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Use command-line OS at BC. Get your PCs confiscated.

  1. Aug 10, 2009 #1

    turbo

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    I don't know how this one got under my radar. A Boston College student's computers, drives, storage devices, etc were seized so that investigators could examine them for evidence linking him to an email. The "probable cause"? The student was proficient in the use of an OS without resorting to a graphical interface. Linux users, beware.

    http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/04/boston-college-prompt-commands-are-suspicious
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Could be worse.
    Have your company's web site hosted in the same facility as somebody that may owe ATT for a phone bill?
    No problem the FBI will happily impound all the computers at the building. And if you are listed as the admin contact for any of the servers they will be around to impound all your home computers and your daughters's iPod as well.
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/data-centers-ra/

    Hardly surprising when this is the bio of the FBI expert in charge of the case
    "The way I ended up in Cybercrime is not all that glamorous ... In 1998, when we formed the Dallas regional squad, the powers that be asked if anyone knew anything more about computers then how to turn the power on. I raised my hand up and said that I played a lot of computer games and had put together PC's so that I could have a better gaming experience and the rest is history. "
     
  4. Aug 10, 2009 #3

    turbo

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    The legal system in the US has morphed into something where personal privacy can be violated at will. When I was fired because I complained when my employer violated our contract agreement, I tried to negotiate with the jerk, and eventually had to sue him for the back-pay, and for wrongful termination. He retaliated by counter-suing for $650,000 claiming that I was trying to destroy his business and had cost him millions in consignments. I had lain very low, and on the advice of my lawyers had not contacted any former clients, so the jerk got some of his cronies to provide 2nd and 3rd-hand hearsay "evidence", and a compliant judge required me to submit my PC and all storage devices for "imaging" and provide web-addresses for all accounts in which I might have personal information or data.

    This gave my former boss (for whom I had made over $4M net over the previous 3 years) access to everything on my computers. Personal finances, emails, letters, insurance records, retirement accounts...everything. My lawyers said that the data-acquisition folks were neutral and reputable and my personal info was safe. I am skeptical, though. How much money would the jerk have to offer to get copies of those hard-drives and let his lawyers' agents pore them for incriminating data? Lots of us have substantial amounts of personal information on our computers, and I guarantee you'll feel raped if that is put into the hands of another person based on an impersonal court-order.
     
  5. Aug 10, 2009 #4
    Oh dear. I use linux, worst of all I use awesome window manager (it's a tiling wm) with black background and white text (some colour outputs as well), usually with a lot of text scrolling everywhere. I am going to be arrested for sure. Lucky this is just a desktop, I guess they can still accuse me of hacking or something.
     
  6. Aug 10, 2009 #5

    turbo

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    Unless they find a piece of mal-ware that you picked up surfing eBay or something. Then, you will be accused of developing and spreading it.
     
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