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Comment Re: CFAA violation! (Score 5, Insightful) 239

It's time we all sit back and remember the first rule of dealing with cops. They do not have any obligation to tell you the truth. The courts give them a pass because criminals lie.

Note: if you lie to the police, the odds are good that you will be charged, because lying to the police is a crime.

The honesty street is one way.


Comment Re:That photo did rather weaken her argument (Score 1) 622

When did she consent to let you look at her body whenever you want? When did she consent to let you observe her sexual relationship with her boyfriend? Do you feel like just because you've seen a woman naked, you have the right to walk into her home whenever you want? Do you have the right to invite your friends into her bathroom while she showers?

She didn't consent to have those particular pictures which she shared with her boyfriend disseminated to you. She did consent to have a different image presented on the magazine.

Ah, but I get it now. It's because of the way she dressed in the X-men, isn't it. Oh, because of the way she dressed on the magazine. Once a woman has done that, or its equivalent, her consent no longer matters.


Comment Re:Straw Man (Score 1) 622

You don't know shit about the law, do you?

Let's take this a piece at a time. First, contributory negligence is a tort doctrine, not a criminal doctrine. Second, the doctrine of contributory negligence has fallen by the wayside in most American jurisdictions. It was a shitty doctrine used by wealthy industrial interests to avoid having to pay for the injuries they caused. Third, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies to situations where both actors are negligent. Guess what? The hackers who publicized the photos didn't accidentally plug in their own usernames and passwords and suddenly find themselves in possession of naked photos of dozens of women. They didn't accidentally publish those photos to 4chan and reddit. This was intentional conduct. Which means the doctrine of contributory negligence wouldn't even come into the equation. Fourth, the doctrine of contributory negligence was tempered by the "last clear chance" doctrine. That means that, as between the two parties to the civil suit, if both were at fault (i.e., negligent), then the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the accident is at fault. Here, the ones who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the "accident" would be the ones who hacked into the accounts.

People are also entitled to expect others to follow the law and to act reasonably. That's one of the perks of civilization. You seem like the kind of guy who believes that people who get hurt in car crashes should have known better before getting on the highway, or maybe that women have a responsibility to keep their ankles, wrists, and heads covered.

None of the women who were targeted by the people who did this consented to have their pictures publicized. That's really the end of the blame analysis.


Comment Re:Straw Man (Score 1) 622

The problem, of course, is that the celebrities did not consent to the theft of their pictures. Right. I mean, implicit in your phrasing is that these women consented to the distribution of their nude photographs.

So if, by transmitting anything on the Internet, you consent to its disclosure and use by others, you would have no problem posting your credit card number, CVV number, expiration date, and home address posted here, right? You've used Amazon before, so you've already consented to the dissemination of that information.

The odds are that the people behind this behavior aren't 13-year olds. Likely, they're men in their 20s and 30s who think that women have no right to sexual autonomy. IOW that women exist merely to provide men with sexual gratification (except the ugly ones--they're not sure how to deal with those women). But whatever their ages, if they did this, they should go to jail. It is criminal. It is hateful. What other motivation is there to invade someone's privacy like that? Seriously. If you lose your wallet and I find it, what's the proper response? A) Look at your drivers license and try to return your wallet; or B) post your credit card information all over the internet? The fact that you were negligent in losing the wallet doesn't give me the right to take shit that doesn't belong to me.


Comment Re: Read below to see what Bennett has to say. (Score 1) 622

Right, until the moment that it goes from being a single shoplifter to a shoplifting ring or a high value shoplifter. At that point, public resources do get spent on the investigation, because it becomes worthwhile. Here, you've got a case involving someone breaching the security on not just one, but dozens of accounts. This, then, falls into that later category.


Comment Re:What an ass. (Score 2, Interesting) 276

And trespass into a computer network. Which is what the statute was intended to discourage.

Oh, and there was that whole downloading journal articles from a business that makes its money from charging people to view them. I'm pretty sure there's something in the U.S. code about that.

Look, I don't agree with what the U.S. Attorneys did in this case, but let's be honest. Aaron Swartz was willfully and intentionally committing at least two felonies. He was doing it because he believed that we, as a people, would be better off if the information he was accessing was freely available to everyone. That's a noble goal. I agree with him.

But--if you engage in an act of civil disobedience, you have to be willing to accept the consequences, whatever they may be. That's the tradeoff--you get to break the law with a clear conscience, but you also suffer the punishment to demonstrate the injustice of the law. To say that Mr. Swartz ought not have been punished, or that his punishment should be minimal because we like what he was doing is to say that the ends justify the means. If I were to access a server room at your bank to access information that is valuable to you--like the 1s and 0s that represent your bank balance--I suspect you wouldn't be so forgiving, even if I were moving those 1s and 0s to help the poor or the sick.

I do think the prosecutors should have exercised their discretion in a less overbearing way. It makes me sad and furious that a brilliant young man is dead. But we don't do ourselves any good by glossing over the facts and minimizing what was and is at stake. Aaron Swartz wanted us to change the way we think about "intellectual property." He envisioned a world in which the work of human minds was freely available to enrich the lives of everyone. Where one person's brilliant thoughts could spark genius in minds years and miles from the source. He did so in a legal climate that inflicts draconian civil and criminal punishment on people who try to make that dream a reality. And he did it by flouting the very laws he wanted changed.

He didn't just trespass, he flipped the bird to the Federal Government. But then, when confronted with the reality that the U.S. Attorneys were going to treat him in the exact same way they treat every "criminal" they see, day after day, he realized he'd bitten off more than he could chew. And he killed himself. I don't know how to respond to the situation, because I'm mad about the whole thing. I'm mad at my government for its stupidity and heavy handed tactics, but I'm mad at Aaron Swartz for not having the courage to stand and fight or to be a political prisoner and a symbol. Hell, I'm even mad at myself for lacking the courage he had. But I'm really frustrated with the idea that we should gloss over what actually happened. The only way we can learn from what went wrong is to look at it with clear eyes.


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