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The Courts Crime

Call Yourself a Hacker, Lose Your 4th Amendment Rights 488

Posted by timothy
from the such-tricks-of-conjuring-as-never-were dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As described on the DigitalBond blog, a security researcher was subjected to a court ordered search in which a lack of pre-notification was premised on his self description as a 'hacker.' From the court order, 'The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants – in their own words – are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.'"
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Call Yourself a Hacker, Lose Your 4th Amendment Rights

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  • by twocows (1216842) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @12:57PM (#45202499)
    Aside from the obvious abuse of power, there's this: http://www.stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html [stallman.org]
    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:01PM (#45202597)

      they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.

      I wasn't aware that capability implied intent. I suppose everyone who owns a gun now should just surrender their 4th amendment rights, since they have the ability to kill people. Someone find out where this judge is; let's put his name here and on as many web pages as possible so anytime anyone googles his name, they can point to this as a reason to have their case retried by a different judge who doesn't hate America.

      • It's more like if you claimed to be a professional killer and later claimed you kill deer.

        • by HiThere (15173)

          Given the way the newspapers use the term "hacker", that's probably what the judge heard.

      • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:17PM (#45202839) Homepage

        No, but the defendant's repeated advocacy of open source implies intent to publish source code. The lawsuit is alleging that the defendant stole source code from his prior employer for the purpose of open-sourcing it as his own product.

        Since the defendant clearly has intent to open-source his product, and if it were indeed stolen source it would immediately cause irreparable harm, and the defendant's own statement shows he has the skill to cause such harm quickly (well within the usual timeframes of the court process), an immediately-executed warrant is reasonable.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:29PM (#45203021)

          I was recently involved as a third party in a lawsuit where similar allegations were made. They were entirely without merit and totally malicious, simply being made in order to cause the defendant the financial hardship of having to be drawn through the legal system.

          Just because one party alleges intent, does not mean there is any.

        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:34PM (#45203099)

          No, but the defendant's repeated advocacy of open source implies intent to publish source code.

          In the same way my advocacy of and interest in international culture implies intent to engage in "unamerican" activities? In the same way that candidates for state senate saying "if itâ(TM)s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down" implies the candidate is a rapist? We've been down that road before. It doesn't lead anywhere you want to be.

          The lawsuit is alleging that the defendant stole source code from his prior employer for the purpose of open-sourcing it as his own product.

          And was there evidence to back up this claim, such as server logs, statements by the defendant, etc.? Because from what I've read the answer is no, there wasn't. The only evidence cited in the ex parte order was the defendant's advocacy of open source and his prior access to the ex-employer's code.

          Since the defendant clearly has intent to open-source his product...

          Which is his right, if he designed it on his own, as many other people have done after working on a closed source product...

          and if it were indeed stolen source it would immediately cause irreparable harm

          ... And yet no proof the code was stolen was provided.

          an immediately-executed warrant is reasonable.

          No, it isn't. They need to prove he's in possession of stolen property first. His statements about what he would or wouldn't do with it have absolutely no weight whatsoever in issuing the search warrant. That the judge is making these statements implies that the evidence he had done so was very, very weak, to the point they had to rely on circumstantial evidence that is only dubiously related to the matter at hand to secure the warrant.

          This sounds more like a case of a manager acting without evidence that any wrongdoing had occurred and decided to use law enforcement resources to harass the former employee. This is, for lack of a better term... a domestic dispute. It's a he said, she said situation. Except that in this case, it's a company, not an ex.

      • by Lithdren (605362) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:24PM (#45202937)

        Came here to say exactly that. Reviewing what they say in the artical linked:
         
         

        The Court has struggled over the issue of allowing the copying of the hard drive. This is a serious invasion of privacy and is certainly not a standard remedy, as the discussion of the case law above demonstrates. The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants â" in their own words â" are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act. (underline added) And concealment likely involves the destruction of evidence on the hard drive of Thuenâ(TM)s computer. For these reasons, the Court finds this is one of the very rare cases that justifies seizure and copying of the hard drive.

        Way I read this...they were unsure if this guy stole code from the company he worked for, they were pushing to seize his computer at home because they felt he had stolen code to release as an open-source option to the software he helped write that they wanted to lease out instead. The court, torn on the issue, decides that because he calls himself a 'hacker' he's able to not only steal the code, but cover his tracks. So they better seize his equipment before he gets a chance.

