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On Blackstone 7: The Lost Works

For all the Originalists’ trash talk I’m shocked that most of William Blackstone’s writings are out of print. In 2016, Oxford University Press published an edition of The Commentaries; but if you want to read other works by the man who invented modern legal scholarship you have to hunt. The 2006 edition of his Collected Letters is out of print,

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WIRED – Julian Assange Lays Out His Case Against US Extradition

“I think they have a lot of ammunition,” says Tor Ekeland, a well-known hacker defense attorney who has followed Assange’s case and helped to successfully defend British hacker Lauri Love from extradition in 2018. “The most salient things for me are the freedom of speech and the right to publish information that is critical to the public’s ability to understand

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The Washington Post – The Cybersecurity 202: There’s finally a Supreme Court battle coming over the nation’s main hacking law

“Computer researchers are constantly afraid that a security test they run is going to run them afoul of the law,” Tor Ekeland, an attorney who specializes in defending people accused of violating the CFAA, told me. “This law makes the Internet less safe because it chills legitimate information security research and it’s bad for the economy because it chills innovation.”

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The CFAA will soon have its day before the Supreme Court – CYBERSCOOP

“This law was written before the internet became what it is,” defense attorney Tor Ekeland, an outspoken CFAA critic who represented Keys said during a recent interview. “The other big issue is the draconian sentences that these statutes allow. It’s disproportionate to the actual harm influence in, I think, every case I’ve ever worked on.” Tor Ekeland in Cyberscoop article

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On Blackstone 6: Perjury, the FBI, & Obstruction of Justice

In Volume 4 of his Commentaries on the Laws of England Blackstone offers an instructive definition of perjury. He defines it narrowly as a false statement of material fact, made in court in front of a judge. He doesn’t count lying in a sworn affidavit, outside the presence of a judge and court, to be criminal perjury. For Blackstone, the

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What’s Up with WhatsApp: Thoughts on the NSO CFAA Complaint

I’ve been getting a lot of calls asking me what I think about the civil Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) lawsuit WhatsApp just filed in the Northern District of California against NSO. Below this post are links to my comments in the press. Here’s the complaint: I’m going to elaborate a little more on the complaint because it’s a

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Room 3420 and the Birth of the Internet

The internet turns 50 today. At 10:30pm PT on October 29, 1969 in room 3420 at UCLA the first networked digital data transmission was sent to a computer, 350 miles away, at Stanford University. The computer operator at Stanford replied, and the computer operator in Room 3420 gained access to the computer at Stanford. Prior to this communication between computers

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Constitutional Basics: Congressional Supremacy

The current presidential administration asserts so much intellectual garbage as valid constitutional theory I feel obligated to speak up. Reasonable people can, and do, disagree about constitutional interpretation. But there are limits to what can rationally be disagreed about, outside of which you’re just in a realm of cynical absurdity. Cynical because those arguing want you to believe that because

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On Blackstone 5: London Calling

I’m just back from client meetings in London. While there I spoke with a Queens Counsel (only 10% of Barristers are “QC”) who shared my mutual love of legal history. I was asking him if there was a bookstore in town where I could get decent copies of the great 17th century English jurist Sir Edward Coke’s (pronounced “cook”) influential

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