U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Human Genes Are Not Eligible For Patent Protection

Sanity prevails: US Supreme Court rules that human genes are not eligible for patent protection (Natural News, June 13, 2013):

In a unanimous ruling, the United States Supreme Court ruled today that human genes cannot be patented. The ruling invalidates the thousands of patents that have already been granted on human genes, including the patent by Myriad Genetics on the BRCA breast cancer genes which the company says no one else can research or even detect without paying it a royalty. Click here to read the complete ruling.

“Myriad did not create anything,” said Justice Clarence Thomas. “To be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.”

Well, exactly. This point should have been obvious to the lower courts, too, but in today’s world of corporate domination over seemingly everything, gene industry lawyers were able to argue that patent protection would somehow inspire more innovation and research. “The biotechnology industry had warned that an expansive ruling against Myriad could threaten billions of dollars of investment,” wrote Reuters.

Read moreU.S. Supreme Court Rules That Human Genes Are Not Eligible For Patent Protection

ACLU Sues Obama Over Constitutionality Of NSA Surveillance … Supreme Court Standoff Next?

See also:

Ron Paul Blasts Presstitute Piers Morgan & NSA ‘PRISM’ Defenders: ‘What Should The Penalty Be For People Who Destroy The Constitution?’ – ‘You’re Justifying Dictatorship!’ (Video)


Supreme Court Standoff Next? ACLU Sues Obama Over Constitutionality Of NSA Surveillance (ZeroHedge, June 11, 2013):

If the constitutional scholar was hoping he would quietly avoid a major showdown over the constitutionality of the biggest spying scandal since Nixon (whether legal or not remains to be determined) and which would likely have led to an early POTUS retirement if current president was republican, the ACLU just slammed the door shut on the possibility. Moments ago, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its “dragnet” collection of logs of domestic phone calls, contending that the once-secret program is illegal and asking a judge to both stop it and order the records purged. And, as the NYT reports, “the lawsuit, filed in New York, could set up an eventual Supreme Court test.” Only once that happens it will be too bad that InTrade is no longer available, to take the other side of a trade that believes the SCOTUS will for once do the right thing and preserve the constitution when everyone knows the decision to formally enact a Big Brother state will pass along political party lines and America will officially become the country that for 5 decades, at least superficially, it was waging “cold war” against.

From NYT:

The program began as part of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 programs of surveillance without warrants, and, it is now known, it has continued since 2006 with the blessing of a national security court, which has ruled in still-secret legal opinions that such bulk surveillance was authorized by a section of the Patriot Act that allows the F.B.I. to obtain “business records” if they are relevant to a counterterrorism investigation.

Read moreACLU Sues Obama Over Constitutionality Of NSA Surveillance … Supreme Court Standoff Next?

Breaking News: Disclosed Classified Docs Show Vast, Real-Time, Warrantless NSA Online Surveillance

Disclosed classified docs show vast, real-time, warrantless NSA online surveillance (RT, June 6, 2013):

Classified information obtained by the Washington Post and The Guardian has revealed a massive, warrantless online surveillance system in use by a US military intelligence agency, giving access to Americans’ search history, emails, live chats and more.

The 41-page PowerPoint presentation, which has been verified by both papers and published almost concurrently on Thursday evening, outlines details of a previously undisclosed program known as PRISM, which allows the fabled military intelligence agency to harvest massive amounts of data on everything from electronic correspondence to file transfers.

The slides were meant to be declassified in 2036.

According to the documents, the program currently boasts access to some of the largest Internet companies in the world, with Microsoft thought to be the first corporation to sign onto the surveillance arrangement in 2007.

That company’s participation was followed by Yahoo in 2008, Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009, YouTube in 2010, Skype and AOL in 2011, and Apple joining in 2012. Meanwhile, cloud storage company Dropbox is described as “coming soon.”

With the participation of those companies, PRISM and thereby Washington intelligence workers have access to the bulk of Americans’ email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype) chats, file transfers, social networking details and more.

Read moreBreaking News: Disclosed Classified Docs Show Vast, Real-Time, Warrantless NSA Online Surveillance

Hidden In The Immigration Reform Bill: National Biometric Database Of All Adult Americans

Guess What’s Hidden in the Immigration Bill? A National Biometric Database for Citizens (Liberty  Blitzkrieg, May 10, 2013):

Oh just another eight hundred page “bipartisan” bill that nobody will read,  mainstream media will refuse to cover, and that will merely further destroy any remnants of freedom left in these United States.  Never forget the George Carlin quote on bipartisanship:

“Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”

From Wired:

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.

