Juvenile criminal defense attorneys forced to agree to Taser's terms of service to see the state's evidence


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/23/evidence-com.html


I too am shocked, this is outrageous. One more example of the government showing deference to the corporatocracy.


Look on the bright side, at least they didn’t call it “AlternativeEvidence.com”.


Taser (Axon) are the people offering (as I understand it) free body cams to any qualifying law enforcement org that wants them and is willing to sign the contract. The money comes from hosting the data which these cams collect and store on Axon servers, for which Axon gets paid on a recurring basis, year after year. (Not the shaver but the blade.)

The point being, if their scheme works, Axon’s license will proliferate.


Sounds like a shrinkwrap license. Feel free to jam your own into their gears.

By allowing me access to your website, you agree to my terms of service and license agreement , which is available on my site at xxxx.xxx, and the latest version will apply in all cases. In the event of a legal dispute, the laws of the Principality of Sealand will apply.


There are two lesser-known revenue streams:

  1. Axon analyzes the bodycam footage and inserts appropriate pre-screened 60 second advertisements at opportune times.
  2. If, after 90 days recorded video has not been subpoenaed, it becomes eligible to be submitted to America’s Funniest Home videos, where Axon may receive prize money.


This is one of the ways which law enforcement and corporations shoe-horn “policies” into actionable law. “Gosh, we’re ever so sorry, we signed this contract, so to hell with the letter and intent of the law…”

Another shoe-horn is “trade agreements”.


We the People, Inc.


Your site redirects to xxx.xxx, which is hardcore porn.


the closest that anything comes is WIC 827.1, which allows a “city, county, or city and county” to establish a computerized database system within the city, county, or city and county. It does not say that the city, county, or city and county, are authorized to outsource that task to a third party. It does not say that it may turn over the data to a corporation to store in the cloud.

[emph. mine] Those are two different things. Contracting out building the database shouldn’t be a problem; most small cities and counties likely don’t have that skillset in-house. It’s the second part that’s the problem — the data must stay under direct control of the county/city and not be released for a private company to hold and manage.


Are such license agreements actually enforceable?


In the sense that you don’t get access to the data without “agreeing” to the license, yes.


Sounds like you mean that it is not enforceable.


Amusing, in a fucked up way, that the part of the user agreement that the lawyer would not agree to was your standard internet service provider boilerplate “don’t sue us for making copies of this shit on our servers” copyright license.

Which makes no sense, because the material being uploaded (cop cam footage) is produced by government workers as part of their duties, and therefore (i am pretty sure) cannot be copyrighted under US law.

So, government failing to do its job and instead outsourcing vital government functions to private corporations, check. Private corporations failing to actually hire a competent lawyer to tell them what they need to know about the legal aspects of the government functions they are taking on, check.


These are lawyers we are talking about. I would think they would know how to fix this problem on the double.


No doubt some lawyers would know. Indeed, I think we ALL know. But if the “system” does not even recognise it as a problem and some lawyers no doubt knew exactly how to create this specific problem opportunity, well, one doubts “on the double” will apply.

Is this likely to lead to an application for mistrial, seeing as defence is being deliberately prevented by the actions of the prosecuting authorities from seeing evidence available in the defendant’s case?


Wouldn’t that mean that the “chain of evidence” was broken? As a defense attorney, I would try to argue that since the evidence had been in the exclusive control of a private entity AFTER it was collected, it was subject to tampering and no longer admissable. Convince a couple of judges and this idea will rightfully die. There’s a REASON that evidence is stored under lock and key and logs are kept of who has accessed it,


That actually only applies to FEDERAL government employees.

Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.
(Pub. L. 94–553, title I, § 101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2546.)


No, I mean that Axon is “enforcing” it not via the courts, but by controlling access to the data. An analogy might be private security guards preventing access to a public place they have no business guarding. You’d have to go find a cop to tell them to fuck off. Once Horowitz (or someone) brings suit over this a judge will (hopefully) tell Axon to fuck off.


California’s government is also prohibited from copyrighting things, unless they’ve changed it recently.