Browsing All Posts filed under »Privacy«

Maryland’s Court of Appeals DNA Collection Ruling = [Face-palm]

May 15, 2012 by


On April 24th, the Maryland Court of Appeals held that the Maryland DNA Collection Act, which authorizes the collection of DNA from individuals charged with violent crimes or burglaries, violates the Fourth Amendment. The ruling overturned the conviction of Alonzo Jay King, Jr. for a 2003 rape based on a DNA sample taken upon his […]

Do You Have to Tell Police Your Name?

April 16, 2012 by


After last week’s post about not talking to the police, a reader wrote us to ask about identifying yourself to a police officer. It’s not a simple yes or no answer, and, since we love fan-mail so much, we turned the answer into a post. Here’s to you, Mr. H. Do you have to identify […]

4 Reasons the Supreme Court’s Decision to Allow Suspicionless Strip Searches is Stupid

April 3, 2012 by


What yesterday’s US Supreme Court opinion allowing suspicion-less strip searches for any offense says to me: Don’t piss on the street after a night of debauchery because you may get arrested. If you get arrested, you may be taken to the local jail where a bored/sadistic guard will ask you to strip down to your birthday […]

Using GPS to Track Offenders and Warn Victims Raises Questions

March 23, 2012 by


I love a good gadget as much as the next geek, but using GPS on offenders is not quite the simple-yet-brilliant idea that it seems to be at first glance. The concept has gained traction as states struggle with responding to crime with limited funding in conditions of constant resource scarcity. Victims, as well, embrace […]

Recipe for Awesome: One Part Bruce Schneier + One Part Trope + One Part Geekery

March 12, 2012 by


Bruce Schneier is a cryptologist. Bruce Schneier is his own trope. Bruce Schneier is also a geeky hero, triumphing with the mighty power of his little gray cells over the brawny exploits of Chuck Norris. If you’ve never checked out, run right over and do it. Then come back here, because if you don’t, Bruce […]

Sense and Sensibility in Protecting Whistleblowers

February 28, 2012 by


It’s hard to protect whistleblowers. Occasionally crackpots, sometimes contrarians, but always risking their livelihoods and reputations for the truth, whistleblowers clearly need special protections. For federal employees, those protections exist in the form of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. The Act is intended to protect not just employees from retaliation, but their communications with […]

Senator Schumer’s Proposal for TSA Passenger Advocates Falls Short

February 27, 2012 by


Stories about TSA abuse litter the internet like confetti after a security theater parade. So the fact that Senator Schumer is proposing the addition of passenger advocates at TSA checkpoints is a serious step forward. Unfortunately, Schumer’s press release states that under his plan “TSA would train existing officers in dispute resolution and require the agency […]