Loss of Privacy

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

When GameStop buys used video games from customers, the chain says it is following a local law that allows the store to collect thumb prints, which go into a database to help law enforcement track down thieves who fence stolen goods.

City Solicitor Shelley Smith says, however, the city is not requiring GameStop to abide by the pawnbroker’s ordinance:

“What GameStop does doesn’t meet any of the elements of the definition in the code, so the pawnbreaker ordinance doesn’t apply to GameStop.”

The Philadelphia Police Department says the company is being proactive by storing fingerprints in a secure database – LeadsOnline – which is the nation’s largest online investigation system.

Don’t sell your games back at GameStop. Sell them on ebay or Amazon, or anywhere else.

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Washington County public school officials announced they will be using new software to monitor students’ social media posts.

The county will be one of only four school districts in the nation to enlist a new software program called Social Sentinel that tracks social media accounts for certain keywords.

To those that question the legality of such monitoring in the face of privacy rights, school officials said the software uses “geofencing” protocol to only track posts that are made while the student is on school property.

School officials said the goal is to protect student safety. Examples of such posts that will be tracked include those that feature keywords like “kill,” “bomb” and others.

Some student will kill it on that Science test while others bomb it. This system will be completely useless as soon as everyone figures out euphemisms for search words.

School officials said they will also be consulting with parents and members of student government for feedback on what additional keywords should be added to the watch-list.

Threats will be flushed out, officials added – if a keyword is caught, the post will be read to check for threats of violence, bullying or harassment, reference to using drugs or alcohol, references to weapons, and the like.

One of two things is going to happen. The school is going to quickly be overloaded and realize what a waste of money this systems is. The students will not communicate on any system that’s monitored by the school and will have a “school” social media account and their real account.

Neither of these situations should be happening. The first forces students to protest a system that is hindering their free speech. The second forces them to either self-censor or be deceitful.

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Read the entire article at Foreign Policy.

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Carlos Harris was out with his friend, Ryan Dominique, when police were called to the scene on reports of Dominique driving recklessly in the parking lot of Club Insomnia on Florida Blvd.

Dominique was subsequently arrested at which point officer Magee asked Harris to move his friend’s car.

When asked to move the car, Harris told Magee he was drunk and did not wish to do so. According to witness Aisha Loliss, Magee then “commanded him to move the car.”

More than 50 cameras, including multiple police dashcams, captured the various angles of what happened next. The videos show Harris driving the car into a police unit, pull forward and hit another car, then crash into the police car again.

The car was traveling forward away from him when Magee shot Harris from behind. One of the three shots Magee fired also hit a woman nearby in the wrist.

Harris was killed as a result of the shots. A toxicology report also showed that his blood alcohol level was .089 making his claim of being intoxicated true.

The police department has now settled with Harris’ family for $495,000. Magee was cleared of wrongdoing, has never been disciplined for his actions and is still patrolling the streets of Baton Rouge.

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The film follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare.

It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

Source.

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