Court Says Logging Into Someone Else's Facebook Page And Posting A Message Can Be Identity Fraud

from the bad-cases,-bad-law dept

Eric Goldman and Venkat Balasubramani discuss a ruling in which a kid who, via a text message from someone (it's never made clear), was given the password to someone else's Facebook account. Having the password, the kid logged in and posted some predictably juvenile posts on her wall, and changing her profile to read:
Hey, Face Bookers, [sic] I'm [S.], a junior in high school . . . I want to be a pediatrician but I'm not sure where I want to go to college. I have high standards for myself and plan to meet them all. I love to suck dick.
The kid got charged with a felony for identity fraud (under broad California state laws), and the court actually did find that this amounted to identity fraud. I'm much more inclined to agree with Eric, that while ridiculously childish and obnoxious, the actions really should not amount to a felony. It's a kid doing stupid things after being given someone else's password. That kind of thing likely happens all the time. Sure, punish the kid a little, if you must, but the "crime" he's being charged with seems way out of proportion with what he actually did.


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    Scooters (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:44am

    What an odd ruling.

    Then again, this is a kangaroo court making the decision. Perhaps a law be passed to make these courts illegal for stealing the identity of a real court?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:18pm

      Re: What an odd ruling.

      It's not odd at all. It's identity fraud, pure and simple. The kid might get off easy because of his age, but there is no reason that broadcasting to the world about a girl and oral sex shouldn't be punished. None.

       

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        A Dan (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

        Do you think he would have (or should have) been punished if he'd put the oral sex comment on another guy's page?

         

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        crade (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

        If this is identity theft, we need a new term for real identity theft.

         

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          HothMonster, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

          can this be social identity theft?

          or "non-physical impersonation"

          though they would probably settle on
          "identity piracy" or "identity mongle hoarding"

           

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          jackn, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

          Count how many times the word theft is mentioned in the article.

           

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        Ninja (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

        Regardless. Kids do stupid things and they have issues to think about the consequences (if memory serves it has something to do with developing brain functions). The kid should get a few weeks of community service, some spanking, be obliged to apologize publicly and so on but NOT be charged of felony. Specially in a society that spoils them by keeping the problems artificially away and failing to let them develop properly.

        Punishment yes, ruin the kid's life no.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:45pm

        Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

        If this is 'fraud' then we really need to round up all the dangerous criminals in America's schools aka teenagers that scrawl 'for a good time call ____' on bathroom walls.

        I'm not even sure this should be a crime at all, much less a full on felony. Felony is rapidly becoming a word without any meaning.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

          > Felony is rapidly becoming a word without any meaning.

          No, it still means the same thing it always did:

          Any crime for which the punishment is more than one year in prison.

          Any crime for which the punishment is a year or less is a misdemeanor.

          The problem is that politicians-- in their zeal to draw attention to themselves for protecting the children and whatnot-- don't even consider misdemeanors any more. They go straight from zero to felony.

           

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            Alien Bard, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

            Thank you, I had forgotten about that definition and had simplified the terms to simply mean criminal vs civil.

            I was thinking that this certainly does count as defamation and addressing it as criminal rather than civil might not be such a terrible thing. Unfortunately, I suspect this means many other people (and politicians) are likewise going to simplify the issue and will also miss that same point.

            You are correct, this should be a misdemeanor, not a felony. I wonder how many of the problems we see these days are caused by confusion over definitions.

             

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        Scooters (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

        It's identity theft? Really?

        Then perhaps my cat should sue me for stealing his name and using it as my login here at TD?

        What a ridiculous thing to say.

         

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        Peter S. Chamberlain (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: What an odd ruling.

