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Judge Says Boston Student's Laptop Was Seized Illegally 190

Posted by Soulskill
from the score-one-for-the-good-guys dept.
You may remember a case we discussed this April in which a Boston College student's computers and other electronics were seized after he allegedly sent an email outing another student as gay. The search warrant made sure to note the student's ever-so-suspicious use of "two different operating systems," one of which was "a black screen with a white font which he uses prompt commands on." Now, the EFF reports that a Massachusetts judge has thrown out the search warrant and declared the search and seizure illegal. Quoting: "In her order Thursday, Justice Margot Botsford rejected the Commonwealth's theory that sending a hoax email might be unlawful under a Massachusetts computer crime statute barring the 'unauthorized access' to a computer, concluding that there could be no violation of what was only a 'hypothetical internet use policy.' Thursday's decision now stands as the highest state court opinion to reject the dangerous theory that terms of service violations constitute computer 'hacking' crimes. Justice Botsford further found that details offered by police as corroboration of other alleged offenses were insufficient and did not establish probable cause for the search." The court order (PDF) is available for viewing, and the EFF has broken down the significant arguments against the Commonwealth's claims.
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Judge Says Boston Student's Laptop Was Seized Illegally

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  • by Norsefire (1494323) * on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:24AM (#28074229) Journal
    And it's not only used by rebels wanting to dodge the law? Bah, I'm going back to Windows.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:39AM (#28074299)

      I can just imagine the investigation:

      "your honour, we had to shoot him! He was using the Command Prompt! He could have... given commands! Only a hacker would know how to do such mysteries!"

      • He threatened to ctrl-alt-del us!
    • by centuren (106470)

      Don't forget Action Man [phrack.com]. Elite hackers work in Windows, too.

      c:\dos> vol

      Volume in drive C is DOS
      Volume Serial Number is 12A1-1C20

      c:\dos> label
      Volume in drive C is DOS
      Volume Serial Number is 12A1-1C20
      Volume label (11 characters, ENTER for none)? 3L1T3H4CK3R

      c:\dos> vol

      Volume in drive C is 3L1T3H4CK3R
      Volume Serial Number is 12A1-1C20

      c:\dos> damn i rool
      Bad command or file name

      c:\dos> root
      Bad command or file name

      c:\dos> give actionman root
      Bad command or file name

      c:\dos> password root actionma

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:25AM (#28074235)

    Now when does he get his equipment back? What happens when they hand him a box of busted parts and walk away? (Like Steve Jackson Games)

    It is great that we have this victory for our rights. But how do we keep the police from doing it over and over again? The out of control police need oversight to make sure they don't do this again!

    • by DarkOx (621550) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:12AM (#28074499) Journal

      He can more than likely proceeded civil claims against against the constabulary there. The thing is its up to him to do that and it may prove costly. If he wins he can probably stick the police department with reasonable court costs as well but he will never get his time back.

      The moral of the story here folks is that are justice system is an adversarial one at all levels. You should never never cooperate unless you feel it is in YOUR near term; best interest to do so. Its never a good idea to help law enforcement simply out of some concept of civic responsibility you will only find yourself on the wrong end of it for your trouble. They have long forgotten (systemically not always individually there are plenty of good cops out there) their job is to serve and protect the people. They now mostly exist to serve government and its all controlling pervasive aims.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        DarkOx,

        The moral of the story here folks is that are justice system is an adversarial one at all levels.

        Its never a good idea to help law enforcement simply out of some concept of civic responsibility you will only find yourself on the wrong end of it for your trouble.

        I hope you never have to report a crime (like a stolen car) because I would expect you to NEVER call the police even should you need them.

        You should never never cooperate unless you feel it is in YOUR near term; best interest to do so.

        Yeah, t

        • by HiThere (15173)

          He wasn't claiming it was a good system. Merely that this was the way the system way.

          Yes, he was claiming that acting for the general good would only get you in trouble, so you should only act selfishly. I hope he's not right. Unfortunately, there's more that a modicum of evidence that at least occasionally he IS right (about this).

          Yes, police oversight is needed. But also just laws. When even idealized police enforce unjust laws, the result is not justice. And a just court system. When a party can p

        • I live in Japan, and let me tell you, that you should never deal with the police, unless you are in immediate physical danger.

