Loss of Privacy

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

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Seattle’s elected prosecutor says he’s dropping all tickets issued for the public use of marijuana through the first seven months of this year, because most of them were issued by a single police officer who disagrees with the legal pot law.

In a briefing to the City Council on Monday, City Attorney Pete Holmes said he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department between Jan. 1 and July 31. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for those who have already paid their $27 ticket.

Through the first six months of the year, a single officer wrote about 80 percent of the tickets, addressing some of them to “Petey Holmes” or writing that he considered the pot law “silly.”

The officer, Randy Jokela, is now under official investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability.

In one ticket, the officer wrote that he found two people smoking marijuana and made them flip a coin to decide which person would be cited.

“(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe,” the ticket reads.

Others in the city are standing up for the officer.

A gallery of citations can be viewed online.

Komonews.

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The notion that certain rights are guaranteed to citizens is being proven false every day. For instance, you have the First Amendment right to film police officers and other public officials, but it often takes an official policy change (usually prompted by lawsuits) before these public servants will begrudgingly respect that right.

More at techdirt.

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In an effort to increase campus security, TSU will require students, faculty and staff to wear Identification Cards while on campus. This is part of a broader effort to increase campus safety for the University community.

After a spate of break-ins and vandalism, officials at the university instituted the new ID requirement as a way to ensure safety on campus, a TSU release said.

So, instead of doing some actual police work to find those responsible or admitting that break-ins and vandalism happen all the time all over the world and not all are solvable, they institute draconian measures to track everyone.

“Our primary concern is always to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our students, employees and visitors,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, associate vice president for administration, who is in charge of Emergency Management. “Safety on our campus is priority number one, and with the new policy we want to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff are safe at all times.”

Notice that this is being implemented in the name of safety. Everyone is buying into “it must be a good thing” and “they’re looking out for us.”

Those at the university should also be looking into who is storing the information and for how long. Then, they might want to look at who the university is giving access to the data and how it’s going to be monetized.

If you don’t want to be tracked, you could simply make a copy of your ID, put it on display and keep the real ID in an RFID blocking wallet. That’s what the criminals are going to be doing as well as cloning IDs for whatever nefarious things they think of.

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A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls “extreme racial disparities.” The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check. We speak with Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the new ACLU report, “A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses.”

Transcript.

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