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Privacy Rights, Cronyism, and Jason Bourne »

Hollywood’s rediscovery of freedom is cropping up in interesting places more and more. I’ve discussed themes emphasizing individual responsibility and skepticism about government in films such as Captain America: Civil War, the Divergent trilogy, and other media, but these ideas might have real staying power if what I just saw in Jason Bourne, the Matt Damon vehicle...
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Politics and American Surveillance »

Editor: Today is the publication date of the Independent Institute’s newest book, American Surveillance: Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment, by Anthony Gregory (Research Fellow, Independent Institute). Published for Independent by the University of Wisconsin Press, this widely acclaimed new book traces the history of government surveillance in the U.S. that transcends party divides,...
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Progressive Betrayals of Civil Liberties »

In the last two weeks, we have seen the weakness of many left-liberals’ support for civil liberties. Last week, progressive bloggers, activists, and politicians piled on Chick-fil-A, whose president Dan Cathy has spoken critically of and supported groups that oppose gay marriage. For his stance on this issue, which is not all that different...
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Every Single Day, Every Word You Say, I’ll Be Watching You »

The Department of Homeland Security has declared its intention to gather personal data on journalists or others who might use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.” I suppose that would include those of us at the Independent Institute who blog, tweet, and update Facebook. New...
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“Liberal” Appeals Court OKs Warrantless GPS Tracking by Feds »

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, much ballyhooed as liberal-leaning, is joining the rest of the former so-called “liberal” wing in falling into lockstep behind ever-increasing police powers. The appeals court last week declined a defendant’s request to review drug agents’ sneaking onto his property to affix GPS tracking devices to...
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The Green Police Are Here! »

Audi’s ad agency no doubt thought itself very clever in creating the Green Police “satire” ad that aired during this year’s Super Bowl. Turns out they were just (slightly) prescient. Alexandria, VA now has new residential recycling bins with a built-in monitoring device allowing the city to track resident participation in the city’s recycling...
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Democrats Push for National ID »

At least since 9/11, the Democrats have, if anything, been even worse than the Republicans in their push for a national ID. I recall the Bush administration, very early on, dismissing this totalitarian idea, although Bush soon enough signed the Real ID Act into law, with the support of hawkish and anti-immigration conservatives. But...
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Obama’s Surveillance State Targets PCs, Laptops and Media Devices »

According to Russia Today, in the name of protecting copyright infringements, the Obama administration is now pushing for an international treaty to allow governments to have sweeping access to anyone’s PC, laptop and other electronic devices in order to make copies of any files. Attempts by privacy and civil liberties groups to have copies...
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Police to Track All Vehicles into New York City »

The New York City Police Department is now planning on tracking the movements of all vehicles entering Manhattan in a federally funded program designated “Operation Sentinel.” Of course, this massive assault on privacy is being done to track and screen out “terrorism.” And according to the Associated Press: Police say Operation Sentinel would rely...
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