Archive for the 'nessons evidence' Category


parker on fried-liberty

assignment to my American Jury class

obtain and read…

“[A]s a great popular leader [Mussolini] has said to an applauding multitude, ‘We will trample upon the decomposing body of the Goddess of Liberty.” W.B. Yeats, Irish Independent, Aug. 4, 1924, quoted in R. F. FOSTER, 2 W. B. YEATS, A LIFE 265 (2003).

“[H]e [l’abbé de Mably] hated individual liberty as one hates a personal enemy.” Benjamin Constant, De la liberté des anciens comparée à celle des modernes.

For Benjamin Constant—sometimes called the inventor of liberalism, my kind of liberalism—“individual liberty is the first need of modern man.” He and his friend Madame de Staël had survived the communitarian utopia of Robespierre’s republic of terror only to be sent into exile by Napoleon’s empire of the grandiose. “By liberty I mean the triumph—not just independence, the triumph—of individuality, as much over authority which would govern by despotism, as over the masses that would subordinate the minority to the majority.” When he returned to serve the monarchy of Louis- Philippe and that king in gratitude and admiration paid off his many debts, Constant warned that this would not in the least prevent him from criticizing. It was said of him that he sold himself many times, but never delivered. It is from Constant that Isaiah Berlin, in his celebrated Two Concepts of Liberty, took the contrast between the liberty of the ancients and the liberty of the moderns. Constant did not think them at all equivalent. The liberty of the ancients, the liberty of a people to govern their own state subject to no other ruler, was often the best that men could hope for in a time when wealth was tied to land and the only escape was to exile, loneliness and misery (think of Socrates choosing the hemlock over exile from Athens), but Constant saw that this “liberty” often goes along with the total, the Spartan annihilation of the individual. “It makes the individual a slave so that the people might be free.” In modern times a man can flee across borders with money in his wallet (or an “Inverted Jenny” postage stamp worth a fortune or an account number and a password) to build a new life elsewhere. The liberty Constant valued was the liberty of a man to live his own life as he thought best. Then as now America—to which Constant as a young man thought of emigrating —is the closest thing to that ideal.
That is what I grew up to believe. My family and I were chased from Prague—that most prosperous, most commercial, most comfortable, bourgeois and civilized of cities—by a homicidal maniac who like Robespierre and Napoleon had a vision of the glory of a nation and a people but cared nothing at all about persons. Then with Hitler gone and my father on the point of taking us back to Czechoslovakia, that country was put in the pocket of another mass murderer with an even more lethal—because more plausible—nightmare vision, that of a universal equality, in which every man would belong to everyone and all men belong to the state.
It is of the liberty of persons not peoples, it is of the liberty of the moderns that (to borrow from the opening of the Aeneid) I sing.

The greatest enemy of liberty has always been some vision of the good. It might be the good of community engaged for the glory of a city, nation, race, or party. This is best captured in the image of tens of thousands of slaves broken by the labor of building the great Pyramids of Egypt, with a result that must have amazed, still amazes. True, as much as a reach for glory, these tombs may have been one of the more sensationally desperate attempts to overcome the fact of death—as sealed away with the preserved body of the Pharaoh were the rich accoutrements of his life. But then glory has always been an avenue on the quest for immortality. The Pharaohs may have built for their own glory and immortality, but always and everywhere many religions have been ready to sacrifice the liberty of those whose lives they touched—whether as adherents or not—to what they took to be the greater glory of their gods. Power, magnificence and beauty are among the glories on which men have freely spent their own energies and the unwilling energies of others. But a way of life—whether of great simplicity or of complex ritual observance—has also seemed a good so surpassing that others must be bent to its pursuit. Think of the rural idyll-nightmare which Pol Pot sought to impose on Cambodia, but also of the complex observances of the mediaeval Japanese court.

Those who impose on others are convinced that the good they are after is a good as much for their victims as for themselves and so they claim that there are no victims at all. But just as often there is no thought of the good of the oppressed: Hitler thought of the good and glory of the German race—supermen ruled by a superman—a vision to which the elimination or subjugation of inferior races was integral, a vision in which those races obviously were not asked to share. And indeed the question whose good is it—cui bono—in many instances misses the point of this way of thinking, for it is the good in the abstract that is the goal, not any particular person’s good. The religious manifestation is the clearest—the service of the gods is not the service of any man. But running through this history of subjection and enslavement is the claim of some to coerce the service of others, whether for a common good, the good of the oppressor, or some good that is an abstract from both and applicable to all.
In this catalogue of oppression the idea of equality plays a prominent, yet ambiguous, part. Liberty is so important that everyone should have as much of it as possible. But there is another way of taking equality. Equality is so important that liberty, and not only liberty but every other good thing, should be enjoyed only to the extent that it may be enjoyed equally. In this second way, equality is more like the other goods I have mentioned—national glory or the service of the gods: it is a good that overrides the good of particular persons in so far as the well-being of some are sacrificed to it, and even if the well-being of others is not enhanced. This demands leveling down—deliberately hurting some people, without helping others—if that is the only way to come closer to equality. This was Pol Pot’s project as he emptied the cities and killed or drove into the fields the educated and most prosperous townspeople: Equality as a Great Pyramid. The Great Pyramid view of equality subordinates the goods—the well-being of individuals—to that one great abstraction.

