Posts tagged enforcement
US cell phone service providers could be required to log personal text messages for upwards of two years if a proposal submitted by a group of law enforcement professionals can successfully plead with Congress.
According to a report published this week by Declan McCullagh of CNet, the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association (MCCPA) has asked Congress to consider adding a provision to an electronic privacy bill awaiting vote that would make holding onto text logs mandatory for the country’s telecom providers.
In recent weeks, the antiquated Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) has been in the news due to congressional efforts to update the legislation to reflect the growing nature of the Internet. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to the act that, if passed by Congress, will require law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant to collect personal emails older than 180 days. Currently, only an easy-to-obtain administrative court order is needed to access private emails, meaning any archived correspondence contained on the digital cloud can be collected by the police without producing any probable cause to a judge. Should the MCCPA have their way, however, efforts to make it harder for law enforcement to eavesdrop on emails would be cancelled out by the widespread collection of text messages.
(THE NEW AMERICAN) The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) proposes that the U.S. Army be used to plan, command, and carry out (with the help of civilian law enforcement) domestic police missions. So says a story appearing in the May/June issue of the influential organization’s official journal,Foreign Affairs. The article lacks a single reference to the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits such actions.
In an article penned by Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond T. Odierno, the CFR would see the Army used to address “challenges in the United States itself” in order to keep the homeland safe from domestic disasters, including terrorist attacks. Odierno writes:
Where appropriate we will also dedicate active-duty forces, especially those with niche skills and equipment, to provide civilian officials with a robust set of reliable and rapid response options.
By Doug Book
Wiretap applications obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform prove Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant AG Lanny Breuer lied to Committee members when they claimed DOJ personnel knew nothing of the tactics used by the ATF during Operation Fast And Furious.
Wiretap applications are forms that must be filled out and submitted to a judge, asking permission to perform a wiretap. As these requests may only be made if all other information-gathering techniques have been tried and found wanting, the applications are completed in extraordinary detail, listing all prior methods employed by law enforcement to gather existing evidence. In short, the entire history of the efforts put forth by law enforcement during a particular case or investigation are presented in writing to the court.
According to Committee chair Darrell Issa, six wiretap applications are now in Committee possession, all presented to the court between March and June of 2010 and all having been approved by Department of Justice officials. In fact, “each application included a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer to Paul M. O’Brien, Office of Enforcement Operations, authorizing the wiretap applications on behalf of the Attorney General.” “The memoranda from Breuer are marked specifically for the attention of Emory Hurley, the lead prosecutor for Operation Fast and Furious.”
By William Grigg
Ticket-writing by quota is a competitive sport in which all motorists are fair game, as depicted in an internal e-mail memorandum written by Lt. Frank Schirillo of the Connecticut State Police.
Starting at midnight, March 30, patrols would be expanded, and encouraged to engage in a ticket-writing binge, Schirillo explained. “I am asking that everyone, myself included, contribute to this effort,” stated the e-mail, which was obtained by WTNH-TV. “[W] have to issue at least 60 infractions / Misdemeanors each shift for a total of 180 infractions in order to outperform both Troop F and Troop G…. One day Troop F issued 301 tickets. Troop G responded by issuing 345 in one day. We can do better…” The State Police Troop that harvested the greatest amount of citations would be rewarded with pizza.
“NOTE if we happen to issue 350 tickets in one day that would be stellar,” Schirillo concluded.
Seeking to maintain the official fiction that ticket-writing is something other than an exercise in “taxation by citation” carried out by unionized revenue farmers, Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance fired off an angry e-mail missive to WTNH denying that the ticket-writing binge followed a “quota system.”
“This is not a joke or a game,” protested Lt. Vance said. “It’s a troop commanders’ attempt to stimulate his personnel to enhance highway safety and this goes on all across the state. You will see enhanced enforcement as we continue along in the spring months.”
Ironically, some of the most pointed criticism of the quota system-by-any-other-name was offered by Andrew Matthews of the state police union.
“Troopers are expected to do their job,” Matthews insisted. “We will do our job, but we don’t need to be told we need a certain number of tickets within a specified period of time.”
That “job,” of course, is primarily to rake in revenue. Matthews, like practically everybody else in the racket called “law enforcement,” concerned primarily with the holy imperative of “officer safety,” and points out that imposing quotas and other performance goals on officers will enhance the risks they face. However, he is also concerned about the fact that revenue-collecting rampage will have a huge and painful impact on economically afflicted motorists: “Whether it’s motivational or a quota, it’s disturbing to us because at a time when the taxpayers are out of work ’cause they’re unemployed, or gas is $4 a gallon and unemployment is like around 9%, now is not the time to be just issuing tickets to generate revenue.”
Actually, there is no proper time to use tickets as a revenue stream. The practice is forbidden by statutes in every state – and quietly carried out by police departments in every jurisdiction.