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A Surveillance Camera On Every Chicago Street Corner? 311

Mike writes "Chicago Mayor Daley has stated that if his Olympic dreams come true, by 2016 there will be a surveillance camera on 'every street corner in Chicago.' Just like in London, elected officials all over America appear to be happily advancing a 'surveillance society' without regard for civil rights or privacy concerns. Ray Orozco, executive director of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications is quoted as saying, 'We're going to grow the system until we eventually cover one end of the city to the other.'" Chicago has been developing its surveillance network for some time, but it seems they plan to continue increasing the scale.

Examining the Search and Seizure of Electronics at Airports 699

Angus McKraken brings us a Washington Post story about how travelers are seeking more well-defined policies and rules about the search and seizure of electronic devices by U.S. Customs officials. The EFF has already taken legal action over similar concerns. We recently discussed the related issue of requiring people to disclose their passwords in order to search their private data. From the Post: "Maria Udy, a marketing executive with a global travel management firm in Bethesda, said her company laptop was seized by a federal agent as she was flying from Dulles International Airport to London in December 2006. Udy, a British citizen, said the agent told her he had 'a security concern' with her. 'I was basically given the option of handing over my laptop or not getting on that flight,' she said. 'I was assured that my laptop would be given back to me in 10 or 15 days,' said Udy, who continues to fly into and out of the United States. She said the federal agent copied her log-on and password, and asked her to show him a recent document and how she gains access to Microsoft Word. She was asked to pull up her e-mail but could not because of lack of Internet access. With ACTE's help, she pressed for relief. More than a year later, Udy has received neither her laptop nor an explanation."

U.S. House to Vote on Anti-Online Gambling Act 334

SonicSpike writes to mention that the House is set to vote on an act designed to choke off the U.S. money flow to internet gambling. Though illegal here in the states, overseas operators are getting a good deal of business from individuals with U.S. bank accounts and credit cards. From the article: "The legislation would make it illegal for banks and credit card companies to make payments to these sites. It also allows law enforcement officials to force Internet service providers to remove links to the websites. Many major credit card companies already refuse to process such payments. Opponents of the bill, including online gambling sites and a new group representing U.S. poker players, noted the growing popularity of Internet gambling and predicted that people would continue to sidestep laws."

ISPs to Create Database to Combat Child Porn 595

BlueCup writes to tell us that several media companies are banding together to create a database of child pornography images to help law enforcement officials combat distribution of questionable material. In addition to the database several tools and new technologies are also planned but most notable is what some perceive as a willingness to cooperate which critics say has been lacking in the past. From the article: "Each company will set its own procedures on how it uses the database, but executives say the partnership will let companies exchange their best ideas — ultimately developing tools for preventing child-porn distribution instead of simply catching violations."

Library Chief Criticized for Requiring Subpoena 715

sudnshok writes "Hasbrouck Heights (NJ) Library Director Michele Reutty is under fire for refusing to give police library circulation records without a subpoena. Her lawyer explained, 'Reutty did the right thing... At no time did Michele Reutty say to any police officer or anybody else that she would not give the information if it was properly requested.' However, borough labor lawyer Ellen Horn, who also represented the library trustees, said Reutty was 'more interested in protecting' her library than helping the police. 'It was an absolute misjudgment of the seriousness of the matter,' Horn said."

Proposal to Implant RFID Chips in Immigrants 559

John3 writes "Some people are OK with voluntarily implanting themselves with RFID chips, but how about making RFID implantation mandatory for immigrant and guest workers? VeriChip Corporation chairman Scott Silverman has proposed implanting RFID chips to register workers as they cross the border. According to Silverman, 'We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...' Privacy advocates see this move by VeriChip as a way to introduce their product to Latin America after a lukewarm reception in North America. Would immigrant workers trade their privacy for the opportunity to work in the U.S.? If this type of tracking is enacted, how long before the government decides to start tracking others for various purposes (for example, pedophiles who are released from prison)?"

A DNA Database For All U.S. Workers? 625

fragmer writes "New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested a plan on Wednesday that would establish a DNA or fingerprint database to track and verify all legal U.S. workers. The mayor said DNA and fingerprint technology could be used to create a worker ID database that will 'uniquely identify the person' applying for a job, ensuring that cards are not illegally transferred or forged. Bloomberg compared his proposed federal identification database to the Social Security card, insisting that such a system would not violate citizens' privacy and was not a civil liberties issue."

U.S. Pressures ISPs on Data Retention 221

packetmon writes "According to Wired's Declan McCullagh 'In a private meeting with industry representatives, Gonzales, Mueller and other senior members of the Justice Department said Internet service providers should retain subscriber information and network data for two years ... A more extensive mandate would require companies to keep track of e-mail messages sent, Web pages visited and perhaps even instant-messaging correspondents.'"

Congress May Consider Mandatory ISP Snooping 310

An anonymous reader writes to mention a News.com story covering a most disquieting trend in the House of Representatives. From the article: "Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette's proposal says that any Internet service that 'enables users to access content' must permanently retain records that would permit police to identify each user. The records could not be discarded until at least one year after the user's account was closed. It's not clear whether that requirement would be limited only to e-mail providers and Internet providers such as DSL (digital subscriber line) or cable modem services. An expansive reading of DeGette's measure would require every Web site to retain those records."

DOJ To Claim National Security in NSA Case 337

deblau writes "Wired is reporting that the federal government intends to invoke the rarely used 'State Secrets Privilege' in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's class action lawsuit against AT&T. The case alleges that the telecom collaborated with the NSA's secret spying on American citizens. The State Secrets Privilege lets the executive branch step into a civil lawsuit and have it dismissed if the case might reveal information that puts national security at risk."

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.