          Japan has a 93% conviction rate. They like to tout this as a good thing, but here's the way it works: Something bad happens, we send someone to jail. Someone. It doesn't need to be the person who did it.

          Speaking from experience, when a call comes in reporting a crime, if they can't find who did it (hard to do when you don't show up until the next day), they'll go after the only

      • They have long forgotten (systemically not always individually there are plenty of good cops out there) their job is to serve and protect the people.

        Their job is not, and never was, to "serve and protect the people". It is to "maintain public order" - with the bulk of the decisions about what that consists of left to the police (though there's lots of law about what they aren't supposed to do).

        There are plenty of court decisions on this. It usually comes up when somebody is threatened by crookies and dema

    • by InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:25AM (#28074601)

      Finally, we can safely return to our nightly rituals of eating Cheetos, drinking Jolt and sending out emails from Xmail accusing people of being gay.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As far as I am aware very few people actually ever get seized equipment back (or if they do, it's not in working order), even when nothing infringing was found on it, or the seizure was deemed illegal, etc.

      Sadly there are no checks and balances in the system. If the police had to issue the equipment back in original working order, proof that all analyses had been eradicated, provide compensation for the lost time and presumably the replacement computer the student had to buy and publish an apology in the wi

      • by jamstar7 (694492)
        Ah, but that would seriously fuck up their ability to sieze property and later auction it off as proceeds of crime. The county I live in relies heavily on the proceeds of police auctions to fund the sheriff's department. They haven't quite gotten to the point of zero tolerance siezures, but they're getting there.
        • How about a Strategic Lawsuit Against Government Participation next time they get out of hand? Having to field a lawsuit every time they seize something illegally might make the county more careful...

          • by jamstar7 (694492)
            I know you can't sue the Feds unless you first sue them to get permission to sue them. Not sure about local government, though.
            • by HiThere (15173)

              You *can* sue them, but it can be dangerous. Best move out of the county first, and try to get the venue changed to your new address.

              (Caution: IANAL)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357)

        The lost time thing won't fly, period. People aren't even compensated for time spent in a jail cell! Forget about compensation for lost computer time, or anything remotely similar for automobiles, apartments, homes, tools and equipment.

        But, yes, the automobile, apartment, tools, equipment, AND COMPUTERS should be returned in working order. If not, the state SHOULD BE LIABLE.

        Most definitely.

      • by blueg3 (192743)

        Well, with seized electronic equipment, you should certainly get it back, and in the condition it was seized in. Now of course, you likely won't get it back until after it's no longer needed as evidence. (A business may be able to demonstrate that the loss of the equipment significantly impacts their ability to do business, and have a judge order the originals returned after duplicates are made.) If it's an illicit-data case, your equipment will be returned scrubbed of all data. (See n.b. above re: business

  • Or can the police kick down your door, seize whatever they want and when the court deems their actions as illegal they just say "Oops, our bad."?
    • by squarooticus (5092) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:56AM (#28074385) Homepage

      Compensation for what? In the modern Western world, quaint notions of property rights and due process have been deprecated in favor of civil forfeiture, eminent domain for transfer to other private parties, stare decisis, and political connections.

      You can't really own property anymore so much as lease it from the government for a yearly fee. (If you disagree with this viewpoint, try not paying your property taxes: then you'll find out who the real owner is.) Therefore, since the government owns all your stuff anyway, they have no need to compensate you for damages, since the government only damaged their own stuff.

      </snark>

      • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:17AM (#28074533)

        On the other hand, in most 'developed' nations, those same taxes pay for people to protect you and your property. (If you disagree with this viewpoint, try living in a lawless state: then you'll find out why we used to live in castles, or their modern equivalent, gated communities).

        You're absolutely right though in your main point - the systematic erosion of civil liberties by these same 'developed' nations is very worrying, and must be resisted otherwise we'll end up with the worst of both worlds. Who was it who said something like "eternal vigilence is the price of democracy"? Churchill?

        • by rolfwind (528248)

          On the other hand, in most 'developed' nations, those same taxes pay for people to protect you and your property. (If you disagree with this viewpoint, try living in a lawless state: then you'll find out why we used to live in castles, or their modern equivalent, gated communities).

