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Man Tracked Down and Arrested Via WoW 464

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-bubble-hearth dept.
kabome writes with this excerpt from a story about an alleged drug dealer who was located by law enforcement thanks to World of Warcraft: "Roberson’s subpoena was nothing more than a politely worded request, considering the limits of his law enforcement jurisdiction and the ambiguity of the online world. 'They don’t have to respond to us, and I was under the assumption that they wouldn’t,' said Roberson. ... Blizzard did more than cooperate. It gave Roberson everything he needed to track down Hightower, including his IP address, his account information and history, his billing address, and even his online screen name and preferred server. From there it was a simple matter to zero in on the suspect's location."
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Man Tracked Down and Arrested Via WoW

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  • conundrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sporkinum (655143) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:14AM (#30620224)

    Not sure what is worse, the dealer, or Blizzard. I'd hazard a guess that Blizzard has ruined more lives than this dealer has. Though the cops will word a request to sound like a subpoena to the uninitiated.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:18AM (#30620238)

    Is this even a question? Blizzard is the greater evil for bowing down to law enforcement unnecessarily. This guy isn't a robber or murderer. I suppose that defending a drug dealer's privacy wouldn't be good PR but I don't think there is much question that the "War on Drugs" has ruined far more lives than Blizzard and the drug dealer combined.

  • Impropriety (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Raindance (680694) * <johnsonmx@gm a i l . c om> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:19AM (#30620248) Homepage Journal

    One has to wonder, if Blizzard goes that far above and beyond requests of law enforcement and gives mountains of data in response to polite requests-- not even subpoenas-- how seriously do they take the privacy of *your* personal information?

    I'm glad the bad guy got caught, etc, but handing over the keys to the kingdom to law enforcement without a subpoena implies, in my mind, that respect for users' privacy is simply not something Blizzard considers when they go about their business. Or rather, that such information is their property, not yours.

  • by A12m0v (1315511) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:19AM (#30620250) Journal

    No need for invading our privacy.
    It's my body, I decide what to do with it!

    Plus, you'll get rid of the middleman, legalize drugs and there will be no need for dealers or drug gangs. The government WILL be the sole dealer of drugs, and due to economies of scales, they'll be able to sell them for far less than any dealer while making a good sum of money thanks to all the taxes.

  • strange (Score:5, Insightful)

    by scapermoya (769847) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:21AM (#30620264) Homepage

    “I did a search off the IPaddress to locate him,” said Roberson. “I got a longitude and latitude. Then I went to Google Earth. It works wonders. It uses longitude and latitude. Boom! I had an address. I was not able to go streetside at the location, but I had him.”

    this doesn't seem accurate. ip address -> long/lat -> address? no chance. i can believe that they used his ip to find him, but probably through his ISP. In my experience, those geographic traces are only very rough estimates. sounds like this cop thinks he lives in CSI or something. i wonder if any of it is true?

  • Re:Impropriety (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:22AM (#30620270)

    I'm glad the bad guy got caught,

    Alleged bad guy. Even you, with your demonstrated skepticism, have been suckered in by the "if the cops want him, he must be guilty" mindset.

  • So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Donkey_Hotey (1433053) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:32AM (#30620304)

    Just one drug dealer ratting out another. Move along, nothing to see here...

  • Re:obligatory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:36AM (#30620314)

    There's generally nothing unethical about helping the police find someone who's accused of committing a crime.

    But this isn't the general case.

    This is a case where a company has violated the presumptive right to privacy of its customers in order to do so. That completely changes the situation.

  • Re:obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:41AM (#30620332) Journal
    They followed their privacy policy. The guy should have read it. This seems to be a surprise to you, so maybe you should have read it to, and if it bothers you, stop playing.
  • Re:strange (Score:1, Insightful)

    by X-Power (1009277) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:50AM (#30620388)

    ...including his IP address, his account information and history, his billing address...

    The real question is, if they had the billing address, why was the rest even necessary to give out?

  • by MrMista_B (891430) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:53AM (#30620398)

    He's an alleged drug dealer.

    Which means he is not a drug dealer.

    He is innocent.

    (until proven guilty in a court of law, but that bit always gets left out)

  • Re:conundrum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:53AM (#30620402) Journal
    Giving information to law enforcement is not "bowing down." The police are working for us, they are our employees. I know this is a hard concept for some people to grasp, since from the time you are a kid the 'authorities,' who at that time are your parents, are always preventing you from doing what you want, but the fact is police are agents of society, they are not our enemies, they do the job we give them. You of course know that police would stop arresting people for doing drugs as soon as we make selling drugs legal. It's our choice. Cooperating with the police to do a job we give them is not evil. Cooperating when they step outside their bounds is evil, and giving them an evil job to do is evil, but evil is very often no more than an opinion.

