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  • Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:59pm


    1. Being able to discuss the law is a fundamental right and is open to all.
    2. I concur in almost everything in this article and I got mine from Boyd School of Law, passed the bar in Nevada, and practice in Trademark and Copyright Law.

  • Sep 20, 2018 @ 11:22am

    ACLU Donation Page

    I'll just leave this here.

    ACLU Donation Page

  • Sep 12, 2018 @ 12:15pm

    Re: You HAVE NOT "bought" the content, only a LICENSE to enjoy.

    What are you basing this view on?

  • Aug 29, 2018 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Are there fewer journalists

    Thank you for the perspective.

    I don't doubt that the number of traditional, local reporters is dwindling. But my subjective experience suggests that the total amount of journalism is increasing, rather than decreasing, once you count more topic focused journalists and less-traditional local news sources.

    I know quite well that subjective experience can be misleading and may well be entirely wrong in this case. Still, that does make me very curious about if there is any hard evidence either way.

  • Aug 29, 2018 @ 10:08am

    Are there fewer journalists

    Is there actual evidence that there are fewer journalists?

    I don't think anyone is disputing that there are fewer traditional local journalists covering local matters. However, major national and international reporting seems subjectively to be doing fine with ample sources covering events from multiple angles.

    Topical, subject matter oriented reporting also seems, subjectively, to be doing better than it did when I was a child. Arstechnica, techdirt, techcrunch, etc. report rapidly on tech related news for instance. When I was a child, the closest I could come to that kind of reporting was a couple of monthly magazines (Popular Science and Computerworld).

    Even news of local events seems faster and easier to come by if you are willing to accept amateur and semi-pro blogs and special interest publications alongside your traditional newspapers.

  • May 01, 2018 @ 02:33pm


    But its not that simple.

    In the US, with ample other procedural protections and generally reasonable laws, this may prove to be an overall net benefit to society. But even here it is not that simple and worthy of close scrutiny. Even here we can expect the occasional false positive match. And remember that even when the match is legitimate it may not mean that person committed the crime.

    In a country with more restrictive laws, something like this could be used to make it easier for the government to commit human rights violations and track the populous.

  • Jul 19, 2017 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re:

    I doubt that. AT least if you live in Nevada, there are Flying Elvi performing and a Cirque Du Soleil tribute among many, many other mentions of him. I think most of the public, at least in my region would associate the word Elvis initially with Elvis Presley unless there were something else to distinguish it.

  • Jul 19, 2017 @ 08:35am

    A great loss

    It is absolutely tragic that we have lost George Romero. That said, this article does a great job explaining the importance of Night of the Living Dead being in the public domain. That helped impact culture in ways it would not have had it been copyrighted. I have previously written about that before at https://historyandnow.com/2017/02/20/a-historical-look-at-the-public-domain/ and it is being discussed in a forthcoming book about the impact of Zombie Video Games. Personally, I'm hoping the zombie genre he inspired lasts for a long time.

  • Feb 22, 2017 @ 01:01pm


    I also read that and thought that having Radio-Shack-like businesses was a feature.

  • Feb 17, 2017 @ 09:25am

    Re: Re: The court can probably compell

    The legal question is not whether it is a foregone conclusion that the government will get access to something. As you say, if it were, the doctrine would at best be a cost saving measure for the government.

    The question is closer to: Is it a foregone conclusion that the items in question exist in an ascertainable location that the person from which they are being demanded can readily access? The name of the doctrine (which has evolved slightly over the years) comes from a line in Fisher v. United states where the Court said "existence and locations of the papers are a foregone conclusion"

  • Feb 17, 2017 @ 09:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The court can probably compell

    Its more that they are different questions. The question I addressed is: Can the government bring coercive power to bear to force someone to decrypt their own data at all? The answer is in some, but not all, cases yes.

    The next question is what are the limits of the coercive power the government can bring to bear through civil contempt? That is a separate question that involves a completely unrelated constitutional analysis with virtually no overlap with the first question. It also affects many cases not involving decryption since people have been detained indefinitely for refusing to hand over assets for instance.

    Obviously, the government of the U.S. can NOT build a medieval rack and begin stretching the recalcitrant on it until they revealed the password. Also, obviously if they have the ability to use coercive power at all under civil contempt they do have the ability to detain the individual for at least some time if they do not comply.

