100 phones found in accused festival thief's backpack

What a haul: 100 handsets in a single backpack, found after festival-goers at Coachella trained the "Find My iPhone" app on their missing gadgets.

Reinaldo De Jesus Henao, 36, was busted after several concert-goers activated the “Find My Phone” feature on their lost smartphones and noticed that the signals led them directly to him. The ordeal was several days in the making and, according to the Indio Police Department, it took an equal effort by authorities and music fans to catch the prolific smartphone bandit.

“I noticed some chatter on social media about phones disappearing on Reddit,” said Indio Police Sergeant Dan Marshall in an interview with Gizmodo. “One of the common threads [among Reddit posters] was that they were all losing their phones at the Sahara tent.”

There's something funny about a crowd of marks so distracted and unware of their surroundings that a thief could work a hundred people before being caught by a computer program.

Photos: Indio Police Department, composited by Gizmodo. Read the rest

Possible reprieve for Hungary's Central European University

After 70,000 people marched in Budapest against a new Hungarian law that targeted the liberal Central European University, the Hungarian government has dangled a possible escape rope: Education Secretary Laszlo Palkovics said that "CEU could issue diplomas if it extended a license agreement with its Hungarian sister school to teach its courses." Read the rest

Portuguese proposal to legalize breaking DRM passes Parliament

The amazing advocacy of the DRM-PT movement has resulted in the country's Parliament passing a bill that legalizes breaking DRM to accomplish lawful ends, such as exercising the private copying right, or making uses of public domain works or works produced at public expense. Read the rest

First non-white judge at top UK court used to be mistaken for defendants

Anuja Ravindra Dhir, the first non-white circuit judge at the Old Bailey, says "she was often mistaken for a witness or defendant when she started working as a lawyer" in the 1980s.

The 49-year-old said at first, most clients did not want to be represented by a young Asian Scottish female.

She also said that, when she wanted to go to university in the 1970s, she was told to be a hairdresser instead. ...

Judge Dhir said she once had to produce her wig and gown before security allowed her into court. "I got used to turning up at courts and people saying to me 'Witness? - no - Defendant? - no' and looking rather surprised when I said I was the advocate," she said.

Now the youngest Central Criminal Court justice, she talks of the "incredible changes" over the last 30 years.

"There is one glass ceiling that's in our minds, that's what we think we can achieve so perhaps we impose our glass ceiling and that has happened to me several times."

The Old Bailey houses 15 judges, of whom 10 are men and five are women, including one who is due to start soon. And of the recent intake of Old Bailey judges, three out of six are women.

Judge Dhir said: "Child-friendly policies I think are important. As a society we are better at raising that now than we ever have been before."

She praised the Recorder of London, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, for his commitment to change at the Old Bailey, a building steeped in history and tradition dating back to medieval times.

Read the rest

Activists vow to make ISP privacy sellout a "major issue" in the 2018 elections

The Republican Congressjerks who passed legislation allowing your ISP to spy on your online activity and sell the data from it without your permission will be firmly reminded of their calumny in the 2018 election cycle, as the Center for Media Justice and its privacy allies plan "street-level tactics" to hold them accountable for their sellout. Read the rest

Bipartisan bill would end warrantless border searches of US persons' data

Under the Protecting Data at the Border Act, devices "belonging to or in the possession of a United States person" (a citizen or Green Card holder) could no longer be searched at the border without a warrant. Agents would no longer be able to deny US persons entry or exit on the basis of a refusal to allow such a search (but they could seize the equipment). Read the rest

Judge allows rally violence lawsuit against Trump to proceed

Did Donald Trump incite violence when he barked "get them out of here" at protesters who were then roughed up? A judge decided Friday that it's plausible, allowing a lawsuit filed against the president to go to trial.

U. S. District Judge David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky also wrote in an opinion and order released Friday that because violence had broken out at a prior Trump rally and that known hate group members were in the Louisville crowd, Trump's ordering the removal of an African-American woman was "particularly reckless."