        Right. As a retired lawyer with a lot of teen clients, and the victim of assorted state and federal felonies myself, I disagree with the poster who sees posting "for a good time call . . " on a toilet stall wall as a prank rather than a civil defamation tort or a crime, and doing this on line is worse. "Who steals my good name . . ."
        Whether the other teen guilty, who should certainly be punished enough that they don't do this kind of thing again, should be burdened with a felony, which has serious lasting life-damaging consequences, is a separate issue. We need to deter this kind of conduct, but, unfortunately, teens simply are not deterred by hearing of someone else getting killed driving drunk or high, or getting a life-shattering sentence for a crime. The adults should exercise some judgment and discretion here, and the schools should do a much better job of educating kids not to do things like this.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:49am

    Excessive punishment

    A felony for this? Really?

    It SHOULD be a crime, yes. And the victim should be able to sue for defamation or something if they so choose. But to be a felony, there should be something else involved.

     

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      E. Zachary Knight (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:58am

      Re: Excessive punishment

      I don't think this should be a crime at all. This is nothing more than a web 2.0 version of a "kick me" sign on someone's back or a "for a good time call" scrawled on a men's room wall. This is a prank not identity theft.

       

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        PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:03pm

        Re: Re: Excessive punishment

        This is a bit more than that. If you read the article it does appear that the victim has suffered because of this. This should definitely be deterred.

         

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          crade (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Excessive punishment

          It's high school gossip.

          It's the direct equivilent of someone at school gossiping about her.

          There is no identity theft. She writes another post the next day saying it wasn't her who posted that in case there is anyone on the planet who didn't already know she wouldn't write that in that way.

          It's embarasing, it's a mean prank, people will tease her, and I'm sure they should all be thrown in an Indonesian for their teasing too but I'm with E. Zachary Knight it's a high school social problem not a criminal one imho. You have to learn to deal with assholes in highschool, otherwise you won't be prepared for real life.

           

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          btr1701 (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: Excessive punishment

          > If you read the article it does appear that
          > the victim has suffered because of this.

          Victims suffer from the "for a good time..." graffiti, too. Doesn't mean the cops need to be involved.

          > This should definitely be deterred.

          No doubt. I don't think anyone's arguing otherwise.

          But considering the fact that due to prison overcrowding, we have people who are barely serving six months in prison for aggravated armed robbery, the idea of locking up a kid for a year or more for the equivalent of bathroom graffiti is absolutely absurd.

           

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        Alien Bard, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: Excessive punishment

        Except that the bathroom wall isn't likely to show up on a potential employers desk top next to her resume. And even if it did, the employer should easily recognize the difference in penmanship. This is a 'bit' more public and a lot more potentially damaging.

        But you are right, it still isn't identity theft.

         

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          HothMonster, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 2:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Excessive punishment

          its also a lot easier for her to take down the facebook post than it is to scrub sharpie off a boys room wall.

          And seeing as how she is in junior high if she still has this on her facebook when she is applying for jobs she doesn't deserve the job

           

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      A Dan (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:16pm

      Re: Excessive punishment

      I agree that a misdemeanor seems sufficient. This was not identity theft.

       

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        A Dan (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:22pm

        Re: Re: Excessive punishment

        To be clear, I'm still not endorsing that this behavior should be against the law. I do not think it should. If he had done the exact same thing to another male student, this would never have gone to court. Friends and enemies play pranks like this on each other all the time. I do not think that it should be criminal just because the victim was female and was upset by it.

        Also, I seriously doubt he had to reset her Facebook password. She probably used the same password for both accounts, as most people likely do.

         

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          Alien Bard, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Excessive punishment

          Harassment is harassment regardless of who the perpetrator and/or the victims are. I don't see why her being a female makes any difference.

          In fact I have heard of more bullying related suicides by males then by females. Though I don't know if it's statistical or not

           

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      jackn, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:24pm

      Re: Excessive punishment

      How about forcing safegaurds?

       

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:13am

      Re: Excessive punishment

      "the victim should be able to sue for defamation or something"

      Typical American... Over here, Facebook rape (as it's jokingly called) is something that often happens when people leave their phones or laptops unattended. The reaction is typically to laugh it off and buy an extra pint for the victim if they get too annoyed. You'd take it to the courts. That's sad.

