H2 2013 Quick Links, Part 5 (Miscellaneous)
* Ars Technica: How the feds took down the Dread Pirate Roberts. A great story on how hard it is to remain anonymous online against determined federal agents.
* Nice Reuters retrospective on Judge Rader.
* DailyDot: The battle to destroy Wikipedia’s biggest sockpuppet army. Related: Is Wikipedia for Sale? Wikipedia responded by shutting down 250 accounts. Related article.
* Malsom v. Match.com (5th Cir. Oct. 11, 2013). Unconscionability claim against Match.com for fake user profiles fails. Related blog post.
* NY Times: A Lexicon of Instant Argot (about the Urban Dictionary)
* NY Times: Is the Internet a Mob Without Consequence?
* James Grimmelmann talks about the bursting MOOC bubble.
* Excellent New York Times Magazine article on Google Maps and its competition
* Wired: How These 5 Dirtbags Radically Advanced Your Digital Rights
* N.Y. Times: Hundreds of Start-Ups Hope to Be a Copycat Start-Up
* Lulu is the latest attempt to rate and review dating partners
* Linguistic analysis of electronic content can help catch criminals.
* In re AOL, Inc. Repurchase Offer Litigation, 2013 WL 6331802 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 5, 2013). Rule 11 sanctions for filing a securities lawsuit based principally on an overintrepretation of a blog post by Robert X. Cringely (a/k/a Mark Stephens).
* Evans v. Second Life settles for $172k. Evans v. Linden Research, Inc., 2013 WL 5781284 (N.D.Cal. Oct. 25, 2013). Preliminary approval of settlement agreement.
* NY Times on “camming”
* SJ Mercury News: Food Fight: Bay Area courts center of legal battle against food industry
* Mashable: New York Orders Airbnb to Hand Over Data on 15,000 Users
* Environmental Graphics, LLC v. Medical Murals, LLC, 2013 WL 3338779 (D. Minn. July 2, 2013). Sending a takedown notice to a website’s host doesn’t create personal jurisdiction in website’s home court.
* WSJ: Why Startups Are Sporting Increasingly Quirky Names
* A retrospective on successful alumni from Google’s in-house legal department. (paywall)
* WSJ: Litigation Over Noncompete Clauses Is Rising (paywall)
* State v. Wilson, 2013 WL 6816686 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Dec. 27, 2013):
Responding to an ad in the “personals” section of the internet site “Craigslist,” Wilson began an email and text dialogue with a detective posing as the aunt of a thirteen-year-old girl purportedly being offered for sex. It is unnecessary to detail all of the exchanges between Wilson and the detective. In summary, the evidence reviewed in connection with Wilson’s motion to dismiss, when viewed in the light most favorable to the State, demonstrated that Wilson used electronic communications to arrange what he believed would be a sexual encounter between himself and a thirteen-year-old female child. Law enforcement arrested Wilson after he traveled to the location at which he had agreed to meet the child. In granting the motion to dismiss, the trial court concluded that Wilson could not be convicted of either charge because his electronic communications were with a person he believed to be an aunt of the child, and not directly with the child. The trial court read the relevant statutes as only applying if an accused communicated directly with (and thereby directly solicited) the child for sex. Considering the matter de novo, see, e.g., State v. Brabson, 7 So.3d 1119, 1120–21 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008), we agree with the State that these statutes also apply when an accused attempts to solicit a child through an adult intermediary.
* People v. Hanna, 2013 WL 3942543 (Cal. App. Ct. July 31, 2013):
There was substantial evidence on which a jury could believe defendant intended to have sexual relations with an 18–year–old. Brebre’s MySpace profile listed her age as 18. Although father, pretending to be Brebre, digitally “told” defendant “she” was 13 and lied on her profile page, father also depicted Brebre as sexually experienced beyond her years. In father’s explicit, masked words, Brebre had already had sex with other older men, run out of her supply of condoms, and had even been pregnant. Defendant told the investigating officer that Brebre said she was 18. This was sufficient evidence to justify giving the mistake-of-fact instruction…
And the evidence that defendant actually believed Brebre was 13 years old was strong. After being informed she was 13 years old—“I’m 13 and if that’s okay with you”—and after being given an opportunity to end the dialogue upon learning she was 13 years old, defendant did not end the conversation. Instead, he said he was interested in continuing to chat, and he asked to know more about Brebre. After being told she attended middle school, he asked about her profile stating she was 18. Once father, digitally responding as Brebre, explained “she” lied in order to be able to speak with older men, defendant was satisfied with her explanation, and he pursued meeting her to engage in sex. After being told again Brebre was 13 years old, defendant replied that he was interested in her. He complied with her request to forward a photograph of his penis by directing her to a Web site to see the photo, he agreed to meet her as soon as possible, and he confirmed with her that they would engage in oral copulation. Having made these preparations, he drove to the convenience store to meet a girl he clearly understood by then to be 13 years old. It is not reasonably probable that a jury instruction on the mistake-of-fact defense would have changed the verdict under these circumstances. The court thus did not commit prejudice.
* The CFAA has made doing security research “terrifying.”
* InformationWeek: Yahoo Recycled Emails–Users Find Security Surprises.