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Comment Obviously Illegal - check the CFAA (Score 1) 139

This is quite obviously illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, Section 1030(a)(2).

It's a crime if someone:

"intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains ... information from any protected computer."

Given the scale of their activities, it's almost certainly a felony too.

Comment Re:Who cares? (Score 3, Informative) 835

At my school, we're required to use Exam4 software, which doesn't run on Linux, for ALL of our exams (unless we want to handwrite them.) Questions to the registrar and IT people about Linux support elicit a response, essentially, of "tough shit." So, I care. It's a pain in the ass to have to borrow a laptop or purchase Windows for the privilege of typing a final exam. I'm fine with the school not promoting Linux, but it shouldn't be actively hostile towards it.

Comment Re:First post! (Score 1) 248

After poking around on the internet a little more, I think you're probably right. I must have just been lucky with my IP for whatever reason. Since I'm only in Europe for the summer, I didn't realize this was an existing issue; given the sudden change, I thought something (more than just my ip address being recognized) had happened.

Submission + - Licensing issues shut down Pandora Outside US (

randalotto writes: I'm in France for the summer and have been listening to Pandora at work. I tried logging on tonight and was greeted with a surprising message:

"We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative. ...

The pace of global licensing is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service everywhere."

I'm not sure what the deal is or what licensing requirements suddenly changed, but Pandora in France is no more...

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 594

Searching a car without a warrant isn't unconstitutional either. It's practically a police right.

If they have probable cause, they can search anywhere in the car.

If they arrest you, they can search incident to the arrest in the passenger area.*

If they impound the car, they can do an inventory search of the entire car.

If they see evidence or some sort of clear violation thru a window, for example, they can get into your car.

In some cases, just stopping you is enough to do a cursory search of the interior to make sure there are no weapons.

None of these require a warrant. You have essentially 0 privacy interest in your car.

*(Though this was modified slightly by a Supreme Court decision a few weeks ago.)

Comment Re:Fifth amendment violation? (Score 1) 594

If asked by a police officer (in the US) to account for my movements, my right to decline to answer is protected by the 5th amendment.

Only if it's going to incriminate you. Otherwise, they can haul you in front of a grand jury and force you to answer anything they want.

Requiring me to carry a tracking device that would automatically answer this question is tantamount to forcing me to verbally answer, and thus seems to also be a violation of my 5th amendment rights.

Except that's not how the court treats it. Look at Schmerber v. California, for example. They draw a clear line between testimonial evidence of the sort that would include forced verbal statements, and any sort of physical evidence, which likely includes tracking your movements. (In Schmerber, forcing him to give blood to test for alcohol % didn't violate his 5th amendment rights!)

How could this possibly be legitimized by tricking me into carrying a tracking device by slipping it into my pocket/bag/car? This doesn't impact the police's ability/right to physically follow me; I just shouldn't have to help them.

Actually, the fact that they'd be tricking you makes it even less likely that it'd be a 5th amendment violation. Anytime the police use deception or fraud, and you therefore don't know that you're dealing with the cops, it makes it even less likely there will be a 5th amendment violation. It's all about making sure that the coercive power of the state isn't used to break you down. If you do something voluntary and the police hear it / see it / track it - you're SOL.

Comment Re:Wrong Amendment. It's Due Process - 5th Amendme (Score 1) 594

Why is this post modded interesting? It's wrong on so many levels...

First of all, it's the 14th Amendment that you'd be concerned with, not the 5th. The 5th Amendment relates to action undertaken by the federal government. The 14th amendment extends due process to the states.

Procedural due process relates to procedure - like a trial. This case seems to have been decided on the basis of whether or not a search took place, not the admissibility of the evidence. Procedural due process has no relevance. You can say that the decision was wrong, but as is - you're missing the mark.

"Substantive due process" doesn't mean much without some context. How exactly does this violate SDP? What is it about this that so fundamentally offends the concept of ordered liberty?

Most importantly, though, where the hell is your argument about "using his property for a public purpose" coming from? Got any sort of backing for that?

For one, cars have almost no privacy interest to begin with. Police can stop you while driving and search your car based on probable cause alone. (Chambers) Until only a few weeks ago, once arrested while driving, they could put you in the back of the squad car and then go and search the passenger compartment to ensure the officer's safety, (even though he's clearly already safe...) as a matter of routine. (Stunningly, the court made a sensible decision and reversed this in the Gant case.) They can also search your car for "inventory" purposes when it's impounded. (Opperman)

Virtually nothing having to do with cars requires a warrant.

The court held that "tracking" your car is the equivalent of visually tracking it. How does it matter that they're using your property to track YOU? Who else's car would they track? Beside, as Katz pretty well settled 40 years ago, the 4th amendment (the only one that's relevant to this question,) protects people, not places (or things!) It's all about what you should expect when you're driving in your car.

Really, this seems like its already a well-settled question. US v Knotts and US v Karo already established that the police can use "beepers" placed on a car to track them. This decision is just updating the decision slightly to keep up with the times. Based on Kyllo, the prevalence of GPS nowadays, and the complete disregard for privacy in cars, I can't believe this makes the news...

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