DHS Agents Tried to Seize Wall Street Journal Reporter's Phones

Under broad carve-outs to the Fourth Amendment, the government can confiscate and search electronics at the border with or without suspicion.

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Yin Bogu Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

A Wall Street Journal reporter says Department of Homeland Security agents tried to confiscate her cell phones, even though they knew she was a journalist, after she disembarked from a flight at Los Angeles International Airport last week.

Maria Abi-Habib, a Mideast reporter for the Wall Street Journal, wrote in a Facebook post Thursday that she was going through customs and immigrations when she was approached by a DHS agent who said she wanted to "help you get through the line." But instead, she was ushered into a room and interrogated for an hour before the DHS agents tried, unsuccesfully, to get her to turn over her cell phones.

"We are disturbed by the serious incident involving WSJ reporter Maria Abi-Habib, a citizen of the United States and Lebanon," Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker said in a statement. "We have been working to learn more about these events, but the notion that Customs and Border Protection agents would stop and question one of our journalists in connection with her reporting and seek to search her cell phones is unacceptable."

From Ali-Habib's Facebook post:

[S]he took me to a special section of LAX airport. Another customs agent joined her at that point and they grilled me for an hour—asking me about the years I lived in the US, when I moved to Beirut and why, who lives at my in-laws' house in LA and numbers for the groom and bride whose wedding I was attending. I answered jovially, because I've had enough high-level security experiences to know that being annoyed or hostile will work against you.

But then she asked me for my two cellphones. I asked her what she wanted from them.

"We want to collect information" she said, refusing to specify what kind.

And that is where I drew the line—I told her I had First Amendment rights as a journalist she couldn't violate and I was protected under. I explained I had to protect my government and military sources—over the last month, I have broken two stories that deeply irked the US government, in addition to other stories before I went on maternity leave, including one in Kabul that sparked a Congressional investigation into US military corruption, all stories leaked by American officials speaking to me in confidence.

"Did you just admit you collect information for foreign governments?" she asked, her tone turning hostile.

"No, that's exactly not what I just said," I replied, explaining again why I would not hand over my phones.

She handed me a DHS document, a photo of which I've attached. It basically says the US government has the right to seize my phones and my rights as a US citizen (or citizen of the world) go out the window. This law applies at any point of entry into the US, whether naval, air or land and extends for 100 miles into the US from the border or formal points of entry. So, all of NY city for instance. If they forgot to ask you at JFK airport for your phones, but you're having a drink in Manhattan the next day, you technically fall under this authority. And because they are acting under the pretense to protect the US from terrorism, you have to give it up.

Which is all true! As the Electronic Frontier Foundation helpfully explains, customs and immigration agents can confiscate and search a U.S. citizen's personal electronics within 100 miles of a point of entry "with or without individualized suspicion." Last year, the EFF filed an amicus brief urging the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that government agents require a warrant when searching electronic devices at the border.

The Committee to Protect Journalists wrote in 2014 that the broad carve-outs to the Fourth Amendment for border searches have resulted in numerous journalists being detained and having their electronics pored over by government agents.

Abi-Habib, however, was having none of it and told the agents to call the Wall Street Journal's formidable team of lawyers. After accusing Abi-Habib of hindering their investigation, one of the DHS agents left for half an hour to speak with a supervisor. When she returned, the agent told Abi-Habib she was free to go.

"I have no idea why they wanted my phones," Abi-Habib wrote. "It could have been a way for them to download my contacts. Or maybe they expect me of terrorism or sympathizing with terrorists—although my profile wouldn't fit, considering I am named Maria Teresa, and for a variety of other reasons including my small child."

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a request for comment.

NEXT: School Bans Clapping. Students May Silently Wriggle Instead.

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  1. President Trump is already getting results.

    1. He’s using the same machine Bush used to jump into the future and create ISIS.

      1. Well I guess we know who wins in November.

  2. The founders should have never put in that “carve-outs” clause in the Bill of Rights.

    That said, there’s no way in hell a journalist’s rights should be any more protected than anyone else’s.

    1. They’re the only ones that can make noise about it that gets noticed.

      1. With the response once noticed that if she didn’t have anything to hide, why is she being difficult?

    2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      I guess I’m just not smart enough to be able to see where the carve-out is.

