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College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the so-is-your-mom dept.

Education 1079

FutureDomain writes "The Boston College Campus Police have seized the electronics of a computer science student for allegedly sending an email outing another student. The probable cause? The search warrant application states that he is 'a computer science major' and he uses 'two different operating systems for hiding his illegal activity. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.' The EFF is currently representing him."

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sure it is (5, Funny)

platypussrex (594064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575545)

This would be funny except it's scary instead . . .

Re:sure it is (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575667)

What's scary about it. The Police are merely guarding our rights and preventing any of those terrifying terrorist hacker nazi communist muslims from setting off a dirty bomb and infecting us with anthrax.

Don't you feel that giving up a few freedoms is worth the security that the Boston College Campus Police can give you in return?

Re:sure it is (5, Interesting)

GNUbuntu (1528599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575677)

Not to mention the fact that Boston College's Research Services runs it's own Linux cluster: http://www.bc.edu/offices/researchservices/cluster.html [bc.edu] . zOMG TEH CRIMINALS!

Re:sure it is (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575735)

And I'm sure, before Linux, they were running other evil black-screened operating systems with blinking cursors.

You've gotta wonder if these cops ever made it to high school, let alone college.

Re:sure it is (4, Insightful)

3dr (169908) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576037)

For many of them, including municipal police, no, I don't wonder at all.

Re:sure it is (5, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575679)

We might as well give up. The country is lost. If you can't beat 'em - join 'em.
Repeat after me:

Four legs good - two legs bad
Four legs good - two legs bad

Re:sure it is (5, Funny)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575733)

It was one time, and consensual! * This is a joke, and in no way represents an actual occurrence.

Re:sure it is (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575811)

Sadly, I think we're at the point in that tail where they switch to "Four legs good - two legs Better!"

Re:sure it is (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575695)

Hey, is it any surprise campus security are afraid of Command Line Interface Terrorism?

Seriously, I'd love to be able to read more info on this... without knowing all the evidence presented to get the warrant, it's a little silly to say that his use of multiple PCs and Linux was enough for the judge to have granted the warrant.

Most likely, the reason those items were brought up as evidence for the warrant is so that the warrant would cover the devices in question -- to justify action bigger than just reviewing his account history on the BC networks.

If he was a suspect for some other reason, wouldn't it make sense that the police would have reason to search his multiple devices?

I think the EFF does a lot of good things -- but their PR blurbs tend to leave out enough critical info that I am beginning to dismiss them out of hand.

Re:sure it is (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575835)

But the fact that it says he uses 2 operating systems to hide his activity.. and only explaining the text prompt command based OS.

Re:sure it is (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575905)

But the fact that it says he uses 2 operating systems to hide his activity

If they think dual-booting is "hiding illegal activity" I wonder what they'd think of full disk encryption?

Re:sure it is (4, Funny)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575975)

They'd hit him with a five dollar wrench over and over until he confessed his encryption crimes.

Re:sure it is (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575883)

Hey, is it any surprise campus security are afraid of Command Line Interface Terrorism?

Yes, actually it is surprising. Anybody who has ever seen 24 knows that terrorists and the Government both rely on a single GUI interface for everything from tracking motor vehicles to taking over nuclear power plants.

RTFA (-1, Troll)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575931)

I think you're gay.

I'm doomed.

Re:sure it is (5, Informative)

sed quid in infernos (1167989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575983)

I think the EFF does a lot of good things -- but their PR blurbs tend to leave out enough critical info that I am beginning to dismiss them out of hand.

Good call. The warrant affidavit [eff.org] goes into some detail about the alleged crimes. The informant is not anonymous and had provided credible information for other investigations. That is generally enough to meet the fairly low burden of probable cause.

Certainly, there's a lot there for a defense attorney to attack. For example, the person whose property was searched has allegedly played a prank on the informant. That goes to credibility at trial, though, not to whether the informant can provide evidence sufficient to make out probable cause.

Re:sure it is (4, Funny)

meadowsoft (831583) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576051)

<JAY>
I am the Command Line Interface Terrorism Master!!!
</JAY>

Re:sure it is (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575727)

The motion should be granted, the police involved should be suspended without pay while investigated, and the judge who rubber-stamped the warrant should be fired.

Sound reasonable?

Re:sure it is (2, Insightful)

theGreater (596196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575763)

This would be funny except it's scary instead ...

