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Judge shortage in Ireland delays ruling on Athenry Apple data center location controversy

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Once thought to reach a conclusion on June 23, the appeal hearing opposing Apple's Athenry, Ireland efforts has been delayed because of a lack of judges able to hear the case.

Pirate Bay may finally be sunk after EU copyright ruling

(credit: Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock)

Infamous BitTorrent tracker site The Pirate Bay can be found liable of copyright violations even if it doesn't host any infringing content, Europe's top court has ruled.

"Making available and managing an online platform for sharing copyright-protected works, such as 'The Pirate Bay,' may constitute an infringement of copyright," the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said in its judgment on Wednesday. "Even if the works in question are placed online by the users of the online sharing platform, the operators of that platform play an essential role in making those works available."

The ruling isn't only good news for copyright lawyers, but it also paves the way for ISPs across Europe to choke access to The Pirate Bay, which started life in Sweden in 2003 and has undergone a number of high-profile legal battles—including prison time for its founders, after they were found guilty of being accessories to breaching copyright laws in 2009.

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Federal Court Rules Police Can’t Compel FingerPrint Unlocks for All Devices in a Particular Building

A U.S. federal court in Illinois has ruled that police can’t use warrants to demand that fingerprint unlocks be provided for all devices in a particular building. (Via AppleInsider)

Federal Court Rules Police Can't Compel FingerPrint Unlocks for All Devices in a Particular Building

Although taking fingerprints doesn’t automatically violate Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, the context in which they’re obtained can, magistrate Judge M. David Weisman wrote in his opinion, according to Forbes. Police were asking for access to multiple devices on a property involved in a child pornography investigation.

“In the instant case, the government is seeking the authority to seize any individual at the subject premises and force the application of their fingerprints as directed by government agents,” Weisman noted. “Based on the facts presented in the application, the Court does not believe such Fourth Amendment intrusions are justified based on the facts articulated.”

The warrant in question was missing specific information pertaining to the people living on the property, other than the name of one person thought to be residing there. The warrant was also vague concerning the types of electronics believed to be inside the building, saying only that it was “likely that Apple brand devices” were present.

U.S. police departments have in the past been successful in obtaining warrants for unlocking fingerprint-protected devices. While courts have allowed such warrants, they have protected devices locked with only a numerical password, saying that is covered by Fifth Amendment protections.

Police have found ways around passcode locks, most notably is the FBI’s hiring of an outside security firm to help it unlock the data on an iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

U.S. Appeals Court Says No Warrant Needed to Obtain Location Data from Carriers

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A United States appeals court ruled on Tuesday that law enforcement officials are not required to obtain a warrant to get access to a cellphone’s location data, as long as they obtain it from the wireless carrier.

U.S. Appeals Court Says No Warrant Needed to Obtain Location Data from Carriers

AppleInsider:

The ruling was made possible because of a long-standing legal theory, working on the premise that the information is already being shared with a third party — specifically the carriers, Reuters said. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virg. voted 12 to 3 in favor of the decision, overturning a split opinion from three judges at the court in 2015.

The legal battle sprang from a series of armed robberies that took place in the Baltimore area in 2011. Police obtained 221 days of cellphone data from Sprint, which included around 29,000 location records. The data was used as evidence to ultimately convict two suspects in the robberies.

Judge Diana Motz, writing for the majority opinion in the ruling, said the decision doesn’t violate the Fourth Amendment, as cellphone owners know they are sharing their location data with their carrier.

Judge James Wynn, writing for the dissenting judges, held the opinion that cellphone owners do not actively choose to share their location with the carrier, and any data related to such sharing should be exempt from the third-party sharing theory.

Tuesday’s ruling may not be the last word on the subject, as the Supreme Court could be forced to rule on the case, due to lower court challenges.

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