April 14th, 2009
Boston College Campus Police: “Using Prompt Commands” May Be a Sign of Criminal Activity
Deeplink by Matt Zimmerman
On Friday, EFF and the law firm of Fish and Richardson filed an emergency motion to quash [pdf] and for the return of seized property on behalf of a Boston College computer science student whose computers, cell phone, and other property were seized as part of an investigation into who sent an e-mail to a school mailing list identifying another student as gay. The problem? Not only is there no indication that any crime was committed, the investigating officer argued that the computer expertise of the student itself supported a finding of probable cause to seize the student’s property.
The rest is HERE
I am agog at the silliness of this incident. I mean, haven’t we moved past the whole idea that someone like Kevin Mitnick and “Whistle” into a phone and launch nuclear weapons? People are sheep and those who are in the position to swear out warrants evidently are incapable of understanding a command prompt from the “nuclear football”
From personal experience (see posts back a year ago on my run in with technology inept police) most of the “crime fighters” out there don’t know a mouse from a keyboard. That these buffoons think they have the power to seize equipment from end users (and I will include our fearless DHS/TSA employees in this too per the rules lately at the border) is just ludicrous. They don’t have the chops to understand the technology never mind its misuse!
I hope this guy sues them…However, what I really hope is that the insanity stops. Someone has to get a hold of this situation and stop this crap.