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Weev's Attorney Says FBI Is Intercepting His Client's Mail 109

Posted by timothy
from the men-in-the-middle-attack dept.
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "The FBI is intercepting the prison correspondence of infamous Internet troll Andrew "weev" Auernheimer, including letters from his defense team, according to his attorney. 'He's sent me between 10 and 20 letters in the last month or two. I've received one,' Tor Ekeland, who had just returned from visiting Auernheimer at the federal corrections institute in Allenwood, PA., told the Daily Dot in a video interview.

Last March, Auernheimer was convicted of accessing a computer without authorization and sentenced to 41 months in prison. As a member of the computer security team Goatse Security, Auernheimer discovered a major security flaw in AT&T's network, which allowed him to download the email addresses of some 114,000 iPad users. Goatse Security reported the flaw to Gawker and provided journalists with the information, who then published it in redacted form."
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Weev's Attorney Says FBI Is Intercepting His Client's Mail

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  • There are multiple other TLA's out there intercepting all of our communiques.
    • by zerostar (3547645) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:01AM (#46591923)
      read the article? “He’s been interrogated by FBI agents who’ve asked him questions about the contents of an attorney letter that he sent to me,”
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rmdingler (1955220)
        So it's come to this.

        Quoting from the article is officially informative. We are either a time-constrained or a very lazy lot of posters here on Slashdot.

        TFA implies only that the FBI had access to what was in the Attorney/client communiques, not who's surveillance arm gathered it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Doesn't matter. Would you prefer he randomly speculate as to which other phantom entities are involved? He knows one single fact, that the FBI has read his communications. From that, the only reasonable conclusion is that the FBI intercepted the comms. That is exactly the correct inference based on the given evidence. When some other evidence presents itself, he can modify his conclusion. Do you think if the roles were reversed the FBI wouldn't say that "Weev intercepted FBI communications."? Nope, that's e

          • It's OK. It's only a problem if the FBI were capturing meta-data about the letters.

          • That's a very good post, Sir or My Lady....as your nom de guerre is somewhat androgynous.

            But I have a confession to make, though it grieves me to admit, I have read some of your other comments and found them (politely) less wise.

            Take heart though, we need the bad days to fully appreciate the good ones!

        • by Anonymous Coward

          So it's come to this.
          Quoting from the article is officially informative.

          You have a fairly high user ID, so maybe you don't know this ... but it's been informative for a Very Long Time.

          Because nobody ever read the fucking articles, and then proceeds to say things which demonstrate they didn't read it.

          TFA implies only that the FBI had access to what was in the Attorney/client communiques, not who's surveillance arm gathered it.

          Now, there are exceedingly few cases in which it is legal to intercept Attorney/Cli

        • by jxander (2605655)

          TFA implies only that the FBI had access to what was in the Attorney/client communiques, not who's surveillance arm gathered it.

          Occam's razor. If the FBI had knowledge of the contents of his private letters, then the FBI did the surveilling.

          • TFA implies only that the FBI had access to what was in the Attorney/client communiques, not who's surveillance arm gathered it.

            Did you see how well my plausibly believable counter-argument covered not reading the article until after my initial post? Any idea at all how difficult it is to out-type frosty?

            That's a clever bit of wordsmithing undone by you and Mr. Ockam...but muchos gracias for leaving Hanlon in your pocket if you were just intent upon eliminating an unlikely explanation for this phenom

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Sounds like good grounds to get the case thrown out, no? This is some of the most unethical shit I have ever heard of...
        • by Anonymous Coward

          No, he's already been found guilty and sentenced. At this point, he is a prisoner, though attorney-client privilege applies to all communication with his lawyers, the rest of his mail is fair game.

          That being said, the fact that they're reading his correspondence with his defense team and then interrogating him about it is a big no-no. It definitely serves as a good basis to appeal the conviction.

          • by thaylin (555395)

            That being said, the fact that they're reading his correspondence with his defense team and then interrogating him about it is a big no-no. It definitely serves as a good basis to appeal the conviction.

            Which was the point of the comment you were claiming no to...

        • by Aighearach (97333)

          The case only gets thrown out when there is Prosecutorial misconduct, that is, misconduct by the prosecutors. Misconduct by law enforcement only gets certain related evidence thrown out; in a situation like this, where he has already been convicted and the misconduct is not related to evidence used in his trial, he isn't going to get anything like that.

          He might be able to sue for monetary damages, in a civil rights case.

          He might be able to re-start some of his appeals.

  • Weev is the last person on earth having a right to complain about anyone accessing his emails. Hypocrite.
    • Re:Sweet revenge (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ledow (319597) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:05AM (#46591947) Homepage

      Civilised society doesn't work like that.

