Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Constitution 'exemption' zone spans 100 miles inland of US border ! How does translate ? Well , consider the map of the " Zone " , consider where you live and understand for 66 percent of Americans , the Constitution is already a relic !

http://rt.com/usa/court-upholds-laptop-border-searches-041/


Constitution 'exemption' zone spans 100 miles inland of US border– judge

Published time: December 31, 2013 23:15
AFP Photo / John Moore
AFP Photo / John Moore
A US federal judge has reaffirmed an Obama administration policy granting officials the authority to search Americans' laptops, citing a controversial premise that makes citizens within 100 miles of the border eligible for a police check.
District Judge Edward Korman made his ruling in New York on Tuesday, more than three years after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit. The ACLU claimed that - since Americans put so much of their lives on their computers, cell phones, and other devices – border officials should have reasonable suspicion before sifting through someone's personal files.
Attorneys argued that searches conducted without reasonable suspicion are a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.
Not so, according to Judge Korman. In his decision Tuesday he argued that the area 100 miles inland falls under a “border exemption.”
Laptops have only come into widespread use in the twenty-first century. Prior to that time, lawyers, photographers, and scholars managed to travel overseas and consult with clients, take photographs, and conduct scholarly research,” wrote Korman.
No one ever suggested the possibility of a border search had a chilling effect on his or her First Amendment rights. While it is true that laptops make overseas work more convenient, the precaution plaintiffs may choose to take to 'mitigate' the alleged harm associated with the remote possibility of a border search are simply among the many inconveniences associated with international travel.”
The federal government has long conducted searches on travelers entering and leaving the US, but Congress expanded that policy by creating the Department of Homeland Security and setting up at least 33 checkpoints inside the country where people are stopped and asked to prove their citizenship.
The trouble is, the ACLU noted, that almost two-thirds of the population (197.4 million people) live within 100 miles of the US border. New York, Washington, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and dozens of other major metropolitan areas fall under the so-called “exemption” zone.
The civil-liberties advocacy group filed suit in 2010 on behalf of Pascal Abidor, a 29-year-old Islamic Studies student whose laptop computer was held for 11 days when he was traveling by Amtrak rail from Canada to his parents' home in New York.
Abidor was sitting in the train's cafe car when an officer forced him to take out his laptop then “ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,” the suit claimed. The computer contained images of Hamas and Hezbollah rallies and the agents, unmoved by Abidor's assertion the images were related to his studies, handcuffed the young man and kept him detained for three hours, questioning him numerous times.
Department of Homeland Security data indicates that 6,500 people had their devices search between 2008 and 2010 alone.
Catherine Crump, the ACLU attorney who argued Abidor's case, told Wired that the group was considering filing an appeal.
We're disappointed in today's decision, which allows the government to conduct intrusive searches of Americans' laptops and other electronics at the border without any suspicion that those devices contain evidence of wrongdoing,” she said.
Suspicionless searches of devices containing vast amounts of personal information cannot meet the standard set by the Fourth Amendment... Unfortunately, these searches are part of a broader pattern of aggressive government surveillance that collects information on too many innocent people, under lax standards, and without adequate oversight.

Further background.....

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/02/homeland-security-creates-constitution.html

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2013

Homeland Security Creates "Constitution-Free" Zones

By Seth Mason

The erosion of civil liberties in this country is scary, and it's a travesty that the MSM and even the conservative media (Rush, etc.) won't talk about it.

The latest development in 4th Amendment violations is the scariest I've heard yet. The Department of the Fatherland has approved a policy which states in no uncertain terms that electronic devices can be seized without a warrant within 100 miles of the border. The kicker? The "border", according to this policy, is any national barrier, political or physical. THIS INCLUDES BODIES OF WATER. So, that means that the United States has, in effect, "Constitution-free zones" stretching 100 miles inland from every coast and 100 miles from our northern and southern borders. Unbelievable! Wired has the story:

The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.

The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.

The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.

The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.

Civil rights groups like the American Civil Liberties Union suggest that “reasonable suspicion” should be the rule, at a minimum, despite that being a lower standard than required by the Fourth Amendment.

“There should be a reasonable, articulate reason why the search of our electronic devices could lead to evidence of a crime,” Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, said in a telephone interview. “That’s a low threshold.”

The DHS watchdog’s conclusion isn’t surprising, as the DHS is taking that position in litigation in which the ACLU is challenging the suspicionless, electronic-device searches and seizures along the nation’s borders. But that conclusion nevertheless is alarming considering it came from the DHS civil rights watchdog, which maintains its mission is “promoting respect for civil rights and civil liberties.”

“This is a civil liberties watchdog office. If it is doing its job property, it is supposed to objectively evaluate. It has the power to recommend safeguards to safeguard Americans’ rights,” Crump said. “The office has not done that and the public has the right to know why.”
Toward that goal, the ACLU on Friday filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding to see the full report that the executive summary discusses.

Meantime, a lawsuit the ACLU brought on the issue concerns a New York man whose laptop was seized along the Canadian border in 2010 and returned 11 days later after his attorney complained.

At an Amtrak inspection point, Pascal Abidor showed his U.S. passport to a federal agent. He was ordered to move to the cafe car, where they removed his laptop from his luggage and “ordered Mr. Abidor to enter his password,” according to the lawsuit.

Agents asked him about pictures they found on his laptop, which included Hamas and Hezbollah rallies. He explained that he was earning a doctoral degree at a Canadian university on the topic of the modern history of Shiites in Lebanon.

He was handcuffed and then jailed for three hours while the authorities looked through his computer while numerous agents questioned him, according to the suit, which is pending in New York federal court.
Here's a map of the nation's "Constitution-free zones", according to the ACLU:
Homeland Security Creates "Constitution-Free" Zones - map

Where in the hell is the outrage in the media? Why the hell are nationally-syndicated talk radio hosts yapping about "Obamaphones" instead of this? Syndicate me! I actually talk about issues that matter!




Here is what this " Zone "  looks like ! 

    • Sad thing is, 99% of America couldn’t care less. The terrorists won, and our government gained everything they could ever wish for, and more.