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The Truth About Facebook

Ask this expert on data science what Congress should have asked Mark Zuckerberg last week, and she’ll say, nothing. If that surprises you, please understand that these hearings are not designed to deliver the truth. They’re designed to tell the public that, if there’s a problem, the government is doing something about it. So you’re not gonna Read More

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The Modern Public Square

This week brought us another unanimous U.S. Supreme Court case that’s arguably more important because it concerned the First Amendment. The issue was a North Carolina law that made it a felony for registered sex offenders to use any social-networking site that let minors join. So, to be clear: that’s any social-media site, period, that let minors join. That Read More

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New California Criminal Laws in 2017

Let’s get right to it. We already covered three of them in prior posts. One was Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana. Another was Proposition 57, which expanded parole eligibility for nonviolent felons and cut back on prosecuting kids as adults. A third was Assembly Bill 1909, which made it a felony for prosecutors to commit Brady violations in bad Read More

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What Are Your Intentions?

In most white-collar cases, the main driver at sentencing is the dollar amount of the victim’s loss, and in federal cases, the rule is that you’re responsible for either the actual loss or your intended loss, whichever is greater. We touched on the difference between actual and intended loss in this post from last spring. But recently, an Read More

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California’s Cybercrime Statute

As promised last week, here’s the lowdown on Penal Code section 502, otherwise known as California’s Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act. Nowadays, of course, cybercrime can include any flavor of fraud, identity theft, or other scheme or swindle that is committed by computers or related to their use. Not to mention other crimes like stalking and child pornography. Section Read More

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We’re Not Gonna Take It, Anymore!

You may want to tell your boss to take your job and shove it, but if you’re thinking of logging on one last time to wreak some havoc or raid the company’s trade secrets then think again. Over the summer, a federal court of appeals interpreted California law in a way that makes it a crime for you to access your employer’s Read More

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Cyber Search Warrants Are Going to the Dogs

It’s true, and reportedly, even the recent search of Jared Fogle’s home involved a Labrador who found a thumb drive of potential evidence. The dog is one of a handful or two nationwide that’s trained to sniff out electronics and their component parts based on a chemical that’s common to all of them. Law enforcement won’t identify the chemical, but after a few Read More

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A Convergence of Pot and Patriotism

It’s been a good month for the U.S. Justice Department. On May 12, it established a new policy that requires agents and prosecutors to electronically record their custodial interrogations in most cases. Then on May 19, FBI Director James Comey publicly suggested that the Bureau may need to rethink its hiring policy on pot if it wants to attract the Read More

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