Aug 312012
 
 August 31, 2012  Breaches, Court

Anthony Castellano reports:

Country music star LeAnn Rimes has filed a lawsuit against two women she claims illegally taped a conversation with her and posted it online.

Rimes filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleging that Kimberly Smiley and her daughter Lexi Smiley secretly recorded a telephone conversation “to spitefully ensure that out-of-context excerpts of that recording would be disseminated to the public on various websites” and to portray Rimes “in an egregiously false and negative light and cause her emotional distress.”

Read more on ABC. California is a two-party consent state. In other states, the recording might have been legal.

Aug 312012
 
 August 31, 2012  Court

Jon Brodkin writes:

Last month, a letter to Congress noted that “on at least one occasion” a secretive US court ruled that National Security Agency surveillance carried out under a 2008 act of Congress violated the Fourth Amendment’s restriction against unreasonable searches and seizures. But the actual ruling remains secret. Decisions handed down by the US’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) are classified “because of the sensitive intelligence matters they concern,” the letter from the Office of the National Intelligence Director to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) states.

The explanation wasn’t good enough for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for details on the FISC ruling or rulings.

Read more on Ars Technica.

Aug 302012
 
 August 30, 2012  Youth & Schools

It may not be the Alamo, but some Texans are taking a stand for student privacy with the support of a number of organizations.

Bob Unruh reports:

A rebellion is developing in Texas against a plan by a school district in San Antonio that would monitor the exact location and activities of all students at all times through RFID chips they are being ordered to wear.

Katie Deolloz, a member of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, told WND today that parents and students from San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District confronted the school board last night, stating their concerns about privacy and other issues “clearly and passionately.”

Read more on WND.

If truancy is a problem, chipping kids isn’t a solution. Finding out why they don’t care about classes and making education more important to them is.  And if a school district can’t manage to keep accurate attendance figures without technology, the parents should be raising questions of competence.

PogoWasRight.org supports the students and parents who are fighting mandatory chipping. They’re our children, not merchandise on a pallet or sheep.  Yes, schools have a responsibility to keep schools safe, but chipping students is no substitute for teaching them responsibility. Kids have always cut school. Good schools know how to deal with that without dehumanizing children by chipping them.

Aug 302012
 
 August 30, 2012  Court, Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Saheli Chakrabarty writes:

A Missouri law [HB 1108 materials] allowing police to track individuals’ cell phones in emergencies was challenged in a federal lawsuit Monday claiming that the state law conflicts with federal law. The complaint [text, PDF], filed on behalf of a Bolivar resident, asserts that the Missouri law should be struck down under the supremacy clause of the US Constitution as it clashes with federal law. The Missouri law requires phone companies to help law enforcement agencies [AP report] in tracing cell phone signals of 911 callers or tracking a phone’s location in emergency situations. The lawsuit seeks a restraining order or injunction prohibiting enforcement of the law.

Read more on JURIST.