LAW AND ENFORCEMENT
How does law enforcement invade or violate our privacy? See also the Search and Seizure page.
Cross-border flows of police data channelled into EU law
"The European Commission today set out plans for a new framework to protect personal data while allowing for a more effective exchange of information between national law enforcement agencies."
Full story - Out-Law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:50:39 EDT 2005
Schwarzenegger signs bill allowing state to track parolees with GPS
"Satellite tracking technology, a staple of weather forecasting and military operations for decades, is the latest tool California can use to ease its overburdened parole and probation system under legislation signed Tuesday by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."
Full story - Ledger-Enquirer
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:46:51 EDT 2005
'Black box' information driving convictions
"In what is becoming a familiar scene in courtrooms nationwide, information collected from a car's "black box" was used to convict a motorist of criminal charges."
Full story - abrn.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Oct 4 16:54:42 EDT 2005
Privacy Concerns Mount Over Traffic Control Plan
"A plan by Seoul City to install electronic devices in passenger cars to pinpoint their locations has touched off a heated debate over the protection of individual privacy."
Full story - Korea Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:19:27 EDT 2005
Why Is Skype Exempt From VoIP Wiretap Laws?
"Here's one more reason why the FCC's ruling about VoIP and wiretap laws is thoroughly wrong-headed: Under it, Skype, as well as other PC-to-PC VoIP systems like Google Talk, are exempt. But VoIP providers like Vonage need to comply."
Full story - NetworkingPipeline
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 14:13:58 EDT 2005
Prostitution Pics Posted Online
"Controversy is brewing about how a local police department is using the internet to battle prostitution."
Full story - 6abc
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 28 08:27:01 EDT 2005
Public can track inmates' progress in therapy
"The Colorado Department of Corrections' mantra in dealing with rapists and child molesters is "no secrets." Sex offenders thrive under a cloak of silence and secrecy, so when it comes to treating them, prison therapists insist nothing be hidden."
Full story - Gazette.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:26:19 EDT 2005
Consolidation of databases concerns ACLU
"... Citing privacy issues and potential government misuse of information among their reasons for opposition, the Ohio ACLU remains skeptical of a new plan to implement an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification information-management system, a system that will allow for consolidated searches of existing information databases to assist law enforcement organizations in their investigations."
Full story - Mount Vernon News
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 25 17:57:57 EDT 2005
Law officials seek to shut down Rita scams
"In a spree mirroring the online gold rush that accompanied Hurricane Katrina's landfall and aftermath, online speculators are scooping up hundreds of Hurricane Rita-related Web domain names, and Rita-themed Internet auctions have begun in earnest."
Full story - CapeCodOnline
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:37:15 EDT 2005
National databases linked to track fine dodgers
"The government has allowed magistrates access to police intelligence records in a bid to crack down on offenders who fail to pay fines and turn up for community service."
Full story - Silicon.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 23 08:46:02 EDT 2005
Black Box Monitors Pervs
"Florida State University researchers have developed a system for gathering evidence against online predators and cyberstalkers... Plugged into a USB port of the victim's PC, the Papa system is a secure black box that automatically records all exchanges displayed on screen."
Full story - Wired
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 20 09:26:39 EDT 2005
Probe targets Miami-Dade police
"Investigators are looking into allegations that an officer at the Miami-Dade Police Department misused identification and passwords that provide access to consumer data maintained by ChoicePoint Inc. The company, based in Alpharetta, Ga., said in a posting Friday on its Internet site that the U.S. Secret Service was investigating the matter, which involved the data of 4,689 consumers."
Full story - Naples Daily News (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 17 00:52:22 EDT 2005
Privacy laws hinder murder hunt
"Hospital bosses say privacy laws are preventing them from helping police solve the murder 41 years ago of a 13-year-old girl in South Yorkshire."
Full story - BBC
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 13 10:41:55 EDT 2005
Colorado law enforcement agencies sharing data
"Seven law enforcement agencies in the northwest Denver metropolitan area will exchange data through the new Jefferson County Law Enforcement Sharing System, which uses a commercial analysis tool that is popular among other jurisdictions."
Full story - FCW
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 17:24:24 EDT 2005
Abortion opponents dispute claims about patient privacy
"... Two clinics argue their concerns about patients' privacy are causing them to fight Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's attempts to gain access to the records of women and girls who have had abortions."
