution provides citizens broader privacy rights than the Fourth Amendment, and the state Supreme Court has been ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court on this issue.
The Riley ruling will help decrease harassment of public employees by prison inmates and others who attempt to use Washington states Public Records Act to violate the privacy rights of teachers, firefighters, police officers, prosecutors and other public servants.
Pierce County and other government entities have been sued by requesters who wrongly claim the Public Records Act is a license to search the personal phones of public servants to determine if there have been work-related conversations or if personal phones were used during work hours. This far-fetched and shortsighted theory violates the privacy of public servants, their families, friends, and everyone who contacts them.
Such lawsuits against Pierce County have been twice dismissed by Superior Court judges, though the issues are continuing to wind through the courts. The Superior Court agreed that personal phone records and text messages are not public records and are protected by both the Washington and U.S. constitutions.
Public servants and other law-abiding citizens do not have fewer rights than criminals.
Some argue public servants could hide behind the state or federal constitution and somehow create shadow governments, and therefore they should give up their constitutional rights. Imagine, teachers could be forced to turn over their personal phones to be searched for public records because they might have talked or texted with a students parent. This is a good premise for a dystopian movie, but a bad law for a free society, and fortunately this is not the law in the United States or in Washington state.
Our federal Supreme Court has specifically held that public employees do not give up their constitutional rights by working for the public. Public employees make sacrifices to serve our communities, but they do not sacrifice their constitutional rights. Like private-sector employees, public-sector employees have a free-speech right to talk about their work and a constitutional right to privacy as well. Private landlines, which do not create public records, did not result in shadow governments and neither will personal cellphones.
Read more from the original source:
Guest: Why the privacy of a public employees cellphone matters
The pseudonymous nature of bitcoin is an oft-debated characteristic of the technology and it brings up a host of opinions, some of which are valid and others, not so much. Although I believe that bitcoin is a better payment system than current conventional systems, its futile to argue that pseudonymous (or anonymous) financial transactions over the network are a problem or a benefit of bitcoin itself.
The real question that needs to be asked is: should those that participate in the bitcoin network adhere to the same personal identification standards (commonly referred to as KYC or Know Your Customer) as those that are set for conventional payment systems? And if so, why?
There are many who strongly support the idea that, as citizens of free and democratic countries, we have basic personal rights to financial privacy, including financial transactions. This is a nice idea and there are several valid business reasons that support this concept. That said, we have to take into consideration the reality of how our government agencies operate.
But before I turn to that, its important to note that in order to setup a conventional bank account regardless of whether its a personal or business account we must all provide detailed personal information to our bankers. What most of us do not correlate is that a bank account also enables us to participate in and transact using fiat currencies and conventional payment systems such as Visa, MasterCard, Interac, etc. I dont think anyone would argue with me over this.
So back to our government agencies: across the developed world, governments have chosen to track financial transactions as a primary method of combatting illicit business activity. This mandate gained momentum with the U.S. war on drugs and has been bolstered considerably by the perceived war on terror. The reality is that this is a directive that our elected governments have chosen to enforce so we all must be aware of it and take it into consideration.
As a result of this strategy, government-based banking and financial services regulators have put stringent rules in place that require banks, financial service providers and similar to track and report, if necessary, on our financial transactions. Because our personal information is provided to the banks at the time of opening a bank account, our personal information is also passed on to government agencies, if required.
Regardless of their reasoning or the validity of their directives, governments use conventional banking and payment networks to monitor commerce across the globe for perceived illicit activity. The information they collect holds a tremendous amount of value and they have built significant infrastructure around it.
Now along comes bitcoin, which operates independent of conventional banking networks and it is a decentralized global network. No central authority has control over the bitcoin network. This is a major benefit of the bitcoin network, but its innovative structure is a cause for concern for government agencies. They do not and cannot control the bitcoin network so they cannot track financial transactions and therefore cannot use their conventional methods to track perceived illicit activity.
Banking regulators have sent messages to banks suggesting that they avoid doing business with individuals or companies involved in bitcoin. They have often used the rational that bitcoin is too risky as a speculative investment as the reasoning for their warning. This is a fair warning, but I suspect that the explanation above is the primary reason they have asked the banks to step back from bitcoin.