      1. “unreasonable”

        It’s “reasonable” for DHS to seize your phones.

        1. That’s exactly where they hang their hat.

        2. Of course, none of this will be in evidence as we reach the logical conclusion of our scary mooslim pants-shitting.

          Nope, no DHS security state will be permanently enshrined and cultivated, all as a sop to the nativists and their chronic freak show of losing their shit over the Other. It’ll all work, just by magic.

      2. Of course, that reading is extended to mean they don’t need a warrant for reasonable searches. Note the absence of a warrant here.

        And so the 4A dies, cold and lonely and forgotten.

        When it was intended to mean “no searches and seizures without a warrant, and no warrants for unreasonable searches and seizures”.

        1. Oh, look who speaks old rich white guy over here.

        2. Kinda like how the commerce clause is supposed to give the feds power to prevent the states from impeding commerce not give the fed power to impede it themselves.

      3. The 10th Amendment delegates the power of carving out exceptions to the states. The states have chosen to use this power by sending representatives to Congress who have created the carve-outs. If the founders had not intended for anybody to have the power to carve out exceptions, they would have explicitly dealt with that in the document. By not addressing it, it’s covered under the 10th.

        1. The Constitution was intended to create a government of few and limited powers.

          Alexander Hamilton warned about this danger. He said, and I quote,

          “I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and in the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers which are not granted; and on this very account, would afford a colourable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why for instance, should it be said, that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? I will not contend that such a provision would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that it would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretence for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority, which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it, was intended to be vested in the national government. This may serve as a specimen of the numerous handles which would be given to the doctrine of constructive powers, by the indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.”

          1. Kinda like it shouldn’t be necessary to say that slavery is illegal…

  3. This law applies at any point of entry into the US, whether naval, air or land and extends for 100 miles into the US from the border or formal points of entry. So, all of NY city for instance.

    All of New Jersey, actually. And a 100-mile radius around any international airport. Because FYTW.

    1. I’m waiting for them to apply the 100 mile limit vertically and put the entire US in the zone.

  4. I told her I had First Amendment rights as a journalistperson she couldn’t violate and I was protected under.

    Fixed.

    1. Although this seems more 4th Amendment regarding unreasonable search and seizure.

      1. Yeah. I was just fixing Ms. Abi-Habib’s misapprehension regarding journalistic privilege.

    2. I had that attitude. I’m a US citizen should have been her defense, not a member of the protected class.

      1. The BOR applies to all persons, not just US citizens.

        1. Apparently it doesn’t apply to non-citizens whose interaction with the United States is involuntary. (Verdugo-Urquidez, if memory serves)

    3. It’s bad enough that she believes that she has some special privileges because of her chosen profession. Why does the author of this article perpetuate this by reporting the story as though being a journalist matters? I would expect this from your average news source, but I would expect an author at Reason to include some comments about how that’s horseshit.

      I guess if you feel like you’re part of a protected class, you don’t dare question your privilege for fear of losing it.

  5. Self destructing phones. It’s the only answer.

    1. Yeah but can you pack enough semtex into a phone to take out multiple DHS agents at once?

      1. Maybe if you add some ball bearings?

        1. *points*

          I DON’T KNOW THESE GUYS!

        2. Ahem…

          1. You know who else has the initials PB?

            1. Peter Boyle?

            2. Peter Bondra?

            3. Peanut Butter.

            4. Paul Bunyan?

        3. You guys are awful close to circling the Wood Chippers Wagons here.

          1. What the hell kind of masturbation euphemism is that?

            1. I was referring to the comments about cell phones, semtex, ball bearings, and DHS agents.

  6. I explained I had to protect my government and military sources?over the last month, I have broken two stories that deeply irked the US government…

    Time to put two and two together, WSJ investigative journalist.

    1. Hey man, they’re journalists, not rocket scientists.

      1. And probably a lot more convinced that their work is irksome-ly important than the government is

      2. Education degree is where you go when you can’t hack a STEM degree.

        Journalism degree is where you go when you can’t hack an Education degree.

  7. The author seems to be implying that this is an outrage, or more of one at least, because the victim was a journalist.

    1. The second amendment only applies to government run militia.

      The first only applies to government credentialed journalists.

