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IPFS News Link • Homeland Security

DHS scoured social media sites during Obama inauguration for 'items of interest'

• ComputerWorld
An electronic rights advocacy group is expressing concern over what it contends was an overly broad surveillance of social networking sites conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the days leading up to the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently obtained documents 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

Americans to protect their freedoms, should immediately address GOP’S dangerous proposal in the “Contract With America” that would “make it much easier” for police to succeed with false arrests allowing illegally seized evidence in courts.

Republican Senator Hatch slipped this nightmare into The Crime Control Act of 1993 that failed to pass that attempted to add: Section 3509 Admissibility of Evidence Obtained By Search or Seizure(a) Evidence Obtained By Objectively Reasonable Search or Seizure (b) Evidence Not Excludable By Statute or Rule:” That provision would have laid the groundwork for Government/police to conduct illegal searches of Americans, their homes and offices with little or no probable cause as follows: “Government need only assert that "a search and seizure was carried out in circumstances justifying an objectively reasonable belief that it was in conformity with the Fourth Amendment." Had the Hatch bill passed it would have opened the door for government/police to conduct mass civil asset forfeiture using (illegally obtained evidence) because police would only have to assert, "A search and seizure was carried out in circumstances justifying an objectively reasonable belief that it was in conformity with the Fourth Amendment." There are over 200 U.S. laws and violations mentioned in the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 and the Patriot Act that can subject property to civil asset forfeiture. Under federal civil forfeiture laws, a person or business need not be charged with a crime for government to forfeit their property. US private contractors and their operatives (people/asset bounty hunters) work so closely with police exchanging information to arrest Americans and or share in the forfeiture of their assets, they appear to merge with police. Former Rep. Henry Hyde’s bill HR 1658 passed, the “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” and effectively eliminated the “statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. The statute now runs five years from when police allege they “learned” that an asset became subject to forfeiture. Obviously if Congress approves GOP's proposal to admit illegally seized evidence into court, joining that with Rep. Hyde's passed forfeiture bill's low standard of civil proof needed for government to forfeit property “A preponderance of Evidence”, will allow police and government contractors to utilized government illegal wiretaps,  including Citizens’ Internet activity and email to forfeit Citizens' homes, businesses and other assets; utilize illegally obtained evidence to arrest Americans. Most property and business owners that defend their assets against Government Civil Forfeiture claim an “innocent owner defense.” This defense can become a criminal prosecution trap for both guilty and innocent property owners. Any fresh denial of guilt to the government when questioned about committing a crime “even when you did not do it” may “involuntarily waive” your right to assert in your defense—the “Criminal Statute of Limitations” past for prosecution: any fresh denial of guild, even 30 years after a crime was committed may allow Government prosecutors to use old and new evidence, including information discovered during a Civil Asset Forfeiture Proceeding to launch a criminal prosecution. For that reason many innocent property and business owners are reluctant to defend their property and businesses against Government Civil Asset Forfeiture. Re: waiving Criminal Statute of Limitations: see USC18, Sec.1001, James Brogan V. United States. N0.96-1579. U.S.  No doubt government is sitting on a ton of illegally obtained evidence. The GOP's proposal to allow government to use illegally seized evidence against Citizens could be used to selectively target citizens in a flood of prosecutions and forfeitures. One can envision police and government contractors drooling over the prospect GOP might succeed getting Congress to pass a law allowing prosecutors to use illegally obtained evidence against Citizens.

To stop GOP’s “New Contract With America” proposal that would permit law enforcement to use illegally obtained evidence in court against Citizens, Americans need to publicly protest this GOP proposal.