The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
Rights provides in Article 12:
No-one should be subjected to arbitrary
interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to
attacks on his honour or reputation. Everyone has the right to the
protection of the law against such interferences or attacks
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Article 12 http://www.hrweb.org/legal/udhr.html
“[s]pecific guarantees in the Bill of Rights
have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give
them life and substance.”
Justice Douglas, Griswold v. Connecticut,
381 U.S. 484 (1965).
"[t]he ‘liberty’ protected by the Fifth
and Fourteenth Amendments from infringement by the Federal Government or
the States is not restricted to rights specifically mentioned in the first
Justice Goldberg, Griswold v. Connecticut,
381 U.S. 493 (1965).
"The right to be left alone - the most
comprehensive of rights, and the right most valued by a free people."
One-Third of U.S. Online Workforce Under
Sunday, July 1, 2001
Fourteen million employees — just over
one-third of the online workforce in the United States — have their
Internet or e-mail use under continuous surveillance at work, according to
an analysis conducted by the Privacy Foundation in Denver. Worldwide, the
number of employees under such surveillance is estimated at 27
Comcast Corp., which yesterday acknowledged
that it had begun tracking the Web browsing activities of its one million
high-speed Internet subscribers without notifying them, announced today
that it will no longer be engaging in this practice.
Anytime a Navigator 6 user performs a search
by typing terms into the browser’s URL bar and pressing the Search button.
. . the user data is sent to a server at info.netscape.com using a URL
[In contrast] using Microsoft Explorer
6data is sent directly to the
designated search site and is not intercepted by Microsoft.
DoubleClick Nearing Privacy Settlements
Monday, April 1, 2002
The preliminary settlement, set to be
finalized May 21, would clear up class-action lawsuits from California,
Texas and New York that were consolidated last year. The suits charged that
DoubleClick violated state and federal laws by surreptitiously tracking and
collecting consumers' personally identifiable data and combining it with
information on their Web surfing habits.
In re DOUBLECLICK INC. PRIVACY LITIGATION
Master File No. 00-CIV-0641 (NRB)
Metropolitan Police Department Draft General
Order on Closed Circuit Surveillance Cameras
April 4, 2002
The Washington D.C. Police Department has
utilized strategic placement of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) in
the District of Columbia. Past U.S. Supreme Court and lower court
decisions strongly suggest that this type of police monitoring is a valid
exercise of a government's police powers. Under current interpretations of
the First and Fourth Amendment, CCTV appears to represent a valid use of
the state's power to protect its citizens. It does not intrude upon an
individual's sphere of privacy, but rather records events occurring in
public space for which individuals do not have a reasonable expectation of
The Wall Street Journal reported that
executive branch agencies were purchasing "troves of personal data
from the private sector." The article quoted government sources for
the proposition that DOJ, FBI, USMS, INS, and IRS employees had electronic
access to citizens' assets, phone numbers, driving records, and other
personal information from their desktop computers. The article reported
that ChoicePoint, a publicly-held company, and its competitors were
supplying citizens' personal information to at least thirty-five federal
Glenn R. Simpson, Big Brother-in-Law, If the
FBI Hopes to Get the Goods on You, It May Ask ChoicePoint, Wall St. J.,
April 13, 2001 at A1.
The FBI has a reasonable suspicion that someone
is engaged in criminal activities and requests a court order to view the
suspect's online activity.
A court grants the request for a full content-wiretap
of e-mail traffic only and issues an order. A "content-wiretap"
means that everything in the packet can be captured and used. The other
type of wiretap is a trap-and-trace, which means that the FBI can only
capture the destination information, such as the e-mail account of a
message being sent out or the Web-site address that the suspect is
visiting. A reverse form of trap-and-trace, called pen-register, tracks
where e-mail to the suspect is coming from or where visits to a suspect's
Web site originate.
The FBI contacts the suspect's ISP and requests
a copy of the back-up files of the suspect's activity.
The FBI sets up a Carnivore computer at the ISP
to monitor the suspect's activity.
The FBI configures the Carnivore software with
the IP Address of the suspect so that Carnivore will only capture packets
from this particular location. It ignores all other packets.
Carnivore copies all of the packets from the
suspect's system without impeding the flow of the network traffic.
Once the copies are made, they go through a filter
that only keeps the e-mail packets.
The surveillance cannot continue for more than a
month without an extension from the court.
Once complete, the FBI removes the system from
If the results provide enough evidence, the FBI
can use them as part of a case against the suspect.
Study Urged for National ID System
April 12, 2002
WASHINGTON - While a national identity card
has been widely discussed following the terrorist attacks, a panel of the National
Academy of Sciences says any such system must carefully balance security
needs with privacy concerns.
A well-run national system would make it
more difficult for a person to have multiple identities and would help in
finding people such as potential terrorists, the committee concluded. But
serious questions must be addressed about how to protect privacy, who would
use the system, whether participation would be mandatory, the type of
information to be collected and how to deal with any failure or misuse of
(b) Detection. The Office shall
identify priorities and coordinate efforts for collection and analysis of
information within the United States regarding threats of terrorism against
the United States and activities of terrorists or terrorist groups within
the United States.
(i) In performing these functions, the
Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, as appropriate,
(A) facilitate collection from State and local governments and
private entities of information pertaining to terrorist threats or
activities within the United States.
Amends the Federal criminal code to authorize
the interception of wire, oral, and electronic communications for the
production of evidence of: (1) specified chemical weapons or terrorism
offenses; and (2) computer fraud and abuse.
Authorizes an investigative or law enforcement
officer, or an attorney for the Government, who, by authorized means, has
obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic
communication or evidence derived therefrom to disclose such contents. . .
to the extent that such contents include foreign intelligence or
Permits the seizure of voice-mail messages under
Expands the scope of subpoenas for records of
electronic communications to include the length and types of service
utilized, temporarily assigned network addresses, and the means and source
Permits electronic communication and remote
computing service providers to make emergency disclosures to a governmental
entity of customer electronic communications to protect life and limb.
Makes it lawful to intercept the wire or
electronic communication of a computer trespasser in certain circumstances.
Amends FISA to require an application for an
electronic surveillance order or search warrant to certify that a significant
purpose (currently, the sole or main purpose) of the surveillance is to
obtain foreign intelligence information.
Amends the Right to Financial Privacy Act to
permit the transfer of financial records to other agencies or departments
upon certification that the records are relevant to intelligence or
counterintelligence activities related to international terrorism.
Amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to require
a consumer reporting agency to furnish all information in a consumer's file
to a government agency upon certification that the records are relevant to
intelligence or counterintelligence activities related to international
Allows the FBI to request telephone toll and
transactional records, financial records, and consumer reports in any
investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine
intelligence activities only if the investigation is not conducted solely
on the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the U.S.
Amends the General Education Provisions Act and
the National Education Statistics Act of 1994 to provide for disclosure of
educational records to the Attorney General in a terrorism investigation or
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