Peter Watts found guilty.

Quoted from here, referred to by Punkin 3.14159:

FOUND GUILTY
JUDGMENT OF CONVICTION ENTERED
REFERRED TO PROBATION DEPT.
BOND IS CONTINUED; HABITUAL
2ND TO BE REVIEWED W/PROS.


Dammit.

EDIT: If you want to see it for yourself, here's how to do it (also from Punkin 3.14159):

Go here. Search on case ID 09-003320-FH. Click on 'Events' at the top, and scroll all the way down.

And what's up with the 'HABITUAL' flag on that file?

Federal judge decrees that divulging your PGP passphrase violates the fifth amendment.

I can't say that I'm wild about the circumstances behind this (in fact, it's taken two days to calm down sufficiently to write about it without ranting), but the ramifications of this ruling are far-reaching and not a bit relevant these days.

In 2006, a Canadian citizen named Sebastien Boucher crossed the border into the United States and was stopped. His laptop was searched by US Customs agents. Allegedly, thousands of images related to child pornography were found on the drive (in case you haven't heard, US ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) reserves the right to examine and make disk …

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National Security Letters found unconstitutional last week.

Last calendar week something unusual happened in the US court system: The sections of the USA PATRIOT Act that made it far easier to get National Security Letters were declared unconstitutional (specifically, they violate the First Amendment rights of US citizens) by federal Judge Victor Marrero. National Security Letters, or NSLs, are official documents written up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which can be used to demand sensitive information, such as personnel dossiers, telephone or Internet usage information, and financial history information without having to go on the record by requesting a search warrant from the court system. These …

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Regarding the "Virginia Remedial Fees" bill that snuck through a few weeks ago.

Late last month, a bill snuck through the Virginia general assembly that adds considerable fees onto even trivial traffic violation tickets. If you are convicted of a driving misdemeanor (say, driving ten miles over the speed limit, which if you don't do in northern Virginia you run the risk of being rear-ended by a bored commuter) the bill can add up to one thousand dollars onto the fee. If you get nailed for something really egregious, such as driving while intoxicated, you may as well sell your car because the civil remediation fees alone will be over $2kus, never mind …

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Scooter Libby found guilty of perjury.

Yesterday afternoon I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff was found guilty of four out of five counts of perjury while testifying before a grand jury. On the fifth count (lying to the FBI) he was found not guilty by the jury. What it boils down to is this: Rather than admit that he found out the name of Valerie Wilson (the CIA operative whom Libby outed to the media, thus destroying her usefulness), he lied and said that Tim Russert of NBC News told him who she was. He told this story to a number of …

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Bloggers and web board admins are not legally responsible for content posted by their readers or users.

The First Circuit Court of the USA has upheld an important dictate of the Communications Decency Act, which sets a helpful precedent for bloggers and people who run web BBSes. Section 230 of the CDA states that the administrators of public forums which allow people to post are not, in fact, responsible for what their readers or users post. The court case this comes from is Universal Communication Systems v. Lycos, in which people unknown were talking smack on UCS' stock prices. UCS decided to sue Lycos for running the board and not the users of the board (which they …

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The RIAA is at it again - they want you responsible for your network link, regardless of who uses it.

Not too long ago, a woman named Debbie Foster was sued by Capitol Records (RIAA) for copyright infringement because someone was using her network access account to exchange music on $peer_to_peer_network. As it turned out during the investigation phase, someone had cracked the passphrase on her account and was using it without her knowledge. Thus, the lawsuit had to be dropped because the RIAA was suing the wrong person (which has never stopped them in the past). The RIAA was commanded by the court to pay her legal fees, which topped $50kus in total. The RIAA in turn filed a …

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Apple sets a major legal precedent for amateur journalism.

A major precedent has been set in net.law following Apple losing its lawsuit against Apple Insider and O'grady's Power Page. In those lawsuits, Apple sued to uncover the identities of the people who leaked information about an audio playback device that Apple was going to release at some point (I think it was supposed to be the iPod Nano - I don't follow Apple news), and stated that amateur news sites and writers are not covered by the laws that protect professional journalists. The court, however, decided that there is no reliable test that can be used to distinguish legitimate …

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The Scooter Libby case is disproving the maxim that whatever hits the fan will not be evenly distributed.

It's come out on the stand that Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary was the one who leaked Valerie Plame's identity to Scooter Libby. He admitted this under oath, but of course he cut a deal so he won't be punished for revealing classified information. The whole thing comes down to Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who got into hot water for researching and writing a report that debunked the party line that Iraq was trying to buy weapons grade Uranium from the country of Niger. Fleischer related to David Gregory (NBC) and John Dickerson (Time Magazine) that …

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