Rand Paul Statement: McCain-led NDAA Conference Committee Strips Right to Jury Trial

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Yesterday, in a closed door conference committee on the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, conferees stripped out an amendment that would have prohibited the indefinite detention of American citizens and lawful permanent residents. (In violation of the Constitution’s ‘4th & 5th amendment’  I might add)

In a letter sent to both the House and Senate today, Campaign for Liberty President John Tate urged Congressmen to vote NO on the NDAA conference report.

On behalf of over half a million Campaign for Liberty grassroots activists across the country, I urge you to oppose the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report for its deliberate insistence on allowing for the indefinite detention of American citizens.

Previously, Senators Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and others worked together to adopt an amendment to the 2013 NDAA that clearly stated the 2001 AUMF construed no authority to indefinitely detain American citizens.  That amendment was adopted last month by a vote of 67-29.

On Tuesday evening, reports surfaced that this amendment was stripped out in the conference committee and replaced with the Orwellian Section 1029, which is actually titled “Rights Unaffected.”

This egregious change is a slap in the face to civil libertarians, an affront to our Bill of Rights and due process, and just another example of Washington elites conferring unconstitutional authority on the President to carry out police state actions under the guise of “keeping us safe.”

Sixty-eight years ago this week, the Supreme Court authorized the indefinite detention of American citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.  It’s shameful our Congress is again permitting the Executive Branch to lock up American citizens and throw away the key at its whim.

Therefore, on behalf of Campaign for Liberty’s members and in defense of our fundamental rights, I urge you to stand up for the Constitution and oppose the FY 2013 NDAA Conference Report.

In Liberty,

John Tate

President

The House and Senate are both expected to vote on the conference report tomorrow.

You too can take action by calling your representative and senators at 202-224-3121 and urging them to take a stand for the Constitution by sending the FY 2013 back to conference and to prohibit indefinite detention!

 

Today, Sen. Rand Paul issued the following statement regarding the newly released National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 (NDAA) conference report.

The amendment, introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and which passed with a 67-29 vote on Nov. 29, was designed to guarantee Americans the right to due process and a jury trial. These are basic and core American legal privileges prescribed in our Bill of Rights, which have been observed since our nation’s founding. Removing these indefinite detention protections now means that the NDAA is in violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.

“The decision by the NDAA conference committee, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to strip the National Defense Authorization Act of the amendment that protects American citizens against indefinite detention now renders the entire NDAA unconstitutional,” Sen. Paul said.

“I voted against NDAA in 2011 because it did not contain the proper constitutional protections. When my Senate colleagues voted to include those protections in the 2012 NDAA through the Feinstein-Lee Amendment last month, I supported this act,” Sen. Paul continued. “But removing those protections now takes us back to square one and does as much violence to the Constitution as last year’s NDAA. When the government can arrest suspects without a warrant, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.

“Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus – the right to be presented before a judge – is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole.

“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience. When I entered the United States Senate, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is for this reason that I will strongly oppose passage of the McCain conference report that strips the guarantee to a trial by jury.”

Read Rand Paul’s statement here

ACLU Sues Police for Seizing Man’s Phone After Recording Alleged Misconduct

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Folks, we are seeing this happen all over the US.  In most cities and States it IS NOT illegal to photograph or video police as long as your not interfering with their duties in what ever they are doing.

Washington D.C.’s police chief issues an order that “recognizes that members of the general public have a First Amendment right to video record, photograph, and/or audio record” the police.

Here’s more of what the General Order says:

As long as the photographing or recording takes place in a setting at which the individual has a legal right to be present and does not interfere with a member’s safety, members shall not inform or instruct people that photographing or recording of police officers, police activity or individuals who are the subject of police action (such as a Terry stop or an arrest) is not allowed; requires a permit; or requires the member’s consent. Additionally, members shall not:

 

  • Order that person to cease such activity;
  • Demand that person’s identification;
  • Demand that the person state a reason why he or she is taking photographs or recording;
  • Detain that person;
  • Intentionally block or obstruct cameras or recording devices; or
  • In any way threaten, intimidate or otherwise discourage an individual from recording members’ enforcement activities.

The ACLU has sued the District of Columbia and two police officers for allegedly seizing the cellphone of a man who photographed a police officer allegedly mistreating a citizen, and for then stealing his memory card.

The suit, filed in federal court (.pdf) in Washington, D.C., alleges that the police officer violated Earl Staley, Jr.’s First Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights by improperly searching and seizing his property while he was exercising his right to photograph the police performing their duty.

The incident occurred July 20 when Staley, on his way to a bus stop with a friend, pulled out his phone to record police after he saw an officer hit a man on a motorbike. Two police officers then allegedly punched the man on the ground as he bled.

Staley pulled out his phone to take photos when police also allegedly began “chest bumping” bystanders who would not leave the scene.

