Archives for: December 2012, 26

12/26/12

Permalink 05:46:37 pm, by fourth, 145 words, 384 views   English (US)
Categories: General

NTY Editorial: "The Dawning of Domestic Drones; The drones are coming to a neighborhood near you"

NTY Editorial: The Dawning of Domestic Drones; The drones are coming to a neighborhood near you:

The unmanned aircraft that most people associate with hunting terrorists and striking targets in Pakistan are on the brink of evolving into a big domestic industry. It is not a question of whether drones will appear in the skies above the United States but how soon.

Congress has ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to quickly select six domestic sites to test the safety of drones, which can vary in size from remote-controlled planes as big as jetliners to camera-toting hoverers called Nano Hummingbirds that weigh 19 grams.

The drone go-ahead, signed in February by President Obama in the F.A.A. reauthorization law, envisions a $5 billion-plus industry of camera drones being used for all sorts of purposes from real estate advertising to crop dusting to environmental monitoring and police work.

Permalink 04:46:21 pm, by fourth, 284 words, 564 views   English (US)
Categories: General

Wired.com: "The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)"

Wired.com: The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) by James Bamford

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

. . .

But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.

Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.

Permalink 12:13:41 am, by fourth, 339 words, 440 views   English (US)
Categories: General

S.D.N.Y.: Exigency was lacking to recover a gun in a locked room where defendant had the only key

Defendant rented his room in his sister’s house from her, and he locked the door. She thus lacked common or apparent authority to consent to the search. Police were called to the house because he allegedly threatened his sister with a gun, and he admitted having one in his room. Exigent circumstances to enter his locked room did not exist where he was handcuffed in a patrol car and the key was in his pocket. The unMirandized statement was taken under Quarles that he had a gun. United States v. Wilson, 914 F. Supp. 2d 550 (S.D. N.Y. 2012):

Here, at the time of the unwarned questioning, the Defendant, who was handcuffed and seated in the back of the patrol car, presented no threat to the complainant or the officers. Moreover, at the time the officers returned downstairs to continue their unwarned questioning of the Defendant, they already understood from the complainant that the gun was most likely located in the Defendant's bedroom, (Hernandez Tr. at 20-21 ("if he don't have the gun with him, he probably left it in his room")), which Officer Hernandez knew was locked and that no one besides the Defendant had a key. (Hernandez Tr. at 20-21.) The parties agree that Officer Hernandez then returned downstairs to question the Defendant about whether he possessed a weapon in his room and, if so, where it was located. (Id. at 22; Wilson Decl. ¶ 7; Gov't Ex. 13 at 20:19:20-20:20:20.) The parties also agree that the Defendant answered the officer's first question about the location of the gun ("I asked the defendant, your sister told me that you pulled a gun on her, and we need to know where is the gun") by admitting that he had one or more "fake" guns in his room. (Hernandez Tr. at 22; Wilson Decl. ¶ 7; Gov't Ex. 13 at 20:18:45-20:20:45.) Given that Officer Hernandez knew that the bedroom was locked and that only the handcuffed Defendant had a key to it, the Defendant's answer eliminated any reasonable concern that the gun presented a public safety danger.

Permalink 12:07:14 am, by fourth, 283 words, 440 views   English (US)
Categories: General

N.D.Cal.: Furtive movements like checking a gun at waist, bulge in coat, then flight into nearby building justified hot pursuit entry

Defendant showed standing from staying at his sister’s apartment a lot. He kept clothes and toiletries there, and he had a key and could come and go as he pleased. Defendant saw an unmarked police car and pulled at his pants indicating a gun in his waistband. He also ducked behind a car for a few seconds. Officers pulled to him and addressed him, and he had a bulge in his coat. At this point, officers had more than reasonable suspicion. Then defendant fled into a building , and the officers gave chase. The entry was with exigent circumstances. United States v. McGregor, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181318 (N.D. Cal. December 21, 2012):

Defendant bolted through the front door as if it were unlocked or slightly ajar. He did not use a key. The officers did not know defendant, or whether he had a connection to the apartment. As far as the officers could tell, defendant had bolted into a random, close-by home of a stranger to seek escape from the officers, hide contraband, or endanger the occupants. Based on the foregoing information known to the officers, it was objectively reasonable for the officers to conclude that defendant's frenzied escape into the apartment posed a random and serious risk to the safety of the occupants or the officers. There was no particular indication that defendant lived there or knew the occupants. He did not say, for example, "Go away. This is my home." He did not enter using a key. Nor did the sister, who was standing inside near the door communicate in some manner to the police that defendant belonged there.

The opinion doesn't use the phrase "hot pursuit," but that's what it is.

Permalink 12:01:00 am, by fourth, 351 words, 1064 views   English (US)
Categories: General

WA: State failed to defend search issue on appeal relying on harmless error and lost

The state contended that the search issue was of no consequence because the defendant admitted possession and growing of marijuana, but this was a medical marijuana case. The search should have been suppressed, and defendant made out his MMJ defense. Case reversed and dismissed. State v. Shupe, 172 Wn. App. 341, 289 P.3d 741 (2012)*:

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  Missouri v. McNeeley, 133 S.Ct. 1552, 185 L.Ed.2d 696 (2013) (ScotusBlog)
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  United States v. Jones, 132 S.Ct. 945, 181 L.Ed.2d 911 (2012) (ScotusBlog)
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"If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. It isn't, and they don't."
—Me

"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 property."
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 Amendment."
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."
Malcolm Forbes

"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)


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