          What your OP is talking about is basically allodial title vs. limited allodial title or fee simple which is what most US practically has.

          Of course, you swing to the extreme to counter about "if we had no taxes" which is no counte

          • by zenyu (248067)

            There are plenty of places in the US with low property taxes. I'm in NYC and my property taxes for the year on my near million dollar home practically non-existent. The main difference between NYC and the places with high property taxes is that we have a local income tax and a local sales tax which pay for the schools. Unlike property taxes, the city needs to ask permission from the state to implement these taxes so we bribe, err "influence", the upstate legislators with a few billion dollars a year in pork

          • by hplus (1310833)
            Excise taxes do not work well for local units of government. People will just go to the next town over that has lower taxes to avoid paying them. Property taxes are the most popular form of revenue for local governments for this reason - as long as the property is owned by someone it can be taxed.
        • Jefferson

      • And you may mean this in a sarcastic way, but by even allowing this p.o.v. to exist, you actively support putting it in people's brains, that this even can be seen as normal (even if you don't).
        Please stop that. We do *not* live in such a world. In is *not* that way.

        It only is that way, if you join that new made-up reality!
        People *have* to believe crap, and that some "authority figure" is right, for something like that to even exist.

      • by rastilin (752802)

        Compensation for what? In the modern Western world, quaint notions of property rights and due process have been deprecated in favor of civil forfeiture, eminent domain for transfer to other private parties, stare decisis, and political connections.

        You're right, things were better and fairer in the past where the king owned everything and allowed other people to manage things for him, the Barons; who had a legal ownership of everything on their land up to and including the Serfs living on it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Totally untrue in other countries. Most countries do not have realestate taxes. I have friends whos relatives in Greece have owned their little humble house for hundreds of years and haven't paid a dime in all those years. Geeez, even in CHINA, (a "commie" country) there is NO REALESTATE TAXES for a family who owns one house. Once you purchase a house, you own it and nobody can take it away. Don't pay your real-estate/property/IRS taxes in the US and your house is gone, so who is the real "commie" country n
    • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @09:57AM (#28074397)

      Or can the police kick down your door, seize whatever they want and when the court deems their actions as illegal they just say "Oops, our bad."?

      The thing I find curious, is that the press and the more hysterical government representatives (in most western countries) are so keen and quick to blame violence on TV and in computer games as being the cause of violence in society. We know that this isn't the case of course.

      However, no-one seems to be quite so quick to suggest that shows like "24" have a negative influence over Police and Security Services behavior.

      It seems that black ops, and seize it now -- find a crime and apologize later, is a more common occurrence then ever before -- again, in several countries.

      Does TV influence cop behavior? Probably not any more than TV violence affects society -- but how come it never gets mentioned? I know why, of course, but it's interesting to raise the point I think.

      • Simple: Because we are not that ruthless and unethical, to be able to make up such crap, and believe in it strongly enough, for whole groups (like the news media) no fall for it.

        And that is why evil will always triumph. Not because good is to stupid. But because it follows some ethics, and does not have that delusional confidence.

      • by nametaken (610866)

        I know I'm goofy this way, but I've always liked to think that it only happens just as much as it always did, or even less often.

        It seems like the difference is much greater access to information. It wasn't that long ago that this sort of situation would have happened and you NEVER would have known. It just wouldn't have been big enough news to take up space in some newspaper halfway across the country.

      • by JediTrainer (314273) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @11:29AM (#28075031)
        However, no-one seems to be quite so quick to suggest that shows like "24" have a negative influence over Police and Security Services behavior.

        That's an excellent point. Has anyone tallied how often Jack Bauer ("the hero") demonstrates that it's ok to use torture, and even murder (shoot and kill a prisoner right in the CTU boardroom) if it's for his cause?
        • by selven (1556643) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @12:23PM (#28075393)
          Speaking of 24, I love how the one person who tried to express concern for the Bill of Rights (this is around 02:00-05:00 in the bioweapon crisis) was portrayed as a villain who only wants to slow the police down and kill thousands of innocent people.
          • Speaking of 24, I love how the one person who tried to express concern for the Bill of Rights (this is around 02:00-05:00 in the bioweapon crisis) was portrayed as a villain who only wants to slow the police down and kill thousands of innocent people.