Full story - LJWorld.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 8 08:36:19 EDT 2005
ACLU: Govt. memo exaggerates police rights
"... The ACLU said the Justice Department opinion makes the "sweeping and unprecedented" legal argument that state and local law enforcement officers can arrest anyone who violates a federal law. "We therefore do not believe that the authority of state police to make arrests for violation of federal law is limited to those instances in which they are exercising delegated federal power," the memo says."
Full story - Portsmouth Herald
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 10:29:16 EDT 2005
Dutch police send 17,000 text messages in hunt for soccer hooligans
"In a high-tech hunt for hooligans, Dutch police sent 17,000 text messages Wednesday to mobile phones of fans who attended a soccer match between rival clubs Ajax and Feyenoord in Rotterdam last season... Phone companies voluntarily handed over the mobile phone numbers of people who were in or around Feyenoord's Kuip stadium on the day of the match - traceable using broadcasting masts in the area."
Full story - FOX Sports
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 31 12:50:11 EDT 2005
Is HIPPA, the patients' privacy law, getting in way of police work?
"It was created to protect patients' privacy.
But some detectives say the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is hindering their criminal investigations.
Detective Helen Legall of the Gainesville Police Department says that HIPAA can be a frustrating bump in the road in criminal investigations where time is crucial to solving a crime."
Full story - Gainesville.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 31 07:44:12 EDT 2005
Rookie assistant DA 'takes fall' for opening sealed Selenski documents
"Judge Peter Paul Olszewski stated near the end of hearing, "Let me make it abundantly clear. He had no authority or privilege to open any of those envelopes - end of story. It can't be sugar-coated." Afterwards, District Attorney Dave Lupas said, "defense attorney Demetrius Fannick - or whoever - wants to make more out of this than there is. They're on a fishing expedition and there's no fish to catch. That's all this is.""
Full story - MSNBC
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 20:22:21 EDT 2005
Mich. County Uses Black Boxes for Drivers
"A judge in Oakland County is using black box technology to keep an eye on drivers who repeatedly run afoul of the law. The boxes have been installed in the vehicles of 14 defendants since 52-1 District Court Judge Brian MacKenzie created the program last year."
Full story - TBO
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 26 17:16:08 EDT 2005
Triple-0 database inquiry
"ANOTHER breach of the trouble-prone LEAP database is being investigated after claims of illegal snooping by an emergency services call centre employee. The latest abuse of the system raises further doubts about the security of the police database, which is set for a $50 million overhaul over the next three years."
Full story - Herald Sun
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 25 15:31:54 EDT 2005
Police database scrapped
"PUBLIC servants will be the gatekeepers of sensitive Victorian police files after a furious Bracks Government was yesterday forced to belatedly replace the state's troubled criminal database.
The $50 million move comes five months after the Government ignored the state Ombudsman's advice that the insecure "LEAP" system - used in investigations by police - was inadequate and should be scrapped."
Full story - Australian IT
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 15:40:45 EDT 2005
"OTTAWA -- A federal government plan to expand the snooping powers of Canadian authorities to allow spying on cellphone and e-mail conversations should be overseen by an independent body to ensure the privacy rights of citizens are protected, an Ontario lawyer recommended yesterday."
Full story - Edmonton Sun
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 20 10:21:05 EDT 2005
Intelligence monitoring comes home to Kansas
"...The most interesting incidents are compiled into a daily bulletin, typically about three pages and distributed to law officers statewide... "KTIC is a one-stop shop of information," said Tod Bunting, who is Kansas' homeland security director and adjutant general of the Kansas National Guard. To privacy experts and civil rights advocates, the intelligence centers popping up across the country are a source of concern... By 2007 every state will be required to operate a regional terrorism information center."
Full story - Kansas City Star
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 13:02:13 EDT 2005
20,000 pages leaked in new police bungle
"An investigation into the the second privacy scandal to hit Victoria Police in a week - involving the leaking of confidential files on 1000 Victorians - could take as little as seven days, a senior police officer has confirmed.
The files were sent to a whistleblower prison officer after he reportedly raised concerns about police and corrections officials accessing his own file."
Full story - The Age
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 01:06:14 EDT 2005
NZ: Porn webmaster's punishment 'trifling', group says
"An internet webmaster who made more than $48,000 promoting sex abuse websites has been let off with a sentence which is an affront to victims, the Stop Demand Foundation says."