We may know what counts as the power of a nation: its wealth or its successful conquests. Those who seek the glory of their gods seem to know what makes for that glory. But what is liberty? Here is a first, very general idea.

Liberty Is Individuality Made Normative

Individuals come first. Whoever says otherwise is trading in metaphors. There are societies, nations, families, teams, but they are all made up of individual persons. Together persons create traditions, adhere to religions, make up communities, constitute the spirit of a time or place. Individuals inhabit traditions as they inhabit the societies and nations they constitute. They may be said to inhabit the language and culture to which they contribute and which contribute to their consciousness. But all these things—societies, nations, families, teams, traditions, religions, languages and cultures—are the products of individual persons. There would be no language if no one had ever spoken it, although it can be written down, recorded and in that sense take on a life of its own. So also a culture or a society (or corporation or football team) may be said to have a life of its own. Individuals move through these entities, and when they are gone the entities are still there—though changed in large or imperceptible degrees by the persons who have moved through them. But the individual is primary in the sense that only individuals have eyes, ears, mouths, hands and brains, and it is only by individuals making, saying, drawing, writing and other individuals seeing, hearing and understanding, that languages are spoken and remembered, that traditions are felt and passed on.
Everything that matters to a person, to persons in general, everything humanly of value is first of all experienced by individual persons. I now take the next step; and it is a large one. Everything that matters to persons, that is humanly significant is chosen by individual persons, is the responsibility of individual persons, one-by-one. Here as I use the word responsibility, it is I who may be accused of dealing in metaphors, but consider the sense in which a belief—a quite ordinary belief—may be said to be chosen by the one who believes it. The matter of belief, whether it be what a person directly perceives of the outside world or what others tell him, must somehow come to a man’s consciousness and there he must weigh it, decide whether to credit it, or whether to dismiss it as an illusion, a mistake, a falsehood. Overwhelmingly these judgments are snap: almost everything I see I accept as really there without giving it a second thought, but I do give it a first thought. Mostly if someone tells me a simple thing—“Take your umbrella, it is raining”—I do not pause to consider whether to accept that it is in fact raining. And yet I must take in what was said and make a snap judgment that the person who is talking to me is in earnest or joking, a normal observer or a madman. I may judge credulously, impetuously, foolishly or ignorantly, but these are all modes of belief and they are mine.
And so it is also with my judgments of what I should do, what is good or bad, right or wrong. However much my choices may be influenced by prejudice, emotion, fear of others, it is still I who must choose before I act. And the beliefs, choices and actions that make up the human world are those of individuals—discrete points of perception, thought, judgment and choice. They may coalesce in cultures, spirits of the time, but these are made up of individual perceptions, conclusions, choices, actions. And each individual experiences these as ineluctably his, whatever else they may be. In this sense he is responsible for all of them.
In addition to judgments and choices being mine, so also the pains and pleasures, the satisfactions and disappointments, the passions that give my life energy are also ineluctably mine. This has nothing to do with selfishness or altruism. Whether I take pleasure only in comfort and luxury or my happiness consists in the beauties of art and nature or in the thriving of my family, friends or of all humanity, still it is I who seek these goods and am elated or dejected by their attainment or failure. And again this is not at all to say that I choose the good of humanity or the production of great beauty because of the satisfaction they procure for me; I feel the satisfaction (or dejection) because these things are good in themselves. If by some magic I would have to choose between the satisfaction and the thing itself, it is the thing itself I would choose. So the lover seeks the good of his beloved not because of the pleasure he attains when the beloved is well, but for her sake. (Think of Rick on the runway in Casablanca as Ilsa and Laszlo make their escape.) And still all of these goods—high and low, selfish or generous—are sought by us because of what we judge them to be. They are our goods. Finally, this individualism should not be confused with solipsism. What I have been arguing does not at all commit me to the proposition that whatever an individual chooses or experiences as his good is therefore good after all. There may be—I believe there is—a fact of the matter about what is good or bad, right and wrong, worthwhile or degraded. The choosing individual may be profoundly mistaken, superficial, criminal, shallowly selfish; that he chooses as he does, does not determine the judgment on what he does. He is responsible for his beliefs, judgments, choices and actions. To argue that because they are his they cannot be good or bad is just a mistake; but it is a mistake that deprives a man of responsibility.