            Do you mean when Garafolo's character complained about "racial profiling" because Jack wanted records of all muslims in the area? She was definitely wrong because the only clue they had was that the real bad guys were going to use muslims as fall guys. If instead the only clue they had was that the fall guys were going to be harvard graduates, then Jack would have wanted a list of all harvard graduates in the area instead.

            On the flip side, they could have given her character a valid scenario to complain a

        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 24, 2009 @01:50PM (#28076071)

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-military-tells-jack-bauer-cut-out-the-torture-scenes--or-else-436143.html [independent.co.uk]

          "The United States Military Academy at West Point yesterday confirmed that Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan recently travelled to California to meet producers of the show, broadcast on the Fox channel. He told them that promoting illegal behaviour in the series - apparently hugely popular among the US military - was having a damaging effect on young troops.

          According to the New Yorker magazine, Gen Finnegan, who teaches a course on the laws of war, said of the producers: "I'd like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires... The kids see it and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about 24'?"

          Every 20 something guy with a uniform and a gun from Campus Cop to 1LT now thinks they are Jack Bauer. Yes, this is a problem.

          • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @05:24PM (#28077731)

            According to the New Yorker magazine, Gen Finnegan, who teaches a course on the laws of war, said of the producers: "I'd like them to stop. They should do a show where torture backfires... The kids see it and say, 'If torture is wrong, what about 24'?"

            I've been watching 24 with a critical eye since the first episode and I think they frequently portray torture as backfiring. The example that most comes to mind is when Jack tortured his brother - this brother told him a "small truth" in order to make the torture stop and avoid telling Jack the really big truth about his and his father's central role in that season's big plot. They've also tortured innocent people on at least one occasion. My impression has been that, until this most recent season, torture and other extreme interrogation methods (drugs) almost always impede Jack -- but they do move the story along and provide plausible reasons for people to do otherwise stupid things on the show that keep the tension high.

      • by sjames (1099)

        ...and apologize later...

        You had me until there. They NEVER apologize. they just act like they are being magnanimous by not jailing you anyway and that you should be eternally grateful.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      Yup, that is how it works.

      Or stop you on the street and if their drug dog acts suspicious, they can tear y our car apart there on the street, complete with cutting your seats and ripping the dash out of your car. "oops, no drugs, have a nice day" and drive off with you standing beside your now 'totaled' car.

      Of course you can sue to be compensated after the fact, but good luck winning.

    • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:53AM (#28074769)

      Of course, they had a warrant to do so. In most parts of the country having a warrant is sufficient to shield from liability. The check to the police action is in the process of getting the warrant. If the warrant turns out to be bunk, the police aren't going to get into trouble unless they provided false evidence.

      Misinterpreting evidence is not sufficient in most cases.

    • It costs more to get your property back than the property is worth. This story from 12 years ago is still happening. [fear.org] Category 270 [forsyth.nc.us] in this pdf is 2005 budget of $96K. This year the budget is $409K [forsyth.nc.us] and they haven't seized that much money yet so they're going to have to find it somewhere. I wouldn't recommend doing any DWB while passing through that county - their needs grow ever more sophisticated with time, and next year's budget is even bigger. "These monies are to be used exclusively for equipment, pe

  • My Bad... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LVSlushdat (854194)

    I hope the judge that issued the search warrant AND the police that executed it are severely punished... Oh what AM I saying..This is now the USSA and law enforcement does whatever it wants.. This judge with a "Constitutional" brain on her shoulders will be taken out for "re-education..."
    What WAS I thinking.....

    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      To be fair, I'm sure the actual police officers that executed the warrent were just acting on orders..... oh wait.

  • Retaliation (Score:5, Informative)

    by StormReaver (59959) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:01AM (#28074421)

    IANAL.

    The first think I would do in this guy's situation is to sue the city under the premise that since the search warrant was illegal, all activities flowing from the warrant were performed outside of the city's normal police powers. Since the activities were carried out without any authorized police powers, they were also carried out without the normal protections granted police during the lawful execution of their duties.