Citing case law from tumultuous 1960s race riots and student protests, Hale rejected motions to dismiss the pending complaint against Trump and three supporters in the crowd that was filed by three protesters after a March 1, 2016, campaign rally in Louisville. Only a portion of the defendants' motion was granted, but the decision means that the bulk of the claims will proceed. Hale referred the case to Magistrate Judge H. Brent Brennenstuhl.

Hale obviously doesn't fancy Trump's luck and everyone's getting terribly excited on Twitter, but let's just say that bad things happen when weekend editors end up covering courts, he's just kicking it on to a trial that hasn't happened yet, so calm yer fingers. Read the rest

How the EU's imaginary "value gap" would kill user-generated content online

One of the music industry's dumbest, most pernicious talking-points is the "value gap" (AKA the "value recognition right") which is code for, "Online platforms should employ an army of copyright lawyers to assess everything that users share for copyright compliance." Read the rest

Game theory: pedestrians versus autonomous vehicles

Any well-designed self-driving car will be at pains to avoid killing people, if only to prevent paperwork delays when they mow someone down. Read the rest

Man costumed as The Joker arrested and charged with "wearing a mask in public"

The AP reports that Jeremy Putnam, 31, was arrested in Winchester, Virginia, and charged with "wearing a mask in public," a felony in that state.

He was armed with a "sword" in public, which apparently alarmed residents. But they haven't charged him with that; they've charged him with this, a fascinatingly terrible law:

§ 18.2-422. Prohibition of wearing of masks in certain places; exceptions.

It shall be unlawful for any person over 16 years of age to, with the intent to conceal his identity, wear any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer...

...with specific exceptions for "traditional holiday costumes," protective or medical masks, or ones for a "bona fide theatrical production or masquerade ball."

Putnam is being held at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center.

Read the rest

What creepy stuff will your ISP do once the FCC allows them to spy on your internet usage?

Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to ensure that the FCC won't be able to prevent your ISP from spying on your internet usage and selling your private information. What does that mean in practice? Read the rest

Sobering look at how the poor are denied American justice

American penitentiaries, in idealized Quaker imaginings, were to be a place for reflective penitence followed by forgiveness. That's not how it worked out, especially for the poor. And the problem goes far beyond prison reform: Read the rest

UC Berkeley nuked 20,000 Creative Commons lectures, but they're not going away

A ruling about a DC university held that posting course videos to the open web without subtitling them violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (while keeping them private to students did not) (I know: weird), and this prompted UC Berkeley to announce the impending removal of 20,000 open courseware videos from Youtube. Read the rest

Trump's unhinged tweeting got him elected, and it's costing him in court, bigly

Trump went full berzerker last night after a judge in Hawaii shut down his new Muslim ban before it could go into effect, but he's only got himself to blame. Read the rest

If Google wins its trade secrets suit against Uber, it could tank Uber

Google is suing Uber, alleging that the company recruited a former Google exec who had secretly offered to give them access to trade-secrets from Google's self-driving car project. Read the rest

Charming animated short on The Power of Privacy

The Power of Privacy is a brisk animated jaunt through the legal development of privacy, starting with the fireplace chimney. Read the rest

Attorney's pants catch on fire while defending arsonist in court

Miami lawyer Stephen Gutierrez was in court defending an alleged arsonist when his pants literally caught on fire. However, please don't assume that Gutierrez is a liar, liar. Apparently he had been playing with an e-cigarette in his pocket. From the Miami Herald:

Stephen Gutierrez, who was arguing that his client’s car spontaneously combusted and was not intentionally set on fire, had been fiddling in his pocket as he was about to address jurors when smoke began billowing out his right pocket, witnesses told the Miami Herald.

He rushed out of the Miami courtroom, leaving spectators stunned. After jurors were ushered out, Gutierrez returned unharmed, with a singed pocket, and insisted it wasn’t a staged defense demonstration gone wrong, observers said.

Read the rest

More posts