It is this rock-bottom, indigestible fact of each person’s lonely individuality, his ultimate responsibility for his own beliefs, judgments and choices that grounds our demand that we be free, that is the ground for our liberty. When others try to force me to do what I judge I do not want to do, or try to trick me into believing what I would not otherwise believe, they disrespect—they attack—my person at its deepest level. Because that is where the attack on our liberty comes, it follows that there is a difference between what others do to me and what they merely allow to happen to me when they will not help me or get out of my way. In doing to me, they do indeed take my person into account and make that part of their project. In refusing to help or get out of my way they may fail to acknowledge me as a judging, feeling, choosing individual, but in doing something to me they acknowledge that and use it for their own purposes. They (try to) deprive me of my liberty.
Liberty is individuality made normative. The person who disregards me—turns away or runs over me—ignores my individuality; he pays no mind to the fact that I have a distinct consciousness, plans, judgments. For example, the man who throws me out of a window onto his enemy in the street below in a sense uses me—but as an object, a dead weight, not as a thinking, responsible being. And he does not violate my liberty. It is the man who takes account of my individuality—my thinking, reasoning, judgment—and forces me to bend my will to his who violates my liberty. His plan depends on the fact that I have plans and he makes his plans part of my plans. I am the means to his ends; that is, I as an independent, responsible consciousness. A violation of liberty tears something: a man recognizes me, recognizes me as being a person like him, but then contradicts that recognition by using against me and for himself the very things that make him and me persons. It is this relationship between us that implicates liberty; liberty is fundamentally about relations between persons.
Now you may be thinking that as a thinking, feeling being I have plans of my own—selfish or generous—and these plans (what might be called for short my good, or my goods) are what I care about. And these plans may be frustrated as much by another’s running over me or passing me by as by his using me. More, there is scarcely anything I can accomplish without others: I would not have been conceived, born, reached maturity, learned language without others. If I had been ignored, I would have died. The success of my plans always depends on others. Yes, but as we acknowledge that, notice how it is we depend on each other. We depend on each other to deal with us—for us and against us—as thinking, choosing beings: as persons, as individuals (perhaps not in our conception and infancy, but soon after that). So all these good things implicate liberty because they depend on our eliciting, discouraging, modifying other people’s choices; they implicate how we treat each other as persons and not as inert objects to be ignored or obstacles to be got out of the way. The running over and passing by are secondary, secondary to our dealings with each other as persons. We run over or pass each other by on our way to something else, in pursuit of some plan, and that plan almost always will count on cooperating with or using others—their capacities to understand, value and choose.
Liberty is implicated when we take those capacities into account. Consider two opposite ways in which we take into account other persons and their distinct capacities as individuals: we can cooperate with them or we can coerce them. (I use the term coercion to cover threats, orders and not physical restraint—it is the difference between pointing a gun at a prisoner while ordering him to move and frog-marching him.) In cooperation we elicit choices by inviting the other to join in our choices, to make our choices his. Now I know that cooperation can be made to look like coercion—the offer you cannot refuse. Take an extreme and obvious example: the bank manager can be said to cooperate with the bank robber by opening the vault to save a hostage’s life. And a less obvious example: the landlord insists on a greatly increased rent to renew the lease of a successful restaurant that has over the years come to be identified with a particular neighborhood. And at the other extreme, Mozart and the librettist da Ponte working together to create The Marriage of Figaro, or the joining of lovers. In all of these examples—even the bank robbery— individuals make use of each other as persons, in all liberty is implicated, but only in the first example of the bank manager is it clear that liberty is violated. It will just exactly be my job in succeeding chapters to unravel when liberty is violated and when it is invoked. (A glance forward: we will see that a complete idea of liberty implies a notion of rights, and others can trespass on my rights inadvertently, heedlessly as well as willfully and viciously. I may, and the state should, protect my rights in both cases. But the trespasser conceives of me differently in the two cases, and the extent and kind of justified defense will differ too.)

in the name of Trevor Rhone

Charles —

Tonight I addressed the American people on the future we face together. Though at times it may seem uncertain, it is a future that is ours to decide, ours to define, and ours to win.