       

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    Rachel @ Last Res0rt, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Death of a Tradition

    Are you telling me I'm not allowed to pants people dumb enough to stay logged in on the public machines anymore?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:57am

    Law enforcement must find some way to catch felons, and since they're too incompetent to catch real felons, they must catch kids who pull immature pranks and charge them with felony. Putting that they successfully charged a felon looks good on their resume.

     

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    Robert P (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:57am

    I'm okay with it

    While this will get cleared up, what if she lost a job opportunity because "she" posted that she likes to suck dick on her facebook profile? What else should be involved to make this a felony. If she said she was going to blow something up or do something violent? What's the line between casual prank and something that's damaging to her and others?

    If you illegally break into someone's account and then do stuff, it's a felony. Hey, I have an idea, don't do that.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:07pm

      Re: I'm okay with it

      Your moral development is stunted. I really don't know what else to say.

       

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:09pm

      Re: I'm okay with it

      If you illegally break into someone's account and then do stuff, it's a felony.

      I'm okay with the idea that it's a crime. A felony, though? That seems far-fetched.

      Hey, I have an idea, don't do that.

      Proportionality is importance. Unfortunately, our society has become very supportive of harsh-punishment for every infraction, no matter how minor.

      "If he didn't want to get shot six times in the back, he shouldn't have been jaywalking!"

       

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      Spaceboy (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:12pm

      Re: I'm okay with it

      Read the article again. She was a Junior in High School. I doubt she lost any job opportunities. This shouldn't be a felony.

       

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      Nicedoggy, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:48pm

      Re: I'm okay with it

      So what?
      Do you know how many jobs opportunities I missed in my life?
      Maybe hundreds. do I care? nope.
      Just get over it and move on.

       

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      el_segfaulto (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

      Re: I'm okay with it

      I've attended (on both sides of the table) many job interviews and the phrase "suck dick" has come up virtually zero times.

       

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        HothMonster, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:43pm

        Re: Re: I'm okay with it

        i like that you had to add the modifier "virtually" to the zero


        and I can think of a couple professions were it would come up

         

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          el_segfaulto (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 2:51pm

          Re: Re: Re: I'm okay with it

          I live in one of the very few areas of the U.S. that allows prostitution (Nevada outside of Washoe and Clark counties) and we actually had a former lady-of-the-night apply for a secretary position. I'm just a developer but I found an excuse to attend the interview just for the novelty. The best part is her work at the Bunny Ranch was actually on her damned resume!

           

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            HothMonster, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 3:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm okay with it

            for some reason I think she got hired.

            "The best part is her work at the Bunny Ranch was actually on her damned resume!"

            Better than:
            "So I notice a couple year gap in your employment history can you tell me what you were doing at that time?"
            "Fucking for money."
            I suppose

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 7:30am

      Re: I'm okay with it

      "what if she lost a job opportunity because "she" posted that she likes to suck dick on her facebook profile"

      I think it more likely she gets the job.

       

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    Squirrel Brains (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:57am

    The enforcement of the law is the now the goal. It has replaced the goal of maintaining a just society. The law is supreme and sacred. All that violate on it must be taught the errors of their ways.

     

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      Infowars, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      Now give us all your money and bow down before your loving .GOV (or else).

       

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      Well, the enforcement of the law is an important goal because it creates a predictable environment in which we can all act with little fear of arbitrary punishment or arbitrary lack of protection. It is true that this kid's prank may have caused significant suffering to his victim and there should be a fairly high predictability that such actions have severe consequences as a deterrent. Now, going to jail might be extreme, but a fine and community service would be appropriate.

       

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        PRMan, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:23pm

        Re: Re:

        But the law today is anything but predictable. It's become that if you make the wrong people angry, they will charge you with some twisting of a crime that sends you to prison for 10-20 years for something where people were barely or not even hurt, unless you plea it down to 2 years. Or you will get fined more money than you will make the rest of your life. Again, at someone's whim.

