New Florida Marlins acquisition Mark Buerhle can’t live in Miami because he own an 18-month old Staffie, and Miami-Dade County has a dumb ban on “pit bulls.” I explain the numbskullery of breed-specific legislation here.
Ken at Popehat draws the line between recording police, take-down notices, and SOPA.
Alabama minister sues after his photo was posted to the local sheriff’s “most wanted” web page. It was posted after a tip from an informant.
U.K. couple cleared in the midst of a shaken baby trial after post-mortem exam reveals the child had rickets.
Gene Healy: the five worst op-eds of 2011. His delightfully Friedmanesque closer: “And so, my friends, we roll up our sleeves and limp forward, hunkered down to face what 2012 holds, our boats borne back ceaselessly into the past, yet always, always, twirling toward freedom.”
Alternet publishes article calling for government monitoring of doctors and their pain patients, a crackdown on prescription painkillers, and generally expanding the drug war, all because . . . corporations are evil. And Florida’s governor loves the Tea Party. Or something.
The way the Justice Department wants to interpret a current law, lying on the Internet would amount to a crime.
Richard Downing, deputy chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the Department of Justice, argued that in order to properly protect the country, the part of the CFAA that says a person must exceed their “authorized access” to break the law should include a violation of the terms of service.
This is how DOJ went after Lori Drew, the woman who used a MySpace account to pose as a teenage boy in order to torment a girl who was bullying her daughter. The girl later committed suicide, which led to calls for Drew’s prosecution, even though it wasn’t clear that she had committed any crime. The charges were tossed by a judge, so Congress and DOJ want to give prosecutors more power. But in the name of protecting intellectual property and national security. Here’s how Downing put it in his testimony.
“These are just a few cases, but this tool is used routinely. The plain meaning of the term ‘exceeds authorized access,’ as used in the CFAA, prohibits insiders from using their otherwise legitimate access to a computer system to engage in improper and often malicious activities. We believe that Congress intended to criminalize such conduct, and we believe that deterring it continues to be important. Because of this, we are highly concerned about the effects of restricting the definition of ‘exceeds authorized access’ in the CFAA to disallow prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider.”
The Volokh Conspriacy’s Orin Kerr also testified.
“In the Justice Department’s view, the CFAA criminalizes conduct as innocuous as using a fake name on Facebook or lying about your weight in an online dating profile. That situation is intolerable. Routine computer use should not be a crime. Any cybersecurity legislation that this Congress passes should reject the extraordinarily broad interpretations endorsed by the United States Department of Justice.”
I think we should just bar Congress from passing any law related to the Internet.
I for one am shocked to learn that governments around the world fear and want to rein in something beyond their control that gives power to citizens makes governments themselves more transparent and accountable.
Mark Draughn lays out the basics of that University of Wisconsin poster controversy. When a university statement begins with some language about the school’s commitment to free expression and the the First Amendment, you can bet what follows is inconsistent with free expression and the First Amendment. And when the statement ends with an assertion that the actions the statement is addressing aren’t censorship, it’s also a pretty safe bet that they are.
When sending your kid to a better school is a crime.
MORE: The bear story is a bit dated. Via the comments, it looks like the bear shooter was fined $1,000. Also, the father was initially charged with a misdemeanor, not a felony, though it was punishable by up to a year in jail and a $50,000 fine.
Lawsuit: Man contends he was arrested for contempt for not standing on his leg. Which the arresting officer had just broken.
Another arrest in Austin for providing free rides home from bars. And from the discussion of that post over at Reddit: “I am personally involved in the lobbying effort to keep these guys off the street and honestly the reason is simply to restrict competition.”