10 Updates

Court sides with US in cell-tracking records case

May 9 2014, 9:16pm CDT | by

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant's conviction, a...

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10 weeks ago

Court sides with US in cell-tracking records case

May 9 2014, 9:16pm CDT | by

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant's conviction, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday in upholding privacy protections for people acquitted of crimes.

The ruling came in a public records lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had requested information on federal cases in which law enforcement had obtained cellphone tracking data without a warrant to track a user's whereabouts.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit had previously held that the Justice Department was obligated under the Freedom of Information Act to disclose case names and docket numbers for warrantless cellphone tracking prosecutions that ended with a conviction. But in a separate 2-1 decision Friday, a three-judge panel of the court said defendants who have been acquitted or who have had charges against them dropped enjoy extra privacy protections that outweigh the public benefit in disclosing that information.

"While this attention would have been warranted at the time of indictment, now that these defendants have been acquitted or had the relevant charges dismissed they have a significant and justified interest in avoiding additional and unnecessary publicity," Judge David Tatel wrote. He said a person acquitted of financial fraud looking to rebuild his life "might be especially dismayed" to learn of the information's release.

Though the appeal centered on a small number of cases, the dispute nonetheless unfolded against the backdrop of ever-advancing law enforcement technologies and the ongoing debate over privacy protections.

"Once a person has been publicly indicted, and that information is easily available on the Internet, it's just unrealistic to say that the person has an ongoing interest in the privacy of his public indictment" that outweighs the public's right to know what happened, said Arthur Spitzer, the legal director of the ACLU of Washington, who said he was disappointed by the decision.

The Justice Department, in responding to the ACLU lawsuit, identified 229 prosecutions since 2001 in which a judge had approved the government's request to obtain cellphone tracking data without making a finding of probable cause. The department refused to turn the list over, but after an earlier appeals court decision, ultimately released docket information for 214 cases that had resulted in guilty pleas or convictions.

The remaining 15 cases ended with an acquittal or dropped charges or had been sealed. Since the ACLU didn't challenge the Justice Department's authority to withhold information on sealed cases, the only cases at issue in the appeal were six — two that ended in acquittal, four where the charges were dropped.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown dissented from the majority opinion, saying the six disputed cases already exist in the public domain and can easily be accessed through a Google search or other means.

"An individual who is indicted and tried has no privacy interest that can protect the public record of prosecution from disclosure — even if the ultimate outcome was acquittal or dismissal," she wrote.

____

Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

 
Update
10

6 weeks ago

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Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was t ...
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Update
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6 weeks ago

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Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robbe ...
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Update
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6 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the D ...
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Update
7

6 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

6 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in t ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

6 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

6 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

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PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaa ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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