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 Title   Date   Author   Host 

Personal Liberty Alerts

by Franklin Center

July 16, 2014

The Texas Department of Public Safety has quietly embarked on a project to take the fingerprints of every Texan old enough to drive over the next 12 years, and add them to a statewide criminal history database.

Not only has the department made that momentous decision on its own, it doesn't even have clear legal authority to do so. The credit for breaking the news on those two items goes to consumer affairs columnist Dave Lieber of the Dallas Morning News, whose long-running "Watchdog" column often shows up in my Google Alerts, for obvious reasons. As an old-school columnist, Lieber tends to keep his opinions subdued, and he doesn't generally call people dishonest. But I have no problem with doing that, so I'd like to point out that the DPS spokesman he quotes at length is less than straightforward about his department's legal authority.

naturalnews.com

July 15, 2014

One of the biggest threats to government authoritarianism in today's world is the internet, which still allows for the relatively free flow of information between members of society apart from state-sanctioned media and other forms of societal control.

But even the web is now being used as a covert tool of manipulation and brainwashing, with paid government trolls actively intervening in online conversations and targeting individuals who resist police state tyranny, sometimes falsely branding them as mentally ill. These insidious trolls typically pose as regular folks, pretending to have honest opinions on matters of real substance such as food freedom and gun rights. But secretly, their agenda is to sway readers toward the state agenda, which in both of these examples involves promoting heavy restrictions and government control. Paid government agents are also now using the fraud of psychiatry to brand dissenters as having mental illness, an egregious tactic of tyranny that has been around since the days of Hitler and Stalin.

flexyourrights.org

July 15, 2014

The defendant is clearly guilty of violating the law but the jury votes not guilty because the law is unjust. That's jury nullification in a nutshell.

During a typical criminal trial, the judge will issue a set of jury instructions. The judge will tell the jury that they must set aside any personal beliefs and reach a verdict based solely on the facts presented at trial. But sometimes juries disregard these instructions and acquit defendants who clearly broke the law. They might do this because they think the law itself is immoral or they think it's being wrongly applied to the defendant (i.e. the punishment doesn't fit the crime). When this occurs, juries have engaged in the practice of jury nullification. While judges and prosecutors make every effort to weed out "rogue jurors," the history of the jury is replete with examples of courageous jury nullification.

businessinsider.com

July 15, 2014

As Chris Scott watched his joke go viral on Twitter, he was given an eye-opening look at how people get away with plagiarism on the web.

On May 14, a regular guy named Chris Scott sent a tweet out to his 1,000 or so followers. "Oh hi Becky who refused to kiss me during spin the bottle in 6th grade & now wants to play "FarmVille," looks like tables have f*cking turned," the tweet read, referring to the Facebook-based game that encourages its players to relentlessly invite their friends to play along with them. The tweet was retweeted and faved a handful of times, as many funny tweets are, and then, Scott said, he kind of forgot about it.

businessinsider.com

July 15, 2014

Google is hiring a team of security experts called Project Zero to scour the web in detail for hidden bugs and vulnerabilities.

Earlier this year, a massive internet vulnerability known as Heartbleed claimed to be the biggest bug the internet has seen in years. Now, Google is taking another measure to make sure hidden internet vulnerabilities don't get out of hand with an effort known as Project Zero.

reason.com

by Damon Root

July 15, 2014

In his December 2013 opinion in Klayman v. Obama, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the "almost-Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States" not only sounds like the stuff of dystopian science fiction, it "almost certainly does violate a reasonable expectation of privacy" under the Fourth Amendment. It was the first major legal defeat for the NSA. That ruling is now on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. On Monday the Obama administration filed its opening brief in the case. Unsurprisingly, that brief took issue with Judge Leon on every point. "In light of the imperative national-security interests the program serves and the numerous privacy protections that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has required the government to observe," the government maintained, "the program is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment."

blogs.reuters.com

by Jack Shafer

July 15, 2014

What other people think of you can be changed by words and deeds, but I doubt if you can improve your reputation much by knocking some select search results out of Google. Especially if people find out you've been cleansing the results!

A recent ruling by Europe's top court has given its people a "right to be forgotten." Google and other search engines must now delete "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant, or excessive" information from search queries when a European individual requests it, even when the info is true. This isn't a classic case of censorship: the "offending" pages produced by newspapers and other websites will go untouched. Google and the other search engines just won't be allowed to link to them. The court has largely left to the search engines how best to handle requests to decouple the names of petitioners from search results served, which has already produced major confusion, as well as a comically passive-aggressive response from Google, which has received more than 70,000 requests in the opening round, with 1,000 said to be arriving daily. (See this Washington Post editorial for a few examples of people who have succeeded in persuading Google to "delist" certain search results.)

dcclothesline.com

by Paul Joseph Watson

July 15, 2014

Entry from IP traced to U.S. House of Representatives describes Alex Jones as 'Kremlin disinformation agent'

Edits to the Wikipedia profiles of Alex Jones and Abby Martin which malign the two alternative media personalities as Kremlin propagandists are linked to an IP address associated with the House of Representatives, prompting suggestions that the U.S. government is involved in an online smear campaign.

dcclothesline.com

by Paul Joseph Watson

July 15, 2014

A Yahoo! News story published yesterday equates concerns about police brutality, the militarization of law enforcement and videotaping cops with wanting to carry out violent murders of police officers.

In a piece entitled Online rants, anti-government radicals fuel fear of U.S. cop killings, Senior National Reporter for Yahoo! Jason Sickles cites the murders of Las Vegas police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo last month to make the case that there is "an exploding right-wing movement" which is "creating anxiety about attacks against police." Sickles notes that cop killer Jerad Miller posted of his intention to murder law enforcement officers on a Facebook page belonging to Cop Block, an organization that encourages citizens to document examples of police brutality. The fact that the organization has over 780,000 Facebook fans, all but one of whom have never murdered a police officer, doesn't prevent Sickles from honing in on the group as being partly responsible for the deaths of Beck and Soldo.

arstechnica.com

by David Kravets

July 14, 2014

US says global reach needed to gut "fraudsters," "hackers," and "drug dealers."

Global governments, the tech sector, and scholars are closely following a legal flap in which the US Justice Department claims that Microsoft must hand over e-mail stored in Dublin, Ireland. In essence, President Barack Obama's administration claims that any company with operations in the United States must comply with valid warrants for data, even if the content is stored overseas. It's a position Microsoft and companies like Apple say is wrong, arguing that the enforcement of US law stops at the border.

      
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