        I hope someone beats some sense into this judge, just being capable of something does not mean you might do it. We're all murders because we all own cars capable of running people over and killing them. We're all mass murders because we have bleach/cleaning fluids at home we could dump into local water supplies poisioning the entire area. Next time someone gets hit by a car while on their bike in a hit-and-run they'll need to bring in as probable suspects everyone in the tri-state area who owns a drivers liscence. What kind of insane crap is this?

        • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:24PM (#45203965)
          If I were the judge, I'd have likely made the same order, and informed the plaintiff that if nothing is found, then 10% of annual revenue will be paid to the defendant for reparations for civil rights violations from the unfounded accusations.

          I hope someone beats some sense into this judge, just being capable of something does not mean you might do it. We're all murders because we all own cars capable of running people over and killing them. We're all mass murders because we have bleach/cleaning fluids at home we could dump into local water supplies poisioning the entire area.

          The claim that someone who calls himself a "cleaner" might have the skills and means to hide a murder. The issue here is that someone is harassing an ex-employee by making accusations. If they are founded, then the judge did the right thing. If they are unfounded, then the employer should be held responsible for their false accusations.

          One of the problems is that our system doesn't punish false accusations, only false statements. If the employer accuses someone of something so bad, they should be liable for damages if the accusations are found to be unfounded.

          • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:54PM (#45205357)

            If I were the judge, I'd have likely made the same order, and informed the plaintiff that if nothing is found, then 10% of annual revenue will be paid to the defendant for reparations for civil rights violations from the unfounded accusations.

            Unfortunately for you, that would be overturned on appeal. You can't censure a plaintiff for making statements that it believes are correct but later turn out to be wrong. You can only countersue for legal costs and damages, and at that, if and only if you can provide it was malicious and/or frivolous -- a very difficult thing to prove.

            Because of this, it is the judge's responsibility to only grant warrants when there is sufficient evidence to justify it. You don't lower the standard simply because the other guy has money he could stand to be parted with if he's wrong.

            The issue here is that someone is harassing an ex-employee by making accusations. If they are founded, then the judge did the right thing.

            Incorrect. The granting or not granting of a search and seizure or arrest should be based strictly, solely, only, on probable cause. That is the standard. It is not suspicion, it is not motive-based. Only the likelihood of an actual criminal act, based entirely on the evidence presented, should be used to make that determination. It has been said the road to hell is paved with good intentions... which is precisely why you shouldn't consider intent when a person's civil liberties or freedom is at stake: Only and totally their provable actions.

            One of the problems is that our system doesn't punish false accusations, only false statements.

            Accusation: a charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.
            Statement: a definite or clear expression of something in speech or writing.

            All accusations are statements, but not all statements are accusations. Ergo, your statement is a non sequitur.

            If the employer accuses someone of something so bad, they should be liable for damages if the accusations are found to be unfounded.

            This is a separate issue, best decided upon in open trial, not in a judge's chambers, as this warrant has been done. There's a reason it is done this way, and it has nothing to do with convoluted logic like yours -- it is because in the several hundred years of common law and over two hundred years of case law in the United States, the way we do it has proven to be the one most likely to result in justice.

            Your solution would have us forever bandaiding and ductaping over the broken parts and a neverending series of recriminations. The legal process would simply not have an end point anymore.

        • The court, torn on the issue, decides that because he calls himself a 'hacker' he's able to not only steal the code, but cover his tracks. So they better seize his equipment before he gets a chance.

          Nope, they issued an order to image the drive and return it, with the image held basically in escrow, to prevent losing evidence. And the decision was based on way more than what you listed here, including an statement by Thuen that he had copied the code. I have a more substantial post, probably further down

        • by mdielmann (514750)

          Way I read this...they were unsure if this guy stole code from the company he worked for, they were pushing to seize his computer at home because they felt he had stolen code to release as an open-source option to the software he helped write that they wanted to lease out instead. The court, torn on the issue, decides that because he calls himself a 'hacker' he's able to not only steal the code, but cover his tracks. So they better seize his equipment before he gets a chance.

