WikiLeaks

It’s been quite a while since we checked in on the ongoing military prosecution of Private Bradley Manning, the United States serviceman accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to Wikileaks.

This week, as the court-martial is still crawling forward, Manning’s attorneys raised the point that it will be pretty hard (read: freaking impossible) to find a military jury that isn’t seriously familiar with his case.

That isn’t totally surprising. When you are the face of the biggest leak of classified information an American history, it’s going to be hard to find “peers” who don’t know who you are or what you’ve allegedly done. So what are you gonna do about it?

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* Yahoo! continues to try to save its fading empire… by filing a patent lawsuit against Facebook. [Dealbook / New York Times]

* Dispatch from SXSW: employing homeless people as Wi-Fi hotspots. I see no problems here. [New York Times]

* Dick Cheney has canceled a trip to Toronto. Because Canada is “too dangerous.” It’s actually kind of reassuring that the former Vice President, who drunkenly shot his friend in the face with a shotgun, is just as much of a wuss as the liberals he has mocked for the last 12-odd years. [National Post]

* It’s my jury and I’ll tweet if I want to, tweet if I want to. You would tweet too, if it happened to you. [Wall Street Journal Law Blog]

* A new United Nations report says Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning endured “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment during the months he was incarcerated before his trial. The report comes just in time for the Department of Defense to completely ignore it and continue throwing the book at Manning. [Threat Level / Wired]

From SCOTUS to POTUS?

* Justice Clarence Thomas for president? Hey, it could happen. Lat and Kash’s 2010 proposal is getting a second look. [Daily Beast]

* Speaking of presidents, the Arizona and Michigan primary elections are today. I know folks on the coast often don’t pay too much attention to those middle-of-the-country states, but it will be interesting to see what the Illegal Immigration State and Crippled American Auto State have to say about our ragtag bunch of Republican presidential candidates. [New York Times]

* Emails published yesterday by Wikileaks appear to show that certain Pakistani military intelligence knew where Osama bin Laden was hiding in the months before Seal Team Six raided his garrison and killed him. I hope Wikileaks has juicier material in the pipeline? [Telegraph (U.K.)]

* Congratulations to Tony West, who will become acting associate attorney general, the No. 3 post in the Justice Department. [Chicago Tribune]

* Interesting report on tensions between the White House and the NSA, which has tried to get permission to monitor private web activity, perhaps at the expense of privacy. But Google knows everything you do on your computer, so why shouldn’t the government? [Washington Post]

Did this young soldier aid the enemy?

Bradley Manning, the American traitor or human rights champion depending on your perspective, was back in court yesterday. His court-martial officially began, and he now faces 22 serious charges that could carry a life sentence, if he is convicted.

The 24-year-old Army intelligence analyst allegedly gave more than 700,000 classified documents to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. Manning deferred his plea, so he and his attorneys have more time to strategize. Both sides are still working to set a date for trial, but is getting close to do-or-die time for the embattled Manning.

Let’s see the newest details about his case…

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This is how I imagine the Cox firm Christmas card.

* If you ever encounter a one-eyed, dart-throwing lawyer, for the love of God, don’t misspell his name. [LA Weekly]

* WikiLeaks and Anonymous are still doing their thing. Right now, that thing is hacking into law firm websites and exposing sensitive personal information. CHECK YOU DATA SECURITY. [Gizmodo]

* Our own Staci Zaretsky will be on WBEZ Chicago radio Monday morning at 9:15 CST, talking about law schools getting sued over employment data. Call in at (312) 923-9239 with your questions. [WBEZ Eight Forty-Eight]

* Earlier today, we wrote about Rapesq.com. Now say hello to Anallp.com. How does this happen outside celebrity Jeopardy and Arrested Development? [Anderson & Anderson LLP]

* Lest we leave anyone out, Mr. Cox? Mr. Cox? Guys, I need Cox. I need to find Mr. Beaver and Mr. Cox. [Cox Law]

* At first I was skeptical about more law school “humor,” but then I realized the front page story is about boobs. Yaaaay. [Vandy Law Humor Magazine]

* Susan G. Komen for the Cure is not cutting funding for Planned Parenthood after all. So all you pagans and baby killers should just cool your jets already. [Wall Street Journal Health Blog]

* New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman begins his bid to be the next New York Attorney General to become Governor of New York. [Huffington Post]

* An interview with an executive producer and writer of the television rebirth of John Grisham‘s The Firm. The best part: they are actually lawyers. [Constitutional Daily]

