Blog Archives

No Expectation of Privacy

Attorney David Allen addresses an interesting subject.  It involves two robbery suspects who used cells phones.  At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the cell phones pinged off towers in the vicinity of and around the times of the robberies.

The two suspects were convicted, but appealed on the basis that prosecutors obtained the cell phone pings without their permission, and without search warrants, violating their 4th Amendment rights.  Attorney Allen presents both sides and why the Appellate Court decided in favor of the prosecutors.

 

Twitter Class Action Lawsuits

TwitterIf you or someone you know is a resident of the State of California as of October 27, 2015, and had a Twitter account on or before November 2009, you might want to know the following.

Twitter has been sued, and agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that it violated user’s privacy rights by disclosing the full names provided by users without warning. The lawsuit also alleges that Twitter shared users’ public tweets and public profile information with third parties without providing adequate disclosure, and by failing to adequately inform its users that their tweets would be public by default.

The class action lawsuit was filed by a former Twitter user who opened an account in September 2009. The plaintiff, known as Jane Doe, alleges breach of contract, invasion of privacy, wrongful publication of private facts, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, misappropriate, and violation of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Online Privacy Protection Act, and the Unfair Competition Law. The lawsuit is captioned Jane Doe v. Twitter Inc., et al., Case No. CGC-10-503630, and is filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco. Read the rest of this entry

ACLU Intervenes In Case Involving Disclosure of Personal Information

ACLUThis morning, Victor Blackwell of CNN, (@VictorCNN), tweeted that the ACLU has submitted a brief in the Kendrick Johnson case. They have taken a friend of the court position pertaining to the disclosure of the identity of 23 Twitter handles and cites First Amendment and privacy.

It’s actually the civil case filed by Kendrick’s parents for wrongful death.   The Bell family responded with a counter-suit, alleging defamation. In their counter-claim, they allege that Kendrick’s mom used “authorized agents” to defame them on social media.

On November 2, 2015, I wrote in a post that people had been notified by Twitter that their account information had been subpoenaed in the Johnson v. Bell case.   The Department of Justice filed a motion to intervene and a motion to stay discovery for 180 days pending completion of their investigation. The DOJ has extended their investigation into witness tampering and obstruction. The court denied the DOJ’s motions.

Also reported in that post is that a person who is a known internet harasser and extortionist tweeted to several individuals that their Twitter account information had been subpoenaed, and he did so days before Twitter notified those individuals. It’s the same person that one of our (as of Nov. 23, 2015, form writer) Santiago, has a restraining order against and is currently in court in a contempt proceeding, alleging violation of that restraining order. Read the rest of this entry

Illinois Law Does Not Prohibit Recording On-Duty Law Enforcement

On Twitter, it started with circulating the headline of an article published on The Free Thought Project titled “Illinois Just Made it a Felony for Its Citizens to Record the Police and the Media is Silent.” The article claimed that Illinois passed a law making it a felony to record police officers. That is not factual. The emotional state of many Americans with the thought that a law prohibits the video recording of police officers using excessive force, was at the forefront of the headline that misrepresents the amended Illinois law.

Snopes has already printed about the apparent confusion of the law, which isn’t a new law at all but rather, an amendment to an existing law and does not prohibit the recording of on-duty police officers.

The Free Thought article states that the wording from the legislation is vague, and it included the following;

(a) Eavesdropping, for a first offense, is a Class 4 felony (from Ch. 38, par. 14-4) and, for a second or subsequent offense, is a Class 3 felony.

(b) The eavesdropping of an oral conversation or an electronic communication of any
law enforcement officer, State’s Attorney, Assistant State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, Assistant Attorney General, or a judge, while in the performance of his or her official duties, if not authorized by this Article or proper court order, is a Class 3 felony, and for a second or subsequent offenses, is a Class 2 felony.

Had readers clicked the link to the Bill, they would have read two words that should have stood out.  Those two words are;

  1. eavesdropping

  2. private

eavesdropping2When I read the first tweet reporting this, (and expressing disgust that Illinois would legislate such a law), I didn’t respond.  I didn’t respond because my first impression that anyone reading the word “eavesdropping” would understand its meaning.  I was wrong, not taking into consideration that people passing the tweet around are not residents of Illinois understanding how “eavesdropping” is defined in Illinois law. Read the rest of this entry

Changes To The Illinois Constitution On The Ballot

voteYesterday, I received a pamphlet in the mail from the Illinois Secretary of State. It is addressed to “Residential Customer” and titled, “Proposed Amendments and Addition to The Illinois Constitution.” Of course, it captured my attention.

The introduction says,

“At the General Election to be held on the 4th of November, 2014, you will be called upon to adopt or reject the following proposed amendments to the Illinois Constitution. As required by law, I provide you with the following information.”

Wow!  To be fully informed, I read the 6 pages.

There is one proposed Amendment, and an addition to Article III which is titled, “Suffrage and Elections. Read the rest of this entry

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