      If someone breaks a rule, and you punish them for it, you cannot them go off and break the same rule for them.

      If someone steals something, it's not "justice" to steal something of theirs. That makes you just as bad as they are. And leads to "he did it to me first!" kind of baby-crap.

      You show that you are an advanced, modern, civilised country by not breaking your own rules. Not carrying out "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" (where does that come from? Possibly the WORST example of literary fairness/justice there is. Mankind bad? I'll just drown the fucking lot of you in a flood....). And having nobody be above the law, not even courts, judges, or the leader of the country.

      It doesn't mean you have to pussyfoot around. It doesn't mean you have to give prisoners playstations and compassionate leave and halve their sentences for good behaviour. It means you have to abide by the same rules that you are punishing others for breaking.

      Also, if a populous gets a whiff of "one rule for me, another rule for them" being the actual greater truth of things (rather than an occasional spurious claim), then all the rules can soon become useless anyway and you descend into anarchy.

      Unfortunately, this is lost on many "modern" countries.

      Revenge is for five-year-olds who had their toy smashed. It invariably ends in tears and nobody having any toys.

      • This (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Etherwalk (681268) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:20AM (#46592021)

        Civilised society doesn't work like that.

        This.

        When someone violates Constitutional Rights in America, two things happen: First, evidence that comes from that violation is inadmissible in court. Second, the person whose rights have been violated can sue the pants off the government.

        It is more complicated because of a massive fraud on the part of the prosecution to pretend that the information is not based on that violation.

        It is also more complicated because juries, as a whole, care less about the government having violated your constitutional rights when you are a criminal.

        It is also more complicated because when they get caught doing something bad enough, cops usually offer a deal where you won't sue and they won't prosecute.

        • by Fnord666 (889225)

          When someone in the government violates Constitutional Rights in America, two things happen: First, evidence that comes from that violation is inadmissible in court. Second, the person whose rights have been violated can sue the pants off the government.

          The US constitution only protects individuals from actions taken by their government or appointees.

          It is more complicated because of a massive fraud on the part of the prosecution to pretend that the information is not based on that violation.

          Citation needed. What constitutional violations are you referring to here?

          It is also more complicated because juries, as a whole, care less about the government having violated your constitutional rights when you are a criminal.

          US Juries have no authority to determine whether or not a person's constitutional rights have been violated or not. A judge determines whether any evidence obtained is admissible or not and the jury deliberates based on that decision and the evidence.

          It is also more complicated because when they get caught doing something bad enough, cops usually offer a deal where you won't sue and they won't prosecute.

          Citation needed please.

          • by Etherwalk (681268)

            When someone in the government violates Constitutional Rights in America, two things happen: First, evidence that comes from that violation is inadmissible in court. Second, the person whose rights have been violated can sue the pants off the government.

            The US constitution only protects individuals from actions taken by their government or appointees.

            Yup. We're talking about the FBI here, so that qualifies.

            It is more complicated because of a massive fraud on the part of the prosecution to pretend that the information is not based on that violation.

            Citation needed. What constitutional violations are you referring to here?

            Google it; it's lying around if you look for it. Look up parallel construction of cases and read up a bit on deliberate withholding of evidence from the court.

            It is also more complicated because juries, as a whole, care less about the government having violated your constitutional rights when you are a criminal.

            US Juries have no authority to determine whether or not a person's constitutional rights have been violated or not. A judge determines whether any evidence obtained is admissible or not and the jury deliberates based on that decision and the evidence.

            Wrong in this context. Section 1983 actions are what you bring when you file a civil claim against the government for having your rights violated. Juries decide issues of fact in Section 1983 cases. Therefore juries devaluing accused criminals results in less protection of constitutional ri

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        You are right naturally, but look around we stopped living in a civilized society a long time ago. There is a clearly classes of people that are above the law.

        I don't know what the answer is but every day it seems a little more hopeless as far as getting anything fixed working with in the system. So more an more I feel inclined towards settling for vengeance because there is little justice to be had.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        "Also, if a populous gets a whiff of "one rule for me, another rule for them" being the actual greater truth of things (rather than an occasional spurious claim), then all the rules can soon become useless anyway and you descend into anarchy."

        Are you nuts? Most people firmly believe in the "one rule for me, another rule for them" idea. Human beings are barely civilized, the believe their neighbors should do what they want them to do but they can do something else because "they know better". The Cathol

        • by sycodon (149926)

          "one rule for me, another rule for them"

          Especially true for Federal officials and politicians.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by lonOtter (3587393)

          In fact, if you ask most Americans, If doing something against the law will "protect them from terrorism" they will gladly allow it. the PATRIOT ACT goes against most of the constitution yet most Americans love it and adore it.