Overcoming the challenges we face today requires a new vision for tomorrow. We will move forward together, or not at all — for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

Yet the story of America is this: We do big things.
It means leading the world in educating our kids

so ok, that’s what i’m working on

SET-Jamaica’s Promise – Build a Tent at Mountain View

in collaboration with GoGSAT and BARMAX

“The answer isn’t always money,” Bush said. “There needs to be a compelling story.”…

Their reform comes down from the top and feels directed against teachers. Here is a compelling unfolding story coming up from the bottom to support teachers – in my email from Jamaica:

Shalette East of GoGSAT to Charles
6:55 AM (53 minutes ago)

I think this is a nice way to present the collaboration to the public and invite sponsors to come on board, what do you think?

The Berkman Center at Harvard, S.E.T and GoGSAT Team up to Provide Free GSAT Website and online resources to Jamaican Students and Teachers

Jamaican students in grades 4-6 can now prepare for their Grade Four Literacy Test (GFLT) and Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) free of cost courtesy of a partnership among Harvard, S.E.T and GoGSAT and numerous local and international partners. This collaboration sees the bronze version of GoGSAT which is priced at $3,000 per year being open to students and teachers at no cost to them.

The bronze version of GoGSAT comes with the following features: 24/7 access to: pop quizzes (1000s of interactive practice questions), interactive study guides in Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science, interactive study notes, pre-tests, downloadable PDF Communication Task forms, printable handouts and worksheets, timetables, a comprehensive FAQ, PDF training manual, integrated technical support, eBulletin board, real time eNotebook, real time grade book and the first in the region Macmillan integrated dictionary. In addition Harvard students will serve as mentors to the users in the system’s chat room. The Bronze system also features online resources such as printable handouts, tests and worksheets for teachers. Like students, teachers also register online for free. However, they need to contact GoGSAT to have their accounts upgraded to a teacher’s account to enable them to access the teacher’s portal.

Furthermore students will be able to utilize the award winning USAID/JCF/MOE/SDC/CDA Community Safety and Security Courseware. This will allow students to learn about safety and security, leave questions on their personalized help desk for the police and chat with Police Officers in real time. To date over 5000 students and teachers are registered on GoGSAT bronze.

GoGSAT has been providing GSAT preparation to Jamaican students for five years at three service levels (Bronze, Silver and Premium). To date, the company has won four national awards and has seen over 50 of its subscribers earning national scholarships. To register for GoGSAT bronze, simply visit, click register now and complete the online form. A user name and password will be generated and emailed to you. If you would like to partner as a sponsor please contact Kevin Wallen of S.E.T at telephone number. Sponsorship starts at J$15,000 (US$200) per year (5 students). Sponsors will also be listed on the GoGSAT sponsorship page.

Shalette has already signed up over 5000 Jamaican students for free GoGSAT Bronze

Kevin Wallen and Michelle Robinson are leading a pilot program at Mountain View Primary, joining our effort at Ascot High. This video documents our early connection with Michelle when she was a teacher. She is now principal of the school.

we are students expressing truth interested in exploring ways for teachers to use tests without falling prey to them in a pilot program working with Jamaica: Our Island Nation

smile jamaica


Jamaica and America’s War on Drugs

new york daily news

7:08:15 AM
May 29, 2010
No amount of money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safer, only an end to prohibition can do that. How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution? If you support prohibition then you’ve helped trigger the worst crime wave in history.

Read more:

jamaica outlook

last day on alchemy – at least for awhile

back to wesport, just put laundry in the dryer, end of an amazing time, beginning of another

Jury Nullification

the jury did just what it was told to do. the jury is not to be faulted for the verdict. the fault is in the law.

the judge tells the jury what the law is, and orders the jury to enforce it. This is the first constitutional hypocrisy. The Jury is the law. “You are the law.” Paul Neuman in the Verdict had it right.

People ask how can common-sense juries have returned verdicts of $675k against Joel and $1.92 mil against Jammie Thomas Rasset? The answer is the verdict form and the judge’s order to the jurors to fill it in as they are told. The jury is not to blame. The fault lies with the interpretation of the law that shaped the form and with the judge’s order that the jury is bound to it. Congress never authorized it. Our Constitution does not condone it.

On this we have just begun to fight.

There is no place on the verdict form for judgment whether what Joel did was right or wrong, fair or unfair. The law the RIAA persuaded the judge to impose simply declared the conduct of a generation to be wrong, no jury trial. Just fill in the form, the jury’s only task to say how much the defendant must pay, with instructed minimum and maximum for each infringement.

thirty times

The jurys’ bankrupting verdicts are not flukes. They are the product of rotten law. Proof in math is often made by reductio ad absurdum: If your logic leads to absurd result then your premise must be wrong.