Banks can still choose to work with those associated with bitcoin, and were seeing some forward-thinking banks doing just that. Its my view that bitcoin has already passed the point of critical mass and Id be very surprised if it does not continue to proliferate. However, its quite uncommon for a bank to go against the suggestion of their regulator. The government regulators hold a lot of power over the banks and getting on the wrong side of them can make for a miserable time. Its therefore understandable that banks are cautious and most of them have done exactly what the regulators have recommended in regards to bitcoin.
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Bitcoin isnt risky when you know your customers
Members of the Liberty Twp. Tea Party organization say they are beyond frustrated with the Internal Revenue Services handling of their tax-exempt status request.
Nine Tea Party organizations, including the Liberty Twp. group, are still awaiting a response from the IRS, according to Gene Kapp, a spokesman for the American Center for Law and Justice.
Congress and the Justice Department are investigating whether the IRS improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status from conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections. A federal judge has allowed a lawsuit by 10 tea party groups to move forward against the IRS, rejecting a request by the federal government to dismiss all the allegations that the agency subjected conservative groups to additional, often burdensome scrutiny.
Whether that lawsuit will be continued or dismissed will be known any day now, Kapp said.
The U.S. government filed a motion to dismiss our lawsuit some time ago, he said. We, of course, filed our response opposing the motion to dismiss. We expect a decision by a federal judge any day now regarding that motion.
Liberty Twp. Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status in January 2011.
I have moved beyond frustration with governments inability to process paper work in a timely manner, said Susan McLaughlin, a member of the Liberty Twp. Tea Party. I have lost any trust or expectation of fairness in the federal government. My naivet in believing the government would follow their own rules has been replaced with anger and suspicion.
Katy Kern is more to the point saying how the group feels: I dont think we are frustrated, I think we are pissed off.
We refuse to back down or be intimidated, Kern said. Somebody has to stand up to the bullies and we are glad that there are 8 other tea parties w the stones to do it.
Published September 15, 2014
Sept. 15, 2014 – Former NSA systems analyst turned leaker Edward Snowden appears via video link from Russia to hundreds at the Auckland, New Zealand Town Hall. Snowden says the NSA is collecting mass surveillance data on New Zealanders through its XKeyscore program and has set up a facility to tap into vast amounts of data.(AP)
WELLINGTON, New Zealand Former National Security Agency systems analyst turned leaker Edward Snowden said Monday that the NSA is collecting mass surveillance data on New Zealanders through its XKeyscore program and has set up a facility in the South Pacific nation’s largest city to tap into vast amounts of data.
Snowden talked via video link from Russia to hundreds of people at Auckland’s Town Hall.
Shortly before he spoke, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key issued a statement saying New Zealand’s spy agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, has never undertaken mass surveillance of its own people. Key said he declassified previously secret documents that proved his point.
“Regarding XKeyscore, we don’t discuss the specific programs the GCSB may or may not use,” Key said. “But the GCSB does not collect mass metadata on New Zealanders, therefore it is clearly not contributing such data to anything or anyone.”
Snowden, however, said Key was carefully parsing his words, and that New Zealand agencies do collect information for the NSA and then get access to it.
“There are actually NSA facilities in New Zealand that the GCSB is aware of and that means the prime minister is aware of,” Snowden said. “And one of them is in Auckland.”
He said Key was avoiding the main issue by not talking about XKeyscore.
“To this day, he’s said I won’t talk about this. I won’t talk about this because it’s related to foreign intelligence,” Snowden said. “But is it related to foreign intelligence if it’s collecting the communications of every man, woman and child in the country of New Zealand?”
Read more here:
Snowden: NSA collecting data on New Zealanders
Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden today accused the New Zealand government of spying on its citizens, just days before the country goes to the polls in national elections.
If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched, he wrote in an opinion piece for the Intercept, an online news site run by journalist Glenn Greenwald. In it, he said that he regularly saw data from New Zealand when he was working for the NSA.
His allegation threatens to upend what has so far been a predictable campaign a poll three days agoshowed Prime Minister John Key as the choice of 61.6 percent of voters, compared to 17.9 percent for his closest challenger, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Snowden’s charges drew a quick rebuttal from Mr. Key, who vigorously denied that New Zealands Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) runs a mass surveillance program.
