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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 12:47 PM
Number of posts: 11,653

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U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU


U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records to Keep Them From the ACLU

By Kim Zetter
06.03.14 | 6:15 pm

A routine request in Florida for public records regarding the use of a surveillance tool known as stingray took an extraordinary turn recently when federal authorities seized the documents before police could release them.

The surprise move by the U.S. Marshals Service stunned the American Civil Liberties Union, which earlier this year filed the public records request with the Sarasota, Florida, police department for information detailing its use of the controversial surveillance tool.

The ACLU had an appointment last Tuesday to review documents pertaining to a case investigated by a Sarasota police detective. But marshals swooped in at the last minute to grab the records, claiming they belong to the U.S. Marshals Service and barring the police from releasing them.

ACLU staff attorney Nathan Freed Wessler called the move “truly extraordinary and beyond the worst transparency violations” the group has seen regarding documents detailing police use of the technology.

The original post from the ACLU:


U.S. Marshals Seize Local Cops’ Cell Phone Tracking Files in Extraordinary Attempt to Keep Information From Public

Government Secrecy
By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:13pm

...RED FLAG #1: The Sarasota Police initially told us that they had responsive records, including applications filed by and orders issued to a local detective under the state “trap and trace” statute that he had relied on for authorization to conduct stingray surveillance. That raised the first red flag, since trap and trace orders are typically used to gather limited information about the phone numbers of incoming calls, not to track cell phones inside private spaces or conduct dragnet surveillance. And, such orders require a very low legal standard. As one federal magistrate judge has held, police should be permitted to use stingrays only after obtaining a probable cause warrant, if at all.

RED FLAG #2: The Sarasota Police set up an appointment for us to inspect the applications and orders, as required by Florida law. But a few hours before that appointment, an assistant city attorney sent an email cancelling the meeting on the basis that the U.S. Marshals Service was claiming the records as their own and instructing the local cops not to release them. Their explanation: the Marshals Service had deputized the local officer, and therefore the records were actually the property of the federal government.

We emphatically disagree, since the Sarasota detective created the applications, brought them to court, and retained the applications and orders in his files. Merely giving him a second title (“Special Deputy U.S. Marshal”) does not change these facts. But regardless, once the Sarasota Police Department received our records request, state law required them to hold onto the records for at least 30 days, to give us an opportunity to go to court and seek an order for release of the documents.

Instead of complying with that clear legal obligation, the local police allowed the records to disappear by letting the U.S. Marshals drive down from their office in Tampa, seize the physical files, and move them to an unknown location. We’ve seen our fair share of federal government attempts to keep records about stingrays secret, but we’ve never seen an actual physical raid on state records in order to conceal them from public view.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jun 5, 2014, 01:56 PM (0 replies)

Looks like SAF just might have a new sugar daddy


DeLeo pushes tighter gun law

More police say on ownership; curbs on sales

By Brian MacQuarrie | Globe Staff May 28, 2014

...The new proposal seeks to tighten and clarify state regulations about who can buy guns and how they can be bought. One potentially contentious change would give police the discretion to deny a permit for a rifle or shotgun if an applicant is deemed unsuitable.

Under current law, police can apply a vague standard of unsuitability for licenses to carry a gun. But police do not have that discretion in issuing the Firearms Identification Card, which allows Massachusetts residents who pass a background check to buy a small-capacity rifle or shotgun...

Umm, Mister Speaker? You might want to have a chat with Rahm Emanuel about that bit...

If this part goes through and gets tossed in court, I'd consider my share a small
price to pay to help put a stake through the heart of "may issue" laws.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 28, 2014, 10:19 PM (2 replies)

Gun Safety Proponent Cites 'Fool-Proof' E-Voting Systems in SUPPORT of 'Smart Gun' Technology


Gun Safety Proponent Cites 'Fool-Proof' E-Voting Systems in SUPPORT of 'Smart Gun' Technology(!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2014, 6:05am PT

On Monday night's All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg joined Hayes to discuss "smart gun" legislation she helped pass in her state. But it was the curious assertion by a supporter of the technology, claiming that electronic voting machines are now "fool-proof", which kinda just blew my mind.

Mark Glaze, spokesman for Everytown for Gun Safety, a group which, according to its website "brings together survivors of gun violence to share their stories and advocate for laws that will prevent future tragedies," said twice during the conversation, that e-voting systems are now "fool-proof."

While there were once concerns about e-voting systems, he said (see his full remarks below), those worries have now been assuaged thanks to "public and private partnerships at both the federal and state level that guaranteed that these machines were fool-proof".

Video here:


(Glaze's comments are found at 4:20 in)
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu May 22, 2014, 02:01 PM (1 replies)

Part-time faculty at Northeastern will form union, aiding wider push


Part-time faculty at Northeastern will form union, aiding wider push

By Matt Rocheleau
Globe Correspondent May 15, 2014

Part-time faculty at Northeastern University have voted to form a union, supporters announced Thursday — the biggest victory yet for area adjunct professors demanding better pay, benefits, and working conditions.

The 961 Northeastern adjuncts became the third and largest group of part-time faculty locally to organize since the Service Employees International Union launched a national campaign in 2012. Part-time faculty at Tufts and Lesley universities previously voted to unionize.

The push has broad implications for the local universities, economic engines for the region that have come to depend on the low cost and flexibility of adjunct faculty as tenure-track positions become scarcer.

