Justice Department Refuses To Give Up; Still Going After Peter Adekeye In Vindictive Lawsuit

from the please-stop dept

Wow! We keep pointing out how bills like Senator Amy Klobuchar's S.978 anti-streaming bill and Senator Patrick Leahy's PROTECT IP Act will be abused by US law enforcement, and we keep being told that those bills aren't "intended" to be used the way they could be. I think part of the problem is that people don't realize how the Justice Department and US Attorneys will sometimes stretch and twist the law just to go after someone.

Last month, we wrote about the absolutely ridiculous case by the US against former Cisco engineer Peter Adekeye. The details have to be read to be believed, but most of it only came to light because a Canadian judge absolutely blasted both Cisco and the US Attorneys for what clearly appeared to be an unnecessarily vindictive criminal prosecution against Adekeye because he filed an antitrust lawsuit against Cisco, after Cisco tried to block third party companies (such as one of Adekeye's) from accessing necessary patches to service certain Cisco equipment.

The whole story was horrifying, but we thought it ended in May when the judge let Adekeye go and gave the Justice Department a pretty big slap for its actions. But... no. Slashdot points us to the news that the Justice Department has just unveiled a new indictment against Adekeye over the same issue: basically someone at Cisco gave Adekeye a login to download patches, and he did exactly that. This is not, in any way, a matter that should involve the Justice Department. The judge in Canada made that clear. The story about Adekeye shows the Justice Department acting for bad reasons -- either incompetence, corruption or malice (pick any two!). And you would think that someone there might think twice before pushing ahead with bogus prosecution against Adekeye (who's finally back in Switzerland after being stuck in Canada for a year), but that's not how the US works.

And this is why we get very afraid when Congress looks to pass broad new legislation that may impact criminal statutes and the kinds of things that US Attorneys can charge people over. I'd like to believe that US Attorneys are good people trying to stop and punish crimes, but we've seen too many cases where it appears that their actions are incredibly questionable. I'm still hopeful that it's just a few bad seeds among the ranks of US Attorneys, but if we keep seeing stories like this...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    Why would Melinda Haag take the case? How would this further her career in looking like a bully to a man that hasn't done any wrong doing?

    I have to question our sense of justice in this case. There's nothing honorable about trying to force a man through hell because he was given access by an employee to a mainframe.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Clicking the link gets me:

    You attempted to reach secure.www.techdirt.com, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as www.techdirt.com. This may be caused by a misconfiguration on the server or by something more serious. An attacker on your network could be trying to get you to visit a fake (and potentially harmful) version of secure.www.techdirt.com. You should not proceed.

    for url:

    https://secure.www.techdirt.com/registration/?rPage=login&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.techdirt. com%2Farticles%2F20110808%2F11451215435%2Fjustice-department-refuses-to-give-up-still-going-after-pe ter-adekeye-vindictive-lawsuit.shtml%23comments&eRightsSessionExpired=true&forced=true

    tr ying to track outgoing traffic Mike?

     

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  3.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:21pm

    Clearly, the Department of Justice rules the world.

    Charge a British citizen with U.S. copyright infringement and want him extradited? Check
    Seize the domain of a Spanish website declared legal, TWICE, in its home country? Check
    Now, try and stick criminal charges on a man while he's in court proceedings in Canada and arrest him DURING the court session? Check

     

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  4.  
    icon
    Manabi (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    It doesn't appear to be TechDirt's doing, it's Mercury News. Delete the ?nclick_check=1 off the link's end and it'll load fine. Apparently Mercury News is doing something funky when passed that parameter and it's redirecting to weird stuff (I also got a failed one that went to

    https://secure.passport.mnginteractive.com/mngi/servletDispatch/ErightsPassportServlet.dyn?url=h ttp://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_18618018?nclick_check=1&forced=true

    Notice how it also starts with secure.*? I think it's some script on their side that's not checking parameters properly and just assuming the referral domain is the correct domain to tag secure.* on and try the rest of the stuff with.

    Correct URL sans screwed-up server parameter:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_18618018

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:29pm

    Meanwhile, I do have to give Mike the pure golf claps on this one. Not only did you manage to slam the government, the DoJ, and a major corporation in a single post, but you managed to make it sound like this is some major conspiracy to change the laws to get this guy.

    More baggery?

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    jimbo, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    what the hell is wrong with these people? they get exposed, condemned and slapped for what they have tried to do to an innocent man (screwing up his life for god knows how long!). then, instead of accepting that they have made complete pricks of themselves and letting go, they start all over again. do they expect to be able to extradite him like they are trying to do with the guy in the UK? do they think that, yet again, the US laws apply to the whole world? is Cisco pulling the strings on this, like the entertainment industries do in so many instances? are they complete twats as well? leave him alone, already!!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    but you managed to make it sound like this is some major conspiracy to change the laws to get this guy.


    He did? I thought he was just saying that this is the type of unintended consequences that come from broad laws with unclear interpretations...

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 2:59pm

    We need to start adding quotes to the name of the "Justice" Department.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    Seriously, Mike! Why didn't you ignore the fact that the government, the DoJ (which is part of the government), and a major corporation are exceeding their briefs and persecuting some guy for standing up for himself?!?

    Don't you know which side your bread is buttered on?

    Oh, wait. Not everyone is a corporate shill who benefits from a corrupt justice system?

