[hcs-d] Having Linux is now a CRIME

Joe Zimmerman joe at hcs.harvard.edu
Sat Apr 18 02:18:55 EDT 2009


> One other thing I'll point out is that the warrant includes a few choice items:
> 
> - A CPU is apparently capable of storing data, as is an optical
> scanner, a modem, and a firewall....

Well, I guess anything is capable of storing digital data, if you write 
bits on it with a magic marker...

>> Very interesting.  Looks like they got him cold on sending out the
>> alleged email prank.  But Harvey Silverglate says that isn't necessarily
>> a crime.  The thing referred two Mass laws he allegedly broke - did he
>> break those laws?

An interesting question. They didn't seem to provide probable cause for 
the alleged grade-changing, apart from "redacted said so". So, if the 
email prank wasn't illegal, then they didn't have probable cause for 
anything, and were clearly out of line. Let's examine the statute:

"Whoever, with intent to defraud, obtains, or attempts to obtain, or 
aids or abets another in obtaining, any commercial computer service by 
false representation, false statement, unauthorized charging to the 
account of another, by installing or tampering with any facilities or 
equipment or by any other means... shall be punished. . ."

Or, equivalently:

"Whoever, with intent to defraud, obtains, or attempts to obtain, or 
aids or abets another in obtaining, any commercial computer service... 
by any means... shall be punished. . ."

Now, I don't know what the law's definition of "defraud" is, but I think 
it involves material gain, and that doesn't really hold here. Also, laws 
that criminalize intent alone should be meta-illegal.

Unfortunately, case law probably invalidates everything we've all been 
talking about. Ah, the beauty of the legal system.

On a lighter note:

"[Redacted] reported that Mr. Calixte uses two different operating 
systems to hide his illegal activities. One is the regular B.C. 
operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which 
he uses prompt commands on."

The former, of course, being the lesser-known *nix flavor, BCSD...

-Joe



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