New York magistrate judge Gary Brown decided in favor of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents who were seeking his approval over a warrant on a doctor who they suspected was being paid for issuing thousands of prescriptions. The warrant would have compelled the physician’s phone company to provide real-time tracking data from his cell. Brown, certainly to the delight of police, issued a 30-page brief outlining his opinion that, by carrying a cell phone, someone is essentially waiving their Fourth Amendment right to due process. “Given the ubiquity and celebrity of geolocation technologies, an individual has no legitimate expectation of privacy in the prospective of a cellular telephone where that individual has failed to protect his privacy by taking the simple expedient of powering it off,” Brown wrote. “As to control by the user, all of the known tracking technologies may be defeated by merely turning off the phone. Indeed – excluding apathy or inattention – the only reason that users leave cell phones turned on is so that the device can be located to receive calls. Conversely, individuals who do not want to be disturbed by unwanted telephone calls at a particular time or place simply turn their phones off, knowing that they cannot be located.” He goes on to suggest that because there are smartphone applications available that allow users to locate people in their area with similar interests, cell phone customers should not expect their inherent right to privacy to be observed. “Given the notoriety surrounding the disclosure of geolocation data to retailers purveying soap powder and blue jeans to mall shoppers, the police searching for David Pogue’s iPhone and, most alarmingly, the creators and users of the Girls Around You app, cell phone users cannot realistically entertain the notion that such information would (or should) be withheld from federal law enforcement agents searching for a fugitive.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has long been a voice for the American people against governmental overreach and technological surveillance. Chris Soghoian, a principal technologist and senior policy analyst at the ACLU, wrote that Brown’s opinion was “ridiculous.” “There is a big difference between location information you knowingly share with a select group of friends (or, in fact, the world) and information collected about you without your knowledge or consent,” he wrote. Exactly how common this practice is throughout the law enforcement community is unclear but it has widely been reported that a Michigan police force tried to gain information about every single cell phone within the proximity of a labor protest. Congressional leaders are currently considering two laws that would address how freely police are able to bug citizens. During an April hearing on Capitol Hill one detective told Senators that warrantless geolocation tracking is “essential to obtain in the early stages of investigations when probable cause has not yet been established.” That attitude, and the wide potential for abuse this kind of law creates, has the ACLU alarmed. “Someone might be happy to share their location with a few friends by ‘checking in’ using Foursquare while at a music festival, but not want law enforcement to access that same information,” Soghoian continued. “And, they would still reasonably expect that their location a week later at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or abortion clinic should remain private. Sharing location data isn’t and shouldn’t be all or nothing.” …
http://www.youtube.com/v/HKX4WZHsasA?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata View original post here: Inside Story Americas: Is the US intimidating the media?
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, has announced that he is prepared to pursue nuclear diplomacy with world powers. Jalili met with the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Istanbul. It follows a failed round of big power diplomacy in April, in…
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Iran is the focus of international pressure over its nuclear programme in two separate meetings.
In Vienna the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began its 10th round of talks urging Tehran to cooperate with its inquiry into suspected atomic bomb research.
Meanwhile a second broader diplomatic effort is also being pursued with the European Union’s top diplomat, Catherine Ashton meeting up with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in Istanbul.
Although all parties say they are committed to dialogue analysts such as Serge Barseghian of the newspaper ‘Etemad’ are not expecting any breakthrough.
“I can see no meaningful difference between this round of talks and the previous one. The upcoming presidential elections in Iran is an extra reason for both parties to take a cautious approach and wait. So it seems very unlikely that they reach an important agreement that could affect either the nuclear issue of the Iranian elections.”
While Iran insists its research is for peaceful reasons the IAEA is majorly concerned about the facilities at the Parchin military site and at the Busheher nuclear plant.
Without free access the west remains suspicious and to date the UN has passed multiple rounds of sanctions against Iran related to the issue.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg on Tuesday signalled he has abandoned his long-held resistance to using fiscal measures to kick start the European Union’s sluggish economy. …
On Monday, Jolie told the world she had undergone the procedure after discovering she carries a gene called BRCA1, which drastically increases the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Myriad Genetics, the Utah-based firm which owns both the patent to BRCA1 and a similar gene called BRCA2, saw its shares climb 4 percent on Tuesday following the starlet’s announcement, Yahoo!Finance reports. As the patent owner, Myriad has the exclusive right to test for those genes, keeping other biotech firms from developing their own diagnostic tools. Jolie, who underwent Myriad’s BRACAnalysis – which determines a woman’s risk of getting hereditary breast or ovarian cancer by looking for defects in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes –urged others to take the genetic tests as well. Her decision to not keep her story private was spurred by her desire to warn women “who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer.” But with only one firm monopolizing research on the “faulty” genes, Jolie’s altruistic announcement pushed Myriad’s stock up to its highest level since mid-2009.Testing for the two genes costs roughly $3,340 dollars, though the molecular diagnostic company might soon see their profit base shrink amidst an ongoing Supreme Court case which could see such patents on nature nullified. In late November, the court decided to review whether companies can patent the process of taking the human gene out of the body for research, with arguments getting underway in April.The appeal to the Supreme Court was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation on behalf of the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and other professional organizations that represent more than 150,000 physicians and scientists.The coalition has banded together to fight against attempts to patent and financially exploit parts of the human body, which they argue are“products of nature.” The have further said the patents undermine the First Amendment by delimiting the free exchange of ideas related to the human body.“Gene patents prevent pathologists from reading their patients’ DNA sequences to assess their risks for disease, their prognoses, or their potential responsiveness to therapy,” the online health information site OncLive cites AMP president Iris Schrijver as saying last September.“The result of this lack of competition is increased test costs, decreased patient access, reduced innovation in the development of new test methods, and dramatically reduced knowledge dissemination.” The cancer groups initially won a court ruling in 2010, although an appeals court later found that genes could in fact be patented, as the very process of extracting genes differentiated them from the “natural” DNA in our bodies, the Wall Street Journal reported.In a scathing article published by Slate magazine on Sunday, world-renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz lambasted Myriad as “a true example of an American corporation for which profit trumps all other values, including the value of human life itself.”“It [Myriad] claims to own the rights to any test for the presence of the two critical genes associated with breast cancer, and it has ruthlessly enforced that right, though their test is inferior to one that Yale University was willing to provide at much lower cost. The consequences have been tragic: Thorough, affordable testing that identifies high-risk patients saves lives.” Myriad and other biotech firms argue that without the ability to have such patents – which they have now been obtaining for three decades – the lack of financial incentives would cause the industry to dry up.Currently, some 20 percent of the 4,000 genes found in the human body have been patented, including some linked to colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Some patents are owned by research institutions which attempt to prevent their reduction to a strictly for profit tool.Myriad’s patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2 are set to expire in roughly two years. A ruling by the Supreme Court is expected later this year. …