snydeq writes "Paul Venezia analyzes the four counts San Francisco has levied against Terry Childs, a case that curiously omits the charge of computer tampering, the very allegation that has kept Childs in jail for seven months and now appears too weak to present in court. Count 1 — 'disrupting or denying computer services' — is moot, according to Venezia, as the city's FiberWAN did not go down due to Childs' actions. Venezia writes, 'Childs' refusal to give up the passwords for several days in no way caused a disruption of the normal operation of the FiberWAN. In fact, it could be argued that his refusal actually prevented the disruption of normal network operation.' Counts 2 through 4 pertain to modems Childs had under his control, 'providing a means of accessing a computer, computer system, or computer network in violation of section 502,' according to case documents. As Venezia sees it, these counts too are spurious, as such devices are essential to the fulfillment of admin job requirements. 'If Childs is convicted on the modem charges, then just about every network administrator in the world could be charged with the same "crime,"' Venezia writes. All the authorities would have to do is 'point out that you have a modem or two, and suddenly you're wearing pinstripes of the jailhouse variety.'"
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