Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Judges OK Evidence From Hacker Vigilante

from the fine-lines dept

An appeals court has ruled that the government can use evidence in a child porn case that was found by a vigilante hacker. The question was whether or not it was illegal search and seizure, and the appeals court panel ruled it wasn't (overturning a lower court). The court ruled that this wasn't illegal search and seizure because the search was done without prompting from the federal government, and they only found out about it afterwards. Of course, this is a fine line. Since you can now go to jail for life for malicious hacking, can the feds now turn around and charge the hacker? Or maybe he'll just get arrested by local authorities and the FBI hangs him out to dry.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2003 @ 11:33pm

    Extremely dangerious prescident...

    ...which will cause the case to overturned upon appeal.

    Everybody has something to hide (hence the right to privacy)... and some people don't even know that they have something to hide and/or that it is even illegal.

    If you don't agree with me, feel free to post your SSN, credit card number and your mother's maiden name.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2003 @ 12:18am

    Damn stupid case - very stupid indeed

    The problem here is that this will lead to people planting evidence in order to send people away. Very bad precedent. illegal search and seizure? Yes, it should be. Unfortunately, our courts don't know enought ot prove how the evidence arrived there or by what means. Who is to say the guy who "found it" did not plant it himself?

    Very bad precedent and should be more carefully followed and examined. These sorts of things are very, very wrong indeed.

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

  3. identicon
    grep, Aug 4th, 2003 @ 10:22am

    Re: Damn stupid case - very stupid indeed

    How did the hacker-in-question ostensibly determine that there was illegal material on the machine? Didn't he have to download and view it himself first? So wasn't he, too, in violation of those self-same laws?

    -- Grep

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Debater, Aug 4th, 2003 @ 11:00am

    Re: Extremely dangerious prescident...

    I disagree. I have nothing to hide. I'm not going to tell you my name, credit card number, Social Security number, or my mothers's maiden name, BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO GOOD, VALID REASON TO KNOW. It's all out there, and a clever (and tenacious!) person can probably put all the data together, but I'm not "hiding" it, I just choose to keep it to myself, and share it only with someone who has a legitimate need to know. There is a tremendous difference between hiding something and keeping something private.

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

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