Privacy

* After Anwar al-Awlaki’s death, everyone wants to know if it’s legal to kill American citizens abroad. Well, if Ron Paul is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. [New York Daily News]

* Sullivan & Cromwell and the Mailroom of Death: Harry Potter series reject or SCOTUS-bound appeal? If only there were a spell to make this screw-up disappear. [Washington Post]

* A class action suit alleges that Facebook is secretly tracking its users after they log off. Oh hi, Big Brother. I, for one, welcome our new lanky, douche overlord. [Bloomberg]

* When it comes to Scalia, caring about the coed dorm situation at Catholic University was this “Supreme Court justice’s latest supreme lapse of judgment.” Pure pwnage. [New York Times]

* Jared Lee Loughner is still just a tad too crazy to stand trial. Another four-month stay in a rubber room certainly will make his future insanity defense more believable. [Forbes]

* Hooters is suing Twin Peaks, a rival “breastaurant”, for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Boobs, butts, and booze are trade secrets? I guess that means I can’t open Grand Tetons. [Daily Mail]

Before we get to the meat of this story, let’s quickly state the obvious: if you plan to commit a violent crime, you probably should not post details about it on Facebook or Craigslist. If you simply must tell the Interwebs of your devious agenda, it’s probably best to close the incriminating window ASAP, so visitors to your home do not see it on your the PC in your living room.

Glad we got that out of the way. Today, we have another fun dumb criminal story for you. It even comes complete with a thought-provoking judicial ruling. Did you know that if a police officer simply moves a computer mouse or presses a key to wake a computer up from sleep mode, that it constitutes a Fourth Amendment search? Well, neither did a Wisconsin police officer who was investigating a man who allegedly threatened to shoot up a shopping mall (gavel bang: Legal Blog Watch).

More on the case, US v. Michael Musgrove, plus Musgrove’s, original thug life Craigslist posting after the jump….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “You Want to Click That Mouse? Bite Me, Get a Warrant!”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Your Car Knows What You Did Last Summer”

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]

Tyler Clementi and Dharun Ravi

As we mentioned in Friday’s Non-Sequiturs, the legal team of Dharun Ravi has moved to dismiss the criminal charges against Ravi stemming from the suicide of Tyler Clementi. As many of you know, Clementi committed suicide after Ravi streamed video of Clementi hooking up with another guy.

Lawyers to Dharun Ravi discovered comments from Clementi suggesting that Clementi was concerned about his parents’ reaction to his sexual orientation. Other Clementi messages are getting more headlines. According to New York Magazine, Clementi “also made jokes about Ravi’s family, calling them ‘sooo indian / first gen americanish…his rents defs owna dunkin [donuts].’ In other words, typical teen asshole gossip, on both sides.”

Typical is how I’ve been describing Ravi’s behavior from the very beginning. I didn’t need the system digging into the past of a suicide victim to determine whether his roommate “caused” him to take his own life.

But this is what many people wanted. So now that we’re here, I’m wondering if people are happy….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Tyler Clementi’s Family Learns That ‘Discovery’ Is A Bitch”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Aspiring Yale Transfer Student Explains and Defends Her Blog”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Don’t Mess With Your Friend’s Facebook; It Might Be a Felony”

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