PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

30,000 Innocent Travelers Flagged on Airline Screening Lists

Airline Screening TSA

From ZDNET:

About 30,000 airline passengers have discovered since last November that their names were mistakenly matched with those appearing on federal watch lists, a transportation security official said Tuesday.

Jim Kennedy, director of the Transportation Security Administration’s redress office, revealed the errors at a quarterly meeting convened here by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

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Subways, Searches, and Slippery Slopes

Subway Searches

The gloves are off. Dave Hoffman has lodged another challenge to my position, and I want to take a quick moment to defend myself.

I believe that Dave mischaracterizes my arguments in several places and exaggerates some of my claims. So I’ll attempt to clear up any confusion as to my positions and try to defend my turf.

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Rational Security vs. Symbolic Security

Symbolic Security

So much for concurring opinions . . . I’ve been attacked by not only one co-blogger, but two. Earlier on, I posted a critique of the court’s decision upholding the NYC subway searching policy against a Fourth Amendment challenge.

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Of Sex Tapes, Pseudonymous Litigation, and Judicial Bungling

Video Camera

Lior Strahilevitz (law, Chicago) has a wonderful post over at the Chicago Law Faculty Blog about a very problematic Seventh Circuit opinion — and blunder. The case, Doe v. Smith, involves a teenage girl whose boyfriend secretly videotaped them having sex and then emailed the video to his friends. The issue is whether the plaintiff could proceed on federal Wiretap Act claims. The court said yes. But then the court stated:

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What Does It Take to Establish Probable Cause?

Probable Cause Fourth Amendment

In a concurring opinion in United States v. McClain, No. 04-5887 (6th Cir., Dec. 2, 2005), Chief Judge Danny Boggs of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit seeks to explain what “probable cause” entails. Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement officials often must have probable cause to believe that the place to be searched contains evidence of a crime in order to conduct a search. In describing the standard, however, Judge Boggs defines it as a ridiculously low threshold:

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NYC Subway Searches Upheld: A Critique of the Court’s Decision

NYC Subway Searches

In a recently issued opinion, Judge Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York upheld New York’s subway searching policy. Back in July, New York began randomly searching people’s bags at NYC subways. I criticized the policy:

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Group Polarization and Internet Shaming

Group Polarization

I’ve discussed Internet shaming in a series of posts, most recently in a post about a shaming incident carried out against a business. The post sparked a thought-provoking discussion in the comments. Adam wrote: “What exactly is ‘mob justice’ on the internet? A crowd of people waving web browsers? Angry bloggers complaining about poor service?”

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