“Federal Judge: Only Powered-Off Cell Phones Deserve Privacy Protections”

May 15, 2013

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on May 15, 2013 released the following:

“By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:27am

A federal magistrate judge in New York recently ruled that cell phone location data deserves no protection under the Fourth Amendment and that accordingly, the government can engage in real-time location surveillance without a search warrant. In an opinion straight from the Twilight Zone, magistrate judge Gary Brown ruled two weeks ago that “cell phone users who fail to turn off their cell phones do not exhibit an expectation of privacy.”

The case in question involved a physician who the DEA believed had issued thousands of prescriptions for pain killers in exchange for cash. In March of this year, the DEA had obtained a warrant for his arrest, and, not knowing where he was, sought an order from magistrate judge Brown forcing the phone company to provide real-time data identifying the location of the physician’s phone.

Although the DEA agents requested a search warrant and the judge found that there was probable cause to believe that the cell phone location data would assist in the location and apprehension of an individual for whom there was already a valid arrest warrant, the judge later published a 30-page opinion further stating that he didn’t think the government needed to seek a search warrant in the first place.

Don’t Want the Government Tracking You? Turn Your Phone Off

In his puzzling opinion, the judge squarely criticizes people naive enough to expect privacy while also leaving their cell phones on when they’re not using them.

    “Given the ubiquity and celebrity of geolocation technologies, an individual has no legitimate expectation of privacy in the prospective location of a cellular telephone where that individual has failed to protect his privacy by taking the simple expedient of powering it off.

    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.”

The Catch-22 here is that the only people who the judge believes would have any reasonable expectation of privacy are those whose phones are turned off (and thus, not generating any location data that the government could access, even with a warrant). And it ignores the necessity of keeping your cell phone turned on for communicating with family or for work.

That consumers are dumb enough to willingly share their location using the “Girls Around Me” app (which the judge specifically calls out by name, although the wrong one), only further justifies covert, warrantless government surveillance:

    “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.”

This is, in a word, 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. 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. And, they would still reasonably expect that their location a week later while at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or abortion clinic should remain private. Sharing location data isn’t and shouldn’t be all or nothing.

We are also baffled by the judge’s willingness to tie a reasonable expectation of privacy to the use of a cell phone power button. We’re not sure if the judge has watched the Onion’s spoof news video describing a fictional “Google Opt Out Village” for people who don’t want to be tracked by the advertising company, but the logic in his opinion is consistent with the absurdity of that spoof. If you don’t want Google to track you, stop using all modern technology and move to a remote village. If you don’t want the government to covertly track your phone, turn it off and leave it off. What could be simpler, right?”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Former Steelers doctor accused of prescribing illegal steroids; team, players not named

October 19, 2012

The Washington Post on October 19, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — A doctor released from the Pittsburgh Steelers medical staff five years ago after investigators questioned his bulk purchase of anabolic steroids has been indicted for illegally prescribing the muscle-building aids.

Authorities are not listing the team or any of its players as among the recipients.

Sixty-two-year-old Dr. Richard Rydze (ridz) is expected to appear before a federal magistrate Friday.

Rydze left the Steelers in June 2007. The FBI accuses him of conspiring to distribute steroids and human growth hormone from September 2007 through March 2011. He also is charged with illegally prescribing painkillers during a slightly longer time frame — including a few months when he was still with the team.

A Steelers spokesman declined to comment Friday. In 2007, President Art Rooney II said Rydze denied giving players steroids.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Prosecutor Stanley Boone Named Federal Magistrate Judge

September 4, 2012

The Fresno Bee on September 2, 2012 released the following:

“By John Ellis

Longtime federal prosecutor Stanley Boone soon will ascend to the bench in the same courthouse where he has worked for more than a decade, taking a post as a magistrate judge.

Boone, 46, will replace Dennis Beck, who is retiring. His hiring also ensures that the overworked federal court in Fresno maintains its full contingent of six magistrate judges.

