Time.com: New Patriot Act Controversy: Is Washington Collecting Your Cell-Phone Data? by Mark Benjamin, Friday, June 24, 2011
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is weighing fresh concerns about the sweeping nature of domestic spying using one controversial section of the Patriot Act. This particular part of that law is notable because it has been divisive for years — and because during those years President Obama has quietly moved from being a Senator skeptical of the provisions to being an enthusiastic spy chief whose Administration embraces them.
Last Tuesday the committee met to consider the worries of some members, mostly Democrats, who say the Justice Department has drafted a breathtakingly broad interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
While the items sought in the search warrant were generic in nature, there still was probable cause for the search and the affiant showed sufficient reason to get access to it in an identity theft case. United States v. Okeayainneh, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65900 (D. Minn. May 13, 2011) (R&R), adopted 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65435 (D. Minn. June 20, 2011):
Defendant Okeayainneh argues that Attachment B covers almost anything that could be found in most households in the United States. Although that may be true, the argument is without merit because it fails to focus on what the warrant authorizes. The officers were limited in their search by the fact that the objects seized had to be identifiably related to the listed violations. The officers executing the search warrant could not predict the form in which relevant data would appear. Therefore, the warrant sought a variety of evidence directly related to the identity-theft and bank-fraud investigation. Although true that the category “any and all other documents, records items, items or other materials evidencing violations of Title 18, U.S.C. ... sections 371, 473, 1028, 1028A, 1341, 1343, 1344, 1956, 1957 and 2113(b); and Title 31 U.S.C., section 5324” is broad in nature, this Court believes that the statement is sufficiently related to identity theft and bank fraud to satisfy the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment and to allow the officers to recognize and seize the materials described.
Defendant’s reliance on Oregon law in his motion to suppress in federal court is unavailing. United States v. Pulido-Aguilar, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65512 (D. Ore. June 20, 2011).*
“Moreover, there is nothing revelatory about the notion that a collector of child pornography will maintain his collection for years. This idea is arguably part of the field of common knowledge. Courts over the years have consistently found that collectors of child pornography do not quickly dispose of their cache and, in fact, rarely if ever dispose of such material. As such, even a substantial delay between the distribution of child pornography and the issuance of a search warrant does not render the underlying information stale.” State v. Friday, 73 So. 3d 913 (La. App. 1st Cir. 2011).
The record supports the finding of consent for the officer to enter, and then a roach was seen in plain view. Further consent developed from that. State v. Stephens, 71 So. 3d 462 (La. App. 2d Cir. 2011).*
“We would find the trial court erred in granting Defendant’s motion to suppress the blood sample seized from Defendant without his consent and without a warrant after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated. However, in the light of the fact that no Missouri case has yet addressed the import of the removal of the words ‘none shall be given’ from Section 577.041, which we believe involves a significant departure from current case law as represented by the Smith case, and the general interest and importance of the issues involved, we transfer the case to the Missouri Supreme Court, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 83.02.” State v. McNeely, 2011 Mo. App. LEXIS 858 (E June 21, 2011).*
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
"Love work; hate mastery over others; and avoid intimacy with the government."
—Shemaya, in the Thalmud
"A system of law that not only makes certain conduct criminal, but also lays
down rules for the conduct of the authorities, often becomes complex in its
application to individual cases, and will from time to time produce imperfect
results, especially if one's attention is confined to the particular case at
bar. Some criminals do go free because of the necessity of keeping
government and its servants in their place. That is one of the costs of having
and enforcing a Bill of Rights. This country is built on the assumption that
the cost is worth paying, and that in the long run we are all both freer and
safer if the Constitution is strictly enforced."
—Williams v. Nix, 700 F. 2d 1164, 1173 (8th Cir. 1983) (Richard Sheppard Arnold, J.), rev'd Nix v. Williams, 467 US. 431 (1984).
"The criminal goes free, if he must, but it is the law that sets him free. Nothing
can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws,
or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence."
—Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 659 (1961).
Any costs the exclusionary rule are costs imposed directly by the Fourth Amendment.
—Yale Kamisar, 86 Mich.L.Rev. 1, 36 n. 151 (1987).
"There have been powerful hydraulic pressures throughout our history that
bear heavily on the Court to water down constitutional guarantees and give the
police the upper hand. That hydraulic pressure has probably never been greater
than it is today."
— Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 39 (1968) (Douglas, J., dissenting).
"The great end, for which men entered into society, was to secure their
—Entick v. Carrington, 19 How.St.Tr. 1029, 1066, 95 Eng. Rep. 807 (C.P. 1765)
"It is a fair summary of history to say that the safeguards of liberty have
frequently been forged in controversies involving not very nice people. And
so, while we are concerned here with a shabby defrauder, we must deal with his
case in the context of what are really the great themes expressed by the Fourth
—United States v. Rabinowitz, 339 U.S. 56, 69 (1950) (Frankfurter, J., dissenting)
"The course of true law pertaining to searches and seizures, as enunciated
here, has not–to put it mildly–run smooth."
—Chapman v. United States, 365 U.S. 610, 618 (1961) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).
"A search is a search, even if it happens to disclose nothing but the
bottom of a turntable."
—Arizona v. Hicks, 480 U.S. 321, 325 (1987)
"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowingly
exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth
Amendment protection. ... But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in
an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected."
—Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 351 (1967)
“Experience should teach us to be most on guard to
protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born
to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded
rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men
of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
“Liberty—the freedom from unwarranted
intrusion by government—is as easily lost through insistent nibbles by
government officials who seek to do their jobs too well as by those whose purpose
it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
"You can't always get what you want /
But if you try sometimes / You just might find / You get what you need."
—Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
"In Germany, they first came for the communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for
the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Catholic. Then they came
for me–and by that time there was nobody left to speak up."
—Martin Niemöller (1945) [he served seven years in a concentration camp]
“You know, most men would get discouraged by
now. Fortunately for you, I am not most men!”
—Pepé Le Pew
"There is never enough time, unless you are serving it."
"The point of the Fourth Amendment, which often is not grasped by zealous officers, is not that it denies law enforcement the support of the usual inferences which reasonable men draw from evidence. Its protection consists in requiring that those inferences be drawn by a neutral and detached magistrate instead of being judged by the officer engaged in the often competitive enterprise of ferreting out crime."
—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)