Privacy

When I come across internet slideshows with titles like “8 Coolest Things Ever” or “Top 10 Reasons Why Lady Gaga Is a Man” or “Yale Law School’s 7 Most Disgraceful Graduates,” I think, “Ugh, not more link bait. I already spend half my time on this trash.” But like everyone else, I click it anyway, feel unsurprisingly disappointed, and then wish for the last 45 seconds of my life back.

When someone sent me “6 Ways Your Car Can Spy on You,” I had little-to-no expectations. But it turned out the little slideshow actually had a few tasty morsels of knowledge.

Keep reading to learn how simply paying bridge tolls keeps you on the grid, and how police can assign liability based on an unexpected similarity between airplanes and your Honda Civic….

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My objections to the TSA and the invasive search techniques they employ have been well documented in these pages. I believe their tactics are violative of our rights and would be deemed unconstitutional in any America where courts placed justice ahead of fear. I believe a government that authorizes these searches has lost its legitimacy to rule. I believe citizens who support these procedures do not deserve the liberty they so eagerly toss aside.

And I believed all of that before I was actually molested by the TSA just yesterday.

Having now been through that awful experience, and so close to the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, I can only conclude that not only did the terrorists win, but they keep winning. Right now, the terrorists are winning so hard that they’ve gotten us to do their work for them. In my opinion, the TSA is nothing more than a domestic terror organization that operates above the law.

Just two minutes alone with these people has made me realize that their power now far exceeds the normal constraints of law and order. It might well take active civil disobedience to stop them.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. That’s a disclaimer I feel I need to make very clearly, since the TSA apparently believes that I should be wary of even criticizing it, for fear of being slapped with a lawsuit….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Two Minutes of Terrorist Triumph: Alone With the TSA”

Beata Boman: See what I mean?

* Sprint hopped in bed with Skadden to sue AT&T over its proposed merger with T-Mobile. Somewhere in America, the Verizon guy is cackling with glee. “Can you hear me now, b*tches?” [Bloomberg]

* “I would love to dominate and humiliate and degrade you, privately of course.” Remember this guy? Six of the nine charges against attorney Robert Hoffman have been dismissed. [ABA Journal]

* Another sport, another months-long lockout. NBA owners and players better make a deal soon, or else this year’s basketball season is going to get benched. [New York Daily News]

* Utah wants to throw out the Sister Wives bigamy suit because no one really cares about polygamy except television viewers. Lawsuits are great for Nielsen ratings, though. [Deseret News]

* Ah, the strange anatomy of a privacy lawsuit settlement. Next time you decide to take naked pictures, make sure your laptop didn’t fall off the back of a truck before saving them. [ABC News]

* Socialite Beata Boman got a great deal on her larceny charges. She stole a scarf, but she probably should’ve stole a blazer that fit her massive boobs, instead. [New York Post]

Tammy Hsu

This afternoon we wrote about a blog entitled Confessions of an (Aspiring) Yalie. In this blog, Tammy Hsu, a 1L at Wake Forest University School of Law, chronicles her journey through the first year of law school — a journey she hopes will culminate with a successful transfer application to Yale Law School.

As we noted, Tammy Hsu’s blog is now restricted to invited readers. Some posts are still accessible via Google Cache (and in the comments to our original story, some of you identified favorite posts of yours).

Shortly after we wrote about her, we heard from Tammy C. Hsu. She sent us a defense and explanation of her blog’s origins, which we will now share….

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Tammy Hsu, aspiring Yalie.

We begin with a message to our readers. Consider yourselves on notice: we regard almost anything you place on the internet, even if just for a brief hot second, to be fair game for coverage. It doesn’t matter to us if you later try to “recall” your mass email or delete your public blog. Once you’ve put something out there, thereby forfeiting any reasonable expectation of privacy, then it’s gone, baby, gone. [FN1]

And honestly, in the internet age, what privacy expectations are reasonable in the first place? Emails can be forwarded; images can be downloaded or photographed themselves, then re-posted. If it’s not already dead, privacy is rapidly dying. You might as well start living in public now, and make life easier for yourself. Just let it all hang out, and then you’ll never be embarrassed about anything getting leaked. (This is my philosophy on Twitter, where my feed is often TMI.)

Living in public: that’s the premise behind a charming new law student blog by a 1L with ambition. Like a fair number of bloggers — Brian Stelter and his Twitter diet come to mind — law student Tammy Hsu seeks to harness public exposure for her own benefit. Hsu, a first-year student at Wake Forest University School of Law, writes a blog built around her goal of transferring into Yale Law School. It’s right there in the title of her site: “Confessions of an (Aspiring) Yalie.”

