Privacy Matters

Bad week for press freedoms in North America

Cop who defended warrantless tracking of motorists doesn't like citizens watching police

It turns out the police don't like being tracked the way they track the rest of us.

The presumption of innocence as a 'term of art'

The Moakley courthouse in Boston.

In court last week in US v. Tsarnaev, federal Judge George O'Toole said something stunning about the presumption of innocence in US trials.

Masha Gessen reports for the New Yorker:

After admitting it doesn't know who built marathon bombs, FBI has nothing new to report on the matter

Independent researcher Adam Johnson emailed the FBI this morning to ask them about who built the bombs that detonated at the Boston marathon in April 2013. The Bureau and DOJ have admitted in court that they do not know who built the bombs, or where they were built.

Here's the exchange:

Oakland police are using high-tech tool to monitor black people's driving habits

When Massachusetts-based reporter Shawn Musgrave obtained some of the Boston Police Department's license plate reader data, he found that police appeared to be targeting working class and black neighborhoods with the controversial surveillance tool.

See through the wall sensors came to US police from military

Those through-the-wall sensors police and federal agents have been using for years in secret? Like drones and other surveillance technologies, they migrated back to the United States from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Could the Olympic 'security' zone encompass the entire City of Boston?

Photo: Gabe Camacho

Murder in Guantanamo

My Lai massacre, 1968. Ronald B.Haeberle/Wikicommons. Public domain.

Massachusetts state police take dodging public records requests to strange new low

The Massachusetts state public records law is among the weakest in the nation. But even the toothless statute doesn't allow for flagrantly improper behavior like this, via the Bay State Examiner:

Boston police special operations officers refuse to answer questions about mysterious van at Black Lives Matter protest

Help! What is this thing? Spotted at the Black Lives Matter protest today in Boston, on a truck with commercial plates. I saw the same piece of technology at an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York in 2012, and wrote about it here. I'm still not clear on what, exactly, it's for.

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