Cyber Bytes from Quinlan Law Enforcement

Identity theft “In a case involving identity theft, the court found that a search warrant for computer data was valid even though its actual wording was overbroad, since the officers executing the search acted in good faith that the warrant was valid. The defendant was a United States postal worker who intercepted certain credit card information from individuals on her route. After an investigation, postal inspectors applied for a warrant to search both the defendant’s home and computers. The warrant was drafted in such a way that it was overbroad in its reference to the computerized data. However, the court found that because the officers believed the warrant to be valid and limited their search in a reasonable manner, the search was not unconstitutional.”
Citation: U.S. v. Otero, 2009 WL 1119657 (10th Cir. 2009)

Hard drive mirror image “In a case in which a prosecutor has complied with its duty to provide discovery by delivering a transcript of evidence from the hard drive of a police computer, the defendant argued that he had the right to obtain a mirror image of the computer hard drive without making a prima facie showing that the information in the transcript was false, incomplete, adulterated, or spoliated. The court concluded that without making such a showing, the defendant had no right to obtain a copy of the hard drive. The defendant was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor. The state presented evidence that included transcriptions of chat logs obtained from the defendant’s computer. When the defendant requested a mirror image of the hard drive, the state refused. The court concluded that the transcripts were sufficient evidence and that the defendant’s mere speculation that the original hard drive would vindicate him was insufficient to compel the state to produce a mirror image.”
Citation: State v. Rivas, 2009-Ohio-1354, 2009 WL 875216 (Ohio 2009)

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act “In a copyright infringement action based on the archiving of student papers on the defendant’s website, judgment for the defendant was upheld, where the archiving was transformative because its purpose was to prevent plagiarism by comparative use but judgment for the plaintiff on the defendant’s counterclaims were reversed, because damages under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act can include the costs of repairing a violation of that act.”
Citation: A.V. ex rel. Vanderhye v. iParadigms, LLC, 2009 WL 1015145 (4th Cir. 2009)

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