Use A Command Line At Boston College... Have Your Computer Equipment Confiscated

from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept

A bunch of folks have submitted various versions of a story in Boston, involving Boston College police being granted a warrant which they used to confiscate the computers of a student as part of an investigation over an email sent to a mailing list. The troubling part is that the warrant was given without any real reason. In fact, part of the warrant application focused on the scary fact that the student in question used a command line on his computer:
Mr. Calixte uses two different operating systems to hide his illegal activities. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.
There are other accusations in the filing, but reading through it, it seems clear that this is a pure fishing expedition by the police, rather than any real probable cause. Luckily, the EFF is now representing the student, pointing out how this appears to be a pretty significant violation of the student's rights.

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  1. identicon
    minder49, 15 Apr 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: command line versus allegations of changing grades, defamation, and piracy

    less tech,

    I have no problem with the Police investigating. What I have a problem with is the lack of investigating done before seizing a citizens property.

    "While you're at it, Mister End-of-the-world, who says the accused won't get the equipment back if it's as you suggest and just about two kids not getting along?"

    Well, I had some property stolen from my home two and a half years ago, that I still have not gotten back, even though it was recovered the day after it was stolen. For the sake of argument, lets say the Mass. State Police are 10 times more efficient at returning property, that means the student is without his equipment for three months. Hope he did not have any papers he had not printed out, or projects he had not turned in, because his semester will likely be over before that three months is up. That would cause him hardship, and damage.

    "And just htf do you suppose they'd get the evidence without investigating, nitwit? Hmmmm?"

    Hmmm, let me think, how would the Police investigate if the suspect gained illegal access to college systems and changed grades? That is a tough one... How about, gee, this could be a long shot, but, how about checking the University servers? You know, the actual computers that would have to have been accessed to change grades? Might that not be the place to start? Since that is where you would find evidence, if any, that records were changed, and an indicator, if any, of what machine, and time it was done. Which could give investigators a good idea of what they should be looking for.

    Seems you logic is a but "cart before the horse".

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