Blog Jay Leiderman Law


Glenn Greenwald in the Intercept

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

From: “How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations” by Glenn Greenwald.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”


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The story of Ukranian Freedom and the Louis Gonzalez case: a man falsely accused of rape and kidnap

The Los Angeles Times featured Jay Leiderman’s case involving a man falsely accused of rape and kidnap: Part 1: Could this be happening? A man’s nightmare made real and Part 2: In this assault case, the puzzle pieces don’t fit.  Leiderman, a State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist, had never seen anything like this case. Talk about the deck being stacked against you. It looked so bad at first, and in a mere 83 days his client went from facing 72 years plus several life sentences to released. Since they took all of his client’s clothes for DNA processing, he was given a donated shirt by the jail. Leiderman states: “We were almost out of the jail building when I looked at the purple shirt. It had Cyrillic and English writing on it. I can read Cyrillc, albeit slowly. I was trying to read what it said when my client pointed out that there was English at the bottom of the shirt. “Ukrainian Freedom” it said. How perfect. Are you kidding me? How perfect. Justice was served. Freedom. Freedom.” Talk about a successful defense.

a man falsely accused of rape and kidnap

Ukrainian freedom. Freedom for all from injustice

It stated:

“Leiderman thought it was not enough that the government dropped charges. He wanted the criminal justice system to recognize Gonzalez’s innocence affirmatively. There is such a thing as a declaration of factual innocence, he explained to Gonzalez. A judge can grant it. It is exceedingly rare – so rare that many cops and lawyers go a career without seeing one. It means not just that prosecutors couldn’t make a case against you, but that you didn’t do the crime. The case remained on the docket of Ventura County Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy, who had earlier ordered Gonzalez held without bail. Leiderman petitioned the judge, trying not to get his client’s hopes up. He laid out the case, pointing out the holes in West’s story and the numerous alibi witnesses. Prosecutors did not want Gonzalez declared innocent. They knew a jury wouldn’t convict him but said they couldn’t be positive of his innocence. [ ] Ventura County’s chief assistant district attorney, later explained their reasoning: The attack West described was “improbable, but it wasn’t physically impossible.” In January 2009, nearly a year after Gonzalez’s arrest, Leiderman called him excitedly: The judge had sided with them. Gonzalez was soon holding a certified copy of the judge’s order declaring him factually innocent.”

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The interplay between the present copyright laws and freedoms of information and expression is an emerging concept that will have to be addressed in court and legislative bodies as the free information movement and the digital revolution move forward.

The relationship between copyright law and freedom of expression has not been directly discussed by many courts in the context of emerging technologies. There is some tension between the imperative of copyright law (thou shall not use another’s expression, unless the use is fair) and the core of the right to freedom of expression, and that has been ignored by the law thus far, as the law typically lags behind technology for quite sometime.  Old judges scared of new things, I guess, can’t determine their place in the law until new things have become old things with a sense of permanence in the culture.

A court in England recently stated that “…rare circumstances can arise where the right of freedom of expression will come into conflict with the protection afforded by the Copyright Act…”, and that ”in these circumstances, … the court is bound, … to apply the [copyright] Act in a manner that accommodates the right of freedom of expression.”

What I’d like to do is see what people have to say in the comment section.  I will pay close attention to this thread and comment right along with you.  This is a fascinating emerging are of law where there is a confluence of technology and law and I want to know how people feel about it, and what you think might happen as these cases wind their way through the courts. Is this an issue of free information? Freedom on the internet? Is it an issue of privacy? Piracy? An issue of intellectual property trumping all other rights?



Is piracy illegal should it be what is the future of copyright?


Now shut down your Pirate Bay for a minute and let’s chat!



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Terrifying website streams camera footage from your webcam

Joseph Cox did a fantastic article about a website that streams camera footage from users who never changed passwords from the default passwords on their web cameras.  I was quoted in several places, but before we get there, let’s examine this article a bit.

There is a reason that I have seen this story go viral – it has been translated into myriad languages already and Mr. Cox’s reaseacrh has been the subject of many, many unoriginal stories.

Here’s how Mr. Cox began the story – see if it gives you a chill down your spine:

* * *

Last week, I sat at my computer and watched a young man from Hong Kong relaxing on his laptop; an Israeli woman tidying the changing room in a clothes store; and an elderly woman in the UK watching TV.

All of these people were completely unaware that I was spying on them, thousands of miles away, through devices that were inadvertently broadcasting their private lives on the internet.

* * *

I said:
Even if this researcher—if we can call him that—really is trying to expose weak security practices, there’s little doubt that this behavior is illegal under US law.

It appears the site has changed providers since the Mail investigation; the reporters said they tracked it down to Moldova, but it now seems to be hosted by with an IP coming from Moscow in Russia.

Legally, Leiderman said it doesn’t matter that no ‘real’ hacking is taking place and the cameras are accessed via their default passwords.

“You put a password on a computer to keep it private, even if that password is just ‘1,’” he said. “It’s entry into a protected computer.”


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jay leiderman

Jay Leiderman knows: Gang cases, computer cases, drug trafficking cases, theft, other criminal law cases, they are tough to defend, and tougher to keep winning. When you do, people always want to take you down. Keep your head held high. It’s only important that you know that you have done your best and have reached success your way.

One of the things that you do, as a criminal defense attorney, is realize that the courts, cops, prosecutors and law are stacked against you. When you win a lot, especially on difficult cases, people never want to give the credit that you, your investigator and your client deserve. For those of you that know what that is like – whatever your calling or your lot in life, this is for you.

There are over 200,000 licensed attorneys in California. As of June 16, 2008, there were 335 Certified Criminal Law Specialists. Jay Leiderman is a certified specialist in Criminal Law. He received his certification from the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization in 2006. He is a vigorous, aggressive and skilled criminal trial attorney. Jay Leiderman can handle any criminal matter — from murder to petty theft or Driving under the influence.

At Jay Leiderman Law, we have proven results over years of practice, and we are uniquely qualified to represent you in your time of need. We are situated in Ventura, California but we handle cases throughout the state. We have the expertise, experience and skill to handle numerous types of legal matters.

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