          And at the same time, they pretend that they want the US to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave," when in reality, they openly despise freedom.

        • "In fact, if you ask most Americans, If doing something against the law will "protect them from terrorism" they will gladly allow it. the PATRIOT ACT goes against most of the constitution yet most Americans love it and adore it."

          I'm pretty sure that's a tiny, tiny percentage of people. I'm pretty sure the vast majority have no idea or care as to what it is, and still wouldn't if you explained it to them. Most people who are politically aware are against.

          I don't think there are many people who actively like

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            "I'm pretty sure that's a tiny, tiny percentage of people. "

            Every single person not calling for it's repeal is supporting it.

        • The Catholic church is based on this as well as Islam and all other religions as practiced.

          Eh? What exactly does the Catholic Church say is permitted for Catholics, but not for others? I am Catholic, our rules are strict, but they only apply to us, not others. We choose to live with more restrictions, not more permission than society at large.

      • "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" - that comes from Hammurabi. Commonly misunderstood. It is a legal reform of the existing justice system at the time. It is a limit on punishment to make it not exceed the original crime (and thereby lead to a spiral of ever increasing retribution). "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" is harsh, but is a lot better than "head for an eye, hand for a tooth"
      • Not carrying out "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" (where does that come from? Possibly the WORST example of literary fairness/justice there is. Mankind bad? I'll just drown the fucking lot of you in a flood....).

        You seem to be attributing "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" to the Abrahamic religions. The Code of Hammurabi [wikipedia.org] dates to 1772BC, which predates the Hebrew bible. Hammurabi was poking out eyes long before Noah was ever a figment of some writer's imagination.

        If this is surprising to you, I invite you to take a look at all the other ways one's perception of reality can be influenced by the beliefs of those around them. I, as an atheist, have been disturbed by this observation for some time now.

        • by PRMan (959735)

          Hammurabi was poking out eyes long before Noah was ever a figment of some writer's imagination.

          Hammurabi is commonly associated with Nimrod, who was the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah.

          • ... What?

            Hammurabi was a historical person who existed in time. The others you mention are fictional characters who exist outside of time.

            I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Does the GEICO caveman predate George Washington? I mean, he's a caveman, right?
            • How do you know that Biblical characters never really existed? They're just in a different history book. The fact that it's a religious one rather than a secular one doesn't automatically mean it's 100% lies and fabrications.

              • How do you know that Biblical characters never really existed?

                I don't, much like I don't know that a teapot isn't orbiting the sun somewhere between Earth and Mars.

                “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” -- Isaac Asimov

                Indeed, how do you know that Frodo never really existed? He's just in a different history book. The fact that it's a ficitonal one rather than a factional one doesn'

                • s/factional/factual/

                  /me requests an edit button.
                • Indeed, how do you know that Frodo never really existed? He's just in a different history book. The fact that it's a fictional one rather than a factual one doesn't automatically mean it's 100% lies and fabrication.

                  LOTR never claims to be anything but fiction as far as I'm aware. It's a completely different and non-analogous case--I would hope there aren't any people living their lives by the "teachings" of the Lord of the Rings. It was kind of meant as a parable, according to J.R.R., but I don't remember much of any preachy bits in it. That's very subjective though, I suppose.

                  I didn't mean to suggest that Nimrod, Cush, Ham, and Noah didn't really exist. I did mean to say that the biblical characters bearing those names are just that: characters. We have no evidence of their existence beyond what is written of them in a book

                  Yeah, okay; that's fair. It sounded like you were saying there was no way they could have existed due to your terse wording.

                  If one can claim that, for example, the biblican creation story is not meant to be interpreted literally, how are we to know that Noah wasn't also a metaphor? In any case, the historicity of these characters is not established, unlike the historicity of, say, Hammurabi.

                  You raise a good p

                • If you have no problem denying evolution, geology, and cosmology, I shouldn't be surprised if you also have no issues denying known history.

                  And you had such a reasonable and non-confrontational post up until that last sentence...

                  We have a lot of people saying that science leaves no room for doubt, when the science is extremely theoretical (I'm still straining myself to understand how some of the scientific models for the beginning of the universe can be called scientifically rigorous) or the historical record is not nearly as clear-cut as advertised. But I'm not really in the mood for a slap-fight, eh.

      • Civilised society doesn't work like that.

        The law doesn't work like that. But as individuals it's absolutely fine for us to be happy when something bad happens to a malicious prick.

