Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums Internet Marketing
and Conversion Web Design


Photo

Law On Information From Forums


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:22 PM

I'm interested in what the police are allowed to do to access information on forums. For example, is information a guest can view counted as 'public'? What about member only sections they'd have to join to view? And finally what about private information that can only be accessed via admin level access, can they go to the host and get db copies or would they have to inform the owner of the hosted files first?

Tamsin

#2 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2193 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:31 PM

In short. They can do what they please. (LEGAL or NOT)

would they have to inform the owner of the hosted files first

I say no. Not a laywer but a court order would do.

#3 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:37 PM

It was the legal what they could do I was wondering about :) I realise anything you write down on the web is potentially accessible to others.

I'm in the UK btw.

Tam

#4 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2193 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:03 PM

They could present their case to the hosters and ask that they voluntarily co-operate. That is legal.

It is also legal to bias their case toward their side in an effort to get cooperation from the hosting company. Choice of keywords is important here (too) as long as they do not blatantly lie. Spock calls this is an exaggeration. An omission is permitted.

Legal also is pointing out "stuff" about the company that could be viewed as illegal or at the least be investigated by some department or other.

Little Stevie in the computer centre has access to the info and has "seen these bad dbs or whatever" and his conscience tells him to report this to the police. This is legal too... Um, Uh, Stevie also has a little problem with behaviour and/or drugs. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Edited by bobbb, 18 March 2008 - 01:06 PM.


#5 iamlost

iamlost

    The Wind Master

  • Site Administrators
  • 4644 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:32 PM

The web being international the jurisdiction and access regulations are as well. Taking your query about forum access:
* there is tam the person, UK citisen, residing in the UK.
* there is tam the forum participant-poster, the forum moderator/admin/owner residing in the UK.
* there is the country of registration/incorporation for the forum business.
* there are the locations of the forum/DNS server(s).
* there are the countr(y/ies) of incorporation for the hosting company.
* there is the location of each participant-poster/moderator/admin/founder-owner.
* there are the regulations and laws (these are not the same thing) of each jurisdiction above.
* there is the assertiveness of government agencies (not only law enforcement) within each of those jurisdictions.
* there is the robustness (resistance to extra-legal official requests) of the hosting company.
* there is the robustness (resistance to extra-legal official requests) of one country to another, i.e. UK agency response to a US agency request.

Unfortunately many government agencies, especially in the US but also in UK, EU, Canada, Australia, et al, have been known to utilise inappropriate (and often unnecessary) laws/regulations, i.e. anti-terrorist, child-pr0n legislation, to bypass normal process and accountability.

I strongly recommend consulting a competent solicitor in internet law for a full proper understanding of what should be, what often is, and how best to respond and protect yourself.

#6 yannis

yannis

    Sonic Boom Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1634 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:58 PM

Perhaps you can have your answer in the dark web research!

I quote from this research:

We aim to collect "ALL" web content generated by international terrorist groups, including web sites, forums, chat rooms, blogs, social networking sites, videos, virtual world,


Note the word "ALL".

As to the legality of it, the law-makers can just simply register in the forum and as such be witnesses!


Yannis

#7 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 02:23 PM

I don't think anything in this case crosses international borders - that could get confusing!

Thanks for all the info, is there any distinction between public content and member only content?

Tamsin

#8 Respree

Respree

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5901 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 02:33 PM

I'm sure you're aware that we have no attorney's in the house, so please keep in mind that all you'll likely to receive here are non-legal opinions. The best advice is one you've already heard a thousand times before -- consult with a legal professional to get an understanding of what is legal or not.

Here's my non-legal opinion. It seems to me that police investigations are one of procedures. Whatever the procedure used, when it goes to court, a determination will be made as to whether the evidence was obtained within legal means. Investigators, of course, know this and it seem highly improbable that they would use investigative methods that could result in mistrial (procedures not followed) -- after all, they want to put the bad guys away. Anyway, that's my rudimentary understanding of the law.

To answer your question, it seems to me that an investigator acting within their authority would likely pursue obtaining database information (all the information), rather than relying on what is only viewable to the general public.

Edited by Respree, 18 March 2008 - 02:35 PM.


#9 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 18 March 2008 - 02:47 PM

As far as I know, if there is any "evidence" available, they will obtain it.
All they need do is state it was "willingly supplied to them by sources which wish to remain anonymous".
Done.

They do not need to (nor seldomly do) admit whether they researched it, discovered it, obtained it and got someone else to "submit" it. (It happens a lot, whether the net or in the real world.)

As stated above, in many cases, all they have to do is ask.
Most people are wiling to be co-operative... and anyone who has dealings with the police know that they can be quite persuasive (in full range of the word) as to getting what they ask for. The last thing anyone wants is to have hassles with court-orders, warrants etc.
So they will capitulate.