Officer James O’Bannon seized Staley’s smartphone from his hand when he saw Staley take a photo of another officer and told Staley that he had broken the law in photographing the officer, according to the complaint. O’Bannon told Staley he was seizing the phone as evidence and threatened to arrest Staley if he didn’t leave the scene.

When Staley was later given back his phone by police, his memory card was missing. The police have still not returned the card, which Staley says contained several years’ worth of personal data, including family photos, passwords, financial account data and music files.

“That memory card had a lot of my life on it,” Staley said in a statement. “I can never replace those photos of my daughter’s first years. The police had no right to steal it. They’re supposed to enforce the law, not break it.”

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FBI begins installation of $1 billion face recognition system across America

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For terrorism of course and our “safety”…..folks our Constitutional rights are being trashed under the guise of “terrorism”……what about the 4th amendment when it comes to the ‘face recognition’ system across the country? Oh, I forgot, when it comes to the government, the Constitution doesn’t apply anymore.

Birthmarks, be damned: the FBI has officially started rolling out a state-of-the-art face recognition project that will assist in their effort to accumulate and archive information about each and every American at a cost of a billion dollars.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reached a milestone in the development of their Next Generation Identification (NGI) program and is now implementing the intelligence database in unidentified locales across the country, New Scientist reports in an article this week. The FBI first outlined the project back in 2005, explaining to the Justice Department in an August 2006 document (.pdf) that their new system will eventually serve as an upgrade to the current Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) that keeps track of citizens with criminal records across America .

“The NGI Program is a compilation of initiatives that will either improve or expand existing biometric identification services,” its administrator explained to the Department of Justice at the time, adding that  the project, “will accommodate increased information processing and sharing demands in support of anti-terrorism.”

“The NGI Program Office mission is to reduce terrorist and criminal activities by improving and expanding biometric identification and criminal history information services through research, evaluation and implementation of advanced technology within the IAFIS environment.” (The problem is….everybody is a suspect….to heck with innocent until proven guilty)

The agency insists, “As a result of the NGI initiatives, the FBI will be able to provide services to enhance interoperability between stakeholders at all levels of government, including local, state, federal, and international partners.” In doing as such, though, the government is now going ahead with linking a database of images and personally identifiable information of anyone in their records with departments around the world thanks to technology that makes fingerprint tracking seem like kids’ stuff.

According to their 2006 report, the NGI program utilizes “specialized requirements in the Latent Services, Facial Recognition and Multi-modal Biometrics areas” that “will allow the FnewBI to establish a terrorist fingerprint identification system that is compatible with other systems; increase the accessibility and number of the IAFIS terrorist fingerprint records; and provide latent palm print search capabilities.”

Is that just all, though? During a 2010 presentation (.pdf) made by the FBI’s Biometric Center of Intelligence, the agency identified why facial recognition technology needs to be embraced. Specifically, the FBI said that the technology could be used for “Identifying subjects in public datasets,” as well as “conducting automated surveillance at lookout locations” and “tracking subject movements,” meaning NGI is more than just a database of mug shots mixed up with fingerprints — the FBI has admitted that this their intent with the technology surpasses just searching for criminals but includes spectacular surveillance capabilities. Together, it’s a system unheard of outside of science fiction.

New Scientist reports that a 2010 study found technology used by NGI to be accurate in picking out suspects from a pool of 1.6 million mug shots 92 percent of the time. The system was tested on a trial basis in the state of Michigan earlier this year, and has already been cleared for pilot runs in Washington, Florida and North Carolina. Now according to this week’s New Scientist report, the full rollout of the program has begun and the FBI expects its intelligence infrastructure to be in place across the United States by 2014.

The FBI expects the NGI system to include as many as 14 million photographs by the time the project is in full swing in only two years, but the pace of technology and the new connections constantly created by law enforcement agencies could allow for a database that dwarfs that estimate. As RT reported earlier this week, the city of Los Angeles now considers photography in public space “suspicious,” and authorizes LAPD officers to file reports if they have reason to believe a suspect is up to no good. Those reports, which may not necessarily involve any arrests, crimes, charges or even interviews with the suspect, can then be filed, analyzed, stored and shared with federal and local agencies connected across the country to massive data fusion centers. Similarly, live video transmissions from thousands of surveillance cameras across the country are believed to be sent to the same fusion centers as part of TrapWire, a global eye-in-the-sky endeavor that RT first exposed earlier this year.

“Facial recognition creates acute privacy concerns that fingerprints do not,” US Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) told the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law earlier this year. “Once someone has your faceprint, they can get your name, they can find your social networking account and they can find and track you in the street, in the stores you visit, the government buildings you enter, and the photos your friends post online.”
(Yep, they are using your pictures on Facebook already to scan into “facial recognition” systems)

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Federal Court Upholds Free Speech Zone Roundup

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There was once a group of men who established a fundamental law of the land that allowed the people of their new found country to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievances.

