TriggerFinger


NSA admits to violating the 4th Amendment

Conservative TreehouseThis is the 5th straight year where the National Security Agency (NSA) produces a document admitting their metadata capturing system, the system that captures all electronic communication of every single American and puts it into a stored database, is continually used as a research library for unnamed federal agents to scour (without search warrants) for the private documents of American citizens.

At this point, the NSA admission without consequence is simply just another Tuesday, it literally doesn’t even make the headlines anymore.

Trump was, and probably remains, our best chance to fix this. He has been personally bitten by all this in a way that no one else in the political class ever has.

Sat Feb 26 23:13:12 CST 2022 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Jan 6th Cmt abusing its power

Glenn GreenwaldThis abuse of power is not merely abstract. The Congressional 1/6 Committee has been secretly obtaining private information about American citizens en masse: telephone records, email logs, internet and browsing history, and banking transactions. And it has done so without any limitations or safeguards: no judicial oversight, no need for warrants, no legal limitations of any kind.

Indeed, the committee has been purposely attempting to prevent citizens who are the targets of their investigative orders to have any opportunity to contest the legality of this behavior in court. As we reported in October, the committee sent dozens if not hundreds of subpoenas to telecom companies demanding a wide range of email and other internet records, and — without any legal basis — requested that those companies not only turn over those documents but refrain from notifying their own customers of the request. If the companies were unwilling to comply with this "request,” then the committee requested that they either contact the committee directly or just disregard the request — in other words, the last thing they wanted was to enable one of their targets to learn that they were being investigated because that would enable them to seek a judicial ruling about the legality of the committee's actions.

But now the committee is escalating its aggressive investigative actions. They have begun sending subpoenas to private banks, demanding the banking records of private citizens, and doing so such that either the person never finds out or finds out too late to obtain a judicial order about the legality of the committee's behavior. In one case, they targeted JP Morgan with these subpoenas while knowing that that bank is being represented by former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch; Lynch — unsurprisingly — then directed her client not to accommodate any requests from its own customers to ensure they can seek judicial review.

It's not a surprise; ever since the 2012 election, at least, the Democrats have been all about abusing their power to influence elections. Obama started with the IRS, got caught (after he won re-election), and then shifted to a national security agency focus with the CIA, FBI, and DOJ, along with help from the Clinton campaign. He got caught there too, but so far neither Obama nor Clinton have faced any personal consequences. The heavy thumb on the scale in 2016 was not enough, but the effort continued even with Trump in office. In 2020, vote fraud carried the day and Congress got into the political surveillance game.

Fri Feb 11 22:33:03 CST 2022 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Democrats want to track guns through financial regulations

The Truth About GunsU.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), and Jennifer Wexton, (D-Va.) havet introduced the Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act, H.R. 5764, in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate as S. 3117.

The legislation is being pitched by the politicians who authored it as a means to detect and prevent those who might be planning to commit an atrocity or terror attack. But the bill is fraught with civil liberty violations and not just those freedoms protected by the Second Amendment. Privacy rights — specifically those related to finances — would go by the wayside.

The bill would require the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) to give guidance to banks so they can report “suspicious financial activity.” According to Sen. Markey, this undefined suspicious financial activity could be a warning sign an individual is planning a horrific crime or terror event.“We cannot allow banks and financial institutions to turn a blind eye as shooters bank a pile of guns and ammunition in a lead up to an attack,” Sen. Markey said in a press statement. “The Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act will give us the guidance on how these institutions can help pinpoint and prevent gun violence across the country.”

The proposed legislation, of course, doesn’t define what level of financial activity is suspicious or how many firearms and accessories is “too many” or how much ammunition is “too much.” Instead, it leaves that to be determined by Treasury Department officials.

Not mentioned: you only need one firearm if your intent is to do evil.

Tue Nov 16 23:37:57 CST 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Governments asking Google for excessively broad search data

YahooThe U.S. government is reportedly secretly issuing warrants for Google to provide user data on anyone typing in certain search terms, raising fears that innocent online users could get caught up in serious crime investigations at a greater frequency than previously thought.

In an attempt to track down criminals, federal investigators have started using new "keyword warrants" and used them to ask Google to provide them information on anyone who searched a victim's name or their address during a particular year, an accidentally unsealed court document that Forbes found shows.