Full story - STUFF
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 01:02:52 EDT 2005
Leaked files scandal
"UP to 20,000 pages of confidential police files have been leaked by Victoria Police in one of the biggest breaches of privacy in the state's history. The Herald Sun has learned the police files of up to 1000 Victorians were sent to a prison officer-turned-whistleblower in a damaging security breach."
Full story - Herald Sun
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 13:26:27 EDT 2005
Hong Kong: Covert surveillance order addresses public concern
"Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee says the covert surveillance order aims to address public concern on the issue, adding the move is legal and constitutional and can improve privacy protection."
Full story - news.gov.hk
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 10:31:14 EDT 2005
DNA for the taking
"Richard Frank had never watched the television drama "CSI," where perps and cons and innocents all accept DNA swabs of the mouth as if they're receiving puffs of cotton candy... But Frank didn't submit willingly, and as a result, there's one unique feature that won't show up in his deoxyribonucleic acid profile: the state says it believes the 33-year-old Dorchester truck driver has become the first person in Massachusetts to go to trial for refusing to willingly give up his DNA."
Full story - Boston.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Aug 14 10:34:55 EDT 2005
Connecticut Man Threatens to Sue Over Release of Arrest Record to Newspaper
"A Connecticut man is seeking half a million dollars from the city of Newport, Rhode Island after police allegedly gave details of his drug arrest to a newspaper -- even though the record was supposed to have been expunged."
Full story - Editor & Publisher
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 13 18:03:57 EDT 2005
Man Convicted in Enormous Acxiom Data Theft
"A man who owned an e-mail marketing company was convicted Friday of stealing information from data broker Acxiom Corp. in what prosecutors said was the largest federal computer theft case ever.
The jury convicted Scott Levine, the owner of defunct e-mail marketing contractor Snipermail.com, on 120 counts of unauthorized access to data, two counts of access device fraud and one count of obstruction of justice."
Full story - law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 13 12:28:02 EDT 2005
Is VOIP Wiretapping a Privacy Threat?
"Has the Federal Communications Commission radically enhanced the powers of law enforcement with its new regulation to allow for Internet wiretapping, as some civil libertarians have been suggesting? Maybe.
The reaction in the legal community - and technology world - is decidedly mixed."
Full story - eWeek
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 12 16:57:36 EDT 2005
Chertoff Calls for Airline Procedures That Would Further Violate Privacy ...
"WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has called for airline passengers to provide more personal information to the government to gain privacy, according to today's edition of USA Today. The American Civil Liberties Union denounced the move and pointed to the consistently poor reviews of the Transportation Security Administration's Secure Flight passenger screening system by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office."
Full story - ACLU
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 11 09:38:50 EDT 2005
FCC Rule On Tapping VoIP Calls Will Lead To More Hacking, Groups Say
"WASHINGTON (AP) -- New regulations making it easier for law enforcement to tap Internet phone calls will also make computer systems more vulnerable to hackers, digital privacy and civil liberties groups say."
Full story - Networking Pipeline
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 11 09:31:14 EDT 2005
Fears grow over Italy wiretapping proposal
"... Mr Berlusconi said last weekend that he wanted to limit the practice to investigations into terrorism and the mafia, and to punish those who leak or publish recorded telephone conversations with five to 10 years in prison... two leaders of the populist Northern League that is a junior partner of the government coalition, on Wednesday said it would be too restrictive to limit wiretapping to mafia and terrorism investigations."
Full story - Financial Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 10 20:44:41 EDT 2005
Privacy chief to probe bungle
"THE Director of Police Integrity has sought outside help to investigate the leaking of hundreds of confidential police files to a private citizen. George Brouwer, who also serves as Victoria's Ombudsman, has asked Privacy Commissioner Paul Chadwick to examine the matter after being criticised for both investigating and exonerating himself.
The Office of Police Integrity has described as a clerical error the leaking of files to a woman who had complained about her file having been accessed."
Full story - Herald Sun
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 8 12:13:49 EDT 2005
Police files: privacy chief called in
"The Bracks Government's police corruption watchdog has been forced to call in the Privacy Commissioner to investigate the leaking from its office of confidential police files on hundreds of Victorians."
