Thursday, February 28, 2013

How much data can police swipe from suspects’ phones without a warrant? (Hint: A lot)

Call logs, text messages, geo-locations and even data relating to proprietary technologies, such as Apple’s iMessage service: All of these can be downloaded by U.S. law enforcement when a suspect’s phone is plugged in and the data harvested for intelligence purposes.

Up until now, most had no idea exactly what was collected or how it could be used, though it was believed this data could be acquired.

Discovered by the U.S.-based privacy group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), we now have a much clearer image of how much data from a seized cell phone or smartphone the U.S. government gets when a suspect’s phone is plugged into a data collection device.

A court document submitted in connection with a drugs investigation shows that even Web history, data files, wireless networks and the user’s custom dictionary are downloaded when advanced forensic tools are connected to a suspect’s device.

Also collected were the device’s geo-location points, including cell towers, allowing authorities to pinpoint roughly where the device—and therefore the suspect—may have been geographically.

And because many use their cell phones and smartphones to access email on the move, it could allow authorities access to a goldmine of data—whether it’s used in the investigation or otherwise. This ultimately may allow authorities to bypass the need to submit subpoenas or search warrants — under the Stored Communications Act — to Apple, Google, Microsoft and others who provide email services, because the email data is already stored on the suspects’ device.

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Obama to wait until sequester hits before meeting with congressional leaders

President Barack Obama will wait until the sequester hits to have his first sequester-related face-to-face meeting with congressional leaders on Friday, according to a report by ABC News’s Jonathan Karl:

“A congressional source with direct knowledge of the plans tells me the top four congressional leaders – John Boehner, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell – will meet with President Obama at the White House Friday to attempt to negotiate a way to avoid the spending cuts that both sides have said should be avoided,” Karl reported Wednesday.

Karl reported that the White House arranged the meeting late Tuesday.

According to CNN, McConnell confirmed the meeting in a statement.

“The meeting Friday is an opportunity for us to visit with the President about how we can all keep our commitment to reduce Washington spending,” McConnell said.

“With a $16.6 trillion national debt, and a promise to the American people to address it, one thing is perfectly clear: we will cut Washington spending,” he continued. “We can either secure those reductions more intelligently, or we can do it the President’s way with across-the board cuts.

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Jury Nullification Activist Jailed 145 Days for Distributing Info

Vietnam Era Veteran, peaceful freedom activist, and local small businessman, Mark Schimdter, has been jailed for 145 days by Judge Belvin Perry. Schmidter’s sentence began Thursday after he was found guilty for distributing jury nullification info outside of Perry’s self-imposed “free speech zone.” during the Casey Anthony trial.

Mark E. Schmidter is an activist for jury rights whose story we covered one year ago. He was originally facing a year in jail after being found guilty of two felonies: External Criminal Contempt of Court, and jury tampering, for distributing information outside the Orange County Courthouse in Florida.

We noted that Schmidter was not guilty of any actual law, but rather rules written by the acting judge. These rules that Schmidter is in violation of are for demonstrating outside of a “free speech zone” determined by Judge Perry. Schmidter, who was first arrested in June 2011, has maintained his innocence and that the judge’s orders he violated were a direct violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Furthermore, the very rule he was found to be in violation of has been overturned.

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BOB WOODWARD: A ‘Very Senior’ White House Person Warned Me I’d ‘Regret’ What I’m Doing

Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

CNN host Wolf Blitzer said that the network invited a White House official to debate Woodward on-air, but the White House declined.

“It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, ‘You’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,’” Woodward said.

“I think they’re confused,” Woodward said of the White House’s pushback on his reporting.

The White House aide who Woodward said threatened him was Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith reported.

Earlier today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Woodward ripped into Obama in what has become an ongoing feud between the veteran Washington Post journalist and the White House. Woodward said Obama was showing a “kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time” for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fmr. Philadelphia cop who punched woman on video found not guilty

PHILADELPHIA - February 26, 2013 (WPVI) — The former Philadelphia Police lieutenant, who was on trial for punching a woman in an incident that was caught on video, has been found not guilty.

The verdict was handed down Tuesday morning. It was a bench trial for Jonathan Josey, which means the ruling was solely up to the judge, who deliberated for two weeks.

“Being a cop in this city is something I’ve wanted to do since I was five years old. There’s nothing else I’ve wanted to do,” Josey said after court. “In my future, I plan on retiring when I want to retire.”

Judge Patrick Dugan said the short video clip “didn’t tell the whole story.” Dugan said the video was disturbing, but blamed the media for sensationalizing the incident and playing it ‘a thousand times.’ He said the incident was part of a volatile, fast-paced situation - not a slow motion video.
Josey broke down in tears as the courtroom, packed with police officers, erupted in applause.

“We’re thrilled that the verdict that was rendered in this case, and I’m sure Jon Josey is looking forward to getting back to work and doing what he does best, which is to protect and serve the people of Philadelphia,” said Josey’s lawyer, Fortunato Perri, Jr.

Action News has learned that Josey is planning to seek reinstatement to the Philadelphia Police Department.

Josey was accused of striking Aida Guzman in the face at 5th and Lehigh in North Philadelphia after the Puerto Rican Day Parade back on September 30th.

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