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Police Need a Warrant for Your Cell-Phone Location Records

You can thank the Supreme Court for that. Last week, the nation’s high court ruled that police need a warrant to get your phone’s location records and map out your every move over time. The case reflects a growing consensus to protect these records, and it builds on a prior decision that said police can’t rummage through your phone just because Read More

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The Truth About Facebook

Ask this expert on data science what Congress should have asked Mark Zuckerberg last week, and she’ll say, nothing. If that surprises you, please understand that these hearings are not designed to deliver the truth. They’re designed to tell the public that, if there’s a problem, the government is doing something about it. So you’re not gonna Read More

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The Microsoft-Ireland Case is Moot

We covered this before here and here. But the high-profile case of United States v. Microsoft Corporation is now over. The question was whether the government could force Microsoft to turn over data that it stored on servers in other countries. The problem was that federal law didn’t allow the government to do that, or at least Read More

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SEC Chair Offers Advice on Bitcoin and Its Ilk

This week, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission weighed in on crypto-currencies as well as ICOs or initial coin offerings. With the price of bitcoin nearing $20,000, it probably comes at the right time. You may have been wondering yourself: What are the rules for this stuff? Are they being followed? And what are the risks Read More

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They May Be Intelligent, But Are They Wise?

Speaking of fair shakes, here is a wise word of caution about the emerging, expanding use of computer programs to evaluate people in the justice system, whether at bail hearings, sentencings, or elsewhere. The author is a former software engineer at Facebook who’s now studying law at Harvard. Her point isn’t that we shouldn’t use or consult these programs, but Read More

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The Modern Public Square

This week brought us another unanimous U.S. Supreme Court case that’s arguably more important because it concerned the First Amendment. The issue was a North Carolina law that made it a felony for registered sex offenders to use any social-networking site that let minors join. So, to be clear: that’s any social-media site, period, that let minors join. That Read More

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Can They Search My Phone at the Border?

Suppose you go to visit your aunt in Italy, and you take your phone and tablet with you. When you come back through customs, can they just search your devices willy nilly? Probably. Here’s a good overview of your rights at the border, along with some practical considerations. It’s worth reading ahead of time because the government is stepping Read More

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The Future of Face-Recognition Technology

Face it: the future is already here. And by default, your face is ever more likely to be found in a law-enforcement database. It’s as easy as getting a driver’s license. The facts are that face recognition is neither new nor rare, and more than one out of two American adults have already been loaded into a local, state, or federal database. That’s Read More

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Man Gets Indicted By His Pacemaker

Actually, the case was indicted by a grand jury in Ohio, which charged him with arson and insurance fraud. Apparently, the man called 911 as his home burned in the background. He said he was sleeping when the fire started and that, in a hurry, he packed a bunch of bags, broke a window with his cane, threw the Read More

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SEC Reports Enforcement Results for 2016

As we wind down the calendar year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has already reported its enforcement results for the fiscal year that ended September 30. In case you missed it, here’s the press release. Naturally, there’s some self-patting on the back, but if the past predicts the future, the agency is looking to file cases. Its Read More

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