There is not, and never has been, mass surveillance of New Zealanders undertaken by the GCSB, he said in a statement.
In his op-ed, Snowden urged New Zealanders to vote, writing that come Sept. 20, New Zealanders have a checkbox of their own.
If you live in New Zealand, whatever party you choose to vote for, bear in mind the opportunity to send a message that this government wont need to spy on us to hear: The liberties of free people cannot be changed behind closed doors. Its time to stand up. Its time to restore our democracies. Its time to take back our rights. And it starts with you.
Snowden says Key’s government, through the GCSB, funnels mass surveillance data into the NSA’s XKeyscore program. He writes:
The GCSB provides mass surveillance data into XKEYSCORE. They also provide access to the communications of millions of New Zealanders to the NSA at facilities such as the GCSB station at Waihopai, and the Prime Minister is personally aware of this fact. Importantly, they do not merelyuseXKEYSCORE, but also actively and directly develop mass surveillance algorithms for it. GCSBs involvement with XKEYSCORE is not a theory, and it is not a future plan. The claim that it never went ahead, and that New Zealand merely looked at but never participated in the Five Eyes system of mass surveillance is false, and the GCSBs past and continuing involvement with XKEYSCORE is irrefutable.
Key went on New Zealand television programs over the weekend to say that New Zealand intelligence agencies considered setting up a mass surveillance system, but ultimately decided against it.
See original here:
New Zealand spying row: Snowden as election wildcard?
As Eugene noted, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit recently held that a child pornography conviction had to be reversed because the evidence was gathered in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. Steve Vladeck has a post discussing the important and potentially certworthy issue in the case, which is whether a violation of that statute can trigger the exclusionary rule at all.
I confess that my initial reaction was skepticism. Consider Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon:
We have applied the exclusionary rule primarily to deter constitutional violations. [In t]he few cases in which we have suppressed evidence for statutory violations the excluded evidence arose directly out of statutory violations that implicated important Fourth and Fifth Amendment interests.
Maybe the Posse Comitatus Act can be shown to implicate important Fourth and Fifth Amendment interests, but the Ninth Circuit didnt really show that, and it isnt obvious to me.
More generally, it seems to me that current exclusionary rule doctrine can be read in a couple of different ways:
One is the deterrence theory: Exclusion is appropriate when it seems like theres intentional and/or widespread and/or generally problematic illegality by the government. This refrain appears in a bunch of the cases, and its how the Ninth Circuit framed the analysis. Its not clear, however, that the analysis automatically applies in statutory cases (see above).
A second is the slow destruction theory: Under this theory, the exclusionary rule is unfounded and deleterious, and the rule and its works should be slowly destroyed. Some people read the Courts exclusionary rule precedents to be implicitly working toward this theory. It is not really put forward by the Court as a first-order justification, although quite a few of the opinions do frame their analysis by questioning the rules basis or justification.
Until recently, I would have ended this list there. But I have recently begun to give some credence to a third account of exclusionary rule doctrine put forward by my friend Richard Re in an article called The Due Process Exclusionary Rule.
Richard argues that today many searches and seizures should be seen as part of the criminal process and that the exclusionary rule is thus justified by the Due Process Clause, which forbids a conviction obtained through illegal process. While I am not yet sure that I agree with this view, I think it deserves serious consideration, and is the best alternative to the slow destruction theory that is on offer.
Here is what the article says about statutory violations (footnotes omitted):
Like my co-blogger Will Baude, I was very interested in the Ninth Circuits recent case, United States v. Dreyer, suppressing evidence as a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. I think the case is interesting because it demonstrates a view of the exclusionary rule that I havent seen in a while.
First, some history. Back in the the middle of the 20th Century, the federal courts often found ways to impose an exclusionary rule for statutory violations in federal court. For example, in Nardone v. United States, 302 U. S. 379 (1937) (Nardone I) and Nardone v. United States, 308 U.S. 338 (1939) (Nardone II), the Supreme Court adopted an exclusionary rule for violations of the Communications Act. In McNabb v. United States, 318 U.S. 332 (1943), the Court adopted an exclusionary rule for violations of Rule 5 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Court had a rather free-form approach to the exclusionary rule at the time, in part because suppression was seen as the judiciarys domain. The federal courts had an inherent power to control evidence in their own cases, so the Court could be creative in fashioning what evidence could come in to deter bad conduct. If the government did something really bad, the federal courts had the power to keep the evidence out to deter violations and maintain the integrity of the courts.
