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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (9/9/2011)

A sinister internet graphic.
A sinister internet graphic.
Caitlin O'Neill,
Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Associate,
ACLU of Northern California
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September 9, 2011

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.

How 9/11 attacks reshaped U.S. privacy debate [Cnet]
“The high, or low, points of the next decade are well known: The enactment of the Patriot Act. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security. The National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance…”

ACLU Wins Round in Battle Against Warrantless Cell Phone Location Tracking [ACLU Blog of Rights]
Today the ACLU won a significant victory in our battle to ensure that cell phones don’t become Big Brother tracking devices.

See also: Justice Dept. loses round in warrantless phone tracking

San Francisco Police Assist Apple to Recover ‘Lost Item’ [Wired]
“After reports that Apple investigators were acting as San Francisco police officers arose, the S.F. police department has admitted to cooperating with Apple to help the Cupertino company locate a missing iPhone prototype.”

Naming Names on the Internet [New York Times]
“Online anonymity is essential for political dissidents, whose role has been highlighted in the uprisings in the Arab world, and for corporate whistle-blowers. In the United States, the Supreme Court has found a constitutional basis for protecting anonymity.”

See also: Death of anonymity online has net users fuming

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