      At least that seems to be the thought process.

    2. The author’s name is C.J. Ciaramella. It’s at the top and bottom of the post.

      1. Hugh Akton’s name is actually Clive.

      2. We don’t acknowledge their names until they jump in and participate in the comments. Just ask Ed, Ron, Elizabeth, Jesse, Matt, and Fruit Sushi.

        1. I missed this Fruit Sushi train. Which Cuckmotrian Hipster person that dares to express a non-Republican opinion does that refer to?

          1. Hey! Leave hipsters out of this, it’s a Cosmo vs yokel thang.

          2. Robby the Hair, now known as Fruit Sushi.

          3. Robby was chastised at a NeverTrump party for hogging all the “fruit sushi,” whatever that is.

            1. “fruit sushi,” whatever that is.

              Fruit on sushi meshi (soured rice).

              1. I guess I’m more mystified as to why someone would find that palatable.

                1. Some people are just carb addicts.

            1. Oh well shit ENB throwing shade is something we can all get behind.

              1. Agreed.

          4. Thank you all for the information. I now feel marginally less retarded.

          5. The Cosmoillenials were at some party and Soave was inhaling fruit sushi, which is the fifth gayest thing a person can put into their mouth.

        2. I thought they only had a name after they died.

          1. “His name is Robert Soave! His name is Robert Soave!”

            1. “There are many like it but this one is mine.”

      3. The author’s name is C.J. Ciaramella. It’s at the top and bottom of the post.

        Wow, I didn’t realize I’d so personally offended you. I was just being lazy and trying to construct a sentence that didn’t use gendered pronouns.

        1. As a Person of Gender, i’m feeling othered by your attempt to ungender a pronoun, and that’s Not Okay.

          1. Well, as a person of lesser motivation, I am not really offended because that would be too much effort.

      4. HIS NAME IS ROBERT PAULSON

    3. If this is an indirect way to get at the WSJ because of the articles they publish, then there is an extra dollop of outrage, yes.

    4. I did want to come in here and snark that this is now an outrage because it happened to an important person.

      But there’s a point in saying that journalists might be put under greater scrutiny than us normies, and confiscating their devices (which are more likely to have sensitive information than most of ours’) should be extra-troubling.

      1. It’s kinda gobsmacking the yokel chest thumping display over these highfalutin journalists, waving their hankies and lording their First Amendment privileges over the simple proles.

        The “freedom of the press” thingy in the 1st Amendment must have been a typo or something. No way those old white guys could have experienced abuse of that sort in their day and been onto something.

        1. Look up the Alien and Sedition Acts. The ink was barely dry on the Constitution when they started ignoring it.

    5. It’s no more or less an outrage for being a journalist, but the motivation is certainly more clear-cut.

    6. If she was targeted because she is a journalist (which isn’t clear), then it would be more of an outrage.

      1. Probably never get a clear answer on why she was targeted. But, I just assumed it was her ethnicity and travel patterns.

  8. I’m struggling wth this as a 1A case, unless every seizure by the government of something with words or pictures is also a 1A case.

    This seems to me to be a 4A case, and we lost on that front long ago.

    1. This seems to me to be a 4A case, and we lost on that front long ago.

      That would be correct.

    2. Yeah, Utah v. Strieff, No. 14-1373.

      Supreme Court Says Police May Use Evidence Found After Illegal Stops

      Oh well, it was a nice republic while it lasted.

      1. court if the officers conducted their searches after learning that the defendants had outstanding arrest warrants.

        This may add a technical nuance that my feeble legal brain doesn’t understand, but I’m cautiously saying there are worse things the Supreme Court has done.

      2. drew a fiery dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said that “it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny.”

        Sotomayor turns it into an identity politics issue, which misses the point. We don’t find searches icky because they disproportionately affect people of color, we find them icky because they are unconstitutional, full fucking stop.

      3. Well, Franklin did say “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

        Big “if”

    3. I suspect she was probably invoking the freedom of the press clause of the 1A as opposed to the more general freedom of speech clause, but yes, it’s also a 4A case.

      1. But “the press” doesn’t mean (or shouldn’t) journalists. It means the printed word. The first amendment shouldn’t be read as giving any special privilege to professional journalists. I think that shield laws for reporters and their sources are a good thing, but they aren’t required by the first amendment.