Also, sad. F'r instance, http://images.google.com/images?q=windows+powershell&imgcolor=black&imgsz=med [google.com]

I will now translate "I hate what I fear, and I fear what I don't understand. Unfortunately I don't understand you, so now I'm going to take all your stuff and fish around with impunity until something is found with which to hang you."

Re:sure it is (5, Informative)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575895)

It's not as scary if you read the application for search warrant [eff.org] instead of the slashdot headline. The detective who filed the application had interviewed the suspect's roommate, who said that, among other things, he had "observed [the suspect hacking] into the B.C. grading system that is used by professors to change grades for student," that he suspected the suspect of damaging his brand new computer, and that the suspect had posted a fake web site profile of the roommate. Other evidence, such as network reigstration information, supported the detective's belief that the suspect had engaged in at least some of the alleged activities.

The evidence needed to show plausible cause for a search warrant is very low, but it certainly isn't as low as merely using a Linux operating system. This search warrant is not evidence that the sky is falling.

Re:sure it is too bad (1)

phoenix0783 (965193) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575897)

...too bad this kid didn't go to Oregon State. You'd be hard-pressed to find a windows computer in any of the engineering/c.s. labs. he would have blended right in.

Rent-a-cops (4, Funny)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575551)

Do rent-a-cops have any power to seize property, or is this just a case of theft?

Re:Rent-a-cops (4, Insightful)

Old97 (1341297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575579)

Campus police are not rent-a-cops. They are real police. Sadly.

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

Zarim (1167823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575655)

I thought only public schools had actual police, private schools had private security? Boston College appears to be a private school so they may be rent-a-cops.

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575759)

Some schools have public safety officers who are also sworn police officers, and thus have full police powers.

I'm not sure about Boston College, though.

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575955)

Some schools have public safety officers who are also sworn police officers, and thus have full police powers.

I'm not sure about Boston College, though.

Some schools have public safety officers who are also sworn police officers, and thus have full police powers.

I'm not sure about Boston College, though.

In New Haven, CT, the city police go along with scams like towing companies illegally taking cars out of private driveways and parking lots at night in order to extort a return fee from the owners. The Yale Police, every bit as official and substantially more effective, are the only way to get cars back. Maybe they're

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575821)

Rent-a-cops can still call Bust-your-face-a-cops. TFA says it was the state police that served the search warrant. So there you go.

Re:Rent-a-cops (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575715)

Campus police are not rent-a-cops. They are real police. Sadly.

Depends on your jurisdiction. On my campus, they have police powers, but only while on campus. Off-campus, they are regular citizens.

A few years back 3 campus cops drove a campus police car to a nearby off-campus doughnut shop. While there, they noticed a driver weaving down the road. Suspecting a DUI, they turned on their flashing lights & siren, pulled over the driver, determined that the driver was impaired, then called the regular city police.

The campus cops were reprimanded by management, because they were dressed like police officers, driving a police vehicle, and acting as police officers while they were just regular citizens (impersonating a police officer is a serious offence).

I dunno what happened to the DUI offender due to the illegal traffic stop.

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575845)

While that might be true where you are, Cops here are part of the city police force (not sure how the funding works) but they work mostly on campus have campus colors and a building on campus. Their jurisdiction does expand way beyond campus.

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576017)

I dunno what happened to the DUI offender due to the illegal traffic stop.

They could make a good case for it standing up, as the campus police appear to have made a citizen's arrest, then called the regular police to take the suspect into custody. For that matter, the stop may not have been illegal (IANAL). If it were, a reprimand from management would have been the least of their problems.

Re:Rent-a-cops (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575815)

No, they are not. In fact, the point of campus police is specifically to insulate the students from the real police. In some cases, to keep the students out of the regular justice system (e.g. underage drinking. Academic sanctions might be preferred to hanging a criminal conviction around a student's neck for the rest of their life.) If the "campus" police are more severe than the real police, then they're really not doing their jobs. They're supposed to be more present, to catch shenanigans while they're still cheeky and no one needs to replace a few units of blood.

Very sadly, IMHO (5, Interesting)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575829)

True enough.

I was walking through the basement of our student union building many years ago. The building was mostly closed - we were at a gaming con and minimal stuff was open. I noticed the door to the game room was ajar. I went in and started playing video games with a few of my friends.

Turns out I tripped a silent alarm. About 15 minutes in, campus police busted in and threw us up against the wall at gunpoint. No kidding, I had a gun pressed against the base of my skull.

All that for 3 geeks who were playing video games.

