Posts tagged legal
By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor
Facebook forced to allow users to opt out of adverts
Facebook has been forced to allow users to opt out of their names being used in ‘sponsored stories’ as part of a legal settlement with five angry members of the network.
The legal case against Facebook began last year, after five users were annoyed about their faces being used as part of Facebook’s ‘sponsored stories’ – which allow companies to use the photos and names of people who have ‘liked’ their brand in their adverts on the social network.
As part of the $10m (£6m) settlement the social network agreed to in order for the case to be dropped, Facebook will allow users the chance to opt out of their profiles being used in these adverts for at least the next two years.
An economist hired by the plaintiffs calculated that this change to the social network’s terms could cost Facebook approximately $103m (£66m).
The social network, which is struggling to retain its huge valuation post its recent flotation, settled the proposed class action lawsuit last month and has now agreed the changes to its terms and to seek additional consent from parents of users under the age of 18 to have their names used in sponsored stories.
The settlement rules: “Facebook will create an easily accessible mechanism that enables users to view the subset of their interactions and other content that have been displayed in Sponsored Stories. Facebook will further engineer settings to enable users, upon viewing the interactions and other content that have been used in Sponsored Stories, to control which of these interactions and other content are edible to appear in additional Sponsored Stories.”
By Mindy Allan
Op-Ed: Lawyers for Ron Paul take over campaign
“Lawyers for Ron Paul“, which is a group of avid supporters that is unaffiliated with Ron Paul, has taken over the Ron Paul campaignto expose the fraud and threats that have pushed father and son to bow out. Ron Paul supporters are stepping up to continue the fight to get Ron Paul on the ballot in Tampa.The Ron Paul campaign started crashing after the rumored threat against Ron Paulwas made at the Bilderberg meeting and reported by Alex Jones, which was followed up by the endorsement by Rand Paul of Mitt Romney.
Why did the Pauls change direction? A repeat of what happened to Ross Perot is happening again with the Ron Paul campaign. The only difference this time is “Lawyers from Ron Paul” and Paul’s supporters are moving forward without the consent of the Pauls who are no longer speaking out against Romney. If the choice is between the lives of your family or the continued fight for the people, most would make the choice that Perot made and, now, the Pauls have had to make. (more…)
By Laura Myers
SPARKS – Nevada GOP leaders on Friday dismissed legal advice from the Republican National Committee, which threatened not to seat the state’s delegates at the national convention if too many Ron Paul supporters are elected.
The decision was made during a meeting of the Nevada Republican Party’s executive committee ahead of today’s state GOP convention, said Clark County GOP Chairman Dave Gibbs, who sits on the panel.
“We’re going to stand with the rules we agreed to in October and not with the RNC’s interpretation,” Gibbs said. “Nevada Republicans at this convention are going to elect our delegates. The presidential campaigns aren’t going to pick them.”
Two GOP officials, one on the 12-member executive board and one who isn’t, confirmed the unanimous decision made in a private meeting to ignore the RNC threat against the Nevada delegation as well as the RNC’s legal advice.
The decision clears the way for Paul supporters to try to carry out their strategy today to elect as many delegates to the national convention as possible although Mitt Romney won the Feb. 4 presidential caucuses here.
The Romney camp, meanwhile, is working hard to promote its delegates attending the convention to ensure he gets at least half of the 28 Nevada delegates at stake after winning 50 percent of the GOP caucus vote.
Gibbs said the executive committee disagreed with an RNC lawyer who said in a May 2 letter to the party that the presidential campaigns should be allowed to approve the Nevada delegates elected to the national convention to ensure each gets his full allotment. Romney is supposed to get 20 now and Paul eight because Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum dropped out of the race and their delegates were reallocated to Romney and Paul, who finished third on Feb. 4.
Gibbs said that under the Nevada GOP rules adopted in October and sent to the RNC, the delegates to the national convention will be chosen in a two-step process that doesn’t include any candidate loyalty test.
First, the 2,000 or so state delegates at today’s convention will elect 28 delegates to attend the national convention – no matter which candidate they support. After that, the secretary of the Nevada GOP meeting will bind 20 of those elected delegates to vote for Romney at the national convention in Tampa and eight to vote for Paul.
If this question had been asked by a fictional character in a spy thriller, it might intrigue you, but you wouldn’t imagine that it could be true in reality. If the Constitution means what it says, you wouldn’t even consider the plausibility of an affirmative answer. After all, the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was written to prevent the government from violating on a whim or a hunch or a vendetta that uniquely American right: the right to be left alone.
Everyone wants, at some point in the day, at some places in the home, to be left alone. The colonists who fought the war of secession from Great Britain were no different. But that war and the wish to keep the government at bay had been heightened by the colonial experiences involved in the enforcement of the Stamp Act.
That law, which applied to the colonies and not to residents of Great Britain, required that government stamps be purchased and printed on all legal, financial, and even political documents in the possession of every colonist. The enforcement of that law — which was done by British soldiers who entered private homes armed not only with guns but also with search warrants that they had written for themselves, which Parliament authorized them to do — was so disturbing and resulted in such anti-British political animosity that Parliament eventually rescinded the act.
But the damage to British rule had been done, and it was irreparable. After the Founders won the Revolution and wrote the Constitution and added the Bill of Rights, they rested in the assurance that only judges could issue search warrants “particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized,” and that judges could only do so if they found probable cause of criminal behavior in the place the government targeted.
The War on Drugs has regrettably weakened the intended protections of the Fourth Amendment, and the Patriot Act — which permits federal agents to write their own search warrants — has dealt it a serious blow. That act, which has not yet been ruled upon by the Supreme Court, fortunately has not yet animated the Supreme Court’s privacy jurisprudence. Last year, the court invalidated the police use of warrantless heat-seeking devices aimed at the home, and it will probably soon invalidate the warrantless use of GPS devices secretly planted by cops in cars.
Regrettably, unless the government attempts to use the data it has illegally gathered about a person, the person probably will not be aware of the government’s spying on him, and thus will not be in a position to challenge the spying in a court. Relying on the PATRIOT Act, federal agents have written their own search warrants just like the British soldiers did. They have done this more than 250,000 times since 2001. But the government has rarely used any evidence from these warrants in a criminal prosecution for fear that the targeted person would learn of the government’s unconstitutional and nefarious behavior, and for fear that the act would be invalidated by federal courts.
Now, back to the CIA in your kitchen. When Congress created the CIA in 1947, it expressly prohibited the agency from spying on Americans in America. Nevertheless, it turns out that if your microwave, burglar alarm, or dishwasher is of very recent vintage, and if it is connected to your personal computer, a CIA spy can tell when you are in the kitchen and when you are using that device. The person who revealed this last weekend also revealed that CIA software can learn your habits from all of this and then anticipate them.
Acting “diabolically” and hoping to “change fingerprints and eyeballs” in its “worldwide mission” to steal and keep secrets, the CIA can then gut the Fourth Amendment digitally, without ever physically entering anyone’s home. We already know that your BlackBerry or iPhone can tell a spy where you are and, when the battery is connected, what you are saying. But spies in the kitchen? Can this be true?
Who revealed all this last weekend? None other than Gen. David Petraeus himself, President Obama’s new director of the CIA. I wonder whether he knows about the Fourth Amendment and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it and that federal laws prohibit his spies from doing their work in America. I wonder whether he or the president even cares. Do you?
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You reap what you sow! She obviously sounds like she has a guilty conscience.