CNET: DOJ: We don't need warrants for e-mail, Facebook chats by Declan McCullagh:
An FBI investigation manual updated last year, obtained by the ACLU, says it's possible to warrantlessly obtain Americans' e-mail "without running afoul" of the Fourth Amendment.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don't need a search warrant to review Americans' e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal.
Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union and provided to CNET show a split over electronic privacy rights within the Obama administration, with Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they're not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail. The IRS, on the other hand, publicly said last month that it would abandon a controversial policy that claimed it could get warrantless access to e-mail correspondence.
New law review article: Suspicionless DNA Collection from Arrestees Violates the Fourth Amendment, But Easier Expunction of DNA Records Can Help Mitigate the Harm by Catherine A. Burke on SSRN. Abstract:
NYTimes: U.S. Is Weighing Wide Overhaul of Wiretap Laws by Charlie Savage:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
Defendant was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding. He got out of the car and started to walk away. The officer told him to stop, and he refused and kept walking. He was arrested for failing to follow the commands of the officer. When he was searched, marijuana was found in his pocket. That gave probable cause to search the whole car and more was found, and it was all lawful. People v. Brannon, 2013 IL App (2d) 111084, 990 N.E.2d 1170 (2013).*
Parole officers had sufficient cause to conduct a parole search of defendant’s place without a search warrant. The fact they had time to get one doesn’t matter because this is an exception to the warrant requirement. They had probable cause to believe that he’d be found there. United States v. Pressley, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63841 (W.D. Wash. May 3, 2013).*
The stop was justified by speeding, and the nervousness of the occupants and their inconsistent stories was reasonable suspicion to extend the stop. State v. Sayles, 2013 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 374 (May 3, 2013).*
GPS device placed after cert grant in Jones was still subject to the Davis good faith exception. United States v. Valles, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62907 (D. Ariz. January 23, 2013),* adopted 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63732 (D. Ariz. May 1, 2013).*
Where defendant was arrested on a Wal-Mart parking lot, his car did not have to be left there. The city’s impoundment policy permitted it and was followed. The fact there was a potential motive for criminal search did not render this inventory unreasonable. United States v. Contreras, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64431 (D. Neb. April 8, 2013).*
The lane usage statute, requiring one drive in one lane “as nearly as practicable” is inconsistent with the trial court’s findings. It does not require “absolute adherence.” The stop was unjustified. State v. Au, 285 Neb. 797, 829 N.W.2d 695 (2013).*
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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)