    The fact is, the majority of the population favors keeping drugs illegal. If you want to change the law, all you have to do is convince people that drugs should be legalized. Few politicians are willing to bring up the topic of legalization because they know they will be voted out of office if they do.
  • Re:strange (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:01AM (#30620430)

    Some IP geolocation websites have the correct town I live in, but none had the correct street, and others, well, they put me on the opposite coast in San Diego.

    One in particular had a way to "correct" it. I submitted 383212N 684648E.

    Tajikistan.

    --
    BM0

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:03AM (#30620440)

    Did you understand the article? The subpoena had no force of law,

    I know what a subpoena is, and and the difference between a subpoena a court order.

    The comment said there wasn't a subpoena, when there clearly was. Whether the subpoena is valid & enforceable is a different question entirely.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:05AM (#30620456)
    A man with a gun who is paid to try to lock me in cage for smoking taboo plants is *not* on my side or working for me in any capacity, turd-chomper. Now go kill yourself.
  • Re:conundrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:10AM (#30620482)

    I dislike the way that you talk about good and evil, as if you have some absolute ethical system to base this on. I think it would be easier to understand if you tried to argue whether or not the actions of Blizzard and the police were moral acts or not. I would also include in your argument whether or not Blizzard or the police lost anything of moral value with their actions.

    Your argument on the morality of the police's actions (and cooperating with them) is flawed because you base that morality on the morality of the general public and their laws as if they are infallible. Additionally, you need to evaluate each act of cooperation individually. If Blizzard volunteered information that lead a peaceful Chinese dissident to be arrested, most people would think that would be immoral. On the other hand, if Blizzard volunteered information that lead a child pornographer to be arrested, most people would think that would be moral. Still others would view both as immoral because Blizzard should have an inherent duty to protect information and our system already provides a mechanism (a warrant) to get that information when it is needed.

    My view is the later, and I also view our laws on drugs as immoral. Cooperating with police with observations is one thing, mining your data is another. I think it is immoral to release protected information about someone without a warrant.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:14AM (#30620498)
    yeah doing the job we give them includes tazering the fuck out anyone from the kids to the feeble

    we give them orders but positions of authority pervert thinking.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by johncadengo (940343) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:14AM (#30620500) Homepage

    Funny. I found out about it on penny arcade way before slashdot posted it.

    And on another note, there are plenty of unethical instances of helping the police find someone accused of a crime. Just ask Anne Frank.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:14AM (#30620502)

    You raise good points but you discount the fact that police forces are only a necessary evil of a modern society. Police are in theory there to "protect citizens" - but often times in practice the goal of protecting citizens puts them at odds against citizen's rights.

    In a perfect "police" world the police would know everything about you and be able to monitor everything that you do. Then they could perfectly catch criminal acts. Is this an idyllic situation? No - because we do not live in a perfect world and because police are not perfect (especially considering that the police actively discriminate against intelligence [ananova.com]).

    There is a reason why the constitution outlines a good deal of protections against the police. Police left unfettered will continue to grow in influence and power and intrude further into citizen's lives. It is a fine balance between accounting for the marginal increase in personal liberties as a result of police stopping the intrusion of liberties of an individual committing a crime and the marginal loss of personal liberties from the police having the tools to stop the aforementioned crime.

    In regards to the "majority of people" wanting drugs to be illegal - when you create a positive feedback loop of turning drug users into criminals it makes it relatively difficult to break the cycle. The majority of people in this country are against gay marriage as well: does this mean that gay marriage should be illegal? There is a reason that the United States is a Republic and not a pure democracy. In the words of Alexander Hamilton - the masses are asses. Irrational fears often overcome rational deduction. All you have to do is look at segregation, Japanese internment camps, and the Salem Witch Trials to realize that majority rule is not always the right way to go about deciding things in emotionally charged and sensitive matters.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:23AM (#30620546)

    Did YOU read the summary?

    How about this part:

    "Roberson's subpoena was nothing more than a politely worded request, considering the limits of his law enforcement jurisdiction and the ambiguity of the online world. 'They don't have to respond to us, and I was under the assumption that they wouldn't,' said Roberson.

