Stop & Frisk in Miami Gardens

In the summer of 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida. According to the report filled out by the officer, he was “wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie and black gloves” giving the police “just cause” to question him. In the report, he was labeled a “suspicious person.”

He was an 11-year-old boy on his way to football practice.

A Fusion investigation has found that he was just one of 56,922 people who were stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) between 2008 and 2013. That’s the equivalent of more than half of the city’s population.

Not one of them was arrested.

Link (fusion.net)

Europe just banished free speech on the internet

(…) an absolutely insane ruling that came out of the European Court of Human Rights last fall, in the case of Delfi AS v. Estonia, which basically said that any website that allows comments can be liable for those comments. In fact, it found that even when sites took down comments (automatically!) following complaints, they can still be liable, because they should have blocked those comments from going up in the first place. Bizarrely, the court basically says the site should have known that the article in question might lead to negative reactions, and therefor should have blocked comments:

Link (Techdirt)

Do you want a government dicatorship?

… because this is how you get a government dictatorship

“The question is who decides [what to publish]. It seems clear, at least to me, that the private companies that own newspapers, and their employees, should not have the final say over the release of government secrets, and a free pass to make them public with no legal consequences. In a democracy (which, pace Greenwald, we still are), that decision must ultimately be made by the government.”

Link (Techdirt)

DOJ Says Americans Have No 4th Amendment Protections At All When They Communicate With Foreigners

(…) it appears the DOJ is trying to attack the idea of the reasonable expectation of privacy that has been the basis of the 4th Amendment in the US. They’re effectively arguing that since foreign governments might look at the info too, you should have no expectation of privacy in any communications with foreigners and thus you’ve waived all 4th Amendment protections in that content.

Link (Techdirt)

You Can Thank The CIA For The Return Of Polio

The return of polio is also due to an ill-informed anti-vaccine campaign — not one driven by people confused by a fraudulent study, but rather by the Taliban. Many of the new cases are in Pakistan and a variety of nearby countries. The Taliban has been arguing for a while that vaccinations and vaccination drives are really efforts by western intelligence and/or imperialism.

The problem is: the CIA basically confirmed that for them by using a fake vaccination campaign to find Osama bin Laden a few years ago. Suddenly, crazy rumors about vaccination programs simply being fronts for the US intelligence community weren’t just more reasonable, they were flat out confirmed. And, soon after that was all revealed, suddenly the rates of polio shot up? Right around the same time that polio vaccination workers started getting killed in Pakistan?

Link (Techdirt)

DOJ’s Tone Deaf Criminal Charges Against Chinese Hackers Helps No One, Opens US Officials Up To Similar Charges

(…)  people are already pointing out that by firing the opening shot with criminal charges, the DOJ may be opening the floodgates against the NSA, FBI and others for similar charges in other countries. Obviously, China will almost certainly hit back with charges — possibly even trying to arrest some folks in that country. But the ridiculousness of the situation may also lead other countries to levy charges against specific individuals within US intelligence — thereby making life a lot more difficult for US intelligence officials in the near future.

Link (Techdirt)

Ladar Levison Explains How The US Legal System Was Stacked Against Lavabit

Last month, after Lavabit lost its appeal, we noted that the court avoided the major constitutional issues, focusing on how the company and its founder Ladar Levison mucked up procedural stuff early on, effectively barring him from raising the more serious constitutional issues on appeal. We pointed out that this was unfortunate on many levels, but also noted that this shows how important it is to get a good lawyer early on, rather than trying to handle things yourself. Levison has now written a more thorough explanation over at the Guardian, in which he seeks to explain why gag orders and other issues made it almost impossible for him to get good legal help, leading to the procedural issues later on

Link (Techdirt)

Flag burning on the Norwegian Constitution Day

Burning the national flag is not illegal in Norway (since 2008), however, the police say they will refer this case to the police attorney who will decide on charges.

To quote the police: “We have spoken to the people involved and told them this action is very inappropriate, and people find it offensive. (…) Our [police] lawyer will be looking into the case to see what we can do”

So, it seems the police now have the authority to prosecute purely based on morals.

UPDATE:

It seems that the police have discovered that you cannot charge people with a non-crime, so they’ve decided to wait until a citizen reports them.

Original link (Dagbladet, Norwegian)
Translated link (Dagbladet, via Google Translate)

Michael Hayden Gleefully Admits: We Kill People Based On Metadata

Of course knowing the content of a call can be crucial to establishing a particular threat. But metadata alone can provide an extremely detailed picture of a person’s most intimate associations and interests, and it’s actually much easier as a technological matter to search huge amounts of metadata than to listen to millions of phone calls. As NSA General Counsel Stewart Baker has said, “metadata absolutely tells you everything about somebody’s life. If you have enough metadata, you don’t really need content.” When I quoted Baker at a recent debate at Johns Hopkins University, my opponent, General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, called Baker’s comment “absolutely correct,” and raised him one, asserting, “We kill people based on metadata.”

Link (Techdirt)