Fairness and Justice are jury issues, in this case taken from the jury, the jury’s fundamental function nullified.

The table is now set. The question is presented. Next event is Judge Gertner’s opportunity (or not) to remit the excessive award against Joel to a reasonable (constitutional) amount.

hello justice roberts – internet calling justice roberts

Mr. Justice Stephen Breyer
c/o Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20543

Dear Mr. Justice Breyer:

By an oversight I cannot explain, an earlier letter addressed to Mr. Justice Souter and delivered June 26, 2009, was not successfully filed and entered on the Supreme Court docket. Its substance, which is still timely, is reproduced below, but with the additional information pertinent to you that your son Michael is a principle in the company that would do the operational work of digital transmission if the request below were to be granted. Anticipating recusal, I ask if possible that our request be referred to the Chief Justice.

I am the Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. I represent (pro bono) Joel Tennenbaum, a student being prosecuted by the RIAA for downloading and sharing music through a peer-to-peer network, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, et al., v. Joel Tenenbaum, consolidated to Capitol Records, Inc., et al. v. Noor Alaujan, No. 03-cv-11661-NG (D. Mass.).
On the defendant’s own behalf and on behalf of the digital public, Defendant Tenenbaum moved to establish public access through internet to gavel to gavel coverage of the public proceedings in the case, starting with pretrial proceedings. District Judge Gertner granted this motion with respect the public pretrial proceeding scheduled for January 24, 2009, involving argument of motions, and indicated that further requests pertaining to internet public access for later proceedings and trial would be entertained. The courtroom’s already installed equipment was to be used to capture and narrowcast the proceeding to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, which would in turn serve it to and share it with open net. See Capitol Records, Inc., et al. v. Alaujan, 593 F.Supp.2d 319.

This plan was frustrated by an extraordinary writ of advisory mandamus issued by the First Circuit Court of Appeals barring Judge Gertner from allowing this public access to her courtroom. The First Circuit panel declared that Local Rule 83.3 of the District Court denied Judge Gerter any and all authority to allow digital recording in her court. See In re Sony BMG Entertainment, et al., 561 F.3d 1. A request for hearing en banc was denied on April 30, 2009. A petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States was filed on June 2, 2009 and is now pending, docketed as No. 08-1506.

The trial of this case is scheduled to begin July 27, 2009. Judge Gertner will abide by the First Circuit order of prohibition unless it is stayed or overturned.

To interpret the Local Rule so rigidly as to exclude any and all digital preservation and dissemination of the public proceedings of the district courts is arbitrary. The issues in this case are of particular concern to the digital generation and to the future of the internet.

I respectfully request that either you or Chief Justice Roberts suspend Local Rule 83.3 and the First Circuit’s order of prohibition in order to permit digital recording and dissemination of the trial; or, in the alternative, grant a stay of all further proceedings in the case to permit consideration by the full Supreme Court of our petition for certiorari.

Absent the requested suspension of the rule or stay of the trial, the petition for certiorari will be moot.

For these reasons, we respectfully seek your assistance.

Respectfully submitted,

Charles Nesson
Counsel for Petitioner Joel Tenenbaum


I, the undersigned counsel, hereby certify that on June 26, 2009, pursuant to Rule 29 of this Court, I caused the attached letter to be served on counsel of record for the Respondents in this action by United States Postal Service, first class, at the following addresses:

Daniel J. Cloherty
Victoria L. Steinberg
Dwyer & Collora LLP
600 Atlantic Avenue, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02210

Eve G. Burton
Timothy M. Reynolds
Holme Roberts & Owen LLP
17 Lincoln, Suite 4100
Denver, CO 80203

Charles Nesson
Counsel for the Petitioner

gobblygook- and i didn’t paste in all of it – “SECRET” – not “UNCONSENTED”: “ferae naturae”

is there a right to create bits in cyberspace? is there a right to capture the value of them from the public domain?

September 1960. i enter harvard law school. my first class is PROPERTY, taught by W. Barton Leach. the first case in my property casebook deals with ferae naturae, wild animals, unowned things of value in the public domain. the case name is Pierson v. Post. the setting (loosely) is a long and empty public beach in front of a crusty dutchman’s house who is sitting on his porch looking out at the beach in front of him with a rifle on his knee, that’s Pierson; and Post, an english squire type who likes to hunt foxes with a pack of dogs. On the day of the event in question Post and his dogs succeed in flushing a fox and chasing it out onto the beach. They are in hot pursuit coming down the beach in front of Pierson’s porch, fox, dogs and Post on horse galloping behind. Pierson raises his rifle and shoots the fox dead. who owns the fox?

