EFF Challenges Subpoenas to ISPs for Identities of Anonymous Posters

On July 14, 2010, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a group that defends the privacy and online rights of computer and Internet users, served a motion to quash two dragnet subpoenas issued by the plaintiffs in a high-profile New York state court case to Internet service providers (ISP’s) Google and Yahoo. The subpoenas demanded the identities…

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DOJ Official Seeks to Clear Her Name After Contempt Charge

A recent filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia uncovered a sidelight to the story of the botched prosecution of former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). In April 2009, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan set aside the verdict in the criminal case against Stevens and dismissed the case on the grounds of…

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Arizona Immigration Statute: DOJ Raises Law Enforcement Issues

On July 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit the enforcement of the controversial new anti-immigration law passed by the state of Arizona in April. See, for example, the helpful summary in the blog of Legal Times.  DOJ is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prohibit the enforcement of…

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Poker, as a Game of Skill, Is Beyond Reach of Gaming Laws

The highly regarded British publication The Economist has just published an interesting article that strongly makes the case that poker is a game of skill, not a game of chance. The article notes that poker is, of course, big business these days, pointing to a consultant’s estimate that the online poker market amounts to $4.9…

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Federal Criminal Charges Dropped — But Reputations Damaged

A recent Bloomberg News article points to a disturbing trend – a dramatic increase in ultimately unsupportable white-collar federal indictments. In recent years, a growing number of executives have been indicted for corporate crimes and then had the charges dropped. From 2006 to 2008, the most recent period available, U.S. prosecutors dismissed charges against 42…

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Kagan Stresses Deference to Congress on Federal Sentencing

In her three-day Supreme Court confirmation hearing, nominee Elena Kagan expressed very few views on substantive issues that might give observers a clue as to how she would vote as a Justice. Criminal law and sentencing issues were no exception, as the nominee did not tip her hand much on these matters. One interesting tidbit…

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Has the FBI Gone Too Far in Investigating White-Collar Crime and Fraud?

A recent Wall Street Journal article describing the FBI’s use against suspected financial criminals of techniques normally used to hunt terrorists shows how seriously white-collar crime is being viewed these days.  It also vindicates those who sounded warning bells after 9/11 when Americans were asked to trade civil liberties for the promise of national security. …

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From Federal Prison, Ex-Enron CEO Ponders His Case

On June 25, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its partially favorable decision in Skilling v. United States. Although the Court accepted former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling’s arguments on the reach of the “honest services” statute, it rejected Skilling’s contention that pretrial publicity and community prejudice prevented him from receiving a fair trial. Since his…

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