Aug 312010
 
 August 31, 2010  Surveillance, U.S.

Nina Bernstein reports:

The Lake Shore Limited runs between Chicago and New York City without crossing the Canadian border. But when it stops at Amtrak stations in western New York State, armed Border Patrol agents routinely board the train, question passengers about their citizenship and take away noncitizens who cannot produce satisfactory immigration papers.

[…]

The checks are “a vital component to our overall border security efforts” to prevent terrorism and illegal entry, said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for United States Customs and Border Protection. He said that the patrol had jurisdiction to enforce immigration laws within 100 miles of the border, and that one mission was preventing smugglers and human traffickers from exploiting inland transit hubs.

Read more in the New York Times about how the “border patrol” engages in domestic checks for identity documents.

Via Emergent Chaos.

Aug 312010
 

John P. Martin reports:

A federal judge Monday ordered the Lower Merion School District to pay about $260,000 now – and potentially much more later – to the lawyer who brought the lawsuit over the district’s webcam monitoring.

In a 14-page opinion, Senior U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois said Mark S. Haltzman deserved to be paid for work that led to a preliminary injunction against the district in May. And he said Haltzman could submit the rest of his bills when the case ended.

Read more on Philly.com.

It’s not clear to me whether the district will actually be stuck with the bill because back in April, the district’s insurance carrier, Graphic Arts Mutual, had sued in federal court for injunctive relief, claiming that it was not responsible for any costs involved in defending the district in this matter. That matter has not yet been decided by the court.

If you’d like to read the court’s 14-page memorandum, I’ve uploaded it here (pdf). The corresponding 2-page order can be found here (pdf).

Aug 312010
 
 August 31, 2010  Court

Ameet Sachdev reports:

A Virginia advocacy group that has been active in judicial elections in other states has declared its interest in Illinois’ coming elections. But it has decided to remain silent in Illinois for now.

The Center for Individual Freedom, a nonprofit group, stated its intentions to enter Illinois politics in a grandiose way — by filing a lawsuit.

The group challenged the state’s election laws requiring public disclosure of campaign contributions and expenses. The center sought an injunction to stop the state from enforcing its reporting provisions.

But a federal judge in Chicago Thursday shot down the group’s attempt to keep its donors private.

Read more in the Chicago Tribune.

Aug 312010
 
 August 31, 2010  Featured News, Non-U.S., Online

Paul McDougall reports:

Having given RIM a 60-day reprieve from a ban on Blackberry messaging traffic, Indian authorities have now set their sites on Google and Skype.

As they did with RIM, authorities in the country are demanding access to data that flows across Google’s and Skype’s servers.

“The notices to these entities will be issued beginning Tuesday and all of them will be asked to comply with the directive or else they will have to close down their networks,” a senior government official said, according to The Times of India.

Read more on InformationWeek.