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{ Category Archives } Rights

Constitutional rights, or the lack thereof

Another brick in the wall

Is there any point in even kidding yourself that there’s any such thing as the 4th Amendment anymore? Your communications, your metadata, your location, your finances [1], your car, and now there’s not even the pretense of fruit of the poisoned tree.       [1] due to the increasingly irrelevant “third party doctrine“.

OPM Hack

tl;dr: OPM database was tied to 007 database, but also to State Dept. Passport database, DOD service records, and pass-through access to a complete set of other extraordinarily sensitive National Security data, including detailed information on every US defense contractor facility, data about which defense facilities both USG and contractors may have visited, and any […]

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Be careful what you wish for, Alice

The government again wants backdoors into all your encryption. This is a bad idea for many reasons – well, actually just one: backdoors for anyone are backdoors for everyone. But, wish granted! The VPN encryption that’s mandated to protect ITAR: What a surprise. From the folks you brought you the OPM, and Anthem attacks. You […]


It’s the best there is

In other lack-of-fourth-amendment news, the SC has now ruled that as long as you keep something illegal secret enough, then you don't have standing to challenge its harm to you. Is the NSA wiretapping you? Former techs have sworn under oath, yes. But since you can't prove that they are, you don't have standing. As […]


They’re not even pretending anymore

Even if the dog has already gotten it wrong twice on the same person, the dog is presumed reliable.  Meaning any cop can search anything they want just by getting their trained animal to “alert” on someone they don’t like.  Meaning anyone. And by “trained”, I mean trained to please their master, nothing more. You […]

The real reason not to vote for Romney

He’s a lousy businessman. Any investor who listened to Vanguard’s John Bogle would have done about the same during 1984-1998 – just buy the S&P500 index, and hold it, reinvesting the dividends. The net returns would be ~20% per year — without giant fees or excessive risks necessary. So despite all the middle-class-disrupting, race-to-the-bottom, Swiss-bank-account, […]


Fourth Amendment gone

You can now be strip-searched for any offense, however minor. Unpaid ticket, misdemeanor off-leash dog, traffic stop. Or maybe it’s just for use at protests. Protest some government policy, get arrested at a demonstration either to make a point, or just because wrong place wrong time, and you get pepper-sprayed, abused, and strip-searched, thrown into […]


Today in “I don’t feel safer”

Today I went to the new post office for the first time. They closed the branch across the street, so I can’t just walk a block anymore. Now I have to drive a few miles. This is better somehow. And the hours are 9-4, you know, when all of us working stiffs can make it. […]


Worse than you think

Wyden and Udall say the Patriot Act is worse than they thought, and they voted for it. I’m guessing it’s exactly as bad as I think.

No right to informational privacy, episode N in a series

Sigh. Don’t check your personal email at work. And whatever you do, don’t blow any whistles. Aside from that, what a pain – everyone expects to be connected all the time now. If you’re expected to carry a work phone, don’t check your personal email on it.