This is especially important now, several in the local legal community say, because there are just two district judges in Fresno’s federal courthouse who handle one of the largest caseloads in the nation.

Fresno has four magistrate judges, plus one in Bakersfield and another in Yosemite, both of whom answer to the federal judges here.

Boone is the third straight magistrate judge picked from inside Fresno’s federal courthouse.

Barbara McAuliffe, who served more than a decade as a staff attorney at the courthouse, was appointed last October as a replacement for retiring magistrate judge Sandra Snyder. Before that, prosecutor Sheila Oberto was picked for a newly created magistrate judge post in late 2009.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill — himself a former magistrate judge — called Boone “the entire package.

“He brings civil, criminal and administrative experience to the federal bench,” he said. “At a time when our judicial demands far exceed our judicial resources, we need a person who will enter on the fast track.”

Magistrate judges are less powerful than district judges, but they carry a heavy workload on Social Security appeals, prisoner civil rights cases and other prisoner-related cases.

They also have broad authority in cases up until trial and oversee criminal arraignments, set bail and handle much of the initial work in civil trials.

Boone, a hard-nosed litigator who seemed to revel in the courtroom battlefield, said he is ready to move from the more active prosecutorial role to what is more of a referee.

“I’m going to retool my system,” he said. “That energy will be in applying the law and being fair.”

Boone already was well known to the jurists who hired him. The University of California at Berkeley graduate — who earned his law degree from University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento — has been a federal prosecutor in Fresno since 1996.

Before that, he was a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski in Sacramento.

During his time as a prosecutor, Boone has specialized in white collar crime and terrorism cases. He has also acted as the office’s bankruptcy fraud coordinator. In addition, he spent a year as the White Collar Crime Coordinator at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C.

Beck, the outgoing U.S. magistrate judge, plans to retire Dec. 12. Boone said he likely will start the job by mid- to late December.

Boone’s only regret is that his grandfather — who always wanted him to become a judge — died before seeing him don the black robe.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Feds drop terrorism charges against Miami cab driver accused of aiding Taliban

June 14, 2012

The Miami Herald on June 13, 2012 released the following:

“Federal prosecutors have dropped charges against a member of a South Florida family accused of supporting the Pakistani Taliban, a designated terrorist group.

BY JAY WEAVER
JWEAVER@MIAMIHERALD.COM

A one-time Miami cab driver who was detained for nearly a year on charges alleging that he provided aid to Pakistani Taliban terrorists won’t face trial, after federal prosecutors dropped the case against him, according to a dismissal order filed Wednesday.

The U.S. attorney’s office provided no reason for dismissing charges against Irfan Khan, 39, a U.S. citizen who is married with two children. The one-paragraph dismissal order was signed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola.

“We are unable to comment on the internal deliberations that led to our decision,” said Alicia Valle, special counsel to U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer. “However, the charges against his co-defendants remain in place and trial is pending for those defendants in U.S. custody.”

Khan was arrested in May 2011 in Los Angeles, where he was working part-time in a software computer job. He was indicted on charges of conspiring with his father and brother, imams who led two mosques in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, and three others to provide financial support to the Pakistani Taliban, a designated terrorist organization.

Khan had been detained in the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami until April, when he was granted a bond by a federal magistrate judge.

“Irfan is obviously pleased that the government has recognized what we’ve long known — that he did not send any money to Pakistan to aid the Taliban,” said his attorney, Miami acting federal public defender Michael Caruso. “His happiness is tempered by his father and brother’s continued imprisonment, but he looks forward to rebuilding his life with his wife and two young children.”

Last year, Irfan Khan; his father, Hafiz Khan, 77, the former leader of a Miami mosque; his brother, Izhar Khan, 25, the one-time head of a Margate mosque; and three others were charged with conspiring to collect and send at least $50,000 from South Florida to the Taliban between 2008 and 2010. The other defendants — all believed to be living in Pakistan — are Irfan Khan’s sister, Amina Khan; her son, Alam Zeb; and Ali Rehman.

