Anonymous Patron sent over A Washington Post article that reports The Pentagon pays a private company to compile data on teenagers it can recruit to the military. The Homeland Security Department buys consumer information to help screen people at borders and detect immigration fraud.
As federal agencies delve into the vast commercial market for consumer information, such as buying habits and financial records, they are tapping into data that would be difficult for the government to accumulate but that has become a booming business for private companies.
cjovalle writes "The Center for Democracy and Technology reports that "a federal appeals court today ruled 2-1 that telephone regulators and the FBI can control the design of Internet services in order to make government wiretapping easier." Several groups contributed to the civil liberties challenge, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Americal Library Association. The EFF has a page how CALEA harms civil liberties and innovation. Service providers affected by this law include universities and libraries."
Google Inc. won a partial victory in a battle with the government when a federal judge ruled yesterday that the company didn't have to turn over customer search queries to the U.S. Justice Department.
U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Jose, California, refused to make Google, the most-used Internet search engine, give the agency 5,000 search queries as part of an effort to defend a law aimed at keeping children from accessing Internet pornography. Ware did rule Google had to comply with the U.S. demand for 50,000 Web addresses from its index of Web sites. New from Bloomberg.com and The New York Times.
From The Newton, Mass weekly Newton TAB:
A month after someone allegedly e-mailed a terrorist threat from the Newton Public Library, the library has not made it more difficult for potential criminals to use the Internet.
"Anyone could walk in off the street... the [alleged terrorist] could walk in tomorrow and do it again?" Alderman Brian Yates asked librarian Kathy Glick-Weil at a meeting last Wednesday.
"That's right," Glick-Weil said.
Anonymous Patron writes "David Cohen, mayor of Newton, Massachusetts and Kathy Glick-Weil, director of the Newton Free Library, offer op-ed page acticle in the February 16, 2006 issue of The Boston Globe. "Let us say, in no uncertain terms, that our insistence on a warrant did not put public safety at risk. If the federal authorities needed immediate access to those computers to protect people's safety, the FBI and US attorney's office would have cited their specific authority to take them without a warrant, and we would have cooperated fully. At no time did these agencies indicate that this was necessary.""
A group of concerned citizens are protesting the use of RFID tags (which they call "spy chips") at an authors gala today says Inside Bay Area.
Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense will gather in front of the library on Kittredge Street at 6 p.m. as people arrive at the $250-a-plate event, where more than two dozen Bay Area authors are expected, including Mark Danner, Judy Rodgers, Peter Coyote, Mary Roach and Deborah Santana.
The sold-out event, which this year includes dim sum, sushi and high-end vodka martinis, draws an elite crowd and raises thousands of dollars every year for the library.
Anonymous Patron writes "Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has an interesting Article On Law.com that says DOJ's subpoena of Google may lead to more intrusive examination of Internet users' online records. von Lohmann says, "Search engines should stop keeping so much information about us, and points to the The Video Privacy Protection Act, and says a similar rule has recently been proposed for search engines in legislation introduced by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. Such a rule would go a long way toward protecting our privacy online."
From The Bostonist , opinions about civil liberties and libraries, particularly as they pertain to the attempted seizure of materials at the Newton Library last week. The paper offers a link to quotes from Boston lecturer Richard Cravatts, also submitted here by LISNews reader DeeS:
"The more thorny and pressing question is why a library director could even exercise the authority to block access to vital evidence requested by the police and FBI, stalling an investigation during an ongoing crime where stakes are high. More to the point, why are librarians, whose professional training concentrates on mastering the use of the Dewey Decimal System, making any decisions that affect law enforcement?"
The op-ed above was printed in the Boston Globe in response to their own editorial on the subject of the attempted Newton seizure.
From The Daily News Tribune:
"Law enforcement and Newton Free Library officials were embroiled in a tense standoff last week when the city refused to let police and the FBI examine library computers without a warrant."
"Police rushed to the main library last Wednesday after it was determined that a terrorist threat to Brandeis University had been sent from a computer at the library."
"But requests to examine any of its computers were rebuffed by library Director Kathy Glick-Weil and Mayor David Cohen on the grounds that they did not have a warrant."