    The question of how long they can detain that person is a different analysis that would would look more at the Eighth Amendment than the Fourth or Fifth.

    As I said, I have my personal thoughts (I do not think it should be indefinite), but I have not yet done the analysis to bring forth a fully developed argument about where the exact line should be either morally or based on current jurisprudence.

  • Feb 16, 2017 @ 12:19pm

    The court can probably compell

    I have written about the topic of forced decryption for a legal journal. The very short version, is that under current interpretations they probably can compel a person to decrypt their harddrives under many (but not all) circumstances.

    The all-writs act is not the best vehicle for this, but the foregone conclusion doctrine would allow it in a wide variety of cases. I also argue that this is probably the way it should be. There are times the Fifth Amendment would prevent compelled decryption, but if the prosecution can meet certain circumstances they probably should be able to compel decryption.

    The article is available at: http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/students/groups/is/files/2016/02/11-Wiseman.pdf

  • Jan 20, 2017 @ 10:32am

    Possibly premature

    This is an interesting idea, and one that should be considered. The problem is that there are too many unknowns to make anything remotely firm. If AI were to develop reactions that are analogous to desires and emotions, then it might, conceivably make sense to treat them as legal persons. Without that, it makes more sense to regulate their owner's than to attempt to regulate them directly. For one thing, without that there would be no deterrent effect to any punishment that might be meant to control their behavior.

  • Dec 15, 2016 @ 09:04am

    Some sense, but not entirely

    Verizon's explanation here makes sense to me. This could be a very bad time for some people to have the issue forced. But AT&T seems to have found an intermediate approach of planning to issue the update after the end of the holiday travel season. It seems like Verizon could easily follow that course...

  • Oct 19, 2016 @ 01:16pm

    Popehat covered this as well

    Marc Randazza at Popehat covered this as well at https://popehat.com/2016/10/17/no-it-is-not-illegal-to-read-wikileaks/

  • Sep 30, 2016 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: Just remember...

    Have you considered Gary Johnson? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-gary-johnson-president-endorsement-edit-1002-20160930-story.html

    You are correct that Donald Trump is a horrible candidate. He has proven himself repeatedly to have misogynistic and racists tendencies, wracked with scandal.

    Hillary is clearly superior to Trump. She has experience and is respectable. But her lack of in depth knowledge of technology and her tax-and-spend plans are unappealing.

    Johnson on the other hand is an experienced and highly trustworthy candidate. He is not perfect and I personally disagree with certain parts of his platform. But I think he is by far the best candidate.

  • Sep 27, 2016 @ 12:04pm

    Either way, voters are faced with choosing between the devil they sort of know and the devil other devils have been distancing themselves from for several weeks. In both cases, we're going to end up with a president who doesn't have the technical knowledge to deal with today's realities.

    Fortunately, those aren't the only choices. While hardly a computer expert, Gary Johnson does display a level head and a willingness to listen to his advisors.

    As between, Trump and Clinton, Clinton's approach, while too extreme, is still far more reasonable than Trump's.

  • Sep 26, 2016 @ 09:57am


    In the case of the experiment I agree fully and you have said it well, though I will emphasize that only works in an environment where it is repeated.

    The cat toy sellers confuse me slightly more. They are getting exactly the amount of money they expected, even if it came from arbitrageurs rather than traditional customers.

  • Sep 26, 2016 @ 12:04pm

    I would hope, however, that the question comes down to delineating what qualifies as embarrassing content and what doesn't, rather than relying on any individual's interpretation.

    No, it should come down to there simply being no right to sue on these facts (at least under American Law. I know little of Austrian law). These were pictures taken by the poster/publisher of the pictures in a place where the photography was entitled to take photographs. The photographs have not been falsified so there can be no defamation.

    There are a few other privacy related claims that could come up, but they require more than the pictures being subjectively embarrassing. They would require something like showing the subject in a "false light" or implying that the subject endorses a particular product or something else which makes these more than a case of innocent childhood pictures the subject now finds mildly embarrassing.

  • Sep 21, 2016 @ 03:12pm

    Not all candidates support that...

    It remains amazingly troubling that both of the major party candidates for President seem to think that a good response to attacks in this country is to silence people online.

    I agree with this, and indeed all of this post. Still, it is worth pointing out that Gary Johnson is a staunch supporter of free speech and has not proposed anything like this.

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