        1. So, we’ll just ban you from talking to your sources or from taking notes. That isn’t any kind of printing.

          1. I’m pretty sure those things are covered by free speech and free press without interpreting them to involve special privilege for journalists.

            1. Speech and press are related, but they aren’t monolithic

              As noted below, press includes the information gathering and publishing aspect. That may seem like a insignificant distinction, but it’s not. The “press” was a distinct entity, as opposed to the individual speaking their mind in whatever form they chose.

              1. But it still isn’t a special privilege for journalists. No one’s information gathering and publishing should be interfered with, no matter what the purpose.

                I seem to be in the minority, but I think that it was a mistake to interpret “speech” so broadly and “press” narrowly. Speech should just mean one person talking or communicating with others directly. Press should mean all means of mass communication, as well as the activities of reporters and journalists.

                I agree that money is not speech. But money used to publish political messages (or anything else) most certainly is protected press activity.

                1. But it still isn’t a special privilege for journalists. No one’s information gathering and publishing should be interfered with, no matter what the purpose.

                  How do you prevent the arresting of journalists, or confiscating their notes or recordings, without according them a press right? They aren’t speaking, so what’s the big deal? You can say they shouldn’t be interfered with, but that’s the reason for having a press freedom, distinct from a speech right.

                  Speech should just mean one person talking or communicating with others directly. Press should mean all means of mass communication, as well as the activities of reporters and journalists.

                  It’s the publishing aspect that creates the distinction between speech and press. But, yes, you and I are the minority here.

                  1. Doesn’t seem like we actually disagree much. But there is a lot to unpack here. I think I’d say that my point is mainly that “the press” is an activity and a medium rather than a specific entity. I don’t think professional journalists are guaranteed any protections that anyone else gathering information that they might want to share with other people aren’t. For example, it is ridiculous that newspaper editorials endorsing a candidate are considered protected but political ads aren’t necessarily (even post-Citizens United). They are both equally press and should be equally protected by the First.

                    1. Sure, the “press” can be anything or anyone that publishes information for wide dissemination. It’s also speech, but it isn’t “pure” speech, in the sense of speaking or handing out leaflets.

                      I’ll leave it at the idea that the press is conferred a higher status in terms of information gathering is a win-win for the individual. Speech rights aren’t lessened because we consider journalism to be an activity that is worth protecting.

                  2. “How do you prevent the arresting of journalists, or confiscating their notes or recordings, without according them a press right?”

                    How do you prevent the arresting of any person, or confiscating their notes or recordings, without according them a press right?

                    5A? 4A?

                    1. 5A? 4A?

                      How’s that 4A working out for you, these days?

                      There couldn’t have been any reason for the Founders to include the press as a specified entity, right? RIGHT?

                    2. Seriously, I’m fucking gobsmacked that people here are wadding up their panties over the idea that the press has protections that go beyond the normal speech protections. How is that the state is hamstrung from fucking with reporters is a bad thing?

                      Oh right, the Kulturkampf.

                      WHYCOME THEY GET THEM FUNNY HATS WITH PRESS ON EM?

                    3. Who determines who is in “the press” and deserving of those protections?

                    4. As far as I understand the protections you’re referring to (seems mostly related to information gathering and publishing), I’m in favor of those protections. I’m just not clear on who gets them; and who determines who gets them. If our government determines who is worthy to receive those protections and can revoke that protection, do we have a free and open press?

                    5. If our government determines who is worthy to receive those protections and can revoke that protection, do we have a free and open press?

                      That’s the rub. The courts are typically the ones who referee that. They’ve been reluctant to apply the brand of professional journalism as the only ones who get that protection.

                    6. Did they mention a profession or a technology?

                    7. I’m unclear on your differentiation between FoS and FoP. You include handing out leaflets under FoS. Is the creation of those leaflets FoP?

                      Mainly, it seems that you are associating FoP with “journalists” or “the press”. Maybe the issue is just the definition of journalist. In some of your posts, it seems to describe anyone doing journalistic things. In others, it seems to apply to a “professional” journalist. In another, it seems to apply to anyone who publishes something.