* How many friend requests did these firms just get? Fenwick & West and Simpson Thacher are the Biglaw stars of Facebook’s S-1 filing for its $5B initial public offering. Like. [Am Law Daily]

* The prosecution is expected to make its arguments today in Julian Assange’s appeal of his extradition from the U.K. to Sweden. Hope it won’t affect his role on The Simpsons. [CNN]

* Adventures in fourth-tier second-tier law school marketing: go to the University of Dayton School of Law, take a tour, and get your first-year textbooks for free. Mmm, the sweet smell of bribery. [National Law Journal]

* The little hybrid that could: Heather Peters, the former lawyer who decided to sue Honda in small claims court, has won her case. Maybe she should reconsider her career options? [Los Angeles Times]

* Looking for a way to shield your assets during a wrongful death suit? Just adopt your adult girlfriend. It has “nothing to do with the lawsuit” — dude just wants to bang his daughter. No big deal. [Palm Beach Post]

* Unpaid internships are so last season. A former intern for fashion mag Harper’s Bazaar wants class action certification for a lawsuit claiming that her free labor violated wage and hour laws. [New York Times]

The former military intelligence analyst accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks has spent the last four days in a Maryland military court, undergoing a hearing to determine whether or not his case will proceed to court-martial.

For those new to the party, 24-year-old Bradley Manning is accused of committing the biggest security breach in American history. He has been in detainment for the last 19 months, and he faces a multitude of military charges.

The Article 32 hearings, which began on Friday, are something akin to grand jury proceedings in civilian court. At the end, Investigating Officer Colonel Paul Almanza, an Army Reserve officer and Justice Department prosecutor, will decide recommend whether Manning’s case will proceed to court-martial.

So far, the hearings have been interesting to say the least. Let’s see what’s going on….

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When news emerged last week that the Wall Street protests were spreading to London, I dared to dream. Maybe I could inculcate myself among the protesters, I wondered, and persuade their leaders to target a Biglaw firm rather than a bank. Then, I fantasized, having obtained the relevant door-code from one of my disgruntled Biglaw contacts, perhaps I could lead the protesters inside to set up an encampment. At which point, I hallucinated, I’d be able to live-tweet my experiences and, as the only journalist on the scene, become a star.

Disappointingly, it didn’t work out that way. The protesters proved frustratingly unmoved by my suggestions that they target a law firm. Instead, they tried to occupy the square in front of the London Stock Exchange. Prevented from doing so by the police, they ended up milling around the adjoining forecourt of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where their hard-core was diluted by confused tourists. What the New York Times accurately described as “a picnic atmosphere” prevailed, with “people streaming in and out of a nearby Starbucks.”

Even an appearance by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange — who arrived mid-afternoon wearing a Guy Fawkes mask to deliver a sermon on the steps of St. Paul’s — wasn’t enough to kick-start some proper rebellion. Indeed, with his claim that the Occupy Wall Street/London Stock Exchange movement “is not about the destruction of law, but the construction of law,” Assange sounded less like a revolutionary, and more a regulatory expert in the U.K. on a business trip….

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We’ve been talking a lot recently about the secretly authorized stuff our government does to us — like killing us, or molesting us at airports.

Here’s another one for the list: digging through our emails or Twitter feeds or cell phone data, without probable cause, our permission, or our knowledge. This isn’t necessarily shocking in and of itself; back in April, Kashmir Hill wrote about how often the government requests information about private individuals from tech companies.

What’s shocking is the ease with which the government gets that information and the secrecy with which it does so. Somehow it’s all based on a law that is older than the Internet. The policy recently came to light when authorities ordered a small Internet provider, as well as Twitter and Google, to turn over information about Jacob Appelbaum, an American who volunteers with WikiLeaks.

How does the U.S. government circumvent basic probable cause and search warrant requirements when it wants electronic information? Let’s see….

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It’s been an unusually exciting month in the legal tech world. Several lawyers have been charged with (and cleared of) upsetting electronic crimes. An Am Law 100 firm got sued for allegedly screwing up e-discovery. I haven’t even had the time or need to write the same vague jibber-jabber about Google+ that everyone else on the Internet has already written.

This week, we’ve got more high-profile tech arrests, involving the members of an international hacker club who happen to be supporters of everyone’s favorite Australian albino.

For deets on the legal consequences of crashing PayPal’s website, read on….

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