Abandoned Property?

Privacy is a concern of mine so I found this Wall Street Journal report quite interesting. It is entitled, “How to Stop the FBI From Reading Your Email.” The FBI holds that any email that is greater than six months old and is still on a server is abandoned property. As such, they say they don’t need to obtain a warrant to read that email. According to report Jonnelle Marte, this stems from a law written in 1986. I wish she had been a bit more specific as to which law treats it as abandoned property.

The reporter suggests two things to prevent the FBI from snooping into your email. First, there is encryption but both the sender and receiver need to have the key. The second is actually much easier – delete older emails or download them from the server to your own harddrive.

For people using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or something similar for their email, this is a good reminder to clean out your in-box and archives. While I use Gmail for some things, I tend to use my older email account for more sensitive and personal stuff in combination with Mozilla Thunderbird. It downloads directly to my hard drive and doesn’t leave anything on their server.

UPDATE: The law in question is the Stored Communications Act of 1986. More on the law here. Thanks to Bill G. for the info.

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from that Friend of Angelo recipient of sweetheart mortgages, former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who just so happens to be the Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

He is criticizing Google, Wikipedia, bloggers, and others for blacking out their sites or asking people to oppose SOPA and PIPA. This is rich coming from the likes of Dodd who represents an industry that is at its best entertainment and usually more akin to a well-oiled propaganda machine for the so-called progressives.

You can find longer critiques of his comments here and here.

And to give this a gun blog slant, he is the son of the author of the Gun Control Act of 1968, Sen. Thomas J. Dodd (D-CT).

The List Of Shame – Senate Version

The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011, S. 968, is the Senate version of the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act, HR 3261. It is sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It has its own acronym – PIPA – and it is scheduled for a cloture vote on January 24th.

The Strike Against SOPA and PIPA have an online petition which will deliver your message to your representatives.

The bill in the Senate currently has 38 co-sponsors as Sen. Mark Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) have withdrawn their support from the bill.

What I fail to understand is why any Republican is a co-sponsor of either bill as it rewards Hollywood, the recording industry, and other media companies who have supported and financed Democrats for years. Do they not understand – which the Democrats obviously do – that you reward your friends and screw your enemies?

Here is the Senate’s List of Shame:

Sen Alexander, Lamar [TN] – 5/25/2011
Sen Ayotte, Kelly [NH] – 6/27/2011
Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] – 7/25/2011
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] – 10/19/2011
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] – 5/12/2011
Sen Blunt, Roy [MO] – 5/23/2011
Sen Boozman, John [AR] – 6/15/2011
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] – 12/12/2011
Sen Brown, Sherrod [OH] – 10/20/2011
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] – 7/13/2011
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] – 9/7/2011
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] – 11/2/2011
Sen Cochran, Thad [MS] – 6/23/2011
Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] – 5/12/2011
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] – 6/9/2011
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] – 6/30/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] – 9/7/2011
Sen Feinstein, Dianne [CA] – 5/12/2011
Sen Franken, Al [MN] – 5/12/2011
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] – 5/26/2011
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] – 5/12/2011
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] – 5/12/2011
Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] – 7/5/2011
Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] – 5/12/2011
Sen Isakson, Johnny [GA] – 11/2/2011
Sen Johnson, Tim [SD] – 10/3/2011
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] – 5/12/2011
Sen Kohl, Herb [WI] – 5/12/2011
Sen Landrieu, Mary L. [LA] – 10/17/2011
Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. [CT] – 7/7/2011
Sen McCain, John [AZ] – 7/26/2011
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] – 10/31/2011
Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] – 9/23/2011
Sen Risch, James E. [ID] – 11/7/2011
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] – 5/12/2011
Sen Shaheen, Jeanne [NH] – 6/30/2011
Sen Udall, Tom [NM] – 7/7/2011
Sen Vitter, David [LA] – 11/7/2011
Sen Whitehouse, Sheldon [RI] – 5/12/2011

UPDATE: Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Roy Blount (R-MO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have all removed their co-sponsorship from this bill today

“I’m withdrawing my co-sponsorship for the Protect IP Act,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican.

Sen. John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican, “will be withdrawing his name as a co-sponsor” of Protect IP, a spokesman told CNET today. Fellow Protect IP co-sponsor Sen. James Risch, an Idaho Republican, said today that he wants “more time to re-examine the legislation before going to a vote” and has asked staff for a detailed briefing, a spokesman said.

And Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican who has long been a close ally of Hollywood on copyright and is up for re-election this year, said on Twitter that “I will not only vote against moving the bill forward next week but also remove my co-sponsorship of the bill.” Hatch’s volte face is notable because of his enthusiasm for similar measures in the past: once proposed that copyright holders should be allowed to remotely destroy the computers of music pirates and tried to outlaw peer-to-peer networks through his Induce Act.

 UPDATE II: Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Tweeted this evening that she was removing her co-sponsorship of the bill according to Rollcall.

UPDATE III: Ars Technica is reporting that 7 of the original co-sponsors have removed their names from the bill and are actively against it. I have crossed those 7 off the List of Shame. They did this in response to the swell of opposition to PIPA.

One of my senators, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), still seems to be more dependent on Hollywood money than the voters of North Carolina. 2014 cannot get here soon enough.

UPDATE IV: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who is listed as one of the co-sponsors of this bill released this yesterday. I need to check if he is still listed as a co-sponsor.

Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley released the following statement regarding the Senate’s Protect IP Act.

“It’s critical we protect the intellectual property rights of our businesses and fight online infringement, but at the same time, we can’t do harm to the internet, the Constitution, or the ability of businesses to grow and innovate. Internet piracy is illegal, and we need to find a way that works for all sides. The current Protect IP Act needs more due diligence, analysis, and substantial changes. As it stands right now, I can’t support the bill moving forward next week.”