Nova Scotia filled its public Freedom of Information Archive with citizens' private data, then arrested the teen who discovered it


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/16/scapegoating-children.html


#2

The 19-year-old accused says he’s been passing his time watching TV and doing paper crosswords because he’s not allowed to access the internet.

The horror of it all. Now I call that severe punishment.


#3

I get the sense you’re making a facetious silly… But in 2018? Yeah, you can’t really do shit without an internet connection – apply to schools, jobs, etc. etc. Definitely a harsh penalty – basically a way of saying, we are not allowing you to engage with society in the way we do things in 2018.


#4

Our town also has documents on its server with sequential URLs and has a crappy search feature. The same idea occurred to me, but I didn’t bother. I even know how to write the one line command.




#5

Sounds like entrapment , without the intended intention.

A la Paul Lynde


#6

My dear Northern neighbors, I had hoped you were better than this :cry:


#7

You have Louisiana, we have Nova Scotia.


#8

A Cajun, Acadian.


#9

So where do we draw the line that makes it a hack/crack/circumvention? Does “security” have to be in place and does obfuscation count? Is it a spectrum? Is intent the only thing that matters? Is it a “know it when I see it” situation?


#10

IIRC, there was a US case where there were links like
Annual_report_2000.html
Annual_report_2001.html
Annual_report_2002.html
and someone put
Annual_report_2003.html
into the search bar and got “unauthorized” access to a report (some idiot had put it in the server directory prematurely and thought it was secure if there was no link).


#11

How very republican of them…yeah yeah they aren’t republicans but it’s that chicken shit logic of “if I fuck-up and someone calls me on it I respond by trashing their lives for pointing out how stupid I am” Christ what assholes doesn’t even come close. Outsmarted by a teenager so beat up on his whole family and especially his young siblings.


#12

Funny, I knew that but it wasn’t in my mind when I wrote that. I’ve heard stories about Cajuns touristing in Nova Scotia who were surprised to learn that.


#13

If I leave my wallet outside the door to my house and someone steals it, that’s theft. It’s also trespassing even if there’s no fence. It’s the same with these documents. Someone put these documents up accidentally and incorrectly. It doesn’t make it any less of a crime to steal them, even if it was easy to do.

(ps- I don’t believe that. I was just trying very hard to come up with any justification for what the police did.)


#15

Years ago I’d scrape publicly listed machines looking for music directories to share. You know, Napster days. I was lucky it was early in that era and my server only got me a cease and desist. Guess I should thank my lucky stars it never hit a government server.


#16

Yeah, right, the Man has got terrible taste in music.


#17

#18

I wonder if the CIA has to pay royalties on these tracks; after all, they are playing them for an “audience”, no matter how unwilling that audience might be.


#19

I think in this case it’s more a matter of you printing out a copy of a book you wrote, writing “do not read” on a page in the middle of it, hiding under a park bench in a public place, then arresting the first person who notices it, picks it up and starts flipping through it going “hey I wonder what this is”


#20

Of course not; if you are the law, you’re quite obviously above yourself.

…Right?


#21

This is apparently the relevant offence he’s been charged with:

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/section-342.1.html

So security does not need to be in place or circumvented.

Just access that is fraudulent “and without colour of right” - begging the question what accessing something “fraudulently” means and what it adds to “without colour of right”.

Unless there is some special definition relevant under Nova Scotia law, fraud = deception, usually with an intent to achieve unfair or unlawful gain.

So - you have to not be entitled to access the information AND have done so by deception.

I don’t see how the latter applies.