Aug 262016

From the Rutherford Institute:

A federal appeals court has upheld New York City’s program of warrantless and continuous GPS surveillance of taxi drivers, ruling that drivers are not protected by the Fourth Amendment’s bar on unreasonable searches and seizures when on the job. The Rutherford Institute appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of taxi drivers who were being forced by government officials to attach GPS tracking devices to their taxis.

In a 2-1 decision, the Second Circuit held that taxi drivers do not have a protected privacy interest in the vehicles they drive. The dissenting opinion, issued by Circuit Judge Rosemary S. Pooler, takes issue with the lower court’s premise that taxi drivers should be stripped of all Fourth Amendment protections. Rebutting the view that the government’s surveillance is conspicuous, that taxis are not truly private property, and that the tracking system was installed pursuant to regulations, Pooler declared, “The physical invasion of a constitutionally protected area is no less actionable under the Fourth Amendment merely because it is conspicuous. To hold otherwise would allow the government to conduct unreasonable searches merely by announcing them.”

Read more on the Rutherford Institute.

h/t, Joe Cadillic

Aug 262016

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 2097 into law. The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Melissa Melendez in February in response to a court order ordering the state to turn over information on 10 million students to a non-profit organization, prohibits school districts from gathering Social Security numbers and sharing information for students except when required by federal law.

Here are the guts of the law:

SEC. 2. Section 56601 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56601.  (a) Each special education local plan area shall submit to the Superintendent at least annually information, in a form and manner prescribed by the Superintendent and developed in consultation with the special education local plan areas, in order for the Superintendent to carry out the evaluation responsibilities pursuant to Section 56602. This information shall include other statistical data, program information, and fiscal information that the Superintendent may require. The Superintendent shall use this information to answer questions from the Legislature and other state and federal agencies on program, policy, and fiscal issues of statewide interest.

(b) In order to assist the state in evaluating the effectiveness of special education programs, including transition and work experience programs, the Superintendent shall, commencing with the 2017–18 fiscal year and phased in over a two-year period, assign a student identification number to individuals with exceptional needs for purposes of evaluating special education programs and related services. The Superintendent shall not disclose personally identifiable, individual pupil records to any person, institution, agency, or organization except as authorized by Section 1232g of Title 20 of the United States Code and Part 99 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Aug 262016
 August 26, 2016  Surveillance, U.S. No Responses »

Joe Cadillic writes:

Police State America has devised a new way to track dissidents or person’s of interest, they’re calling it Pay-By-Plate. Raytheon’s Pay-By-Plate system will allow police to “Hotlist” motorists across the country.

According to the Boston Globe, officials are working with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to draft a list of all situations that warrant “Hotlist” use.


Feds claim they’re only taking pictures of our license plates

image credit: Boston Globe

If you look closely at the above picture, you can see two surveillance cameras, one that takes a picture of the front of the vehicle, and one that’s aimed at the rear of the vehicle. Raytheon’s Vigilant Solutions, ‘ National Vehicle Location Service‘ cameras can identify drivers and passengers faces in “near real time”, flagging any ‘person of interest’.

Read more on MassPrivateI.

Aug 262016

Punita Maheshwari reports:

She turned the page, and there it stared at her, unblinking, insistent, and bold: “What was the last date of menstruation?”

Stunned, she stole a glance around. Nobody was looking at her. But, caught on the wrong foot, it took her a solid minute to compose herself.

Should she answer the question? Why do they want to know? Isn’t that like invading her private space? Should she call up Mom?

That intrusive question is one of many queries that figure in the admission form of the reputed Banasthali University, an all-women, residential education academy in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

And no, the reporter is not exaggerating. There’s an image of the application form included in the reporting and other confirmation.

Even if some of the questions only apply to married female applicants, this is still an unacceptable privacy intrusion.

That the university does not see a problem with asking these questions on an application to the university is somewhat mind-boggling. Yes, accepted students generally have to provide some health information – although even then, I think this university’s questions are over the top and unnecessary. But to ask these questions of applicants? Seriously?

Read more on NewsLaundry.com.