We talked a bit with the cops afterwards. They bragged about how they had us "under surveillance" for over five minutes without any of us noticing. I pointed out that if that were true, did any of them notice the fact that we were *leaving* money there rather than taking it? Blank stares.

So IMHO, they're worse than regular cops. They're bored out of their minds - and have real guns. They so desperately want some crime to deal with, but there just isn't much other than the odd frat house kegger that gets out of control or the occasional parking ticket. I'd be bored to near-insanity too.

Re:Very sadly, IMHO (2, Insightful)

averner (1341263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576005)

They so desperately want some crime to deal with, but there just isn't much other than the odd frat house kegger that gets out of control or the occasional parking ticket.

Over here, we get an email about someone getting mugged every couple weeks.

Anyways, "real" crime is dangerous. If you're up against murderers, you can get shot or stabbed. On the other hand, giving out parking tickets usually isn't life-threatening. Some cops might prefer not being in danger if they don't have to, since they're human after all.

Re:Rent-a-cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575959)

At ISU they actually are pretty much state police since they're at a state college and have jurisdiction over pretty much the entire state as I understand it. A few years ago they were public safety officers without even a taser, they got upgraded to basically state police and now have guns- and love pulling people over all over town way away from campus. how do you love your tuition going to that!

Re:Rent-a-cops (4, Informative)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575681)

Why should they have the right?
If I'm not mistaken, the Boston College Police Department consists of
Special State Police Officers [wikipedia.org] .
That they were able to obtain a search warrant should be another indicator.

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

winkydink (650484) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575943)

Boston College != Boston University

That said the BC police have powers granted to them by the commonwealth. http://www.bc.edu/offices/bcpd/about.html [bc.edu]

Re:Rent-a-cops (1)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576057)

I wouldn't be surprised if a condition of attendance of the school would be to sign papers to the effect of, "You walk the campus at our sufferance, and you agree that we can seize your property if we want to in the course of investigations done under the edict of our own authority."

Standard Operating Procedure these days. Your school is paranoid of you, and you can't take classes until you justify their application of that paranoia.

He has an iPod (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575585)

Self-hating fag.

Re:He has an iPod (0, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575707)

The dorm room search stemmed from an investigation into who sent an email to a Boston College mailing list alleging that another student was gay.

Lotta Catholics in Boston, and as we all know Catholics are among the most zealous and hypocritical of all the religious idiots. Pontificate and bash gays by day, homosexually molest by night.

I bet the two were former lovers and had a bitter custody battle over the iPod after the relationship went sour.

Re:He has an iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576063)

You just had to remove all doubt, didn't you.

simply using 2 OS? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575601)

shit, if using 2 os's can hide my porn addiction, i'll be a tripple-booting, VM-running, 8 computer-having motherfucker!

What is a regular "B.C. Operating System"? (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575617)

First time I ever heard that. Does Boston College suddenly come out with their own Linux Distro?

Re:What is a regular "B.C. Operating System"? (1)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575665)

That's what I thought of too! "What the hell is the 'regular B.C. operating system'?"

Then I realized that the cops are just retarded apparently and couldn't take the time to figure out what they were writing about.

Re:What is a regular "B.C. Operating System"? (1)

RetroRichie (259581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575787)

Duh, it's OS X. They've just never fired up that Terminal thingy. What IS that thing??

Re:What is a regular "B.C. Operating System"? (4, Informative)

doomy (7461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575805)

It's a mix of Microsoft Vista and XP with support tools (apps).

Eg: http://www.bc.edu/offices/help/meta-elements/doc/articles/html/TR-mselearning.shtml

Re:What is a regular "B.C. Operating System"? (1)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575893)

If that were the case, my irony meter will explode.

when linux is outlawed..... (3, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575623)

Only outlaws will have Linux ;)

So Very Painfully Humiliatingly Guilty (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575645)

