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Jail Looms For Man Who Revealed AT&T Leaked iPad User E-Mails 124

concealment sends this quote from MIT's Technology Review: "AT&T screwed up in 2010, serving up the e-mail addresses of over 110,000 of its iPad 3G customers online for anyone to find. But Andrew Auernheimer, an online activist who pointed out AT&T's blunder to Gawker Media, which went on to publicize the breach of private information, is the one in federal court this week. Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation worry that should that charge succeed it will become easy to criminalize many online activities, including work by well-intentioned activists looking for leaks of private information or other online security holes. [Auernheimer's] case hasn't received much attention so far, but should he be found guilty this week it will likely become well known, fast."
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Jail Looms For Man Who Revealed AT&T Leaked iPad User E-Mails

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  • by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <mitreya&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @05:15PM (#42046673)

    AT&T wasn't breaking the law, whistleblower statutes do not apply.

    It must have. From TFA:

    One alleges that by being in possession of the e-mails from AT&Tâ(TM)s leaky system he handled 'identification information' in breach of a law intended to protect against identity theft,

    I am certain that laws protecting us against identity fraud mandate that the "identification information" is shielded from theft. AT&T has clearly failed to protect the information.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @05:17PM (#42046707)

    Actually, no. There is no such thing as "the feds" in the USA.
    There are service organizations for companies to use, which protect industry interests, but are paid by you.
    An actual government would defend you against the companies, and put everyone in jail even tries to "lobby".

    But hey, in the US, many people loudly yell and proclaim they want a "small government" and "free market", because they confuse that industry instrument with an actual government, and confuse freedom for companies to abuse them with freedom for people to live their lives. And they don't realize that that "free market" is what results in what they perceive in an "evil government" in the first place. (Like not only the ability to openly buy a president [aka "campaign donations"] but that somebody can't even get into said "government" without being bought with huge sums of money.)

    But I don't blame them. Try keeping your mind free of social/media conditioning with TV and news constantly repeating the same lies. It's a simple neurological fact which has been studied since the 60s, that a human brain can't withstand that forever. If you think you're free of it (like I often did), you've only fallen for a different version of the trap.
    The best is, not to listen/watch any of it at all. Including websites/blogs/etc. (Because falling for Alex Jones instead of Fox News or MSNBC is not better.)
    Just observe. With your own eyes. And be careful about who you trust. (And who they trust!)

  • by NewWorldDan ( 899800 ) <> on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @05:21PM (#42046757) Homepage Journal

    He did do something wrong here. Whatever his intentions, he was poking around AT&T's web server in a way he knew he shouldn't have been. Just because AT&T was wrong doesn't make him right. As an analogy, I often leave my car unlocked. If you take it, you're still a car thief, even if I should have taken better care of my car. In any event, you don't have to harvest 114k emails to demonstrate a problem.1 or 2 is adequate proof that there's a problem.

  • by sdnoob ( 917382 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @05:25PM (#42046807)

    at&t probably pursued and lobbied for charges to be filed so THEY look like the victim here instead of the people at the other end of those 110,000+ email addresses.

  • by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @05:31PM (#42046897)

    Better analogy is if you left confidential info clearly visible and readable in your car, and someone came along and saw it through the window, then told a nearby reporter about it, etc.

    This guy didn't steal AT&T, after all.

    Unfortunately, the car's owner is politically connected and his prosecutor buddy brings charges against you to cover up the owner's embarrassing blunder.

  • The car analogy doesn't work here, as a website is inherently a publicly offered service, whereas your car is not. There really isn't a good analogy for this situation, as it doesn't really require an analogy in the first place.

    AT&T put private information on their public website. Mistake or not, their actions made the information public, not the defendant in this case.

    AT&T is obviously to blame here.

  • The best is, not to listen/watch any of it at all. Including websites/blogs/etc.

    Says the AC posting on /.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!