Articles Tagged with Computer crimes

MAJ Hasan’s UCMJ Article 32 hearing and likely court-martial is drawing and will continue to draw lots of attention — of course, duh.  But just as we have seen in other high profile cases there are opportunities for what I call teachable moments.  Here are two from the item posted by CAAFLog about the witness who was ordered to destroy a video of the shooting he made on his cellphone.  Forget the rhetoric about whether or not the Army was engaged in a cover-up.

1.  Contemporaneous video’s and photos can provide vital evidence for both sides.

Nixon said he remembered Hasan because of “his stature and just how he composed himself — stoic.”

The U.S. Supreme Court decided City of Ontario v. Quon today.  Quon is a case about searching pagers and cellphones.

Our clients convicted of child pornography offenses and certain other offenses in which the internet is case related are restricted in computer access post-release.  I mention Quon because of an interesting comment at Sentencing Law & Policy. 

I recently had to deal with the Federal Probation Service and the Air Force Clemency & Parole Board about a former now paroled client alleged to have improperly used computers to search for employment.  Employment is necessary for parole, and most state funded employment offices, and many employers require applicants to use computers to search for a job or to apply for a job.  We resolved the case in the client’s favor and parole was not revoked.  The parole and FPS rules do allow computer use in limited circumstances related to seeking employment.  The rules are bureaucratic and subject to misunderstanding.  Basically the rules require a new “permission” to use a computer each time.  So going to Home Depot in the AM and Lowes in the PM requires two permissions.  So, here is the SL&P comment on an aspect of Quon.

SCOTUSBlog reports that:

At about 11 a.m. Monday, the Supreme Court will hear one hour of oral argument in City of Ontario, et al., v. Quon, et al. (08-1332).  Arguing for the California city and its police department will be Kent L. Richland of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland in Los Angeles.  The federal government, represented by Deputy Solicitor General Neal K. Katyal, will have 10 minutes as amicus urging reversal of the Ninth Circuit Court decision.  Representing four individuals who sued the city will be Dieter C. Dammeier of Lackie, Dammeier & McGill in Upland, CA.

The ubiquitous personal electronic device — pager, cellphone, “smart phone,” PDA — is emerging as a centerpiece in Digital Age legal controversy, including constitutional disputes when a government agency gets involved in regulating the use of these convenient computer-assisted, hand-held items.   The Supreme Court has taken on a case to lay down some basic constitutional ground rules on when the users of those devices — at least in government workplaces — can claim a right of privacy, and sue to enforce the right

Gazette.com reports that:

An Army prosecutor Tuesday opened the trial of an Iraq war veteran by accusing him of the “ultimate betrayal” — raping a comrade’s wife.

Spc. Philip C. Vermeiren, 28, is accused of assaulting the woman early Oct. 31 during an alcohol-fueled party at the Fort Carson apartment she shared with her husband.

Here’s a case from New Jersey of some interest, Stengart v. Loving Care Agency, Inc., 2010 N.J. LEXIS 241 (March 30, 2010).

[W]e find that Stengart had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the e-mails she exchanged with her attorney on Loving Care’s laptop.

Stengart plainly took steps to protect the privacy of those e-mails and shield them from her employer. She used a personal, password-protected e-mail account instead of her company e-mail address and did not save the account’s password on her computer. In other words, she had a subjective expectation of privacy in messages to and from her lawyer discussing the subject of a future lawsuit.

Haven’t posted on this for a while.  There’s a lot going on out there in terms of state and federal litigation.  A significant issue relates to the types of restrictions on a sex offender.

So, what are the limits on computer and technology use for those convicted of sex offenses?

Although rules may vary, many state lawmakers have begun to advocate for ways to limit sex offenders’ use of technology to find more victims.

Ohio holds today (4-3) that a cell phone search requires a warrant without exigent circumstances. Therefore, it was not subject to a search incident. Today’s cell phones are analogous to a computer. State v. Smith, 2009 Ohio 6426 (December 15, 2009).

FourthAmendment blog reports.  Seems there ought to be similar results for a military search and that the fruits of a warrantless search should similarly be excluded at court-martial.