          The part that kills me about this is that any programmer who is capable of actually having programming be his primary occupation, will have the skills necessary to perform this task. I know how to zip files and use DropBox. I can remember the password for that service, and access it from just about any device I can get my hands on. So can many of my computer-literate, non-programmer friends. The only things special about this guy is: he's a (very) strong advocate of open source; and he calls himself a

      • by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:32PM (#45203049)

        Someone find out where this judge is; let's put his name here

        B. Lynn Winmill
        Chief Judge
        United States District Court

        • by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:39PM (#45203145)
          Wikipedia page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._Lynn_Winmill [wikipedia.org]

          Perhaps someone could update the page to include a "Controversies" section that referenced TFA? Properly written NPOV would do more to undermine his decision than posting to random tin-foil-hat sites.
      • by fsagx (1936954) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:35PM (#45203103)

        That's not the scariest part. If you are a hacker and you have a penis, you MIGHT BE a rapist or child molester!

      • I totally get your point, but I can kill without a gun. They have a *device* to kill people with. I can kill people too, using my kitchen knife or a bat.
      • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:00PM (#45203527)

        "I wasn't aware that capability implied intent."

        Exactly. Imagine: "By identifying themselves as CPAs, the suspects expressed an intent to launder the money and hide the evidence by manipulating the books."

        Who elected this moron to be a judge?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:15PM (#45203813)

          "I wasn't aware that capability implied intent."

          Exactly. Imagine: "By identifying themselves as CPAs, the suspects expressed an intent to launder the money and hide the evidence by manipulating the books."

          Who elected this moron to be a judge?

          By the judges own logic, he, as a certified legal expert (one hopes that to get to be a judge one is a legal expert but in this case I have my doubts), has the capability of knowing how to circumvent the law and evade prosecution for any illegal acts he is commits and since he has that capability he must be suspected of breaking laws...

        • Clinton appointment.

      • by Bite The Pillow (3087109) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:52PM (#45204457)

        You might have a point if that were the only basis for the decision. The basis of the restraining order was to prevent irreparable harm based on likelihood to succeed with a claim, and that case was well made.

        Here's the judge's info, it's right at the bottom of the court order where someone who read it would expect to find it, next to his signature. I doubt it will have the effect you wanted, because this is a decent decision.

        B. Lynn Winmill
        Chief Judge
        United States District Court

        The only real counterargument would be to point to https://github.com/visdom/ [github.com] which has the open source version, and was registered July of this year. Surely they could just look at the code and see if there was infringement? No, the evidence on the hard drive will be captured and stored pending further developments in the trial. The Court was preserving evidence which would most likely show that any copying was more than incidental.

        This was the unquestionably correct decision, and the slashdot headline and summary are woefully oversimplifying in order to cash in on outrage. I hope you have disabled advertising, because Dice should be embarrassed that shit like this end up on the front page, and should certainly not profit from page views.

        Direct quotes from the decision follow. Note: this guy worked at the company he is accused of copying from, so access to the original Sophia code is not in question, only whether it was used as a reference.

        As for infringement, if there is no evidence of direct copying, âoeproof of infringement involves fact-based showings that the defendant had âaccessâ(TM) to the plaintiff's work and that the two works are âsubstantially similar.â(TM)â Funky Films, Inc. v.Time Warner Entmâ(TM)t Co., 462 F.3d 1072, 1076 (9th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted).

        Here, Battelle has put forward adequate circumstantial evidence to permit an inference that defendants copied Sophia. Battelle says Thuen created Visdom in a time period that is impossible without copying; he described Visdom in nearly identical language as was used to describe Sophia; he used the same demonstration videos toshowscase Visdomâ(TM)s functionality as he did to showcase Sophia; he has admitted to copying parts of Sophia; and he has adopted a nearly identical name. Based on this record, the Court concludes that Battelle is likely to prevail on its copyright infringement claim.

        ...Additionally, the facts show that Thuen previously defied Battelleâ(TM)s instructions to refrain from widely releasing video demonstrations of Sophia on the internet.

