Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

High Court: Cops Can’t Search Cellphone, Must Ask NSA

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(2014-06-25) — In a rare unanimous ruling on a civil rights issue, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that it’s unconstitutional for local police to¬†search the contents of your cellphone.

The Court declared that if local law enforcement wants to access that data, they’ll have to ask the National Security Agency (NSA) to provide it.

Smartphone

The threat of local police doing warrantless searches on cellphones has spurred sales of the Samsung Tabula Rasa, the first smartphone that neither stores nor displays user-generated content.

“The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to be secure in their persons and property from unreasonable searches and seizures,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts on behalf of the Court. “Allowing Barney Fife to poke around your Pinterest violates the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.”

The Chief Justice noted that the practice is not only unconstitutional, but unnecessary, since the NSA already has all of that data and more, stored in its secret server farms.

“Why should the local district attorney waste resources hacking a phone,” Roberts wrote, “when the NSA could simply send him the zip file?”

 

 

Obama Orders Review of Botched U.S. Murders

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Obama Deeply Disturbed by Botched Murders

A “deeply disturbed” President Obama issues an executive order to probe unfairness, and cruel and unusual punishments allegedly perpetrated by America’s murderers.

(2014-05-03) — News that several recent murder victims suffered “discomfort” during the attacks that led to their deaths has “deeply disturbed” President Obama, who this morning ordered the Justice Department to review how U.S. murders are applied, with particular focus on fairness.

The executive order follows another this week calling for a policy review of how the death penalty is applied in the judicial system.

The president acted after hearing of a recent killing in which the victim was left groaning in pain for several minutes after the murderer’s actions failed to have the intended effect immediately. Obama said the botched murders in particular raise “difficult and profound questions about who we are as a society.”

The White House said the president is particularly concerned about the unfairness and possible bigotry of the nation’s killers, who have a statistically significant bias toward killing young, black men — far out of proportion to their numbers in the population.

“We’re also hearing far too many stories of the wrong person being murdered in a drive-by shooting,” Obama said. “Too often these murder victims are oppressed minorities, many of them guilty of little more than being SWB: Slain While Black. Frankly, we need to be a better country than this.”