By the 1980s, after Warren Court revolution, the Supreme Court had a different view of the exclusionary rule. The scope of the rule had expanded dramatically when it was incorporated and applied to the states. But as a kind of tradeoff for that expansion, the Court cut back on the free-form approach outside core constitutional violations. The Burger and Rehnquist Courts saw suppression as a doctrine that had to be rooted in deterrence of constitutional violations and not just something that courts didnt like or found offensive.
In his post, Will points out a passage from Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon to that effect. And I would add the earlier case of United States v. Payner, 447 U.S. 727 (1980), in which investigators had intentionally violated one persons Fourth Amendment rights to get evidence they were holding of the suspects crimes. The Sixth Circuit had suppressed the evidence on the basis of the federal courts supervisory power to punish the blatant abuse even though the suspect did not have Fourth Amendment standing to object to the violation. The Supreme Court reversed, blocking courts from using the supervisory power as an end-run around the limits of Fourth Amendment doctrine.
The new Ninth Circuit case, Dreyer, strikes me as a vestige of the mid-20th century free-form view of the exclusionary rule. The lower courts in the 1960s and 1970s had a few areas where they rejected suppression outside of constitutional law but recognized the hypothetical possibility that they might suppress evidence if the facts were particularly egregious. For example, a bunch of circuits held that the Fourth Amendment does not regulate evidence collection by foreign governments not acting in coordination with the U.S., but that they would suppress evidence if the foreign government conduct shocked the conscience. See, e.g., Birdsell v. United States, 346 F.2d 775, 782 n. 10 (5th Cir. 1965); United States v. Cotroni, 527 F.2d 708, 712 n. 10 (2d Cir. 1975). But see United States v. Mount, 757 F.2d 1315, 1320 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (Bork, J., concurring) (arguing based on Payner that lower courts lack supervisory powers to impose an exclusionary rule for searches by foreign governments). The caselaw was never reviewed in the Supreme Court, however, perhaps because those egregious circumstances were not found and the evidence wasnt actually suppressed.
Violations of the Posse Comitatus Act, the issue in the new decision, provides another example. The history seems to run like this. First, in the 1970s, a few courts applied the free-form approach to the exclusionary rule and left open the possibility that violations of the Posse Comitatus Act could lead to exclusion if it were necessary to deter violations. See, e.g.,United States v. Walden, 490 F.2d 372, 37677 (4th Cir. 1974); State v. Danko, 219 Kan. 490 (1976). When the Ninth Circuit reached the issue in 1986, the panel did not focus on the Supreme Courts then-new more skeptical approach to the exclusionary rule. Instead, the Ninth Circuit expanded on the 1970s lower-court cases, indicating that the exclusionary rule would be necessary for violations of the Act if a need to deter future violations is demonstrated. United States v. Roberts, 779 F.2d 565, 568 (9th Cir. 1986). Again, though, this was just a possibility, and the issue was never reviewed.
Dreyer picks up that 28-year-old invitation and concludes that the need has finally been demonstrated and that the exclusionary rule therefore must be applied. Dreyer cites Roberts, which in turn cited Walden. So on its face, the court is at least drawing on precedent.
But it seems to me that Dreyer is very vulnerable if DOJ thinks it is worth challenging in the Supreme Court. Dreyer appears to rely on a line of thinking about the exclusionary rule that the Supreme Court has long ago rejected. Of course, we can debate the normative question of how the Justices should approach the exclusionary rule, either in the context of constitutional violations or statutory violations. But just as a predictive matter, I suspect that todays Court would have a different view of the question than the circuit court cases from the 1970s on which the Ninth Circuits Dreyer decision ultimately relies.
Orin Kerr is the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at The George Washington University Law School, where he has taught since 2001. He teaches and writes in the area of criminal procedure and computer crime law.