It seems to me that the core problem here is similar to that with certain types of DNA testing. It's entirely proper to identify a subject, gather evidence, seek a warrant, and then perform a DNA test to confirm that you have the right person, or at least that the person you have isn't ruled out by the DNA found at the scene of the crime. It's entirely improper to start with a DNA sample and then go looking for people whose DNA is similar to that sample. It becomes a massive fishing expedition against anyone who had cause to look up an address or a name.

Categories 4th Amendment

Sat Oct 23 23:13:50 CDT 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Biden admin wants banks to report all $600+ transactions to IRS

Fox BusinessThe Biden administration is aiming to bolster the Internal Revenue Service by adding bank account reporting requirements to Democrats' massive tax and spending bill, prompting a swift backlash from Republicans who have warned it infringes on customers' privacy.

Under the proposal, banks and other financial institutions would be required to annually report customers' account inflows and outflows of $600 or more to the IRS. The White House has estimated the policy, which would apply to bank, loan and investment accounts, could generate about $463 billion in additional revenue over the next decade.

But a draft of proposed tax increased released by House Democrats on Monday allocates an extra $78 billion in funding for enforcement measures over the next decade, but notably does not include any new bank reporting requirements that the White House argues is necessary to crack down on tax evasion by high-earners and corporations.

This would destroy any remaining vestige of financial privacy in America.

Tue Oct 05 23:36:55 CDT 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

FBI markets fake encrypted cell phone to criminals

Just The NewsThe FBI on Tuesday announced a "massive worldwide takedown" of criminals around the globe with a sting operation in which the agency marketed and sold smartphones purported to encrypt messages, leading to roughly 500 arrests.

The sting operation, called Operation Trojan Shield, was led the agency's San Diego bureau.

FBI officials said in a press conference that the agency and other law enforcement groups worldwide, in an effort to nab criminals, created a fake company called ANØM to marketed the sleek black smartphones that were encrypted

However, when users sent messages, the phone would attach a master key that allowed law enforcement officials to decrypt and view the messages.

I find this extremely troubling. The FBI here created an explicit expectation of privacy under false pretenses and then spied on their "customers", presumably without warrants. I do not care that their actions appear to have resulted in catching real criminals; this action by the FBI appears entirely inappropriate and unconstitutional.

Sun Jul 18 22:01:49 CDT 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Police seize hundreds of safe deposit boxes from lawful owners

ReasonDagny discovered that the FBI had seized the contents of her safe deposit box—about $100,000 in gold and silver coins, some family heirlooms like a diamond necklace inherited from her late grandmother, and an engagement ring she'd promised to pass down to her daughter—almost by accident.

After a brief moment of panic, some phone calls, and several days, Dagny and her husband Howard (pseudonyms used at their request to maintain privacy during ongoing legal proceedings) figured out what happened. On March 22, the FBI had raided U.S. Private Vaults. The federal agents were armed with a warrant allowing them to seize property belonging to the company as part of a criminal investigation—and even though the warrant explicitly exempted the safe deposit boxes in the company's vaults, they were taken too. More than 800 were seized.

Howard tells Reason there was no attempt made by the FBI to contact him, his wife, or their heirs—despite the fact that contact information was taped to the top of their box. Six weeks later, the couple is still waiting for their property to be returned.

This is exactly the sort of thing the Constitution was supposed to prevent.

Sun May 30 23:35:11 CDT 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Supreme Court decides 4th Amendment case

Of Arms and the LawA 9-0, four-page reversal of the First Circuit, which had held that the "community care taking exception" allowed warrantless search of a home and seizure of a firearm.

Upholding both the 2nd and 4th Amendments. Even the liberals joined. That's rare.

This also means Red Flag Laws are unconstitutional, as they would only be viable under something like the community care exception.

Mon May 17 22:20:38 CDT 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

4th Amendment case before the Supreme Court

ForbesThe U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear oral argument in Caniglia v. Strom, a case that could have sweeping consequences for policing, due process, and mental health, with the Biden Administration and attorneys general from nine states urging the High Court to uphold warrantless gun confiscation. But what would ultimately become a major Fourth Amendment case began with an elderly couple’s spat over a coffee mug.

