Senator renews pledge to update digital-privacy law
Sen. Patrick Leahy says law enforcement concerns kept him from proposing that search warrants be required for police to learn the previous locations of Americans’ cell phones.
WASHINGTON–Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, said today he is optimistic that Congress would update a 1986 law, crafted in the pre-Internet era of telephone modems and the black-and-white Macintosh Plus, to protect the privacy of Americans who use the Internet and mobile phones.
The Vermont Democrat said that in his previous career as a prosecutor he had to obtain search warrants to search someone’s house. “I question whether it should be that much different if I’m going to search all your files” in electronic form, he said in a keynote speech at the Computers Freedom and Privacy conference here.
Last month, Leahy introduced legislation called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2011 (PDF) that would, in many cases, require police to obtain a search warrant to access private communications and the locations of mobile devices. But one important exception maintains the status quo: it does not require a warrant for police to peruse your historical whereabouts obtained by recording the movements of your cell phone, even if the location data are only a few hours old.
After his speech, Leahy told CNET that the exception was included to address law enforcement concerns.
✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.
✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.
✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant — or subsequent court review — if they claim “emergency” situations exist.
✭ Says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.
✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.
Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her: “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said: “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”
In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
The lame-duck session is underway, and among the many legislative proposals that Congress may consider is the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP), a misguided “supply management” scheme for milk buried in the $1 trillion Farm Bill. If DMSP passes, it will raise the price you pay for milk and all dairy products. I urge you to watch CCAGW’s new video about the damaging economic impact of DMSP and then tell Congress that you refuse to pay through the nose for milk!
DMSP will limit the supply of milk by penalizing farmers for exceeding government milk production “quotas.” The limits on supply will cause prices to rise, and as a result, we will all pay more at the grocery counter for milk and dairy products, like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.
The American dairy industry has grown 66 percent in the last 40 years and creates 8,400 jobs for every $1 billion in dairy exports. However, DMSP will also impose a new layer of costly regulations on American companies that manufacture dairy products that will keep them from hiring new workers and expanding their operations.
As our video explains, a system similar to DMSP is in operation in Canada, where the dairy industry has been stagnant for decades and consumers pay significantly higher prices for dairy products than in the United States – so much so that Canadians actually smuggle cheese from the U.S. into Canada!
What’s more, STEVE, the higher dairy prices will hit those Americans who can least afford them the hardest, and since the federal government buys 20 percent of milk for school lunch and other nutrition assistance programs, taxpayers will end up paying more as well.
As cash-strapped families prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, we can’t let Congress pass DMSP and give us all less to be grateful for at future holiday tables. Please tell your U.S. Representative and Senators to oppose this new regulatory scheme for milk that will artificially inflate costs for consumers and taxpayers.
Thomas A. Schatz
P.S. Please help us generate an overwhelming public outcry against this misguided federal dairy scheme that Congress can’t ignore. Forward this message to your friends, family, and neighbors.
Business Insider – You really can’t look anywhere right now without reading about someone hating the yen.
I hadlunch yesterday with a bunch of old friends/colleagues/acquaintances from the HF/investment/HNW markets. The result was a wide-ranging debate about markets. Everyone wants the yen to weaken (FX folks want to short the yen, equity folks think a weaker yen can let the Nikkei play catch-up).
Morgan Stanley’s big 2013 currency outlook is called: FX Outlook 2013: The Year of JPY Weakness.
There are news reports about how traders are seeing “vindication” in their longtime bearishness.
Per the CFTC, traders ahve recently gone net short the yen for the first time since the Spring (chart via SocGen):
Goldman’s Jim O’Neill says he’s been a longtime Yen bull, but has now gone negative: More>>
Xbox World, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, has published a long feature article on what it believes Microsoft’s next console will be like, citing “industry experts and Microsoft’s own leaky boat.” The report is based in large part on leaked planning documents that surfaced in June—eventually taken down at the request of a law firm that represents Microsoft—but with additional comments from industry sources.
The magazine claims that the next Xbox—often referred to as “Xbox 720,” but possibly just dubbed “Xbox”—will launch in November 2013, and top developers are already making games for it.
Here’s a rundown of the features that Xbox World expects to see in Microsoft’s next gaming console.
Keep in mind that all of this is rumor or speculation, and Microsoft hasn’t confirmed any of it:
- Hardware may include four hardware cores, 8GB of RAM, four USB spots (two in front, two in back), and a removable hard drive.
- A “Kinect 2.0” may detect subtle finger movements and track up to four players in a single room.
- Augmented reality glasses could work with Kinect to create virtual reality in your living room. Hello, Holodeck.
- To further enhance the virtual reality vibe, the next Xbox could have 3D sound to project audio to specific parts of a room.
- Microsoft may finally embrace Blu-ray in its next Xbox, but may eventually ship a slimmer console that skips optical discs altogether, possibly around 2015.
- Rumors hint at a traditional Xbox controller, but with a touch screen or programmable buttons. Xbox World’s report adds some speculation from experts, but the controller still seems like major question mark.