Go here to see the original:
Volokh Conspiracy: The posse comitatus case and changing views of the exclusionary rule
A coalition including civil liberties groups and government whistleblowers hascome out against aSenate bill respondingto the government surveillance and data collection revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Many observers seethe current Senate version of the USA FreedomAct as the most likely to succeed. But a letter released by the groupMonday argues that the language in the bill is too murky and could actually codify some controversial government programs while failing to provide meaningful prohibition against mass surveillance.
“The USA FreedomAct has significant potential to degrade, rather than improve, the surveillance status quo,” the letter warns. “At best, even if faithfully implemented, the current bill will erect limited barriers to Section 215, only one of the various legal justifications for surveillance, create additional loopholes, and provide a statutory framework for some of the most problematic surveillance policies, all while reauthorizing the Patriot Act.”
Signers of the letterinclude NSA whistleblowers William Binney and Thomas Drake, as well as journalist Daniel Ellsberg, who revealed the Pentagon Papers, and groupsincludingProgressive Change Campaign Committee, the Sunlight Foundation, Restore The Fourth, and Fight for the Future.
But notably absent from the list are some of the big-name civil liberties groups–including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy & Technology and New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute–who havesigned on to a letter endorsing the version of the bill introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Major tech companieshave alsoendorsed the bill through trade groups and industry coalitions.
The legislation includes limits on surveillance under Section 215 of the USA PatriotAct — the part invoked to justify the bulk collection of domestic phone meta-data — as well as additional transparency provisions and the creation of a special advocate for civil liberties within the secretive court that overseas surveillance decision. But the billdoesnotaddress surveillance or data collection occurring under other authorities, including Section 702 of the USA PatriotAct and Executive Order 12333.
Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel with the ACLU, says the organization”conducted a careful analysis of the bill” and believes on the whole it is a step in the right direction, although “not perfect.”
Kevin Bankston, the policy director at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, says he sympathizes with the group opposing this version but believesthis bill is the best path forward. “I agree with the signers of today’s letter that USA FreedomAct doesn’t go nearly far enough in addressing all of the worst NSA surveillance practices,” says Bankston. “But I also believe this bill is a critically important first step in the reform process that would end the NSA’s bulk telephone records program while giving us much more transparency and accountability when it comes to government surveillance overall. ”
Thoseopposing the Leahy version of the bill argue it may not actually end bulk surveillance programs. “Given the several broad legal authorities claimed as justifications for mass surveillance of United States persons and non-United States persons,” the letter reads, “it remains unclear if the Senates USA FreedomAct would end any of the Intelligence Communitys clandestine programs to surveil Americans.”
Sascha Meinrath, directer of X-lab at the New American Foundation and the founder of the Open Technology Institute, isskeptical that the bill would effectively stymie bulk collection and signed on to the letter opposing the bill as an individual. Even experts on the matter, he says, have trouble determining the actual policy outcomes of the legislation because of the measure’s “nebulous” language.
Privacy advocates split over NSA reform bill
Apple is one of the big companies viewed negatively because of its use of offshore tax havens. Photo: Bloomberg
Australians are increasingly concerned about corporate tax avoidance and support greater measures to tackle profit shifting, a survey shows.
Voters are also more likely to view companies such as Apple negatively because of their use of offshore tax havens, and want companies to be required to report their profits and taxes in each country in which their operate.
The research, commissioned by advocacy group Tax Justice Network, comes as the government prepares to chair the G20 finance ministers’ and central bank governors’ meeting in Cairns next week.
The meeting is one of the last before the G20 leaders’ summit in Brisbane in November.
The issue of profit shifting – where global companies move large sums of money offshore to lower their tax – is high on the agenda as governments try to plug holes in tax revenue.
The survey of 1000 people found that there is widespread support to make corporate tax in Australia more transparent.
Nine out of 10 voters believed it was unacceptable for foreign multinationals to operate in a country and not pay any taxes, even if they wereabiding by the law.
They also supported tighter regulations to close the tax loopholes used by corporations.