i make no “secret” that i record. my default is red light on. whether i have my red light on is no business of the state. whether those with whom i come in contact consent to be in the environment i am in or whether they insist on theirs seems not the or not is between them and me, not the stuff of five year felony

the massachusetts statute purporting to make it a five year felony to digitally record my environment if any one in it objects, with requirement that i must announce to each new identity coming into the environment i am recording that i am laying down digital track = bullshit!. the massachusetts statute is gobblygook. the federal courts of the united states of america have no reason to waste their time with it unless they find it impeding their freedom to administer and project federal law. the idea that the federal court and a federal judge would become the instruments of its enforcement misconceives the proper balance of power and responsibility between state and federal governments in service of their constitutions and their citizens bill of rights. this law has been used to prosecute a kid with long hair driving his car, music player and recorder beside him on the seat, pulled over by police (for his long hair?), who activates the recorder beside him on the seat so that all of what follows is evidence. the cops hassle him in a manner he finds deeply offensive, then let him go. he goes to the police station and complains to the captain about abuse. he tells the captain he has recorded evidence of it. the captain notifies the prosecutor, who prosecutes this kid for violation of this gobblygook statute. the case is tried to a jury. the judge tells the jury that it must ignore all that the police did and said. he gives a fearsome anti-nullification charge that the jurors must obey their oath to apply the letter of the law. the kid is convicted, of a felony with a five year sentence, don’t know if he actually did time. my friend steve elliot told me all about this when i was last in truro. he’s a country lawyer who was in the abington massachusetts courtroom when judge nagle made it happen. steve eliot, father of justin elliot, news editor at TPM, google him, he comes right up. AFFIRMED by the SJC. bullshit!

not “unconsented”


Massachusetts General Law ch. 272, section 99 (2009)

section 99. Eavesdropping, Wire Tapping, and Other Interception of Communications.

Interception of wire and oral communications.–

A. Preamble.

The general court finds that organized crime exists within the commonwealth and that the increasing activities of organized crime constitute a grave danger to the public welfare and safety. Organized crime, as it exists in the commonwealth today, consists of a continuing conspiracy among highly organized and disciplined groups to engage in supplying illegal goods and services. In supplying these goods and services organized crime commits unlawful acts and employs brutal and violent tactics. Organized crime is infiltrating legitimate business activities and depriving honest businessmen of the right to make a living.

The general court further finds that because organized crime carries on its activities through layers of insulation and behind a wall of secrecy, government has been unsuccessful in curtailing and eliminating it. Normal investigative procedures are not effective in the investigation of illegal acts committed by organized crime. Therefore, law enforcement officials must be permitted to use modern methods of electronic surveillance, under strict judicial supervision, when investigating these organized criminal activities.

The general court further finds that the uncontrolled development and unrestricted use of modern electronic surveillance devices pose grave dangers to the privacy of all citizens of the commonwealth. Therefore, the secret use of such devices by private individuals must be prohibited. The use of such devices by law enforcement officials must be conducted under strict judicial supervision and should be limited to the investigation of organized crime.

B. Definitions. As used in this section–

1. The term “wire communication” means any communication made in whole or in part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable, or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of reception.

2. The term “oral communication” means speech, except such speech as is transmitted over the public air waves by radio or other similar device.

3. The term “intercepting device” means any device or apparatus which is capable of transmitting, receiving, amplifying, or recording a wire or oral communication other than a hearing aid or similar device which is being used to correct subnormal hearing to normal and other than any telephone or telegraph instrument, equipment, facility, or a component thereof, (a) furnished to a subscriber or user by a communications common carrier in the ordinary course of its business under its tariff and being used by the subscriber or user in the ordinary course of its business; or (b) being used by a communications common carrier in the ordinary course of its business.

4. The term “interception” means to secretly hear, secretly record, or aid another to secretly hear or secretly record the contents of any wire or oral communication through the use of any intercepting device by any person other than a person given prior authority by all parties to such communication; provided that it shall not constitute an interception for an investigative or law enforcement officer, as defined in this section, to record or transmit a wire or oral communication if the officer is a party to such communication or has been given prior authorization to record or transmit the communication by such a party and if recorded or transmitted in the course of an investigation of a designated offense as defined herein.

5. The term “contents”, when used with respect to any wire or oral communication, means any information concerning the identity of the parties to such communication or the existence, contents, substance, purport, or meaning of that communication.

6. The term “aggrieved person” means any individual who was a party to an intercepted wire or oral communication or who was named in the warrant authorizing the interception, or who would otherwise have standing to complain that his personal or property interest or privacy was invaded in the course of an interception.

