Category Archives: Uncategorized

The NSA Aims For There To Be No “U. S. Persons”: Traffic Shaping and the Legacy of Verdugo-Urquidez

by Alex Marthews on July 15, 2014

In 1990, the Supreme Court fatefully ruled 6-3 in Verdugo-Urquidez that the Fourth Amendment did not exist for foreign nationals who had not established a sufficient nexus with the United States to be part of its “people.” In a blistering dissent, Justices Brennan and Marshall (peace be upon them) argued that “If we expect aliens […]

If You Want Privacy, Put A Ring On It? RI Supreme Court Rules No Expectation of Privacy in Text Messages on Girlfriend’s Phone

by Alex Marthews on July 8, 2014

Being all of 36, I’m not down with the young’uns and their “hippety-hop” and “texting”. But I glanced up from my afternoon’s abacus calculations of the expected height of the Nile floods and saw that the Rhode Island Supreme Court has declared that a criminal defendant has no expectation of privacy in “text messages” that […]

Clock Ticks Down on MA Electronic Privacy Act: Call Now!

by Alex Marthews on July 7, 2014

Our phone records and our email metadata convey a lot of information. It’s because of this that the Supreme Court has just ruled unanimously that the police need a warrant to search your phone when making an arrest. But, thanks to the third-party doctrine, the same rule doesn’t yet straightforwardly apply when the police request […]

Digital Fourth Thwarts Mass AG’s “Top Priority” Wiretap Bill

by Alex Marthews on July 7, 2014

Digital Fourth’s first and longest-running campaign was against a bill that Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney-general and now gubernatorial candidate, described as her “top legislative priority” for the 2013-14 legislative session. On June 30, we succeeded: The Judiciary Committee killed S. 654, the “Act Updating the Wire Interception Law”. When it was proposed, this bill […]

The Blackmail Power: Mass Surveillance and Senators’ Secrets

by Alex Marthews on June 19, 2014

Couple weeks ago, I was on WEMF’s “Young Jurks” radio show, talking (as usual) a whole lotta seditious stuff about the surveillance state. The hosts asked me about the next wave of revelations from the Snowden documents. Glenn Greenwald, who is overseeing the order and timing of the disclosures, is publicly previewing that the next […]

Animal welfare clashes with the Fourth Amendment in Lynn

by Alex Marthews on May 23, 2014

In April, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts expanded the circumstances under which police could enter a home without a search warrant. The facts of the case are of a nature almost calculated to extinguish sympathy with the defendant. As reported in the Lynn Daily Item, the Duncan family mistreated their dogs and left them […]

Digital Fourth protests at the Boston fusion center

by Alex Marthews on April 14, 2014

On a windy Thursday afternoon, we gathered to protest the privacy abuses of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center. It’s one of 85 fusion centers across the country, and we were joined nationally by groups in LA, Oakland, Dallas, Charlotte and DC. Cambridge City Councillor Nadeem Mazen gave a fiery speech describing the waste of resources […]

FBI: Look Mom, We “Found” Another Terrorist!

by Alex Marthews on March 18, 2014

The news this morning is full of the arrest of yet another American on charges of “attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.” Nobody’s suggesting that 20-year-old National Guardsman Nicholas Teausant of Acampo, CA is a terrorist, or that he provided any help whatsoever to terrorists, or that he was in contact, […]

Google’s “Zeitgeist” List of Top 100 Search Terms of 2013 Includes Snowden; WP Writes Whole Article About How It Didn’t

by Alex Marthews on February 16, 2014

Brian Fung, on the Washington Post’s “The Switch” blog, “reported” recently on Google’s “Zeitgeist” list of the top 100 search terms for 2013. His main interest in it, it appears, was to make the point that “Edward Snowden” wasn’t one of them, and therefore that the public really doesn’t care that much about the surveillance […]