I do know of a forum for UK businesses that quite often deletes posts/topics once the meat of hte matter has been handled, jsut to be on the safe side. (Amazing how often they have server failures and corrupted backups. :))
So unless you are thinking of such a forum/medium... the simple rule of thumb is don't do anything that could bite you (or at least not anything you would be concerned about biting you... if there is a difference).

Edited by Autocrat, 18 March 2008 - 02:58 PM.


#10 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2193 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 02:49 PM

Whatever the procedure used, when it goes to court, a determination will be made as to whether the evidence was obtained within legal means.

True

Investigators, of course, know this and it seem highly improbable that they would use investigative methods that could result in mistrial

Not really. This is only the way is supposed to work. Inappropriate procedures can lead to a path to find information in completely appropriate ways so that it may be used in court, omitting to mention what led to the "completely appropriate ways". It was a hunch that paid off. See Stevie above.

#11 Respree

Respree

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 5901 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:08 PM

Do you not believe that the opposing counsel would object to or inquire about the methods in which the damaging evidence was obtained (thus revealing and inappropriateness with the intention of having the evidence removed from consideration).

If it were me, I would. :)

Again, I'm not a lawyer, but trying to think about the situation logically.

#12 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:27 PM

So long as the police can categorically state that they were handed the evidence, or lead to it, by "external means", they are normally pretty much covered. It would have to be something pretty serious for the opposition to get anywhere asking for them to provide proof of how it was found/highlighted/brought to their attention.

And even if they did, they are normally pretty good at covering their posteriors when it comes to that sort of thing :)

Edited by Autocrat, 18 March 2008 - 03:28 PM.


#13 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2193 posts

Posted 18 March 2008 - 08:17 PM

"It was a hunch that paid off. I got lucky"

Or Stevie above was vigilant and reported it to us. Yes Stevie takes drugs but he is rehabilitated.

And if Stevie comes clean and snitches on them. Well you can't trust him he takes drugs and look at this rap sheet.

We could go on like this forever.

Edited by bobbb, 18 March 2008 - 08:29 PM.


#14 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 04:46 AM

Thanks, I'm pretty sure my hosts aren't druggies :)

I'm just curious (and a bit mad) as to why they'd be gathering public info and using it to target people but not been in touch with me about it. I'm had thought they'd be interested in pm's etc. but it sounds like they could have gone direct to the host if they wanted.

#15 yannis

yannis

    Sonic Boom Member

  • 1000 Post Club
  • 1634 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 07:06 AM

Tam

Very interesting. How do you know they were gathering info?

Yannis

#16 Ruud

Ruud

    Hall of Fame

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 4887 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 07:48 AM

Rules and their application varies a lot.

For example, a search warrant is needed in order to search your computer -- but not the one you use at work. In the US grey areas are known where a wife can concede to the search of her husband's computer and no search warrant is needed.

Moreover, most or all of the forum content can be handed over by the host with legal steps way below a search warrant.

Good readup: http://www.securityf.../columnists/447

Most of these apply to both the US and the UK.

#17 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 08:10 AM

Very interesting. How do you know they were gathering info?


They told the people they interviewed, who later told me.

At the moment I've got the impression they trawled the forum for people that met certain criteria (which are pretty common) and then raided them. I don't know if they had other info too but in some cases it would be unlikely they could get the info elsewhere.

I'm pretty annoyed that something that was intended to help people has turned them into targets.

Tam

#18 bobbb

bobbb

    Sonic Boom Member

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2193 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:02 AM

Thanks, I'm pretty sure my hosts aren't druggies

Merely an example inspired from television. Most people have skeletons in their closets. Taxes, undeclared income, affairs, etc, etc.

I'm pretty annoyed that something that was intended to help people has turned them into targets.

Yes unfortunate but that is often the case. Maybe some keywords raised a flag somewhere.

And now that this is on someones radar, it is my opinion that it will be hard to shake it off. That thing has enter the system and will stay there for a long time if not forever.

Edited by bobbb, 19 March 2008 - 10:10 AM.


#19 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 19 March 2008 - 10:51 AM

Yes unfortunate but that is often the case. Maybe some keywords raised a flag somewhere.


The perils of good SEO :)

Tam

#20 Guest_Autocrat_*

Guest_Autocrat_*
  • Guests

Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:48 PM

Well, if it seems that actions taken are being construed as excessive, unwarranted (or both), then as a group, the individuals can lodge a complaint and see about taking the matter further.

But whether you want to get involved and suggest such, or even actively support it etc. is a matter only you can decide on.

#21 tam

tam

    Honored One Who Served Moderator Alumni

  • Hall Of Fame
  • 2062 posts

Posted 11 April 2008 - 12:58 PM

The answer would be they watch you to access it and print/copy the info then write a statement to that effect. They do bring their own paper though :)

I've just spent several hrs explaining how to work a forum and the diff between threads, posts and user levels :lol:

And our excellent google rankings are to blame.

Tam



RSS Feed

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users