        ...To support this assertion, defendants cite Battelle employee Michael Colson, who testifies as follows: I have 23 years of experience as an investigator for government and private entities and have worked many times on matters where employees have â" without authorization â" taken data from employers for their own purposes. In my experience it is very common for such individuals to simply delete the data when they are confronted with aninvestigation, rather than admit wrongdoing. This is particularly so inregards to those with technical skills to wipe the data in a way which does [not] leave digital footprints. My investigation has revealed that Thuen has (or had) an unauthorized copy of executable Sophia code on his home computer and, from my experience, there is a high risk that he might wipe his computers destroying evidence if he had advance warning.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Well obviously it's abuse of power. The judge has the the ability to abuse power and therefore, by his own logic, is abusing power.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @12:59PM (#45202539)

    I thought it was about a reasonable suspicion of committing a crime, that sort of thing?

    If I call myself a sex god do they do diligence on that one too?

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well that's the thing. they're(state) claiming that if you're labeled or label yourself as hacker then that's reasonable suspicion reason for you to be a malicious computer criminal.

      sooooo... are they gonna go all SWAT on hackerspaces?

      • by bws111 (1216812) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:58PM (#45203501)

        Bullshit. Read the damn article.

        The guy is being sued by his former employer, who claims he took their code and plans to offer it as open source (copyright infringement). The plaintiff contends that there is crucial evidence on the defendants computer. The court ordered (as is usual in such cases) that an image be made of the defendants computer in order to preserve any evidence that is there. The computer is to be returned to the defendant as soon as the image is made, in the same condition as before the computer was taken. Nobody can look at the image until further court orders allow it.

        So where does 'being a hacker' enter the picture? The plaintiff asked the court for a temporary restraining order without notification to the defendant. The courts rules state that a temporary restraining order can only be granted if there are specific facts that show irreperable harm will occur before the opposing party can present his position in court. In this case, the plaintiff is claiming that the defendant will have the ability to destroy the evidence before the plaintiff can present their case. The court used the 'we are hackers' statement as evidence that the defendant probably had the means and knowledge to destroy the evidence. Thus, the restraining order was granted.

        It is not a criminal case. No 4th amendment rights were violated.

  • by darrellg1 (969068) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:01PM (#45202599)
    So a title implies intent?! This looks like the steepest slope coated in vasteline ever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Just re-read the article but with "cracker" substituted for "hacker" and you'll understand how it seems to a layperson.

      Imagine describing yourself as a "thief" - it suggests an intent to steal.

      The only issue here is a misinterpretation of jargon.

    • ... coated in vasteline...

      VAST-eline? [Yoda]Judge me by my size, do you?[/Yoda]

  • by iYk6 (1425255) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:04PM (#45202649)

    The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants â" in their own words â" are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.

    Sounds reasonable. Anyone with an intermediate understanding of computers and the internet would be able to publish something silently. Create an account with a seedbox, upload file, upload torrent to thepiratebay.sx.

    It looks like all they did with the "hacker" identification is determine that they were intermediate level with computers and networking.

    Judging from the summary, this is a standard courtroom procedure, and the submitter is trying to sensationalize it by leaving out all of the other evidence.

    • by dissy (172727)

      The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants Ã" in their own words Ã" are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.

      Sounds reasonable.

      Does it? Remember that time you used wd-40 and duct tape to fix that little problem with your homes front door?
      Implementing a fix in a manor not intended by the original manufacturer is the definition of hacking, thus you sir are a hacker.

      Please do elaborate further how it sounds reasonable that you have sacrificed all of your constitutionally protected rights simply because you used a roll of duct tape?

      Even if you personally are willing to give up all your constitutionally protected rights for using duct

  • Then I would also assume that a Court employee would be preoccupied with, um, fairness and justice. And obviously wrong both times.

  • Meh, too alarmist (Score:2, Informative)

    by magamiako1 (1026318)
    The post here is entirely too alarmist. Essentially, the guy stole his employer's software because he had a philosophical difference with how the company should be handling the source code and went to offer it himself.

    In short, this isn't a "violation of the 4th amendment" so much as it is an excuse to try and get access to the guy's hard drive and recover stolen assets.

    And yes, I do believe he stole the code.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't matter if you believe he stole the code, or even if he actually did steal the code.
      What matters is if his rights were violated.
      Self-describing as a "hacker" should have no influence in whether someone should be able to access your hard drive.

    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:21PM (#45202895)

      Essentially, the guy allegedly stole^W copyright-infringed his employer's software because he had a philosophical difference with how the company should be handling the source code and went to offer it himself. And his personal effects were raided by police over what by all rights should be a civil matter to begin with.