      • by Ihlosi (895663)
        Not carrying out "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" (where does that come from? Possibly the WORST example of literary fairness/justice there is.

        Definitely not. "One eye for one eye.", at that time, replaced the proven concept of "You stepped on my toe, so I'm going to kill you, every male in your family, rape every female in your family and kill them, too."

        At that time, when ever-increasing vengeance cycles and bloody vendettas were the norm, "One eye for one eye." was a huge limitation on any punish

    • by thaylin (555395)
      What makes him a hypocrite? What right did he invade of others regarding emails, or any thing else? The law he is accused of breaking is silly, accessing a public website should not be against the law.
      • What makes him a hypocrite? What right did he invade of others regarding emails, or any thing else? The law he is accused of breaking is silly, accessing a public website should not be against the law.

        Oh well, another one going on about how the law is silly... He published the email addresses of 114,000 people who just bought an iPad, at a time when an iPad was something new that only very few people had, by hacking into AT&T's computers. Anyone who hasn't got some major social deficits recognises that what he did is a crime. Seriously, don't you think that a judge knows the law better than you, a random bloke posting on the internet?

        • Re:Sweet revenge (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TheP4st (1164315) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:07AM (#46592395)
          I am not familiar with this particular case to comment on the specifics, but I do not agree with:

          Seriously, don't you think that a judge knows the law better than you, a random bloke posting on the internet?

          It is one thing to know the letter of the law in verbatim, it is another thing to interpret and apply the letters of law into something that resemble a fair and just ruling.

        • by pla (258480)
          He published the email addresses of 114,000 people who just bought an iPad

          So? Every company you do business with does the same. So moving on to the "real" crime...

          by hacking into AT&T's computers

          Changing a URL to point to a different ICC does not even remotely count as "hacking". It amounts to the same level of security as if GMail let you see another user's email simply by changing "&username=myname" to "&username=yourname" on the address bar.

          So yeah, stupid law is stupid.
        • by gstoddart (321705)

          by hacking into AT&T's computers

          Except, by most standards, he didn't "hack" anything. AT&T employed pathetic security which a teenager could defeat.

          This has been covered [vice.com] quite a bit.

          Instead, they effectively discovered a major security flaw in AT&T's network. When given the proper query, the telecom's public website would cough up a registered iPad owner's email address.

          "There is no unauthorized access," Kerr said at the beginning of his appeal. When anyone can access data simply by entering an

          • by TheCarp (96830)

            > This is essentially accessing information available to anybody without permission. But to call it
            > "hacking" is a complete joke.

            absolutely. It isn't even much of a stretch to call this similar to walking up to the local cable company service center desk and asking for a copy of your account information. You would expect the person at the desk to make some attempt to verify who you are...ask your name... ask to see some ID...something.

            If someone goes to the cable company office and says "Say, can I h

            • by Qzukk (229616)

              If someone goes to the cable company office and says "Say, can I have this persons bill?" who is at fault when they give it up? The person who asked, or the company that handed out the information.

              I pointed that out in the last weev thread. It's apparent the general consensus is that the receptionist is personally responsible for giving it out and the programmer is not personally responsible for giving it out.

              • I'd gamble on something in that scenario: If that bill was used to perpetrate fraud of some kind, or if that bill was publicly published he'd find himself in court for fraud. I'm not saying it's just or moral or anything...but it does parallel a certain situation pretty well.

        • by PRMan (959735)
          There was no hack. The items were easily found by typing URLs.
    • by Sique (173459)
      Especially he has the right to complain. He got in prison for doing what others now do to him. So either his sentence was injustice (because others are allowed for what he serves time in prison), or what the others are doing to him now is injustice and should be punished with prison time.
      • by thaylin (555395)
        He did not get prison for accessing others communication, it got it for accessing a public website.
        • He got it for accessing information which, while pathetically "secured", he did not have permission to access.

          An analogy I like is that you invite a guy around to your house to play Xbox, and instead he goes and looks through your credit card statements. He hasn't been told he can't, and they're not necessarily locked away, but he knows damn well he shouldn't be doing it. He definitely shouldn't post them to the local press.
          • by thaylin (555395)
            It depends, was the Credit card statements laying out where anyone could see them, on the coffee table, that is the only way yoru analogy works. The website he looked at was public, there was NOTHING blocking accessing it.. What if I put up a website, thaylin.net, then you go to it, can I then claim you hacked my system and went to the page without authorization ?
            • It depends, was the Credit card statements laying out where anyone could see them, on the coffee table, that is the only way yoru analogy works.

