Category: Fourth Amendment

Standing to Sue the NSA?

A couple of weeks ago, Wikimedia’s lawsuit against the NSA got thrown out. Wikimedia (and the ACLU, NACDL, Amnesty International, and many more) claimed the NSA was violating everyone’s rights with its “upstream” surveillance of internet communications. The court dismissed the case because nobody could prove that they had “standing”...

Q&A Roundup Part 3

Hey Nathan, I’m ????????, an AI MSc student. Your comic is great! : ) I have some questions.   (1) The Good Wife, a show about lawyers, makes law knowledge seem a bit like a weapon to be used for attack and defence to help one navigate the civilized world....

A Fundamental Disconnect

Your smartphone has a lot of private stuff on it. Passwords, photos, messages, files. You want to keep it private. So it’s a good thing that companies are building better encryption into their phones, right? Not according to law enforcement. They complain a lot about encryption. Encryption is pretty good,...

Let’s Make a New Law!

Any moderately well-informed person these days is aware of the shocking injustices that happen whenever criminal laws get written by people who don’t really understand what criminal law is, or how it works. (Brilliant summary here.) They tend to create crimes that are ill-defined, overbroad, and usually an overreaction to...

Q&A Dump

I’m on the road today, but I wanted to post something. So I’m going to cheat and cut-and-paste some recent Q&A posts from my Tumblr. If you’re looking for a longer read, go check out my comic, which just completed a long section involving how the Fourth Amendment plays out...

No, that’s not what the Fifth Circuit said.

The internet is abuzz over yesterday’s Fifth Circuit decision on cell-site data. And hardly anyone seems to know what they’re talking about, as usual. It’s to be expected when sources like Wired say “cops can track cellphones without warrants, appeals court rules.” Which is not what the court ruled at all....

Hey feds, get off of my cloud (Followup)

Last month, we posted on the senate hearings on whether the feds need to get a warrant before getting emails and other stuff stored in the cloud.  The Obama administration would rather let the feds continue to get such stuff without bothering to get a warrant, as they now can...

Hey, feds, get off of my cloud

Our jury’s still out, and there’s so much stuff to catch up on.  There’s the 5th Circuit’s denial of Jeff Skilling’s appeal, even though the Supreme Court had struck down the “honest services fraud” charge last summer.  We were so ready to write something about it yesterday, but work intervened,...

White-Collar Wiretaps

This’ll be quick, because we’re pretty busy working on a wiretap case, which is always time-consuming if done right.  But as our mind’s on that topic anyway, we thought we’d quickly point out that the latest round of insider-trading cases is again largely derived from wiretaps.  Here’s a roundup over...