Monday, May 21, 2012

At first, I thought this was a consequence of “big data” – just too much to analyze in a timely manner. Actually it seems to be a case of arrogance.
E.D.N.Y.: Govt’s failure to examine seized hard drives leads to suppression as “flagrant disregard” of warrant and Fourth Amendment
May 20, 2012 by Dissent points to a suppression ruling out of EDNY:
The government seized 61 hard drives to copy and copied four others then took it’s time analyzing them. The court finds the delay was unreasonable and was a “flagrant disregard” of the rights of the owner of the computers and target of the search and suppresses. United States v. Metter, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155130 (E.D. N.Y. May 17, 2011) [apparently should be a 2012 citation]
Read the excerpt from the decision on
[From the ruling:
The lack of good faith by the government can be inferred from its conduct in this case. In the affidavits in support of the search warrants issued in this case, the government promised to review the evidence seized offsite to determine whether any evidence fell outside the scope of the warrants. (See McGuire Home Aff. ¶ 58; Carrano Aff. ¶ 60; McGuire Email Aff. ¶ 130.) The government then failed to commence the review, despite repeated requests from defense counsel and directions from the Court to do so. In fact, the government seemed shocked that the Court would require such a review, and, as mentioned above, threatened to provide all of the evidence seized and imaged to each defendant in the case, without conducting any such review. (See 2/4/11 S/C Tr. 24-26, 29-30; 2/28/11 Gov't Letter at 2.) The government's own conduct and statements indicate that it had no intention of fulfilling its obligations as promised in the search warrants. Nor has the government presented any evidence or arguments to the effect that it failed to fulfill this obligation due to limited resources, such as it has argued in other cases.

It's for the children!”
Facebook to lift ban on under-13s joining social network site?
May 20, 2012 by Dissent
Facebook may relax a ban on children under the age of 13 joining its site after finding that many kids, some with their parents’ permission and help, were already using it. [Like they didn't know... Bob]
“There is reputable evidence that there are kids under 13 who are lying about their age to get on to Facebook,” Sunday Times quoted Simon Milner, Facebook’s head of policy in Britain as saying.
Read more on Deccan Chronicle.
I think I can already hear Congress scrambling to hold hearings….

Tools for the modern stalker...
"On Friday, a company called SceneTap flipped the on switch enabling cameras installed in around 20 bars to monitor how full the venues are, the mix of men and women, their ages — and to make all this information available live via an iPhone or Android app. Privacy advocates are unimpressed, though, as the only hint that people are being monitored is via tiny stickers on the windows. Beyond academics and policy experts, some San Francisco bar owners that originally partnered with SceneTap have said that they're pulling out and will be taking down the company's cameras. An increasing number of bars still listed on the SceneTap's site are now saying that they're not working with the Chicago startup, including Mr. Smith's, Southpaw, John Colins, and Bar None."

Whenever cities bribe companies, some politician claims it's the company's fault and it's “not fair” (which is political talk for “I have no clue what just happened.”)
"Eager to host Amazon warehouses and receive a cut of the tax on sales to customers statewide, the LA Times reports that two California cities are offering Amazon most of the tax money they stand to gain. After agreeing to collect California sales taxes beginning in the fall, Amazon is setting up two fulfillment centers in San Bernadino and Patterson, which will gain not only jobs but also a tax bonanza: Sales to Amazon customers throughout California will be deemed to take place there, so all the sales tax earmarked for local government operations will go to those two cities. The windfall is so lucrative that local officials are preparing to give Amazon the lion's share of their take as a reward for setting up shop there. 'The tax is supposed to be supporting government,' said Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the California Tax Reform Assn., of the proposed sales-tax rebate. Instead, it's going back into Amazon's pocket.' Sen. Mark DeSaulnier added: 'It seems like the private sector finds a way to pit one city against the other. You can't give away sales tax in this manner.'" [Apparently, you can. Bob]

Since we have no clue how long this should take, we'll rely on the estimates of the regulated companies...
ICO may give organisations years to comply with EU cookie law
May 21, 2012 by Dissent
Derek du Preez reports:
A senior policy manager at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said that it may give organisations with complex website environments [Apparently this means incomprehensible or unmanageable... Bob] years to comply with new EU cookie laws, even though the new regulation came into effect in the UK almost twelve months ago.
The government was forced [“My God they have big guns too!” Bob] to revise the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, which came into force in the UK on 26 May last year, to address a new EU directive that demands that businesses and organisations running websites in the UK need to get consent from visitors to their websites in order to store cookies on users’ computers.
However, the ICO stated at the time that it would give businesses a twelve month ‘moratorium’ period in which to get their house in order and to comply with the new regulation.
Read more on CSO.

Looks like a job for IP lawyers with JAG experience.
"The United States has pursued Bradley Manning with full force for his role in supplying classified documents to WikiLeaks, in part because of the substantial difficulty in going after the organization directly. Criminal statutes generally deployed against those who leak classified government documents--such as the Espionage Act of 1917--are ill-equipped to prosecute third-party international distribution organizations like WikiLeaks. One potential tool that could be used to prosecute WikiLeaks is copyright law. The use of copyright law in this context has rarely been mentioned, and when it has, the approach has been largely derided by experts, who decry it as contrary to the purposes of copyright. But a paper just published in the Stanford Journal of International Law describes one novel way the U.S. could use copyright to go after WikiLeaks and similar leaking organizations directly--by bringing suit in foreign jurisdictions."

This sounds entirely too rational.
Cable companies expand free Wi-Fi
The nation's biggest cable operators are banding together to offer free Wi-Fi access to their broadband customers in more than 50,000 hotspots around the country.
… The way it will work is that customers of any of these cable companies can look for the CableWiFi network and through a simple sign-on process connect using the same credentials as when accessing their own providers' Wi-Fi networks. Once subscribers have signed on once to any of the "CableWiFi" networks, they will be able to automatically authenticate onto any other CableWiFi network, the companies said in a press release.

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