              They weren't public, there just wasn't any extra authentication / authorisation required to access the data. There's a difference between given permission to access files and being technically able to access files. Yes AT&T are on the hook for not securing their files properly, but that's a different issue. I'm pretty sure you could walk into HR at your employer and physically open a filing cabinet and start looking at the personnel records, but I wouldn't like to comment on the permanence of your emplo

              • Okay, tell me when it's legal to use a public-facing website in a way it was designed to be used, and when it's not. The website was set up to deliver the same information to everybody given a URL, without any sort of verification or barrier. This is like a commercial establishment not having a lock on the door, as opposed to having a crappy lock I can open in ten seconds with a credit card (in which case entry is clearly unauthorized).

                I don't like laws that don't make it clear what they do and do not

      • Especially he has the right to complain. He got in prison for doing what others now do to him. So either his sentence was injustice (because others are allowed for what he serves time in prison), or what the others are doing to him now is injustice and should be punished with prison time.

        You've got the wrong perspective here. When he hacked others (and what he is in jail for isn't the only thing he's done, and by far not the worst), he had no sympathy for the victims. He not only didn't give a shit, he intentionally hurt others. _You_ haven't done anything like that (I hope), so _you_ absolutely have the right to say that there are two wrongs, which are both wrong, and complain about it. _Weev_ doesn't have that right.

    • by dissy (172727)

      Weev is the last person on earth having a right to complain about anyone accessing his emails. Hypocrite.

      He has every right to complain, a lot more than you or I.

      He has been put in prison for a crime that even the US government does not believe is a crime, proven by the fact they SHOW it is OK to do this to other people.

      If it is acceptable for this action to be done at all, then clearly Weev has done nothing at all wrong here and shouldn't be in prison in the first place.

      You don't get to claim "this person should be punished for doing X to be" and then turn around and expect to be treated differently when you

    • by n1ywb (555767)
      I'm sorry, who's email did he read exactly?
  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:03AM (#46591937)

    Goatse Security? A guy named Tor? It's not April 1st yet is it?

  • Decent sp agencies try to avoid detection. This means not keeping the letters you illegally open.

    I would be shocked if they didn't already habe machines to brute scan without opening.

    • by khallow (566160)

      Decent sp agencies try to avoid detection.

      Unless they want the target to know. Being obvious is an intimidation tactic.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Unless they want the target to know. Being obvious is an intimidation tactic.

        If violating your right to private communications with your lawyer is a new intimidation tactic, America is pretty much screwed, because law enforcement is selectively deciding that some laws don't really apply to them, and some rights are things which don't really exist when inconvenient.

        Banana Republics do this kind of thing. Not countries which have enshrined knowing better in law.

  • by cgfsd (1238866) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @09:16AM (#46591997)
    In prison, all communication to the outside public is recorded and screened.
    Standard protocol.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      no. all mail coming IN is screened, where it is an issue of security, EXCEPT attorney-client communications where the constitution trumps any more mundane concerns. though outgoing mail often gets stamped that it is being sent from such-and-such prison.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No, mail between a prison inmate and his lawyer is privileged. Prison officials can only open mail coming from, or going to a prisoner's attorney in the presence of the inmate, and that's only to determine that the mail doesn't contain any contraband. The prison officials, or other law enforcement are not allowed to read legal correspondence between an inmate and their legal counsel. To do so is to violate the prisoner's civil rights.

    • by D'Arque Bishop (84624) on Thursday March 27, 2014 @12:19PM (#46593559) Homepage

      However, the main universal exception to this rule involves discussions between an inmate and his attorney (just as in this case). Courts have even held that while even legal mail can be searched, it has to be done in the prisoner's presence and they can only glance at the actual correspondence itself.

      Jail Mail from Attorney Must Be Opened in Inmate’s Presence, 7th Circuit Says [abajournal.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wrong on several accounts.

        #1 An inmate who sued the BOP had his correspondence with his lawyer regarding the suit forwarded to the attorney's who were defending the case; the warden invoked prison security rule and the courts upheld it under the guise that the result of his communications would be filed in court and hence, no harm was done.

        #2 BOP regularly miscategorizes legal mail between attorneys and clients so that like regular mail, they are opened by staff and handed out to whoever claims them.

        #3 BOP

  • that Tor is an insecure means of communication.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday March 27, 2014 @10:53AM (#46592755) Homepage

    ~ We can plug ANY security hole, no matter how gaping. ~

  • And then sue anyone who reads it without the license fee being paid. Could be worth a million dollars per letter if you follow the RIAA enough. Just to be sure though, make up some song lyrics as part of the letter and you could at least get ASCAP to sue on your behalf.

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