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David Kramer's high-entropy blog

Boston College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

From Slashdot: This article tells of how a search warrant was granted simply because this student was running some alternate operating system they didn’t understand.  They suspected an email was sent from his computer which defamed a fellow student.  But instead of handling it as a disciplinary matter, they’re getting all Brazil on his a**.

“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.”

I saw a report on this on the news, which said they took every electronic device he owns, including is ipod (an infamous hacking tool, donchaknow.), his computer, and his cell phone.  He’s a Computer Sicence major, so he now has no way of completing his schoolwork.  And he lost his job at the computer lab.

This is a great combination of “Fear of the unknown” and “Shoot first, ask questions later”. Book burning at its finest.  If I were him, I would sue the school for the entire year’s tuition which will now go to waste, missed salary from his job at the lab, the replacement costs for all they took, and a big dollop for mental anguish from having his name dirtied with no evidence.

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April 15th, 2009 Posted by | No comments
Categories: Computers, Legal | Tags: , , ,

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