Search Results: electronic privacy (8)

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Graphic: Democracy Cell Project

​Electricity usage records are now effectively the property of the police in Canada — and they don’t even need a warrant. Law enforcement did not overstep their powers when they asked a Calgary electricity company to spy on one of its customers by installing a special tracking device to find if he was growing marijuana, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday.

In a 7-2 decision, Canada’s badly split highest court argued over privacy rights, but overturned an Alberta Court of Appeal judgment that ordered a new trial for Daniel Gomboc, reports The Canadian Press.
“As is true of all constitutional rights, the Charter’s protection is not absolute,” Madam Justice Marie Deschamps wrote for the majority, as she sold out the privacy rights of Canadians. “The Constitution does not cloak the home in an impenetrable veil of privacy. To expect such protection would not only be impractical; it would also be unreasonable.”

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
I don’t feel like a terrorist just because I smoke weed. Do you?

​You knew it would come to this, right? Lest you think those hard-working goons at the Department of Homeland Security are slacking in their jobs — you know, spying on your everyday activities — it has been revealed that the domestic surveillance agency has been scouring your online postings for, among other things, the word “marijuana.”

Homeland Security personnel regularly monitor updates on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, to uncover “Items Of Interest” (IOI), according to an internal DHS memo released by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), reports Animal New York.
That baseline list of terms for which the DHS searches — or at least a DHS subcontractor hired to monitor social networks — reveals which specific words generate realtime IOI reports.

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Graphic: Animal

​In a bizarre and unsettling decision, a federal court has ruled that government agents may sneak onto your property, put GPS devices on your vehicles, and follow you around 24/7 — without bothering to obtain a search warrant.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers California and eight other western states, issued the ruling — which basically means the government can monitor you anytime that it wants — in a case involving a suspected marijuana grower, reports Linda Young at All Headline News.
Among the biggest casualties of the court’s ruling is the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, part of the original Bill of Rights, which just took some major damage. The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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Politically Incorrect Conservative

In a cynical move, a Senate proposal which had been touted as protecting the email privacy of Americans has been rewritten — and it now gives government spooks even more power to spy on citizens than then already have under the execrable PATRIOT Act.

Patrick Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who himself wrote significant portions of the PATRIOT Act, has “dramatically reshaped” his legislation in response to “law enforcement concerns,” reports Declan McCullagh at CNET. (If the “law enforcement concerns” were that they were allowed to spy, unrestrained, on citizens not suspected of any crimes, then, good job, Senator Leahy — asshole.)

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Washington City Paper

​The United States Supreme Court will decide whether law enforcement should have obtained a search warrant before placing a global positioning system (GPS) tracking device on the car of a Washington, D.C., man who was suspected of dealing drugs, so they could covertly track his movements.

The justices on Tuesday heard oral arguments in an appeal from the Obama Administration, which wants the power to track suspects’ movements without getting a warrant, reports Bill Mears at CNN.
A majority of the justices appeared adamant after a one-hour public session that police officers should have gotten a warrant before placing the device on the subject’s vehicle, Mears reports. A government lawyer didn’t help the Feds’ case when he suggested that such surveillance could be used on members of the Court itself.

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Graphic: CTI

​The Colorado Department of Revenue has released 99 pages of new regulations governing medical marijuana in the state. The most concerning aspect of these new rules, according to the Boulder-based Cannabis Therapy Institute (CTI), is the invasion of patient privacy they allow.

In order to buy cannabis at a Medical Marijuana Center (the legal name for dispensaries in Colorado), patients will be forced to give up their constitutional right to confidentiality and become participants in the Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient and Medicine Tracking Database and Surveillance System, according to CTI.

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Graphic: Patient and Caregiver Rights Litigation Project

​Colorado’s Supreme Court has refused to hear a sweeping challenge to the state’s new medical marijuana laws.

The Court turned down — only five days after it was filed — a request by marijuana advocates to hear arguments on whether parts of those laws violate the constitutional amendment that made medical marijuana legal in Colorado in 2000 after being approved by voters.
The pending rules violate patient privacy because of a requirement that dispensaries record medical marijuana sales on video, according to patients and advocates who mounted the challenge. The patients also argue that the laws wrongly give local cities and counties the ability to ban dispensaries.

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Graphic: TestCountry.com

​Arizona has no plans to regulate the strength or quality of medical marijuana sold at dispensaries, authorized last month by voters, when they start opening next year.

The top health official in the state said buyers of medicinal cannabis will know when the pot was grown, whether pesticides were used or even how often it was watered, but not the potency, reports Howard Fischer at the Arizona Daily Star.
The Department of Health Services is writing the rules for distribution of medical marijuana once the new law takes effect in March 2011.
“We’ve got some basic labeling requirements,” state health director Will Humble said. “But we haven’t gone that extra step to require an analysis to determine exactly how much THC in every single piece of inventory. And I doubt that we’re going to go there.”