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…

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Comments on “Justice Department Refuses To Give Up; Still Going After Peter Adekeye In Vindictive Lawsuit”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Clicking the link gets me:

You attempted to reach secure.www.techdirt.com, but instead you actually reached a server identifying itself as http://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:


trying to track outgoing traffic Mike?

Manabi (profile) says:

Re: 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


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:


G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: 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!

Rikuo (profile) says:

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

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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).

MrWilson says:

Re: 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?


jimbo says:

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!!

Anonymous Coward says:

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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

President of the Anti-Fandom Association says:

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.

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