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Comment Can't sue cops *personally* for requesting ID (Score 1) 68

The hearing was about whether he should sue only the city of Fort Worth, or also sue the individual officers personally.

The law about that is the officer os personally liable for monetary damages only if *all* reasonable cops would know that what they did was unconstitutional, because there was clearly established law covering those specific actions in that particular circumstance. In all other cases, the offended party can sue the city or state that the cop works for.

A couple of examples:

A cop is interviewing a suspect. When the suspect just sits there, refusing to talk, the cop hits the suspect with a stick in an attempt to force a false confession. The officer would be personally liable because it's *clearly established* that such behavior is violates the suspect's Constitutional rights. No reasonable cop could think it's okay to hit the guy.

On the other hand:
Two weeks after a police station in Dallas is shot at, a guy is hiding in bushes across the street from a police station near Dallas. Cops approach to see what's going on. The guy is filming the police station (casing it?). Cops ask for ID. The guy asks to speak to a supervisor. The cops call their supervisor to come over, handcuffing the guy for five minutes until the supervisor arrives. Did they violate his Constitutional rights? Maybe. Does every reasonable officer *know* that what they did violates his civil rights? No, an officer might reasonably *think* it's okay to cuff the guy for five minutes. There's not *clearly established law* that in the situation described, they can't cuff him while awating the supervisor he requested. Therefore he can sue the city the cops work for, but can't sue the individual cops personally.

The second scenario above, in which a reasonable cop might mistakenly think cuffing him for a minute is okay, is patterned after the actual events in this case. In reality, he wasn't hiding in the bushes. I added that to make it a better example, an example of a scenario where a reasonable cop might be unsure of what they can and can't legally do.

Comment Judge Clement didn't say you can't film police (Score 3, Interesting) 68

Judge Clement's dissenting opinion did not say that citizens aren't allowed to film the police.

This hearing was about whether he should just sue the city, or of he could also sue the individual officers personally, given the particular details of the events, and the particular circumstances at the time. The law on this question depends on those details.

Clement believes that the city is liable in this particular instance, not the individual officers personally.

There's no general principle at being decided in this case. Though it was mentioned that citizens generally have a right to film police in the conduct of their duties, that was settled law - as the the opinion mentioned, there is no circuit court split or anything on that question.

Comment Of course there are laws. BeauHD is full of shit (Score 1) 72

> As a European I am astounded that companies don't already have a requirement to keep personal data safe. It is something that I just expect to happen.

Of course there are laws. Several of them. This submission is just BeauHD spouting more utter bullshit.

Yesterday, the FCC decided that some of the hundreds of thousands of Title II regulations originally written to regulate the phone companies would apply differently to small ISPs. BeauHD claimed the order said "ISPs are now allowed to lie about their pricing!" Uh, no. The closest regulation to what he claimed is actually that small ISPs won't have to go through the same six-to-twelve month process of getting preapproval from FCC before they offer a new pricing plan. Wireline phone companies have to get any pricing options pre-approved ahead of time under Title II.

When BeauHD submits a summary saying "giant shark eats man alive", that means what actually happened is that a trout bit a guy's finger.
 

Comment In 1920s, before Elon Musk's dad was born. Psychic (Score 1) 123

>Dealers were upset at being cut out of the loop by Telsa (to the point of getting state legislatures to draft laws blocking Telsa's stores)

The laws prohibiting manufacturers from owning dealerships were passed in the 1920s-1950s. (Before Elon Musk's father, Errol Musk, was born, and 60 years before 18 year-old Elon first came to North America). I guess those dealers must have psychic! Also very concerned about their great-grandchildren, since everyone involved in passing those laws are dead now.

If you learn a bit about what happened before manufacturing and dealerships were split up, and why those laws were passed, you'll probably have some interesting things to say about it.

 

Comment So make some regulations about that (Score 1) 114

> This action isn't about what businesses have to read. It's about what information they have to disclose to their customers.

Well no, THIS action has little to do with what has to be disclosed to consumers. If you want some regulations about that, if you see small ISPs engaging in funny business about pricing, make some appropriate regulations. This action is about title II - regulations written for the big phone companies, many of them written for THE phone company, Bell, before it was broken up. They cover many things, but the common theme is that they have to get FCC approval before doing almost anything.

