The city of Fullerton had to pay $350,000 to two bloggers it had sued for "hacking" its Dropbox folder

Originally published at: The city of Fullerton had to pay $350,000 to two bloggers it had sued for "hacking" its Dropbox folder | Boing Boing


Papasan say, it don’t rain every day.


$230,000 in attorneys costs

The only people laughing here were the lawyers.


But a city employee also sent them a link to a more general “Outbox” shared folder

How the actual fuck did the city think it had a case here? I initially just assumed the bloggers had somehow stumbled on the docs that were online without protection, in which situation the city still wouldn’t remotely have a case, but a city employee literally sent them an link to look at the files. They were basically invited to do so. I’ve seen people make the BS argument that, “Sure the files were on the web, unprotected, but those haxxors had to manually change a URL in their web browser to see them - they should have known they were forbidden!” They can’t even make that argument here.

$60,000 each in damages

In that situation I’d be glad just to have my legal fees covered. I can’t imagine it took up that much of the bloggers’ time to deal with this, given the EFF were fighting on their behalf. So I’d say it wasn’t a bad payoff to deal with the aggravation caused by the city.


Competent legal defense is expensive, film at eleven. Given that these were lawyers working on behalf of the EFF, I have no problem with them getting paid by the city that brought the bogus lawsuit in an effort to chill free speech in brazen violation of the journalists’ first amendment rights. The taxpayers should blame the corrupt parasites they elected, not the defense firm.

I’m assuming they counted on the journalists being insufficiently wealthy to mount a competent legal defense. Fortunately, the EFF got involved.


That just raises a bunch of other questions…


Just a hunch, but I think Fullerton will soon be looking for a new city attorney.

I poked around a bit on the City of Fullerton’s website, and didn’t see an apology yet. I kinda want to see that municipal crow get eaten.


If you read the linked article, the mayor, who was the only one of the city council to oppose filing the lawsuit in the first place, blames the other members of the city council. He does put some blame at the feet of the city attorney, but he also said, “One thing that’s important to understand sometimes is that city attorneys serve a majority of council … what I used to do, even as an activist, was blame city attorneys for not giving their clear legal opinion and basically echoing what a majority of the legislative body wanted them to say. . . . I’m not trying to make excuses for anybody, but I find that this is pretty commonplace. City attorneys wind up not sticking around every long if they don’t back the majority.” The mayor sounds like a reasonable person. The rest of the city council sound like a bunch of idiots. The city manager was also fired last month, so I wonder if that’s related to this.

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Thanks, I totally missed that.

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