7. The term “designated offense” shall include the following offenses in connection with organized crime as defined in the preamble: arson, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, extortion, bribery, burglary, embezzlement, forgery, gaming in violation of section seventeen of chapter two hundred and seventy-one of the general laws, intimidation of a witness or juror, kidnapping, larceny, lending of money or things of value in violation of the general laws, mayhem, murder, any offense involving the possession or sale of a narcotic or harmful drug, perjury, prostitution, robbery, subornation of perjury, any violation of this section, being an accessory to any of the foregoing offenses and conspiracy or attempt or solicitation to commit any of the foregoing offenses.

8. The term “investigative or law enforcement officer” means any officer of the United States, a state or a political subdivision of a state, who is empowered by law to conduct investigations of, or to make arrests for, the designated offenses, and any attorney authorized by law to participate in the prosecution of such offenses.

9. The term “judge of competent jurisdiction” means any justice of the superior court of the commonwealth.

10. The term “chief justice” means the chief justice of the superior court of the commonwealth.

11. The term “issuing judge” means any justice of the superior court who shall issue a warrant as provided herein or in the event of his disability or unavailability any other judge of competent jurisdiction designated by the chief justice.

12. The term “communication common carrier” means any person engaged as a common carrier in providing or operating wire communication facilities.

13. The term “person” means any individual, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, or corporation, whether or not any of the foregoing is an officer, agent or employee of the United States, a state, or a political subdivision of a state.

14. The terms “sworn” or “under oath” as they appear in this section shall mean an oath or affirmation or a statement subscribed to under the pains and penalties of perjury.

15. The terms “applicant attorney general” or “applicant district attorney” shall mean the attorney general of the commonwealth or a district attorney of the commonwealth who has made application for a warrant pursuant to this section.

16. The term “exigent circumstances” shall mean the showing of special facts to the issuing judge as to the nature of the investigation for which a warrant is sought pursuant to this section which require secrecy in order to obtain the information desired from the interception sought to be authorized.

17. The term “financial institution” shall mean a bank, as defined in section 1 of chapter 167, and an investment bank, securities broker, securities dealer, investment adviser, mutual fund, investment company or securities custodian as defined in section 1.165-12(c)(1) of the United States Treasury regulations.

18. The term “corporate and institutional trading partners” shall mean financial institutions and general business entities and corporations which engage in the business of cash and asset management, asset management directed to custody operations, securities trading, and wholesale capital markets including foreign exchange, securities lending, and the purchase, sale or exchange of securities, options, futures, swaps, derivatives, repurchase agreements and other similar financial instruments with such financial institution.

C. Offenses.

1. Interception, oral communications prohibited.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section any person who–

willfully commits an interception, attempts to commit an interception, or procures any other person to commit an interception or to attempt to commit an interception of any wire or oral communication shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the state prison for not more than five years, or imprisoned in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one half years, or both so fined and given one such imprisonment.

Proof of the installation of any intercepting device by any person under circumstances evincing an intent to commit an interception, which is not authorized or permitted by this section, shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this subparagraph.

2. Editing of tape recordings in judicial proceeding prohibited.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section any person who willfully edits, alters or tampers with any tape, transcription or recording of oral or wire communications by any means, or attempts to edit, alter or tamper with any tape, transcription or recording of oral or wire communications by any means with the intent to present in any judicial proceeding or proceeding under oath, or who presents such recording or permits such recording to be presented in any judicial proceeding or proceeding under oath, without fully indicating the nature of the changes made in the original state of the recording, shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned in the state prison for not more than five years or imprisoned in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years or both so fined and given one such imprisonment.

3. Disclosure or use of wire or oral communications prohibited.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section any person who–

a. willfully discloses or attempts to disclose to any person the contents of any wire or oral communication, knowing that the information was obtained through interception; or

b. willfully uses or attempts to use the contents of any wire or oral communication, knowing that the information was obtained through interception, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a jail or a house of correction for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or both.

4. Disclosure of contents of applications, warrants, renewals, and returns prohibited.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this section any person who–

willfully discloses to any person, any information concerning or contained in, the application for, the granting or denial of orders for interception, renewals, notice or return on an ex parte order granted pursuant to this section, or the contents of any document, tape, or recording kept in accordance with paragraph N, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a jail or a house of correction for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or both.

5. Possession of interception devices prohibited.

A person who possesses any intercepting device under circumstances evincing an intent to commit an interception not permitted or authorized by this section, or a person who permits an intercepting device to be used or employed for an interception not permitted or authorized by this section, or a person who possesses an intercepting device knowing that the same is intended to be used to commit an interception not permitted or authorized by this section, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or both.

