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Dec 16, 2013 Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records

QUOTE: A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.

New York Times
Oct 11, 2013 Google to Sell Users’ Endorsements

QUOTE: Google on Friday announced that it would soon be able to show users’ names, photos, ratings and comments in ads across the Web, endorsing marketers’ products. Facebook already runs similar endorsement ads. But on Thursday it, too, took a step to show personal information more broadly by changing its search settings to make it harder for users to hide from other people trying to find them on the social network.

New York Times
Aug 27, 2013 Feds Back Away From Forced Decryption … For Now

QUOTE: Federal prosecutors have formally dropped demands that a child-porn suspect give up his encryption keys in a closely watched case, but experts warn the issue of forced decryption is very much alive....[an appellate court] eventually found the decryption order breached the Fifth Amendment right against being compelled to testify against oneself.

Mar 16, 2012 Jury Finds Spying in Rutgers Dorm Was a Hate Crime

QUOTE: A former Rutgers University student was convicted on Friday on all 15 charges he had faced for using a webcam to spy on his roommate having sex with another man, a verdict poised to broaden the definition of hate crimes in an era when laws have not kept up with evolving technology....The case set off a debate about whether hate-crime statutes are the best way to deal with bullying.

New York Times
Mar 07, 2012 More Angst Over Pepper Spray

QUOTE: The UC police union and the former officer at the center of the controversy filed for the stay after hearing from a lawyer that the report would contain confidential personnel information, the release of which is prohibited under state penal code....Cruz Reynoso, the law professor emeritus at Davis and former associate justice of the California Supreme Court who was tapped to chair the task force, was outraged at the request – in particular, at its last-minute delivery – and worried that it could prevent the truth of what happened from coming out.

Inside Higher Ed
Apr 19, 2011 Stripped of Dignity

QUOTE: [airline security] system does not seem smartly tailored to focus on dangerous people rather than “good, law-abiding people.” So kids, seniors and those with disabilities, joint replacements and other medical conditions — things they already feel embarrassed about — end up getting harassed.

New York Times
Mar 28, 2011 IP is for Intellectual Property (and also for Invading Privacy)

QUOTE: As industry lobby groups continue to encourage the tightening of “intellectual property” laws, we find a troubling trend developing: governmental policy toward enforcement is sacrificing privacy on the altar of copyright.

Mar 27, 2011 The New Grave Robbers

QUOTE: This so-called descendible right of publicity has created a new kind of business: corporations that acquire and market dead people... Congress should step in and enact a federal right of publicity. In doing so, it should establish clear First Amendment protections and set forth a relatively short term for the right of publicity to survive death (perhaps 10 years). Most important, the law should provide a mechanism that allows people to opt out of marketing their identities after death.

New York Times
Oct 26, 2010 Hands-on airport searches: National rollout of invasive pat-downs this week

QUOTE: Airline passengers nationwide will be subjected to new aggressive and controversial body searches likened to “foreplay” pat-downs under the expansion of a program tested at Logan International Airport.

Boston Herald
Oct 25, 2009 Gay marriage fight fuels debate over petitioners' rights

QUOTE: Is signing a petition and delivering it to the government a public act, like voting on a bill in the legislature or contributing money to a campaign? Or is it more like casting a secret ballot at the polling place?

Los Angeles Times
Oct 14, 2009 Schwarzenegger signs bill to crack down on paparazzi: The law will toughen existing regulations on paparazzi, but it could be challenged in court on First Amendment grounds.

QUOTE: Some legal experts agree that it [the new paparazzi law] raises First Amendment issues and could chill the gathering of information.

Christian Science Monitor
Jul 15, 2009 Media jostled for access to Sanford

QUOTE: National media blitzed Gov. Mark Sanford’s staff, offering big ratings and, possibly, a sympathetic venue in an effort to land the first interview with the governor after his six-day trip to Argentina.

