Search & Seizure of Stored Email

Can the government conduct secret, warrantless searches and seizures of email stored with a third party? In Warshak v. United States, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is currently considering the issue of government access to stored electronic mail without a probable-cause warrant. The appeal originated out of a district court finding that stored […]

Wifi-based Location Determination

A new method of computer-based tracking has recently emerged: wifi. A company has been sending trucks all over the U.S. and Canada mapping access points, addresses and names, and now claims that they have technology to say where you are in relation to other people based on what access points your computer can see nearby. […]

Gifts Bespeak Relationships

One of the specific narrative methods of establishing community, of creating and maintaining shared world-views, is gift exchange. In contrast to the exchange of commodities, the exchange of gifts establishes enduring connections between people. It is the cardinal difference between gift and commodity exchange that a gift establishes a feeling-bond between two people, while the […]

Balance and the 4th Amendment

A fundamental point of contention in a democratic society is the need to balance the enforcement of laws with the rights of citizens. In the United States, the 4th Amendment to the Constitution protects the rights of citizens to be free from “unreasonable search and seizure.” Throughout our history, the exact meaning of this broad […]

March 2007

Prefaces, Prologues and Paratext

A preface or prologue is a sort of pretext to the writing that follows it; it sets up the reader, as it were, to encounter the text that it introduces. It attempts to mediate then, between the world of the reader and the world of the text by making clear an intention. Now this intention […]

\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

So what do you do when your wife’s computer says this? Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM Why, this of course: How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting Of course, we couldn’t find her Windows XP recovery CD, so we borrowed […]

Computer Science Professors' Brief in Grokster

Amici write to call to the Court’s attention several computer science issues raised by Petitioners and amici who filed concurrent with Petitioners, and to correct certain of their technical assertions. First, the United States’ description of the Internet’s design is wrong. P2P networks are not new developments in network design, but rather the design on […]

Culture as a Map

It is significant that “culture” is sometimes described as a map; it is the analogy which occurs to an outsider who has to find his way around in a foreign landscape and who compensates for his lack of practical mastery, the prerogative of the native, by the use of a model of all possible routes. […]

U.S. bans juvenile executions

It’s nice to join the international community on occasion: Supreme Court Abolishes Juvenile Death Penalty Some interesting snippets from the ruling include: Neither retribution nor deterrence provides adequate justification for imposing the death penalty on juvenile offenders, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the 25-page opinion. “It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of […]