Eleventh Circuit Judge Endorses Warrant for Border Device Searches

from EFF A recent federal appeals court decision shows that at least one judge thinks border agents should get a warrant before conducting forensic searches of travelers’ cell phones.  Although the majority of the three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in U.S. v. Vergara found that border agents did not need a warrant, EFF is encouraged by the dissent’s forceful conclusion that the significant privacy interests people have in their electronic devices require courts to rethink the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement. Vergara had returned to Florida after a vacation […]

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In Carpenter Case, Justice Sotomayor Tries to Picture the Smartphone Future

from The New Yorker “I am not beyond the belief that someday a provider could turn on my cell phone and listen to my conversations,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said on Wednesday, in the oral arguments in the case of Timothy Ivory Carpenter v. United States. She is correct; indeed, there have been indications that that day may have already arrived. And yet the government argued that when prosecutors—without a warrant—looked at some of the most intimate information that a cell-phone company can collect about its customers, they were not doing anything distinctly intrusive. The Carpenter case began with a string of […]

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Supreme Court Will Decide The Fate Of Your Digital Privacy

from Axios The future of digital privacy is up for grabs today at the Supreme Court, as the justices hear arguments in a landmark case about whether police can track the location of a cell phone without a warrant. Why it matters: The tech industry’s most powerful companies argue that if police can access this information without a warrant, hardly anything will ever be private again. The justices clearly share some of those concerns — but their personal understanding of modern technology is on a collision course with the court’s past rulings.  The big picture: The Supreme Court has ruled […]

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Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Becomes a Civil Rights Crusader

from MIT Technology Review When Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to help the FBI get into a mass murderer’s iPhone last winter, he was hailed for his boldness in fighting the government on a matter of principle. In fact, Cook was borrowing from the playbook of a top executive at Apple’s dowdier rival Microsoft—a genial, sandy-haired man named Brad Smith. Smith has taken the government to court four times in the past three years, each time accusing it of breaching the Constitution in its efforts to get its hands on Microsoft customers’ data. He believes computers and the Internet have weakened […]

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Thoughts on Privacy

from Doc Searls Weblog In Here Is New York, E.B. White opens with this sentence: “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.” Sixty-four years have passed since White wrote that, and it still makes perfect sense to me, hunched behind a desk in a back room of a Manhattan apartment. That’s because privacy is mostly a settled issue in the physical world, and a grace of civilized life. Clothing, for example, is a privacy technology. So are walls, doors, windows and shades. Private spaces in public settings are well […]

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