    If you bothered to read the article, it's repeated there, as well. If it's just a "politely worded request" then use of the word subpoena was in error.

    On the contrary, a subpoena WAS CLEARLY SENT. The article says this 3 times:

    1. "... gave me enough evidence to send a subpoena"
    2. "Roberson's subpoena was ..."
    3. "... had been three or four months since I had sent the subpoena"

    Now, journalists often get their facts wrong, but by using the word subpoena 3 times, strongly suggests that THERE WAS A SUBPOENA.

    Whether the subpoena is valid, correct, enforceable and legitimate is a completely different question. But a subpoena clearly was sent, when the poster claimed there was no subpoena.

    If they were able to legally enforce this, I doubt they would have bothered with said "politely worded request" - look at the TSA's use of subpoenas, for example.

    A subpoena is not a court order, and a subpoena is not a warrant. The phrase "politely worded request" implies that the journalist knows how worthless a subpeona typically is.

  • Re:Impropriety (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:26AM (#30620554)

    I want the cops to have as easy a job as possible.

    And there we have it. You are fundamentally incompatible with basic American values.
    A free society does not exist for the convenience of the police.

    Its also funny that you've demonstrated once again that you just throw out rationalizations and hope they will stick.
    After all, I just shot down your entire rationalization of "well their privacy policy said they would do it" so you switched arguments.
    Instead of being ticked off that Blizzard really did violate the terms of their privacy policy you just rationalized it with yet another authoritarian argument about saving tax dollars.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by glitch23 (557124) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:57AM (#30620678)

    In regards to the "majority of people" wanting drugs to be illegal - when you create a positive feedback loop of turning drug users into criminals it makes it relatively difficult to break the cycle. The majority of people in this country are against gay marriage as well: does this mean that gay marriage should be illegal?

    Many laws are the result of societal standards and morals imposed hundreds of years ago (and reflect the religious underpinnings of the United States). In many states adultery is still on the books as being illegal but as societal standards and morals are lowered and because there are bigger criminals to go after the police just don't pay attention to adulterers anymore. The vast majority of the population is against murder (should it be legalized despite majority rule?). Not killing someone is also one of the Ten Commandments; so is not stealing. The point being that some laws are a result of the standards and morals that the U.S. society possesses and imposes on themselves based on the Christian faith. So, going back to your original question, for the very reasons I laid out above, yes, gay marriage should be illegal. The majority of people have already voted in many states to not legalize gay marriage. Most of those who voted against legalizing it did so based on their beliefs and faith. Homosexuals complain heterosexuals are not tolerant but homosexuals believe they should get their way and do not want to tolerate the decisions and beliefs of heterosexuals.

    There is a reason that the United States is a Republic and not a pure democracy. In the words of Alexander Hamilton - the masses are asses. Irrational fears often overcome rational deduction. All you have to do is look at segregation, Japanese internment camps, and the Salem Witch Trials to realize that majority rule is not always the right way to go about deciding things in emotionally charged and sensitive matters.

    Majority rule is not always the right way to go however in most cases it is. Maybe you should do homework to find out all the different situations in which majority rule *was* the right way to go instead of choosing only 3 examples of when majority rule did not make sense. More often than not the majority knows what is best. People believe in the power of numbers and having others who share your beliefs provides a support mechanism. That is just one method in which the citizens of the United States can unite despite certain minority groups wanting to tear them apart to satisfy their own agendas.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:59AM (#30620694) Journal

    So let's see...

    The police are working for us, they are our employees.

    Not really relevant.

    they are not our enemies,

    Ok, let me put it this way: Both the district attourney and the public defender are agents of the state. So, even looking only at those employed directly by the State, we find people who are set up to be adversaries.

    Not literally enemies, no. If they're professional, they recognize that at the end of the day, they have the same goals, and they don't generally try to actually ruin each other's personal and professional lives out of spite and a desire to win.

    But when they hit that courtroom, they are not friends.

    So, similarly, police are not your friends. Their job may be "to serve and protect", but it is ultimately by arresting suspects and punishing people. Their incentive is not to help you, personally, but to help society in general by arresting you, and they are good at it.

    And that applies whether or not you have anything to hide. Watch this if you don't believe me. [youtube.com]

    Cooperating with the police to do a job we give them is not evil. Cooperating when they step outside their bounds is evil, and giving them an evil job to do is evil, but evil is very often no more than an opinion.

    Well, first, you're using very loaded language for something that's "no more than an opinion". But let's consider: Giving them an evil job to do is evil.

