U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a new policy on border searches of electronic devices that’s full of loopholes and vague language and that continues to allow agents to violate travelers’ constitutional rights. Although the new policy contains a few improvements over rules first published nine years ago, overall it doesn’t go nearly far enough to protect the privacy of innocent travelers or to recognize how exceptionally intrusive electronic device searches are.
Nothing announced in the policy changes the fact that these device searches are unconstitutional, and EFF will continue to fight for travelers’ rights in our border search lawsuit.
Below is a legal analysis of some of the key features of the new policy.
IR-2017-210, Dec. 27, 2017
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service advised tax professionals and taxpayers today that pre-paying 2018 state and local real property taxes in 2017 may be tax deductible under certain circumstances.
The IRS has received a number of questions from the tax community concerning the deductibility of prepaid real property taxes. In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018. A prepayment of anticipated real property taxes that have not been assessed prior to 2018 are not deductible in 2017. State or local law determines whether and when a property tax is assessed, which is generally when the taxpayer becomes liable for the property tax imposed.
Democratic state attorneys general and advocacy groups Thursday said they were gearing up to fight the Federal Communications Commission over its move to scrap the Obama-era net neutrality rules that were adopted to ensure equal access to the web. As protestors outside the FCC pronounced the death of an open internet, the FCC, led by Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer, voted on party lines Thursday to repeal so-called net neutrality rules.
- The net neutrality vote, explained (mashable.com)
- U.S. agency prepares to hand over internet oversight to FTC after net neutrality vote (thegazette.com)
- Get Ready to Say Hi to the New Freedom Order of the Internet – Empowering No One but the ISPs(wccftech.com)
- More Republicans in Congress criticize FCC’s net neutrality plan (feedproxy.google.com)
As arrests at courthouses by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers continue, a report released Tuesday by the Fund for Modern Courts suggests New York’s courts should limit their cooperation and assistance with civil immigration law enforcement.
So far this year ICE agents have arrested 52 people while they were in court in New York state, the majority in New York City, Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the Office of Court Administration, told the New York Law Journal Tuesday. This is the first year the state’s court system has tracked ICE activities and arrests in courthouses. Expanded immigration enforcement actions under the Trump administration have resulted in increased arrests at courthouses nationally since the beginning of 2017, the report states.
The 24-page report issued by the justice system reform organization examined the impact of ICE arrests on New Yorkers’ access to state courthouses. It suggested actions that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore should take to mitigate the “negative impact on individuals and the courts resulting from ICE’s actions in courthouses.”
Individuals filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 must use a new form that presents their payment plan in a more uniform and transparent manner, and creditors will have less time to submit a proof of claim, under new bankruptcy rules and form amendments that took effect Dec. 1.