Archive for October, 2006

Baseless Copyright Claims

31 October 2006

“Landmark Education,” a self-help group based in San Francisco, has attempted to suppress an investigation of its techniques, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Landmark Education subpoenaed three websites (The Internet Archive, Google Video, and YouTube), where a documentary was uploaded to, in an attempt to determine the uploader, whose documentary was apparently critical of Landmark Education’s methods.

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Exit Polling Ban Ruled Uncontitutional

30 October 2006

A law that would have extended the ban on electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place to exit polling as well was ruled unconstitutional in Florida recently, according to the Feminist Wire. Prohibiting pollsters from coming within 100 feet would have made polling difficult, and there was no reason to believe that exit polling in any way affected voters’ opinions.

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Scary Foreigners

29 October 2006

Raed Jarrar recently had trouble boarding a flight to California, according to The Progressive. He was at JFK airport with a T-Shirt that read “We will not be silent,” in both Arabic and English. A security guard decided that the passengers found this threatening (and he was quite possible entirely correct) and told Jarrar to either turn it inside out or put another shirt on over it, which Jarrar did to avoid missing his flight. Jarrar was also moved from his seat (3A) to the back of the plane. Said JetBlue spokesperson Jenny Dervin: “In that situation, our crew members have the responsibility to create a safe environment as well as safe travel. If there’s anything that upsets or confuses our customers, our crew members have to address them.”

Stephanie Schwartz also had a similar problem while wearing the same T-shirt and trying to board the Staten Island Ferry.

Raed Jarrar’s blog can be found at raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com.

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Judge Rules Against Jail Conditions

28 October 2006

Judge Dean D. Pregerson, saying that the central processing hub for the seven-facility L.A. County jail system has “defaulted to the lowest permissible standard of care,” recently ordered new measures regarding the situation, according to the ACLU-SC. Hundreds of people, arraigned but not convicted, are held in terrible conditions. In some holding cells there are 30 to 40 people, jammed together so much that they have to take turns lying down.

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New Jersey Court Rules for Gay Marriage

27 October 2006

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled that it was unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from marriage, according to the ACLU. The state legislature will have 180 days to either amend the existing marriage laws or add new ones to allow same-sex couples the same rights.

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“Trial by Ambush”

26 October 2006

The ACLU is challenging the Ohio trial laws that allow the prosecution to keep some evidence secret, which results in what the ACLU terms “trial by ambush,” since the defense is left without enough time to prepare a defense.

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Diebold Code Leaked

25 October 2006

The source code to Diebold voting machines has again been leaked, according to C2ore. The code would allow someone to vote multiple times while in the voting booth.

Diebold assures us though that on Election Day, we can be sure that vote totals will be accurate.

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Ticket for “Bushit” Bumper Sticker

24 October 2006

The owner of a “Bushit” bumper sticker is filing suit against the police officer who pulled her over and ticketed her, according to The Progressive. She had been ticketed for having a “lewd decal,” however, the “lewd decal” statute was ruled unconstitutional in Georgia in 1991.

The arresting officer could not be reached for comment, the police department refused to comment, and the county also refused to comment.

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ACLU Vs. Gonzales

23 October 2006

The ACLU is challenging the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which was signed by President Clinton in 1998 but never enforced. The act would punish people for posting material on the internet that was “useful to adults but harmful to minors.” The ACLU is joining with, among others, writers, online magazines, providers of information about safe sex, and an online dictionary.

ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Chris Hansen said: “This case is about speech. It is not the role of the government to decide what people can see and use on the Internet.”

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Jurors to Take FBI at its Word

22 October 2006

Jurors in Albany, NY, have been told to take the FBI at its word when it says it had “suspicions,” which resulted in a terror sting, according to Unknown News.

This will not, of course, result in an unfair advantage for the prosecution.

There is no way this kind of action is questionable, despite the fact that traditionally the jurors make these decisions, not the FBI.

So there’s nothing to worry about.

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