                      I think FoP applies to Dan Rather, Rupert Murdoch, Howard Stern, Larry Flint, the dipshit whose movie provoked Benghazi (derp), me, you, and everyone else who would choose to publish information. Regardless of their chosen profession.

                    8. pssst

                      JW|7.21.16 @ 3:52PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                      Sure, the “press” can be anything or anyone that publishes information for wide dissemination. It’s also speech, but it isn’t “pure” speech, in the sense of speaking or handing out leaflets.

                    9. I’m unclear on your differentiation between FoS and FoP. You include handing out leaflets under FoS. Is the creation of those leaflets FoP?

                      Why can’t it be both? Double your protections.

            2. This is a decent FAQ on the issue: http://www.firstamendmentcente…..ions-press

              1. Looking at the site raises the main issue I have. The first question is “Who is ‘the press’?”.

                I think “who” is the wrong word. I don’t think “the press” is a specified entity. It’s an activity. FoP doesn’t protect people with some credential as part of “the press”. It protects anyone engaging in certain activity.

                Yeah, 4A is getting crapped on. But, I don’t agree that 1A provides those 4A protections to a specific class of people. 4A protects our papers and effects and should be respected… for all people.

                1. I think “who” is the wrong word. I don’t think “the press” is a specified entity. It’s an activity. FoP doesn’t protect people with some credential as part of “the press”. It protects anyone engaging in certain activity.

                  You just repeated what I already said.

                  I stand in the square and speak my manifesto that I wrote. That’s speech. I do an in-depth investigation and research to footnote my manifesto, which I will publish. That’s press. I hire a printer/rent a server to publish it. That’s press and speech.

                  1. And I agree with that completely (the comment about speaking your manifesto). I just think it is confused by statements like, “the press has protections that go beyond the normal speech protections” and “the Founders… include the press as a specified entity”.

                    I originally interpreted those to mean that The Press (meaning the collective of people who are somehow credentialed and employed as journalists) have specific protections. I disagree here.

                    Based on the newest comment, I interpret the first quote to mean that activities beyond normal speech are protected. I agree here.

                    I think it all comes down to determining whether “the press”, “the media”, “reporters”, and “journalists” refer to members of a specific profession or to people engaged in certain activities. Relating to the comment about who determines if protection applies, that is why I think FoP should be discuss as protecting an activity not an entity.

                    1. And, as it relates to the original story, I think that Abi-Habib’s status as a journalist employed by WSJ doesn’t grant her any special protection from the confiscation/search of her cellphone. She should expect the same protection as the professional truck driver standing on the street corner who just filmed a cop beating someone.

                      But, I also think it is 4A that rightly protects the contents of their phones. Just as it protects the contents of my phone. If 4A isn’t sufficient protection to keep the government from searching my phone, does that protection suddenly materialize if I say some magic words like, “I have video on the phone of an act of corruption and I plan to go public with it. Therefore I’m protected by FoP.”.

                    2. Damn squirrels. It cut off half of my comment.

                      Basically it was about how FoP should protect gathering, possession, and publishing of the material, but 4A should protect the phone/recordings/notes from search/seizure (regardless of intent to publish).

                      Time to quit work for the day anyway. I agree with you on the principal of the protections offered. I was mainly focused on the idea that they should be applied to all instead of a defined/registered/credentialed group of anointed special people.

          2. Talking to sources is speech, and taking notes should be considered either speech or press. But I agree with the people who say that press rights are for the people, not just the elite.

            I don’t think the sort of sacralized journalism that we have today even existed at the time. Particularly in a world where technology has advanced to the point where literally anyone can trivially publish their thoughts (or for that matter, engage in an act of citizen journalism), press rights should be for everyone.

            That said, we should also put in stronger constitutional protections in for people who record and publish information that is in the public interest (even, perhaps especially, when it is against the private or state interest).

        2. Just as money is speech, information gathering is part of the “press.”

          Speech is also the printed word, or the spoken word. Press has the meaning of gathering and disseminating information, free of interference from the gubmint, like shutting down your newspaper or website or threatening your reporters.

        3. I agree, but most retarded journalists (redundant, I know) think it means journalists have special privileges because they don’t really understand how rights work anyway.

