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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (4/27/2012)

Anna Salem,
ACLU of Northern California
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April 27, 2012

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of personal information. The ACLU believes that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technology and keeping control of your private information. Each week, we feature some of the most interesting news related to technology and civil liberties that we’ve spotted from the previous week.

House Passes Controversial Cybersecurity Measure CISPA [Wired]
“The House on Thursday approved cybersecurity legislation that privacy groups have decried as a threat to civil liberties… Its goal is a more secure internet, but privacy groups fear the measure breaches Americans’ privacy along the way.”
See Also Keep Domestic Cybersecurity Efforts in Civilian Hands [ACLU]
See Also Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote [Techdirt]
See Also The CISPA Amendments We Really Need [Read Write Web]
See Also White House Threatens Veto, ACLU Says CISPA Amendments Not Enough [Reason]

Mobile Carriers Lobby Against Cellphone Location Privacy Bill [Wired]
“Cellphone companies are objecting to proposed California legislation that would force them to publicly report the number of times they turn over cellphone location information to police and federal agents, arguing that it’s too burdensome, and would take time away from the important work of sharing customer data with cops ‘day and night.'”
See Also Faced with Opposition from Wireless Industry, CA Legislators Make the Wrong Call [ACLU of Northern California]
See Also Wireless Industry Association Opposes Bill That Would Require Warrant For Them To Turn Data Over To Law Enforcement [Techdirt]

Content rights confusion greets Google Drive [USA Today]
“Google is already facing spasms of suspicion and confusion as it tries to persuade people to entrust their personal documents, photos and other digital content to the company’s new online storage service.”
See Also Who owns your files on Google Drive? [CNET]
See Also Google Drive terms of service: ‘A toxic brew’ [CNET]
See Also Read This Before You Move Your Business to Google Drive [Read Write Web]

Need For a Warrant For GPS Tracking Still Not Settled [ACLU]
Last night we filed an amicus brief in United States v. Pineda-Moreno, a Ninth Circuit case that could play a significant role in determining how broadly the Supreme Court’s recent GPS tracking decision, United States v. Jones, is applied to protect Americans’ privacy.

All Dressed Up And Nothing to do Except Arrest Photographers [ACLU]
Police around the country continue to violate individuals’ right to photography. A photographer named Carlos Miller maintains a web site in which he chronicles this problem. Now, Miller himself has obtained information about his own arrest for photography, which took place during the eviction of Miami Occupy protesters in January. Using an open-records request, he found that officials at the Miami-Dade Police Homeland Security Bureau, aka Fusion Center, had exchanged numerous e-mails over a period of months, in which they discuss their monitoring of Miller and his activities.

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