      Fixed that for you.

    • by Wycliffe (116160) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:32PM (#45203055) Homepage

      In short, this isn't a "violation of the 4th amendment" so much as it is an excuse to try and get access to the guy's hard drive and recover stolen assets.

      What do you think a "violation of the 4th amendment" is then? To me "an excuse to bypass the 4th amendment to gain X" is
      exactly that. It is a violation and an attempt to bypass the 4th amendment. Whether he is guilty is not the point.
      Now if they got a proper warrant and executed it correctly, that's a different story but if they are using an excuse to bypass
      proper protocol then it very much is a violation of the 4th amendment. It doesn't really matter what the excuse is either.

  • Wrong definition (Score:4, Informative)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:06PM (#45202685)
    Since when does hacker mean someone who must "have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act." Anyone who owns a raspberry pi or jailbreaks their phone can be called a hacker according to these people, and that does not imply the above!
  • by Anonymous Coward


    10 echo 'Hello world'
    20 goto 10

    to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.

    Public? Slashdot. Check

    Concealed? Anonymous coward.. (am now) Check.

    Simultaneous? With one fell swoop of the submit button.

    Big damn hackers...

    Ain't we just.

  • you cant premise american society on a steady diet of sensationalized tabloid journalism and pop culture television without conceding the traditional and correct definition of the word 'hacker' will have been distorted to perversion. Because the word is used so frequently as to have become ubiquitous, and its meaning has been so broadened in order to sell movies and television programs, its only natural to assume a judge concluding, 'of course i know what a hacker is' would fail to realize she was taught b
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:15PM (#45202815)
    The full court decision is here [scribd.com]. (pdf)
  • by tiberus (258517)
    Referring to ones self as something, sadly doesn't make it so.
    • by TheCarp (96830)

      Tell that to Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico, Norton I.

      -Steve, Imperator of the Legion of Earth, God-King of all mankind.

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:17PM (#45202841)

    Whats happening is the court is sending an order to image his hard drive, turn that image over to the court (without examining the data on it first), and order the defendant not to wipe his hard drive pending further investigation in the case. Of course the court has no proof that the "hacker" is going to delete the data on his hard drive should he be given warning, but it does have a suspicion that it might.

    And he didn't "lose [his] 4th Amendment rights", because the 4th Amendment specifies "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" which is exactly, letter for letter, what has happened (complete with sworn affidavit). This whole thing is a non-story: a plaintiff brought a suit before the court, the court decided to issue a temporary restraining order following due process in order to ensure evidence isn't destroyed. Maybe you might argue the court didn't really have reasonable suspicion, but thats for the defendant's lawyer to argue.

    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:32PM (#45203069)

      Maybe you might argue the court didn't really have reasonable suspicion, but thats for the defendant's lawyer to argue.

      Well, you see, the defendant's lawyer never had the opportunity to argue because the defendant wasn't just ordered to give the hard drive up but rather was raided by police with no warning. That's kind of the entire problem...

  • And any biologist has the knowledge to release botulism in a concealed manner.
  • Call me a Polack. ?!?!
  • Battelle has made a major mistake here. INL's ICS testing labs (and ICS-CERT) require extremely forward-thinking, highly skilled security professionals with a very narrow subset of specialties. Which are exactly the sorts of people to be raging, rippingly pissed off at reading this. They approached me about a position about 2 months ago; oh, if only they approached me tomorrow. I'd be polite about it, but I would also tell them that there was no way I would consider a position with them, if they truly t

  • It's not like this is not found in other areas though. For example, "gang" is now a magic word which means criminal. Back in the day, "gang" just meant a bunch of friends... well, not always but sometimes. "Our Gang" was not quite a 'gang' by contemporary definitions. But it strikes me that in the legal sense the implication by a word can actually lead to all sorts of legal and real mayhem. This is why motorcycle clubs are now called clubs. Because to be identified as a gang would mean they lose all s

  • by n5vb (587569) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @01:39PM (#45203163)

    Quoted by the OP from source material:

    The Court has struggled over the issue of allowing the copying of the hard drive. This is a serious invasion of privacy and is certainly not a standard remedy, as the discussion of the case law above demonstrates. The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants – in their own words – are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act. (underline added) And concealment likely involves the destruction of evidence on the hard drive of Thuen’s computer. For these reasons, the Court finds this is one of the very rare cases that justifies seizure and copying of the hard drive.

