Dec 312011
 December 31, 2011  Posted by  Court, Laws

Lesley Stedman Weidenbener reports:

The state’s highest court said Thursday that a law that bans some automated calls with recorded messages does not violate the free speech clause of the Indiana Constitution and can be enforced.

But the law remains under scrutiny in a federal lawsuit as well.

The Indiana law applies to commercial and non-commercial speech and prohibits automated, pre-recorded calls unless a live operator introduces the message. Schools are exempted, as are organizations that receive a consumer’s permission to call.


Dec 302011
 December 30, 2011  Posted by  Misc, Surveillance

Paul Bernal writes:

Last night I was reading my daughter’s bedtime story from that classic of American children’s literature, The Phantom Tollbooth, when I came across a passage that set out brilliantly the problems that can arise as a result of the gathering and use of private data. Bear in mind that The Phantom Tollbooth was first published in 1961: Norman Juster didn’t have the benefit of seeing how what can loosely now be described as ‘big data’ operates – but he did have an understanding of how our information can be used against us, even when we have ‘nothing to hide’.

Read more on The Symbiotic Web. Paul is quite right that this child’s fairy tale was absolutely prescient.

Dec 302011
 December 30, 2011  Posted by  Court, Surveillance


In the Fort Dix jihadist case, the use of FISA-derived evidence in a domestic case was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Patriot Act amendments did not make the statute unconstitutional. But, even if it did, use of the evidence was not barred by the exclusionary rule under KrullUnited States v. Duka, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 25868 (3d Cir. December 28, 2011)

Read excerpts from the ruling on