Full story - The Age
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 8 12:12:45 EDT 2005
FCC Issues Rule Allowing FBI to Dictate Wiretap-Friendly Design for Internet Services
"From EFF: Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a release announcing its new rule expanding the reach of the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The ruling is a reinterpretation of the scope of CALEA and will force Internet broadband providers and certain voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers to build backdoors into their networks that make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has argued against this expansion of CALEA in several rounds of comments to the FCC on its proposed rule."
Full story - FCC Release (PDF) on EFF Site
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 6 18:53:31 EDT 2005
Roberts Donated Help to Gay Rights Case
"Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. worked behind the scenes for gay rights activists, and his legal expertise helped them persuade the Supreme Court to issue a landmark 1996 ruling protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation.
Then a lawyer specializing in appellate work, the conservative Roberts helped represent the gay rights activists as part of his law firm's pro bono work. He did not write the legal briefs or argue the case before the high court, but he was instrumental in reviewing filings and preparing oral arguments, according to several lawyers intimately involved in the case."
Full story - Yahoo!
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 5 11:17:34 EDT 2005
Roberts criticized 'privacy rights' doctrine in article
"Documents released this week by the National Archives show that Judge John G. Roberts Jr., President Bush's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, expressed strong objections to the extent that the high court has recognized a citizen's fundamental right to privacy."
Full story - Houston Voice
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 5 11:03:45 EDT 2005
Posting of 'Johns' on the Web Raises Rights Issue
"Chicago's use of the Internet to humiliate customers of prostitutes, or "johns," has led to concerns that the practice may violate constitutional rights.
At issue is Chicago's recent decision to run a Web site that posts the names and photos of people who have been arrested for soliciting a prostitute -- but not convicted."
Full story - law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 1 07:57:57 EDT 2005
States move toward lifetime GPS tracking of sex offenders
"... Spurred by headlines of released sex offenders accused of murder, some states are mandating use of the Global Positioning System for tracking. Many lawmakers see electronic monitoring as a natural evolution of statutes that already require sex offenders to register their addresses with authorities.
At least four states - Florida, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma - passed laws this year requiring lifetime electronic monitoring for some sex offenders, even if their sentences would normally have expired."
Full story - CantonRep
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Jul 30 08:38:57 EDT 2005
Schengen III Treaty
"From www.statewatch.org: Schengen III Treaty signed in Prum, Germany on 27 May 2005. The participating states are: Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria and Belgium. The Treaty includes: - automated access by law enforcement agencies to DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration
- public order and protests - armed "sky marshals" on flights - joint deportation flights"
Full story - Text of Schengen III Treaty (English, PDF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Jul 28 09:48:44 EDT 2005
EPIC Opposes Cybercrime Convention
"From www.epic.org: In a statement to the Committee on Foreign Relations, EPIC has urged the United States Senate to oppose ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. EPIC cited the sweeping expansion of law enforcement authority, the lack of legal safeguards, and the impact on US Constitutional rights."
Full story - EPIC Statement
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Jul 27 08:49:17 EDT 2005
Police increasingly turn to surveillance cameras
"In San Diego, a man shoots at a store clerk; in Orlando, Fla., thieves snatch a dozen puppies from a breeder's kennel; in Houston, an arsonist isn't caught in the act when he torches a nightclub, leading to a fireman's death, but cameras see him buying the gas cans and filling them up, and a jury gives him life in prison."
Full story - MSNBC
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Jul 22 09:25:06 EDT 2005
Biggest 419 bust in history
"The FBI and Spanish police have arrested 310 people in Malaga, Spain in connection with a €100m bogus (email) lottery scam run by Nigerian gangs. It is the biggest 419 bust in history, and may result in drastic reductions of scam mails."
Full story - The Register
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Jul 21 12:33:28 EDT 2005
Man fights website naming accused molesters in court
"Most residents know about the Megan's Law website, but there%92s another list maintained by the state of people accused of child abuse but never convicted.
People could be on the list and never know, and it could be used against them by potential employers.
California's controversial Child Abuse Central Index contains nearly 900,000 names of suspected child abusers."
Full story - KGET
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Jul 16 09:13:56 EDT 2005
Other resources on LAW AND ENFORCEMENT:
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Privacy Watch Index
FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
From cdt.org: The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...Read more
FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...Read more
Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...Read more
Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...Read more
Court strikes down bank privacy law
Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...Read more
FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...Read more
Another data security bill in the works
Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...Read more
Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...Read more
Touch-screen voters feel exposed
... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...Read more
Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...Read more