Mar 312011
 
 March 31, 2011  Posted by  Business, Online

Ryan Paul writes:

One of the new features that Mozilla introduced in Firefox 4 is a Do Not Track (DNT) setting. When the user enables the DNT option in the browser’s preference dialog, Firefox will transmit a custom header in HTTP requests that will inform servers that the user wants to opt out of Internet tracking. The concept has obvious merit because it provides a simpler, more predictable, and more consistent approach than the cookie-based mechanisms that are currently used today to signify opt-out status.

Read more about who says they’ll honor DNT on Ars Technica.

Mar 312011
 
 March 31, 2011  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Surveillance

Orin Kerr writes:

Back in 2009, I blogged about United States v. Cotterman, a fascinating Fourth Amendment case from the District of Arizona involving a forensic search of a computer seized at the U.S./Mexico border. Ninth Circuit precedent holds that the government can search a computer at the border with no suspicion under the border search exception, just like it can search any other property. The question inCotterman was whether the government could seize the computer, bring it to a forensic specialist 170 miles away, and have the forensic specialist search the computer there two days later. Is that still a border search? Or does the delay in time, or the change in location, mean that the border search exception doesn’t apply (or applies differently)? The District Court held that the delay in time and the moving of the computer required applying the ‘extended’ border search doctrine, which requires reasonable suspicion, instead of the traditional border search exception, which does not. As I noted here, the Government appealed but has not argued that the search was justified by reasonable suspicion. As a result, the case presents a pure legal question: Does the Fourth Amendment require reasonable suspicion in these circumstances, or is the seizure and subsequent search permitted without any cause?

In a decision released this morning, United States v. Cotterman, a divided Ninth Circuit reversed and held that the seizure and search were permitted without cause.

Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.

Mar 312011
 
 March 31, 2011  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Non-U.S., Surveillance

Associated Press reports:

The Czech Republic’s Constitutional Court has overturned parts of a law that force telephone operators to retain data on telephone calls and Internet traffic.

The court said Thursday the practice is unconstitutional. It says the provisions ordering data on all calls, faxes, text messages and e-mail exchanges to be retained for six months enabled a “massive” invasion into citizens’ rights and were not in line with the rule of law.

[…]

Read more on SeattlePI.

The court’s opinion is available here (in Czech). Because I always have trouble with Google’s translation of important documents, I think I’ll wait for more coverage from other sources.