    The thing I'm very uncomfortable with is the conflation of "capability" with "intent". There are many things I can do that I don't want to do, because I'm basically an ethical person and I respect other people's rights and property, and if there's one thing I'm touchy as hell about, it's the assumption that people who are able to do things outside what people of average intelligence consider "normal" skills are inherently dangerous and/or criminal if their knowledge, skills, or abilities aren't somehow sanctioned by an "authority" like a higher education institution. I'm very much a hacker in the sense of having fairly extensive self-education and hands-on experience with technology outside of the sanctioned channels. I'm not a "hacker" in the sense in which the court understands the term. (And there's a whole other rant there, in terms of how the word's meaning has been loaded with negative connotations it really shouldn't have.) In this case, the court has taken the word out of the context and applied a meaning to it that I'm sure the original author did not intend, as an excuse to sidestep 4th Amendment protections. That's troubling, to say the least.

  • Just like how there are men who say they're awesome in bed but finish and fall asleep in five minutes, or there are plenty of bearded men who call themselves pretty princesses, just because you say you're a hacker doesn't mean you really are.

    I called myself a hacker in the mid-1980s when I was on an Apple //e with no modem, simply because I could use a sector editor and had friends with copied software. Had nothing to do with bad intentions or cyber-prowess, pretty much interchangeable with "computer geek"

  • ...A Computer literate person is a criminal, and possibly a terrorist.
  • by g0bshiTe (596213) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:10PM (#45203725)
    If you read TFA, if you are technically capable of wiping a computer you have no 4th amendment rights.
  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:13PM (#45203767)
    I can't find the link, but some time ago Slashdot ran a story about some poor kid who was expelled for bringing a copy of a Linux distribution to school - I think perhaps he was distributing them. The administration used it to label him a dangerous hacker and kicked him out. I thought that was rock bottom.

    I call myself a hacker, yet I would never use a computer for malicious purposes. I'll be happy to fix one though, or diagnose your network problem, maybe even set you up with a nice hassle free FreeBSD file server. The only time I ever broke into a computer it was be accident and it was mine. However, if my government wants to turn against me over an ambiguous label and mark me their enemy - then I will be their enemy. First the United States government turned the world against them, now they are chipping away at their very own people.
    • Almost happened to me too, though it was so long ago I can't remember exactly what I did. I think I might have been writing a website using notepad and HTML rather than dreamweaver or frontpage like the teacher asked. Whatever it was, one of the teachers got scared and assumed I was trying to do something dangerous. I only avoided expulsion because another teacher came to my defense.

  • by InfiniteLoopCounter (1355173) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @02:52PM (#45204445)

    A lot of open source projects have developers that for fun play with code and call themselves 'hackers'. I've done so in the past and often heard the phrase 'happy hacking'. I suppose the media and politicians/lawyers have completely subverted the meaning of this word.

    On the other hand, whenever I hear the word 'politician' or 'lawyer' I now think 'scum' or 'on-the-take' by deafult and when I hear 'media' I think of mean old people trying to pull strings. I don't mean to, but this sort of naturally comes to mind. Words can sure change their meaning fast for people.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:01PM (#45204589)

    Very shaky process the court used to determine cause, but the basic Constitutional requirements were followed.

    "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    A good lawyer would go after the warrant and get it quashed based on the crappy determination of probable cause.

    So no, the 4th Amendment is not being violated here.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Tuesday October 22, 2013 @03:21PM (#45204873) Homepage Journal

    So... if I start calling myself a Commander-in-Chief, will all the 4-star generals follow my orders?

    If I were to refer to myself as an OTR trucker, does that automatically mean I have the necessary knowledge and licensure to operate a big rig on public streets?

    What if I started calling myself God? Would the courts recognize that to mean that I am omnipotent and omniscient?

    Here's a good one: If I start referring to myself as The Honorable CanHasDIY, does that mean I have the expertise necessary to rule on matters of law?

    Someone needs to inform this judge that self-proclamations do not create defacto expertise.

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