This Disturbing American Government of Ours

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I just wanted to quickly highlight two stories - one ok, one not-so-ok. First off, the not-so-ok story.

Per the Washington Post, new Justice Department rules would allow the FBI to "open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion." This is really just sad. There used to be a time when you had to actually be reasonably suspected of wrongdoing before law enforcement resources were expended on an investigation. Now the Justice Department is essentially sanctioning witch hunts and harassment by the FBI, and for no good reason. When combined with border seizures of laptops (see my comments here and here), American federal law enforcement appears increasingly intent on creating a police state where secret interrogations and investigations are conducted simply on the whim of political leaders with the intent of terrorizing and oppressing citizens. It's just pathetic, bad police work, and bad policy.

In more positive news, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that people placed on the "no-fly list" can sue in court to get their names removed. This is a reversal of previous rules that had made the process so onerous that almost nobody could meander through to confirm that their name was on the list, let alone get it removed. Thank goodness that someone somewhere has decided that all this excessive secrecy is a Bad Thing (tm). (Hat tip to Slashdot for the story.)

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We're having the same idiocy spreading to Europe unfortunately...

Having our own Telecom scandals right now in Sweden, but no random searches at the borders yet though (but it's being pushed in EU parliament right now (ACTA)).

We're all quite upset over here...



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This page contains a single entry by Ben Tomhave published on August 21, 2008 10:23 AM.

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