” A Circuit Court judge in Virginia has ruled that fingerprints are not protected by the Fifth Amendment, a decision that has clear privacy implications for fingerprint-protected devices like newer iPhones and iPads.
According to Judge Steven C. Fucci, while a criminal defendant can’t be compelled to hand over a passcode to police officers for the purpose of unlocking a cellular device, law enforcement officials can compel a defendant to give up a fingerprint.
The Fifth Amendment states that “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” which protects memorized information like passwords and passcodes, but it does not extend to fingerprints in the eyes of the law, as speculated by Wired last year. “
Jersey City veered outside of its authority when it devised gun permit applications that required “…substantially more…” information than state law allows, an appeals court has ruled.
The information sought by the city includes license plate numbers, prior employers and waivers authorizing the release of “any and all information” to police, information that is not required by state statute or by New Jersey State Police’s own application, the court ruled.
“We do not conclude in this decision that Jersey City’s inquiries were unreasonable or made in bad faith,…” reads the 21-page ruling, released today. “However, the Legislature or the Superintendent of the State Police must authorize any requirement or condition for issuance of a handgun permit that goes beyond the terms of the statute and the State Police.”
The ruling stems from a case involving Michael McGovern, who sought in 2012 to purchase two handguns. The city denied McGovern’s permit, citing three arrests in Florida and “other – Good Repute.” McGovern had declined to provide some information to the city, calling his refusal “…a matter of principle in pursuing his constitutional and statutory rights,…” according to the ruling.
McGovern said the three Florida arrests, for minor offenses between 2000 and 2002, did not result in any convictions. Continue reading →
Back in January, Pulitzer winning journalist Chris Hedges sued President Obama and the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, specifically challenging the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force or, the provision that authorizes military detention for people deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.” Hedges called the president’s action allowing indefinite detention, which was signed into law with little opposition from either party “unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous.” He attacked point blank the civil rights farce that is the never-ending “war on terror” conducted by both parties, targeting whom exactly is unclear, but certainly attaining ever more intense retaliation from foreigners such as the furious attacks against the US consulates in Egypt and Libya. Continue reading →
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided United States v. Sharp, a dog-sniff case. Here’s the court’s summary:
It is well-settled that a dog’s sniff around the exterior of a car is not a search under the Fourth Amendment. Defendant appeals the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress because a narcotics dog jumped into his car and sniffed inside the car before “alerting” to the presence of narcotics. The canine’s jump and subsequent sniff inside the vehicle was not a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment because the jump was instinctive and not the product of police encouragement. Therefore, we AFFIRM.
… In three experiments, when making quick choices, participants consistently preferred people (salespersons, teams, criminals on parole) or consumer goods presented first as opposed to similar offerings in second and sequential positions. The authors say their findings may have practical applications in a variety of settings including in consumer marketing… via Nano Patents and Innovations