The installation of any such intercepting device by such person or with his permission or at his direction shall be prima facie evidence of possession as required by this subparagraph.

6. Any person who permits or on behalf of any other person commits or attempts to commit, or any person who participates in a conspiracy to commit or to attempt to commit, or any accessory to a person who commits a violation of subparagraphs 1 through 5 of paragraph C of this section shall be punished in the same manner as is provided for the respective offenses as described in subparagraphs 1 through 5 of paragraph C.

D. Exemptions.

1. Permitted interception of wire or oral communications.

It shall not be a violation of this section–

a. for an operator of a switchboard, or an officer, employee, or agent of any communication common carrier, whose facilities are used in the transmission of a wire communication, to intercept, disclose, or use that communication in the normal course of his employment while engaged in any activity which is a necessary incident to the rendition of service or to the protection of the rights or property of the carrier of such communication, or which is necessary to prevent the use of such facilities in violation of section fourteen A of chapter two hundred and sixty-nine of the general laws; provided, that said communication common carriers shall not utilize service observing or random monitoring except for mechanical or service quality control checks.

b. for persons to possess an office intercommunication system which is used in the ordinary course of their business or to use such office intercommunication system in the ordinary course of their business.

c. for investigative and law enforcement officers of the United States of America to violate the provisions of this section if acting pursuant to authority of the laws of the United States and within the scope of their authority.

d. for any person duly authorized to make specified interceptions by a warrant issued pursuant to this section.

e. for investigative or law enforcement officers to violate the provisions of this section for the purposes of ensuring the safety of any law enforcement officer or agent thereof who is acting in an undercover capacity, or as a witness for the commonwealth; provided, however, that any such interception which is not otherwise permitted by this section shall be deemed unlawful for purposes of paragraph P.

f. for a financial institution to record telephone communications with its corporate or institutional trading partners in the ordinary course of its business; provided, however, that such financial institution shall establish and maintain a procedure to provide semi-annual written notice to its corporate and institutional trading partners that telephone communications over designated lines will be recorded.

2. Permitted disclosure and use of intercepted wire or oral communications.

a. Any investigative or law enforcement officer, who, by any means authorized by this section, has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire or oral communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may disclose such contents or evidence in the proper performance of his official duties.

b. Any investigative or law enforcement officer, who, by any means authorized by this section has obtained knowledge of the contents of any wire or oral communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may use such contents or evidence in the proper performance of his official duties.

c. Any person who has obtained, by any means authorized by this section, knowledge of the contents of any wire or oral communication, or evidence derived therefrom, may disclose such contents while giving testimony under oath or affirmation in any criminal proceeding in any court of the United States or of any state or in any federal or state grand jury proceeding.

d. The contents of any wire or oral communication intercepted pursuant to a warrant in accordance with the provisions of this section, or evidence derived therefrom, may otherwise be disclosed only upon a showing of good cause before a judge of competent jurisdiction.

e. No otherwise privileged wire or oral communication intercepted in accordance with, or in violation of, the provisions of this section shall lose its privileged character.

morning mail from jamaica

From: Barbara Ellington
Date: Sun, May 3, 2009 at 10:02 PM

Charley’s Questions
SET: Students Expressing Truth

1. Besides the beauty of the landscape and the warmth of the people, what are your reasons for using the Berkman Center for Internet and Society to help Jamaica?

2. Has it been successful; what else would you like to achieve here?

3. How would you describe the progress made by Jamaica as a country and technologically over the years you have been visiting Jamaica?

4. Name five things that could reform Jamaica’s prison system.

5. With the high crime rate in the island and the daily growing statistics, what other realistic steps can we take to combat crime?

6. What propelled you to become involved in the civil rights issues in a positive way? Was there a positively defining moment between you and black folks back home?

7. Another law professor from Harvard, Charles Ogletree, taught the Obamas at Harvard, did you teach him or come in contact with him? What kind of student was he?

8. You told me that you admire him (President Obama), why is this so? Knowing him as you do, what do you think he will take from his exposure to and knowledge of constitutional law into his choice for the Supreme Court vacancy?

9. I have met people from age 19 to 90 who have said, given America’s racist history, they did not expect to see a black president of the United States in their lifetime. Given what you know of your country, did you expect it?

10. I don’t believe in miracles but after only 100 days, your countrymen and woman almost expected Obama to turn water into wine, what improvements to foreign policy and the economy do you expect to see at the end of the first term?

11. How has the poker initiative been going?

12. What else would you like to accomplish in your life’s work?

13. What thrills you; makes you sad or surprises you about life?