I truly hope this article is wrong

Like many other similar cases, this involves two teenagers sexting each other. We can all admit that this is a rather stupid thing to do, but it would be crazy not to recognize that this happens quite frequently with teens these days. It’s already a pretty big stretch to try to twist those cases into “child porn” cases, but various prosecutors have been doing exactly that for years now. In this case, the 15-year-old girlfriend sent her 17-year-old boyfriend a photo of herself, and he sent back the video. The mother of the girl complained, and prosecutors went after the boy for “two felony charges, for possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography.”

So far, so normal (although one could argue it shouldn’t be)

The male teen was served with petitions from juvenile court in early February, and not arrested, but when the case went to trial in juvenile court in June, Foster said prosecutors forgot to certify that the teen was a juvenile. The case was dismissed, but police immediately obtained new charges and also a search warrant for his home. Police also arrested the teen and took him to juvenile jail, where Foster said they took photos of the teen’s genitals against his will.

That’s the real wtf-ness… W.T.F.???

Link (Techdirt)


It seems like Lowering The Bar also picked up on the story:

Police in Sexting Case Want to Take Photo of Teen’s … No, That Can’t Be Right

The Washington Post calls this “a unique approach to collecting evidence,” and I guess that’s one way to put it. The approach is to forcibly inject a 17-year-old boy with something that would cause an erection so they can take a picture of that to compare with the picture he allegedly texted to his girlfriend.

I’m not at a loss for words very often but just now I sat and stared at this report for a while.


CIA Sent FBI Agents After, Ended Career Of 19-Year Employee Over A FOIA Request For Historical Documents

Scudder never did anything his superiors thought was wrong until after he attempted to free these historical documents. Everything the agency never took issue with during his previous 18 years of employment — like personal call infractions and the possession of photos (taken by Scudder in his position as “official CIA photographer”) deemed “classified” — was suddenly yet another reason to force him out. It’s been clear for a long time that the government doesn’t care much for whistleblowers. It also seems to have something against transparency, even concerning documents of historical interest only.

Link (Techdirt)

Congressional Committee Thinks It Shouldn’t Have To Answer The SEC’s Questions About Insider Trading

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and a top staff member say the panel and its employees are “absolutely immune” from having to comply with subpoenas from a federal regulator in an insider-trading probe.

The committee yesterday responded to U.S. District Court Judge Paul Gardephe’s order to explain why it hadn’t complied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s requests for documents, phone records and testimony of aide Brian Sutter for more than a year.

Link (Techdirt)

Computing student jailed after failing to hand over crypto keys

A computer science student accused of hacking offences has been jailed for six months for failing to hand over his encryption passwords, which he had been urged to do in “the interests of national security”.

Christopher Wilson, 22, of Mitford Close, Washington, Tyne and Wear, was jailed for refusing to hand over his computer passwords, a move that frustrated an investigation into claims he launched an attack on a police website.

Wilson, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, was suspected of “trolling” the Northumbria Police as well as attempting to break into the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s website.

Link (The Register)

Free speech victory in Texas

I bring good news: top-notch work by generous and dedicated lawyers has produced a free speech victory in Texas.

Last year I lit the Popehat Signal seeking help for J. Todd DeShong, a blogger and AIDS activist. DeShong, a longtime critic of the nutty and conspiratorial junk science occasionally directed at AIDS issues, ran afoul of Clark Baker, an ex-cop and full-blown AIDS denialist who offers “expert” “witness” services

Popehat Signal Update: Dream Team Victory In Texas (Popehat)

UK’s Web Filters Blocking Nearly One-Fifth Of The World’s Most Popular Websites

Remember UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s China Lite® web blockade, the one that was set up to keep British children from stumbling across Internet Pornography™ and other assorted subjectively objectionable material? While being ostensibly “for the children,” the default settings (applied by ISPs at the request of the Foster State) are blocking a whole lot of non-porn.

Nearly one in five of the most visited sites on the internet are being blocked by the adult content filters installed on Britain’s broadband and mobile networks.

A Porsche car dealership, two feminist websites, a blog on the Syrian War and the Guido Fawkes political site are among the domains that have fallen foul of the recently installed filters.

The Open Rights Group, which campaigns for digital rights, surveyed the 100,000 most popular sites as ranked by digital marketing research firm Alexa, and found that 19,000 of them were blocked by at least one fixed line or mobile internet service provider.

Link (Techdirt)

This could never be viewed as corruption…

A new FOIA discovery via Todd Feathers at MuckRock has turned up some emails showing a rather cozy relationship between top Comcast execs and Justice Department antitrust officials. In fact, just days before Comcast announced its intent to acquire Time Warner Cable, Comcast Senior VP of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, Kathryn Zachem, had invited Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Renata Hesse, to “attend a celebration of the opening ceremony” of the Sochi Olympics, care of Comcast NBC Universal. Hesse sent an email saying that she really wanted to attend but “the rules folks over here tell me I can’t do this.” Though, she still says that they need to get dinner sometime soon. When Zachem responds that she had hoped it would still be okay because “we have nothing formally before you all,” Hesse notes “our ethics rules are very restrictive.”

Emails Show Cozy Relationship Between Comcast Execs And DOJ Antitrust Folks; Party Invitation Blocked By ‘Rules Folks’ (Techdirt)

FBI ignores first amendment rights for sex workers

The disturbing trend of the federal government seizing domain names without regard to the First Amendment continues. The FBI, along with the IRS, apparently seized a number of websites associated with MyRedbook.com, and arrested the operator of the site. The FBI notes that the site, which was a social network and resource for sex workers, included advertising that “facilitated prostitution.” It also accused the site of money laundering.

However, as the EFF is noting beyond the question of whether or not the FBI should even be in the business of targeting sex workers, there are serious First Amendment questions around such a seizure of a website

Link (Techdirt)

It is now illegal to run TOR exit nodes in Austria

Not only the immediate perpetrator commits a criminal action, but also anyone who appoints someone to carry it out, or anyone who otherwise contributes to the completion of said criminal action.

In other words, it’s a form of accomplice liability for criminality. It’s pretty standard to name criminal accomplices liable for “aiding and abetting” the activities of others, but it’s a massive and incredibly dangerous stretch to argue that merely running a Tor exit node makes you an accomplice that “contributes to the completion” of a crime. Under this sort of thinking, Volkswagen would be liable if someone drove a VW as the getaway car in a bank robbery. It’s a very, very broad interpretation of accomplice liability, in a situation where it clearly does not make sense.

Link (Techdirt)