May 31, 2009 College athletic departments use vague law to keep public records from being seen (Secrecy 101)

QUOTE: Across the country, many major-college athletic departments keep their NCAA troubles secret behind a thick veil of black ink or Wite-Out. [universities] censor information in the name of student privacy, invoking a 35-year-old federal law whose author says it has been twisted and misused by the universities.

Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)
May 18, 2009 City Room: American Apparel Settles Lawsuit With Woody Allen

QUOTE: Mr. Allen’s lawyers had asserted that the ads violated his longstanding policy of not making commercial endorsements, and damaged his reputation. Mr. Charney’s lawyers had maintained that the use of Mr. Allen’s image in a satirical or social context was protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

New York Times
Sep 03, 2008 Microsoft proposes age-limited digital playgrounds

QUOTE: Microsoft proposes using existing identity verification systems such as school rosters, Department of Motor Vehicle registrations and/or Post Office passport documentation to create identity digital credentials that people would use online to access certain web sites.

Jun 25, 2008 You're On Candid Camera: The Bush administration now wants to watch you from the sky. (Terror Watch)

QUOTE: expanding domestic use of picture-taking spy satellites...[Secretary Michael Chertoff] promised strict procedures to protect the rights of Americans, including obtaining court authorization for law enforcement-related surveillance operations where appropriate. Despite Chertoff's assurances, however, Harman said that Congress probably would not fully approve the program until the administration is more explicit about how it would operate.

Oct 02, 2007 Court cases focus on famous faces

QUOTE: The feud is playing out in New York and California. It pits the rights of estates to approve any use of the celebrity's image against the First Amendment right to use images and words of famous people for purposes such as research and art.

Jul 15, 2007 A Zone To Stay Out Of

QUOTE: Is life "on the record"? Seriously, should someone going out on a date clarify whether the evening's events are on "background"? ... These are journalistic conventions, you say, not applicable to ordinary folks. But nowadays, in the age of blogs, everyone is a journalist...

Washington Post
Dec 24, 2006 Cancer Chicanery (The Ethicist)

QUOTE: Whether guilty of moral or mental problems (a possible form of illness), the co-worker must make amends .... You have no ethical obligation to disclose intimate details of your private life to anybody.

New York Times
Oct 25, 2006 The Pickup Ad That's Carrying Lots of Baggage

QUOTE: Lemack says that when she first heard about the commercial, "the the first thing that ran through my mind was 'Why would Mom's murder be used to sell trucks?'...Attempts to cash in on King's image have proven controversial before.

Washington Post
Jun 19, 2006 The Injustice Collector: Is James Joyce’s grandson suppressing scholarship?

QUOTE: [Stephen Joyce's] primary motive has been to put a halt to work that, in his view, either violates his family’s privacy or exceeds the bounds of reputable scholarship. The two-decade-long effort has also been an exercise in power—an attempt to establish his own centrality in regard to anything involving his grandfather. If you want to write about James Joyce and plan to quote more than a few short passages, you need Stephen’s consent....Most prickly literary estates are interested in suppressing unflattering or intrusive information, but no one combines tolltaker, brand enforcer, and arbiter of taste as relentlessly as Stephen does....Joyceans find it especially galling that the estate representing one of the most censored writers of his day—“Ulysses” was banned in America until 1934—has itself become a censor....Yet, for the first time, a Joycean is fighting to free herself from Stephen’s control.

New Yorker
May 16, 2006 Baseball Is a Game of Numbers, but Whose Numbers Are They?

QUOTE: Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which purchased the players' Internet and wireless rights from the players union in January 2005 for $50 million over five years, contends that the players' identities are being exploited in a business venture distinct from conventional journalism.

New York Times
Apr 17, 2006 'Gotcha' Master Tastes His Own Medicine

QUOTE: Mazher Mahmood, a reporter whose modus operandi is to dress up as a wealthy Arab businessman and secretly record conversations with his unwitting victims, recently met his match in George Galloway...questions about the lengths to which Fleet Street will go to expose public figures' drug habits, corruption and sexual peccadilloes.