  9. The feds ought to take her phones until they can figure out what is going on.

    1. Some phones, I assume, are good devices.

  10. “We have been working to learn more about these events, but the notion that Customs and Border Protection agents would stop and question one of our journalists in connection with her reporting and seek to search her cell phones is unacceptable.”

    This is more proof we need a journalist shield law.

  11. Hey, I know! Let’s hire 30,000 more of these assholes! Solid plan, Republicans!

    1. They’re gonna get it right, this time.

      1. “Keep hitting it! It has to be a nail!”

        1. THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED NAILING, DUMMY

          *thrusts pelvis*

          1. I hope you wash that when you’re done.

      1. Yes. I was totally defending Democrats. You caught me.

  12. And that is where I drew the line?I told her I had First Amendment rights as a journalist she couldn’t violate and I was protected under.

    She has the exact same rights as everyone else. Not to say that her rights weren’t being violated, just that she doesn’t have some superduper class of rights that are somehow more unimpeachable than all the others. I know that concept is difficult for progressives to understand.

    1. Did you not hear what she said?

      SHE’S A JOURNALIST. They have extra rights of course.

      1. When the cops come to my house to seize guns and my children and my children’s guns I’m going to scream at them “I’M A JOURNALIST, NOT A PEASANT! NOT ALLOWED!”

        1. Make sure to buy a journal first, so you won’t be lying.

    2. Eh. She should have cited the 4th, sure, but they are unreasonably obstructing her ability to engage in press activities. I’d think an argument can be made that, if they meet the burden of the 4th and can search her, additional scrutiny may be warranted so as to not also violate her 1st amendment rights.

    3. No, a select group of socially power people having explicit special rights is progressive. Treating everyone equally under the law is privilege in action.

      1. *powerful

    4. You don’t think there’s an important distinction between feds fucking with someone for fun and profit vs. fucking with a journalist in retaliation or to snoop on her sources? There is no “more” or “less” abuse taking place here.

  13. Marital difficulties, huh?

    I think it would be very informative for someone to figure out who exactly was behind the “marital difficulties” story.

    1. Why does everyone keep calling the attacker “nice”?

      1. Because he didn’t primarily use guns, thus helping to avoid at least a certain amount of pointless bullshit.

        1. You know, an attack using automatic weapons in the United States would be unprecedented, at least since the 30s, and ostensibly our gun laws are no different now than they were in the age of the Wild West. Worse, in fact, since there’s so much more of us and them, crowded together, jostling shoulders and instantly reaching for our weapons. We’re the gun violence capital of the world.

          And yet it doesn’t happen here. But in Europe? Bastion of gun-control, and an example to the enlightened world? It’s a free-fucking-fire zone.

          This guy had accomplices? You don’t fucking say.

          1. Didn’t the SLA have automatic weapons?

            Or the bank robbers with the body armor?

            1. True, they do exist and determined criminals can get them. But it is somewhat remarkable that full-autos have not been used in terrorist attacks or other mass murder things in the US.

            2. Okay, not unprecedented, but certainly unusual, and definitely not “several times in the last couple years alone.”

              1. definitely not “several times in the last couple years alone.”

                I’ve seen a few instances in which police have *confiscated* full-auto weapons, but few/none where there were actual mass-shooting incidents where they were involved. that includes my scouring of the “mass shooting database” for the last 5 years or so.

            3. Looked it up. The bank robbers in the North Hollywood shootout had automatic weapons.

            4. I decided to go see how often automatic weapons are used in crime in the US?

              Crime Involving Illegally Owned Machine Guns from Gun Cite:

              In 1980, when Miami’s homicide rate was at an all-time high, less than 1% of all homicides involved machine guns. (Miami was supposedly a “machine gun Mecca” and drug trafficking capital of the U.S.) Although there are no national figures to compare to, machine gun deaths were probably lower elsewhere.

              The above page also says that since 1934, only 2 murders, 1 by a cop, committed with legally owned automatic weapons but “How often are fully automatic weapons actually used in crimes? I can’t find any stats.” from Reddit /r/Firearms says there have been 3, 2 by cops. Gary Kleck, mentioned in the first page, cites the director of the ATF saying that less than 10 crimes have been committed with automatic weapons but many of them could have been violations of NFA reporting requirements.