Voters back corporate tax crackdown
Should the NSA be allowed to spy on video games? #Savepoint
Should the government be allowed to spy on video games? Will micro-transactions ever improve in mobile games? Are video games just becoming movies? We attempt to answer these questions on…
By: UnderInspired Games
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Should the NSA be allowed to spy on video games? #Savepoint – Video
Yahoo Wins Fight To Release NSA Legal Battle Documents
New documents show tech giant Yahoo fought the government's surveillance requests until it was threatened with a massive fine. Yahoo was one of the tech companies implicated last year in helping…
By: Actual News Channel 3
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Yahoo Wins Fight To Release NSA Legal Battle Documents – Video
Kashmir floods: Families rescued from 'city of islands'
There is mounting anger in Indian-administered Kashmir amid accusations that the government has acted too slowly in the flood crisis. Many homes and even hospitals in the capital Srinagar…
By: TD World News
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Kashmir floods: Families rescued from ‘city of islands’ – Video
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (AP) A judge in the Cayman Islands has sworn in a seven-member jury as the government prepares for a corruption trial against a former premier who has been the islands' longest serving politician.
See original here:
Cayman Islands prepares for trial of ex-premier
The Constitution, through the Fourth Amendment, protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Fourth Amendment, however, is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under the law.
Whether a particular type of search is considered reasonable in the eyes of the law, is determined by balancing two important interests. On one side of the scale is the intrusion on an individual’s Fourth Amendment rights. On the other side of the scale are legitimate government interests, such as public safety.
The extent to which an individual is protected by the Fourth Amendment depends, in part, on the location of the search or seizure. Minnesota v. Carter, 525 U.S. 83 (1998).
However, there are some exceptions. A warrantless search may be lawful:
Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo: Reuters
Labor has accused the government of procrastinating on a key measure to stop multinational companies shifting profits offshore.
It comes as the government prepares to chair the G20 finance ministers meeting in Cairns next week.
The information-sharing deal, part of the global push to tackle tax avoidance, has been signed by 40 countries, including Britain, the US and tax havens such as the Cayman Islands.
The Abbott government has delayed signing the deal to consult with business.
Companies such as Apple, Google, Ikea, and Glencore Xstratahave been accused of deliberately reducing their tax bills in Australia by relocating profits overseas.
Treasurer Joe Hockey warned last week that government would not stand “idly by” while multinationals avoided tax.
But Labor’s assistant treasurer spokesman Andrew Leighsaid the government was talking tough on tax dodging while avoiding action.
“Joe Hockey has huffed and puffed in the Parliament about tackling multinational tax avoidance but continued to stall on a key initiative that would actually achieve this,” he said.
Heat on Joe Hockey over tax deal
The former chief technology officer of Liberty Reserve SA, described by the U.S. as a black-market bank that masked more than $6 billion in criminal proceeds, became the third person to plead guilty to helping run an illegal money remitting business.
Mark Marmilev, 35, of Brooklyn, New York, who helped design and maintain the operations technological infrastructure, faces a maximum five-year prison term when hes sentenced by U.S. District JudgeDenise Cote in Manhattan on Jan. 20.
Marmilev told Cote that he provided technical support to the site, helping to protect it from hackers and identity thieves, and acknowledged that he suspected that most of the funds coming into Liberty Reserve were the proceeds of a Ponzi scheme.
I believed a substantial amount of the funds from the U.S. moving through Liberty Reserve came from high-yield investment programs that I believe had a high probability of being fraudulent but I consciously avoided obtaining confirmation, Marmilev said.
Liberty Reserve, incorporated in Costa Rica, was one of the worlds most widely used digital currency services, according to the U.S. The company was created and structured as a criminal business venture, one designed to help criminals conduct illegal transactions, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. Federal prosecutors in New York shut down the company last year.
Marmilev, one of seven people charged last year by Bhararas office, had also been accused of one count of conspiring to launder money, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term and with operating an unlicensed money remitting business, which carries a maximum five-year term.
Azzeddine El Amine, a principal deputy to the companys founders, pleaded guilty in August to a conspiracy count and Cote said he is cooperating with the U.S.
Marmilevs lawyer, Seth Ginsberg, said after court that his client is an Israeli citizen and faces deportation after he completes his term. Ginsberg withdrew a request to have Marmilev released on bond.
I think that the plea is in the best interests of Mr. Marmilev, Ginsberg said.
Another defendant, Arthur Budovsky, is in Spain where his extradition is pending, prosecutors have said. Marmilev had been scheduled to go to trial in April with Maxim Chuckharev, who was Liberty Reserves designer, according to the government.
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Liberty Reserve Employee Pleads Guilty in Black-Market Bank Case
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