Judge: Would the prosecution give its opening statements in this case?
Prosecutor: Ladies & gentlemen of the jury, I have every intent to prove to you today that the defendant is not only guilty but that the warrant application that granted us the right to acquire evidence practically wrote itself! Now, I am going to outline the warning signs that were evident in the days leading up to this case. I want you to close your eyes for a second and imagine your warm and fuzzy graphical (that's geek speak for 'good') user interface of Windows XP--that all you good Christian patriots use. Ah, the field of green with a blue screen and your well known icons and start menu where everybody knows your name and system tray with your favorite purple gorilla and application bar ... and uh--who's that over there?--it's Clippy!
*pauses until he sees smiles cross the juries faces*
Prosecutor: Now, imagine that all that is taken away and you're left with the cold dark nothingness of space--like before God created the earth. The heavens and stars aren't even there. It's nothing! And there, blinking unendingly, with no remorse or care for anything good is an intimidating cursor after some letters and symbols that no American could decipher. And as you type things like "I want to order shoes on Amazon" it responds only with the cold harsh words of the devil telling you that ordering shoes on Amazon is not a valid command. And Clippy? Clippy is dead.
*takes a drink of water and smiles smugly as the jury begins to scowl*
Prosecutor: And this is what the defendant used to send that e-mail. This ... this evil operating system is what hackers use. Maybe those hackers are the same ones that stole your credit card information? Maybe this operating system can only be understood by the criminally insane? I know I can't use it. It would be like me trying to read a book in German. You know who else spoke German? Hitler.
Prosecutor: So you see, this warrant was basically granted from keystroke one after we found out that the defendant was using Linux--an operating system that encourages you to use a file sharing software to install it. The warrant is valid, I'm just asking you what else might have been done with Linux and its evil knowledge installed on that college student's head and computer. Your honor, I rest my case.

Re:So Very Painfully Humiliatingly Guilty (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575757)

And Clippy? Clippy is dead.

You don't have to be computer literate to hate clippy. I think you just presented the defendant in a very sympathetic light ;)

Re:So Very Painfully Humiliatingly Guilty (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575783)

This ... this evil operating system is what hackers use.

Meh. From the -1 Troll posts I read here, Linux is only used by homosexuals.

Oh, and eldavojohn is most certainly the droid I am looking for...

-

obligatory (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575647)

If linux terminals are outlawed, only outlaws will have linux terminals.
I mean those people who use keyboards instead of mice are apparently not the norm,
and therefore should be feared. Sheesh, the retard world we live in.

It's Worse Than They Make It Out (4, Funny)

Shuh (13578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575649)

Apparently this "computer hacker" is also encoding his computer work in an obscure "binary code" of only 1's and 0's. It's obvious he has a lot to hide: his hard drive is filled with them!

Probable Cause? (2, Insightful)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575661)

Really? Come on now, I own a rifle, does that mean I shoot people? I have strong encryption on my hard drive, does that make me a terrorist?

In all honesty, my rifle, my 4096-bit encrypted hard drive, and the idea that I choose the best operating system or combination thereof that suits me as a consumer do nothing but support the idea that I am a law-abiding, dutiful citizen.

People fear what they don't understand.

Re:Probable Cause? (2, Funny)

honestmonkey (819408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575887)

The police will be by shortly. I mean, by your own admission:

"Come on now, I own a rifle, ... I shoot people... I ...m... a terrorist"

How much clearer can that be?

Re:Probable Cause? (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575989)

Really? Come on now, I own a rifle, does that mean I shoot people? I have strong encryption on my hard drive, does that make me a terrorist?

No, but having those things mean you have the ability to do things the government doesn't want you to do. The easiest way to prevent crime is to take away everyone's freedom.

Re:Probable Cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576055)

Really? Come on now, I own a rifle, does that mean I shoot people?

If you talk to many gun-control nuts, the answer is yes, you do. They regard you as a danger to yourself, your family and society and should be tossed in jail as soon as they work around the 2nd amendment.

Or, just write laws that are clearly unconstitutional (like Washington DC's gun ban) and toss you in jail anyway.

Taken out of context. (5, Informative)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576065)

This whole story is stupid. What's going on is that the search warrant request says that a witness has said the suspect uses two operating systems in his computer as a means of hiding his illegal activities. That's not a claim that having two operating systems is in itself suspicious. It's just a claim that this particular suspect, in this particular case is using a second operating system to conceal something.

Context, folks, context.

What? (4, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575663)

You can get in trouble for writing an email saying that someone is gay?

Re:What? (5, Funny)

b0ttle (1332811) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575683)

Not if you use windows.

Re:What? (3, Insightful)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575699)

Depending on who that someone is, yes.

Re:What? (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575929)

It's a violation of B.C.'s Friends of Gays [wikimedia.org] policy. Too many emails mass-sent proudly proclaiming their friends' sexuality clogs the network, so they have to stop it.

Warrant was issued? (4, Insightful)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575669)

Don't forget that there's a judge that approved that warrant. He's just as much part of the problem.

Re:Warrant was issued? (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575771)

And Bush and Obama seem to think getting a warrant is too hard.

