Tag: law

  1. Peter Watts goes to trial.

    18 March 2010

    For those of you following the saga of Peter Watts, his trial began on Tuesday, 16 March 2010. I've been not posting about it to try to keep the signal-to-noise ratio as high as possible due to the rampant speculation, guesses couched as fact, and outright asshattery surrounding the case. What I will say is that Have Satellite Truck, Will Travel is covering the Watts trial directly - someone's not only on site but watching from the audience in the courtroom and posting updates as they come. It would appear that the trial itself actually took place on the sixteenth and …

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  2. Shmoocon 2009: ...duck!!

    08 February 2009

    It's been six hours since I got back from Shmoocon, and I'm still readjusting to a low information density environment. Shmoocon is DC's premiere hacker con, held early every February by a security research outfit called the Shmoo Group, which seems to have an odd interest in moose (judging by the repeating moose motif all over the place, from the free stickers to the laser cut acrylic convention badges). I've wanted to go for a couple of years but various and sundry things kept me from attending, so when I finally was able to score a ticket I jumped at …

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  3. BitTorrent users beware - your favorite tracker might start tracking YOU.

    15 June 2007

    Earlier this week, Torrentspy, one of the largest BitTorrent tracker search engines on the Net made a startling announcement: They were ordered by the district court of California to start logging access information from users to make it easier to hunt them down. The judge presiding over the case, however, decided to grant the people who run Torrentspy some time before enforcing this order to give them an opportunity to file an appeal, which had to be in by 12 June 2007. As it turns out, they're being sued by the MPAA because they're making it easier for people to …

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  4. Google's service might not be evil, but their NDAs sure are.

    03 May 2007

    One C. Scott Ananian will be interviewing at Google in a couple of days, and posted in his Livejournal about the non-disclosure agreement that he has to sign before he can even be interviewed. This is unusual in and of itself, because usually you sign an NDA after you sign on with a company which tells you what you can and can't talk about and the length of time that these restrictions would be in effect. Google's pre-interview NDA has no time limit on it, and covers not only what they discuss during the interview but the compensation and benefits …

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  5. Primitive artificial intelligence indicted for unlawful practise of law!

    07 March 2007

    No, I'm not kidding.

    One Henry Ihejirika developed a web application called Ziinet, which was an expert system for bankruptcy law that provided a service to whomever could pay the $216us charge for 60 days of access. The idea was that you paid your fee to log into the web application and hammer in the information relevant to your bankruptcy proceedings. The application would analyse your situation, draw up affadavits (presumably drawing upon a database of pre-written statements and paragraphs - if you write enough papers of any kind, it only stands to reason that re-using parts of older papers is …

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  6. Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and public enemy number one.

    05 March 2007

    One Robert Daniels has been in enforced quarantine in a Tuscon, Arizona hospital for almost a year now because he is a carrier of what they are calling an 'extreme' version of tuberculosis (gods, how I hate that buzzword) which is resistant to so many antibiotic compounds that he could easily be kept incarcerated until he dies. He is kept in a negative-pressure isolation ward to prevent air from escaping in the event that the seals are broken, and he's never met his lawyer - he's being kept in forced quarantine by a court order because he's so infectious that his …

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

    27 February 2007

    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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  8. EDIT: Controversy over mandatory HPV vaccination in the state of California.

    13 February 2007

    A bill recently introduced to the California legislature would require all female children to be vaccinated for HPV (human papilloma virus, which causes some forms of cervical cancer and genital warts). Parents, however, are outraged by this bill because the vaccine would protect against a virus that is technically a sexually transmitted disease. Some are going so far as to say that it encourages teenage sex and promiscuity.

    I hate to tell them (well, no, I don't, but allow me the figure of speech) but women are not exposed to HPV solely through sex; it is not uncommon for rape …

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  9. First Europe, now the US?

    07 February 2007

    Another bill's been put into circulation that I think everyone should know about. Representative Lamar Smith of Texas has put forth legislation that would require every ISP to keep records of what their users do on the Net to assist. For every customer an ISP has, every IP address they are given, every DNS request they make, every outgoing connection, and every incoming connection attempt would be recorded and archived on the off chance that a subpoena came in. Failure to do so would mean fines and jail time for not complying with this proposed law. On top of that …

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  10. The Scooter Libby trial is still going on.

    07 February 2007

    More interesting information has come to light due to the I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby trial, going on right now in DC. It was one thing for an ambassador to find out that the tales spun into the news were fabricated but the White House was having daily meetings to plan how best to discredit the damning information. It seems that Dick Cheney didn't take well to their misinformation tactics going down in flames.

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