    Well, how about drug use? Can you give me a rational argument for why any substance, taken willingly, should be banned? And whatever argument you come up with, can it possibly justify the bloodbath that was Prohibition in the US, and is drug wars in Mexico?

    If your point is that we should cooperate even though the "job" (specifically, the law) is evil, well, not to Godwin this or anything... [viruscomix.com]

    The fact is, the majority of the population favors keeping drugs illegal. If you want to change the law, all you have to do is convince people that drugs should be legalized.

    Working on it. However, education of a population is a long, slow process, and politicians are the last to go. And again, Nazis.

    It seems like you've got more or less an ad-populum fallacy [wikipedia.org] -- even assuming the majority of the public agrees with what the government is doing, that doesn't mean the majority is right.

    But even assuming drugs should be illegal, note that this was an alleged drug dealer. Key word: Alleged. TFA claims there was enough evidence for a subpoena, but instead, a "politely worded request" was sent. There's a reason we have a legal process for things like subpoenas -- so that when people are searched by law enforcement, it's legal, or at least with consent.

    So Blizzard was entirely within their rights, perhaps -- better check that privacy policy -- but it was in no way the right approach. Remember, it's the job of the police to catch you, fine you, get information out of you, get a confession out of you, etc. It's not your job to make life easier on them, any more than it's the job of the public defender to make the district attourney's job easier.

    Finally, read your own sig.

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:07AM (#30620936) Homepage

    What precedent do you think is needed? You're using a service provided by Blizzard. Your use of the service means you accept Blizzard's terms of use, which are fully disclosed. If you don't like the terms, you have the option to not use the service.

    If you ran a laundromat and some guy who was a suspected criminal came into the laundromat all the time, the cops would not need a warrant to come in and ask you where that guy lived, if they thought you might know. It's up to you whether you want to tell them or not -- but that's an ethical question, not a legal one.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yfrwlf (998822) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:42AM (#30621052)
    I'd have to agree on your points. If a Republic is supposed to help by making smarter and more informed individuals be in control, it has a few individuals are much easier to corrupt. While I'm afraid of the dumb/ignorant/misinformed many, I'd rather have them be in control instead of the corrupted few. Plus, that would put more emphasis on education and communication to inform the masses, and with the Internet's reach that is a lot easier now. The Internet has removed many from their ignorant shelters.

    I think a full-blown Democracy would be much *better* than the current system in the U.S., as it would serve to remove a lot of power from private interests. As far as protecting against totally insane laws from being passed, you can help do that by doing what is already done now: making more extreme laws require a larger percentage vote in order to be passed. You thus can start off with a good base, i.e. a constitution, and go from there, while requiring changes to it to require very high percentage votes.
  • Re:conundrum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ildon (413912) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @06:53AM (#30621102)

    Your post would have made sense if he hadn't appended "but evil is very often no more than an opinion." to his first paragraph. The poster was purposefully defining evil in his own way, and extending it beyond what one might normally consider worthy of the label of "evil", because that's exactly what the post he was replying to did.

    A simple reading of Blizzard's own privacy policy, which you agree to by using their service, is all that is necessary to know if they overstepped their bounds or not.

    I haven't read it because I don't care and it's irrelevant to my point. Blizzard has no inherent responsibility to ensure their users' privacy beyond their stated intentions. Nor does any other company. At least some of the onus is on the users to control their own private data. If a company says "if the law comes calling, we will cooperate" and you still agree to give them your information (and as long as this policy is publicly posted before agreeing to share said information), that's on you, not the company.

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @07:51AM (#30621340)

    Nevermind the Internet angle, the real question here is an ancient one: should you cooperate with the police?

    I think most of us would agree that law enforcement is necessary -- if you don't, you and I are never going to see eye to eye so you might as well stop reading now. Law enforcement needs information to work properly. If citizens universally refuse to provide that information, the only way to get it is via direct police surveillance.

    So you've got three options: A) police act without any information, B) they set up ubiquitous surveillance to get their info, or C) they get information from citizens. I hope we all agree that C) is the lesser of evils.

    So our society has set things up so that in certain very limited circumstances, people are *required* to give information to the police (search warrants, subpoenas, etc.) In other situations, police are forbidden from demanding certain kinds of information, to protect the rights of the accused. (Miranda laws, etc)

    For everything in between, cooperation is optional and voluntary. We can decide whether to help or not, based on our sense of the severity of the crime, our personal ties to the suspect, our trust of the police, and any details of the case we're familiar with. It's a judgment call.