Re:Warrant was issued? (2, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575917)

So are you saying the judge is gay?

Re:Warrant was issued? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575967)

no just an idiot

wssags3ssser (2, Insightful)

ushdfgakj (1218112) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575711)

Well, soon, we'll all be using an operating system on which somebody can watch every move of ours, so then everything will be OK. You shouldn't use Linux, it promotes antisocial and deviant behavior, like watching pornography, programming, and understanding what "zsh" is.

In other news... (1)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575731)

Boston College's Computer Science program announces that applications to the University are at an all time low.

Authorities plan to replace all campus computers with Etch-A-Sketches in order to attract a larger pool of applicants.

Just the opposite I think (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575739)

Linux users are too busy trying to get their computer working properly to have time for anything illegal.

*ducks*

Lame... (1)

tha_toadman (1266560) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575747)

What the hell!? So this guy likes to work on PCs and has 2 of his own and then they [cops] see him with "unknown machines" and he's committing a crime...!? How lame and yet it's our tax money at work. Unforetunately, (if I'm not mistaken) most campus cops are 'state deputies'. I know this as I challenged one of them before for running a stop sign and getting a ticket for it. $15 for the fine but $18 for the processing. What a bunch of crap! It must have pissed him off enough for him to give me the ticket.

This wouldn't have happened... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575767)

if he used the superior green-on-black coloring scheme. Using it shows a man with good taste and and high moral values.

you're gay! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575769)

::crash::

Spread'm nigga! Now let's sprinkle some crack on him and get out of here

Quick! Everyone! Panic! (5, Insightful)

pnuema (523776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575777)

1. This case involved a "crime" committed using a computer. I know personally if I was put in charge of investigating a computer crime, I would seize every piece of magnetic and writable optical media I could find in the suspect's possession. Doing less would be incompetence.

2. This was from a search warrant application. Not every cop is computer literate. This is worthy of a few snickers, not a front pager.

Re:Quick! Everyone! Panic! (5, Insightful)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575847)

2. This was from a search warrant application. Not every cop is computer literate. This is worthy of a few snickers, not a front pager.

If their job includes deciding who to go after based on what happens on teh intarweb, then they should be, or have access to someone who is. It's worthy of being a front pager because he isn't and no one stopped him on that basis.

1. This case involved a "crime" committed using a computer. I know personally if I was put in charge of investigating a computer crime, I would seize every piece of magnetic and writable optical media I could find in the suspect's possession. Doing less would be incompetence.

I think doing less (read: obtaining only items specified in the search warrant) would be more along the lines of "reasonable search and seizure", and anything more would be a violation of basic constitutional rights.

Re:Quick! Everyone! Panic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575923)

What's the crime? Cite the statute that the student in question allegedly violated.

Show where in the search warrant they properly provided the judge with probable cause that the student to be searched was guilty of the crime of which he was accused.

I wish you luck.

I RTFA. (1)

Benanov (583592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576011)

Except that the "crime" here was sending an email. The additional complaints are really complainant's attempt to smear/punish the defendant.

"outing" a student? (1)

Punto (100573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575813)

since when is it illegal to call someone gay?

Re:"outing" a student? (5, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575831)

It's not, if the person really is gay. Libel and Slander only apply if the person can prove he is not gay and the claim substantially damaged him in some way.

It's still a dick move, though.

Re:"outing" a student? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575903)

Libel and slander exist in civil law, not criminal law. The cops don't investigate them.

Re:"outing" a student? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576003)

Jost wondering how the guy would prove the other student really IS gay.

Re:"outing" a student? (1)

digitalme2 (965595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576045)

Jost wondering how the guy would prove the other student really IS gay.

Call current and/or former partners as witnesses?

Those who cant be cops (1)

hicks107 (1286642) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575837)

Those who cant (be cops), become college cops.

This is BS for two reasons (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575849)

A- Calling someone gay? Is that a serious offense? Have the morons who issued this warrant ever talked to college aged guys?

B- Really? So- using anything that people who don't use computers aren't familiar with is considered suspicious? What the fuck? Are these the salem witch trials? Is he going to be burned for linuxcraft?

Re:This is BS for two reasons (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576021)

hey... http://www.linuxcraft.co.uk/ [linuxcraft.co.uk]

Not going to help the prosecution (tm)

Was the other OS even Windows? (2, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575855)

One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.

That could simply mean they saw him switching between X and a text console.

I hate how stupid the police can be.

See I knew it! (1)

MasseKid (1294554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575857)

Distributing linux distros via bit torrent is a crime!!!!