By putting her ambition out in the open, Hsu is motivating herself to succeed, because failure would be so public. She is lighting the proverbial fire under her own arse, turning her classmates and the internet into one big Tiger Mother. If she’s not at 127 Wall Street this time next year, people will look down upon her — so now she has every incentive to excel in her 1L year at Wake Forest.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

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Gay or European? Or just puppets?

* Should the police be able to use mobile-phone location data in order to locate a charged defendant? Kash reports on a recent decision. [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* More importantly, should Bert and Ernie of Sesame Street get “gay married”? [Althouse]

* The ABA takes a lot of blame for the inadequacy of graduate employment reporting by law schools, but at least they’re taking “a step in the right direction,” according to Professor Gary Rosin. [The Faculty Lounge]

* Professor Ilya Somin: “The Decline of Men or Just the Rise of Women?” [Volokh Conspiracy]

Raj Rajaratnam

* Leave it to a whiny law student to complain about getting a package delivered before its estimated arrival time. [White Whine]

* “The Revenge of the Rating Agencies”: no, it’s not a horror film, but an interesting NYT op-ed by Professor Jeffrey Manns. [New York Times]

* Lawyers for Raj Rajaratnam argue that their client deserves a lower prison sentence due to a “unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body.” There’s a whole lot to ravage. [Dealbreaker]

* If you’d like to lose your appetite, read this Texas lawyer’s profane blog chronicling his effort to eat cheaply for a month (under $12.50 for every meal). [30 Days @ $12.50]

* No need to email us that Kentucky judge’s (very funny) “tick on a fat dog,” “one legged cat in a sand box” order, regarding a case that settled, obviating the need for a trial — we covered it last month. Thanks. [Above the Law]

When I was in college, it was not altogether uncommon for people to leave their laptops unattended with their Facebook accounts still logged in. It was not altogether uncommon for an enterprising prankster to creatively twiddle with said account. A little switch of sexual preference here, a mildly offensive profile picture there, and maybe a nonsensical new profile quote.

It was annoying, and at worst required minor social media damage control, but nobody seemed to care much.

Nowadays, people definitely care. The California Court of Appeals ruled on July 21 that the same sort of online mischief can lead to felony identity theft conviction.

Let’s learn more about Rolando S., a teenager who messed with the wrong Facebook account….

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The tyranny of air travel continues. But every day, the resistance grows.

Today brings us word of another attempt by the allies of freedom to fight against the invasive and demeaning tactics our government uses against air travelers. There’s been a lawsuit filed by financial consultant Malinda Knowles against JetBlue Airways.

Her allegation? An airline worker asked her to confirm that she was wearing panties.

Knowles claims that was escorted off the plane, then made to lift up her shirt. Even after she showed her drawers to the worker’s satisfaction, she was still booted off of the flight.

And this wasn’t even ordered by a member of the TSA goonsquad under some BS security rationale. Knowles was allegedly asked to flash a JetBlue worker to confirm that she met with JetBlue’s dress code….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Asking For Proof Of Panties Is One Way To Put Them in a Bunch”

* News Corp. has hired Paul Weiss attorney Mark Mendelsohn, a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act expert, to advise them. In related news, Chuck Norris has hired Wendi Deng Murdoch to advise him. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Utah’s goofy liquor laws are examined in this New York Times article. The restrictive laws clearly came out of Joseph Smith’s attempt to monopolize visions emanating from the bottom of hats. [New York Times]

* President Obama’s evolving views on gay marriage have led him to back an attempt to repeal DOMA. I’m no Frank Lutz, but I see a messaging problem on gay issues if he keeps up this whole “leading from behind” shtick. [Los Angeles Times]

* Kramer Levin is “client-focused” and looking for someone who is “entrepreneurial” and the “total package.” Words! [The Careerist]

* The Feds arrested a mess of Anonymous hackers yesterday. They dun goofed. [ABA Journal]

* Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is suing Hanesbrands, parent company of the Champion sports apparel maker, for dropping him after some dumb tweets. Dude said some pretty stupid stuff about 9/11, but the true jewel of his collection was buried deep in this story. In a tweet aimed at women who don’t perform oral sex, Rashard said “It’s either gonna be you, OR some other chick.” Hahahaha. Oh, Rashard. [ESPN]

We’ve all had obnoxious neighbors. The stoners who play music too loud, the dysfunctional lovers who are always yelling at each other… it’s part of life.

Most of us, though, have not lived next door to our own personal cyber-terrorist. Minnesota attorney Matthew Kostolnik has.

His neighbor “launched a calculated campaign to terrorize his neighbors, doing whatever he could to destroy the careers and professional reputations of Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, to damage the Kostolniks’ marriage, and to generally wreak havoc on their lives.”

On Tuesday, the man who published child pornography and sent a death threat to Joe Biden, all under Kostolnik’s name, was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Keep reading to learn more about the worst neighbor since the door-kicking judge….

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