    I think we need to respect the fact that different people or entities are going to make that judgment call differently, based on their own priorities and values.

    To say that helping the cops is always the right or the wrong choice is ridiculously simplistic. You can comment on Blizzard's decision in this particular case, but tying it to some absurd moral absolute is asking for trouble.

  • by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:04AM (#30621390)

    On what grounds? Their actions are consistent with the EULA the player agreed to when they started playing.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @08:17AM (#30621446) Homepage

    Your argument on the morality of the police's actions (and cooperating with them) is flawed because you base that morality on the morality of the general public and their laws as if they are infallible. Additionally, you need to evaluate each act of cooperation individually. If Blizzard volunteered information that lead a peaceful Chinese dissident to be arrested, most people would think that would be immoral. On the other hand, if Blizzard volunteered information that lead a child pornographer to be arrested, most people would think that would be moral. Still others would view both as immoral because Blizzard should have an inherent duty to protect information and our system already provides a mechanism (a warrant) to get that information when it is needed.

    Your argument only makes sense if you assume that your own morality beats out the morality of our laws, and consistently does so. If that were true, surely you could provide examples of this. How you in your daily life violate the law, go to jail for it, and still have better morality than everyone else. Surely you can provide a few examples of YOU doing this if this is true ... You demand perfect moral behavior from the police, so surely you'll understand that as you try to do some law-enforcement of your own, I demand the same perfect moral standard from you. Needless to say, you fail (as we all do).

    I don't understand how people can seriously demand this perfect morality from so many organisations. From the police, to congress, the army, (the UN has consistently failed to uphold every moral standard in existence, so people stopped expecting them to, it seems. UN soldiers get to rape, or kill Israelis through stupidity or outright malice, without reprecussions in New York)

    Furthermore even if you were a martyr-knight-saint, justification for your opinion would not just require that you're such a saint, but that sufficiently large numbers of people (ie. nearly all) have such saintly better-than-our-laws behavior. Sufficiently large numbers meaning so large that most criminals would be caught, most crimes prevented, not by the law, but by normal citizens.

    Obviously this is not happening. That makes, imho, the moral thing to do becomes cooperation with the authorities, in all cases, even when you're not sure about the morality of their actions.

    To be a good moral guardian, the law/police/... does not need to be perfect. It needs to be better than average. It needs to catch more criminals that John Q. Public does. It needs to prevent more crimes than an average very, very non-special American does.

    And quite frankly, I have little illusions about the morality of the police force. But I am absolutely convinced they do better than you.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @09:08AM (#30621614)

    I haven't read it because I don't care and it's irrelevant to my point. Blizzard has no inherent responsibility to ensure their users' privacy beyond their stated intentions. Nor does any other company. At least some of the onus is on the users to control their own private data. If a company says "if the law comes calling, we will cooperate" and you still agree to give them your information (and as long as this policy is publicly posted before agreeing to share said information), that's on you, not the company.

    Isn't there something called privacy laws? Or does a privacy agreement/policy go above the law in the United States? I believe here in the Netherlands, you cannot 'give away' certain rights. Like, if the privacy agreement would state that "I, the reader, recognize that I am no longer obliged to any legal rights concerning my privacy.", this would be ignored by the judge because the law has certain defined rights that cannot be given away. How is that arranged in the United States?

    In any case, if the police had a warrant, I don't believe Blizzard has done wrong here. If they didn't, I would say they had; after all, we're talking about an alleged drug dealer, who just like all of us is innocent until proven guilty.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @09:48AM (#30621840)

    I agree with Frank Herbert on this one.

    "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted."

    --Missionaria Protectiva, Text QIV (decto)

  • Re:conundrum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @10:11AM (#30621968)

    Because he might have a curable or even temporary mental instability?

  • Re:conundrum (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 02, 2010 @10:20AM (#30622028)

    There's no such thing as an isolated morality. I.e., there is no personal morality. We might believe that our personal sense of right and wrong exists apart from society, but this is false.

    UN soldiers get to rape, or kill Israelis through stupidity or outright malice, without reprecussions in New York

    And Israeli soldiers get to kill Palestinians in the West Bank without any repercussions. Same with Blackwater guards and Iraqi civilians in Iraq. Same with US soldiers in Okinawa. With the Japanese soldiers and Chinese women. Angola. Ghana. Brazil.