              Plus, it looks like crimes committed with automatic weapons are so rare that the FBI doesn’t keep track.

          2. It’s because of accessibility and risk.

            In America, fully automatic weapons are pretty inaccessible, but there’s a lot of guns that are pretty easy to get. And that’s true for both legal and illegal acquisition.

            Other places… well, it’s all pretty inaccessible.

            So if you’re in France and planning on killing a bunch of people, you’re likely going to have to break the law just to get any weapon (except a truck), so might as well get the most bang for your “risking getting caught before I’m ready”. In America, you can continue to fly under the radar and be free and clear while buying up legal semi-auto rifles, but you’ll be risking a lot to get a full-auto weapon.

            Also note, most mass shooters in America don’t have criminal or terrorist backgrounds, they’re just folks that snapped and decided to kill a bunch of people. So they often don’t have the connections to get any serious illegal hardware. The recent stuff in Europe… those are people with actual terrorist/criminal ties, and so access to the networks to get illegal weapons.

  14. Just some reasonable, common sense phone confiscation.

  15. Tony? You there buddy? Curious what’s your take on a real scandal. I realize it’s not as clear-cut and super serial as a speechwriters cribbing from other speechwriters, but this has some pretty consequential aspects as well.

    1. Are you talking about the killing of 74 civilians in Syria?

      1. What? Of course not. What are you talking about? What could be more important in this day and age then what some chump’s wife read off a teleprompter?

        1. I just sometimes have trouble keeping all my #FakeScandals straight.

        2. Libertarian attempts to undermine the concept of collective bargaining in the guise of police reform, possibly.

          1. Libertarians actually stand on philosophy. That is a scandal, at least to a lefty.

          2. Libertarians have no problem with collective bargaining as long the collective bargaining unit isn’t given any special privileges or powers.

  16. I had First Amendment rights as a journalist

    No one has First Amendment rights “as a journalist”. So to summarize a journalist who doesn’t understand the rules governing her own profession is upset law enforcement doesn’t understand the rules about its profession.

    1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong, that doesn’t mean journalist.

        1. What do you think a journalist is engaged in?

          1. Well, that doesn’t really matter, because as I stated, it really doesn’t mean “journalist”.

            http://www.americanthinker.com…..dment.html

            In a jump-kick to “the press-as-journalists”‘s face, Volokh notes Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), the most widely used dictionary at the ratification’s time, gave no definition of “press” in terms of today’s common understanding of “the press” as a collection of journalists but did define “press” as “[t]he instrument by which books are printed.” Volokoh mentions that, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, a definition of “the press” as a collection of literature (“[n]ewspapers, journals, and periodical literature collectively”) emerged in the English language in the late 1700s and early 1800s. However, before and at the Founding, the Founders did not use this “press” definition when discussing press freedom.

            1. Reporter’s privilege in the United States (also journalist’s privilege, newsman’s privilege, or press privilege), is a “reporter’s protection under constitutional or statutory law, from being compelled to testify about confidential information or sources.”[1] It may be described in the US as the qualified (limited) First Amendment or statutory right many jurisdictions have given to journalists in protecting their confidential sources from discovery. [2]

              The First, Second, Third, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits have all held that a qualified reporter’s privilege exists. In the recent case of U.S. v. Sterling, the Fourth expressly denied a reporter’s privilege exists under Branzburg. Furthermore, forty states and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes called shield laws protecting journalists’ anonymous sources.[3]

              1. But that’s not what we’re talking about.

                We’re talking explicitly about what press means in the Constitution.

                Thanks though.

                1. The first post said, “No one has First Amendment rights “as a journalist“.

                  Case law says they do

                  e.g. ”The First, Second, Third, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits have all held that a qualified reporter’s privilege exists.””

            2. So, you’re complaining that a journalist didn’t read Volokh’s paper and sign on to his minority view, which is in opposition to the prevailing interpretation of the first amendment; an interpretation which she, her lawyers, and the US government would take as granted in any ensuing court challenges?

              Yeah, she’s a real boob.

              1. Well the prevailing current interpretation of the Constitution is essentially “the government can do whatever the fuck it wants, whenever the fuck it wants.” That doesn’t make it the correct one.

              2. So, you’re complaining that a journalist didn’t read Volokh’s paper and sign on to his minority view, which is in opposition to the prevailing interpretation of the first amendment;

                Is it?

