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Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (11/14/2011)

A sinister internet graphic.
A sinister internet graphic.
Caitlin O'Neill,
Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Associate,
ACLU of Northern California
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November 14, 2011

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of personal information. The ACLU believes that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technology and keeping control of your private information. Each week, we feature some of the most interesting news related to technology and civil liberties that we’ve spotted from the previous week.

Feds Can Get Twitter Users’ Data Without Warrant, Judge Says [Wall Street Journal]
“Should the government be able to collect information related to your Internet use without a warrant? According to a U.S. District Court opinion in the case of three WikiLeaks associates, it should.”

Facebook Retreats on Privacy [Wall Street Journal]
“Facebook Inc. is close to a settlement with the U.S. government over charges that it misled users about its use of their personal information, the latest sign of widening public concern over privacy in the digital age.”

Senate Rejects Resolution That Would Undermine Net Neutrality [ACLU Blog of Rights]
The Senate voted today to reject a resolution, S.J. Res. 6, that would disapprove the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with respect to regulating the Internet and broadband industry practices.

Justices Press Government on Limits of Warrantless Location Tracking [ACLU Blog of Rights]
Although the specific issue in the case, United States v. Jones, is whether the government violated the Constitution by attaching a GPS device to a suspect’s car and tracking his every move for 28 days without a valid warrant, its impact could extend well beyond this circumstance because these days virtually all Americans carry cell phones that track our every movement.

See also: Judges Weigh Phone Tracking

Busted! Two New Fed GPS Trackers Found on SUV [wired]
“As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear oral arguments in a case Tuesday that could determine if authorities can track U.S. citizens with GPS vehicle trackers without a warrant, a young man in California has come forward to Wired to reveal that he found not one but two different devices on his vehicle recently.”

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