    The thing in common? They all *abused* their power over the helpless. Whether it's a single male raping a single woman or mass rape and murder in the list above, it was all about the strong victimizing the weak. So no, the morality of the police/military force is worse than any individuals.

  • Re:You're wrong. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @10:29AM (#30622072)

    I never said they were the same. Blizzard *must* comply with a subpoena, but *may* provide information to the police without one, at their own discretion.

    As I posted elsewhere, take away the Internet, and this is similar to the case of a detective walking through a neighborhood with a mug shot, asking for information about a suspect. If asked, a neighborhood shopkeeper *may* volunteer personal information about a suspect ("Yeah, I know the guy, he lives in an apartment across the street"), but may choose not to for any number of reasons.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by taoye (1456551) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @11:09AM (#30622338)
    It's that old problem of letting three wolves and a sheep vote on what to eat for dinner. Majority rules, minority rights.
  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LazeLaze (1711834) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @11:43AM (#30622620)

    homosexuals believe they should get their way and do not want to tolerate the decisions and beliefs of heterosexuals

    I'm really tired of hearing this misguided argument. Your individual rights are generally only supported up until the point that they begin infringing on the rights of others (e.g. you have the freedom of expression to post what you want on the internet, but once child porn/stolen credit card information/military secrets become involved you have crossed into illegality.

    You are using this infringement argument WRONGLY. You are claiming that homosexuals infringe on the rights of heterosexuals by wanting to get married. I challenge you to present a personal (legal) right of yours that would be under attack from homosexual marriage (and no, freedom of expression/religion do not count because you can still practice your faith just fine whether or not gays are getting married).

    Your problem is that you consider "tolerance" of the Christian faith to be synonymous with "absolute obedience to it", i.e. don't do anything yourself that a devout literal-biblical Christian would not do. THAT IS NOT TOLERANCE, that is subservience! And your argument that homosexuals are being "intolerant" by wanting to get married is both ironic and moronic for this reason.

    *

    As to the original poster and the argument of majority vs minority, I personally think that most drug dealers are not threats to society, but some are (and the ones who are can do a lot of damage), so the police should have ample authority to act against them. The bigger problem is fixing the issues that cause demand for the drugs, though.

    And Blizzard did nothing wrong. If the guy wanted to protect his online information, he shouldn't have played an online game for which he needs to (in a manner) disseminate his information. The EULA allows Blizzard to distribute this information, and he should have known that.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cwix (1671282) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @12:21PM (#30623048)
    As a veteran I take offense at that statement. By far and large the members of the military dont have mass rape and murder. There are almost 1.5 million people in the Unites States military. That is the current amount, and it doesnt include all of us veterans who are degenerated by your comment. By saying that the morality of the military or the police (Ive met a few in my day, and only one or two I would call bad cops) is worse then the normal citizen would be like saying that Maine (population 1.3 mil) are all morally worse than everyone else. You cannot sterotype 1.5 million people for a very vast amount of backgrounds.

    *sigh* I just realised I was talking to an AC so its pointless.

  • Re:conundrum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NormalVisual (565491) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @03:17PM (#30624946)
    How would you feel about drug dealers when your child gets addicted to hard drugs because of them ? And eventually your child gets in more trouble and ends up dead ?

    Replace "drug dealers" with "liquor stores" and "hard drugs" with "alcohol", and tell us what the difference is, aside from the fact that it's generally easier for kids to get hold of alcohol than pot.
  • Re:conundrum (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cwix (1671282) on Saturday January 02, 2010 @04:28PM (#30625714)
    "In United States v. Keenan, the accused (Keenan) was found guilty of murder after he obeyed in order to shoot and kill an elderly Vietnamese citizen. The Court of Military Appeals held that "the justification for acts done pursuant to orders does not exist if the order was of such a nature that a man of ordinary sense and understanding would know it to be illegal."

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm [about.com]

    An order to commit a crime is illegal. Yes it is sometimes perilous to refuse on such grounds, but if it is obviously against the law (purposely killing unarmed women or children, rape, etc are obviously illegal.) then you must refuse the order or be held just if not more accountable for the crime then the ordering official. Ohh and I was just stating the fact Im a veteran cause it gives me insight into the military thats all.

    Note: You cannot disobey orders beacuse of danger or other such things, those are still lawful. You can ask for clarification, and many officers are willing to listen to everyones input to a certain extent. I never met a officer, or senior NCO that did not support an open door policy. Althou there is a time and a place, under fire isnt one.

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