                And that’s not the point.

                We’re (or at least I am) not arguing about what she should and should not have been aware of.

                We’re arguing about what it actually means, as written, and meant by the founders.

                If you want a different discussion than the one you walked into, maybe state that up front.

                1. So to summarize a journalist who doesn’t understand the rules governing her own profession

                  She does understand the rules. She just doesn’t share your unorthodox understanding.

      2. Am I incorrect in recalling that “the press” in 1A actually meant the “printing press” and not what we call the “media?” My understanding is that the intended meaning was to cover not just verbal communication but also other available means of communication and publishing.

        Or am I wrong on that?

  17. She fought and won. It would be a very different story under Der Drumpf. Who can barely contain his admiration for Erdogan and Putin, inveterate journalist harassers.

      1. And Hitler. Because Trump is literally Hitler.

    1. under Der dem Drumpf

      Under, when used this way, takes the dative case.

      And you don’t capitalize articles except at the beginning of a sentence.

  18. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation helpfully explains, customs and immigration agents can confiscate and search a U.S. citizen’s personal electronics within 100 miles of a point of entry “with or without individualized suspicion.”

    Soon they won’t have to ask – they’ll just automatically scan everyone’s portable-device identification, and automatically have the NSA go through every single piece of data connected to you.

    If they can’t do it already. What’s particularly remarkable about our police-state is that they have the whiz bang technology to impose their will already, and certainly are making every effort to put it into effect, but the bottleneck isn’t the IT – its the govt-employee retards at each end of the terminals.

  19. Hey sugar drop the “Abi-Habib” and then we’ll talk. We’ll all gladly give up a little convenience as long as we’re kept safe.

    1. Hmm. Poe’s Law in effect, or random drive-by tarding? I haven’t had nearly enough coffee today, and my sarcasmometer is on the fritz.

      1. Not a regular, and not a Shriek-ism. I’m guessing drive-by ‘tarding.

        1. My guess would be sarcasm but it’s getting hard to tell these days.

        2. I think that was a marriage proposal, actually.

        3. Speaking of Shriek, I haven’t seen it since I started replying to everyone of its posts to ask if it had proof it paid its bet.

    2. She’s quite likely Maronite. It’s not unusual for Middle Eastern Christians to have Arabic or Arabic-sounding names.

      1. So, you’re saying she’s a Catholic terrorist trying to blow up the British Parliament?

        1. Her code name is Al-Guya bint al-Faqsa.

      2. +1 Isa ibn Maryam

        1. Arab Christians say Yasu, not Isa.

      3. In fact, most of them do have Arabic names because they are Arabs.

        1. I’m not sure Lebanese or Syrians like to be called Arabs.

            1. HABIBI! TOUGH TITTY HABIBI

          1. The one’s whose mother tongue is Arabic are.

    3. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” – Benjamin Franklin

  20. And because they are acting under the pretense to protect the US from terrorism, you have to give it up.

    No, it’s been going on long before terrorism might have been the excuse. They’re acting under the pretense that they have unlimited power to inspect anything brought through the border and have been for a while. Other things they might be looking for would be illegal material or import/export violations.

    Canadian customs are just as dickish if you get selected for secondary screening.

  21. This law applies at any point of entry into the US, whether naval, air or land and extends for 100 miles into the US from the border or formal points of entry.

    Salt Lake City is looking better and better

    1. SLC has an international airport. That’s a point of entry.

  22. The solution is to have Congress assert its authority under Art-I/Sec-8 and restrict the actions of its creations absent a warrant.

    1. Marvelous idea. Next cokes the

      1. Once upon a time, I was a good typist. Believe it or not.

    2. Great idea. How does one awaken The Congress??

  23. My friend’s aunt makes $87 an hour on the laptop . She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay check was $13489 just working on the laptop for a few hours. try this site…

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  24. My friend’s aunt makes $87 an hour on the laptop . She has been fired from work for seven months but last month her pay check was $13489 just working on the laptop for a few hours. try this site…

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  25. Welcome to Police State America.

  26. So between JFK, BDL, and Logan, the Constitution doesn’t apply in CT, RI, or 95% of MA. That’s nice.

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