For the first time ever, a judge has invalidated a secret Patriot Act warrant


Calyx is a privacy-oriented ISP. In 2004, the FBI brought its owner, Nicholas Merrill, a National Security Letter -- one of the USA Patriot Act's secret search warrants, which comes with a gag order prohibiting the recipient from ever disclosing its existence.

Merrill has fought the gag order for 11 years, refusing to give up despite government attempts to get the case booted and to run up the court costs beyond Merrill's ability to pay.

He had a partial victory in 2010, when he and the ACLU won a court victory that allowed him to disclose some elements of the NSL, but left important details -- including the categories of information the FBI believes it can request under an NSL -- still secret. This latest victory overturns that restriction.

The judge in this case, Judge Victor Marrero, also presided over a 2007 case that overturned part of the Patriot Act, requiring investigators to go through the courts in order to get NSLs. In his Calyx decision, he condemned the government's secrecy as "extreme and overly broad."

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero’s decision invalidated the gag order in full, finding no “good reason” to prevent Merrill from speaking about any aspect of the NSL, particularly an attachment to the NSL that lists the specific types of “electronic communication transactional records” (“ECTR”) that the FBI believed it was authorized to demand. The FBI has long refused to clarify what kinds of information it sweeps up under the rubric of ECTR, a phrase that appears in the NSL statute but is not publicly defined anywhere.

Read the rest

EFF scores a giant victory for fair use and dancing babies

8 years ago, Universal Music sent a takedown notice over Stephanie Lenz's 29-second Youtube video of her kids dancing in the kitchen to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Read the rest

Tim Wu joins the New York Attorney General's office

Wu, a protege of Larry Lessig who coined the term "Net Neutrality," will be on sabbatical from Columbia Law while he works for the AG: "If I have a life mission, it is to fight bullies" Read the rest

MIT and Boston U open legal clinic for innovative tech projects

The Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Law Clinic was partly inspired by the death of Aaron Swartz, who was hounded by federal prosecutors with MIT's complicity. Read the rest

DoJ says it will consider jailing executives who order corporate crimes

The doctrine under former AG Eric Holder (documented in Matt Taibbi's brilliant The Divide) was to allow executives to pay fines that were less than the profits from their crimes. Read the rest

Marcel Duchamp's heirs nuke hobbyists' hand-modelled 3D chess-set files

Duchamp -- who gleefully modified others' work and called it his own -- carved a gorgeous art deco chess set (this one) in 1917, which exists now only in grainy archival photos. Read the rest

Inept copyright bot sends 2600 a legal threat over ink blotches

Emmanuel Goldstein writes, "2600 Magazine is being threatened with legal action for using bits of ink splatter on the Spring 2012 cover that Trunk Archive Images claims it has the rights to. That's right, ink splatter. The sophistication of the tracking software in actually being able to detect specific splotches of ink throughout the entire Internet is as astounding as it is scary. But it also happens to be dead wrong as the ink splatter in question actually belongs to an artist in Finland." Read the rest

Texas doctor's consent form for women seeking abortions

Redditor Mystharia terminated a pregnancy for medical reasons last week; her doctor gave her this consent form, mandated by -- and scathingly attacking -- the Texas legislature, which requires the doctor to enumerate an eye-wateringly detailed account of the foetal development before termination. (Icon: Kevin Dooley/CC-BY) Read the rest

Former mayor of SLC suing NSA for warrantless Olympic surveillance

Rocky Anderson is suing the agency for spying on him (and everyone else in Salt Lake City) during the 2002 Olympics -- he's added his name to a mass lawsuit against the NSA, FBI, George W. Bush, Michael Hayden, Dick Cheney and 50 "Does." Read the rest

Reporter and cameraman murdered by gunman live on air; shot self when cornered by cops


WDBJ-TV Reporter Alison Parker was interviewing Vicki Gardner, director of the local Chamber of Commerce, when gunshots rang out at Bridgewater Plaza near Moneta, Virginia. Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were killed. Read the rest

Ashley Madison's founding CTO claimed he hacked competing dating site

Raja Bhatia was the original CTO of Avid Media, Ashley Madison's parent company; in an email to Avid CEO Noel Biderman in the latest Ashley Madison dump, he hacked the back-end of Nerve, a competing dating site. Read the rest

Car information security is a complete wreck -- here's why

Sean Gallagher's long, comprehensive article on the state of automotive infosec is a must-read for people struggling to make sense of the summer's season of showstopper exploits for car automation, culminating in a share-price-shredding 1.4M unit recall from Chrysler, whose cars could be steered and braked by attackers over the Internet. Read the rest

Boston's WGBH initiates careless, groundless legal action against Fedflix project

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "I got mugged by a bunch of Boston hooligans. Readers of Boing Boing may be familiar with my FedFlix project which has resulted in 6,000 government videos getting posted to YouTube and the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Ashley Madison commits copyfraud in desperate bid to suppress news of its titanic leak

The company is shotgunning DMCA notices against journalists and others who reproduce even the tiniest fraction of the dump of users who signed up to find partners with whom to cheat on their spouses -- included in the dump are thousands of people who paid $15 to have their data permanently deleted from the service. Read the rest

Ulysses pacts and spying hacks: warrant canaries and binary transparency

As the world's governments exercise exciting new gag-order snooping warrants that companies can never, ever talk about, companies are trying out a variety of "Ulysses pacts" that automatically disclose secret spying orders, putting them out of business. Read the rest

Prosecutors accuse fired Subway spokesman Jared Fogle of paying to have sex with minors


It's not just about child pornography found on his computer, possession of which he reportedly will admit to in court.

From the AP wire:

Federal prosecutors have released documents accusing longtime Subway pitchman Jared Fogle of engaging in sex acts with minors and receiving child pornography. Documents released Wednesday by the U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis say the 37-year-old Fogle faces one count of travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor and one count of distribution and receipt of child pornography.… Among the allegations in the document are that Fogle traveled to New York City to pay for sex acts with minors while he stayed in upscale hotels…

Fogle's computers and other gear were snatched by prosecutors on a recent raid at his home in Zionsville, Indiana. The raid followed the arrest of Russell Taylor, the director of The Jared Foundation, Fogle's childhood obesity charity, on child pornography charges. Fogle fired Taylor and said he was shocked by the allegations.

Subway, for whom Fogle became a spokesman after losing 200 pounds eating their sandwiches, confirmed Tuesday that he is no longer employed by them. No mention of the 15-year relationship can be found on their website.

Business Insider obtained an affidavit detailing the charges. Hayley Peterson:

According to the affidavit obtained by Business Insider, Fogle asked the former Subway franchisee in May 2008 to set up a meeting for him with her cousin.

Read the rest

Giant dump of data purports to be from

The dating site for people wanting to cheat on their spouses was breached last month. Read the rest

More posts