    Potential charges would be:

    1) Breaking and entering.
    2) Trespassing.
    3) Illegal search and seizure.
    4) Theft of personal property.
    5) Possession of stolen property.
    6) Vandalism.
    7) Unlawful entry.
    8) False arrest.
    9) False imprisonment (note that this doesn't require actually being jailed).
    10) Dereliction of duty.

    The next two would also be levied against whatever organization the city hired to peruse through my files:

    11) Unauthorized access to a computing device.
    12) Circumvention of a copy-protection mechanism (my user and root passwords).

    I'm sure I could come up with more if I did some research.

    • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:07AM (#28074467)

      12) Circumvention of a copy-protection mechanism (my user and root passwords).

      Report those police officers to the RIAA. Hilarity ensues.

    • Re:Retaliation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lord Dreamshaper (696630) <[lord_dreamshaper] [at] [yahoo.ca]> on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:34AM (#28074643)
      no law degree here, either, but I assume a civil suit would be laughed out of court. The police officers acted in good faith because a judge signed their warrant, and, presumably, the judge the signed the warrant in a good faith belief that a) the details provided by the police were truthful, and b) the details provided by the police were sufficient to justify a warrant

      The fact that a higher court struck it down is proof of "the system works" and there is no case unless you can prove maliciousness on behalf of the judge (alone or in collusion with the police). Maliciousness *solely* on the part of the police would never fly since the judge signed off on the warrant.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Hold on that seems way too circular to be Kosher.
        The police are acted in good faith, because they assumed the judge would act in good faith, at the same time the judge was acting in good faith because he assumed the police were acting in good faith? How do you ever get a mis-deed out of that set of conditions?

        Somebody screwed up, an innocent man had his stuff seized for no good reason (being a linux user of all things). I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that there should be no repercussions for thos
        • by blueg3 (192743)

          No, it's linear -- just the police enter in twice. The police executing the warrant acted in good faith, as a judge signed the warrant. The judge signed the warrant in good faith, assuming that the police provided him with appropriate information. In this case, the latter "the police" could well be different from the former. The former are shielded from liability, but the latter aren't.

          In this case, the problem the upper court had was that the actions (sending out e-mail) were insufficient for the charge (i

      • by artg (24127)
        What's 'good faith' ? I was under the impression that 'ignorance of the law is not a defence'.
      • The police didn't act in good faith. When police ask a judge for a warrant, they do not present impartial evidence. They present the evidence to the judge in the manner they think is most likely to get the signature. In this case, though, it seems that they spun the evidence beyond any reasonable interpretation of probable cause in order to get a warrant.

        The judge was most likely relying on the police officers' assurances that the warrant would be issued within the scope of sound probable cause, but didn

    • by Lead Butthead (321013) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:35AM (#28074657) Journal

      Potential charges would be...

      Right. You expect the prosecutor to smite itself and its minions? Dream on.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:36AM (#28074667) Homepage Journal

    There is so much stupidity going on in our state, including spending and tax increases in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression, knee-jerk reactions to viral advertising campaigns using lite-brites (which did NOT cause an overreaction in much larger, more vulnerable cities), and so forth. Therefore, I propose the following tags for stories involving stupidity here in Massachusetts (even in the event where a sudden outbreak of common sense occurs, because it was masshattery which got us there in the first place):

    taxachusetts
    massholes
    masshattery

    I hope you welcome and endorse this proposal. I, for one, am ashamed of what is going on here in my state and even as a business owner I am hoping that the sales tax and income tax and fuel tax increases in the midst of this recession break this state financially just to prove to the lawmakers that one cannot tax one's way back to prosperity.

    What we need right now is deep spending and tax cuts, and that INCLUDES firing the moron police officers who resulted in this moronic case.

    • by Lunatrik (1136121)
      Yes, deep spending and tax cuts is precisely what our state needs - after all, who needs welfare programs (only the irresponsible, right?), decent schools (only those with.. irresponsible parents unable to put their kids into private school, right?), *better trained* police forces, firemen, public transportation (some of the best I've used in the country, despite the various flaws with the MBTA), extensive crews to salt / deice during the winter, road and pothole repair folks to avoid soil creep issues, ...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The tax they increased was a sales tax, a regressive tax. (Meaning those with the least ability to pay are affected the most.) Plus, last I checked, Massachusetts was a rather small state and fairly close to New Hampshire, with no sales tax, and Connecticut and Vermont, with lower sales taxes.