This case would eviscerate the 4th Amendment, should the court rule incorrectly. The police could enter anyone's home for any reason, without a warrant or probable cause of any crime.

Categories 4th Amendment

Tue Mar 30 22:58:45 CDT 2021 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Border patrol should not be able to buy data on Americans

Ars TechnicaThe Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general is investigating the government's use of cell phone location data obtained without search warrants.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division of DHS, "has paid a government contractor named Venntel nearly half a million dollars for access to a commercial database containing location data mined from applications on millions of Americans' mobile phones," five Democratic US senators said in October.

"CBP is not above the law and it should not be able to buy its way around the Fourth Amendment," the senators told Inspector General Joseph Cuffari while requesting an investigation into "CBP's warrantless use of commercial databases containing Americans' information, including but not limited to Venntel's location database."

This seems improper. That said, I think I've seen reports of this sort of thing before. It wouldn't surprise me if it was common practice.

Categories 4th Amendment

Sat Dec 05 23:09:42 CST 2020 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Police shoot sleeping man through his own window

... and they did it because of red flag laws. They are also refusing to share their bodycam footage, because of course they are. After all, that footage would expose them as liars who shot and killed a man while he slept peacefully in bed next to his pregnant girlfriend, who they also shot.

The police are keeping the survivors under surveillance and threatening them with arrest if they attend protests.

Everyone involved here needs to go on trial for murder and violation of civil rights. But they won't. Because they are police.

Tue May 26 02:15:41 CDT 2020 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Barr fails the Waco test

A blogger recounts his long-ago encounter with William Barr, Trump's nominee for attorney general. He thinks it's a positive story, but it's not.

The LatestHe did not hide his identity. When I heard he was the former Attorney General, I couldn't resist asking him what he thought about Janet Reno's raid on the Waco Compound in Texas, which had been in the news.

Surprisingly, he didn't flinch, but answered calmly, analytically and at length. He said he himself had overseen a similar operation, where hostages had been rescued. He had paid very close attention, had insisted that bloodshed be avoided. And it was.

I remember Barr saying his operation succeeded because everyone had been very patient, waiting until the hostage-takers had fallen asleep in the middle of the night. Then, using "flash-bang" grenades at 3 am, SWAT teams overwhelmed the sleeping gang, freeing hostages while capturing perpetrators - without the loss of a single life.

Barr persuaded me that had the will been there in the Clinton Administration to do the same, Waco need not have ended in a massacre.

If Barr actually said that, he's incredibly stupid and incompetent. Why? That's how the BATFE caused the problem in the first place. Sure, they didn't go in at 3am. But they used smoke, flash-bangs, "dynamic entry", even snipers in helicopters. The whole thing was meant to put on an exciting and violent show for the media they invited, and to overpower the unsuspecting people within through their use of immediate deadly force and overwhelming numbers.

He may give the impression of being calm and considerate and competent in his manner. But his actual expressed ideas demonstrate a complete failure to understand the problem he was discussing and how it arose in the first place.

Categories Waco 4th Amendment

Wed Jan 02 07:47:18 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

5 months of FBI text messages missing

By some strange coincidence, the missing months of text message records are some of the most important months for understanding the Trump-Russia investigation.

So remember: those 10,000+ text messages between Strzok and Page that included the "insurance policy" against a Trump win and god only knows what else? Those are the ones they thought we should be allowed to have. The missing messages -- between Dec 14th 2016 and May 17th 2017 -- must be much, much worse.

Funny how government agencies have their records go missing whenever this sort of investigation pops up. I remember when Lois Lerner destroyed her hard drives, laptops, and cell phones. And of course there's Hillary, who wiped her server with a cloth soaked in Bleachbit.

UPDATE: Sessions announces DOJ will probe missing messages. Isn't this exactly the sort of thing that needs a special counsel to investigate independently? Remember, DOJ is just as corrupt as the FBI...

Mon Jan 22 09:24:57 CST 2018 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]


Subscribe to Atom Feed

I am not a lawyer, and nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice.

This site is run on custom blog software and is being actively developed. Please be forgiving of errors.


This website is an Amazon affiliate and will receive financial compensation for products purchased from Amazon through links on this site.