        If you think that constitutes predictable, you are not living in the same world that I am.

         

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Completely correct.

      People now believe that the law exists for its own sake, and not as a means to an end. Any violation of the law is seen as a sign of evil intentions, and must be punished harshly.

      The ironic part is that I'm sure many of the people who cheer for harsh punishment in some of these cases didn't have any idea previously that the action in question was even a crime.

      "Yeah! I hope that man gets anally-raped in prison! How dare he import orchids into the US without federal approval?"
      "So, prior to this story, you knew that importing orchids into the US required federal approval?"
      "Well, no . . ."

       

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 11:58am

    I think the problem is that most likely the identity fraud statutes assumed that your identity was "stolen" (Somebody is going to have to explain to me how it is your identity can be stolen unless it's a broader commentary on the way commercialization of our social and economic relationships subsumes our identities.) to steal your money, use your credit rating, sign up for health insurance or some other very damaging thing. The interesting question would be what sentence the kid got. As long as he got off with community service and a fine, I don't think it's a problem. If he went to jail, that's a bit excessive.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      except regardless of what punishment he got being convicted of a felony can have lasting impacts for the kids life.
      Convicted felons can not hold a security clearance so no jobs that ever require that for this kid.

      In many parts of the United States, a convicted felon can face long-term legal consequences persisting after the end of their imprisonment, including:
      Disenfranchisement (which the Supreme Court interpreted to be permitted by the Fourteenth Amendment)
      Exclusion from obtaining certain licences, such as a visa, or professional licenses required in order to legally operate (making many vocations off-limits to felons)
      Exclusion from purchase and possession of firearms, ammunition and body armor
      Ineligibility for serving on a jury
      Ineligibility for government assistance or welfare, including being barred from federally funded housing
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony#United_States

       

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        John Doe, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:41pm

        Re: Re:

        Add to that even leaving the country. I read about a guy trying to cross into Canada and they almost didn't allow it because he had a DUI in the US which is considered a felony in Canada. Fortunately they turned a blind eye for a mere $200 payment but that is another issue.

         

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          PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Hm... A DUI is a much more crime than identity theft. A DUI means you are recklessly putting lives at risk. I don't have any sympathy for those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

           

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            John Doe, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 4:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            But my point wasn't about DUI, it was about having a criminal record keeping you from entering other countries.

             

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          btrussell (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 7:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That works both ways.

          It is a border thing, not a Canadian thing.

           

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        A Dan (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Does that even apply to minors not tried as adults?

         

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        PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 2:28pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, that would be excessive if the charges don't get erased at 18. On the other hand, I believe the kid also got a reckless endangerment charge when he had charged a bunch of girls with his car in order to scare them. So the identity theft charge might not change much for him.

         

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    fitting

     

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    John Doe, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:15pm

    We need to think before we ruin his life

    I posted this on an earlier post but will repeat it here.

    We need to think hard about what we are doing to people when we convict them of stuff like this. If this kid gets a felony record, assuming it isn't cleared when he reaches 18 if he isn't already, he is screwed for life. First, he may get jail time at the expense of taxpayers. Second, he will likely not get into college or get a good job with a felony record. So he will be stuck flipping burgers. So again, taxpayers will be paying for his welfare and food stamps.

    Or worse, he sinks to a life of real crime because he loses hope. So what exactly has society gained by nailing this guy to the wall for what amounts to a childish prank?

    This goes for many other crimes today. Punishment must fit the crime or society as a whole will suffer, not just the "criminals".

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:23pm

      Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

      Things like that get expunged at age 18.

      People misbehaving is what brings this on. The constant "vilification of the victim" culture brings this on.

      It's very simple: If people can't police themselves, then government will do it for them. End of story.

      And I'm glad they do.

       

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        John Doe, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

        But what if he is already 18? Or if an adult does this? Would you really be for making someone into a felon for crap like this? Do you really want to pay for them for the rest of your life in higher taxes when a large percentage of the population becomes felons?