        So, to help with a reduced overall consumer spending, Massachusetts decided to force business into neighboring states because it's cheaper there. Brilliant!

        Also, I hate to break it to you, but in November us citizens voted overwhelmingly *AGAINST* [boston.com] a tax decrease.

        Thanks to a giant disinformation campaign - including statemen

        • by paazin (719486)

          [...]
          I find that statement hilarious because New Hampshire has no personal income tax - and yet their roads are kept in far better condition and their snow removal is far superior to Massachusetts. Why do you need high taxes for that, again?

          Clearly you don't own property in New Hampshire, otherwise you'd realize where those tax dollars came from. ;)

        • by tbuskey (135499)
          I find that statement hilarious because New Hampshire has no personal income tax - and yet their roads are kept in far better condition and their snow removal is far superior to Massachusetts. Why do you need high taxes for that, again?

          I grew up in NH and moved to MA after college & I've wondered about the roads and snow. I think there are a few reasons:

          • Less traffic - I lived a long ways from the MA border and there is less traffic. But Southern NH is practically a suburb of MA and has just as mu
      • by kimvette (919543)

        The promise was if we kept the income tax, tolls, sales taxes, fuel taxes, property taxes, and so forth would not increase. They are ALL going up. We are going to have the highest fuel tax in the nation.

  • by moxley (895517) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @10:41AM (#28074699)

    Command: "give my laptop back, you fascist fucks."

    Prompt Command: "give my laptop back RIGHT FUCKING NOW you fascist fucks!"

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      sudo give me my laptop back ; get fucked

  • And justifiably so. This entire thing is a joke. This guys lawyers are going to have a field day suing the overzealous assholes involved in this clearly illegal search and seizure and I'd go after the government lawyers that should have known better than to try and defend their actions as well.
  • If he did what he has been accused of.
    And an uncivil b@st@rd.
    For the record.

    Let's not lose that point amidst
    the discussion of the incompetence of
    the police in the case.

    • by pembo13 (770295)

      To hell with people like you that think that being a moron justify government action against it's citizenry.

  • by mdmkolbe (944892) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @03:43PM (#28076987)

    On the last page of the court order why is the motion to suppress evidence denied? Isn't evidence from an illegal search warrant usually suppressed? Is there some technical distinction between quashing a warrant(*) and suppressing the evidence that I am missing?

    (*) And why did the judge order the motion to quash be allowed instead of just ordering the warrant quashed?

    • by yuna49 (905461)

      I think Botsford denied the motion to suppress because no criminal proceeding has (yet) been brought against Calixte. Botsford makes this point in her Discussion on page 5:

      "1. The Commonwealth argues that none of Calixte's three motions is properly appealable
      at this point, where the Commonwealth has already executed the search warrant and has not yet
      filed any criminal charges. I agree with respect to Calixte's request that any evidence flowing
      from the execution of the search warrant be suppressed; these su

    • On the last page of the court order why is the motion to suppress evidence denied? Isn't evidence from an illegal search warrant usually suppressed? Is there some technical distinction between quashing a warrant(*) and suppressing the evidence that I am missing?

      The evidence can only be suppressed if the police is stupid enough to try to prosecute him for something and use evidence that was gathered through this illegal search. Evidence that isn't used by the police cannot be suppressed. Yes, it sounds weird, but it is logical.

  • He's a witch! burn him!

  • http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1198771&cid=27578621 [slashdot.org]

    This is one roommate sucking overeager and gullible police and campus authorities into his crusade to get back at his roommate. There's PLENTY of blame to go around here.

  • I read the EFF article that was linked to, and it seems to me that it is quite misleading.

    First, the judge noted absolutely correctly that sending of emails from public email services does not constitute the crime of obtaining computer services by fraud or misrepresentation. Nothing wrong with that. Then the judge said "the claim that such an email might be unlawful because it violates a hypothetical internet use policy goes well beyond the reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the affidavit". Let

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