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Mr. Scorpio

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 73,133

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Police Can Record Video Inside Your Home Without A Warrant, Appeals Court Says

By Nicole Flatow on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court provided some comfort to those fearing the seemingly limitless potential of new technologies to enable government privacy invasion. In holding that police could not attach a GPS device to a car and track it for 30 days without a warrant, the court said, “At bottom, we must ‘assur[e] preservation of that degree of privacy against government that existed when the Fourth Amendment was adopted.’”

But don’t get too comfortable. A federal appeals court ruled last week that police can secretly videotape a suspect’s home without a warrant. In a case about the suspected sale of bald eagle feathers and pelts – a misdemeanor crime — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that undercover police admitted into the suspect’s home as interested buyers of pelts did not violate the Fourth Amendment when they secretly videotaped the suspect’s home:

We are persuaded that it is not “constitutionally relevant” whether an informant utilizes an audio-video device, rather than merely an audio recording device, to record activities occurring inside a home, into which the informer has been invited. When Wahchumwah invited Agent Romero into his home, he forfeited his expectation of privacy as to those areas that were “knowingly expose[d] to” Agent Romero. Wahchumwah cannot reasonably argue that the recording violates his legitimate privacy interests when it reveals no more than what was already visible to the agent.

The decision doesn’t entirely break new ground. At least one other federal appeals court has upheld the use of video recordings inside the home, and just last month, a lower federal court reached a similar conclusion.
But the case raises the same sorts of concerns that several concurring justices emphasized in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last term in United States v. Jones: What scope of surveillance will not violate our present understanding of a “reasonable expectation of privacy”? At what point are we, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor cautions in Jones, “making available at a relatively low cost such a substantial quantum of intimate information about any person whom the Government, in its unfettered discretion, chooses to track, may ‘alter the relationship between citizen and government in a way that is inimical to democratic society’”? Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury elaborates on this concern:

[T]he sad truth is that as technology continues to advance, surveillance becomes “voluntary” only by virtue of the fact we live in a modern society where technology is becoming cheaper, easier and more invasive. The Wahchumwah case exemplifies this: on suspicion of nothing more than the benign misdemeanor of selling eagle feathers, the government got to intrude inside the home and record every intimate detail it could: books on a shelf, letters on a coffee table, pictures on a wall. And we’re entering an age where criminal suspicion is no longer even necessary. Whether you’re calling a friend’s stolen cell phone and landing on the NYPD massive database of call logs, driving into one of the increasing number of cities using licenseplatescanners to record who comes in or out, or walking somewhere close to hovering drones, innocent people are running the risk of having their personal details stored in criminal databases for years to come.


Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Twisted

Check out crazy Jim DeMint on the right. This song is for him.

In tribute to SalmonEnchantedEvening… Al Stewart - Year of the cat

I had a long essay thought out, but I decided to break it on down instead

Let's stop making the want of the rich and the corporations more important than the needs of all the people.

It turns out that satisfying the wants of the rich will never ever end, and would lead to cutting out all of our needs to give it to them.

We have to ask ourselves, whose country is this anyway, theirs or ours?

An important matter requires your close attention and possible action

But seeing how I don't want impose anything on you, I leave it up to all of you to come up with your own important matters and determinations about whether you're going to pay attention to them or do anything about them or not.

Think of it as… Pot Luck Activism. Yeah, that's right.

Peace, y'all.

This says it all

Kroners to Krispy Kremes that Maury Povich is behind this:

This is why I'm glad that I don't live in an apartment - Hell is other people.


Eventually, our GOP friends will realize that we're going to raise taxes on the rich…

One way or the other.

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