Irfan Khan, in particular, was accused of making four wire transfers — for $990, $980, $980, and $500 — to Pakistan, including one to his sister.

The FBI used a confidential informant, bank transfer records and more than 1,000 wiretapped phone calls to build the case, which made national headlines.

The Taliban has been accused of attacking both U.S. and Pakistani interests. It has been linked to al-Qaida, and is suspected of playing a role in the failed May 2010 attempt to bomb New York’s Times Square.

Last August, U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan ordered that Hafiz Khan, the elderly Muslim cleric, and both of his sons remain in custody until trial. Jordan said evidence against the two younger Khans was less compelling than that against their father. But the judge decided the case was still strong enough to warrant detention, citing their danger to the community and risk of flight.

In April, however, Magistrate Judge Patrick White released Irfan Khan from detention to home confinement on a combined bond package totaling about $700,000. White granted the bond after prosecutors agreed to the terms proposed by Khan’s lawyers in exchange for their dropping his appeal.

His father and brother are still locked up and prohibited from having contact with each other in the federal detention center.

Their trial, a complex case built on wiretaps authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is set for early November.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Lauryn Hill Faces Federal Tax Charges Over $1.6M Income

June 7, 2012

Huffington Post on June 7, 2012 released the following:

By SAMANTHA HENRY AP

“NEWARK, N.J. — Five-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill has been charged with failing to file income tax returns for several years with the IRS, the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey announced Thursday.

Hill earned more than $1.6 million during 2005, 2006 and 2007, the three years that she failed to file returns, federal prosecutors said. Hill’s primary source of income is royalties from the recording and film industries, prosecutors said. She also owns and operates four corporations: Creations Music Inc., Boogie Tours Inc., L.H. Productions 2001 Inc. and Studio 22 Inc., according to court papers.

Messages left Thursday for her California-based attorney, Nathan J. Hochman, and an email sent to her publicist weren’t immediately returned.

The 37-year-old Hill got her start with The Fugees and began her solo career in 1998 with the critically acclaimed album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

The album, praised by critics for its incisive lyrics and synthesis of rap and soul, sold 8 million copies. Hill was pronounced the face of “The Hip-Hop Nation” by Time magazine.

She then largely disappeared from public view to raise her six children, five of whom she had with Rohan Marley, the son of famed reggae singer Bob Marley.

Hill lives in South Orange, a suburb just west of Newark, and attended Columbia High School in Maplewood.

She is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate on June 29. She could face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and $100,000 fine on each charge.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


North Hollywood Man Arrested After Being Indicted Under New Legislation Making it a Crime to Point a Laser at an Aircraft

April 19, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 18, 2012 released the following:

“LOS ANGELES— A North Hollywood man was taken into custody this morning after being charged in a federal indictment that alleges he pointed the beam of a laser at multiple aircraft, announced Steven Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office; and André Birotte, Jr., the United States Attorney in Los Angeles.

Adam Gardenhire,18, was arrested this morning at his North Hollywood residence without incident. Gardenhire was named in a two-count indictment filed yesterday in United States District Court in Los Angeles that alleges he pointed the beam of a laser at a private plane and a police helicopter.

The federal statute used to charge Gardenhire is part of new legislation recently signed into law by President Obama that makes it a federal crime to deliberately point a laser at an aircraft. The indictment marks the second time a violation of the new statute has been charged in the United States, and the first time one has been charged on the West Coast.

According to the indictment, Gardenhire deliberately aimed a commercial-grade green laser at multiple aircraft on the evening of March 29, 2012. The laser attack was initially reported by a pilot operating a privately owned Cessna Citation. The indictment further alleges that the beam of Gardenhire’s laser was pointed at a helicopter operated by a pilot with the Pasadena Police Department who was responding to the report of the laser attack on the Cessna. Air and ground investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Pasadena Police Department identified Gardenhire as a suspect later that evening, and Gardenhire was taken into custody on state charges of pointing a laser at an aircraft. Gardenhire subsequently posted bail and was released from local custody while the joint investigation continued.

