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The allegations about murder-for-hire were never proven in the court or even charged iirc. He was basically convicted for being in a criminal enterprise by running the marketplace. There are plenty of violent criminals who got far lighter sentences than Ulbricht for basically acting as an online middleman for illegal transactions.
IMHO, you could probably imprison the CEO of Ebay for being the biggest fence of stolen goods under the same theory.

Comment Re:The law is as broad as possible (Score 2) 76

The other issue concerns employee use of employer owned systems. There have been cases where employees have been prosecuted for violating a purely civil agreement between them and their employer about the systems they have access to.

In general the law should not criminalize a civil contract violation or in the case of EULA's and Acceptable Use policies, it is questionable whether they are even valid contracts. This is especially true when the law in question is very one sided in favor of big companies using the threat of prosecution against researchers and employees and customers. I can't get the FBI to prosecute Comcast for turning on their public Wifi network on my router, even though it does potentially violate the CFAA.

Comment Re:The law is as broad as possible (Score 3, Informative) 76

If you make factual data public, you don't generally "own" it as in you don't have exclusive rights to it. You can't copyright a database of factual information. Basically the CFAA lets a firm make data public but then if someone uses a script to aggregate it, they can claim it was a felon. Just as an example, the CFAA could even apply to things like price comparison websites if a particular merchant doesn't want their public pricing information compared to their competitors.

Comment Cult of personality? (Score 4, Insightful) 97

After reading TFA, it seems like the company runs like a cult of personality of Ms. Holmes. Their answer for every objection is to impugn the integrity or intelligence of the person who raised the issue. Their remembrance of the facts diverges wildly from the first hand accounts of their critics. Whenever they mention Ms Holmes odd behavior, they basically make the No True Scotsman defense, that Ms Holmes would never do that. That is classic cult-like behavior.

I can't get my head around how they raised so much money with nothing but the most basic outline of an idea and not even an original one. Score one for political connections.

I smell something funny, but I don't think they have a test for that at Theranos.

Comment MT already is a favorite place for the wealthy too (Score 1) 164

The Big Sky area of Montana is already full of vacation homes and ranches of wealthy VC types so its not a big stretch that they might choose to plop a Data Center there. Still I think it is far more likely that you will see more data centers copping up in SLC because of the NSA. All the big government contractors will be putting boots on the ground in SLC and they can't co-locate at the NSA facility.

SF, NYC, and DC are just so expensive.

Comment Lousy argument (Score 1) 235

It would seem like the victim can consent to the location tracking of her stolen cell phone. No warrant necessary or certainly an easily obtained one.

Now if they tracked the perpetrators cell phone, that would require a warrant under SCOTUS rulings I've seen.

I don't think a civil NDA between the state and a government contractor has any power over a criminal case and it certainly does not override the 4th amendment.

Comment Pre-dispute binding arbitration should be banned (Score 2) 147

Congress never intended pre-dispute binding arbitration clauses to apply to consumer contracts under the FAA but business-friendly courts have interpreted the law that way. Congress just needs to amend the FAA so that pre-dispute binding arbitration is not binding in consumer contracts, as well as prohibiting the requirement that consumers waive their right to class-action and jury trial pre-dispute.

It would also help if Congress gave the CFPA or some other pro-consumer leaning agency oversight of private arbitration companies because right now they have a massive conflict of interest since their customers are the big businesses that count on them ruling in their favor more often than courts would in consumer cases.

Comment Re:When is a bank not a bank (Score 1) 775

Yep, I bought some merchandise on Ebay that turned out to be counterfeit and Ebay/Paypals dispute solution was for me to pay to ship it back to the seller and then I would get my money back. When I explained that:

1. It is nearly as expensive to ship it back as it cost to buy it.
2. It would be illegal for me to ship counterfeit merchandise back out of the country.
3. I can prove it is counterfeit.

They would not change their minds and refund me under their protection policy so with about 1 exception I have never used paypal or ebay since then. I pretty much won't use either service unless I absolutely have to and would rather pay more than use them.

Basically the only fraud protection policy Paypal/Ebay honors is when it protects them from ever having to pay out.

Comment The right-of-ways are takings too! Where is my $$$ (Score 1) 341

First off the guy is clearly incorrect since this theory of his would invalidate virtually all regulation of say railways or power lines or gas lines.

More importantly, the guy is wrong because the property in question, not the cables/towers themselves but rather the right-of-way and the licensed spectrum that does not truly belong to those cable/telco companies. Those right-of-ways along public roads and along people's property underground are takings in and of themselves. The cable/telco cannot claim that regulating or placing conditions on the takings that they benefit from are themselves takings.

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