These founding fathers of that Great nation even went so far as to declare that the government itself could never make a law that would threaten to supplant these protections, which were reserved exclusively for the people. This concept of freedom of assembly and protest was so critical to protecting and preserving the liberty of the people that it was the very first law — the very first Amendment — proposed by the newly elected representatives of These United States of America and came into effect on December 15, 1791.

Police Stop, Handcuff Every Adult at Intersection in Search for Bank Robber

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“We didn’t have a description, didn’t know race or gender or anything, so a split-second decision was made to stop all the cars at that intersection, and search for the armed robber,” Aurora police Officer Frank Fania told ABC News.

Read some comments before the article:

Posted by: Roscoe Chait | June 4, 2012, 8:46 pm 8:46 pm

Why stop there? Why not arrest everyone in town when there’s a serious crime, and release them only when the criminal is found. Has anyone ever heard of the 4th amendment to the US Constitution?

Posted by: Danola | June 5, 2012, 8:10 am 8:10 am

I, personally, would not submit to a search of my car without a warrant being obtained and when nothing was found I’d be suing the police department for the whole fallacy.

Posted by: Sick of BS | June 5, 2012, 8:19 am 8:19 am

So, the police just “un-arrested” the other 18 vehicles occupants when the bad guy was found. I am not a rober and they would have found a loaded weapon in my vehicle…under their justification I would have been guilty. This is not good policing…merely an egregious application of force. A classic example of “the ends justify the means” thinking. BTW, I am a retired officer with 34 years…this action would have gotten me sued and fired in my agency.

Posted by: JimB | June 5, 2012, 8:24 am 8:24 am

-Sick of BS — I’m right there with ya. I’d make them get a warrant.

Posted by: Brian | June 5, 2012, 8:24 am 8:24 am

The new America. Guilty until proven innocent.

Police in Aurora, Colo., searching for suspected bank robbers stopped every car at an intersection, handcuffed all the adults and searched the cars, one of which they believed was carrying the suspect.

Police said they had received what they called a “reliable” tip that the culprit in an armed robbery at a Wells Fargo bank committed earlier was stopped at the red light.

“We didn’t have a description, didn’t know race or gender or anything, so a split-second decision was made to stop all the cars at that intersection, and search for the armed robber,” Aurora police Officer Frank Fania told ABC News.

Officers barricaded the area, halting 19 cars.

“Cops came in from every direction and just threw their car in front of my car,” Sonya Romero, one of the drivers who was handcuffed, told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver.

From there, the police went from car to car, removing the passengers and handcuffing the adults.

“Most of the adults were handcuffed, then were told what was going on and were asked for permission to search the car,” Fania said. “They all granted permission, and once nothing was found in their cars, they were un-handcuffed.”

The search lasted between an hour and a half and two hours, and it wasn’t until the final car was searched that police apprehended the suspect.

“Once officers got to his car, they found evidence that he was who they were looking for,” Fania said. “When they searched the car, they found two loaded firearms.”

The actions of the police have been met with some criticism, but Fania said this was a unique situation that required an unusual response.

“It’s hard to say what normal is in a situation like this when you haven’t dealt with a situation like this,” Fania said. “The result of the whole ordeal is that it paid off. We have arrested and charged a suspect.”

The other people who had been held at the intersection were allowed to leave once the suspect was apprehended.

ABC News

Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

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Folks, this bill is worse if you can believe it can get worse, than SOPA.  Oh, and one more thing…the White House threatens veto of CIPSA cybersecurity bill  is what your hearing as well…..don’t pay any attention to that, Obama said he’s veto the NDAA too, but he didn’t and signed it into law. What is the NDAA? It is indefinite detention of US citizens…..no judge, no jury, no due process….just the word of the President and your gone.

Update: Several people have asserted that Quayle’s amendment actually made CISPA better, not worse. I’ve now posted my thoughts on that.

Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part.

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.

There were some good amendments adopted too—clarifying some definitions, including the fact that merely violating a TOS does not constitute unauthorized network access—but frankly none of them matter in the light of this change. CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.

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To see how your representative voted ….click here

Is the NSA in your inbox?

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Folks we have a completely out of  control central government, just ignoring the Contitution, in this case the 4th amendment.

The House of Representatives is now poised to vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would allow companies to monitor our online communications and share private information about users with the government.
CISPA would let companies bypass all existing privacy law as long as they claim a “good faith” belief that they are doing so for cybersecurity purposes. These exemptions would allow a huge trove of data to end up in the government’s hands with no judicial oversight.
House leadership is pushing for a vote on CISPA this week. Please call your Representative now and urge them not to sacrifice the civil liberties of Internet users in the name of cybersecurity legislation.
Click here to find your Representative’s phone number and a short script of suggested talking points.
Once you’ve made the call, please share this on your social networking sites and ask your friends to join you. We need to get as many calls as possible today, before the legislation can be rushed through, so please help spread the word.
Thanks for all you do to help us defend digital rights,
Rainey Reitman
Activism Team
Electronic Frontier Foundation

You may also find this interesting reading as well:

CISPA Amendment Allows DHS to Intercept Tax Returns

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