Are these cops somehow related to ... (4, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575861)

... the cops that caused a city wide panic because they misunderstood a few funny lighted signs?

What is this, Wacky Wednesday? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575867)

"The dorm room search stemmed from an investigation into who sent an email to a Boston College mailing list alleging that another student was gay."

Assuming that the student is 100% guilty... how exactly is sending an e-mail calling someone "gay" a crime?

Boston College is private, right? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575871)

So.. campus cops can do whatever the hell they want then. Why is there even a story posted here?

Re:Boston College is private, right? (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575885)

Because campus cops can apparently do whatever the hell they want?

Re:Boston College is private, right? (4, Interesting)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575927)

My first day at a private college, we were explicitly told that the constitution does not apply within their property.

Re:Boston College is private, right? (2, Informative)

digitalme2 (965595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575999)

So.. campus cops can do whatever the hell they want then. Why is there even a story posted here?

Because it wasn't just campus cops involved, it was the Massachusetts State Police who participated in the search.

New charges.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575877)

He is also accused of conspiracy and harboring fugitive 'Mooninite' terrorists.

I don't think this kid is as innocent as you... (2, Interesting)

krovisser (1056294) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575891)

would think. The warrant is junk, yes. But the kid, judging from what the warrant cites, was asking for it. Also, the cop seems to be a real cop.

So the cure would be (1)

Tpl2000 (1174767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575909)

Installing linux on all of the campus' computers.

I think I'm missing something here... (1)

digitalme2 (965595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575933)

The dorm room search stemmed from an investigation into who sent an email to a Boston College mailing list alleging that another student was gay. Police say they know who sent the email and that the sender committed the crimes of "obtaining computer services by fraud or misrepresentation" and obtaining "unauthorized access to a computer system." However, nothing presented by the investigating officer to obtain the warrant, including the allegation that the student sent the email to the mailing list, could constitute the cited criminal offenses.

First of all, I think outing someone is an abhorrent thing to do. It can psychologically destroy someone, and I'm all for punishing the outer. However, this is one of two things (provided Boston College doesn't handle this internally): a) libel or b) a civil suit for emotional damage. So what I'm missing is, how does one jump from a posting to a public mailing list to unauthorized access and computer fraud? And why would Boston College pursue legal recourse first instead of sanctioning him as a student?

Read the warrant: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27575951)

http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/inresearchBC/EXHIBIT-A.pdf

Start with page 6 - if you want to get behind someone, this is not the person to do it. He's admitted to doing illegal activities in the past and his laundry list is quite long with multiple officers involved in the past and multiple witnesses being called to back up things up on different incidents.

Let's take a few sentences out of context and blow it up because its Linux. Gotta love an internet full of headline news...

Expected (1)

Akita24 (1080779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27575987)

I fully expect the cops to behave like everybody-is-guilty-of-something power mongering storm troopers. The asshat judge that signed off on the warrant OTOH, needs to go down.

It's the end of the world as we know it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27576019)

... and I feel like -swapping-to-an-operating-system-which-won't-have-me-shipped-off-to-Guantanamo-omg-wtf-bbq-

Yes, we've got trouble! (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576031)

Right here in River City!
With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Prompt!

Warrant does not say 2 OSes -- Hacking (4, Informative)

randomchicagomac (809764) | more than 5 years ago | (#27576059)

Normally, I'd say RTFA, but here, the FA goes beyond the actual excerpts of the warrant.

The excerpts EFF have posted do not say "he has two operating systems, and that's evidence that he's up to no good." Instead, the warrant says

[redacted] reported that Mr. Calixte uses two different operating systems to hide his illegal activities. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.

Paraphrased, that says that somebody directly told the police that they observed the suspect doing illegal activities, and that the dual OSes are an aspect of those activities. That's almost, although not exactly, the inverse of what the summary and most of the commenters assume. And if I was going to be up to something I shouldn't be doing on a computer, if I wasn't going to have a dedicated computer for it, then I might limit those activities to a separate OS with separate filesystems.

Finally, as another commenter noted, warrants have to state with some particularity the objects to be searched and seized. EFF isn't giving us enough context for this part of the warrant, but it could be that the warrant is talking about a computer with two OSes just so the officers know which computer to seize, the propriety of the seizure having been established elsewhere.

Not saying that this warrant was proper, that this guy did anything, etc., but I am saying that the problems most people are complaining about, and that EFF is implying, aren't necessarily there.

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