    /sarcasm

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:11pm

    I don't understand the reason given

    It says the Cisco employee gave Adekyes the login info for a "specific use, that is to recommend Multiven be accorded status as a Cisco preferred partner".

    Who was deciding to accord status to Multiven? Was is Cisco? If so why would he need to give Adekeyes access to the site? Is this the site that preferred partners get access too? Was the employee showing Adekeyes what he'd have access to if he decided to become a preferred partner?

     

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  11.  
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    BeachBumCowboy (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:23pm

    Corporate Control

    As Abraham put it, "...that this nation, under the Almighty Dollar, shall have a new birth of monopoly -- and that government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations, shall not perish from the earth."

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Anyone who argues that a law, while technically able to be used in a malicious and unintended way, just won't be, is an utter fool. If a law is really not intended to be applied in a certain way, that intention must be written into the law.

    The law grants the government explicitly-defined powers over the liberty of its citizens. To handle that relinquishment of liberty in an irresponsible manner, granting the government more power than it needs to ensure the common good, is a straight path to corruption of a society and a need for revolution simply to take back the liberty owed to its citizens.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Re:

    Perhaps Mike is overstating the elements of this situation. Or perhaps he's not. I just don't know who to believe. But since you appear to be so knowledgeable regarding this situation, then perhaps you could explain the legal standing the DoJ feels it has with the newly filed charges?

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    tr ying to track outgoing traffic Mike?


    Nope. Looks like something was screwy with the Merc. But nice of you to jump to baseless conclusions again. And you call me a conspiracy theorist?

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:40pm

    Re:

    I would be much more afraid of your employers and the DOJ trying to track your outgoing traffic, rather than one blog.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Sallo (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Eh, be careful on what you say about the DOJ...Arthur Alan Wolk my sue you for libel & slander!!!!

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

    Re: I don't understand the reason given

    I'm kind of disappointed that all he downloaded were a few old router OS binaries. I was imagining that this was some serious corporate espionage.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 4:00pm

    Re:

    Well, given the levels of contortion being used, they'd make a professional contortionist give up in awe.

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Corporate Control

    I voted funny, but it really isn't. Because it's true. And that's really sad.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re:

    It's a little know fact that behind every broad law with unclear interpretations are at least three conspiracy theories about the 'real' reason for the law and how it will be 'applied' to the sheeple who are being told 'That's not the intent of this law at all, and we would never use it for that'...

    For each of those three theories, there will be three additional theories at different layers of crackpottedness (think: 2nd shooter, grassy knoll, mystery gunman) that could be the real reason behind the law (or could just be someone theorizing about how messed up we as a people are).

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2011 @ 5:37pm

    Eh, attorneys are never good people. The ones who were good left when they saw how terrible the US justice system is. Only the disingenuous and malicious are left, like a bunch of rabid monkeys looking for meat.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 11:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike, you being a conspiracy nut and all. Can we get a couple good grassy knoll, aliens in Roswell, and world government stories next week? ;)

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 8th, 2011 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Never mind, I will leave that to the AC ...

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:47am

    Re: Re:

    Seeing as we have Insightful, and Funny as comment qualifiers.. can we also have

    ^TinFoil^ - for the conspiracy freaks
    Troll [+/-] - for troll with [+/-] being community scoring for if they are or not. At end of week we find biggest community trollers
    WTFISTEE - WTF Is that Even English (for Daryl et.al)

    and last but not least
    RTFANT - Read the Freakin Article Next Time

    Maybe in a drop down if white space at a premium?

    All those in favour.. (or favor if you're American) say AYE!

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:50am

    Re:

    And you get a

    ^TinFoil^
    Troll +
    RTFANT

    for your troubles (read previous comment for Legend)

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 2:52am

    Re:

    Ah the Wolk Effect strikes again.
    LOL

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Eye!

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 9th, 2011 @ 4:31am

    Re: Re:

    As in "Wolk the plank"?

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 6:56am

    This behavior on the part of prosecutors will only get worse as we find ourselves making laws that only protect companies / corporations and not individuals.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    President of the Anti-Fandom Association, Aug 9th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    President of AFA

    As President of the Anti-Fandom Association (AFA), I would like to congratulate the Senate Judiciary Committee on considering the Protect-IP Act and the Commercial Felony Streaming Act. AFA encourages the Senate to pass both bills. We also urge the House Judiciary Committee to pass their own version of the two bills so that we can make Fandom illegal on the net. We also recommend a bill to require DRM-chips to be implanted in the brains of consumers to make sure they obey copyright, be uncreative, unproductive and buy our media products. Artists, publishers, and other media companies don't need fans.

    Fandom is criminal felony. Fair Use is a infringement felon's own word to steal properties. We will also require State and Federal government to install wireless surveillance cameras in residential homes in America and we will watch you and be sure you do nothing creative, productive, and/or infringe others work. We will put your child, you, your entire family in prison if we see one single drawing, one song, or one of anything you do in your house.

    Our Motto is: Be a fan, Go to Jail.

    So stay silent, don't do anything we don't like or you'll be labeled as a felon. No Job for Copyright felons.

    Protect our Intellect Property, throw fan nerds and consumers who defy and falsely criticize our companies in jail.

    Book em' and don't make them see the light.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Chilly8, Aug 24th, 2011 @ 5:36pm

    Contary to some of the FUD going around, the law only applies to those who SEND streams, and not to those who only VIEW them.

    So those merely VIEWING content are not committing any crime under this law.

     

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


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