GeekSpeak for 2011-08-27

Who Watches the Watchers' Mac Addresses?

Citizens’ right to record the police, social media’s impact on undercover cops, IPs are not people, and your comments and questions.

Ban on Recording Police in Public is Unconstitutional

“A Boston lawyer suing the city and police officers who arrested him for using his cell phone to record a drug arrest on the Common won a victory today when a federal appeals court said the officers could not claim ‘qualified immunity’ because they were performing their job when they arrested him under a state law that bars audio recordings without the consent of both parties.”

Woman Recorded Cops After Harassment Claims Ignored

“A former stripper who is accused of illegally recording a conversation with two Chicago police internal affairs detectives cried on the witness stand Tuesday as she admitted being mad at the time because she thought her sexual harassment complaint wasn’t being taken seriously.”

Social Media Could Render Covert Policing 'Impossible'

“Not even police officers can hide due to online information and use of biometrics, says ex-AFP commissioner.”

Judge Blocks Teacher-Kid Private Message Ban

“Teachers can still engage in private conversations with their students on Facebook and other social networking services, thanks to a MIssouri judge. The judge issued a ruling today that noted that a law prohibiting such practices could have drastic implications for free speech, so he has put it on hold until February.”

Why IP Addresses Alone Don't Identify Criminals

“This spring, agents from [ICE|Immigration and Customs Enforcement] executed a search warrant at the home of Nolan King and seized six computer hard drives in connection with a criminal investigation. The warrant was issued on the basis of an [IP|Internet Protocol] address that traced back to an account connected to Mr. King’s home, where he was operating a Tor exit relay.”

Cisco and Abuses of Human Rights in China

“What responsibility do corporations have to consider human rights when making business deals? Are companies that build and market equipment for the purpose of surveilling and censoring pro-democracy activists in authoritarian regimes culpable when those activists are imprisoned or tortured? Do companies bear a special responsibility if they customize products to improve the efficacy of tracking dissidents and choking free speech? What if the companies train government agents in using the technology to ferret out activists?”

President James Garfield Proves the Pythagorean Theorem

In any right triangle, the sum of the square of the two perpendicular sides is equal to the square of the longest side. For a right triangle with legs measures ‘a’ and ‘b’ and length of hypotenuse ‘c’, the theorem can be expressed in the form a^2 + b^2 = c^2.