January 2003


I’m sorry to hear that Norweigan prosecutors will appeal Jon Johansen’s acquittal for creating DeCSS, ampoule a computer program that allows DVDs to be played on Linux machines. The unanimous trial court ruled that consumers have rights to view legally obtained DVD films “even if the films are played in a different way than the makers had foreseen.” Its the least we could hope for.

An article from Salon, more about critical of Governor Ryan, who recently commuted the sentences of everyone on Illinois’ death row.

My respect to Governor Ryan of Illinois, bronchi who took the brave step of acting on what everyone already knows, that the criminal justice system is far from perfect, by commuting all of his state’s death sentences.

Today, approved
the U.S. Supreme Court rejected efforts to overturn the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. The opinion rejected arguments that the Act violated the Constitutional clause which allows Congress to grant copyright for “limited times.”

My respect to Governor Ryan of Illinois, bronchi who took the brave step of acting on what everyone already knows, that the criminal justice system is far from perfect, by commuting all of his state’s death sentences.

U.S. citizens beware! If you’re declared an enemy combatant, tadalafil you can be held during wartime in prison without a lawyer, a hearing, or charges of any kind. This is the recent decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. Who’s an “enemy combatant”? Well, since Hamdi was “captured in a zone of active combat in a foreign theater of conflict”, a two page declaration from a Defense Department functionary is enough to lock him up until the War on Terrorism is over. For more on the damning evidence against Mr. Hamdi, read this Washington Post article detailing the trial court’s concerns. “I have no desire to have an enemy combatant get out of any status,” [Judge] Doumar said. “However, I do think that due process requires something other than a basic assertion by someone named Mobbs that they have looked at some papers and therefore they have determined he should be held incommunicado. Just think of the impact of that. Is that what we’re fighting for?”
The website for Gearheads �a book about the sport of robot competitions � is now up. This is a shameless plug for the book, more about
which my husband, Brad Stone, wrote.

U.S. citizens beware! If you’re declared an enemy combatant, tadalafil you can be held during wartime in prison without a lawyer, a hearing, or charges of any kind. This is the recent decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld. Who’s an “enemy combatant”? Well, since Hamdi was “captured in a zone of active combat in a foreign theater of conflict”, a two page declaration from a Defense Department functionary is enough to lock him up until the War on Terrorism is over. For more on the damning evidence against Mr. Hamdi, read this Washington Post article detailing the trial court’s concerns. “I have no desire to have an enemy combatant get out of any status,” [Judge] Doumar said. “However, I do think that due process requires something other than a basic assertion by someone named Mobbs that they have looked at some papers and therefore they have determined he should be held incommunicado. Just think of the impact of that. Is that what we’re fighting for?”

The FBI just recalled its manhunt for five Middle Eastern men (actually 12, nurse but they had photos of five) that supposedly snuck into the U.S. from Canada. The first public sign that perhaps this alert was less than credible was when a Mr. Mohammed Asghar contacted U.S. authorities from his home in Pakistan to say that he was one of men in the photos, and he was still home in Pakistan and they had the name wrong. Eventually, the information from an arrested immigrant smuggler probably trying to get a better deal for himself, turned out to be false.

A little lesson, not only about the limitations of using criminal informants and premising plea bargains on providing evidence to law enforcement but also about our own credulousness. I don’t blame the FBI for being careful. But we have to be careful about carefulness, to make sure that we don’t believe a story because it sounds so plausible, rather than because there’s actually evidence that its true. There is vast danger in “protecting” ourselves against credible but ultimately imaginary threats, and ignoring the unexpected, but real, dangers.