Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Linux User Too Suspicious To Be Ignored

Rather a weird tale from Boston, where a Computer Science student has had all of his computer kit seized (and pretty much everything else he owns) and has been suspended from his job for the heinous crime of understanding Linux. The University are alleging slightly more than *just* that, but they do seem suspicious of someone who can navigate their way round a non-Windows OS.

The EFF - who is representing him - has a copy of the warrant and says
"In his application, the investigating officer asked that he be permitted to seize the student's computers and other personal effects because they might yield evidence of the crimes of "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" and "Unauthorized access to a computer system."

Aside from the remarkable overreach by campus and state police in trying to paint a student as suspicious in part because he can navigate a non-Windows computer environment, nothing cited in the warrant application could possibly constitute the cited criminal offenses.

There are no assertions that a commercial (i.e. for pay) commercial service was defrauded, a necessary element of any "Obtaining computer services by Fraud or Misrepresentation" allegation. Similarly, the investigating officer doesn't explain how sending an e-mail to a campus mailing list might constitute "unauthorized access to a computer system."
The Slashdot post that brought this to my attention was tagged with "Idiocracy", which sums it all up rather nicely.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker