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US government ‘creating vast domestic snooping machine’

The government is creating a vast domestic spying network to collect information about Americans in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent terror plots, The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest and William Arkin reported Monday. The government is using for this purpose the FBI, local police, state homeland…

Warrant needed to snoop on your emails, court finally rules

After many years of legal uncertainty, a federal appeals court has finally declared that emails have the same Fourth Amendment protections as regular mail and telephone calls. “Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication, it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection,”…

Colorado Dem calls for end of marijuana prohibition

The only way to keep marijuana from growing in national parks is to legalize it and regulate production for consumer use, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) told the US House of Representatives on Tuesday. The House was in the midst of a debate on HR 1540, a bill which declares that…

US trains Mexican military for escalating drug war

The United States is supplying intelligence and crucial training to elite units of Mexican marines who are engaged in an operation against drug cartels, The Washington Post reported late Friday. Citing unnamed diplomats and law enforcement officials, the newspaper said the effort includes more information-sharing and training than previously known.…

FBI pressuring Google, Facebook to allow ‘back doors’ for wiretapping

ACLU: Proposed expansion of wiretap powers ‘a clear recipe for abuse’ FBI Director Robert Mueller traveled to Silicon Valley this week to convince major Internet players to build “back doors” into their software that will allow law enforcement to wiretap data on their networks, says a news report. It’s part…

Court allows continued enforcement of ‘Don’t Ask’ policy, at least until mid-2011

The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which forces gay, lesbian and trans-gender members of the military to hide their personal lives or face expulsion from the service, will continue being enforced until mid-2011 thanks to a Monday ruling by an appeals court in San Francisco. The extension, granted by the…

California pot advocates release first television ad, starring a cop

The campaign to legalize marijuana in California has been pretty low-key in terms of media ad buys, but a week out from the election proponents of drug law reform are finally joining the fray and they’ve chosen none other than Joseph McNamara, former police chief of San Jose, to carry…

Gov’t to expand rules for tracking money transfers

Administration to require banks to report all money transfers in and out of country The Obama administration is proposing that banks report all electronic money transfers in and out of the country, expanding its anti-terrorism requirements for financial institutions. Officials at the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network said Monday…

As California legalization vote nears, pot proponents enjoy narrow lead

California has a long history of defying conventional wisdom on the issue of marijuana, including its embrace of the drug in the 1960s and its landmark medical pot law 14 years ago. So it may not be all that surprising that a November ballot measure to legalize the drug has…

Federal court: 4th Amendment standard does not always apply to mobile phone location data

Law enforcement can still be required to obtain a search warrant for access to citizens’ mobile phone location data, but police need not uphold the traditional Fourth Amendment standard of “probable cause” in the process of such an investigation, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. While civil liberties groups which…

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