Adjunct faculty at Northeastern, where 52 percent of faculty are part time, praised the vote on Thursday, saying they hoped it addresses inequities on the campus.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun May 18, 2014, 11:16 PM (0 replies)

Bookmarking for classic antigun ranting and cultural warfare

IMHO, this ranks right up there with these classic examples of "post first, think later":




I might have let it slide if the OP hadn't doubled down on their bigotry and stereotyping in post #5:

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 7, 2014, 05:39 PM (1 replies)

Why didn't you just say: "We have *always* been at war with Eastasia"...

...and be done with it? It would be just as credible, and saved billions of wasted electrons.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed May 7, 2014, 02:53 PM (0 replies)

Remember, *they* need guns- YOU don't...

Working for a billionaire has its perks- apparently, it means you have more rights
than the people you are purportedly trying to make safer. (Before one of the
DwellsUnderBridges tribe chimes in with the associational fallacy, I heartily dislike
Dana Loesch):


Dana Loesch ‏@DLoesch Apr 26

Hi @erikasotolamb , I wish your other Bloomberg colleagues were as polite as you: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/ … . Why do you have armed security?

Erika Soto Lamb ‏@erikasotolamb

.@DLoesch we have armed security because other people on your side of the debate threaten our lives. I wish it weren't the case, but it is.


Erika Soto Lamb's Overview

Communications Director at Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Director at The Raben Group
Vice President at Ketchum
Director at O'Neill and Associates

see all

Columbia University in the City of New York
Stanford University
J.M. Hanks High School


500+ connections

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Apr 30, 2014, 04:14 PM (4 replies)

"The real reason Michael Bloomberg cares about guns"

A cogent explanation of how and why Left and center-Left Bloomberg supporters are


The real reason Michael Bloomberg cares about guns
It's not the ‘gun’ part of ‘gun control’ that the ex-mayor is interested in

April 25, 2014 6:15AM ET
by Malcolm Harris @BigMeanInternet

During Michael Bloomberg’s three terms as mayor of New York, he loved nothing more than to lord over the nation’s largest city. Now he’s just a normal civilian multibillionaire, sitting right below the prime minister of India on the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people — a lowly position that is no doubt a source of immense personal disappointment. Short of patrolling New York’s parks in a spandex bodysuit to inflict vigilante justice on cigarette smokers and super-sized Slurpee drinkers, what’s a rich ex-mayor to do?

Luckily for Bloomberg, in American politics, controlling sublime amounts of capital is its own qualification, and lavishing it on pet issues counts as philanthropy. And this time, without an elected office to use for a pulpit, he’s going to need that money: After attacking tobacco and soda, Bloomberg is coming for guns...

...Bloomberg’s fortune and political strategies figure prominently in the description of his new hobby. But he evinces no passion for the issue unless he’s defending the racist, ineffectual and unpopular police practice of “stop and frisk.” After all, this is the mayor who, after the NYPD accidentally shot nine innocent bystanders while attempting to subdue a single armed man near the Empire State Building, angrily told a reporter, “If somebody pointed a gun at you and you had a gun in your pocket, what would you do? I think that answers the question.” He sounds more like Charles Bronson than James Brady, so why is Michael Bloomberg America’s most prominent gun control advocate?

If Bloomberg wanted to spend some pocket change to undermine any other constitutional right, liberals would quickly complain about how the nation’s elites use their money to overinfluence policy and consolidate power away from the broader citizenry. The billionaire Koch brothers, who fund numerous conservative and libertarian causes, have become archetypes of this phenomenon, to the benefit of Obama-aligned outrage sites such as Salon and ThinkProgress. But when it comes to the Second Amendment, liberals don’t see a question of freedom or liberty, even when a billionaire tries to buy it away.

Much more at the link...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Apr 30, 2014, 03:33 AM (2 replies)

Stanford scholar says insider threats pose security risks at nuclear facilities


Stanford Report, April 24, 2014
When it comes to security at nuclear facilities, danger likely lurks from within, Stanford scholar says

The greatest dangers to nuclear facilities are sabotage and theft from insiders, according to political scientist Scott Sagan. Analysis of past incidents can help boost safeguards at these sites.

By Clifton B. Parker

Insider threats are the most serious challenge confronting nuclear facilities in today's world, a Stanford political scientist says.

In every case of theft of nuclear materials where the circumstances of the theft are known, the perpetrators were either insiders or had help from insiders, according to Scott Sagan and his co-author, Matthew Bunn of Harvard University, in a research paper published this month by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

"Given that the other cases involve bulk material stolen covertly without anyone being aware the material was missing, there is every reason to believe that they were perpetrated by insiders as well," they wrote...

The paper can be found here (*.pdf file):


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sat Apr 26, 2014, 11:06 PM (1 replies)

The question is, will their security be armed?


BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
Posted: April 23, 2014

FIREARM FOES from the Philly-based CeaseFire PA have a simple answer for the gun-rights activists who have increasingly targeted them for protest: Bring it!

Gun owners have shown up to CeaseFire PA rallies and events in bigger and louder groups, videotaping the goings-on and counterprotesting, said Shira Goodman, the group's executive director. Last month, Pittsburgh-area gun-rights activists visited CeaseFire PA's Center City office, prompting flustered staffers to call police...

...Stolfer said he plans to investigate CeaseFire PA's financials. His group and other gun supporters will gather in Harrisburg next Tuesday for their annual Second Amendment rally.

Goodman said she'll consider hiring security for future events if critics' protests escalate. CeaseFire PA's next gun violence prevention rally will be May 10 in LOVE Park.

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Apr 24, 2014, 02:56 PM (1 replies)
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