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First POST: Unwarranted

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, June 26 2014


  • The US Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that police need warrants to search cell phones of people they arrest.

  • It's unclear from the ruling whether the Court's substantive understanding of the pervasive personal data collected on today's phones might also cause it to reconsider the 1979 Smith v Maryland decision, which held that no warrant was needed to obtain the "pen register" of an individual's phone call records held by the telephone company. Such so-called "business records" obviously also reveal a great deal of an individual's private life.

  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has long opposed warrantless searches of computers and mobile phones, is celebrating the court's decision by printing a special Supreme Court set of this phone sticker, reports its co-founder John Perry Barlow.

  • The Snowden Effect, Cont'd: The Obama administration has pledged to the European Union that it will extend privacy protections to European citizens, by sending legislation to Congress to amend the US Privacy Act, Ewen MacAskill reports for the Guardian.

  • Snowden Effect, More: In the Atlantic, Gordon Goldstein explains how in the wake of Snowden's revelations of NSA surveillance on international web traffic, many countries are moving toward creating their own regional Internets.

  • Facebook engineer Carlos Bueno shreds the idea of Silicon Valley as a meritocracy with "Inside the Mirrortocracy." Read the whole thing.

  • Speaking of mirrortocracy, the new civic startup Brigade, backed by billionaire Sean Parker, is getting some heat for its early line-up of mostly white male leadership, I report.

  • Related: Democratic uber-blogger Markos Moulitsas takes his party's consultant class to task for its lily-white ownership patterns. "I wouldn't pretend to understand how to message to Asian women, or white southerners, or Cuban Latinos," he notes. "So why do we have a Democratic consultant class that doesn't reflect the voters its trying to attract?"

  • According to the PowerPAC report Moulitsas was responding to, just 1.7% of the money spent by Democratic party committees on political consulting firms--$514 million during the 2010 and 2012 cycles--went to minority-owned enterprises

  • This is a big deal: Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and CTO of Blue State Digital, is Boston's new Chief Information Officer.

  • Politico's Darren Samuelson reports that Democratic techies, including former Obama stalwarts, are warming to a Hillary Clinton 2006 run. Much of the credit goes to her time at the State Dempartment, when innovators like Alec Ross and Katie Stanton helped Clinton lean in on Internet freedom issues.