Yes Ma'am I do have proper identification. Now please, take your clothes off.
My friends, we live in strange times. Unreasonable times. Times when the federal government has stopped rationally protecting people and started irrationally molesting people.
And as we move into the 2012 election season I ask: “Who the F**K do I have to vote for to keep the TSA out of my a$$.” Literally. Which candidate can I look to who will fight to stop unwarranted molestation as a prerequisite for air travel?
Or has the TSA truly reached a military-industrial complex level where even the President is powerless in the face of the agency?
The story today is the TSA supporting the decision to pat down a 95-year-old woman, including making her remove her adult diaper. Yeah. This happened in America.
* Loyola of Los Angeles has launched a new faculty blog. In the latest post, Professor Cesare Romano asks: Do states have human rights? [Summary Judgments]
* And what happens if a nation-state disappears underwater — is it still a nation? [Associated Press]
* Speaking of global warming, it’s going back to SCOTUS; here’s Professor Jonathan Adler’s take on the cert grant in American Electric Power v. Connecticut. [The Volokh Conspiracy]
* Marc Randazza on the TSA: “[T]he TSA is ‘making us safe’ by letting the dumbest, most uneducated swine in the country (TSA agents) have a blanket license to feel up our kids, AND to try and make a GAME of it?” [The Legal Satyricon]
* Former Northwestern SBA president Todd Belcore — who, by the way, was exonerated of the charge against him (note the update) — is now writing for HuffPo. [Huffington Post]
* Congratulations to everyone who just passed the MPRE — you can learn your score on the MPRE website. [MPRE Services]
I’m surprised we’re not seeing more of this. As TSA continues to scan and/or feel-up everybody who gets on a plane, raising questions under the Fourth Amendment, an Oklahoman woman stripped down to her underwear to prove a point.
According to a report by News 9 – Oklahoma, Dr. Tammy Banovac, 52, arrived at the Oklahoma City airport wearing an overcoat and in a wheelchair. When she got to security, she removed the coat, revealing her curvaceous figure — clad in nothing but a black bra and panties. She refused to go through the metal detector, so she had to be subjected to a pat-down.
Is there video? Would I be posting this if there wasn’t?
First of all, Happy Chanukah. May your candles burn bright.
It is certainly possible that some lowly internet hacker was trying to take advantage of some holiday compassion when he or she hacked the email of Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson. Nesson is a well-known figure in “internet and the law” circles — as well as to readers of A Civil Action, who know him as “Billion Dollar Charlie” — but today he’s just another victim of a phishing attack. An email went out to the HLS community this morning claiming that Nesson was stuck in the U.K. and in desperate need of money.
We can’t be sure if Nesson will be able to find and bring charges against the hacker, but let’s hope that if he does he isn’t forced to rely on HLS students for legal advice…
* Congrats to Boies Schiller and Bingham, for their client Oracle’s record-setting, $1.3 billion verdict against SAP. It’s the largest 2010 jury award, the largest for copyright infringement ever, and the 23rd-largest of all time. [Am Law Daily; Bloomberg]
* MC Hammer was wrong – the TSA can touch this. On the eve of Opt-Out Day, the first of what could be many body scanner and pat-down lawsuits has arrived. [Washington Post]
* When you submit a “poorly written brief” to the Supreme Court, maybe you do need to go to three years of law school before you can sit for the bar exam. [The Hoya]
* Zynga, the creator of Mafia Wars, made Walt Disney an offer it couldn’t refuse to settle its trade secret litigation. Isn’t Zynga’s only trade secret the art of creating game pop-ups? [Los Angeles Times]
* Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Lawyer’s Edition. Stealing $300K from your law firm to pay your mortgage will not only get you disbarred, but it will also get you jail time. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
* Adrien Brody gets an injunction, and saves you the trouble of having to see him in another movie. Sorry, bro, your career already tanked, so no harm done. [ArtsBeat / New York Times]
* A lawsuit from the Bling King himself. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, except when you’re Courtney Love — then you just wish those rocks were made of crack. [New York Daily News]
This morning, the Senate had a TSA oversight hearing to discuss serious issues around secure air travel, notably the use of see-through-your-clothes scanners and aggressive “crotchal area” patdowns. A highlight was the TSA head offering any of the senators that wanted one a sample patdown to experience it for themselves. No happy ending guaranteed.
For the patdowns and scanners, that is. “There must be a way to figure out how to do what’s necessary… and for the privacy concern to be addressed because it’s legitimate,” said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in her opening remarks.
Frequent flyers are increasingly annoyed with their air travel experiences, whether they’re being scanned, felt up, paying for extra bags, or having their flights delayed or canceled. One U.K. man turned to Twitter in January to vent his frustration when his visit to a lady friend in Ireland was thwarted by a snowstorm. Paul Chambers tweeted, “Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your sh*t together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”
The British sense of humor tends to be dry. Chambers’s was too dry for the courts there. He was convicted of being a menace and ordered to pay $4,800 in costs and fines. When his appeal was denied last week, it caused an explosion on Twitter. And those protest tweets will soon be turned over to police…
* Professor David Bernstein asks: Could a law school lose its ABA accreditation if its faculty members are insufficiently supportive of racial preferences diversity? [Volokh Conspiracy via Instapundit]
* Professor Michael McCann asks: Was Coach Mike Leach wrongfully terminated by Texas Tech? [Sports Law Blog]
* Justice Scalia has a bee in his bonnet (or under his robe) over “choate” — but is he wrong? [New York Times]
* A cartoon-based exam question: coming to a law school near you? [Prawfsblawg]
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
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The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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