Comment Yes there may be more than one cause (Score 1) 239

That's certainly true that there may be more than one cause, and there is a well-developed body of law in this area. Including "but-for" and "last clear chance". I don't believe discussing that is necessary for the present question.

> According to your legal theory of negligence, consumers in fact could NEVER sue product manufacturers, since the "results of your action are the results"...

In fact I said the purchaser WOULD sue the manufacturer. The manufacturer took some actions, which had some results. The manufacturer is responsible for the results of their actions. It may be that their action was telling their customer (UPS in this example) "this truck can safely drive itself under all conditions". It may also be that their action was telling UPS "this truck has driver assistance features, which reduce the likelihood of crashes when the driver fails to see something up ahead." I, the third-party driver on the road, wasn't part of that conversation between Tesla and UPS, so I don't even know what Tesla said. I do know that UPS sent the truck out on an ice-covered road, with a certain number of deliveries to make on the shift (implying it has to go a certain speed). If UPS's truck hits me, again I expect UPS to pay for the damages. UPS thinks Tesla misled them about the truck's capabilities, they can turn around and collect from Tesla.

Comment You expect your car to safely drive itself on ice? (Score 2) 239

> No one buys a toy airplane with the expectation that someone's life depends upon it

Did you buy a car with the expectation that it'll autonomously drive itself on ice-covered, twisty mountain passes safely, while you watch a movie and drink whiskey? I didn't. Some cars now feature automatic emergency braking. *When* the car senses an impending collision, it'll automatically apply the brakes. I don't expect that it will predict every possible accident and prevent me from getting in a wreck. Do you? I don't think collision detection removes my responsibility to avoid creating an impending collision in the first place. I expect that, like safety belts, it will often reduce the injuries for certain common types of collisions.

Comment Drone has no passenger at all. Results, not error (Score 2) 239

> What error in judgement did they make that makes them liable?

That's not the legal, or fair, standard. The results of my actions are the results, whether I made an error in judgement or just got unlucky. Of my action causes damage, I'm responsible for the results of my actions. Heck, even og my dog bites you, I'm responsible for the medical bill etc because it's my dog - you don't have to prove that I knowingly kept a dangerous dog or made some other error. (Unless perhaps you're trespassing, in which case maybe you caused the bite.)

> the passengers won't be making any operational decisions; there may not even BE passengers in lots of cases.
> They aren't operating them except to have called it up and set a destination.
> Uber/Lyft/MyCityCabCompany/BigCityTrucking/Amazon?

If Amazon puts a log in the road, they are responsible for the results. If Amazon parks a regular truck in the middle of the road, they are responsible for the results. If they drive trucks with the new automatic emergency braking and their drivers completely rely on that to avoid accidents, they are responsible. Whatever Amazon puts on the road, they are responsible for the results of their actions in putting it there.

> If they crash, it is because the vehicle wasn't sufficiently able to cope with doing the thing it was made to do. Operating in traffic in the real world safely is their function. That includes windy days, or in traffic jams, or during a police road closure or construction detour.

Maybe such a thing will be sold some day. Right now, cruise control amd automatic braking aren't anywhere near what you've described. When that happens, of it ever does, Tesla will tell *UPS* "buy our self-driving trucks, you can pay fewer drivers." Tesla will show *UPS* under what conditions the trucks can be safely deployed (snow and ice?). UPS will make a decisiom for the purpose of saving themselves money, based on their discussions with Tesla. Note I'm not part of those discussions. I don't know of Tesla told UPS "these trucks can handle dry pavement autonomously. When there is ice on the road or other dangerous conditions you'll need drivers." As far as I know, Tesla may have told UPS "these trucks have driver assist to reduce driver fatigue."

If UPS's truck rear-ends me on an ice-covered road, I'm going to sue UPS. I don't know what Tesla told UPS about what conditions are safe and which are unsafe for the trucks. If UPS also sues Tesla for selling them bunk trucks, that's none of my business. That's all about the discussions and contract between UPS and Tesla.

Comment I am, and should be, liable. Also implied warranty (Score 4, Interesting) 239

I have a toy plane and toy quadcopter, also known as drones. I fly them (tell them to fly themselves?) at an athletic park, in the middle of several soccer fields. Surrounding the soccer fields are open, undeveloped land. Sometimes the wind picks up unexpectedly or there is a mechanical problem and they crash. Then I have to go find it in the trees or whatever.

