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“A New York judge ruled Tuesday that Facebook has no legal standing to challenge the constitutionality of search warrants served on its users, highlighting the limits to online companies’ abilities to protect user privacy. Last year, Facebook appealed a court decision requiring it to hand over data, including photos and private messages, relating to 381 user accounts. The data was sought as part of an investigation by the New York County District Attorney’s office into a

Privacy advocates say Seattle is violating residents’ privacy “on a massive scale” by having garbage haulers look through people’s trash to make sure food scraps are going into the yard waste.  We learn from the Seattle Times that some residents aren’t as fond of having their garbage men deputized to fine them as others. “The 15-page legal complaint said the ordinance and the enforcement policies provide no clear way for a garbage collector to determine what

We learned last week that “New York City reached a settlement with the family of Eric Garner on Monday, agreeing to pay $5.9 million to resolve a wrongful-death claim over his killing by the police on Staten Island last July, the city comptroller and a lawyer for the family said.” Let’s remember that Mr. Garner was suspected not of something major and serious, such as arson or aggravated assault, or relatively minor but serious for the

After the May 17 Waco shootings, the authorities there have seemingly gone out of their way to abuse and molest anyone and everyone within shouting distance of the melee. They charged dozens with capital crimes, attempted to conceal evidence, and trampled the rights of the accused. While totally indefensible, their actions may be somewhat understandable in the immediate aftermath of a multiple homicide situation.  Those actions are continuing, however, in the cold sober light of day

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian finalized a preliminary ruling today ordering Aaron and Melissa Klein, the bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, to pay $135,000 in emotional damages to the couple they denied service. “This case is not about a wedding cake or a marriage,” Avakian wrote. “It is about a business’s refusal to serve someone because of their sexual orientation. Under Oregon law, that is illegal.” In the ruling, Avakian placed

“Tom Wolf vetoed a bill that would have privatized the sale of wine and liquor while liberalizing the rules for selling beer in the Keystone State. Wolf counterintuitively argues that replacing the state monopoly with private businesses would be bad for consumers. "During consideration of this legislation," he says, "it became abundantly clear that this plan would result in higher prices for consumers." He also worries that letting private businesses sell wine and liquor would

“Nathan Collier said he was inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision that made marriage equal. He said he was particularly struck by the words of dissenting Chief Justice John Roberts who claimed giving gay couples the right to marry, might inspire polygamy. And so this week, Mr Collier and his two wives, Victoria and Christine, entered a courthouse in Billings, Montana, and sought an application to legalese the trio’s polygamous union. “Right now we're waiting for

The Supreme Court didn’t stop with important rulings last week. Before they excused themselves for summer vacation, they ruled on several more cases. In Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency, Justice Scalia wrote the Court’s 5-4 opinion.  Scotusblog reports: “When Congress orders an agency to begin regulating an industry, but says it should do so only if “appropriate and necessary,” the agency must take costs into account before it issues any orders, This decision temporarily blocked a ruling

In the City of Los Angeles v. Patel, the Supreme Court struck down a Los Angeles law which had required hotels to make their guest registries “available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for Inspection” without the need for a warrant.  Link    In a 5-4 decision, with Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts dissenting, the court said that hoteliers had a Fourth Amendment right to retain that information, and requiring them to turn

They will come for you too - it's just a matter of time. U.S. Attorney Preet Bhara & his second Niketh Velamoor has demanded Reason.com turn over any identifying information about authors of website comments. Anonymous speech has been used since before the countries founding, including by its founders, as a valuable tool to stand up to oppressive majorities. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers under the pseudonym "Publius " and were

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