Posts Tagged ‘Restraints’

GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE: FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT IN OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS?

by Stephen Levine on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

This is article 151 of 184 in the topic US Constitution

The way it was designed to work …

You were presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction. Should the government have an honest and credible “probable cause” to believe that an individual committed a crime, they would petition the court, laying our their suspicions and evidence, for an order to conduct surveillance. If the court order was granted, law enforcement would begin their surveillance activities with the hopes of developing credible evidence that would allow them to seek an arrest warrant and charge an individual with a crime.

The way it now appears to work …

You are now presumed guilty, of some unknown crime, and the government continuously collects evidence for possible use against you and stores it for future use. Should the government have an honest and credible “probable” cause to believe that an individual committed a crime, they would petition the court, laying out their suspicions and evidence, for an order unlocking the treasure trove of stored communications. Now, the authorities could sift through all of those stored communications for hints, indications of intent, and actual evidence of a crime – and maybe not the crime mentioned in the petition.

There are a few issues with this approach that needs to be addressed. One, because innocent conversations can be taken out of context, conflated, or misinterpreted, the more information presented, the more likely that there will be something in the record to make an individual appear to be guilty – even if they are innocent. Two, there appear to be no restraints from enlarging the scope of the crime for which the original petition was sought, to something greater in scope – perhaps to the point of providing a coercive reason to force a guilty plea.

The way it might appear in the future …

The department of pre-crime mines the communication data trove looking for suspicions that a crime may be committed in the future and you are arrested before the crime takes place. Whoops – that’s the movies. Specifically, the Tom Cruise’s movie “The Minority Report” where Tom Cruise is Captain John Anderton, the chief of the highly controversial Washington, D.C. PreCrime police force.

But, wait, isn’t that what we are trying to do to terrorists. Grab them before they commit a crime?

Bottom line …

It will take the legal profession and civil rights organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org) years to work out the details and codify them into laws. In the meantime, it appears that warehousing data that belongs to an individual may be a clear and present violation of an individual’s constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth, and First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Contempt: Free speech-trampling judge in Kimberlin case exposed; help Aaron Walker fight back

by Michelle Malkin on Monday, June 4th, 2012

This is article 58 of 113 in the topic Free Speech

Over the weekend, audio and transcripts of blogger Aaron Walker’s hearing in Maryland hit the Internet. Lying, violent convicted bomber felon and vexatious litigant Brett Kimberlin lied some more. And contrary to the propaganda spread online by Kimberlin’s cabal last week, it was Internet-ignorant and unbelievably arrogant Judge Cornelius Vaughey — not Aaron Walker — who displayed the worst contempt.

READ THIS POST about the hearing from Kimberlin target Patrick (Patterico) Frey, send it to mainstream media reporters, and spread the word to First Amendment experts, pundits, and lawyers (emphasis added):

In this post I will just highlight a few key passages that show a) how rude and dismissive the judge was; b) how dishonest Kimberlin was; and c) most important, that the judge disregarded Supreme Court precedent and found Aaron in violation of a peace order for his public statements about a public figure.

These excerpts also show that the judge issued an order preventing Aaron from blogging about Kimberlin for six months — a clearly unconstitutional prior restraint of speech.

I’ll get to the transcripts in a moment, but I want to say one thing first.

Now that it is clear that Aaron Walker was arrested for blogging about a public figure — and that a judge has imposed unconstitutional restraints on his speech rights — the next steps are clear:

Aaron Walker needs an immediate court order modifying the current peace order. There must be a clear judicial order stating that Aaron is allowed him to blog, tweet, and otherwise express himself publicly about public figure Brett Kimberlin. Every second that he is muzzled from speaking out is an intolerable crushing of his most sacred American right of free speech.

Aaron Walker needs legal help to obtain a reversal of this unconstitutional peace order, as well as to fight the possible criminal case against him for violating that peace order.

Aaron Walker needs a permanent injunction preventing Brett Kimberlin from seeking peace orders against Aaron based on his public speech about Kimberlin.

To accomplish these goals, we need the spotlight of Big Media on this tremendous injustice. Please spread the word, far and wide.

Reminder: The fund to help Kimberlin victims is here.

This isn’t just a one-day commitment. It’s an ongoing battle for free speech. Every voice, every blog post, every tweet, every e-mail counts.

***

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton: “One wonders why this is not all over the major media outlets. Only Fox News has covered it so far with the help of major talk show hosts such as Glenn Beck. If the silencing of the clarions continues, there will soon be no voice to warn Americans of the tyranny that is descending. We must all surely stand together or we will hang separately.”

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Previous:

Free speech blogburst: Show solidarity for targeted conservative bloggers; Update: It’s Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day; Donation fund for targets

Letter from an Indiana reader about Brett Kimberlin; Update: A tribute to Carl DeLong

Who’s funding Brett Kimberlin?

A post-Brett Kimberlin blogburst to-do list; Updated

The Brett Kimberlin nightmare continues: Aaron Walker in custody

Breakthrough: Fox covers Brett Kimberlin/ Patterico SWATting, bloggers continue pressing the story

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Volunteers at Community Colleges? Of Course Not, That Would Threaten the Power of California’s Educational Administrative Commissariat

by Donald Douglas on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

This is article 103 of 257 in the topic Education

I had to share this letter to the editor at the Orange County Register, “No volunteers at community colleges.” The author, Richard Callahan, is retired finance executive with over 40 years in the private sector. He’s taught business classes at UCLA and other universities, and he’s offered his time free of charge to private colleges. But when he approached some of the community colleges to offer his services, he was given a cold shoulder and sent packing. Be sure to read it all. I thought his conclusion was a devastating indictment:

With my apologies to the majority of the public school teachers who are hard working and dedicated, our public education system today is inwardly focused, protectionist, money driven and broken.

The system is run by politicians, unions and administrators whose apparent goal is to extract the maximum amount of funds from the taxpayer. Instead of educating children to function and excel in society, they are molded into a society of underachieving conformists who will give up their liberty and acquiesce to the government’s power and authority while devoting more of their personal resources, particularly financial, to expanding government.

I’ve recently written a couple of times about my dealing with the crushing bureaucratic totalitarianism at my college. Oh, boy, if only I’d known 15 years ago what I know today, but then again, you live and learn and become wiser. Let’s just say that I’m facing a lot of restraints on the job, and these are the kind that are frankly political and ideological in nature — and the administrative bosses fit perfectly into that power-hungry template outlined by Mr. Callahan above. What’s depressing is that all the stuff you hear about driving out the best and the brightest from the public schools is true, or at least in my case, if I decide on the earliest retirement possible because of what’s essentially a hostile workplace environment. It’s pretty ridiculous. In any case, at some point I’ll be able to tell the full story on all of this, but not yet, not just yet.

Meanwhile, heading back over to the O.C. Register, hear’s another primer on the corruption of power in the public realm. From the editors, “Bound Up.”

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