Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

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Shahid Buttar, Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) joins Thom. All across America – law enforcement agencies are using a special technology to collect information from your cell phones. What is Stingray technology – how is it used – and why is everyone trying to keep it a secret?

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Ervin Leon Edwards, 38, died face down in a jail cell after a half-dozen officers held him down and tasered him, then left him for dead.

His crime? Police were questioning him about an argument with his girlfriend and then began harassing him over his “sagging pants,” according to the lawsuit. He was arrested moments later and brought to the West Baton Rouge jail.

As Edwards was being arrested, for seemingly no reason, he began to voice his discontent. Nonetheless, officers still managed to restrain him and bring him to jail.

During the arrest, police threatened to taser Edwards at which point his girlfriend begged them not to because of Edward’s high blood pressure, according to the lawsuit.

What happens next can only be described as gross criminal negligence on behalf of Port Allen Police.

More at Free Thought Project.

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eMotionButterflies are ultra-light robots that flutter on uncanny flapping wings and incorporate a system of ten infrared cameras into a guided and monitored “intelligent networking system” that allows them to behave like a real-life flock.

“The eMotionButterflies impress with an intelligently employed mechanical system and the smallest possible power units in the tightest space,” Festo writes on their site. “The reduced use of materials enables the true-to-nature flying behaviour.”

The bionic bugs aren’t the only animal-inspired robots Festo is launching, either. Yesterday’s unveiling also included a pack of highly-organized robotic ants, BionicANTs, and the FlexShapeGripper, an articulating gripping arm modeled after the chameleon’s tongue. Considering last year’s launch of the herring gull-mimicking SmartBird and the leaping BionicKangaroo, it’s safe to say that a robot zoo is coming to life at the Festo headquarters.

More here and here.

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A D.C-based law firm will file suit and pursue “all legal remedies” to protect the rights of the Maryland parents whose two young children were taken into custody for more than five hours Sunday after someone reported them as they made their way home unsupervised from a Silver Spring park, the firm said Tuesday.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv were “rightfully outraged by the irresponsible actions” of Maryland Child Protective Services and Montgomery County police, said attorney Matthew Dowd, of the firm Wiley Rein, in a written statement.

“We must ask ourselves how we reached the point where a parent’s biggest fear is that government officials will literally seize our children off the streets as they walk in our neighborhoods,” he said.

Whatever happened to the police checking it out and when things are normal letting them go? Also, the man calling to report them is a stranger, why would the kids talk to this guy?

The statement alleged that the pair were detained in a police car for almost three hours, kept from their parents for over six hours without access to food, and “not returned to the parents until almost midnight on the night before school.”

In an interview with The Washington Post, Danielle Meitiv said that her son told her the children were misled into believing police would take them home. Police had all the Meitivs’ contact information and did not call the parents, or allow the children to call their parents, the statement alleges.

The parents even have the kids wear badges that say they aren’t lost and they are allowed to walk around their neighborhood, so why is everyone overreacting?

CPS officials would not answer direct questions Monday, but issued a statement saying that “protecting children is the agency’s number one priority. We are required to follow up on all calls to Child Protective Services and will continue to work in the best interest of all children.”

The Sunday episode followed an earlier incident when the Meitiv children were picked up by police as they walked home from a different Silver Spring park, about a mile from their home. In both instances, callers reported the children to police.

How about minding your own business? The world isn’t as dangerous as the media hypes it up to be. It never has been. Letting children explore their world makes them smarter and more responsible. Sheltering them their whole lives and then sending them out into the world at 18 results in confused young people who don’t know how the world works.

The Meitivs are believers in a “free range” style of parenting, which holds that children learn to be self-reliant by progressively testing limits and being allowed to roam the world without hovering adults.

This used to just be called good parenting.

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