When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

16 April 2009

If they knew he was using ssh, they would have shot him on sight

Better be careful if you open a Unix shell window on the grounds of Boston College:
On Friday, EFF and the law firm of Fish and Richardson filed an emergency motion to quash [pdf] and for the return of seized property on behalf of a Boston College computer science student whose computers, cell phone, and other property were seized as part of an investigation into who sent an e-mail to a school mailing list identifying another student as gay. The problem? Not only is there no indication that any crime was committed, the investigating officer argued that the computer expertise of the student itself supported a finding of probable cause to seize the student's property.
The "evidence" against him? 

(1) He's a comp sci student who knows his stuff.
(2) Apparently other students give him their laptops to fix.
(3) Most damning - he uses *two* different operating systems, including one that (horrors) "is a black screen with a white font that he uses prompt commands on."

Really.  I could not make this up.

Boston College Campus Police: "Using Prompt Commands" May Be a Sign of Criminal Activity (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

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