New York Times
Nov 11, 2005 In Tampa, Fan Sues Over NFL 'Pat-Downs': Frisking at Stadium Is Out of Bounds, Man Says

QUOTE: He said he dislikes being touched by "a total stranger" and believes that the potential terrorist threat has been wildly exaggerated. And with his initial court success, Johnston has become either a champion of civil liberties or a meddler whose challenge is, by restricting security measures, endangering the lives of his fellow fans.

Washington Post
Jun 07, 2005 Strip-Search law broken in Seminole

QUOTE: Hundreds of people arrested on minor offenses were routinely strip-searched at the Seminole County Jail, in violation of jail policy and state law, an investigation has concluded...State law prohibits strip searches for traffic, regulatory or misdemeanor offenses, unless they involve violence, a weapon or drugs.

Orlando Sentinel
May 24, 2005 Airport Screeners Could Get X-Rated X-Ray Views

QUOTE: "...electronic portals known as backscatters, expected to be tested at a handful of airports this year, that use X-ray imaging technology to allow a screener to scan a body....'It shows nipples. It shows the clear outline of genitals.'"

New York Times
Feb 20, 2005 Firms Make It Their Business To Push Health: Incentives, Monitoring Aimed at Cutting Costs

QUOTE: The move is driven, the companies say, by soaring health insurance costs. They say that the fitter their workers are, the fewer claims they are likely to file. But some workers rights groups worry that these programs, while well intentioned, set a precedent for allowing employers to get involved in private aspects of people's lives.

Washington Post
Feb 03, 2005 In Detroit, Case of Rosa Parks Against Record Firms Wages On: Lawyers for Ailing Activist Press Suit Over OutKast Song Title

QUOTE: By using her name without her permission, Parks's many lawyers contend, the producers and marketers broke federal rules designed to prevent people from profiting through misrepresentation.

Washington Post
Aug 17, 2004 A Sexual Bill of Rights: Bickering over vibrators on the 11th Circuit.

QUOTE: The big fight comes down, very simply, to this: Does the Constitution protect, as a "fundamental right," private, consensual sexual activity that harms no one? The answer to this turns largely on how you choose to read Justice Anthony Kennedy's majestic-yet-inscrutable majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas—the gay sodomy case decided two terms ago by the Supreme Court.

Aug 01, 2004 Can You Email Your Doctor? Should You?

QUOTE: We rarely think about how the Internet and email have changed society and our lives in just ten years. No other technology achieved such wide use so fast.

AARP Bulletin
Nov 19, 2003 Did Jackie O.'s Priest Betray Her?

QUOTE: Did Jackie Kennedy's priest violate canon law by allowing intimate conversations with her to made public? The late Rev. Richard McSorley, her "priest-confessor", is currently under fire for allowing an author to read excepts from her letters and his diary and to use them in a recent book.

Sep 11, 2003 2nd Circuit Upholds Perp Walk Video

QUOTE: [a video] showing corrections officers arrested for abusing disability benefits, had a legitimate governmental purpose and does not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures...
Apr 22, 2003 New Drug Tests in Baseball Stir Debate Among Players

QUOTE: [Major League Baseball] players...contend that their jeopardizing the health of its members by resisting mandatory testing for the use of potentially hazardous drugs.

New York Times
Mar 19, 2003 Libertarians Join Liberals in Opposing Sodomy Law

QUOTE: ...the Supreme Court will take up a challenge to the Texas "homosexual conduct" law that has galvanized libertarians as well as advocates of gay rights and civil rights organizations...

New York Times
Mar 15, 2003 Med Students Do Pelvic Exams on Unconscious Women

QUOTE: Medical schools are performing pelvic exams on unconscious women without explicit consent, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Women's eNews
Feb 25, 2003 A Radio Chip in Every Consumer Product

QUOTE: ...companies are tagging clothes, drugs, auto parts, copy machines and even mail with chips laden with information about content, origin and destination...Consumer privacy is also an issue.

New York Times