Legislation

Is saving 30 percent on your car insurance enough to justify granting Big Brother access to your vehicle? That’s the question many consumers and industry analysts are asking, as more auto insurance companies offer new options that calculate premiums based on a person’s driving habits, rather than set variables such as age, gender, and past driving records.

An Internet censorship and privacy-destroying bill will be taken up by the House this week.

This is “cybersecurity week,” according to Brock Meeks at Wired.com when CISPA (the Orwellian-named Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is scheduled to move to the House floor for a vote. Offered originally before SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and its sister PIPA (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) were blown up in January, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) have offered some amendments to the bill (H.R. 3523) to soften some of its critics and to avoid the same result.

 JBS CEO Art Thompson's Second Video Analysis for the Week of April 23-29, 2012.

The shadowy but controversial National Security Agency (NSA) — despite U.S. law and constitutional protections — has collected most of the e-mails sent and received by Americans, agency whistleblower William Binney explained during an explosive TV interview. Phone calls and other forms of electronic communications are also routinely targeted.

Next time your family plays a game on your Wii gaming system, you may be giving the Department of Homeland Security access to your address, credit card numbers, online passwords, and chat conversations.

 
 

The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom are permitting the sale of state of the art surveillance equipment to some of the world’s most notorious regimes. Concerned citizens in both nations worry that these devices will be employed by the buyers to monitor activists and those who dare speak out against governmental oppression.

 

Law enforcement agencies around the nation are increasingly turning to tracking cell phones in surveillance operations, and, according to a recent report by the ACLU, they are doing so largely without the benefit of a warrant. According to the secular legal group, many of the more than 200 police departments that responded to the ACLU survey on their use of such tracking said that their officers do not bother with a warrant to access such investigative resources.

 

If you are stopped for speeding or arrested for an unpaid fine, you may be subjected to a strip search and thorough inspection of even the most private body parts, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday in another controversial 5-4 decision. Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with the court's conservative bloc and wrote the opinion of the court in Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, the case of Albert Florence, a New Jersey man apprehended in a motor vehicle stop and arrested for an allegedly unpaid fine. In fact, Florence had already paid the fine, but the bench warrant for his arrest had, "for some unexplained reason," not been removed from the statewide computer database at the time of the arrest, Kennedy said.

 

A new service offered by Google is raising some eyebrows, as users now have access to monthly reports that reveal all their online activities using Google products (Gmail, YouTube, Google+ social network, online search, etc.). Called "Account Activity," the new feature will allow users to "step back and take stock of what you’re doing online," Google product manager Andreas Tuerk noted in a blog post. "Knowing more about your account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account."

 

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