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Electronic Frontier Foundation

Federal Judge Rejects State Secrets Claims: EFF Case To Proceed 146

The EFF has been attempting to sue the government over illegal surveillance since the Bush administration, and, despite repeated attempts to have the case dismissed because of State Secrets, a federal judge has now ruled that the case must go forward in public court, throwing out the government's State Secrets argument. From the order: Having thoroughly considered the parties' papers, Defendants' public and classified declarations, the relevant legal authority and the parties' arguments, the Court GRANTS the Jewel Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary adjudication by rejecting the state secrets defense as having been displaced by the statutory procedure prescribed in 50 U.S.C. 1806(f) of FISA. In both related cases, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motions to dismiss Plaintiffs' statutory claims on the basis of sovereign immunity. The Court further finds that the parties have not addressed the viability of the only potentially remaining claims, the Jewel Plaintiffs' constitutional claims under the Fourth and First Amendments and the claim for violation of separation of powers and the Shubert Plaintiffs' fourth cause of action for violation of the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, the Court RESERVES ruling on Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the remaining, non-statutory claims." Although some statutory claims were dismissed, the core Constitutional questions will be litigated.
Facebook

Maryland Bans Employers From Asking For Facebook Passwords 211

Freddybear writes with news that yesterday Maryland passed a bill through both houses of the state legislature that would forbid employers from requiring job applicants or employees to provide access to social media accounts. The bill now awaits only the signature of governor Martin O'Malley. "The bill is the first of its kind in the country, and has shined a spotlight on the practice of employers demanding personal social media passwords from potential hires, [said Melissa Goemann of the ACLU]." Similar legislation is being developed in California, Illinois and Michigan, according to the Washington Post.
Books

For Texas Textbooks, a Victory For Evolution 626

An anonymous reader writes "The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In an 8-0 vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers — and did not approve the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC."
The Internet

UK ISP Says No To Music Industry Pressure 70

siloko sends us to the BBC for the story of one ISP standing up to the music industry. (But note that this ISP is one of the ones said to have worked with Phorm on plans to track customers' surfing.) "The head of one of Britain's biggest internet providers has criticized the music industry for demanding that he act against pirates. Charles Dunstone of Carphone Warehouse, which runs the TalkTalk broadband service, is refusing. He said it is not his job to be an internet policeman."
Communications

US House Rejects Telecom Amnesty 614

The US House has just approved a new bill that rejects the retroactive immunity to telecommunication businesses and denies most of the new powers for the US President to spy on citizens without a warrant. "As impressive as the House vote itself was, more impressive still was the floor debate which preceded it. I can't recall ever watching a debate on the floor of either House of Congress that I found even remotely impressive -- until today. One Democrat after the next -- of all stripes -- delivered impassioned, defiant speeches in defense of the rule of law, oversight on presidential eavesdropping, and safeguards on government spying. They swatted away the GOP's fear-mongering claims with the dismissive contempt such tactics deserve, rejecting the principle that has predominated political debate in this country since 9/11: that the threat of the Terrorists means we must live under the rule of an omnipotent President and a dismantled constitutional framework."

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