Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Do Technology Lawsuits Lead To The Chewbacca Defense?

from the this-does-not-make-sense dept

The "trojan horse" defense is becoming popular in computer crime cases. We've recently mentioned how it's been used to get people off who were accused of attacking servers, child porn and tax fraud. A reporter who was at the case last week that dealt with a hack attack on servers in the Port of Houston said that the jury was clearly bored out of their skulls during all the technical testimony, and it was unlikely they really understood what was going on. Last week, when the decision came out, we asked whether or not it still made sense to have non-technical people on such a jury. This reporter is suggesting that because juries don't understand technical jargon, we're getting closer and closer to situations where lawyers are going to employ the Chewbacca Defense, as created for South Park. Already, Slashdot has suggested that SCO is using a Chewbacca Defense in their case. Basically, you just have a convincing lawyer make up a bunch of technical stuff, make connections that don't have anything to do with one another, point out that it does not make sense, and therefore, the case should get thrown out. The legal strategy of the twenty-first century: trojan horses and Chewbacca.

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  • identicon
    frankiejr, 24 Oct 2003 @ 10:29pm


    That does not make sense!

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

  • identicon
    anon, 26 Oct 2003 @ 1:02am

    No Subject Given

    It's called a straw man.

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

    • identicon
      Alex, 30 Nov 2003 @ 5:54am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Straw man is using an outrageous exaggeration of a particular argument (i.e. one or two people suddenly represent an entire industry or population), and then attacking the exaggerated version.

      The Chewbacca defense draws a parallel where no parallel exists, or goes of on a tangent to apply similar logic to a completely unrelated topic, and then argue that that logic applies to the the subject in question.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Oct 2003 @ 8:32am

    Plausable denability vs. Reasonable Doubt vs The T

    I don't know what the current quality and state of LE forensic investigators, but I can tell you from experience in the past there's a major reason why they guys work LE instead of making easier $$s elsewhere... and it's primarily because they couldn't find their way out of a wet paper bag let alone investigate a computer crime.

    The whole amicus curi and LE "computer forensic expert" is sooo much about resume filler/oh by the way I just did this/what better way to serve the pulic by provide with with my limited knowledge of a subject I'm good a talking about. It's frightening to think of what actually hangs in the ballence.

    But then I remember the supply side theory of Law Enforcement and it all becomes crystal clear why the courts are inhabited and run and judged by such clueless folk.

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

  • identicon
    Jane Doe, 23 Feb 2007 @ 6:13am


    Very similar to a Red Herring fallacy!

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

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