Suppose you need 50 units of Resource A to run a particular web app. The computer you on has exactly 5050509673 of that resource. Fingerprint systems will take note of that specific number and use it to identify you -- but what if instead of reporting the exact number, your computer just said "I have more than 50 of A available."
People can tell their computer to report the exact number or make NO report (not even the "over 50" statement) or anything in between. It could even be variable in what it reports between sessions.
It would only break those web apps that insist on your computer telling them more than they actually need to know, which they shouldn't be asking in the first place.
It IS a much worse crime -- but the US government seems to have zero interest in making arrests, filing charges or convicting people for it.
US Federal law -- Title 18, Chapter 13, Sections 241 & 242 -- make it a crime for anyone acting under color of law to violate or deny any constitutional, civil or statutory right. Doing so varies in severity as crimes go, ranging from a minor crime worth a year in federal prison to one punishable by execution, depending on the circumstances of the violation.
Since possession of a firearm while committing a crime is the same, legally speaking, as using one when committing the crime, and US police are almost never unarmed, the minimum charge (unless the prosecutor is corrupt) under those laws would be a felony. If two or more police acted together to violate rights -- even as little as silently standing in the background backing up the violation -- the crime would be a felony. And if anyone died as a result of the rights violation (even if someone killed one of the cops in self defense), all the cops working together would be guilty of a capital crime punishable by execution.
But as I said, the government seems to have zero interest in actually enforcing that law.
That's why my advice to people isn't to simply remain silent and sue later. I am constantly telling people that if they find themselves in those situations or witnessing one, they should say a double handful of words to the police officer in recording range of his patrol car or body cam.
"Sir, I am placing you under citizen's arrest for Name-Of-Crime."
By law, an arrest happens when someone is informed (or would reasonably conclude) they are under arrest, not when the handcuffs go. By law (case law, anyway), any violence committed against the one making the arrest after being informed of the arrest is resisting arrest with violence.
Even if you do nothing but say those words to a cop when you reasonably believe in good faith that he is breaking the law, him leaving the scene becomes a crime -- escaping custody and/or fleeing from custody. If he attacks you for saying them, the proper charge is assault/battery of law enforcement. If he is in possession of a deadly weapon when he commits those crimes -- even if he never draws it -- the crimes are the enhanced/aggravated versions.
Having such a thing on his record will do his career no favors, even if he manages to dodge any criminal charges. And the worst that will happen to you legally for saying those words is you might have to give testimony in court -- something you might have to do anyway as a witness just for being nearby while an arrest or investigation is made.
He'd probably have tried, I agree. Perhaps he'd have succeeded, but it would have been successful second degree murder in most states, successful first degree murder in a few (a death resulting from deadly force used while unlawfully resisting arrest is charged that way in those states).
Using me as an example, there's a good chance the deputy would have at least had his own gun aimed at him to enforce the arrest, if not being shot with it while resisting arrest -- one of the martial arts-related things that fascinated me in my youth was the concept of a gun disarm, so I sought out a teacher who knew how to actually do it. I've never needed to do it and am probably rusty as hell at it now 20+ years later, but those drilled-in reflexes are a lot like riding a bicycle.
The thing to remember is that any rights violation you can sue a cop for and win under 42 USC 1983, is also a criminal law violation under 18 USC 242.
Since federal law considers the mere possession of a dangerous weapon while committing a crime to make that crime an armed crime (even if the victim never knows the criminal is armed), that makes any violation of 242 by an armed police officer a felony by default.
The doctrine of qualified immunity does not provide any shield whatsoever from criminal law consequences, it only protects against civil lawsuits.
When a police department declares that an officer's actions were in accordance with department policy, and a civil court later rules that 42 USC 1983 was violated, this exceeds the probable cause standard required to arrest the officer for the felony the rights violation represents.
Isn't it funny how cops can commit felonies -- which supposedly disqualify people from possessing firearms -- and continue to be cops, even though a firearms disqualification would also disqualify them from being a cop at all?
What concerns me is, if VARA really does work that way, you could use it as a weapon to prevent any kind of property development or remodeling.
Just plunk a statue or a mural or even sidewalk chalk art down in front of something, then claim that the background scenery is part of the art. Suddenly, any alteration of that scenery becomes illegal. And it would be equally illegal for the property owner to remove the artwork.
I realize this is the result of an international treaty, but seriously -- how can this be legal?
Taken to the logical conclusion, a guerilla artist could prevent a property owner from modifying his own property in any way by planting an unauthorized statue nearby and claiming the background scenery is part of the art.
And that moral rights law would actually make it illegal for the actual property owner to do anything about it, since that would alter the art and violate moral copyright.
When our only options are to abstain from voting or choose between the Second Coming of Adolf Hitler and a candidate who -- if her own publicly stated beliefs were applied to her own actions -- is guilty of espionage and treason?
Re: "Only criminals demand due process under the law."
It's not just fighting an extradition in court. Under the DOJ's interpretation of the law, any US citizen who so much as requests a lawyer be present during questioning could be construed as being a fugitive from justice.
That's one reason I tell people to make citizen's arrests when they see cops committing what they reasonably believe in good faith to be crimes -- suing the officer in civil court and getting a settlement paid for by taxpayers while the officer continues to be a cop is not justice.
One of the benefits of the citizen's arrest path is that in about a third of the states, if the officer resists arrest, the citizen can legally use any necessary force to enforce the arrest, just like a cop can.
Killed while violently resisting arrest has a nice ring to it -- especially since if an officer is in punching range, he's also inside the safe firearm draw range and any attempt to do so leaves him open to being disarmed, in self defense.
I agree. Were it me, and knowing the law as I do, I'd have arrested the officer for second degree assault on the spot -- in a state where private citizens making a citizen's arrest can legally use any degree of force to enforce the arrest that a police officer could to enforce an arrest.