Reports of laser attacks have increased dramatically in recent years as laser devices have become more affordable and widely available to the public. In addition, technology has advanced the effectiveness of laser devices, with a resulting increase in the potential safety hazards for pilots operating aircraft and their passengers and crew. Such safety hazards include temporary distraction and impaired vision, which is particularly dangerous during the critical takeoff or landing phase of flight. In addition, pilots have reported the need to abort landings or relinquish control of the aircraft to another pilot as a result of laser attacks. California consistently leads the nation in reports of laser attacks. Over 3,500 laser attacks were reported in 2011.

Gardenhire is scheduled to make an initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge this afternoon in federal court in downtown Los Angeles.

If convicted of both charges in the indictment, Gardenhire faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. Gardenhire is also subject to civil penalties by the Federal Aviation Administration.

This investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department, the Pasadena Police Department, the Burbank Police Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the FBI.

Gardenhire is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.”

————————————————————–

Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Ralph Hunt a Border Patrol Agent Indicted by a Federal Grand Jury For Making False Statements

July 25, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Arizona on July 22, 2011 released the following:

“TUCSON, Ariz. – A federal grand jury in Tucson returned a three-count indictment on July 21, 2011, against U.S. Border Patrol Agent Ralph Hunt, of Tucson, for making false statements during a compelled interview. Hunt will be issued a summons to appear for an initial appearance on the indictment before a Federal Magistrate Judge.

The indictment alleges that on the afternoon of May 21, 2009, while on duty, Agent Hunt performed a traffic stop of a black GMC Denali. As Hunt approached the vehicle to question the occupants, the vehicle fled. After a pursuit that lasted approximately 45 minutes and over 30 miles, the occupants of this vehicle were arrested.

As part of his normal job duties when an arrest is made, Hunt prepared a Report of Apprehension, also known as an “I-44,” which documented the vehicle stop, the pursuit, the arrest of the occupants of the GMC Denali, and the seizure of marijuana. This I-44 is then submitted to the Drug Enforcement Administration in order for that agency to present the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution.

On September 25, 2009, as a condition of Hunt’s employment with the Border Patrol, the defendant participated in a compelled interview regarding the events that occurred during the pursuit and statements made in his I-44. Before this interview began, the defendant was advised that he could be subjected to criminal liability if he provided false statements or information during this interview. The indictment alleges that Hunt knowingly and willfully made three material false statements during this compelled interview. Count One alleges that Hunt falsely stated that he thought there was a child in a black GMC Denali that he had been pursuing, and that is why he told the Border Patrol dispatch to tell the Arizona Department of Public Safety that he was chasing a sexual offender and that there might be a child in the automobile. In truth and in fact, defendant knew that there was no child in the automobile and he is alleged to have intentionally made that statement to gain assistance of DPS.

Count Two alleges that Hunt falsely stated that the GMC Denali he was pursuing performed a U-turn and attempted to run him off the road, when in truth and in fact, the driver of the suspect automobile did not make a U-turn and did not attempt to run the defendant off the road.

Count Three alleges that Hunt falsely stated that the driver of the GMC Denali avoided attempt to spike the vehicle’s tires near Milepost 16 on State Road 286 by driving in hazardous manner. In truth and in fact, the driver did not avoid the spiking attempt by driving in a hazardous manner, nor did the defendant see the manner in which the driver avoided the spiking attempt and no other agent communicated to the defendant how the driver avoided the spiking attempt.

A conviction for a false statement carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Office of Internal Affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in Tucson. The prosecution is being handled by Karen Rolley and Eric Markovich, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson.

CASE NUMBER: CR-11-2572TUC RCC/DTF”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

Bookmark and Share