If I chose to send my drone (toy) flying around a busy parking lot and a gust of wind sent it crashing into a baby stroller, I would be responsible. I sent the drone flying, I'm responsible for any consequences. (On the other hand, if I use it to assist in a search and rescue mission, somebody may give me credit for doing that.) Anyway, I bought it and chose a time and a place to put it in the air, and where to direct it to go. I hold the "off" switch and the "abort, come home" switch. It's my responsibility.

Also, if my drone suddenly flies off course at full speed and crashes into something fragile AND other owners of the same model report the same type of malfunction, I'm going to ask the manufacturer to reimburse me for any damages I had to cover. There are implied warranties they would be in breach of.

I see "self driving" cars exactly the same. If I buy one, I can let it drive on a road in Arizona that's straight for 45 miles at a time and I only see another car once every 20 minutes, or I can turn on "self driving" mode on a busy freeway. I can keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road ready to respond to emergencies or I can choose to watch Youtube in busy traffic. I'm responsible for how I use the device (via my insurance company, whom I pay to absorb the risk). If the car suddenly accelerates at full throttle in a traffic jam, I'm going to hold the manufacturer responsible for the defect, but as far as other drivers are concerned, my car hit them. My car is my responsibility.

Comment The last time I dropped some hydrogen metal (Score 1) 260

I would tell you about what happened the last time I dropped some metallic hydrogen, but neither I nor anyone else has ever dropped the stuff. Therefore nobody really knows what happens when you drop it. This sample was too small to track as the diamond shattered.

They think it probably turned to gas (sublimated), but it may have remained solid and might be under the lab bench right now. Or maybe some other, unexpected thing happened - maybe it reacted with oxygen in the air to form water. Nobody knows until the try it again and watch closely.

Comment Yes, poorly worded summary (Score 2, Informative) 125

Yes, I read the judgement and the court wrote that there is a fifth amendment concern. Specifically, the judge pointed to another major ruling recently that by unlocking a phone via a password (or fingerprint), the person is effectively testifying that it is their phone, under their control, and they can decrypt and encrypt it.

Also, the application for the warrant was deficient on traditional fourth amendment grounds, specificity of what and who would be searched, and what the police expected to find where. They wanted to use the fingers of everyone present at the house (resident or *visitor*) to search every electronic device in the house. So a delivery man dropping off a couch at the time would have his phone searched.

The judge indicated that the police needed to be more specific. Something like "we want to search Bob Smith's Galaxy S5 for a file called 12yroldfuck.mpg because we believe he downloaded that file to that phone on February 12th, based on [evidence]." That would solve both the 4th amendment specificity issue and the 5th amendment issue - if the police already know that the Galaxy S5 is Bob's, the act of him unlocking it doesn't provide new, testimonial information.

I think what the summary was trying to hint at is that the ruling doesn't prohibit the normal process of taking fingerprints incident to arrest.

Comment To be the phone company (Score 2) 114

ISPs are now subject to Title II regulations as common carriers - the rules written for Verizon and AT&T now apply to ISPs. Ponder for a moment how many regulations a thousand bureaucrats have written over the last several decades for phone companies.

The order which lists which regulations now apply to ISPs as well is 400 pages. Here is is for your reading pleasure:

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_pub...

Note that's not 400 pages of regulations, that's 400 pages of REFERENCES to regulations. The total regulations will be in the thousands of pages.

Comment The (400 page) requirements you can read. $3.25 (Score 3, Interesting) 114

I just spent two days filling out forms and schedules for the IRS, in order to report the fact that I owe them $3.25. All those forms might make sense for a big company; it's asinine that I had to do all that to calculate $3.25 in federal unemployment tax because I earned $530 from a side business last year. My total tax forms for that $530 business are probably 40 pages of tax forms per year. I fully support distinguishing between a company like Verizon vs Ray Morris Inc when it comes to reporting requirements.

The subject of the present action is categorizing ISPs as common carriers under Title II - classifying them as phone companies. Title II was written with AT&T in mind, assuming the related company will have a team of people dedicated to compliance. It wasn't written for small companies. Here's the Congressional statute (not too bad) and 400 PAGE FCC order on applying it to ISPs:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/us...

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_pub...

You say *complying* with the order should be easy, I dare you to even try to READ the order. There are 400 pages in the order itself, many of which refer to other FCC regulations you'll need to read. Make sure to read the part about how you're not allowed to bring up a new connection or remove an old one without a certificate of preapproval from the FCC.

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