“It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”

Read moreHidden In The Immigration Reform Bill: National Biometric Database Of All Adult Americans

No Joke …This is What The ACLU Received From The Government On Text Surveillance Policy: Fifteen Pages Of Black Squares

No Joke…This is What the ACLU Received from the Government on Text Surveillance Policy (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 9, 2013):

Fifteen pages of black squares.  How’s that freedom tasting?  Take that terrorists!

Most. Transparent. Ever.

ACLU

IRS: We Do Not Need Warrants To Read People’s Emails

IRS: We can read emails without warrant (The Hill, April 10, 2013):

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has claimed that agents do not need warrants to read people’s emails, text messages and other private electronic communications, according to internal agency documents.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request, released the information on Wednesday.

In a 2009 handbook, the IRS said the Fourth Amendment does not protect emails because Internet users “do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” A 2010 presentation by the IRS Office of General Counsel reiterated the policy.

Read moreIRS: We Do Not Need Warrants To Read People’s Emails

Just Say NO: Seattle Residents Kill the City’s Drone Program

Just Say NO: Seattle Residents Kill the City’s Drone Program (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 19, 2013):

The anti-surveillance state movement is gaining traction and following Charlottesville, Virginia becoming the first city to pass anti-drone legislation, the engaged citizenry of Seattle have now succeeded in killing their city’s own drone program earlier this month.  On the state level, while legislation has been introduced in several places, it appears Florida is closest to enacting domestic surveillance drone regulations into law.  The title of the bill is the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”

From Forbes:

Read moreJust Say NO: Seattle Residents Kill the City’s Drone Program

Goodbye Fourth Amendment: Homeland Security Affirms ‘Suspicionless’ Confiscation Of Devices Along Border

Goodbye Fourth Amendment: Homeland Security Affirms “Suspicionless” Confiscation Of Devices Along Border (ZeroHedge, Feb 9, 2013):

Slowly but surely the administration is making sure that both the US constitution, and its various amendments, become a thing of the past. In the name of national security, of course. And while until now it was the First and Second amendments that were the target of the administration’s ongoing efforts to eavesdrop on anyone, all the time, in order to decide who may be a domestic terrorist and thus fit for ‘droning’, coupled with an aggressive push to disarm and curtail the propagation of weapons in what some perceive is nothing more than an attempt to take away a population’s one recourse to defend itself against a tyrannical government, the time may be coming to say goodbye to the Fourth amendment – the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures – next. But only in close proximity to the border at first. According to Wired, “the Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.”

More on America’s quest, by a very select few, to one by one extinguish its civil liberties from Wired:

The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

Read moreGoodbye Fourth Amendment: Homeland Security Affirms ‘Suspicionless’ Confiscation Of Devices Along Border

DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border … ‘Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone Stretches 100 Miles Inland’

DHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border (Wired, Feb 8, 2013):

The Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights watchdog has concluded that travelers along the nation’s borders may have their electronics seized and the contents of those devices examined for any reason whatsoever — all in the name of national security.

The DHS, which secures the nation’s border, in 2009 announced that it would conduct a “Civil Liberties Impact Assessment” of its suspicionless search-and-seizure policy pertaining to electronic devices “within 120 days.” More than three years later, the DHS office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties published a two-page executive summary of its findings.

“We also conclude that imposing a requirement that officers have reasonable suspicion in order to conduct a border search of an electronic device would be operationally harmful without concomitant civil rights/civil liberties benefits,” the executive summary said.

The memo highlights the friction between today’s reality that electronic devices have become virtual extensions of ourselves housing everything from e-mail to instant-message chats to photos and our papers and effects — juxtaposed against the government’s stated quest for national security.

The President George W. Bush administration first announced the suspicionless, electronics search rules in 2008. The President Barack Obama administration followed up with virtually the same rules a year later. Between 2008 and 2010, 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border, according to DHS data.

According to legal precedent, the Fourth Amendment — the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — does not apply along the border. By the way, the government contends the Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone stretches 100 miles inland from the nation’s actual border.

Read moreDHS Watchdog OKs ‘Suspicionless’ Seizure of Electronic Devices Along Border … ‘Fourth-Amendment-Free Zone Stretches 100 Miles Inland’