Wednesday links

US judges can now sign hacking warrants outside their jurisdiction: “Legal experts have described the move as the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s inception, an agency that has already embarked on international hacking operations. The Department of Justice, meanwhile, has defended the changes, arguing they are crucial for policing crime in an age of anonymization technology such as Tor…

…Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and a group of bipartisan senators have attempted to block the Rule 41 changes by introducing a bill, the Stopping Mass Hacking Act.

“This is a dramatic expansion of the government’s hacking and surveillance authority. Such a substantive change with an enormous impact on Americans’ constitutional rights should be debated by Congress, not maneuvered through an obscure bureaucratic process,” Sen. Wyden said in a statement at the time.”

Julian Assange is a victim of arbitrary detention, says U.N. panel

Maine police have a handy surveillance tool that they use to monitor what you say online.  The rapid progress of law enforcement surveillance tech is far outstripping a free society’s ability to control it.  Law must catch up soon before we’re caught in a total surveillance society with no way to dismantle it.

Why Flag Burning Matters.  Great article on the American Religion of the State and its symbols.  The reaction to the burning of a piece of cloth with a particular color pattern mirrors that of religious fanatics’ reactions to blasphemy.

Victim of civil asset forfeiture gets his $11,000 back, with interest.  Justice is rare in the lawless world of asset forfeiture.