        Does the punishment really fit the crime here? Was there even a crime?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 2:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

          What punishment? He's being charged, not sentenced.

          Don't do fucking stupid shit. Respect the rights of others. If you can't do that, fuck you. You're gonna get burned. Grow up or deal with the consequences.

           

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            crade (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 3:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

            You swore at me. Thats harassment. Go to jail.

             

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            John Doe, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 4:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

            Being charged is the first step, the next is being convicted, followed soon after by sentencing (punishment).

            I am sure, you as a teenager never did stupid stuff? Heck, you probably have never done stupid stuff since then either. You sir, should be El Presidente!

             

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        noesbueno (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:41pm

        Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

        actually, "things like that" do NOT get "expunged" at age 18.
        even something like ACOD in new york is there forever.

         

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        Nicedoggy, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

        Go live in Iran then or China dude that is the country you are wishing for right?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:35pm

        Re: Re: We need to think before we ruin his life

        In order for people to 'police themselves' they'd need the means to do so, including:

        -Citizen's arrest (especially needed to arrest cops; a cop won't do that)

        -Right to bear arms (and not just the pea-shooters "most" state gov'ts "allow" us to have . . .)

        -Right to defend themselves (immunity from civil prosecution included)

        -Right to defend their property (right to terminate intruders, immunity from civil prosecution)

        -Right to defend other people (immunity from prosecution while rendering aid or defence to another person)

        -Recourse in the event of immoral laws (technically still kinda-legal, but nobody actually exercises it; just admitting you know about the option generally gets you jury-exempted)

        The US began with all of these things, but every single one of them is functionally erased now; do you really think people can "police themselves" when the only effective means to do so have been made illegal, and breaking the law has become a crime unto itself?

         

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    keniri, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    I'm in agreement with the courts. When you log into someone else's account and post with that account, you're posing as that person, what can be described as impersonating that person.

    I think this is a great thing for the courts to start taking seriously because people need to be aware that using someone else's account to commit fraud, you should be held liable for that.

     

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    Matthew A. Sawtell, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    So a budding Barry Vincent Ardolf wannabe got busted? Good...

    ... because after reading the appeal judgment brief...

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/61340538/In-Re-Rolando-S-F061153-CA-Ct-App-July-21-2011

    ... I began to remember a few stanzas from Sublime's Song - Date Rape. Looks like someone may have to back up "his" statements in the local correctional facility.

     

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    Andacious, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Not a Felony

    Felony: no
    Misdemeanour: maybe
    Juvenile: definitely

     

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      Elois Clayton, Aug 28th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

      Re: Not a Felony

      "Not A felony":
      Felony: YES
      Misdemeanor: Either maybe OR NOT;reason: You are making decisions as to the depth of the punishment, on one hand, calling it a felony(child behavior), then being UNdecided, when deciding whether it should be labelled as a misdemeanor.
      Finally,(Juvenile) your reversing your decision BACK to calling it in an UNdeciding manner.
      Conclusion: Some individuals are used as an example when punished for what ARE crimes.
      The question is, is the punishment being given because it's an election year or is this child being given such punishment because of the judge's decision, because in such cases as a judge making his final decision, could be because of maybe he/she, has personal vandetta's, angers or they simply ARE trying to teach that child a lesson, with TRUE HOPES, that they learn a very serious lesson.
      In some cases, that child NEVER EVER phantom such behavior, if they are frightened from a jail experience.
      Some children does learn from BOOTCAMP OR time with criminals who will try and show them that they really don't want to ruin their lives with such bad behaviors and will suggest that they separate themselves from such friends, find something more productive to do with all of that idol time on their hands, so that they can avoid trouble later in ther lives, which seems to be the BEST advice a person who is actually doing what they should do and that is, doing what they can to prevent the next generation of children from ruinning their lives.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    I say the kid did that girl a favor. Now maybe she'll be more careful with her passwords.
    As for what his punishment should be? A slap on the wrist, a stern lecture, maybe suspension from school or something. There's no reason to make a federal case out of it.

