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 …

Read more...

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 …

Read more...

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 …

Read more...