Earlier this year, the Supreme Court said police had overstepped their legal authority by planting a GPS tracker on the car of a suspected drug dealer without getting a search warrant. It seemed like another instance in a long line of cases that test the balance between personal privacy and the needs of law enforcement.
Two Senate Democrats want the Justice Department to share more details about how it interprets a key provision of the Patriot Act. The lawmakers say the public has a right to know about a sensitive intelligence gathering program.
So Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden and Colorado Democrat Mark Udall have sent a letter of complaint to the attorney general. The senators say people would be stunned to know how the government is going about getting business records and other information under the U.S. Patriot Act.
Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.
It's one of the most serious actions the U.S. government could ever take: targeting one of its own citizens with lethal force.
Since last year, U.S. drones have killed three Americans overseas. But Attorney General Eric Holder says the ongoing fight against al-Qaida means those kinds of deadly strikes are now a way of life. And judging from the reaction to his national security speech at Northwestern University Law School on Monday, so is the hot debate over the legality of the U.S. drone program.