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The nice guys behind REAL ID

The REAL ID Act of 2005 sets up a de facto national identification card for American citizens. Almost nobody actually wants a national identification card, though. For many, it brings up still-fresh memories of Nazi Germany, which used national identification to control, and later slaughter, its population. For others, the national ID is the mark

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Big Brother, Big Business

The Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, places a few restrictions on how the federal government can compile dossiers on Americans. It was passed in response to multiple scandals in which, for instance, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover would spy on Americans for his own purposes. But does it go far

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The Dog Dialed 911

When the police arrived, they arrested the dog’s owner — not for allowing his dog to dial 911 on his cell phone, but for the 150 marijuana plants he had growing in the house. Despite the fact that he was doing absolutely nothing wrong by growing marijuana, that isn’t what this post is about. Instead,

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Los Angeles police beating caught on video

A vicious street gang has been terrorizing the residents of Los Angeles, Calif., and shocking new video has surfaced of gang members brutally assaulting a Hollywood resident.

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Social Security data used for criminal investigations

Wage and earnings data held at the Social Security Administration has been used in terrorism investigations since September 11, 2001. But few if any of those investigated have been brought up on terrorism charges. Federal prosecutors don’t actually bring terrorism charges if they can find any lesser charges which will result in a deportation and

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Government tries to stop AT&T surveillance lawsuit

A federal appeals court on Wednesday agreed to hear arguments from the government as to why a lawsuit against AT&T for its alleged cooperation in a terrorist surveillance program should be dismissed due to state secrets.

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The cover-up of Homeland Security’s virus infection

Last August a Windows virus infected over 1,300 computers which Customs and Border Protection uses to screen foreign travelers visiting the U.S. The bureau almost immediately tried to cover up the incident. In “The Virus That Ate DHS,’ Wired reporter and former hacker Kevin Poulsen illustrates that the Department of Homeland Security’s grasp on computer

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The TSA Follies

Airport security is in good hands with the Transportation Security Administration . . . and monkeys might fly out of my butt. The TSA’s new motto is “Vigilant, Effective, Efficient.’ Let’s see about that. Here are four examples of how the TSA seems to be, well, a bad joke.

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TSA screeners still fail to find guns, bombs

Going through airport security is such a pain these days. They’re still taking tubes of toothpaste, bottles of water, and anything else over three ounces away from passengers, and they’re still letting guns and bomb-making components pass right through.

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Google intelligence cooperation reprise

Something strange happened over the weekend. A story I wrote over eight months ago about Google’s quiet cooperation with the U.S. intelligence community suddenly got picked upall over the Internet. While I’d like to comment individually at all of the sites which have picked up the story, that would unfortunately be far too time-consuming. Even

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