     

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      ComputerAddict (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      As for what *her* punishment should be? A slap on the wrist, a stern lecture, maybe suspension from school or something. There's no reason to make a federal case out of it.


      FTFY

       

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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Obvious

    Mike, surely you realize by now that whenever you take any typical stupid teenage stunt and add "on the internet" to it, it becomes the moral and legal equivalent of genocide.

    It's common sense, no?

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    If you havn't heard its now a felony to draw mustaches on pictures of people too.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    How can it be 'identity fraud'?

    Is Facebook somehow considered legal proof of identity?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Should sue him and his parents for defamation. And yeah, it is fraud. He is a minor so it will be wiped when he becomes an adult. They should throw the book at him in the mean time.

    "Oh, for the children" is really getting old! Childish or not, this was a crime. The court rule should stand and those of you that think it is to harsh should have this happen to you and then see how you feel.

    The both of them should lose internet as they both don't seem to understand how to be responsible with it. Both sets of parents should be fixed to avoid them from having anymore ID10Ts.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    He should have to apologize to her and take her to the prom.
    Then they live happily ever after.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:40pm

    It's all involuntary!

    It's pathetic that most courts seem to think that prepending the word 'wilfully' to any action somehow makes it sound worse (usually to justify some draconian or flat-out illegal ruling) -- as if every action we ordinarily take is the result of some on-going cerebral palsy and we never actually intend any of the things we do day-to-day.

     

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    HothMonster, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    I hope facebook gets charged with contributory identity theft. Also why didn't they get this kid for hacking too? He is obviously an evil hacker, he may even be the lulzsec.

     

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    Aaron *Head* Moss (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 2:45pm

    He's lucky

    In this day and age, he's lucky he didn't get branded a sex offender for sucking dick comment.....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    What if someone put a "kick me" sign on someones back? This seems like a modern electronic version of a classic prank.
    I'm all for punishing jerks but a felony seems excessive.

     

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    David Good (profile), Aug 3rd, 2011 @ 5:13pm

    Legislation in the past has been so specific that when new things were invented, it failed to take new technology into account.

    Therefore, when "hacking" and "identity theft" legislations were enacted, they were intentionally broad, to cover things that had not yet been invented. Unfortunately, this means people playing "jokes" with no real victim are made into felons.

    By this legislation, if I let my niece send farmville gifts to herself using my facebook, she could be charged with a felony. I agree, that's ridiculous. But it's the law, and it's law enforcement's job to execute the laws our legislators write.

    So if you think the legislation enabling this to be a felony sucks, you need to contact your legislators.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 12:33am

    I think as long as you login as another user and post messages as "I" (i.e.: the account owner), it IS identity theft.

    I have no problem about that, not even the degree of punishment the offender receives. Don't do anything that is known to be wrong. When in doubt, pause and think.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 1:14am

      Re:

      ...because junior high schoolers are known to think before they act, and failure to do so should result in a felony.

      Thank God I don't live in a country where people think like this.

       

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        btrussell (profile), Aug 4th, 2011 @ 2:39am

        Re: Re:

        Yep! This is identity theft, and a twit about blowing up an airport is a joke.

        Now I know why they do such intense screening in order to select juries.

         

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    Bor, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    He didn't get the password to her Facebook account, he got the password to her email account, then reset her Facebook password.

    When you think about it that's actually more serious on a number of grounds.

    And further, finding someone's password isn't license to go around changing passwords and taking over accounts any more than finding someone else's credit card is an excuse to go on a shopping spree.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    How long until this is the standard 'dog ate my homework' excuse for all the 'bad' things employers find on your facebook page?

    I agree that the perpetrator should be punished, but not with a felony conviction.

    How long before the 'unintended consequences' of this start showing up? Denied a job due to 'wall postings'? Claim your account was hacked and someone else posted those things about you partying your azz off in Cabo...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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