WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide how much privacy workers have when they send text messages from their employers’ accounts.
The justices intervened in a case from Ontario, Calif., where three police officers and another employee complained that the department improperly snooped on their electronic exchanges, including many that were said to be sexually explicit.
While the case involves government workers, the decision could have broader privacy implications. Many employers tell workers there is no guarantee of privacy in anything sent over their company- or government-provided computers, cell phones or pagers.
Program freed inmates early
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Critics heaped scorn on Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday over a secret prison program that allowed hundreds of inmates – some violent offenders – to be released early, including some who only spent 11 days behind bars.
An Associated Press report released Sunday showed that more than 850 inmates – including repeat drunken drivers, drug users and even people convicted of battery and weapons violations – were released since September, when the Corrections Department abandoned a policy that all prisoners serve at least 61 days and gave inmates months of good-time credit upfront.
Quinn ordered a “top-to-bottom” review of the practice on Sunday after seeing the report.
Federal funds will help combat carp
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Federal officials said Monday they would use $13 million in Great Lakes restoration funds to step up the fight against invasive Asian carp.
Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the money will be used for engineering projects to prevent the carp from slipping into Lake Michigan near Chicago. They include closing conduits and shoring up low-lying lands between the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal – which leads to the lake – and other waterways.
The ravenous carp have been migrating northward in the Mississippi and Illinois rivers for decades. Scientists say if they get into the Great Lakes, they could gobble up plankton, interrupt the food chain and devastate the $7 billion fishery.
Federal and state officials poisoned a six-mile section of the canal this month to prevent the carp from getting closer to Lake Michigan.
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