Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged Privacy

In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, an aggressive brand of policing called “highway interdiction,” which involves authorities seizing money and property during traffic stops, has grown in popularity. Thousands of people not charged with crimes are left fighting legal battles to regain their money.

Cash seizures can be made under state or federal civil law. One of the primary ways police departments are able to seize money and share in the proceeds at the federal level is through a long-standing Justice Department civil asset forfeiture program known as Equitable Sharing. Asset forfeiture is an extraordinarily powerful law enforcement tool that allows the government to take cash and property without pressing criminal charges and then requires the owners to prove their possessions were legally acquired.

The practice has been controversial since its inception at the height of the drug war more than three decades ago, and its abuses have been the subject of journalistic exposés and congressional hearings. But unexplored until now is the role of the federal government and the private police trainers in encouraging officers to target cash on the nation’s highways since 9/11.

“Those laws were meant to take a guy out for selling $1 million in cocaine or who was trying to launder large amounts of money,” said Mark Overton, the police chief in Bal Harbour, Fla., who once oversaw a federal drug task force in South Florida. “It was never meant for a street cop to take a few thousand dollars from a driver by the side of the road.”

It’s the same, no matter where the police are conducting these stops.

In case after case, highway interdictors appeared to follow a similar script. Police set up what amounted to rolling checkpoints on busy highways and pulled over motorists for minor violations, such as following too closely or improper signaling. They quickly issued warnings or tickets. They studied drivers for signs of nervousness, including pulsing carotid arteries, clenched jaws and perspiration. They also looked for supposed “indicators” of criminal activity, which can include such things as trash on the floor of a vehicle, abundant energy drinks or air fresheners hanging from rearview mirrors.

More at The Washington Post.

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Two teens were cited for sexting after police said they shared a nude photo of a girl while in class at West Port High School in Marion County.

The boys, 14 and 15, were cited under Florida’s sexting statute, which makes a first-time offense a civil infraction and not a crime for minors.

Police said the first teen downloaded the photo from Instagram, then shared it with the other teen via Kik Messenger. The second boy shared the picture with his cousin, according to Ocala police. A school resource officer uncovered the information and filed the report.

The first teen was cited for possessing and distributing the nude photo, while the second was cited for distributing it. Police said since the photo was sent to his mother’s phone he wasn’t charged with possession.

The girl told police the picture had been edited via Photoshop.

Both teens face a fine or eight hours of community service. A second offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. The teens were not arrested, but they do have a mandatory court appearance.

Source.

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Ralph Lauren is the first luxury lifestyle brand to offer apparel that tracks and streams real-time workout data directly to your smartphone or tablet.

From Wired UK:

The shirt has biosensing silver fibres woven into its core and it can therefore be used to track distance, calories burned, movement intensity, heart rate and stress rate in real time. The moisture-wicking compression fabric apparently also increases blood circulation and aids muscle recovery — although this is the aim of much existing athletic garb.

The shirts have been created with the help of Canadian tech company OMsignal. The data collected by the shirt is stored in a black box, which incorporates an accelerometer and gyroscope. This black box then transmits data into the cloud, where it encounters a number of algorithms that pick out the key biometrics and psychometrics that the athlete, and maybe their coach, will want to know.

This black box is a separate device that can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand and will last for up to 30 workouts before it needs recharging. It fits into the Ralph Lauren shirt and will ensure all the relevant data is properly transmitted to the app on your smartphone in real-time.

It should also be noted that OMsignal have a number of similar products already on the market that are no doubt cheaper than the Ralph Lauren version will be — and even then, they ain’t cheap.

More at Ralph Lauren.

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Facebook’s Privacy Checkup from Facebook on Vimeo.

For now, this is for desktop versions only. Facebook is looking for feedback from users before rolling out a mobile version, which it says make up 30 percent of its monthly users.

More at recode.

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